tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC January 25, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
to the white house. okay. the white house did not respond to the offer from the guggenheim museum, but i think we know somebody who might. >> i want a toilet made out of solid gold, but that's not in the cards, is it? >> it might be. the guggenheim museum is not above a little humor. chuck, now i have to ask, is there a theory that the shared humanity resides in our common love of art or just in the use of toilets? >> i think it in our common need, how's that? >> yes. >> our common necessity for what the toilet represents. >> you know, your show is unpredictable, you are unpredictable. that news story from the guggenheim was unpredictable. but i feel enriched by it. >> you need to be rich to buy it. so there you go. >> thank you, sir, chuck todd
with "meet the press" daily, this is "the beat." and we are as you may know exactly 24 hours out from the president's unusual and sweeping promise to testify under oath to bob mueller. and now i can report 24 hours later, two major reactions tonight. one, donald trump's own lawyers trying to walk that promise back in a hurry. and two, donald trump's conservative partisan allies telling him if he's confident that he can go into this interview with bob mueller and come out ahead, he's wrong. take a listen to long-time trump aid roger stone. >> under no circumstances should he grant mr. mueller an interview, it's a suicide mission. it's a very clear perjury trap. >> another warning from talk show host rush limbaugh. >> there are conflicting opinions on whether or not trump has to talk to mueller, whether he should, or he shouldn't.
if you ask me, don't do it. i don't care what format, what circumstances, don't do it. there's nothing to gain. >> nothing to gain according to limbaugh and this coming in right now. donald trump's criminal defense lawyer john dowd is telling nbc news, forget what you have heard over the last 24 hours, he is the one who will decide if donald trump sits down for an interview or not and dowd says he apparently hasn't made up his mind. and another white house lawyer ty cobb said that he will be donald trump's personal counsel. as for donald trump himself, he's started to frame his own defense. listen to his argument here, one man's obstruction is another man's fight. >> do you think robert mueller will be fair to you in this larger investigation. >> we're going to find out. >> are you concerned about that? >> here's what we'll say, and everybody says, there's no collusion, now they're saying, oh, well, he didn't fight back.
fight back, oh, it's obstruction. >> if you fight back, it's obstruction. will trump's lawyers let this interview happen? they will if it's up to the client. >> are you going to talk to mueller? >> i'm looking forward to it actually. >> do you have a date set? >> here's the story, there's no collusion whatsoever, there's no obstruction whatsoever. >> do you have a date set yet? >> i guess in about two or three weeks, but i would love to do it. >> now we have nick ackerman, sophia nelson, former house counsel to the gop and jameal smith, a columnist for huff post. i start with you, nick, you know the old saying, one man's obstruction is another man's fight. is this helpful to donald trump, to say, well, i fight back and they call it obstruction. >> it depends how you fight
back, if you fight back with a corrupt intent, which is the critical element of obstruction, that only means if you're trying to stop the investigation, just like he told comey to stop the investigation into flynn, that's obstruction of justice. if you're trying to get rid of the russian investigation, that's obstruction of justice, this is not a choice that donald trump has. it's not a choice that the lawyers have. >> they think it is. and let me go back to you, that's the other breaking news tonight. john dowd basically coming out tonight, right now and saying more or less, i'm the one who knocks, i will decide whether this interview happens. >> that's not who's going to decide. robert mueller can give him a grand jury subpoena. if he is subpoenaed, he's going to have to testify and he's going to have to appear before a grand jury in columbia. if there's going to be any kind of deal, it's going to happen in the white house somewhere in a
conference room. there's no choice here. he has to provide testimony. >> jameal? >> i think it's a lot of empty bravado which we're used to seeing from the president. here's the thing, he thinks he this can talk his way out of any situation, just like he thinks he can run the country like he runs his businesses. but this is a different set of rules here, and his attempt to twist everything in our reality, including the rule of law, to what he sees in his own mind, to some degree has worked but i don't think it's going to work here. >> let me read to you a report about how these interviews go, and why it might monot be to jamil's point something you can just bluster through. people who have appeared before mueller's team say prosecutors have detailed accounts of events, sometimes up to the minute and have surprised witnesses by showing them what they have. >> when i worked on the house
oversight committee back in the 1990s, we were investigating the clinton money scandal, all this stuff. and there's very big similarities between the independent counsel and what you do on the hill. you're absolutely right, if they subpoena you or you get a grand jury summons to come, you got to show up. you can't not do it. here's the thing that matters, they do surprise you, and that's the goal to surprise you in these interviews, so if i'm ty cobb, i'm ripping my hair out right now, because donald trump's a horrible client, he doesn't stop. >> you're not making a comment about ty cobb's mustache. >> i'm not making any comments about his mustache, i'm just saying that -- >> because jamil has a mustache too. >> yeah, but on a serious note, the president wants to do this because he's ego driven. it's all about a fight with this guy. and his base would love it, actually. they'll have him in a cape as superpresident taking on the bad
fbi and the bad robert mueller. that's kind of the scenario that's been painted over the last few weeks, you can't trust these hopeople, they're corrupt there has to be a winner. >> there's times when you can get a witness to incriminate himself by appealing to or taking advantage of their weaknesses. ego can be a witness. speak is to that as well as the context of that, which is something we don't always see. lawyers and their clients basically shadow boxing over who gets to make this call. >> first of all, the real lawyers here is not the lawyers, it's donald trump. just as you saw with the statement that his son made, the statement that kushner made, this is all being orchestrated by donald trump, he's calling the shots. but it's absolutely true, if he goes into a grand jury, he is going to be questioned in minute detail about conversations with michael flynn, that is going to
be the biggest down side for him. because flynn has detailed for mueller's people all the conversations, all of the things -- >> all the meetings, all the sanctions discussions and if there was a problem there. >> when you go into this the committee staff has it on a timeline, they've got it, so if you slip, you set yourself up. i think jamil is actually giving him good advice. >> here's ty cobb discussing this potential interview. >> the president's very eager to sit down and explain whatever is responsive to the questions. >> do you have any fear of a perjury trap? >> no, but i think it would be foolish to not proceed without considering that possibility. >> jamil, there seems to be some daylight between donald trump saying i welcome and i talk to my lawyers, two to three weeks
scheduled. and then john dowd saying, no, i'm going to make that call. again, something i say and people don't like this sometimes, but in fairness to the trump's white house, bill clinton's lawyers did take the position that it was negotiatable. lawyers do fight things out. so it seems to me that at a mon minimum what we're observing, is ty cobb, john dowd, these lawyers tonight trying to get back the leverage that the great deal maker seems to give away with these grand promises last night. >> there's two things i think they're trying to accomplish here, one is to signify resistance to this entire probe and also to relegitimize it. what the president did yesterday, i don't know if it's about trying to make any kind of agreements or set himself to a higher standard than bill clinton or hillary clinton, he's trying to exhibit that he's in charge, that he will make a decision. that he is the one who is
deciding what's going to happen and what's not going to happen. he just seems not to realize what kind of trouble he's actually in. he thinks he can repeat that there's no collusion and all this other stuff and have people believe it. yes, maybe 30%, 40% of the country does, but this is not a polling question, this is about wanting to ensure that justice is done. this is a complete, you know, completely different arena than i think he's used to and i think it's going to serve him badly once he in fact does have to testify. >> he is used to, nick, civil lawsuits and civil depositions. and that's a long ways from criminal probes, right? that's the difference between the people's court and law and order. >> i mean, look, it's a deposition that he's used to. but the grand jury in some ways is very much like a deposition, it's just that the stakes are just so much higher. i mean he looks forward to this just like someone would look forward to going for a root canal at the dentist's office. there's no way he looks forward
to this. this is not a good thing for him. they are going to have him going and coming every which way on a whole series of events and he doesn't even know what they're going to be asking him. >> thank you each for your coverage tonight. coming up, breaking her silence, stormy daniels is tonight speaking out in her first tv interview since the explosive allegations of this consensual relationship with donald trump and taking money to keep quiet. >> did you have a sexual relationship with donald trump? >> no one ever looked twice at me before, now suddenly everyone's looking at me. also a special report on this public servant on attack by the president. who's andrew mccabe and what does this all mean? and the ptrump effect in popular culture. i'm going to talk about the show about russians trying to meddle in our democracy. i'm ari melber, you're watch
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tonight, an adult film star who previously said she had a consensual relationship with donald trump is speaking out. this is her first tv interview since the news broke that she received this $30,000 hush money payment from trump's lawyer. >> you have a sexual relationship with donald trump? did you ever think you would be able to turn on cnn or fox news or msnbc and your name and the president's name together in the same sentence over and over and over? >> no. does anyone? no one ever looked twice at me before, now suddenly everyone's looking at me. >> i'm joined by historian and assistant professor of public policy and a columnist for the daily beast. margaret lives up a busy life,
they're still fixing up your mike. >> i was on time, ari. >> i'm late to all kinds of things. i'm definitely not blowing you up. you can take whatever moment you need. leah, and my question to you, does it matter that this story that many people have observed would be wall to wall for weeks or months if this happened in the presidency of a bush or an obama? does this person speaking out tonight matter? >> well, you know, ari, i think a famous philosopher said a couple of years back, it's funny how money changes situations and i think that's the case here, which means that it does matter because it's money and it's about power. >> if you're going to quote lauren hill, the next line is, miscommunications lead to complications, does that also apply here? >> it always applies, particularly when it comes to the trump administration. i think what's going on here, one of the things that we have to pay attention to is one,
following the money. so where did the money come from? why was this covered up? and then what maybe might have become a discretion, what could have been a discretion of the trump campaign himself, or trump himself the man, in previous indiscretions has snowballed into something much, much bigger, based on how evangelical leaders are responding to it. so it's now taking on a new element and becoming something much bigger and much more indicative of big and troubling problems in the administration. >> you mentioned evangelicals. msnbc's alex witt was interviewing franklin graham, listen to this. >> i believe that 70 years of age, the president is a much different person today than he was four years ago, five years ago, ten years ago, whatever. >> i don't know what to say to that. >> me either. >> 65 is different than 70,
sure. >> yes, it is. that's a fact. but we don't know if it really applies or it's an operative fact in this situation. the evangelicals have generally just decided to give donald trump a pass on all of the accusations against him. not that stormy daniels is accusing him, but all of the sexual activity that has come up with him since he's been a candidate. they're just giving him a pass, i don't if they care so much about tax cuts that they're giving him a pass. i think tony per kin per perkina mulligan. do you get one extra shot, or do you get a dozen for the various accusers that came forward? on the stormy daniels, it may come down to a technicality,
it's not going to be on the sexual aspect, but was the money legitimate paid during the campaign? did she perform, you know, some service that, you know, fits what you get paid for during a campaign. otherwise, that could be what makes this a lasting story. or ari, i was just thinking, you know, she gave that inigmatic smile, like did he have sex with her or did he got have sex with her? he wasn't considered wealthy in one of the books written about him, tim o'brien's book, so he sued to prove that he was wealthy. so his ego gets in the way sometimes. >> i appreciate you raising the larger point of how he will react to all of a this, you
mentioned the money trail, and someone basically trying to get that investigated next. but leah, just briefly, your view of whether this story dies like so many other trump alleged scandals? >> i mean, it's the era of scandals. the reality tv president and he knows how to put on a show. you know, if i'm him right now, particularly going into this kind of big mueller investigation and this big probe, i would want this stormy daniels thing to just go away, and yet, it's still going, it's becoming something much bigger than it initially was. >> right. >> and two, it exposes the hypocrisy of evangelical leaders in this country right now. >> leah and margaret, thank you both. i'm going to turn to this question on the money trail and where those funds came from and did that break campaign laws. they filed these complaints with the d.o.j. and the sec about the $130,000 payment. if you put aside the ethical
debate, is there a legal problem potentially here? >> there certainly is a legal problem here. and it stems from the fact that this appears to have been a payment to influence the election. and that is defined under federal campaign finance law as a political expenditure. the timing here matters. this payment to stormy daniels came about three weeks before the general election. it came about a week after the expose of very important tape revealing donald trump engaged in some banter, some locker room banter as he called it, the "access hollywood" tape. and it comes at a time when stormy daniels was reportedly talking to some major news outlets, all of those facts together look like a payment to influence the election, that means it was an expenditure by team trump, they didn't report it to the sec, that's violation number one. violation number two, is if this
payment came from anyone other than trump's own pockets, then that's looking like an illegal campaign contribution. either an illegal corporate contribution, because it exceeds the $100,000 contribution limit if it came from an individual. >> what do you say to the john edwards history, a grand jury looked at it, but on a similar theory, they said, no, this is private stuff, not campaign stuff. >> the jury didn't really say that in the john edwards matter, he was indicted for six counts and the jury found him guilty on one. >> i'm referring to the mistrial. they didn't land it. >> they didn't convict him. and the facts are much stronger there. for example, in the trial, john edwards lawyer made a big deal of the fact that there was no evidence whatsoever that miss
hunter, john edwards girlfriend that she was about to talk to the press, that she was going to go public. so that severely weakened the case by the department of justice, that was saying, this was all about the election, this was hush money to keep her quiet in the election context. by contrast here, with respect to mr. trump and stormy daniels, three weeks before the election, she was about to go to the press, she was about to go to "access hollywood," facts matter in the law and the facts that this is a political expenditure by mr. trump than the john edwards case. >> john edwards payment looked like a child support payment, but i know you're stretching to get this into the campaign box. but we'll be covering your story and covering your case. ahead our special report on the fbi official trump fryitryio push out. and why a trump appointee at
d.o.j. is putting devin nunes on blast and calling him extraordinarily reckless. it's an important story and it relates to the secret society. and later, how does this help explain the memos? i'll explain that tonight on the beat. efore dawn. sweating it out. driving ourselves to do more. be more. tough to make time for it all. but we can always find time to listen. to great thinkers, and fearless explorers. whose stories fuel our minds... and imaginations. stories that take us places our hamstrings alone can't. all we have to do is listen. open your ears to the largest selection of audiobooks from the world's most inspiring voices. download audible today.
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a top story tonight, the stark escalation in partisan efforts to impugn the fbi russia probe. some congressional republicans have gone so far in attacking the fbi that the news tonight is the push back they're getting now from trump's own appointees, a trump doj official claims that a secret memo he has could undermine mueller's probe. implying it could involve even a criminal leak if the unseen memo
did reveal classified source materials. this is not normal. this is a republican doj rebuking a republican house committee for playing with fire, even though the fire was allegedly supposed to help the trump administration. meanwhile, top democrats defending the fbi's legal statusestatus as, yes, our federal law enforcement that led to this in the "washington post" saying democrats feel compelled to defend the integrity of our government against republican efforts to pervert of the goal of shielding trump from accountability. also the post reports that the fbi said that nunez needs a reason to declassify it. many have observed the hypocrisy here, republicans who were attacking hillary clinton over a risk that classified material
could be braeeached on her ex-mail, these are republicans refusing to cooperate with the agencies that do classification to achieve the release of this memo. this memo has achieved a kind of magical status for republicans. the memo is now the magic feather helping high flying conspiracies take flight. >> let me make it clear that the entire mueller investigation is a lie built on a foundation of corruption. the key reason that all americans need to see this memo is that it names names. it says who was involved with who. >> i'm here to tell all of america tonight that i am shocked to read exactly what has taken place. >> what i read today in that classified briefing room is as bad as i thought it was. >> i think this will not end just with firings, i believe there are people who will go to jail.
>> people who will go to jail. hold up. bob mueller has already secured two guilty pleas. right there you have a current congressman, darkly suggesting it would be people in the fbi that could go to jail. he says that without any evidence. and that's not all. there are some conservatives using the leaked private text between these two fbi agents to intimate without further evidence or any kind of investigation that a two-word reference to a secret society could be a formal anti-trump plot involving people who aren't even mentioned in that text. >> who's in the secret society? let's see, could it be page and strzok and mccabe and comey. >> i want to know what secret society you're talking about. >> i'm not surprised there's a secret society inside the establishment that was designed to get rid of donald trump.
>> that was a top story and this is not a joke. with all this news right now it's actually easy to forget what is missing in this supposed scandal. there's no evidence that these fbi agents altered their work or a criminal probe because of their political views and political views, having them isn't a crime, in fact it's a right under the u.s. constitution. and if you release the text or emails or, you know, dinner conversations of most people in government, yeah, you would find personal views, some of them probably strongly held. ive if the facts change on this story, the results could change, and i will always bring you the facts here, but let's be clear, right now these attacks on the fbi appear to violate the rule of law in two ways. they undermine the independence of an open criminal probe and they appear to be retaliating against people for holding views which is their first amendment right. let me go to nick ackerman,
former watergate prosecutor, and i'm joined by the manager of the blaze, leon wolf. leon, i know that traditional conservatives as well as libertarians care a lot about individual rights, it's an area where there's often some overlap. putting aside policy views, i wonder your view of the core of this set of allegations, whether it's valid or whether it concerns you. >> with respect to strzok and paige? >> yes. >> no, i'm not overly concerned about that. and that is if it's true that strzok was talking about an actual secret society, which was my impression this was an obvious joke between him and paige. but if it were true that he was trying to form a secret society with the goal of taking down trump, why would he have turned down appointment to mueller's team? if you wanted to take down trump, and you were that
committed to this to just destroy president trump, wouldn't going with mueller be the number one easiest way to do that? >> i guess what i'm asking you is, given that that hasn't been proven, that there's nothing like that the republican members of congress have said is it true that they seem to be attacking and retaliating public servants by name for what is their political views? >> we haven't seen any evidence yet i would agree that it influenced their investigation in any way. i think it's much more plausible that it might have influenced the hillary clinton server investigation. we just don't know at this point any of those things. it but this is the partisan environment that we live in. if you haven't voted or -- >> leon. environment, i want to hang you up on that, an environment is something you walk around in. this isn't an environment, this is people who take an oath to uphold the constitution, who are
in our congress, they're taking actions and so i don't think it's an environment. i think the question is are they going to be held accountable, is what they're doing problematic for the rule of law? >> ari, i'm not telling you how it should be, i'm just telling you how it is. this is the way that all of the world works, any time there's a judicial decision that comes out now, the first thing people go to see is who appointed the judge, is it fair? is it right? no, but that's the question people always ask. i as a conservative, i can clearly see where their animus is, but i'm like you, where's the evidence that it actually affected their work, i don't see any, and until we find that, there's no reason to have such a cow about it. >> we're not trying to have a cow. bart simpson is welcome any time. but i think leon says on the one hand this is problematic, but on the other hand, this is normal politics. it looks worse than the normal.
>> this is not normal politics. this reminds me of what joseph mccarthy, the senator from wisconsin did back in the '50s, he would hold up a piece of paper and say i've got 50 communists in the state department. it was all bogus. it was all designed to destroy people's reputations and to enhance his own power, that's what's going on here, they have created a document that they know they can't release because it has classified information, just like joe mccarthy used his pieces of paper to try and impugn people. this is not normal politics. this is not democrat, republican or conservative liberal. this is just down right nastiness that has no business in our political system. >> yeah. and i have got to say, and i try to report all sides of it, but there's nothing normal about a member of congress saying that maybe people in the fbi are going to wind up in jail or
committing a crime without having any evidence. and that's going to be a test for the youth united states as d if this continues. as promised, "the beat" special report, the president versus a public servant you may not know much about. why is the president singling out that man, andy mccabe. and this intelligent... (engine starting up) ...when it can get by on looks alone? why create something that stands out, when everyone expects you to fit in? it's simple. you can build a car, or you can build a cadillac. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac cts. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac cts from around $469 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer. get ready for frcentrum micro-workouts.h. the bottle curl.
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. now we turn to tonight's special report. there are leaks that after donald trump fired jim comey, he immediately began questioning comey's replacement over political views and what seemed like tests of loyalty. this report adds detail to donald trump's past attacks on that man, mr. mccabe, who's a public servant not a household name. >> reporter: the president tried to steer attention back to his claims of bias against him at the fbi. taunting deputy director andrew mccabe. >> trump has accused mccabe after an ally of hillary clinton donated to his political campaign. >> that was last week, this week we learned that trump was so upset about mccabe's wife being a democrat that trump tried to get him fired from the fbi and trump's own fbi director threatened to resign over it, three people told axios thanks.
so if jim comey is at the center of the fbi year one, why is fbi it the center as year two beg s begins? mccabe has served 19 years, his team used racketeering laws to go after russian organized crime and sent several people to prison. mccabe said there was a formative experience at the very beginning of his fbi adventure. when trump came in and appointed mueller, when republicans were riding a wave of power in washington, mccabe kept working his way up the ladder. when obama came into office -- >> policies that i have proposed represent a new direction from the last eight years. to protect the american people and our values, we banned
enhanced interrogation techniques. >> it was behind the scenes, but at the time, mccabe oversaw that program on requesting suspects. he worked high priority cases investigating the boston bombing and helping find the suspects in the benghazi attacks. as the fbi adjusted to new threats, mccabe was assigned to crimes that actually didn't previously exist. things like getting cyber terrorists and isis recruiters. >> reporter: for eight months, the 17-year-old urged his 4,000 twitter followers to contribute to isis. >> it's a tragedy for this community as we have now lost yet another person to the seductive allure to violent online propaganda. >> critics will say as we shutter one side, another site emerges. and that may be right. but that is the nature of
criminal work, it never goes away. >> that is part of his record. those terror cases put mccabe at the center of fbi priorities, focusing on law enforcement, intel and cyber crime and that led to a promotion when he became jim comey's deputy. in that role he got less attention than comey, who was then criticized for the way he would assert himself into national issues. mccabe was considered less controversial, when he did speak, it was usually on threats casing the nation. >> we hope this investigation will send a message to corrupt officials around the world that no person, no company, no organization is too big, to powerful or too prominent, no one is above or beyond the law. that is my job right now to ensure that the men and women who work for the fbi stay focused on the threats, stay focused on the issues that are of so much importance to this country and i will ensure that
that happens. >> that's what a lot of law enforcement people look like. we don't know mccabe's personal political beliefs. he reportedly told the president he didn't vote in the general election. there's a new report that he has voted in a republican primary. we do know that over two decades at the fbi he did earn the confidence of jim comey, donald trump's apparent nemesis, and also earned the confidence of chris wray, donald trump's hand picked replacement for comey. of all the things that donald trump does in public and private, the news this week is that chris wray threatened to resign to defend andy mccabe and by extension the independence of the fbi that his position represents. i don't know how hard it is to earn trust that spans from comey to trump's comey replacement. i'm betting it's not easy. it would take an ability to reject politics to tackle law enforcement problems, to rebuff pressure and to stick to law enforcement.
question now is whether leaders will stick up for this law enforceme enforcement? do we have leadership that can be a believer and admirer of that law enforcement? >> i am the big, big believer and admirer of the people in law enforcement, okay? from day one. from day one. an attack on law enforcement is an attack on all americans. >> attacks on law enforcement should trouble all americans. donald trump clear thinks he will write andy mccabe's story, one tweet at a time. all these new leaks this week show that just as with the attacks on jim comey and other public servants, there are people who are speaking up and perhaps the final history has yet to be fully written. i'm joined now by a former
federal prosecutor, paul butler who's worked closely with fbi agents over many years. your view of andy mccabe and of these kind of attacks on a high ranking fbi official? >> so, ari, asking the fbi director who you voted for is not a crime, but it's more evidence of a corrupt mind state by president trump. the list of law enforcement agents who the president has tried to pressure is long and dishe distinguished. james comey, sally yates, jeff sessions, chris wray and now andrew mccabe. so trump wants their loyalty. he's trying to rig the system, that's investigating collusion and corruption, obstruction of justice. when you try to derail an investigation so that it's not objective, there's a name for that, it's called obstruction of
justice. >> on that point, in the "washington post," all the"," s did almost precisely what comey did to him, hit him with the idea that the fbi director should be loyal to the president. if this was not one, quote, unquote mistake questioning by the fbi, but an ongoing pattern in targeting mccabe, budoes tha make things worse for trump? >> when you look at one day, trump fires the fbi director, and shortly thereafter, he reaches out to the new fbi direct to director to talk about politics to find out if he is on trump's side. when that new director doesn't give him the answer he wants, he doesn't fire him directly like he did comey, but he goes on a twitter war to try and get
mccabe out and he succeeded. >> and he tells the new fbi director that he wanted him out and that's what wray was threatening to resign over. >> this is a pattern that special counsel mueller is not blind to. because guess what? mccabe only didn't earn the confidence of comey, he also earned the confidence of mueller when mueller was running the fbi. so if there's any kind of credibility contest between trump and mccabe, mccabe is going to win that contest. matthew reise from the oscar nominated movie "the post is here. . natural eye? ugh, natural. good choice. how about calling or texting? definitely calling. puppies or kitties? sorry, cats. dry eyes or artificial tears? wait, that's a trick question. because they can both get in your way.
president trump has made severe. comedy central's broad city bleeped out trump's name as if it was a curse word. not every references to trump says trump. right now americans flocking to view of history about nixon's watergate scandal is hot. "the post" is also hot depicting a battle between a lawless president and the press. the parallels from nixon to trump are clear. plot turns on daniel else berg, a veteran who leaked secret war plans showing why he thought vietnam was not winnable. now he is played by matthew rhys, the emmy nominated actor from the hit show the "the americans." >> if you public ever saw these papers, they would turn against the war. guaranteed debt, rigged elections, 80s all in there. ike, kennedy, johnson. they violated the geneva convention, lied to congress and they lied to the public.
they knew we couldn't win and still sent boys to die. >> matthew rhys joins me from the "post." thanks for being here on the beat." >> good to be here. >> what did you teach yourself about daniel else berging in order to play him? >> where to begin. i think i was more ashamed how lily knew about daniel else berg and his impact. i was fortunate enough to spend an entire day with him. and for me as an actor to play someone real, to actually meet that person and have this map where you say what were you thinking at this point, doing, wearing, thinking, it was incredible to have ha. >> do you think this movie is about the truth and if you can reveal the truth, then things happen? there was a belief in the character that vietnam would end. or is this a movie ultimately about something important that's more dry which is process? what are the rights that the press and the public have and what's the process for defending them? >> i think this acceptance or their pursuit or this
understanding that the american people have a right to the truth, he was the first to kind of go, no, no, actually the public do need to know what the government is doing. the governments do lie. and he was on the first, the pie whistleblower of his time to do that in america. he wasn't a screaming lefty. he was a former marine. a pentagon employee. he believed in this country and in his government. and this came about without -- with a great deal of conflict because not only personally because he could face espionage or treason but he believed in this country and to take that step and say this is wrong, from a humanitarian angle saying too many people are dying on every side to let this go on. >> president nixon was obsessed was daniel else berg. take a listen to real tapes of
nixon. >> we've got to keep our eye on the main ball. the main ball is else berg. we've got to get this son of a [ bleep ]. >> this is troenable action to put it out. it involves secure information, a lot of other things. what kind of people would do such things? >> did you get inside else berg's heart that he might be afraid of that, of that power? >> it was one of my first questions. upon reading the script and him, i thought he must have been terrified. he was utterly alone. apart from his wife, few good friends. he went underground in order tore orchestrate the distribution of this report. i just thought god, you must have been terrified. he sort of said well, no, i actually wasn't. i had the clarity of my conviction was quite reassuring. the reason i was going do this if i were to save lives, then i would happily go to prison. >> i want to talk a little bit
about steven spielberg. >> he was withoutquette a childhood hero and icon to me. to meet him face-to-face was frightening for no reason than anything he did himself. he's the most generous, warm, beautiful person you could would wish to meet. but to come face-to-face with your heroes, it's incredibly daunting. >> thanks for coming by. >> thank you for having me. >> a fascinating film and story. the film is "the post" in theaters now.
they say the beat goes on but that's not always true. beat is over. good news for you, "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. can trump handle the truth? let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump's impromptu meeting with reporters last night at the white house shed new light on the request whether he's obstructed justice and maybe knows it himself. over the last year, he has reportedly taken numerous steps to slow, disrupt or otherwise impede the russian investigation. among them, he asked former fbi director james comey to drop the investigation of michael flynn. he demanded loyalty from comey, as w