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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 28, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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the democratic funder was. who had funded the christopher steele dossier, through the opposition research firm in washington, d.c.. we had long known that research had originally been funded by a republican donor who was against trump in the primary. and then after trump locked up the nomination, it had been funded by democratic funders who were sympathetic to hillary clinton. we now know that source of funding was a law firm linked to the dnc and the clinton campaign. there still remains the question of who was the original funder. who is the republican who started doing the work in the first place. we thought we may be getting that tomorrow morning. tomorrow morning had been the deadline for when that information had to be handed over. a judge has just now ruled that will be handed over on monday. instead of tomorrow. so in case that was keeping you up. that does it for us tonight. now it's time for joy reid, filling in for lawrence tonight.
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>> good evening, rachel. we can't go into our friday night calmly with the plans that we had. it's always getting blown up -- >> if you would like to borrow my in tact show, which has not been touched because of all the breaking news tonight. you're welcome to use it. >> exactly, and the woman we had, we can import to mont. >> we're going to give all of our viewers time machines so they can go back to friday noon. >> we'll bedazzle the time machine so it looks cute on. >> we've been talking about this. i'm sure you're having the same conversation with your team. it felt like something was happening. there was a level of hysteria about trying to push a narrative that was something other than russia gate, that hillary clinton is the villain and she's including. it felt almost too on the nose.
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>> we have seen a very aggressive dynamic at work. it's not like it was invisible before, it was more aggressive and got way further this week. to try to make russia collusion about hillary clinton try to turn it around. the white house has been saying, literally, the shoe is on the other foot now. we've also seen the congressional investigations this week blow up. and the republicans involved in those investigations, in the case of the judiciary committee in the senate say, we're out, they're not going to work together any more on that committee. and the other committees, they declared they're wrapping up. haven't found anything, just need to do some dotting the eyes and crossing the tees, we're done here. that happening all at once.
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that all happening all at once. maybe it's a coincidence, maybe that's what happens when the charges start to get filed. >> they all interrelate. they must be at least some level read into what's going on in mueller's shop, we would hope. this all looks like it's designed to protect donald trump. not get at the meat and potatoes of what russia did to us. i feel like so much of what we're seeing is it to protect donald trump i don't know maybe i'm a little paranoid thinking that is disturbing. >> none of us are naive. but the part of it that i have been a little bit dismayed by is that it's one thing for people who are partisans of the trump
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administration or who are republicans and see it as their job to defend the president, to say, you know what, this collusion thing didn't happen. what russia did was terrible. we are against that. but don't try to drag donald trump into this, don't try -- you're saying that he was involved in this to try to undercut his election. he won his election fair and square. and what the russians did was something separate. what has started to happen now, is that the white house in particular is really trying to get away with saying the russians did nothing wrong. >> that's right. >> and they're doing that at the same time rex tillerson is dissolving the sanctions department, that the white house is dragging its feet bringing sanctions against russia. and if we're going to protect ourselves from russia, continuing to do this. the department of homeland security, dod and lots of other organizations ought to be well down the road in terms of protecting us, and they're not. that surrender to what russia has done, that's a patriotism
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thing, not a partisanship thing, that's the part that makes me sad. >> it's not sunday, but you can get an amen on that, sister. >> thank you very much. i will look forward to my besaturdays elled time machine. >> i am joy reid in for lawrence o'donnell. we begin with that breaking news. cnn reporting that according to two sources briefed on the matter, the first charges have been filed in the investigation led by robert mueller, the charges are apparently still sealed under orders from a federal judge. we don't know who the charges are against, and we don't know what the charges are. >> nbc news has not confirmed this report, and no other news organization has confirmed it either. we can only go by what cnn is saying at the moment. a federal grand jury approved the actions.
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joining us now. chief of staff to janet reno. david korn from mother jones. and natasha bertrand. she's been closely following russia's involvement in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. i'm going to start with you, natasha. does it feel like this might be, rather than the beginning of the story, maybe the crest of a story that began 48 hours or so ago, when we started to hear this alternate collusion theory? >> absolutely. this puts into context all of the distractions, that we've been getting out of the republicans over the last week. and aided by the president this morning, now we know there's no collusion between donald trump and russia, it's all hillary clinton. the uranium story that mysteriously disappeared after 11 years. this is foreshadowing something
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big to come. the fact that mueller is filing these charges, he's moving quickly to get someone to flip prosecutors don't normally do charges this early in an investigation. >> the idea that if this investigation is wrapping up, it does impact the investigations that are going on in the house and in particular in the senate. where they seem to be a bit more serious, at least on the senate intelligence side. what do you expect staffers to be talking about tonight on that senate side. >> yeah, i think staffers and everyone are saying, who, who, who, who, who. we'll see who winds up being taken into custody next week as a result of this indictment. >> it's a possibility that it's
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low level people, mueller is working his way up on the food chain. it's also possible we're going to see the first indictment of one of the more headline names in this case. people to whom evidence has piled up mightily, i think it's going to be 48 hours of huge speculation in washington, as we wait and see really, who's going to wind up being this first person or persons indicted by counsel mueller. >> speculation with david korn, you have some great sources. you were the first to report on that dossier that republicans tried to hang around hillary clinton as if who paid for it was the important thing. give us a little bit about what people are speculating about? >> i think it would be a little unfair to start speculating on names, we know it's been reported that the special council told paul manafort that he could expect to be indicted.
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it's also important to know, that the special counsel has really been given the per view to examine any issue that arises in the investigation. and we do know that in the course of investigating the trump/russia scandal, the special counsel had reason to look at lobbying activities by paul pan in a for the. activities that may be related to michael fwlin. there's a lot to choose from for those who care to speculate. i also would say that after this week of distraction. going back and looking at hillary clinton's uranium deal, which wasn't her goal. going back and looking at how james comey dealt with the clinton e-mail server controversy, nothing cuts through distractions like indictments. whatever is going on in the house intelligence committee looks like a circus. i reported last week, they
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barely have enough staff to do what they say they're doing. the senate judiciary committee has blown up. >> indictments will intoxicate the mind. >> i think that for a lot of people who are watching this whole thing that we sometimes call russia gate, or the russia collusion story. it's the sexy thing that people talk about, the actual components of this investigation, have involved a lot more straightforward potential criminal activity. things like potential money laundering, the potential things this could be, we shouldn't be looking for this to be a conclusion or indictment. >> no, not necessarily. >> his mandate is very broad. whatever he comes across during the course of his investigation, that's even remotely related to russia. russian funding, mueller will have to investigate. he could use that as leverage to
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get people like paul manafort or michael flynn to flip and tell him what happened during the 2016 election, they really had a direct window into all the conversations that happened. >> this is some of what he's been saying tonight this is a very big boom if true, the story is very skeletal in content and sources, the other note here, noting the sourcing on the cnn story, sources briefed on the matter. he says i can't think of many classes of people who would be briefed on the matter, what classes of people might be briefed on something such as this? >> they could be people who are lawyers or friends or family members of the people who are about to be taken into custody. the indictment could be sealed because the person who's been indicted has been offered a chance to turn themselves in. it could be people involved in
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the arrangements for turning themselves in. it's a pretty small group. it's a little irresponsible to speculate about who this would be. if in fact, if cnn is right. if someone is going to turn themselves in monday or tuesday, there will be a number of people briefed on the logistics and mechanics of doing that. it's possible one of those people told cnn. >> that is an important point. it could be someone that mueller was attempting to utilize in his investigation. the process may not be the spectacular scene that people think of in a tv episode of law and order, right? >> no, probably not. i do think that this is also not the culmination, this is not the
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end of it. i agree with your point a minute ago, if people are waiting for the final scene of this collusion drama. that's not what we're getting at this stage in time. we're going to get one of these individuals responsible for another crime. taking money from foreign sources without disclosing that, or someone who has some piece of information. some lower point on the totem pole that mueller is going to work his way up to. >> we have too get our expectations set for what's going to happen next week. >> you've had several people on capitol hill, they seem to be escalating their attempts to protect and quarantine the white house, by engaging in these alternate universe versions of the scandal. do you think it's fair to draw a line on what you've seen on capitol hill. and the idea that something like this is coming, and maybe
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sources were being briefed on it? >> it's a good theory, i'm not sure it's true. this past week, we saw an intensification on the republican side with them bringing up these issues of how the dossier was funded. whether the uranium deal was somehow clinton pay to play. the answer is no. you bringing back the whole jim comey thing. i'm expecting to go back to unmasking. the thing -- to take a step back, we can look at this in a partisan way, and say, it's obvious they're trying to deflect from the core of the issue here, which is what the russians did. the united states was attacked. the united states was attacked by a foreign adversary, it's political system was subverted, under mind. we can argue what the impact was, whether it was successful. influenced the election or not.
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and yet, the republicans who claim to be more patriotic than anyone else, claim to support the intelligence community are dissing the intelligence community and are doing nothing to deal with what happened in the past or what might happen in the future, that to me is somewhat surprising. >> yeah, and you know, i think it's important to me, these are the things you've been working on this week, also before this big news. potential news broke tonight. you had the news that the attorney who met with donald trump jr. and paul manafort at trump tower was directly connected or at least using talking points that had been shared with kremlin sources. we had your reporting on the connections between the data firm that was run by steve bannon, and this potential sort of outreach to wiki leaks. i think for a lot of people it becomes confusing.
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do you think there was any news that may help us get to why? >> i think the most consequential news is the mueller charges. the news that cam bridge analytica reached out to julian assange. it's the first time we've seen an entity working with the trump campaign was reaching out to julian assange, and trying to get hillary clinton's e-mails from a foreign intelligence agent, essentially. >> it's important to point out, when they did that, in july, there already was a pretty strong public record that the russians were behind the stealing of the dnc e-mails and other materials. they're literally saying, we're going to get into bed with someone working with the russians, in order to advance our political campaign. you can only imagine what happened if obama or clinton would have been caught doing that. >> absolutely. >> we can only imagine.
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what donald trump is going to say or do, how he may react this weekend. i don't know, speculate for us. >> i think this could be getting serious enough, we may turn on fox and find the yule log and classical music playing. i don't know how they're going to deal with the fact that the week long attack they made on the uranium thing, they tried to turn into the clintons being edge emand julius rosenberg, who paid for the steele dossier and all these things, they've been at full alert over there and the fact that we're facing the first indictments of people involved in this russia scandal, may be peripherally involved, may be involved on other issues. that's going to be a real collapse in the narrative they're invested in over there. >> plooez stay with us, if you're just joining us.
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natasha staying with us as well. according to a report from cnn, that cites sources familiar with the matter, robert mueller has filed their first charges. it's been a long time coming, but we finally know who is behind the funding of the anti-trump research that produced the dossier on candidate donald trump. a conservative website has confirmed to the house intelligence committee that it initially retaininged the firm to conduct opposition research on trump and other candidates, they stopped funding the project in the spring of 2016 at which point hillary clinton's campaign picked up the funding of the roth. we also learned new details of the firm that worked with the
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trump campaign. rebecca mercer, the trump mega donor. rebecca mercer in august of 2016 asked whether the company could better organize the hillary clinton relateds e-mails being released by wikileaks. here's how adam schiff described the connection today on morning joe. >> here you have the head of the data analytics campaign reaching out to a foreign intelligence agency affiliated and working with the russians. you also have peter smith in contact with flynn. and reaching out to russians on the dark web to look for these e-mails. there's an extraordinary number of connections between the campaign and those who are
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stealing the e-mails, publishing the e-mails. and a picture begins to emerge. >> the new york times is reporting the russian lawyer who held that trump tower meet iing was directly linked to the kremlin. natalia brought information to the meeting she thought was darthing to hillary clinton. had discussed talking points about that information prior to the meeting well russia's top prosecutor. the coordination between the trump tower visitor undercuts her account that she was a purely independent actor, when she met with don junior, jared kushner and paul manafort in 2016. this also contradicts the story we heard about the meeting was about adoptions. >> it's commonly agreed after many months of costly looking that there was no collusion
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between russia and trump. was collusion with hc! . congressman schiff replied, the special council and the congress have yet to come -- have come to no conclusions yet. we will let you know when we do. joining us now ken delaney, malcolm nance. ken, i'll go to you first on anything you've been able to learn, i know we're scrambling to try to confirm this news from cnn, what do you think is the import of it. >> we are not there yet, joy. we have not confirmed it to our satisfaction. i'm going to withhold comment on it. the times story was really interesting. essentially confirming what we had reported at nbc news after our interview with her on the telephone in september, which is that -- and she told us at the time that she was in contact with this prosecutor in moscow, very close to vladimir putin about these talking points.
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her story is that she got the russian prosecutor interested in this case. the point is she was in talks with people close to the kremlin, she brought that back to trump tower and handed damaging information on hillary clinton. i reviewed this information, it talks about contributions from hedge fund called the riff brothers. the point that the trump team was willing to take a meeting based on the promise of dirt is what is most significant. >> you talked about this being a dangle, how open the campaign would be to more contact with the russian government, correct in. >> absolutely. i've said this from the beginning, there were probably multiple dirty tricks teams trying to get all this information related to hillary clinton, and russia was watching
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each and every one of them. and responding to them in various forms. first you have natalia and her crew going directly to the top management of the trump campaign, including his son, and trying to offer that information. on the other hand as we've learned, flynn and smith and cambridge analytical all quite possibly independently, were trying to gather this data to use the hillary clinton e-mails against her. at the same time, we know donald trump became cognizant of all of these efforts on july 27th, when he said, russia if you're listening, please release hillary clinton's e-mails. all of these amount to a conspiracy. >> we don't know whether or not there was any active
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collaboration, now we have the wall street journal reporting, rebecca mercer was reaching out and asking the ceo of cambridge to reach out to julian assange as late as august. there was this constant stream of communication beginning in june, and ending in august, maybe? at least continuing through august, we really just don't know. >> we also have news today, confirming that carter page who i believe has already been interviewed on the senate side met behind closed doors. today i believe, with senate intel committee staff for more than five hours. and the house intelligence committee announcing page would appear before that committee on november 2nd. what can you tell us about that. carter page is a figure. he has denied any collusion with russia. he took that trip to moscow while he was working for the trump campaign and gave a pro
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russian speech, and it's pretty clear that the senate intelligence committee after spending five hours with him, had some important questions for him. and there's also been reports that to some questions, he's asserted his fifth amendment rights not to answer. where he fits into all of this remains to be seen. he may not be the figure to write off as some have thought for some time. >> absolutely. michael cohen has been interviewed by investigators this week. he was supposedly grilled by investigators. the significance of that? well, as you know, michael cohen sent the e-mail in november of 2015, essentially saying he was aware that russia wanted to work on this project of trump tower in moscow, you know, and the ivanka spa. and that he -- they and he would try to get them elected president of the united states. he felt confident there was going to be some form of support.
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bringing him in, i'm not sure if these are check the box interviews. i think these are supporting operations interviews, which will get the truth, but also support whatever comes down manaforts -- i'm sorry, the mueller investigation's pike, and will support quite possibly future charges or other lines of investigation. >> yeah, and natasha, you know, the trump former campaign team has attempted to portray all of these contacts and meetings as enconsequential. has there been any sort of independent verification that these data operations were successful? they're saying none of it was really even needed? >> a number of analysts i've spoken to said it's very unlikely the russians would have been able to target the ads the way they did without any help from americans who had the knowledge of the intricacies of american politics, to really figure out who was going to be most vulnerable to this fake
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news. who was going to be most susceptible of changing their vote. and that according to people i've spoken to was very much something that they thought americans would have had to have been involved in. >> isn't that cambridge analytica's expertise? >> absolutely. >> coming up on a big news night, the real billionaire on a mission to get donald trump impeached. hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you. you too. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going. that's why i got a subaru, too. introducing the all-new crosstrek. love is out there.
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a federal jury has approved the first charges in the special
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counsel mueller's special investigation into the trump campaign and russia according to cnn tonight. nbc news still working to try to verify that reporting. the news may be of potential interest to a democratic millionaire attracting the raged tweets of the president with this new tv ad. >> he's brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the fbi and direct violation of the constitution he's taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? people in congress and his administration know that the president is a clear and present danger. who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us. tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. >> that was tom steyer,
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the most prolific democratic downer of the 2016 election. he used to be known for giving to candidate that is back environmental causes but now his cause is impeaching donald trump and spending $10 million to air that tv ad along with an online petition for trump's impeach. joining us now is tom steyer. cnn reporting, nbc not confirming it yet, but cnn reporting that the first indictment or indictments handed down in the mueller investigation. your thoughts? >> well, i think that this is a reflection of the kind of lawlessness that is pervaded this administration. and i think that we're going to find out along with everybody else exactly what the charges are but i think the question will be not just what are the first -- what is the first charge, but where did they lead? who's connected? i think regardless of anything else that has to put this administration in an internal crisis. they don't know where it will
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lead either. >> you're not the first democrat to call for the itch impeachment of president trump. obviously, maxine waters has been very vocal about this. there are members of the house that have started to write up articles of impeachment that we know will go into where as long as the leader of the house is republican. but this is what the democratic whip in the house, steny hoyer, this is his reaction to your effort in an interview with "washington examiner" saying i think we have made it clear that impeachment is premature and not necessarily off the table in the future and premature in this point in time and seeing the mueller investigation intensify, do you think that helps make your case for congress to act or could the case be made, let mueller finish what he is doing? >> well, i think that obviously i believe that the case is already been made before mr. mueller has reported. because the fact of the matter is this president has met the basis for impeachment through already obstructing justice and
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the emoliements clause. from my standpoint, this is a question of the american people being at great danger in terms of safety and health due to the activity of this administration. so that there's an actual urgency to impeachment. but let's say one more thing, joy. we aren't going to the elected officials. we are asking the american people to join us and raise their voices because we believe that the voice and the will of the american people still is and always should be the greatest power in the country. >> and should democratic voters make this an election issue about whether or not they will support their member of congress if their member of congress will not support impeachment? >> i think that this is a question for american citizens to stand up and demand that their elected officials go on the record and do what's right. the fact of the matter is i think if you went through washington, d.c. on either side of the aisle they would agree
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that what we're doing, what we're saying is the truth. but right now, people are scared to say it for whatever reason. i really don't want to speculate. i don't claim to understand it but what i do know is that the men people are in jeopardy as a result of the behavior and activity of this administration. this president has met the boundaries for impeachment and we need to tell the truth and asking americans if no one else will tell the truth, will the american people join us? which they have been and raise their voices to say we need to do this now. >> you know, there's a way to put yourself in the position to be a part of an impeachment proceeding or a trial if donald trump would be impeached. are you interested in running for senate in are you planning to run for senate? >> what i've said, joy, and which is -- was true when i said it before and still true, i believe that we have gone down a very dark path. as a country. and i will do anything and i haven't ruled out running for office to get us back on a path towards a much more just america and a society where we're more
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prosperous and healthier. i have not ruled out anything and the fact of the matter is the impeachment campaign is what we came up with right now as the -- where we could have the most positive impact in directing americans and our country back to a better vision of a healthier, more prosperous country. and that's what we are trying to do >> you did not charge in the ads you are putting out paying for donald trump committed crimes and misdemeanors. you called him mentally unstable. upon what do you base that? >> well, actually, if you go back to the original writing of the constitution, and the words high crimes and misdemeanors written by alexander hamilton, it's a question really of violating your trust with the constitution and the american people. and the one that traditionally has been used is when you're obstructing justice which mr. trump definitely did when he fired the head of the fbi for trying to investigate him with
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regards to his ties to russia. so from the standpoint of high crimes and misdemeanors, i think people should go back to the original text, understand what the framers of the constitution were describing and understand that historically this president is more than met that, that line in the sand. >> yeah. should democrats run on if you put us in charge of the house we'll impeach donald trump? do you think that's a winning message for democrats? >> you know, i'm not doing this from a cynical, political standpoint, joy. i believe that our country is at risk and i believe we should be telling the truth about this. so i'm not really doing the calculation of looking at polls and trying to figure out what's tactical right now. i believe that americans should stand up for what's right and i don't know what that means politically. i know that in the long run if we tell the truth and we try and do the right thing, this's how we get good outcomes and what i believe we're doing and asking other americans to do with us. >> all right.
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tom, thank you very much. appreciate your time. coming up, could tonight's new report explain why republicans have the eyes on special counsel mueller's budget? that's next.
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i think that our position hasn't changed since day one and i think we are seeing now that if there was any collusion with russia it was between the dnc and the clintons and certainly not our campaign.
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>> that was the white house earlier today before tonight's breaking news that the first charges in robert mueller's russia investigation filed according to a cnn report. no word on what those charges are or filed against since a federal judge allegedly ordered that the charges be sealed. nbc has not confirmed this reporting and also learning that republicans hoping robert mueller to quickly wrap up the russia investigation have reportedly got their eye on robert mueller's budget. according to politico, house lawmakers haven't yet seen the russia investigator's first spending report and must go through a justice department review before being made public. but they're already setting up for a fight how much it's costing taxpayers in the fact there's no end in sight. joining us is mieke eoyang, former staff member and vice president for the national security program at third way. ron klain, david corn and malcolm nance is back. it's an obvious of what appeared
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to be tactics we should say to try to divert the investigation away from looking donald trump and looking at other things or exonerate him. do you expect that that body or others on the house republican side or senate republican side might try to go after robert mueller's funding even now with this new news? >> that's right. devin nunes has been trying to distract people from the main focus of the investigation. it's important to remember that the house intelligence committee's running two separate examinations. chairman nunes was supposed to recuse himself and leave it to conway and schiff. deserve opinion nunes has gone running off in the middle of the night with stories of unmasking that his counterparts in the senate call ridiculous. and talking about this ukraine uranium sale. devin nunes is trying to
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distract people from the issue. >> this new news tonight changes the game a bit but you have had in the last several days at least this week fox news and friend and allies of the president of the united states floating headlines like mueller facing new republican pressure to resign in russia probe. a little bit of an excerpt from the article special counsel mueller facing a fresh round of conservative critics for his resignation and revelations that called into question. i would presume that's harder now. >> harder but they won't stop trying. i saw that noted legal ethics expert hannity saying he must resign or recuse and they're going to press it hard. look. joy, i have been saying for months, i think we're headed to a constitutional crisis here and the crisis is ultimately donald
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trump fires bob mueller to prevent him from indicting people close enough to the president, and what we see here is that the house and lesser extent the senate and the senate somewhat are just completely giving up their constitutional responsibilities to have oversight on the president and now they're going the next step and trying to stop the person who is bob mueller and house republicans and donald trump i think are going to provoke a constitutional crisis trying to prevent special counsel from doing his job. >> a constitutional crisis david korn, but also a political crisis. one could envision a scenario where if there's indictments and donald trump to, let's say, pardon folks and takes us into a different political territory to drag us through the rest of the year. i don't think republicans necessarily have an easy out from this russia probe and all of its many tentacles. >> they don't have an easy out because they haven't come to terms with what happened, with the fact that as i said earlier, the united states was attacked. they haven't taken
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responsibility for thoroughly investigating and making sure it doesn't happen again. i think the indictments make it harder for them to put pressure on robert mueller and we'll get to see some results of what he is doing, maybe get an idea of where he is heading if indeed the indictments come down but ultimately the president had a chance. he had a great chance to put it behind him when he took office to say, we're going to get to the bottom of this. if it benefited me, it was unintentional on my part, and we're going to move ahead and have an investigation and make sure it never happens again. but all he's done with his republican poodles is to make sure we don't find out the truth, and that everything gets covered up and lidden away. that's why this is not going to go away for them. >> you know what? malcolm, not only that, but you have donald trump do things that seem counter intuitive if the idea is to put to bed he has a special affinity for russia an and the sanctions to be implemented this month and
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intervening far gag order lifted to further the uranium one conspiracy theory. there does seem to be almost counter intuitive action coming out of the white house, don't you think? >> i mean, we had counter intuitive actions come ow of donald trump from the day he announced to run for president. none of that's surprising. what is surprising and i think the republicans are most afraid of is that if indictments come down the pike and donald trump tries to put the kibosh on this investigation, goes after mueller, you know, unfortunately for him, he can get rid of mueller but all the documents that are left on the table, all of the investigation documents, they don't go away. i think mueller understands that.
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and what he's doing right now is he's going to play bean ball. he's going to start throwing these indictments at people who are not cooperating, might gate pardon but he's going to make it so difficult that anything donald trump does is just going to lead to more obstruction of justice charges. >> mieke, this's a conundrum for republicans that may want it to go away. it lands back in the lap of the represents and if robert mueller finds something and we have no idea that the indictments are for, could be money laundering and not collusion with russia, but if it starts to creep closer and closer and closer to a presidential obstruction, we just had on tom steyer with a lot of money. he's a real billionaire. there's no one questioning whether he's a billionaire. he's running ads on fox news calling for impeachment, and saying donald trump is a threat to the republic. this drum beat will not end and it eventually lands back in the house. no? >> that's right. and the house of representatives, republicans there, have to remember that it was their constituents much stronger and being anti-russia than democrats were until we got to donald trump so the idea that
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the republicans are going to then try and protect donald trump when what he did is collude with a hostile foreign power to try to interfere with the election, given what russia wants to do to america and bringing it low, they have a hard time defending that and still maintaining that they're patriots. >> absolutely. david korn, i come back to you for a moment. the attempt to sort of go and do a third direction, and create a new russia-gate that is hillary clinton's scandal, it doesn't -- i don't know where that goes. i don't know how long you can roll with that. >> it works for the fox news audience. it gives trump something to tweet about. and remember, what they want to do is they don't want to win this argument. they want to muddy the waters. they want to make people think that the russian scandal is just partisan bickering, back and forth. who knows? uranium, dossiers. that's what they want to do. they don't want to focus on the key thing that the u.s. was attacked and donald trump and his associates interactions with
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russia before the campaign while this was going on. they just need to make it look messy. and get 15% to 20% of the public to turn off to it. that's the goal here. indictments as i said earlier, my favorite line tonight. indictments cut through distraction. >> absolutely. in that case, reclarify for us again, from an intelligence point of view. it is not the case that there was an equal sprague of assistance to the democrats. and from p a republican side, they were more amenable to hillary clinton winning. it's clear who they favored and what they did, right? >> that's ludicrous. u.s. intelligence had information that was collected by either collections operators or a sister intelligence agency that had direct and continuous communications with u.s. citizens with known russian
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intelligence -- that's where this manifested from in the u.s. intelligence community. not from the steele dossier, not from carter page's trips to russia, it came from a source that has transitions from intelligence to evidence into the mueller investigation. and i think that's probably terrifying trump more than anything. because he understands -- i'm not sure if he understands, but he has been briefed in some of the collections capacities of the united states, and what we can do when we really set our mind to it. and that story has been out there for a year, that we know this information, the question does it come into the administration as a dagger or surround him like a wall of water. >> we know that, obviously, we talk to you smart people here on television every day, so good the republicans and the house.
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publicly, they aren't doing a lot about it. >> that's right, joy. i think they privately are alarmed about it on two levels, there are patriots on capitol hill in both parties, i think david's core point here that america was attacked. trying to subvert american democracy. in the dark of night there are many republicans who are troubled by that, they're under political pressure not to say that, but at some point in time, the fact of that becomes clear. a second point is, the republican agenda has gone off the rails this year. they've gotten literally nothing done on capitol hill. they're about to go 0 for the entire calendar year here, that's because their president is busy mucking up an investigation and tweeting hate at anyone he can. that's got to upset house and senate leaders about trying to get some things done. and that's their priority. >> mieke, there could be an
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argument, it's much less important for this president to pass a few tax cuts for wealthy people, than for us to answer the question if the election was interfeared with by a foreign power. it's hard to believe that's not the priority among even partisan republicans on capitol hill. >> that's right. and it's not just this past election. but it's elections to come. we have to remember that russia really objects to the fact that the united states is a country that is based on rule of law, that we hold our leaders accountable and make them stand for election, that we believe in a free press. all of those things undermine vladimir putin and his regime. so they want to try and make sure that americans don't believe in that. we've got to figure out what they did so we can protect ourselves going forward. and republicans' disinterest in that question is really troubling. >> and malcolm, have you seen evidence that the federal government, that the trump administration, or that the congress is doing anything to prevent this happening in future elections? >> no. no. there is nothing happening that will prevent this from happening in future elections. let me tell you something.
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if the russians dedicated a year of two major intelligence agencies' cyber warfare assets to go in and root around the dnc, you can be sure they've done that to the rnc. there is no one out there right now who is immune to this. so if they decide they're going to put an end to the trump administration by releasing all of his unsecured phone calls and texts that we're not seeing, they could do that. they have that capacity. they're just -- you know, they've got nsa, but they've got rubles behind it. it all depends on whether vladimir putin decides that he's going to do it. and we need to protect ourselves. but this administration has no interest in that. >> david korn, do any of the republicans on capitol hill that you talk to, you were there today, do they have interest in it? >> some have paid lip service to it from the beginning of the administration. but we've seen the trump administration not even nominating many people to the key positions in the department of homeland security, which
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would be in charge of protecting the election system. and you see no complaints coming from the russians -- of course not the russians, you see no complaints coming from the republicans either. there seems to be an alliance here of some sort. no, i mean, you have john mccain and lindsey graham and marco rubio and others at the beginning of the year saying, this is terrible, we have to make sure it never happens again. you don't really hear them putting pressure on trump or holding him accountable for doing very little, because he's still not even admitting there was a problem. >> mieke, last, i'll give you this final question. do you think in the end the republicans can get away with cutting the budget of the man who may now already be issuing indictments in the case of the russia probe? cutting mueller's budget? >> i don't think so. i think they'll have a really hard time with that. there are a fair number of republicans who do think we need an objective investigation. a lot of mueller's attorneys would be willing to do this for free. i don't know that they could cut the budget so that mueller would stop as long as he can continue.
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>> i appreciate you guys joining me, thank you. tonight's last word is next. it's related to the breaking news we've been covering. you'll want to see this. stay tuned. how do you chase what you love
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report that the first charges in the mueller investigation have been filed. >> we don't know who yet. but on monday, there's going to be people walking out with some handcuffs. [ cheering ] >> i'm joy reid. i'll see you tomorrow morning with the new developments on the mueller probe, at 10:00 a.m. eastern right here on msnbc. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. the breaking news we're reporting on the russia front, the first charges filed in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. plus news of who funded the salacious dossier on trump. and new reporting on mike flynn, michael cohen and carter page. tonight, what this means for president, the trump white house, and all those around him. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. on this friday evening, good


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