tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC August 25, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
what became known as the great moon hoax was to poke fun at speculation of life on the moon. there you have it. a story about the sun, the moon and the world all in one place. that way if you missed it, try to find that on another cable network. that's all for tonight. i'm mangle more next week. tune in this sunday for meet the press on your local nbc station. we'll be back monday. the beat with ari melber starts now. good evening. >> good evening. we'll be watching meet the press this sunday. thank you very much. it's another friday night and again we're reporting on breaking friday night news on the trump russia inquiry. new reports breaking from nbc and a separate story in the wall street journal. we're monitoring this hurricane heading towards texas. officials at this hour advising evacuation. we have a report from the ground on the beat tonight. that is later. our top story is these two breaking reports tonight on trump's russia investigation.
nbc news reporting that special counsel robert mueller is issuing his first grand jury subpoenas to get testimony from pr executives who worked with paul manafort on what's described as an international campaign tuouching russia issue. did they try to pass e-mails to mike flynn. russian hackers discussing how to obtain e-mails from mrs. clinton e-mail servers and transmit them to mr. flynn via an intermediary. a lot to report on. we're going to get right to it. your reporting suggests robert
mueller is heading past that line. what can you tell us about your exclusi exclusive? >> absolutely right. my colleague carol lee tributed to this reporting. it's a team effort. he's issuing grand jury subpoena for testimony. we have known he's been subpoenaing documents from various places. now he's trying to compel people to give system. what's at issue here is a lobbying campaign involving paul ma manafort's work for a pro-russian politician. he said he got $17 million from this pro-russian ukraine party. various firms were paid to do some work on behalf of this party and these politicians and trying to have meetings with variety loose papers and politicians in washington. that's what's at issue here.
robert mueller is very interested in what happened because initially they didn't register as lobbyists for a foreign entity. that raises some questions and also at issue is how the money flowed through this effort. >> you're reporting also to suggest at issue is the te tentacles from paul manafort. to that end i want you to stay with me. i want you to bring in a former u.s. ambassador, what do you make of the implications of this story and obviously the ukraine piece of it. number two, what do you want to ask or touch base with ken on given his reporting. >> well, the most important question ken just raised. why did they not register under the foreign agents registration act when they were doing this
work and who was paying for it? we know the number. we know that because of great investigative reporting and work by parliamentary officials in ukraine. that happened six months ago. 17 million, that's a good job for a couple of years of public relations work. did they register? appears they did not and who paid for that work to be done? >> ken. >> ari, on paper, the lobbying was paid for by a european ngo and so the firms in the united states said as far as we're concerned we didn't have to register but it's starting to look like that ngo had connections to this ukraine political party. you have to register and and a very particular set of disclosures. that didn't happen in this case.
mueller is asking what they did and how they got paid. >> it's not that hard to register. these companies, those international projects they have their own legal and compliance departments. it's a matter of paper work. anyone who wants to comply can easily do so. that raises the question, why not. what's going on with this money trail? what do we know about people who take on these contracts? how easy is it for them to do the work and unhook from whatever pressures there are. one of the things we can glean from ken's reporting is mueller is interested. he's interested in trying to understand whether things occurred before manafort hooked up with the trump campaign could have been the first step towards illicit context with a foreign
power during 2016. >> well, these are all questions that need to be answered. i want to be careful here. i don't want to get ahead of my skis and speculate about what we don't know about those. those are the right questions. first of all, let's be blunt. no ngo has $17 million to pay for a public relations campaign for the president of ukraine. we need to know where the money came from. that's the first thing. number two, you know, i don't think mr. manafort cut all his ties. lots of stories about his relationships with various people. they did some business together and then he tried to sue.
that was all going on years after the contract we're talking about. we need to get to the bottom. we need to know what those relationships were and what in particular might people been doing on behalf of the kremlin working with mr. manafort. there's all questions. there's a lot of questions that need to be answered. >> i want you to stay with me on this breaking story. jonathan, how does this square with the reporting you've done and the way the white house looking at these issues. we hear trump obsessed with russia. the wall street journal bearing down on the idea that mike flynn, a trump associate who donald trump interfered on his behalf with jim comey. why so much interest in flynn that he was directly linked to the e-mail effort. i always say this, doesn't tell
us the end of the investigation. intelligence there is something mueller is looking at. >> that's right. donald trump himself from the podium at a press conference asked russia for their help if finding hillary clinton's e-mails. one would be following the path here that perhaps they heard that call. they heard that inquiry and then according to the reporting sending it towards michael flynn who came national security advisor. paul manafort has been a part of this. repeatedly people try to down play him. they suggest he was on a short time and wasn't a vital role in trump's effort to become the republican nominee when he ran their convention and was the campaign manager for a short time. he's always been someone they have been worried about.
he was part of the famous or infamous meeting that involved trump's son. that seems the president seems to obsess about russia or lash out when it hits close to him. >> put that in the context according to public reporting that's only one person had his home raided first thing in the morning by the fbi which is a sign under a court order because that's what they had to get from a judge that you have material to a federal crime in your house or you're not trusted to comply so you have to be treated like a common criminal or a drug dealer. that's only happened to paul manafort. >> there's been no time in my life i ever wanted to be paul manafort but especially now. he's in incredible legal jeopardy. seeing this is the first time, as you mentioned earlier, that
mueller is calling for people to testify before the grand jury. now people are in jeopardy if they lie. it shifts the burden to tell the truth. we'll see how the president reacts to that. that might be the one thing we can predict. >> on that point, jonathan, there's also a lot of talk about how do you comply with these requests. now that the grand jury subpoenas are going out. anyone at the white house has to know this ongoing proceeding is in a serious place and you resize your statements at your own peril. >> there's definitely a sense of nervousness in the interviews at the white house. >> you think people are nervous? >> yes. there's a sense this is growing. the grand jury has convened and the first isssubpoenas are goin out. it could be days, weeks months
before anyone in the white house receives them. they are been told to preserve their documents. they've been preserved to keep the communications from last year during the campaign. these are people who cannot help but look around and wonder amidst the every day-to-day political storms that seem to consume this white house that the big one is still over the horizon. >> ken, i know that you as a season nbc reporter and former ap reporter aren't going to tell us anything about your sourcing other than it's true. i do want to note the reason these things tend to come out is what happens inside the grand jury room is to secret. the grand jury requests as they go out to different institutions are not legally secret. that is to say if you get one, you can talk about it to some degree. can you speak to us about whether you would expect more leaks if they are continuing to go out? >> absolutely. you've covered federal
investigations. i've covered federal investigations. this is how the news of a federal investigation emerges. defense lawyers, witness, inside besides the prosecution is free to talk about what that are saying, what questions are asked of them. that's how we will learn much more about what the mueller team is doing. mueller made it very clear that leaking is a firing offense. >> finally, do democrats just get out of the way on the politics of this or do they use these steps to try to build the case that while you can't pre-indict anyone in particular, not fairly, any way. you can certainly say that where there is smoke there is more that needs to be done. particularly the contrast of donald trump calling people this week and saying he wanted any bill to protect mueller to be stopped and then what you see here in what's leaking out? >> i think democrats -- i think
what democrats would be amiss if they ignored it or said let bob mueller take care of it. if they want bob mueller to hurry up or the public perception this is ramping up to take hold, what they should probably be doing is going out to their constituents especially in this time before the hurricane takes over the news and make sure that people understand how important these steps are. >> you mentioned the hurricane. we have more on that later in our hour as well. appreciate that. we're going to come right back to another piece of this. next, more on these breaking stories and we'll bring in a former cia operative to talk about the pressure. you're watching the beat on msnbc.
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bob mueller probing whether russian hackers tried to hand clinton e-mails to trump aid mike flynn. mike flynn already publicly requested criminal immunity because he had a story to tell. what i was just discussing with nbc news ken delaney, that mueller issued his first grand jury subpoenas. both these reports come amidst brand new scrutiny. there are concerns he can't resist the impulse.
mueller is bearing down and damagiing election interference. he plays down the very actions that russia took. >> russia intervened in our election? >> i have been asked that a million times. it's true. and the one before and the one before that. they've been at this a long time. i don't think they have any intention of backing off. >> i want to welcome back former u.s. ambassador. the pressure he's under in that washington post account. >> as far as pompeo is concerned i have been troubled by some of his remark that seem to capture
russia's to influence or elections as something that's norm normal. it's true that russia attempted to influence our politics for years and decades. that's not new. the scale is something that's new by orders of magnitude. for him to present it in any other way is a disservice to the american people. i'll note that at the end of that statement he also says russia has, he think, no intention of backing off. if we're to unpack what he's doing there, he may be trying to placate his boss which is a difficult man to satisfy. white at the same time stressing the importance of efforts to prevent and detier russia from carrying out these kinds of activities in the future. >> is the cia supposed to placate their bosses? >> absolutely. that's something you have to
constantly watch is his political influences. he also spent a lot of time on the hill but went to serve the agency. the important point is you can come from a political background and lead the cia but you have to check the politics at the door. he's gotten himself involved in political situations that he just shouldn't be involved in whether it's reports that he was willing to or did engage off the record with media outlets trying to down play reports of significant contacts between the trump campaign and russian officials or whether it's his portrayal of the russian influence campaign as less
significant than it truly was or his remarks about the president, his defense of the president's comments after charlottesville. these things would lead to believe and do lead many to believe, including myself that he has still a tendency to be more political than he should. i think that's something that he's got to be very careful with. he's a very intelligent man. i believe he has a lot of respect for the men and women of the central intelligence agency and its mission. he's got to be very careful about his engagement. >> as for the other piece of the post account that he's got special oversight and counter intel in a way that means he cares a lot about it or has some special russia interest. here's his response. >> was meant to send a signal to the work force that this was important and we weren't going to tolerate misbehavior in our
organization. it was meant to send a signal around the world we're watching. >> in whether they're getting the right proportion on russia or it's becoming an obsession that might start with trump and filter through the agencies? >> well, i appreciate his sentiment that he wants to show its importance to the agency and the director but just echo what was said, one has to be very careful about politicizing intelligence. those line s have to be drawn. if they come from one place and move from the job has to adjust. i witnessed it when i worked with john brennan in the white house. that's a different job. you can't sit in the situation room and have the cia or any other intelligence officer putting a spin. he needs to be careful not to do that in this case. >> he's under the pressure.
he's under the pressure when the grand jury is sending out iss subpoenas and the wall street journal says we've been hearing so mump about mike flynn maybe mueller wants to know russian hackers wanted to get clinton e-mails to mike flynn. looks bad. doesn't mean it is bad. there's a big and important story. there's another one, this storm bearing down on the gulf coast. hurricane harvey is now hours away from landfall. 5:23 local time in texas. you can see the furious water. this is the first time in 12 years that the mainland united states is bracing for this kind of storm. thousands evacuated. officials are saying get out to everyone in this path.
i want to bring in nbc's katy beck live in corpus christi. what can you tell us? >> reporter: the conditions have been getting worse all day and they continue to do so. there's people without power now. lots of down limbs and tree branches all over the roadways. most of the roads don't have any cars on them but there are a good number of folks who stayed home. there was not a mandatory evacuation order in corpus christi. some people have decided to just try and brave it out. as you drive through the streets in these residential neighborhoods you tend to see a lot of homes boarded up. some of them have spray paint indicating how many men and women inside. there is a fair amount of people who really just felt like they could stick this one out. the main eye of the storm is
supposed to come around 1:00 a.m. this morning. that is when they are expecting to see those 125 miles an hour winds. all the homes boarded up prepared for that wind, that rain and the storm surge. they say the storm surge here in corpus christi could be anywhere between 6 to 12 feet. that's some significant damage on the way for these tokes as they brace for the worst yet to come. >> i hope you stay safe and responsible there. i know you're in the car for that reason. appreciate your reporting. we'll have more on this on the show tonight. thank you. ahead, the first high profile trump advisor to publicly criticize his boss a t tiny bit on charlotte. when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum tums chewy bites.
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using grand jury subpoenas against associates of paul manafort. now bad news coming from within the white house. gary cohen saying the trump administration can quote, do better to stand up to neo-nazis and he considered resigning after charlottesville drafting a resignation letter that he never submitted. trump spokesperson said they are not surprised by what cohen said about this in a new interview. >> everybody wants to focus on a small part of that interview. gary has not held back how he feels. he's been open and honest so i don't think anyone was surprised by the comments. >> he's speaking about a draft letter of resignation that he never submitted. critics say standing up to neo-nazis requires more than tough sentences that remain stuck in your draft e-mail folder. the way trump will see it is
cohen is siding with the fake news. the first category three aimed for u.s. main land for years. there's no director if osha or secretary of homeland security which overseas
the key agencies here. trump tweeting storm turned hurricane is getting much bigger and more powerful than projected. federal government is on the site and ready to respond. be safe. this is not the time to address these federal government vacancies. critics say when would be the time. trump still has 81% of vacancies across federal agencies. more disturbingly he hasn't put forward names for 368 of the key management posts. with me now is ceo of the victory fund.
he thought about it and weeks later his news is he thought about it. >> i have been waiting for someone in this administration s to stand up and surface as the conscious. someone who has values and some moral principles they hold true to. i knew after charlottesville someone would say enough is enough. we have got to stand up to this president. to hear he has an e-mail sitting somewhere in draft that that's what he wants to disclose if it's opposed to wash him of the sins of his master is really disappointing. >> a lot of people have draft e-mails. i mean so what what you have a draft e-mail. then he puts out an odd statement where he sited the people marching saying we will not be replaced by jews. as a jewish american he was not
going to leave his job. the issue is not whether he's jewish or not. the issue is whether his boss gave comfort and support by saying there were good people of white supremacist rally and whether in government you feel obligation to stand up and speak for that. if you're not going to resign which a perfectly defensible position thaen why are you talking about resigning. why are you trying to get credit for that draft e-mail. >> personnel is policy. we had a personnel program where we staff the obama administration with lgbt personnel. when i look at this administration and the people working there they are there because they believe they can drive policy that matters to people's lives. when we have an incident like charlottesville, the question becomes what policies are you as personnel really trying to
affect in this role that you are determined to stay in. that's where it all gets hazy and where it's all gray because no one has doubled down and said what they want to do to bring america together. >> the other personnel policy issue that may not have been on people's radar is this big clash over environmental relations, business, person resigning his post after attacking a woman. we were able to interview here. this has never played yet. this is exclusive to the beat. take a listen. >> people have personal interests that could be advanced through their access. that's not what government is supposed to be about. people serving the president are suppose ed to be doing their be for american people. that includes business because we need a strong economy and our environmental regulations and laws have been implemented with a lot of attention to our economy and growing our businesses in this country. that's been very successful.
that's what the business of government is about is serving everyone. >> this being the issue that a businessman wanted her to do one thing and attacked her publicly by name and she said the job of the epa is not listen to those business interests. since you talk about stafg, how important are all these staffing fights going on because they're not always getting the attention with the other trump drama. i think it's a smoke screen for the imperative he's trying to push for his business cronies. trump said i'm trying to footat by pockets and the pockets of my friends. i'm not surprised. i'm thankful she came forward and called a spade a spade.
>> always great to get your perspective. thank you. >> good to see you. thank you. there's a brand new report out of harvard about the e-mails. those are the e-mails were were just reporting. we have the latest on that next. where, in all of this, is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you don't. you partner with a firm that advises governments and the fortune 500, and, can deliver insight person to person, on what matters to you. morgan stanley. at the lexus golden opportunity sales event before it ends. choose from the is turbo, es 350 or nx turbo for $299 a month for 36 months if you lease now. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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bob mueller looking into whether mike flynn was a part of getting heen hillary clinton's e-mails. the media was tilted for donald trump in the 2016 election. that would be a surprise for trump supporters who hear him complain about the press. harvard's findings are based on numbers and not opinions. trump got more coverage. no surprise there. it wasn't just volume. harvard says when the press covered trump they covered his policies and when they covered clinton, they covered his attacks on her. take a look. in a count of hundreds of thousands of articles in the election the press covered clinton scandals more than her policies but for trump the press kor covered his policies like immigration more than his scandals. we heard of conventional stories that trump gets attention for his antics. stop and think. these numbers show there was more coverage of his policies
like immigration in the muslim ban an some result was according to this brand new harvard study that the media presented one candidate on defense and the other on offense. >> i have turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails. >> i will build a great, great deal wall on our southern boarder and i will have mexico pay for that wall. >> that was a mistake and i take responsibility for using a personal e-mail account. >> anyone who has entered the united states illegally is subject to deportation. >> this brand new study is 140 pages. the short version boils down to but her e-mails. here is the third and final point in the data. this may sound harsh wu that's what the numbers are about to share. they shared news stories from news outlets that they liked. trump supporters shared opinion pieces from propaganda outlets.
they chose partisan outlets like the daily caller and breitbart. immigration, the numbers show breitbart was the most prominent site over all journalistic outlets. this is a map from the study ha shows the top stories the big, big red blob, the most influential blob is breitbart. pat used the say everyone's entitled to their own opinion but not their on facts. 2016 was an election where people felt entitled to let their opinions dictate their own bubble, perhaps a big red bubble
of alternative facts. she's currently studying the 2016 election at harvard. appreciate your both being here for an important conversation and one that involves self-reflection and criticism if we're so capable. beyond what i just laid out, what is the key finding here going forward for people who want better or more accurate information? >> thank you so much for having me on today. what we found you summarized quite well. the conservative media sphere is more partisan. it's more tilted towards the
right than the left wing media sphere. they stayed on message. the take away from their coverage was unmistakable. >> this is not what people think. people think, trump personality and you count it up and says they were talking about trump's policies and her scandals. >> part of it is you have to understand there's that principle no press is bad press. even when donald trump was talking about immigration in the context and people would go on and rebut him and say that was incorrect, he was still getting his message across to his supporters and it was still sinking in. i covered sheriff joe arpaio in 2010 and very hard liner on immigration.
he loved doing press and he loved doing hostile press because people still listened to him. they listened around facts. didn't really moderate what he was saying. why did we hear a million times about building wall. we could stay and some outlets did this. once again donald trump makes his argument for building the wall. we heard it again and again and it came free advertising which changed people's minds. >> did these findings surprise you? >> somewhat, yes. we were surprised at the degree of partisanship or aseymmetry there. we were surprised by the amount of coverage by clinton scandal. >> data is maiamazing.
i want to read a little more from your study. trade, jobs, immigration. it's like what he said was running on. top stories for clinton. jobs then clinton foundation scandals. number one, i know you know it. >> e-mails. >> clinton e-mails. >> this is part of the false equivalencies. i remember, i can't remember which specific reporter but there was a reporter or editor from the new york time who is said we did make an effort to really talk about the clinton e-mails in order to be nonpartisan. there was this idea that everything, the scale should be weighted equally. >> being partisan about giving extra scandal coverage made your nonpartisan. >> wh >> it was this idea that, i think there was a lot of build up where people thought that
clinton was inevitable. that weighted the scale so some journalists began to say we've got to do every negative story to be nonpartisan. >> you put it so well. we do have a job to be hard on anyone in the sense of what facts show but you can't play the perception game of whether people are going to say that you're unfair because then you play yourself. you've done a great service by letting the data lead the conversation. thank you both. more breaking news. north korea has now fired an unidentified projectile into the sea of japan. this is breaking news this hour. their analyzing the details. there's much we don't know and we'll wait to report the rest as the story comes together. i want to tell you this. it's been a busy week all week in the news. you know we have a lot to talk
about on fall back friday like who needs to fall back. i'm proud to say we have comedian and daily show veteran. you don't want to miss this fall back friday. whether it's connecting one of the world's most innovative campuses. or bringing wifi to 65,000 fans. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. it's our back to school beeone cent evente.
it has been another long week and we've reported on some serious stories all week, especially today. so we will take a few moments like we do every friday for fallback friday. fallback friday is a chance for us to tell someone, anyone you want to pick to chill out, relax or re-assess their choices this week. we have a really good panel. back with me is jameill smith the contributing writer from the daily beast. trayvon and melissa b. >> what's up, man? >> we need this. we need this. put the music on. trayvon, who needs to fall back? >> i think the nfl owners need
to fall back, man, the fact that colin kaepernick is not playing football, not signed to a team is insane. especially guys like brock osweiler are signed to a team. that guy couldn't throw a rock in the ocean. meanwhile, kaepernick's touchdown ratio has the support of up with. we're still like rallying and begging for the buy the to get a job. like 20 quarterbacks not better than kaepernick who are playing football. >> jam im, do you agree? >> yeah, as a brown's fan, i think brock osweiler needs to fall back. you need to, also put blame on the fans. you know the fans are the ones who put the pressure on the owners to make these business decisions. fans need to re-assess their choices. >> choice, we've all got choice, lauren, who needs to fall back? >> philip rutger from the washington post. >> viewers know him. >> for using trump after his
afghanistan military speech as a few president and i don't really know what threw him off, maybe the president's ability to read from a teleprompter, without causing a national disaster. rutger's tweet, tonight, a new plump, acknowledging a flip-flop and talking about the graphity of office, history and substance. >> i think this is so indicative of the need to normalize, desperation for respectability, to have something that's so mundane and so ordinary, we receive a pat on the back is very unnerveing. then i have a bonus one. >> bring it. >> james cameron, talking about wonder woman is my other thing that needs to fall back. he was saying that wonder woman is setting women back is james cameron's opinion. i think the significance of that movie and having a female super hero was hugely significant even if there is a sexual, it's a super hero, okay.
it's good to be fit. >> my understanding, trayvon, you are a hollywood guy. my understanding is james cameron never falls back. >> well, it's funny how guys, especially in hollywood, guys like him who come forward and say things like this about women. you find out they've treated women terribly in their live gls he talked about the fact he pulled his all male crew repeatedly to make sure the aliens were someone they'd hook up with in after tar. >> what does that? >> i like how as far as the aliens were in avatar. that's just me. >> jam eiljameill, who united s needs no fall back? >> taylor swift. not just the video teaser who are whatever will be released on sunday, it looks like a version of lemonade, the song, itself is rubbish. it further this feud with kanye west which she lost. we already know you lied about consulting with this line with
kanye, taylor so just stop trying to convince us. >> can i push you, jameill? >> yes. >> i prefer personally, i prefer beioens to taylor, that's just me. >> i hope so. >> but, but what if when you look at the nos to, what if it's tribute, taylor saying oh, beyonce is awesome. that was an awesome look in formation. we want to give tribute. we know in music give tribute to earlier looks and beats. >> i think it's a little too soon for tribute. at this point it looks like prajerrism. >> i have a thing, too, which is this woman has been campaigning on this girl power brand where feminism is an act resry to me. her silence during the election was absolutely deafening coming out of that pr positioning. this song needed to make me be unable to not dance. it just wasn't very good. >> she's never said, that's such a great point. she's never said anything
related to issues going on in the last five years the idea that can be an homage to beyonce is crazy. >> so, it's a crazy question. >> if somebody said, that might be her excuse on the back ledge, it's an homage. >> you are saying she needs to fall back. that's find. i got a quick one. my nominee is flat earth needs to fall back. this is an edition of fallback friday. look at this these are people who said if eclipse are real, why do you need glasses, expose the lies. these are people who believe, if you didn't wear your grasses, you'd find out the earth is flat. >> that just blew my mine. thank you for joining. >> thank you. now we go to of course another great question. who said it? this is our quote for you. keep others in suspended terror, cultivate an air of unpredictability.
there's the president, president trump leading by example, he is also wearing the glasses. >> oh my goodness. you can take it off now. >> that's why i couldn't see with the glasses on. >> well, thank you. thanks for giving us that first-hand account there. >> thank you. >> from colombia. tell everybody hello. ♪ >> we are back with who said it. the quote keep others in suspended terror, cultivate an air of unpredictability. the answer, arthur green from his book published back in 2000. which has influenced many power players, business executives, entertainment folks and maybe donald trump. ronald green will be on "the beat" on whether trump is
creating unpredictability in his governing style, what people can do about it. >> that does it for our show, i will see you here tonight at 9:00 p.m. when i'm filling in and "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. stormy weather, stormy politics. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews. washington as hurricane harvey battles towards texas. there is a trifecta into the probe of a possible trump collusion between the trump administration and his campaign and russia. nbc news reports special counsel robert mueller issued grand jury subpoenas in recent days t. executive was work with paul manafort. it's the first public indication the investigation is becoming to