tv MSNBC Prime MSNBC August 12, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PDT
their very being. and i think when politics becomes total war, we all lose. >> jon meacham, as always, thank you for walking us through the stakes for taking the time, that is all in on this thursday night. msnbc prime starts right now with ali velshi. in" on this thursday night. msnbc prime begins right now with ali velshi. good evening. >> what a busy and interesting evening, thank you for your great reporting on. >> this we'll see you tomorrow night. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. we literally have a metric ton of news to get to tonight. you've been hearing some of it, including the latest on aattack that took place at an fbi field office in cincinnati, ohio. an attack that comes as conservative politicians continue to vilify the fbi over its search of donald trump's home. law enforcement sources say the man identified in that incident posted online about his desire to kill fbi agents, shortly after the search at mar-a-lago. we're also learning tonight that he was at the capitol riot on
january 6th. we are going to cover the big news out of the justice department as well. the attorney general merrick garland announcing today that he's moving to unseal the warrant to search trump's home. but we start tonight with a truly gobsmacking new report from the "washington post." here's the headline. fbi searched trump's home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say. quote, classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were found among the items that fbi agents sought in a search of the former president donald trump's florida residence on monday, according to people familiar with the investigation. experts in classified information said the unusual search underscores deep concern among government officials about the types of information they thought could be located at trump's mar-a-lago club, and potentially in danger of falling into the wrong hands. one former justice department official, who in the past oversaw investigations of leaks of classified information, said
the type of top secret information described by the people familiar with the probe would probable cause authorities to try to move as quickly as possible to recover sensitive documents that could cause grave harm to u.s. security. the "washington post" goes on to quote david laufman the former chief of the justice department's counter-intelligence section which investigates leaks of classified information which told the paper, if that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at mar-a-lago may have been classified at the highest classification level, if the fbi and the justice department believed there were top secret materials still at mar-a-lago that would lend itself to greater hair on fire motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible. in its report, the "washington post" also sheds new light on other kinds of sensitive materials that were already recovered from trump's home back
in january. when the national archive first realized that important records were missing, quote, a person familiar with the inventory of 15 boxes taken from mar-a-lago in january indicated that signals intelligence material was included in them. the precise nature of the information was unclear. now, as the "washington post" notes in its reporting, signals intelligence can include things like intercepted emails and phone calls of foreign leaders. now, there's a lot of information here. we're going to try and unpack a lot of it. we've got some excellent guests to provide reporting and analysis for you about this story which has suddenly, in the last hour, become substantially more serious than it already was, and it was already substantially very serious. joining us now, by phone, is philip rucker, the deputy national editor of the "washington post," the editor for this bombshell piece tonight. phil, i deeply appreciate you
being with us tonight. i know this is a busy night for you and your colleagues. this is unbelievable information. we were all set to at least find out some information tomorrow by about 3:00 p.m. or maybe a little later, when the trump lawyers had to respond to the invitation bit attorney general to unseal the documents. but this is material that you and your colleagues have gleaned tonight of an entirely different nature. the sort of things that they were looking for, and the connection to something to do with nuclear stuff. tell me what else you know. >> yeah, good to be with you. this is chilling reporting by a team led by the "washington post," and a group of editors working on this story today, that among the items that fbi agents were searching for when they went to mar-a-lago in palm beach, florida, on monday, was classified documents relating to nuclear weapons. that's a big deal. as everybody listening knows. we don't know, for example,
whether those were related to, the documents were related to nuclear weapons belonging to the united states, or nuclear weapons belonging to another nation, perhaps further reporting can shed light on that. nor do we know frankly if those documents were actually recovered by the fbi in their search, but we know that one of the reasons they sought the search warrant and went down to mar-a-lago with authorization from a judge to search through the former president's space and private quarters for document is they were looking for the classified documents that had to do with nuclear weapons. >> i want to be clear here. the information, the reporting you have been able to get is that they were seeking some of this information, not necessarily that they got the information. that's right. we can confirm according to our sources that the fbi went to mar-a-lago in search of this information. we do not know, however, whether they actually recovered the documents that they were looking to find. >> there was some talk in trump
circles tonight that the information that was sought and/or recovered was information that donald trump had declassified. obviously, that would have had to have happened if that is true while he was president, because a former president cannot just take documents that they've got and decide to declassify them. if that were true, there would be some evidence somewhere of that, right? there would be some paper trail, probably want be accessible to you or me, but to people who make determinations about the control of classified information, that would exist. trump can't just say that he didn't classify information in the past. >> that's right. and the way this porks, in the government, is -- this works in the government is the sitting president has the ultimate authority on classification and can make a decision to declassify documents, natural security documents, that he or she cease fit. so any declassification that trump would have made would have had to have happened while he was the president, once he leaves office he obviously loses
that authority, that power. >> there were, there was reporting and some of it in tonight's story, but there was obviously reporting during donald trump's term in office that whether or not information is classified or not classified, there were allegations and examples during the trump administration of sort of the mishandling of highly classified information, and the fact that people reported that often these things would be in the hands of people who wouldn't have had any reason to have, and certainly didn't have the qualification to have it, so tell me how that fits in with the level of concern around classified national security-related documents being at mar-a-lago. >> well, let's be clear on a couple of things. when he was president, donald trump was fairly loose on classified information, there were moments he shared classified information with foreign officials there were moments that he disclosed classified information in press conferences or other forums but when we are talking about
classified information with nuclear weapons, it is a new level of sensitivity. usually information about nuclear weapons is restricted to a very small number of senior government officials, according to the experts that my colleagues interviewed for this story. so publicizing details about, you know, the u.s. nuclear weapons program, or frankly the nuclear weapons program of any other country provides an intelligence road map to the adversaries who are seeking to build ways to counter our systems or other countries' systems, so that's why there is such heightened concern in the law enforcement and intelligence communities about this documentation, and about the fact that they believe that what is at the former president's residence, and let's also remember, he doesn't live in a home, he lives in a large private club, mar-a-lago, where dozens if not hundreds of people come and go every day. it is a very public environment for documentation like this to
be in existence. >> we have examples in the past of people who either got into the club or got themselves invited to the club or try to join the club, perhaps with some intent to get access to the president and possibly information that is not of the public. we want to read one paragraph of the story and get your take on it. because we are expecting that we're going to hear something tomorrow, because attorney general garland has moved to unseal the warrant, and he has said that donald trump's lawyers should have the opportunity to be consulted on this, and make a decision as to whether they want that to happen. in the article, it says if made public the warrant would probably reveal a general description of what material agents were seek at mar-a-lago, and what crimes they could be connected to. a list of the inventory that agents cook from the property would also be released. details could be limited, however, particularly if the material collected includes classified documents. which you are now reporting might be the case. in other words, we're not going to get an inventory of
classified documents that were seized if any were. >> i don't anticipate that we will. and just to be clear, that is the paragraph you just read, that is our sort of working assumption based on the expertise of the sources we talked to, but we have not seen the search warrant, obviously, or any of the documents that could become unsealed tomorrow, so it's difficult to say with any certainty what they will or will not show, but think you're right, that if there is any classified material on those documents, it would be redacted. it's not something that the government would have public. >> the story got a whole lot more interesting tonight thanks to your colleagues and their intrepid reporting. phil, thank you for being with us, national editor at the "washington post," we appreciate your time. joining us now is the former director of the cia john brennan. director, thank you for being with us particularly on short notice. i want to start with the obvious question. how big of a deal is this?
>> it is a really big deal, when i heard about this, that there could be documents related to nuclear matters, whether it be our nuclear force structure, decision making, practices, and procedures, as well as presidential authorities, these are exceptionally sensitive documents that are restricted in terms of who has access to them, who can handle them, how they're stored, and to take them out of the white house, i think is just the height of recklessness and irresponsibility. when i learned n-being in the white house, and the homeland security adviser and deputy security adviser, i had access and when i was director of the cia, i no longer had access and i didn't need to and also because they needed to be under tremendous lock and key and they are not even up loaded in top secret information systems, they're that sensitive, so i don't know what the department of justice and the fbi were look
for but if it deals with some of these most sensitive documents dealing with nuclear matters involving the united states, and force posture as well as the capabilities of our allies as well as our adversaries, this is again something that i can understand now why the department of justice and fbi went into mar-a-lago to retrieve those documents, because they need to stay under 24/7 protection in hardened facilities, and the fact that they could be accessed by people unauthorized to gain access to them -- >> it had to be addressed. >> you started to answer this question by talking about the fact that they're not up loaded to certain servers, they're hardened facilities, even people like the director of the cia, if they don't need that certain information, they don't get access to certain information, all of this leads to my next question, that this couldn't have likely been inadvertently,
let's stick this in my file, i'm leaving office, this type of information, someone would have to do work to get it out of where it's supposed to be? >> absolutely. we know what these documents were. this is what is called a special access program, sap, and there are special markings, this is above top secret in code wording, there are special compartments and special categories that nuclear matters fall in, and which is why they are so restricted in terms of who has access to them. so they're kept in very closely-guarded areas, in the white house complex, and access to them requires somebody to actually bring them to an office, and usually stay with them, and retrieve them, and put them back under the special security procedures that must, must be enforced at all times. and so therefore, the fact that they got out of the white house and are at, again, if this is
actual reporting, and i don't doubt the "washington post" when it comes to nuclear-related things but there are sensitive documents that go well beyond your traditional top secret concerns. >> there is reporting from some people who have some familiarity with this that the release or the publicity of these documents could cause, in the words of the "washington post" article, could cause grave harm to u.s. security. talk to me, not knowing what this is, knowing that all we know is that the word nuclear is in there somewhere, and it probably has got to do with nuclear weaponry, but we don't know if it is our nuclear weaponry or the nuclear weaponry of an adversary or an ally, what are the circumstances, you would have known this as the director of the cia, what are the circumstances in which having that information exist out of its top secret highly classified environment is dangerous? >> well, obviously, our adversaries, specifically russia and china, would do anything to
be able to gain access to these types of documents. because it would give them insight into what our capabilities are, potentially what our areas of vulnerability might be to their weapons development, and so anybody who happened to find them, if they wanted to try to find a user or a client that was interested in them, they could easily do that by going overseas. so that's why these documents, this information, is kept so highly and tightly controlled because what you don't want to do is give our adversaries any additional information about what our capabilities are, which is why i'm sure that documents, that the list of documents that they're going after, or the types of material, will only be generic in nature. but i hope that the motion to unseal the search warrant will be granted, because it will give people, especially the skeptics and the republicans in congress, who are coming out and lashing out against the fbi and the
department of justice and those institutions that keep this country safe, i think it is apauling what they've done so far, and i think there is going to be some transparency into how sensitive the material is, without giving away any content of what's in those documents. >> again, this argument that we're hearing from some corners already that whatever was seized was declassified. we can't just say, oh, that file you got that says classified, i took care of that. >> i have been hear thchlg the usual practice and every president i have worked to has followed the practice, if you go back to the agency that originally classified a document or a program, and you seek their concurrence, and make sure that you're not going to do any inadvertent or intentional damage to u.s. national security, by declassifying a document. and then a president can make a decision, but for him to just say arbitrarily and unilaterally these are declassified, he did that with any type of nuclear
document, that would be the height of recklessness and irresponsibility and gravely damaging to u.s. national security interests, and i think everybody should be outraged, if that is what occurred. >> if that is what occurred though, you and i have struggled for the last five years to figure out where the checks and balances have been in this administration, and what we did learn is there were people in the intelligence infrastructure, in the defense department, who were whistle-blowers, who did say enough is enough, and this is dangerous. i would assume this would be a trigger, right? this that happened, would we know? would we know if donald trump had declassified information that by being declassified would have posed a national security risk to america? would we ever find out that's true? >> who knows what documents he might have taken out of the white house, and clearly there were some, that's why the fbi and the d.o.j. are going after this. but there is supposed be a record of every document that was declassified. and what i'm hearing from the trump people is that well, it wasn't recorded.
well, that allows trump and others to say after the fact he just declassified that. that is not the way national security is supposed to be managed and handled. and particularly overseen by a president of the united states. so i find that the argument is really quite species in terms of well, declassified it all, tand would be reckless and irresponsible by a wave of his hand to declassify information that could put people's lives at risk and could put technical programs at work and put the national security of the united states of america at risk and that's why i am so glad we're going to get to the bottom of it, this and if there were documents that shouldn't have been at mar-a-lago, i'm sure the federal government will look at it. >> and it's government property and you can't take that but for the last couple of days there has been some speculation that maybe donald trump took stuff away that he shouldn't have taken that should have been at
the archives, not all that serious. as we uncover more of this in the next 24 hours, if it becomes this serious, what happens? what should happen? >> well, i think it's -- donald trump should be treated like any other former government official, if they intentionally took documents or took the information out of the government, that is of a highly sensitive and classified nature, think there should be penalties for that, and there should be charges brought to bear. now there are all different types of potential damage, you know, there's some material that he might have taken out, and there might have been some classified information with a confidential secret level, but then there is also the mostly highly sensitive, and most highly restricted and most sensitive information that the u.s. government and national security apparatus keeps control over, and if anybody from a
lowly official in the intelligence community to the president of the united states, if they put those documents at risk, and they remove them from government facilities, i do think then the department of justice has to make a determination about whether or not charges in fact, should be filed. so i will leave it to those professionals who have great confidence and great respect for, at the department of justice, to make a determination about what actions should be taken, if indeed, these documents are found at mar-a-lago. >> john brennan, we appreciate your time tonight. former director of the cia. we will have more on this bombshell reporting from the "washington post" tonight. and some of the documents the fbi was searching for at. relating to nuclear weaponry. the big news out of justice department today, attorney general merrick garland announced he is moving forward with unsealing the search warrant that was executed at trump's home. and an attack on an fbi facility in cincinnati. a lot to get to tonight. stay with us. a lot to get to tonight. stay with us g you can do.
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already an incredibly busy nus day before the bombshell broke from the "washington post" shortly before we came on the air, the paper reporting that the fbi searched former donald trump's home to look for classified documents relating to nuclear weapons. we will continue to follow that story as it develops. i want to turn to other major news of the day. although it's all connected. after three days of suspense and three days of speculation and three days of attack from right wing media and republican politicians, today the merrick garland attorney general broke his silence and came before the
american public and announced that he and the justice department are in fact, prepared to reveal the federal warrant that they obtained to search donald trump's home. >> the justice department has filed a motion in the southern district of florida to unseal a search warrant and property received relating to a court-approved search that the fbi conducted earlier this week. that search was a premise located in florida longing to the former president. the department did not make any public statements on the day of the search. the former president publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right. the department filed the notion to make public the warrant received. and in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter. >> the justice department has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant for donald trump's home. for the past few days, trump
allies and republicans on capitol hill have been clamoring for the attorney general to explain himself, come out and explain this fbi search of a former president's home. and so merrick garland basically said, okay, fine, you want answers, i'll show you the warrant. attorney general garland also confirmed today that he personally signed off on the search of trump's home prior to it happening, and he made a point of calling out the attacks on federal law enforcement that have been emanating from the political right ever since this search became public. >> let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the fbi, and justice department agents and prosecutors. i will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. the men and women of the fbi and the justice department are dedicated patriotic public servants. every day, they protect the american people from violent
crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. they do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. i am honored to work alongside them. >> i am honored to work alongside them. question on everyone's mind, after merrick garland's press conference today, was when will we get to see the search warrant? the answer to that question is now working its way through the federal court system in florida. attorney general goreland said today that president trump and his lawyers should have an opportunity to weigh in on whether or not they want that search warrant released to the public. just in case republicans suddenly decide to change their mind about whether or not they really want the answers, that they've been demanding on fox news, for the past 72 hours straight, a federal judge in florida has given the justice department until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, to meet with trump's lawyers and report back on whether or not trump will sign off on the release of that
search warrant. shortly after the attorney general spoke, the former president released a statement, once again, attacking the fbi, but not saying one way or another whether or not he will support the release of that search warrant. tonight "the new york times" katie benner was first to report that trump allies are considering opposing the releafs warrant and contacted outside lawyers to discuss the possibility. nbc news has not yet confirmed that reporting, but it seems a lot more understandable than it did a couple of hours ago when i first saw that reporting. maybe if you're trump's lawyers you don't want this stuff out there. for now we have to wait and see what happens. even after merrick garland made his statement to the public, we were already learning new details about the search and how it happened. nbc news has confirmed that the justice department sent donald trump a subpoena for missing white house documents before the fbi searched his home looking for them. sometime before, actually. as "the new york times" first
reported today, quote former president donald trump received a subpoena this spring in search of documents that federal investigators believed he had failed to turn over earlier in the year, when he returned boxes of material he him properly taken with him upon moving out of the white house, three people familiar with the matter said. the subpoena suggests that the justice department tried methods short of a search warrant to account for the material before taking the politically explosive step of sending fbi agents unannounced to mar-a-lago, mr. trump's home and members only club, end quote. "the new york times" also cites two people briefed on the classified documents at mar-a-lago who indicated quote that they were so sensitive in nature, and related to national security, that the justice department had to act. and since the raid took place on monday, republicans, none of whom who have provided any insight into what may have been contained in the documents that were seized, have nonetheless responded with outrage, and demands for answers why, did the
fbi have to search trump's home, why couldn't they have just asked donald trump for the documents? why won't merrick garland explain himself? well, today, we got answers to basically all of those questions. the justice department did ask trump for those documents. they even sent him a subpoena. an informant told them that trump did not hand over everything he promised to hand over and they searched his home as a matter of last resort and attorney general merrick garland is ready to show you the warm front signed by a federal judge authorizing the search as well as a list of what the fbi collected. the question now, what are we going to learn next? joining us is the former federal prosecutor barbara mcquade, barbara, there's so much going on tonight, and i want to start with your reaction, you have seen a lot in your life, in your career, but the breaking news from the "washington post" that some of the information that the justice department was searching for, the fbi, were nuclear
documents. i'm not sure i have words to understand what has happened here. >> i think it's really stunning that that is the content of these documents. there is no innocent explanation, if these documents indeed include information about america's nuclear secrets. one has to wonder, what on earth could be the reason that donald trump would want to possess those things. in my career, with national security cases on occasion, i've had an opportunity to review and hold documents that were at the top secret level, and it made me quiver to read them. i didn't want to hold. it i wanted to put it away somewhere, so that, it terrified me to have it in my hands. the idea that you would throw boxes and put it in your basement is really astonishing. it is also a serious crime. the espionage act makes it a crime to gather and retain improperly national defense
information. it doesn't even need to be classified information. it doesn't matter if donald trump declassified the information. as long as it pertains to the national defense, which nuclear weapons information absolutely would qualify for, it is a crime if mishandled that is punishable with time in prison a very serious development. >> there is no innocent explanation for this. because i've spoken to many people in government and you know this and anybody who has worked in government knows this, you can't take anything, you can't take anything, it's government property, anything ha was acquired or happened while you were in government is government property. you can't take it. but there have been people wondering and i've been one of them, could this be boxes of pictures or notes or things that were unimportant, but what the cia director brennan told me earlier, is that no, there's no possibility that nuclear information or secrets of the highest level could have inadvertently made it into the box of autographs that you collected while you were president. >> yeah, i think that's
absolutely right. this is the kind of document that you wouldn't be, you know, on your desk in the pile with all of the other things in your to do list. these are kept in special places, kept in skiffs, a secure department information facility, and they are not just laying around so someone would have to take proactive steps to obtain these documents and that's a very important par, because it goes toward the willfulness aspect of this. unlike many crimes, it is necessary when you have a violation of the espionage act to show that not only that the person knew that they had the thing but they knew that it was illegal to have the thing. so if it took extraordinary steps to get this and retain it and you refuse to produce it even after being asked to voluntarily produce, it and asked to produce it in subpoena, and it took a search warrant for the government to get it back, it's pretty strong evidence there of not only a violation but a willful violation of the
law. >> let's talk about what happened this afternoon, first you have about 2:00 p.m., you had attorney general garland coming out, saying, all right, you all want to see the document, we'll give you the documents, then he says, i don't know if it is illegally necessary and donald trump and his lawyers should have an opportunity to sign off on the deal and the judge says you have until 3:00 tomorrow to get in touch with trump's lawyers and come back and see if you want to release these document, then we got katie benner's reporting from "the new york times." before i saw the "washington post" report can, which said that there is some talk that maybe trump's lawyers or trump's circle didn't want this information released. and i thought that odd, because everybody is agitating to get this stuff released for the last couple of day and then the "washington post" reporting comes up and i'm thinking to myself, if any of that is true, and we don't know, it's reporting and we have not been able to confirm particular and if any of that is true, if that is the kind of stuff that the fbi is looking for, maybe if i'm trump world i don't want the
warrant to be publicized. >> i think trump was gaming out and bluffing a bit clamoring this is an outrage and we need to see what this is all about, and we need to hear from the justice department, they fully expected, i i think the justice department to rely on the policy to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation and say nothing and speak under court filings and under seal, and this is a pretty brilliant strategy by merrick garland, i don't know if it is his idea or someone on his staff and what if you did talk to the documents, because i think merrick garland was chosen for this job to restore the normalcy of the justice department and it important to have norms and important to adhere to them in times of crisis and this is one of them. and provides information that the public needs and deserves and he said there is strong public interest in this matter and unseal the documents and he
didn't talk about donald trump today the president, he talked about the process, and integrity of the fbi and filed a motion to unseal this so it will be speaking to their court filings. now, as to donald trump's suggestion in the reporting that he might oppose it after all of this is really quite rich, but as you have mentioned, ali, if it does say things there are nuclear secrets in these documents, you can see why he might want to stop it. i don't think that's going to happen. i think that ordinarily, public records, court-filed records are in the public domain, and it is the government who specifically seeks to protect them from disclosure so as to not to in any way undermine the success of the federal investigation. once they want it to be unsealed, it's very difficult to imagine that donald trump will prevail in getting it, in keeping it sealed. >> barbara, you and i have been through a lot in the last few years and we covered a lot of things we didn't expect to be talking about and this is just
another installment in the crazy stuff that happens in america. good to see you, my friend. thank you for being here. former federal prosecutor barbara mcquade. one other important piece of news reporting the story we can report tonight. nbc news confirms that someone familiar with the documents stored at mar-a-lago tipped off investigators in june to the fact that there may have been more classified documents at the club which led to monday's execution of a sent. separately, nbc news has identified the man that attacked an fbi field office in cincinnati, ohio today, at the capitol riot on january 6th and posted alarming things about the fbi raid of mar-a-lago online. that story next. ♪ ♪ away suitcases are designed with 360-degree spinner wheels. ♪ ♪ so you can go with the flow.
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aize said, there's a lot of news having to do about this mar-a-lago search warrant at around 9:15 this a.m., a man who nbc has identified entered the cincinnati fbi field office and fired a nail gun at law enforcement personnel, we're not clear of the next events but he brandished a rifle and an alarm was set off and fbi agents responded to the attack and he fled in his car and northeast on the interstate spotted by a state trooper at 9:37 a.m. the trooper tried to initiate a traffic stop but the man fled and during the pursuit he fired his weapon at the troopers. at about the 9:53 a.m., he stopped his vehicle in a rural
area of clinton county, and he exchanged gunfire with troopers as he got out of his car. that led to an hours-long standoff, in a cornfield, and troopers say they tried to negotiate, they attempted to capture him with less than lethal force and in the end they shot him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. earlier today there was speculation and fear that this attack may have been motivated by the dangerous far right response to the fbi search of former president donald trump's personal residence at mar-a-lago, and tonight, there are new indications that that may in fact, be the case. nbc news has confirmed that the man was at the capitol riot on january 6th but it was his actions in recent days that are most unsettling. the day after the raid on mar-a-lago, he took to trump's social media network, truth social it's called, and posted a tirade calling for violence. i won't repeat the whole thing because it doesn't deserve to be amplified but it deserved things like quote we must not tolerate
this one and called for people to arm themselves and be ready for a combat and a response to a reply to the post and asked him if he advocated for terrorism and users should kill fbi agents on-site is what he responded. in response, you are a fuel if you think there's a nonviolent solution and another user responded that his photo and info had been forwarded to the fbi, shiffer responded, bring them on. and today at 9:29 a.m., directly after the attack on the fbi field office, shiffer posted this, quote, well, i thought i had a way through the bullet proof glass and i didn't. if you don't hear from me, it's true, i tried to attack the fbi and it will mean i was either taken off the internet, the fbi got me, or they sent the regular cops. and it just stops there mid sentence. luckily no one but shiffer was hurt today. ben collins is part of the team
that confirmed the suspect's identity and dug out his social media posts and following the story all day. ben, amazing. you've been looking around some dark parts of internet. i don't even know how to describe this story. but there is a guy who was fairly actively responding to the right wing response to the search. >> yes. >> there's been a right wing response that said this is illegitimate and the fbi needed to explain itself and the department of justice but this guy decided to handle it on his own. >> i want to say the very dark parts of the internet, the neo nazis, they don't care about this that much, but the parts that are trump obsessed, truly obsessed with donald trump, those are the people right now who are the most angry. and that's what you saw today. for example, i want to say, on may 7th, this is what shiffer posted in response to marjorie taylor greene. they got away with fixing the election in plain sight. it's over. the next step is the one we use in 1775. >> wow.
>> so he was thinking like this for a while, and then this search of mar-a-lago happened, and he said this is the end of it, he said we must not tolerate this one. that's what he said two days ago. and that's what led to this entire thing. so my worry is that this is not on the darkest part of the internet. i know those places and i know where the neo nazis hang out and i know all that stuff, these are the parts that are obsessed with donald trump, these are people down the street who are convinced by the way that the irs hired 87,000 new agents, as a secret ploy for people to come and take your guns, and they're going to come any day now so you better get armed. >> and he had posted again, we have not repeated all of it, but you have written about it, he had posted for people to get the gunshops, and pawnshops as soon as they can, to be armed. and this is real talk about war. it wasn't even talk -- there has been civil war talk in the last couple of days, and people think that's nonsense, but the fans
are being played in fairly mainstream conservative media about the fbi, and the justice department and witch hunts, and this is where it can end up. >> that's the thing here. all of these people that perform these attacks, they all think they're kicking something off, they think they're the guys starting the battle but they're abandoned by their own people. already on these forums that he attended, they're saying this is a false flag. this was really antifa. this is the fbi setting things up. isn't it a coincidence that only he died here. that sort of thing. even though there are months and years worth of posts. and this guy was at the capitol on january 6th. he told people in recent months that to go join your local proud boys because those people know what they're doing for the revolution. they all think they're kicking something off. but the actual followers, they don't want to leave the house. they just want to support donald trump from home. and when people start to take it seriously, as you hear on fox news, as you hear on the youtube channels that they say this is war all of a sudden, they
immediately abandon them. >> that is amazing. the guy went to an fbi office and tried to shoot his way into it. thanks for your coverage. it's important as always. ben collins, a senior reporter at nbc news. we got much more on the breaking stories just ahead. it's time for the biggest sale of the year, on the sleep number 360 smart bed. snoring? it can gently raise your partner's head to help. our smart sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night. all smart beds are on sale. save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. only for a limited time.
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you tweeted at 3:00 p.m. today and what if a classified document on u.s. handling of nuclear weapons or names of cia agents was given or sold by or stolen from an ex-president who had stashed it in his basement? this was several hours before the reporting about the fact that the documents might have been having to do with the nuclear information. what were you thinking, because you were postulating, that would be really bad if that happened. >> right, i'm sure not nostradamus, and what i was thinking about, what is conceivably the worst thing we could find in those documents, and by the way, we're talking tonight, as you know, ali, you and agree about a news report not evidence yet but we will soon know one way or the other, and if donald trump kept in his basement, or somewhere else, illegally, classified documents with nuclear secrets, and then, we don't know this yet and we may never learn it, but, and then passed those to potential enemies of the united states, that could have been terrorists,
hostile foreign governments, i'm trying to think what is the worst case, that could be used to kill our children, as americans, that is about the worst thing that a president could do, we're a long way whether he did do that but if we try to think as americans, what is our maximum exposure tonight, that's what it is, and we're going to have to find out fast. there's a deadline tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., as you have reported, for that search warrant to come out, it's essential that we see that search warrant after 3:00 p.m. tomorrow and it is essential that we find out what these documents were. if they were nuclear, if they were something of that degree of gravity, this goes from being a documents case to a case of espionage or even conceivably, i hate to even say this word, treason. >> it is a remarkable development, and i am glad we have you here, and i'm sorry
that you are even being close to being right for your tweet. >> it is pretty serious. >> thank you. >> nbc news presidential historian and might i say worth following on twitter. we'll be right back. rth following on twitter we'll be right back. awe. what's up little bro? ♪♪ they'll never know. ♪♪ turns out, some wishes do come true. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. shaq broke your vase! for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage make the right call and go with the general. it's time for the biggest sale of the year, on the sleep number 360 smart bed. and nearly 60 years of quality coverage it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. our smart sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night.
that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. "way too early" with jonathan lemire is up next. is there a mole inside mar-a-lago? we know someone tipped off the fbi about more boxes of documents inside donald trump's home, and now we're learning more about the classified information taken from the florida estate. plus, dangerous rhetoric about the fbi may have inspired an attack on a field office. we'll have the latest on a standoff that turned deadly in cincinnati. also ahead, the cdc releases new covid guidelines just before millions of kids return to