tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC September 14, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
that are that strong again. you get that eye wall. then they start to diminish. when that happens, those rescues like the one lester was describing, they'll have to see because first responders can't be out there. we know in new bern and wilmington, north carolina, there are rescues underway. people are trapped. trees have fallen, and those rescues are underway right now. we don't have that situation in south carolina, or at least where i am in south carolina. i'm looking up and down the strip here. we do still appear to have power, but we have power outages in north carolina probably about 500,000 people without power, and we do know that customers in south carolina have started losing power as well. i want to send it back to the studio. stephanie ruhle is there. >> thanks so much. good morning, i am stephanie ruhle live at msnbc world headquarters here in new york city. we're going to continue to cover our live coverage of hurricane florence in just a moment with my partner ali velshi and our
correspondents all along the carolina coast, but first, we have got to cover this huge breaking news out of washington, d.c. you know the man on your screen, former trump campaign manager paul manafort. he has officially reached a deal with the special prosecutor's office, and any moment now we expect to see manafort arrive in court. nbc news has learned he's expected to plead guilty to two counts. those counts include conspiracy against the united states tied to money laundering and a count of obstruction of justice tied to alleged witness tampering. what is unclear is whether manafort agreed to cooperate as part of the deal and whether or not he did, what that means for a pardon. i want to go straight to nbc's ken delaney outside the courthouse in d.c. ken, walk us through this step by step. exactly what do we know? >> reporter: you've explained it very well so far, stephanie. this morning robert mueller's office filed a superseding
criminal information. that's like an indictment except that manafort is not contesting it being filed. in that information, the special counsel outlined a host of charges, essentially all the conduct manafort's been charged with in virginia and washington, d.c., money laundering, bank fraud, tax fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice. then at the end it says essentially that he's pleading guilty to two charges, conspiracy to defraud the united states and obstruction of justice as you said, but he's going to have to admit to all that other conduct in court at 11:00 a.m. behind me. that hearing's expected to get underway at any moment. clearly he's been able to plead guilty to a lesser number of counts. the question we don't know the answer to is whether that means he has cut some kind of deal to cooperate or does it just mean both sides have simply agreed not to have a trial in washington next week because the evidence was overwhelming anyway, and manafort's already been convicted in virginia. he was already facing up to nine years under the guidelines of virginia.
this is the big question, stephanie, that we're hopefully going to find the answer to in the next half hour. is paul manafort going to cooperate with mueller? >> we all want to know that. i want to now bring in nbc news legal analyst, daniel goldman, former assistant attorney for the southern district of new york, and fbi official my friend chuck rosenberg and former federal prosecutor glen kirch wapner. >> -- when i hear that he's pleading to two counts and there's five outstanding, does that mean the five can still be prosecuted, or does it mean the five are being folded into the two into some big circling? >> the latter is exactly how you would explain this. basically there's a very broad conspiracy that encompasses all of the charges in washington, d.c. that are against him. the benefit that paul manafort
gets is that his sentencing exposure is reduced because that broad conspiracy for all of that conduct only has a five-year maximum sentence that he could get, and then when you add on the second count, which is another conspiracy count, conspiracy to commit witness tampering, his total sentencing exposure is ten years. on his original indictment it would have been dozens and dozens of years. that's one benefit that he gets. what really is striking to me about this information that jumps out to me is yes, he is pleading guilty to what he's charged with in washington, d.c., but he's also pleading guilty it appears from this frf information, to crimes he was only charged with in virginia and crimes on which the jury was hung in virginia. that's very unusual. it could mean bob mueller is saying we're not going to give you an inch on anything and force him to, but it also may mean that he's cooperating. the reason i say that is when somebody cooperates they usually
have to admit to all of their criminal conduct. if this were really just cutting a deal between the two, that might be something that bob mueller would give. so obviously we're trying to read tea leaves here, ask we'll know for sure in about a half an hour but that's something that did jump out at me. >> glen, here's what i don't get. if it's a plea deal with cooperation, my guess would be, well, that's a good thing for mueller, but if it's a plea deal without, does that mean or does that hint to this idea that he's got a side deal already cut with rudy giuliani that president trump will pardon him? >> yes, you would think that a plea deal with cooperation that required manafort to tell special counsel mueller everything he knows about the president and about the campaign would definitely be the worst thing for the president, but i actually have another view of this. if mr. mueller desperately wanted or needed paul manafort's
assistance as a cooperating witness, then i don't know that the mueller team would be cutting a deal like this to let him plead. here's the way i see it. if i can put myself on the inside of the investigation looking out, if i really needed paul manafort as a cooperator, then i would go scorched earth. i would re-try him on the ten hung charges in virginia. i would try him in d.c. i would bring any additional charges that may be available. i would urge all state jurisdictions to prosecute him for the federal -- for the state tax crimes that he inevitably committed while he was committing federal tax crimes, but here's the way i see it. if mueller lets him plead without cooperation and i agree with daniel, we can't read these tea leaves yet, but we're going to know very soon whether this plea agreement is with or
without cooperation. if mueller lets him plead without cooperation, that tells me that mueller doesn't need him, doesn't want him, and probably already has enough evidence to proceed against everybody else that bob mueller is investigating. so if this is with cooperation, it's bad for the president, but i have to tell you, if it's without cooperation, that may mean mueller's hand is even stronger than we all suspect because he's decided he doesn't need paul manafort's cooperation. >> wow, chuck, what's your take? >> well, i'm going after two really smart guys here, stephanie. but i mostly agree with what glenn just said. i'm not absolutely convinced that if it is without cooperation that bob mueller's hand is even stronger. look, prosecutors and dan and glenn were really good prosecutors, always want as much evidence as they can get. there's no such thing as too much evidence. if this agreement is without cooperation, it could just mean
that mr. manafort doesn't want to cooperate. he's willing to acknowledge what he did. he's willing to plead guilty. he's happy to put the charges in virginia that still linger, the hung counts behind him. he's happy to save some dough by not having to pay his attorneys for another trial in d.c., but it may just be that he doesn't want to cooperate, and at that point the mueller team is going to have to make a different and difficult calculation whether or not to try and compel his testimony. >> all right, daniel, let's talk about the money that manafort is forfeiting. 46 million bucks, a house in the hamptons, one in new york, one in virginia and a couple of bank accounts. for months and months we have heard from the president, he's complaining on and on about how much this investigation is costing. so now you're getting 46 million bucks from manafort. where exactly does that money go? because if it goes to the investigation, that thing just paid for itself. >> well, that is one way of looking at it. it does go to the federal
government. ultimately other people, third parties can make a claim to it, including some of the banks that had to foreclose on these homes. they would have a right to get it. but it initially does go to the federal government. yes, you would calculate this netted out, and certainly the federal government made more money off of this investigation than they have spent to this point. but that's another key thing. he has to forfeit all of his homes that were really the subject of the trial in virginia wells a number of bank accounts. there is very, very little give by the special counsel's office in this information. they're giving up very little bit. what they -- and the one thing i would caution, though, is glenn may be right, but one thing to consider, bob mueller does have a lot of good reasons to avoid a trial. first of all, it takes a lot of resources from the special counsel's office. it's not a huge office. second of all, rick gates was a really bad witness for the government in virginia. they would like to avoid having
to call him again, so avoiding this trial means they don't have to call him again, and we also learned in that virginia trial that rick gates likely has additional evidence and information about a completely unrelated investigation, which we can surmise is the russia collusion investigation. and the third thing is he's not going to get much more time even if he were to go to trial in d.c. than what he's already going to get in virginia. it's not going to be a situation, most likely, where whatever his sentence is in d.c. is added on to his sentence in virginia. >> help me understand that. let's say he gets ten in virginia and ten in d.c. most likely how does that work? concurre concurrent? >> so the question is whether they run concurrently or consecutively. my experience in situations like this is that the second sentencing judge usually runs the sentences partially concurrent, which means they partially overlap and partially consecuti consecutive. it is very unlikely in a case
like this, a white collar case, where the charges and the conduct is so similar that you would have both sentences run consecutively. so if he's only going to get a few more years anyway on the d.c. case, it a-- it's a lot of time, a lot of efforts, a lot of resources and a lot of witnesses that you're putting on the stand that can be cross examined on their testimony later that you might want to avoid. there's a lot of reasons short of cooperation why bob mueller would want to avoid this trial and agree to this. >> glenn, i'm still hung up on this. manafort is only pleading guilty to two counts, although he's essentially admitting to everything, so what does that mean in legal terms? >> so here's what that means, when you read through criminal information that was filed today i agree that he was facing seven counts and he is now pleading guilty to two counts, but those two counts basically require him to admit his guilt of all seven
counts, so when we read this criminal information, there is 38 pages cataloging paul manafort's crimes, and he is admitting to doing everything in those 38 pages of a criminal narrative, plus as dan said, some of the conduct that he was already tried for in virginia. so here's what i think is really important about today's plea, whether it's with or without cooperation, this, to my way of thinking, puts another nail in the coffin of the witch hunt argument, because what manafort is announcing by his guilty plea is that bob mueller was spot-on with respect to each and every criminal charge he brought against me. i did it all. this is not a witch hunt. you can take this investigation to the bank, and it's one thing to be convicted in virginia because manafort could still maintain, well, i was innocent but they convicted me. now he's standing up and saying i did it all, so i think that kills the witch hunt argument,
at least in part, and i think it makes a pardon much less legitimate in the event the president tries to pardon paul manafort. >> okay. but, chuck, the reason i'm hung up on that, whether or not paul manafort is cooperating in addition to a plea is if he has his sights set on a pardon -- and i want to share a little bit of the interview president trump did with fox news back in august when he was speaking about witnesses who flip, and of course witnesses who flip are those who cooperate. watch this. >> if you're saying the payments, if they're not illegal, then why would he even -- why would he use that information for a plea deal? >> because he makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else, and one of the reasons i respect paul manafort so much is he went through that trial. you know, they make up stories. people make up stories. this whole thing about flipping they call it, i know all about flipping for 30, 40 years i've been watching flippers.
everything's wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. it almost ought to be outlawed. >> help me understand this. i cannot imagine robert mueller would allow paul manafort to make something up in order to obtain a plea deal. does that make any sense to you? >> no, stephanie, you're spot on. you're absolutely correct. listen, this is how prosecutors use people who flip, and i don't even really like that term, but here's what it means. if you, stephanie, have information that would tend to incriminate somebody else, ali velshi, let's say. we would have you testify to that in the grand jury. we would debrief you. we would show you document thas corroborated what you told us. we don't take wholesale what you tell us about ali velshi. we have to corroborate it with other information. what's really remarkable in the president's statement is that he acknowledges that he's been around flippers for 30 or 40
years. flippers are criminals. flippers are people who have information about other criminals. the government takes it very carefully when they're cruising information -- using information from other criminals, and they only do it with corroboration. so the president's statement is remarkable in a bunch of ways, including that he has spent most of his adult professional life with criminals. >> all right, gentlemen, we just got word that paul manafort is now inside the courtroom. ken delaney, i know you need to head in there if possible in the next minute, daniel, chuck, glenn, thank you all so much. i'm going to check in with you in just a bit. you at home, please stay tuned. watch msnbc for much more on this breaking news as paul manafort's guilty plea unfolds. now i'm going to take you back to my partner, who i am not flipping on, who i am not sharing any incriminating evidence on, my dear partner ali velshi still outside live in myrtle beach, south carolina. ali, give us an update. >> reporter: stephanie, we're
here on myrtle beach. it is hitting us now. these are consistent winds that we're getting. they are not as high as -- they made landfall about 7:15 a.m. in wilmington, north carolina, and we are seeing serious power outages in north carolina. we've got more than half a million customers out of power in north carolina, and last count around 100 in south carolina. i'm not seeing power outages here where we are. we also have active rescues underway in new bern, north carolina, and we have at least one with injuries in wilmington, north carolina. we're going to take a break, but our coverage of hurricane florence continues right after this. ♪ a hotel can make or break a trip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one.
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>> reporter: all right, i'm ali velshi on myrtle beach, south carolina. our team coverage of hurricane florence continues up and down the south carolina coast. i'm as far south as anybody is. we have people inland, and we have people up in north carolina. let me just give you the update from the national weather center, the national hurricane center on hurricane florence. right now it has maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. we're getting gusts of up to 100 and even a little higher than 100.
it is now just inland of cape fear, north carolina, southwest of wilmington where it came aboard. the reason it's not moving very fast is because it's a slow-moving storm. 80 mile an hour winds rotating like that, but it's moving at three miles an hour. that means it's going to be hours, hours before i get the brunt of it down here in myrtle beach. i've gotten the outer bands of this thing. i've got strong winds. i've got rain. here's something really interesting to look at. we are at high tide here in myrtle beach, but it's nowhere close to where it was yesterday because the wind is coming this way. the hurricane is rotating like this, and the wind is coming out this way blowing the water out, so instead of a storm surge, we're getting the competing forces of high tide and winds blowing the ocean this way. remember, look on a map, myrtle beach is in a very different place than these places in north carolina are. i want to go to joe fryer. joe fryer is in -- he's in cape
fear. is that right? joe, are you in cape fear? >> reporter: hey, there, ali, yes, we're in jacksonville, north carolina, which to give you an idea of just how massive this storm is, we're an hour away from wilmington, an hour away from where the eye wall made landfall a little earlier this morning. you can see what the wind and rain look like here where we are, and it has been like this for hours. the rain started yesterday afternoon. we lost power here in our part of jacksonville at 9:00 last night, and the conditions have only deteriorated since then. things were so bad overnight, the fire department and rescue crews had to rescue more than 60 people from a hotel here in jacksonville. they were concerned about the safety of the building they were in. there was a partial roof collapse there. it was leaking. there was a hole-in-o in one of rooms that was about the size of a basketball. they got people out of there including the children and got them to the public safety center and have moved them to a shelter
in jacksonville. we're dealing with the wind right now and the problems that causes, but the rain has just been relentless for hours on end with no sign of it stopping anytime soon, and that is a worry here in jacksonville. now, we are not on the ocean like a lot of other reporters are right now. we are about a 20-mile drive to get to the ocean from here. despite that, they are still worried about storm surge here. why is that? well, jacksonville is a longer river. the new river here which is prone to flooding under normal conditions. we're approaching high tide right now, and then you have all this rain that just keeps coming down increasing the flooding risk, ali. >> reporter: right, those places that have tidal estuaries, the cape fear river for instance is one of them. pimlico is another one where those inland bodies of water rise along with the tide, so that creates yet another
dimension to the flooding in addition to all the rain that's getting dumped on like we're getting it right now. gabe gutierrez is somewhere around me here in myrtle beach. gabe, this is really in the last hour or so is the first you and i have seen of what it feels like, the outer bands of a hurricane. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, ali. we're not too far from you. we're here on ocean boulevard, and we're really starting to get pelted by this rain and heavy winds. just within the past half hour or so in this location. i want to show you behind me, this is an awning that has blown o over at this diner here. here in south carolina we expect to see the heavier rain and the winds really pick up throughout the afternoon. we've spoken with the mayor. she says that the main concern here is the storm surge and the flooding. she estimates that more than 60% of myrtle beach has evacuated
heeding that mandatory evacuation order. emergency vehicles have been sheltered inside the convention center here, dozens of them ready to be deployed when the conditions, when the storm passes and there are conditions, in case there are any water rescues that need to be done. ali, you're feeling it right there on the beach. i'm probably less than a mile from that here on ocean boulevard, a very busy thoroughfare. we're starting to get hit hard. this is just the very beginning of the storm in this area. we expect conditions to deteriorate as you know over the coming hours, ali. >> reporter: yeah, this is an important point because as this storm gets closer to us, and we get to our next high tide later in the evening, we're going to get more of a flooding situation here, but for the time being, we're not getting that. we are getting the outer bands of weather where you are on ocean boulevard would have been typically very, very busy, even at this time of the year, even after high season. that's the place where the restaurants are and the places where people go where they're
not on the beach in myrtle beach. it's unbelievable. as far as the eye can see south, southwest and northeast, there is not another human around here. just earlier this morning and last night there were people walking around, people walking their dogs sort of getting that last walk in before the storm came, but now this storm is here. it is also too windy now around here to try and make that escape because of the fact that trees are coming down as dave said. he just saw an awning that's come down. these are not yet the serious winds. there are the serious winds and the effects we're feeling in oak island, north carolina, 40 miles from here where mariana atencio is. this is a fast wind storm but a slow-moving storm, we're going to get here in a little while. mariana, tell us what you've got. >> reporter: ali, that wind certainly picking up.
this is west often drive, this is one street over from the beach. the beach is to my left. i can already feel that sand pounding my face. all of these houses here, this is ocean front property, and when you talk about this hurricane being inland near the cape fear river. the cape fear river near cape fear is to the east of this island, so we're definitely going to be feeling the brunt of this hurricane in the next hour. remember, high tide less than an hour away. we're going to start to get all that water coming from the ocean into these roads right here. i want to point to my right. you can already start to see all of the debris that is being ripped from these houses and started flying around. see some porta-potties over here, some construction. all of these houses on stilts because of prior hurricanes, because of flooding, but they may have never faced a hurricane or storm like this with the kind of historic flooding that we might be seeing in this area,
ali. so i spoke to the mayor. she said both bridges are closed. there's no way in or out of this island. right now everybody is hunkered down and prepared to stay indoors until the worst of the storm passes us. and as we've been discussing, once that eye passes us to the west, we're still not going to be out of the woods, so these winds, these are 50, 60 miles per hour winds we've been experiencing. they've been getting worse and worse, and the flooding has been getting worse and worse here on oak island. ali. >> reporter: yeah, and the national hurricane center says that storm, the worst of it is actually very near you now, so if you're getting 60 mile an hour winds, they're probably going to get up to 80 miles an hour where you are and mariana you've had experience in centers where there's stuff that can fly around. i remember when you were in miami in hurricane irma, what's the situation around you? are things boarded up? are there hazards around there that are flying around?
>> reporter: honestly, ali, i want our camera man to pan over here. all of this is ocean front property, a lot of the homes not boarded up because i think a lot of the locals told me we did what we could do. most of these homes have evacuated. people are not riding out the storm in these homes. none of these places were deemed safe enough. same as the houses over here, you can see some boards over there on the houses behind me, but not very protected. i think locals pretty much, this is construction from the late 90s from hurricane floyd, they pretty much said we're going to rebuild after hurricane florence has passed this area. we were lucky enough to find a resident that let us stay in his home overnight, but that is ten minutes from where i'm standing now. again, the beach is right there one block over, so this is
really going to see the worst of this storm in the next couple of hours. ali. >> reporter: all right, we're going to get it in the few hours after you. mariana stay safe. mariana atense you oak island about 40 miles northeast of here. let's go back to the studio. stephanie ruhle has more news on the paul manafort plea agreement. >> please be safe out there mariana. let's take you back to the courthouse where ken delaney is standing by. all right, ken, what have you learned? >> reporter: just moments ago in the courtroom, a led prosecutor for robert mueller's team referred to paul manafort's plea arrangement as a cooperation agreement. he later said that the charges in virginia on which the jury hung would be dropped pending successful cooperation. now, we haven't heard it officially, but this is a pretty strong sign that paul manafort has cut a deal to cooperate with robert mueller. that's certainly how those comments are being interpreted. i'm going to be conservative.
i don't want to say it explicitly, but that's the strongest sign we've heard so far in this ongoing plea agreement here with paul manafort, donald trump's former campaign chairman, that he may have in fact cut a deal to plead guilty to two counts and cooperate with special counsel robert mueller. >> hold on. walk us through that one more time. so the strongest sign is what specifically? >> reporter: so one of the prosecutors on the mueller team referred to this arrangement as a cooperation agreement. that is the kind of language that you would use when the defendant has agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors, not simply to plead guilty to the charges. these are the two possibilities here. one is that manafort has just decided to plead guilty, cut no deal with mueller, admit his guilt, and take his lumps in sentencing knowing that he will get some credit for admitting his guilt. the other possibility is he's cutting a deal with the mueller team to cooperate, to give evidence against whom we don't know, but we can presume donald
trump. other people in the trump campaign that paul manafort worked with and calling it a cooperation agreement suggests that it's the latter, that manafort is actually going to work with the mueller team and tell what he knows about what happened during the trump campaign, stephanie. >> what do we know specifically about andrew weissman, the prosecutor who said this, the cooperation? >> weissman is one of the pit bulls on the mueller team. he's one of the senior prosecutors. he's famous for handling the case against enron, a corporation that was engaged in criminality. he took down their ceo. he was not, actually, part of the manafort trial team, but he is one of the leading figures on robert mueller's special counsel team. >> but it is noteworthy. if you go back to the time of enron, everyone who followed the news and knew the story assumed that enron and the enron executives would absolutely have it handed to them, but then when they actually went to trial, it didn't turn out that way. so a guy like andrew weissman
knows the risks in going to trial even when you've got a case with a bounty of evidence on your side. >> reporter: that's a great point, and we saw that in the virginia trial where there was -- we were told there was one holdout juror that prevented a unanimous verdict on all 18 counts against paul manafort. it only takes one juror to hang a jury, and that was certainly the risk that the mueller team was looking at going into this trial in ex-we -- next week in washington, d.c. the evidence is massive and overwhelming. at the end of the day paul manafort looks like he's decided to fold his cards, plead guilty, and now it seems to cooperate with robert mueller. >> cooperate with robert mueller. ken, stick around. i want to bring in on the phone former federal prosecutor glenn kirschner again. what's your take? andrew weissman using the word cooperating? >> i tell you, if i were in court and this was not a cooperation agreement as a prosecutor rs i would have said
probably this is a non-cooperation agreement or a straight plea agreement. i'm sure mr. weissman chose his words very carefully, and when he said this is a cooperation agreement, boy, that spells some real additional trouble for trump and his associates because if they have manafort, you know, open his book, so to speak, on everything he can tell the prosecutors about his time with the campaign, each and every conversation he had with the president, with don junior, with jared kushner. as we know now, this will be yet another source of information about the trump tower meeting. boy, this -- and i will be surprised if we see another interview with mr. giuliani saying that paul manafort continues to be an honorable man. i suspect we'll see giuliani turn on him the way he turned on michael cohen. so this spells real trouble for the president.
>> but, glenn, what if it suspect? the difference between paul manafort and michael cohen, michael cohen's whole professional existence, his universe, the reason we know who he is and the reason federal prosecutors know who he is is because he was donald trump's fixer. what if all that surrounds manafort right now is about the dirty dealings of manafort for decades, the decades prior to him joining the campaign? >> yeah, now make no mistake about it. paul manafort will not be an appealing witness. it's going to take a whole lot of detergent to clean him up before they put him on the stand at a criminal trial. but we have taken some of the worst of the worst people over the years as prosecutors and put them on the stand, the henry hil hills of the world. it's because they're so dirty for such a long period of time that they have inside information about others with whom they were doing their dirt. we heard a clip from paul manafort recently bragging about how, you know, i've known mr.
trump for 20 years or more, and this was before things went south for mr. manafort rs but you know, there's no telling what kind of information mr. manafort is going to be able to provide the prosecutors, but most importantly, he was the campaign chairman for four months. and you have to believe he had daily conversations with the candidate and, you know, there are some things that are going to come to light that i think are going to be pretty staggering. >> pretty staggering. let's get daniel goldman's take, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. what do you think, daniel? >> i think this is a bomb shell. a cooperation agreement can only mean one thing, which is paul manafort is fully cooperating with the special counsel's office, and for -- it's huge, obviously, for the investigation to get someone who's the campaign manager to cooperate who as glenn just rightly pointed out, really knew all the inner operations. but let's think about what paul manafort was there for. he was at that june 2016 trump
tower meeting. he was principally responsible for the republican national convention and recall that the party platform changed in favor of ukraine for whom manafort had worked for many, many years. and there's so much more that we don't even know about, and keep another thung ing in mind, stephanie. donald trump does not use e-mail. he does not text a lot. he is not electronically savvy, so there are not going to be a lot of documents that relate to donald trump's knowledge of any russian infiltration in the election. what you would need in a case like this is testimony and right now special counsel's office got trump's campaign chairman to flip against the trump and his associates in the campaign. this is a guy whose testimony may be very relevant to what donald trump knew about the russian influence in the 2016 election. >> all right, now, gentlemen, forgive me because i know i'm harping on this, and to
delineate between federal and state and where and when a pardon works, glenn, assuming he's a cooperating witness with robert mueller and his team, what does that mean for his hope of a pardon from president trump? you know, when we were on just a few minutes ago, i shared that clip of president trump talking about his disdain and his disgust for flippers. if, in fact, paul manafort is cooperating, that constitutes flipping. >> yeah, the moment that andrew weissman uttered the words cooperation in federal court this morning, i think all hopes of a pardon have gone out the window because there really is no preventing the mueller team from acquiring all of the information that manafort knows. now, when you talk about the sort of difference between federal charges and state charges, if everything were to break bad and let's say manafort tried to back out of the cooperation deal down the road,
then, you know, we could go right back to putting all of the federal charges on him, but he could also be charged in, i believe, at least virginia and florida where he had properties, probably new york as well, although new york has this unique statute that sort of says if you are off the hook for federal charges, you might be able to invoke a statute to get off the hook pardon wise for state charges, but that's unclear. listen, paul manafort has every incentive now that he's entered into this cooperation agreement to continue on cooperating because that's his only hope from escaping out from underneath what looks to be at this moment at least a 20-year sentence, which is a de facto life sentence for paul manafort. >> okay, but hold on on the florida mention, daniel. paul manafort is forfeiting properties in virginia, in new york, and in the hamptons, and he's given up a couple of bank accounts, but to glenn's point,
he's got properties in florida, and if we are still talking about tax fraud, if we're still talking about money laundering, the state of florida is no stranger to either one. what does it tell you? >> i think everything will likely get wrapped up in his federal case. if he's pardoned, and i agree with glenn, i think there really are only two ways that paul manafort could get out of the sentence he was facing in virginia. one was to cooperate and the other was to be pardoned, and what he has apparently chosen is to take the less risky option, the more certain option for him, the one that he actually controls, which is to cooperate, but i don't think at this point we're dealing very much with the state level case. this is a huge development. paul manafort is admitting to all of the conduct that he was charged with in both cases, and he's agreeing to cooperate with robert mueller, and he's agreeing, as you point out, stef to forfeit a number of properties and a number of bank accounts to close to $50 million
of value, which is a significant, significant hit. so this is a huge development that, you know, given the president's past signals and his comments, the one you played earlier this hour, he views people who stand up to the government and stand up for him as loyalty, and that's something that he has used as a reason to pardon people in the past. that they've been treated unfairly. but something he does not like and that he disdains is what he calls flippers, which are cooperating witnesses, and right now paul manafort is one of those. >> well, the president certainly doesn't like flippers or cooperating witnesses. he does love the twitter, and he's yet to tweet in the last hour about this, but no doubt he's paying attention. and let's bring in geoff bennett. he joins us now from just outside the white house. okay, geoff, i've been talking about it for the last hour. just a few weeks ago the president tweeted his praise for paul manafort, specifically for refusing to in the president's words, break and get a deal.
when andrew weissman gets up in court and calls paul manafort cooperating, that sure sounds like breaking and cutting deal. >> reporter: you're right about that. we're waiting to see what the president has to say about all of this. we just got a statement from the white house press secretary, sarah sanders. it reads this way. this had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. it is totally unrelated. what she's speaking to there of course is that the charges have to do with manafort's work before he voijoined the campaig. look, it's clear that the president hired someone, a campaign chairman, who according to the court documents who through at least up until 2016 was committing crimes, laundering money through, as the court documents point out, scores of corporations. so, again, we've seen the white house try to rationalize, try to minimize the president's connection to people who have been ensnared by the russia probe calling george
papadopoulos a coffee boy, who while we of course know he was a trump campaign foreign adviser, and so as daniel goldman pointed out, yes, manafort worked for the campaign for some five months the president says he worked for him just a short period of time. >> he didn't vjust work for the campaign, he was the campaign chair. he was leading and directing the campaign when president trump got the official republican nomination at the convention in cleveland. so to the white house's point, i still remember the day when sean spicer said he was just a volunteer. nonsense, he was a whole lot more. >> it's a great point, and remember, he joined the campaign at a time when it wasn't entirely sure that donald trump was going to emerge as the party's nominee. he was brought on to make sure that the delegates that they had stayed donald trump delegates. not just that, he was there during the campaign during the convention, rather, when the only change made to the republican party platform had to do with the u.s. approach to ukraine, and we know paul manafort did lobbying work for,
what? for ukraine. so certainly a lot of dots that could be connected here. >> indeed there are. thank you so much. glenn, daniel, ken, thank you. stay right here. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, we're going to dig further into paul manafort in court this morning and the plea deal he's taking. . at least we don't have to worry about homeowners insurance. just call geico. geico helps with homeowners insurance? good to know. feeling better? i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 1] i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 2] i love you, pookie bear! [parrots] i love you, pookie bear!!! get to know geico and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. there's nothing small about your business. with dell small business technology advisors, you get the one-on-one partnership to grow your business. the dell vostro 14 laptop. get up to 40% off on select pcs. call 877-buy-dell today. ( ♪ )
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." i am stephanie ruhle. i want to give you the latest on that huge development out of a federal courthouse in washington, d.c. paul manafort, donald trump's former campaign chair has pled guilty to conspiracy against the united states and conspiracy to obstruct justice. that includes witness tampering. nbc's ken delaney is outside the courthouse in washington. ken, walk me through one more time. >> reporter: paul manafort officially pled guilty to those two charges you just outlined. that was expected. the mystery of the day was is he cooperating with robert mueller, and lead prosecutor andrew weissmann called this plea arrangement a cooperation agreement, so most people are interpreting that as yes, he's cooperating. we don't know against whom. we don't know what evidence he's
offering the mueller team, but this is a bombshell development. the idea that donald trump's campaign chairman, who was in very sensitive meetings during the time he was running that campaign, who came to the campaign with many connections to russian-backed figureses to russian oligarchs that paul manafort is cooperating with the mueller team, and he's now pled guilty to two counts. he's also got an information filed that he's not contesting that accuses him on a vast array of illegal conduct. he's only pleading guilty to these two counts today in washington, d.c. >> okay just before the break, geoff bennett shared a statement from sarah huckabee sanders at the white house where she's basically saying, yep, got it, but paul manafort did all of this stuff long before we knew him. it has nothing to do with the administrati administration, count one conspiracy against the united states and i'm reading straight from .62, from in or about and
between 2006 and 2017 both dates being proximaapproximate and in, if this is 2006 to 2017, last i checked would include paul manafort's time with the trump campaign, and does that not take sarah sanders' statement and throw it straight out of the window? >> well, look, she is right that these charges, and this conduct a has nothing to do on the face of omanafort running the campaign and no allegation of corruption on the campaign and what is obvious for some time, and including in the virginia trial, and further obvious from the charges that you just read is that paul manafort's crime spree continued right up into the time and through the time he was workinging on the trump campaign, and we know that he was essentially broke, strapped for cash and defrauding the b k banks at the time he was working on the trump campaign, and there is one bank where he recommended
the chairman of the bank for a job in the trump administration, and he was offering russian oligarch private briefings on the trump campaign, and his partner was also in touch with this guy during his service in the trump campaign, stephanie, so he is inextricably tie and his conduct on donald trump's campaign. >> so he was recommend nod the trump campaign recommended by trump's ally and friend tom barrack, and when he went on vacation to turkey with tom barrack who was then the head of the inauguration committee, and he did not take the any official or unofficial position in the d administration, but tom bar rack stayed very close to the
campaign. and ken is bringing up a good point, because sarah sanders is say saying that it had nothing to do with the president or the administration or the campaign, but when i am looking at count one, conspiracy against the united states, it includes when paul manafort was serving the president in the campaign. could sarah sanders be correct that paul manafort's crime spree may have went on in his time with the president, and no one else knew about it or partook in any way. >> her statement is not telling or important, and that why. whatever manafort did wrong and whatever he is pleading guilty to in some ways can be completely separate from the cooperation that the government will ultimate adduce from manafort. manafort may have robbed three banks and they will ask him about seven insooider trading activities that he knows about, and manafort may have done all of the stuff on his own, but he knows of crimes that other
people committed. his cooperation is not closely tied to the -- well, i should say it a different way. his cooperation is not only tied to the counts to which he plead guilty. he is going to tell the government everything that he knows about everyone who he knows who did anything wrong that he knows about, and so it can does not really matter to what he is pleading to, but what matters is that he is going to cooperate, and that is the big deal. >> and this is what we want to share, because we got ate moment ago, a statement from the president's outside attorney former mayor of new york city rudy giuliani, and quote, once again, an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with president trump or the trump campaign and the reason that the president did nothing wrong and paul manafort will tell the truth. that is the statement that we just got from rudy giuliani, and he is making the statement, and this is another case of someone making a plea and having nothing to do with the president, but he
is making a plea that he committed these crimes during his time working for donald tru trump. think about that. the and we will take to a break. the and we will take to a break. i'll take you there. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. don't forget that the past can speak to the future. ♪ ♪ i'm going to be your substitute teacher. don't assume the substitute teacher has nothing to offer... same goes for a neighborhood. don't forget that friendships last longer than any broadway run. mr. president. (laughing) don't settle for your first draft. or your 10th draft. ♪ ♪ you get to create the room where it happens. ♪ ♪ just don't think you have to do it alone.
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit welcome back to "velshi and ruhle" and i'm in north carolina where the coverage of hurricane florence is taking place. we are getting some of the bands of the hurricane and we are
finally getting a lot of rain down here in south carolina, but it is something that they have had in north carolina for over a day now, and in the northern part of the eastern north carolina, a tnd the storm came ashore is at wilmington, wrightsville beach really at around 7:15 this morning and the eye is moving slowly south and southwest of that. so we are not even getting, really, hours away from the series effects of it here in myrtle beach. the storm is still a category 1 and the winds are about 80 miles per hour right now, and highly destructive and the bigger issue is how slowly the storm is moving. so the winds are whipping around at 80 miles per hour, and sustained with gusts that are even higher than that, but it is inching over land right now which means that it is dumping more and more rain and those winds, the sustain ed winds are doing more and more damage. think of the tree or the roof of the house, and it is one thing to have a few hours of wind, but
it is in some places 24 hours of wind and rain. and the rain softening up the soil, and the wind is pushing on the trees or the poles, and eventually they come down, and that is the danger right now. flooding, and storm surge and rain, and debris, and things are coming down and of course sh, t wind damage the. we know of fire in wilmington and injuries in wilmington, north carolina, and active rescues taking place in new bern, north carolina. we have lost power to half a million people in north carolina right now, and we are now seeing the power outages in south carolina. our coverage of this will continue throughout the course of the afternoon and i will stay here to bring it to you, but now, it is time to hand it over to the chris jansing in new york. >> a ali velshi, thank you for your fantastic reporting. and i'm chris jansing in for andrea mitchell. we will continue the coverage of hurricane florence in a moment. but first, we are covering the breaking news in the mueller
investigation. the president's chairman of his campaign has accepted a plea deal in exchange for cooperation. he has plead giuilty to one cout of obstruction of justice in an effort to tamper with justice, and joining me is ken dilanian and jeff bgeoff bennett at the house, and also, dan goldman, the district attorney for the southern district of new york, and msnbc legal analyst. and you have been at the courthouse, ken dilanian, and this is a guy, paul manafort, who suggested in no way would he cooperate with robert mueller, and what happened inside of the courtroo courtroom? >> that is right, chris. the big question of the day, and once we learned that paul