tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 21, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i am dying to take a break because i have got to see where facebook stock is. remember we've been talking all week long what a huge loss this has been for shareholders, mark zuckerberg. clearly they are taking a hit today. that is going to wrap us up for this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle sitting in for my dear friend and partner ali velshi. i hand you off to "deadline white house" which starts right now. >> hello, everyone. it is 4:00 in a snowy new york city. i'm john heilman. i am here for nicolle wallace. brace yourself. president of the united states is acting like a cornered animal, lashing out in whatever way he can. that is according to former cia director john brennan, a career intelligence official who served 25 years in both republican and democratic administrations. his warning coming amid rising alarm over donald trump's erratic behavior rattling national security officials inside the white house and outside. one of those officials must have been the person who leaked these stunning details about donald trump's call yesterday
with vladimir putin to the washington post. quote, president trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisors tuesday when he congratulated russian president vladimir putin on his reelection, including a section in his briefing materials in all capital letters stating, do not congratulate, according to officials familiar with the call. trump also chose not to heed talking points about the poisoning with the nerve agent, a case u.s. and britain has blamed on moscow. the report stunning, more stunning someone took it before the state. axios calling it, quote, one of the most startling leaks of this whole administration that could only have come from a small group of people, each of whom is trusted with sensitive national secrets. that left john kelly feeling frustrate and had deeply disappointed one source tells nbc news today.
what could have alerted them to leak such a damaging story about the president? axios concerned about how trump is handling putin, frustrations by the officials about trump ignoring their advice, or internal power games, all good guesses. and then there is the bigger question. why donald trump congratulated putin at all. on morning joe today, john brennan offered an ominous explanation for this, and other examples of trump's persistently friendly treatment of putin that perhaps the russian president has something on the american one. >> i think he's afraid of the president of russia. >> why? >> well, i think one can speculate as to why, that the russians may have something on him personally. that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult. clearly i think it is important for us to be able to improve relations with russia, but the fact that he has had this fawning attitude toward mr. putin has not said anything negative about him, i think continues to say to me that he does have something to fear, he has something very serious to
fear. the russians, i think, have had long experience with mr. trump and may have things that they could expose. >> something personal perhaps? >> perhaps, perhaps. >> perhaps. it is a useful to remember that brennan was the cia chief when that salacious dossier compiled by christopher steele was first turned over to u.s. intelligence in 2016. joining us jeremy bash, former chief of staff at both the cia and pentagon, now an msnbc security analyst, retired four-star general of the u.s. army, barry mccaffery. veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. "the new york times" editor, and elise former aide to the bush white house. i have to say they wrote down in front of me, do not compliment, butly say about this whole group you are all fantastic. but since we were getting ready to do this show, it is inevitable as we prepare to go on the air that the president of
the united states would tweet. so we have a couple tweets that will lead into my first question for jeremy bash. the tweets try to explain and provide an answer for those
who criticized him for his behavior toward vladimir putin on the call. i called president putin to catherine garcia him on his election victory. in past, obama called him also. the fake news media is crazed because they want me to excoriate him. excoriate not a trumpy word. they are wrong. getting along with russia and others is a good thing, not a bad thing. the second tweet, they can help solve problems with korea, syria, ukraine, isis, iran, they didn't have the, quote, smarts. obama and clinton tried, but didn't have the energy or scimeca tri. reset. in all caps, kind of like do not congratulate, peace through strength. jeremy bash, my question to you, my friend, is this. you read the tweets. is that a sufficient, reasonable
plausible explanation for what went on yesterday with the putin call? >> well, i think we have to start from the premise, john, we have a foreign policy vis-a-vis russia that makes no sense. the president of the united states is absecueous to the president of russia, with regards to ukraine, with regards to nato. we are letting russia engage on activity on nato soil by attacking on a friendly soil with a nerve agent, an individual who the united states helped win his freedom in june 2010. ways part of that at the cia. so, we have an approach to russia that makes no sense. the question is why. i think there is a small possibility, maybe 2%, that russia has something personally on trump. there is a 2% chance that maybe trump has figured out something in international relations no one else has figured out. there is a 96% chance there are financial ties between the trump organization and the russian federation and people around
putin where they can wipe trump out financially and he doesn't want to offend them. and i think that is really what is going on here. >> jeremy, my math is not great, but i think that adds up to 98% either they have something on trump either personal or financial, right? >> i think that's right. >> okay. that is a very high percentage. general mccaffery, i want to ask you about a broader question. i talked before about how the source of this leak reflects a rising alarm about donald trump among people in the national security establishment. you, of course, are a charter member of the national security establishment. i noted a tweet of yours from last friday that i want to read. you wrote, reluctantly i have concluded that president trump is a serious threat to u.s. national security. his refusing to protect vital u.s. interests from active russian attacks, his apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of mr. putin. so, general mccaffery, i want to ask you two questions. one, talk a little about what you think is the unknown reason, but also just talk a little
about how extraordinary it is for there to be a leak of this kind from the inner sanctum of the advisors around him they would take this hours after the call happened and take it to the press. >> look, jeremy just outlined what is important. why is our policy toward russia not responding to egregious threats to include armed attacks by russian mercenaries on u.s. forces in syria. these aren't theoretical things. hacking into our power grid, hacking into the elections, invading eastern ukraine, threatening the baltic states. this doesn't make any sense. that's the big question. now, one other thought, by the way, when you get talking points -- i've been in the oval office when either the visit of a head of state or on the phone, those talking points are coordinated around state department, always has lead, cia, defense, et cetera. when they're looking for the
leaker, they need to look widely because there are a lot of people in government now who are shocked and worried about what the president's up to. so, look, one other thing ought to get said. everybody has been tiptoeing around the elephant in the room. why is the president of the united states acting this way? do they have something on him? i say there is a significant chance they do. financial financial, i agree with jeremy is most likely. but are there other incriminating data, videos, tapes, whatever? the president is well advised to call in the chief of staff and his lawyers and get it out there in public because putin is going to stick it to him for sure sooner or later. he's got a rope around his neck if there is actually incriminating embarrassing evidence. >> jeremy, let me come back to you and ask you, you think about you pointed out the policy makes no sense and everybody has noted this is a persistent pattern on donald trump's part, how he treats vladimir putin with kid gloves, would be sort of too
coarse, something more freendly than kid gloves. what do you know in your experience and your knowledge of the relationship, how vladimir putin looks at america, what does vladimir putin make of it when he gets off the phone with donald trump yesterday, having not only been congratulated for his victory, but having had no critical words aimed at him whatsoever, including related to this poisoning issue in the united kingd united kingdom? >> i agree with general mccaffery. he's emboldened. when he gets off the phone with the president of the united states and he fails to address something, he figures i can do this again, i can do it repeatedly. this is important, john. this is fundamentally, if you look for sort of evidence or a circumstantial evidence that there was a deal, a bargain, a repayment of a debt to russia, whether it's based on financial
ties or meddling in the election on trump's behalf, this is the evidence, the foreign policy of the united states is the expression putin is getting what he wants. >> general mccaffery, i want to come back to you. you made the point a second ago there is alarm not just in the inner sanctum in the white house, but in the government how trump is behaving towards russia. you can't discuss whether the leak is close to trump or not. there is a suggestion this one would be. the white house's reaction to this is as follows. they are on the record reaction is, quote, if this story is accurate, that means someone leaked the president's briefing papers. it is a fireable offense and likely illegal. so, what do you think -- it is obvious the white house has a terror on fire about this today and in a normal circumstance we would say as well it should. what do you think is likely to happen inside the trump white house as it tries to figure out who did this and how far afield should they be looking?
>> you know, it reminds me of the casa blanca deal, round up the usual suspects and we're shocked. i think when you're looking for a leaker, the military never leaks anything. the cia doesn't leak anything. the leaks are normally come out of the white house staff. but in this case it's probably the state department who had to sign off on the talking points. at the end of the day, is it illegal? no, every paragraph in that paper would have been classified, but telling the president of the united states, don't congratulate a dictator who murdered and prosecuted his opposition on a sham election, don't congratulate him. that wouldn't be classified. what would be classified is we're listening to putin's cell phone, his mother's letters are being steamed open. they're wasting their time looking for the leaker. the problem is the policy of the united states, president trump
as commander in chief of the armed forces and national security interest united states isn't doing his job. why is that? >> very good question. i want to bring it to the table. and start -- let's talk, john brennan. mike, you've known john brennan for a long time. i'm going to play in a second a little bit of review of some of the things brennan has been saying as he's become increasingly vocal with his criticism of president trump. first set the table here a little bit about john brennan and the notion of people say, what does john brennan know? i say to them generally john brennan knows everything. he knows a lot. explain why that's true. >> well, because he's been around a long time. his entire life has been spent in the intelligence community. and general mccaffery made a couple of really important points to consider here prior to -- we'll show the brennan clips. but one of the reasons, maybe the principle reason that story was leaked within two hours it
occurred after the phone call by the president to president putin was made from the residence, not from the oval office, unstaffed, practically, by a president whose knowledge and instinct about foreign policy is tissue thin to be charitable. so, he makes the call. it happens. it's leaked. and the level of disrespect that many people in the intelligence community and the diplomatic community have toward the president of the united states, the leak is the product, the result of that disrespect. the aspect that general mccaffery was speaking to, if you've been in this community, if you've served as a patriot for many, many years as john brennan has, as many other people have, as general mccaffery has, we have been -- cyber war has been declared in the united states. >> right. >> by russia. and one other thing. general mccaffery alluded to it. there was an attack by russian operatives in syria a couple of
weeks ago to an american special forces unit. they turned out to be much better than the russian operatives. the president of the united states has said practically nothing about those things. >> yeah. you think about it, mike, you have a situation where both, it's both the case i think that a lot of members of the intelligence community have assessed the president's seriousness, have assessed his knowledge level, have made all those determinations and have come to disrespect him because of that. also the way in which he conducts himself. and then there is the fact that the president has basically been waging war on them and impugning their integrity, imputing their honor and impugning their intelligence here, intelligence with a small i rather than capital i, not before he got in the white house. -- not since he took the office, but during the transition was when this war started out. you wonder why there is bad feeling. that is part of the reason, some of it is on substance. i see jeremy bash signalling at the camera. give me your comment because you have something to weigh in then
i want to play in brennan. >> is it possible it was actually the president who told someone that he was, you know, congratulatory to putin? it's not just the note cards were leaked. it was the actual phone call. it would have to be somebody on the line. maybe there were other staff on the line. is it possible we're missing the big picture here? the president wants it known he congratulated putin? >> anything is possible in this administration. totally inconceivable in any other circumstance. in this circumstance not inconceivable. i want to play this john brennan thing. former cia director has joined this network and has been on television a fair amount, as i say, kind of a mounting sense of alarm and increasingly vocal and adamant criticisms. let's look at a little compendium of john brennan on donald trump. >> it's no secret to anybody that donald trump was very ill-prepared and unexperienced in terms of dealing with matters that a head of state needs to
deal with, head of government. donald trump says nice things about mr. putin and continues to deal with the russia investigation i think in a very sort of questionable manner. the russians i think have had long experience with mr. trump and may have things that they could expose. i think mr. putin and others in the krem lip right now are unformally very satisfied with some of the things that have happened the last 14 months. i think he's afraid of the president of russia. >> general mccaffery, i said a second ago i think john brennan knows everything. he probably doesn't know everything, but he knows a lot. if you go back to 2016, the spring of 2016, mr. brennan has testified publicly and has said many times that he was one of the earliest people in the obama administration, in the intell jensen community who started to get concerned about the possibility of there being links between donald trump's world, his campaign, businesses and other aspects of his orbit, to russia. and he was the one who originally went to the fbi and said, there's stuff you need to look at here. there are a lot of things john
brennan can't say on television because he's still bound by classification. but just give us a sense of what -- if you think about the totality of that period from early 2016 to now, what are the kinds of things he knows that he can't talk about? >> well, i don't know. what i do know is what was in the public realm throughout this period was, of course, they were actively in multiple venues dealing with the russians. business, intelligence agents, et cetera. they were hacking our election system. so, the only question really -- and by the way, approaching the russians as a new president with some peace approach is not a bad idea. so, i think during the election there was no particular surprise. now he's president of the united states. we're a year in, he's not responding to the fact that u.s. artillery and air power has killed a couple of hundred
russian mercenaries attacking u.s. forces. what is going on? why hasn't he talked about murdering -- trying to murder russian operatives in the u.k.? and probably also in new york city. so, we've gone from, you know, sort of an odd friendliness to a strong man -- putin is running a krem nal enterpri criminal enterprise essentially. the president doesn't at face value look like he's supporting u.s. national defense interests. >> general mccaffery, thank you for spending time with us. before we go to break i want to ask jeremy bash one last question. the thing i want to lead you to is the steele dossier. john brennan having been in this business a long time, he knows christopher steele and has probably known christopher steele for decades given his history in british intelligence, his role in british intelligence in five eyes. he was one of the position of the people to come into contact
with some of the activity reported in the steele dossier. he's in position to evaluate the credibility of the source of it and the output of it in a way that a lot of other people are not. do you think, without putting words in john brennan's mouth, that that backdrop has at least some part of informing what he thinks is up between donald trump and vladimir putin? >> i don't know for certain because i haven't been read into those intelligence reports. and i don't know that he knows christopher steele personally, john. but i think it is likely he did hear from leadership of other intelligence agencies that are closely allied with the united states. saying these reports are circulating, we believe they're credible, you should take them seriously. >> jeremy, thank you. coming up, some extra executive time for donald trump today with all that snow and highs using hugh
trump quoting famed attorney
and frequent fox news guest alan dershowitz tweeting the following. special counsel is told to find crimes whether a crime exists or not. i was opposed to the selection of mueller to be special counsel. trump was right when he said there was no probable cause for believing there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice. that was dershowitz as trump points out, so stated harvard law professor alan dershowitz. a few republicans are concerned trump set his sights on mueller. jeff flake said he would support impeachment if mueller ends the probe without cause. strong words. washington post, little less strong in flake's comments in nbc news today. >> you said yesterday in a tweet and in an interview that you felt that there should be ramifications for firing special counsel mueller. what do you think those should be? >> all i'm saying i'm hoping
that the president doesn't go there, and i'm concerned that he may be softening the ground for that. obviously it is undermining independent counsel. i just hope he doesn't fire him. >> joining us now is jill wine-banks, assistant federal prosecutor now an msnbc contributor. jill, i want to ask you right off the top, you have seen the dynamic by which republicans -- president's party -- shifts from full support to eventual impeachment or threats of impeachment. you saw it up close. this was the first time yesterday, flake, lindsey graham sort of using the "i" word. my question then was a are they canaries in a coal minor quickly forgotten, indicative of nothing in the party? already jeff flake is walking away from statements yesterday. my question to you is what will it take for republicans to finally start to use this word and use it in a meaningful way? >> that is the question of the century. what will it take, not only for
congress, but for the voters to see what's really happening here. i'm glad that the word is being used. i don't know if the time is right for it, to proceed with impeachment, but it is certainly time to protect robert mueller so that at least his investigation can go forward to completion. there is no time limit set on an investigation, and you don't need probable cause to start an investigation. there certainly was enough circumstantial evidence to say that crimes had been committed, that wrong had been done to the voters in the election, and that it must be investigated for crimes. congress should have been looking at what they could do to protect us in the future for not having the russians interfere again, or a special commission could be appointed for that. but that doesn't address the issue of crimes that have been committed and the proof that we have had crimes is how many
indictments have come forward and how many guilty pleas there have been. >> elise jordan, there has been -- democrats use the word impeachment all the time. it is one of the most commonly used words on the democratic side of the aisle. i'm not asking whether they should start impeachment proceedings or move to impeach donald trump, but the question is as jill wine-banks points out, when will republicans get to the point where they say, hey, here's a real red line, this is something you cannot do. all they would have to say as jeff flake seemed to for a brief moment, if you remove bob mueller with no good cause, that will lead to impeachment. that does not seem like a particularly radical position for republicans to take, but they don't even want to go that far. >> i don't know how much outcry among republicans there will be if donald trump chooses to fire bob mueller. i think the outcry will come after republicans lose the house in november and they are more empowered to speak out against donald trump. right now republicans really feel like they are in a bind
because you lose by being anti-trump, you lose by being pro-trump. it's looking like there is going to be a blue wave and they're not sure how to ride this one out as they are heading into mid terms. >> jim, what do you think about that? >> not only do a play i media columnist on television, but i believe it matters a lot, the media environment right now. there is an entire media eco system in which bob mueller should go, that there is a deep state plot, that this is all very suspect and needs to end. so, there's no way that -- with that environment there is going to be any pressure on the house to initiate an impeachment in this environment with this congress. >> it seems to me -- to address the second point elise just made, is it really the likelihood that if democrats took control of the house, that would embolden republicans to be more critical of donald trump? is that a dynamic you could imagine playing out politically? i think that's the likely est out come, democrats take control of the house and republicans figure out what to do with whatever bob mueller comes
forward with late this year or early next. >> on the senate side, on the house side the base is going to be that much more fired up. i don't see the political dynamic changing. >> michael barnicle? >> john, we have to realize the reality of it. the reality of it is we are part of an age right now where most republicans seem to be more afraid of an assault on them by twitter than they are about the dangers of a presidency that is unraveling before our very eyes. that's the fact of our political lives. and eventually it is going to come down to three cs. it's going to come down to their character, their conscience, and common sense, what they do with this presidency. >> okay. that's a rather daunting because all three of those things are kind of lacking right now in our political environment. >> correct. >> i want to play -- play a little bit of sound here because it struck me and i want to ask jeremy bash and jill wine-banks about it because it struck me as one of the rare things that's
broken through on cable tv in my mind in the last few days was john dean on cnn saying this kind of extraordinary thing about donald trump and obstruction of justice and how much he's already doing beyond the question of whether or not he might or might not fire bob mueller or rod rosenstein or anybody else. just on the basis of what he's done currently. let's look at this, john dean. >> what i think we're witnessing is a very public obstruction of justice. he, as i see it, has already exceeded everything that nixon did. he's really much more intimately involved than nixon ever was in the cover up. nixon was behind closed doors. everyone was surprised when there were recordings of it. trump is right out front on it and he's doing it very publicly. >> jill wine-banks, i ask you again, given your history and your knowledge of what richard nixon did and did not do, is donald trump guilty to a greater degree of full bore public gratuitous right out in the open obstruction of justice than
anything richard nixon ever did in watergate? >> well, the ings in we knthing richard nixon did were obstruction of justice, but we didn't know them until we got the tapes and witnesses to testify. and john dean is correct. the president is hiding in place sight the circumstantial evidence that we see shows absolute, no doubt obstruction of justice. he has done so many things, from helping to draft a false report, to firing not just mueller -- i'm sorry, heaven forbid that happens. but from firing comey. he has done so many things that are definitely intended to interfere. i would go back to, for example, his pardoning joe arpaio, the sheriff in arizona. that was a message to everyone, don't cooperate, don't worry about it. even if you're held in contempt of court, i'll pardon you. he sends messages all the time.
his effort to undermine the special prosecutor, the department of justice and the fbi are definitely intended to have the effect that his supporters will not believe the outcome. it was very important in watergate that the people trusted the honesty and integrity. and i want to point out that a special prosecutor does not go after a defendant. they go after the facts. they want to prove something that will allow us to have justice and a fair play in our system. so, it isn't true to say that he's going after the president. he's looking at what the russians did that is undisputable. >> right. >> and then he will make his decision about who, if anyone, in america cooperated with them. but even if no one did, there can be an obstruction of justice and that's what we see with the president right now. >> jeremy, i want to ask one last question of you before i let you go. chris wray, who is the head of the fbi, there's been obviously all this turmoil at the fbi. we've seen it play out.
we saw it play out dramatically last weekend. wray says the following. i' i'm going to read this to you rather than play the sound. i'm committed to doing things objectively and independently by the book. i think it has to extend to our investigations, our intelligence analysis, but also has to extend to personnel decision ands disciplinary decisions. so, i ask you at this moment, do you think that wrich wray is living up to those words? >> i think by and large he is. i haven't seen evidence he isn't. it was the general's call to fire andy mccabe. that was part of the effort of the president to lean in on his general, to take out and undermine somebody who could be a witness of obstruction of justice in firing james comey. i think it was part of the efforts to stop and undermine the mueller investigation. >> jeremy bash, i just want to say to you, get a twitter account, for god sakes, man. you're making america crazy without your twitter. get a twitter account. it was great to see you on here
today. so, thank you for coming by. i commend everyone to go and take a look at jeff session ands donald trump smiling and looking so happy with each other after the behavior of last weekend when andy mccabe was fired. up next, we have mark zuckerberg missing in action since that data scandal broke over the weekend, until now. when we come back, the embattled ceo finally speaks out. let's take a look at some numbers: 4 out of 5 people who have a stroke, their first symptom... is a stroke. 80 percent of all strokes and heart disease? preventable.
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and, you know, when you look at what steve wanted to do and still wants to do, he wants to wage a culture war. and if you think about, you know, how do you fight a war, you need an arsenal of weapons. so, from his perspective, working with a military contractor that works in information operations, you know, that would help him build the arsenal of weapons that he needed for -- to launch his culture war. >> two years before americans had ever heard the name steve
bannon, at least most americans, before he was named the chief executive of the trump campaign, before he was hired then subsequently fired as white house chief strategist, the former breitbart editor oversaw a data gathering for a firm cambridge analytica. this week you may have heard the company is accused of secretly obtaining names of 50 million facebook users. we find from the whistleblower interesting. bannon oversaw cambridge analytica data collection. if you paid attention to the 2016 campaign or trump presidency, this paragraph might make some sense. quote, the 2014 effort was part of a high-tech form of voter persuasion touted by the company which under bannon identified and tested the power of anti-establishment messages that later would emerge as trump's campaign speeches according to kro chris wiley who left at the end of the year, drain the swamp and
deep state. bannon became the central character in the analytica saga, we are hearing from another. last hour facebook ceo mark zuckerberg posted his comments since the data scandal broke. before he laid out what they are actually doing about it zuckerberg says, quote, we have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. i've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. the good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today, we have already taken years ago. but we also made mistakes. there is more more to do and we need to step up and do it. we are pleased right now to welcome our newest msnbc contributor natasha bertrand who covers intelligence and national security for the atlantic. >> thank you. >> natasha, great to see you. let me just ask you straight up off the top, forget about mark zuckerberg for a moment. let's think about steve bannon and cambridge analytica. it has been the case throughout this russia story for the last year basically, that there's
been a presumption that essentially bannon uniquely among people who were at the uppermost levels of donald trump's presidency and his campaign, that bannon was somehow clean on the question of russia. does this, the cambridge analytica story, start to put steve bannon right in the middle of the data -- the data story and then eventually the russia story? >> it places bannon at the very beginning of the entire story. i mean, it's almost as if bannon and the mercers and alexander knicks got together to create a model for exactly the kind of campaign they wanted to run, not only in the midterms in 2014, but also in 2016 and the presidential election. i mean, bannon had this plan for information warfare. he wanted to create his populist power base and he was going to do it with the help of cambridge analytica. he, then, helped them develop this massive platform and we can dee batd whether or not it was -- how effective it was. but the messaging was there,
starting from as early as 2014, drain the swamp, deep state, you know, things about race realism and populism. these are all things trump then ran on. this is what his campaign was based around. so, you could argue that this structure and the infrastructure was already there and bannon had already put this all in place. and all he needed to find was a candidate who would be willing to go along with it. >> one of the things it highlights the extent to which steve bannon was the guy with a message shopping for a candidate. this goes back further than 2014. he was roaming around the political landscape trying to find someone who he could turn into this kind of populist nativist, protectionist candidate, nationalist candidate of his dreams. and he just kind of lucked in in some ways to donald trump. after first cambridge analytica tried to take a lot of their same techniques and some of their same messaging to ted cruz. >> right, and of course steve bannon is not clean for another reason, which is he approved of the operation to withdraw data
from facebook. now, whether or not he actually knew that that was not authorized by facebook itself and whether or not he knew that cambridge analytica had used essentially a loop hole in facebook's system to obtain the data from unwitting facebook users remains to be seen. but he did invest roughly a million dollar in this project to obtain the facebook data from people who did not authorize that access. >> so, natasha, steve bannon arrives in the trump campaign in august of 2016. does he bring cambridge analytica in the door with him and puts it on jared kushner's desk? how did that work? >> that is the reporting that we've seen. at least that he connected kamm bridge analytica with the trump campaign. but, of course, cambridge analytica was hired by the campaign in june of 2016 so there was some kind of nexus there. we know that michael flynn, who of course was a top surrogate on the campaign, sat on the board, had an advisory role for
cambridge analytica very briefly. we don't know what the extent of that role was. but there was a huge connection here, and cambridge, whether or not they were connected via jared kushner who heard the name from steve bannon, or whether or not steve bannon brought the company to the campaign itself, we just don't know. but it definitely was something that, of course, tied back to the mercers starting in 2013, 2014 who were the biggest backers of trump during the election. this is something that many of trump's surrogates and many of his, you know, advisors during the campaign brought with them to the campaign when they joined. >> so, elise, i want to read to you from the washington post story an important couple paragraphs here. this is related to steve bannon and cambridge analytica and a couple really key points. it says in focus groups arranged to test messages for the 2014 midterms, voters responded to calls for building a new wall to block the entry of illegal immigrants, drain the
swamp, thinly veiled racism towards african americans. the only foreign thing we tested was putin, wiley says. it turns out there are americans who like the idea of a strong authoritarian leader and people were quite defensive in focus groups of putin's invasion of crimea. so, you read these things, at the moment you have a couple different stories here, right? you have facebook as the home where a lot of russian activity took place, at least according to bob mueller and the indictment he came down with a few weeks back. you have the cambridge analytica thing using facebook, providing data tools that will play out in facebook. and then you have steve bannon in the middle of all of this, work shopping these messages that would later become central to the trump campaign. there are these threads, they're not very loose, they're not quite woven together yet, but they're waiting to kind of be stitched together. where does this story go as these threads get knitted together by investigators,
journalists and others now that we know tway lot more about what was going on at facebook and at cambridge analytica? >> john, the big problem is if the threads are united and if this data that was mined from facebook as this whistleblower alleges, in testing these messages, testing pro putin messages and steve bannon having a heavy hand, if that was then directed to a russian source that then used it to micro target american citizens. so, that's the big looming outstanding question, was there some collusion, was there cooperation between anyone affiliated with cambridge analytica and the trump campaign and russian authorities. >> i want to play one piece of sound here just because it goes directly to this question and it's a piece of sound from 60 minutes earlier, a few months ago with brad parscale who was the head of data and digital stuff at the trump campaign, now is going to be donald trump's campaign manager allegedly in 2020. brad parscale asked directly on
60 minutes whether or not cambridge analytica was the source of important data for the operations that he pulled off for the trump campaign in 2016. let's just listen to what brad parscale said. >> mr. trump, one, cambridge analytica said it was key to the victory. but parscale insists he never used psycho graphics. he said it doesn't work. so, you didn't use it because you didn't think it really worked, as opposed to you didn't use it because you thought it was wrong, that it's manipulative or sinister or something? >> i don't believe it's sinister. >> no? okay. you just don't think it works? >> i just don't think it works. >> jim, you and i have dealt with political consultants in our time. we have heard now cambridge analytica caught on tape saying we were the drivers related to everything in trump's victory, we gave them the data, we gave them the targeting. you see brad parscale saying no, we never knew them, like how
donald trump talks about paul manafort. who is the b.s.-er here? >> isn't it funny how that happens here? right? that interview took place when the idea of psycho graphic profiling was breaking out in the news. it starts looking creepy, starts looking creepy for the trump wizards behind the data campaigning. it looks creepy for facebook. but here we are once again in all of this, finding out that what we were told wasn't what it was, and facebook's case they spent the weekend -- into last weekend with the times, london times broke these stories, down playing it, threatening lawsuits. we want to get to the bottom of it. this is again like central to our democracy and we're always playing catch up and facebook dheef among us. >> i want to stay with this because this is your beat. mark zuckerberg comes out and makes a statement, a long statement, you haven't had a chance to study it. essentially he's saying basically we've handled this already. we take responsibility.
we're sorry to the extent something went wrong, but essentially, guys, we already got this, don't worry about it. it seems to me in this environment where what we've learned in the last week and what the degree to which there's been mounting skepticism, criticism of the social media companies and the degree to which they have lied over and over about this over the course of last year, this statement is not going to be enough. >> they're way beyond, trust me. let's remember this statement came after days of stories. where is he? where is zuckerberg? so finally he stepped forward. i understand there might be a television interview tonight on a rival network, but this has been days, if not weeks or months in the making. >> i've got to say, it's good that he's stepping forward, to be commended. it's obvious the facebook founder would do a facebook post. i think the television interview will tell us more than a facebook post. >> and the congressional interview that follows. that's the next step. >> natasha bertrand, thank you very much. welcome to the family. next up, is donald trump's team
helping stormy daniels's case against him? what the attorneys are saying about that issue coming up right after this break. i'm not a bigwig. or a c-anything-o. but i've got an idea sir. get domo. it'll connect us to everything that's going on in the company. get it for jean who's always cold. for the sales team, it and the warehouse crew. give us the data we need. in one place, anywhere we need it. help us do our jobs better. with domo we can run this place together. well that's that's your job i guess.
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♪ otezla. show more of you. three dimensional chess and these guys are playing tick tack toe and not even that well. they have stepped in to every trap we have laid in this case the last two weeks. it is remarkable. i've never seen anything like. it i've never had good fortune like this. >> donald trump and his team getting played by stormy daniels and her lawyer. a porn star and a play mate and a realist star ramping up against the president and could they take him down. the panel is back and jill winebanks is back there. i see that wu tang pin on your shoulder proving she brings the raucous and nothing to mess with.
>> i was hoping you would notice. >> i noticedal righ -- all righ. and so they -- did they. and you heard him say the tick tack toe and the comment about the trump team has fallen into every trap he has set. i wanted to know from him, what -- tell me more about that. tell us what you think about whether that is true, which is to say has the trump team fallen into every trap they set on the stormy daniels side? >> well, i absolutely agree with michael avenatti that he's done a much better job of playing chess than the trump team. in being a trial lawyer, you have to be able to think through not just one step ahead, two steps ahead, three steps ahead. they have not even thinking through one step ahead. so for example, if you sue someone, you ought to be able to think about the fact that it is going to lead to discovery and you're going to have to produce documents that you don't want to
produce. that is a normal thing that you would think about. and i think his team has failed in so many ways. not just in the stormy daniels case, but clearly in the case -- the defamation case. they have not done a good job. the court there was very clear in saying he is not immune from lawsuit and i would take that a step further and say that their reasoning is not just that he is not immune from a civil lawsuit, but i would say the same is true for a criminal case. and that it could support his being indicted if evidence is found that he has been involved in the criminal acts of the russians, that he could actually be indicted as a sitting president. so i think that they have not done well by him at all. >> right. jim rootenberg, you used to write a column at the "times." it has been a while. i'm desperate for it to come back but what you do with your
time is folk is on these matters and it is a crazy moment. there are three concurrent controversies. i just want you to try to speak to the -- speak to the totality of it and what you think the ultimate level of threat that the president faces is from these women. >> i think it is easy to make light of them. porn star, a former playboy model, a reality show contestant. but the truth is there are real legal threats here. in the stormy daniels case, the opening provided to avenatti, storm'sy lawyer was given to him by the lawyer because even if you don't agree on the merits, lawyers who don't say well this contract was done in a way to leave him these openings to make a case here. so we're looking at potential depositions, looking at potential discovery. it is not nothing. >> elise, if you had to take a
bet on who wins between stormy daniels and donald trump? >> i would bet on stormy daniels. she's played this masterfully the entire time and shown she's adept at navigating the media landscape just as president trump. and his problem with lawyers -- he fires lawyers, doesn't take their advice and doesn't pay them. he can't get top talent to join his legal team and that is a real problem for donald trump. >> super quick -- >> on the lawyers. avenatti is the real deal and won major cases and karen mcdougal has a lawyer who has argued seven supreme court cases and harvard lawyer. >> and the most dangerous case the president is facing is the summer zervos, the defamation. co be deposed. >> thank you for coming and it is great to see you and i love that pin. we'll be right back after this quick break.
i have a bottle of pappy van wrinkle if you wait for me on sunday night and we'll watch stormy daniels on 60 minutes and it will be fun. that does it for this hour. i'll be back here tomorrow for nicolle wallace, but for this moment, i will say that "mtp daily" starts right now. and i'm handing it to chuck right on top. hi, chuck. >> please tell me you made a ripple reference. was that an -- because it would be my second ripple reference in a week thanks to jonah goldberg and you. >> happy van wrinkle. not van ripple. >> you said winkle. >> that is what it is. >> you can come on ripple with 60 minutes goes together. i'll let you go or you'll get if trouble. >> you are invited first it is wednesday, it is the stress test of democracy. what is the breaking point? >> tonight, pandering to putin. what will it take for the president to criticize vladimir putin? >> we had a very good call. >>