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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 28, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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my own. you know, you have to keep on keeping on. >> that's all for this edition of dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. a remarkable development to tell you about this morning. a new report says the first criminal charges have been filed in the robert mueller special counsel probe. we're asking questions about what this means with respect to the russia probe and what lies ahead for the investigations under way. also, new reporting on who fu funded the lurid dossier on then-candidate donald trump and why it matters. plus, a new strategy being used between senator mitch mcconnell and steve bannon. we begin with breaking news in the russia investigation.
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special counsel robert mueller has reportedly filed his first set of charges, although at this point it's unclear what they are. the charges are part of sealed documents, which could be revealed as early as monday morning. at that point the defendant or defendants could be taken into custody. nbc has not yet independently confirmed this report. meanwhile, conservative online news site washington freebie con telling the house intelligence committee that it paid for the research that led to the so-called trump dossier. the news site says it hired fusion gps during the primary to research a number of candidates, including donald trump. and nbc has learned that a former trump campaign adviser, carter page, was questioned by the senate intel committee staff yesterday. the interview happened behind closed doors and lasted for more than five hours. page will return to capitol hill thursday, where he will meet with the house intel committee members, also behind closed doors. new reaction to just show how significant the charges reportedly filed by robert mueller are. here's what we heard last night
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as the story broke. >> i'd say the one thing he's known for is approaching investigations with a sense of urgency. i think we're seeing that here, to have charges filed now. sop people may think this is not very quick. it seems very quick to me. i think it seems unlikely they'd file an indictment under seal just to scare somebody. i think they mean business. i think they'll use it as leverage in hopes of getting cooperation against more egregious offenders. >> i would assume mueller would have informed rosenstein about this, when he plans to do it. i don't think we know if he would brief him on the actual -- what he's actually found. especially given the real concerns people have raised about rosenstein's independence. mueller will be aware of those. i think he might be careful of how much detail he actually does share with the deputy attorney general. >> let's bring in kate martell
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and kevin sir relly. should we expect a statement from the white house this morning? are you looking to president trump's tweets to see how he's processing this whole thing? >> i think we're all waiting for president donald trump to tweet and see how he's reacting to this new news that mueller has indicted somebody. we're expecteding to see the charges come out monday. that person could be held -- taken into custody as soon as monday. so far the white house lawyers, one of trump's lawyers, has said they know nothing about these charges. so as of now, we really don't know that much. we don't know the extent of this. i know that last week the grand jury talked to paul manafort, one of his realtors that helped him buy a condo in alexandria. that was the condo that was raided by the fbi in july. so those are some names -- that's a name that comes to mind. we have no idea who this is going towards or the extent or
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how many people, how many defendants will be indicted as soon as next week. >> so many questions. kevin, what does this mean for the congressional investigations now that we're seeing the first set of filed charges? >> dara, clearly the investigations have reached a new phase. with the bombshell report that an indictment charges were filed with the timetable we do not know for when they will be made public or if any arrests will be made, we don't know the timetable of that. next week in particular, it comes at a time when silicon valley is going to be put under the microscope, particularly for their role in public disclose shu -- disclosures on a series of advertisements throughout the 2016. that's why you're seeing things like twitter and facebook trying to play catch up with policy by tweaking some of their rules. from the democrats and republicans that i speak with, they don't think that's enough. so clearly the senate intelligence committee is definitely going to have a lot
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to say about this and this filed indictment. they will definitely face comments from lawmakers early next week. even if we don't hear the white house, we'll be hearing from lawmakers. all of this is scheduled at a time when there are public hearings scheduled to begin as early as tuesday in the senate intelligence committee and wednesday as well. >> kate, i want to ask you about the dossier. the washington free beacon put a statement on its website saying, none of the work product it received appears in the steeles do yar-- steele dossier. how much will this continue to play in this back and forth partisan fighting over who paid for the early research? >> dara, i think it's going to be part of this conversation going forward, especially the president wants to tray to place the blame on other people involved. and to try to bring in this new information. this will definitely be part of the news cycle going forward.
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whether or not washington free beacon had any say in the dossier, that's very unclear. as we go forward, i think that's definitely something that we're going to see in the news cycle, to try to bring the blame away from the players and to try to kind of muddle the conversation we're having. >> and kevin, you spoke about next week, but all of these developments are happening on the heels of learning that president trump is essentially interfering in this new uranium one congressional investigation. how does this renewed focus on hillary clinton muddy the waters and pose even more credibility problems for both sides of the aisle here? >> you know, i was thinking about that on the way into the studio, dara. i think that from the reporting i've done, i think everyone watching as well as we in the media, we got to take a step back and look at the bottom line. the fact that russia had such close business ties or close lobbying ties -- call it what you want -- was so intersected with our political system and our electoral system, i think that's where the conversation
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ultimately needs to head, how to prevent this from happening again in 2018 and yes, in 2020. when you look, for example, at just how they were directly impacting -- you know, you can call it fake news, but there's a sense of propaganda that russia was using in regards to advertising. i think that really the preventive measures that need to be taken is really going to come into focus, particularly with the senate intelligence committee and ultimately, you know, regardless of who gets charged in this investigation with these various probes or if anyone goes to jail. we ultimately have to get to a point, republicans and democrats, where we say how do we prevent a foreign government from impacting one of the bedrocks of democracy, our elections. >> that's a great point, kevin. i want to come back to that later. kate, i want to ask you this. with all these new developments, is there a sense that we're starting to hear again that president trump will try to fire special counsel robert mueller? >> you know, dara, i have been
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hearing rumblings of that. i think the chances of the president firing robert mueller are very low right now. he knows the blowback he will get from that. we know as of june the president himself shab involved with the investigation because he fired former fbi director james comey and the blowback from that. he's been calling it a witch hunt, but that's a headline that's plagued him ever since. so for him to then fire special counsel robert mueller would be catastrophic for him. we'd see the blowback from this. to go back to what kevin was saying, we are seeing with these house and senate probes right now that as they're accelerating, we are seeing a few hiccups. in the house probes, we're seeing they haven't found anything yet. we're seeing frustrations from house republicans. in the senate, we're seeing partisan separation. with firing the special counsel, that might be the only part of the investigation where we might get results because the house and senate are having their hiccupping that robert mueller is where the investigation is
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leading and for the president to then fire him would have very negative consequences, and we might see congress get involved to a greater extent. >> and kevin, what's your take on that? do you think there's a chance he could possibly fire mueller? >> i think that he's sort of dangled that and injected that into the rhetoric and kind of made that an option. but i think, again -- and i don't want to speculate about charges because we really don't know. this is a sealed file. i think we're all going to have to wait and see where that comes from. but look, each probe that is going on right now serves a different purpose. to piggy back off of what kate was saying, she made a great point. i think that for a large part, this has been -- the lawmakers on capitol hill on the various committees, not outside of the committees, have tried to keep this nonpartisan. i think you are starting to see a little bit of partisan rupturing. that said, there is some bipartisan legislation that's been put forward. in regards to silicon valley and
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how russia was able to influence silicon valley and take advantage of silicon valley institutions that have prided themselves on transparency for years, you know, and really carefully crafted a pr image of being transparent, you're starting to see bipartisan cries for them to step forward. if a bank pulled this off, their ceo with no question would have to testify. but the ceos of facebook and twitter are not testifying next week. they're sending legal counsel. as a result of that, it's why you're seeing bipartisan legislation from people like senator amy klobuchar and senator john mccain for more disclosure. the fact that mark zuckerberg is not testifying next week from the sources that i talked with in both parties is drawing intense scrutiny. >> kevin and kate, stay with us. we'll be back to get more from you two. thanks. so could this target of mueller's indictment be? our legal expert breaks down charges that could be coming as early as next week.
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more now on a report a federal grand jury has approved the first indictment in the robert mueller investigation, including looking at russia and its role in the 2016 u.s. election. the report of a sealed indictment secured by special counsel robert mueller's team has not been independently confirmed by nbc news. nbc's kelly o'donnell joins us from the white house. kelly, good morning. what is the reaction there? >> reporter: there is no reaction from the white house on this report, and typically we find, dara, that the white house team is not talking about some of the developments or twists and turns in what has been a long and still unresolved matter involving russian interference in the 2016 election. the probe that has been going on by congressional committees as well as the special counsel and
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the work of the grand jury. so no comment from the white house. and at this point, no comment from the special counsel's office as well. this is a cnn report saying that there are expected charges that have been filed with the grand jury. this is not something nbc news has been able to confirm at this time. we have been watching these developments unfold over a period of months with twists and turns, with persons who have been going before the committee, activity at the courthouse, and now a potential new development. this morning, what could be a major step forward in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. cnn is reporting that a grand jury on friday approved the first charges in the probe and that anyone targeted could be forced to surrender as soon as monday. nbc news has been unable to confirm the report. mueller, a former fbi director, was appointed last may to look into whether the trump campaign colluded with russia to influence the 2016 election. mueller's team has also been
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investigating foreign lobbying by former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and former national security adviser michael flynn, among others. manafort and flynn's lawyers have denied any wrongdoing. before the news broke, president trump tweeted on friday, it is now common lu agreed, after many months of costly looking, that there was no collusion between russia and trump, was collusion with hc? meaning, hillary clinton. president trump's press secretary agreed. >> there's still no evidence of collusion between the president and anyone. all of your news organizations have actually spent probably a lot of money on this as well, which we would consider probably a pretty big waste. >> reporter: but the investigation by the special counsel and congress is going full steam. friday former trump adviser carter page met with senate intelligence committee staffers for more than five hours. plus, nbc news has learned that congressional investigators questioned president trump's former personal attorney michael cohen earlier this week over a
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failed plan to open a new tower in moscow. both cohen and page insist they are being smeared by false allegations. and as to the trump administration claims it's the clinton campaign that colluded with russians -- >> i think we're starting to now see that all of the things that the democrats had accused this president of doing, they were actually guilty of themselves. >> reporter: now, there sara sanders is referring to new developments about what was known over the recent months as the steele dossier, a piece of opposition research, a collection of unflattering accounts about donald trump. it's now been learned that a washington conservative publication was first to pay for that kind of information and then later the democratic national committee and the hillary clinton campaign were responsible for paying for some of that as well. and that has upset those supporters of president trump and shiz team because there is a connection to this opposition research about donald trump and
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ties directly to the clinton campaign. dara? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much for those details. thanks, kelly. joining me now is ari melber, nbc legal analyst and host of "the beat." what is the significance of a possible indictment at this time? >> cnn's story is a blockbuster, if there are indeed indictments or arrests coming in the next few days. this suggests that bob mueller is probing this case and has decided to move before he's finished. sometimes indictments only come at the end of an investigation, but we know from our own reporting, the interview schedule, the fact there's very top people in the white house, including the president himself that reportedly have not sat down with mueller's team, that bob mueller's not done. so these are earlier indictments. it suggests that either feast he's found facts that he thinks warrant moving now, or as we've seen in other cases, there's an effort to use early indictments to get more information, to get potential cooperation, to get proverbally people to flip. >> let's talk about who could be the fartarget of this. >> we know paul manafort was
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already told by mueller's investigators that he is a target. that is one person who figures in here based on a range of conduct, including scrutiny for deals and activities that don't directly relate to his political activities as campaign manager for donald trump during a period of that general election. the fact he's on the list doesn't mean he's first on the list. so as i mentioned, it may be that mueller has people for other reasons he wants to move forward on and while he's warned manafort, that he's not the first one, that he's not on this special list. we would not expect this based on the schedule to be the end of the list. we wouldn't expect the names to be, perhaps, anyone and everyone under any potential liability. >> and it would be more than one. >> it could be more than one. >> also, why would the judge order a sealed indictment? >> sealed indictment just reflects the fact that at this stage, this is not ready to be public. so while a lot of the court process is public, and everyone
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who is charged has the rights to arraignment, the rights to be perceived as innocent until proven guilty, the right to counsel and make their case, stien stie sometimes a the a very early stage it's not public because someone is a flight risk or a judgments to let them make the arrest themselves for other prudential reasons or sometimes you have negotiations with lawyers and say, we agree to come in, let's do this without a big show, and that's considered appropriate as well. so there are a raeng nge of rea. this is cnn's report. we don't know -- we don't have the secret details on exactly why it's under seal. there were also sealed indictments in other political cases like watergate. i will tell you based on the way bob mueller has played this, we would not expect it to stay sealed forever. we would expect this only to be a step and for him to put some of these charges, if there are charges, outed in the light of day. >> let's talk about that. some of the outlets are reporting the indictment could be unsealed by monday. at that point, potential targets could be taken into custody. how likely is this going to
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happen on monday? >> i don't think we know. i mean, the honest truth is we don't know whether these reports are 100% accurate and reflect the exact game plan, or as it sometimes the case, reflects dribs and drabs. the grand jury process itself is secret under penalty of law, meaning if a grand juror or a lawyer leaks that stuff, they could literally go to jail themselves. that's a strong buffer on, say, what someone says inside the grand jury room. but the other part to this can trickle out. if somebody was contacted or interviewed, right, or if somebody was at the courthouse and saw certain details that looked like this process. so in some way, enough of this has leaked out that you have multiple sourcines saying this. i think the big picture here for people who have been following this case, the president has made a big deal about what he views as a political tint to it. bob mueller is a former republican fbi director. if they got a grand jury, a jury of peers to move forward on this, if they got it through a
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judge, we're moving away from the political fights where everyone can see it the way they want and into a much more legal process where there are rules of evidence, where facts are established. that's probably, if there are indictments coming down, bad news for the people on the other side of that. bob mueller is known to be a careful prosecutor >> he means business. ari melber, thanks so much. you're going to have a busy day ahead. >> i think it's going to be a busy couple of days. >> i think so. thanks. you can watch ari on "the beat" week days at 6:00 eastern. the house passes a budget paving the way for trump's tax plan, but how will the president's plan asktd you? st p. but on the inside, i feel chronic, widespread pain. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real.f? fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica. for some, lyrica delivers effective relief for moderate to even severe fibromyalgia pain.
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plan? kate, you first, please. >> the chances of it passing, a, before thanks giving like republicans are saying, are slim to none. that's a very ambitious timeline for them. but the fact that it passed by such a slim majority does kind of signal a red flag for republicans. some of the tax deductions in this bill pose threats to republicans from new york and new jersey. so i think we might have to see some concessions and some compromises there. but that's the reason why we saw even more republicans vote against the senate budget this week than we thought were expecting. so i think they're looking at some high road ahead. >> and kevin, what's your take? >> i think if you crunch the numbers, it was 216 to 212. only 20 republicans voting against it. that's not enough to block it. at the end of the day, they have to get taxes done. the republicans understand that. if it doesn't happen by the end of the year, definitely the first month of the next calendar year. >> we'll keep an eye on that. kevin, kate, great to have you both here on this saturday morning. well, that'll do it for me. i'm dara brown.
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