NBC News has this footage of what appears to be a red minivan crashing into an anti-white supremacy demonstration in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday.
NBC News has this footage of what appears to be a red minivan crashing into an anti-white supremacy demonstration in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Russia foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia opposed regime change anywhere in the world — particularly when it comes to Russian allies, like Syria and North Korea. Lavrov also said the U.S. presence in Syria was illegitimate and accused C.I.A director Mike Pompeo of having "double standards" regarding the establishment of military bases in the country. Watch NBC's full interview with NBC below:
NBC News' Katy Tur talked with former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, journalist Tim O'Brien and an intelligence professional about the shocking June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. MICHAEL CAPUTO: There wasn't a handbook. There wasn't instructions on a blackboard. People operated with their own ethics and rules of the road… There's no question in my mind that the dysfunction led the kids to get more deeply involved… Donald Jr. made a mistake and he'd do something, he'd do it entirely differently if he had the opportunity… TIM O'BRIEN: He's as injudicious and as reckless as his father. Donald Trump Sr. had a long career in which he bent and sometimes broke business rules. And I think you see a lot of Donald Trump Sr. reflected in the children, particularly in Donald Trump Jr… ANONYMOUS INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONAL: This is like human fishing. They're putting bait out there to see if you're willing to swallow it. The Trump campaign team swallowed it whole… [Putin} learned that President Trump is willing to compromise himself to make a choice that put's him in an awkward and potentially vulnerable state.
Former Vice President Al Gore met with the then-President-Elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower to discuss climate change a month after the 2016 election and said he was initially optimistic that Trump would "come to his senses." Now, Gore told Willie Geist on NBC TODAY he was wrong. AL GORE: Our country is going through a challenging time for sure, we've never had a president who has deliberately made decisions, the effect of which is to tear down America's standing in the world, starting with the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement…The climate crisis is by far the most serious challenge we face, but he's also undermined our alliances, such as NATO, and hurt our standing in the world in many ways.
NBC NEWS: The movement believes in protecting white European identity â€” ideas traditionally associated with white supremacy. Its founder, Richard Spencer, credits the election of Pres. Trump with thrusting it into the national spotlight. "Immigration reform, American jobs, and free speech," NBC's Morgan Radford said are the issues that tie the 'alt-right' to the Trump agenda. NBC then played a video of Richard Spencer, an extremist who claims he founded the alt-right-, at a conference where terms like "Heil Trump!" were used and the Nazi salute could be seen. However, the president has never mentioned the 'alt-right' nor condoned the activity of these groups. "Today, they are wearing business suits. But make no mistake, a hundred years ago they were wearing white hoods. Today, they are just hiding behind Twitter accounts and social media," Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League told NBC. This report aired on Sunday's broadcast of NBC Nightly News.
Megyn Kelly grilled Info Wars founder and host Alex Jones on his political leanings, connection to then-candidate and now President Donald Trump, conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook massacre and Chobani, and much more on this week's broadcast of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. Alex Jones held a live stream to respond to the Kelly interview as it was broadcasted on NBC News: Transcript, via NBC News' Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly: MEGYN KELLY: First tonight, our report on the incendiary radio host, Alex Jones. For years, Jones has been spreading conspiracy theories, claiming, for instance, that elements of the U.S. government allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen and that the horrific Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Some thought we shouldn't broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren't just offensive, they're dangerous. But here's the thing: Alex Jones isn't going away. Over the years, his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president. We begin our report with his reaction to the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England. KELLY: ALEX JONES WAS NEARLY 5,000 MILES AWAY FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND WHEN A SUICIDE BOMBER KILLED 22 PEOPLE AT A CONCERT LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AGO. DESPITE THE DISTANCE, AND WITH FEW FACTS KNOWN, JONES DID WHAT HE OFTEN DOES: JUMPED MOUTH-FIRST INTO CONTROVERSY. ALEX JONES (May 22, 2017 YouTube video): A big bomb goes off at a pop star's rock concert bombing a bunch of liberal trendies. MEGYN KELLY: You said, "It was a bunch of liberal trendies who were killed, the same people who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in. ALEX JONES: Yes. MEGYN KELLY: In response to which, many people looked at the victims, many of whom were 15, 14. There was a little eight â€¦ ALEX JONES: No. I'm sorry I didn't blow 'em up. I know. But I did something bad, though? MEGYN KELLY: No, that – that you â€¦ ALEX JONES: Oh, no, no, no, no â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: â€¦ would suggest that â€¦ ALEX JONES: â€˜cause â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: â€¦ that an eight – that an eight-year-old, right? There was Saffie Rose Roussos, eight years old, that she was a liberal trendy, right? 'Cause that's what you said about the victims is what has people upset â€¦ ALEX JONES: No, that's – yeah, no, no. The media misrepresenting and clipping that the way you did. I got home at, like, 6:00, heard about it. The ages of the victims weren't even known. But they were saying it was jihadi. And I said, "How crazy is it that liberal trendies are now the victims?" And then I start going and looking. Of course, if there's kids being killed by Muslims, I'm not saying that it's their fault. MEGYN KELLY: THAT PATTERN: RECKLESS ACCUSATION, FOLLOWED BY EQUIVACATIONS AND EXCUSES IS CLASSIC ALEX JONES. ALEX JONES CLIP: They can just carte blanche go anywhere … MEGYN KELLY: HE HAS SPENT NEARLY TWO DECADES ON THE FRINGE, SHOUTING HIS CONSPIRACY THEORIES INTO ANY MICROPHONE HE COULD GET IN FRONT OF. HERE HE IS ON AUSTIN COMMUNITY TELEVISION IN 2001. ALEX JONES CLIP: Tyranny is enveloping the globe. MEGYN KELLY: HE AND HIS COMPANY, INFOWARS, HAVE BEEN STEADILY GAINING FOLLOWERS FOR YEARS, PRODUCING RADIO SHOWS AND WEBCASTS, WHICH REACH MILLIONS A MONTH. BUT JONES' INFLUENCE HIT NEW HEIGHTS WHEN HE ATTRACTED A VERY FAMOUS FAN: THEN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP. DONALD TRUMP (On Alex Jones' show December 2, 2015): I just want to finish by saying your reputation is amazing. MEGYN KELLY: IN DECEMBER, 2015, MR. TRUMP APPEARED ON JONES' RADIO PROGRAM, OFFERING PRAISE AND PROMISES. DONALD TRUMP (On Alex Jones' show December 2, 2015): I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed I hope and I think we'll be speaking a lot. MEGYN KELLY: SEPARATELY, BOTH MEN HAD SUPPORTED THE FALSE STATEMENT THAT BARACK OBAMA WAS NOT A NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN. AND THEY'VE HAD MORE IN COMMON SINCE. ALEX JONES (February 24, 2017): I agree with Trump on that. He agrees with me. And then we got articles, "he's following Alex on coal." "He's following Alex on guns." "He's following Alex on borders." MEGYN KELLY: THE 2016 CAMPAIGN WAS GOOD FOR INFOWARS. ITS YOU TUBE MONTHLY VIEWS REACHED 83 MILLION IN NOVEMBER 2016, MORE THAN FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS NOVEMBER. AND WHEN MR. TRUMP WON, ALEX JONES FOUND HIMSELF WITH ACCESS TO THE SEAT OF POWER. INFOWARS GOT A TEMPORARY WHITE HOUSE PRESS PASS FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND JONES SAYS MR. TRUMP CALLED HIM AFTER THE ELECTION TO THANK HIM FOR HIS HELP. MEGYN KELLY: You have said that it's surreal to say something on Infowars and then hear it come out of the President of the United States' mouth a couple days later. ALEX JONES: I mean, that has happened. But, I mean â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: Do you think he's watching? ALEX JONES: I mean, I know Trump watches and sees the clips and things. MEGYN KELLY: WE DID FIND INDICATIONS OF THAT. ON JULY 22, 2015, INFOWARS PUT UP THIS VIDEO, CLAIMING IT SHOWED DRUG TRAFFICKING ALONG THE US-MEXICO BORDER. ALTHOUGH WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT ACTUALLY SHOWS. INFOWARS REPORTER: We actually witnessed a drug smuggling operation from Mexico into the U.S. â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: THREE DAYS LATER, MR. TRUMP GAVE THIS SPEECH IN IOWA. DONALD TRUMP: Big story, it's all over the place now – guys swimming across, and big bags of stuff, it's drugs, swimming across the river. MEGYN KELLY: THIS WAS INFOWARS PREVIEWING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE BETWEEN DONALD TRUMP AND HILLARY CLINTON. ALEX JONES (September 25, 2016): I think she's going to show up – on drugs though – she's going to be whacked out. MEGYN KELLY: AND MR. TRUMP'S TAKE NOT LONG AFTER: DONALD TRUMP (October 15, 2016): We should take a drug test prior, because I don't know what's going on with her. MEGYN KELLY: DONALD TRUMP ALLY AND FREQUENT INFOWARS GUEST ROGER STONE UNDERSCORED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN JONES AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IN A TWEET LAST SPRING. IT READ: "MSM ELITES DON'T SEE THAT @REALALEXJONES AND @INFOWARS REACH MILLIONS OF @REALDONALDTRUMP SUPPORTERS AND HELPED MAKE THE TRUMP REVOLUTION." ALEX JONES (February 22, 2017): Donald Trump calls me. The secretary says, "Donald Trump would like to talk to you, Mr. Jones, would you like to talk to him? Yes, boom." MEGYN KELLY: WHILE JONES HAS BOASTED OF HIS CONTACT WITH THE PRESIDENT ON HIS RADIO SHOW, HE DOWNPLAYED IT IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH US, CLAIMING THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, OR MSM, HAS EXAGGERATED THEIR CONNECTION. ALEX JONES: I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what MSM has said. MEGYN KELLY: Well, what kind of access do you have? ALEX JONES: He's just called sometimes and, you know, talked about politics or thanked me, stuff like that. That's it. MEGYN KELLY: Would you describe yourself as friends? ALEX JONES: No. MEGYN KELLY: Friendly? ALEX JONES: Sure. MEGYN KELLY: And how many times has he called you? ALEX JONES: I don't want to get into all that. MEGYN KELLY: What is it, do you think, about Alex Jones that President Trump finds so amazing? CHARLIE SYKES: That's a scary question. MEGYN KELLY: CHARLIE SYKES IS A CONSERVATIVE WRITER AND CONTRIBUTOR TO NBC NEWS. HE'S BEEN CRITICAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP. CHARLIE SYKES: Obviously, there's a conspiratorial turn in the president's thinking and in his imagination. And those darker impulses are fed into by Alex Jones. MEGYN KELLY: JONES SPEAKS TO HIS LISTENERS FOR HOURS A DAY, SIX DAYS A WEEK. HIS RANTS CAN BE VULGAR AND HATE FILLED LIKE THIS ONE DIRECTED AT A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. ALEX JONES (March 2017): Schiff looks like the arch – archetypal c***sucker. And there's something about this fairy hopping around, trying to intimidate people like me and you. I want to tell Congressman Schiff and all the rest of them, "You want to sit here and say that I'm a goddamn, f**king Russian. You get in my face with that I'll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch." MEGYN KELLY: JONES BEGAN DEVELOPING HIS CONSPIRACY THEORIES AS A TEENAGER. HE GREW UP THE OLDEST CHILD OF A DENTIST AND A HOMEMAKER, AND WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL IN AUSTIN, TEXAS. ALEX JONES: I read a lot of history books when I was a kid. And I also had family that was educated, so, I mean, I just knew how things actually worked, versus what the news was saying sometimes. MEGYN KELLY: AFTER A BRIEF STINT IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE, JONES FOUND HIS CALLING AT PUBLIC ACCESS TV IN AUSTIN. HE WENT INTO BUSINESS FOR HIMSELF, FOUNDING INFOWARS IN 1999. MANY DOUBTED HIS PROSPECTS, BUT HE'S NOW WORTH MILLIONS. INFOWARS MAKES MOST OF ITS MONEY BY SELLING PRODUCTS LIKE MALE SUPPLEMENTS. THE MAIN PITCHMAN: JONES HIMSELF. ALEX JONES: I mean, it costs $45, $50 million a year to run this. MEGYN KELLY: And how much money's being made? ALEX JONES: Well, the money that's made is pretty much put back into things. MEGYN KELLY: JONES USES THAT MONEY TO SPREAD HIS MESSAGE, A MESSAGE THAT HAS CAUSED ENORMOUS PAIN. CHARLIE SYKES: What he has done is he has injected this sort of toxic paranoia into the mainstream of conservative thought in a way that would have been inconceivable a couple of decades ago. We're talking about somebody who traffics in some of the sickest, most offensive types of theories. MEGYN KELLY: AT THE TOP OF THAT LIST IS JONES' OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENT THAT THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENT CHILDREN AND TEACHERS AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ONE OF THE DARKEST CHAPTERS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, WAS A HOAX. NEIL HESLIN: I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head. MEGYN KELLY: NEIL HESLIN'S SON JESSE, JUST 6-YEARS-OLD, WAS MURDERED, ALONG WITH 19 OF HIS CLASSMATES AND SIX ADULTS ON DECEMBER 14, 2012 IN NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT. NEIL HESLIN I dropped him off at 9:04. That's when we dropped him off at school with his book bag. Hours later I was picking' him up in a body bag. MEGYN KELLY: ALEX JONES REPEATEDLY CLAIMED THAT THE SHOOTING NEVER HAPPENED. HERE HE IS ON INFOWARS IN DECEMBER 2014. ALEX JONES (on his show): It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. MEGYN KELLY: you said, "The whole thing is a giant hoax. How do you deal with a total hoax? It took me about a year, with Sandy Hook, to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. I did deep research. And my gosh, it just pretty much didn't happen." ALEX JONES: At that point, and I do think there's some cover-up and some manipulation, that is pretty much what I believed. But then I was also going into devil's advocate. But then we know there's mass shootings, and these things happen. So again â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: But you're trying to have it all ways, right? ALEX JONES: No, I'm not. MEGYN KELLY: If you wrongly went out there and said it was a hoax, that's wrong. ALEX JONES: But what I already answered your question was, listeners and other people are covering this. I didn't create that story. MEGYN KELLY: But Alex, the parents, one after the other, devastated. The dead bodies that the coroner autopsied â€¦ ALEX JONES: And they blocked all that. And they won't release any of it. That's unprecedented. Even â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: All of the parents â€¦ ALEX JONES: â€¦ even the reports. MEGYN KELLY: â€¦ decided to come out and lie about their dead children? ALEX JONES: I didn't say that â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: What happened to the children? ALEX JONES: I will sit there on the air and look at every position and play devil's advocate. MEGYN KELLY: Was that devil's advocate? "The whole thing is a giant hoax. The whole thing was fake." ALEX JONES: Yes. Because I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, "But then, some of it looks like it's real." But then what do you do, when they've got the kids going in circles, in and out of the building with their hands up? I've watched the footage. And it looks like a drill. MEGYN KELLY: When you say, "parents faked their children's death," people get very angry. ALEX JONES: Yeah, well, that's – oh, I know. But they don't get angry about the half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions. Or they don't get angry about all the illegals pouring in â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: That's a dodge. ALEX JONES: No, no. It's not a dodge. The media never covers all the evil wars it's promoted and all the big things â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: That doesn't excuse what you did and said about Newtown, and you know it â€¦ ALEX JONES: Oh, but I – here's the difference. Here's the difference. I looked at all the angles of Newtown. And I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it. MEGYN KELLY: IN OUR INTERVIEW, WE ASKED JONES NUMEROUS TIMES WHAT HE NOW BELIEVES. AND HE NEVER COMPLETELY DISAVOWED HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENTS. ALEX JONES: I tend to believe that children probably did die there. But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there. MEGYN KELLY: OF COURSE, THERE IS NO "EVIDENCE ON THE OTHER SIDE." AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE, THE NEWTOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION WROTE TO HIM, IMPLORING THE PRESIDENT TO TRY TO STOP JONES AND OTHER HOAXERS LIKE HIM, SAYING JONES CONTINUES TO SPREAD HATE AND LIES TOWARDS OUR TOWN. ALMOST FOUR MONTHS LATER, ACCORDING TO THE BOARD CHAIRMAN, THE PRESIDENT HAS YET TO RESPOND. THE LIES ABOUT SANDY HOOK HAVE HAD REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES. JUST THIS MONTH, A FLORIDA WOMAN WAS SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SENDING DEATH THREATS TO A SANDY HOOK PARENT. HER DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS SHE WAS PRIMARILY MOTIVATED BY INFOWARS.OTHER VICTIMS' FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE BEEN HARASSED OR THREATENED, TOO. THE FAMILIES SAY THAT JONES' WORDS HAVE CAUSED LASTING PAIN, AND THEY FEAR THE HARASSMENT WILL CONTINUE. NEIL HESLIN: You know, it's disrespectful to me where in fact I did lose my son. And the 26 other families lost somebody. And I take that very personal. MEGYN KELLY: You know this piece is going to air on Father's Day. NEIL HESLIN: Correct. MEGYN KELLY: what is your message to him? NEIL HESLIN: I think he's blessed to have his children to spend the day with, to speak to. I don't have that. MEGYN KELLY: THE CONSEQUENCES OF JONES' ACTIONS ARE NOT LIMITED TO SANDY HOOK. IN 2016, JONES PROMOTED A CONSPIRACY THEORY KNOWN AS "PIZZAGATE." INFOWARS CLAIMED A CHILD SEX RING WAS BEING RUN BY DEMOCRATS OUT OF A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES, AND SPECIFICALLY POINTED TO A WASHINGTON D.C. PIZZERIA. ALEX JONES (on his radio show): You got to go to Infowars.com and actually see the photos and videos inside these places. ### MEGYN KELLY: JONES ENCOURAGED HIS LISTENERS TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE THEMSELVES, AND ONE DID, BRINGING A SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE TO THE SHOP AND FIRING SEVERAL ROUNDS. NO ONE WAS HURT AND THE SHOOTER WAS ARRESTED. THE PIZZA SHOP OWNER WROTE A LETTER ASKING JONES TO APOLOGIZE. FACING THE POSSIBILITY OF A LAWSUIT, HE DID. ANOTHER APOLOGY CAME JUST THIS SPRING. CHOBANI YOGURT SUED JONES AFTER INFOWARS FANNED THE LIE THAT CHOBANI EMPLOYEES COMMITTED A SEXUAL ASSAULT IN IDAHO. ALES JONES (May 17, 2017): On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani. MEGYN KELLY: You misstated facts about Chobani and its owner, which you could've found out, if you just had a reporter do a little shoe-leather reporting, pick up the phone, call, check out the facts. You never would've had to retract that or apologize. ALEX JONES: This is my statement on that. We know that that was, basically, a PR event. And what happens is you've got a year of reporting on the reported sexual assault. MEGYN KELLY: All of which has nothing to do with Chobani. ALEX JONES: Yeah. I know you're not going to let me get it out, are you? MEGYN KELLY: I'm going to let you get it out. I just want to make sure the record's straight. 'Cause I don't want to smear the man. You are the one who said that you were wrong about Chobani. You said that. ALEX JONES: Well, that's because they chose to go after me. And so I simply pointed out that we were reporting on other people's reports that were not entirely accurate. And for that, we were sorry. 'Cause it was true. MEGYN KELLY: You don't sound very sorry. ALEX JONES: I'm – well, the media said stuff about the settlement that wasn't true. MEGYN KELLY: But you said things about Chobani and its owner that were not true. Are you sorry? ALEX JONES: I'm going to tell you again. There – the media really was upset that they said that it was a hoax â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: It's not the media â€¦ ALEX JONES: And so what they did â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: You â€¦ ALEX JONES: And so what they did â€¦ MEGYN KELLY: Are you sorry â€¦ ALEX JONES: And so what they did – so what the media did, and we know it was the media, and we have the PIs and the law firms. And we're working on it right now. Let's just say Chobani was real happy to get out of that lawsuit. MEGYN KELLY: BUT THE LAWSUIT MAKES CLEAR INFOWARS WAS THE ONLY MEDIA OUTLET TO REPORT THE LIE THAT FORCED JONES TO APOLOGIZE. AND WITH THAT APOLOGY CHOBANI CONSIDERS THE MATTER CLOSED. MEGYN KELLY: Do you think of yourself as a journalist? ALEX JONES: I have some journalists that work for me. And I do journalistic work. And I've broken a lot of big stories. And I understand the basics of it. MEGYN KELLY: IN THE INFOWARS STUDIO, THERE'S NO SCRIPT. INSTEAD IT'S A FREEWHEELING SPIN THROUGH PILES OF ARTICLES STRAIGHT OFF THE INTERNET. ALEX JONES: 95% of what we cover is looking at a news article and then, you know, discussing it. MEGYN KELLY: Well, but you know, if you just look at an article and discuss it, it's garbage in, garbage out, right? If you haven't ascertained the veracity of that article, and it's all BS, and then you spend two hours talking about it, then you've put out a bunch of misinformation. I'm just trying to figure out what the vetting process is. ALEX JONES: I mean, we all get Hillary was 15 points ahead, okay? And I mean, we all get mainstream media has got a big problem. MEGYN KELLY: THE INFOWAR STAFFERS WE MET HAVE FREE REIGN TO COVER WHATEVER THEY LIKE WITH VIRTUALLY NO OVERSIGHT. WE SPOKE WITH SOME OF JONES' EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING OWEN SHROYER. MEGYN KELLY: How do you, on a day to day basis, figure out what you're going to do? OWEN SHROYER: I wake up. I look at the news. I pray. I rarely get directed from Alex or my boss. They pretty much just leave it up to me. MEGYN KELLY: Is that what you consider yourself to be? A journalist? OWEN SHROYER: You know, I don't like calling it that. I'm just a human. I'm just a human that's looking for truth. I'm trying to reach out and be what the people want. MEGYN KELLY: When you say "people," who do you mean? OWEN SHROYER: The deplorables. The fly-over country. The forgotten Americans. DONALD TRUMP (Election Night 2016): We're going to get to work immediately for the American people. MEGYN KELLY: WITH THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP, ALEX JONES HAS PLANS TO EXPAND INFOWARS. MORE STUDIOS, MORE SHOWS, MORE EMPLOYEES, MORE INFLUENCE. ALEX JONES: I said, the night he won, I said, "The war has just begun." So this is – we've just got a beachhead. And so that's just the start of the war for me. MEGYN KELLY: AND ALEX JONES GOES INTO BATTLE WITH A POWERFUL ALLY. JUST TWO WEEKS AGO, THE TRUMP-PENCE CAMPAIGN EMAILED THIS MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS. NOTICE, AT THE BOTTOM, IT'S A LINK TO INFOWARS.
In an NBC News exclusive interview, President Trump revealed to Lester Holt that he was preparing to fire FBI Director James Comey regardless of recommendations from the attorney general and deputy attorney general. TRUMP: Look, he's a showboat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil — less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that. HOLT: Monday you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. TRUMP: Right. HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation? TRUMP: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not… HOLT: You had made the decision before they came into your office (ph). TRUMP: I — I was going to fire Comey. I — there's no good time to do it, by the way. They… HOLT: Because in your letter, you said… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: They — they were… HOLT: …I — I accepted — accepted their recommendations. TRUMP: Yeah, well, they also… HOLT: So, you had already made the decision. TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation. HOLT: So, there was… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: They — he made a recommendation. He's highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy. And the Democrats like him. The Republicans like him. He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won. And the reason they should've won it is the electoral college is almost impossible for a Republican to win. It's very hard because you start off at such a disadvantage. So, everybody was thinking they should've won the election. This was an excuse for having lost an election. HOLT: But were — are you angry… (CROSSTALK) HOLT: …angry with Mr. Comey because of his Russia investigation? TRUMP: I just want somebody that's competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI. HOLT: But were you a fan of… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: …people of the FBI. HOLT: him taking up that investigation? TRUMP: I think that — about the Hillary Clinton investigation? HOLT: No, about — about the Russian investigation and possible… TRUMP: No, I don't care… HOLT: …links between… TRUMP: Look — look, let me tell you. As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly. When I did this now, I said I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I'll expand that — you know, I'll lengthen the time because it should be over with. It should — in my opinion, should've been over with a long time ago because it — all it is an excuse. But I said to myself I might even lengthen out the investigation. But I have to do the right thing for the American people. He's the wrong man for that position. HOLT: Let me ask you about your termination letter to Mr. Comey. You write, "I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation." Why did you put that in there? TRUMP: Because he told me that. I mean, he told me that. HOLT: He told you, you weren't under investigation with… TRUMP: Yeah, and I… HOLT: …regard to the Russian investigation. TRUMP: …I've heard that — I've heard that from others. I think… HOLT: Was it in a phone call? Did you meet face to face? TRUMP: I had a dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. We had a very nice dinner at the White House… HOLT: He — he asked… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: …very early on. That dinner was arranged. I think he asked for the dinner. And he wanted to stay on as the FBI head. And I said I'll, you know, consider. We'll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner. And at that time, he told you are not under investigation… HOLT: That was… TRUMP: …which I knew anyway. HOLT: That was one meeting. When was the — when was the other two? TRUMP: First of all, when you're under investigation, you're giving all sorts of documents and everything. I knew I wasn't under. And I heard it was stated at the committee — at some committee level that I wasn't, number one. HOLT: So, that didn't come directly from him. TRUMP: Then, during a phone call, he said it. And then, during another phone call he said it. So, he said it once at dinner and then he said it twice during phone calls. HOLT: Did — did you call him? TRUMP: In one case I called him and one case he called me. HOLT: And did you ask am I under investigation? TRUMP: I actually asked him, yes. I said if it's possible, would you let me know am I under investigation. He said you are not under investigation. HOLT: But he's — he's given sworn testimony that there's an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government. You were the centerpiece of the Trump campaign. TRUMP: Well, all I can tell you is… HOLT: So, was be being truthful when he said you weren't under investigation? TRUMP: …well, I know whether — I know that I'm not under investigation — me, personally. I'm not talking about campaigns. I'm not talking about anything else. I'm not under investigation. HOLT: Did you ask him to drop the investigation? TRUMP: No, never. HOLT: Did anyone from the White House… TRUMP: No. In fact, I want the investigation speeded up… (CROSSTALK) HOLT: Did anyone from the White House ask him to — to end the investigation? TRUMP: No, no. Why would we do that? HOLT: Any — any surrogates on behalf of the White House? TRUMP: Not that I know of. Look, I want to find out if there was a problem with an election having to do with Russia. Or by the way any — but — any — anybody else. Any other country. And I want that to be so strong and so good. And I want it to happen. I also want to have a really competent, capable director. He's not. He's a show boater. He's not my man or not my man. I didn't appoint him. He was appointed long before me. But I want somebody who's going to do a great job. And I will tell you, we're looking at candidates right now who could be spectacular. And that's what I want for the FBI. HOLT: What you said a moment ago about supporting the idea of investigation. A lot of people would find it hard to believe that the man who just said that tweeted very recently it's a total hoax. It's a taxpayer charade. TRUMP: Oh, I think that looking into me and the campaign — look, I have nothing to do — this was set up by the Democrats. There is no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians. The other thing is the Russians did not affect the vote. And everybody seems to think that. HOLT: There is an investigation underway though, an FBI investigation. Is that a charade? TRUMP: Well, I don't know if it's an FBI or if it's — there's so many investigations. I don't know if it's an FBI investigation or if it's Congress, if it's the Senate and the House… HOLT: Well, James Comey testified there was an FBI investigation… TRUMP: Well, yeah, but I think they're also helping the House and the Senate. So, you probably have FBI. But you have House, you have Senate. They have other investigations. HOLT: But when you put out tweets it's a total hoax. It's a taxpayer charade. And you're looking for a new FBI director, are you not sending that person a message to lay off? TRUMP: No, I'm not doing that. I think that we have to get back to work. But I want to find out — I want to get to the bottom. If Russia hacked — if Russia did anything having to do with our election, I want to know about it. HOLT: Well, there's already — there's already intelligence from virtually every intelligence agency that yes, that happened (ph). TRUMP: I'll tell you this. If Russia or anybody else is trying to interfere with our elections, I think it's a horrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it. And I want to make sure it will never, ever happen. HOLT: Were you angry with James Comey when he went public and said he can't support your unsubstantiated charges of wiretapping — that your — your predecessor wire tapped you? TRUMP: I was surprised he said it, but I wasn't angry. There's a big thing going on right now which is spying. And it's — you can scroll to anything you want. The unmasking and the spying. And to me, that's the big story right now. That's a very, very big story. HOLT: You didn't take that as a sign that this loyalty that he came out and contradicted you? (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: No, I didn't — I didn't — I don't think of it as loyalty. I mean, I want whoever the director is, I want him to do the right thing. HOLT: And what about when he went public and said that there was in fact an FBI investigation looking at your campaign and Russia? Did that anger you? I — I ask that because… TRUMP: Well, I — I — you know I have that… HOLT: …there's a — a sense that you… TRUMP: …I have that… HOLT: …that there was a building anger. TRUMP: No, no, no. I — I know every once in a while, you'll see that in the newspaper, anger somebody will report or they'll have false sources that maybe don't exist because of the media — the way the media is. No. I will tell you, I think that — I want very simply a great FBI director. HOLT: And will you expect if they would — they would continue on with this investigation… TRUMP: Oh, yeah, sure. I expect that. HOLT: General Flynn is a part of this investigation as you know. Sally Yates recently testified that the White House was notified that he had been compromised, he was at risk of… TRUMP: Yeah. HOLT: …of being blackmailed. It was 18 days later that he was finally fired. During that 18 days, he had access, I assume, to all the nation's top secrets. One day you meet on the issue of Comey… TRUMP: Right. HOLT: …and you fire him in a humiliating way, while he's sitting in a room with his colleagues and it's appearing on the TV. TRUMP: Because my White House counsel Don McGahn came back to me and did not sound like an emergency of any — he didn't make it sound like he was, you know — and she actually didn't make it sound that way, either in the hearings the other day. Like it had to be done immediately. This man has served for many years. He's a general. He's a, in my opinion, a very good person. I believe that it would be very unfair to hear from somebody who we don't even know and immediately run out and fire a general. Now… HOLT: The acting Attorney General at the time. TRUMP: My White House counsel came to me. They had, I believe, two meetings. And we ultimately fired — but we fired for a different reason. HOLT: You're talking about General Flynn? TRUMP: General Flynn, yes. HOLT: Because — because of lying to the vice president. TRUMP: Yeah, but everything plays in — everything plays into it. But we fired him because he said something to the vice president that was not so. HOLT: Did you know that he had had — that received payments from the Russian government? That he had… TRUMP: No. HOLT: …received payments from the Turkish government? TRUMP: No, but Obama perhaps knew because he had clearance from the Obama administration. And his — and — and this is something they never want to report. He had clearance from the Obama administration, the highest clearance you can have. And I think it's a very unfair thing that the media doesn't talk about that. You know, you're talking about 2015. I don't know that I knew him in 2015. HOLT: The Senate Intelligence Committee wants information from the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit about your finances, your — your businesses' finance. TRUMP: Yeah. HOLT: Can you tell us whether you, your family, your businesses, your surrogates have accepted any investments, any loans from Russians individuals… TRUMP: Yeah, in fact I just sent a letter… HOLT: …or institutions? TRUMPS: …to Lindsay Graham from one of the most prestigious law firms in the country — a tremendous, highly rated law firm — that I have nothing to do with Russia. I have no investments in Russia, none whatsoever. I don't have property in Russia — a lot of people thought I owned office buildings in Moscow. I don't have property in Russia. And I am in very — I — I mean I — I'm in total compliance in every way. Now, I have to tell you, I file documents — hundreds of pages worth of documents with the Federal Elections Bureau. Everybody's seen that. I built a great company, but I'm not involved with Russia. I have had dealings over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant, which I owned for quite a while. I had it in Moscow a long time ago. But other than that, I have nothing to do with Russia. HOLT: And one last question on this matter. Did you ever… TRUMP: And I have a certified letter, just so you understand. I'm not just saying that. I've given the letter — I've given the letter to Senator Lindsay Graham. He has the letter. And I think frankly, it's — I assume he's going to give the letter out. But it says: "I am not involved in Russia." No loans, no nothing. HOLT: Did you worry at all when you made the decision to fire Comey when you did, the day before Lavrov was here in the White House and — and the Russian Ambassador. Did you think through the optics of a way this would look? TRUMP: I never thought about — it was set up a while ago. And frankly, I could've waited. But what difference does it make? I'm not looking for cosmetics. I'm looking to do a great job for the country. I'm looking to create jobs. I'm looking to create strength and security. I'm looking to have strong borders. I'm looking for things like that. I think it's really a good thing that I meet with people. Now, this is a public meeting. Because, you know, when you cover this, the people watching may say oh, he met with Lavrov. Well, this was announced that I'm meeting with Lavrov. Just like a number of days ago, I spoke — had a very good conversation — very public in the sense that everybody knew this was taking place. I meet — I — I talk all the time. Just spoke with the head of — the new head of South Korea who just got elected. I speak with the head of India. I speak with the head of China. I have to speak with Putin also. It's called Russia. But when I spoke with Putin, he asked me whether or not I would see Lavrov. Now, what do I — should I say no, I'm not going to see him? I said, I will see him. During that discussion with Lavrov, I think we had a great discussion having to do with Syria, having to do with the Ukraine. And maybe, that discussion will lead to a lot less people getting killed and will lead ultimately to peace. So, I'm — I'm OK with those discussions, Lester. I think it's a good thing, not a bad thing.
In a White House interview Thursday afternoon, President Trump told Lester Holt that he was preparing to fire FBI Director Comey regardless of the recommendations from the attorney general and deputy attorney general. This contradicts multiple accounts from his communications team and Vice President Pence over the past few days, who suggested he was following the recommendation of the deputy attorney general. Unedited relevant transcript (above video from NBC News is edited, see below for uncut full interview, see here for complete transcript and video): TRUMP: Look, [Comey]'s a showboat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil — less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that. HOLT: Monday you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. TRUMP: Right. HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation? TRUMP: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not… HOLT: You had made the decision before they came into your office (ph). TRUMP: I — I was going to fire Comey. I — there's no good time to do it, by the way. They… HOLT: Because in your letter, you said… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: They — they were… HOLT: …I — I accepted — accepted their recommendations. TRUMP: Yeah, well, they also… HOLT: So, you had already made the decision. TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation. HOLT: So, there was… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: They — he made a recommendation. He's highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy. And the Democrats like him. The Republicans like him. He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won. And the reason they should've won it is the electoral college is almost impossible for a Republican to win. It's very hard because you start off at such a disadvantage. So, everybody was thinking they should've won the election. This was an excuse for having lost an election. HOLT: But were — are you angry… (CROSSTALK) HOLT: …angry with Mr. Comey because of his Russia investigation? TRUMP: I just want somebody that's competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI. HOLT: But were you a fan of… (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: …people of the FBI. HOLT: him taking up that investigation? TRUMP: I think that — about the Hillary Clinton investigation? HOLT: No, about — about the Russian investigation and possible… TRUMP: No, I don't care… HOLT: …links between… TRUMP: Look — look, let me tell you. As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly. When I did this now, I said I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I'll expand that — you know, I'll lengthen the time because it should be over with. It should — in my opinion, should've been over with a long time ago because it — all it is an excuse. But I said to myself I might even lengthen out the investigation. But I have to do the right thing for the American people. He's the wrong man for that position.
School children will once again be allowed to have chocolate milk at lunch, as the Department of Agriculture rolls back healthy lunch standards spearheaded by former First Lady Michelle Obama. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue speaks with NBC News.
During an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly clarified the New Drug War declared this month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He said he is against anyone smoking marijuana, but that it will not be a "factor" in the new drug war against Latin American border smuggling gangs. KELLY: Drug consumption in the United States is the problem. Just cocaine alone, when you consider the massive amounts of profit that come out of the United States. The the traffickers biggest problem is not getting drugs until now into the United States. The biggest problem they had was laundering the money. So when you have that much profit coming out of the United States and that profit is managed by cartels that are beyond violent, and so you go to — you go to the Latin American countries, Mexico, the United States, for that matter, you mentioned corruption already. The kind of money they can offer an attorney general in Guatemala or a police chief in Mexico, the kind of money they can offer — and if you don't take the money, they're happy to send your, you know, your youngest child's head to your home in a plastic bag. TODD: You've said, though, the hypocrisy aspect of it, meaning these Central American countries — it — is the idea of, for instance, marijuana legalization, does that help your problem or hurt your problem? KELLY: Yes, marijuana is not a factor in the drug world. TODD: This really is a cocaine, and in some cases, the opioid sort of copycats? KELLY: It's three things — methamphetamine, almost all produced in Mexico; heroin, virtually all produced in Mexico; and cocaine that comes up from further south. Those three drugs result in the death of, I think, last year, 52 — in 16 — 15, I think — 52,000 people, to include opiates. It's a massive problem. Fifty-two thousand Americans dead. You can't put a price on the human misery, the cost to the United States is over $250 billion a year. The solution is not arresting a lot of users. The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every men and woman of good will.