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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  January 25, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PST

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effect federally guaranteed. so the 30 days of pay that some pop will be out, there's no real reason they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it. >> local people know who they are when they go for groceries and everything else. i think what wilbur was probably trying to say is they will work along. i know banks are working along. if you mortgages, the folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along. they know the people, they've known them for years and they work long. >> the commerce secretary said furloughed federal workers should apply for loans and the president imagines grocery stores giving out food and gifts hoping to be reimbursed.
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joe is out and hopefully he'll be back next week and mika is out with family matter. donny deutsch, wilbur ross, what is that about besides being completely out of touch? >> that's actually a person who shouldn't be in that position. that's not even let them eat cake. that's let them eat seven-layer cake. when trump says they'll work with you. no, that's not how it works people living paycheck to paycheck cannot walk into their local banks and say, hey guys, let's sit down and work out a long-term strategy. wilbur ross will be a poster boy going forward in the 200 election.
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that clip and trump's clip will show up over and over again. it's not just those 800,000 people. it's anybody in this country that lives paycheck to paycheck and that's a lot of people. that's reprehensible. i think he should step aside from his job based on that. that is not our commercial secretary. i don't know whose it is. >> it's so embarrassing he was confirmed by the senate, wilbur ross. all the reports he's the guy falling asleep in cabinet meetings and then this is his connection with the american people and how people are genuinely struggling to pay for their insulin to pay for their k chemotherapy and lara trump, the president's daughter-in-law, had similar comments along those lines. she's been upset the media is distorting what she actually said, which was that she was saying, oh, there's going to be some pain but it's worth it for the wall. >> this was one of the fears the media reported after trump
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assembled his cabinet. he bragged about this being the richest cabinet ever assembled in american history and he thought people showed wealth envy. the problem is they were wondering if these people could connect with people who didn't have a billion dollar, who knew what it was like to go to a grocery store and not propose it idea that doesn't even exist. what the trump administration has proven to many in the american public is he actually cannot understand what it's like, being in the situation they're currently in. >> for the record, forbes' last estimate of wilbur ross' net worth, $700 million. we'll get to the latest with the shutdown and that senate republicans were sniping at each other, feeling some pressure now at a private luncheon yesterday. and news that will be of interest to the house oversight committee as it investigates how the trump administration has handled security clearances.
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two careers white house securities rejected jared kushner's application for a secret security clearance but were overruled. they rejected the clearance after an fbi background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on president trump's son-in-law. kushner's fbi background check raised questions about his foreign contacts, foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign. however, kushner was one of at least 30 cases, 30 cases that were overruled by carl klein, a former pentagon employee who was hired as director of the personnel security office in the executive office of the president in may of 2017. they say klein overruled career security experts and approved kushner's clearance eligibility despite that unfavorable information. kushner's file then went to the cia. two people familiar with the matter said after reviewing the file, cia officers who made
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clearance decisions balked. one called to the white house security division wondering how kushner even got a top security clearance. sources say the cia has not granted kushner clearance to review sensitive material. nbc news was unable to reach carl klein for comment and the white house did not respond to our request. let's bring in national security reporter for nbc news julia ainsley, who can speak to this reporting. julia, it's a pretty staggering story, not just because jared kushner got the clearance and was overruled but because 30 other people may be walking around the white house having not passed the initial test but getting that waiver from mr. klein. >> let's think about who else might have gotten through. i've been speaking to people from former administrations about how they handled this process. they said in the obama administration, for example, having that fbi approval was one layer and that oftentimes this
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office of personnel would want to go beyond that to make sure someone was fit to receive the information that they were getting. now we're hearing that that's reversed, that the fbi layer is only just one recommendation that can be overruled and with kushner and with 30 others they were. why kushner is so important is because we've known for some time and we've reported before that his contacts often during the campaign with the united arab emirates, with qatar, turkey, china and other countries, often blurred those lines between whether it was about the campaign or whether it was about his own personal business. and with all of those foreign contact, that seems to be why the cia said there's no way he can get up to this higher level and they even called and said how did he get this top secret security clearance in the first place? now we know it's because he was overruled by this person carl klein. the question that lingers on carl klein is who is he anni
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answering to? >> that's an interesting point, julia. if you look at when carl klein came in, it was may of 2017. he'd not been in that position previously. that was a few months in to the trump administration. according to your reporting or what you've heard talking to people, is this somebody who perhaps was brought in because he might be open to granting thos clearanc those clearances? >> i don't know for sure. i don't want to speak to why klein was brought if but i will talk about the timing. there was a large back log in people getting their clearances, a lot of interim security clearances. john kelly when he was chief of staff wanted those reviewed and was put on hold when a lot of these came out. i think the reason he was brown in was because there were all of these security clearances maybe being held up. when you talked to people at the fbi who reviewed these in the past they say they take longer when there are so many questions, not just in kushner's
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background but people coming with untraditional backgrounds, heavy ties to foreign governments. he would have been brought in when they had this back log and wanted it cleared. >> as julia points out, there's not a great precedence for this in this great volume. all of a sudden there are about 30 people who are flying through who the initial check said shouldn't be going through. >> i've never heard of anything like this. >> you've worked in state departments and the white house. >> you heard stories how in the clinton administration some people were in the white house on temporary badges but not necessarily on national security positions. but this just the volume of 30 people and also just taking away credit checks, something that you or i have to do if we want to rent a new apartment or job
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applications, not checking the credit of people who are going to work at the white house and be in close proximity to the president and so much sensitive information is just baffling to me. >> we'll wonder now who these other 30 people are. in about 30 minutes, we'll bring in former cia director john brennan. the trump administration said it was revoking his security clearance this past summer. we get this new take on how kushner got his. and julia, we'll talk to you again in just a moment. we have reached the end of the fifth week of the partial government shutdown. day 35, an historic lapse in federal services, as well as missed paychecks for hundreds of thousands. the talk along pennsylvania avenue this morning concern as deal with three weeks of funding
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after two senate bills, one from republicans, one from democrats failed to clear the 60-vote flesh hold. the republican proposal, including money for president trump's wall got 50 votes, losing two republicans and peacekeeping up just one democrat while the al teternati mustered 52 votes, voting to reopen the government with no wall funding. not long after the votes president trump suggested a compromise floating what he called a down payment on the wall he said mexico would pay for of course. but house speaker nancy pelosi put down trump's offer as nonsense. >> mitch mcconnell is meeting with chuck schumer. they're meeting to see if they can work out something maybe on a temporary basis where we start. one of the ideas suggested is that open it, they pay sort of a pro-rated down payment for the wall, which i think people will agree that you need, you need the wall.
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>> reporter: a large down payment for the wall -- >> that is not a reasonable agreement between the senators. >> reporter: do you know what he's talking about? >> i don't know if he knows what he's talking about. do you? i don't know what that means. >> democrats are lookly to reveal a counteroffer in a news conference today. senators have been told to stick around for potential votes. i also want to bring in to our conversation republican communication strategist and political contributor rick tyler. we have a "washington post" report from inside a republican senate luncheon yesterday where ron johnson's going after mitch mcconnell, they're all going after vice president pence who is in the room, mitch mcconnell saying this shutdown wasn't my idea, shutdowns are always a bad idea. it looks like republicans are starting to cave. the democratic bill got more votes in the senate than the republican bill.
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>> i was going to say the same thing. not only that, the democrat being bills that have been passed look more like the republican bills before there was a shutdown. the republican party neither in the house or the senate when they had full control of congress ever funded a wall. and to show you how phony this whole wall nonsense is is, first of all, no republican can tell you where president trump is proposing to build a wall. i think i read in the "washington post" this morning that they wanted to build 200 miles of wall. well, there's 1,200 miles plus, willie, that does not have any type of behavior at all and now republican knows where the 200 miles of proposed barrier wall, force field, whatever they're going to put up is going to be. the second thing, can you not be serious about national security and securing the border when you're not paying the people at the border to protect the border, which goes to the heart of this shutdown. so the whole thing is just
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phony. and republicans are feeling the pressure now. remember, we're just one incident, and i hate to say it, but when you are not paying air traffic controllers and you're not paying tsa agents and i have every confidence the ones who are there doing their job will do their job to the best of their ability, but when you're not paying people at the border, not paying people at tsa or air traffic control, you're just waiting for a disaster. >> let's hope it doesn't come to that. euge eugene, when you watched nancy pelosi in that clip, there was some satisfaction on her face. the idea of a pro-rated agreement, she doesn't know what that means either. mitch mcconnell essentially said i have a principled standing.
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they didn't want to go along with this but they went forward with it. >> they made a vow they would not go forward with legislation that trump would not sign. the fact is he can't get the votes in the senate, the american people doesn't support it and the president doesn't seem to realize that. but what's going to be interesting to me is for a lot of this conversation, mcconnell has been able to go under the radar. now in the last 24 hours, people are like trump's not going to change, somebody has to be the adult in the room, we assume it's the person in the room who is most experienced doing this and he has said he does not like shutdowns and now it's going to turn to mitch. >> nancy pelosi, god bless her, will not give on anything that has to do with a piece of brick
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in a wall. number two, the republicans are starting to cave. how trump started to say about the state of the union, yeah, i agree with nancy pelosi, we can put it off a little bit. eventually the democrats have already moved and there will be that more money. they will end you giving $5.6 billion because we want more border security. trump will turn the wall into the metaphor and say i got an extra $3 billion or $4 billion security in this country, i've done my job. he will walk away, the irony with a metaphor, the very metaphor that he talked about doesn't exisexist, we'll twist metaphor. there's no other ending. >> trump could have done that yesterday. democrats have consistently said we want bored are securitder set to use technology and send more
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individuals down there to monitor. >> watch the way he turns what who meant by a wall. >> it's been unbelievable to me to watch how democratic senators are the ones speaking out about eminent domain. senator michael bennett's speech and he invoked eminent domain and 2,000 miles of border and the land that would be affected. i'm thinking wow, there used to be a time when republicans cared about the government seizing public property. >> yesterday on the floor of the senate, michael bennett who will be on our show next hour. >> now, it's his business, not my business, why he support as president who wants to erect a medieval barrier on the border of texas, who wants to use eminent domain to build that wall, who wants to declare an
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unconstitutional emergency to build that wall, that's the business of the senator from texas. i can assure you that in colorado if the president said he was going to use eminent domain to erect a barrier across the state of colorado, across the rocky mountains of colorado, he was going to steal the property of our farmers and ranchers to build his medieval wall, there wasn't be an elected leader from our state that would support that idea. how ludicrous it is that this government is shut down over a promise the president of the united states couldn't keep! and that america is not interested in having him keep. this idea that he was going to bid a medieval wall across the southern border of texas, take it from the farmers and ranchers
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that were there and have the mexicans pay for it isn't true! that's why we're here, because he's now saying the taxpayers have to pay for it. that's not what he said during his campaign. >> senator michael bennett of colorado addressing senator ted cruz of texas, who had spoken just before him. if you look at the polling, senator bennett was voicing the feelings of many people in this country and asking why are we even here right now? why are people out of work now into their second month? what is going on? >> the fact of the matter is senator bennett is right. the american people do not see the wall as a priority. they do see border security as a priority. remember, this is a manufactured crisis. illegal border crossings are at record lows. they peaked in the clinton administration, that's just when they peaked and they've gone down ever since. we're at record lows of border
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crossings so we're trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. i don't know anybody who is not for bored are security. willie, this is what it all comes down to, a very simple civics lesson, president trump does not have the votes to build a wa period. that happened to george bush when he wanted to move to private security but he didn't have the votes. so you fail and move on. president clinton didn't have the votes to do what was called hillary care at the time because he didn't have the votes. so he lost, he accepted defeat and moved on. so we didn't get hillary care, we didn't get privatization of social security accounts and president trump is in the same position, it's a civics lesson, he simply doesn't have the votes for a wall and he won't get the votes for at wal wall. >> in is a different kind of
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president. he staked his presidency on building that wall. it was just a month ago when the papers said president trump backs away from the wall and that was the day he heard it from ann coulter and sean hannity. if he does not walk away from the wall, who is does it end? >> he can't walk away from the wall if you're running a reelection campaign on promises kept. we have to remember that he had two years when republicans were in control of the house, senate and the white house where he could have moved this forward. when you're having rallies, which he'll be having soon and people are chanting build the wall and expecting you to build the wall and you haven't done that, it's hard to convince people to keep supporting you. he could pivot. mexico is not going to pay for this wall. he should figure out a way to make the argument for bored are
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securi -- border security and saying what i will pivot to is security. >> look at this wall of security was never here before. there was no real real and he'll make the not real real. >> julia ainsley, news out of the special counsel's office. >> got it right here. roger stone has been arrested and he is being charged by mueller's office. he's charged on one count of obstruction, five accounts of false statement and one charge of witness tampering. roger stone said he expected to be indicted by mueller's office. his role in the campaign was loose. he was not officially under the campaign and the trump campaign, but what he was accused of doing was working with wikileaks.
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right now it seems like everything he's been charged with is about lying, witness tampering, false statements. we're still looking to see what the meat on the bones is. what's clear is he covered it up and he was arrested this morning in florida. >> julia, remember we got in november, i believe it was, text messages that showed roger stone discussing the wikileaks and sort of the chronology of when things were going to come out and what exactly they might say. what else do we know about roger stone's role in the campaign as we refresh our viewers this early in the morning about who he was. he's had a long relationship with donald trump personally but who was he in the campaign? >> he's had a long relationship with the republican party. he has a tattoo that says "nixon" on his back. those text messages that he exchanged with randy kredico, it
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was obvious they knew when wikileaks planned to dump those e-mails hacked from the democratic committee, john podesta's e-mails. his role wasn't as defined as manafort's. it would be harder to relate his wrong doing directly back to the campaign as it would as other people who were on the payroll. that relationship with donald trump is critical and also that the wikileaks would have helped the trump campaign. but again right now the things that roger stone was arrested for, those charges are obstruction, false statements and witness tampering. >> danny cevallos, your reaction
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here. you just pulled up a chair when we heard this news. the special counsel's office has arrested roger stone. >> these are all charges that flow from the investigation, the false statements, the obstruction of justice and the witness tampering. i haven't had the chance to look at this indictment yet, it's just breaking, but i can assume they're all thanksgiving that postdate the mueller investigation. in other words, investigators came to roger stone and he allegedly told that false statement, obstructed justice on any of a number of obstruction statutes and may have persuaded another witness to give false testimony. what you can expect from the trump side is going to be that this is entirely a product of the special counsel investigation. these are crimes that were created by the investigation once the d.o.j. and u.s. attorneys parsed over these statements and found anything false in them that they could. that's what i expect to be the trump and roger stone defense to
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these charges. and it's an interesting thing because that indictment, it will be interesting to see whether it con ta contains any charges that predate the mueller investigation. >> this is in the indictment right at the top, during the summer of 2016 trump spoke to senior campaign officials about organization one, and information it might have had that would be damaging to the clinton campaign. this is connecting roger stone to organization one, which i'm is only scanning through this but i speculate that's probably wikileaks and trump senior cam pawn officials. so this is a link between wikileaks, the hack and trump campaign officials. >> it's another example of what we call speakingin diem indictm. indictments just need to be a bare bones recitation of facts, just enough to get over the probable cause hump.
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when you see this detail, this is the u.s. attorney, the d.o.j. indicting, it's their opportunity to speak. they will chronicle what they did through their indictments and you'll notice that, and i'm expecting that the indictment doesn't charge any actual conduct in 2016 but rather the lying about or the obstruction of justice when that conduct was later ve later investigated by the mueller team. i haven't had the opportunity to see that breaking news indictment but i expect that's what we're going to see. >> danny, why stone today versus a month ago versus a month from now? >> that's a strategic decision by the special counsel's office. >> why today? i'm not saying today but this could have happened a month ago, two months ago. as you see him put the pieces together, is there anything that jump out that this is happening
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now because? >> most likely the mueller team is choosing to indime whe they do in order to keep things confidential right up until the last possible minute. when they could have, as you said, indicted him months ago but perhaps if they had, it would make public these facts and it might scare off other targets, other witnesses and other subjects in the investigation. that's something that the d.o.j. and the u.s. attorneys must keep in mind when investigating, to only release this information when they absolutely have to, in other words, in the event they might scare off other individuals. >> julie ainsley, i'm looking through this indictment as you are. what else are you seeing as you read it? >> i want to correct one thing i said about the campaign. he was he was an official with the campaign up until 2015 but then they said he maintained close
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contact. they want to show his relationship with the campaign and when you go down to paragraph 5, stone was contacted by senior trump officials to inquire about contacts. it's spelled out here. >> okay. i'm looking, downanny, we've go one count of obstruction, one witness tampering, five counts of making false statements. roger stone has been dismissive of his role in all of this if you look back to his interviews and things he's done, he said my texts were late-night rantings, i was talking to my buddies.
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will that fly awith robert mueller? >> no, it won't. if investigators showed up at his door and they he gave false information, right there he's violated the statute. witness tampering is sppersuadi or corruptly persuading other witnesses to give false statements. we've seen e-mails and texts of him talking to other individuals who may be persuaded to give that testimony. these charges shouldn't come as a surprise, especially the false statement and witness tampering. >> the one person they come as a surprise to will be roger stone. in december he said i don't think any reasonable attorney who looks at that time will conclude that i committed perjury, which requires intent
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and materiality. it will be really surprising to see how he respond to all of this because in part, he was really concerned -- >> he was so back and forth. you could never decide if he was playing a long con or if he was completely in the middle of it. that's been the mystery of how his presentation has played out during the time. i'm struck by some of the language and color coming out in this indictment. you have person one, who is the intermediary with stone and he's writing him in august 2016, word is friend in embassy plans two more dumps, one shortly after i'm back, second in october, impact planned to be very damaging. and then referred to would not hurt, quote, to start suggesting hrc old memory bad, had stroke, neither he nor she well. >> this speaks to the kind of people around especially in the
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early days of the president's campaign. these were buddies, roj stoger , he worked in politics, bring those people in. we have an arrest and a big indictment from the special counsel of roger stone. >> who were the people emotionally very connected to him during the campaign? it was manafort. it was this guy. this was a guy who i'm not going to say he was his roy cone because he wasn't functioning in that capacity but his nasties e weel -- nasty weasel out there. what does mr. stone have to give up to save his hide? what happens in the room now with mueller? >> i'm looking at a recent tweet with the president as he quotes roger stone saying i will never testify against trump.
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stating he will not be forced bay rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about president trump. nice to know that some people still have guts. that may change as of this morning. >> that may absolutely change. what we're seeing, false statements a classic charge brought by justice, brought by u.s. attorneys when they want to force a witness into compliance. even the toughest witnesses sometimes wither in front of some of these federal sentencing guidelines, which can be really, really nasty. i have to tell you personally, they can be incredibly harsh. defendants would generally much rather be in state court than in federal court. and section 1001, the false statement statute, is a classic used by federal prosecutors in order to i won't say compel but certainly sweeten the pot and encourage a defendant to reconsider his position on not testifying. and if you want evidence for this, just look at all the
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organized crime cases in which even the toughest hitmen even who said i would never testify against my brethren, they get right up there on the stand and they testify. >> if you look at the president's relationship with roger stone throughout the campaign, disputing their relationship with each other and then we found out stone was working with the campaign. to have confidence stone will be faithful with him, especially with everything in the shadows with michael cohen, it wouldn't be wise. >> in iowa so donald trump could have a line he could remember and embrace, he encouraged him to talk about build the wall and talk about it in construction terms and it went over well at an iowa event and here we are today. here we are today. >> julia ainsley, what else you got on this? >> a few more things i'm teasing out as we go. it seems that person two i would
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assume is randy credico. another thing we're talking about the false statements. it seems part of this is lying to the house permanent select committee on intelligence. so mueller is able to charge for false statements nomt jut just s own akgents but people on the hill as well. congress has been very interested as they've done investigations into wikileaks. i think it's really key to where we go from here, that this was not roger stone acting as a rogue actor and then offering this um to tp to the campaign a gift, it was the campaign reaching out to him saying what do you have next, and it talks about here trying to set up a
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secure line, knowing something they're discussing isn't something they would want to be recorded or heard. >> if you start to read through this indictment from the special counsel's office, it becomes pretty clear that roger stone can't be dismissed as a freelancer or mercenary, that there are contacts and requests from the campaign to roger stone. >> it's still unclear whether randy credico had access to wikileaks. who is rogger stone? roger stone who like trump -- it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that he is now indicted. he's known for dirty tricks and
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a lifetime of this shtick has finally caught up with him. >> the special counsel indictment and the arrest of roger stone. we'll be right back on "morning joe." k on "morning joe. i hear it in the background and she's watching too, saying [indistinct conversation] [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪ ♪ i have... ♪ i can't tell you anything about myself. i have... but believe me... i'm not your average consumer.
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breaking news this morning, roger stone, who advised president trump's 2016 presidential cam pan hpaign has arrested and a grand jury has handed down a seven-count indictment from the special counsel's office, including one count of obstruction of justice, one count of witness tampering and five counts of making false statements. mr. stone was arrested in fort lauderdale today. he'll make his initial court appearance later today at the federal courthouse in fort lauderdale, florida. the indictment reads this way, "during the summer of 2016 stone spoke to senior trump campaign officials about organization one, a reference there to wikileaks and information it might have had that would be damaging to the clinton campaign. the indictment goes on, "by, in
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or and august 2016 stone was claiming publicly and privately to have communicated with organization one by in or around mid august 2016, organization one made a public statement denying direct communication with stone. thereafter stone said his communication with organization one had occurred through a person stone described as a mutual friend, a go between and an intermediary. stone also continued to communicate with members of the trump campaign about organization one and its intended future releases. the indictment claims stone took steps to obstruct investigations by the house, senate and fbi into russian interference, accusing stone of making multiple false statements to congress, denying he possessed records with evidence and attempting to persuade a witness to provide false testimony. joining us in studio, former cia director john brennan, senior intelligence analyst for nbc news. i know you haven't read through the indictment, we're still
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reading through it ourselves. what's your initial reaction? >> the term that's being used is unsurprising. many people were surprising this. mr. stone has an established record of being unethical and unprincipled. this is catching up to him. a seven-count indictment i think is a very serious one but it shows the special counsel's office is uncovering the evidence that it needs. just like mr. stone's indictments, i'm not going to be surprised by the other indictments that are going to be coming down the pike very soon. >> roger stone said i will never testify against donald trump. do you think that calculus will chang this morning? >> i think it's changing and it will change. if he decides to go down for mr. trump, i think it will be his loss. the sentencing guidelines tend to sink into them. >> the excerpts of the accounts i read describe the way the special counsel alleges roger stone worked with wikileaks and
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passed that information on to the trump campaign and that the trump campaign sought out that information, that it was not a one-way communication. does that ring true to what you know about the case? >> absolutely. in the summer of 2016 we were watching what was happening in terms of what was being released by wikileaks and how the russian hand was behind this. so the intermediary was something looked at very closely by the fbi and others. so again, this indictment is not surprising in any respect. >> elise. >> how many more indictments would you expect among the senior trump campaign officials that are referenced in here? stone told senior trump campaign officials about materials possessed by organization one wikileaks. that's in the multiple. and also there is a trump supporter that stone was interfainte interfacing with about the wikileaks leaks. >> i expect in the next 60 days you're going to have a fair number -- >> fair? >> significant number of
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indictments. i think people are waiting for the report that is coming out from robert mueller. what i look for most are the indictments. it's so rich in detail. to me all of thee e these indic will be the compendium of the special counsel's office. >> as we speak, where is roger stone, what's happened, what is the process now? they've showed up at his home. teak us throu take us through what's happening. >> when you're arrested for a federal crime out of the district where you're being prosecuted, you're brought before the magistrate in the federal district where he's arrested and he'll get his initial appearance, which deals with things like bail, release. >> is he in a holding cell? is he being interrogated? right now he's been arrested.
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he's got eight hours before he appears. what is his day today? >> he may be being held. it's unlikely he's being interrogated. at this point, number one, there's no need. they would mirandize him and him and they're probably not bothering. he will lawyer up. down the road if he wants to give them statements hees, he c that. for today he's likely being processed. he's sitting in the courthouse, they usually have facilities in the building or nearby to hold him. once they have his initial appearance, if he's held, they'll transport him back up to the district very quickly. he'll only be in florida for a very brief time. >> and he makes his appearance at 11 a.m. today. one of the things we've seen at the trump white house and campaign do when someone is
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identified in the mueller probe and agrees in the investigation, cooperates, is they sort of disconnect themselves from them saying he didn't really have a role in the campaign, michael cohen, he was the pool boy or whatever they want to call him. it's going to be very difficult to do this if you read this indictment with roger stone given the fact that this was a reciprocal relationships, given the fact that there were requests for information from roger stone as is in the indictment. >> they don't seem to be concerned about the reality of facts and therefore they'll push out whatever they want to try to appeal to their base and make the claim that they never had any engagement in anything that was illegal. i think it just is being proved false by all these indictments and all of the individuals who were associated with trump for so long. >> i want to ask you two as we continue to talk about the story the other nbc report this morning about jared kushner,
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senior adviser to the president, the son-in-law of course of president trump being first denied top secret security clearance but then this man, carl klein, who is running security at the white house, coming in and overruling that decision. unusual according to our reporting in white houses for that to happen. elise hays worked in the white house and never heard of that happening. >> in my years working i never heard of the white house making a decision to revoke or to grant. the decision always rested with the intelligence agencies or the fbi in terms of whether or not somebody was eligible for it. i have never heard a decision being made by somebody in the white house to make the final decision about whether somebody should be granted access to top-secret information. >> and it wasn't just jared kushner. our reporting says there were 30
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other people who at first were denied top-secret clearance and then granted it. >> those the politicization of the process. it undermines the integrity of the system and sends a bad signal to security and others who make sure they do their best to maybe sure those who are granted information have the background. >> you said more to come very, very soon. jimmy the greek here, who's the next domino? >> i don't know. >> speculate. >> no, i'm not going to speculate. because people are innocent until alleged to be involved in some kind of criminal activity. >> in leafing through this indictment, we've only just gotten it, it appears roger stone is only indicted for --
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can we read into this that what roger stone did in 2016 before he committed these lying to investigators or whatever, that that was all legal? >> no. again, i haven't read the indictment. i know that in the summer of 2016 i had numerous conversations with james comey about what was happening in terms of what the russians were doing, what was being pushed out publicly, who might have facilitated the release of information. whether or not roger stone was involved in any of that, again i defer to the special counsel's office. but it was an ongoing, very intense investigation at that time to see what u.s. persons or officials might have been working with the russians, either wittingly or unwittingly to interfere in the election. >> as you say, director brennan, we'll wait to see mueller's report to get the full picture of all this. but we do have a lot of pieces that we've seen, cooperation
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agreements and nowin diemts. what's the story that mueller has begun to tell with the public information that we have in. >> that there was an extensive effort to try to influence the outcome of the election that involved the russians, that involved u.s. persons and that may have gone to the very top of the trump campaign. and so i think the shoes that are yet to drop are going to be the ones that are going to be the most profound and that will hit the people at the top of the organization. >> top of the organization meaning donald trump? >> it may be. it may not. >> including family members? >> clearly they have been talked to, they've been interviewed by the fbi. i think there is a fair amount of vulnerability they might have on this. again, i defer to the special counsel's office to determine whether what they did crossed that threshold from collusion, which i think is quite evident,
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to criminal conspiracy. it's across that threshold that will lead to an indictment of people close to mr. trump, that are part of his family or others. >> roger stone has been arrested. former cia director john brennan, thanks for your time this morning. good to see you. we'll be right back on "morning joe." g joe.
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welcome back to "morning e joe." the news again this morning, roger stone who worked with the trump campaign in an official exam pa capacity until 2015 and unofficial capacity until 2016 was arrested this morning. another person on the list of president trump's orbit who have
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been wrapped up by bob mueller. >> i'll go back to donald trump's word. the best people, not the best people. again, it's just another person indicted among all the other indictments. there's people who have been sentenced to jail, people who have been sentenced to jail who are already out of jail. it all leads me to danny cevallos, a question for him about donald trump and this idea of witness tampering or obstructing justice when he is tweeting about michael cohen and his father. it's been reported by bloomberg that michael cohen's father-in-law actually purchased three condos from donald trump at the world trump tower. that's the property near the u.n. is donald trump treading on thin ice here when he's implicating
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michael cohen's father-in-law when his father-in-law actually purchased three condos from donald trump and for what purpose would that be for? >> yes, both obstruction of justice and witness tampering under federal law are heavily dependent on the words used and the intent behind them. it is common in criminal defense for lawyers to stand up in court and tell the media that this witness, this cooperator is a liar, he's a criminal, he's doing this just to save his on skin, he's not doing this out of the goodness of his heart. in that context, that is a perfectly acceptable way to criticize a cooperating witness. but when the president speaks, the context is totally different because he is the d.o.j., he is the executive branch. so that when president trump calls michael cohen a liar or that he has to fear threats about telling the truth, that may take on a different meaning.
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one line that may be a particular meaning is whether trump says something to the effect of "watch michael cohen's father-in-law." the challenge there is what exactly is meant by that? does it mean watch to see what happens to him if he's ever investigated from what he did in the past? that might be acceptable. but on the other hand, it might be watch what i will do to michael cohen's father-in-law as the head of the d.o.j. it's the classic example of organized crime saying, hey, that's a real nice store you have there, it would be a shame if it were to catch on fire. >> if you go down the list of those who have been indicted or struck plea deals with the special counsel's office, it's the top of the trump campaign. it's a who's who in trump's 2016 campaign. paul manafort, michael flynn, michael cohen, rich gates,
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george papadopoulos and now roger stone. running out of people to indict here. >> well, the obvious place to go now it starts to hit a little bit higher. and those who are set to be indicted would seem to be coming from the upper echelons of the trump power orbit, perhaps not even just on the campaign but as director brennan referenced, the possibility that family members are going to be more drawn into this investigation than previously. this tracks with what we have been told throughout the investigation by our various legal analysts and former law enforcement officials who have worked with robert mueller that he will go for the highest targets at the end of the investigation. >> mike flynn was his bodyguard. he traveled with him everywhere. cohen was his personal attorney. this was another former personal fixer. the on gate way you get more
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personal is donald trump jr. and fo folks in that orbit. >> just four hours from now, another former adviser to donald trump will appear in the federal courtroom on charges directly related to russian interferen interferencethe 2016 election. roger stone has been charged on seven counts as part of special counsel robert mueller's investigation. this follows the appearance of nearly a dozen stone associates before the grand jury. the indictment claims that during the summer of 2016 stone spoke to senior trump campaign officials about organization one, a reference to wikileaks, and information it might have that would be damaging to the clinton cam pan. stone was contacted by senior trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases of organization one. stone was claiming publicly and
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privately to have communicated with organization one. around mid august, organization one maida public statement denies such communication with stone. sto the indictment claims stone took steps to obstruct investigations by the house, the foomoned the fbi into russian interference, accusing stone making multiple stalls statements to congress, denying he had evidence and trying to persuade a witness to provide false testimony. joining us now, john harwood. a seven-count indictment, among the charges here, witness tampering and multiple counts of lying here. what do you see as you look through the indictment and what are the implications for the white house here? >> willie, the thing that stands
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out to me is the exchanges between roger stone and senior trump campaign officials, which went both ways about the wikileaks investigation. of all the things going on at the same time, remember earlier in the year george papadopoulos had been told, which we later learned through his talking to an australian diplomat, that there was going to be damaging information stolen about the clinton campaign. then had you the june 2016 trump tower meeting with jared kushner, paul manafort, donald trump jr., all that was set up with the express purpose of an offer of damaging information about the clinton campaign. >> then you had roger stone with these communications. during that time the had briefed
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the trump campaign on the potential for russia trying to interfere, trying to get influence and affect the campaign. so all of these things are going on at the same time, and i think it adds up to a pretty dark picture about the trump campaign and how they were interacting with russia. it looks like they were careful in the way roger was communicating, according to the indictment, with people like randy credico and jerome corsi. they were careful about how they detectively did it but all the things were flowing down the same track in the same direction. it will -- >> danny cervallos, our legal
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analyst, what's the overall picture here? >> the broader pictures is roger stone has been indicted here and what is the greater purpose, is it to induce him to cooperate and give testimony against a bigger fish? or the special counsel takes the position that none of the conduct by roger stone, predating lying to the very long offer whatever else, none of it's criminal? that doesn't seem likely. it seems like the special counsel at least believes there's something wrong about that conduct, or wise it wouldn't include such detail, wouldn't include such a speaking indictment. could it be that they are laying the foundation later on when they indict bigger fish?
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hopefully with or without roger stone's assistance, that this will lay the foundation for that criminal conduct. it does seem odd that with all of this activity that the only thu thing roger stone is indicted for is misleading -- >> the indictment says a senior trump campaign fofficial was directed to contact stone about any additional releases and what damaging information organization one wikileaks had about the clinton campaign. so this senior trump campaign official was directed by someone else, ostensibly at the trump campaign, we can't know who that was, to contact stone and to use stone as an intermediary. is this significant? >> there is so much to unpackage in that paragraph you just
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cited. you're right. a senior cam pan official gets us to high level. underlings doesn't direct senior feg fe officials. now remember, every word in thissin diethis indictment was carefully thought out. they use no more words than are absolutely necessary in an indictment. that's why this is characterized as a speaking indictment. this is telling us about what senior trump officials were directed to do, even if they're not indicted in this particular instrument. so this is very telling about the future of this investigation, beyond just indicting roger stone for false statements and witness tampering. >> hey, guys -- >> i'm sorry, go ahead. >> i was just going to say let's don't forget roger stone and paul manafort have a decades-long relationship. they were business partners in the lobbying firm in washington.
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black, manafort and stone. so can you -- you can assume there was a ready path of communication with those. the one other thing i wanted to say related to that, you were talking about michael cohen's father-in-law and the witness tampering. the suggestion that rudy giuliani made on television the other day was maybe the father-in-law had problems because he may have connections to organized crime. let's don't forget that that may not be unrelated to why michael cohen was the lawyer for donald trump. donald trump had done business with other people look felix seder, who also had those connections. this is not a flattering picture of the president, his associate and people in his campaign and their interactions with the stolen material. >> let's move forward a little
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bit. in the big picture that's been painted that the president or people surrounding the presid t president, is there ever a possibility for treason? in the kind of advivisceral senf it, it is treasonous. if this plays out as we're kind of seeing it, is that out of the realm. >> there are two definitions treasonous. there's the common word we used and in that sense it could be considered treason from a moral perspective. as a crime, treason requires an enemy and you don't have an enemy of declared war. >> even with the infor instance
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of cyber war wear? >> totally grow agree with you but statute is everything. it's unof the few crimes in a t and it's widely understood that the crime of treason requires a declared war. while you may be correct, there is a cyber warfare going on although you may have an argument that the one country we do have a declared war with might be north korea. s if it's relating to russia d did -- we are under even cyber attack. >> if world war ii were raging and that kind of cyber warfare could be committed and it was being done by the germans, for example, that might be treason if you were helping them. but russia, if it's russia as it
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stands, we cannot commit treason in helping russia today because we may be in competition, we may not trust them, we may think they're up to no good about so the crime of treason cannot applied. >> you mentioned a potential cooperation agreement. why have seen who -- what we have seen is people who have shown loyalty, they'll go down for donald trump. do you suspect that bob mule el looks at roger stone as a very potential cooperating witness here? >> yes. i think we can infer that safely
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from this indictment. you might say why would robert mueller go through the value of indicting roger stone, other than just punishing him for lying to investigators. it's more likely, it appears to me, that roger stone is a source of valuable information. based on what we publicly know already, roger stone had connections. if you connect the dots between him and other sources, it lead directly to wikileaks and wikileaks leads to russia and cyber warfare. those are all connections for which rad stone i will testify aga again, the reality is just as you said. the folks who say that the most loudly are often the ones who ultimately do end up cooperating, if the mueller team is willing to offer that agreement. >> rudy giuliani a little less than a month and a half ago when
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asked whether president trump knew about his communications with roger stone about wikileaks. >> did roger stone ever give the president a heads up concerning wikileaks and the dnc? >> i don't believe so. ben agai-- again, if roger ston gave a heads up -- it's not a crime. s that why this is so weird, strange. the crime is conspiracy to act. collusion is not you a crime. >> let's bring in national security reporter for nbcus as we continue to shift through the seven-count incandidate an arrest of roger stone in florida this morning. what more. i think it gives us a window of
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where robert mueller goes next. there's a high-ranking trump campaign official sending a message in october 2016, right around the time when wikileaks dumped the dnc e-mails saying "well done" and said they had subsequent conversations with senior trump campaign officials. he just hits this again and again in this indictment, the number of conversations with the trump campaign. and also the fact that they would have had a heads up on this. so they're able to coordinate a took and anything they want to do around these wikileaks e-mails because they know they're coming. if you connect those dots from roger stone to randy credico to julian assange, it seems like a small increment when you break it out but it is a web more
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seemingly strung together than when we first woke up this morning. >> we heard from roger stone he was sort of a freelancer, operating on we've heard they weren't working officially for the trump campaign. roger it's clear there was a back and forth between the campaign and roger stone. >> as i said before, a very longstanding relationship over 40 years with paul manafort. and during this time period, president himself gave a news conference where he said "russia, if you're listening, go get the other missing e mal-mai. you had the private conversations but president
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trump had a public component to it as well. it is the idea that they didn't know what was going on is simply not credible when you look at this indictment in totality with all the other things going on. >> i want to remind everybody to put this in big donald trump con plex. there is nothing going on in that campaign that donald trump did not know about. >> i'm reading in hindsight an astounding story from cnn where they talked to roger stone and they talked about the idea that it would be roger stone day and he didn't believe that day was ever coming. a quote from a friend who said, quote, there was a time when roger didn't make plans on fridays in other words, he felt
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like mabb he was free and clear of this. but this morning we learned differently elise. >> roger stone's public posture has been that he has adamantly doo need in way, shape or form. he has denigrated those who cooperate, who are weak, who dlif, and if he does have a shift in his public posture and leans more towards self-preservation. this certainly seems as though the mueller team wants to force his hand, but is that going to be enough? you look at the threats that roger stone reportedly disseminated as documented in this indictment and he was unsparing, threatening so i
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wonder is he going to stay strong for donald trump. >> let's throw out the horrible "p" word, as donald trump's president's men start to fall, manafort, you see here, is there any back channels to a gentleman like mr. stone, don't worried, pal, got the pardon word coming from you. >> oh, the pardon word. are there back channels? probably not. at this point roger stone's but dangling a parton at this. >> i guess the question is had that already been done? does it ever happen that trump starts to use that final, final, final executive straw to kind of make this move in nor direction? >> as we move further along in the investigation, when trump -- when and if trump starts using the pardon to get rid of some of
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these cooperating witnesses, a stronger case can be made that he's using the pardon corruptly. the pardon will still be validit is subject to very few limitations. so the president could actually lawfully pardon all of these krids and the pardons would be valid. however, the conduct if done for a correct, improper purpose might be an offense and may even be a federal crime. >> guys you want to know what would make 15 republican senators vote to convict after the house impeaches the president, which i believe they will, an indiscriminate use of the pardon hower that danny was just suggesting may be a way to do that. >> i was going to say i
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completely agree. not only would he lose support of lawmakers but also his base. the i know he said he can't do anything to lose his base but that is not true. he's lost white evangelicals. if he continues to show himself to be surrounded by people who behave corruptly and he seems to excuse that, there are some people who voted for trump in 2016 who would not back him in 2020. >> remember, it's for moments like this that over two years president trump has been attacking the fbi, he's been attacking the justice department, he's been attacking the special counsel's office because when bombs like this drop, he wants to be able to say that's not a legitimate operation. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll be joined by a member of the intel committee, senator michael bennett and senator chris coons and jeff merkley.
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joining us now, a member of the appropriations and foreign relations committee, senator jeff merkley and former u.s. attorney from alabama, joyce vance. thank you for being with us. >> you bet. >> we want to dig into the shutdown with you and hopefully get an end to this thing for all the federal workers missing a second paycheck today. we want to ask you about the breaking news of the arrest and indictment of roger stone, what's your opinion? >> the fact that they've laid it out with seven counts, it's a pretty powerful statement. >> do you believe this is a direct connection from the top
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of the trump campaign to russia? >> i haven't had time to analyze it. but it certainly shows he was an intermediary communicating back and forth with wikileaks and with the campaign, which is a pretty significant role. >> joyce, put on your prosecutor's hat here. as you've begun to read through this indictment, what's the story it tells? we've got seven counts. we don't have conspiracy in there. we have witness tampering, we have obstruction, we have seven in total. what do you see as you read through this? >> this seems to be the next chapter in the story that mueller's been telling us. we saw in the hacking indictment mueller came right up to the edge of talking to an american citizen in hacking and even in the trolling russia engaged in during the campaign. now we have the first american indicted in the use, the coordination, maybe even the collusion between the campaign and wikileaks over that data.
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stone is clearly involved, but this indictment like so many mueller indictments is a speaking indictment that tells a story and that story is the involvement of high-ranking officials in the trump campaign who are yet to be named. >> if you're bob mueller, are you looking at roger stone as a cooperating witness? >> i'm hoping stone would cooperate. i'd like to have his direct testimony. people can change their mind when they're facing indictment, he was arrested this morning, wasn't given the opportunity to turn himself in as some are. >> we are looking at two votes, the democratic bill which opened the government for a temporary period to get these people paid at least, these federal workers paid in the short term, that didn't cross the threshold either. where do we go from here? where's the meeting in the
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middle? >> that is the magical question. i had a number of town halls earlier this week in which i laid out the vision of, hey, there are seven spending bills being held hostage. why to the release six of them and do a continuing resolution on the seventh. i found in the conservative parts of my home state, that sounded pretty appealing to people, pretty reasonable. but that vision the house laid out hasn't resonated with the republicans. so now we're looking for that magical bridge here. but the wall itself, this 30-foot construction that many on the border guards say is not effective as a deterrents is not cost effective, a 4th century challenge for a 20th century challenge, that has become a symbol. >> do you agree with spoke espe pelosi who says it's immoral and
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will not be any part or any shape of part of an agreement? >> i do agree it's become a symbol of an approach, an attitude of those fleeing prosecution and arriving on our border to now child separation, a system of child prisons, family internment camps that the president has been seeking to expand and just a very callous attitude towards those who arrive, here in our country, a country where most all of us are immigrants, children of immigrants. >> the 800,000 people out of work, you had an interesting suggestion for wilbur ross, let them eat cake, that these people just go and get loans and do whatever they have to do. >> absolutely. it show as complete disconnection between the billionaires of trump's cabinet.
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when you miss one or two paychecks, that's an amazing stress on the family, rent, responsibilitie responsibilities. you hit two paychecks ands that today, this is enormous stress. and we're going to start seeing more stress compiled. we're going to start to see the federal government run out of funds, for example, for food stamps. that affects in my state 650,000 families. so the heat is going to build. >> i like your suggestion that mr. ross should give a loan for those 800,000 families. >> how do we get our way out of this? does president trump have to move off his demand for the wall? if so, what makes you think he would do that? >> trump has repeatedly said we are all in for border security. when you talk to border guards,
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they say we need more sensors to know when people are approaching the border and we need more personnel to respond. we, the democrats, have supported border security in all kinds of ways. we've voted for some $40 billion in the 2013 bill, we sent a billion and a half for border security last year, funds that are now allocated but haven't yet fully been spent. so we are -- border security, yes. if the president wants border security, we are there, but let's do it in a smart way appropriate to the challenge. >> are you willing to wait him out for as long as that takes? could be weeks, months, who knows. >> i think the real question is the senate republicans. mitch mcconnell has been hiding from the world, not taking responsibility for the article one branch of government. congress is supposed to set policy, and therefore it should be on the senate floor offering amendments, considering different approaches and when we're there on those votes, lots of conversations are taking place in the hallways and in the
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back rooms between members of each party saying how do we find our way out of this? >> "the washington post" report this morning showing some cracks in the senate republicans fighting with each other at a lunch with vice president pence. >> they're very uncomfortable. they're voting against stuff that they voted for overwhelmingly and their common sense says border security, that's the answer, that's what the nation needs, we've got a bipartisan approach to it, the problem is the president and the problem is senate republicans feeling trapped by their base. they're worried about their primary elections in the future. >> let's hope for the benefit of all those workers this can be resolved very quickly. >> senator jeff merkley, thank you for being here this morning. >> good to be with you. >> coming up, the breaking news that roger stone has been arrested and charged as part of special counsel robert mueller's investigation. we'll also show you part of senator bennett's speech on the floor of the senate rebuking senator cruz yesterday. we'll be right back on "morning joe."
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unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. we've learned now the senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed president trump's former fixer michael cohen. the news comes one day after coen delayed his public testimony citing alleged threats against his family from president trump and rudy
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giuliani. a source with direct knowledge of the matter tells nbc news cohen will testify on february the 12th in front of the senate. cohen's legal adviser lanny davis says cohen intends to comply with the subpoena for an interview. >> will michael cohen testify if subpoenaed under terms perhaps not in open session? witnesses testify all the time to all of these committees in private. will he honor a subpoena? >> of course he will honor the subpoena, but what he will do as a result of the subpoena is a legal issue that would come down to reasonable discussions. >> meanwhile the top republican on the house intelligence committee, congressman devin nunez, called cohen's claim of being threatened by the president, quote, silly. >> i would love to have cohen in congress answering some of these tough questions. whether, you know -- saying he's getting threatened seems pretty silly to me. we wanted cohen to come in. it makes no sense he's using the
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excuse he's been threatened. that doesn't make sense. >> the threats that michael cohen has referenced is literally quotes from rudy giuliani on television and donald trump saying "watch the father-in-law." >> devin nunez, shut up, okay? right after the jeanine pirro interview, i was on with michael, i'm not doing it, i'm not doing it. what are you talking about? my wife is sitting here crying. my father-in-law is in his 80s. so devin nunez -- i'm not defending michael cohen, you can like him, not like him, he's going to be serving his jail time but devin nunez, i hope your father-in-law or children are never threatened by the man who the department of justice reports to, tough guy. >> and michael cohen regrets all the threats he used to throw out against journalists. >> i'm sure he does and he's going to be paying the price for
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it. >> that's the thing i think about. nunez doesn't know trump as well as cohen knows trump. he just came on to the table. this is what happens when you see a lot of republican lawmakers rally behind someone who has not proven himself to be a person of ethics and character, you find yourself in this situation where you're having to defend the indefensible and voters held them accountable for it in november and i think they're going to continue to in this upcoming election. >> it looks like a subpoena coming from the senate and later from the house. what would be your approach if you're michael cohen? obviously you honor the subpoena but do you testify and give the questioners what they're asking? >> first off, i'm not sure we'll ever actually hear from cohen, us, the public, because the senate has held these hearings for the most part behind closed doors. this may be a little bit
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tempting us to. i think your point is a good one, though. cohen will comply with the subpoena. he will assert the fifth amendment privilege, explaining his testimony will incriminate him h him. there's also this issue with the complex interplay with the mueller investigation. cohen shouldn't testify about ongoing investigations. that will require coordination between the committee and special counsel's office. >> donnie, it's no secret because michael cohen said it, he wants to testify, wants to tell his story. >> two points, number one, in his reason of backing out as far as in front of the congress, there are these ongoing investigations that are percolating in different directions that he is cooperating with so that's one other reason. i believe he will. he does want his day in court and i do believe he will end up
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testifying publicly in front of congress. he's already testified behind closed doors in the senate. he does want his day and does want his stories told and there a lot of stories to tell. >> fromperspective, not talking legal advice, he needs to get rid of lanny davis. it surrounds him with the lanny davis's fifth and the clinton scandal. it would be advisable if he wants to turn over a new leaf to -- >> the president made that point. >> if there's anything the president knows, it's p.r. >> senator bennett made news yesterday with a direct rebuke of ted cruz on the senate floor over the government shutdown. >> the democrats are fond of using the phrase hostage taking. they are quite literally holding the men and women of the coast guard hostage because they want to win a political victory
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against the president. their objective here is have the president back down and have not a single mile of border wall built. >> these crocodile tears that the senator from texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take. they're too hard for me to take. because when you -- when the senator from texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded, it was under water. people were killed! people's houses were destroyed! their small businesses were ruined forever! and because of the senator from texas, this government was shut down for politics. >> senator, good morning. thanks for being with us. we appreciate it as always. let's get you talking a little
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more about your frustration there because i think you spoke for a lot of americans when they look at these stories of 800,000 furloughed workers missing a second paycheck, when they look at all the contractors not working at all and the fallout of this shutdown, they look back and they say why are we here? why are we doing this? it's because the president wand to deliver on a wall because he led chants during the 2015 and 2016 election and now he found senators to help him in that cause. >> it turned out to be a demonic device to remind him at every whistle stop he should divide the american people over imgragti immigrati immigration. it turned out to be a lie that mexico will not pay for the wall, which we knew all along. most coloradoans, we'd like to
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think we're still a great country, that we'd like to pursue health care for everybody, education that's high quality for everybody, build our infrastructure, all of that stuff. and instead we find ourselves in this perpetual battle in the nation's capital that has nothing to do with the priorities of the american people, to say nothing of the 800,000 federal employees and contractors who, as you say, have missed their second paycheck. i mean, this is so ridiculous, the idea that we're shut down is one thing, but the idea that we're not pursuing a set of priorities that's important to the future of the country when china is pursuing their priorities is an embarrassment i think to a lot of people. >> we had your colleague senator merkley sitting here a minute ago. i'll put the same question to you i put to him. we all understand the outrages of the shutdown and the fallout
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and pain it's caused many people. but you're in a position to do something. if we can be productive and constructive, what's the way out of it? how do we get people back to work ending the shutdown? >> i think we should just end it now period. if you saw the votes yesterday on the floor of the senate, you'll know that there's more than a majority of senators who want to open it. clearly the house would like to open it. the difficulty that we have is that we've got somebody in the white house who's, to be pligol about it, probably the most id y -- idiosyncratic deal maker and we have absolutely no idea what president trump will accept to open the government again. my sentiment is mitch mcconnell should put a clean offering on
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the floor and that's how we should proceed. >> in that closed door meetings with senate republicans, the majority of leaders said this shutdown was not my idea and how in principle he's against shutdowns. >> we should never shut the government down for politics or for anything else for that matter. i said last night in the conversation i was having with ted cruz there has been this deliberate attempt to separate the federal government from the american people. i have lots of problems with the federal government, but we live in a democratic republic. when you separate the government from the people in a democracy, bad things happen. we need as americans to reclaim our government, to insist that people here operate to the same standard that elected officials operate at home. no school board. i used to be a superintendent. there's not a school board in
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america that would shut their government down for a political disagreement. that's true for municipalities and any government involved in the flupluralistic exercise of self-got. it's been a long time even before dronald trump got here that the freedom caucus allows people to govern the way the american people expect it to be governed. >> i agree that a shutdown should never be for political purposes. any other employer that would force people to work without pay would face serious legal consequences. would you support an escrow account as one idea so that the government workers get paid during a shutdown? a future shutdown to me with this president seems inevitable or do you have any other ideas of legislation to protect
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federal workers from missing out on their paycheck, an honest day's pay for an honest day's work? >> first of all, i would support the idea of an escrow, i think that's a good idea. the bill that i have, which i've had for several years now is a bill that says if the government shuts down, the senate should report to the chamber at 8:00 in the morning the next day of the shutdown and not leave until we resolve our differences. it says that senators that don't show up can be arrested, which is what the rules are of the senate by the sergeant of arms and taken to the senate floor to be there. the problem we've got right now i think is that when we have a shutdown like this, the only people that suffer no consequences at all are politicians in washington, d.c. if we align the interests of those politicians with the federal workers who are not getting paid, who are losing their jobs, who are having to look for other work with the federal workers, i think you'd find this government would probably never shut down or if
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it did, that it would be open ten minutes later. >> eugene scott? >> senator, the president st continues to say democrats are not working with him because you all do not support border security and there are conservatives in colorado concerned about that. what would you tell them right now is your plan to make the border more security without funding a border wall? >> thank you. in 2013 i was part of the gang of eight that negotiated the immigration bill that passed in the senate. it had $46 billion of border security in it. the first two words of the title of the bill were border security. it built 350 miles of what the president calls steel slats, doubled the number of border agents on our border. it had internal security so we could know who overstayed their
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visa. because that bill has not passed, we have no capacity to know who those people are and who we want to keep and who we want to send back. your point about people in colorado that are conservative is absolutely true. my state is a third republican, a third democratic and a third independent. when i went -- right before i went to work on the gang of eight, i created something called the colorado compact on immigration, traveled all over the state developing principles based on what people at the local level were saying they wanted to do with our broken immigration system. the first signatories on those principles was a group called club 20, which is one of the most conservative groups in my state, but they supported that compact and they supported the gang of eight bill because they know what's happening to farms and ranches and dairy operations all over this country because of this foolishness in washington, d.c. at home there is a consensus on when we should do with our
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border. we should strengthen it. at home there is a consensus of what we should do with the 11 million undocumented people here. we should create a rigorous pathway to citizenship. and that is what was and that was what was reflected in the 2013 bill and it passed the senate with a bipartisan majority as i mentioned last night. it never came to a vote on the foor floor of the house of representatives and now we have a president who got into the white house by demagoguing immigrants, by demagoguing our commitment to the rule of law and that is why i think people at home are so frustrated with the insanity at what's going on here. >> senator you're on the intel committee. you may have special interest in the news that broke this morning that advisor both formal and informal to donald trump during the 2016 campaign was indicted on seven counts by a grand jury
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out of the special counsel's office and arrested in florida this morning. what's your reaction. >> i think over 30 people have been indicted now as a result of these probes. more than eight people have pleaded guilty. this is serious business at a time when we've got a president who's not committed clearly to the rule of law, not committed to freedom of the press, not committed to oversight role of congress. it is imperative that all of us, whether we're senators or citizens at home do everything we can to defend the mueller investigation. think that's what we need. i think we need to hear our republican colleagues saying this isn't a witch hunt, this isn't insane. this is a serious criminal investigation and we've got to get to bottom of it. >> is there any doubt in your mind based on what you know that roger stone was working as intermediary between the trump campaign and russia wix kileakss
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well? >> somebody who believes in the rule of law i want to allow the investigation to complete itself in the legal case to be complete, but there's no question that he was engaged in unsaverry activity and we'll see whether it rises to the level of crimin criminali criminality. but we should be deeply, deeply concerned about the degree to which russia interfered with our election in 2016 and their plans to interfere with it again. that is something we need to defend ourselves against and that's another thing that republicans and democrats should be working together to make sure we prevent. >> senator michael bennett, we appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll talk to another top democrat about the breaking news that roger stone has been indicted in the mueller investigation and arrested this morning in florida. senator chris coons will be our
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welcome back. it's "morning joe." it's friday, january 25th. former aide to the former george w. bush white house. and an msnbc contributor joyce vance also with us. legal analyst and republican communications strategist and an msnbc political contributor, rick tyler. the breaking news in fort lauderdale, florida, roger stone, a long time advisor to donald trump and former partner to paul manafort will appear in a courtroom. he's been charged by a grand jury in washington, d.c. as as a result of special counsel robert mueller's investigation.
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the indictment from the special counsel's office claims that during the summer of 2016 stone spoke to senior trump campaign officials about organization one, a reference to wikileaks and information that might have had that would be damaging to the clinton campaign. the indictment goes on, stone was contacted by senior trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases by wikileaks. it goes on to say stone also continued to communicate with members of the trump campaign about organization one in its intended future releases. the indictment claims stone took steps to obstruct investigations by the house, the senate and the fbi accusing stone of making multiple false records to congress and atemping to persuade a witness to provide false testimony. on march 19th, 2016, russian hacker accessed the e-mail
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account of chairman john po bd a podesta. in july wikileaks began releasing stolen e-mails in the days before the 2016 democratic national convention. later that week president trump asked russia to find hillary clinton's deleted e-mails. as the mueller probe has revealed russian intelligence tried to break into her account that very same day. in early august roger stone and corps si e-mailed about planning more dumps and he was having dinner with julianne assange which stone later says was a joke. on august 21st, 2016, stone tweeted this, quote, trust me, it will soon be podesta's time in the barrel. two months later in october wikileaks begins rolling out podes podesta's e-mails setting off a series of damaging stories for
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clint clinton. trump won the presidency the very next month. let's take a big step back here. roger stone was arrested early this morning under the cover of darkness in fort lauderdale, florida. he's got a court appearance coming up in three hours here. we've had some time to go through this 7-count indictment. one cant of obstructing an official proceeding. five counts of false statements one count of witness tampering. what does it all mean to your eye? >> it means that the mueller investigation is at a weigh point. this is the next step as they parse how much cooperation there was between the campaign and the wikileaks, the russian release of information regarding clinton. we know at this point that there were high rarnging officials inside of the campaign who were having conversations with stone and of course you remember we learned in reporting in last november that the president continued to speak with stone in a series of late night phone
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conversations so i think this is a very important piece of detail. we don't know how high up the cooperation goes with the campaign, but what's notable about this indictment is what's not in it. this is not a conspiracy indictment. this doesn't charge stone and others, it charges just stone implying that the mueller investigation may be trying to see if stone will cooperate and give them direct testimony before they move on. >> fit's important you brought up those late night phone calls because that is a direct line as we look at how far up this may have gone in the campaign between donald trump now president trump and roger stone. they talked on the phone during the summer of 2016 when stone was an informal advisor to the campaign. stone later said when asked about the content of those phone calls he said it just didn't come up talking about wikileaks. i'm able to see we never discussed wikileaks. i'm not sure what i would have said to him anyway because it's all speculation. i just don't know if it's true or not. >> stone's be so truthful about
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everything over the course of this investigation thatty i'm se he's truthful here. phone conversations talking about the release of e-mails isn't the same thing as collaborating as conspiring with russia over the release. so we have to be careful about the details and what they might mean. >> does this indictment mean that roger stone is not out of the woods when it comes to a potential conspiracy charge, just that that could be forthcoming based on if he -- if he chooses to cooperate or if he doesn't cooperate? >> i think that's absolutely right. this indictment is very pregnant with details that aren't included as charges. so it's possible that they could be sensing stone, you know, the way people react once they've been indicted is very different than how they react prior to indictment. and it could be if stone doesn't cooperate this indictment could be superseded to bring in additional charges. >> danny, you've been with us
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since this broke early this morning. what do you see a come hours in. >> building on what joyce just said it raises the question of why indict roger stone on just these false statements, obstruction of justice, it seems to me that this will be a crowbar that the doj, that the mueller team uses to try and induce cooperation. from that we can draw some inferences. first, roger stone must have something that they find interesting. otherwise, why even consider that as a possibility? why not just indict him for all the bad things that are alleged in the first half of the indictment, which he doesn't appear to be charged with a crime for. now, of course the mueller team might think well, none of that was a crime. but that doesn't seem likely. more than likely, this is a charging decision and a negotiation or some decision to charge roger stone now. if he doesn't cooperate maybe we will see a superseding indictment where they back up the dump truck and hit him with everything that they think they
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can hit him with. so at this point, roger stone has a lot of decisions to make assuming that the mueller team is even interested in his cooperation. whether or not he's going to change his mind and his position on this never testify against trump position and actually consider cooperating in order to save his own skin as so many cooperating witnesses ultimately do. >> danny, i think the million dollar question are what are the federal guidelines in sentencing? if he's looking at six months he doesn't flip. you don't have the crowbar. can you give us what the guidelines will be? >> that's tough. one of the things we know he's going to be a criminal history category of one assuming that he hasn't been convicted of any other crimes. but in terms of the actual crimes, it requires going through the sentencing guidelines and arriving at a sentencing monthly range which isn't going to be on the highest
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end. this isn't a gun case, this isn't a high quantity of drugs case. the charges that he's hit with, the false statements, some of the others, they only have maximum penalties of five years but even that is not a good indicator of what a defendant ultimately serves. we can talk about his maximum exposure, but that is always a number that is far far above what the sentencing guidelines indicate especially for somebody with no real history. >> let's bring in national security reporter for nbc news. julia, as we read through this indictment one of the lines we see, quote, during the summer of 2016, stone spoke to senior trump campaign officials about organization one, a reference there to wikileaks. i guess the question now is, who are those quote senior trump campaign officials and just how senior are they? >> well, that's the big question i think we're all trying to pore over now. i don't want to speculate until
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we know who that might be, but i also have been thinking and you and i have been doing this since 6:30 when we broke down this news. it's -- weir putting in a larger context here and i think joyce and danny are doing this as well. the idea here that he's being charged with lying, think about how many people mueller has charged with lying. flynn lied to the fbi. manafort lied and violated his own plea agreement. so many people within this circle are charged with lying and with obstructing justice. so the question is why do they continue to do that? it's obvious mueller has so much information, why would someone go in and not tell the truth either to mueller or to congress because in this case he's charged with lying to the house committee. so is it that they're being directed by others? and it's clear as we read this indictment, the direction goes up and up. stone was directed -- or was in contact with the senior -- not administration at that point, campaign official and that person was directed by someone else within the campaign.
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so all of this is trickling down and it's clear that mueller is putting together these pieces and that perhaps these people have been instructed to lie. >> and rick tyler, this is just about every piece of senior leadership around the trump campaign. again, roger stone left in official capacity in august of 2015 but obviously continued to speak to donald trump at the time and people throughout the campaign. >> well, i want to ask joyce, because in the indictment itself it says that -- which is what we've been talking about is stone sought stolen e-mails, think stolen property, at the direction of a quote unquote senior campaign official. that is a small universe of people and i will speculate that would be people like manafort, donald jr., eric, kellyanne conway, ivanka trump, jason miller, stephen miller or trump himself. would you expect another indictment from the person who gave direction to roger stone
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that an indictment is imminent? >> so if that person is someone that mueller believes he can indict given existing doj policy i would expect that at some point we would see an indictment of that person. the question is what is that crime that's committed there? that requires a little bit more detail or maybe a more careful read of this indictment than i've had time to do yet. it's not direction of hacking, it's not participation in the hacking but it could be a conspiracy to distribute stolen property. there are a lot of different possibilities here. we just don't know where mueller has landed yet. >> what about the way bob mueller has proceeded here? very methodically. one day it's roger stone, we may not hear from him again in several weeks or several movants -- months. >> this is like playing a game of blocks and he's building very carefully so that the foundation is strong.
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the reality here is when you're going this high up in the political organization of the united states you have to be very careful. you can't get out ahead of yourself. so the foundation is strong. when they goat the the top of the tower we know it will hold. >> one thing i found interesting as i got more into the charges about lying, just how specific this indictment is, roger stone denied in front of the intel committee that he had had any communication with person two and here they -- in the indictment it says stone and person two exchanged over 30 text messages. is that going to make -- can we infer from that that other individuals who are unnamed in this, but described that the mueller investigation has all of their communications on these topics? >> i think that's exactly right. and that's why so many prosecutors are surprised by how quickly this investigation has moved. it takes time to subpoena and
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receive all of these communications, time for investigators to go through them and put them altogether on a time line. mueller's acted very quickly. he's obviously devoted resources not just to acquiring communications but to understanding them, anything that happened on this timeline i think it's safe to say he has. >> as we look at this timeline, october 6th, 2016 roger stone tweeted this about wikileaks. a devastating expose on hillary at a time of his choosing i stand by my prediction. the next day when the access hollywood tape came out just hours after the release of that tape there came the stolen e-mails from podesta. podesta told reporters he blamed the trump campaign pointing the finger at roger stone and that's supported at least in part by what we've learned in this indictment. roger stone was profiled in the netflix documentary entitled "get me roger stone."
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here's what paul manafort had to say about stone. >> roger was one of the two or three people who strongly recommended me, yes. even after roger stopped being the principal political advisor to trump he continued to be a very important advisor and is to this day. roger's, you know, relationship with trump has been so interconnected that it's hard to define what's roger and what's donald but it will be clearly a trump presidency influenced by a stone philosophy. rogers' relationship with trump, they both see the world in a very similar way. if trump is elected president i think roger will see one more significant impact he's had on world history. >> let's bring in jeff bennett. any reaction this morning from the white house. >> reporter: no reaction yet either from the white house or the president's outside legal team. we've been asking all morning, but look, we can almost sort of predict what the white house is going to say because we've been through this before with people
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close to the president being ensnared by the russia probe and in previous instances the white house and the president himself they've tried to justify and minimize the president's connection to people. calling papanikolaou a low level and saying michael cohen, the president intimated he only handled low level pr work. paul manafort worked with him a small amount of time which wasn't true. so when we do get the chance to hear either from directly white house officials or perhaps they might issue a statement i think we know what they are going to say. what is also interesting is don't forget rudy giuliani, a few days ago sort of suggested that there could have been collusion between the campaign and russia. rudy giuliani said i only speak for the president and there was no collusion between president trump and russia but i can't speak for the rest of the campaign.
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so in perhaps some way he was signaling this. >> what the white house approach has been and what president trump's approach has been is more of a pr campaign that i didn't really know this guy. he wasn't one of my friends it's not really a legal argument because the facts or the alleged facts are laid out in the indictment. those are tough to run away from. >> right. giuliani has always been running a pr strategy. always been leaking bad facts before they're reported in the press. we see that again here. this sort of argument that well, maybe someone in the campaign colluded but it wasn't me and this is i think where trump is sort of finally barricaded alone in a room saying others colluded. i did not. mueller's report up to the hill should be very interesting. >> so danny, as you read through this indictment, i won't ask you to become one of president trump's press advisors but how concerned should they be when you put it together particularly with everything else we know from michael cohen and paul manafort and michael flynn going all the way back to the beginning of the investigation. >> this speaking indictment is starting to coaless facts and
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mate by if the final report is somehow kept from the public, this may be the enduring history, the showing the work of the mueller team is this series of speaking indictments, which lay out far more factual information than is required just for an indictment. and all of that activity prior to roger stone obstructing justice and -- and tampering with witnesses, that is the key in connecting up the dots about the relationship between roger stone and an organization that is almost surely wikileaks and then from there, more dots are connected. so we see coming together a theory of liability that maybe the mueller team might connect up later on with additional indictments. going back to just a couple weeks ago, there were folks who said that the mueller team might be wrapping up by february. but i cautioned even then that it couldn't be likely. and roger stone, if he does
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decide to cooperate he may gave the mueller team an entirely new avenue of inquiry that they didn't have before. with each new indictment there's a potential co-op ray tor. with each new cooperator something completely new. >> you look at the netflix documentary and you have to understand the way trump works. even though he was running a company, very person to person, and there is no chance roger stone because if you just look at his m.o., trying to curry favor with the president, if you go on the premise that that relationship was so tight and he had this nifty trick going, it's almost inconceivable to think that donald trump did not know about it, was not a part of it. you kind of have to put the personal together with the actual indictment. you can't come to any other conclusion. >> roger stone writes about their relationship and in his
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telling and in my analysis of roger stone's telling donald trump probably wouldn't be president had roger stone not been advising him throughout the years and in those early days and especially with the wall phraseolo phraseology, and pushing him to go to iowa and talk about building the wall that has left our country stagnant and people not able to eat and go into food banks. >> paul manafort said it right there in that documentary that roger stone will have as much impact on the trump presidency as anybody else. still ahead on "morning joe," long time trump ally roger stone will appear before a judge in just a few hours following his arrest in charges related to the mueller investigation. chris coons will join us to talk about that more next on "morning joe." lk about that more next on "morning joe. ♪ [friend] i've never seen that before.
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the judiciary, democratic senator chris coons of delaware.
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always good to talk to you especially right now in the middle of the shutdown as you and your colleagues try to find a way out of this and get all those federal workers paid. i want to ask you about the breaking news first this morning of the arrest of roger stone on a 7-count indictment coming out of the special counsel's investigation. what's your reaction? >> well, this is an indictment that also includes obstruction, by the way. one of the things it's important about roger stone being arrested this is not some casual low level contributor to the trump campaign. this is someone who had been very active in republican party politics for a long time. worked on several presidential campaigns, was close with paul manafort, president trump's campaign manager and has clearly at least according to the indictment is alleged to have engaged in efforts in recent months to do tampering with witnesses and with evidence. so going forward, we've only got two choices here. either president trump himself
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was actively involved in collusion with the russians to undermine our 2016 election, or the president surrounded himself on his campaign with a whole circle of people who have now been charged with being actively engaged in criminal activity. door number three with the mueller investigation is nothing more than a witch hunt is clearly closed. it's my hope that republicans and democrats will come together to take up and pass a mueller protection bill to make certain that in the closing days of mueller's investigation, president trump won't take some ill advised sudden action to either fire mueller or try and shut down this investigation. >> this morning's indictment reads this way. during the summer of 2016 stone spoke to senior trump campaign officials about organization one, that being wikileaks. what do you take that to mean when you hear the term senior trump campaign officials?
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we've also been talking this morning about those reported phone calls in the summer of 2016 between president trump and roger stone late at night. stone has acknowledged those phone calls but said they did not discuss wikileaks. what do you take from the specifics of that indictment that says his senior trump campaign officials spoke directly to roger stone about wikileaks? >> well, since wikileaks was the vehicle through which a vast store of e-mails and materials that were damaging to the democratic campaign and to the dnc and to the democratic nominee were released to tpubli this strongly suggests this might be the connection point between the trump campaign's leadership and wikileaks and russian intelligence in terms of the russians pitching and the trump team catching information they were trying to connect with each other. so far, the theory among many who still support president trump's view was that the trump campaign was not aware of or
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coordinated enough to actually connect the dots and benefit from the efforts by russian intelligence to break in to the dnc and a variety of e-mail servers and release through wikileaks a treasure trove of embarrassing e-mails. this strongly suggests there was that connection between the senior most levels of the trump campaign which was a pretty tight knit group, by the we and the fruits of the work of russian intelligence. >> if this indictment is born out, is that collusion? >> this could very well be a textbook case of conspiracy of collusion to undermine the american presidential election in 2016, but that's, again, if proven as alleged. >> right. let's move to the shutdown. our exercise this morning with some of your senate colleagues that we've had on is to find a way out of this. we understand the problems. we understand the fallout. we understand the suffering. we've been documenting it unfortunately for more than a
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month on this show every single day. paychecks lost, lives changed. what is the path forward here? the two bills that were passed, one republican, one democrat didn't reach the 60 vote threshold. what's the way forward so we can get people back to work and get them their paychecks? >> first mitch mcconnell had to come off the sidelines. majority leader mcconnell presided over that last vote we took in december where every senator voted for the bill that democratic leader chuck schumer put forward yesterday, a bill that was a short term opening the government till february 8th. every senator voted for that back in december. the president changed his mind abruptly and said 1.6 billion wasn't enough. he had to have much more for a wall and as a result i think majority leader mcconnell has been on the sidelines through the last more than 30 days and has not played a real role. yesterday he and leader schumer began talking in attorneyeernes
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how to get out of this shutdown. republicans are coming our way. there were six who voted to reopen the government. so the question is how do we get the government reopened first, mcdon nell needs to let his members who want to sign to reopen the government he needs to let them do so. we've got an unreliable and difficult negotiating partner here in president trump who mazda changed his position, changed his mind several times. mitch mcconnell is the person who can lead the republicans back from the wilderness and reopen the government and secure some responsible amount of needed investment in border security. >> pleasure to talk to you. speaking of republicans, it's always been very apt at reaching across the aisle. come by fellation of the shutdown, shrinking poll
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numbers. are you really starting to feel certain republicans are starting to say you know what, it may be time to start to jump a little bit of ship here. what are you hearing behind cloegsed doors? >> i'm hearing concern. i'm hearing a grave concern about the polling numbers and what they're showing about trump's base which has been so rock solid in supporting him. there is now a widespread concern about the impact this is having on our economy domestically, on farmers and aviation security and food security and the very real possibility that there will be some accident or disaster or problem as a result of this shutdown. i've also talked with a number of colleagues about how this hurts us around the world. we're a democracy, we solve problems in a peaceful and rational way and to have most of our government shut down for 35 days exposes us to both greater risk and really harms our reputation as a global leader.
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>> senator eugene scott with the "washington post." we see trump losing voters in his base because of this shutdown. what message does the democratic party have to these voters that you can actually respond to this challenge in a way that's more effective than the president actually has? >> well, first, you know, democrats have supported border security. both in the ways that we voted for spending last year and the ways we would vote for spending going forward but for smart security, it's not that we've got a party of democrats who stand for open borders and for lawlessness and a republican party who stands firm for keeping them safe, democrats will invest in smart border security. but second, we see the real crisis that are affecting these folks. the opioid crisis and heroin
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addiction, he so far has not done enough to make that a priority. there are millions suffering from the opioid crisis and democrats are going to lean in and be engaged and be effective in tackling both prescription drugs and heroin and opioids in this country. this is something that's been bipartisan in the last congress, but if you have to choose between whether you think building a border wall is a crisis that is worthy of shutting down the government or dealing with the prescription drug pricing and opioid crisis in this country, i know the vast majority of folks i hear from would pick the latter and democrats will be stepping forward on that challenge this year and next. >> let's hope you work a way out of this today. >> thank you. >> as we talk about the arrest this morning, the indictment on 7 counts of roger stone. roger stone tweeted on august 21st, 2016 it will soon be podesta's time in the barrel. this morning john podesta tweets
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roger's time in barrel and it's headed over niagra falls. this indictment marks another significant move for special counsel robert mueller. a former aide to bob mueller will join our conversation next on "morning joe." nversation nex on "morning joe. (alarm beeping) welcome to our busy world. where we all want more energy. but with less carbon footprint. that's why, at bp, we're working to make energy that's cleaner and better. we're producing cleaner-burning natural gas. and solar and wind power. and wherever your day takes you... we have advanced fuels for a better commute. and we're developing ultra-fast-charging technology for evs.. at bp, we see possibilities everywhere. so we can all keep advancing.
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joining us now former u.s. attorney and former aide to robber mueller. now an nbc news law enforcement analyst. thank you so much for coming in with us as we look through this 7-count indictment. what jumps out at you? >> you know, first of all, thanks for having me. good morning. second, this is something that we saw coming. if you recall back in july, the mueller team indicted a dozen russian military intelligence officers. that indictment is fascinating. folks should read it. but they should look at paragraph 44 because in paragraph 44, what the mueller team alleged was that the russian military intelligence officials posing as guccifer 2.0 were talking with u.s. personnel about stolen documents.
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>> so that's one of the building blocks that joyce has been talking about this morning as robert mueller goes about his business. where does this fit in as a piece of the puzzle here? >> well, yeah, so joyce is right. it's a building block, it's a piece of the puzzle. whatever metaphor works best. here's where i think it fits in. we know that u.s. persons were involved. mueller told us that months and months ago. we now know one more of those persons who was definitively involved. stone has been indicted for his role in this escapade but my guess is there is more coming. this looks like significant coordination by trump officials, stone being one of them and between wikileaks, organization one in this indictment and between russian military intelligence officials. and so just like we knew back in
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july, i think we know more today. there are other people involved and my guess other charges coming. >> julie has a question for you. >> hey, chuck, how can we read into this graph high up in the indictment where it says that a senior official of the campaign was directed to talk to stone? do you think that mueller is sort of leaving bread crumbs here of where he might go next or could it be these officials we never know their identities and they won't be charged? >> that was a great question. i was actually just reading that very sentence over and over trying to see if there was anything more i could glean from it. so if you're a senior campaign official and you're directed by somebody else that means somebody more senior to that senior campaign official. do not know if that's the president, but it's obviously someone very high up in the organization because only such a person would be directing other senior officials. it is the practice of the
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department of justice and we know that robert mueller follows that practice not to name unindicted individuals. it could be the president, it could be someone else. i think speculating about who it is is a little bit risky here, but it is a fascinating bread crumb, julia. >> chuck, what do you see as the ultimate goal of this indictment? are we talking about participation by senior officials in the trump campaign in this conspiracy to defraud the united states, this conspiracy designed to impact the election? >> i think that's right. you know, what the ultimate goal is and you know this as well as anyone, joyce, is to get to the truth and this gets us closer to the truth. i'm not even sure that this is the last thing we're going to see with respect to mr. stone. if you think back to the indictment against mr. manafort, he was charged in two different districts. the indictment was superseded which means that additional charges were added and he ultimately pled guilty admitting to a whole bunch of conduct.
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it's entirely possible that this indictment is superseded at some time or if mr. stone pleads guilty he pleads guilty to other conduct. i am not sure that this is the last that we're going to see regarding mr. stone's criminal conduct. >> joyce, at the break you were giving us some fascinating insight in terms of the art of the flip obviously what's so critical here does he cooperate. take us therough the next coupl of days. it was an art and really getting inside their the heads and get them to flip. >> it really is. and the point you've made with people who have been arrested who as a prosecutor you'd like to see cooperate, they need to understand how they can help themselves the most but also how they can get right. how they can begin this process of telling the truth and in many ways making up for the crimes that they've conducted. so i would expect over the next day or two we don't really know what the time line looks like, but stone has to be presented to
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the court in florida for this initial beginning of the charging process, then at some point he'll presumably be transferred back to the district of columbia to appear in court there. he's represented by a lawyer, his lawyer will have to be involved and so there will be this process of figuring out whether stone has the ability to cooperate. >> that process, take us inside that room. you're sitting down with stone. what's that conversation? >> it's very individual, because you know, all people, all criminal defendants are individuals who are motivated in different ways. so investigators and prosecutors will have to have this conversation with stone, they presumably know a lot about him and see if there's a space where they can find agreement. >> i'll take this one to chuck just to follow up. joyce did a great job of talking about the nuances of actually flipping someone. what is the mind set of those who are more ready flipable i
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guess you would say? is there anything -- i guess the best analogy perhaps is looking at, you know, this as trump crime syndicate ink and all the separate characters, what makes someone more hesitant or more likely to flip? >> yeah, joyce did a great job explaining this but in my experience, most defendants become cooperatorcooperators. that is if there's something they have to offer, they will cooperate because in the end, whether it's a year in jail or ten years in jail, they're all looking to minimize their exposure, they're looking to minimize their time. now, the more leverage you have over them the more charges, the more time, perhaps the more ready they will, you know, quote unquote flip although i prefer the word cooperate, but the truth is, most defendants cooperate. now, like joyce explained, there's different approaches. the mueller team knows a lot about this guy. there are defendants who won't
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cooperate. you see that from time to time but you tend to see that more in the movies than in real life. >> great to have your voice on an important morning. thanks so much. >> i'm just reminded how much bob mueller has. it's not just the texts and e-mails but i think what a lot of people around this case are probably losing some sleep over is any public statement. he did it -- he's citing stone's tv interview, radio interviews, tweets, anything you said or did is fair game for bob mueller. >> he's got both the raw data but the team that put it together that could mean something and that's what's dangerous for everyone who is involved. >> erin blake is keeping a running list of people in donald trump's orbit who have run into legal trouble. among those linked to the special counsel trump's lawyer and fixer michael cohen. trump's campaign chair, paul manafort. national security advisor, michael flynn. trump's foreign policy advisor
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george papanikolaou and now, trump's longest serving political advisor roger stone. "morning joe" is coming right back. r roger stone. "morning joe" is coming right back
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donald trump is being supported by a fellow named roger stone who is a long time political activist who had worked for richard nixon and ronald reagan. >> describing a potential presidential run back then. it will now be under the microscope of mueller's investigators as stone is arrested under the cover of darkness and he now waits a federal court hearing. your final thoughts on what we've been talking through for the last couple of hours? >> we've been talking a lot about why roger stone wasn't cooperati cooperative, why he lied. why he's accused of all this and why he did this. looking back just two nights ago
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might shed some light on its. he said no matter how much pressure robert mueller he said he would not bear false witness against the president. he's sending a message that he won't crack. maybe he thinks that the president will deliver him at the end of this. perhaps he's thinking he'll be pardoned but it seems he's been sending signals that he is still in alliance with trump. >> well, he also said that before the fbi knocked on his door this morning and he was arrested so we'll see if that holds up. thank you very much for your reporting this morning. we appreciate it. much more on this morning's breaking news when we come back in three minutes. utes and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life.
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chevy has the perfect one for you. man 2: i think you got it covered. woman: i love them all. (laughing) there were reports of some federal workers going to homeless shelters to get food. >> well, i know they are, and i don't really quite understand why, because as i mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say, borrowing from a bank or credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed. so the 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there's no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it. >> that's commerce secretary ross. worth something like $700 million. telling federal workers who have been locked out of their jobs without pay for a couple of weeks now, several weeks, two paychecks, to just go get a loan. joining us, nbc news political
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analyst arand girihardish. by the way, the talk of davos. bill gates had to respond to your thesis. >> called me communist. >> tony blair, former prime minister of great britain, was asked about you. i want to get your reaction to this news that broke about 2 1/2 hours ago. the arrest of roger stone and how it fits into this bigger puzzle. >> to me, the week has a nice narrative coherence to it which i think we're all passengers in a kind of plutocratic hijacking. whether it's this billionaire president who rose to power, championing forgotten people, left out of progress, and then used his office to kind of make money. people like stone and manafort who for years basically were cashing in on foreign oligarchs trying to peddle influence in
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this country and now meeting some kind of justice. you have someone like wilbur ross in davos, you know, saying kind of "let them eat bridge loans" which is not even as elegant as marie antoinette's original formulation. frankly then the whole crop of people that ross was with in davos. they're all just kind of variants. there's liberals, conservatives among them. but a group of people who have been totally callous to the fact that in the united states, in britain where i was last week, in many other western countries, pretty large majorities of people on both sides of the aisle basically feel the society doesn't work for them anymore. it works for a few people. they know it's not working for them. and in this moment, you have this week ken glitriffin, the he fund manager, by a $200 million apartment. these davos people saying you
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can't raise taxes. these people are begging to be overthrown. i think there are glimmers of the fact they're starting to be overthrown. >> i just couldn't believe that davos still even happened this year -- >> right, right. >> on the heels of everything that's happening and the turmoil around the world. how ironic and how much does wilbur ross prove your point, talking about how federal workers who are doing honest work, that they should be getting their paycheck for, that oh, why don't they apply for a loan? i'm guessing there were more americans discussing micro credit lending -- >> correct. >> then discussing the actual crisis. >> i bet you -- let's extend that. there are more americans talking about kenya than kentucky. talking about micro credit instead of a tax system fair for americans. saying they love africa. they wear the brace lets and
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everything. and we have a situation where we don't actually need these people who broke the modern world to have a reunion in davos. we need them to get out of the way of the people working to re form these system, who are building new movements. just today in forbes, forbes, not a com commy rag. there's a understanding from the right to left from tucker carlson to aoc that the last 30 years of our political economic system has not worked for most people and it's untenable. >> why did gates call you communist? what was you referring to? >> he was asked by a "new york times" -- >> he's not an extreme guy. >> no. the back story that's interesting is gates, and i'm very grateful, blurbed my book a year ago and said this is something you should look at. even though it's called the elite charade of changing the world. he has spent many years in philanthropy. i think he was open enough to say there are excesses of power.
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>> but now -- >> he was asked about the criticism after the book's been out. he said, well, look, if you think communism is a better system, you know. and then tony blair was asked about it. and he pulled off the international development equivalent of saying i have black friends by saying, well, i'm not in davos to meet politicra politicras, i have three meetings with my african presidents this week. and the internet went wild. >> by labeling you a communist and trying to simplify the conversation and essentially dumbing it down, this is what happened on right so often with labeling people. it's a socialist label. and we aren't actually discussing the root causes of the problem. >> well, you have to do that. because when you look at some of these new ideas that people on left are putting out, you realize how popular they are with so many of the american
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public. especially, you know, some of the younger voters, millennials. if you could just pour water on -- >> we have to be careful. people ask the american public right now, should anybody with $50 million give the rest of their money away and split it up among us, they would say yes. so we got to the be really careful that we're just not so overreacting -- >> donny, i don't think we've been living in an era where that tendency has been excessive. >> obviously. >> most people don't have a child care tax benefit that allows them to, you know, make $50,000 a year by putting their kid in day care. but their private jets of other people are tax subsidized. >> i want to understand fully your argument, your book. it is a fact that steve jobs or bezos or gates has a great idea that changes the world, they will be rewarded financially. >> yes. >> what should happen after that? you don't deny them the welling
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that the comes from their great idea? you want something to happen differently? >> i think the answer to a winner's take all society is one in which the winner takes less. there will be people who make things. but if we have proper regulations on how you can treat workers, how you can pay workers, whether you can screw around their schedules with 24 hours notice or can't. whether you can pay them a living wage or not. whether you can employ them in ways that allow them to never achieve social mobility. >> legislation? >> legislations that create more stability in working people's lives. again, republicans and democrats, red states and blue state, all suffer these problems. you'll have some of those people making less money because they'll be paying people more. if you start taxing people more fairly, right, you end up in a situation in which you don't get a bad public school just because you happen to be born poor, you
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know. so i don't think we need a world -- no one wants america to be venezuela. i don't think that is a view expressed anywhere in the political spectrum although some people fantasize about that in the far reaches of the right. a society in which people can see more than three inches into the future and people can actually see a relationship between here's what i study, here's the choices. here's what i do for my kids. here's the kind of dreams i'm able to realize. that has been stolen and i think we need to pay a lot of attention to the people who are trying very hard to reform to bring it back. >> this is a huge conversation. we'll have you come back soon and continue it. it's a conversation and an argument that has now gotten to the center of davos where it ought to be. great to see you. that does it for us this morning. joe and mika will be back on monday. on tuesday, former governor chris christie will join us with his new book. on the same morning, former west
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wing communications, aide cliff s sims. that book is called "team of vipers." on wednesday, howard shultz will join us. he may have 2020 presidential aspirations. we'll ask him about that and a lot more. for now, we'll send it to hallie jackson to pick up our coverage. >> good thing there's nothing to talk about today, appreciate that. i'm in for stephanie ruhle who's on assignment. we start with that breaking news. former trump adviser roger stone now in federal custody. not a surprise. it is significant. here's the deal. early this morning, stone was arrested by the fbi at home in florida. he'll appear in court in fort ladder dale in two hours from now. cameras are not allowed in court but you can see we've got live coverage surrounding that building. stone faces seven criminal charges stemming from the mueller investigation including false statements, witness tampering and obstruction. the special counsel says stone lied about what he told congress.


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