Intercepted Intel: Sessions Discussed Donald Trump Campaign With Russian | The Last Word | MSNBC

it seems Attorney General Jeff Sessions week did go from bad to worse we have this breaking news tonight among several stories first from the Washington Post that current and former US officials are saying US spy agencies intercepted these conversations of Russia's former ambassador to Washington sir Jake is lyac and a source saying kiss lyac told his superiors in Moscow that he did discuss campaign related matters including specifically policy issues that are important to Moscow with yes jeff Sessions smack dab in the middle of the ongoing 2016 campaign now this post cites a US official who says that this means Jeff Sessions was misleading the public I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign and the idea that I was part of a quote continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false and quote a former official said the intelligence indicates sessions and kiss Lee Act had substantive discussions on matters including Trump's positions unrushed related issues and prospects for us-russia relations in a trump administration now the post makes an important point that we all obviously have to keep in mind here the officials acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized exaggerated even made up some of the nature of these interactions the Russians obviously may have their own motivations and how they discussed this meetings even on their private lines as for these anonymous US officials we just don't know at this hour and the post doesn't say whether their sources there we're trying to say blow the whistle on potential misconduct by Jeff Sessions or others or if the sources are pro Trump trying to hurt Jeff Sessions in the very same week President Trump criticized him with the kind of language that really in any other administration would be a prelude to dismissal we do know the president says he's unhappy with Jeff Sessions and according to the president think about it the reason is not emigrate enforcement which was the biggest DOJ focus in Trump's campaign the reason the Trump is unhappy with sessions has nothing to do with cracking down on gangs or drugs or mortgage fraud or really anything related to the Attorney General's vast powers and influence over the lives of everyday Americans no according to the president's own words the big reason he is losing confidence in Jeff Sessions is all about the Attorney General's impact on Donald Trump himself let's get right to this big story tonight I'm joined by John McLaughlin former acting director of the CIA and MSNBC analyst max boot a senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adviser to Mitt Romney back in 2012 and also reporter David corn Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones an analyst as well mr. McLaughlin the intercepts that are described in the Washington Post story what do they mean to you and how much more would you like to know about them well Ari to be frank I mean if this came to me and my old job if someone walked into my office and told me this story the first question I'd have would be I want to see the intercept in other words I would like to know all of the details in it and make some judgment about the the way it's characterized and so forth you know obviously if there's truth to it it's appropriate to think about smart to think about whose agenda is being served here and I think you've already talked a little bit about the possibilities there but the other final thought I would give you on what it means to me is if this is true it's obviously very sensitive intelligence so someone throwing it out has to have an agenda that's pretty important to them max do you see the same potential agendas mm-hmm absolutely I mean to me this is a little bit like choosing between Iran Iraq and the during iran-iraq war because you have Donald Trump versus his own attorney general and neither one inspires a lot of confidence and I mean certainly it's a huge news if this Washington Post story is accurate that Jeff Sessions had discussions with the Russians about the campaign and then lied about including possibly perjuring himself before the Senate but then you have to wonder as as John McLaughlin just said why is this coming out and there's a lot of speculation that it's being leaked by the White House because just a couple of days ago Donald Trump will unload it on his own Attorney General and there's a lot of speculation that he's trying to force Jeff Sessions out so he can appoint somebody else who will fire Bob Muller for him and so bad as as sessions as conduct maybe it may actually be in the interest of the Republic for him to stay where he is so that Trump can't put a yes-man in that position well and David you know sometimes we ask big complicated questions I have a very simple question for you building on the comments here of our colleagues how could it be that there is no Russia collusion or Russia problem according to Donald Trump but the one reason he would fire or be unhappy with Jeff Sessions is a meeting with a Russian ambassador that the President himself still maintains is of no significance you know I cannot answer any question about what Donald Trump thinks you know he's highly situational what he says I think he's only meant to stand for the nanosecond he says it and it doesn't matter whether it's logical consistent with anything else he's ever said to me you know a big you know way of looking at what's coming out tonight assuming in the Washington Post report is accurate is that why does this matter so much what would it meant what what matters is if if you have really one of the top surrogates for Donald Trump well you know in the spring of 2016 talking to the Russians kind of as they're beginning to figure out how to do information warfare against the US election to help Trump and it hurt Hillary Clinton but if he's telling the Russians you know you know if we get elected you'll get a better deal with us we want to revisit sanctions you know Donald Trump likes Putin wants to sit down and talk to him about you know doing things differently if that's message is being conveyed by Jeff Sessions to the Ambassador from from Russia he's giving Putin incentive and motive motive ation for going ahead with this far-ranging information campaign warfare campaign that included the hacks and the release of emails but went much further than that is helping the Russians by letting them know that if they do this then maybe a big payoff for them in the end and David the president complains about leaks a lot he doesn't seem to be complaining yet tonight about this leak well we'll see what tweet comes out at 5:00 in the morning 6:00 in the morning I mean he complains about anonymous sources yet he goes off the record you know for the New York Times himself and of course what else people go off the record all the time so you know the way this White House leaks we may know by the time the show is over who is behind the leak but it's it's even amazing that we're thinking for a moment that a president might be leaking information that hurts his Attorney General and makes his own campaign look bad just to get rid of the guy because he didn't recuse himself but max boot the flipside of all this would be absent a Russia problem and absent what may be misleading testimony the underlying meaning itself even if they did discuss policy in the potential trouble administration is that problematic too well I think taken in isolation if this had been you know a member of the Romney campaign meeting with the Russian ambassador and assuming he didn't lie about it afterwards it could be perfectly proper but you have to take it in the larger context here and remember that this is not even necessarily the biggest news story of the week remember the week began with news that Donald Trump had his seat quote unquote secret meeting at the Hamburg g20 summit with laud Emir Putin where they talked about quote-unquote adoptions which is code words for sanctions and then shortly thereafter Trump ended US aid to the moderate Syrian rebels which is a key Russian demand that the Russians have been making for a long time and of course we're also every single day learning more about this meeting that occurred in 2016 between Donald Trump jr. and the rest of the Trump campaign hierarchy on these Russian representatives including the fact that we learned today that the lawyer who was involved there on the Russian side represents the FSB the Russian intelligence service so if you put all this into the context and you see all of these Russian connections there's a new one every single day and increasingly benign explanations for the Trump for what they're up to benign explanations are just not credible right I mean you mentioned the disclosures on the meeting alone and how outnumbered the Trump folks were with these Russian officials John McLaughlin here was Jeff Sessions I would say the crescendo of his testimony when he clearly decided to try to lay down a gauntlet an appeal to his former colleagues in the Senate with the idea that he couldn't possibly have done something wrong on Russia suggestion that I participated in any collusion that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country which I have served with honor for 35 years or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process isn't an appalling and detestable life John McLaughlin as someone who is sifted evidence your whole life at this hour is it still operative that kind of blanket denial from him or do you see anything in public here that cast doubt on that well if there's truth to this report we've just been talking about everything that Jeff Sessions said doesn't stand and he says it in such an affirmative way that it's been a long time since I've seen such a stark contrast between the statements of a public official and what in this case may be true in this Washington Post article I'm certain in any event that there's a core of truth to it so I think it casts considerable doubt on Jeff Sessions staying power in this position I think that's probably the next shoe that will see drop here will be some discussion of whether he should stay or leave so once again we see intelligence this is a common theme in this administration throughout its six months so far is that intelligence is used by various factions in the administration as a political weapon whether we're talking about leaks from the hill or leaks from within the White House just another example I think of what is evidently a chaotic situation in which they do not yet have across-the-board the kind of teamwork established that's required to really move our government at our interest forward and it's rolling from all of those points of view how would you if you go back in your role running the CIA how would you deal with something like this is there any effort to get the intercept if not out to the public to the gang of eight or to some respectable process body that can look at it or is that just make a bad problem worse well the first thing of course is you would probably know who had this intercept if it's an intercept as described you would know who had received it and you would be running down your list of potential sources for the leak if if someone in the Congress had not seen it and this may have been a restricted document this may have been an extremely sensitive document that not many people will have seen so you would almost certainly be getting calls from your two oversight committees for the document and any background information on it you'd be briefing it you'd be answering questions about it you would be talking you would be as I said it right at the outset the first thing I would do is say let me see that document if it appeared in the press like this if I hadn't seen it up to that point and I would want to look at it from the standpoint of what are the motives of keish lack here I met him quite often when he was head of the Americas Department in the Russian Foreign Ministry and he was capable of embellishing to Americans but I don't think he does that with his superiors it's actually a rather professional guy speaking just from a you know an espionage point of view and also I would say a really outside possibility here just to put every conceivable idea on the table is that the Russians could send something like this through with the expect in a form that they expect it to be intercept right intercepted just as part of their covert action operation to throw more chaos into our system well I which they've succeeded in doing yeah I'd and rule that out completely I appreciate your point I think that's very much on the table of possibilities given the recent condom and how much work they've done – so chaos we know that parts of the misinformation campaign were just to create some kind of confusion which is different than other parts that were designed to explicitly reach strategic objectives like blunt any momentum of Hillary Clinton we've seen both patterns in the Intel community and your former colleagues have spoken to that david korn I want to read the denial here from sessions spokesperson which also seems to have a problem in it but here it is quote I obviously cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous source is describing a wholly-owned corroborated Intel intercept but the post has not seen and has not been provided to me but the Attorney General stands by his testimony from just last month before the Senate Intel committee when he specifically addressed this and said that he never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election David I I can I can can we play can you spot the problem well I was gonna say number one in fairness it is true we don't have the intercept so that's a fair point I think they make then the problem as I see it you tell me what you think is she zeroing in here on a quote regarding only meddling which is not a denial to the rest of the piece go ahead well this is a quite common device used in Washington elsewhere which is you deny the charge that isn't really made you know we had never talked to the Russians about collusion or meddling that's not what this intercept you know says according to the Washington Post report it says that he talked to kids lyac about the Trump campaign and policy positions that Trump would presumably adopt should he become president and he had specifically denied that any of his contacts with Keyes lyac which first he denied totally happened but then when he conceded there were contacts he said it had nothing to do with the campaign it was just maybe in this senatorial role and he exchanged pleasantries whatever it was but nothing about the campaign so that you know it's not hard to come up with the essence of the charge here and deny it straight on they chose not to do that hey there I'm Chris Hayes from MSNBC thanks for watching MSNBC on youtube if you want to keep up to date with the videos we're putting out you can click subscribe just below me or click over on this list to see lots of other great videos

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. The liberal media is getting quite good at saying "we don't know"…..but we'll spin it out to the small band of liberals idiots with their "Russian conspiracy theories" .
    Putin didn't get Trump elected ..
    Rome did !

  2. This administration will never look at it because the Republican are trying to keep trump in the Whitehouse.

  3. Session lied to Congress i knew he was lying all the time.Money greed in the Whitehouse and traitors to this Country.

  4. Just more real news..we're still stuck with these f*+#@n republicans. Probably until they destroy democracy and beyond.

  5. Misleading? Would that be the same as lying? Sessions picked his words very carefully at the time but a lie is a lie is a lie.

  6. Drumph wants him gone and he called his boss Putin and asked him to order that guy to put this out. So Drumph can replace sessions with a yes man

  7. Trump is a stable genius that has picked all the “Best People” to run his drug operation /The presidential office is A front operation to disguise his real money making business /The new blue meth cookers for the breaking bad network. Donny is the one that waits anxiously for that knock that will confirm that the newest order is been called in by his parters in the frozen tundra

  8. Has Trump thought that after Sessions leaves office that he will spill his guts to Muller? Sessions will have no reason not to and every reason to keep himself out of prison!

  9. No because he took the lob then passed his role on to be abused by Comey and Rosenstein which committed crimes to acquire special council! Sessions should have allowed a second spacial council into Democrats on Russia due to Mueller completely ignoring the obvious collusion of the Democrats and the Russians!.

  10. Sessions and trump should go to prison for all his crimes against humanity and America!!! Fcking Shame on all of them

  11. Sessions has lied and no amount of standing up to Trump can make up for that. The US is at a crisis point, does it restore moral decency or does it accept Trump’s way of doing things. Look at Trump’s appointees and decide. Which way will you go?

  12. Jeff Sessions if a POS, but as retrograde, close minded and insensitive as he is, there some vestiges of decency within him that led him to recuse himself. I hate to say this but we need him there to stay until Mueller completes his investigation.

  13. This is a difficult situation. The only thing that is safe here is Rosenstein being upgraded to atourney general.

  14. If Jeff sessions had to recuse himself, doesn't that mean that he had a meeting with the Russian that might have been illegal. He's going to end up being crooked too. He also lied to Congress which is a crime.

  15. Trump and his two oldest boys no service McCain and his boys service. Who backs Trump? I'm with my McCain and his two boys

  16. The President is a horrible boss and a horrible person. Government employees need some form of HR protection because this treatment is APPALLING

  17. Trump and company are up to their necks in Russian meddling in our 2016 elections, when you charge Sessions charge Trump too! Arrest them all, Trump and company have caused enough discord and unrest in our country time for them to go….VOTE BLUE COME NOVEMBER IMPEACH TRUMP THEN LOCK HIM UP AND HIS FAMILY SAVE OUR COUNTRY


  19. sessions you are a disgrace man up and stand for your country trump cares nothing about you.i hope with johns passing and this incredible tribute they gave him will inspire republics as to how they want to be rememberd in the history books .


  21. This is CONald bringing Sessions down along with him! You didn’t think he was going down alone, did you? This is like the Middle East politics of infighting, where none of them win!
    America stands to gain, getting rid of its traitors. Putin would have been tearing his hair out at about now, if he had any. 🤣🤣🤣
    All round win for the US!

  22. Ya we all knew he was lying, he’s not good at it. All of this crap because Trump wants to build in Russia smh. Trump will throw him under the bus too.

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