tv Varney Company FOX Business June 8, 2017 9:00am-10:01am EDT
it. the american people deserve it. last hou he communicated better and being more presidentie ceo traded propose like the us of a. i disagree with that at least today. maria: i want to hear the senato senators ask if his boss, loretta lynches asked him to let it go with regard to hillary clinton. stuart: indeed. an hour from now, the democrats will try down president trump. the whole world will tune in for the show. what is going on. good morning, everyone, now, the left thinks it's watergate all over again. they think that they can pin obstruction of justice on president trump. they think it's the start of impeachment. maybe they've got it wrong. we know what former fbi guy james comey is going to say. his opening statement's been released already. legal experts say no obstruction of justice.
constitutional lawyer says the president's comments to comey were grossly inappropriate, but we do not indict people for being boarish or clueless. what you'll see is political theater. democrats eager to show that the president broke the law. and a democrat will say it's like watergate. every network, broadcast and cable will cover the show gavel to gavel. look at this, mid afternoon yesterday we learned what comey would say, stocks went up. the dow closed 32 points from its all-time record high and a few minutes from now, it may be opening virtually flat, down maybe five or six points, we'll see what happens at the opening bell 28 minutes. in other words, as the left goes full bore after president trump, investors take the rally maybe to new highs. remember, june 2015, donald trump came down the golden
escalator and announced his run for the oval office. two years on, we're seeing what politics look like when a business guy becomes president. "varney & company" about to begin. ♪ ♪ >> okay. the brits vote today. and that's the cover of the sun, it's the british tabloid. it's very colorful as you see. they don't like the socialist leader of the labor party. now, the ft, financial times, poll of polls, shows prime minister theresa may with an 8 point lead. they've started voting already. first the exit polls should appear around 5 p.m. eastern this afternoon. of course at fox business we're on it. next case. james comey takes the stand
about an hour from now. and here is what you're going to hear him say. president trump asked to drop any probe of former national security director michael flynn that was connected to sales statements about his conversations with the russian ambassador. that's one. president trump did not ask to drop the broader probe into russia or possible links to his campaign. when comey told the president he was not on anybody's side politically, trump said, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. stuart: these are all excerpts from comey's opening statement released yesterday afternoon. judge andrew napolitano is with us, he's read it several times. big question, did the president break t law? >> i think all i have now is the statement, which obviously is going to be amplified by many hours of friendly and contentious questioning.
the statement is like a christmas tree with ornaments that everybody likes. enough there that democrats like. enough there that republicans like. there's pars words and lawyer-like language. we know a couple of things, we know that the statement was reviewed by robert mueller, the special prosecutor in the justice department. no prosecutor would allow his potential star witness to testify in a forum that the prosecutor is not participating in without reviewing that testimony in advance. we also know that though republicans would like to be able to ask jim comey about barack obama and hillary clinton and the democrats would like to ask him about things that are not directly relate today his statement. he's not going to answer. he's not subpoenaed. he volunteered to show up. he can pick and choose what questions to answer and what questions to decline to answer. stuart: okay. jonathan turley, you heard me quote him. >> i happen would agree with
jonathan. stuart: let me repeat it. i think it's necessary here. jonathan turley, a constitutional lawyer says, look, no obstruction of justice, but we do not prosecute people for brish o clueless behavior. >> the key word is prosecute, impeachment is a political matter. the people who are his detractors don't have to prove a legal case like you would to a jury. they just have to throw enough mud up there that the house thinks they should go one step further. do i see enough mud in the statement? absolutely not. but we don't know what's going to come out today when comey is interrogated. i don't mean to be critical of the members of the complete, but jim comey is probably smarter than anybody that's going to be interrogating him and certainly more familiar with the rough and tumble of interrogating under oath than anybody questioning him. stuart: two questions, number one, we know that the president
is probably in the white house luncheon room. >> i think i know what's coming. >> and that he tweets. is it possible he'll tweet a response to james comey as he's saying it. >> and that the members of the committee will pick up on the tweet and present it to the witness. >> of course it's possible. it's utterly unprecedented and in this high-tech age, almost a high-tech dialog between them. the president in the private quarters and mr. comey answering what he's tweeting out. stuart: that's called a tease and that's going to give us a fairly large audience. >> you're airing that in 55 minutes. stuart: yes, we are. last one real fast. is there anything that president trump should be really afraid of? >> yes, appearing to have engaged in the interference with law enforcement for corrupt or venal purposes.
that is the definition of obstruction of justice. stuart: well, do you think that's likely? >> no, but again, my thinking is only animated by the seven passages that comey released last night. i don't know what he's going to say as ty interrogate him of eachin of the seven pages. stuart: judge, you'll have a full day. >> i tell you. stuart: we shall. i'm waiting for those tweets. i don't know whether he'll do it or not. judge, thank you very much indeed. >> a pleasure. stuart: brian brenberg is a professor at king's college in new york city. he joins us now. now, this-- could this be good for the president's legislative agenda, the g.o.p.'s legislative agenda because the man is under pressure. i could see the g.o.p. rallying around their guy and getting things done and giving him a win as the democrats go after him. >> yeah, i think it can, if the president responds correctly.
i really hope he doesn't do what you and the judge just talked about. stuart: tweet. >> that will be a problem. if he can respond in a gracious way and say, look, i'm here to focus on the pro growth agenda, taxes, health care, then you've given the g.o.p. something to rally around and they can say this has been a side show and we want to get to our main agenda. let's focused on that. the president, we're with him. yes, it's possible, but depends on the president's response and you're making me nervous by the conversation with the judge. stuart: what are you worried about? lizzie is here and she's go the a big smile on her face. liz: i'm wondering if you're going to get lindsey graham, marco rubio or john mccain ready to rally around. the comey thing, if he thought it was obstruction of justice, he didn't tell his bosses, that undercuts his office. and they'll paint he was threatened over being loyal and
about his job. the issue, was he threatened? the president said on tv, this russia thing, you know, that's why i was upset with comey. stuart: i just feel that i don't want to get involved in he said this, and he said that, and then this happened. and nobody can follow it. nobody. >> the markets are very good at ignoring the drama. look at the document yesterday and they said is there something legal here? answer, no, we're fine. liz: the republicans could get hostile. stuart: we've got the nordstroms stock on the screen, look at that, it's up 22%, premarket. a $9 gain for nordstrom. we all know nordstrom the department store. why is this happening? i'm told there's a possibility nordstrom goes private. that's interesting. so somebody will buy out the common stock, presumably the premium and up goes the thing. any more. liz: nordstrom is announcing the exploration of possibly going private. this is an issue, how will they
go private? who is going to help them. another beleaguered retailer with a bad balance sheet. to go private you have to have another boatload of debt. stuart: if you're going private, you have to buy out the shareholders. liz: and buy it. stuart: $8 higher. what do you think of that. >> i'd like to know what they're going to do next. if you take a private, a bigger on-line play or is there a play there. stuart: imagine those who sold nordstrom short. and suddenly it's up $9 a share and the shorts are holding a nasty little bag. 21, 22%, there's a gain. let's look how the overall market is opening up this morning. i'm going to say it's a muted opening, but please remember, the dow closed yesterday 32
points away from an all-time record high. investors have seen what james comey's going to say today. they've seen it already yesterday afternoon and they still move the market up. dow jones average, s&p average and the nasdaq, all of them went up and are going up a little bit more first thing this morning. how about the price of oil. talk about a drop yesterday, down 5%. look at that, down a little bit more today. we're swimming in the stuff. there's a glut of it on the world market and we're down to $45 a barrel right now. all right. how about the big five? this is what we love to quote. these stocks utterly dominate the market and have done the last year, 18 months. they're premarket, the fab five, they're up on the day that comey testifies, apple, amazon, alphabet, facebook, at near here record highs.
back to you brenberg, we've got time on the show for you. look, this turmoil in washington, you can see right there what's happening to stock prices. explain it. >> it's the beauty of the stocks, they're not washington dependent. they're transforming every industry they walk into, it doesn't matter really what's going on in washington. what matters, they're pushing in, and nordstrom, a few minutes ago, because of amazon. i love that they're engaging in creative destruction and that's why investors are interested. stuart: you've got to watch this stuff. you're about to see political theaterment i theaterment-- theater. i'm going to give you an example yesterday, object and obstruct from democrats. congressman repeatedly cutting off the deputy attorney general, would not let him speak. we will play you the sound bite.
40 minutes from now. former fbi director james comey will testify on capitol hill. there will be drama and dramatics, political theater. we'll be watching. watching your money, tech stocks still on a tear. apple the most valuable company in the world, but, hold on, there are some who say it's time to sell. watch this. >> they're all great companies, might be getting close to time to make the fabulous four. i think we're soon approaching harvest time for apple shares. there's-- >> really? >> we've written positively about them at barron's. we like the anticipation of the next iphone. i'm not sure about the launch of the next iphone. i'm more excited about the run-up to it. think again.
barrel. alibaba, that is china's amazon, up big and i mean big time. it gave an upbeat forecast. the city's revenues were going to be up about 45% in the future. the stock is up 12%. that's premarket. tesla, wow, it's been on a tear recently. look at it go today. we're now at 363, and a high and tesla this morning. the left, as in democrats, may be showing a little contempt for our president during the hearings of mr. comey today. let me take you to yesterday where there was a similar outpour of -- outpouring of contempt. watch this. >> senator, i'm very sensitive about time and like to have a lengthy explanation to you. >> can you give me a yes or no answer. >> it's not a short answer, senator, it is--
>> it's either you're willing to do that or not as we have precedent in that guard. >> the chairman, they should be allowed to answer the question. >> the chair had to step in and say the witness has to answer the question. to be fair. stuart: and with us is lisa booth. >> hi, stuart. stuart: good morning, lisa. now, let's suppose a democrat does something similar with james comey today. badgering the man, for example, not letting him answer the question. i think that will make the democrat look bad. what say you? >> well, and it will probably happen. i mean, i guarantee we'll see that here in 40 minutes from now, during the hearing, but you've got to think about it, stuart. i worked on capitol hill for a and so, there's also political component as well, for someone like senator harris. and questioning rosenstein and
put it on youtube and put it out on press release and she gets to tout that she was standing up to the trump administration, so there's a political element of this, especially with a young senator like camalla harris and sticking it to the donald trump administration. stuart: i don't think it will look good though. the whole world is watching this. every broadcast network, every cable network, gavel to gavel. >> you don't say. stuart: you don't say, exactly. what do you make of the idea, that maybe the republican party may rally around him in his time of difficulty and therefore get something done on obamacare and taxes. am i wildly out of line by suggesting that? >> i don't think you're out of line and if everything stays where we've been now, and nobody says there's evidence of collusion. in comey's written statement.
he basically confirmed what the president said he's not under investigation, that this is a counter intelligence investigation. if everything stays the way it is now. i think you'll see republicans rally behind him. and i think the best thing that republicans at large is something to get done from a legislative standpoint. they have to get tax reform done. they have to have movement on health care prior to the mid-terms or he think that's the most damaging and could cost the most harm to the republican party not to tell voters you elected me for a reason and we got something done, we governed, we did what we promised. if we can't do that, i don't know what case the members have to voters to get reelected. stuart: they've got to get on with it. they've got to. there is no choice here. lisa, i'm out of time. i've got developments in the department stores. i know you'll be watching, as well as the rest of the world. >> i will be, have a good day.
stuart: reports that nordstroms is considering going private. it's premarket, a 17% gain and that's helping the other department stores. look at them go. kohl's 4%. macy's 3%. j.c. penney, et cetera, et cetera. the idea that nordstrom may be bought out and go private, that's inspiring the department store industry for a modest gain, who would have thought. liz: inspiring. i feel inspired. >> inspiring might be a little strong. stuart: we've been talking about retail ice age for months and months and months and now we have this. how about that? 10:00 eastern, democrat senator mark warner, off he goes and the comey testimony, warner is going it compare the hearings today to watergate. you will hear it. a bar in d.c., as in washington, opening for a comey viewing. and every time trump tweets
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comey hearing. and look who is here, ashley saunders is the general manager of the union pub where the free drinks will be given away in the president tweets. she's going to join us on the phone. >> hi, good morning. stuart: what prompted you to do this, giving away free drinks if the president tweets. are you expecting him to tweet? >> i'm hoping for at least one. it would be disappointing if he didn't. stuart: have you gotten any advance orders? have people booked up tables and all of that kind of things? >> no, we aren't taking any reservations, but getting ready to open right now and i can tell you there's a line almost all the way down the block. stuart: there's a line down the block, are you kidding me? really? are you close to capitol hill? are they waiting for you or for the hearings? >> i think a little bit of both. we're one block from the senate building and a few blocks from the capitol building. stuart: let me get this right. it's the union club in washington d.c., the union pub,
i should say, in washington d.c. >> yes. stuart: if president trump tweets about comey during the hearings, everybody gets a free drink. what happens if he tweets about tax cuts or obamacare? >> if it's in relation to anything comey is saying, we will give out a free round, but if it's something that's clearly unrelated, it will not count. stuart: okay. do you happen to know if you've got any competition from other bars on your street? >> i'm going to highly doubt it. i know other bars are showing and hosting specials, but because i think we did something that sets us so far apart, and we're the place to be. stuart: you know, president trump occasionally watches this program. we have a discussion for t-- we have a discussion for the president, he should tweet, union pub bottoms up. ashley, you're a good sport. we appreciate it.
good luck. liz: not even a free pretzel for tax reform tweets? >> popcorn. >> why not? >> as opposed to a steak dinner. okay. look at the futures, this is how we're likely to open the market in literally two minutes' time. of course, it's the comey hearings day. you can't escape it. every network, cable and others will be running this full tilt, gavel to gavel. we will open up in two minutes' time, down 7 or 8 points. please remember, we closed yesterday 32 points away from the all-time record high for the dow jones industrial average. we found out what comey was going to stay mid afternoon. the market went up and it's going to open, oh, flat to slightly lower this morning. we need some commentary on it aside from moi, myself. let's bring in elizabeth mcdonald, shah gilani, and
scott martin. it doesn't seem to matter to the markets what comey is going to say today or the worldwide publicity he's going to get. this market looks like it's poised to keep going up. shah gilani, what do you say? >> this is a testament to the market, strong earnings. initially, the upbeat attitude the market had to election of donald trump, it's faded a little, but it's held the gains and gotten higher. it's about earnings now. heaven forbid we get good news out of washington, something actually done in terms of infrastructure, in terms of taxes, it will go through the ro roof. stuart: go through the roof, i'll quote you on that. scott martin, comey notwithstanding, it seems like the market goes to go up. what say you? >> i think to shah's point, the market wants to see us move on from russia, move on from comey. the reality is so far, the preview that we've seen, it's
helpful for the agenda, it's helpful for getting some stuff done that's put on hold. that's what the market wants to see is things follow through and the fact that the markets held on here. we had a bad day some weeks ago, it feels like forever ago. other than that, the market has held on waiting for that progress. stuart: three, two, one, bang! it's 9:30 eastern time and the markets are open and this is jim comey day. we've opened with a 4 point loss, that means we are 36, 37 points away from an all-time high. okay? that's very interesting to me. the screens on every tv all over the country, probably all around the world, are going to be locked onto james comey and the hearing on capitol hill that begins in 30 minutes' time. despite that, the market's close to a record high and we've opened dead flat. show me the s&p 500, why don't you? we're virtually at no change there, it's pretty much dead flat. slightly higher. the nasdaq composite.
i believe it's close to a new high. it's 14 points up, nearly a quarter percentage point higher. how about oil? tumbled yesterday, 5% drop. no effect on the stock market. right now it's at $45 per share. individual companies, very interesting, nordstrom. talking about possibly going private. that would mean a buyout of some sort at a premium to the stock price, that's why it's up 16%. that's helping the other department stores which have been badly beaten down. kohl's,macy's, dillard's, on the upside the first i think this. we follow these stocks and why not, they keep going up this morning. facebook is up. amazon 1013 per share, fractional loss for microsoft. alphabet $1005 at this point. apple is holding virtually unchanged at 155. got to show you tesla.
that thing is still, well, earlier this morning, hit an all-time intraday high of about 364. it's now at 362. that is a high during the trading time, i believe. got to get the technicalities right. liz: there you go, you did. stuart: all right, we're off and we are running. and we have the market opening with a 5-point gain as of right now. okay. let's suppose we come to about 1:00, 2:00, this will be the end much the comey hearings for this day, i think. they're scheduled until about then, where do you think the market is going to be the end of the hearing? >> i think if the president is quiet, we get what we got yesterday, the market will breathe a sigh of relieve. months by month, markets aren't spooked by drama. if we don't see a change of evidence, markets-- >> if republicans go after comey aggressively.
he talks and drops bombs into the probe into russia and if he says i felt my job was threatened when he demanded my loyalty and he said on tv, the russian thing, that's why i fired him, if it goes down that line of reasoning, it could be slippery on the markets. stuart: we're going to cover it and watch for precisely that and figure out if president trump is going to tweet directly to the hearing about what mr. comy has to say. liz: if he tweets "bottoms up, you at the union pub". stuart: i'm in trouble. i'm in trouble. all right. let's move on from the comey hearings, let's go to the british election. what we have in britain is the voting has started already. the financial times has a poll of polls, which shows theresa may with an 8 point lead. it looks likely that she will
win. will that have any effect on us at all. >> should she win, and should based on the poles. it will give a boost to the ftse in london and the european stocks and absolutely, i think it's-- >> helps a little bit? >> it should. stuart: scott martin if theresa may wins, she's going to get 44% of the vote, we understand. that's the poll's forecast, if that happens do we benefit in america? >> we probably do in the sense that the status quo prevails and therefore, there's not any upset to the market. i think the next step with regard to theresa may, stuart. what happens with theresa may, with the comments she made about changing some laws and practices going forward with some of the terrorism over there and procedures taken by police. the markets want to see stability. they don't want to see terrorist attacks. there's been tremendous action here or everseas with respect
to the attacks. regardless the market wants to see some of the authorities to take steps to at least rectify what's going on. stuart: we're what, 20-odd minutes away from the beginning of the comey hearing and we've got a pretty much unchanged market. and i guess you could say investors are saying, wait and see. any bombshells, we'll move on that. if it goes smoothly, we'll hold near record levels. that's where we are at this moment. this is interesting, credit suisse has named eight technology companies that the bank says will keep moving higher. and you know, that the fabulous five are among them, so scott, let's see what we've got here. do you agree with that? i mean, here is another prediction, the big name technology companies just keep on going up. i know we talk about this all the time, but you have to. it's so important for the market. so, scott, are they going to keep on going up? >> they are. now, i feel like the folks at credit suisse, stuart, have been watching this show because, you know, it's great
to get these recommendations out there, you know, to talk about how great the tech stocks are. now, would have been nice if they told us 25% ago like we did here back in the fall. now, the reality is this, if you look at the areas they're talking about, the fair and balanceds, the apples, they're companies that are seeing tremendous earnings growth and tremendous profit growth and a tremendous part of everyday life. that's why you should own not not because they're pushing up the nasdaq. because they're amazing in technology. stuart: anything else, scott. >> there's no ceiling atop of them. if you look at the market since the election, the dow is up 18% since donald trump's election, up a little over 7% year to date. the stocks on average, five of them are up 31%. stuart: you know, you're a brave guy because you said on election day, the dow at that time was at 18,000, you sai here comes 20,000.
we hit 20,000 and you said 21,000. got it right and i've heard you say it, 22,000 and beyond. >> if politics fall into line, we'll get there. you look at leadership in terms of tech stocks, they've got growth, earnings, they're brand names. some have become verbs. they are the future. stuart: interesting. brenberg, now you're an economist, you're not a market watcher, so i'm not going to ask you to comment on stock prices. i'll ask you to tell the audience and me why it is these five technology companies are so important to america's future? >> they're doing things nobody would have predicted five years ago. from a check standpoint, creative destruction is the engine that drives an economy and these are the companies better than anybody else in the world that are producing that. that's why investors are in on this. they don't know what the upside is, but they see the companies moving into industries and making money and gaining
customers and that's why you buy. liz: these stocks of responsible for about a third of the gain-- >> nearly half. liz: nearly half, pushing on that. stuart: never seen anything like that before. >> it's a little scary because in terms of capitalization and the weighting, but this is not anything-- these companies are producing massive earnings, massive profits. it's not about eyeballs, this is about making money. stuart: and i'm going to speak about one of member of the fabulous five. barron's senior editor said it's time to sell apple shares. scott martin, what do you say about apple now. >> of of the fab five apple is probably the least exciting one to me. why? it's mainly hardware. they talked the other day about the speaker that's going to take on alexa, and for me, if
there's one of the fab five and cut it down to the fab four, apple would be the one. we still own it because it's cash flow crazy. they have tons of money on the balance sheet, they just need to get mother innovator. stuart: $225 billion in cash. >> pocket change. liz: a gentle respectful rebuttal to scott martin from wall street, apple has a gigantic customer base around the world. if they get that speaker going to the customer base, it's additive to the bottom line. stuart: they can milk the customer base. >> people like apple more, but they like what amazon gives them. liz: and scott martin is probably right. >> and that's why it will prevail. we're about 20 minutes away from the comey hearings and the dow jones industrial average is dead flat within 30-odd points of record time. we're up two points as we speak. let's talk about alibaba, i
call that china's amazon, it's up very big this morning. i almost said bigly, i almost did it. they give an upbeat forecast, huge revenues a couple of years down the road. the stock is up 10%. verizon is a winner. and yahoo! is planning to look at ply east. oil is $45 a barrel this morning and we're falling 20 cents per barrel on top of a 5% drop yesterday. and how about the price of gasoline? right now it's an average nationally of $2.35 a gallon. i confidently predict that that will go down. i think it goes down to about 2.20 a gal. liz: i think you're right. stuart: i think i'm safe with that. oil 45 means gas, i think, at 2.20 nationwide, we shall see. all right, when are we going to
see the lower gas prices, brenberg? >> this is great. how long have we talked about running out of oil and running out of resources and now we're sitting here saying we've got so much oil prices are going down. this is great and we need this for the economy. stuart: when we went on the air, i'm not sure, two years ago, we went on the air with our three-hour show nine to noon. two years ago we did it. i think that oil back then was around $80 or $90 a barrel and now it's cut in half and the price of gas has gone from way over $3 to just over $2. and i think that's done an enormous amount of good for america's economy. >> it's a huge cut for america. stuart: it's huge, what a shot in the arm. look at me i'm saving a lot. scott martin, go ahead. >> doesn't it seem like brenberg is the kind of guy who has an electric car, so perfect and environmental, it doesn't seem like he has an electric car so he doesn't care about
oil prices. stuart: them's fighting words. >> scott drives a scooter around chicago. >> i lost my license. [laughter] >> i drive a chrysler town and country van. >> how old is that van? >> it's three years old, i'm about to trade it in and do you know what i'm they go of buying? you won't believe it. >> what are you buying? >> what? >> another van. stuart: no, a cadillac. liz: really? >> yes. >> beautiful. stuart: i'm thinking of buying a cadillac. i think dollar for dollar. >> like a '75 cadillac? [laughter] >> no, i think put general motors stock on the board, please. i've got to get to social media. twitter is now warning you, before you send a tweet, warning you, that was meant -- saying they're just offering a warning, you want to take that back is basically what they're doing. no impact on the stock, but it's at $17 per share as we speak. a little bit of a move on the market. look at this. now we're up 16 points. i'm not going to call that a
huge rally by any means. but, you know, there's 18 minutes to go to the comey hearings and we're up 16 points on the dow jones industrial average. one more thing on social media, snapchat's growth has slowed sharply in the past couple of months. scott, are they feeling the heat from instagram? the answer is yes. >> definitely. you know, isn't it funny how quickly companies like instagram, its parents facebook, stock on snapchat. once they were an ipo everybody took them on. the problem for me is the demographic, they cater to late teen, early 20's years. those kids don't spend money, therefore the advertising dollars are know the going to come in over time as everybody expected. stuart: snap is down to $18 a share as we speak. left-hand side of your screen, that's the hearing room, the action starts in 16 minutes. i've got to say thank you very much indeed to shah, scott and brian, good coverage on a very
important day. gentlemen, appreciate it very much. now we're up 21 points, we're just shy of the 22-- 21,200 level. i'm checking my notes here and the all-time record for the dow was 21,206. we hit that last friday at the close, june the 2nd. so, that's the number to watch. 21,206. if you hit that, that means you've hit the all-time record high at precisely the moment when the democrats try to undermine president trump on capitol hill. now this: senator mark warner, he's vice chair of the senate intelligence committee. he's released his opening statement. e-mack, what does he have to say? >> he's the democrat setting the stage where this will go. first point, we began this entire process with the president and his staff denying that the russians were ever involved and then falsely claiming no one from his team was ever in touch with any
russians. we now know that is not true. next up, the president appears to have trends director comey's job while telling him i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. next up. i do want to emphasize what is happening here. the president asked the fbi director to drop an investigation into the former nsa, national security advisor michael flynn. next up, final point, in further violation of clear guidelines, this is where mark warner brings in watergate, the clear guidelines put in place after watergate, the president then called the fbi director, james comey, twice and asked him to lift the cloud of the russia investigation. there's the obstruction argument. stuart: that's the opening statement. the obstruction of justice argument and i think he actually uses the word watergate and draws analogy of the comey hearings and the hearings of the '70s. he's going off trump. liz: the president didn't do
himself any favors, on television saying oh, it's the russia thing and comey. why you had a problem with obstruction of justice why didn't you go to your boss at the time. stuart: the dow jones industrials are moving up more, 25 points, 29 points, 21,203. what did i say the record was, 21,206. it's possible that at 10:00 this morning, when the hearings begin, it's possible that the dow will be right at an all-time record high. next case. this from california democrat senator, kamalla harris, ahead of the comey hearing. what have we got on this. liz: here is how the democrats are going at this, first, comey's statement validates news stories that showed trump interfered in the fbi investigation. i've got many questions, she's saying essentially the fact that he asked for his loyalty and then basically fired james
comey shows that the president is-- that's proof according to the democrats that president trump did interfere in the russia investigation. that's their line of reasoning. stuart: okay, that's where-- what they're coming out with right upfront. liz: that's correct. stuart: moments from now, you'll see it,
james comey testifies to the senate intelligence committee. our next guest knows mr. comey personally, he is former u.s. attorney matt whitaker. come on in, please, matt. welcome to the program. good to see you. >> good to be here. stuart: i've read, you know comey and you like comey, but you say president trump was right to fire him. make your case. >> my case is pretty simple. when i came into the department of justice, jim comey was the deputy attorney general and he orient tated me to the department of justice and i would interact with him on a regular basis, i know him well, and what i do know, though, if you read rod rosenstein's memo
that outline the basis for firing jim, he was accurate. rod's case talks about how he took-- how director comey at the time took the hillary clinton e-mail server situation and made it not just a denial of prosecution, but made it kind of a little bit of a political circus and ultimately did things inconsistent with not only fbi policies, but also fbi traditions. so-- >> the criticism of james comey is that he went political and politicized the fbi and stuck the fbi into the middle of political debate and that's something you should not do, is that in a nutshell, that's the criticism? >> that is the criticism. it's also he took the role of the department of justice and the attorney general and made it his own and it explained why a prosecutorial decision was maids which is not his role to make. stuart: but he said he did that because he did not trust that meeting on the tarmac between
then attorney general and the former president of the united states. i mean, he basically said, i went public because i couldn't trust the judgment of the attorney general. i think i got that right. >> yeah, well, i think that jim was correct in that analysis, still, it wasn't his role and he stepped into a place where, just, you know, he was doomed by the criticism he was going to receive and loretta lynch, who was attorney general at the time, was inappropriate in meeting with bill clinton on the tarmac, but at the same time, it was her decision and continued to be the
do j's decision to make on the prosecution. stuart: okay. matt, look, thanks very much for joining us. we appreciate it. on the left-hand side of your scene, you can see the crowd assembling in the hearing room. it's jampacked and journalists all over the place. i've got to tell you, it's going to be on every broadcast
and cable network, gavel to gavel, all the way through, starts at 10:00, should be over by late, late lunchtime, maybe, 1:00, 2:00, something like that. and that's what's going on right now. now, the intelligence committee members are about to start taking their seat. that's what you're looking at right now, and the backdrop to this, the money backdrop to what's going on in politics is that the dow industrials have opened on the upside. we heard what james comey was going to say, we heard this yesterday afternoon. stocks went up after that. this morning we found out what senator mark warner, democrat on the committee, what he's going to say, he's going to liken it to watergate and the dow industrials are still just a little higher, 21,177. that's what's going on right now. we're bringing in a reformed lawyer. [laughter] >> his name is gregg jarrett and we're wheeling him in as we
speak and sitting him down as we speak and he's got a microphone on, i'm going to ask him, look, i think that the democrats will try to push the idea that our president obstructed justice and that that is an impeachable offense and this is just like watergate. i think the argument seems to center on whether or not our president pressured, exerted pressure on james comey to walk away from the investigation of general flynn and your point is? >> pressure is not enough. look, the statement as it stands, james comey's prepared testimony does not constitute obstruction of justice, instead it largely exonerates the president. here is why. if you look closely at the obstruction statute, it requires the president to have acted corruptly. with that, the statute defines what that is. it is lies, bribery, threats,
withholding or concealing eviden evidence, destruction of documents. com comey doesn't present that in the statements and therefore it's not obstruction of justice. hoping or wishing it's there, is not the same as issuing a threat. i just heard liz talk about senator warner's statement he seems to say, oh, demanding loyalty is a threat. nonsense. loyalty is one of those wonderful wonderfully fungible terms. stuart: let me ask you this, president trump was in business, and it seems he's running this as a business. if you run a company and you say i want loyalty from you,
and i demand loyalty from you. why don't we get over this. >> what does that mean anyway. stuart: you can't say that to the director of the fbi when you are the president of the united states? >> look, he's not a lawyer. he probably should-- if i were him, as a lawyer, i would never meet privately with the fbi director. why? because i can see a car wreck coming before it enters the intersection and i avoid the intersection because i know somebody will find out about it and will think it's pernicious or nefarious or illegal in some way so i would never do it. the president is a businessman, as you points out. stuart: he is, that's what he does and i think he will always take that approach. >> and you have to understand it in that context, but, again, all of these actions by the president are not illegal, they're not even wrongful. they're probably unwise at best. stuart: okay. lizzie, you've got something to add on this. liz: well, the idea of
obstruction, when there are what, seven probes at least, or five to seven or eight probes still going into the russian meddling in the election. now, we did have the bombshell it appeared that russians, allegedly, hackers there planted cookies, as we've been talking about, in 122 local election officials' sites and did they hack the vote. that's the side story that's extremely important. that's really bad. we do not want that happening. stuart: that's not connected to comey and the president. liz: that's not connected to this right now, correct. stuart: that's a separate issue. liz: correct. stuart: i agree with you, grave cause for concern. you start messing with the vote and now you're really talking serious intrusion, but that's not what it's about today. liz: fire engine red alarm bells about that. >> all of this business about collusion. collusion is not a crime except in anti-trust law, as you well know, it's anti-competitive behavior, price fixing and so forth.
the only possible crime could be if somebody in the trump campaign with actually engaged in an overt act with the russians to perpetrate the hacking. re's no evidence of t in fact, nobody has ever claimed that. so, all of this hype about collusion is legally misplaced and erroneous. stuart: on our screens just moments ago. there was senator marco rubio and elizabeth, you brought him up moments ago. my contention would be that the republican party will rally around a president, a republican president who is in trouble, and who wants to get his legislative agenda passed. you brought up the very valid point, watch senator rubio, watch his questioning. does he want to help the president, having been personally offended by the president in the campaign. liz: that's a good point. he's known to be an independent thinker and he has an integrity
about himself, and so, if he starts going after james comey and say, elliicits out of james comey or felt threatened in any way, according to gregg jarrett, that he would lose his job and he was fired and that equals obstruction, then your a going to see slippery sledding on the market. >> remember, the president has constitutional authority not only to hire and fire for a reason or no reason at all, anybody in the executive branch. he actually has the constitutional authority to tell them what to do. do this investigation. don't do this investigation. past presidents have done it, most recently jfk and lbj. all the way back to thomas jefferson who ordered his attorney general to prosecute aaron burr and micromanaged the trial itself. so, historically the president is on solid footing. nobody talks about that, but legal scholars are well aware
of it. stuart: however, you're talking legally. you are a recovering lawyer. >> right. stuart: you've got a law degree and this is not a legal arena. what our viewers are looking at is the political arena. >> right, and look, there is the political act of impeachment which is completely different than the law. gerald ford once famously quipped, what does impeachment mean? he says it's whatever congress says on any given day. stuart: he's right. >> the founding fathers identified impeachment, and used high crimes and misdemeanors, but never defined it. i think they wanted an evolving standard to take place. that's completely different from obstruction of justice as
a crime. liz: what james comey will say. he will say the fbi was not investigating donald trump personally and when he understands what the president was talking to him about, it was about the michael flynn lying about, you know, talks with the russian ambassador, not about the broader russian probe. but then, the next step is, is when the president starts saying, oh, you know, the cloud of the russian probe, complaining to james comey about that, will james comey say that was an issue for me and the fbi, it felt like the president was pressuring us there to get that done. >> i don't understand why that's an issue for him. the president wanted the truth to be told. why is that nefarious. stuart: hold on a second, i don't want to get bogged down in legalisms. i don't want to get bogged down on who said what to why and where. the issue about of that committee today is going to be did our president break the law.
did he commit an impeachable offense. and the answers that those questions will dictate how the market goes in the future. we're joined by elizabeth peek, columnist for the fiscal times. we've got a minutes to go before the gavel and the dow industrials are dead flat and liz peek says what? >> i think all eyes are going to be on this hearing, but, yes, i think from the prepared testimony, we know that there is absolutely nothing here that leads to impeachment considerations and that's what the democrats-- the democrats want to take the eye off the ball. they don't want people looking at the stock market, which is up. they don't want it looking-- the people of the countries looking at the optimism which is rising in the country. this is a way of underi think moo the president and honestly, honestly maybe i'm reacting to the fact that the other side has been so unfair. cnn had to recant a story today which was basically based on anonymous sources very scary, maybe i'm reacting to that. this is so much unfair slamming
of the president for political reasons. i do. stuart: all right. now we are about to take you live to the hearing room you can see on your screens. that is on capitol hill. former fbi chief james comey will testify before the senate intelligence committee literally moments from now. we know what he will say, that president trump asked him for his loyalty, to quote, let go the investigation into general michael flynn. the democrats will try to show obstruction of justice. they may make comparisons to watergate. you may hear the word impeachment. it is unlikely james comey will provide evidence for it. legal experts generally agree poor judgment on the part of the president but he did not break the law. he is running the government like he ran his business, that is giving him politicalç troub. stand by for drama. stay there, please. watch history unfold because this is