tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC December 1, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PST
committing a crime again if he does not tell the truth under oath. and so the pardon here, if the president were to try to issue it, cannot protect the president against the most damaging mom moments going to come from flynn that's when he testifies under oath. >> lawrence, thank you. this has been a powerful hour. if you are still there, and thank you for watching, i'd advise you don't turn the tv off. there is a lot to hear. that wraps us up for this hour. my colleague hallie jackson is in d.c. nation's capital where it is all happening today. welcome home. >> i know. >> yesterday they were waiting for you to get back. >> don't go anywhere because there is going to be a lot developing today. so let's reset and remember where we are right now. for the first time former member of the donald trump administration, former top ranking member of the
administration, somebody unquestionably extremely close to donald trump in his inner circle has been charged by special counsel robert mueller that is where we are. and here's where we are going. in about 30 minutes michael flynn that man right there will appear in court in washington, he's been charged now with lying to the fbi about contacts with russia ambassador to the u.s. in the time period after the election but before the inauguration. we are watching that hearing. that's what you are looking at one half of your screen. live look where we expect to begin again at 10:30 east coast time expected to plead guilty. we are waiting on not just the court hearing but some kind of statement from the white house. i am being told that ty cobb will be issuing a statement.
i want to bring in first national security and justice reporter julia ancely to kitswas off. we know the charges. just one charge, singular, of making a false statement to the fbi. tell us about it. >> reporter: that's right. so this is one singular charge, charge similar to the one we saw against george papadopoulos. what it is given for people wanting to cooperate with investigators. we reported a few weeks ago that robert mueller and his team had enough to believe a grand jury to indict michael flynn on a number of charges, ranging from money launder go to violations, that is lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and not disclosing it properly, and overseas contacts, lying about those. so at this point the fact that it is this narrow telling us a lot of things. and one is that michael flynn, of course a very key person with a lot of information on this
administration, maybe cooperating. >> julia, i want to go now back to the courtroom where our national and security intelligence reporter literally pulled up in his car to the court. ken, you are on the phone with us, what do you make of this digging into this a year now? >> well, hally, as i've been saying this morning, even though we reported it was coming, still just an incredibly dramatic development to see the former national security adviser now being brought to court, presumably to plead guilty to this serious felony, with the assumption there is a lot more hanging over him, and he is now cooperating with robert mueller to tell what he knows about his interactions with the president of the united states. i think you cannot overstate the significance of this development. and as julia was saying, it's important to keep in mind, there is a lot more out there that we have been reporting on for the last few weeks about michael
flynn and dealings with the government of turkey, robert mueller is aware of but not seeing in this document. that doesn't mean that went away. that's still there. and that may be leverage to get him to cooperate. >> there is it a lot of talk, ken, and some of it may be premature, that this might mean that michael flynn is to use the colocalism flipping in a sense. what's your sense? >> every legal expert will tell you that's what this looks like. we can't say for sure. robert mueller is not saying that. but when you see a single charge and somebody going into court to plead guilty, and knowing there is other information, other potential criminality they have been investigated for, that is the widespread assumption. >> ken, can you explain what we expect to see in about 25 minutes from now? how is this hearing going to unfold? >> well, hall ee, i'm not a legal expert, but generally an allocution that michael flynn
would have to go in and acknowledge what he's pleading guilty to, and judge will read the charge and explain that he is guilty of that charge, and in this case misleading fbi over his interactions with the russian ambassador. >> i know i've been reaching out to michael flynn lawyer, other on the team as well. are we hearing a statement from his legal team? is it up in the air? >> i think it's up in the air. generally as things go, we expect to hear something. >> yeah. ken, i'm going to let, thanks for getting on the phone. i'm going to let you get inside and get in front of a camera. we'll be coming back to you for sure. i want to bring in carol lee along with the rest of the panel for the morning. carol, let's step back for a minute hand talk about the relationship here between michael flynn and donald trump. because again in addition to this hearing we are waiting for some kind of reaction from the white house. >> right. >> at this point i'll tell you what i've learned from reporting
over the last couple of days we've expected this is which is the white house wants to get this special counsel investigation over with. there is no sense of surprise that i get that this is happening, that this was expected to happen, obviously, just unfolding last little bit here. walk me through what your sense of reporting has been? >> well, i think the white house, like all of us have have been observing this and expecting this would happen, you can't discount how shocked or just set back on their heels they are going to be about this. it's just this is michael flynn, when you talk about the relationship michael flynn had with donald trump, doesn't get closer during the campaign. >> right. go back to the time line. i don't know if we have that graphic ready to pull up. but michael flynn came on board during the trump campaign when nobody else connected to the establishment was willing to show their face next to donald trump. michael flynn did. >> right. the whole military brass shunned
donald trump and michael flynn department and this is valuing loyalty and that meant a lot. he was there every day during the tran sticks. and spent the critical 24 days in the white house. >> and remember what the president said to lester holt back in may. he called michael flynn a very good person. this is after flynn had left. this is months after flynn had left the administration. he said the man has served for many years. he's a general. he is a very good person. president giving that vote of confidence ens even over the summer flynn tenure very brief, just 24 days, but clearly this is somebody who until very recently had the support of the president. >> right. so i'm looking for two things out of the white house. one is how they spin on flynn, do they start to distance themselves receives, we saw a little bit of that, flynn has isolated problems of his own and nothing to do with the president. but how they talk about the president's relationship in closeness with flynn now will be
very interesting to watch. two, how does the president respond to his own legal team temming him that this was wrapping up? it just doesn't seem to hold. if you are the president and looking at this and seeing that your national security adviser just pled to potentially talk about things that the president or others in his circle, son-in-law may have done during the campaign, the transition, and to his time in the white house, that dpos not sound like wrapping up. >> hans is over at the white house when we talk about this, and reminder you are looking at your screen at the federal court here in washington, wherein about 20 minutes michael flynn is expected to come in and expected to plead guilty of single coast of making false statement to the fbi about contact with the russian ambassador. hans nichols, nothing yet from the white house, right? >> no. and we keep pressing and we took around and to see if the president is around you can tell because the marin guards are outside. the president isn't in the west wing as of five minutes ago. so likely received this news in the residence. and the news this brings the
investigation inside the white house. we are expecting this plea in ha short time. a guilty plea on what plin actually said to the fbi. did he mislead the fbi? that's what he appears to pleading guilty too. i think in general we should take a step back and say the posture for the white house for the last two months has been one of cooperation, they have been very public about signaling to the public at large they are willing to cooperate with the mueller investigation. ty cobb the president's lawyer seems to be tripping over himself letting mueller team know he thinks they are heading in the right direction. he thinks they are acting professionally and on course to wrap that up. now, as carol says, all three of those ideas might not dove tail. i think that's what we'll see today on whether or not the white house continues to put for this posture of cooperate wg the special counsel or the fact that mueller's team is now working potentially, we don't know, we don't know whether flynn is working and cooperating and has
agreed to testify in response for lesser sentence, whether or not that signals a significant shift here. and i think that's the focus here in the next couple hours. guys, real quick the president hand on his schedule lunch with secretary tillerson also in the news as late as well as secretary mattis before he heads off on foreign trip. so a lot going on at the white house today. >> thanks. a reminder 11:45 eastern time is when we expect the president first mini appearance. so potentially an opportunity for reporters to be asking questions. as we see someone walking into federal court with the flynn hearing expected to start this hour, sometime in the next 20 minutes. remember the time line of this, too, january seems like 1,000 years ago, but january 24th is when this charge is being issued about this. when the fbi said they went after flynn for making false statements, a false statement to
the fbi. remember what happened about two days after that? >> sure. >> former acting attorney general, i want to bring in rachel maddow who is on the phone with us, former acting attorney sally yates warned the white house about flf. she was fired four days later, january 30th, ostensibly for refusing to defend the president's executive order on that travel ban. rachel, when you look at the time line here, what does that say to you and what is your over all takeaway from where we are with the pmichael flynn situation? >> thanks. you are pointing to a very important question, to the white house until we know what flynn is willing to talk to prosecutors about. because after sally yates did that in the first week of the new presidency came up in person acting attorney general for the white house, told them the justice department believed the national security adviser was compromised by russia, he had been making false statement bs
the nature of his contacts with the russian government. the white house reaction was to leave him in place for another 18 days, without apparently changing his duties whatsoever. the white house only let flynn go after that warning came to light in the press, in the "washington post." that remains an unexplained part of what happened here between michael flynn and the president and what the white house might have known or not known or cared about his behavior. so i think there is -- flynn is not necessarily, you know, dangerous to the president if he flips. but he is definitely an unknown. we have very little information about what has gone on between the white house and the trump campaign and flynn as he was involved with all these foreign entities, including russia. and if he is speaking about that to prosecutors, we are about to learn a lot more about this story that we haven't heard anything about yet over the
course of this year long investigation. >> rachel, i know you will be following every twist and turn later on here tonight. i want to share something to you, it might it be obvious to you given that the president has watching cable, but the president has been informed about this. a white house official is telling my colleague that the president has been told about the michael flynn plea deal. so the president now knows officially. he is likely, if you had to guess, watching some of the coverage on television, blanketing every news organization here. pete williams is one of the folks reporting on this on our network. pete let me ask you this, 15 minutes what will we see? how is the hearing going to unfold and what do you expect? >> these plea hearings do follow a determined script and to make sure the person entering the
plea is doing so understanding the consequences and doing it completely voluntarily. basically so that that person can never later try to appeal saying i didn't know what i was doing. so the judge will, michael flynn will stand before the judge, and the judge will read the charges, do you agree to plea guilty, are you doing this voluntary, are you under the influence of any drugs, has anyone forced you to do this, to get a record, this is standard in all these plea agreements, nothing unusual for michael flynn, to build a record to say that the plea is given completely voluntary. that's the key point here. so that's how the hearing will unfold. he will plead guilty. he'll say did you do this. yes. we know michael flynn will say. we know that because of the court document filed. under the constitution, the constitution says you can't be
charged with a felony unless it's approved by a grand jury, then there is an indictment. well, in this case what's filed is something called an information, and when we get an information we know that means there is a guilty plea. so that's what he's going to dpo, he's going to plea guilty in court with confidence, this wouldn't have been filed unless his lawyers and prosecutors for robert mueller had reached this agreement. now what does it mean? it means several things. number one, it means that there has already been some degree of cooperation. this is a plea deal. both sides get something. he agrees to plead guilty, yes, sparing the government the prosecutors the difficulty of going to a trial. but on the other hand he gets something in return. really, this is the minimal charge the government could have filed against him. yes, it is a serious crime, it's a felony, and carries stat tarry
five years in prison. and when you do this, you give up certain rights, can't vote, and carry a gun. that's something he can't negotiate his way out of. he's going to be convicted felony. it's probable he wouldn't serve time in prison. because he's cooperated already. and undoubtedly because of the plea he'll have to continue to cooperate with mueller prosecutors. remember, they've already asked him questions about what he knows, but after he pleas, he may find out other things. what we get today stt plea. sentencing will come later when the judge pronounces the sentence. and the sentence will depend on some extent what the prosecutors recommend. so this is a lever over him to continue to get his cooperation. and as the prosecutors learn more, and they may want to come back to him, undoubtedly will want to come back to him and ask him more, and he will agree to
do that as a result of this plea agreement today. so its a strong sign that he's cooperating. it means he'll have to continue to cooperate. but because he won't be sentenced until months from now. >> so, pete, you've explained very capable bly what this means and ha is next. so you think we might see more of michael flynn or special counsels will, obviously the sentencing part of this. what else might we see in the next month who two months from the office of special counsel? and i know it's speculation but give me your educated sense. >> best thing i can tell you is i don't know. just don't know. we sort of saw the flynn thing coming, because there were signs that he had agreed to cooperate with the mueller investigators and the strongest sign was that his lawyers stopped talking to the other lawyers who had other defendants, including lawyers the private lawyers for the
president. so the fact that lawyers stopped communicating was a clear sign that he was cooperating. so this one we saw coming. but this was the one we were most curious about, questions here about whether the prosecutors had suggested that they might charge other members of his family, his son. there was a lot of speculation about that. >> and where did that go, pete? what is happening with the son? >> you know, i, frankly, doubted that that was ever a very realistic prospect. because i think that that's not the way prosecutors work, or at least should work. you don't threaten to prosecute someone's family members unless you have the goods on them. you don't hold that out as something to try to enlist the cooperation of someone. so that never seemed like a starter to me, perhaps we'll learn later that it was. but it didn't seem like it was. but this one we saw coming. but who is next? it's just very hard to say.
i'll say one other quick thing, as long as we are talking about the mueller investigation. shortly we expect the judge in the paul manafort case to issue a ruling on paul manafort and the lawyers foreman a fo manafo lessening the conditions of his bail. remember, he's been confined to his home. and apparently reached a deal where he'll be allowed to get outside himself in return for him putting up four of his properties and saying if i don't show up then the government gets my houses. and this property is co-owned by his wife and daughter. so apparently the prosecutors think that's good enough to allow him out so that he can get out of his home confinement. >> pete williams, thank you for that. i know you'll be standing by because in about ten minutes we expect this hearing to begin with michael flynn presumably with his attorneys as well. and i want to bring in legal
analyst. nick, this has been a firehose of information coming out, but to put this in spear speculative and set the table. this is a former security adviser someone with highest levels of top secret, someone inside the inner circle with donald trump. during his administration, now charged with lying, making a false statement, lying to the fbi two days after he was sworn in, basically. january 24th. that was during the administration. i want to point out on the screen here we are seeing a vehicle just pull up. we'll be watching this to see who emerging from there. ten minutes to go before this plea hearing. nick, how does the white house from your legal perspective deal with this now? we are waiting on some kind of statement fromty cobb in-house lawyer. in the past someone covering
this, the white house has distanced itself talking about how that was a campaign issue, it is no longer that. right? >> this is going to it be an extremely difficult issue for them to distance themselves from. they can't claim with respect to flynn that he was a low-level person. he was clearly a very high-level person. also, the administration has the problem of comey testimony. where it's pretty clear that the president was going all out to stop the investigation into flynn. if you recall, the meeting where president called comey into the oval office, made it very clear to comey that he wanted the investigation into michael flynn to stop. so the big question is why. what is it that michael flynn can testify to about the president or his family members that puts them in the soup. so this is a very difficult situation for them to come out and really defend themselves on.
of course we don't know exactly what the full scope of flynn's testimony is going to be. we do know that trump was concerned about him. we do know that flynn was a go-between with the russians and with the russian ambassador. we know that flynn had contacts with kushner with respect to the russians and meetings with the russians. so this could go to the very heart of this whole russian conspiracy to throw the election to donald trump. i mean, that is probably what we are looking at here. but we are not going to know. and we certainly won't know from his plea today. because his allocution for the most part is going to go to his false statement. now, it's going to be interesting to look for is the actual information. >> and nick, i'm interrupting you. because this is robert counter, michael flynn attorney emerged from that court. and that is michael flynn, former national security
adviser. >> all right. >> outside the federal court. michael flynn working into the courthouse now for his plea hearing. after being charged with making a false statement to the fbi for conversations related to russian sanctions, for his interactions with the russian ambassador. so, again ks you saw michael flynn and his lawyer walking in. obviously they've arrived. presumably they've been processed, michael flynn has been processed now. the hearing is set to begin in about seven minutes. following developments here we'll check if he's inside or outside. nothing from michael flynn. that's not unusual. you might remember back when we were looking at similar unfolding with paul manafort,
and rick gates, after however their representatives did come out and speak with the media. that may happen. we don't know. so we'll be watching this and monitoring it live and bring it to you. carol lee is with me, and we have danny back in new york and ackerman to bring live pictures. when you look at what administration officials had said previously about michael flynn kfkss with russian ambassador didn't relate to this, as this brief document says here. as we replay the video of them here. >> yeah, there were a number of instances where senior officials as well as president that michael flynn did not talk about sanctions with the russian ambassador. >> talked about a plane crash, christmas.
>> right. christmas holidays, all those things. >> and what we learn is that -- and one of the questions we weren't entirely sure on what specifically did they talk about. and in terms of sanctions. what the nature of that conversation was. and this court document suggests it was much more explicit than perhaps people may have thought. that flynn actually said, you no he, there was actually an exchange. and not only that, we also learned he had this december 22 conversation with the russian ambassador regarding this vote at the united nations where the obama administration was going to move to censore israel for building settlements. and both of those things, so the documents says he's agreeing he lied to the fbi about, but also raise questions about the logan act. and so i think this piece seems like the beginning of something much larger. there is a lot of other things that we know that the fbi has
hanging over michael flynn. so it just raises more questions than i think answers. and it will be very interesting to see how this unfolds in the coming days and weeks. >> and i think one of the things happening in news rooms across the country is putting together things we are learning, dates, times, comments and transposing that with what we saw from the president and the administration during that same time period. so for example, december 29 is when one of these conversations happened that flynn is charged with misrepresenting to the fbi, he talked about the sanctions that the u.s. had put in place against russia that same day. the next day donald trump tweeted about this saying that this was a great move on delay by vladimir putin essentially who didn't respond right away to u.s. sanction zb. >> right. and what donald trump has said he didn't know what flynn was doing but he would be fine with it if he did know.
so that time line suggests and one of the things prosecutors will be inquiring about, was trump aware of what michael flynn was doing at that time, not just with conversations on russian sanctions but other piece on the united nations security council counsel resolution. >> matt is with us. i know you were scrambling to get in your seat when he was walking in with his lawyer. and you saw that moment reporters shouting questions, flynn sort of stoic walking in, saying nothing, neither did robert kelner. >> yeah, neither did robert kelner or other attorney steve anthony a former prosecutor. the two lawyers who would have known to cut this type of deal for michael flynn. >> why do you say that? because of their experience and background? >> yeah, both very experienced
attorneys. i think steve anthony would have worked with him when he was in the criminal division at the department of justice. so people who would have familiarity with his team. i don't think we should expect to hear from them today, however, in cases where you see a defendant plead not guilty, oftentimes their lawyer will come out and make a statement. but only thing we'll hear or only thing that anyone is going to hear from either michael flynn or his team for the time being is robert mueller and his prosecutors. that is it all going to stay under wraps. because mueller is going to want to have the benefit of having that information remain secret so he can go to other potential witnesses and subjects with the advantage of knowing information they don't. that is it a real troubling thing if you are jared kushner or president or anything with legal jeopardy. >> it's interesting you bring up jared kushner, that was my next question. what we learned this week that kushner had met with special
counsel investigators. according to a source familiar with that meeting who told me focused entirely on michael flynn and what jared kushner knew about the meetings and interactions between flynn and russian officials including the ambassador. where is kushner's exposure on this? >> well, kushner was in some of these same meetings with the russian ambassador. i think the charge that flynn is pleading guilty today is it relating to a phone call he had with kislyakislyak. but the fact that we expect him to plead guilty to one charge, doesn't mean only charges he committed but just did a plea to one deal. i think the fact that meeting that kushner had with mueller's team is reported to only been for one hour. that is not nearly long enough for him to go over the amount of information that mueller is going to have to ask him about. i would suspected very strongly
this was a negotiated interview with his attorney where they agreed to come in and talk about this plea thing. and this was before, look at the time, this is before flynn agreed to start negotiating, or to start cooperating. happened several weeks before that. so i think this was mueller moofg towards an indictment, an indictment that was then rendered needless by flynn coming in to cooperate. >> matt, i appreciate that. i want you to stick around. i want to remind folks it is 10:30 eastern time, 7:30 on the west coast, this is when we expect michael flynn to begin his plea agreement federal court hearing, essentially. you are watching now within the last maybe eight minutes or so one of michael flynn attorney followed by michael flynn getting out of his cara arriving at federal court and walking into the courtroom, not taking questions, or stopping to chat, as he gets ready for this plea deal hearing. so 10:30 now that's where we
are. we expect this to be fairly brief as we have clint national security analyst and fbi joining us on the phone. so not a very long court hearing, we believe. clint, just to remind folks here, this is a single charge of lying to the fbi ee shaenlmakin statements about the russian ambassador. you've been watching coverage. tell me what stands out? >> i think it points to the fact that if you lie to the fbi you are in trouble. they are always going to push this charge. it is the lesser charge to everything that flynn is involved with. and it is stg that is used to press for furthering investigative leads. so i think now the question becomes we saw the delay this week, i'm sure the grand jury testimony is probably delayed because they had stiffer charges they could have pushed into the grand jury this week. so what was the cooperation about? i think that's ultimately what we are wondering. was it about russia? was it about turkey?
or something we are not even thinking of at this point. >> so when will we get some guidance on that? when we get more of a sense of that, do you think? >> i think the next step that we'll see sort of from the outside is when other people are brought to the grand jury for testimony following this charge. whatever flynn is it providing in terms of cooperation will lead to the next people being interviewed, the next subpoenas that are being issued for records. so when you see a cooperation like this, it tends to be a slight delay. then what you will see is series of investigative leads take off. and whoever is the next one up in the queue, that's where it will go from here. >> matt, go ahead. matt miller still with us. >> yeah, i am. and i think clint is right. one thing you can note when someone comes in, some serious legal liability like michael flynn, in the just lying to investigators ks but a number potential charges, some as
serious as these, and see him plead guilty to one charge, that's a good deal. and you don't give a good deal without giving up something pretty serious in exchange. you don't get that good deal by ple pleaing guilty. think of this as the way a justice department attacks the mafia where you have the done at the top, and cops and soldiers. michael flynn is a cop. you don't get a good deal by giving up a soldier someone like george papadopoulos. you get a good deal by giving up someone at the top of the criminal enterprise. >> danny is with us now. and danny i just want to know for folks here as this presumably plea deal hearing maybe under way. we expect it to start a couple of minutes ago. we are already getting reaction from capitol hill. we'll share that with you in ha moment. but danny as you are listening
to the conversation here, i'm curious what you make of the time line about this, those sort of critical days in late january after the inauguration, when michael flynn now according to the fbi didn't tell them the truth about his conversations in december with the russian ambassador. >> the interesting thing about the charges like section 1001, the false statements, is that it doesn't go to the under tlieg activity, if any, with the russians. it just goes to whether or not he lied to federal investigators. and this is a darling charge of the federal government. they use it all the time. because once you lie to a fbi agent or a federal investigator, you've committed that crime with a five year statutory maximum. federal government will use that as a crowbar against you even if you've committed no other crimes, which at this point it appears this is the only crime a lemged against flynn. that becomes a tremendous piece of leverage to secure cooperation which it appears the government has done here.
this is textbook u.s. attorney manual prosecution here. and this is how they would ordinarily secure cooperation. and think of the tremendous incentive on flynn. they will surely today enter a plea and put off the sentencing and delay it as long as they can so that flynn can cooperate. but more importantly, so that before flynn is sentenced and the government moves for a lesser sentence, that they, the government can see and evaluate whether flynn ultimately delivers, whether he sings for his super and cooperated to the degree that the government wanted. >> eric columbus has just joined us here onset. former doj official, along with amber philips, and back with us here. eric, good to have you on what has become an extraordinarily busy news morning.
eric, your thoughts? >> well, we live in interesting times. i think it's very interesting that he's been indicted only on these charges. there is one theory that mueller is holding back on certain charges as an anti-pardons strategy. a professor wrote a piece a few months ago suggesting that with paul manafort that was done in order to enable state prosecutors, perhaps new york in that case, to later pursue charges that might have been blocked under state statutes that limit their ability to prosecute for someone who has already been prosecuted in the federal system. so that's one possibility. another very interesting matter is that we know that trump, or it's been reported that trump has been trying to get flynn not to cave. there was a story by mike
isacouf several months ago he had gotten a message to stay strong. and cooperating with bob mueller is not exactly what trump had in mind by staying strong. >> but the white house knew about this, right, because there is reporting that flynn had notified them, distancing himself from the white house, essentially, on this, which is widely in teinterpreted that he was talking to the special counsel, which he was. >> that was about a week ago that flynn's lawyers had stopped cooperate wg the president's lawyers. so this should not come as a surprise. i also think if you looked at once it was clear that mueller was investigating michael flynn's son that would have given the white house that michael flynn is not necessarily going to stay strong. >> under pressure. >> right, under pressure.
they think the obstruction of justice against trump goes back to flynn, goes back to that meeting with comey asking him to let it go and to sort of go easy on flynn. that's what they are watching. i think that's another indication that this is getting ever closer to trump. and showing up basically at the steps of the oval office and i think he's probably worried about that. >> nick ackerman, brings up this time line issue, when this was all happening, putting this into context in late january. remember after the inauguration. so again difficult for the white house to distance themselves from this given that president trump promised to bring on the best people to work for him at the white house, one of those people was michael flynn who is now pleading to lying to the fbi. >> right. and i mean i guess the question is there is a lot going on during that period of time. there is 18 days where they do nothing. they let flynn stay there even though they know that there is a problem with him and the russians. and we also know that flynn had
contact with jared kushner. and one very interesting point, if you take the time line in terms of what's happened today, it's pretty obvious to me, and it has been actually for the last week or so, that flynn has been cooperating for sometime. and one of the people that has been brought in again during this time period is jared kushner. he was brought in to talk to the special counsel's office sometime in the last week, i think it was reported. so it's very likely that during this period of time when flynn is basically been detailing everything that he knows in the course of hleading up to this guilty plea, that the office has used that information with various people. and certainly one of the prime individuals that they would be looking at is jared kushner. >> is it at all an indication where this is going, nick, that we know for example, this is not to get in the weeds here, that
michael flynn sort of acknowledged he didn't on deadly way file those pharaoh reports with justice department, and nothing that he was working as a foreign agent with turkey. could mueller have charged him with that? >> of course, he could have charged him. >> but he chose not to. >> of course. could have charged him with money laundering false statements. >> but this is what flynn acknowledged later filing the documents. so is that significant? >> it's all significant. because there were a whole series of extremely serious crimes that flynn could have been charged with. and of course the question is what did everybody in the white house know about these other crimes. >> right. >> and he's in a position to detail that. as well as he may have information about the micro targeting of data to try and suppress the hillary clinton vote that was used between the campaign, facebook and twitter. he may have knowledge about the contact with wikileaks that we
now find was just pervasive throughout the top of that campaign going from don junior to kushner to the president to roger stone to now another contact that we learned about yesterday that dealt with roger stone and wikileaks. there is a whole series of information that michael flynn could talk about. and we are not going to know what that is until we see what additional charges are ultimately filed by the special counsel's office. >> here's the things that we are waiting on in the next maybe 10, 20, 30 minutes from now or at some point beyond that. number one is to see presumably michael flynn and his lawyers emerge from the doors you are looking at in federal court in washington. they may come out and talk. we'll find out soon. we are also waiting to find out reaction from the white house. that reaction we know will come fromty cobb in-house attorney
put in place to specifically deal with questions about the special counsel and the investigations into russian interference with the election. that is the white house tasked to respond go to questions, to our questions about michael flynn and this plea agreement. michael flynn of course the former national security adviser to donald trump on the job just about 24 days. short lived but obviously quite memorable. somebody who is at the courthouse now is kenne. where are you and what are you seeing? >> well, i'm not seeing much. i'm in front of the courthouse. just arrived. and we have a producer inside hopefully fill us in on what's happening there. but it's just a remarkable day for me as an intelligence reporter having known michael flynn as head of the intelligence security officer, the notion that he is going into this courthouse to plead guilty
to a felony is rather dramatic. >> ken, stay right where you are, we'll come back to you as soon as we get more information about what's happening inside the courtroom. let's talk about the political perspective, because there is a political lens to all this. remember michael flynn on the campaign trail is one of the people who led the chants lock her up for hillary clinton. we have just learned hillary clinton spokesman is declining to comment on the news about michael flynn. former running mate tim cane is commenting. our capitol hill producer caught up with him and we'll play that with you in a moment saying here. cane saying he is not giving -- that michael flynn would not give the benefit of fair legal process to anybody else but he gets the benefit of fair legal process. so seeing political reaction coming in already. and we expect more to come throughout the day. >> yeah, for sure.
thing we are most waiting for is the ty cobb statement. and the fact they have been anticipated this day and this was coming and still don't have a statement together suggests that perhaps they are struggling with exactly what to say. >> because there are a couple of options for the white house. the white house could continue to do and walk the line we've heard before from ty cobb and others, which is, hey, let the special counsel do his job. we are cooperating. we are voluntarily cooperating. we are excited for this to be wrapped upment . or they could come up and blast michael flynn. >> yeah, throw him under the bus which they haven't done that yet. although when the news first broke lawyers had cut ties because obviously they were in negotiations for some sort of deal, they did start to try to isolate michael flynn saying well his problems are of his own, his problems, and not linked to the president somehow. but one thing i would point out
in this court document, to go back to the december 22 conversation that michael flynn had with the russian ambassador about this u.n. security council rest lags. other thing we know "wall street journal" reported is how to thwart that coming to pass. so you can see the small link that michael flynn would have information on that on jared kushner role in that. but there is just a number of issues and dealings inside the white house during the transition and during the campaign that michael flynn could have for the special counsel, which is evidenced by the fact that there is this one count, small carompared to all e other things. >> but here's the other part of it, we know president trump knows about what's happening right now, not because it's obvious, because it's every where he's looking likely, but
because he's been told, it's not clear how, but that is our reporting here from our source inside the white house, the president has been informed about this plea agreement. the president up to this point has not distanced himself or disavowed michael flynn. repeatingly given the opportunity, fleet he nor his advisers, whether it was sean spicer back in the day or sarah huckabee sanders more recently, whether any aide publicly, didn't disavow flynn. >> right. there is reason to think that might change now. >> right. what you are mentioning is pattern of behavior from trump. he loves when people are loyal. he stood up for flynn publicly. asked james comey to go easy in the investigation. if anything i would imagine we would see a tweet this is haul a witch hunt and he thinks it's unfair, but i think that would be politly unwise to talk out on twitter. >> president is supposed be in
the oval office for intelligence briefing. he's not over at the west wing, presumably in the white house, but based on the path earwhat w can assume. so he will head over to the briefing. 45 minutes after that we will see the president in a pool spray and that will be the first opportunity reporters will have to ask the president about michael flynn. you know how the pool sprays go, every reporter will be watching, to see if he will make any kind of comment. open question whether we will hear from attorney ty cobb, white house lawyer ty cobb prior to that. so those are the things our team is working on. also waiting for more information on how this court hearing is unfolding. it is happening right now. you saw michael flynn walk in with lawyers about 10:20 so about 25 minutes ago, walk into
the courthouse there. michael flynn saying nothing to reporters on his way in. >> one of the reactions coming from tim cane, former hillary clinton running mate. hillary clinton is somebotalkin about. we'll play that for you now. >> he would not give the benefit of fair legal process to anybody else. but he gets the benefit of fair legal process. he will get the benefit of a process he was unwilling to accord to anyone else. but it's very disturbing. >> very disturbing tim cane says about what we are seeing now. but as we've been talking about here perhaps not all too
surprising if you've been following the developments that michael flynn is being charged now. being charged by the office of the special counsel on this single count of making a misstatement, lying basically to the fbi. the big thing here, one of the big things is this is linked directly to russia. this is now linked to the russian ambassador, to conversations between michael flynn and the russian ambassador. msnbc legal correspondent has i know been looking over these court documents. arie, and i want to get your takeaway from this as we are waiting for more information on this court hearing. >> december 1st, 2017, count it up, this is the worse legal day for the trump administration thus far. and that is because this is a senior official pleading guilty to explicitly lying about russia and dealings with russia. what are the lies? i couldn't three lies. and again we often have to talk about both sides when we cover these things. not this morning. the view we have there is of a
court proceeding where the former national security adviser and top campaign foreign adviser to trump is admitting to lying to fbi agents, and admitting to lies. so there really isn't a defense on that defense on that score. the three lies i count in this relatively short, is lying about sanctions. that is a big deal. this isn't about brazil. this isn't about cuba. not about turkey although there are allegations there. this goes back to lying about the sanctions with russia. and number two, lying about the information whether he recalled things. the information says that flynn initially stated he didn't recall the russian ambassador telling him russia would moderate its response to the sanctions as a result of his request. the obvious legal inference there, hallie, is that he was lying about not recalling and there was kind of a conversation deal or plot during a transition
between the incoming trump administration and the russian government. the kremlin. to make a deal on the side of what the united states was lawfully doing under the obama administration. that is to use a non-legal term, a very big deal. and third, there is an admission according to the information that michael flynn lied to the fbi about his discussion with the russian ambassador for a u.n. security council resolution. this is the work of state craft. this is national security work. this is what the united states government does at the highest levels. in the interests of our citizens or in this case according to this information, not in the interest. because the implication and this is where i'm going beyond the document. the implication is there were lies because something else bad was afoot. we don't know to do what exactly the government alleges that is. and they don't have to.
but that's the implications. >> and bob mueller likely holding cards close to his vest. ari, i want you to stand by for a second. i want to bring in matt miller as well. i want to walk through something that i think is crucial to this which is the timeline by which this all unfolded. take a minute. right now on your screens you're looking at the federal court. but i want to pull up this timeline and walk through this. this is what we know about this period here in late january. on the 24th is when flynn admits, acknowledges lying to the fbi about his interactions with the russian ambassador. two days later is when the acting attorney general comes to the white house, warns the white house that mike flynn has been compromised. the next day james comey said it seemed president trump asked for his loyalty. move forward. firing sally yates for not defending the travel ban. two weeks later, mike flynn resigns after the doj again
informed the white house that flynn could be subject to blackmail by russia. and the next day donald trump apparently tells james comey i hope you can let this go. i want to add one thing to that timeline. president trump had his first solo of the white house which he seemed to back the communications with the russian ambassador saying i looked at the information and donald trump said i don't think he did anything wrong. if anything, he did something right. ari, what does this timeline say to you? >> me or matt? >> ari, you first then matt. >> got it. just welcoming matt to the conversation then. look. you lay it out, hallie, and you covered this a long time. what we're seeing in the timeline is what you can call the negative space of the painting. the foreground of the painting is what's happening in that
courtroom here on our screen which is admitting the lies. the rest of the space which is the case bob mueller and the investigators are building, is why did you lie about this? if this was normal planning or diplomacy or there were no other illicit or problematic thing, then why not tell the fbi the direction of american foreign policy. that can happen diplomatically. what you outline and what sally yates testified under oath about is there was something else beyond simply the discussion. what was it? well, i'm not going to speculate. i will tell you the type of things that prosecutors investigate is they look at whether there was quid pro quo. they look at whether there was blackmail or compromise. they look at whether there was any kind of payback. did you owe someone something for something? those are the questions they're certainly going to be asking. as others reported this morning, you don't plea to all of this today out of the blue if there wasn't something else that you're getting some kind of
leniency on in exchange for cooperation. >> ari, thanks. matt, your take? >> that timeline is the heart of an obstruction case against the president. mike flib can shed light on the investigation of what happened during the campaign. whether there was any illegal coordination with the russian government. and he can shed light on 2017 whether the president obstructed justice. but we should note we've never seen one piece of evidence yet as it relates to potential coordination, collusion that points to the direct involvement of donald trump. it is all about whether the president himself obstructed justice. it started with that warning from sally yates on january 26th to the white house counsel about mike flynn being a -- being compromised and being a threat to national security. and the fact that the white house not only didn't fire him,
but their first reaction was to reach out to jim comey and ask first for loyalty pledge and then ask him to back off the flynn investigation. that's at the heart of it and what bob mueller will have been talking to mike flynn the last two weeks. what conversations did you have in that time frame with the president of the united states. >> you bring up a point of what sally yates said when she appeared at a senate hearing back in early may. this is what she had to say. >> to state the obvious you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the russians. >> also added there she thought
flynn was compromised. >> and we don't know the extent of why she said that. as the earlier we were talking about, you know, there's these conversations that we know that now know that michael flynn lied to the fbi about. what we don't know what else he had in terms of that she might have been concerned about. we know michael flynn had dealings with the russian government and prior to his becoming part of the trump campaign, we don't know what contacts he may have had during the campaign. there are several reports out there about different potential contacts that he had. so but yeah. to state the obvious, you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the russians. the other thing is if we step back and look at this moment, this is a really big moment. you have the national security adviser to the president of the
united states who was just brought in and pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi in an investigation about whether the trump campaign that he was an intimate part of colluded with the foreign government to influence our election. >> it brings us full circle to how this started the show. which is stating just the facts of what happened this morning. which is that the former national security adviser, somebody who is a top ranking member of donald trump's administration has been charged by the special counsel for lying about his interactions with russia. that is important. the white house is going to have to answer to this. in the last couple of minutes we've heard from the white house, but not about this. not about what you'd expect. the press secretary instead putting out a statement about something else in the news today which is about kate steinle, the verdict in that case. something that the president has been tweeting about and talking about for the last 18 hours or so. nothing having to do with this. but we do expect to hear something from ty cobb, the
white house lawyer, presumably this morning. if not in the next 45 minutes or so, there's going to be the opportunity to yell questions at the president himself. he's going to have to answer to this. it's tough to predict how he might answer to it. if you look at the pattern of behavior and the pattern of what he said about mike flynn, he has been loyal to mike flynn since the very beginning because mike flynn was loyal to him since the very beginning. before almost anybody else was. >> he was. and the other thing to put this into context is this moment is coming at a time when we've all been talking about in recent days how the president is, like, unleashed in certain ways that he hadn't been. just more brazen. you know, the things he's writing on his twitter account. and so, you know, as you said, we don't know how he's going to react to this and it could go any number of ways. >> i'm going to thank all of you for being with us on this extraordinarily busy morning. i'm going to leave you with a live look at the federal court right here in washington, d.c. we have a team on the ground
there monitoring mike flynn inside along with his lawyers pleading guilty to one count of lying to the fbi. a charge brought by the office of the special counsel. i'm going to turn it over for the rest of our coverage for the next hour to ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. good to see you back. i'll tell you what. doesn't stop. >> no. absolutely not. have a good rest of your day. i think we'll be talking probably several times during it. hallie jackson in washington. good morning, everyone. i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. it is friday, december 1st. let's get started. >> we are following two breaking stories as you know right now. first, president trump's former national security adviser mike flynn pleading guilty in the russia investigation. >> and the senate returns to voting on the gop tax plan that faced new obstacles last night. we'll have much more on that bill. it's going to affect every american in this country. we're going to update you througut