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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 29, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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great to have you with me. happy sunday. i'm thomas roberts here in new york at msnbc headquarters. on a day republicans were hoping to talk about the big push for tax reform coming, instead we are talking about russia. we have just less than 24 hours to go and we will find out who will face the first indictment in connection with the mueller probe and investigation. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house. and mike, what have we heard from the president today and also from his outside counsel? >> reporter: well, what we've heard, thomas, is a patented tweetstorm from president trump. and while his outside counsel is denying that he's addressing these reports that an indictment is imminent, as you report, coming as early as tomorrow from that grand jury, there is an indication here from his personal lawyer that that's not exactly what he was trying to say. you be the judge. you see the tweets up on the screen there, the president saying he's never seen such republican anger and unity. he talks about the fake dossier, collusion with russia, the topic of the mueller investigation. he says it doesn't exist.
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he calls it a witch hunt once more for evil politics. and all of this russia talk, as you alluded to, that big tax reform push on the hill right now. he says the republicans are making their big push for historic tax cuts and reform, is it coincidental? not. now, you might read that and feel president trump is feeling the heat after these reports surfaced on friday evening and a palpable sense of apprehension and expectation now settling over the capitol and here at the white house. but as we talked about, the president's lawyer here in the white house, he represents all administration staff and personnel with regard to the mueller investigation. his name, of course, is ty cobb. he tells nbc news, "his tweets are not," referring to president trump, "as some have asked a reaction to anything involving the special counsel with whom the white house continues to cooperate." what we know, thomas, is what's been reporting, this timeline all along, mueller, robert mueller appointed by rod
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rosenstein as the special counsel to investigate much of these goings on that we're talking about here, the russia collusion, the investigation into general michael flynn. did president trump ask jim comey to ease up on that investigation, the subsequent firing of jim comey. mueller beginning his investigation in may. we know that the grand jury was impanelled back in august, on august 5th. we know that in july, mueller's, presumably, at the direction of mueller, paul manafort, the former chairman for candidate trump, his home was raided. we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. we don't know who's going to be in the docket, if anyone. all we know is that the grand jury has handed up this indictment or indictments, and we're going to have to wait until tomorrow to find out who will be these first targets of bob mueller. thomas? >> a lot of people on the edge of their seats on this one, so we will get through the next 24 hours and we shall see together. mike viqueira at the white house. thank you, sir, appreciate it.
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so, as we focus on the pending news coming out about the mueller probe, president trump and his allies are focused on his 2016 opponent. you saw what mike viqueira was reporting there via twitter. basically, the president going after hillary clinton of colluding with russians herself, suggesting wrongdoing and uranium deal that was approved by the obama administration. >> if this had happened in the 1950s, there would be people up on trees in charges right now. the rosenbergs, okay? this is equivalent to what the rosenbergs did, and those people got the chair. think about it. >> 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. >> it's time to shut it down, turn the tables, and lock her up. that's what i said. i actually said it, lock her up. >> she actually said it. we actually showed it. "huff post" reporter laura basset, "the new york times" political reporter and msnbc contributor jeremy peters and
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co-author of "the political playbook," daniel lipman, great to have you all with me. laura, let me just begin with you. the attacks on hillary clinton, and do we hear from sara huckabee sanders there they're trying to tiptoe over to the hillary clinton issue when they know something big is coming? >> right, exactly. i think trump is in complete meltdown mode and he's trying to distract us and point the finger at clinton, as he has this entire time, but he can't answer, then why did russia hack the dnc? why was it clinton and the democrats that were hurt by everything russia was trying to do? it doesn't make sense to say the clintons included with the russians, because we would have had a different outcome. >> jeremy what do you make of the anticipation, the feeling in the headlines, what they expect tomorrow from mueller's team and this probe? >> well, thomas, as we know, as "the new york times" has reported, paul manafort's lawyers have been told to expect an indictment. we don't have any idea whether or not that comes tomorrow or whether that's separate from all
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the speculation that's been whipped up into a frenzy over the weekend. i do think that it's crucial to kind of understand where the president is coming from and where his lawyers believe that they're situated here, legally speaking. if you haven't done so, i would encourage you to listen to this interview that "the new york times" did with ty cobb, the president's lawyer. it's up on our website now. he lays out an interesting case that the manafort indictment, should it come, likely will be centered on events that happened before manafort was involved with the trump campaign, and that's because there's this, you know, this belief that what he's being investigated for has more to do with financial crimes and nothing really to do with any type of russia collusion. so when you see the president lash out the way he has, that's what i suspect is behind all this. i mean, the president is, of course, the king of
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self-persecution, right? he believes he is getting a raw deal from everybody, from the media, from the political establishment, and you know, there's some truth to that, there's some hyperbole there, but that's where he's coming from here. >> the president during the campaign, he's a self-admitted whiner and he whines to get his way and get out of things and he's said that before, so this is in keeping with that behavior. but jeremy, in regards to the interview you have with ty cobb in "the new york times," we have some sound of that. let's listen. >> i think he would be sad for them, as a friend and a former colleague, if the process results in, you know, punishment or indictments. but to the extent that that happens, that's beyond his control, and obviously, he's not trying to influence that in any way. but the president has no concerns in terms of any impact as to what happens to them on
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his campaign or on the white house. >> there has been impacting, although, all along, from what has been revealed, not only from the fact that flynn had to resign, but the e-mails that don jr. had to reveal of the meeting that was set up in trump tower to deliver dirt on hillary clinton. daniel, is the bigger picture that the president has kind of guaranteed people a pardon and assured their safety to keep mum on anything that comes their way? >> yeah, that may be why flynn and manafort haven't been cooperating with the investigation fully. either they don't have information damaging on trump or they know that he could -- that they would get a pardon. the issue is where would -- you know, could there be charges criminally from a state? because you know, the state of new york, are there things that manafort did that violate new
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york state laws? then he could be in trouble, because trump can't really wash away every crime by some of his associates. and it's interesting to see how trump always bashes this investigation, yet his lawyers are still fully cooperating with it. >> well, when we think about what this could mean and if they're trying to get them to, say turn over evidence, does that mean they're working from some predetermined outcome or that they have a confirmation bias of what they think that they know, but they just can't prove it? and if it is that case, then they've got to let it go. >> right. i mean, i think what we're seeing now is not the end result of a six months investigation, where now we know what happened and we're making all the indictments. i think it's actually the very beginning of a long, rolling investigation, as it would be into a mafia family or into a drug cartel. i think this is what's going to happen monday, i don't think it's going to be a big fish. i don't think it's going to be trump or any of his close associates. i think it's going to be some peripheral charge that they found in the course of the investigation. but what it signals is the beginning of a lot to come and
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the beginning of trump's sleepless nights, for sure. >> jeremy, would you agree with that? >> i think that's exactly right. look at the context here. the major investigations in recent history from watergate to valerie plame, these things have taken years. look how long the benghazi investigation dragged on. you know that was four years. i do think, thomas, that what is going to come out, what we should be watching for is what kind of information manafort and mike flynn, the former national security adviser, might feel compelled to hand over if they are indeed targets of indictments. that is critical, and that really gets to the question of exactly what did the president's inner circle know about russia and their involvement in this election? >> and daniel, we know that mike flynn's lawyer had originally said he's got one heck of a
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story to tell in all of this. he was the one who allegedly lied to vice president pence. that's the reason that they gave for his departure of this administration, on his meetings with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak, and this is all off-the-record information that's come from the administration's mouldths, if that's the real story. >> and it will be interesting to see has he told that story to anyone? and it's also interesting to watch the hill committees investigating the same thing as mueller to some extent. politico had a story a few days ago about how those committees, led by republicans, have basically said we haven't found anything collusion-related, let's wrap up the investigations, and democrats are saying that we haven't interviewed everyone, and so, we should keep investigating or keep looking. but for flynn, you know, his son is under real scrutiny. and so, if you charge his son,
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then maybe the father thinks, well, i should really tell my story now. >> hey, jeremy, real quickly, i want to ask you, jared kushner, where has he been? i've been following #jaredkushnersightings, trying to find out where he is. it's comical, but where's he been? >> he's taking the approach of his father-in-law, laying low, not tweeting, not drawing attention yourself. it's smart. why would you if you're jared kushner be bringing unwanted media attention on yourself? i don't know that we can read anything into that in terms of where this investigation is going and whether or not it's focused on him, but i know that -- >> but literally, where has he been? have you seen, like, literally. not just twitter. like literally, physically, where's he been? >> you got me. >> all right. >> i can -- he was in saudi arabia for the last few days doing some peace missions and also meeting with saudi leaders, but he was back in time for
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ivanka's birthday party at the trump hotel last night. >> ah, daniel with the low down for us. thank you very much. we will not ask jeremy about his evening, unless you want me to. it's not salacious. >> i saved you, jeremy. >> thanks, daniel. >> laura, i'll throw you under the bus now. what did you do last night? >> i went as a handmaid from "the handmaid's tale" to several parties. >> laura's admitting what she did for halloween. >> let it be known none of us were invited to that birthday party for ivanka. >> i have no one costume upstairs. >> i will show you mine at the end of this hour. thank you so much. still ahead, power problems. puerto rico's governor firing back over a contract he claims is hurting recovery. that is the ceo of the company reveals how he landed the deal in an nbc news exclusive. stay with us. >> i found him on linkedin. >> you found preppo on linkedin? >> you bet. >> you used linkedin to get a
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so, as the trump administration is bracing for the first indictments in bob mueller's russia probe, the president is packing his bags for the longest foreign trip of his presidency. on friday, trump will embark on a 12-day, 5-nation tour of asia with a goal to strengthen alliances amid escalating tensions with north korea. the president will meet with the leaders of south korea, japan, and china, three nations that are crucial to confronting the threat of kim jong-un's regime. defense secretary james mattis is just back from visiting south korea and the heavily fortified dmz. >> as the u.s. secretary of state, tillerson has made clear our goal is not war, but rather, the complete verifiable and
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irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula. >> joining me now to talk more about this is former new mexico governor bill richardson. sir, it's great to have you with me, and certainly, you know all about north korea and the diplomacy needed for that really, really serious situation right now with the rhetoric that's gone back and forth between kim jong-un and this white house. but before we get started, nbc news confirming about bob mueller's investigation and indictments expected tomorrow. what's your reaction? >> well, i think we have to be very careful on the collusion issue. i think mueller is very respected by republicans and democrats. i think at the same time, though, let's be sure that we don't jump to any conclusions. there are several issues. the collusion issue, whether there's been misplaced registrations on lobbying. you know, i don't know the details as much as you guys
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there in the beltway. i have a friend involved, roger stone. i hope he's okay. he's a friend. i hope he isn't involved in this -- >> he was banned from twitter over the weekend. he's got that issue, banned from twitter, but we don't know if he's going to be ensnared. >> well, he's a good guy. i've known him over the years. my point is that i think the president needs to be very careful. if i'm the president, i wouldn't be picking fights with influential republican senators, three right now that are very, very powerful but are going to be around at least for a year and a half. so i think the president those watch this very carefully. but i'm not going to take any shots at anybody until we know the facts. >> well, and certainly right now is a serious time in terms of the world stage and diplomacy, and the president is about to embark on this huge trip with north korea being front and center. and as we see here with those other leaders within the
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southeast region, it will be so important, japan and china, along with us as our allies in south korea. you have worked as the former u.n. ambassador, specifically and directly on the issue of north korea. what do you make of the situation currently and the fact that rex tillerson and others have not been able to control a narrative about how to use diplomacy as the best course? >> well, i'm not as pessimistic as everybody. yes, there's no question, worrisome signs with japan and south korea promising possibly to militarize and have nuclear options. that's not good. with china expanding militarily and economically in the region and with uncertainty by our allies as to what we do if north korea does launch an attack. on the positive side, i've noticed the last three weeks there have been no north korean
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missile tests, no nuclear tests, the rhetoric has cooled down. maybe, thomas, there's some diplomacy going on that might be announced -- i have no idea, by the way -- before the president goes or while he's there that lessens tensions, perhaps a meeting of leaders of north korea and the united states, the secretaries of state, a temporary freeze on military activiti activities with south korea, and the north does not conduct any tests for a short period of time to lessen tension. that is my optimistic hope, but i wouldn't count on it, so i think the secretary of defense has to make those statements about the u.s. standing by its allies and the preemptive military strike, which i think is not realistic. so i think the only option is diplomacy, but i'm not as pessimistic and down as everybody else is. i think in the end, kim jong-un, he's unpredictable, you don't
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know what he's going to do next, but i don't think he's suicidal. i think there's going to be an end game on his part, and i think he's waiting until he's able to say i have my maximum nuclear capacity, i can hit the united states now. he's waiting to be able to do that, and then he'll negotiate. that's my hope, and that's what i think is happening. >> well, you make a great point about we don't know exactly what's been taking place over the last couple weeks, and that is a serious point about their missile testing, but there are questions about the faith in this white house coming from inside the gop. senator bob corker was on "face the nation" earlier today and left everybody wondering about this, the behavior that we've seen publicly. take a listen. >> the tweets that are sent out mocking a leader of another country raises tensions in the region. and so, people are sitting there, they know they've got an erratic leader in north korea. they've lived with three erratic
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leaders. actually, this is the third one. and then when we start exhibiting some of those same tendencies, it creates an air that leads again more fully towards conflict, where what we need to be doing is supporting the efforts that secretary tillerson and secretary mattis, who's involved in this diplomacy, are carrying out. >> so we know there's not a lot of love lost between corker and president trump right now, but the point that he makes there about the tweets, the president going after kim jong-un, calling him rocket man, kim jong-un calling the president a dodderd, putting explanations there. it almost looks like kim jong-un look like the stable out of the two. >> senator corker is also chairman of the foreign relations committee. yes, he has a feud with the president, but he's also a very respected member of the congress, and i believe he's absolutely right. these personal insults -- and i don't like the president of the united states being insulted either -- at each other raises
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tension. it makes people in the region, in japan and south korea, the population, the average person very, very tense, because they wonder, what is the united states going to do? are they going to try to cool things down or are we going to be in a war? i mean, we're talking about 25 million people in seoul, south korea. we're talking about 150,000 americans in korea that live there. we have 50,000 troops in japan, americans. so i think corker is right, it's best that diplomacy by the professionals, by the secretary of state, by mattis. and you know, his generals, president trump's generals, mcmaster, kelly. i've been able to talk to them. i think they're moving in the right direction, but the president should cool it. >> hopefully, the optimism that you have will rule the day. former new mexico governor, u.n. ambassador bill richardson. thank you, sir. appreciate it. still ahead, the breaking news out of puerto rico where the governor is making this
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major move. a controversial contractor aiming at getting the island back into power. governor andrew cuomo just returned from the region.
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at least i bundled home and auto on an internet website, progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. i mean, why would i replace this? it's not broken. more on this controversy over the company called whitefish energy and the deal that it got to rebuild puerto rico's damaged power grid. the governor of puerto rico now demanding the board of the island's power company cancel this controversial bid and contract worth $300 million. joining me is the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, and the governor has just returned earlier this week from another trip to puerto rico. so, what's your reaction to learning about the issue of how this contract was given and the fact that it was signed off by fema and by prepa, which means that the governor's office kind of creeded control of this lump sum of cash to a company that
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doesn't have a track record to do this work? >> well, thank you for having me, thomas. i think the governor did exactly the right thing. first, this whitefish situation is obviously going to get complicate p complicated. he asked for an investigation. congress asked for an investigation. and that will take time and will be a distraction. second, i don't believe that was the right way to go about it anyway. the federal government has the capacity to exercise something called mutual aid, quote/unquote, which it does all the time, which is whereby we ask states to send their crews, their line crews, bucket trucks, et cetera, to an area of the country that's in need. today we know the five-year anniversary of hurricane sandy in new york. we had 6,000 crews come in to
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long island in new york to help. they came from all over the country. that's what we need to do in puerto rico. that's what the federal government should be doing. >> sir, they're going to say, though that when it comes to -- sir, they're going to say because of the storm season and the incredible nature of it this year, the fact that there was the issue with texas and then with florida and that maria and irma also really did this double punch on the island nation, the u.s. territory of puerto rico, that they couldn't get the type of relief that new york got or new jersey got after sandy because of its geographic location. what do you say to that? yeah, they can say whatever they want to say, thomas. i'm not buying it. nobody's asked new york to send crews. we have hundreds of crews that we could send right away. i just think they didn't ask. i think 36 days, no power in
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puerto rico or 70% of the people without power, if that was any state on the mainland, it would be a crisis. i mean, there'd be an outrage. you guys would be all over it every day. i think they treat puerto ricans as second-class americans. i think that's what this is really about. and i think they should put the whitefish issue aside, put out the call for mutual aid. you will get thousands of crews. now, the crews want to make sure that they're going to get reimbursed, and that's where the federal government and fema comes in. there will be a delay transporting them, certainly. but when we had hurricane sandy, we were bringing crews in from california on airplanes, you know. that's the level of attention and assistance that we gave new yorkers, and we shouldn't give puerto ricans anything less.
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>> and governor, since you've been there and on the ground to see this first hand, say if you were in the white house, what would you have done differently? >> look, the response, the conditions in puerto rico are deplorable. 70% without power. and until you have power, thomas, you can't get the place running again, right? everything requires power. fuel pumps require power, communication requires power. it's just not acceptable that 36 days and you still haven't gotten the power on. yes, the island had significant damage, but restoring the power grid is basically poles and lines, right? we know how to do that. it's a question of personnel. it's a question of equipment and personnel. and the call just has never gone out. i said to the governor when i was there the other day, look, if the federal government
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exercises mutual aid, i can have hundreds of crews literally move the next day. now, to get to puerto rico, they'll have to be put on a barge and that will be several days, but that's just new york. you can get thousands of crews to puerto rico in a number of days. that's what should have been done from the get-go. that's what we've always done. and puerto rico deserved the same thing we did for other americans because they are americans. >> and so when we think about what the white house has done in respect to this, there's some people that would speculate that your interest in this and future political aspirations for the democratic party would put you on track for 2020. are you interested in running for president in 2020? >> there are some people who speculate that santa claus is real. the people in puerto rico are americans.
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now, new york happens to have the largest population of puerto ricans off the island, but i sent people to texas, i sent people to florida. we've sent people to california to fight wildfires. and we've sent people to puerto rico because i'm a governor of a state, thomas, that when we needed help, everybody came. everybody came. >> but political aspirations, though -- >> and -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> your political aspirations, though, are real, and much more real than santa claus. so are you or are you not interested in potentially running for president? maybe not in 2020, but beyond that? is it on your radar? >> no. my political aspiration is to run for governor of new york, and you can speculate all you want, thomas, but that's my horizon as i run for re-election next november as governor of new
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york. i think we're doing good things. i want to continue doing good things, and that's my agenda. and again, we sent people to texas, we sent people to florida, we sent people to california. because that's what we do as americans, and puerto ricans are americans, too. >> sir, thank you so much. we appreciate your time. >> you don't need a political agenda. you don't need -- >> to do the right thing. >> you don't need a political agenda to help puerto ricans. you just have to react. yeah, just react as americans should react. >> governor andrew cuomo of new york. thank you, sir. i appreciate it. and if you have little kids at home, santa claus is real. not a problem. all right, so straight ahead, president trump accusing hillary clinton and the democratic party of using an investigation into the russian interference as this witch hunt for evil politics. that's what's out there on twitter. never seen such republican anger and unity. this is the president, "as i
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have concerning the lack of investigation on the clinton made fake dossier," the comey fix and so much more. "instead, they look at phony trump/russia collusion which doesn't exist." trump's tweets come after the "washington post" reported that the dnc and clinton campaign paid fusion gps for christopher steel's research, a claim the dnc and clinton denies, but we also know that "the washington free beacon," which is a conservative website, admitted to hiring fusion gps in an earlier attempt to get the same material of this dossier. and joining me now is msnbc legal contributor danny cevallos, and political analyst and mother jones washington bureau chief david corn. he's also the first person to interview christopher steele, the author of the dossier. david did not reveal his identity at that time, but danny, let's talk about the plausible deniablity of the clinton campaign or the dnc if they did pay for opposition
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research. what's the deal? >> well, they may have been -- even if, let's suppose for example they did pay for opposition research, i mean, opposition research is a part of political life. it doesn't really give rise to any sort of criminal or any of the liability that the president may be suggesting, unless there are actual laws violated. so you need something a little more concrete. does the present russia investigation potentially touch that? and by that, i mean special council mueller's investigation. it's possible, because in reality, we really don't know the extent of that investigation. only when we find out who this indictment is against are we going to finally start to flesh out exactly what this investigation is leading towards. >> david, when we think about what christopher steele was looking into, it doesn't really bear much fruit when we think about who actually paid him, because he didn't end up turning over that information to the
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people that hired him, correct? >> the campaign did not use that information. the person who hired him was mark, a lawyer for democratic organizations working at perkins cooey, a law firm here in town, and he held on to that information very tightly because it was unconfirmed. he didn't want the clinton campaign handing it out because it was unconfirmed. what they did use that information for in the september and october period was to try to get journalists interested in pursuing the same type of stories. we have a person who's found this, maybe you can check, maybe you can do the same sort of work, and that's how it was used. now, there's a whole big deal about whether the clinton campaign people knew precisely what their lawyers were doing in terms of opposition research, and there is a story here. but what the white house is doing, what trump is doing in some ways is a crime against patriotism. they show no outrage over the fact that putin interfered in
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the election to help trump. they've done very little to make sure this doesn't happen again. and instead, they're coming up with phony counternarratives saying that, somehow, hillary clinton colluded with russia, and that's why she lost? i mean, it makes no sense, and it's all deflection-distraction, and i think it's just going to continue, and it's really quite sad that even the republicans on the hill who, the few of them who seem to care about this issue are not standing up to that. >> it seems like there's a wait-and-see approach here, danny, when it comes to what people want to get on the record with. but just from a legal perspective and the triggers that need to happen, say for the bob mueller investigation. when you think about the fact that they're under six months and we could see first indictments tomorrow, is that showing efficiency or a rush? >> on the investigation side, absolutely neither, i would say. that's not me being noncommittal. but you can't expect every investigation to be held to the
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same time standard. and this is coming from me, a defense attorney. but the reality is, in a wide-ranging investigation like this, it's simply not going to be the same timeline as your standard federal drug investigation. so, in a case like this when we know how many different areas it's touched, i don't think you could possibly evaluate the efficiency just based on time alone. i think the most important thing is we're going to finally get an idea of the direction of the thread of the sweater that the investigators have started pulling when we find out the identity of the defendant who is now indicted. >> do you agree with that? >> i would say we'll get the idea of one direction. there may be other multiple directions. there could be things about money laundering, foreign agent registration that didn't happen, and things involving russia as well. so, we'll get the sense of maybe one direction. there are 16 lawyers who are working on the special counsel's investigation that mueller has hired and probably dozens, if not dozens and dozens of fbi
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agents. so it's probably a very wide-ranging investigation. we'll get a glimpse into possibly one, maybe two angles when we see these indictments. >> do you think, though, david, from what you've been hearing, what you've been reporting on about where bob mueller has been looking, that this is, that these are going to be periphery players that these aren't going to be the bigs that people have speculated about? >> you know, i don't know. danny would know that sometimes you rush out indictments because of a statute of limitations issues. maybe he's trying to put pressure on people to cooperate with him. i mean, there are just so many different scenarios possible here that i don't think, you know, we have a good idea of the reporting. nbc has confirmed this, but the reporting still has been rather thin on all the places, but what the details are regarding these indictments. >> all right, so danny, i'll give you the last word. >> what he said, sealed indictments are sort of used to get away from the statute of limitations if it's approaching. on the other end, it may be
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sealed because that defendant already knows that he's going to be indicted and he's negotiating his surrender. >> all right, so we will see how it all cracks out. thank you, gentlemen, i appreciate it, david and danny. we'll be right back after this. hi. so i just got off the phone with our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. so the incredibly minor accident that i had tonight... four weeks without the car. okay, yep. good night. with accident forgiveness, your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
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we talked about this earlier, the brand-new polling that we have, nbc news and the "wall street journal," which demonstrates where the president stands in american approval ratings. so, it has now dropped to the lowest point so far for this freshman administration, freshman president. 38% of americans approve of the job that trump is doing. nearly six in ten disapprove. so, again, this being the lowest showing in modern times at this stage of a freshman presidency. the poll coming after a tumultuous two weeks for trump. we know, waves been covering this back and forth with the widow of a fallen u.s. soldier, also facing very intense criticism from republican senators corker and flake. joining me now, rick tyler, republican strategist and msnbc analyst, and peter emerson,
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contributor to "the huffington post." gentlemen, good to have you here. >> hey, thomas. >> as we look at numbers and where we stand, looking at approval among independents, that's down to 34%. among white americans, down to 47%. rick, let me start with you. where does that start to hit the base? does that matter? >> it does matter because the president won, really won a narrow election with a very loyal base, but he's always needed to expand that base, and he's not expanding the base. he's shrinking the base. his base is very strong, but he's losing independents. he's also losing not just white voters but white women who are usually thinking most about their retirement. they worry most about retirement because they tend to live longer, so there's a lot of weakness in the economy. i actually think these numbers are almost artificially strong because people's 401(k)s have done well, the stock market's doing well, unemployment is low, but he's not closed the gap on wages, and it doesn't look like there's been or going to be much progress on that, so people are
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losing confidence in his ability to get the economy moving. >> but when we think about that, peter, the fact of what rick is talking about there, say with people looking at the stock market or thinking about their wallets and how this president is doing for their personal family incomes, as we look at these numbers, the approval is slightly up, though, from last month. so is this -- >> exactly. >> is this somewhere that the president and this white house can consider a win? >> well, it would be great for them to consider it a win and even claim it as a win, but they keep stepping on their own message. i can't believe that i'm going to disagree with rick on this in that what struck me about those poll numbers was that the slippage among independents was so small, particularly when you take into account the 3.4, approximately, margin of error. given all that happened, i thought independents would have come up at 1%, 5%. so, on the overall scoring,
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though, trump has two very powerful positives. one, it's almost twice as many people support his reaction and his handling of the hurricanes, number one. and then number two, as you mentioned on the economy, it's about a five-point in favor of the president. as we've discussed many, many times before, the greatest fear that most people have is personal security and personal safety. so on both those counts, handling of the hurricanes, which is personal safety, and the economy, personal security usually expressed in terms of financial dollars, trump's doing actually fairly well. at least as well as i could possibly expect this president to do. >> and rick, when we think about what this administration, this president specifically, has been able to accomplish legislatively, this is a big divide for where he has begun in terms of getting in with a
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republican-controlled house and senate, which he still controls now, but the back and forth, the people that have come out against him with corker and flake specifically, that's not a really good indication of where they can go between now and the midterms. >> no, you don't want to get in a fight with three senators when you need every single republican vote except for two. and he could lose those. look, the slippage among independents i think is as low as it was i think because they're historically low to begin with. so you know, this poll is just historically bad. it's like a second-term poll. he's kind of worn us all out in nine months instead of four years. >> didn't even take nine months, rick. and peter, we've got a long way to go because now we're just getting to the first stages of the work that mueller's team has accomplished or the issue of whether or not americans will
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finally figure out if there is any there there with the folks that have surrounded trump and these issues, suspicions of any collusion with russia. >> exactly. and mueller is probably one of the most experienced, best bureaucratic infighters that i've ever seen, and i mean that in the best sense of the word. he's using a very, very effective tactic. it's a rolling investigation. he's also up against the six-month interim report that he has to submit to the congress. and finally, a very close friend who was involved in the watergate investigations has a very interesting perspective that mueller very well might look to indictment a russian company or a russian individual, because it would do two things. one, it would take the issue of the white house claim that it was a witch hunt right off the table. and second, it would make it very difficult for republicans to say that this effort should be closed, as many are now clamoring to do. >> all right. so, that's a plot twist that we will wait to see unfold.
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i didn't think about that plot twist. peter, thanks so much. rick, thank you. back in a moment. i was in shock. i am very proud of the development of drugs that can prevent the rejection and prevent the recurrence of the original disease. i never felt i was going to die. we know so much about transplantation. and we're living longer. you cannot help but be inspired by the opportunities that a transplant would offer. my donor's mom says "you were meant to carry his story".
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accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening 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? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together
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and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it.
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welcome back, everybody. coming up later this evening on msnbc, "kasie dc," and the host is my colleague, kasie hunt, who joins me to give me the lowdown on what's to come. kasie, i don't think that probably most of washington, d.c., and all of america for that matter have been more in anticipation of a monday to come because of what's going to happen with the bob mueller stuff. do you know any good insights? what are you hearing? >> imagine how president trump must feel. well, thomas, look, we're waiting right along with the rest, trying to see exactly how this is going to unfold. i've been talking to sources on the hill the last couple of days. some of them were giving kind of an informal, a little bit of a heads-up, but this is not something where even the top eight members that receive our
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most sensitive intelligence information have been clued in to what bob mueller is doing here. so we'll all be waiting i think with baited breath. we'll talk with nbc's ken delainan who confirmed this for nbc news tonight, so we'll have a conversation about it. >> i was talking to one high-level source via text asking about this. they wrote back no clue, kind of like what you were saying about where this is going. but how does that -- how do you think that plays for bob mueller and his team, that they've been able to control this, even though we've got the news that broke on friday about what was to come that they can keep respectively a lid on what they've been able to accomplish, efficiency in this in under six months and what it means for the days ahead? >> well, i think there's a sense on capitol hill for sure that there is an appreciation for the professionalism with which mueller has conducted this investigation so far, and i think there are a lot of people who are privately crossing their fingers and hoping that that
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continues because, i mean, the reality here is the stakes are incredibly high. governor chris christie was asked, pressed today on the sunday shows to say, you know, whether or not he believes that mueller -- or what would happen if the president tried to fire bob mueller or, you know, the "wall street journal" has been calling on mueller to step aside. and christie said, look, i think it's very important that he continues this investigation very carefully. and christie was saying that from the perspective of somebody who has been, at least recently, supportive of the president, was very involved in his, you know, transition and campaign team during the general election. i think that that also is something that republicans on capitol hill privately have their fingers crossed. i mean, this is something that, you know, they all actually do want a resolution to this. you have to remember, this is in the context of the broader kind of civil war within the party. there are many republicans and democrats who believe that what russia did in the last election is something that's a fundamental threat to the u.s. security and that should be put
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above partisanship. marco rubio's been very public about this. he, of course, a republican. but the way that the president has framed this has made it very difficult to do that in some cases. >> we know you have a big show coming up this evening. rand paul sits down with you. kasie, we look forward to it. 7:00 p.m. on msnbc. >> thank you, thomas. >> "kasie dc." thank you, kasie. we're back after this. worrying about your big... about the client dinner. you gonna wear? hannah. did you get that email i sent you? i need you to respond...
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think he's right, but i will not hesitate to oppose him when i think that he is misguided. and from capitol hill to tinselto tinseltown, is sexual harassment just part of corporate culture in america? >> when i was growing up, i never heard about it, never knew anything about it. >> it has made me pay more attention to what's been going on around me more. >> this hour we're also going to go beyond the divide. the opioid crisis from addiction to recovery. we're going to talk to a survivor and tell their story. >> i have lost friends to it. and sadly, as it seems to get bigger and bigger of a problem, i don't really think -- honestly, i don't think kids really care. all right, we start with the big story of the day. it is the one word dominating all conversations in washington this very sunday -- indictment. yes. by this time tomorrow, we could know who, if anyone, from the trump campaign or the white house may face arrests in the russia probe led by bob mueller. and tomorrow is lik

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