tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 15, 2017 3:00am-4:00am PDT
ozzy, i put him on the spot there. nancy, catherine, thank you all for joining us. that's it for us here on "hardball." chris matthews will return to this chair monday night or the version of this chair in washington. rachel maddow show starts right now. tonight this hour we've got somebody here for the interview that i'm very, very happy to have landed. he was the deputy director of the russia office at the state department for years. the senior director for russia at the national security council for years. he was the senior person at the pentagon on russia for years. he has stuff to tell us, and he is going to be here tonight for the interview. i'm really looking forward to that. but there is a bunch going on tonight tonight.
>> widely seen as a concession to his international critics and his human rights critics trying to take some of the heat off of russia for hosting these olympics. people were very upset about their human rights record, their domestic oppression, their international aggression. trying to take the heat off that. by just a few weeks before the olympics started, putin released some of the political prisoners who he was holding in russian prisons. among the most high profile prisoners was a feminist punk band called pussy riot. i am such a prude, i still find it embarrassing to say the name. that is the name of the band. the thing they were most famous for when they were released before the sochi olympics and also the thing they went to
prison for was what they called punk prayer. it was basically a performance art piece. it happened in a dhchurch. it was very directly critical of vladimir putin. are the leaders of the band pussy riot were held in prison for 21 months before putin released them ahead of the sochi olympics. right before the olympics. last year they created a video of the performance of the second -- this is the video they released last year february. it's very well done. i don't speak russian, so i'm not sure i totally get all of the lyrics, but i have to say i kind of like the song as well. this is a video from the song from pussy riot. one of the things that happens in the video, the singer who is sort of a hero of the music video, one of the things she
does repeatedly through the video is she makes this symbol of crossing her hands over her chest. a lot of the other people in the video do that. as i understand it, what that symbol means in context is that it's supposed to be wings, bird wings. it's supposed to signify a seagull buzz that's what the title of the song in russian means -- is seagull. that physical gesture of crossing your hands over your chest like that, that has come to be seen as a symbol for top level corruption in vladimir putin's government because that word means sea gull, and the word is also the last name of yuri, who is this guy. the top federal prosecutor in all of russia. he was hand picked for that job by vladimir putin. you probably are getting the idea from the pussy riot video, which, again, that one of the things that the criminal justice system is known for in russia is
arresting and prosecuting enemies of vladimir putin and torturing people and killing people and disappearing people in russian prisons. that's part of what this is about. part of the criminal justice system and how putin has used it in russia and this artistic criticism of that. the reason that yuri is not just a symbol of brutality, though, the reason that he is a symbol of corruption, the reason that cross hands wings thing has become a symbol of corruption is partially because of an expose done by alexei. he plans to run for president against putin, although putin's government says they're going to ban him from the ballot and not let him run. alexi himself is just getting out of prison now and from the last round of major protests, he and his movement organized against putin in cities across russia last month. the anti-corruption group
produced a long video, basically a documentary about yuri, about the federal prosecutor in russia last year. an english language version came out in january of last year. they produced a russian language version of it before that, and the accusations in that documentary were that yuri, in addition to being the top prosecutor in the brutal government, the main allegation of this video about him is that in addition to that, he and his family and he and his cronies have managed to amassachuset amassachusettsive wealth, including a luxury spa hotel in greece and gigantic salt mines in russia and all these other things that you wouldn't think he would be able to afford on his prosecutor's salary. yuri. one of the most high profile, hated, and feared members of the putin gofd. hand picked for the prosecutor position by putin himself.
he is also now i think the most pronounceable russian name in this week's torrent of astonishing news about the trump campaign and the trump family. tuesday morning is when president trump's son released an e-mail chain. a meeting that has now blown up into a major problem for the trump white house. to donald trump jr. on june 3rd of lats year. they are acquaintances. rob goldstone sends this first e-mail to donald j. trump jr. to start that chain of correspondence that leads to the meeting. the e-mail says good morning. amman just called to contact you. the crown prosecutor of russia, that's what it says in the
e-mail. now, everybody believes that to be a mistaken title. maybe he is getting confused because he is british. they don't have a crown prosecutor. instead they have a prosecutor general who is yuri. in their meeting the prosecutor decided to provide the trurp campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary. it's obviously very high level and sensitive information. it's part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. that is the meeting that led to the subject of so much focus this week and so much freak-out at the white house.
initial reports were that. >> we got a statement from donald trump jr. saying, yes, he did take a meeting at trump tower with this lawyer, but it was a meeting about adoptions mostly. then we got a subsequent statement from donald trump jr. saying, okay, actually it was to get derogatory information about hillary clinton. then we got the e-mail chain, which clarified that it was definitely a meeting where they tried to get trogtory information from hillary clinton. that was not only explicitly identified as coming from the russian government, but it was going to be delivered to trump tower by what was described in the emails as a russian government attorney.
today we learned the group also included this guy who nbc news first identified as a former soviet counter intelligence officer suspected by some u.s. officials of having ongoing ties to russian intelligence. he was there too. despite all of these days of reporting and statements and admissions about the meeting, the presence of this guy, this former russian military intelligence guy, the presence of this guy at the meeting was somehow left out of all the earlier disclosures, and we only found out about that today. thanks to nks. in addition to him, there was also reportedly a translator there, who is a relatively well known person himself. i expect that you'll see a bunch of reporting about him and his potential role in this in the days ahead over the course of the weekend. that would bring the total number of people in the meeting
to, let's see, junior, manafort, kushner, the exhad of counter intelligence guy. the translator. also on the lower right-hand side there, that's the british guy who wrote the emails to don jr. in the first place. that brings the total number of people we now know in the meeting to seven, but cnn is also reporting that actually maybe it was eight. maybe it was more than eight. cnn is reporting that there was somebody else in the meeting in addition who was there as a representative of the family of this putin linked russian who took the meeting with yuri, with the federal prosecutor in the first place that led to this whole thing. we're now basically waiting to find out if there are any russians who were in new york that day who were not in that meeting. if so, is that just because they wouldn't fit in the elevator? honestly, anything else to declare on this? despite the way that story has already evolved to almost comic levels of denial and lack of
transparency over the course of the week, tonight the "wall street journal" has reported on something very important about the origins of that meeting. despite that russian lawyer, despite her disputing that she should ever have been described as a russian government lawyer, despite her insisting and the trump white house insisting she had no links whatsoever to the russian government that she just happened to be a russian person, those denials i should mention coming from not just her, but coming from the white house up to and including the president himself giving that denial. can we play that clip for a second? >> as far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer. not a government lawyer, but a russian lawyer. >> the "wall street journal" reports that despite those denials coming from everybody up to and including the president himself, this lawyer who went to
trump tower and met with trump's son and trump's son-in-law and trump's campaign chair last summer, along with all those other russians that she brought with her, despite all of these denials, including from the president that she had anything to do with the russian government, the lawyer herself, natalia has now conceded to the "wall street journal" that, in fact, she was working with russian prosecutor general yuri on this. according to the "wall street journal" she said in an interview that she was meeting with russian authorities regularly, and she shared information with the russian prosecutor general's office, including with prosecutor general. a top official appointed by the kremlin. she told the journal i personally know the general prosecutor and in the course of my investigation i shared information with him. that meeting in june of last
year, today we lirned that it also included a former russian counter intelligence officer who nobody thought to mention before. >> to deliver this derogatory information on hillary clinton, she now admits that she was working with one of the top officials in vladimir putin's government. the sea gull guy. yuri. one of the highest ranking officials and most recognizable officials in putin's government. so one of the things we have learned over the course of this week if we didn't know it before is don't listen to what they say. don't listen to what they say about their own behavior.
i mean, it is interesting to listen to the trump white house say things because then you can accurately describe the things that they have said. you can quote them. that's data of a form. right? it is a mistake to take statements from this white house as an accurate representation of what has happened in the world, of what they did, of who was in a meeting, of what a meeting was about or what was said or who was involved or even the number of people in the room. you can hear them talking. it's okay to pay attention to the words that they say so you know what they have said. don't take it as a representation of what happened in the world. i don't take pleasure in noting that is true about them, but just they freaking earned it now. luckily for us, as american citizens, as people trying to know what's going on in our government and figure out what happened to us. luckily for us we do have other ways of obtaining information beyond just having to listen to our government, which is not
proving particularly trustworthy on these matters. even if you are just, you know, treating the administration like a silent movie and not hearing what they say, there are other ways to look at this and to understand what has been going on, what has happened to our country. things that don't get clouded out or occluded by whatever noise they're making at the white house at the moment. quietly we got a bunch of new reporting about what our intelligence agencies knew and when they knew it as the russia attack was unfolding. this is not an exhaustive list. for example, we learned this week from the "wall street journal" that u.s. intelligence agencies as early as the spring of 2015, so months before trump ever announced he was running. in the spring of 2015 stus intelligence agencies were observing and reporting on a surprisingly large number of meetings between people associated with donald trump and
russian government officials. by one year later in the spring of 2016 we know also from the "wall street journal" this week that there were reports from european intelligence agencies who alerted their intelligence colleagues in the u.s. that significant amounts of money of russian origin for some reason appeared to be understooding into the u.s. presidential election. again, those intelligence reports were from european agencies notifying their u.s. intelligence counterparts that russian money was coming in to our election. expect to hear a lot more about that particular intelligence in the future. nudge, nudge, wink, wink. in may of 2016 u.s. intelligence agencies reportedly overheard russian military intelligence officials talking about their plans to disseminate disparaging info about hillary clinton in the united states with an eye towards influencing the election. by july of 2016 former cia director john brennan has said that the cia had observed enough contacts and interactions
between russian officials and persons involved in the trump campaign that there were significant cia concerns about whether those trump campaign individuals might be wittingly or unwittingly cooperating with the russians. that last one also was from the "wall street journal." those are all just intelligence reports that we have now learned about. right? through the press, regardless of what the white house says about them.
we're going to be talking tonight about what people knew they were looking at, what professionals in this field believed they were seeing as those reports were coming in in real-time. i sort of said this from the beginning. silent movie. do not listen to what they say. there's plenty to keep up with in terms of what we can see happening. i mean, just today trump campaign advisor michael caputo who has had a long business history in russia, he testified behind closed doors with the house committee. today they delayed their testimony after an advisor went on a top radio show with michael caputo on that talk radio show. he issued a threat to democratic congressman eric swaulwell, who is a member of house intel.
after that threat the planned -- was delayed, although we do not know if it was delayed because of the threat to it is congressman or if that's just a coincidence. democratic lawyer in washington. she dropped out today of representing jared kushner when it comes to matters related to russia, although she will continue to represent him on other matters. also today, bloomberg reported that the president himself may be replacing at the top of his legal team apparently trump may be considering a new lawyer named ty cob who will now head up the russian defense both on the media and on legal issues. there's a lot happening. there's a lot going on. there's also a lot being said, but trust me, it's all nonsense.
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subsequent publication on-line. quoting from the lawsuit on information and belief. defendants, meaning the trump campaign, entered into an agreement with other parties, including agents of russia, to have information that was stolen from the dnc, publicly disseminated in a strategic way that would benefit the campaign to elect mr. trump as president. now, the main reason i think this lawsuit is so important nationally is because if this lawsuit goes ahead -- i think it has a reasonable chance -- the discovery process of this lawsuit will allow the lawyers who are arguing this to obtain trump campaign documents, to depose trump campaign witnesses under oath. this will become a whole new source of what will eventually be publicly available information about that part of the russian attack that the lawsuit alleges had trump campaign cooperation around those dnc documents. totally new avenue of information in this scandal if this thing goes ahead.
super interesting. also, i should tell you, the complaint itself is like a spy novel. it's like the best cliff notes version ever of the whole scandal from beginning to end. you should read it. it's like 40 pages double spaced. you could knock it out over a couple of beers saturday night. i'm just saying. but reading this, it has also raised for me one big question. as part of the case that they're making in this lawsuit, they make one claim that i'm not sure i have ever heard before, and it's very interesting to me. this is what it is. "on information and belief russia's practice when it engages in cyber attacks related to an election in another country, meaning a country other than russia, is to partner with aligned parties who are on the ground in that other country. russia does have extensive experience entering into and extracting information from computer network, but its m. o. for interfering in other country's elections, like the 2016 u.s. presidential election, is to seek out domestic
political operatives who can provide political expertise. now, that seems very interesting to me. it's a claim that i don't know much about, but mcclatchey reports that the possibility is under investigation that the trump campaign, the trump campaign digital operation, was russia's aligned party in this attack. it helped russia in the part of its attack that was targeting the american people with i do not get -- i do not get whether that feesably is what happened? whether that is really the m. o. of how russia operates when it does this stuff. that they use domestic confederates, use aligned forces inside the countries they're
attacking to complete their attack. he served until january this year as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for russia, ukraine, and eurasia. if you recognize him from this show, it's because mr. carpenter was here last night. he was kind enough to agree to come back because i put him on the spot and asked him live on national television with no warning if he would do so. mr. carpenter, i apologize. you were the top pentagon
official on russia while the russian attack was happening during the election last year. are there things that you saw from that perspective, from that inside perspective that, a, you can't talk about in public, but, b, that you think it's important for americans to really understand about that attack? >> there are things that i saw that are classified that i can't talk about in public, but i have watched russian both cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns in a number of other countries from up close and seen all their various details and manifestations. ukraine being a prime example. i have seen how the russians do that and you cited the lawsuit, and the lawsuit is absolutely right.
how to perpetrate the cyber attack. sometimes that involves using a thumb drive and sticking it into a computer in order to penetrate that system. especially if it's a closed system. but russia always tries to use a multi-facetted approach that relies not just on hacking from afar or what is sometimes also called siget, but it uses human intelligence or -- in order to corroborate, in order to gleen better information one of the goals is to penetrate into foreign political circles. that is the holy grail of russian foreign intelligence. to be able to get into those
networks which aspire to power and then eventually come to power so they have the influence to be able to affect policy. that is what they seek. in the case of the united states, it's quite obvious whatsoever policy changes they see. lifting of sanctions being one. that would be the goal. that's not how they do things. >> on that last point, in terms of penetrating political networks, this is something that you mentioned last night that i have had a hard time getting my head around sort of until now. i feel like i'm finally starting to get it. there has been this reporting that russian cyber attack and russian sort of in person contacts have not targeted just u.s. election systems but also
think tanks. we have interest in russian penetration and conservative non-government organizations. there's been a lot of reporting about how there's sort of the new russian auxiliary in the nra, for example, where there's people who have russian government ties who are trying to become part of the u.s. gun rights movement and to mirror one in russia. would you describe that as their basic efforts to -- to seek russian advantage by pulling the american republican party in their direction? >> there's no doubt. the case you mention is an interesting one. the russians form this ngo in moscow called the right to bear arms. let me tell you, for both president putin and for his inner circle who all hail from
the kgb and its successor agencies, there is nothing more -- to them than the notion that russian citizens would be armed and that guns would be floating around on the streets of moscow in st. petersburg. this is a honey pot ngo that was designed to lure in conservatives, primarily in the united states from the nra and other organizations that are like-minded, in order to forge relationships that could be then be used in the future. >> michael carpenter, former deputy -- for russia, can you stick around for a moment more, sir, please? >> sure. >> we'll be right back with michael carpenter after this.
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>> we're back from mike carpenter, deputy assistant secretary for russia. the top pentagon guy during the 2016 election. thanks for staying with us. appreciate it. i'm going to read you a luts of names, and i am going to butcher the pronunciation. hope you can still follow the people i'm talking about. first name is constantine kalimnik. former russian military intelligence officer. he was let go from his job working for an american nonprofit in moscow because of their concerns about thinks
intelligence. sergei gorchov. he was hand picked by vladimir putin to lead one of russia's largest state-run banks, veb, which itself has been linked to a russian spy ring that operated in the united states. veb is sanctioned -- faces sanctions from the u.s. government. victor medvechuk. he is very personally closes to sclad mere putin. he is also personally sanctioned by the u.s. government. now this week we got a couple of new names to add to the list. natalia, former russian prosecutor. now says she's working with the russian prosecutor general. also former russian military intelligence now a russian american operative does lobbyist who has been lobbying against russian sanctions, which, of course, is a top priority of the putin government. even before you get to the
russian ambassador who met with all of those people in the trump campaign, all of those other people that i just listed are known now to have met with or kmooun communicated with senior people on the trump campaign during the campaign or in the case of sergei gorchov, during the transition. is that amount of contact by that list of those types of folks, is that the kind of thing that you would see typically in a u.s. political campaign, or is that very far out of the norm? i would say it's very typical and say ukraine or georgia or muldova. i have to say when you read that list of names, the one thing that i kind of laughed about is whether i hear former officer, i mentally scratch out the word former. that goes without saying.
loofr these individuals are tied to the intelligence services in one way, shape, or form. or tied to very powerful people. as you mentioned the prosecutor general yuri. why would -- from your perspective having observed russia for all of these years in your professional capacity, the state department at the nsc, at the pentagon. >> they're trying to establish relationships so she can then influence members of that campaign. sometimes it's through the accumulation of compromat or compromising tefrl that can then later be used for blackmail there's a variety of other
tactics that are employed. his daughter, putin is godfather to his daughter. these are people who are all linked some of them to the inner circle, to putin himself, and some of them to some of the outer consent rick rings around putin. >> one last question for you, and i thank you, again, for coming back and doing this longer interview with us tonight. i listed some of what's been reported in the press in terms of intelligence reports that have been described to reporters that came out starting as early as early 2015 and that carried on right through the election. from what you saw in your time in government on a scale of one to ten, how alarmed are you about the scale of the russian attack and the possibility of
american confederacy in that attack? >> well, i don't know on the scale of one to ten, but i was alarmed as hell when i first saw it, and i remain incredibly alarmed. i remaybe alarmed because of reports that russians are still probing into u.s. networks. they're probing into, in fact, networks associated with nuclear power plants. not the actual supervisory control of data acquisition networks, but administrative and business networks. they are looking at voter databases they are gathering the ability to influence not just potentially future elections, but also other aspects of our critical infrastructure. so far they haven't really suffered any consequences for what they've done.
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>> do you remember flat stanley? it's a character in a kid's book. he morphed into a pen pal project where you print out flat stanley, and you color him in, stick him in an envelope and mail him around the world and see where he ends up. here's flat stanley at wrigley fields. i do believe flat stanley has also gone to space. do you remember flat stanley? this is 3d rob portman. he is a real live groenl man. we learned that flat rob portman also exists. he is here next.
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rob portman because the real rob portman needs to answer to all of us. >> that's right. what do we want? health care. when do we want it? >> now! >> flat rob. since their real life senator refused to meet with them, some of ohio senator rob portman's constituents printed out a life-size flat rob. they propped him outside his downtown office in toledo, ohio, and they've told the kinko's version of their senator that they want him to vote no on the republican bill for health care. in missouri today, about 25 of senator roy blunt's constituents stood outside his kansas city office with megaphones. eventually one of senator blunt's staffers got dispatched down to meet them. protesters handed them a stack of mocked up release forms, freeing up their senator from his campaign promise to vote to repeal obamacare. at senator james lankford's office, disability rights activists staged a protest. they were blocked from recording video so they took pictures instead. they told the senator's staff as far as they were concerned, they were not going to sit around and let the republican health care plan kill them. over in texas, congressman lamar
smith got a visit his group of constituents including this young woman speaking in the foreground here who is a cancer survivor. watch her explain her situation to lamar smith's staffers. >> if i lose this insurance, i don't have insurance. i will be pre-existing again. that's terrifying. one of my best friends two years ago, her life was prolonged because of the health care that was given to her from the affordable care act. she died a horrible death because that's what cancer does. i held her hand as she took her
last breath in hospice. the hospice that was available to her because -- because of the insurance. she would not have died as peacefully as she did or had that extra time with her family and friends if it wasn't for that. >> that's what it's like in congressional offices around the country right now. republicans on the hill came out with their new and improved version of their obamacare repeal bill on yesterday. did make some miner tweaks but the bottom line is the same. it takes a blowtorch to medicaid. medicaid provides more people with health insurance than any other health insurance provider in this country. the republican bill is expected to cause millions of americans who currently have health insurance to lose not just whatever insurance coverage they've got now, but to lose all
health insurance altogether. so far two republican senators have come out against the republican bill, rand paul and susan collins. they can't afford any more defections. otherwise, the bill will die. senator mitch mcconnell is making the senators of his caucus and all of the caucuses skip the beginning of their august recess. he's keeping all the republicans in d.c. for basically multi-ball bonus time so he can have more access to them for back room dealing and arm twisting. a problem for him, though is that there's a giant boulder rolling toward him on monday. a new cbo score, a new estimate of exactly how many people will lose all health insurance because of what they're trying to do. that new cbo score is due on monday. if, as is expected, it is terrible news, that will presumably only make it harder for him to hold on to his zero-vote margin of error. meanwhile, there really is a nationwide groundswell of voters who are expressing their feelings about this bill. that is only getting louder and
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file this under proving the point. we have been following a very controversial request from kansas secretary of state kris kobach who wants your voter information. kris kobach, as part of the president's new voter fraud task force thingy, he's asked every state in the nation to land over voters' full names, home addresses, dates of birth, political parties, partial social security numbers, the works including your voting activity for the past few elections. he wants that on every voter in the country, which is a little unnerving, right? everybody in the country who votes gets all that data about themselves handed over to the trump administration. don't worry, though. right now they say they plan to keep all of this voter data,
quote, on white house computers, under the direction of a member of vice president mike pence's staff. oh, so it will be fine, then. today we got a glimpse of how the white house is handling people's personal information on this subject. today the white house posted a trove of mostly angry e-mails from over the past two weeks about this election commission. it was the public comments and in posting this trove of e-mails, they did not bother to redact any of the personal information contained in them, including e-mail addresses, home addresses, work addresses, even phone numbers of these people who had the temerity to make public comment. we asked the white house about that. they said they warned people that their comments including any personal information in them might be made public. they say they made that warning notice posted in the federal register on july 5th. so you should have seen it. but sorry if you missed that notice in the federal register. too bad. now we're publishing your phone number. don't worry. all the rest of your personal information that gets sent to the white house, it will be nice
and safe and tucked away for you on mike pence's staff laptop. that should be fine, right? that does it for us tonight. we will see you again on monday msnbc live is next. good morning, everyone. i'm dara brown in new york at ms nbc headquarters. it's 7:00 in the east and 4:00 out west. with new revelation necessary in a story nbc broke about the meeting of donald trump jr. he took with russians. now more people were in that room than originally thought. the president hiring a new lawyer to handle his responses in the investigation. when did he learn of this meeting? and are there more shoes to drop? plus, selling trump care 3.0, the back room deals being cut to win over gop members who are on the fence.