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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  October 28, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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good day, everyone. i'm alex witt here in new york. it is 1:00 in the east and 10:00 a.m. out west. it's a first in the mueller probe, charges filed, but the who and the what still a mystery. president trump is tweeting, but what he's not tweeting about raises questions. plus the jfk files, the hidden gems of intrigue in this week's release. will it finally silence all the conspiracy talk? and trickle-down tax cut. a reagan economist says cutting taxes failed in the '80s and it won't work now. we'll talk with him straight ahead. but we begin with new reaction to a major milestone in
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the robert mueller investigation. sources telling nbc news in the past hour that the special counsel is expected to serve up an indictment on monday. the indictment has been sealed since this news broke last night. democratic congressman al green, who is a former trial lawyer, says he won't be surprised if the person or persons being indicted turns out to be people closest to president trump. here's what congressman green told me last hour. >> my guess is that it's someone who was at that meeting at trump tower. you had three significant actors there. the president's son-in-law, president's son and mr. manafort. i think it could be any one of them. it could also be a lesser person who might have some intelligence that can be of benefit. mr. flynn, of course, is not off the table because of his many activities with the russians that were unreported. >> there is a lot to digest on this story but helping us get through it, nbc national security reporter ken dilanian,
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kelly o'donnell at the white house and we have attorneys danny savalos and john laurel. ken, who could be the target and is it one of the most likely suspects or are there odds it could be someone we've not heard of? >> well, it would truly be a surprise if it was somebody in the inner circle of the white house like jared kushner or donald trump jr. like the congressman was alluding to. the speculation right now is surrounding the two people who have been front and center of this investigation from the beginning and that's paul manafort, donald trump's former campaign chairman, and michael flynn, the national security advisor. they both have clear legal jeopardy. after all, paul manafort's house was searched under a warrant by the mueller team. both of these men have had to register retroactively as foreign lobbyists. both have had questionable financial transactions. so it wouldn't surprise any analyst who's been following this case closely if it was either of these two men, who
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were the targets, but it's also possible that it's a tangential figure that we haven't thought of and this is an attempt by mueller to send a message. this is what happens. it's going to be a disquieting day for whoever it is. >> does it make any difference if the person getting indicted is someone close to the president, like manafort, like flynn, who have been close to the president back then but are not now? >> well, politically i think it would make a huge difference. if this is a name we've barely heard or only those of us following this closely have heard, it will still be a major story, but nothing like the kind of story it will be if it is a manafort or a flynn. these are people who earned the trust of donald trump, were in very important meetings at the highest level of the trump campaign. in the case of flynn, the highest level of the white house. he was the national security
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advisor. so if criminal charges are brought against either of those men, that is a political earthquake, alex. >> what about the likely range of charges that could be filed based on your reporting around the grand jury hearings. what do you think it's going to be? and again, i know this is just speculation. >> we know that this investigation is about whether americans colluded with the russian effort to interfere in the presidential campaign, but we also know there's no statute prohibiting collusion with a foreign power. so a lot of other potential crimes have been examined here, ranging from failure to register as a foreign lobbyist, which could be a felony if it's intentional, to failure to properly disclose on security clearance forms, to mail fraud, wire fraud, tax fraud, to lying to the fbi. those are all in play here, a x alex. >> what do we expect to see on monday? will we see someone get arrested? >> that is the normal procedure. the defendant will be arrested and brought before a magistrate who will decide whether to
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granting bond, and in these cases bond is almost always granted and then the defendant is released. meantime no comment from president trump or the white house on reports of a possible indictment. the president left the white house a couple of hours ago on his way to his virginia golf club but he did not speak with the media. kelly o'donnell, welcome back to the broadcast here at the white house. the president's tweet indicated that he watched the news at least for a little while. this has caught on a story that has caught his attention. do you think he will address this later? is he expected to? >> reporter: i would not expect him to address it because the white house wants to separate itself as much as possible what's happening with the mueller investigation. once the specifics are known, the person who's the target, the future defendant, the type of charge, once that's official, perhaps the white house will feel compelled to respond in some way. but there's almost no upside for the white house to weigh in at this point. from sources i've talked to, they have indicated there isn't
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really anything they can comment on without knowing who the person or persons would be who would be subjected to criminal prosecution forward. so it's kind of a waiting period. the president is out in virginia at his golf club. it's a lovely day and he often spends part of his weekend there a few hours at the same time. he did use his twitter feed to talk directly to the american people and today he was talking about the economy and criticizing what he perceives as a lack of coverage of the very good economic news. the gross domestic product and a string of positive quarters. so the president can certainly talk about the things he wants to focus attention on and to look at things where he believes he should get more credit. we've seen that play out. but it would be surprising to me for him to specifically comment on what happens in the next several days when the mueller probe results in something tangible. he might, as we've seen from the press secretary, talk about an aspect of the russia investigation that is not
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directly expected to be a part of whatever criminal proceeding, and that is the dossier that has been part of the narrative over these months. the press secretary and others who are allies of the president have been saying now there is new official reporting and confirmation that the hillary clinton campaign, the democratic national committee paid for opposition research that resulted in that dossier with critical information of then candidate donald trump. so that would be the type of russia commentary i would expect from the white house at this point. alex. >> okay, kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you for that. joining me right now, msnbc legal analyst, danny sevalos and john laurel. with a welcome to you both, danny, what does an indictment mean for the investigation and why would mueller wanting it sealed? or is that just par for the course? >> an indictment simply means that the grand jury concluded that there is a likelihood that a crime was committed. but the fact that it was sealed is a really interesting issue in
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federal criminal law. rule six allows only for sealing if it deals with the defendant being in custody. as soon as the defendant is in custody, the indictment is supposed to be unsealed. the rule is designed to keep an indictment secret only if you're concerned that a prospective defendant might disappear from a jurisdiction. that's the basic premise behind the rule. but practically speaking, over the years, it's expanded where prosecutors have sought to use it, a sealed indictment, to allow them a little more time to conduct an investigation. sometimes an indictment can remain sealed for months. sometimes even years. but make no mistake about it, ceiling an indictment helps investigators, it allows them to continue their investigation and allows them to go after a defendant without him or her knowledge that they have been indicted. >> danny, if the point of sealing an indictment or at least one of them is that you don't tip off the suspect, do you think that person knows who
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they are? is mueller watching them right now to make sure they don't flee? >> that's possible. i mean another reason could be that the defendant has negotiated in advance with the special counsel to turn himself in instead of being arrested on the street or at his place of business. there's really no way to tell. for the most part in our modern era, courts routinely seal indictments if the prosecutors ask them to do so. so it's often done as a matter of course in certain jurisdictions. but under the rules it's supposed to be, the idea is that it's a concern that the defendant might disappear. practically speaking, factually speaking, that may not be the case here. >> john, you're a white collar criminal attorney, so from what we know about this investigation, does it look to you like finances are involved here? what does that tell us about the charges potentially? >> well, i have a little different take on it. i think this shows once again that mueller is playing hard
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ball and practices tacks in terms of prosecutor yal activity. they can do a secret arrest on monday without telling the defendant and that's kind of a shock and awe approach to a prosecution where they show up with the fbi jackets and the guns. i suspect the reason for the sealing is to put maximum pressure on somebody who played a role in the campaign but probably has a criminal problem unrelated to the campaign and they're going to use this to jam them up and then put absolute pressure on them to give them information about the campaign. that's why they put the indictment under seal. >> that's an interesting concept. so, john, what about the analysts who have speculated that big names, we've heard it said, paul manafort and michael flynn, they are the subject of this particular charge. is it common practice to go after prominent people with the first indictment or are they normally drawn in later on? >> usually you start at the periphery but it's very possible because of the leak of this
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indictment, mueller has put a lot of pressure on who this person is by leaking it in advance. i suspect it's a high intensity target who's been indicted. i also suspect the indictment does not relate directly to the campaign. what they're going to say is, listen, you have a problem unrelated to the campaign. you have a serious issue. now we want you to spill the beans about what you know about the campaign. >> so are you saying that the leaking of this document, of this indictment, that it was intentional? and if so, that would have been done by mueller's team? >> according to cnn, it was reported that somebody close to the investigation leaked it. usually an indictment under seal means it's under seal, you don't disclose it. so somebody close to the investigation leaked to the news media there's a sealed indictment. they're doing that for a strategic purpose. they're doing that so that on monday morning without question there's going to be an arrest of someone. frankly if i had a client close to the investigation, i'd have
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them at a hotel close to the courthouse on monday so they could voluntarily surrender and not be subject to arrest. >> how about rod rosenstein, danny, would they have known about this indictment beforehand? >> not necessarily. there are a lot of regulations about the procedure for special counsel. but it's not as concrete whether or not the special counsel has to report in detail everything that he's doing to rosenstein. i imagine that he has not. but i think also it's reasonable to expect that he has at least briefed rosenstein on what to expect. that would be the rational expectation. but, you know, the regulations are actually there's not a whole lot of guidance on this issue. >> hey, john, how quickly do you think we will know if mueller is able to turn this person against another subject of his probe. i mean does that mean we'll be seeing more indictments soon? >> i think it's going to be a
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process. i think whomever this person is is clearly not cooperating yet. ike they're going to be arraigned on monday and arrested. there's going to be a lot of fan fare. mueller will put maximum pressure on them to plead guilty for something else that happened and to talk about what went on in the campaign. that's the prosecutorial strategy mueller has adopted. >> so you think in terms of strategy it is to their advantage from the prosecution to make a big deal out of this? put on a show, as you're saying? >> it started with the leak on friday and it's continued over the weekend. let's see what happens on monday. >> good point. danny, john, good to see you both. thank you so much. so what could be going through the president's head right now with charges floating over his administration and what happens if a person close to him is indicted? we've got answers to that, next. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free. it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well fitting dentures let in food particles
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once again, to the report that the federal grand jury in washington has approved the first charges in the investigation headed by robert mueller. joining me now, peter emerson, democratic strategist and huffington post contributor, and amanda head. with a welcome to you both, first to you, peter, what are you hearing about all of this and how big a deal this all might be? >> the mueller investigation and the sealed indictment? very, very serious. i think as the former attorney you just had on suggested, it's not meant just to bring someone in with a criminal indictment and, therefore, pressuring them to indulge information. i think it's a much wider shot to give both the white house and those that have been recalcitrant, that is not coming quickly with the truth, that their day is coming. so i look forward to monday. i think it's going to be -- it's going to be an indictment heard round the world. >> all right, amanda, so what
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happens now to the president's claims that there's nothing to this? >> i agree, i think that monday will be very telling. you know, it's interesting when you go through these investigations, they tend to be very long and drawn out. but those of us, you know, you and i, we all spend our lives studying this kind of stuff and yet still at the end of the investigation we find out only 10% of what we speculated ends up true. i think monday will be very telling. who is it? i've got a little pool of politinerds here in los angeles that's placing bets. my bet is on tony podesta. >> really? would you agree with that one, peter? >> it's possible, she's absolutely right, it's possible. but i don't think that's the mueller methodology. i think he's really trying to get to the truth, and that's an element of all of this, but ultimately he really wants to protect our democracy. so tony podesta would not be the first person i would go after
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for that particular reason. >> okay. but, peter, would amanda in her job, her role there as national spokesperson of the committee to defend the president, would that be pushing the ball in the hillary clinton court and that narrative? >> there's no question that the clinton campaign and the democratic party in general are practicing or malpractice, because in fact the minute the investigation began, the democrats should have quickly disclosed that they paid money for the semblage of the dossier and gotten it out. the fact that it's leaked out and now also we found out that the money was never disclosed in the federal election committee report adds fuel to the fire that they're just as complicit as the trump campaign. so it's very hard to just weigh it all on the trump people when in fact it appears that at least at the moment whether it be podesta or the campaign itself were not forthcoming, to say the
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least. >> amanda, what if we learn that the person indicted was a big player in the trump campaign? what happens then? >> like i said, it's something that we have to determine as more information comes out, but as he was saying, you know, all of this that draws in people from the dnc, the fec filings, all of the ts that weren't crossed and is that weren't dotted, it does lead to speculation and it's not very often that i sympathize with tom perez, but he took over the dnc at a time when a lot was in turmoil. you've got tom perez saying, nope, i have no idea. i don't know what's going on. you've got john podesta saying he had no knowledge. hillary clinton, of course. all of these people that claim they had no idea that $9 million went out the door allegedly. so it -- you know, at the end of all of this, i hope that we have some clarity. monday will definitely give us some clues. >> do you expect, amanda, that we will hear from the president before monday about this? >> i don't know if it
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necessarily behooves him to make a comment on this. i think as two segments ago, he's going to try to have a nice leisurely weekend and i don't think it's politically speed expedient or necessary for him to comment at this point. >> peter, you were going to say something. >> one, the economy had significant growth in the third quarter, but this white house has no discipline so they step on the message. so when the president complains that's not getting coverage, it's really looking in the mirror. second, more important to me than the indictment on monday is this sort of trumped-up trojan horse of a tax cut/tax reform when middle class people are going to be rockebbed. at the moment we've just agreed or the congress has just agreed to raise the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion. $1.5 trillion. that's like having my credit
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line extended by a million by american express. and unfortunately the middle class will suffer in all of this, whether it's the loss of benefits that are going to be taken away from them as well as the fallacy that somehow they're going to benefit from major, major tax cuts, which they're not. >> amanda, do you want to comment on that? >> yeah. i mean there obviously are a lot of complaints about the new tax plan, but here's the thing. the ultimate goal is tax relief for a majority of people, preferably the middle class, which i think that will happen with doubling the standard deductions. you know, i think that kevin brady is very well respected among his legislators and i think that he'll be able to get it done. what it ultimately comes down to is whether he can get 50 votes in the senate. when i was just a wee little thing when i was a toddler the last time we had tax cuts in the '80s, you actually had 30 democrats that voted for that. so i hope if there's anything we
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can come together on and have this impetus of community within d.c., that maybe this will be it. >> so then you're saying republicans, they're going to raise the national debt. it's always been my understanding that that is not the republican way. >> right. >> i think that initially it might be, but i think that -- i think that with -- with tax cuts, i think it will even out. >> certain budget crunching numbers would disprove that, but i guess all the details remain to be seen completely. can i ask you quickly, amanda, about the gop civil war. "the washington post" was reporting that a super pac aligned with mcconnell is trying to attack bannon personally. how ugly will this get? >> i don't think it will escalate to the point they think it will. bannon, i'm not on the phone with him when he has conversations with the
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president. i don't know to what extent they are great friends and talk all the time. bannon basically ejected himself from the administration and is supposedly working on the periphery, but i don't think it will get very ugly. yeah, there are fractures within the republican party. i think it falls on both sides of the aisle. you'd have to be living with your head in the sand to not see that because you have little pockets of conservatives and evangelicals and on the left side you've got people who are progressives and people who are classical democrats, so there are fractures on all sides. but it's something you have to live with in d.c. and at some point you just have to coming together and suck it up. i used this analogy yesterday on air. i have two older brothers who were not very kind to me growing up. they teased me and berated me and bullied me. i don't want to say bullied, that's a trigger word, but if anyone outside of our family came after me, they were the first persons to step up. at least within the democrat party and republican party, we have to get back to that family
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aspect where we start working together and defending each other. >> i actually can relate to your analogy there because i've got a couple of brothers. peter, i want to ask you about steve bannon. does he still have the president's ear, do you think? and don't you think this has already gotten ugly? >> it has gotten already quite ugly and it will get uglier. bannon still and always has had the president's ear. i've never believed for a moment that bannon leaving the white house was anything more than a convenient separation. he is doing the bidding of the president. let's be clear, trump's interested in money, bannon is interested in ideology. and a new world order, so to speak. so bannon is going to press his case no matter what happens. so far he's been relatively successful. so i think there is ongoing, if not direct, indirect contact and the president is very pleased with what bannon is doing. >> peter emerson, amanda head, that's a wrap for this discussion. i'm sure i'll see you both again. thank you. some of the chilling
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welcome back, everyone, i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. at 32 past the hour, here's what we're monitoring for you. nbc news has confirmed the office of special counsel robert
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mueller will serve up an indictment on monday related to the russia investigation. still no details on the target of the indictment or specifics on the charges. reports indicate a federal judge ordered that indictment sealed. let's bring in a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi. frank, with a welcome to you, tell me what's going on behind the scenes right now with mueller's team. how do they plan for an arrest or could this be a surrender? what's going on? >> sure. we've been hearing a lot over the last several hours about what we don't know. we don't know who's been indicted, how many people, what the charges are, exactly when they might be arrested, but it's helpful to focus on what we know historically is going on behind the scenes right now. so first, i can tell you we know there's been a leak of a grand jury indictment. although you've had a previous speaker on, a former prosecutor, i believe, who said he thinks this might have been a deliberate leak by the mueller team, i've got to tell you, i respectfully disagree. that person who's saying that
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doesn't know bob mueller. hasn't worked for bob mueller. essentially accusing bob mueller of deliberately committing a criminal violation by leaking the existence of a grand jury indictment is really misguided. so i'm telling you as someone who's worked for bob mueller, he's not a happy camper right now. he's not pleased that this has been released. >> so how did it get leaked then? didn't it have to be somebody on the team? perhaps not with his approval. >> right. so with 25 years of fbi experience, i can tell you we've seen leaks occur out of grand juries from the actual grand jury members, from court clerks, from fbi agents, from reporters who work fbi agents as sources, administrative help, marshals who protect the grand jury room, there's any host of ways this could have happened. but let's focus on what we do know. there's going to be ultimately an arrest here. and i can tell you based on
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history that whoever is being charged is under surveillance right now by an fbi surveillance team, even if there's been negotiations with his defense counsel about a surrender, we just see the fbi historically not willing to take the risk that someone will head to the airport with a passport and disappear. so there's surveillance going on. >> frank, wouldn't it be standard operating procedure to have people submit their passports if they have had to be considered for the grand jury? can they ask for that without an indictment, ask them to give over their passports? >> absolutely, it's not uncommon to ask subjects of investigations to voluntarily turn over their passport. understand that when you do that, you are tipping them off that the indictment is coming soon. this caliber of subject, you're likely to get a declination. i'm not giving you my passport. >> so how this goes on on monday, how is this person
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treated? are they allowed to be snuck through a back entrance or is this something they want to make a grand gesture and show that they have this person in handcuffs, not in handcuffs, how does this go down? >> it's a good question. but as is often the case with good questions, the answer is it depends. what does it depend on? it depends on the level of cooperation that's been going on between this particular subject and mueller's team. so in my public corruption experience with the fbi, if we had adamantly uncooperative subjects that were thumbing their nose at the offers we were offering them, we'd show up at their door, take them out in their pajamas, handcuff them and bring them into the office. i've had the exact opposite extreme where there's negotiated turnovers. they show up at an appointed time. they don't want to go to the fbi office, they want to go to the marshal's office. i had one case in miami, florida, where the public official wanted to meet at a doughnut shop in order to not come -- not have people come to
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his house and embarrass his family and not come directly to the fbi office. so all of that is negotiated. all of that depends on the message mueller's team wants to send to this person and to the other subjects and just continue to envelope the main subjects by tightening a grip and saying this is what's happening, and this could happen to you if you don't cooperate. >> so you know bob mueller. you've worked with him. what do you think his message is going to be? how does he want to deliver this? >> i think historically he's been a methodical strategist. so you're going to see people probably indicted earlier on that are somewhat on the periphery that are going to just tighten the noose. so you're going to flip -- you typically wanting to flip those people, get them to be cooperators. there's no reason to believe he's not going to do that here. he's probably going to do the peripheral subjects first and move to the main subjects later. >> and he's hoping these peripheral subjects will turn in
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essence on the bigger fish, if you will? >> yes, indeed. i've also seen another interesting occurrence and that is if you've got that adamant lack of cooperation, knock yourselves out, somebody telling the fbi, go for it, i'm not helping you, and you've got family members who are criminally exposed, like a flynn, former national security advisor does, you could say do you understand that your son is exposed here? do you want us going after him? and if he's that adamant and refuses, you could see a family member, friend or loved one indicted on monday -- arrested on monday. >> frank, this is a great conversation. you're definitely coming back to the broadcast at some point. thank you so much. >> thank you, alex. let's bring in seema metah and melanie. seema, i'm going to start with you. how significant is this development? i know we've been talking about it all day but in your mind and your reporting? >> absolutely. it represents a new phase of this investigation. this investigation has been
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going on since the spring. bob mueller has kept it very quiet, just sort of methodically going and interviewing people, taking testimony, reviewing evidence. but this is entering a new phase and sends a message to whoever is the subject of this that they are making progress and it makes you wonder once we find out who this person is, will they be the first domino and what domino do they lead to next? >> melanie, there is a difference of opinion here, but we did get a former federal prosecutor telling me that a major figure is likely the target of the indictment. now, frank who i just had on doesn't think it's going that way. the former was a sentiment also echoed by al green who told me he won't be surprised if the person indicted turns out to be donald trump jr., jared kushner, or paul manafort, all three of whom attended that june 2016 meeting at trump tower. look, this is all speculation,
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but how significant would it be if it does turn out to be one of them? >> it would be very significant and a huge problem for the white house. two of the cases that we know are furthest along and thought to be the most advanced or paul manafort and michael flynn. the fbi conducted that infamous no-knock raid on paul manafort's home this summer. we know that a realtor testified, one of manafort's realtors testified a few weeks ago. both these men are facing financial questions about their dealings abroad, some of their property investments, so i would not be surprised to see either of those men facing criminal charges on monday. as far as the white house response, we haven't had the president officially weigh in on twitter. he's been tweeting a whole host of other things. but i do expect when that briefing room pressroom comes up on monday, this is going to be dominating the news cycle. sarah huckabee sanders just on friday before this development even happened was already trying to shift the tables onto clinton and the developments there with the uranium one deal so i
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suspect we'll probably hear a similar sort of talking point from the white house come monday. >> and to that point, seema, is it farfetched to suggest that someone may have known all this was coming and so they want to just muddy the waters by shifting the direction of the discussion to hillary clinton? >> and we don't know, but there were two interesting developments last week that would play into that theory. one is the uranium one deal which was i think in 20 teten 2. and the other is the dnc and the clinton campaign paid for the infamous dossier. to have those two developments last week did sort of shift the attention. it was coming at a time where rips are li republicans are lik is this investigation going, let's just wrap it up. but the announcement friday, that completely shifted the conversation again. >> and this strategy, melanie, how does this play out for the white house once this indictment is served up on monday, particularly if it's a big fish.
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>> i think the president can no longer say this is a political witch hunting or a political hoax and politically motivated. now we're entering a legal battle and there's going to be real charges brought on monday. the white house can no longer say this is a waste of government money. but look, i also would caution right now trump critics who might be excited that the president is being taken down. i think it's a little early to pop the champagne here. i think what we're likely to see here is something more along the lines of tax or financial crimes. but it could get wrapped up into a broader -- the broader investigation and, you know, i think that as some of your other guests have said today, this could be a tool for the mueller team to use to put some pressure on some people, to possibly get someone lower down on the food chain to flip. so we'll just have to wait and see what happens on monday. >> very prudent thoughts there and i agree with you. all right, ladies, thank you so much. >> thank you. dickigging into the files o the jfk assassination, what you haven't heard yet about the government surveillance of lee
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harvey oswald. and whether the republican party has regrets over donald trump becoming its leader. constipated?
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nbc news has confirmed that the first charges in robert mueller's investigation have been filed. what the charges are remains not known. a federal grand jury approved those charges friday. anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as monday. joining me now, jefferson morley, author "the ghost" and he's also the editor of the jfk facts blog. with a welcome to you, jefferson, i want to get your reaction to the story of the day -- well, before i get to the jfk release. i know that you've written about the mueller investigation earlier this month, how the special prosecutor can really shape the narrative of a russian probe by disseminating certain information, get it out to the public. do you expect this indictment revelation is serving a specific purpose? you may have heard my last guest or prior to my last guest saying
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there's no way bob mueller wanted this to get out there this way. >> i think it's probably serving a purpose. to pressurize the defendants. >> pressure on the defendants to do what? to give up information? to put pressure -- we talked about michael flynn and his son could potentially be involved if he doesn't play ball with this team? >> yeah, like the prosecutor said, i think that's probably a motive here. >> all right. i want to get to the jfk release now. is there any revelation there that surprised even you? >> no. alex, let's be clear about what happened on thursday. president trump got rolled. the media got played. and as senator grassley said, the cia wants to continue the cover-up. president trump got rolled. the cia and fbi were supposed to release about 30,000 pages of material on thursday. that was very clear in the law. they released about 2,000 documents of the 30,000.
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so about 85% to 90% of the records that were supposed to be made public were not. so what remained in the records, what was significant, i think that there was an old record that was reported as new, which was very important, which was the day after the assassination, j. edgar hoover said we have to convince people that only one man was involved. so you saw from the very beginning, this has been known for a while, but you saw from the very beginning that the government was determined to lay the blame on one man alone and say there was no politics involved in this. people ask me what is the cia trying to hide? they're trying to hide their involvement and their knowledge of oswald before the assassination. what are we who are interested in the assassination looking for? we're looking for the files that are known to exist and that are in this collection of seven cia officers who figure in the story of oswald before the assassination. i can name those officers. this isn't a theory, i'm not accusing these men are being involved in a conspiracy theory.
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but if we want to resolve the question of did the cia manipulate lee harvey oswald before the assassination? we will have to see these records. >> so let's get back to what j. edgar hoover said there. what is the instatimation there? was it more than one person was involved? was it fear if there was any speculation, cuba, russia, cold war gets blown up and that they don't want to get in that position? what was he meaning by that? >> i think that they suspected that there was a conspiracy and they wanted to avoid any investigation that would lead into foreign governments or people within the u.s. government who were responsible for a conspiracy. so rather than address the conspiracy question, which was quite obvious at the time, the circumstances of the assassination were very suspicious. and then the accused assassin after denying that he was responsible for the crime was himself killed in custody. that curious set of
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circumstances, shocking set of circumstances, is what drives people to not believe the official theory of a lone gunman. and j. edgar hoover was trying to head off all of that speculation, and it worked. the warren commission agreed that one man alone killed >> that's not a very credible story. but that's the one that we were told would be put out. that's the one that was put out. but now 25 years later, it's just not very credible. that's why people are very interested in these documents. could we get a more credible explanation of the assassination. i thought senator grassley tweet was very apt. the cia wants to continue the cover up. that's the news here. >> okay. thanks for sharing your opinions. we appreciate that. >> thank you. >> house passes budget but will cutting taxes for the wealthy
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and corporation trickle down to everyone else. a reagan economic expert is joining me next. and the wolf huffed and puffed... like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. you should tell your doctor if you have a heart condition
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. politics republicans hope to pass a tax bill before the holidays. they took a big step by passing a budget though a number of gop voted against it. joining meal now is the author of truth matters, citizens guy from stopping fake news in its tracks. bruce, welcome back to the broadcast. i know you helped reagan in the 80s tax package. but later this month you wrote tax cuts do not equal growth. even though reagan will tell you all those tax brooks did an economic boom. what do you say these a gop myth and is the same thing being pushed by the trump administration now? >> well, the 1981 tax cuts certainly helped. but the idea that that was the only thing that created growth
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in the 80s is a mythology. federal reserve policy. the defense buildup were also extremely important as well as the bounce back from the 81, 82 recession. and where i think the administration is on the wrong track saying that this plan of theirs is tax reform. it's not. it has absolutely nothing in common with the tax reform act of '86 which was well designed and worked pretty well. but the three key elements of that were it was neutral in terms of revenue, that is, it did not increase the debt. it was distributionly neutral. it did not benefit the wealthy. and it was bipartisan. overwhelmingly bipartisan. and basically republicans have simply abandoned all three of those principles. >> right. so not having those principles in effect, what we know of this tax plan, what's your greatest
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fear? >> well, my fear is that it will pass. what i hope is that they don't pass anything. i don't think we need a $1.5 trillion increase in the debt just to have the ultra wealthy. now, what my frustration, as democrats don't respond by saying, well, look, if you are willing to increase the debt by $1.5 trillion, let's spend that money on infrastructure because that would really help the economy. these tax cuts for the wealthy are not going to do anything. >> has the gop had about face or something about fiscal conservatism? it's always been that you do not increase the national debt. >> no, they have been lying about this for decades. see, what they believe in, in their heart of hearts, is something called starve the beast which means you can only cut programs, spending programs if you create a deficit that's so large you have no other choice but to cut spending. we saw this in kansas.
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they promised the tax cut would pay for itself. it did not. their response was not to restore the tax cuts but to slash benefits for the poor. and believe me the second this tax cut is, before the ink is even dry on trump heals signature, they'll be demanding cuts to medicare, medicaid, social security because of the increase in debt. >> all right. author of truth matters, we'll see you again on the broadcast. thank you. and tomorrow representative ted lieu joins me to talk about the tax plan. i'll be right back.
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top of the hour today's top story nbc confirming first charges in the mueller investigation. i'm alex witt. >> good show. thank you, alex. i'm at nbc headquarters here in new york with breaking news that


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