tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC October 30, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
>> yeah, turning into one of the best world series in a very long time. the worst world series ever, 1986. catty day, thank you so much for being with us. harold ford. >> that was the year the mets won, just so everybody knows what we're talking about. >> yeah, the red sox. anyway, i don't want to talk about it. nick, thank you as well. michael schmidt, we greatly appreciate you getting up early in los angeles. thank you for being with us. clint watts, we thank you as well. stick around. a lot of news today. obviously around the paul manafort indictments. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. i'm stephanie ruhle, we begin today with breaking news surrounding the first indictments in robert mueller's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. the president's former campaign chief paul manafort has already surrendered himself to the fbi and his former deputy rick gates has been told to turn himself
in, that is according to a senior u.s. official. msnbc's garrett haake is live at the fbi field office in d.c. where paul manafort surrendered just a few minutes ago. garrett, what's the scene there? >> right now, reporters gathered here, having witnessed manafort and his attorneys showing up, turning himself in to federal custody. he will remain in federal custody until he has his first appearance at the federal courthouse here today. just a few blocks away. as you said, manafort this morning about 7:45, seen leaving his house with his attorney. then showing up here and walking into this building as a free man. again, he is now under federal custody. nbc sourcing indicates that it's likely for a tax related charges for both he and his deputy rick yates. now, fbi officials here say there's a second person that's also being processed here. although they won't confirm his identity. we know that paul manafort is one, having seen him, so many cameras seen him walk into this building.
we're waiting really any minute now. the court clerk's office at the federal court just down the street has just opened. we hope to find out more information about this -- specifics of the charges in this indictment and exactly when paul manafort will appear in front of a judge. really, hopefully, within just the next few minutes, stephanie. >> all right, garrett, you're at the fbi office this morning. when you and i normally speak, you're at the hill. where i'm guessing you're going to go today. what is today's announcement? what are we expecting to hear from lawmakers? i mean, already, we heard from republican trey gowdy. he encouraged other republicans to let mueller do his job. this morning, i'm looking at a tweet from indiana republican congressman who wrote, months ago, i and many other republicans vowed to support mueller's investigation and allow it to work its way through the process to get the facts. in light of today's indictment, we must continue to support the process. do you think that's the message we will continue to get from gop lawmakers? because we know the rnc is trying to divert our attention.
>> i do. i think that will be the message you'll hear from most republican lawmakers. certainly from all the democrats. is to let the special counsel continue their work. particularly if these charges today are cordoned off to a tax issue or something prior to manafort's service with the trump campaign. if this is not something that touches this president directly. especially in the white house and the white house's attorneys decide to kind of stay away from it. i expect republican lawmakers will continue to take their cue from them. republicans on the hill particularly the senate side have been much more bullish about protecting the special counsel and his work. republicans like tillis from north carolina introducing legislation to protect the special counsel and to let him continue his work. so i suspect that will be the refrain from those lawmakers as they start to trickle back into town today. again, a lot of that could depend on the specifics of what are in these charges. >> we're going to get lawmaker's response later.
we have to continue to focus on who is robert gates and of course who is paul manafort. i want to bring in our msnbc chief legal correspondent. and danny sevellas, criminal defense attorney and msnbc legal analyst. what's your take? >> this is a significant development. donald trump has -- >> you know, i have to correct myself. i said robert gates. i meant rick gates. >> robert gates is defense secretary, another famous gates. >> yes. >> this is a significant development. we've never seen high-level aides connected to a president indicted in the first year in office. donald trump let's remember has only been in power as president for nine months. this investigation has only been under way, under mueller, for several months. so it is fast, it is significant, and you have two individuals who were involved in donald trump's politics. paul manafort, a name most people know. the other, a far less known name who got his start interning at the manafort firm who went to
moscow several times on behalf of manafort. rick gates was inside the white house as recently as march working on a pro-trump pac and other activities. so you have two people who, again, nothing i just said related -- we haven't seen it yet. pete williams reporting it could be tax related. but you have two people who are not simply free-floating individuals. you have people connected to donald trump. >> if you remember just a few months ago when sean spicer was still on his post, he tried to talk back paul manafort's connection to this administration. saying he was a volunteer early on. baloney. he was the campaign chair. front and center at the republican national convention. pete williams, nbc's chief justice correspondent. pete what do we know, these murmurs that maybe it's tax related? what do you know? >> this is it, the indictments against paul manafort and richard gates. they're both named as defendants in the single case. and i literally just got them 30
seconds ago. basically it is financial related according to the special prosecutor here. it says that they did work for ukraine and were paid by the ukrainon government but that they hid these payments from u.s. authorities for at least ten years. from 2006 through 2016. it says manafort and gates laundered the money through scores of u.s. and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts, that they funneled millions of dollars of these payments into foreign companies and bank accounts, opened by them and their accomplices in cyprus, st. vincent and the seychelles. that they hit the existence in foreign bank account, falsely reporting to tax preparers in the u.s. they had no foreign bank accounts. it says manafort used this hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a livish lifestyle, lavish
lifestyle in the u.s. without paying taxes on the income, without reporting the income to his tax preparer, spent millions on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family from payments wired from these offshore accounts to u.s. vendors. this is basically, they say, in total, more than $75 million, they say, flowed through the offshore accounts that manafort laundered more than 18 million, which was used by him to buy property, goods and services in the u.s., income that he concealed from the treasury, the department of justice. gates transferred more than $3 million, the indictment says, from the offshore accounts to other accounts that he controlled. so just based on the initial look at this and the indictment has charts on it showing the movement of money and so part of our understanding here on why
these charges are coming now is the federal prosecutor's faced a statute of limitations issue. although if this is correct, that this activity continued through at least 2016, i'm not sure about that, because if they are alleging here that this conduct was still going on as of last year, then i don't know the statute of limitations issue, but we have initially been told they had to hurry on this indictment because they couldn't charge some of this conduct if they didn't file quickly. but basically they say this is basically -- none of this seems to be related, as i go through the indictment here, which is about 30-some pages. i don't see anything related to the campaign. so two things about this. one is this seems to be entirely financially related on their business and, second, we do know
from people that are involved in these legal issues, that these are not the only charges that the special counsel had been contemplating against manafort but this is at least the starting point. >> does it mean that there could be more charges? just to read them again, the indictment contains 12 counts, conspiracy against the united states, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agents of a foreign principle, false statements on seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. pete, does that mean that it could be these 12 counts exclusively or there could be more to come? >> oh, absolutely, could be more to come. and what we've been led to believe is that they are under investigation for other charges. but we don't know what those other charges are. and whether those other charges are more directly related to the campaign. remember, as we go through all of this for the next several hours, why the special counsel existed in the first place.
the mission of robert mueller is to investigate whether anybody in the united states was in cahoots with the russians for meddling in last year's election. that's the ball on which we have to keep our eye. so this is a starting point here. and whether the government will try to -- whether mueller will try to use these charges to try to leverage manafort to give more testimony in exchange for some kind of negotiated plea, we'll see. but this is the first charge. and if you look at the last page of the indictment, the grand jury i.d., you can see here it's signed by mueller, special counsel. >> danny, assuming these charges are correct, these guys are dirty businessmen. but there's no direct link yet to the campaign. >> not at least in this indictment. but consider this, it's possible that this indictment is a prelude to a cooperating witness agreement with the government. and it's absolutely true that
they can continue to add charges. they can't keep a case sealed and build their case on these charges. but if there are new additional charges, absolutely. he can be diindicted later on. if it is a time issue, they can indict now and then continue their investigation. ordinarily, they would basically just file information, there wouldn't be the indictment process, but possibly, what if the indictment in this case was so that robert mueller would have something to show the public when it was unsealed, toto show and say this was not my words, this was the decision of ordinary citizens on the grand jury, that there was probable cause that a crime was committed. >> this is following the money. this is what it looks like when you follow the money. this is what it looks like. >> okay, following the money though. >> pages and pages and pages of financial transactions.
by my rough count, at least eight pages are just lists of the ledger of the money which the united states government now alleges paul manafort was asking illegally to use in a conspiracy. >> eight pages for the ledger of the money. to me that reminds me that the tax reform bill we've seen thus far is only nine pages. you've got eight pages of paul manafort. now, the trump campaign can say listen, we ran a different kind of campaign, we didn't go with people with long-standing track records with the republican party. but paul manafort, does it surprise you, given how complicated his financial standings are, that a guy like barrack, a close adviser to the president, would put paul manafort up for this job? paul was an integral part of this campaign. after the convention, he vacationed with tom barrack, tom barrack went and led the party. it's unclear why the campaign didn't say, listen this guy's
business is a little too complicated for us, why did they have ties? and how long was he involved in this? >> one of the big issues that will be a political side. which is how much can the white house and people surrounding donald trump, especially in government now, not just campaign history, try to cordon this off. we saw that with cambridge last week because there was dodgy dealings with wikileaks. the question being these conspiracy, who knew what when. or the famous question, what did the president know and when did he know it. i will point out gates accused of false statements about all this. again that goes to intent and whether not only did you do something and you thought it was right but no, you did it, maybe you knew it was wrong, and so you started telling other people false information to try to cover it up. all of this going, again, it's not about colugs at this juncture, collusion at this juncture. collusion is not a crime, conspiracy is. the putin ally that figure into
all this. while it is not on the level of conspiring to tip an election and we're not there, the backdrop of that, this is not unrelated in the sense that there are a lot of russian dealings. mentioned at the top of your show, mr. gates was the person manafort used to send to moscow. it is legal to go to moscow. but there's now a lot of illegal acts alleged here. >> my take here is just like ari said this is a wide-ranging investigation. the mere fact that there is an indictment and we only have two defendants so far probably just goes to a statute of limitations issue. most federal crimes have a five-year statute of limitations. if they were running up on that time limit, they've got to indict. a lot of times, they will seal the indictment. that will pause the statute. they can unseal after the statute is run. doesn't look like that's what's happened in this case. but that's one of the techniques. the more secret that the prosecution can keep this investigation, the better.
based on if this was a statute issue, mueller's team probably indicted with a bit of frustration, because they would have liked to have kept this secret for as long as they possibly could. >> there are just so many questions that need to get answered. you can go back to don jr. and, eric, don jr., back in 2013, saying at a real estate conference they don't need investors, they get so much of their financing from russians. eric made a similar statement to a reporter a couple years ago. president trump has repeatedly said i have no vempinvestments russia. it was always has russian money influenced or financed the trump family and helped them. i turn you to jared kushner who during the campaign on a road trip met with a prominent russian banker. we know russian banks are closely tied and integrated to the russian government. that is vladimir putin. who we have to point out is one of the richest men in the world. >> you're raising a point that
goes to count ten in this new indictment of paul manafort and mr. gates. the unregistered agent of a foreign principle. in this case, ukraine, a russian satellite. this is something that's very interesting. our research shows you rarely see indictments or jailing on the foreign agent's registration act. >> almost never. >> people can -- >> say that again. >> so the u.s. government law requires that if you work for ukraine, you have to say so. you can do it, but you have a federal legal obligation to say so. you can't secretly do it. this alleges that both these individuals, gates and manafort, were secretly working -- >> working for -- >> in this case, yanukovych. it's a party leader there in ukraine, and this is an allegation that they failed to report that. this is also something that tony podesta has been under scrutiny for. it is not something -- and michael flynn. it is not something you typically see federal charges for. this is another sign that bob mueller is working in an aggressive way with the laws
available to him. not saying i'm going to give you a pass. i will just read briefly from count ten, it says manafort and gates acted as agents of a foreign principle. the government of ukraine. the parties and the regions of anna covich without reblgssterring. i think there may be three or four indictments under fara and possibly no convictions. this is since the '60s. a tiny number. that goes to ari's point that the federal government is taking a page out of its own playbook, which is charge everything possible and then you have a lot of leverage to do what you want to do next, which could be negotiate a cooperating witness agreement. >> all right, you two keep digging. kristen welker, live at the white house. kristen, what's the administration saying? >> so far, we're getting a disciplined message out of the white house. i want to point out we don't have anything on the record yet. i spoke to an official earlier
today who gave me this statement from a top white house official. the white house has been saying for weeks the special counsel is moving far more quickly and deliberatively than people have been reporting. the fact that the special counsel is actively performing its duties does not come as a surprise to the white house. significant, because that is very counter to the messaging that we heard from the president himself over the weekend. when he was tweeting. a number of angry tweets. saying that really the focus should be on hillary clinton. the fact that the democrats funded that research that led to that dossier. he is infuriated because it's looming over his agenda. >> kristin, on the democrats funding that dossier, did we not learn at the end of last week that the washington free beacon earlier before democrats funded it, they were funding it? the washington free beacon, which is predominantly funded by
paul singer, a giant hedge fund manager, a giant republican, who early on was a never trumper, and then turned the page and just a few months ago went and visited the president at the white house, has since gotten on board. he went to the inauguration and has since been to the very elaborate trump fund-raisers. >> the president's unfewer yated by that, infuriated by that, as well as he's going to be directly taking aim at a top gop donor. not necessarily, but i wouldn't be surprised if we saw allies unleash on him. for engaging in that type of activity. for funding potential opposition research against the now president who was then, of course, a very controversial candidate. but look, stef, the bottom line is that president trump wants to be focused on his agenda, tax reform. republicans are going to unveil the specifics of their tax plan on wednesday. and then the biggest foreign trip of his presidency to tate. he is going to a five-nation
tour in asia. he leaves at the end of the week. this is the last headline that he or this administration wants to be dealing with. in terms of what we expect here at the white house today, i can tell you the president has a number of meetings with his top officials. the secretary of state, the defense secretary, his vice president. these are previously scheduled meetings. at this point, the press not expected to have access to those meetings. the first time we'll see him is about 6:00 this evening when he hands out halloween candy, stef. his press secretary will be briefing. in terms of the messaging, i wouldn't be surprised if she reiterated what we heard from her predecessor, really trying to downplay the role manafort played in the campaign. >> it is tough -- >> right, to your point, a tough argument. as of right now, the strategy seems to be to have a disciplined message coming out of the white house. once the president starts tweeting, that could change. >> i still don't understand why there's trick or treating taking
place at the white house today. halloween is tomorrow. number two, richard haass put out in a tweet earlier he thought this was such bad headlines, this manafort news, for the president as he heads to asia for this very, very important trip. i don't know, trump's lawyers could take it as a net positive, getting trump on the other side of the world and potentially in a different time zone where he won't necessarily be so focused on twitter. i want to bring pete williams back in who's got some new information. >> a couple of points about this indictment. first of all, just a minor point. we had thought it was under seal. and, in fact, it was. it shows that it was actually handed out by the grand jury last friday. so undoubtedly, manafort knew this was coming and that's why they were able to work out this deal where they would turn themselves into the fbi instead of facing the embarrassment of being dragged out of their homes in handcuffs. secondly, remember robert mueller was appointed to be the special counsel in may, but the indictment says that the federal government has been investigating both manafort and
gates for these allegations for at least a year. now, the indictment says that both manafort and gates lobbied for the government of ukraine inside the u.s., that they lobbied members of congress and their staffs about sanctions against ukraine, about the validity of youukrainian electi and the propriety of the president of ukraine imprisoning his political rival. according to the indictment, last year, in september of 2016, after lots of press reports that manafort and gates were actually doing work for ukraine inside the u.s., the justice department tried to determine whether they had, in fact, acted as agents of ukraine and should have registered under the foreign agents registration act. it says both of them sent letters to the justice department which says they did not have any meetings or
outreach within the u.s. so interesting that that's one of the bases of this false statement charges. secondly that they've been under investigation for this for a little over a year. >> okay, now, ari, if they're surrendering, it doesn't mean they're admitting guilt, it means they don't want to be arrested at their house. >> sometimes what you see in what you call white collar situations. there's some sort of agreement into come in, rather than being a fugitive and fleeing from the process. >> so he's not getting cuffed here? >> correct. this will be an initial appearance. it would look as a fairly cursory thing. the details, the judgeice, is i the paperwork. you'll learn more watching msnbc as we pore through the indictment than you could if you were in the courtroom for the initial appearance. these are two individuals that have been on some notice about this and now are going to move forward to deal with what is a
very heavy indictment. i should also mention, you know, this is alleging ten years of a scheme, tens of millions of dollars, and, again, lobbying and working on behalf of a foreign government. ukraine, an ally of russia in this context, without disclosing it. they say, again, these are just allegations, falsely describing it. >> this indictment, when did manafort and his legal team see it? when did they learn of all these details? >> ordinarily, indictments are sealed so that you don't tip off a defendant and he doesn't abscond or destroy evidence or even harm witnesses. but in this case, this is not the ordinary case. >> nothing ordinary here. >> nothing ordinary. all the defendants involved were lawyered up. it's likely that manafort knew, maybe even news broke of the sealed indictment, and it looks like they made a smart strategic move, which, as his lawyers, got him to d.c. to surrender.
that allows them to conduct the arraignment and the initial appearance today where they will deal with a very important issue which is bail. and this is a case where manafort is likely to be granted bail. it's not what we call a presumption case which is drugs or guns, where there's a presummings that he might be held. in all likelihood, he will be released after court today. >> two numbers to watch. $75 million. that's what -- >> that's a big number. >> that's what mueller advises, alleges, $18 million he alleges was laundered. >> $75 million. quickly, before we go to break, because i know we have to go. what do you think manafort's defense is here? >> wow, that's a great -- i'll try this one out. >> go for it. >> let's see. he might defend based on the idea that -- let me think -- that the transactions -- boy, it's tough, you know, with all these numbers here. you know, i'm going to hold off and see what motions they file and then i will tell you my defense. because i don't want to commit
right now. >> danny's going to hold off. >> some other dude did it, that's a famous defense. >> the best defense was an accountant defense and you claim you were advised to do this or someone did it on your behalf because the thing itself is hard to defend against. >> blame it on the accountant. paul manafort surrendered to the fbi this morning. his former deputy rick gates has been told to turn himself in. much more on this when we come back. you are watching msnbc. (avo) when you have type 2 diabetes, you manage your a1c, but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death.
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welcome back. we're following breaking news surrounding the indictments of paul manafort and rick gates. the first indictments from robert mueller's federal investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. manafort, who served as president trump's campaign manager, surrendered to authorities earlier this morning. gates who served as manafort's deputy, has also been told to give himself up. the indictment itself does not appear to be directly linked to the 2016 campaign. instead, the two men are charged with a dozen counts accusing them of directing a campaign to
lobby u.s. officials on behalf of the ukraine government and then hiding it from american authorities. among the charges, that the two of them were paid $75 million for their work and that they laundered at least some of the money to keep it hidden. the official reaction from the white house thus far is that it is not surprised that special counsel is actively performing its duties. msnbc's garrett haake is live at the fbi field office in washington where manafort was a short time ago. we're keeping our eye on the garage because once they wrap up, he's expected to have bail set, most likely pay it and go home. what do you know? >> well, there's another intervening set here. he's being processed here at this fbi building, a process that can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, going through sort of the criminal processing, fingerprinting, things like that. then he's going to be moved a
few blocks down street behind me to the u.s. district court where he will appear in front of a judge. that's that initial hearing. sort of like an arrangement, although not quite as formal. he'll appear there. that's when we would find out the conditions for his release. right now, paul manafort is in federal custody. he is in the fbi's custody. he will remain so until that initial appearance is over. that's expected to happen around 1:30 today according to the judges' calendar. all this is being worked through even as we speak. you and i talked earlier about the congressional reaction to this. i want to add one wrinkle to this. a big part of this indictment, it talks about him as an unregistered foreign agent, lobbying on behalf of the government of ukraine. that means he was lobbying folks on capitol hill. and i think that's going to be the next piece of this. is who was he talking to and what issues was he pushing. and when are we going to find out a little bit more about this unregistered lobbying that was
allegedly being done here. i think that's the angle that begs a follow up as lawmakers return from their weekend recess. >> during the rnc, you saw the trump campaign shift their platform to be more russian friendly. those days when manafort was running the show. i have to bring matt mill near this conversation. nbc news justice and security analyst former chief spokesman for the justice department. if you don't follow him on twitter, i strongly advise it because matt miller gets spice up there. what's your reaction? >> it's obviously a sweeping indictment. manafort is being charged with working as an unregistered foreign agent, hiding that fact from u.s. officials so he could avoid taxes and then lying about it when confronted. i want to touch on one point, the fact that manafort changed the gop platform last summer to make it more friendly to russia. these charges are obviously not central to the big question that
bob mueller's investigating, which is did the, you know, did anyone in the united states cooperate with the russian government to interfere in a u.s. election. they're not central to that investigation but they are related. you have to go back to paul manafort's work in ukraine. he was working for a pro-putin au au autocrat at the time. he made connections to a man, a russian billionaire, that he was secretly communicating with while he was heading the trump campaign, offering him secret briefingings about what the trump campaign was doing. of course, we know he did change the platform. so while these charges are unrelated to his work on the campaign, they do -- they are a link in the chain to, you know, paul manafort's background working for people connected to vladimir putin, connected to the russian government and what might have happened while he was working for donald trump. >> he is basically the king of
aluminum, siberian-born russian with very close ties to vladimir putin. talk us through this information. when you think about all that's in this indictment, this information simply couldn't be gleaned from getting financials from these guys. who by your estimation who have had to cooperate? >> you're right, they've done an search of their financial records, e-mails dating back years in some cases. and then there's two companies that paul manafort hired, two washington lobbyists, company a and company b in the indictment, something typically done. and i would suspect the fact that those companies are listed in the indictment and shown to, you know, it's shown -- it seems from the indictment to have known they were working for the ukrainian government. they haven't been charged today. that lead mess to believe that officials from those companies are likely cooperating with the government's investigation. >> i'm going to make a swamp
draining point that's in here. paul manafort apparently paid a landscaper in the hamptons $655,000 between april of 2009 to november of 2011. i realize hamptons is where the richest of the rich people live but even for the hamptons, 655 grand? that's a con spespicuously lots money for lawn mowing. especially against a politico article i read this morning with john boehner mowing his own lawn. let's bring justice reporter juliette ainsley into the conversation. what's your take here? >> looking through this indictment, it's obviously sweeping, as many pointed out, but it doesn't include what a lot of people are looking for, which is this tie between manafort and the trump campaign. it's important to relialize tha the charges don't end here. there could be charges added to the indictment later. it's important to realize
manafort holds the key to the narrative that muller would be trying to show right now that would lead to any possible collusion between the two. so what we see is a former trump campaign official facing a lot of charges, some very serious charges, and he's someone who holdings the key to this. so it's very likely this could be the step to try to get him to cooperate and hand over a lot of those answers. >> all right, matt, he holds the key here. but if president trump would be willing to pardon paul manafort, then what would happen? >> well, i think you'd have to raise the question of impeachment at that point. if the president were to pardon mannaed for when manafort is facing these charged and it's very clear that part of what bob mueller is up to is trying to pressure manafort to flip and tell him anything he knows about the president's involvement in any scheme. we should be clear, there may be nothing he knows about the president's involvement, there may be no involvement. if the president were to pardon
him in the middle of this investigation, that would look a lot like obstruction of justice. i think it's a red line that members of congress would have to look at very seriously. >> danny. >> it's actually not a strategically good idea for the president to pardon manafort or any of these defendants for the president. it's great for the defendants. here's why. once the president pardons a defendant, you remove the possibility of incrimination and it becomes impossible for them to assert their fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination. >> in fairness to the white house -- >> what? >> let me explain. as an indicted defendant, you can refuse to talk to anybody because you could incriminate yourself. if i part than defendant, if i pardon that defendant, they can't incriminate themselves because they're pardoned. >> can't they lie? >> they can lie any time. people lie. thing, records, documents, don't lie. it's not as easy to lie as you might think.
if he's a cooperating witness and he wants to juice up the story for the prosecutors, it's easy to do that? according to danny, it's not easy to lie. he hasn't been here. it's 2017. >> in fairness to the white house, the message from the trump white house today and last week has not been about preemptive pardons. ty cobb said publicly confirming last week that interviews with white house officials are happening right now. if mueller didn't indict people today, that would be the big story. right now, bob mueller's team are interviewing current white house staff. we have a pretty good idea of which ones based on leaks. that's happening but that's cooperative. ty cobb and others in the white house have publicly said they view this as a process and it is positive that it is moving forward. in fairness to the white house, what we're hearing from the lawyers is not about a pardon strategy, it's about what you might call an interim cooperation strategy.
>> matt miller, to ari's point about current members of the white house staff being interviewed, it was reported last week that the president himself has offered to pay some of those exorbitant legal bills. >> yes, well, the president's offered to make a lot of payments over the years to charities, to other things. >> fair point. >> we'll have to see when that happens. but look, i think one of the things about this indictment that we have to remember, it does not touch on anything by the president, doesn't raise any activity by the president. the one thing we know the president is under investigation for is separate from this, even separate from the 2016 question. it's what he's done in the white house and it's whether he obstructed justice in the firing of bob mueller and other interference with the fbi investigation. this indictment today doesn't get us closer to answering that. those interviews with white house aides i think likely will. >> today just about these two guys being dirty businessmen. quickly before we go, yesterday, chris christie on the sunday shows said he could confirm that president trump was not under
investigation. how would chris christie be privy to that kind of information? >> he can't confirm it. if he had secret information from inside the investigation or perhaps a grand jury room that would be even worse and more inappropriate. i suppose, if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, i suppose he was saying he has a view of the theory of the case as a prosecutor, which he's entitled to offer. i don't think it's based on him having a briefing from bob mueller himself. >> i'm guessing he's a former u.s. attorney, he knows these prosecutions, he understands investigations. he's just using his intuition and probably not being fed information. that's my guess. >> maybe he could help me understand, $655,000 landscaping bill? i mean, that's like a pool, some waterfalls. that's a whole lot of things i've never even heard of. next, aside from his public ties to trump, who exactly is paul manafort? nbc news chief investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden next. money on motorcycle insurance with geico.
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new or worse depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. ask your doctor about lyrica. welcome back. we're following breaking news surrounding the indictments of paul manafort and rick gates. the first indictments from robert mueller's federal investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. manafort who served as president trump's campaign manager, surrendered to authorities earlier today. gates, who served as manafort's deputy, and maintained ties with the trump administration long after, has been told to give himself up. the indictment itself does not appear to be directly linked to the 2016 campaign.
instead, the two men are charged with a dozen counts accusing them of directing a campaign to lobby u.s. officials on behalf of the ukrainian government and then hiding it from american authorities. among the charges that these two men were paid 75 million bucks for their work and they laundered at least some of the money to keep it hidden. the official reaction from the white house thus far, that it is not surprised that special counsel is actively performing its duties. back with us, matt miller, former chief spokesman for the justice department, and msnbc justice and security analyst, and nbc news national security and justice reporter juliette an inly ainsley, back with us along with my panel. matt, we need to carefully point out that failure to make it known that you are working with a foreign agent is far, far, far from treason. those are two different things. >> yes, that's exactly right. that's one of the most narrow charges in this indictment. it's something that the justice
department usually handles administrativ administratively, if they see someone is a likely foreign agent but hasn't registered, they'll send them a letter and give that person a chance to voluntarily register. it is key to the rest of the charges here. because what it does, it shows the entire conspiracy. if you put it all together the way that bob muller has done in this indictment, it shows the fact they didn't register is part of the concealment narrative. because they wanted to conceal the money they made so they could avoid paying taxes on it and that shows -- that also goes to why they then laundered that money. you have to look at that charge as one piece of the entire picture they're painting of this entire indictment. >> when we first started hearing about fara when flynn was retroactively coming forward and then manafort retroactively disclaiming what he had done. what's important is a lot of people i've spoken to in this space said fara was something a lot of people took pretty loosely. there was a lot of wishy-washy
rules and they didn't think it was something that would get them prosecuted on a federal level. but it is such a piece here because if they're showing that whether it be manafort now or others down the road, were taking money and not disclosing it from foreign governments, well, if those foreign government also attempted to influence our election that goes well beyond just misreporting something on a form. >> this goes to what we're learning as we have this indictment in real time, mueller making a three-part case against manafort. that he lied about the money, and that is money laundering. that he lied about the lobbying, and that is hiding that he was working on behalf of this foreign power linked to russia. and then he lied about the money he owed the u.s. government in taxes and conspiracy to defraud the united states. >> so the oops i forgot, oops i forgot, oops i forgot doesn't fly when you're doing it on three separate levels.
>> if you only fail to register as an agent of a foreign power, that's not necessarily what gets you jail time. this is a three-part case of lying about three interconnective things. >> national intelligence reporter who i promise wasn't trick or treating this weekend, he was working, ken, some people are going to say this has nothing to do with russia, these are simply a couple of dirty business guys who didn't want to pay their taxes. >> and who failed to disclose that they were lobbying for a foreign power. that's right, stephanie. it does have to do with russia because viktor yanukovych, the politician on whose behalf these two men were doing this secret lobbying, is a russian-backed, putin-backed figure, who now resides in moscow. so there was a split within ukrainian pot tilitics. one side wanted to gravitate towards nato and the other side was pro-russian. manafort engaged with the pro-russian guys.
>> then how can the trump administration possibly go back to the argument that they made several months ago when they had this meeting at trump tower that jared was at, that don jr. was at that oops, we didn't know, we're new to this politics game and we thought this was here to orphans? it was president trump who dictated that was going to be the white house's statement. how now that we know who manafort is, who he was paid by year after year, how can that argument hold any water? >> well, they can't say that, stephanie. and then point of fact, they couldn't say that before the election either. because there was a lot of reporting, including by nbc news, before the election about paul manafort's questionable ties to russia. in fact,ist just looking at the old story published back in the summer of 2016 where prominent republicans were saying manafort's ties were deeply disturbing. because in addition to the ties to you cranan politician, he also has a multimillion
relationship that we and others reported on extensively. so there's no way for the white house or anybody associated with donald trump to say, i didn't know that paul manafort had tied to russia. >> do we know if the other russians have been questioned by mueller and his team? >> we don't know that information. that's a great question. >> all right. can we walk through, for a moment, who would have been involve in this indictment? because if one wants to make the argument, and danny, i ask you, this is simply robert mueller trying to go after him. this indictment isn't just robert mueller. you have a grand jury and 12 ordinary americans who looked at this information and said, let's indict this guy. walk us through that. >> yeah, exactly. the government can proceed one of two ways, they can file an information. but ultimately, an indictment is a requirement in our constitution that citizens sit in judgment and decide whether there's probable cause to proceed with the charges. in this case, it's likely that this indictment is as early in the investigation as it is because of a time limit problem. they were probably running up on
the five-year federal statute of limitations. so the strategy here may be to not only indict him, but send him message to other potential co-conspirators, potential colleagues, to come in out of the cold and make a deal. because the federal government -- >> it is not just robert mueller who signed this indictment. >> correct. >> when you look at this indictment the back page, 31 pages, you have bob mueller signing it, robert mueller, special counsel department of justice. that's the first thing we have seen. this is the first paper we have seen out of this investigation to all of us. and then this true bill blacked out part redacted is the anonymous foreperson of the injury, as pete williams is reporting, this began on friday. and this will remain blacked out. and everything that happens inside the grand jury box will, if this runs right, remain blacked out. because that is redacted and the black box. in this case, literally a black box. we know mueller and everything has to go to the citizens. it says something great about
the constitutional system. robert mueller is very powerful. you don't want to be on the wrong side of him. he has to go through these citizens, anonymous citizens, a jury of the peers and a grand jury picked throughout the washington area to vet these charges. >> can you believe how their lives have changed in the last six months? 12 ordinary citizens who happened to get a grand jury summons in the mail and now this is what their life has become. ken, what else are we missing here? >> well, the big question now in my mind, stephanie, is paul manafort going to flip? is he going to cooperate? he's facing a mountain of very serious well-documented charges. he's in the fbi building now according to nbc news reporting talking to fbi agents. you know, what does he know? will he cooperate? you have to look at, this is -- this scheme probably would have gone uninvestigated if paul manafort hadn't become donald trump's campaign chairman. right? this was going on for years. a lot of people knew about his work for these guys. nobody was really looking.
and then he becomes a prominent figure, journalists start writing about it and then the fbi gets interested. he may be considering all these facts as he's trying to decide whether to say what he knows, if he knows anything about donald trump and russia. >> julia, danny mentioned earlier, tony podesta's name has come up in the last week with his sort of ties, walk me through it. >> well, we reporting, one week ago today that tony podesta is increased scrutiny. >> who is that? >> it is john podesta's campaign manager, his brother, tony podesta has been leading one of the prominent leading left firms in d.c. for decades. and it was a real surprise to a lot of people that he was involved, but he worked with manafort and rick gates to introduce ukrainian officials to members of congress during this campaign. and so the fact that he has not
been named right now might show that he's someone to follow. he's reading the indictment carefully. and also being looked at for failure to disclose on those documents just like manafort did. >> all right. last point? >> last point, you talk at the crime, you talk about the cover-up. this indictment on page 17 includes the words cover-up that alleged to conceal the ongoing cover story. again, an important part of the theory. >> yikes. we'll leave it there. we'll be back with more as we cover paul manafort and his business associate rick gates, both indicted this morning.
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technology, and human expertise you need to find those trusted answers. the answer company. thomson reuters. that wraps this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. see you at 11:00 with my partner, ali velshi. now my colleague, hallie jackson. president trump's former campaign chair de facto manager is inside a building we are about to show you, the fbi field office here in washington. paul manafort on the left side of the screen indicted on a dozen criminal counts. the next stop is u.s. district court where he'll be booked, photographed, fingerprinted. rick gates, also indicted by the federal grand jury in the first charges in this 5-month-old
special investigation. let's run through what the charges are here, gang. there's conspiracy against the united states. conspiracy to launder money. being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. false and misleading statements. and then you've got seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. paul manafort, former head of the trump campaign, along with his deputy, rick gates, indicted and facing pretty serious charges. we want to get to our team of correspondents that we have fanned out across the capital city. everything from reaction at the white house to what is happening over at the doj and beyond. i want to bring in matthew miller, former spokesman for the justice department, now a msnbc justice analyst. but i want to start with nbc's garrett haake. you are outside the field office in washington. we know that paul gamanafort isn the building here.