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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 8, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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they've been through and they still keep going day by day and handle their business and take care of the children and invest in their communities and stand up and make things better for people around them. >> that is our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. >> it has been a bit of a surreal news day and that has continued into tonight. today at the same time we had one trump campaign manager refusing to answer questions at the house intelligence committee while the guy that replaced him on the trump campaign at that same moment was being arraigned on 18 felony counts in a federal courtroom in virginia. that was surreal enough. this afternoon, surprise, a meeting/announcement at the white house, one that had not been previously scheduled. there had been lots of reporting
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that the president would not be announcing new big tariffs on aluminum and steel today. but in this unscheduled meeting, the president did announce them and then he forgot to actually sign them. he does do this a lot. he did it with a coal-related thing at one point where he had the big signing ceremony. then he did it with an obamacare related thing. he held the big signing ceremony. didn't sign the thing. he did it once last march where it looked like he was about to sign but then he got asked a question about mike flynn and it appeared to fluster him so much that he didn't sign the documents. he walked out of the room. the vice president mike pence said hey, do you want to sign this and went back into the room and collected unsigned documents and followed the president out of the room. maybe the president signed them later. in any case, there was another one of those incidents today where the president convened everybody to see him sign a thing and he didn't sign the thing. then he remembered and then he signed the thing.
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but this does mean that he is going ahead with those tariffs, which means on the same day that 181 other countries signed a trade pact, that trump pulled us out of, trump did the opposite and eventually he signed tariffs which means on trade today at least, there home run parts of the world that are pulling together while the u.s. is now pulling back to be quite dramatically alone. and then tonight at the white house another surprise. an announcement by an official from the nation of south korea. an announcement that there will be a new round of talks with north korea about the north's nuclear program. this ended being an amazing on a whole bunch of different levels not least of which is the fantastic that literally also today, the state department spokesperson announced explicitly that there was no way anything like this was happening. >> we are not going to schedule talks about talks or any kind of chat or anything like that at this point. >> state department spokesperson
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today announcing this is definitely not going to happen. we're not going to be scheduling talks, we're not going to be scheduling talks about talks, no way. well, then, later in the day, tonight somewhat randomly, south korean officials turn up outside the white house to announce not just the start of talks or talks about talks but they announced that the president of the united states is going to meet personally with kim jong-un. there have been a lot of talks about talks. there have been a lot of talks even over the years over the decades with north korea about their weapons programs. what is totally unprecedented, what is brand-new is the announcement tonight for the first time ever a sitting u.s. president will meet himself with the dictator of north korea. trump and kim jong-un meeting personally and directly according to tonight's announcement and planning to do
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so reportedly a few weeks from now. now you might imagine another president in this circumstance. kim jong-un makes a request, you want to meet? you might think like another president in this circumstance, you can imagine a president asking himself or herself why has no other american president ever agreed to do is this? why has no sitting american president ever met with a leader from north korea? why has that never happened in all the decades north korea has existed as a nation? why hasn't any other president ever done -- should i take this to mean this might be a particularly risky or even unwise move? i think that's how most presidents would approach the idea of a personal presidential meeting with the north korean dictator. i think a lot of people probably suspect tonight those are not the kinds of questions that this president asked himself before agreeing to this meeting.
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but this is the president we have and he said yes to north korea. "the new york times" tonight headlining this breaking news as quote, a breathtaking gamble. joining us now is courtney kube. nbc national security and military reporter. thanks very much for joining us tonight for this breaking news. really appreciate having you here. >> thank you so much, rachel. >> it felt today watching this unfold like this was a surprise. fell like a surprise to me because the state department spokesperson said we're not scheduling talks about talks, none of that is happening any time soon. also somewhat unusual rollout with having south korean officials announce it. were there signs from your perspective this was coming? >> no. and i -- it was not just the south korean national security advisor announcing it but announcing it at the white house that was very surprising. that was an unusual optic for us all to see. this was surprising. then we also had a senior administration official say after we had the announcement
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from the south koreans was that the u.s. is not even talking about negotiations at this point. so we're getting some conflicting messages here. what was particularly interesting to me out of the announcement from the white house today by the south koreans again was that north korea would not only according to this agreement, would not only refrain from further nuclear or missile tests but they understand that routine joint military exercises between the united states and south korea would have to continue. that is a huge departure from what we've heard from north korea in the past. it's what we heard from the south koreans after they had the talks with kim jong-un, with the north koreans. but it was the first time we heard in fact it seems north korea may agree to these two terps. >> this is, correct me if i'm wrong, courtney, you know more about this than i do. in my living memory as a human
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being that pays attention to the news, i feel like there have been other announcements from north korea they were freezing the nuclear missile program and stopping tests and in the past they've even pledged to dismantle their nuclear program. that's what they pledged to the clinton administration, that fell apart during the george w. bush administration. there have been previous announcements from them about stopping or taking apart their program, right? >> there have. >> there's a consistent of patterns of seeming to come to sort of agreement and then reneging on it. it happened under the clinton administration, george w. bush and sunday president obama, as well when they were dealing with an issue of food aid. there is certainly reason to be skeptical about this. another thing that i found really interesting was the south korean national security adviser said president trump and kim jong-un would meet by may. >> we broke the story actually
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that the two the u.s. and south korean military exercises that are frequently annual around this time of year, that one of them would begin as early as march 31st, the end of this month and that the real core of it would actually go through the month of april. there will be two at this point u.s. south korean military exercises in the month of april, one of them going into may. so there is the potential, in an fact if this meeting occurs that it will be occurring during one or two large-scale u.s./south korean military exercises which, of course, for years has been what the north korean regime has said that these military exercises are provocative and they use that as an excuse for more missile and ballistic missile and even nuclear testing. >> all of that going to the conclusion, this was a surprise on a number of different levels. let me ask you one last piece. the huge headline is no other american president, sitting
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president has ever agreed to meet with the north korean dictator. because this was a surprise, because the secretary of state you know, isn't there, the secretary of state is in africa right now, there isn't a south korean ambassador. the long-time head of policy just left his job just left last week. is there any concern that the president by agreeing to take this meeting, that he may be doing something risky? there may be people within the national security establishment and multiwho may object to the president taking this meeting one-on-one? >> it's definitely risky. one of the things this would do, if we have a picture of kim jong-un and president trump standing next to one another, this actually achieves one of kim jong-un's long-standing and his father's goal which is to elevate north korea and make them be seen as a major world power. you could make the argument that 2017 was really a banner year for north korea for the
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ballistic missile and nuclear testing. they achieved three intercontinental missiles that the defense intelligence agency just said this week had the potential, had the capability of hitting north america. you could make the argument kim jong-un reached the point he wants to be at. he's a nuclear power. he has ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting the united states and now if he is to meet with president trump, well, now, he's seen as a world leader. that optic of him potentially being seen as an equal to the leader of the free world, the president of the united states. >> wow. courtney kube, thank you for joining us on such short notice. i really appreciate it. >> sure, thanks, rachel. this is a remarkable change. it has been through republican and democratic administrations, the whole strategy not only for the united states but for the united states as leader of the free world to the extent that we are has been to treat north
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korea as a pa rye yao state and therefore, try to change their behavior. this is obviously a big change if the president is going to shake hands and meet with this guy and sit down with him one on one at the table. after this announcement was made that president trump would meet with the north korean dictator, i think the initial shock value gave way to some sort of vexing questions. a couple of these i just discussed with courtney. first of all, why was a u.s. presidential summit announced by an official from a third country? south korean security advisor came to stand outside the white house to announce this thing that the u.s. president is going to do. has that ever happened before where the u.s. president has agreed to a summit and a government official from a third country was brought to the united states to make the announcement that it was happening? is there any precedent for that at all? why might they have done it that way? also, the president is reported to have accepted this to mean it
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was kim jong-un that asked to meet the american president and the american president said sure, love to. this apparently happened today, tonight in fact. tonight the u.s. secretary of state is in ethiopia. the spokesperson for his department today said there wouldn't be talks about talks any time soon, let alone direct negotiations between north korea and the u.s. president. if you were hoping that the president might have received advice on this matter if not from the secretary of state then maybe from the best experts the u.s. has to offer on this subject, there is a special representative in the u.s. government, a serious pro with 30 plus years, joseph yun. he's the top person on north korea policy. he has handled talks and negotiations and the rescue of u.s. citizens in north korea. he speaks korean. he served at our embassy in south korea. he probably was not advising the president on this either tonight because mr. yun just quit his
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job. february 27th at the announced he was quitting. this past friday was his last day. that said, maybe the president could have received advice from his own administration's hand picked advisor. theoretically he would have wanted to do that. that's why we have ambassadors. subject matter expert ambassadors. the problem with that prospect is that there is no trump administration choice to be the ambassador to south korea. the administration's choice for that job, victor cha, he actually pull out of consideration for that ambassadorship during the state of the union speech this year in protest of the president's approach to north korea. tonight mr. cha reacted to this somewhat strange announcement at the white house. he reacted with what appeared to be bewilderment. he said quote, what are we putting on the table, sanctions? normalization? peace treaty? has any other president ever done anything like this? and when other presidents made
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breath-taking gambles like this in the past in the words of "the new york times", are there things we should learn from history about how to manage the tremendous risks here and how to potentially do this kind of thing well. joining us now is michael beschloss. that you f thank you for joining us tonight. >> pleasure. >> it's a pleasure to be talking to you. delighted just the same. >> there is no historical precedent for the president speaking to a dictator of north korea. is there any precedent for this kind of dramatic shift by a u.s. president with regard to a country that's seen internationally the way that north korea is? >> well, this is not of the magnitude of nixon going to china. decades of estrangement between china and the united states but compare what we saw tonight that
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weird scene of the south korean official making the announcement of a summit by an american president. what was that all about? that's not the way it's done. then you look at nixon as an example of this. nixon in july of 1971, he staged it as a surprise. he flew actually to burbank, california by helicopter and went to the nbc studio and made this brief announcement that he would go to china. it was at an appropriate time. before march of 1972. but although that was a surprise to the public, nixon had a lot of time in china diplomacy for the previous 20 years. he has henry kissinger. he drew on china experts. this was very carefully thought out and choreographed. when you have a scene like as you were saying, secretary of state doesn't seem to have known much about this. the state department is hollowed out. did -- was jared involved in this? it reminded me a little bit of the way that trump's decisions
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on tariffs was done very much at the last moment, impulsive without much consultation. that's exactly the opposite of the way that a decision this morn o important should be made. >> keep in mind very interesting parallel in nixon and china. obviously, that had immense international consequences, immense and long-lasting geopolitical consequences and it was a deliberate and thought out strategy by the nixon administration. they had months to prepare in it was orchestrated. there were a lot of people involved in preparing him to do that. but the reason we talk about nixon to china, that's an overused phrase now, it's a nixon to china moment is because of the domestic politics, nobody who was seen as any softer on communism could have pulled that
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off. it's because he had so much credibility he was able to do it. >> absolutely. >> and if, if that was true for nixon in terms of his decision-making there, how do you extrapolate that to right now with this trump -- with this president and this republican party? obviously, if president obama said he would speak to kim jong-u.n.. >> he would have been torn apart. >> we would have heard fox news from here if that had happened. >> what do you anticipate with this president and this party this year? >> his party has gone a very long way to accommodate him. presumably that will happen again. i think you have to ask these questions and for kim, the leader of north korea, this is a dream come true. he's got a summit. he's wanted that for decades. he and his family, you know, his ancestors who had this job, too. he's going to be dealing with a neophyte president who will only have a few weeks to prepare and a president who needs some good
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publicity. donald trump has got low poll ratings. he's got a congressional election coming up. mueller is closing in it, even stormy daniels. he may try too hard to have a bargain with kim to get him some publicity and that's not a good situation for a president to be in if he's trying to drive a hard bargain. >> nbc news presidential historian on a history-defying night. thank you for being here. >> i think we'll remember this one. >> i think so, too. in fact, we're going to -- when we remember this history-defying night, when historians write this up, the day a u.s. president was announced for the first time to be meeting with a north korean dictator, what historians will have to write in that same entry today is so you can ward i can hardly believe it. but that's next including some footage from this event that also happened today that you definitely have not seen anywhere else. stay with us. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new.
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- there's a common thread i see every time i'm in the field. while this was burning, you were saving other homes. neighbors helping neighbors and strangers alike. - this is what america's about. - sometimes it's nice to see all the good that's out there. bringing folks out, we have seen it in community after community. if tonight goes down in history as the night when we learned for the first time ever a sitting u.s. president has agreed to meet in person with the dictator of north korea, if and when that goes down in
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history tonight, when historians write this story in the history books, they will also have to explain that just a few hours before that somewhat hair-raising announcement was made, that same president's campaign chairman was rained on 18 felony counts in a federal court in alexandria, virginia. prosecutors working for robert mueller had had to file a status report with this judge in virginia. that report spells out in stark detail what trump campaign chair paul manafort is up against. from the special counsel who is investigating the president's campaign. he's up against this -- it's particularly stark given that his long-time deputy rick gays has flipped. so this is now what he's up against alone. mueller's prosecutors say in washington d.c. where manafort is facing five felony charges related to money laundering and illegal foreign lobbying and false statements and conspiracy
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against the united states, mueller's prosecutors say their best estimate of the kind of jail time manafort would face if convicted on those counts he's facing in d.c., they say their expected range of sentence if he's convicted would be 188 to 235 months in prison which is 15 1/2 to 20 years in prison. now that's not the statutory maximum he could face. that's more like 40 years. prosecutors say under sentencing guidelines they would expect him to do more like 15 to 20 years just for the charges in d.c. for the charges he's facing as of today in virginia, he got arraigned on today, it's a little less clear, but as far as i read it in virginia, it's 18 felony charges that manafort has been hit with. these are charges related to unreported foreign bank accounts and tax fraud and bank fraud. mueller's prosecutors in terms of coming up with a sentence
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estimate, they pulled out five of the 18 charges he's facing in virginia and they just calculated his expected sentence for those five. mueller's team told the court just for those five, for the tax fraud felonies that manafort is facing in virginia, his expected sentence if convicted on those five would be 97 to 121 months, which is eight to ten years. and as far as we can tell, if convicted, that eight to ten years in virginia would be separate and apart from the 15 to 20 he would be looking at if convicted in d.c. bottom line is the president's campaign chairman is facing a real prospect, you add those two together, 23 to 30 years in prison if he is convicted according to federal sentencing guidelines that would seem to apply to him. 23 to 30 years. he's 68 years old right now so that means if he were convicted and he got the bottom of the sentencing range, he would be in his 90s by the end of 23 years inside. that is a stark reality both for
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that one man, paul manafort but also for the campaign that he ran which put this president in office. it's also a pretty stark reality for everybody else who has been caught up at whatever level in this investigation thus far. they are talking decades long sentences. this is not small stuff. tonight, we obtained portions of the transcript from manafort's arraignment today. the judge in this case, 77 years old. he's apparently a take nothing guff kind of judge. from the transcript, this is the exchange in court that leads up to the judge giving manafort his trial date in virginia. you'll remember he's already got a trial date for his other charges in d.c. that one's in mid-september. here was the argument today over when his other trial will be for felonies he's facing in virginia. in this perfect world where i have my rosy glasses on, we were envisioning we would be trying this case in november following
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the case in d.c. the judge, quote, you need to go back to the optometrist because that isn't going to happen to which the defense counsel says okay. then the judge says you've got a trial date in september in the district. mr. weissman, this case seems maybe i'm not familiar with the indictment in d.c. but this case seems less complex than the one in d.c. mr. wise man answering for the government says that's our view, as well. the tax charges are due largely, the tax charges as we mentioned do largely over lap but unlike the d.c. case, there are no foreign agent registration act charges before this court. those involve quite an extensive array of evidence and different theories of liability. here with have what i think are five bank frauds and the discovery has been produced. the judge says all right. mr. downing, manafort's defense counsel, i'm going to set this matter in july. if in the course of your preparation something comes up that suggests you may have a
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more persuasive basis, i'll consider it, but for now the 12th of -- no, not the 12th, the 10th of july at 10:00 a.m. with a jury and having that earlier deadline is important. it will focus your minds. it will focus everyone's minds on getting this matter done. getting this matter done. eastern district of virginia does have a reputation for going fast. they call it a rocket docket. manafort if you'll remember, he was arraigned first in d.c. but he's actually going to get put on trial first in virginia on july 10th. and in the meantime between now and then, i kid you not, i kid you not, trump campaign chairman paul manafort will be wearing not one but two ankle bracelets. trump campaign chairman paul manafort will be wearing two ankle bracelets. this presumably is why god gave
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paul manafort two legs one for an electronic monitor to make sure he doesn't free from his d.c. trial and a second one to make sure he doesn't free from his virginia trial. apparently the electronic monitoring systems in d.c. and virginia aren't the same so he needs two ankle bracelets. i hope he gets them on each ankle. would be weird to have two-on-one. right? i don't know. i also want to show you this footage. this is what happened when trump campaign chairman paul manafort left his arraignment today when this guy screams at him, show us your bracelet. he might not have known at the time it should be bracelets, plural. >> show us your bracelet! hey, traitor, here is your flag. russian flag. traitor. traitor. you're selling out america to the russians. how much did you get for that? traitor. >> it has been a remarkable day
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in the news. president's campaign chair pled not guilty to 18 felonies and the president announced he'll be the first president ever to say yes to a meeting with the north korean dictator and wait, there is more. stay with us tonight. you never know what might happen. omplete job from any one else. so why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. and 6 is greater than 1. start your day with flonase for more complete allergy relief. flonase. this changes everything. when it comes to travel, i sweat the details. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat.
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>> reporter adam entis now writes for the new yorker magazine. in 2016, he was writing for the
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post when the post received an intriguing letter about something that had just happened in new york city. december 2016, this was right after the presidential election, the previous month trump had won the presidential transition was underway and according to adam entis this anonymous letter showed up at "the washington post" in mid-december and it made a couple of serious but sort of hard to believe claims. first, the letter claimed that jared kushner and mike flynn had met secretly with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak, at trump tower at the start of december, 2016. at that meeting, the letter said, jared had asked the russian ambassador if there could be some sort of secret means of communication set up maybe involving russian diplomatic facilities a secret means of communication so trump folks could stay in communication with the russian government without the u.s. government knowing about it. jared kushner wants a secret way to communication with the russian government that the u.s.
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cabinet listen -- can't listen to? that seemed nuts to the reporters that saw that in that letter that came in in december 2016 but in fact, that claim however fantastic it must have seemed at first, it was later born out when u.s. intelligence intercepts captured the ambassador phoning home to russia telling them about kushner's request for a secret means of communication. the ambassador was reportedly taken aback by this request but he said that is what kushner asked him to do. now the other eye-popping thing that letter claimed, this anonymous letter to the "washington post," the other thing it claimed was that in addition to asking the russian ambassador for a way that trump people could be in touch with the russian government secretly, the other thing it claimed was that kushner and flynn at that trump tower meeting with the ambassador, they talked about setting up an in-person meeting between a representative for
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trump and a representative for russian president vladimir putin. they wanted to set up that in-person meeting in some low profile location in some third country. now, why on earth would they need to do that? in a matter of weeks trump was going to be president and could meet with putin himself. why did they a third country meeting all in a rush before trump gets sworn in? why would they need to do that? no idea. it must have seemed like a crazy cloak and dagger proposition in this letter. even though "the washington post" got that letter in mid-december they said they couldn't verify those claims for months. but eventually both of those crazy seeming claims were born out by other sources and streams of reporting. and especially with what we just reported out in the last few days in the context of the special counsel's investigation, now we've got this phenomenal
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very tight timeline of a very busy few weeks, all of these secret meetings that is happened in a real hurry right after trump was elected but before he was sworn in. trump gets elected novemberth it, three weeks later on december 1st, that's when flynn and jared meet with the russian ambassador at trump tower and talk about the secret on going means of communication and also they should set up a meeting where they could have an envoy for trump meet with an envoy for putin. so that was december 1st. then everything starts to happen in a rush. monday, december 12th,less than two weeks later after the last meeting there, the russian ambassador comes back to trump tower. this time he reportedly meets with jared's assistant. that was monday, december 12th. tuesday december 13th, jared himself takes a meeting at trump tower with the head of a sanctioned russian bank, one who has a military intelligence background installed in his job by russian president vladimir putin.
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so monday the 12th kislyak is back at trump tower again meeting jared's assistant. tuesday the 13th, sergey is back meeting with jared himself. two days after that, trump tower again this type it's flynn, kushner and steve bannon taking another secret meeting. this time with the crown prince of the united arab ep rats known by the initials mbz. they didn't disclose this meeting to the obama administration even though the u.s. government figured out he was here in the end. so mbz is accompanied that the meeting by an adviser named george nader. after that meeting, erik prince reportedly approaches mbz and tells him he is authorized to act as a surrogate for trump. he asks mbz to set up a meeting for him with a surrogate for putin. according to the post, mbz agreed and proposed the say
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shell islands as the meeting place because of the privacy it would afford both sides. january 11th, mbz and george nader fly out to the sigh say shell islands and host a meeting between erik prince, a meeting between him and the head of a sanctioned russian sovereign wealth fund who is understood to be there as a representative of putin. that's the meeting where the special counsel's office obtained evidence it was designed to create that aforementioned secret back channel between the trump campaign and putin's office in russia. and you know, we still don't know who wrote the anonymous letter to the west in the mid-december 2016 tipping them off that the series of secret meetings and back channel communications was starting up. but we do now know that special counsel robert mueller has people who are cooperating witnesses who were in on a lot of those meetings. that december
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1st meeting at trump tower talking about setting up the secret back channel mike flynn was there. mike flynn is cooperating with the special counsel. the december 15th meeting at trump tower with the same guys from the uae who later turn up meeting with erik prince and the russian guy, mike flynn was at that meet too and he's now cooperating with the special counsel. george nader too is cooperating with the special counsel. and then the say shell meeting in january that was convened by the uae so erik prince could represent the trump fund while the russian fund manager represented putin's side. nader was at the meeting too and is now cooperating with robert mueller. so one might guess that this is about to get unraveled. the prime question here remains, obviously, why were they doing this? why were jared and these other people from the trump side trying so hard to set up a secret unmonitored communication channel with the russian government during the
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transition? why do that? what did they need to talk to the russian government buff so urgently during the transition thatting it couldn't wait till trump was sworn in just a couple weeks later and why did they try to keep all the meetings about this secret? why were they doing this? obviously, the prime question. but the other question i've got here is this. what does a prosecutor do with information like this? it seems important that mueller and prosecutors now have cooperating witness whose are on the inside of the shenanigans presumably explaining everything that happened there to mueller's team. acting secretively isn't a crime. meetings with foreigners republican a crime. how and why does a prosecutor in a case like this follow this kind of trail? what are they looking to prove as they follow this trail? we have some answers on that next. stay with us.
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breaking news tonight from "the atlantic magazine" concerning james nader. he has ties to former and current aides to president trump. mr. nader has been spotted at the white house early on in the trump administration. he was reportedly a frequent guest of the white house. but now tonight, natasha bertrand of the atlantic" is breaking news about mr. nader that i don't -- i don't quite know what to do with. tonight natasha at the lack reports george nader the newly reported cooperating witness in the investigation reports he was indicted in 1985 "on charges of importing to the united states obscene material including photos of nude boys engaged in a variety of sexual acts." >> according to this report
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tonight, mr. nader pled not guilty and items seized was thrown out on procedural grounds. a lawyer for him says he vigorously denies these allegations now as he did then. like i said, i'm not quite sure what to do with this information. again, we've just learned this week the name of george nader and that he's cooperating in robert mueller's investigation. there is still fairly i guess compared to the other people that we know about involved in this case thus far, there's not that much publicly known about nader. obviously we know he has high profile connections. his links to the trump campaign are becoming clearer all the time. now we know about the obscenity charge from 1985 and know mr. nader was present at at least two secret meetings held during a very busy period of secret meetings during the trump transition. one meeting that mr. nader attended was one where he accompanied the crown prince of the united arab emirates to
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trump tower in new york where the crown prince met with the jared kushner and michael flynn and steve bannon. that meeting was reportedly held in part to discuss opening up some sort of secret channel in the future that would be a way to have representatives of president trump speaking with representatives of president putin. mr. nader was reportedly present at a followup meeting in the seychelles islands and accompanied the crown prince from uae and he and the crown prince convened a meeting between erik prince who was reportedly acting as a representative of the trump transition team and the heads of a sanctioned sovereign wealth fund who was understood to be there as a representative of putin. this news arrives the day paul manafort was arraigned on federal tax and bank fraud charges. he pled not guilty to 1 felony counts today as a protester stood outside the courthouse calling him a traitor and throwing a russian flag his direction. paul manafort will now be wearing not one but two ankle
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monitoring bracelets facing 23 to 30 years in federal prison. joining us now is barbara mcquaid, someone i rely on to help me understand these things. >> glad to be here. >> mr. nader is something we are starting to learn about as a character in this drama most of us had never heard of not that long ago. it's been described that he was detained at the airport in january by fbi officials. he had been planning to transit through the airport at dulles and head down to florida to go to mar-a-lago to celebrate the president's one-year industry parties down there. mr. nader was said to be hit with search warrants and said to have seized his electronic devices there when they declined -- detained him. what kind of interaction would he have had with the fbi? would he have had a chase to go with them or what to hang over? >> it's very significant they met him at the airport as he got off a plane. this is not the way we've seen
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robert mueller typically doing business where he reaches out to somebody, schedules an interview, has them come in at a time of their convenience. they are waiting for him as he gets off the plane. it's quite possible that they actually had criminal charges they charged him with and arrested him at that time. we don't know that. it could have been a confrontation we could arrest you or would you prefer to talk with us and instead be a witness. if they had a search warrant to seize electronic devices, those may have provided to be very -- proved to be fruitful. it seems like robert mueller was very keen to talk to him as quickly as possible and not let him get away and not lose another moment. >> you're saying it's a non-zero possibility that they actually charged him at that time that there may -- if they ended up bringing those charges against him, he may have pled guilty. those aren't the things we would see if those procedures were
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pursued under seal? >> that's what happened with george papadopoulos. he was charged, he pled guilty and the agreement was put under seal so he continue to cooperate without the whole world knowing about it including a request for proactive cooperation which could entail meetings where he wears a wire or calls where he talks with people to try to get incriminating statements from them. that was the exact scenario we saw with george papadopoulos. >> barb, we've receive aid lot of new, information from reporting about this very busy period during the transition when there seemed to be a lot of reported discussions about trying to set up communication between people associated with donald trump and the russian government. how significant is it that mueller may have not just one but 2000 cooperating witnesses in both in flynn and nader who were in on some of those meetings? one of those meetings we know that nader and flynn were both
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there themselves two cooperating witnesses at the same meeting. some of the others had either flynn or nader. is it more than just a additive result that you get two people cooperating rather than one in meetings like this. >> it's important to have more than one. they can become self-corroborating. if you get one story from flynn and separately discuss what happened at the meeting with nader, if they tell you the same story, that makes it more believable. and we also had bannon at one of those meetings. you may have all of them at those meetings telling you. so you can probe their stories to see if they're consistent on the details. if they are, i think it becomes more believable what they're describe. don't forget flynn with the leverage they have over him has every incentive not just to answer questions yes or no but to offer up every detail he can in an effort to get a better deal. >> barbara mcquaid, appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. found in light.
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nominee for most notorious headline of the entire trump/russia scandal is probably this one. russian dirt on clinton? i love it, donald trump jr. said. this is the story of the trump campaign meeting with a clown car's worth of russians after being promised russian government material that was said to be damaging to hillary clinton. when that meeting was first reported last year, the american public was introduced for the first time to some of these characters at that weird russian
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meeting. these are all people we've never heard of before. but in new reporting today by the super star investigating team michael isikoff and david corn, we learned not just about donald trump hanging out years before with some of the russians who helped set up that trump tower meeting. turns out two of those guys actually met with the future president in trump tower well before the presidential campaign in early 2015. quote, in january 2015, trump had ep min aglavrov and rob goldstone to his office as guests in trump tower. a meeting that was never publicly revealed during the investigations that followed the 2016 election. never publically revealed until now. in a new book i have been very excited to get my hands on, two very good investigative journalists. their new book is called "russian roulette." so far we've just got their excerpt they put out today.
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the book comes out on tuesday. i have two things to tell you, we got the first excerpt today, the second excerpt tomorrow morning. i'm getting up earlier than usual so i can read it. also i'm happy to report before the book comes out on tuesday, here on monday, michael isikoff and david corn are going to join us live on set for their first tv interview to discuss what is in their new book. circle it on your calendar monday before 9:00 before that book comes out tuesday morning. stay with us. when you say you need a heart transplant... that's a whole different ballgame.
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that does it for us tonight on what has been a historic night in the news. president trump becoming the first sitting u.s. president to accept an invitation to meet from a north korean dictator. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word >> good evening. we woke up this morning worried about the possibly of nuclear war with north korea and a trade war, now it's just a trade war. it's nice for at least a few months have one of those wars kind of taken off the list of possibilities. >> yeah. >> well, they plan to talk in may, and it sounds like things will probably be calm between now and then, and so maybe. >> maybe. i mean, here -- no president -- every north korean dictator, every one of the kim family wants a u.s. president to meet with them, they keep asking. >> on equal footing, yes.


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