tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 1, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
lies ahead in the trump investigation. it's not about what questions mueller puts to trump or what lawyered up answers trump gives back. it's most likely to be what his former associates will say about him. and that display already happened. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> in the end it is not only what we do, but how we do it. >> the clearest window yet into the russia probe. and signs that mueller already has evidence of collusion. >> russian collusion. give me a break. >> what it means for the future of the investigation. and trump's curious new stands on obstruction of justice. >> i did you a great favor when i fired this guy. >> then. >> they can't even resist leaking their own drafts. >> house republicans draft articles after impeachment for the deputy attorney general. >> i think they should
understand by now the department of justice is not going be extorted. >> plus, two of scott pruitt's top aides quit amid growing ethics investigation. and trump's former doctor says he was raided by trump's long-type bodyguard. >> well, all his medical records, pictures, anything they could find. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. special counsel robert mueller's 49 questions for the president of the united states leaked to "the new york times" reveal the scope and the seriousness of the legal peril the president now faces. that might explain why the president and his staff set to work today to try to mislead the public about mueller's questions. questions which cover both, both the president's efforts to interfere in the justice department's investigation and the numerous established documenteded contacts between his associates and russian operatives. the president tweeted first thing this morning, so disgraceful the questions
concerning the russian witch hunt were leaked to the media. no questions on collusion. oh, see. you have a madeup phony crime, collusion that never existed and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. nice. first of all, the leak appears to have originated with the president's own legal team. more on that in a minute. second the list includes over a dozen questions about collusion. nevertheless, white house officials got in on the act too insisting there's really nothing to see here. >> the overwhelming majority of those questions don't focus on the underlying premise of this special counsel which was to focus on this issue of collusion with the russian government. there's been over a year of investigation. there have been dozens of witnesses, thousands of documents, millions actually of pages of documents provided and zero evidence, if the a shred of evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russian government. >> well, actually, we've already seen a ton of evidence of collusion and mueller's questions indicate it's all very much a focus of his
investigation. there are questions about, for instance, the trump tower meeting and the trump family's relationship to russian oligarchs, kushner's efforts to set up a russian back channel and roger stone's outreach to wikileaks to the campaign, one question in particular suggests mueller may know a lot more than the rest of us. "what knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign including paul manafort to russia about potential assistance to the campaign?" that's kind of collusiony. there's no public information to date on any such outreach by manafort or the campaign. asked today why the president lied about the collusion questions, the white house declined to provide an explanation. >> he's talked about how none of these questions relate to collusion. that's not true. over a dozen of them do. we've talked about accuracy from the president in the past. why is he mischaracterizing these reports? >> once again, i'm not going to get into the back and forth on matters involving the special
counsel. >> it's not a question involving the special counsel. >> it has implications with the special counsel. i refer you to the president's personal attorney. >> here's an important point. there is no reason to believe this list of 49 questions that was acquired by the "new york times" that that was a list the president is comprehensive. mueller's investigators shared them with the president's legal team in early march to discuss the terms of a presidential interview. president's lawyers reportedly wrote the questions down and then than document was provided to the times by a person outside trump's legal team. but that does not mean the special counsel's team revealed all in their hand and if the president's lawyers now led by rudy guiliani were the ones responsible for the leak ultimately, they would have an interest in withholding any questions that might incriminate their client. regardless, the president's attitude toward robert mueller appears to have shifted since his lawyers were given the questions in early march. he flipped from from crowing for
his eagerness to sit down for an interview for the very first time attacking mueller by name on twitter. robert bennett is a former federal prosecutor who represented bill clinton when he was sued by paula jones. bob, as one of the few people any this world who have represented a president facing a high stakes interrogation ultimately, what do you make of these questions? >> well, it's very clear when you read the questions that they're trying to, mr. mueller is trying to get into the head of the president. he's trying to determine what was his intent and what was his knowledge. that's the thrust of all the questions. >> what do you see as the risks for the president as represented in these questions? >> well, i mean, the risk is that it shows that mueller has got a lot of evidence and i think the president would be
very foolish to sit down and be interviewed on these questions because it's the follow through questions that could be so damaging to him. >> what do you mean by that? >> well, he'll answer a question and then they'll say but what about this? what about that? and my guess is there is not a person the president, who can be really prepared for an interrogation by very sophisticated prosecutors. >> i want to circle back to something you said. you read these questions as showing that mueller has a lot of evidence. why is that? >> well, the thrust of the questions assumes certain facts. and they say many times what did you think about the fact -- what did you know, what did you -- the questions assume a lot of factual information.
>> so if president trump were your client and you were directing his legal team, you're telling me you would advise him not to sit for an interview with robert mueller? >> that's correct. >> and then what would happen? i mean, in the case of bill clinton if i'm not mistaken, his testimony in that deposition in the paula jones was ultimately competented. your client bill clinton declined to voluntarily sit and then he was subpoenaed. is that right? >>, that's not right. he was subpoenaed in another proceeding. president of the united states though has a hard time to refuse, but i think in this case, president trump should because many of the underlying charges that mr. mueller is looking at could be difficult to prove. but if he lies to mueller, if he disassembles, one of the easiest charges for a prosecutor to make is false statement.
so i think that is the enormous risk to the president if he sits down. >> if he were to decline what you're advising or what you would advise is you're saying he should invoke the fifth amendment and flat out refuse all together even if compelled? >> well, i think if it came to that, the answer is yes. but there's lots of ways he can say it. you see, i wouldn't be at all surprised if, and i don't know this, if one reason that trump's side leaked these questions is so now the lawyers can write answers to the 49 questions which best be the president. and then say when they want to talk to him, you're just harassing him. you had questions. we answered them fully. why on earth are you forcing him
to sit down. that's the only reason i can there of as to why they would have leaked, and to those people who are fully supportive of the president, there's some logic in that. what do these people want? he answered the question into that's a fascinating theory. i've been having a hard time figuring out why. >> i spent a lot of time today thinking about this. that's the only thing i can come up with. i don't know if i'm giving them too much credit or not. >> well, it's a crafty idea. you're saying if you leak this and it's out there and you say look, we've written them down. here are the answers on a sheet of paper. then that gives you some kind of modicum of cover to be like you don't have a right to ask anything else. >> that's right. it would be the lawyer's answers to the questions. >> of course, yes. >> not the president's. >> well, i'm sure everyone who gives testimony under oath would go love to be able to have their lawyers write up some answers for them. robert bennett, great to have you with us. >> thank you. it's my pleasure. >> for more on and what the
questions tell us about the investigation, i'm joined bid david lean art whose latest piece is tiltsed "the truth is coming for trump," and former u.s. attorney harry litman. harry, do you agree with robert bennett about the evidence that is manifested in the nature of these questions. >> more or less. that is, i don't think it's on the surface of the questions, chris, what mrs. bennett said was you know, it assumed certain facts. i don't think that's right. you can just see from the course of the investigation and basically the important point about these questions in each and every instance is in almost each and every instance is that mueller almost certainly already knows the facts of the matter. they seem benign and open-ended. but you should ask with every question, what does mueller already know. he knows what flynn told kislyak. he knows what's mcgahn told
trump. all of these go on and he's got the goods already and that's what explains those questions. not on the surface, but you can just infer that from what's happened in the investigation to date. >> david, what do you mean by truth is coming for the president? >> donald trump has spent his career lying. he did it as a businessman. we just saw "the washington post" published this piece last week where we had more evidence of him lying about personal wealth to get on the forbes list. his political rise was built on the lie where barack obama was bosch. he's lied repeatedly as president. halle jackson asked sarah huckabee sanders, he did it today. heize again and again and again. that's worked out well for him. that's depress forth rest of us but worked out well for him. there are sometimes when lying gets difficult. when you're dealing with a professional team of investigators from the department of justice, a lot of smart hard working people who take their mission and jobs very seriously, it becomes much
harder because they have the power that comes was being investigators and they can go through other evidence and put things together and they can say no, you may say this is the truth but it's not. we have plenty of evidence that it's not. and that's what i meant. i don't know how this is going to end. but we finally at long last have of some accountability for president trump's lies. i think, about to happen. >> harry, i want to give you breaking news from the "washington post." they just published a story. i'm just reading there now. but it appears to be a kind of a reporting on inside the meeting in march with the special counsel. described as a tense meeting. in which had he told the special counsel that they didn't have to answer the questions, they had no obligation to talk. special counsel robert mueller responded he had another option if trump declined he could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury according to four people familiar with the encounter. john dowd responds this isn't a game. you're screwing with the work of the president of the united
states. what do you think? this isn't a game. it's about the rule of law. and trump, like anyone else like richard nixon, is subject to it. that means having to answer to a subpoena. at the end of the day, mueller has strategic considerations but he has the legal draw on trump as it were. he may have to take it to the supreme court. trump may try certain arguments. but mueller is right. it also makes the point, chris, people are sort of taking these questions as the current state of play. this was a month ago. what they really is are is the end of the road. they're the point when the negotiations went off course and trump and company said we are not going to try to give terms of an interview anymore. so it's really i think with this west report and what's happened to date reading between the
lines. we're looking at a legal battle. it's much more likely than it seemed three weeks ago that mueller will serve a subpoena. trump will try to quash it and we're off to the races in the federal courtses. >> what does that look like to you, david? >> i mean it looks on the one hand like a big mess but this is a mess we should want. as harry said, this is about the rule of law. we are supposed to be a nation of laws, supposed to be a place where power does not allow you to subvert and twist the justice system. it's clear donald trump has this view it should let him do so. that's what he means when he says he wants sessions to be loyal and when he said i fired comey because he was looking into me and i didn't like it. that on a very deep level is un-american. this is a real clash but a clash we should welcome because the alternative to a clash is that a president essentially snuffing out the rule of law because he has power and because he doesn't like the idea of being held accountable. >> i want to bring in, we have carol leonnig who has a by line
on that piece in the west who broke that story i was just reading. carol, what did you learn about what sounds like quite an intense meeting between the president's lawyers and mueller? >> yes, this was an interesting meeting that seems to keep producing interesting news. it was march 5th. the president's then lead lawyer and colawyer sat down with mueller in his office to basically talk about whether or not they were going to do the interview. a lot of things happened. some of which we've already reported. this is the meeting where mueller tells trump's lawyers that trump is not a criminal target of his investigation at that point but just a subject. now we're learning that in that meeting, mueller raised the possibility not in a threatening way but kind of a veiled threat of i can subpoena your guy if you don't want to voluntarily bring him in. it caused not harsh words but some tense conversations about how the mueller investigation from trump's point of view was
ruining his presidency and casting a shadow over everything he did. >> so it's this -- is this as far as your reporting indicates the last time that there was this kind of meeting between the president's lawyers and mueller himself? >> so no, we did report about another meeting after john dowd then the lead attorney resigned in late march. there was one more when rudy giuliani came on the scene, yeah, just this month. i'm sorry, fib me in late april. i want to say it's last week and it feels like a month ago. it was just last week. and in that session, rudy giuliani is saying hey, like to get to know you again, bob. and want to talk about the evidence you're sifting through and get a feeling about this investigation from you. >> and you also reporteded that it was sekulow, one of the president's attorneys and a person who is known more as part of the washington conservative establishment, hosts a radio
show than a top flight litigator or criminal defense attorney. he was the one that wrote down this list of questions, top picks that we're now seeing. is that correct? >> yes, i think there's been a lot of confusion about these questions. >> agreed. >> they were not provided by mueller's office to trump's lawyers. what happened was, the march 5th meeting sets in motion a lot of anxiety, one trump's lawyers know that maybe mueller is game to subpoena the president. which would be a big deal. akin to the time that ken starr subpoenaed bill clinton. they also asked for more information about the kinds of questions if they're going to consider even recommending this to their client that he sit down with these investigators. and when they ask for more information, they get a few more nuggets of topics we'd like to cover. okay, we said we wanted to ask you about kislyak. we want to ask you about conversations you had with michael flynn about kislyak and also about other conversations
you had with other trump aides about kislyak. so that produced the trump lawyers then in this case jay sekulow then began writing down questions that he extrapolated from the comments that mueller's deputy made to him in a march 12th conversation. >> right. so this is all being channeled, this is a sort of meeting and a conversation that's then channeled through one of trump's attorneys and is now out in the public. that's how we sort of know what we currently know? >> correct. you know, a lot of people are breathing heavily, you know, this is the list, the end all, be all list that mueller is going to ask trump. i highly doubt that mueller would limit himself to these questions. as they were written by trump's lawyer. >> based on your reporting, i'll come back to you guys in a second, david and harry. one more question here. based on your reporting, how likely do you there it is that
they essentially decline? >> i think it's highly likely they decline at this point. that could change. remember, this has changed three times, chris. in january, the president was eager to do it. in february, he was leaning against it. in march, he told his lawyer he wanted to do it, and in april whether he michael cohen's office was raided, he said there's no way i'm doing it. so it could change again. but at the moment, i think there is some reservation in the team about putting the president in front of bob mueller and a team of seasoned investigators. >> well, carol, before you came on the line and you were busy breaking yet another big story, we had rob bennett who represented bill clinton who knows a thing or two about this. there's no way i would tell my client to go into that meeting if you were the president of the united states. carol, thank you thank you for coming on. great bit of reporting. > thanks, chris. take care. >> so i also still have with me
david lean hard from the "new york times" his latest piece is called "the truth is coming for frump," and harry litman. david, had you something you want to say. >> i was going to say, carol made the point mueller is not going to limit himself to this list of questions. mueller is not just a lawyer. he's a political animal. he's held political appointments been in washington a long time and understands how the game works. he understands he's at risk of getting fired by the president of the united states. we should assume that i'm not saying i have knowledge of this, but there is every reason to believe that mueller would want to hold back the most damaging information that he has found until very late in this process. and so i would assume that if he had found very damaging stuff, he wouldn't necessarily be previewing it at a meeting weeks or months before he might ever sit down with the president. so we should view these questions as not only months old but probably deliberately curated by mueller and his team. >> right. i want to harry reid to you what
clint watts, an msnbc contributor, former fbi be agent said these are very dangerous questions for the president because he doesn't note everything that mueller knows. and ryan goodman and alex writing making the same point you made, mueller's questions show it is likely mueller has already identified crimes involving collusion and asking only about trump's personal knowledge and personal involvement. do you think the legal team has been undertaking a legal team under giuliani to lay the groundwork to say the president is not going to do it. >> yes, that's my best take on the leak. that they are trying to say this is too broad. he's out of control. possibly some halfway separate gem of the sort that bill bennett identified we'll do written answers to the questions knowing, where the rubber hits the road is bob mueller will never accept answers not given under oath by the president,
period, full stop. and that's the number one thing that they want to avoid. so i think the leak is designed to begin to portray an out-of-control prosecutor. of course, these are all very kind of obvious straightforward questions to anyone who has been following the probe and i don't think they play very well as overreaching. >> and it seems, david, we are hurtaling now, we're hurtling toward some confrontation as you said. there's going to be a fight. if the president says no, mueller then sends a subpoena. it goes to a court. this is where things get very serious. >> we are. it's important to remember, this is an inherently political process. there's some debate about this. the legal expert who's i find persuasive don't think the sitting president of the united states can be charged with a crime. there's some debate. i would be stunned if mueller decided to do that in this case. >> i agree with that. >> this is a political process. it's a process in what matters is for trump is how mueller's report and findings affect the
american people's attitude toward preds and affect congress's attitude toward the president. so it is hurtling toward a conflict. it's not just a legal conflict. it is as much a political conflict as a legal conflict. >> david lean hard and harry, thank you both for being here. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein gave an interview today where he seemed remarkably untroubled bid a report that trump allied house conservatives have drafted articles of impeachment against him. >> any reaction to the news that certain members of the house freedom caucus have talked about drafting up articles of impeachment despite your best efforts efforts to comply with their document requests? >> they can't even resist leaking their own drafts. i saw that. >> would you care to elaborate on that. >> i saw that draft. i don't know who wrote it. i don't have anything to say about documents liking that that nobody has the courage to put
their name on and that they leak in that way. >> impeachment articles are drafted by the freedom caucus. that group's chair republican mark meadows told "the washington post" the articles would be a last resort if the department of justice fails to respond to his request for more information. rosenstein today responded. >> there have been people who have been making threats, privately and publicly against me. for quite some time. and i think they should understand by now that the department of justice is not going dob executored. we're going to do what's required by the rule of law and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job. >> joining me mazie hirono of hawaii, a member of the senate judiciary committee fighting to protect the special counsel's investigation. senator, your response to that remark racquetball statement from rod rosenstein, the department of justice will not be extorted? >> i completely agree with him. and contrary to the president's
belief that everybody works for him including the justice department, rod rosenstein is a professional. he's doing his job. and this is why the senate judiciary committee passed a bipartisan bill that would ensure that special counsel, not just mueller but going forward that they would protect it from political pressures, the kind of political pressure that the house republicans freedom caucus, don't make me laugh. we should be free from russian interference in our elections. the freedom caucus is so prepared to support the president in any way, shape, or form that they'll just leak their own nonsigned articles of impeachment which rosenstein said you know what? if you're going to do something like that, just have the courage to put your names to it. >> what do you think them leaking their draft of possible impeachment proceedings against rosenstein is about? what do you make of that? >> well, i think it's a big telegraph to the president we're
on your side, mr. president. we'll do whatever we can do to put the skids on this impeachment. so that is not where our country should be. >> that would be a nonstarter in the senate. wouldn't it? >> well, considering they're going to need i think two-thirds vote, that's about 67 votes, i don't think that even if the house gathered up the courage to do something that can't be substantiated i don't think it will pass the senate. these are unusual times. who knows. so what he they all points out to is the importance of the mueller investigation. it needs to proceed. and i'm very disappointed more than disappointed that mitch mcconnell has unilaterally taken the position that he's not even going to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in spite of the fact that the chair of the committee, the judiciary committee and the senate and bipartisan vote wants this vote. >> you were on the committee that before which rod rosenstein
testified when he was confirmed to the position. has your confidence -- >> yes. >> -- or view of him changed over time? has it improved? has it declined. >> i'm glad that he's staying the course and when he came up for confirmation, i asked him if the president asks you to do anything immoral, unethical or illegal, would you be prepared to resign. and he said yes. so i'm holding him to it. so far, he's behaved in the professional way that i expect from the person who is overseeing this most important investigation. >> mace i hirono, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. ahead, remember when donald trump's doctor wrote in a letter that trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected? now the doctor says trump dictated that statement himself and only after we found out his office was raided by trump's security guard. still ahead, the president's strategy for the mueller probe and why it may actually be working.
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all right. we've got breaking news from the west about a meeting between trump's attorneys back when john dowd was on the team in march with robert mueller himself in which the attorneys floated the idea the president wouldn't be talking to them and robert mueller floated back the notion of subpoenaing the president of the united states. it was apparently a tense meeting and it was in that meet whg he this he talked about the areas and subjects and questions they would like to talk to the president about notes that were then written by jay sekulow, the president's legal team. it is that document leaked came to "the new york times" yesterday. we've been parsing all day. here to help me understand what trump is really saying and what the white house is trying to do from a spin perspective which has been deceptively effective, "new york times" op-ed columnist michelle goldberg and attorney lisa green. so you've got so many ways -- one part of the white house's approach which is for the trump
base which is like let's put that to the side. as the a crazy deep state conspiracy involving a mid level fbi agents you never heard of unless you watch lanity every night. i don't think that's working except on that crew of people. >> there is a working on the refs that is working the rest of us, bludgeoning people into accepting certain terms of the debate. just the fact we treat collusion as something that is a big question mark. there is so much evidence in the public domain of collusion. we don't know whether any of it rises to a criminal level but there is no question that the trump administration welcomed russia's help in sabotaging hillary clinton's campaign. there's none. so the fact that we even talk about collusion as an outstanding issue, the fact we don't consider it an admission of guilt or at least an add pligs of something suspicious that trump is so afraid of this process that i mean, it is his responsibility as president to participate in you know, kind of
the lawful administration of justice and we just -- >> to take care that the laws are faithfully executed as the constitution of the united states says. >> speak of ways in which the president can behave in a normative way we would be used to, in typical situations the whole notion that the president might not voluntarily cooperate with an investigation about our electoral process seems like political suicide. but those days are over. and as you say, the president is clearly going to his base and saying things like that, 49 questions is so many. >> you're right. >> so many topics. and you know, we're no longer in normal times where that is considered an outlier. >> i think there are three reasons that there strategy is effective at least for right now. that could change down the road as we learn more from mueller. the investigation is incredibly complicated and engulfs.many players, a lot of different trump associates a lot of different russians. it's hard to keep their names straight. it's a complex investigation. trump has pretty powerful
players on his team, members of congress, the house just shut down their investigation without pursuing important lines of questioning. >> phone records. >> or the people who could sit at the crux of collusion. he has major players in. the media hammering away every night, hannity and tabloids. he's got a lot of people on his team, breitbart. i also think there is something to this you know, confusion about how the investigation came to be in the first place. right now the talking point is some guy writes a memo and there's another memo. they're using memos to spark the special counsel. when you think about it, stop and think why these memos exist because of the president's behavior. it confuses people. >> but it confuses peel and there's i think a lot of people who should know better and have a responsibility to do better who have been kind of participating in that confusion. and not calling it out when there's blatant lines an misrepresentations. >> one thing they've done that i
think has been weirdly effective is they just repeat the phrase no collusion every chance they get. anytime anyone in that white house, the president, now, as you said, they refer to it like obviously it's been established. >> dodgy dossier. how many times have we heard that. >> listen to a brief montage. take a listen. >> russian collusion, give me a break. just so understand, just so understand, there's been no collusion. there's been no crime. >> there has been no collusion. >> there was no collusion at all. no collusion. >> and to michelle's point, it's like even that isn't -- it's not clear that's the case. >> it's clear that is not the case. i was watching a "post" story how trump bullied his way onto the forbes richest list and how he tricked the guy into making him think he was a billionaire and the guy thought he was calling him out by saying he was only worth a couple hundred million dollars. in fact he was worth $5 million. that's what he does. he sort of like takes be this
stance that's so far out there, moves the political center of gravity so far towards him that even the response, well, there might be collusion is itself a distortion. >> collusion is not even a crime. when he says this, you have to parse. >> collusion should be a presidency ending scandal. it should be in a normal decent country. >> a number of crimes that we refer toe. >> that's the other thing. they say collusion, no the a crime. the president today was even like no collusion also collusion is not a crime. which is like arguing the alternative. it is true that if you for instance engage in a federal conspiracy to violate campaign finance law or computer abuse act, that's also a federal crime. >> trump takes more words. mule area surely he didn't want an outline for his questions leaked laid out a pretty simple narrative. i dare say all of those top picks looked familiar if you have a fassing familiarity with
the recent news not that hard to see the themes. not that hard. >> he's staying within his mandate which is important at this point. the strategy of trump trying to discredit contract investigation he keeps saying financial crimes, porn star, he's going crazy. these questions show he's absolutely not. >> that's perfect example of part of the strategy. the other part is you have a narrow bailiwick. it's implicit in all the people around the president. of course, he's committed other crimes. they're like oh, my goodness, don't look in that room. that room is off limits. if you open the door to that room, we're going to get really mad. what the heck's behind that door. but they have been effective in setting this idea of red lines and boundaries. >> you can go down a rabbit hole and decide the news of the raid on his doctor's offices is yet another diversion designed to make us lots our minds and not stay focussed. rest assured mueller's team highly focused and gave the
questions, i'm sure they're disgusted they were made public and now we read of the negotiations. >> threw had to anticipate it. >> they tie some of the things said by trump to not be related to collusion into collusion. for example, the real estate deal, the trump tower moscow deal or paul manafort's dealings with you know, for a long type president trump said paul manafort did his own weird stuff. now this is hinting at the fact that paul manafort asked meese people for help. bringing it into the campaign. >> those arguments are so ridiculous that it is -- it is a shame on our country that those arguments are even taken seriously, the arguments that paul manafort's entanglements with putin allied oligarchs are oth gone flal to the rest of the investigation or my attempt to build a trump tower in moscow which a criminal linked to the russian mafia said would result in my election in an e-mail to my lawyer michael cohen raided by the fbi, but this is some
kind of -- this is some kind of bizarre tangent that is not jermaine to the main issue itself shows how much they have successfully been able to kind of mess with us and mess with our understanding of what's right in front of our face. >> in the end, what's going to matter more, our own sense of a general public confusion about what's really important or the results of the mueller investigation which i'm pretty confident are going to be directed and by the way, the president may decide not to cooperate. and mueller may decide to subpoena him but mueller may also decide not to and conclude his investigation with other evidence. >> but that's this idea that like the facts will out. the truth will out. i believe that, right? the other thing is like it is a political process. they could find literally a text from the president saying to putin today is the day to release the hacked e-mails. i'm serious. maybe you don't get two-tlirds votes. if they're successful. >> they would say that's not a crime. >> if they're successful in
spinning all this we want to say the facts are out, even if there's indictable offenses, fundamentally they understand this. they understand it's a political game. >> i think that's why we're not seeing anything beyond what's been reported in the news in the questions of from mueller. a lot of people were disappointed they weren't looking at some of trump's business deals or the potential financial leverage russia could have on him. that's been hashed out in the news and a lot of legal expers say mueller is probably not trying to freak president trump. >> i think it's true that you we don't know that it's a complete list. there is jay sekulow's notes. maybe he put down another 20 questions they were like don't leak that. we very no idea. the whole thing's coming through their side and obviously it came through trump channels. the final thing i'll say is the way they've made obstruction of justice like some sort of subsidiary. that's like jaywalking. there's collusion, that's a serious thing and there's no
collusion. if you try to get me on obstruction, it would be hard to obstruct justice for a crime that will never happened. jeff smith who is a former state senator from missouri, friend of mine, he did multiple years in federal prison because he lied to the fbi investigation in which there was no underlying crime. he says it's possible to commit felony obstruction of justice without the underlying act being a felony. #trust me. they have been somewhat successful in sort of cordoning of off obstruction as a subsidiary issue. >> some of them are literal lili the same people who pushed for impeachment of bill clinton for lying to -- lying about something that was very clearly not an underlying crime. >> one other point if we have time, i was talking to a legal expert who said if you look what comey did with hillary clinton, they exhausted every single bit of evidence and saved her for the end. in her case, that was a good
thing. they didn't find anything criminal but had to exhaust everything. they had to talk to her. you could make the same case about president trump. he hasn't been interviewed yet. they might be wanting to exhaust all their leads. that would be a good thing except trump has bashed the fact that hillary clinton was interviewed after the investigation was concluded. >> also she did not invoke the fifth amendment and complied. ultimately, she faced the fire. question is, if the president doesn't do that, what does that mean? >> this has been going on for months almost like a reality show, will he or won't he. the prosecutors have day jobs. and they probably have a schedule. and a lot of trump supporters have advocated for a quickened to this investigation. query whether mueller goes forward without him. >> michelle, shelby and lisa, thanks for joining employee. president trump's doctor says that three men including the president's bodyguard who at the time was on the public payroll raided his office and robbed him and took everything
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scott pruitt who somehow still has his job is not, as far as we can tell, a big one for personal responsibility. appearing before congress last week, he blame the his staff, his political enemies, pretty much everyone but himself for conduct in office that has now led to and i'm not making this up, 11 federal investigations. now, just today, west reporting that a lobbyist helped arrange pruitt's controversial $100,000 trip to morocco? with the lobbyist later winning
a $40,000 a month retro active contract with the moroccan government. on capitol hill last week, pruitt insists he had no knowledge of epa officials being sidelined for questioning his habit for lavish public spending. according to his own former deputy chief of staff, that was a flatout lie. >> he said he was not aware of any employees being pushed out for raising red flags. was he just straightout lying. > boldfaced lying. > fold faced lying to congress. that guy you saw there, boldfaced lying kevin shim less ski is a trump loyalist aches former trump campaign staffer who appeared on stage with the president appointed to the epa by trump. and he says he was pushed out for questioning pruitt's spending. >> he described how a manager told him bluntly. >> hey, administrator pruitt either wants me to fire you or put you in an office he doesn't have to see you again. >> at one point he says he was personally threatened by
pruitt's head of security, pasquale pirota on the left who played a central role in enabling pruitt's lavish spending habits including his massive security detail. is he set to be interviewed wednesday. and today he resigned from the epa. pretty interesting timing. perata wasn't the only one. also stepping down was albert kelly, a former banker now barred from working in the finance industry because of a banking violation who you may recall from such scandals as his role in financing the fancy home in oklahoma where pruitt often stayed. that behavior is endemic in the trump administration and it comes from the top. after the break, what happened to trump's long-time doctor after he revealed the president used pro peach peachia. >> i feel raped. that's how i feel.
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whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. how strange is it for you to sit here and compare the president to a mob boss? >> very strange. i don't do it lightly. i don't suggest that the president is out there breaking legs and shaking down shop keepers. that culture constantly comes back to me when i think about the trump administration. >> now thanks to trump's long time doctor, harold bornstein, remember him? there he is. he told nbc news that back in february 2017, a few days after he told a newspaper that trump used propecia for hair growth, by the way not a cool thing for
your doctor to do, public employee keith schiller showed up at his office with another man and a trump lawyer. dr. bornstein says the men raided his office, demanded trump's medical records and told him to take down a photo of bornstein and trump that hung on the office wall. >> what exactly were they looking for? >> all his medical records, his pictures, anything they could find. they must have been here for 25 to 30 minutes. it created a lot of chaos. >> i'm joined by conservative "washington post" columnist jennifer rubin, brenda blair, and jess macintosh. jennifer, what is your reaction to the story? >> it gets weirder and weirder. you thought stormy daniels was the weirdest subsidiary character, but now bornstein's back. season two, they brought him back for another episode.
this is just bizarre. one more bizarre aspect to this is when sarah huckabee sanders was asked about it, she said, standard operating procedure. that is nonsense. first of all, what they did was arguably illegal, coming into anybody's office and taking documents, arguably violated hipaa, the federal privacy law concerning medical documents. he did not have a signed authorization from the president. and third of all, who behaves this way? this is really what james comey was talking about, this kind of thuggery. and for what purpose? for what end? if people are under the mistaken impression that those documents belong to trump, no, they don't. they belong to the doctor. trump is allowed to get a copy of them if he goes through the proper paperwork. but those were property of the doctor. he was right, he had his property taken from him. >> this is indicative of how trump runs his business. he promised he was going to run this country the way he ran his
business. we have seen going back to 1992, footage of trump in interviews admitting to behavior like this, saying that he likes to destroy people who aren't sufficiently loyal. obviously the propecia revelation is going to cause him some consternation. so he sends his goons over because trump has goons, because we have a president who is the kind of man who has goons in his business. and we are seeing him do the exact same thing to the country. and that's why, as much as i love dr. bornstein, he's my favorite character in all of this, i don't want to get caught up in how funny it is, because there's nothing funny about him applying these absolutely mafia-like tactics to our country. >> he sent a white house employee to go through -- to rob someone, as far as we can tell. that's what is being claimed. >> made me think about those tax returns. you can't see the tax returns. he doesn't want people to see
his stuff. he doesn't want them to see the medical records, he doesn't want them to see the tax returns. what's in those medical records? and propecia is associated, you know, is used for hair loss, he doesn't want to talk about that. it's also associated -- it has a lot of bad side effects including sexual dysfunction. i think he really doesn't want to talk about that. >> can i just say, i don't think -- i want to stand up for the principle that doctors should not give interviews about the medications they prescribe for their patients in any circumstance whatsoever. >> what doctors shouldn't do is allow their patients to tran describe f scribe for them, dictate their notes. we now know when dr. bornstein sent that ridiculous letter that said trump was going to be the most healthiest president in the presidency, that trump dictated it word for word. >> we all had a big laugh at
that, he now says that came directly from trump. brenda, you've written two books about the trumps, one about the family, one about the candidate. this mode of operating would never occur to me in my life, i need my medical records from my doctor so i'm going to send over my guys to his office to grab them. is this the way he operates? >> it's the way he's operated for his business career, the tv career, running for the president, and being the president. and he first started out, you know, at the very, very beginning, when his first -- the first lawyer that he had representing him was, as i know everyone there knows, roy cohn. the man who introduced him to roy cohn was a guy named eugene morris, a lawyer who had done some work for fred trump, donald's father, and was, of all things, roy cohn's first cousin. he introduced donald to roy cohn and he said donald was really
attracted, and he thinks the reason donald was attracted because roy it actually been indicted. roy was a tough guy and he had the proof of being tough. donald went for it and he's gone for that ever since. >> i thought today, when i saw the story about the doctor's office, i go to about the claim stormy daniels made, that in 2011, that a man just came up and sort of threatened her child in a parking lot in las vegas, and she understood it as connected to the fact that she was telling her story to a tabloid, and that in the absence of other context, that would seem an outlandish and preposterous story. >> right. >> what's your thinking when you see this today? >> that story is not the only story of its type. the president of media matters has a similar story, where he was approached by -- he was leading a campaign to -- >> a boycott. >> a boycott of trump's ties at macy's when he was approached by
a man who he now recognizes as this man who trump sent to the doctor's office, to lay off or something bad was going to happen to him. there is a pattern of donald trump sending this particular man or others to people who he deems insufficiently loyal, which means doesn't help him get what he wants, doesn't even have to cross him in any way. so we're dealing with a very thin skinned narcissist on a hair trigger who has goons. >> jennifer? >> remember, he has more lawsuits than any other president. >> yes. >> there are a few things here. these characters keep coming back. remember, it seems like a year ago but we're talking about ronny jackson, who said he didn't have access to trump's medical records. hmm. >> did he say that? >> that's kind of odd. yes, he did. he said he didn't have access to the prior medical records, it was based on his observations. that's a peculiar statement, isn't it? >> yes.
>> so number one, someone should go back and parse that out again. number two, remember, keith schiller is a direct witness to a very key part of the dossier. he supposedly was standing outside that hotel room in moscow, said he didn't see anybody going in, but then he went off to bed and who knows what happened after that. so the credibility of these people, the relationship that donald trump has with this guy, again, just as comey said, sort of like a cappo, that he's working for the boss. how credible are these people going to be when they're put under oath? >> and are these the group of people that are covering something up, the kinds of people that send three people to a doctor's office to get medical records? >> we've seen this tactic with the president before, he literally threatens dean heller in nevada when he thought he was going to vote the wrong way, he sits him down in front of cameras and says, this one still
wants to be senator, nice senate seat, shame if something happened to it. so we know he does this. there's nothing to suggest he didn't doing it right now about mueller's russia investigation. >> that's a great piece by frank rich in "new york magazine" about roy cohn. thanks for being with us tonight. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thanks, my friend. we had a whole show planned, guests booked, interviews researched. then news broke before showtime, yes. are you tired of winning yet? ahem. this happens a lot. it's not happened twice in two nights, which might be the kind of record i'm not interested in breaking. last night