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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 27, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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these are very intriguing allegations from people we understand very little about. why is this happening? why now? and is there any connection to this reporting tonight from cnn that mueller has actually filed the first charges in his >> once again, we can't go in with the plans we had. it is always getting blown up by trump himself. >> if you would like to borrow my intact show -- >> i think i'll be -- >> which is not touched with the breaking news tonight, you're welcome to use it. >> i know. the one we had to import monday and lawrence can use it. >> we need to give the viewers little time machines to fit over the heads to go back to friday noon when a whole lot of other stories seemed important. >> we'll bedazzle the time machine so they look cute on. do you think -- we have been
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talking about this and i'm sure you're having this conversation with your team, it did feel for 48 hours like something was happening because there was a level of hysteria of trying to push a narrative that was something other than russ-gate, russia-gate 2.0 and hillary clinton colluding and felt on the nose to be coincidental. i don't know if you felt that. >> we have seen a very aggressive dynamic at work which is not like it's beenen visible before and way more aggressive and further this week which is on two fronts. one, to try to make russia collusion about hillary clinton. that whole counter narrative thing and a special counsel on the deal from the obama administration. all that stuff. trying to turn it around. white house the saying literally the shoe's on the other foot now. that's the real russ story. we have seen the congressional investigations this week blow up and the republicans involved in those congressional investigations in the senate saying we're out.
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they're not going to work together basically anymore on that committee. and the other committees, they declared as of this week that they're wrapping up. haven't found anything. need to do some dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s. that's all happening at once. all saying, it's over. there's nothing to see here. russia's done. >> yeah. >> that all happening at once. you know, maybe it's just a coincidence. maybe time for that to happen or maybe that's what happens when charges start to get filed thigh's the thing, too. they interrelate. you have mueller's investigation that does impact the senate investigation so they must be -- at least at some point level read into what's going on in mueller's shop we hope. i don't know if you find it disturbing the level of it looks like it's designed to protect donald trump, not designed to get at the meat and potatoes of what russia did to us and seeing attempts to surround donald trump, protect him on the congressional side and even to protect him on -- by a news
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organization, a news organization. maybe i'm paranoid thinking that's disturbing. >> the part of it i find -- that i do -- none of us are naive. we understand how partisan media abe impulses work and the part i'm dismayed by is that it's one thing for people who are partisans of the trump administration or who are republicans and see it as a job to defend the president to say, you know what in this collusion thing didn't happen. what russia did was terrible. we as americans are against that. don't try to drag donald trump into this. don't try -- you're saying he was involved to understood cut his election. he won his election fair and square and what the russians did is something separate. i can understand republicans making that case. >> yep. >> if that's what they believe. what's started to happen now the white house in particular is really trying to get away with saying that the russians did nothing wrong and doing that at the same time that rex tillerson is dissolving the sanctions
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office in the state department. that the white house is drags its feet for sanctions against russia for what they did in the election and protecting yourselves the department of homeland security, d.o.d. and others should be well down the road of protecting us an they're. that surrender to what russia has done, that's a patriotism thing, not a partisanship thing and makes me sad. >> absolutely. it is not sunday but you can get an amen on that, sister. thank you very much. >> thank you, my friend. i'll look forward to my bedazzled time machine. >> will be fabulous. i will love it. >> thank you. >> thank you. appreciate it. i'm joy reid in for lawrence o'donnell and cnn reporting that according to two sources briefed on the matter the first charges have been filed in the investigation led by special counsel robert mueller. the charges are apparently still sealed under orders of a federal judge. we don't know who the charges are against and we don't even know what the charges are. nbc news not yet confirmed this
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report and no other news organization confirmed it yet either. we can only go by what cnn is saying at the moment. according to sources, a federal grand your in d.c. today approved the first charges in mueller's investigation. and joining us now, ron klain, a former senior aide to president obama, also a former chief counsel to the senate judiciary committee. also david corn, washington bureau chief of "mother jones" and political analyst. natasha ber tranand following russ's involvement in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. thank you all. i'm going to start with you, natasha, for a top line on what we're hearing now and, you know, what i was talking to rachel about a little bit. does it feel like rather than the beginning of a story the crest of a tori that began 48 hours ago or so hearing this alternate collusion theory. >> absolutely. it puts in context all of the
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distractions that we have been getting out of the republicans over the last week and aided by the president this morning when he tweeted that now we know that there is no collusion between donald trump and russia. it was all hillary clinton. the uranium story and foreshadowing something big to come. the fact, that well, the report that mueller filed the charges is an indication that he is moving very quickly to perhaps get someone to flip. in the investigation. because prosecutors don't normally do charges this early in the investigation. this is something that's big. >> it's moving pretty quickly. ron, the idea here is that this, you know, if this investigation, sort of wrapping up, impacts in some way the investigations going on in the house and in particularly the senate where they seem to be more serious at least on the senate intelligence side of doing it. what do you expect to be staffers to be talking about tonight on that senate side thinking about their own
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investigations? >> yeah. i think staffers and everyone is just saying who, who, who, who, who? i think that this is an amazingly suspenseful weekend. as a result of this indictment. i think there's some possibility that it is just low level people, that mueller is working the way up. the food chain and trying to get people to flip. but it's also possible that we are going to see the first indictment of a headline name in this case. people against whom the evidence is piled up mightily and time for mule tore finally move so i think it's 48 hours of huge speculation, in washington as we wait and see really who's going to wind up being the first person or persons indicted by counsel mueller. >> yeah. informed speculation with david corn. you have great sources, among the first to report on that dossier that republicans tried to hang around hillary clinton as if who paid for it is the important thing.
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give us a little bit of a benefit of what you are hearing or speculating about, who, who, who, as ron just said. >> i think it would be a little bit unfair to speculate on names. we do know it's been reported that special counsel told paul manafort to expect to be indicted and also important to know that the special counsel is really been given the purview to examine any situation in the investigation and in the course of the investigation the special counsel had reason to look at lobbying activities by paul manafort, maybe some financial transactions, of course, what rachel was talking about earlier, activities involving michael flynn that might not be related to russia and might be improper if not illegal. there's a lot to choose from for those who care to speculate. but i also would say after this week of distraction, about hillary, you know, going back
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and looking at hillary clinton's uranium deal and not her deal, going back and looking at how james dealt with the clinton e-mail server controversy, that really, nothing cuts through distractions like indictments. i mean, whatever is going on in the house intelligence committee looks like a circus, i reported last week they barely have enough staff to do anything they say what they're doing and who knows what's happening. and indictments will concentrate the mind. >> yeah. absolutely. natasha, i think david makes an important minority here. for a lot of people watching this, russ-gate or collusion story, the collusion is sort of a sexy thing people talk about and the actual components of this investigation have involved a lot more sort of straightforward criminal activity, things like foreign agent registration act violations, things like potential money laundering, potential things that this can be. we shouldn't necessarily look for this to be a conclusion or
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an indictment that has the word collusion somewhere in it. >> no. not necessarily. and again, mueller's -- his mandate is very broad. >> right. >> whatever hi comes over in the course of the investigation, that's remotely related to russia or anything that might have had -- russian funding, et cetera, mueller will have to investigate and could use it as leverage to get people like manafort or michael flynn to flip or tell him what happened in the 2016 election because they had a direct window into all of the question that is mueller now wants the answer. >> absolutely. ron, ben widdyes benefit for ticks and booms things and sean hannity tried to steal it but didn't do it well. this is a big boom if true and the story is skeleton in content and sources and another note here that just noting the sourcing on the cnn story and sources briefed on the matter. he says i can't think of very many classes of people briefed on the matter.
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what classes of people might be briefed on something such as this? >> they could be people who are lawyers or friends or family members, potentially, of the people who are about to be taken into custody. the indictment could be sealed because the person indicted is offered a chance to turn themselves in and could be people involved in the arrangements for turning themselves in. people potentially at a courthouse or whatnot. so it's a pretty small group. i shared david's view that's little bitter responsible to speculate about exactly who this would be. but there's no question that if in fact if cnn is right and if indictment is filed today and if someone is going to either be arrested or turn themselves in on monday or tuesday there would be a number of people briefed on the logistics and the mechanics of doing that and it's possible one of those people told cnn. >> and to stay with you for a moment, ron, to talk about -- that's an important point and also could be somebody that
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mueller attempting to utilize in his investigation to sort of go further up the food chain, right? the process of this may not be the spectacular scene that people think -- they think of sort of in a tv episode of "law & order," right? >> probably not. but i do think that this is also not the culmination. this is not the end of it. i agree absolutely with your point a minute ago, joy, that if people are waiting for the final scene of the collusion drama, that's not what we're getting that the stage of time. probably getting one of the individuals who is guilty of a series of other crimes, failing to file financial disclosures, taking foreign money from foreign sources without diz closing that or someone with a piece of information, some lower point on the totem pole that mueller is going to work the way up to. i think we have to have the expectations for this set in the right place. >> david, i was talking with
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rachel about is a notion of certain people on capitol hill, david n unez most high profile, to protect and quarantine the white house with the alternate universe versions of the russia scandal. do you think it's fair to draw a line of what you have seen on capitol hill, you are there in washington, and the idea that this is coming and maybe sources being briefed on it? >> you know, it's a good theory. i'm not sure it's sure but the timing certainly is highly coincidental because this past week we saw indeed an intensification on the republican side with them bringing up these issues of how the dossier was funded, whether the uranium deal was somehow connected to clinton pay to play. the answer is no. bringing back the jim comey thing and expected to go back to unmasking. the thing to take a step back, we can look at this in a very partisan way and deflect from the core of the issue and what
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the russians did and trump covered for that, whether he interacted with it directly, the united states was attacked. the united states was attacked by a foreign adversary. it's political system subverted, undermined. we can argue the impact and whether it was successful and whether it influenced the election or not and yet the republicans who claimed to be patriotic more than anyone else, dissing the intelligence community and doing nothing to deal with what happened in the past and not dealing with the future. that's surprising. >> the things you were working on this week, also before this big news or potential news broke tonight, you had the news that the attorney who met with donald trump jr. and paul manafort and jared kushner directly connected or using talking points shared with kremlin sources and your reporting on the connections between the data firm that was run by paul manafort -- i'm sorry, steve bannon and this potential sort of outreach to wikileaks.
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run by paul manafort -- i'm sorry, steve bannon and this potential sort of outreach to wikileaks. so, i mean, i think for a lot of people it is very confusing. this sort of russia scandal is so far reaching. do you think that there's news this week to break through to get to the answer as to why? >> well, i think that the most consequential news if confirmed is the mueller charges. that just signals a complete escalation of it all and also reaching out to julian assange in the campaign. that's a really big indication that -- first time we have seen that an entity working with the trump campaign was reaching out and trying to get hillary clinton's e-mails from an entity that the u.s. intelligence community declared a foreign intelligence association essentially. >> when they did that in july there was a pretty strong public
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record that the russians were behind the stealing of the dnc e-mails and other materials so they literally saying we'll get in bed with someone probably working with the russians to advance our political campaign. you can only imagine what would have happened if obama or clinton caught doing that. >> yeah. absolutely. so, well, we can only imagine, ron, what donald trump is going to say or do or how he might react this weekend. i don't know. speculate for us. what do you think? what would you anticipate? i'm sure more tweets. >> more tweets. but i think this could be getting serious enough to turn on fox and find the yule log and class call music playing. i don't know how they possibly deal with the fact that this -- the week long attack on the uranium thing that the u.s. government did, tried to turn into the clintons being rosenberg and the craziness of who paid for the so-called steele dossier and the things, they have been at full alert
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over there, def-con 1 on the clinton scandals so-called and facing potentially the first indictments of people involved in this russia scandal, maybe peripherally involved or other issues, that's a real collapse in the narrative they're heavily invested in over there. >> absolutely. please stay with us. if you're just joining us. natasha, as well. if you're just join us the big news is according to reporting of cnn, sites sources familiar with the matter, the investigation led by special counsel robert mueller filed the first charges. here are other big, breaking developments related to the russia investigation. it is a long time coming but we finally know who is behind the original funding of the anti-trump research that eventually produced the infamous dossier on then candidate donald trump.
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the freebie con of paul singer confirmed to the house intelligence committee that it initially retained the firm fusion gps to conduct opposition research on trump and other republican presidential candidates and stopped funding it in spring of 2016 and which point hillary clinton's campaign and the democratic national committee picked up the funding of the project. today we also learned new details about the research firm that worked with the trump campaign in the election. "the wall street journal" has new reporting on rebecca mercer who partly owns the firm and according to the journal rebecca mercer asked the chief executive who was working for donald trump's presidential campaign whether the company could better organize the hillary clinton e-mails released by wikileaks. according to a person familiar with their e-mail exchange. here's how congressman adam schiff, the ranking member of the house intelligence committee, described the wikileaks connection today on "morning joe." >> here you have not only the head of the data analytics arm of the campaign reaching out to
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someone the cia director says is a foreign intelligence agency affiliated with and working with the russians and peter smith in contact with flynn apparently and also reaching out to likely russians on the dark web the look for these e-mails. there are an extraordinary number of connections of the campaign and those who are stealing the e-mails, those who are publishing the e-mails and a picture begins to emerge. >> "the new york times" meanwhile's reporting that the russian lawyer who held a trump tower meeting with principles of the campaign and family linked to the kremlin. according to "the times" she brought information to that meeting that she thought was damaging to hillary clinton and the democratic party had discussed talking points about that information prior to the meeting with russia's top prosecutor. the times reports the coordination of the trump tower visitor and the prosecutor general undercuts her account that she was a purely
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independent actor meeting with don jr., jared kushner and paul manafort in june of 2016. the times notes that the information contradicts the story from the trump team that it's a useless meeting of adoptions that didn't go anywhere. this morning before the russia developments broke, donald trump tweeted, it is now commonly agreed after many months of costly looking, that there was no collusion of russia and trump. was collusion with hc! congressman schiff reports, mr. president, the special counsel and the congress have come to no conclusions yet. we'll let you know when we do. joining us now is ken delaney, a reporter for nbc news, and malcolm nance, msnbc counter terrorism and intelligence expert. natasha, we're scrambling to confirm this news from cnn. what do you think is the import of it? >> well, we are not there yet, joy. we have not confirmed it to our satisfaction and so going to
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withhold comment on it. in terms "the new york times" story the story was really interesting. essentially confirmed that we had reported at nbc news after our interview with her on the telephone in september which is that -- she told us at the time that she was in contact with this prosecutor in moscow who's close with vladimir putin about these talking points, about this information that she thought was very negative about hillary clinton. now, her story is that she actually got the russian prosecutor interested in this case. but however that shakes out, the point is that she was in talks with people close to the creme clin lynn and brought it back to trump tower and handed what she thought was damaging information on hillary clinton. i have reviewed this information. it talks about political contributions of hedge fund people of the ziff brothers and it is actually not what we would consider significant dirt on the clinton campaign but the point that the trump team was willing to take a meeting based on a
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promise of dirt from the russian government, that's what i think is most important here. >> absolutely. malcolm, you talked about it as a dangle to gauge how open the campaign to be to more contact with the russian government. correct? >> absolutely. it was a dangle. you know, i have said this from the very beginning. there were probably multiple dirty tricks teams trying to get all of this information related to hillary clinton and russia was watching each and every one of them and responding to them in various forms. first you have this crew going directly to the top management of the trump campaign including his son. and trying to offer that information. on the other hand, as we have learned, flynn and smith and cambridge analytical quite possibly independently trying to gather this data in order to use the hillary clinton e-mails against her. and at the same time, we know that donald trump at least became cognizant of all of these efforts on july 27th saying,
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russia, if you're listening, release hillary clinton's e-mails. all of these taken together create a massive, could possibly be a very broad conspiracy. >> and, you know, natasha, wikileaks julian assange said he did not respond positively to the overtures. any way to confirm that? >> no. >> no way to tell. >> we don't know whether or not there's active collaboration and "wall street journal" reporting that rebecca mercer reaching out and asking the ceo as late of august to organize the e-mails being released by wikileaks so there's a constant stream of communication beginning in june and ending in august maybe, continuing through august. we don't know. >> ken delaney, we have news today, nbc news confirming, carter paige, i believe interviewed on the senate intelligence committee met behind closed doors today i believe with senate intel
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committee staff for more than hours and house announcing that paige would appear before that committee on november 2nd. any -- what can you tell us about that? >> i find it really interesting. carter page is a figure, e-mails reporters, me. he's consistently denied any collusion with russia and it's tempting to sort of write him off but he did take that trip to moscow while he was working for the trump campaign and gave a pro russian speech and it's pretty clear that the senate intelligence committee after spending five hours with him had important questions for him and there's also reports that to some questions he's asserted the fifth amendment rights not to answer so, you know, where he filths in this remains to be seen and may not be the figure to write off as some thought for sometime. >> malcolm nance, we have from nbc reporting that michael coenis interviewed by investigators this week, supposedly grilled by congressional investigators and that's the personal attorney to
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donald trump, significance of that? >> well, as you know, michael coensent the e-mail in november of 2015 essentially saying that he was aware that russia wanted to work on this project of trump tower in moscow. you know? and the ivanka spa. and that -- they and he trying to get them elected president of the united states and felt confident there's a form of support bringing him in, bringing carter page in, i'm not sure whether these are just check the box interviews. i think that these are supporting operations interviews which in some way, shape or form not only to get the truth and also support whatever comes down manafort's -- i'm sorry, the mueller investigation's pike and will support quite possibly future charges or other lines of investigation. >> yeah. natasha, the trump former campaign team attempted to sort of portray all of these con tkts and meetings as inconsequential and unnecessary and didn't need them to win. is there an independent verification it's successful?
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>> well, number of analysts i have spoken to said it's unlikely that the russians would have been able to target the ads the way they targeted them, target the people they targeted during the campaign without any help from americans who would have had the kind of knowledge of the sbi ka sys of american politics to really be able to figure out who was going to be vuler in to the fake newses, who was most, you know, susceptible to changing the vote as a result of this barrage of disinformation and propaganda. an enthat according to people i have spoken to very much something they thought that americans would have had to have been involved in. >> isn't that their expertise. >> data mining and data analysis. >> indeed. thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, on a big news night, my interview of tom steyer on a mission to get donald trump impeached. nick was born to move.
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a federal jury has approved the first charges in the special counsel mueller's special investigation into the trump campaign and russia according to cnn tonight. nbc news still working to try to verify that reporting. the news may be of potential interest to a democratic millionaire attracting the raged tweets of the president with this new tv ad. >> he's brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the fbi and direct violation of the constitution taken money from foreign governments, threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't the case for impeachment and removing a dangerous president, then what is our government become?
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people in congress and his administration know that the president is a clear and present danger. who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us. tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. >> that was tom steyer, democratic donor of the 2016 election. he used to be known for giving to candidate that is back environmental causes but now his cause is impeaching donald trump and spending $10 million to air that tv ad along with an online petition for trump's impeach. joining us now is tom steyer. cnn reporting, nbc not confirming it yet, but krrn reporting that the first indictment or indictments handed down in the mueller investigation. your thoughts? >> well, i think that this is a reflection of the kind of lawlessness that is pervaded
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this administration. and i think that we're going to find out along with everybody else exactly what the charges are but i think the question will be not just what are the first -- what is the first charge, but where did they lead? who's connected? i think regardless of anything else that has to put this administration in an internal crisis. they don't know where it will lead either. >> you're not the first democrat to call for the itch impeachment of president trump. but this is what the democratic whip in the house, steny hoyer, this is his reaction to your effort in an interview with "washington examiner" saying i think we have made it clear that impeachment is ple mature and not necessarily off the table in the future and premature in this point in time and seeing the mueller investigation intensify, do you think that helps make
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your case for congress to act or could the case be made, let mueller finish what he is doing? >> well, i think that obviously i believe that the case is already been made before mr. mueller has reported. because the fact of the matter is this president has met the basis for impeachment through already obstructing justice and the clause. from my standpoint, this is a question of the american people being at great danger in terms of safety and health due to the activity of this administration. so that there's an actual urgency to impeachment. but let's say one more thing, joy. we aren't going to the elected officials. we are asking the american people to join us and raise their voices because we believe that the voice and the will of the american people still is and always should be the greatest power in the country. >> and should democratic voters make this an election issue about whether or not they will
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support their member of congress if their member of congress will not support impeachment? >> i think that this is a question for american citizens to stand up and demand that their elected officials go on the record and do what's right. the fact of the matter is i think if you went through washington, d.c. on either side of the aisle they would agree that what we're doing, what we're saying is the truth. but right now, people are scared to say it for whatever reason. i really don't want to speculate. i don't claim to understand it but what i do know is that the men people are in jeopardy as a result of the behavior and activity of this administration. this president has met the boundaries for impeachment and we need to tell the truth and asking americans if no one else will tell the truth, will the american people join us? which they have been and raise their voices to say we need to do this now. >> you know, there's a way to put yourself in the position to be a part of an impreachment
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proceeding or a trial and if donald trump is impeached. are you interested in running for senate in are you planning to run for senate? >> what i've said, joy, and which is -- was true when i said it before and still true, i believe that we have gone down a very dark path. as a country. and i will do anything and i haven't ruled out running for office to get us back on a path towards a much more just america and a society where we're more prosperous and healthier. i have not ruled out anything and the fact of the matter is the impeachment campaign is what we came up with right now as the -- where we could have the most positive impact in directing americans and our country back to a better vision of a healthier, more prosperous country and what we are trying to do. >> you did not charge in the ads you are putting out paying for donald trump committed crimes and misdemeanors. you called him mentally unstable. upon what do you base that? >> well, actually, if you go back to the original writing of
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the constitution, and the words high crimes and misdemeanors written by alexander hamilton, it's a question really of violating your trust with the constitution and the american people. and the one that traditionally has been used is when you're obstructing justice which mr. trump definitely did when he fired the head of the fbi for trying to investigate him with regards to his ties to russia. so from the standpoint of high crimes and misdemeanors, i think people should go back to the original text, understand what the framers of the constitution were describing and understand that historically this president is more than met that, that line in the sand. >> yeah. should democrats run on if you put us in charge of the house we'll impeach donald trump? do you think that's a winning message for democrats? >> you know, i'm not doing this from a cynical, political standpoint, joy. i believe that our country is at risk and i believe we should be telling the truth about this.
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so i'm not really doing the calculation of looking at polls and trying to figure out what's tactical right now. i believe that americans should stand up for what's right and i don't know what that means politically. i know that in the long run if we tell the truth and we try and do the right thing, this's how we get good outcomes and what i believe we're doing and asking other americans to do with us. >> all right. tom, thank you very much. appreciate your time. coming up, could tonight's new report explain why republicans have the eyes on special counsel mueller's budget? that's next.
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cause it's liquid. woohoo! you'll ask, what pain? new advil liqui-gels minis. i think that our position hasn't changed since day one and i think we are seeing now that if there was any collusion with russia it was between the dnc and the clintons and certainly not our campaign. >> that was the white house earlier today before tonight's breaking news that the first charges in robert mueller's russia investigation filed according to a cnn report. no word on what those charges are or filed against since a federal judge allegedly ordered that the charges be sealed. nbc has not confirmed this reporting and also learning that republicans hoping robert mueller to quickly wrap up the russia investigation have reportedly got their eye on robert mueller's budget. according to politico, haum lawmakers haven't yet seen the russia investigator's first spending report and must go through a justice department review before being made public.
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but they're already setting up for a fight how much it's costing taxpayers in the fact there a es no end in sight. joining us is mika oyang, former staff member and vice president for the national security program at third way. ron klain, david corn and malcolm nance is back. it's an obvious of what appeared to be tactics we should say to try to divert the investigation away from looking donald trump and looking at other things or exonerate him. do you expect that that body or others on the house republican side or senate republican side might try to go after robert mueller's funding even now with this new news? >> david nunez is trying to distract people. it's important to remember that the house intelligence committee's running two separate examinations. he was supposed to recuse himself and leave it to con way and congressman schiff who had done a reasonable job and being
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objective and working together and then nunez is running off into the middle of the might with the stories of unmasking that the counter part in the senate called ridiculous and then talking about this ukraine uranium sale. he's really trying to distract people from the issue so i would expect he would focus on the budget and then lose sight of how much exactly he's spent on this and spent on investigating things like benghazi. >> this new news tonight changes the game a bit but you have had in the last several days at least this week fox news and friend and allies of the president of the united states floating headlines like mueller facing new republican pressure to resign in russia probe. a little bit of an excerpt from the article special counsel mueller facing a fresh round of conservative critics for his resignation and revelations that called into question. i would presume that's harder now.
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>> harder but they won't stop trying. i saw that noted legal ethics expert hannity saying he must resign or recuse and they're going to press it hard. look. joy, i have been saying for months, i think we're headed to a constitutional crisis here and the crisis is ultimately donald trump fires bob mueller to prevent him from indicting people close enough to the president, and what we see here is that the house and lesser extent the senate and the senate somewhat are just completely giving up their constitutional responsibilities to have oversight on the president and now they're going the next step and trying to stop the person who is bob mueller and house republicans and donald trump i think are going to provoke a constitutional cry sy trying to prevent special counsel from doing his job. >> david corn, but also political crisis. one could envision a scenario where if there's indictments and
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donald trump to, let's say, pardon folks and takes us into a different political territory to drag us through the rest of the year. i don't think republicans necessarily have an easy out from this russia probe and all of its many tentacles. >> they don't have an easy out because they haven't come to terms with what happened, with the fact that as i said earlier, the united states was attacked. they haven't taken responsibility for thoroughly investigating and making sure it doesn't happen again. i think the indictments make it harder for them to put pressure on robert mueller and we'll get to see some results of what he is doing, maybe get an idea of where he is heading if indeed the indictments come down but ultimately the president had a chance. he had a great chance to put it behind him when he took office to say, we're going to get to the bottom of this. if it benefited me, unintentional on my part and have an investigation and make
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sure it never happens again but all he's done with his republican, you know, poodles is to make sure that we don't find out the truth and that everything is covered up and hidden away and that's why this is not going to go away for them. >> you know what? malcolm, not only that, but you have donald trump do things that seem counter intuitive if the idea is to put to bed he has a special affinity for russia an and the sanctions to be implemented this month and intervening far gag order lifted to further the uranium one conspiracy theory. >> i mean, we had counter intuitive actions come ow of donald trump from the day he announced to run for president. none of that's surprising. what is surprising and i think the republicans are most afraid of is that if indictments come down the pike and donald trump tries to put the kibosh on this
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investigation, goes after mueller, you know, unfortunately for him, he can get rid of mueller but all the documents that are left on the table, all of the investigation documents, they don't go away. i think mueller understands that. and what he's doing right now is he's going to play bean ball. he's going to start throwing these indictments at people who are not cooperating, might gate pardon but he's going to make it so difficult that anything donald trump does is just going to lead to more obstruction of justice charges. >> mieke, this's a conundrum for republicans that may want it to go away. it lands back in the lap of the represents and if robert mueller finds something and we have no idea that the indictments are for, could be money laundering and not collusion with russia, but if it starts to creep closer and closer and closer to a presidential obstruction, we just had on tom steyer with a lot of money. lots of money. he's running ads on fox news calling for impeachment and
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saying that donald trump is a threat to the republic. this drum beat will not end and it eventually lands back in the house. no? >> that's right. and the house of representatives, republicans there, have to remember that it was their constituents much stronger and being anti-russia than democrats were until we got to donald trump so the idea that the republicans are going to then try and protect donald trump when what he did is collude with a hostile foreign power to try to interfere with the election, given what russia wants to do to america and bringing it low, they have a hard time defending that and still maintaining that they're patriots. >> absolutely. david corn, back to you for a moment. the attempt to sort of go and do a third rail or a third direction and sort of create a new russia-gate that's hillary clinton's scandal, it doesn't -- i don't know where that goes. right? i don't know how long to roll with that. >> it works for the fox news audience. it gives trump something to tweet about.
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and remember, what they want to do is they don't want to win this argument. they want to muddy the waters. they want to make people think that the russian scandal is just partisan bickering, back and forth. who knows? uranium, dossiers. that's what they want to do. they don't want to focus on the key thing that the u.s. was attacked and donald trump and his associates interactions with russia before the campaign while this was going on. they just need to make it look messy. and get 15% to 20% of the public to turn off to it. that's the goal here. and the president personally
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operators or a sister intelligence agency that had direct and continuous communications with u.s. citizens with no russian intelligence officers. that's where this manifested from in the u.s. intelligence community. not from the steele dossier, not from carter page's trips to russia. it came from a source that right now has transitioned from intelligence to evidence, into the mueller investigation. and i think that's probably terrifying trump more than anything, because he understands, i'm not sure if he does understand, but he's been briefed on the collection capacities in the united states and what we can do when we really set our mind to it. and that story has been out there for a year, that we know this information. it's just the question of, does it come in as a dagger into his
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administration, or does it surround him like a wall of water and wash their excuses away. >> ron klain, we talk to you smart people on television every day, but so does the senate and so does the house. republicans in elected power know this too. it's hard to imagine how they are not at least privately alarmed about it, because publicly they aren't doing a heck of a lot about it. >> that's right, joy, they privately are alarmed about it on two levels. one, there are patriots on capitol hill in both parties. david's point here that america was attacked, our democracy was undermined, foreign hostile power tried to subvert american democrats, in the dark of night there are many republicans who are troubled by that. they're under political pressure not to say that but at some point in time just the evidence and the fact and the reality becomes clear. but a second point is, the republican agenda has gone off the rails this year. they've gotten literally nothing
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done for the year, and that's because their president is busy mucking up an investigation and tweeting hate at everybody he can. >> mika, there could be an argument, it really sort of is much less important for this president to pass a few tax cuts for wealthy people than for us to answer the fundamental question of whether or not the election was interfered with by a foreign power. it's hard to believe that's not the priority among even partisan republicans on capitol hill. >> that's right. and it's not just this past election. but it's elections to come. we have to remember that russia really objects to the fact that the united states is a country that is based on rule of law, that we hold our leaders accountable and make them stand for election, that we believe in a free press. all of those things undermine vladimir putin and his regime. so they want to try and make sure that americans don't believe in that.
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we've got to figure out what they did so we can protect ourselves going forward. and republicans' disinterest in that question is really troubling. >> and malcolm, have you seen evidence that the federal government, that the trump administration, or that the congress is doing anything to prevent this happening in future elections? >> no. no. there is nothing happening that will prevent this from happening in future elections. let me tell you something. if the russians dedicated a year of two major intelligence agencies' cyber warfare assets to go in and root around the dnc, you can be sure they've done that to the rnc. there is no one out there right now who is immune to this. so if they decide they're going to put an end to the trump administration by releasing all of his unsecured phone calls and texts that we're not seeing, they could do that. they have that capacity. they're just -- you know, they've got nsa, but they've got rubles behind it. it all depends on whether vladimir putin decides that he's going to do it. and we need to protect
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ourselves. but this administration has no interest in that. >> david korn, do any of the republicans on capitol hill that you talk to, you were there today, do they have interest in it? >> some have paid lip service to it from the beginning of the administration. but we've seen the trump administration not even nominating key positions in the department of homeland security which would be in charge of protecting the election system. you see no complaints coming from the republicans either. there seems to be an alliance here of some sort. no, i mean, you have john mccain and lindsey graham and marco rubio and others at the beginning of the year saying, this is terrible, we have to make sure it never happens again. you don't really hear them holding trump accountable, because he's still not admitting there's a problem. >> mika, final question, do you think in the end republicans can get away with cutting the budget of the man who may now already be issuing indictments in the
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case of the russia probe, cutting mueller's budget? >> i don't think so. i think they'll have a really hard time with that. there are a fair number of republicans who do think we need an objective investigation. a lot of mueller's attorneys would be willing to do this for free. i don't know that they could cut the budget so that mueller would stop as long as he can continue. >> i appreciate you guys joining me, thank you. tonight's last word is next. it's related to the breaking news we've been covering. you'll want to see this. stay tuned. check this out, bro. what's that, broheim? i switched to geico and got more. more savings on car insurance? yeah bro-fessor, and more. like renters insurance. more ways to save. nice, bro-tato chip. that's not all, bro-tein shake. geico has motorcycle and rv insurance, too. oh, that's a lot more. oh yeah, i'm all about more, teddy brosevelt.
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okay, time for tonight's last word. here's how the women's convention in detroit, which was organized by some of the participants was not huge historic inauguration protest against donald trump, handled the report that the first charges in the mueller investigation have been filed. >> we don't know who yet. but on monday, there's going to be people walking out with some handcuffs. [ cheering ]
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>> i'm joy reid. i'll see you tomorrow morning with the new developments on the mueller probe, at 10:00 a.m. eastern right here on msnbc. with all the new developments on the mueller probe. the # 1st hour with brian williams is next. the breaking news we're reporting on tonight on the russia front, a report of the first charges filed in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. plus news of who funded the salacious dossier on trump. and new reporting on mike flynn, michael cohen and carter page. tonight what this means for the president, the trump white house and all those around him, all tf as the it 11th hour gets under way on a friday night. on this friday evening, good evening once again from our nbc niece headquarters here in new york. we have what is being

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