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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 10, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST

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this afternoon, katy tur is live from hershey, pennsylvania, as president trump holds a keep america great rally. what are the key issues in this battleground state. watch msnbc live with katy tur 2:00 p.m. eastern. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. andrea mitchell reports starts now. right now, for the third time in u.s. history, the house has articles of impeachment against the president of the united states. accusing donald j. trump of abuse of power and obstruction of congress. >> on this solemn day, i recall that the first order of business, for members of congress is the solemn act to take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> and nbc news exclusive, the first reaction from attorney
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general william barr on impeachment and his own department's inspector general's report which debunk the president's claim that the fbi spied on the trump campaign. but he is not backing down. >> do you stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon? >> it was clearly spied upon. i mean, that's what electronic surveillance is. >> the full exclusive interview with nbc's pete williams coming up. and will lavrmr. lavrov com washington, the russian foreign minister returns two years after the infamous return to washington the day after the president fired james comey. >> does the comey firing cast a shadow over your talks, gentlemen? >> yes. ♪ goo day. i'm andrea mitchell in new york as house democrats take a historic step. introducing articles of impeachment against the president of the united states. accusing president trump of
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abuse of power and obstruction of congress. >> it is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring, or injuring the national interest. when he was caught, when the house investigated and opened an impeachment inquiry, president trump engaged in unprecedented categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inqui inquiry. >> the president's oath of office appears to mean very little to him. but the articles put forward today will give us a chance to show that we will defend the constitution. and that our oath means something to us. >> president trump is firing back, calling it sheer political madness and in a split screen of bipartisanship, democrats also reached a historic deal on one
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of the president's top priorities, the new trade agreement with mexico and canada replacing nafta. >> this is kind of an impeachment morning at 9:00 with usmca. >> and the day is young. >> joining me right now, kristen welker and phil rucker. kristen, first to you, the white house reaction to articles of impeachment? >> the white house and the president have been defiant, andrea. they've been girding for this for quite some time. as you pointed out president trump called it sheer political madness, continuing to take aim at the entire process. they are trying to paint the process as illegitimate. democrats say if they had a stronger argument, they wouldn't be taking aim at the process. they would be making their case. of course, the white house blocked top officials from testifying throughout these house proceedings. let me read you what white house press secretary stephanie grisham had to say earlier.
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in a statement, today in a baseless and partisan step, speaker pelosi and house democrats announced the predetermined outcome of the sham impeachment something they've been seeking since president trump was inaugurated. that's the crux of the argument that they're making here. they now turn their sights to what will likely be a trial in the senate. if in fact this does move through the house. the white house wants to have more participation. they want witnesses like adam schiff to be called. joe biden, hunter biden. the reality of that would require 51 votes. based on all of my conversations that is very unlikely. but they do say they want to have a broader participation. i'm also today, andrea, to expect a full-throated response from president trump when he hits the trail later this evening. he's going to be in battleground, pennsylvania. hershey, pennsylvania, to be exact, i think that is where we may get our most robust response from president trump from all of
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this. remember, he sees this as a way to energize his base even though he doesn't like being impeached. >> so so many things coming together. the new trade deal is exactly what the white house wanted. they face one more day of the threat of shutting down the government. in talking to democrats and some senators as well, they're concerned that the president is not going to compromise on the budget and that's a december 20th deadline. and he would welcome shutting down the government. i'm not sure what they're saying at the white house according to your sources. the democrats are concerned. they're going to be faced with a shutdown and the president blaming them on it. and that this is going to be partly a distraction from the impeachment issue. >> yeah. andrea, it's a legitimate concern because just a year ago, president trump refused to compromise on the budget at the end of the december. and the government did shut down for an extended period of time through the christmas holidays into the new year. and it was rather descriisrupti
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throughout the federal government and throughout operations around the country. so there's a concern about that at this point. it hasn't reached quite those levels yet. simply because there's time and there's an ability here for the administration to negotiate some. the trade deal that you just mentioned is important for two reasons. first of all, it's the biggest legislative achievement that president trump will have had since democrats took over the house of representatives a year ago. and that is notable. he's been working for this for some time. and has been stymied. and now, you're seeing the house democrats come to the table and accept this compromise trade deal on the usmca. it also gets cover for the house democrats as they're trying to say even as they try to impeach president trump and bring the articles of impeachment to the floor, they're doing business for the american people. they're getting this trade people done. and that's something that i
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think pelosi hopes some of their more vulnerable house members will be able to campaign on. >> kristen welker, phil rucker, thank you. david ruse row russoleni serves on the hill. with with the ukraine and on obstruction of congress and dipping back, for the mueller and go for the larger issue of obstruction of justice? >> well, i think the caucus and certainly judiciary committee concluded that the two articles that will be before the committee really relate to the most serious misconduct of the president. this is a president who attempted to corrupt the elections by dragging foreign interference into the election and engaged in an extensive campaign to cover up and the
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misconduct. and this is really a crime in progress that goes at the very heart of our democracy. when our founders talked about abuse of power, they spoke about using the enormous power of the presidency, not to advance the public interest, but to add advance the personal and political and financial interests of the president. that's exactly what president trump did, he used the power of his office to advance his own political campaign to get foreign assistance, to help him in his re-election, at the expense of the presidency of the united states. we do see that this is a pattern by this president that we saw him welcome and accept foreign interference in the 2016 election. and we saw his attempt to cover that up. we do reference this as a pattern of conduct by the president. but these are clearly the most urgent examples of presidential misconduct. and we have an election around the corner. we have to move forward to protect our democracy, to make sure that the 2020 election is died by the american people. not by any foreign actors who
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have no business involving themselves in the american presidential election. >> how fierce was the debate inside the caucus? to go bigger, or not to do this at all, if there were any -- worried about the politics of this? >> i think no one is worried about the politics about this. i think people realize this is a grave situation for the country. and that it cannot go unchecked that it would send a message to this message to this president and other presidents that they would essentiallily lose our democracy. i think people understood we had no choice put tole move forwa td with the only remedy that our founders gave us. and we have a responsibility to honor our oath of office. we swear to protect and defend our constitution, if we don't that, we have essentially lost our democracy. i expect to see virtually every democrat support both of these articles because the evidence is
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overwhelming and uncontested. our republican colleagues who spend a lot of time talking about process, no one has made a serious claim that the allegations or the fact undergirding this articles of impeachment are not true. it's overwhelming and uncontested and i expect strong support. >> the speaker was saying this had to be bipartisan support. you're not going to get any republicans. i understand the situation changed, the ukraine call and all of the other issues, you know, say are a self-confession by the president. that said, you're not going to get any republican votes, are you? >> yeah, with all due respect, i think the president needs to ask this to the republicans, why do you think it's okay to allow an american president to invite foreign interference in the election? this ought to be bipartisan. the facts and laws of the constitution demand a response from congress. it's disappointing that our
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republican colleagues have not joined us on this. they're going to have to answer in history as to why they thought it was okay to allow an american president to reach out and attempt to leverage taxpayer money to persuade or coerce a foreign leader to rig an eamerican election in the american election. >> you're going to work on articles in committee? can that be done in one day? and then take it to the floor next tuesday. >> well, i think, look, we'll take whatever time the committee requires. i mean, obviously, you know, we have a deliberative process. and we'll have a full markup. and the speaker will then decide with the committee passing the article which is i expect they will, when to bring it to the floor. >> what if there's a government shutdown, could you have a senate trial going none january as basically the country is shut down? >> i think the president learned
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a lesson the last time he shut the government down and bragged about it that it hurt the american economy and services were not provided. it's not good for anyone. i don't expect anyone is going to allow the government shutting down. if the president is committed to shutting down the government, he's going to have to face the consequences for that. >> congressman, we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. coming up next, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams exclusive interview with attorney general barr about the ukraine, russian interference and the election. stay with us. pronamel repair t, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. with pronamel repair, more minerals are able to enter deep into the enamel's surface. the fact that you have an opportunity to repair what's already been's amazing.
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ahhhh! -ahhhh! elliott? elliott. you came back! as the united states this week is restarting peace talks with the taliban, in the hopes of bringing home the remaining 13,000 u.s. troops, "the washington post" is reporting on thousands of pages of government documents that claim u.s. officials have misled the american people about the war in
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afghanistan, across three administrations making, quote, rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence that the war was unwinnable. the military and diplomatic officials spoke candidly to the inspector general for afghan is stan airing private concerns the post had to fight for three years to get access to these documents under the freedom of information lawsuit. it is in contrast to what three past commanders in chief have repeatedly said about the conflict. >> we will defeat the enemy and win the war on terror. >> afghans will take full responsibility for their security and their combat mission will be over. >> together, we're making tremendous progress. >> joining me admiral and chief international security analyst for msnbc. welcome.
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you, of course, have so much connection and this was a nato separation as well as a u.s. operation, still is. and the articles, i've looked through these documents days since we got access to "the washington post" material, they were telling the truth, to commanders, to this inspector general. and at the same time, probably testifying to congress. and presidential statements. i understand the need to keep spirits up. and multiple, you know, deployments and burdens on families and the 20,000 who have died. to say nothing of our allies. >> indeed. let's start with ground truth here which is lying to the american public is never acceptable for whatever reason. altering metrics, actually altering a number, never acceptable. you and i are old enough to remember body counts in vietnam which were actually inflated.
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i have not gone through in depth in these papers yet, if either of those two things are true, if people are actively lying or misrepresenting the truth, altering metrics, that's reprehensible and there need to be repercussions. i will say this, andrea, it's okay to talk about success. and it's okay to be hopeful of winning. but the point is the military, certainly, and of course, our political level owe the brutal truth, the good, the bad and the ugly. if these papers demonstrate lying, or alteration of metrics, that will be very striking. and will require fuller investigation. >> well, there certainly was a lot of spinning going on. and you had people like the retired general moot who were telling -- telling the inspector general, this is not working. >> yes. >> and the other argument barry
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mccaffrey had made six visits to the zone as a special adviser and was warning them they didn't have the theory of the case. if they were talking about rebuilding the country from the disaster that afghanistan has been for decades, that's one point. but, you know, you can win the military victories, but you can't win the governance in a corrupt society. let's watch what they had to and other four star has to say about it last night. >> we simply didn't know what we were doing. it wasn't even mission creep. it was mission fantasy. we were creating a democracy in a shattered country of afghanistan. >> and this is relevant now. because while negotiating with the taliban, the women who have won their rights under george bush and president obama have fought for their rights to be in parliament, to have education, coeducation, in some
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cases, could lose all of that with these negotiations. >> they could but all is not lost here. and i think that's the larger strategic point to be made. you saw president obama a moment ago saying in that clip we're going to allow the afghans to do the fighting. that's exactly what we've done. that mission had 150,000 troops. we're down to 14,000. we've withdrawn 90% of our troops. it's the afghans who are in fact doing the fighting. women's rights have improved. life expectancy has improved. those are good things. on the other hand, the taliban has made significant gains but this is not yet vietnam with helicopters looking off the embassy roof. it is still yet to be determined how this cummingomes out. that's why, it's important that the brutal honest assessments are given to the american public, to the commander in chief, and if we do that, the
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good, bad and ugly will make the right decisions. >> nice to see you. coming up an nbc news exclusive. attorney general william barr. doubling down on the campaign. say with us here next on msnbc. - [spokeswoman] meet the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology, you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps.
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william barr, the attorney general in an exclusive interview with pete williams says he still believes the fbi may have operated out of bad faith when it investigated whether the trump campaign colluded with russia, especially dismissing the finding of the justice department's inspector general just released yesterday. attorney general barr sat down with this exclusive interview with nbc news justice correspondent pete williams who is magically outside of the justice department after just finishing this interview. pete, talk to me about what he said and how it conflicts with the inspector general and christopher wray, the fbi director's response to the inspector general's report? >> what i asked him about,
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andrea, first of all, his statement whether he thought the president's investigation of the russia collusion was open on the thinnest possible pretext, i asked him about that. i asked him about the inspector general statement that he didn't believe there was any political bias either in the decision to open the investigation or to seek the enforce intelligence surveillance act on carter page, the former adviser. yule hear him mention steele, that's christopher steele, in the dossier that was so important in getting that warrant. and i asked him about ukraine sand at the very end about the pensacola interview. here's our interview. >> mr. attorney general, why do you say that the fbi opened the investigation of the trump campaign on the thinnest of suspicions? >> well, i'm glad we're getting to the issue of predication. but let me just start out by saying i think you have to put this in context. i think the heart of the ig's
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report really focused on how the investigation was conducted once it got going. and that is especially the very serious abuses of fisa that occurred much of which has been in my view not accurately reported by the press over the last day. but in one area i do disagree with the ig. and that was whether there was sufficient predication to open a full-blown counterintelligence investigation, specifically, using the techniques that they did. to collect intelligence about the trump campaign. >> well, as a pose matter, why not open an investigation on a thin pretext? i guess on the one hand, you could say it's a presidential campaign, it's very sensitive, you need better evidence. on the other hand, you could say it's a presidential campaign, we have to be very careful, there could be a threat to our political process. >> well, i think probably from a civil liberties standpoint, the
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greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state, principally, the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies, both to spy on political opponents. but as to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election. as far as i'm aware, this is the first time in history that this has been done to a presidential campaign. the use of these counterintelligence techniques against a presidential campaign. and we have to remember, in today's world, presidential campaigns are frequently in contact with foreign persons. and indeed, in most campaigns, there are signs of illegal foreign money coming in. and we don't automatically assume that the campaigns are nefarious. and traitors and acting with foreign powers. there has to be some basis before we use these very potent powers in our core first
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amendment activity. and here, i felt this was very flimsy. basically, i think the department has a rule of reason which is at the end of the day, is what you're relying on sufficiently powerful to justify the techniques you're using. and the question there is, how strong is the evidence? how sensitive is the activity you're looking at? and what are the alternatives? and i think when you step back here and say, what was this all based on? it's not sufficient. remember, there was and never has been any evidence of collusion. and yet this campaign and the president's administration has been dominated by this investigation into what turns out to be completely baseless. >> well, of course, it doesn't turn out that way at the beginning, at the start. so, let's look at --
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>> sure. >> let's look at what the basis of it was. so, in may 2016, apparently, a 28-year-old campaign volunteer says in a social setting -- >> this is george papadopoulos? >> this is george papadopoulos. and this was described by the foreign officials who heard him as -- who couldn't remember exactly what was said. but it was characterized as a suggestion of a suggestion. he suggested that there has been a suggestion from the russians that they had some adverse information to hillary, which they might dump in the campaign. but what was going on in may? you may recall that we were in the thick of the investigation of hillary clinton's secret server. and the media was full of stories. and the blogosphere was full of stories. and political stories in washington were full of stories and speculation that the russians had, in 2014, two years
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before, hacked into her secret server. and were, therefore, in a position to drop this stuff during the election. in fact, the day before this comment was made, in a bar, fox news was reporting that their sources told them there was a debate going on in the russian government as to whether or not to drop this hillary clinton emails between the intelligence agency and the foreign ministry. but that related to hillary's server. so the fbi, what the fbi did is, later, after the d.c. -- the dnc hack and the dumping through wikipedia -- >> wikileaks? >> yeah, wikileaks, in july. they get information that this somewhat vague statement was made in a bar. and they jumped right into a full-zale investigation before
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they even went and talked to the foreign officials about exactly what was said. they opened the investigation into the campaign and used very intrusive techniques. they didn't do what normally would be done under those circumstances which is to go to the campaign. and certainly, there were people in the campaign that could be trusted including a member of the senate judiciary committee and the governor of new jersey, former u.s. attorney. there were people to talk to. and what i find particularly inexplicable is that they talked to the russians, but not to the presidential campaign. on august 4th, brennan braced the head of washington intelligence -- he calls the head of washington intelligence and says we know what you're up to, you better stop it. he did it again later in august. and then president obama talked to president putin in september and said we know what you're up to, you better cut it out. they go and confront the
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russians who clearly the bad guys and they won't go and talk and say what is this about. >> so the inspector general says he found no evidence to indicate that the fbi's decision to start the investigation was based on political bias. do you agree? >> well, what he actually -- i think you have to understand what the ig's methodology is. i think it's the appropriate methodology for the inspector general. he starts with limited information. he can only talk to people who are essentially there as employees. and he's limited to the information generally in the fbi. but his approach is to say, if i get an explanation from the people i'm investigating, that is not unreasonable on its face, then i will accept it as long as there's not contradictory testimonial or documentary evidence. in other words, it's a very differential standard. and all he said is people give me an explanation. and i didn't find anything to contradict it. so i don't have a basis for
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saying that there was improper motive. but he hasn't decided the issue of improper motive. >> had you? >> no. i think we have to wait until the investigation -- the full investigation is done, and that's the fundamental description between what durham was doing and what the i.g. is doing. durham is not limited to the fbi. he can talk to other agencies. he can compel people to testify. one of the problems in the ig's investigation, i think he would agree is that comey refused to sign back on for his security clearance and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters. so, someone like durham can compel testimony, he can talk to a whole range of people, private parties, foreign governments and so forth. and i think that is the point at which a decision has to be made about motivations. and i think right now, it would be premature to make any
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judgment, one way or the other. >> i just wonder, though, about the -- what the fbi would say, i think here is, okay, so, they opened an investigation. nobody was ever charged. they were concerned about possible russian meddling in the election. why not open this investigation? what's the harm? you've said intrusive means. so what is your concern about the fact that they did this? >> well, i think the big picture is this. from day one -- remember, they said, okay, we're not going to talk to the campaign. we're going to put people in there, rile them up and have conversations with people involved in the campaign because that way, we'll get the truth. from the very first day of this investigation, which is july 31st, 2016, all the way to its end, september 2017, there was not incriminal bit of evidence to come in. it was all exculpatory. the people with the tapings
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denied it with russia. denied the specific facts that the fbi was relying on. so what happens? the fbi ignores it, presses ahead, withholds that information from the court, withholds critical exculpatory information from the court while it gets an electronic surveillance warrant. it also withholds from the court clear cut evidence that the dossier that they ultimately relied on to get the fisa warrant was a complete sham. they hid information about the lack of the liability, even when they went the first time for the warrant. but in january, after the election, the entire case collapsed when the principal source says i never told -- i never told steele this stuff. and this was also speculation. and i have zero information to
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support this stuff. at that point, when their entire case collapsed, what do they do? they kept on investigating the president well into his administration, after the case collapsed. but here to me is the damning thing. they not only didn't tell the court that what they had been relying on was completely, you know, rubbish, they actually started putting in things to bolster this steele report by saying we talked to the sources and they appeared to be truthful. but they don't inform the court what they're truthful about is that the dossier is false. so that's hard to explain. and the core statement in my opinion by the i.g. is that these irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactory explained.
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>> when you say bad faith, are you saying a bias? because there can be all sorts of bias, there can be political bias, confirmation bias. what do you think happened? >> well, i think there are a number of scenarios but i don't want to, you know, get into them. i think there could have been a lot of motivations involved. and different motivations. there could be have motivations in the fbi. and motivations outside the fbi by other players on this. this thing focuses on the fbi. there was a lot going on around this that is not the subject matter of horowitz's report but i think has a direct bearing perhaps what was going on in the fbi. >> do you still stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon? >> oh, it was clearly spied upon. i mean, that's what electronic
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surveillance is. i think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying. i think going through people's emails which they did as a result of the fisa warrant. they went through everything, you know, from page's life -- >> well, she wasn't in the campaign at that point of surveillance? >> no, but -- yes, the emails go back. the main reason they were going for the fisa warrant initially was to go back historically and seize all of his emails and texts, all of that stuff, from back -- months even years. so they were coverage the period that he was in the campaign. and that's exactly the reason they went for the fisa, to get that stuff. >> so what questions will john durham address that the i.g. didn't? >> well, durham is looking at the whole water front. he's looking at the issue of how it got started. he's looking at whether or not the narrative of trump being
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involved in the russian interference actually preceded july. and was in fact the precipitating trigger for the investigation. he's also looking at the conduct of the investigation. there are some things that were done in the investigation that are not included in horowitz's report. and he's looking at those things. but also a few weeks ago, i told they'll he should spend just as much attention on the post-election period. and i did that because of some of the stuff that horowitz has uncovered which to me is inexplicable. >> such as? >> well, what i said is, their case collapsed after the election and they never told the court. and they kept getting renewals on the applications. there were documents falsified in order to get the renewals. there was all kinds of withholding of information from the court. and the question really is what was the agenda after the election that kept them pressing
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ahead, after their case collapsed? he's the president of the united states. >> you, of course, went to three countries with him. why did you have to do that? and some people have said well this is clearly bill barr's in charge of the investigation? >> well, the presentation of that in the media has been silly. the person running the investigation is john durham. but this is a very unusual circumstance where we're going to foreign government and asking him to assist and cooperate, including some of their sensitive materials and personnel. and a u.s. attorney doesn't show up on the door step in some of these countries like london and say, hey, i want to talk to your intelligence people and so forth. all the regularities were
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followed. i went to the "daily rundowambae country. i and wanted to know what is this about, what are the ground rules? is this going to be a criminal case, are you going to do a public report? they wanted to understand the ground rules before they met with durham and i met with them and i set up appropriate channels. this was perfectly appropriate. >> speaking of whether or not something was appropriate or not, was it appropriate for john durham to issue his statement yesterday? given that he's the u.s. attorney with the grand jury and his investigation isn't done yet? >> yeah, i think it was definitely appropriate because i think it was necessary to avoid public confusion. i think it was sort of being reported by the press that the issue of predication was sort of done and over. even though it was a very limited look at that issue by the i.g., given the narrowness of -- you know, of the evidence available to him. and i think it was important for people to understand that, you
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know, durham's work was not being preempted. and that durham was doing something different. and he explains what he's doing different. and that there are areas of disaagreements. i think it was perfect appropriate so the public understood the relationship between the two exercises. >> so, you've outlined a number -- and so has the inspector general, of problems with the way the fbi handled the investigation. are you confident that chris wray can fix them? and i asked that in light of the president's tweet today where he says, i don't know what report director wray was reading but it sure wasn't given to me. with that kind of attitude, he'll never be able to fix the fbi. >> well, practically speaking, i think chris has been working hard to address the problems of the past. we've worked well together. the people hooper involwho were the past are no longer there. he's brought in a few team and i have confidence in that team.
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and i think he's set forth a number of specific proposals, to have us address those problems. so i think what the president was getting at, and i feel the same way, is that we can't ignore the abuses of the past. and appear to be justifying them or minimizing them. we have to focus on getting them right going forward. >> so, you have confidence in chris wray? >> yes. >> before i go into a couple other questions, let me sort of button this up. i think a lot of people will hear what you're saying here and say, well, that's just bill barr defending trump. your concern about the fbi investigation is what, civil libertarian? >> i think our nation was turned on its head for three years. i think based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press. and i think that there were
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gross abuses of fisa. and inexplicable behavior that intolerable in the fbi. and the attorney general's primary responsibility is to protect against the abuse of the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus. and make sure that it doesn't play an improper role in our political life. that's my responsibility. and i'm going to carry it out. >> a couple of other questions. were you ever asked by the white house to talk to anybody in ukraine about an investigation of joe biden? >> no. >> are you concerned that ukraine has a missing server from the hillary clinton emails? >> fortunately, i haven't gotten into the ukraine thing yet. i don't know, i'm not even sure about the nature of these allegations. >> what about the allegation that it was the ukrainians who meddled in the election, not the russians? are you satisfied that's not the
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case? >> i'm confident the russians attempted to interfere in the election. i don't know about the ukrainians. i haven't even looked into it, quite frankly. >> what is was your involvement not to investigate the president's phone call to ukraine? >> well, we put out a statement which explained the process which was the criminal division made that decision. and in the process consulted with the senior most career employees who were the experts on campaign finance laws. and that process was supervised by the deputy. i'm not going to go beyond what we've said about that process. >> were you satisfied that everything was done was done? >> absolutely. >> was the shooting attack in pensacola last friday a terrorist act? >> at this stage, it certainly appears to be. and that's what we're investigating. and the people investigating it
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are anti-terrorist investigators and agents. i will say we appreciate the fact that the kingdom has been cooperative so far and we hope and expect that will continue. >> are they allowing, for example, fbi agents to go into saudi arabia and question people about this man's background? >> i don't want to get into the details of the investigation. >> i ask only because in the kobe art towers, in some of the past investigations where they've wanted to do investigations in saudi arabia, it hasn't gone smoothly? >> as far as i know, they're cooperating. i haven't heard otherwise. >> you gave a speech last week here in the building, an award presentation to some police officers. and you said something that got a lot of attention. you talked about how people applaud with military veterans, they see them in the airport. people come back from combat, they get ticker-tape parades.
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not so for police. and this is a quote, if communities don't give that respect and support stto the police, they might find themselves without the police protection they need. what do you mean by that? >> that was a somewhat condensed version of a speech i'd given to the fraternal order of police in new orleans. we're in a crisis that's thought covered by the media but we're in a full employment economy. and one of the toughest jobs we have in the country is policing. and it's getting tougher and tougher. and these are the points i was making in that abbreviated version. so it's very hard to recruit people these days in this full employment economy for these tough jobs. that's why virtually every police force in the country is way under force. they have vacancies. as the jobs get tougher, we're seeing a very high suicide rate now among police. and i'm saying that we have to focus on this.
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and start valuing the people who serve us as police officers. and show them support and respect. just the way we do our military forces. or else, we're not going to be able to attract people into this profession. and we're not going to end up with police forces, that was my point. >> but you're not saying people shouldn't criticize the police if they think there's misconduct? >> no. >> how long do you think -- just do go back to durham for a moment, how long do you think his investigation is going to take? do you have any sense of how long he's going to take? and what will we see when he's finished? >> you know, these things take time. and i know there's a lot of impatience. people want results immediately but those are people who don't understand our process. we have to be careful about the way they collect evidence. and we have to make sure that we have enough evidence to justify our actions. and we're not going to cut corners in that respect.
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you know, there's some people who think this thing is going to drop in a few weeks. that's not the case. i see this, perhaps, reaching an important lettership in the late spring, early summer. >> and obviously, he's got a grand jury, if he brings charges we'll find out about that, otherwise, will he have a report? will he tell you? how does that work? >> i haven't discussed that with him yet. >> would you like to see him have a report or make some sort of public presentation? >> i'm going to largely leave that to him, but i'm also discussing that with him as he gets further along. >> mr. attorney general, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> and our thanks to pete williams who brought us that interview. joining us matt miller, counsel for attorney general holder.
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now here at nbc had gone to the russians and said, cut it out, we know what you're doing, this is back in 2016 that president obama went to putin and said cut it out, but didn't tell the trump campaigning, seasonal the arc that they were concerned about not tipping off anyone who might have been working in at this point they did not know who could have been an inside player? >> that's correct, andrea. there's even more to that, because the attorney general kept uses the phrase "very intrusive." in fact what i would say is the fbi chose the least intrusive means so as not to mess with a national election and
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presidential campaign. by prthat, i mean, if by the alternative barr wanted were foe agents to no knocking on trump's door, open the case, make it very open and blatant, he would be screening bloody murder that the fbi was interfering, so the fbi chose to quietly and discreetly use human sources, talk to the other side, warn them to stop, on this issue of not having briefed the trump campaign onng what the concern was, t that was just not correc because the campaign received defensive security briefings on foreign intelligence operations, and they were told if they saw any of this kind of thing, they were to report o it. they did o not, so the fbi was operating on the premise that these peoplein could not be trusted and that they had to do thisy discreetly to ensure noto mess with an election. >> i want to ask you about the impact on the skbureau, on the fbi, to have the attorney generalve slamming them in this
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interview in contradiction to the conclusions of horowitz. michael horowitz, the i.g. criticized many of the -- that he basically was supportive. chris wray said he would fix the problems,he but this is a stron cry such. they can take criticism if it's healthy, but this is unhealthy. is the attorney general is shopping for -- he's more interested with dragging it out with john durham, the timing and when we'll hear about it. let's look at what i call a violates of doj policy. in the middle of an ongoing investigation, both barr and durham are issuing statements. now theui attorney general's on television talking about an ongoing investigation. whee he says it's premature, he
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found no qualms about using words like a sham, with regards to the dossier, false with regard to the dossier. he'se conflating his problems with -- and they're valid issues ande questions -- his issues around what it should take to open a case on a presidential campaign. that's a healthy discussion. what he's saying is they got it all wrong? guess who? the inspector general found the fbi got it all right with opening each and every one of these cases. if we have a problem with how to investigate campaigns, let's talk about t. let's change policy. instead, this attorney general is again smearing the fbi. he's also saying to, you know, he's also saying there's no information about ukraine. there's plenty of information about ukraine. matt miller? >> yeah, that's compactly right. i think this was a breathtaking interview by the attorney general, the statement about ukraine oneta day off the fbi director had come out and said there's no informationt that t fbi -- or that ukraine
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interfered in thekr election. it's quite notable for the attorney general not being able to back it up, but i think the two biggest headlines is, one, his straight-out disagreement there was proceeded indication for this indication. based on really no evidence at all. but it's something that's now been investigated by the inspector general methodically over ain year, and inspector general has reject that had conclusion. for billd barr to come out and say now i guess he thinking that either the fbi in the face of all this evidence about potential coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government, they should have either number one, just nou investigated at all, or number two, gone and warned the trump campaign. you have to go back in time and think about what happens happen when they opened the investigation. just days earlier, trump said,
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russia, if you're listening, che find the e-mails. it is a jaw-dropping thing for the attorney general toop say. >> pretty extraordinary. matt miller, frank figliuzzi, thank you. ing there be more of the exclusive interview, and we'll be right back. of the exclusive interview, and we'll be right back. before we talk about tax-smart investing, what's new? -audrey's expecting... -twins! ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan.
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that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." here's stephanie ruhle. it's a big day here, tuesday, coming up this hour on ali velshi, it is official, democrats have released the ha ha are articles of


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