tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 27, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT
that does it for us on this friday, i'm yasmin vossoughian, "morning joe" starts right now. history made overnight for north and south korea. just hours ago, kim jong un crossed the most heavily-armed border zone in the world, for face-to-face meetings with his presidential counterpart. and then, going off-script, he invited south korea's leader to visit the north. the two men again crossing the dividing line, hand in hand. and finally, the big news this morning -- agreeing to end the korean war this year. good morning, everyone on this big news day, it is friday, april 27th, welcome to "morning joe." with us we have the president of the council on foreign relations and author of a book "the world in disarray" richard haas. national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc, ron heilemann.
donny deutsch is with us. and yamish almador and mike pompeo who met with kim jong un over easter has been confirmed as secretary of state. how will his tenure differ from rex tillerson? plus, president trump takes it up to 11 on fox news, and prosecutors immediately seize on what he said. why his free-wheeling interview may have just undercut his personal lawyer, michael cohen in a major way. but we begin with breaking news, that the leaders of north and south korea are taking historic steps toward peace. after 65 years of division, threats and violence, a document signed by both sides reads in part quote, the two leaders solemnly declare before the 80 million korean people, and the whole world, that there will be no more war on the korean peninsula. and thus, a new era of peace has
begun. joe? >> richard haas, james fellows said last night he wasn't prone to overstatement. he said this was one of the most shocking diplomatic developments he's seen in his lifetime. you of course have nixon with mao in china. anwar sudat and menachim begin at the peace accord. and now this. it's hard to overstate just how surprising a turn-around this is, from what we were hearing just six months ago. >> that's true, joe. but there's a "but." all the positives are potentially true. what we don't know is exactly what's motivating kim jong un. let me give you two different scenarios. one is he's been forced by the sanctions, by china, by his internal problems to essentially
accept the fact that he needs a different relationship with his neighbor to the south. and the united states and the world. the other is that the nuclear weapons and the ballistic missile tests have reached a point of sufficiency for him, where now he feels confident enough and secure enough to make agreements with, including the end of war. because he feels the north korea now has a secure future. i think, it's just too soon to take out the champagne. as impressive as this is, and it's potentially significant as this is, we still have to translate from the rhetoric of the morning, to policy and reality. so i just want to introduce, don't mean to be a wet blanket, but i think we need to introduce that caution. >> we're talking about north korea, the entire playing field is wet so they've been lying to us for -- 30, 40 years. so we don't know what's going to happen. but actually, if you just talk about the charm offensive, as you've said. the charm offensive that's under
way right now, something certainly pushed the north to do this. that is what our policy-makers are going to have to figure out. maybe you know, it's hard not to look at all the bluster and insults and all the threats from donald trump. and not believe that that actually forced the north and the south to troy to figure out a way to get together. because if left to donald trump, at least from what they were hearing out of washington, d.c., and the white house, they could wake up one morning with 500,000 dead koreans on the peninsula. >> could be. the american threats played a role. either vis-a-vis north korea's calculus or with china. that's all quite possible. again, i think it's important to distinguish between the north's commitment to ending the state of war, which is something that obviously would be welcome by one and all. and the commitment to denuclearization. i think translating the
denuclearization exitment in particular, a lot has to go. we still don't have a common definition of it, we don't have a timetable, we don't have specific steps, we don't have verification. i don't want to seem cynical this morning. as important as this potentially is, as exciting as this potentially is, now we've got the hard slog of diplomacy that awaits. >> let's see how this is play being in korea, joining us live from seoul, south korea, janice mackey frayer. was there an over-delivery and what are people saying on the streets, as they watch these images, the likes of which they've never seen? >> if they over-delivered remains to be seen. they've certainly exceeded expectations. this pledge to end the korean war by pursuing three-way talks with the u.s., four-way talks with china, is certainly a dramatic move. and then to see kim jong un standing in front of live television cameras, in the dmz,
making a statement on the complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, is a whole turn of events from how 2018 opened. where kim jong un and president trump were exchanging threats about their nuclear buttons. there is a healthy degree of skepticism here. people have been down this road before. deals have been brokered and broken before. but there is a different kind of optimism. there are also no illusions. many people see this move toward diplomacy by kim jong un as very tactical. that he had achieved his credible nuclear deterrent and it was enough to bring other leaders to the table. this is also been an important intelligence-gathering operation for the u.s. side, as it prepares for the summit between kim and president trump. this joint declaration by the two leaders today have raised the bar for that meeting. >> janice mackey frayer in
seoul, south korea. i'm thinking about the olympics, the opening ceremony where the delegation from north korea visited. it was an historic step, i i was there covering it there was a same dose of skepticism coming from the south as they watched the images on tv. >> what's what you keep hearing, willie. talk of skepticism. and cynicism. and there's again a good reason. people shouldn't talk about donald trump or anybody in north or south korea winning the nobel peace prize. when we remember a nobel peace prize was awarded in 1994, for a deal that did nothing but allow the north koreans to have more cover. to to develop this nuclear program. we've been made suckers time and time again. whether it was bill clinton or whether it was george w. bush or barack obama. i don't see any reason to believe that the north koreans
aren't going to try to cheat on any deal they a i cheev, anyway. that said, the fact that six months after almost every military analyst mika and i spoke to inside the white house feared a coming land war on the korean peninsula, where half a million to a million people would die, this still is a very positive development. >> jon heilemann? >> yes. joe, to your point, we are in such a position of tension, the rhetoric was so, at least with respect to the united states and north korea, was so inflamed, over the year ago, six months ago, nine months ago, you know, president trump has not yet reacted to this. we could expect that he will and he will do so in a tone of triumphalism. taken all of the tones of skepticism are obviously well deserved and well placed. but the president is going to
have some ground for saying all of you skeptics, who said that my rhetoric, that my unconventional approach to this problem was foolish. you all said it was provocative, it was inflammatory, yet look what's happening now on the korean peninsula. he will certainly say that his kretics were wrong and it does create obviously at this moment with all the caveats, it creates a moment for him as he heads towards his meeting with kim jong un, it creates a moment he desperately wants, a moment where he can follow this potentially historic set of developments with another set of historic developments that he can really claim directly as his own. >> maybe so. and mika, maybe kim jong un finally just looked at donald trump and said, man that guy is crazy. i better start peace talks on my own. with any luck, though, donald trump will take a victory lap this morning by calling in again to fox and friends, because i
got to tell you yesterday, yesterday was wonderful. and let's just say for our friends over at "fox and friends" they asked him some good questions, ask him some good follow-up questions that i think really opened up the conversation. so they certainly should be commended for that, it was a remarkable 30-minute interview. but donald trump put down land mines for his legal team. all over the place yesterday. so much so, that the southern district of new york moved immediately and amended their pleadings, based on the admissions against interests that donald trump made on tv. >> he made it to his friends at "fox and friends" who did a really good job sort of -- flushing out the story and figuring out what's going on. he sounded so amped up. so this morning, federal prosecutors -- >> he did sound amped up. >> he was really amped up. we'll play it later. but there was a tone in his
voice that signaled something for sure. this morning, federal prosecutors are seizing on comments made by president trump during that free-wheeling 30-minute television interview yesterday. that the hosts were really trying to, they were trying to end it. and it kept going. on "fox and friends" the president appeared to acknowledge for the first time, that his attorney, michael cohen, represented him. as part of a payment to adult film star stormy daniels, listen. >> how much -- mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> a percentage of my overall league work, a tiny, tiny little fraction, but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> shortly after that interview, attorneys for the southern district of new york added a new legal filing in cohen's case.
citing some of the president's comments. they specifically mentioned that trump said cohen performs a quote tiny, tiny little fraction of his overall legal work. prosecutors argue that proves that relatively few of the documents seized in the cohen raid are likely to be confidential communications between cohen and trump. that's potentially a problem. retired federal judge barbara jones was appointed special master yesterday, and will decide what documents may contain communications protected by attorney/client privilege. jones is a former organized crime prosecutor. and "the wall street journal" has gnaw reporting on the relationship between michael cohen and donald trump. >> it's so painful, mika. >> according to the paper. in the months before the election, the cohen told associates he expected to be tapped for the role of campaign chief. or possibly white house chief of staff. people familiar with the discussions tell the paper trump decided that bringing cohen inside the white house carried
too many risks. a person close to the president told that paper trump has privately described cohen as a bull in a china shop. who when brought in to fix a problem, sometimes breaks more china. and joe, there was a quote in there that was, is just sad kind of really -- paints a picture of a relationship that may cross some boundaries. >> are you going to read that? >> well, are you talking about how -- >> something about how, i love you, boss, i miss you so much. >> i miss you so much. >> it was just kind of -- >> i think it's safe to say that everybody at the "morning joe" news room, when i'm gone, they all call me and say, i miss you so much, don't they? maybe they don't. >> i'm going to do a poll. >> that is the -- wow. so donny deutsch, i know you
know michael, reading that, that article made me flinch time and time again. there was so many times that donald trump went out of his way to publicly humiliate michael. like for instance, the bar mitzvah, he shows up late at what is his son's most sacred religious ceremony. one of the most important moments in his son's life. he shows up late. and then he spends all of his time talking about how he didn't want to come. he wouldn't have been there. but, but the boy's father, michael cohen, begged him to come so much. and then begged his secretary to come so much. and then begged his children to have him come so much. that finally he just had to come. and you know people were laughing at michael and it was just -- i don't know who does that. it's unbelievably cold and
calloused to try to humiliate a man at his son's bar mitzvah. and then you -- again i literally have never met in 55 years, anybody that would be that hateful to anybody else. that's number one. and then number two, of course, you have that picture of him walking around washington, d.c. during the inaugural festivities, just sort of walking out, not being a part of anything. he and his friends, being embarrassed in front of his friends, because trump hasn't given him any nice tickets. hasn't given him anything that you would expect somebody who is devoted their entire life to him. i know that you know michael and you like michael. and again there is such a disconnect from what we see on tv and for people who know michael cohen personally. most people really like the guy in person. talk about that story and what could only be called an abusive
professional relationship. >> what i've seen up close over the last 11 years with michael -- i've not seen any of that play out. clearly, when you have a guy like trump and you are working by his side, probably whether you're his kids or michael or anybody else, there are going to be those moments, that's the guy you're working for, this is not a sweet, loving, nurturing guy to any of his employees. i do know michael loved donald and in some twisted way, he does. he was affected when he wasn't brought to washington. donald said look, i need you watching the store. i need you watching the kids, kind of that's where i need you. and michael understood that and took that at face value. i think personally he was disappointed. he, you know i don't think he necessarily would come out and say that. i don't think he would be human if he wasn't. it was interesting what trump did yesterday. i was shocked on that festival on fox news, where he started -- >> he humiliated him yesterday
by saying he's not that important to me. he only does a small, small sliver of my work. he's, he's a nothing. he's a nobody. and also, of course he throws him under the bus in saying oh, wait they're not even looking at me, it's all of michael cohen's work that the southern district of new york is looking at. >> michael was caught by complete surprise by that. i found it kind of stunning in that if i am fearful of one person on this planet right now, one, and there isn't a close second or third, it's michael cohen. >> totally agree. >> so i was stunned that trump, if i'm michael cohen and i'm going through this emotional roller coaster, whatever it is, i do love this man and i don't want any betrayal involved, and all of a sudden trump is basically stepping 50 yards back and saying, you don't matter and you're on your own -- boy, i found that strategically bizarre. >> donny, i say exactly the same thing. there are a variety of things about that interview which is unhinged in a variety of ways,
to mika's point, the tone of it was more disturbing in some ways than the substance. he sounded like a person having a manic episode on national television. the high pitch of the voice, the scratchiness, the palpitating quality of it. those substantive things, first of all the admission that cohen represented him in the stormy daniels case, the way in which that creates a conflicting account from his previous accounts. which will add fuel to the michael avenatti fire in terms of being able to justify asking for a deposition. the thing about the michael cohen issue, if my understanding is right, and i'm not going to ask you to betray confidences, but my sense of it talking to people who are friends of michael's, is that ten days ago say, he was freaked out, thinking hard about whether he might skr to make a deal with the prosecutors to turn on donald trump. and then in the last few days, you started hearings you know, michael is in a little better place, he's feeling confident. he think he's heard the messages from donald trump. trump has his back. he's got a good lawyer now,
everything is going to maybe be fine. the comments that trump made yesterday, i would have thought michael cohen is back to freaked out. i can't trust this guy. he's not going to pardon me. he's unreliable. i got to cut a deal to get out of here. >> your cake is a -- >> nailing it. >> and i literally fell off my chair in that. and i haven't spoken to michael since that interview yesterday. but yeah, i think your road map is a pretty accurate one. >> let's listen -- now that we, because i felt like -- i appreciate that you heard what i heard. i was concerned i was -- >> the first thing i thought last night -- >> let alone the fact that he's messing up his own legal case against him with the words he's using here, just listen to his voice. >> how many -- mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> well, yes, a percentage of my
overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> you know, mika, i did speak to somebody that, that talked with michael yesterday. and he was shocked. he was shocked on several fronts. he was shocked that donald trump would try to dismiss his role in the trump organization and try to make him look like he was a very, very small, small, minor player. and secondly, he was shocked that donald trump was actually undercutting their legal defense plan. by going out, saying that he had a very, very small role. which argues completely into the hands of the southern district of new york. and then arguing that stormy daniels, that he, cohen represented him in the stormy
daniels case. that plays right into michael avenatti's hands, michael cohen was shocked, disappointed and could not believe that donald trump was helping the other side on these two legal fights. >> joe, i'm jumping in for a second because i heard the exact same thing. make no mistake, in my dozens and dozens of dealings with donald trump over the last 15 years, decade. michael cohen was by his side. michael cohen would call me to massage issues and donald trump did have an affection and a very close -- michael cohen -- let us not say in any way, shape or form, or any gray area that michael cohen other than his children, was more integral in his day-to-day dealings over the last decade to anybody else, period. put an exclamation point on it. >> if you go back to the period of the 2010, 2011, 2012 period, back when donald trump was first seriously thinking about running for president, michael cohen was the only one around him. how you dealt with trump, you
went through michael cohen. there was no corey lewandoski. there was michael cohen and donald trump. joined at the hip. >> plotting and scheming and paying off people. so hold on, and i want to bring you in here, yamish. i want to see if there is any white house version to this story. i heard that michael cohen was absolutely crestfallen yesterday. as well. but what happened inside the white house? what do we know? who is the person -- is there anybody who could have grabbed the phone from him and saved him from himself? because he was acting crazy. i'm talking about the president of the united states. unless you don't think that undermining multiple legal cases building against yourself and speaking extemporaneously in a high-pitched tone, without an ability to control yourself and stop talking, unless you don't think that's crazy, it really
sounded absolutely crazy yesterday. so who in the white house has -- is anyone even with him when he's doing these calls? that's a valid question. because usually when the president of the united states does a media interview, there's preparation, there's a circle of people around him. there's a strategy. there are key words to focus on, there's a message. this guy was just going rogue on himself. >> well we have according to my reporting, is vintage donald trump. we have donald trump when he first got into office, when he doesn't have a clear line between him and the advisers outside. he has somebody, john kelly, chief of staff, john kelly is not someone at this point from my reporting, that can really control the president or is even trying to really cut him off. and you also remember we don't have a communications director. that job has not been filled. there's been a lot of people leaving the white house. but not that many people being
hired. so, yes, i don't think there's anybody yesterday that could have pulled the phone away from donald trump. except that it's interesting. "fox and friends" from most journalistic standards, was asking the questions that most journalists wanted to know. when he started talking 30 minutes in and he kept on going and going. if you watched it until the end. the hosts actually had to take 15 seconds to get him off the phone. they were kind of trying to corral him to stop talking. now that to me is kind of remarkable. nobody usually cuts off the president of the united states. but in this case, you had someone that was just talking about all these sorts of things and it's really hard to listen to that interview and not feel like donald trump is trying to distance himself from michael cohen. and my reporting from people who know michael cohen is he wants to be very loyal to the president. he's not just thinking about taking the fifth for the stormy daniels case, but he's also been looking at if the new york case is bank fraud case goes awry, that he might have to plead the fifth there. he's been telling friends that he would rather do that than
turn on donald trump. >> there's a great irony to the "washington post" report that you just read that donald trump was worried that michael cohen would be a bull in a china shop in washington. that was the ultimate play of a bull nat china shop. back to the piece you talked about, that cohen represented him in this crazy stormy daniels deal -- remember there was no legal case at that point. it was merely a pay-off. now there's a case where michael cohen represented him. now he said michael cohen represented me in the crazy stormy daniels deal. that suggests that he was involved, that he did know about the pay-off, which contradicts what michael cohen said all along. that he acted unilaterally and cut a check from his own money of $130,000 to stormy daniels. yesterday he said cohen represented me in that deal. >> i know that dr. ronny jackson, the obama people tell us, is extraordinarily respected man. a great doctor. and said he would live to 200
years and said his mind was sharp. he passed the tests that would question whether he had any onset of dementia or any other problems. but i challenge anybody on set or anybody watching this show, to find a 71, 72-year-old man who would so willingly speak against interests as donald trump did yesterday. who would so willingly say things that undercut him legally the way donald trump did. who would just blurt things out publicly, knowing that the southern district of new york and the whole world was watching. that would be incapable of grasping after 72 years on this earth, that what you were saying was putting you in legal
jeopardy. he was, willie, he was completely unaware of the consequences of the incriminating statements that he was making. and please, someone tell me another 72-year-old adult that would be that unaware of the damage that they were doing to themselves. we're not talking about politics and we're not talking about disruption and we're not talking about he's crazy. he's crazy. he goes -- no. there are legal consequences to this. no bs website can clean this up. and mika, i will tell you, there is no 72-year-old man with with their wits about them who with go on national television and destroy their legal defense in two cases in one 15-minute interview. >> you have to wonder if his staff doesn't want to save him from himself any more.
up next, we talk to legal analyst danny saville 0s who was at the white house for the legal hearing and scott pruitt hits back over a series of spending scandals at the epa. and new questions about when exactly the white house knew about the spousal abuse allegations against one of president trump's closest aides. you're watching "morning joe." anna and mark are heading into retirement... and a little nervous. but not so much about what market volatility may do to their retirement savings. that's because they have a shield annuity from brighthouse financial, which allows them to take advantage of growth opportunities in up markets, while maintaining a level of protection in down markets. so they can focus on new things like exotic snacks. talk with your advisor about shield annuities from brighthouse financial- established by metlife.
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we're covering major international news this morning. and president trump is up and tweeting this morning. and he says this -- >> oh, good. >> with the breaking news overnight. can you imagine? you got to chime in. >> it's huge, yeah. >> says is everybody believing what is going on? must be about kim jong un.
james comey can't define what a leak is. he illegally -- >> oh, my gosh. >> he released classified information, but doesn't understand what he did or how serious it is. he lied all over the place to cover it up. he's either very sick or very dumb. remember sailor? we've got -- a problem. >> mika -- yeah. houston, we've got a problem. he did not, first of all, james comey didn't release classified information. secondly by the way, just so donald trump knows, james comey's book -- i mean i think james comey, i think james comey's publisher should really should give donald trump a percentage of all the money he's making. james comey, so much money. that book is selling like hotcakes. >> he sold 10,000 more with that tweet. thank you, mr. president. >> this morning's tweet, i mean comey -- you know who this
helps? it helps two people, really. it helps james comey a lot. and so james comey, mr. president, thanks you. secondly, amazon. everybody is rushing to amazon right now. by the way, amazon, yesterday, they had their filings report. amazon had such a massive day. and i swear to god, the richest man in the world, just got a lot richer. i've never seen anything like it. this company is soaring like an eagle flying high. donald trump -- donald trump, though, donald trump -- donny deutsch, this is out of a steve miller song. he's "flying like an eagle." donny, i'm telling you even in donald trump's most grandiose lie about how much money he's worth -- he would have to multiply that 100-fold to even be able to sweep jeff bezos's
driveway. >> i know, i absolutely know for a fact that what does drive him crazy is the actual number. this is how sick he is the president of the united states, the number that bezos has. you know that donald trump is the great promoter. several hours ago probably one of the moment momentous international events that donald trump could co-opt, historically happening, with south korea. so to me, this a-plus president, who is so brilliant, and so straight of mind would this morning be jumping all over that. taking all the credit. what happened? i'm confused. >> donny, i go back to what i said last block. there is no rational 72-year-old man who -- who acts this way. and i'm not joking. everything willie, everything he does seems to be against his own best interests. you can talk about how he makes these rambling utterances in
public. before a friendly audience, he thinks. and he ends up hurting himself and two legal cases that have criminal implications? and now this morning, he has an opportunity to step in, take credit for something. on an international stage, that the entire world is talking about. and instead, he still spreading lies about james comey. a man -- who wrote a letter ten days before the election, and helped elect donald trump president of the united states. >> well there's a credible case the president could make that he helped push along this historic moment we saw yesterday. historic perhaps, putting the caveat for you. let's go to the south korean side of the dmz where we find nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely. history was made just feet from where you are standing right now. what was it like to be there? and what's the reaction on both sides of the dmz? >> oh, i don't think you can look at any of these pictures
and not be as we say in britain, gobsmacked. it would be surprising if president trump doesn't tweet about this but maybe he's reserving judgment. and maybe that's wise, because there were a lot of flying words today. undoubtedly these are historic moments, i think the true significance of this will have to wait. but look, history began this morning, for in the north korean sense when kim jong un did what no north korean leader has ever done and stepped across the dmz. and there was a warm handshake with south korean president moon. they even walked back across into north korea. there was obvious and sudden warmth between the two men and it continued through the day. and we just had a declaration, an agreement, and it's worth pointing out, some of the phrases in that agreement. because it is significant. the two leaders confirmed and listen to this -- the common
goal of realizing through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free peninsula. so they agree on the goal. they agree to carry out disarmament in a phased manner. as military tension is alleviated. and substantial progress is made, in military confidence-building. in other words, it is conditional. and then came the kind of extraordinary statement -- no more war on the korean peninsula. but look, guys, this isn't a miss world pageant where everyone simply agrees on world peace. this is a summit and skeptics in washington and here in south korea will be looking for the detail. we've had too many, in fact two failed summits before in 2000 and 2007. that were filled with fine words and came to absolutely nothing. so i think president trump may well be reserving judgment this morning. and waiting to see, does he now
take the gamble of a summit of his own. because the stage has been set by these extraordinary events today. for a trump/kim summit whenever and wherever that might be. >> well it's early yet. we may still see a tweet from president trump. nbc's bill neely along the dmz this morning. so richard you had some interesting, if you looked at the conversation between the two men, you had kim jong un saying his delegation was so impressed by the bullet train when they came to the olympics in south korea for example. and by the infrastructure that they saw there. and the south korean president, moon, saying we would like to invest in north korea, help you build better roads, help you build up your infrastructure. there is an opportunity here, but what gets in the way? what's between here and there? >> there is an opportunity. there's lots of promise and potential. what gets in the way is all the north korean conventional military forces that threaten seoul and south korea. all this talk about denuclearization. we haven't even agreed on a
definition of what it is we mean by denuclearization. there's also a risk here. what worries me a little bit what essentially you're seeing is the promise to end the war, the state of war between north korea and south korea. to stabilize the peninsula. which is what the people in the south have been desperate for. for generations. the question is the tension between satisfying that goal and we have a very different agenda. our agenda is much more focused on north korean ability to reach us with nuclear weapons carried by ballistic missiles. so there's a real possibility here for tension, if north korea is clever. for driving a wedge between the united states, between washington and seoul. so yeah, it's just too soon to be taken out the champagne, too soon to be talking about nobel prizes. still, it's an extraordinary day. it's exciting and none of us a year ago, including me thought we were going to be here. but i don't think you can have this conversation without the word "but." and i think that's the reality. >> all right. >> you can't. but at the same time, richard, again we look at the fact that
six months ago and again this could all fall apart. but this certainly makes the likelihood of war on the korean peninsula less. and again, if -- i'll go back to saying what i was saying throughout the second half of 20-17 everybody that mika and i were speaking with inside the national security team and the d.o.d., were all saying the same thing, they were preparing for war in the korean peninsula. so at least in that respect, this is a positive development, right? i'm trying to, i'm trying to at least get you to say something. at least -- at least it's a good thing that 500,000 people won't be killed today? richard haas, go. >> it is positive. the fact that people like me
were saying -- >> history is made. >> 30%, 40%, 50% chance of war, that's clearly come down, that's good. more than good, fantastic. >> wait, i'm sorry, that's important news, but the president has tweeted and i'm sure he's talking about this, so -- really, now -- this is it. >> willie? the hong kong desk, let's go to the hong kong desk. >> finally -- he finally tweets. >> he finally tweets on, on north korea. and i'm very excited, only -- never mind the capital dome building in hong kong. willie, go ahead. >> very much like our own capital, modeled after it a tweet from president trump. after furious year of missile launches and nuclear testing, an historic meeting between north and south korea is now taking place. good things are happening. but only time will tell. >> good job!
[ applause ] >> you did a good job, mr. president. >> that was a good one. >> i'm shocked that mr. a-plus would kind of really not even go the distance. that's very, that was a very untrumpian text. >> still ahead on "morning joe" -- wow, president trump is busy dreaming up legal troubles for james comey. while overlooking the very real legal trouble facing his personal lawyer. and apparently himself when he just undercuts himself on live television multiple times. msnbc analyst danny safls joins us next.
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let's bring in now msnbc legal analyst danny savallos. let's go back to president trump's interview if we can on "fox and friends." we said perhaps the most damaging piece of it was he said that michael cohen did in fact represent him in what he called this whole crazy stormy daniels thing what do you think was the most incriminating moment in that interview. >> there were three discrete states that president trump made yesterday. one was that one that michael cohen did in fact represent him in the stormy daniels matter. which is something that we all
knew, but hadn't really been confirmed in the way that trump did yesterday. the second thing he said, was that michael cohen is primarily a businessman. and the more michael cohen is primarily a businessman, the less his advice constitutes attorney/client privilege materials. and then of course, trump's comment that michael cohen handled a tiny, tiny percentage of legal work for him. consider that yesterday in the southern district of new york, in the courthouse, the entire argument was that there's this huge universe of documents that are privileged. but with just a few statements, calling cohen a businessman and then saying he did a tiny, tiny amount of legal work, now the universe of these privileged documents becomes, well, tiny, tiny. >> so on air force one a couple of weeks ago, you'll remember, danny, the president was asked about the $130,000 payment michael cohen made to stormy daniels. the president said i don't know anything about it you'll have to ask michael. yesterday he said michael represented me in what he called
again, this crazy stormy damages deal. there was no lawsuit at that time. there was no case before anyone. so what is the crazy stormy daniels deal, if not the payment, the pay-off of a porn star? >> it's problematic for trump. those are two blatantly inconsistent statements that he's made. and that can be used against him as against his interests. but as to the stormy daniels case, the only thing that really does, is actually in a strange way bolster trump's case that he can enforce the nondisclosure agreement that they entered into in that california case. but in a broader sense, it is a statement by president trump now, that he was involved in a pay-off scheme or at least that michael cohen handled some kind of pave scheme for him, where he was paying people like stormy daniels to remain silent. it's a stunning admission that has legal consequences, but also political and moral consequences. >> it was such a remarkable
interview on "fox and friends" and here on "morning joe," we had michael avenatti, stormy daniels' lawyer. danny, i'm wondering, it's kind of pieces together but what he revealed on our show was that that was remarkable and helpful to him but that also there were one or two other credible women but maybe not within the time frame of what would be campaign finance violations. he also pointed out that the three clients revealed in court were not the three clients that were reported by the media, including -- it was trump, the trump organization and sean hannity and then he mentioned the $1.5 million payoff that would end up being in the news. are we looking at potentially another woman and another payoff? one that might be a lot higher? what do you make of michael avenatti's tips that he was putting out on our show? >> it's hard to say.
michael avenatti is a master of the tease and he's obviously tweeted out pictures of dvds or cds and he -- >> totally agree. >> and he's had these sketch drawings that we've sort of ruminated over but ultimately it's hard to say what michael avenatti really has in his pocket in terms of additional witnesses or possible people complaining against trump. >> but he specifically mentioned a $1.5 million payoff. the last time he specifically mentioned something like stormy daniels was threatened it ended up being the focus of a "60 minutes" piece so you have to wonder. you don't just drop a number like that as a tease without something to back it up, or do you, perhaps? >> here's why it's significant. it could be potential campaign finance laws but remember mueller referred this to the southern district of new york because of the potential payoff issues to stormy daniels and you may remember michael avenatti has raised issues of extortion
with these contracts, that these women were forced to enter into these agreements on pain of threat so the potential criminal charges, we could guess at them all day but there definitely is a large spectrum of potential criminal liability which, by the way, in the cohen matter must have been demonstrated to a neutral magistrate in order to get that search warrant in the first place! >> danny cevallos, thank you very much. ahead, scott pruitt faces tough questions from lawmakers over his ethics decision and taxpayer spending but seems to blame everyone but himself. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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pbs news hour yamiche alcindor and chief white house correspondent for the "new york times," peter baker. and investigator for the "new york times," contributor to nbc news and msnbc, megan tuohy. we begin with the breaking news that the leaders of north korea and south korea are taking historic steps toward peace. after 65 years of division, threats and violence, a document signed by both sides reads in part "the two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the korean peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun." there's a lot of skepticism but joe this includes symbolically remarkable at the very least. >> at the very least. it's -- at the very least, as richard said, it certainly turns the clock back from those who
believe we were approaching midnight on an allout war on the korean peninsula that could kill half a million to a million people in a week's time. as james fallows said, this is one of the most striking diplomatic meetings in his lifetime and he goes back to nixon going to china with mao and, of course, your father and jimmy carter bringing together menachem begin and anwar sadat for carter's camp david accords. and now this. peter baker, this is a remarkable moment and it's a moment that you can't help but believe was brought about by some of that disruption in the white house that we've been talking about for quite some time. maybe it was the unintended consequences of donald trump seeming to be unbalanced but whatever the case, north korea and south korea started talking
to each other and we saw a historic handshake yesterday and a visit to south korea from kim jong-un. >> that's exactly right. there's plenty of reason for skepticism, there's been feints towards peace for multiple times over the years, it didn't work out. however, having said that, it's hard not to look at what happened yesterday with a certain degree of exhilaration, obviously if we could bring peace to this final chapter, in effect, of the cold war, that would be an extraordinary change, an stroortd move toward greater security in the world. donald trump will claim credit and make the case that it was his pressure, maximum pressure campaign as he likes to call it that brought north korea to the table. obviously moon jae-in in south korea played a big role in this. there is still a lot of work to be done. the president is planning to meet with kim jong-un within the next month and the question of
what denuclearization means and what it will lead to is a pretty, pretty thorny challenge but for the moment it's hard, as you say not to be impressed by this moment of hope. >> willie geist on the tweet desk from hong kong. >> no. >> joe, there's another tweet from the president. all caps with an exclamation point, like a banner headline in a newspaper on v-e day. korean war to end. the united states and its great people should be very proud of what is now taking place in korea. >> did he just find this out? he was tweeting about comey about 20 minutes ago. >> it's his second tweet about korea here. >> i think somebody called h him -- >> we'll get back to you in a second, peter baker, and i want to talk about a remarkable
story. for many life in trump's orbit ends in crash landing, but right now i want to go to richard haass. richard, you look at what's going on with those handshakes in north korea and south korea, talk about the other key principal players here. obviously the united states wants to play a vital role in this, china wants to be a part of it, japan has every reason to be a part of this process, too, since all of those countries are going to be affected by any instability in north korea. talk about how those major players fit into this plan and if we could expect five countries to get together and talk about this sometime soon. >> it's possible at some point you'd have a summit involving four or five countries china, japan, the united states as well as the two koreas, that would probably come more as the caboose of this peace train. but a lot has to be done by that but china has obviously applied a lot of pressure with economic
sanctions, didn't want there to be a war on the peninsula but does not want north korea to keep nuclear weapons left to create a context where japan might one day be tempted to do the same. japan is very worried about short and intermediate range ballistic missiles. we're obviously most concerned about long range ballistic missiles carryi ining nuclear weapons. >> richard -- >> but let me make one point. imagine that it's naeuclear weapons that have given kim jong-un and north korea the confidence to take the steps that we're obviously impressed by but it's the same nuclear weapons that might get the way of a real peace and normalization. that is a dilemma or contradiction that we're ultimately going to have to confront here. >> it is but it's also the sad reality that when countries in the past have given up their weapons of mass destruction we've killed their leaders. the worst example of that, obviously, was in libya where
qaddafi after being in the wilderness for so long complied and voluntarily gave up his weapons program and the united states went in and killed him a few years later. we always talk about kim jong-un being an irrational actor. what would truly be irrational would be for him to give up weapons systems that he has because what would stop the united states from going in and doing the same thing to him that we did to qaddafi? >> exactly right. or ukraine losing crimea after agreeing to give up its nuclear weapons in 1994 and received all sorts of security assurances in return. that's why again i don't like playing the skeptic but i think it's important to keep that in mind and north korea for all we know will say it will agree to denuclearization on terms that we couldn't or shouldn't ever agree to. so this is all welcome but a i
think most diplomacy still awaits. it's not behind us. it's still in front of us, here. >> right, toughest days ahead of us. so peter baker, i want to go back to you and talk about just a fascinating story that both you and maggie haberman wrote that is in today's paper. "for many, life in trump's orbit ends in a crash landing." and you talk about over the past 15 months all these people that came into trump's orbit with the highest reputation possible. rex tillerson, respected and beloved in the business community, ran the largest corporation in the world. h.r. mcmaster, a man revered throughout military ranks and known as the guy that basically wrote to book on avoiding the next vietnam. many others did, too, gary cohn. and yet you look at the people who have left the administration
and so many of them have left with shattered reputations. of course the last being ronny jackson who up until this past week had a stellar reputation and was beloved from people in the bush administration as well as the obama administration. >> it's hard not to look at the list and think of the casualties of this administration just 15 months in. president trump would tell you that's a function of obstructionist democrats and the fake news media and the washington swamp which is out to get him and out to get the people around him. and washington is a tough place. a lot of people come here and other administrations have come and like wise been burned by their experiences here. what we see is a catalog is such a large number of people who have had this experience in such a short amount of time and what you hear from people who work with or know donald trump,
president trump for many years is that this is part of a pattern that he burns through people, that he puts people in positions where they aren't able to succeed, that he grows tired of people himself and casts them out and he doesn't necessarily care too much about what happens. he obviously put ronny jackson up there for a job he wasn't going to get confirmed for. he obviously has friend and lawyer michael cohen now in legal trouble, you saw him distancing himself from michael cohen yesterday and it's a cautionary tail for other people who might want to work for him. >> and speaking of michael cohen, this morning federal prosecutors are seizing on comments made by president trump during a free-wheeling 30-minute rant on television yesterday. you can call it an interview but i'm not sure what it was. >> that's what the script said. >> on "fox & friends," the president appeared to acknowledge for the first time that his attorney, michael cohen, represented him as part of a payment to adult film star
stormy daniels. listen to his voice. >> mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> well, as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. but michael would represent me on some things, he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal, he represented me. >> crazy stormy daniels deal. >> you get a look at the faces, mika, of the hosts on "fox & friends" who, again, as we said before i thought they did a very good job. >> amazing. >> they asked a lot of important questions but they were just sitting there and we had that look on our face as well when donald trump was praising vladimir putin back in 2015. you sit there as it unfolds and
it was what is this guy saying. and they knew while that was going on that donald trump was hurting his own legal case. >> the question is what was he saying, joe? was he calling stormy daniels crazy or the deal crazy? because i would suggest he probably should not speak -- >> of crazy? >> -- of stormy daniels. let alone crazy. i think that's going to cost him a lot of money. shortly after that interview, attorneys -- let alone everything else. attorneys for the southern district of new york added a new legal filing in cohen's case citing some of the president's comments. they specifically mentioned that trump said cohen performs a "tiny tiny little fraction" of his overall legal work. prosecutors argue this proves that relatively few of the documents seized in the cohen raid are likely to be confidential communications between cohen and trump. retired federal judge barbara jones was appointed special master yesterday and will decide what documents may contain
communications protected by attorney/client privilege. jones is a former organized crime prosecutor and the "wall street journal" has new reporting on the relationship between michael cohen and donald trump and it's sad. according to the paper in the 15 months since donald trump took office, michael cohen has brooded about failing to get a white house post, he felt very left out during the inauguration, during a phone call in april last year when cohen was in new york and trump was in washington, a person familiar with the call says cohen told trump "boss, i miss you so much, i wish i was down there with you, it's really hard for me to be here." the paper also details the story about cohen's son's bar mitzvah in 2012 writing "after mr. trump arrived, he gave a speech telling guests he hadn't planned to come but he relented after mr. cohen repeatedly called him. his secretary, his children begging him to appear." the guests laughed because everyone knew it was very
realistic sounding, the attendee added. i want to get to megan but, joe, this doesn't sound like a healthy relationship but even more, the bigger story is that the president sounded very amped up, very imbalanced and incriminated himself or at least messed up his narrative, his own potential lies about the cases that are building up against him. >> he doesn't have the legal team, he's hiring all of these people who he's got a guy that worked for pat robertson and talked a lot about religious freedoms which is extraordinarily important but not if you're being chased by bob mueller in the southern district of new york. he's got rudy giuliani who doesn't know a lot of people in the southern district of new york, even john dowd, his former lawyer, said it makes no sense that hiring and he's got a couple other people that obviously are willing to work
for free he has really no legal strategy and then you've got michael cohen, donny deutsch, and michael cohen humiliated time and time again. he was humiliated when he wasn't allowed to be on the campaign. this story illustrates in the "wall street journal" how much he was humiliated and hurt when donald trump would take him down to washington, d.c. because he said he was a bull in a china shop that broke too much china. and then one story after another about humiliation that he had to put up with with donald trump and yesterday he wakes up, watches trump on tv say that he's not a big part of his life, that cohen is just a small, small part of his life, only did a couple of cases like that crazy stormy daniels case and that's it. and also told prosecutors -- basically said, hey, the prosecutors aren't looking at me, they're looking at michael cohen and all of his business
dealings so in every way possible, donald trump was what donald trump always is -- disloyal to those who have been loyal to him. >> there's a real ironic circle here in that i know from michael's point of view the reason he wanted to be in washington -- and this is going to go back to the earlier thing of all those people -- he goes none of these people have mr. trump's best interests, i do. i need to protect him from these people. so even michael's motivation for wanting to be in washington was out of devotion and loyalty to trump. he said he knew there were a lot of jackals in there. and it's interesting that without michael by his side he seems to have gone to another level of self-implosion. i just heard from michael and michael was surprised yesterday at what came down and i'm going to say it again. i'm shocked that trump is not doubling and -- not shocked, it's stunningly stupid that he is not going out of his way to do everything wonderful for
michael cohen because at some point he's testing michael cohen's loyalty and that's a silly stupid thing to do. >> think about what it must be like to be one of the attorneys for donald trump. you're trying to keep him out of trouble and he calls in to "fox & friends" for 30 minutes and just unspools and dumps everything contradictory statements like the one he made on air force one that he didn't know anything about the payment to stormy daniels. you have to talk to michael cohen, he knows about that, i don't know about that. and yesterday he said, yeah, michael cohen represented me in the stormy daniels deal, as if to say we worked something out with stormy daniels. he contradicts himself at every turn at his own peril. >> that's right. mika made the point about what he was communicating when he described the stormy daniels case as this crazy case. was he calling her crazy? well, her lawyer has been prepared to file defamation lawsuits. this isn't the first time trump could end up in legal trouble
for basically calling accusers liars or in this case crazy. there's a case proceeding here in new york court by a woman who had accused him -- summer zervos, a"celebrity apprentice" contestant who accused him of groping and other sexual misconduct. he called all of those women liars, threatened to sue them and she's in court suing him for defamation. >> and the president talked about this crazy stormy daniels deal which reveals so much. it doesn't sound like a case, it sounds like a deal that was made. i mean, if i could just use the president's words, the crazy stormy daniels deal. unless he's talking about stormy being crazy, which would be defaming her and he shouldn't speak about her because i believe they agreed not to. but maybe he was talking about the deal, the deal they struck together to keep her silent. like this is not good.
he needs to stop talking if he wants to stop hurting himself in the court of law. >> i think this is an example of how -- first of all, it bears repeating how remarkable it was that during in the final weeks of the presidential race that the president's personal lawyer made this $130,000 payment to a woman to prevent a damaging story about him from coming out and is now working to enforce that legal -- looking her into legal silence so it is remarkable and it's just proving to be a complete hornet's nest and i think it's a case that is going to keep giving. >> it's also possible that it meets all of these various interpretations that he's just kind of uncontrolled jibbering about these things. i agree with you. i think he's -- >> but the president says he's president and he's smart and uses his head. so you have to take his words.
>> of course, but even within that one sentence, to -- not to be too picky, although lawyers will, within that one sentence he says michael cohen represents him in the stormy daniels matter and then he said represented anymore the stormy daniels deal. so within one sentence he's saying two separate things, making two different claims and all of it goes to the thing that michael avenatti is focused on. michael avenatti is trying to get donald trump to take his deposition. every time donald trump makes a contradictory statement between the air force one statement where he said i know nothing about this to what he said on television yesterday, does he represent him or did he represent him? all of these things create fodder for a lawyer that's picked donald trump apart over the course of the last two months. it all creates a context for michael avenatti to do what he wants, which is to get the president of the united states into court for a deposition in a case that relates to an adult
film star. >> that's right. and it's worth remembering that it was if you look back to bill clinton's presidency, it was lying in a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit about monica lewinsky. >> he can't get through a phone call on "fox & friends." how is he going to get through a deposition? >> joe, i want to make a comment to you about this because i feel like as we've talked about donald trump and his legal entanglements over the course of many, many, many, months, this thing that happened yesterday was the -- if you think about it was the nightmare scenario that everyone has been worried about all along. it finally came to pass. it's been -- people have speculated. what would nap the mihappen in of this if trump broke free, got ahold of the telephone, called up a friendly set of cable hosts and started talking about his legal situation. and that was the worry that everyone had was that would happen one day and now we've seen what happens when donald trump is deciding i'm going to
do what i'm going to do. you can't help but think now we have an object lesson on how much damage the president can cause when he is left to his own devices on cable television. >> to that point -- >> i'm confused. why was the communications director not in between that? what happened? >> well, there is no communications director. >> oh, right, right, i forgot. >> but john heilemann, i go back to saying that i don't know exactly how effective -- how -- there's really no good way to say this. i might -- i'm not exactly sure that dr. ronny jackson's medical exam was completely accurate on donald trump because think about it. what was the last major tv interview that donald trump had, the last formal sit-down donald trump had? do you remember? >> lester holt, i believe. >> that didn't go well. >> where he admitted to
obstructing justice and admitted to firing the fbi director because he wanted to end the russian investigation so peter baker in his last two interviews donald trump has admitted obstruction of justice, donald trump has admitted that he -- yesterday admitted that michael cohen did, in fact, represent him in the stormy daniels case, something that contradicts earlier statements and then donald trump said that cohen only participated in a small fraction of his legal work which plays right into the hands of prosecutors in the southern district of new york. this man cannot go on tv unchecked without causing serious damage to his own legal good. so what is a white house to do? >> i think you're right. that's a good point. there are law professors, i imagine, who are drawing up case
studies for their students for why a client shouldn't speak publicly in the middle of litigation. that's why you hear presidents say that's under litigation i can't talk about it because even though you might have an important thing to say, you might have a perfectly legitimate message to get across. it's so easy to say things that get you in further trouble. this happens not just in his own legal cases like this, this happens even on these larger policy issues that go to courts like we saw this week in the travel ban case. at issue when the supreme court took up the travel ban was the question of contrasting the president's own statements with his policy. so it's the lack of discipline and some of the things the president says publicly that ends up causing his own lawyers to pull out their hair when they end up in a courthouse trying to explain it to a judge. >> just to bring this full circle, if you've seen donald trump do what he did yesterday on "fox & friends," you're in the middle of another discussion with his legal team which is is he going to sit down with robert
mueller? if you saw that performance yesterday, is it not the case that anybody who represents donald trump in the mueller investigation looks at that and says there is no way we can put this person in a room where with bob mueller. there's no -- with that behavior on display, there's no competent lawyer who could ever make the case that donald trump should be allowed to sit in a room with bob mueller. none. >> well, as you know, i've been very clear on this position from the very beginning, i'm insulted by donald trump's lawyers who think he's too stupid or incompetent to sit down with a princeton and st. paul's man. i know he went to fordham and spent a couple years at a pennsylvania college, they don't think that he is competent enough to go there and, megan tuohy, it goes to a much larger point and i think a more serious point with donald trump and that is he has no legal team.
he's got this strange -- he's got jay sekulow again who worked religious freedom issues for pat robertson and the 700 club. and he's got rudy giuliani who he wants to sit around and smoke cigars with to tell him that everything is going to be okay and really -- and then he's got michael cohen who he's throwing under the bus. that's the most shocking thing. the president of the united states is being pursued by the most effective prosecutor of our time and donald trump does not have a competent legal team around him. >> amazing. >> well, it's interesting. i remember to go back to right after he entered the white house i do know how desperate michael cohen was to get in there. i mean, he really predicted that nobody was going to have trump's back like he would and that it was a huge mistake for trump to leave him behind and -- i mean,
i don't think that michael cohen has necessarily proven himself to be a great legal mind but he certainly has proven himself to be extremely loyal. and it's just very interesting that he was so desperate to get in the white house. i remember talking to him at the time and he even sent me a photo at one point of himself outside the white house during one of his first visits and i thought it's just remarkable here that the president's personal attorney is so eager to show reporters that he's going to get in there, so needy. >> it's not a matter of needy. this is important, i want to say them fatally. it wasn't needily. he wanted to be there protect the president. whoever is advising trump, the way he played and talked about michael cohen yesterday i think is a grave mistake for him. i don't know who's talking to him but i think what he did and how he did it yesterday, i think the one guy that's been most loyal to him he is playing completely, completely wrong.
>> well, he's sending contradictory messages. >> just hear what i said. very simply hear what i said. terrible mistake to not be loyal to michael cohen. >> yamiche. donny says whoever is advising donald trump, that is, in fact, the problem. nobody is advising donald trump, the white house has been leaking and donald trump has been letting everybody know for a month now that john kelly has no power in the white house anymore and this is -- after hope hicks left this is trump unleashed. nobody's talking to donald trump, right? >> well, i would say that donald trump's lawyers have been telling him and warning him that michael cohen could be a big problem if he turned on the president so -- and, of course, we know that the president likes to watch news, likes to read news and then kind of make his decisions from there. so there's been all these stories out there of what michael cohen could know. i've talked to sources who say that michael cohen might have had all these recordings so
there's this idea that president trump in the back of his mind would be thinking michael cohen will be turning on me. even if michael cohen isn't going to do that. as a result, he's already starting to throw him under the bus so i think there's this idea that president trump has been able to get by on his intuition, been able to get by on what he feels like he can do in the moment and in this case it might come to backfire on him because as people have said, michael cohen is someone who has been loyal and most of the people that i've talked to say michael cohen wasn't really thinking of turning on donald trump, he was way more interested in pleading the fifty and trying to protect the president, maybe also protect himself while doing that. in this case it could be that the president is watching the news and getting nervous. >> you know, yamiche, isn't it incredible that 72 years into his life he doesn't have a single person that can call him up and give him advice to.
donald, don't pick up the phone and call into "fox & friends." donald, talk to your lawyers, do what they tell you do, hire competent lawyers who have worked in the southern district of new york who understand how to go up against the best federal prosecutors. this sort of plays into peter baker's story, yamiche, in that everybody's transactional and he has nobody that can call him and advise him now to protect him against his own worst instincts. >> well, there's also this idea that he has this informal group of outside advisers that he calls up, coaches and other people, to talk through things and those people might be telling him, hey, you should be thinking about whether or not you want to be calling into "fox & friends" and talking for 30 minutes. but i know at pbs we've confirmed that there are several lawyers he's reached out to who said i don't want to represent the president of the united states which in and of itself is really, really remarkable. so there's this idea that the people who could give him the
bested a vice don't want to work with the president of the united states. >> yamiche alcindor and peter baker, thank you very much. megan toou megan tuohy, you've obviously been on the front lines of stories pertaining to people like harvey weinstein. what do you make of the bill cosby verdict. >> it's remarkable. this was technical a single conviction for sexual assault but symbolically this was a massive victory for the dozens of women who accused him of sexual misconduct over the years and it's worth pointing out that this was the first high profile sexual assault trial taking place in this new reinvigorated me too movement and we don't know what was going on in the mind of the jurors if the broader movement factored into how they saw this case but i think it's another illustration of this movement and the courage of the many women coming forward to share their stories. the fact that andrea was able to
and willing to go through a second trial. the fact that there were five women who showed up to share their similar stories of being drugged -- as they say, being drugged and assaulted speaks to the moment in which we're seeing remarkable courage. >> and we're seeing a pattern here where it starts with a few women speaking out and more feel like they have the confidence. it happened here and it's happened in a number of other cases as well. it's been ground breaking. >> and while it was a big victory for those victims yesterday, there still is this question that lingers that all of us have to face and i think some of the defamation lawsuits against him, the civil cases that will move forward will help answer this. but one of the real questions in the me too movement is how was it powerful men were able to prey on women virtually unchecked. how were they able to get away with that for so many years and why were the voices of these
women who stepped forward in previous years silenced or ignored. >> well, for one of the reasons is they didn't have a voice, the voices were not heard. megan tuohy, thank you very much. in part thanks to you. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll go live to the white house to sort through the president's reaction to the news out of the korean peninsula. nbc's kristen welker joins us next on "morning joe." in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. don't worry - i know what a lug wrench is, dad. is this a lug wrench? maybe? you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. ancestrydna has 5x more detail ...and it's now on sale for just $59. it can lead you on an unexpec ted journey...
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joining us now, nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. also with us, co-founder of axi axios, mike allen. axios has new reporting behind the scenes in the push to get mike pompeo confirmed as secretary of state. also with us, senior adviser and korea chair at csis and an nbc news korean affair analyst victory chow. what's been the reaction from the white house? we saw a couple of tweets from the president to the images we saw coming ott of the dmz in
korea. >> that's right. a little mini tweet storm here at the white house but the president notably not tweeting about north korea first, instead tweeting about james comey, an indication that's still getting under his skin, top of mind for him writing "is everybody believing what is going on? james comey can't define what a leak is, he illegally leaked classified information but doesn't understand what he did and how serious it is." comey denies he leaked classified information. it wasn't until several moments later, willie, that we got our first tweet about north korea at 6:41 a.m. the president writing "after a furious year of missile launches and nuclear testing, a historic meeting between north and south korea is now taking place. good things are happening but only time will tell." that was notable because the meeting had already wrapped up and we had those remarkable images and that big announcement, intentions to end the war between north korea and south korea. finally just before 7:00 a.m.,
just in time for the network morning shows, the president treating "korean war to end, the united states and all of its great people should be very proud of what is now taking place in korea." the big question, willie, what are the next steps? what does this mean in north korea being an honest broker or is it trying to cut the u.s. out of the process? we'll ask the president about this when he holds a joint news conference with german chancellor angela merkel later today. >> kristen welker at the white house, thanks so much. mike allen, let me turn to you, there is a north korea tie. mike pompeo as cia director made that secret meeting over eastern week end to visit with kim jong-un, perhaps laying the ground work for what we saw today but really for the meeting between president trump and kim jong-un. so take us behind the scenes of the pompeo confirmation yesterday and how he got there. >> real quick on the summit with the president, this raises the
stakes for him. we know from our reporting that president trump sees that summit as his great man moment. this is going to be tough to top so people are worried about what he might give away or what the concessions would be. but the stage was set with mike pompeo who until yesterday was the cia director. then yesterday confirmed to the secretary of state, hopped on a plane at andrews air force base now in brussels but he got to a senate vote with seven votes to spare. this was supposed to be very tight and we're told they ran it just like a political campaign so you have a warm room that was watching the cable coverage, the president always says a lot of people watch on mute so they were calling up in realtime to dispute those lower thirds, those chyrons. when they wanted to pressure a red state senator they would call up the home state reporters, make sure they had cameras outside the office for mike pompeo's courtesy visits to
make sure he would get covered. and they had mike pompeo going door to door in these senate office buildings talking to the senators talking about clandestine operations around the world. >> and the spread was larger than some people thought it might be but in recent history, this was unusual. the vote for hillary clinton and john kerry, they both got 94 votes. even condoleezza rice before that got 80 something votes. these spreads usually much larger but tillerson and pompeo with slim margins. >> they needed 50 for mike pence to come in and save the day. they wound up with 57, including seven democrats. it's smaller than ever and it shows, as we've seen with the russia probe, national security had been walled off, now it's just part of the political football like everything else.
>> mike allen with axios, can we get one before we let grow? >> today is happy historic friday. >> there it is. >> this is a brand new guy. i would stay with the straight happy friday. i don't think we need another adjective in. you own happy friday and i don't think you want to trivialize it. >> i would say donny knows something about branding. >> he does. that's the one thing he does. >> i liked it. >> mike allen, thank you very much. >> let's turn to victor cha. as we've watched these images coming out of korea there has been a mix of optimism and skepticism. what did you read when you saw that meeting? >> i think in terms of optics and atmospherics it was a home run. this is the third time the north korean and south korean leaders have met. there was a meeting in 2000 and 2007 and of course this one last nig night. so atmospherically it was terrific. in terms of substance, there's a lot out there on the question of denuclearization, whether the
north korean leader is willing to give up his nuclear weapons. >> i was in korea covering the olympics a couple months ago and president moon was under a lot of stress, a lot of criticism, getting heat from some corners in south korea for even allowing that north korean delegation to come to the olympic games. that lack of trust, that skepticism has been built up in south korea over generations. >> what's the feeling in south korea as people watch those pictures? >> in the runup to this thing, everywhere you looked there was a big hyping up of this summit. it was almost declared a success before it happened so from the government's perspective they have tried to sell this in a very important and persuasive way about why the korean peninsula want peace. but the key to peace is the
denuclearization question and and thus far north koreans haven't said anything new on this topic. there are things they could have said in 2005 and 2007 about abandoning their deposition. in 1992, they agreed to stop enriching, stop reprocessing all of the ancillary facilities and procedures. but we've seen none of the statements yet. that's the key to whether there can be a peace treaty ending the key war. >> do we have a sense of what the administration's strategy is here? who the players are who will be preparing the president for the upcoming meetings? how does the administration make the most of this? >> in terms of preparations, it's the nsc staff but clearly mike pompeo is the president's
guy on this. but it places a lot of weight on the summit between trump and the north korean leader because the key piece has still not been addressed so there will be attention paid to what president trump can get on the nuclear issue from the north korean lead lead leader. i think he will meet with president trump and explain what he learned about this but there's a lot of pressure on the u.s. dprk summit that is supposed to happen. >> dr. victor cha, thank you very much for talking with us this morning. and coming up next, the white house was twisted up in knots about what it knew about rob porter and when. now there's a new timeline about the white house staff secretary who was let go over allegations of spousal abuse. that's next on "morning joe"
according to a new timeline provided by the fbi to congress that was released yesterday, the agency flagged derogatory information about former staff secretary robert porter who the white house counsel's office in march of last year. according to the timeline, the fbi provided a partial report about porter to white house counsel don mcgahn in early march of 2017 that included derogatory information about porter. the letter does not specify exactly what it said. porter was forced to resign in february after the allegations by his ex-wives were made pub c public. the administration offered several contradictory accounts of who knew what and when. joe, what do you make of this. >> i make that the white house has spent a lot of time attacking the fbi. if they would use the fbi as the
partners that they should be they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and a lot of embarrassment on a very damaging story. but they won't do it. paul ryan apparently fired the chaplain of the united states house because he was channeling jesus christ in matthew 25 when he asked that members of the house always, always in passing legislation pursued fairness and equality and other things that jesus talked about in matthew 25. now that jesuit priest forced out by the speaker of the house. we need to learn so much more about this because if that is, in fact, the case that a chaplain of the house was fired for simply praying in a way that was consistent with jesus
christ's teachings throughout the new testament, especially in matthew 25, that's a big problem. >> we'll see what more there is. >> what could be behind it? >> joe, he offered a prayer right before the vote on the tax bill think i think some republicans said of being critical of the tax bill. nancy pelosi for why father conroy was pushed out, they say ryan's office says he resigned but most people say he was nudged out. >> the reading of the coverage of this just begs a lot of question. it feels like there's three or four layers to the story that are going to surface over the next 24 hours and i don't know what they are but we're not -- we don't have the full story here. >> up next, legislation to protect special counsel bob mueller advanced in the senate but mitch mcconnell says it's
before trump left the door open to firing robert mueller. >> you look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. our justice department, which i try and stay away from, but at some point, i won't. >> oh, that's reassuring. this is your captain speaking, i have an extremely stressful job and a bottle of jack daniels, which i will try to stay away from, but at some point, i won't. >> yeah, it's just -- it was funny without the comedian.
"the circus" previews this sunday. take a look. >> we have the new secretary of state that is on track now. starting to understand what donald trump's view of the world is by personnel decisions. what does that tell us about how donald trump sees himself in the world and america in the world. >> i wake up in the morning and one day we are going to put tariffs on the european union, then we're not. then we are on canada, then we're not. then on mexico, then we're not. then we are adversary and then we are not. i don't know that i can answer that, but, what i can say is that having qualified people making recommendations matters a great deal. >> i think you said 15-16 months into the trump administration,
you don't know of his view of america's place in the world? >> my guess is for him to evolve. i think it is. >> whoa! what else are we going see sunday? >> it's been an incredible week. we had a state visit, macron was here, america l merkel is comin today. we have a big week. the legal woes and political scandals, in terms of foreign policies, there have been fewer bigger weeks than this week. this is a big moment for donald trump in his attempt to be a giant man of the world. >> will kanye be a port of the episode? >> i'm working on it. still ahead, much more on the historic meeting between north and south korean leaders and what it means for possible diplomatic talks for president trump and kim jong-un. trump said yesterday, michael cohen handled a tiny, tiny
fraction of his legal work. that comment could have a big, big impact on the case with stormy daniels. "morning joe" will be right back. ou've been diagnosed with cancer, searching for answers like where to treat, can feel overwhelming. so start your search with a specialist at cancer treatment centers of america. start with teams of cancer treatment experts under one roof focused on the delivery of precision cancer treatment. start at one of the cancer treatment centers of america hospitals near you. the evolution of cancer care is here. learn more at cancercenter.com/experts appointments available now. bp is taking safety to new heights. using drones and robots offshore so engineers can stop potential problems before they start. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better.
a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home, with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection, which could lead to hospitalizations. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%, a 94% decrease. applied the day of chemo, neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta the next day, so you can stay home. neulasta is for certain cancer patients receiving strong chemotherapy. do not take neulasta if you're allergic to neulasta or neupogen (filgrastim). ruptured spleen, sometimes fatal as well as serious lung problems,
allergic reactions, kidney injuries, and capillary leak syndrome have occurred. report abdominal or shoulder tip pain, trouble breathing or allergic reactions to your doctor right away. in patients with sickle cell disorders, serious, sometimes fatal crises can occur. the most common side effect is bone and muscle ache. so why go back there? if you'd rather be home, ask your doctor about neulasta onpro. history made overnight for north and south korea. just hours ago, kim jong-un crossed the most heavily armed border zone in the world for face-to-face meetings with his presidential counter part.
then, going off script, he invited south korea's leader to visit the north. the two men, again, crossing the dividing line hand in hand. the big news this morning, agreeing to end the korean war this year. good morning, everyone on this big news day. it is friday, april 27th. welcome to "morning joe." with us, we have the president of the counsel on foreign relations and author of "the world in disarray" richard haass, john heilemann, donnie deutsche and willie, joe and me. that historic news out of the korean peninsula is folded into stories at home. mike pompeo who met with kim jong-un over easter has been confirmed as secretary of state. how will his tenure difr from rex tillerson?
plus, prosecutors seize on what donald trump said. why his free wielding interview may have under cut his personal lawyer in a major way. leaders of north and south korea are taking historic steps toward peace. after 65 years of division, threats and violence, a document signed by both sides reads, in part, the two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million korean people and the whole world there will be no more war on the korean peninsula and, thus, a new era of peace has begun. joe? >> richard haass, they said he was prone to overstatement. he said this is one of the most shocking and he said shocking diplomatic developments of his lifetime. you have nixon in china.
you have the camp david and this. it is -- it's hard to overstate just how surprising a turn around this is from what we were hearing six months ago. >> that's true, joe. but there's a but. all the positives are potentially true. what we don't know is exactly what is motivating kim jong-un. let me give you two snars, one is he's been forced by the sanctions, china, internal problems to accept the fact he needs a different relationship with his neighbor to the south and the united states and the world. the other is denuclear weapons reached a point of sufficiency for him where he feels confidence enough and secure enough to make agreements with, and including the end of war. he feels north korea has a secure future. too soon to take out the
champagne. as impressive as this is and as significant as this is, we have to translate from the rhetoric of this morning to a policy and reality. i just want to introduce, i don't mean to be a wet blanket, but we need to introduce that caution. >> we are talking north korea, the entire playing field is wet. they have been lying to us for 30, 40 years, so, we don't know what is going to happen. if you just talk about the term offensive, as you said. the charm offensive that is under way, something certainly pushed the north to do this. that is what our policymakers are going to have to figure outlet. maybe, you know, it's hard not to look at all the bluster and all the insults and all the threats of donald trump and not believe that that actually forced the north and the south to try to figure out a way to
get together because, if left to donald trump, at least from what they were hearing out of washington, d.c., the white house, they could wake up one morning with 500,000 dead koreans on the peninsula. >> the threats could have played a role. in turn, china turned the screws with sanctions. that's all quite possible. again, though, i think it's important to distinguish between the north's commitment to ending the state of war that would be welcome by one and all, and the commitment to denuclearization. translate to denuclearization, in particular, a lot has to go. we don't have a common definition of it, a timetable, specific steps, we don't have verification. i don't want to seem cynical, but as important as this potentially is and exciting as it potentially is, we have the slog of dmiplomacy.
>> joining us from korea, janice, the expectations were high. was there an overdelivery and what are people saying on the streets as they watch the images, the likes of which they have never seen? >> reporter: whether they over delivered remains to be seen. they certainly exceeded expectations. we thought there would only be an agreement to pledge to meet. the talks with the u.s. and china is certainly a dramatic move. to see kim jong-un under live television statements making a statement it's a turn of events from how 2018 opened where kim jong-un and president trump were exchanging threats about their nuclear buttons. there is a healthy degree of skepticism here. people have been down this road before, deals have been brokered
and broken before. but, there is a different kind of optimism, there are also no illusions. many tepeople see this move by m jong-un and tactical, he achieved his nuclear deterrent and it was enough to bring other leaders to the table. this has been an important intelligence gathering operation for the u.s. side as it prepares for the summit between kim and president trump and the joint declaration by the two leaders today certainly raised the bar for that meeting. willie? >> janice is seoul, south korea, thanks. >> i'm thinking, too, about the olympics, the opening ceremony. it was an historic step. as i was there covering it, there was a dose of skepticism coming from the south as they watched the images on tv. >> that's what you keep hearing, willie, talk of skepticism and
cynicism. there's a good reason. people shouldn't talk about donald trump or anybody in north or south korea winning the nobel peace price when we remember a nobel peace prize was awarded in 1994 for a deal that did nothing but allow the north koreans to have more cover to develop this nuclear program. we have been made suckers of time and time again, whether it was bill clinton or george w. bush or whether it was barack obama. i mean, i don't see any reason to think the north koreans aren't going to try to cheat on any deal they achieve anyway. that said, the fact that six months after almost every military analyst mika and i spoke to inside the white house feared a coming land war on the korean peninsula where half a million to a million people would die, this, still, is a very positive development. >> sure, yes.
i think, joe to your point, we are in such a position of tension, the rhetoric was so, at least with respect to the united states and north korea was so inflamed over a year ago, six months ago, nine months ago, you know, president trump is not reacted to this. we can expect that he will and he will do so in a tone of triumph. although, i have taken all the tones of skepticism are obviously well deserved and well placed, the president is going to have some ground for saying all you skeptics who said my rhetoric, my uncon vensal approach to the problem was foolish, provocative, inflammatory, yet, look what is happening in the korean peninsula. he will, certainly say that his critics were wrong. it does create, at this moment, with all the caveats, a moment for him as he heads toward his
meeting with kim jong-un, a moment he wants, a moment where he can follow this historic set of developments with another that he can claim directly as his own. >> maybe so. mika, maybe kim jong-un finally looked at donald trump and said, man, that guy is crazy. i better start peace talks on my own. with any luck, donald trump will take a victory lap this morning by calling in, again, to fox and friends. i have to tell you, yesterday, yesterday was wonderful. let's say for our friends over at "fox and friends," they asked him good questions, good follow up questions that really opened up the conversation. they certainly should be commended for that. >> absolutely. >> it was a remarkable 30-minute interview. but, donald trump put down land mines for his legal team all
over the place yesterday. so much so that the southern district of new york moves immediately and amended their pleadings based on the admissions against interest that donald trump made on tv. >> still ahead on "morning joe," michael cohen isn't talking, but president trump sure is, as his personal lawyer pleads the fifth, the commander and chief unloads during a fox news interview. what is the legal fallout from the president going rogue on himself? you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your business. so this won't happen. because you've made sure this sensor and this machine are integrated. atta, boy. & yes, some people assign genders to machines. & with edge-to-edge intelligence, you'll know your customers love this color, & don't love this one. never getting grape again. & you can adjust in near real time.
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his attorney, michael cohen, represented him as part of a payment to adult porn star, stormy daniels. >> mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny fraction. my goal would represent me on some things like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> shortly after that interview, attorneys for the southern district of new york added a new legal filing in cohen's case citing some of the president's comments that specifically mention that trump said cohen performs tiny, tiny fraction of his overall legal work. prosecutors argued it proved few of the documents seizeed are unlikely to be confidential.
they will decide which communications are protected by attorney-client privileges. and "the wall street journal" has new reporting on the relationship between michael cohen and donald trump. >> oh, god. it's so painful, mika. >> according to the paper, in the months before the election, cohen told associates he expected to be tapped for the role of campaign chief or possibly white house chief of staff. people familiar with the discussions said bringing cohen inside the white house carried too many risks. a person close to the president told that paper, trump has privately described cohen as a bull in a china shop, who, when broadened to fix a problem sometimes breaks more china. joe, there was a quote in there that is just sad and kind of,
really paints a picture of a relationship that may cross some boundaries. >> are you going to read them? >> i mean, are you talking about -- >> something about i love you boss, i missed you so much. >> i missed you so much. i think it's safe to say that everybody in the "morning joe" newsroom, when i'm gone they all call me and say, i miss you so much. maybe they don't. >> i'm going to do a poll. >> that is the -- donnie deutsche, reading that article made me flinch time and time again. there were so many times donald trump went out of his way to publicly humiliate michael. i know you like michael. again, there is such a disconnect from what we see on tv and for people who know michael cohen personally.
most people really like the guy, in person. talk about that story and what could only be called an abusive professional relationship. >> what i have seen up close over the last 11 years with michael and donald, i have not seen that play out. clearly, when you have a guy like trump and you are working by his side, whether you are his kids or michael or anybody else, there are going to be moments. this is a guy you are working with. this is not a sweet, loving, nurturinging guy to employees. i know michael loved donald, in a twisted way, he does. he was affected when he was brought to washington. donald said i need you watching the store, watching the kids. that's where i need you. michael understood that and took it at face value. i think, personally, he was disappointed. i don't think he necessarily would come out and say that, but
i don't think he would be human if he wasn't. it was interesting what trump did yesterday. i was shocked on that festival on fox news where he really started -- >> he humiliated him yesterday saying he's not that important to me, he does a small, small sliver of my work. he's a nothing. he's a nobody. also, of course he throws him under the bus saying, wait, they are not looking at me, it's all michael cohen's work. >> which i found kind of, i know michael was caught by complete surprise by that. what i found stunning, if i am fearful of one person on this planet, one, there isn't a close second or third, it's michael cohen. i was stunned that trump, if i'm michael cohen and going through an emotional roller coaster of whatever it is, i love this man and don't want betrayal and all of a sudden, trump is stepping 50 yards back and saying you don't matter and you are on your own. boy, i found that strategically
let's bring in msnbc legal analyst, dana savalos. great to see you. let's bring in president trump's interview from yesterday on "fox and friends." he said michael cohen represented him in this crazy, stormy daniels thing. what do you think was the most incriminating thing in that interview. >> three things. michael cohen did represent him in the stormy daniels matter, which is something we all knew, but hadn't really been confirmed in the way trump did yesterday. the second thing he said was michael cohen is primarily a businessman. the more michael cohen is primarily a businessman, the less his advice constitutes attorney-client privileged
materials and trump's comment that michael cohen handled a tiny, tiny percentage of legal work for him. consider that yesterday in the southern district of new york, the entire argument is there's a huge universe of documents that are privileged, with a few statements calling him a businessman and he did a tiny amount of legal work, the privileged documents become tiny, tiny. >> on air force one, the president was asked about the $130,000 payment made to stormy daniels. the president said he didn't know anything about it. yesterday, he said michael represented me in the crazy stormy daniels deal. there was no lawsuit at that time or case before anyone. what is the crazy stormy daniels deal, if not the payment or pay off of a porn star? >> it's problematic for trump.
those are two blatant statements he's made and can be used against him. as to the stormy daniels case, the only thing that really does is actually, in a strange way, bolster trump's case that he can enforce the nondisclosure agreement they entered into in that california case. in a broader sense, it is a statement by president trump that he was involved in a pay off scheme or at least that michael cohen handled a pay off scheme for him where he was paying people like stormy daniels to remain silent. it's a stunning admission with legal consequences but also political consequences. >> it was such a stunning interview. here we had stormy daniel's lawyer. i'm wondering, it's hard to put the pieces together, obviously, but what we revealed on our show is that was remarkable and helpful to him, but also, there
were one or two other credible women, but maybe not within the time frame of what would be campaign finance violations, he also pointed out that the three clients revealed in court were not the three reported by the media, including rnc -- it was trump, the trump organization and sean hannity and he mentioned the $1.5 million pay off that would be in the news. are we looking at potentially another woman and another pay off, one that would be higher? what do you make of the tips put out on the show? >> it's hard to say. he is a master of the tease. he's obviously tweeted pictures of dvds or cds -- >> right. >> -- he's had sketch drawings we have looked at. it's hard to see what michael really has in his pocket in terms of additional witnesses or
possible people complaining against trump. >> he specifically mentioned a $1.5 million pay off. the last time he specifically mentioned something like stormy daniels was threatened, it was the focus of a "60 minutes." you have to wonder, you don't drop a number like that as a tease without something to back it up. >> here is why it is significant. it could be finance law violations. remember, mueller referred this issue to the southern district of new york. apparently because of the potential pay off issues to stormy daniels. you may remember, michael raised issues of potential extortion in connection with the contracts, the women were forced to enter the agreements. the criminal charges, we could guess at them all day, but there definitely is a large spectrum of potential criminal liability, which, by the way, in the cohen matter must have been
demonstrated to a neutral magistrate to get that search warrant in the first place. >> thank you very much. up next, a deeper dive into all of this. we are joined by daniel goldman and vanity fair's evelyn fox that reported on tuesday that michael cohen was holding out hope. did that change after the president's interview yesterday? "morning joe" is coming right back. i no wondering, "what if?" uncertainties of hep c. i let go of all those feelings.
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bp's natural gas teams use smart app technology to share data from any well instantly. so they can analyze trends and stop potential problems in their tracks. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better. how much -- mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> as as percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny fraction. my goal would represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> in the days after the fbi raids of michael cohen's home and office, vanity fair said
cohen made an effort to go about life as usual. after the president's comments yesterday morning, that approach may have gone straight out the window. emily joins us now. she is an msnbc contributor. also with us, united states attorney in the criminal division for the southern district of new york, daniel goldman. good to have you both on board. >> morning. >> wow! did you talk to michael cohen yesterday? what are you hearing about his response? where was he when the president was making the comments? >> he was at his hotel room as he wakes up there most mornings and he was about to go to court. he had a court date at noon. this is not what he woke up expecting to be dealing with in the morning. he had just filed a motion the day before saying he would plead the fifth in the stormy daniels case. he had his other court case in the southern district to handle later this afternoon. this completely threw a wrench
in his day and the trajectory of where this could go from here, perhaps. >> did you pick up, emily, frustration is not the word, but the heart brokenness to hear the president of the united states, a man he's been loyal to for 12 years to hear he was a tiny, tiny fraction of his life? >> from my reporting, it's not the fact that it was a tiny, tiny portion of the business because i they is accurate. i think, perhaps michael cohen knows that is accurate. there's a large amount of legal work the trump organization handles. the work cohen did is a fraction of the legal issues. i think what may have been hurtful from people who are close to michael cohen is the fact that he was so publicly distancing himself from the business. it seemed like a shrewd move of self-preservation if you are donald trump.
that's not something if you are michael cohen that you want to hear. >> daniel goldman, he did make a couple comments on "fox and friends" that seemed to fly in the face of the narrative he was trying to project on a number of levels. what struck you? >> what struck me is he hung michael cohen out to dry. i think that emily may be right, in the near term, he's trying to save himself, but i think in the long term, he may be hurting himself because by all accounts, michael cohen has a lot of information about donald trump. by distancing himself from the legal work, he's making michael cohen's job in the southern district much more difficult to be able to assert attorney-client privilege and protect documents from being used against him. that's the significant issue. he also is hanging him out to dry on the campaign finance violations because, if by saying
michael represented me on that stormy daniels issue, that means that michael cohen, affirmatively had a duty to inform donald trump about that payment and, if it is true that he didn't do that as trump is asserting and that's to be determined, michael cohen gets in more trouble. >> aren't there a couple things here, joe, first of all this crazy stormy daniels deal is, i guess referring to either stormy daniels is crazy or the deal was crazy. either way, probably not something he should be saying out loud with his outside voice. what do you think? >> yeah, you know, daniel talked about the two things donald trump said yesterday that will hurt him in court, that certainly makes michael cohen's job far more difficult in defending himself. let's talk about the personal side of things, which also had to hurt, john heilemann. you have donald trump brushing
all of this aside and saying, oh, no, no, the southern district of new york, they are not interested in me, they are not coming after me. they are going after michael cohen. they are going to bust him because of his business dealings, whether it was medallions or other issues they are investigating. donald trump sent a message to his voters that michael cohen is the bad guy, not me. at the same time, he sent a message to michael cohen, i'm going to throw you under the bus any chance i get. >> right. at minimum, i cannot be relied on to have your back, that i am going to look out for myself. obviously, if michael cohen is paying attention to donald trump, he should have figured that out a long time ago. to raise the point from earlier on the show, michael cohen has business interests apart from donald trump. donald trump has other lawyers and business associates than
michael cohen. it is the case, for most of the time michael cohen worked with and represented donald trump, they were close and worked on a vast number of things together, the period of time when michael cohen came into donald trump's life, he spent years trying to do deals for donald trump, reaching the far end of the earth for donald trump, getting his name on condos, hotels and shopping malls in glamorous parts of the world. the notion that the two of them, that donald trump hardly knows michael cohen, they maybe had a couple small things in common is a false. so, apart from all of the semiottics of this, michael cohen, i am certain is looking at what donald trump is saying, saying mr. president, my boss, you are lying to everybody by insinuating that i was only a smart part of your business life. that is just false. >> emily, you have done so much reporting on this relationship,
but yesterday, what a day for michael cohen. what a nightmare of a day. first of all, he's got donald trump, the man that he reveres and gets, i think, a lot of his meaning from, his self-worth from, says oh, he only does a little bit of my legal work. yes, the southern district of new york is going after him for his shady business dealings, not me. then that wall street journal article that talked about one humiliating episode after another after another. these have got to be, obviously, terrible times for michael cohen. based on your reporting, is he starting, are there starting to be cracks in this sort of wall of loyalty that so many people have assumed would be there between donald trump and michael cohen? >> it's interesting because i think it depends on the hour,
depends on what news story has broken at that given moment, what a meeting with an attorney has turned out. i think it is hard to pin down one specific emotional state because it changes at the drop of a hat right now. i think one person who is close to michael cohen told me yesterday, he must be numb to all of this by now. my reporting is he's not necessarily numb, just the range of emotions is so wide and so vast and it can switch in a heart beat. i have not, personally, in my reporting, talked to anybody who said this man is not going to be loyal to donald trump right now. the statements yesterday make it hard to see how -- >> how he should be. >> anyone who is a friend of his, anyone has said look, this guy is loyal, but how can he be and should he be?
>> at this point, if he doesn't see it, for some reason because he's blinded by love and loyalty, others would say, dude, you are being hung out to dry. everybody stay. this programming note, a new episode of msnbc headliners takes an in-depth look at michael cohen. the special airs sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. up next, president trump all but threatens to seize control of the justice department. does it change the calculus on capitol hill about whether or not the special counsel needs legal protection? that is next on "morning joe." why did i want a crest 3d white smile?
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come on! the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. our justice department, which i try and stay away from, but at some point, i won't. our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with russia. they have a witch hunt against the president of the united states going on. i've taken the position and i don't have to take this position and maybe i'll change, i will not be involved with the justice department. because of the fact it is going on, i think you will understand this. i have decided i won't be involved. i may change my mind at some point. >> because at some point i won't stay away from the justice department. that was president trump yesterday morning sending a
message to the justice department and legal team with a threat to take action against the fbi. those comments lent urgency to the vote that took place in the judiciary committee to advance legislation to protect special counsel robert mueller from being fired by president trump. under the bill, mueller and other special -- they passed 14-7. four republicans, including committee chairman, chuck grassley, voted in favor of the legislation along with all ten of the democrats on the panel. >> i am glad we did this today for the special counsel. i stand by my colleagues on the other side, on this side, that president trump somehow tried to fire mr. rosenstein or mueller, it would blow up in his face and be the worst decision for his presidency and a crisis for the country. we don't need that. let's move forward. >> the bill isn't likely to see
the light of day on the senate floor. mitch mcconnell said he will not bring the vote up saying the legislation is unnecessary tr the one millionth time, joe, i'm not sure where he and others who say that legislation is not necessary, get their confidence. >> i guess, i guess mitch mcconnell doesn't watch "fox and friends." if you watched yesterday, donald trump was promising he was going to interfere with the justice department. promising he was going to weigh in. i'm not sure. daniel, you look at the voting that went yesterday, republicans teamed up with democrats. it was a bipartisan vote, led by the chairman of the judiciary committee to put this out there. if you actually look at the percentage of republicans that voted for this bill yesterday and you extend that to the full senate, if those percentages held, there would be enough republicans with democrats to override the veto and protect
the rule of law. still, it's unlikely that is going to happen. >> which is pretty shocking. it's one of those things where he says, and mcconnell can say he's not going to do it until he does. as we have seen from the president, he will turn on a dime and do things without warning, without any consideration of what the fallout may be. i do think, from a purely technical standpoint on the prosecution angle, i think the reason trump has not done anything with mueller is because, ultimately, there's nothing to gain from getting rid of mueller. it will cause such an uproar, it will create some degree of a constitutional crisis. >> does he care about that? >> i don't think he cares about the uproar, but the effect will not be to end the investigation. if what he's trying to do is end the investigation, that will not happen because, first of all,
all the assistants, you know, special counsels are still there, the case exists, the grand jury exists. >> you are assuming he does things that makes sense. if you heard him on "fox and friends" yesterday, he was going rogue on himself. he was undermining himself. >> oh, it was a little disconcerning to listen to him, for sure. >> a tiny. >> but, i do think that, you know, perhaps in calmer moments what we have seen from him is, he is ends oriented. if he's trying to fire mueller because he wants the investigation to end, then you would think he would try, at least, you know, he's not a stupid person, try to at least figure out, okay, i get rid of him, what happens? he would be better off getting rid of rosenstein. someone he can put in that position, which is easier for him to do can cut the legs out from under the investigation and that, i think, would be more effective if, ultimately, what
he wants to do is corrupt the investigation. >> joe? >> by the way, right now, rosenstein, i would say is most likely his target. donald trump is a day trader. what's happened most recently, john heilman, you had rosenstein go ahead and approve the southern district of new york searches of michael cohen's offices and residences. that's what's enraging him the most right now, and when he talks about getting rid or going in and shaking up the justice department, he's probably at this point not even thinking that much of mueller. it is the southern district of new york's investigation that he knows and everybody in the white house knows, because it's the greatest threat to him, both politically and legally. >> state the obvious, there's a giant mystery around the clarity
of donald trump's mind regarding the things he has done in his life. what he's done before he became president. what he did in running for president. what he did since he's become president. so what he actually thinks about the facts of the obstruction of justice case, potential case. what he thinks about the potential facts in the collusion matter. what he thinks about things that are touched on by the southern district of new york. what he remembers, what his grasp of them are, we don't really know. it is certainly true from everyone you talk to that's around him in his legal orbit and personal orbit at at this moment, joe, the southern district, what's going on there, the related manner of stormy daniels is more urgently on his mind than the special counsel is. again, that could change the day after tomorrow if rudy giuliani comes and tells him something that inflames him. but at the moment, very fixated
on what's happening in new york. >> he should be. you know, donny deutsch, for a very long time, we've been asking where republicans were and why there weren't more republicans standing up. there were republicans on the judiciary committee, people like lindsey graham and people like the chairman that stood up and were counted and we're sending a message to donald trump you're not going to subvert the rule of law. yet you have mitch mcconnell, the same man that wouldn't allow a vote on merit garland for a very long time, and boy, the long-term impact on that i suspect is likely going to be pretty devastating. does mitch mcconnell really want to be remembered as the man that wouldn't allow a vote on merit garland? also would allow the firing of robert mueller? >> i don't think he saw the polls that came out yesterday, the other republicans, that almost 70% of americans think this investigation should be going on, and at the same time,
70% believe trump will fire mueller. so i don't think he's got his eye on the ball, three out of four americans are behind this investigation and actually believe what mitch mcconnell thinks is not going to happen is going to happen. >> all right, we're back in just three minutes with more "morning joe." but i'm relentless too. mbc doesn't take a day off, and neither will i. and i treat my mbc with new everyday verzenio- the only one of its kind that can be taken every day. in fact, verzenio is a cdk4 & 6 inhibitor for postmenopausal women with hr+, her2- mbc, approved, with hormonal therapy, as an everyday treatment for a relentless disease. verzenio + an ai is proven to help women have significantly more time without disease progression, and more than half of women saw their tumors shrink vs an ai. diarrhea is common, may be severe, and may cause dehydration or infection. before taking verzenio, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection. verzenio may cause low white blood cell counts,
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hey, mika, do i look like brian sullivan, do i look like i could take the role of brian sullivan? is that okay? >> i think you can do it. >> this is our business before the bell. we just got gdp growth, u.s. economy grew at a slow 2.3%. "the new york times" says that the economy is puttering along. "the wall street journal" talks about a slowdown, consumer spending was weaker, the impetus of the tax cuts were, quote, subdued. there was, quote, a pullback from business investment from last year. quote, the housing sector stagnated. but the good news, there was growth in one sector of the united states economy in the first quarter of 2018. anybody want to guess what that is? >> banking, financial? >> nope, government spending. >> i'm a little confused because trump pretty much promised 4%
growth and that was going to pay for everything. i'm a little confused, 2.3% to 4% is a big spread. >> well, you know, this was just the first -- this was just the first quarter. and of course we'll feel the full effects of this over this year and over the next three or four or five years. all of those bonuses that went out early, john heilman that were supposed to rev up the economy, that didn't happen. and what we did see happen right after the initial flourish of $1,000 bonuses, massive stock bibacks, just like everybody predicted. these huge corporations made a ton of money and they reinvestmented it back in their companies to make more money. >> i'll say two words, blue wave. we've already saw the blue wave was building into november. what it looks like right now is the republicans, who already were a little worried this tax cut was not going to give them much to campaign on are going to look at these numbers and say we don't have anything to campaign on now.
and it's may. this election takes place in november, if i've got my calendar right. unless this tax cut takes hold in some dramatic way over the next two or three months, you are going to see widespread panic in the republican party. because all they've gotten done in this first two years of trump has been the tax cut and the tax cut doesn't seem to be doing very much. >> all right. thank you very much for being on, donny, thank you as well. joe, as we wrap up this week, how would you put together the final thoughts this morning as it pertains to this white house and this president? >> well, it was the tale of two weeks, mika. the first half of the week, you had the president of france and the president of the united states hugging, touching and squeezing, as journey would say. they had pretty successful summit. even though you had macron go in front of congress and undercut trump time and time again. and i suspect the first half of
this week and how it ended with this speech in congress is what led to donald trump going off the rail als yesterday. >> everybody, try and have a great weekend. that does it for us. >> have a great weekend, everybody. >> we will see you monday. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> thanks so much, mika. thanks, joe. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. this morning, we're talking about a turning point. in an historic move, kim jong-un crosses the border into south korea. the two korean leaders vowing to end the 65 year old war and enter a new era of peace. >> it's just too soon to take out the champagne. we still have to translate from the rhetoric of this morning to a policy and reality. >> hiring the best people, the white house faces a barrage of personnel issues. scott pruitt grilled on the hill as new revelations surfaced about a former white house aide. >> well, unfortunately, president trump