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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 3, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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any payments from the president and he's denied all of these allegations. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. >> why did michael cohen make it if there's no truth to the allegations? >> you'll have to ask michael -- michael is an attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> michael would represent me and would represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me. >> sorry i'm giving you a fact that you don't know. it not campaign money. no -- campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through a law firm? >> funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i -- he did? >> yeah. >> single softball interview, i think it was hannity, right? one of his first appearances as the president's new attorney,
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old friend rudy giuliani completely donald trump's previous story about porn star stormy daniels. which he contradicted himself, actually as well before that. not to stop there, he also undercut the white house position on jim comey, and michael cohen. >> go get in there, kid! stay in, stay in! rudy! rudy! rudy! ♪ >> welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, may 3rd, willie's birthday. >> hey! >> happy birthday. >> we get it over it. rudy gave awe gift for your birthday. >> actually multiple gifts. you open the box and you go
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wait, there's one more in the bottom. >> but wait, there's more, joe's favorite phrase. we have mike barnicle and msnbc political contributor rick tyler. chair of the department of african-american studies as princeton university. eddie glaude junior and former chief of staff at the c.i.a. and nbc news capitol hill correspondent oh yeah -- host of "kasie d.c." on msnbc, kasie hunt. we're never going to stop doing that, okay? and co-founder and ceo of axios, jim vandehei. i think we'll start right there, we begin with the stunning revelation from president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani. last night, telling fox news, that trump reimbursed his fixer, michael cohen, for that $130,000 hush money payment to porn star
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stormy daniels. despite president trump's assertion last month that he was unaware of it. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman $130,000? i mean which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through the law firm? >> funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh. i didn't -- he did? >> yeah. >> there's no campaign finance law? >> zero. just like, sean -- sean -- everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. i wasn't. i knew how much money donald trump put into that campaign. i said $130,000? you can do a couple of checks for $130,000. >> you know the president didn't know about this?
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i believe that's what michael said. >> he didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as i know. he did know about the general arrangement that michael would take care of things like this like i take care of things like this for my clients. i don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. these are busy people. >> those are some kind of clients you got there, mr. mayor. now let me go to what rudy giuliani said. it's remarkable that he kept saying -- there's no campaign money involved here. well, the problem is, that if it's not campaign money involved here, if it's just michael cohen writing a $130,000 check -- not related to the campaign, that's what we've all been talking about. and i'm not sure where rudy giuliani has been over the past several months.
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but those are called in-kind contributions. contributions that aren't writ ton donald trump for president. but those are contributions to benefit the president, that don't go into the campaign. that the s.e.c. and the federal government will look at and say, that was an in-kind contribution, could you not give him that dinner for 5,000 of his closest friends and not report that. because anything that benefits the campaign becomes a campaign contribution. whether it's quote campaign money or not. mika, i -- i don't know what's more disturbing, rudy giuliani not knowing that or saying it to sean hannity, who acted like they had both just seen the arc of the covenant at the end of "raiders of the lost ark."
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thee about three months behind the story. >> the "washington post's" bob costa spoke to rudy giuliani after his interview. costa tweeted, giuliani tells me he just spoke with potus tonight by phone. president very pleased. giuliani says they discussed his revelation of the reimbursements long in advance. does not expect to be fired. insists his remarks on fox news were approved by trump. according to the "post." giuliani -- >> it's not good. >> it's not. >> that's just not good. >> do you think -- according to the "post" giuliani quote does not know when the president learned of the nature of the payment cohen had made to daniels. to keep her quiet about an affair with president trump. let's remember. giuliani said the president didn't learn many of the details about the settlement. until the past two weeks, in the wake of an fbi raid on cohen's
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office and residence, stormy daniels' lawyer, michael avenatti, said he's quote rendered speechless by giuliani's revelation. he will join us on top of the next hour. so he'll be on in an hour. and hopefully he'll get his speech back. joe? >> yeah. willie geist, there's the moment in the interview where he says, let me tell you something that i think you don't know. was rudy giuliani just going on there, shooting from the hip? what he said actually could make the president's situation even worse. >> yeah, there's to question about it. the campaign finance piece is what rudy giuliani thought he was going on the show to take care of. to say it wasn't michael cohen, it was in fact the president. by the way, let's go back to the beginning of this. the president of the united
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states has denied he had an affair with stormy daniels. that raises the question, why did you pay her $130,000 to keep her quiet a few weeks before the election. but jeremy bash, you've been looking a the the interview last night and say you think if they claired the decks about campaign finance, they might be wrong on that count. but they also might have opened themselves up to something else here. what did you see? >> when giuliani told bob costa and "the new york times" as well, the payments extended far beyond the $130,000 reimbursement for stormy daniels. there was a $35,000 a month payment paid by president trump to michael cohen totaling about $475,000. what was all that other money for? are there other shoes to drop? other people that michael cohen had to pay off to keep quiet? i think that's the first big question. second is that the president when he became president had to disclose financial disclosure forms, did he disclose the loan from michael cohen for $135,000? if he didn't, he and he failed
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to do that knowingly, that's a felony. a violation. other people have been, charged for failing to disclose adequately loans made to them by others, we have to look carefully about that there's already an existing lawsuit on that finally my big question, is there bank or wire fraud implicated here? because if the president and michael cohen conspired in advance to move money to hide this from regulators or to deceive the bank from the true nature that michael cohen was taking to front this cash, that's something to look at and the way that mueller laid this out in a manafort indictment to know that his prosecutors, his investigators are very good at following the money. >> so jim vandehei, i don't know what kind of reporting you might have on this, is the president and now rudy giuliani just riffing along here? or is this -- what in god's name could be their strategy? >> well one, most people in the white house were caught off-guard.
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two, there's no doubt rudy giuliani and the president over the course of the last week at least, have discussed doing this at some point. putting it out there and saying there can't be a campaign finance violation because the money was repaid. if you, if you look at what rudy giuliani said on hannity and then what he said to other reporters, he's clearly trying to keep a lot of fog there. in terms of what did the president actually know that money was going to be used for. and and did he -- he's not actually saying yes, i had an affair with this woman and i knew that that money was paid as hush money. and i reimbursed it. they're being very careful on that front. but it's not an accident that this got out. clearly think it's part of a legal strategy. i think most people who are, who are students of this case don't really get what the legal strategy is. at this point. and i think the danger is is that it was something that was pretty much improvised between the president and rudy giuliani themselves without input from the small number of other people
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on the legal team. >> msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melberg tweeted the feds now have everything from michael cohen's office, do they have something that's forcing trump's lawyers to admit he's behind the stormy daniels' payment, after all his public denials? joe? >> there's no coordination on anything thas said. they're constantly changing their story. this is the sort of thing ain that donald trump may be able to get, get away with when he's sending out tweets and he talks about fake news. but as you've seen, when you go into court proceedings, they have timelines, and they have statements, and they write down the statements, this is what he said on january the 5th. this is what he said on you know, february 2nd. this is what he said on march -- i mean you go through the timeline of this, this is going to be devastating for whomever the defendant is when they
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finally get in court. whether it's donald trump, whether it's michael cohen. they can't keep their stories straight and for mow, it's just baffling. a little league baseball team would be able to get their story more straight than the president of the united states. and these con, this confederacy of dunces. >> joe, jeremy alluded to the preds's legal strategy. wondering what it is. emmet flight is not there to preside over the legal strategy, he is a legitimate professional. he probably will bring some more coordination to that legal strategy. but right now, i'm told yesterday, last night, that the legal strategy of the president and rudy giuliani are employing, the legal strategy is fear. they are desperately afraid that michael cohen is cooperating with the special prosecutor. and they are also convinced that the special prosecutor might have donald trump's tax returns. which would be a lethal weapon in terms of matching the
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president's rhetoric, against actual fact-based stuff. what did he spend the money on, what was the $400,000 plus spent on. did he deduct it, things like that. they are in a world of hurt and they're waiting for emmet flood to come through the door to stop the flood. >> because it's willie's birthday, jonathan turley and thousands of celebrities across the globe are calling us in. why don't we go to our willie geist birthday line and talk to jonathan turley right now. gentlemen, jonathan, you went to middle school with little willie geist, right? >> it's true. i want to apologize to willie, i was supposed to jump out of a cake, but -- >> wow, that's a visual. professor turley. >> well i'll tell you next time, jonathan, we will supply a larger cake for to you jump out of. but since we don't have the cake, why don't we just go with the next best thing -- and that is the rich, delicious rudy
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giuliani interview last night. what was your take-away? >> well, sort of the welcome to the jungle moment for flood. i mean, he hasn't been a lawyer on the team for 24 hours, and we have this incredibly painful moment. it really did seem to me like giuliani was on live television, in real-time fishing for a rationale. which is something that you don't really see in a major case. the weird thing about this, and there was a great deal that was weird about this, is it didn't help, what giuliani was suggesting, i think, is that, that cohen was accepting money as a lawyer that was really a payment for stormy daniels. that wouldn't be a good thing. you don't accept legal fees,
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call them legal fees when they're really a subterfuge for paying off a porn star. it doesn't get you, it doesn't get you out of the campaign finance problem. and it actually makes things a lot worse for cohen. because once again, lawyers don't do this. and so, i'm not even sure what the intelligent design was supposed to be behind the comments. but i do think that what we may be seeing, is something we've been waiting for, the president is going to have to tack back from many of his public statements, he's now going into a formal litigation posture. and many of these past denials cannot stand in depositions or grand juries or whatever forum he finds himself in. this may be the painful process of tacking the ship. to turn it you know 180 degrees.
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away from past statements. and they're going to have to do more of this. and it could be even more painful to watch. >> wow. >> you know, jonathan speaking of painful, how painful was it to watch rudy giuliani, a man that used to be an extraordinary lawyer, of course an extraordinary u.s. attorney, but to watch rudy giuliani bumbling around last night on tv and saying hey, i've got a secret for you. acting like there's this big revelation and then saying -- it wasn't campaign money. well, of course we all knew it wasn't campaign money. the problem was, that it wasn't campaign money. it wasn't reported, that's an in-kind contribution. and what rudy giuliani is saying actually proves a point that prosecutors would want to make. that this was done outside of the campaign, to hide the payment, a week and a half
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before the presidential campaign, to accrue to the benefit of donald trump's campaign. giuliani just stepped right into it there. and i'm baffled that a guy that was in public office for as long as he was, and was a lawyer for as long as he was, didn't realize that he was undercutting his own client. >> i have to agree. i mean we were all watching that. there were about a million lawyers whose faces were actually frozen in shock. by what we were seeing. because this, this would not be a viable defense. and i think that what giuliani was trying to do is say that it can't be campaign finance violation because it's not money coming from the campaign. which as you've ably pointed out, doesn't really track. but then he was saying well, the president knew of the details in the sense that he knew michael
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would handle it. and what's really struck me as being the most worrisome element, is this is exactly what some of us have talked about as the danger for trump. if he tries this type of nuance, and frankly ridiculous spin, in an interview or deposition or grand jury, he won't make it out legally. i mean the, you saw what would happen with just a casual conversation with sean hannity. you know, that's nothing in comparison to having a skilled prosecutor examining you. and you know it only works, they only get one question and no follow-up. and that's not going to happen. >> so professor turley. the argument by giuliani last night was a little hard to follow at times. but i think what he was trying to say was that at the time of the payment, president trump didn't know that michael cohen had paid $130,000 to stormy daniels. but after the fact, learned about it. and then repaid it in a series
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of installments. does that help the president's case at all? that he didn't know at the time that it was a direct payment to stormy daniels? and he could just say, i was merely reimbursing for legal fees to the tune of well, $130,000 conveniently the price that was paid to stormy daniels? >> i think that it helps in the sense that if he had no specific knowledge. he may not be responsible for campaign finance violation that is intentional. but that's not the end of the question for a court. if he was aware that, and giuliani also said this, that there was a fluid relationship with michael cohen handling these types of problems. that doesn't necessarily take out what's called the senter element to the defense. i think what giuliani was trying to do was to say that cohen was never part of the campaign. he was the president's fixer.
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the president gave him authority to do things. and so this really was an exercise of legal representation, not campaign finance. you know, john edwards tried to make similar types of nuanced arguments. he ultimately, i have to say, did succeed, as we've talked about in the past, i thought the john edwards prosecution was pretty weak. this would be weak in that sense as well. because these are hard crimes to prove. but what giuliani was saying would not be a perfect defense. >> jonathan turley, thank you very much for calling in. believe it or not, that was just part of what rudy giuliani said last night. just a small part. we'll compare and contrast what he said about the firing of jim comey, with what the president said nearly one year ago, we have many more people to hear from, we'll get to rick, eddie and kasie, after a quick break.
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in last night's interview on hannity, rudy giuliani also tried to revise what president trump said about why he fired fbi director james comey. >> he fired him, then he said, i'm free of this guy and he went on lester holt, lester holt's interview was as good as anybody could do, better than i think any of the people around mueller could have done. and lester holt asked him, why did you do it? he said i did it because i felt i had to explain to the american people that the president was not the target of the investigation. >> but that is not what the president told lester holt in may of 2017. here's trump talking about comey from just 48 hours after the firing. >> look, he's a showboat, he's a grandstander, the fbi has been in turmoil. you know that, i know that. everybody knows that.
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you take a look at the fbi a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. less than a year ago. it hasn't recovered from that. >> monday you met with the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. >> right. >> did you ask for a recommendation? >> what i did is i was going to fire comey. my decision, it was not -- >> you had made the decision before they came into the room? >> i was going to fire comey. there's no good time to do it, by the way. they -- >> in your letter you said i accepted their recommendations. you had already made the decision. >> i was going to fire regardless of recommendation. >> yeah. >> so, eddie, he, rudy giuliani's right, he, he did that interview better than anybody could have done it. if the primary goal was to undercut your deputy attorney general and lay out a pretty nice case for obstruction of justice in the russia probe.
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it seems that giuliani, he's making it up as he goes along. >> it's such a mom-and-pop operation that they can't even coordinate these stories to get their accounts in alignment. i was sitting there as i was watching the hannity interview, i was thinking of steven sondheim's "send in the clowns." it's that bad. and when you kban it with the fact, joe, we have over and over again the fact, the reality, the kind of confirmation that these people lie with impunity. they just keep lying over and over again. now rudy giuliani joins the chorus of lying. the question beyond the kind of facts of the case, the question now that we know he's lied about stephanie clifford or stormy daniels, what will republicans do? what will white evangelicals do? he lied. what will be the political consequences of it? we know the answer. >> nothing.
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absolutely nothing. rick, as a communication director, this has to be again, just mad dening to you -- we're not even just talking about politics, we're talking about people's freedom. the possibility that they could be indicted, be tried and be sent to jail. on matters of politics and on matters of the law. these guys just can't sit down for five minutes and carve out a communications strategy. everybody is just shooting from the hip. it's -- this is not, this is not somehow donald trump being a renegade. being on the edge. this is just self-destruction. >> well, joe this happened between giuliani and the president. and the white house communications team was once again cut out of the loop. i want to make three points about what happened. first, let's be clear, michael cohen has flipped. that's what has happened.
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and giuliani felt like he needed to go out there and -- because legal strategies don't occur on television, legal strategies occur between lawyers, they occur in courtrooms, they don't occur on television. giuliani has established hillself not as the legal strategist, he's established himself as the pr strategist. it's interesting he did it when emmet flood is coming on board. he's undercut or boxed in emmet flood. because emmet flood has no tolerance for pr strategies over legal strategies. >> so kasie hunt, take your pick. there's this, there's also the fact that at this time yesterday, we didn't know that there would be a huge shakeup in donald trump's legal team. and there's also the question as to whether or not the president can, should or will take precedents, take questions from bob mueller. >> my thinking here is as i've watched this conversation unfold is there seems to be a basic assumption that rudy giuliani had a strategy of some sort at all. and i just remain unconvinced at
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this point that that's the case. and in fact it seems like sean hannity sitting across the desk from rudy giuliani was quite aware that giuliani was going away from the president's line in a way that seemed dangerous. i mean this was not hard-hitting journalist following up and saying hey, that's a new piece of information. he kind of sat back and said -- "oh, i didn't know that." almost as if he was giving giuliani an opportunity to correct himself to say the president didn't know about these payments, i think the question that bob costa raised in his tweet. he raised this issue, well would giuliani be fired in the wake of this interview. giuliani doesn't seem to think so now. i haven't checked my phone lately. i don't think we've seen any tweets yet from the president this morning. that's when i'm watching for on this. >> i'm not sure how he could see this as a good job unless they are just stuck in their own little bubble. this is the second time in recent memory, very recent because things change so much where the president and then rudy giuliani has gone on what
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you would definitely very safely consider a friendly platform to say the least, and that's when you start just riffing and you feel so comfortable and you feel like the interviewers who you're talking to are going to help you out and not going to ask any hard questions. that's when you get into the most trouble because you're arrogant and get too confident and start blurting stuff out that comes to bite you back. >> but mika -- what we also saw last night, though, was yet another guy, along with donald trump, that gives up information that gives up admissions that surrenders statements against interest. let me go to jeremy basher. that surrenders admissions, that can be used against them in the court of law down the road. or at least make their jobs more
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difficult, that i'm sorry. sane, rational business people, ceos, attorneys, would not do. if these guys, if rudy giuliani had been let's say counseled for ibm and delivered a performance that undercut ibm like did he last night for the president of the united states, he would be fired the next morning. if donald trump were a ceo and did the "fox & friends" interview and damaged his case as badly as he did on that show, he would have been fired the next day. every fortune 500 company would say he's not well and call the family and say, i think your father's lost a step. i think your husband has lost his step. we're going to have to put him on leave and you all are going to have to seriously consider retirement. and i'm dead serious.
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jeremy, they go to fox and friends and hannity, and they still figure out how to damage their own case. >> yeah, joe, i sort of have this image in my mind of the president watching the interview last night with his finger hovering over a button of a trap door that when he pressed it, giuliani would fall right through. and that's kind of what i think the president wanted to do. because i don't think giuliani really had his story tight, concise, there is no good explanation for why not just $135,000 would be paid to michael cohen, but why $470,000 would be paid to him if you read the bob costa transcript, when giuliani called costa later in the evening, he said the reason there was an additional set of monies paid to michael cohen was to pay for the taxes. and there's no explanation in the world why donald trump would have to gross up the taxes for michael cohen. was this income? what was this? there's a lot of there's a lot
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of explaining to do about the federal disclosure forms, the tax filings, the campaign finance filings. a back and forth between trump and the doj. deputy attorney rod rosenstein warned that the justice department is not going to be extorted. a day later, trump was leveling new threats. "morning joe" will be right back.
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the president received a stern warning against a purge at the department of justice after the president tweeted that the department led business bihis own aointppointeappointees, sai want to turn over documents to congress. at some point i will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the presidency and get involved end tweet that threat is similar to the ones he made on fox news last week. >> because of the fact that they have this witch hunt going on, with people in the justice department that shouldn't be there, they have a witch hunt against the president of the united states going on, i have taken the position -- and i don't have to take this position and maybe i'll change, that i will not be involved with the
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justice department. i'm very disappointed in my justice department. but because of the fact that it's going on, and i think you'll stan stun this, i have decided that i won't be involved. i may change my mind at some point. because what's going on is a disgrace. you look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. and our justice department, which i try and stay away from, but at some point i won't. >> in response to the president's latest tweets, senate democratic minority leader chuck schumer tweeted this -- mr. president, the powers of the presidency do not give you the right to interfere with or shut down the russia investigation. firing the deputy attorney general or director mueller would create a constitutional crisis. do not go down this road. jeremy bash, unwind this a little bit. it does get confusing. what mark meadows, jim jordan, other members of the freedom caucus, republicans are, seeking from rod rosenstein and the justice department is the unredacted documents that pertain to ongoing investigations. to which rosenstein says no, you
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can't have those documents about an ongoing investigation. we won't be threatened at the justice department. so what is the president arguing hee? does he believe he has the power to secure those documents under the presidency? >> well he believes he has the power to compel justice department officials to play into the republicans' hands on capitol hill. and basically what the president is saying is i have the right as president to interfere into investigations and even to obstruct them. and of course, that gives even more fodder for bob mueller to argue that the president is improperly, potentially unlawfully obstructing justice. >> kasie hunt, how is this playing on the hill when you have mark meadows, jim jordan and others trying to get these unredacted documents? what is their agenda here? what are they after? >> there's a divide among republicans in congress there are many moderate republicans, people afraid of losing their seats in the fall who essentially think that this is a fool's errand. and they believe that mark
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meadows and the freedom caucus, others, are essentially trying to lay the groundwork for the president to remove rod rosenstein and potentially interfere with the mueller investigation to essentially give the president cover for that. and those republicans think that frankly that's the wrong mission and the wrong way to go. the question here and you know, impeaching a federal official, which is with a these freedom caucus members are setting up themselves to do, is extraordinarily difficult it require as vote on the house floor followed by support from the senate, et cetera. but what they can potentially do is put the house speaker, paul ryan, in a bind. where he will have to decide is he going to go along with what these this group, this conservative group is doing or not? and so far, we have seen while they will point you back, the speaker's office will pull you back to comments he made in the past saying he thinks the mueller investigation should be
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lent let to conclude. the speaker has basically gotten out of the way, and i'm not sure there's reason to believe that that wouldn't happen again. >> you know rick tyler, let me go to you as a fellow traveler in -- >> it's been a long road. holy, holy cow. it's been a long road. >> but -- you know when we -- when i was a part of something in congress that actually makes the freedom caucus look like a moderate group of choir boys and girls, we were obsessed with deficits, we were obsessed with spending bills, we were obsessed with killing big omnibus appropriation bills. we would vote down rules and turn the floor over to
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democrats. that would be our threat. if there was too much spending. we threatened newt gingrich to do a motion to vacate the chair and have no speaker in the house, if we didn't keep cutting spending. you have the freedom caucus. sitting there. they're supposed to be doing the same thing. they're supposed to be fighting big government republicanism. we've got a $21 trillion debt. the deficit is going to go over $1 trillion. medicaid, medicare, social security, you've got $40 trillion, $50 trillion in unpaid liabilities coming our way. young americans' economic futures are going to be crushed if there aren't these reforms. yet these guys are clowning around with possible impeachment, an attempt to impeach a deputy attorney general under the most spurious
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of claims. why would a house freedom caucus, with a $21 trillion debt out there, and big government republicanism, bigger than ever before, why would they help the president undermine the rule of law instead of doing their jobs? it baffles, it's beyond me. this guy is a big government republican. who has been a democrat his entire life. and as andrew breitbart said before he died, he's not on our side, he was on nancy pelosi's side a lot longer than he's been on our side. why would he do that this. >> it's hard to know. we lost that argument. the party that you and i knew as the fiscally responsible, law-and-order party is no more. this is now trump's party. for better or worse. and this 2018 election will be a referendum on that party.
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the intellectual core of the party is gone. i don't know who the spokesperson for fizz fis cal responsibility or what conservative values are. >> there is none. >> there isn't any. >> there's no explaining it. and these things have to be explained to the country. you can't win them. i say it's very easy to move congress if the country is on board with what you're trying to do. you've experienced the contract with america we won the argument on welfare reform, which is a very hard argument to make. because the country said, that's what we want. we talked about welfare was causing generational poverty. the country bought that and they wanted welfare reform and bill clinton signed welfare reform and changed it as we know it. we don't have anybody who is explaining to the country where the conservative movement is, where it's going to go and what its future is. and i don't know how we, i don't know how we get out of this. i don't know how we recover from this. >> to bring it back around to the rudy giuliani interview last night as we talk about rod rosenstein and the freedom caucus efforts to maybe push him aside. buried in all the talk about
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stormy danielss is that jeff sessions asked to end the investigation. he said they can redeem themselves. the white house believes that jeff sessions is a betrayal, recused himself and they think rod rosenstein is not conducting himself the right way. they said they can redeem themselves by shutting down the mueller investigation. that was rudy giuliani last night on hannity. >> and also the president -- >> by instructing justice -- >> about -- by obstructing justice, mika. how do you redeem yourself by obstructing justice? how do you redeem yourself when you've already indicted 13 russians, when you've already indicted the president's national security adviser. who is working with you? now when you've already indict somebody that you told the "washington post" was your top foreign policy adviser who is now cooperating with the feds? how do you redeem yourself when you've already gotten the
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assistant campaign manager, who was indicted, charged and now who is cooperating. how do you -- they're close to 20 indictments here and they're not even halfway home. why would the obstructing justice and cutting off an investigation when we're only halfway to figuring out what the russians did or didn't do? in the 2016 election. how is that exactly redeeming yourself? unless you define redeeming yourself as obstructing justice so americans won't know the truth about how involved the russians were in the 2016 campaign? >> it's becoming hard to believe that they're just bumbling. that's -- it's just hard to believe at this point. coming up on "morning joe" -- the president is not on the cover of this week's "time" magazine. but some might argue he probably should be. the latest issue profiles the rise of the strongman. and we'll bring in author ian bremer, next on "morning joe."
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>> wow, okay. >> we wondered if the president of the united states would weigh in on giuliani's interview with sean hannity. he is beginning to now. the president writes mr. cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign from which he enter into through reimbursement a private contract between two parties known as a non-disclosure agreement, or nda. these agreements are -- and he's got an ellipsis, he'll finish that thought shortly. >> somebody grabbed the phone. >> kasie, can you decipher that tweet. this goes to i think what they thought they were doing last night which is they thought rudy giuliani was going to put to rest the idea that there was campaign finance violation in the payment to stormy daniels. they didn't do that but it seems the president thinks they did. >> and it still doesn't answer the question of this disparity between the president saying i didn't know about the payments to stormy daniels and rudy giuliani saying he did know
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about the payments to stormy daniels. what this seems to be is an explanation that he was paying michael cohen a monthly retainer that michael cohen could essentially use for whatever purposes michael cohen saw fit to use it for which could potentially i suppose, this suggests, include that payment to stormy daniels. so it strikes me -- and we're still waiting, i keep hitting refresh to see if we've gotten the second of these tweets -- so far no. it seems as though he is trying to provide an explanation for how both what he said and what giuliani said could be true. i don't see how that's possible yet. >> okay, we'll follow that. i have a feeling somebody might have just said, "give me the phone, mr. president." i don't know who has the guts or ability to take it away from him. he's not finishing his tweet. maybe he will. we'll have michael avenatti on in about seven minutes and we'll talk about rudy giuliani interview.
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joining us now, president and founder of eurasia group and foreign affairs columnist and editor at large for "time" magazine ian bremmer. his latest book "us versus them, the failure of globalism" is out now. congratulations, and his latest piece for "time" magazine entitled "rise of the strong man" is the cover of this week's international issue. i want to start there because you wonder why donald trump actually isn't on the cover or maybe he's inside in some way but can i ask you what have you seen in this presidency so far that indicates a sincere effort to lead a democracy. >> i haven't. he'd like to be on the cover. as you know, he thinks he's on more "time" covers than he has been. but i didn't put him there. i didn't put him there because ultimately even though trump has little regard for support for the precepts of liber democracy, there's only so much he can do as the american
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president. i was just in london and the queen is about to see trump. and her view is, yeah, not the best of the presidents but i've seen 13 of them, they come and they go, u.s. institutions are stronger than that. and the thing that concerns me and i write about this piece as well as in the book is that while we're covering breaking news on trump tweets, all the time, but there's a big question on how it was that the country got to the point that we could elect someone like that. >> right. >> especially because we're not unique. it didn't just happen in the u.s. it's happened in britain, all over europe. it happened in every advanced industrial democracy in the world except for japan where they don't have immigrants and the population is shrinking, they're the non-globalists. and we need to spend some time on that precisely because liberal democracy as a model today feels weaker than at any point since we started it. >> eddie? >> what are some of the fissures, some of the contradictions that produce the outcome. how did we vomit up something
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like trump, to put it crudely. there are all of these anxieties and fears that seem to have driven folks to rest their hopes in the pt barnum of our politics. >> it's a protest vote that won't make it better but the fact that everyone else in the establishment is lying to you. i grew up in the projects and my brother voted for trump and if my mother were alive she would have voted for trump because there's no way they would have supported a bush or a clinton or any member of the establishment they feel had plenty of facts and they were using them in no way to help the average person and i think you can look at the economic side, free trade and people felt left behind. you can look at immigration saying you're letting people in but what about me? you can look at the military saying we're fighting on these wars but it's on the back of the enlisted men and women but the biggest piece is the technology piece. >> how do you account for the
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complicity of other folks? not just simply trump but other institutions? whether it be the congress, other institutions in producing this outcome. >> american institutions politically have become sclerotic. the importance of big money in being able to ensure that policies are not made to make something like infrastructure work, that our educational system is at the bottom of the oecd league tables, when we're by far the wealthiest country in the world. those are unacceptable and those are not just happene under trump but for a long time. technogy is the big piece that's changed becau 25 years ago we believe the technology empowered liberal democracies, that's why tunisia and egypt fell down and today it's not about the communications revolution, it's the data revolution. technology empowers big organizations and countries like china, authoritarians, while within our own liberal democracies, it's splitting us apart, it's unripping the fabric of civic nationalism.
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>> this book is something we're going to be talking about in the months to come. ian bremmer, you have to come back. thank you very much. congratulations on the book. >> best seller. >> "new york times" lais, hey, exci -- best-seller, hey. coming up, stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti joins us at the top of the hour. we'll be right back. mike: i've tried lots of things for my joint pain. now? watch me. ( ♪ ) joni: think i'd give up showing these guys how it's done? please. real people with active psoriatic arthritis are changing the way they fight it. they're moving forward with cosentyx. it's a different kind of targeted biologic. it's proven to help people find less joint pain and clearer skin. don't use if you are allergic to cosentyx.
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the settlement payment which is a regular thing for lawyers to do. the only possible violation there would be was it a campaign finance violation, which usually would result in a fine not this big storm troopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking into his office. that was money that was paid by his lawyer the way i would do out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, doesn't matter. the president reimbursed that over a period of several months. >> that was rudy giuliani last night on "hannity." but here's what rudy said last month about the raid on michael cohen. this was before the former mayor joined the president's legal team. the "washington post" report reads in part "former new york mayor rudy giuliani, a friend of trump, called the cohen raids a little heavy handed. is this surprise, yes, said giuliani, also a former u.s.
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attorney. is it extraordinary? no, this is the way prosecutors get information sometimes to convict and prosecute, sometimes to exculpate. criticizing mueller for veering into highly personal issues such as the alleged daniels encounter, giuliani added the only thing that's happening perhaps is that mueller is trying to compel the president to testify. all right. a lot to get to. welcome back to "morning joe," it's thursday, may 3. yes, joe? >> think about this. rudy giuliani, when this happened, said this is not extraordinary. this is what prosecutors do. giuliani being a prosecutor would know whatrosecutors do. that giuliani may have done this himself because if he said this is not extraordinary, this is what prosecutors do, either to convict of sometimes to let somebody off the hook,
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then this something that is between the lines. last night he goes on television and he compares american law enforcement officers who wake up every morning and go to bed every night and wake up the next morning trying to protect americans from terrorist attacks, trying to protect americans from crime in their own cities, trying to protect americans from drug rings, trying to protect americans from all of the things that we're challenged by and you know what? we have one of the lowest prime rates in decades because of the great work of the fbi and other law enforcement officers. we didn't have all of the attacks people thought we were going to have after september 11 because of the great work of the federal bureau of investigations and also local law enforcement officers all across the country. but last night, to score a cheap
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political point for a former reality tv star, rudy giuliani compared the fbi and people in the southern district of new york to nazi storm troopers just to score a cheap political point. let that sit for a second. and think about just how low people are willing to go, willie, to defend donald trump and score a cheap political point, comparing the fbi to nazi storm troopers. >> so much flies past these days in the news. there's so much in that giuliani interview, but it's worth stopping and pointing out and underlining what you just did, his comment comparing fbi agents to storm troopers. that comes three weeks after on the same show, on the same network, newt gingrich, the former speaker of the house, compared those same agents to
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gestapo in germany and said that's what stalin used to do. i would also point out, joe, that that search warrant was executed by the southern district of new york. that's the same district where rudy giuliani was the u.s. attorney 30 years ago. he knows how that place operates. he signed off on those warrants. those are his people, his guys but as you say, to make the president proud sitting in the oval office he compared those same people he knows worked with, respected, to nazi storm troopers. it's pathetic and we should not let it fly past. >> if you're working with a map you can only please by comparing fbi agents and law enforcement officers who protect all of us and do an extraordinary job everyday the only way you can gain favor with somebody you're working for is by comparing is people who protect us to nazi storm troopers then you're working for the wrong person. >> well, he wasn't -- i don't think he helped out his boss too
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much last night. he might think he did. here's more of the stunning revelation from president trump's attorney rudy giuliani last night telling fox news that trump reimbursed his fixer michael cohen for the inter130,000 hush money payment to porn star stormy daniels despite president trump's assertion last month that he was unaware of it. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman $130,000 which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. >> they funneled it through a law firm. >> funneled it through a law firm and then the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know that. he did? there's no campaign finance law? >> zero.
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just like every -- >> this decision was made by -- >> everybody was nervous about this from the beginning. i wasn't. i knew how much donald trump put into that campaign. i said $130,000? he can do a couple checks for $130,000. >> do you know the president didn't know about this? >> i believe that's what michael said. >> he didn't know about the specifics of it as far as i know but he knew about the general arrangements that michael would take care of things like this, like i take care of things like this for my clients. i don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. these are busy people. >> and the president has finished his thought now about his reimbursement to cohen. the president writes mr. cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer not from the campaign, having nothing do with the campaign from which he entered into through reimbursement a private contract between two parties known as a non-disclosure agreement, or nda. these agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth. in this case, it is in full
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force and effect and will be used in arbitration for damages against ms. clifford. the agreement was used stop the false and extortionist accusations made by about an affair despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting there was no affair. prior to its violation by miss clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. money from the campaign or campaign contributions played no role in this transaction. let's bring in michael avenatti, he's, of course, the lawyer representing stormy daniels. also at the table, white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lemire. michael, i'll begin with you. the president says you and stormy daniels are exercising extortionist tactics. how do you react? >> mr. president, you and your advisers and your lawyers need to bring it. bring it because you can continue to lie to the american people and we are not going to tolerate it, not today, not tonight, and any other day. this is an absolute disgrace
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what is going on here over the last few months and, by the way, if anything thinks donald trump wrote those tweets then they haven't been paying attention over the last couple years. i don't know the lawyer that wrote this but you can tell a lawyer wrote it because all you have to do is count the number of commas in the first tweet. whoever the lawyer is that wrote this, that lawyer is also a moron. >> he can't spell, either. >> because now he or she has subjected the president to yet another potential lawsuit for defamation for what they've done. they've also undercut a number of other claims that have gone on over the last few months. here's what's shocking to me as somebody that's litigated in a lot of cases around the country for a lot of years. i have never seen a group of people that cannot shoot straight. these folks make the watergate burglars look competent. >> so these tweets now talk about stormy daniels and the affair and that there wasn't one or that the president -- now can
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you tell us what's on the cd? you warned him not to talk about it. >> mika, look. >> what? >> we're going examine what just happened by way of these tweets, we're going to figure out whether we want to release that dvd right now. we're digesting this in realtime. >> but that's what your warning was about, right? >> mika -- >> i'm just saying there's a possibility. >> there is that possibility. i want to concentrate on what happened in the last 12 to 18 hours. >> i agree. that's why you're here. >> and i think it's critically important we realize that the american people have been lied to around this is not about -- i want to be clear. this is not about whether you are on the left or right or center or what your political persuasion is. the american people should not have people stand on board air force one and lie tome-t them a have his surrogates lying about $130,000 payment around a campaign and a subsequent coverup. it shouldn't happen. not in this nation and let me
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say this. if we've reached a point -- this is a big point. if we reached a point in this nation where that's acceptable, we knead to really do some self-examination and talk about what we've become. >> a couple points from the president's tweet. did stormy daniels sign a letter saying there was no affair? >> that's always been known and she dealt with that on the "60 minutes" piece and explained the circumstances around that. >> did she violate the nda by going on "60 minutes" and talking about the relationship. >> we don't believe she did violate the nda because we don't believe the nda was in existence because it was never signed. and what we heard from michael cohen and for the people defending michael cohen for months was that the president never knew anything about the agreement, never knew anything about the payment, that michael cohen went off and did this on his own. we know that to be a sack of lies. >> you said you've seen evidence that shows the president directed this payment. rudy giuliani seems to confirm that last night by saying yes, not only did he know about it,
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he reimbursed for the payment. what does this mean to your case, the revelation from giuliani last night? >> i think our case just got exponentially better in the last 24 hours. we knew we were going to be able to prove this but we didn't know we would have rudy giuliani appear on sean hannity and do it for us on a wednesday night this early on in the case. the importance of this cannot be overstated. this is not about sex. this isn't about what happened between stormy daniels and donald trump in the bedroom. it's not about what happened in 2006 or 2007. i've been saying this all along. this is about a coverup. it's about lies told to the american people. it's about people trying to pull the wool over people's eyes that citizens of this country. they deserve to know the truth. we've been saying this all along. we still don't know the truth. and for instance if, in fact, what is suggested here last night by rudy giuliani is, in fact, true, namely that law firm invoices for make-believe work
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or work that everyone always knew was never going to be performed were submitted for reimbursement by the president and that's how the reimbursement took place. that's a crime. there's serious consequences associated with that. there may be money laundering, there may be bank fraud, there may be campaign finance violations. this is a serious, serious problems. >> i wanted to follow up on that exact point. giuliani said this is a retainer not an explicit payment for your client. clearly in an effort to suggest there's no campaign finance violation here. what other avenues, other legal avenues do you see yourself pursuing now. what legal vulnerabilities do they have due to these admissions? >> i think they may face significant liability associated with how this payment was structured or this reimbursement was structured and it appears to have been structured. in one breath, rudy giuliani says $130,000, no big deal. donald trump can write a check or two. if that was the case why did
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they do it through use of these retainers and use of smaller payments in order to get to $130,000 figure? you have to ask yourself. that strikes me as part of a coverup. as part of an effort to avoid having to disclose this payment. the campaign finance violation potential is not as simple as they thought out. here's what's clear to me. they're not thinking this through. we've been playing three dimensional chess, they've been playing tic-tac-toe and you know that by way of his statements because they haven't thought through the legal ramifications of these admissions that you're making. >> are you still confident you'll get to depose the president? >> i'm more confident this morning than i've ever been throughout this entire process and the reason is because of statements like this which completely undercut prior representations that have been made and call into question what the story here is and i believe that the reason why you saw -- i don't believe that was just rudy giuliani going off on his own on a whim and making these
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statements and now we should be fired because he made a mistake. this was calculated. this is what's called hanging a lon te lantern on it. when you have a political problem you get out in front of it. i think they knew either we were going to get the deposition and find this out and disclose it and it was going to be a bombshell or they know that what part of the investigation that the fbi seized in connection with the three raids would include this informatn. it was goingo come out in the coming weeks and they made an attempt to get out in front of it. >> have you thought about any change in your strategy that someone not from the clown school of law, emmet flood, is now on the scene? >> we'll see how long emmet stays on the scene. with each passing hour -- people say why are you on tv so much? why are you on these shows? because this is a fast-moving case. we keep getting invited on shows to talk about developments and when things like this happen it
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requires a response. >> i'm going to throw it to joe in just a second. last time we talked about this you mentioned another client, not the republican operative but the trump organization, donald trump himself and sean hannity and then you talked about another payment. are there any updates to payments to other women that boost your case? >> we don't have an update per se but i don't want to suggest by that that we don't additional information but we don't have anything we're prepared to publicly talk about right now. >> are you focused on a $1.5 million payment? >> we're focused on -- one of the payment s we're focused on is this alleged payment on behalf of mr. brodie. >> and does that connect to donald trump at all? >> perhaps, but we're not prepared to make a statement along those lines. >> joe, jump in. >> jonathan lemire, i wanted to ask you a political question.
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we talk about rudy giuliani comparing fbi agents and the good men and women at the southern district of new york to nazis. that happened a few weeks ago with another major republican figure. and it seems to me that while there are a small handful of republicans on the hill who will play this game and actually subvert justice for the president, try to obstruct justice, do the president's bidding, it seems to make members of the senate, at least, and more senior republicans in the house deeply uncomfortable. can you talk about that divide and while there may be some noisy people, backbenchers in the house, aren't most of the republicans in the united states senate and a good number in the house deeply uncomfortable with these attacks on an american war hero like robert mueller and these attacks on rod rosenstein and these attacks on jeff
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sessions and these attacks on, again, people who have been good republicans who followed the rule of law their entire life? >> joe, i think you hit the divide exactly right. there are republicans, traditional republicans on the senate who do believe in law and order and also believe in those hardworking men and women of the law enforcement agencies across this country who keep us safe while those in the house, at least some in the house, are far more willing to do the president's bidding and go after. it's more than that. we've seen that especially in recent weeks the sort of seemingly coordinated attacks at doj on the fbi, not just from the white house and the president who has been doing that for a while but some of his surrogates and members of the house who are suggesting, look, we need to wrap this up meaning the probes, this is this has gone on too long. they're muddying the waters in terms of throwing stuff out there and trying to undermine the credibility of these probes but they're suggesting that this is distracting from the american public. this is distracting from his business. we heard from that from giuliani
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last night, too, suggesting people should be focused on north korea. the president said north korea and nafta. they're trying to suggest that these matters, these investigations are obviously so important are in the way and that this is not just trying to muddy the responses but perhaps suggesting a way to -- for the president to act to cut them off. >> you know mike barnicle, i was going to go to michael avenatti but i need to go to you because you'll remember this like me even though i was a little younger. this is exactly what richard nixon said in 1973. this is exactly what richard nixon said to congress. this is what he said to newspaper reporters. he said we have been looking at watergate for over a year now, we need to go on to the people's business. and he was saying that at the same time that he was hiding the tea parties from everybody at the same time that the majority
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of the watergate information had not spilled out into the public. so when rudy giuliani goes on tv and says that and when donald trump is saying that, they are literally ripping a page out of the nixonian coverup play book, you would think they would be smarter than that but they aren't. it echoes so much of 1973 that it's frightening. >> joe, you're right. unfortunately for us today, for the country today, there's no tip o'neill tunnel who would go to carl albert, then the speaker of the house, and basically force him into having hearings. that was 1973 but both you and michael avenatti have been talking about there's always a b "b" story to an "a" story. the "a" story is the trump tweets and behavior. but the "b" story is the attempt to destroy institutions of this country. i mean, the justice department,
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the fbi, the intelligence community all under attack from the oval office from the white house itself and now the house of representatives itself with two members of the house, meadows and jordan trying to obstruct justice by interfering and impeding in an ongoing federal investigation. >> and attacking institutions, attacking american war heroes, attacking men and women who dedicate their entire lives to this country. attacking men and women who risk their lives everyday, who risk their lives to protect our children, risk their lives everyday to protect us from the next terrorist attack and you have rudy giuliani going on tv and comparing the men and women
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of the federal bureau of investigation to nazi storm troopers. this is two weeks after he said when i was a prosecutor, it's not extraordinary. how do we address that. >> i couldn't agree more, if you contrast that with what michael cohen stated, he was smart enough to state the following after the raids and that was that these agents were courteous, they were professional. he stated that unequivocally. these guys didn't go in and break down the doors, they didn't behave like some storm troopers. that's not what they did and to denigrate the fine men and women of the fbi, i could not agree with you more. to den gralt these people and what they do, these folks are just trying to do their job on
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behalf of each of us to keep us safe and these are the people we rely upon. and for mr. giuliani to openly attack these folks -- and, by the way, many of these individuals are the same individuals mr. giuliani relied upon in connection with the 9/11 attacks, in connection with the work he did in the southern district of new york u.s. attorney's office. these are the folks he relied upon and for him to effectively sell out -- and that's what he's done, he's sold out, make no mistake about it and to go on national television and take shots at these people and engage in half-truths and misstatements, it's an outrage, i couldn't agree with you more. >> willie, you talked about this. over the past two weeks republican major figures in the republican party doing donald trump's bidding have compared
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fbi agents and the southern district of new york to nazi storm troopers, to stalin, to brown shirts. this is reprehensible and if the republican party cares about having a future, there are people on the hill this morning that need to stand up and speak out in defense of the good men and women at the fbi and yes the prosecutors at the southern district of new york. this is shameful and there is no excusing this. >> you're talking about rudy giuliani, the former u.s. attorney in the southern district, the mayor of new york city, you're talking about the former speaker of the house newt gingrich who as i said earlier on the same sean hannity show where we saw giuliani last night compared the fbi agents to guess st -- gestapo. and to circle the wagons around a president who wouldn't lift a finger for them if they were in
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trouble, we know that to be true so you ask yourself at what cost do these men who served the country -- rudy giuliani, let's not forget about 9/11 who he was and what he did. to take their reputations and tatter them for the president of the united states, it's a sad thing to watch but it's in the service of an agenda. the show last night and three weeks ago on hannity were to push rod rosenstein out of the way. what members of the freedom caucus are doing is to push rod rosenstein out of the way so they can get themselves to robert mueller and to get the heat off the president of the united states. >> michael avenatti, before you go. let's figure out or can you tell us anything about will you be changing strategy moving forward given what's happened in the past 24 hours? . even the president's tweet which i am watching getting retreated at 100 miles an hour going out to millions of people saying that your client and you -- the
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agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair. is he defaming your client? >> i think there's no question he's defaming my client. >> what else is he doing? >> we're going to examine what he said, figure out what our next steps are so let me get this straight. he was only lying about the reimbursement but now he's telling the truth. these guys are making it up as they go along. i've said this before, i'll say it again. they are in full panic mode, they're digging the hole deeper and we'll get to the bottom of this no matter how long it takes and this won't end well. i said it a few weeks ago, i said it last week. i'll absolutely no question say it again this morning. this presidents will not serve out this term. >> and your client, what is her status and is safe? is anyone threatening her? >> well, we've dealt with a lot
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of threats on the day in and day out basis and we know we're succeeding and advancing this case because the threats escalate. wherever the threats escalate we know we're doing our job. >> michael avenatti, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," a member of the judiciary committee. senator richard blumenthal joins us. he was the long time attorney general for the state of connecticut. he has thoughts on these major legal developments that we've been discussing this morning. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. your brain changes as you get older.
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wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. joining us now, richard blumenthal of connecticut. thank you for coming on. a lot to ask you about pertaining to the russia investigation. kind of can't help asking you about rudy giuliani and what transpired over the past 24 hours including the president's tweets over the last 20 minutes
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which seem to cause more trouble for the president. but rugtd made so many statements that stood out on a number of levels legally. what stood out to you? >> what stood out to me is rugtd in effect saying the president has been lying to the american people and then his denunciation of the fbi a pillar of our law enforcement community that rudy giuliani himself servserved served. whatever your criticisms of the fbi -- we all have them, they dedicate themselves often at great risk to themselves to protect the american public going into situations where they are literally putting their lives on the line and to call
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them guess stab poe storm troopers or whatever is very sad and shameful. >> but you have a rich and robust legal background and so does rudy giuliani. what would compel a person like this? what do you see happening here where it appears he will -- he's taking steps to contaminate his reputation and his it was so this country for the president. ? what's happening in his mind do you think? what would -- how could you do that? you wouldn't. >> i never would. i can't mind read rudy giuliani, i don't know his motives but here is something that i think is fairly certain. these tactics are going to backfire. >> yeah. >> the acknowledgment that the president knew of the payments raised the question of how he could not know of the purpose which defies belief, even
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imagination and the denunciation of the fbi will come back to haunlt rudy giuliani haunt rudy giuliani as it will many of his cohorts in this enterprise and i think it will come back to haunt my colleagues in congress if they fail to stand up and speak up. history will judge them at this point because nothing less than the rule of law is at stake. the american president right now, president trump, is refusing to cooperate in a lawful investigation. he is engaging in obstruction of justice in plain view unfolding in realtime and i'm hoping that my colleagues in congress will stand up and speak out. >> so rudy giuliani last night speaking on behalf of the president attacked rod rosenstein again. he said he and sessions should put to bed the mueller investigation. this comes at a time when also as you know you have republican members of congress from the freedom caucus seeking those
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unredacted memos from rod rosenstein about ongoing investigation investigations. do you think this is a concerted effort to push aside rod rosenstein? >> it's a concerted effort and well coordinated not only to push aside rod rosenstein but also to obstruct this investigation. it emphasizes the importance of the legislation that was approved by the judiciary committee 14-7 just last week that would protect the special counsel. i'm drafting legislation that would protect rod rosenstein as well from any attempt to fire him but clearly very districtly it indicates an attempt to thwart and stymie this investigation and i'm very proud of rod rosenstein for standing up and saying the justice department will not be extorted. it is as joe said earlier in the show out of the play book of richard nixon and the courts told richard nixon he couldn't defy a subpoena and they're
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going to tell donald trump he is not above the law. >> so speaking of the investigation, the mueller investigation, former trump campaign adviser michael caputo said he was interviewed by the mueller team and here's what he had to say about that. >> i'm a witness, that's what the ausa who interviewed me today told me, i'm a witness not a subject or target. but it doesn't matter. once you get in that room it's fraught with peril. i would compare it to a proctology appointment with a very large-handed doctor. >> they know more about the trump campaign than anybody that worked there and they know more about what i did in 2016 than i do myself. i learned they're still looking at russia collusion. they're still looking for it. i was there during the time when they believed russian collusion was initiated. that would be the only thing they would ask me about that. certainly is the only thing we talked about. if anybody thinks russia collusion is off the table, they haven't sited with the muell team. the mueller team i spear
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fishing. i think they believe they know where they're going, they're not asking a wide range of questions. it seemed to be unrelated. they know exactly what they're looking for and they have e-mails backing it up and i don't think that they ask any questions they don't already know the answer to. >> interesting. what's your take on that, senator blumenthal? they have e-mails to back it up and they seem to know where they're going. >> the first and most important fact here is that the mueller team knows way more than we do. and it knows way more than what has been publicly disposed but even those 49 questions that the trump team themselves articulated shows not only collusion and strong evidence of it but also obstruction of justice. a credible case of obstruction of justice against the president of the united states and they are going to be very clear and determined because robert
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mueller is nothing if not determined and methodical and he's conducting this investigation very professionally. >> joe? i think senator -- it's fascinating and it's quite a reveal that mr. caputo in his interview said the opposite of what you say when you're going to criticize an investigation an investigation and especially on the collusion side of it. you'd usually say they're on this wild fear fishing expedition. but then he said it was very targeted and this was a real tell, they have e-mails to back up their questions. he also said they know the answers to every question that they're asking. it sounds like at least for this one witness who said he was there while -- during the period they're investigating
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collusion -- and again i'm not reaching here, just take those interviews, there is -- there's something there on collusion that at least one former trump aide and one person who's been before the mueller team, he's impressed by what they have. >> i think that's an excellent point, joe, particularly that they already know the answers to many of these questions. there's an adage among prosecutors never ask a question if you don't know the answer and these guys are the a-team of prosecutors. but the other point which is directly relevant to donald trump possibly going to an interview himself is that they are going to be well prepared. to say the least. and i think that a subpoena for donald trump seems increasingly necessary and unavoidable because apparently the advice he's receiving now is he should
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not be interviewed but robert mueller is not going to finish this investigation without sitting down face to face with the president of the united states. >> on that very topic, the idea of that interview with the president, mayor giuliani last night said -- and other trump advisers suggested if there were to be an interview, it would be limited. i think rudy said something along the lines of we won't sit here for 12 hours, we can do two or three and they'd want to limit the topics that could be discussed. how crucial is it for this president to sit down with robert mueller to have an interview with no set conditions? >> the idea that this interview is going to be limited to two or three hours or that it will be restricted in terms of the scope is absolutely absurd. trump is at the very least a subject and the line between being a subject and a target is very easily crossed. robert mueller needs and this investigation deserves to have an unprestrirestricted intervie
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would argue he should be subpoenaed before the grand jury. >> rick? >> senator, seeing that rudy giuliani's interview on sean hannity admitted there were structured payments from donald trump to michael cohen it reminds you of another case, dennis hastert, former speaker of the house, was convicted on structured payments to hide an underlying wrongdoing which was payments to one of his sexual victims which he couldn't -- which the statute of limitations had rung out so there was no underlying crime to convict there. but is there a comparison to these two cases? >> there is a comparison to the extent that there are records and probably highly incriminating records that are in the government's hands as a result of the april 9 raid on cohen's office and rudy giuliani's statements last night may well create a crime fraud exception, any climb of
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attorney/client privilege. at the least they're possible campaign finance violations here and the records themselves are an indelible source of proof. >> before we let you go, there's great news coming out of north korea yesterday, sources saying the release of three americans may be imminent. do you have information on that? the president teased out, he said stay tuned. do you know anything else about it? >> i have no hard information. we're encouraged and hopeful that this apparent breakthrough may be a good sign for those prisoners that are being held but remember that the north koreans are very difficult to trust. >> senator richard blumenthal, thank you very much. good to see you again. >> thank you. coming up, cambridge analytica crumbles in the wake of the facebook data scandal. we'll talk to the whistle-blower and former cambridge analytica employee who broke the story i head on "morning joe."
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while saving for the things mr. elliot, what's your wiwifi?ssword? wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. you know, willie, it's interesting. you look at the mercer family. of course robert mercer and rebecca his daughter, hedge fund
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family. they've gotten involved in a couple things, gotten involved, obviously in breitbart and then bright bard said things that were even too offensive for them, deeply offensive, they got out of that. they were also involved in cambridge analytica and now cambridge analytica is folding up as well. it's a remarkable story if you look at their role in the 2016 campaign. a lot has changed for them in just the past year and a half. >> well, cambridge analytica, that's the data firm that worked for president trump's campaign in 2016 announced it's shutting down after allegations about the company's misuse of facebook data. in a statement posted to its web site, the company said the controversy has forced it to file for bankruptcy in the united states and great britain yiing "the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company's customers and suppliers. as a result it has been
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determined it's no longer viable to continue operating the business. cambridge analytica's parent company, scl group, also announced it's shutting down. joining us from london, the former cambridge analytica employee who first revealed the company's misuse of user data, christopher wylie. what's your reaction to the company you co-founded shutting down? >> i have more questions, really. when you look at the company shutting down, my question is first of all there was a new company that was set up recently. you have some of the same shareholders, including the mersers and some of the former executives of cambridge analytica involved in a new company so my first question is is this just a rebranding exercise? secondly i have serious concerns about what is going to happen with the evidence, the documents and indeed the data assets this company and whether or not in
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shutting down the company that will obstruct ongoing legal investigations. >> some people are asking, christopher, if this is almost like a blackwater situation where they try to change the name and image but continue to conduct business as usual. do you have any information that this is just going to be moved under a different name and be called something else but conduct the same business it had been doing all along? >> well, when you look at for example the company registered in the uk, a lot of the same shareholders and directors from cambridge analytica, including the mersers, are involved in setting up this company and one day before cambridge analytica announced they were shutting down there was a series of resolutions that were passed in that company so i have serious concerns and questions about what is happening with the data and the assets. and the senior leadership, are they simply moving to a different company and going to continue the same unethical practices that they were before?
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>> cambridge analytica released an independent investigation at the same time its announced it was shutting its doors that down played your role there. it said your role was very modest. it reads "wil "wylie's involvem was very moderate." >> that is -- they paid an investigator to investigate themselves. secondly with respect to what they said about me, my title was director of research, that's what i was hired as, that's what my business card said and all of the e-mails and documents which make reference to me and indeed the internal staff list make reference to me as the research director so the fact that such a gross error in understanding of
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what my role was -- i have no confidence in the independence of that investigation or, indeed, the veracity or factual nature of that investigation and the conclusion it's made. >> this is eddie glaude from princeton university. i have a question about your testimony before the house stev bannon used specific research from cambridge analytica in order to discourage certain groups from voting. could you talk more about that? because there is specific concern that it had an impact with regards to black voter turnout. >> yeah, so there are documents from the company that make reference to proactive voter disengagement efforts for many of their clients, their pac clients in particular. and my recollection in speaking with steve bannon was that the particular focus was focused on african-american voters in particular to discourage them from turning out and
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participating in an election. >> all right. christopher wiley, thank very much for being on. we'll be following this story. up next, a followup after donald trump's former doctor described a raid on his office to obtain the president's medical records. do you remember this? this was just yesterday. this was just yesterday we were reporting on this. jonathan, you got an interesting response after reaching out to dr. bornstein for more information. we'll talk about that. plus, rudy giuliani does damage control this morning after causing possible damage to donald trump's case. contradicting the president's claims on stormy daniels and th. dou do you think he knows that he did that? thinks he did a good job? there is no way, right? we'll discuss the political and legal irmplications that he may or may not understand. "morning joe" back in a moment. as a control enthusiast,
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. there are new questions about president trump's medical history after his former dr. har harold bornstein admitted that trump wrote the 2015 letter that described his health as excellent. the report said he would be the healthiest ever elected to the presidency. bornstein says that trump dictated the letter himself. jonathan contacted him yesterday and tweeted i just reached dr. bornstein on the phone and identified myself as a reporter. his sporngs oresponse, oh, you' reporter? go back and report on how your toilet bowl works. he then hung up. bornstein said his office had been raided in february of last year two day after he told the "new york times" that he had prescribed trump hair growth
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medication for years. in a brief phone call tuesday, dr. bornstein did not elaborate except to say that earlier interviews with a reporter for the newspaper had caused him torture for more than a year. he demanded an apology and a large donation in his name to tufts university where he completed medical school. the "times" declined both requests. jonathan, did you get anything more out of that phone call? >> it is really a shame, what i should have asked if i had a moment before he hung up for a brief followup, i should have asked him for a prescription for treatment for that sick -- he has vacillated between going back and forth between being gracious with reporters and hanging up with very rude comments. but it certainly again raises questions. this was -- we laugh about him because he makes funny comments and has the strange hair, but he was then candidate trump's
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position and he put out a letter saying in the capacity as doctor saying he was healthy. can you imagine if we learned that during the 2016 campaign that hillary clinton's physician had put out a letter dictated by hillary clinton saying that she was the healthiest candidate for office? >> we would have been very critical as well. >> and i repeat what we said yesterday. this is a funny character, bornstein, but underneath it all is a scandal that the president of the united states wrote his own medical report in the midst of a presidential campaign while criticizing hillary clinton for her health. joe, i have to say though as you are an anchorman fan, did you have the same quote in mind from that movie when you read the tweet about the toilet bowl where they are having the standoff with vince vaughn's crew and they finally get to brick and he says where do you get your clothe, at the toilet store? and they all stare at him and say no, brick, that wasn't -- >> oh, my god. he did that well.
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>> through the jokes, this is a scandal. and it calls into question agaie podium and did donald trump the write that report that said he'd live to be 200 years old. >> you delivered that line very well. so it is just about the top of the hour on this thursday may 3. still with us, we have rick tyler, white house reporter jonathan lemire, and chair of the department of african-american studies at print ton. joe, we are following more comments that happened this morning from rudy giuliani, but let's try to back up a little bit because last night he sort of went wild on sean hannity's show. i'm not sure understanding that he actually hurt the president's
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case or multiple cases against him. >> yeah, and that is exactly what the president of the united states did last week when he went on "fox & friends." not understanding that he was -- and we now know that while michael cohen was watching the show, he was, you know, throwing his arms up in the air saying what the hell is he doing. he is hurting our cases. and so that was donald trump last week being blissfully unaware of the fact that he was admitting to things that actually were going to damage not only the california case with stormy daniels, but also the case in the southern district of new york. that is one thing. second thing about rudy last night, and we'll get into all the legal problems that rudy has caused the president of the united states, but before we do, i think willie is right. we can't just blow past some of these statements that are made by some of the president's
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defenders. and the one of course that i think we're all the most disturbed by is the fact that you have these former republican leaders, now members of donald trump's inner circle, and last night it was rudy giuliani who compared the federal bureau of investigations, southern district of new york, the very people who work every day to protect us, to protect our families, to protect our communities, to protect our great nation, comparing those people for a cheap political point on a kanl news show to azt s nazi storm troopers. and it bears repeating who those stormtroopers are. but you first let's hear that part of the interview with rudy giuliani from last night. >> settlement payment which is a very regular link for lawyers do. the question there, only
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possible violation is was it a campaign campaign violence, which usually would result in a fine by the way, not big storm treerps coming in and breaking down his apartment and office. that was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way i would do out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, doesn't matter, the president reimbursed that over a period of several months. >> first of all, let's just again for those that weren't watching the last couple hours, giuliarudy giuliani himself a c weeks ago told the "washington post" this is not extraordinary what the southern district of new york had done, that this matters, this happens in investigations from time to time. so he went from two weeks ago saying that this was a regular occurrence, not extraordinary, to now comparing what the southern district of new york and the fbi did to nazi stormtroopers.
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and who were nazi stormtroopers? again, it's important to know what the president and his team are saying. stormtroopers were the paramilitary wing of the nazi party. they were the ones that helped hitler's raise to power in germany in 1933. which led us to 6 million jews being killed at auschwitz, that led to tens of millions being killed across the globe, europe being destroyed. the most deadly war in world history and rudy giuliani is comparing some of his old colleagues at the southern district of new york and the federal bureau of investigations to nazi stormtroopers. it is beyond the pale. and every republican on capitol hill, they need to call him out for this sort of language.
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because this is not the first time that all the president's men have compared the fbi to nazis, to gestapo, to stalin. >> rudy giuliani's interview last night, the followup this morning which we'll get to, and also the president's tweets i find flabbergasting at this point. i mean you have a legal background, i'll leave to the legal experts to talk about all the ways that they hurt themselves. but we share an equal amount of knowledge of the way trump works, knowing his brain a little bit. and i mean is this vintage trump? are they flailing at this point? is the mueller probe so bad that they are flailing and trying to make the stormy daniels case and all these other crazy comments shiny objects to distract? that is the only thing i can think of because they seem like they are rif f'ing does.
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>> they are flailing so much. and willie, you can look at one trump studenter after another.f. >> they are flailing so much. and willie, you can look at one trump studenter after another. comparing the federal bureau of investigation to nazi stormtroopers. i mean, you compare this to we just had dr. ronny jackson in the news saying donald trump could live to be 200 years old. you his treasury secretary said that he was genetically superior to all other human beings. you can just take one quote after another quote after another quote and it is very clear that you have these people who previously had good reputations having the reputations destroyed by a man who as you said would not return the favor and in fact will throw them under the bus the first second it suits his purposes. >> when he gets the chance, no doubt he will. the giuliani quote with the stormtroopers comes against the
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quote from speaker gingrich where he said the fbi was like the gestapo. and just for the record, here is what michael cohen said about that day because he was the only one there. he said this about the fbi, i will tell you members of the fbi that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful and i thanked them at the conclusion. so it doesn't sound like the man who was there in the room when the fbi arrived believed that they used gestapo tactics or that they were stormtroopers. so again, you have people like rudy giuliani going on fox news last night, back on fox news this morning, flailing, throwing out these smoke screens to block what is at the heart of this which is that this presidency is really in trouble. and they are trying to distract you from that and saying that the fbi and justice department actually are the bad degrees and they are the ones that ought to be looked into. >> so let's go through it all. last night giuliani told fox news that trump reimbursed
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michael cohen for the $130,000 hush money payment to stormy daniels. despite president trump's assertion last month that he was unaware of it. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman $130,000 which will turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it is not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. >> they funneled it through a law firm. >> funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know -- he did. no campaign finance law? >> zero. just like every -- >> so this decision was made by -- >> everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. i wasn't. i knew how much money donald trump put into that campaign. i said $130,000? he'soingo do a couple ches
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for $130,000. >> but did you know the president didn't know about this? >> he didn't know about the specifics of it as far as i know. but he did know about the general arrangement that michael would take care of things like this like i take care of things like this for my clients. i don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. these are busy people. >> wow. >> oh, my god. >> it gets worse every time. >> i wonder how many of rudy giuliani's clients he's had a $130,000 payoff to a porn star. he says it as if this is what -- this just happens with lawyers. they write $130,000 checks to porn stars. no, it never works that way. and the fact that rudy was b bumbling around and suggesting that this was not a campaign
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violation when the fixer was paid a couple weeks before the election and cohen later complaining that trump had not paid him back? that seems to be on its face if not a campaign law violation, certainly something that the fec would investigate. and i don't know a single member of congress that i served with over the better part of four terms who if they hadn't done something like that or had a friend pay $130,000, we'd be all on the floor going, boy, that guy is screwed. he's going to jail. >> one of the terms that we never use in a campaign in terms of financing is the word funneled. so -- >> thank you. >> sean hannity says you funneled if through the law firm. i teach communications and i want to take this entire interview because it would take a whole seminar to break down everything wrong with it. i mean, first of all, sean hannity acted like he had his
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legs cut out from under him. giuliani apologized to him, sorry a fact you didn't know because you've been cut out of the loop on this. which is literally true. and also sean hannity, he's been defending trump on this issue for weeks and weeks. and then all of a sudden he comes out, jewgiuliani shows upd says no, everything you've been saying is all wrong. he is actually paying him. and again the idea of the structured payments, they were designed to hide a wrongdoing. and that does not sound very legal to me. >> no, and also i mean we've been critical of sean sometimes concerned about the relationship, but he does a great job last night. bang up job. >> president thinks so. >> and so do we. >> this president does that trust michael cohen otherwise he
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would have given him a white house job be. so giuliani saying he trusts him, that is bologna. >> and the president tweeted this morning about his reimbursement to cohen. he brings mr. cohen an attorney received a monthly retainer not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign from which he entered into through reimbursements a private contract between two parties known as a non-disclosure agreement or nda. these agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth. in this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in arbitration for damages against miss clifford, stormy daniels. the agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was into affair. prior to its violation by miss clifford, per attornher attornes a private agreement, money from the campaign played no role in this transaction. and rudy giuliani went back on
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fox this morning, i should point out that michael avenatti did say when he tweet that hed thatd he warned on the dvd, thank you, that he warned president trump not to deny what he says is the truth about his client and president trump. and that dvd was a warning and that he would reveal what is on it and that it would provide proof. that is everything that he has in in-said every step of the way. so hopefully we'll get answers. rudy giuliani was back on fox this morning reacting to the president's tweets. >> people were surprised which i think this is why this is a tweet that is very valuable because the president indicates he understood it, that he didn't know the details of this until we knew the details of it, which is a couple weeks ago about that maybe not even a couple. maybe ten years ago. remember when this came up,
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october 2016. i was with him day in and day out then. i can't remember the details of what happened. and this was -- >> why not? >> i know $135,000, i don't want to demean anyone, but 130 35$,000 seems like a lot of money, but it is not when you're putting $100 million into your campaign. not pocket change, but pretty close to it. >> i remember when michael cohen was interviewed about it, and it seems like he was saying that he was never reimburse that had $130,000 and now it sounds like the story is changing. >> he was definitely reimbursed. >> so why does he say he wasn't? >> maybe -- first of all, if we had to defend this as not being a campaign contribution, i think we could do that. this was for personal reasons. this was the president had been hurt personally, not politically. personally. and the first lady by some of the false allegations, that one more false allegation six years old, i think he was trying to help the family.
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for that, the man is being treated like some kind of villain and i think he was just being a good lawyer. a good man. >> so there were no campaign violations because it was out of donald trump's pocket? >> that makes it nice and clear. but it wasn't for the campaign. it was to save their marriage as much as their reputation. >> oh, my god, i can't even -- willie, take over. >> they have to get him off tv. >> yeah, they have struggled to attract top flight lawyers and certainly to have osomeone be te public face of the issues, i mean certainly rudy giuliani has suggested that this was planned with the president, that the president knew he was going to say this, but he just seems to be muddying the waters. i mean, this is tough to hear. and beyond that, it's not clear, there is not a campaign finance violation here.
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>> and there are a couple things here. they are still holding on to the claim that it is a false allegation that in some signature way stormy daniels and her attorney michael avenatti, that they were engaged in an extortion effort to get money out of donald trump. and donald trump in effect pays stormy daniels in order to protect his family from the false allegations that he had an affair with stormy daniels. so it seems to me that the dvd might just very well be forthcoming and that the defamation suit, the second one, is forth coming because now he's on record, not just -- >> he's on record. >> and it is now on record that this is what he is denying that they had an allegation all together and that stormy daniels and michael avenatti was engaged in extortion. >> april 35 5, do you know whee got the money to make the
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payment? no, i don't know. and directed further questions to michael cohen. guys, i think what is going on here, i think it is pretty clear after the second giuliani interview is that trump and giuliani got together and they want to send a signal to michael cohen that we're going to protect you and take care of you so that he doesn't flip. there is no other rationale for them being on tv going this far admitting to a lie other than say michael cohen knows where all the bodies are buried and if he flip, they are in big trouble. >> and also the timing is interesting. why now? is it because they realize that there is evidence of these payments perhaps that that would -- what else would trigger suddenly this about face and these revelations that they have decided that making the president a liar like to say, yes, he laid about this on air force one is a better alternative than what else must be coming down the road. >> i want to hear it again, there were so many questions.
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>> do you think he passed the a audition? >> no. >> but the president does. go back and do it again this morning. >> all right. let's go through it again. i think it raises at least four questions even following last night's interview on hannity. here is jewrudy giuliani the president's new lawyer. go. >> people were indeed surprised which is why i think this is a tweet that is very valuable because the president indicates that he understood it. he didn't know the details of this until we knew the details which is a couple weeks ago. maybe not even a couple. maybe ten days ago. remember, when this came up, october 2016, i was with him day in and day out then. i can't remember the details of what happened. >> why not. >> >> i know $135,000 -- i don't want to demean anyone, but
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$135,000 is not a lot of money when you're put g $100 million into your campaign. it isn't pocket change, but pretty close to it at the end. >> i remember when michael cohen was interviewed and it seemed like he was saying that he was never reimbursed that $130,000 and now it sounds like the story is changing. >> he was definitely reimbursed. no doubt about it. >> so why does he say he wasn't? >> maybe -- first of all, if we had to defend this as not being a campaign contribution, i think we could do that. this was for personal reasons. this was the president had been hurt personally, not politically. personally so much. and the first lady. by some of the false allegations that one more false allegation six years old, i think he was trying to help the family. and for that, the man is being treated like some kind of villain and i think he was just being a good lawyer, a good man. >> so there were no campaign violations because it was out of donald trump's pocket. >> that makes it nice and clear.
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but it wasn't for the campaign. it was to save their marriage as much as their reputation. >> okay. so $130,000 is a lot of money, but not a lot when you're put g $100 million into your campaign. michael campaign was indeed reimbursed which was previously denied. and the reason that this isn't a campaign violation is that this was personal. the first lady and president had been hurt personally by this. and he seemed to slip a little saying that this was be done to save his marriage. i believe trying to infer that because this was a personal payment, it therefore cannot be -- you can't change the law. if you are in the run up to an election and you spend money in this way, help me, rick -- >> you're right. so rudy is saying that candidates can give as much money to their own campaign as they want. but they need to disclose it.
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and he didn't give the money. michael cohen gave the money. and as rudy pointed out, october 26, what happened a few days after october 26? we had a national election. so it is clear that the money was used so it wouldn't become part of the narrative right before the election. and so that is the question. but you cannot loan yourself some undisclosed loan, that is against fec violations. >> if the money was used to protect his campaign, it is a campaign donation, right? whether months before or december or any other time. but it came 10, 12 days before the campaign. you tell me if that was to protect the campaign. >> if you check the box to say save my marriage, i think he'll be all right. >> and the claim seems to be that the retainer constitutes the reimbursement, that he was paying him $35,000 a month or something of that sort and that
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constitutes the reimbursement. in other words -- not in other words. michael cohen was charged to fix things and to the extent to which he was charged to fix things, they had him on retainer as such. and out of that money, however he got it, going back to the interview from last night, he then fixed things, one of which happened to be stormy daniels. >> and if it is 12 or 13 months of these retainer payments, $400,000 or whatever else, what else was made knomoney used for. >> and i don't think donald trump would pay somebody $400,000 for no work. >> and the taxes, size, amount of the money. >> and giuliani could again not answer the fundamental question posed where she said why did he say he didn't make the payment on april 5 on air force one and he immediately changed the subject. there is no answer to that question. >> it is incredible.
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>> except that it was a lie. >> and the two questions specifically on this will be, first of all, if the president now that he has denied openly in his own twitter account an affair with stormy daniels, if michael avenatti, her attorney, will produce what he has been warning the president about if he denies an affair. that appears to be on a dvd. and the other question that he raised is about a $1.5 million payment to someone else to handle the details is surrounding a pregnancy. and he seemed to intonate that that is relate to the president himself. he keeps bringing that up. so interesting to see if any information is produced on that moving forward. this is beyond ugly. >> the temperature has just been turned up. giuliani just said that stormy daniels and michael avenatti were engaged in an extortionist
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effort. he just turned the temperature up.jonathan, thank you. the president says he tries to stay away from the justice department, but at some point he won't. that folds in to "time" cover story this week and we'll look into it straight ahead. >> where did you get those clothes, at the toilet store? it takes to brew your cup. first, we head to vermont. and go to our coffee shop. and meet dave. hey. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good, he asks? let me show you. let's go. so we climb. hike. see a bear. woah. reach the top. dave says dark magic is a bold blend of coffee with rich flavors of uganda, sumatra, colombia and other parts of south america. like these mountains, each amazing on their own. but together? magical. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters packed with goodness. i ...prilosec otc 7 years ago,my doctor recommended... 5 years ago, last week. just 1 pill each morning, 24 hours and zero heartburn. it's been the number 1 doctor recommended brand for 10... ...straight years, and it's still recommended today.
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tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk of serious side effects. the details make a difference. the man makes them matter. see real results at the man makes them matter. of addiction and chaos. we were homeless for a time. but i had grandparents and teachers who believed in me. and i became a nurse. 17 years at alta bates, working to save newborn babies in intensive care.
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then organizing to save our hospital from closing. i'm rochelle pardue-okimoto, and i'm running for assembly because no one should be left behind. rochelle pardue-okimoto for assembly. because of the fact that ne they have this witch hunt going on with people in the justice department that shouldn't be there, 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, that i will not be involved with the justice department. i'm very disappointed in my justice department. but because of the fact that it is going on, and in-you'll understand this, i have decided that i won't be involved. i may change my mind at some point because what is going on is a disgrace. you look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it is a
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disgrace. and our justice department, which i try and stay away from, but at some point i won't. >> joining the table, we have former under-secretary of state for public diplomacy rick stengel and also from the issue about the fbi on crisis, it reads something wrong. in the course of two dozen interviews, acts expressed concern that it is threatening the cooperation of informants, local and state police officials and allies overseas. the crisis of credibility appears to have seeped into the jury room, public support for the fbi has plunged. some question whether the fbi has gotten too big and has been asked to do too many things. in may be no immediate way to fix a place with as many missions and masters as the fbi. one official asked what it would take for the fbi for move past the controversy and said simply time. good to see you both.
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we played some of the president's rant on fox and friends last week about the fbi calling it corrupt at the top, a point he's made many times. it seems to me that in reading your piece, there are some people inside the fbi who may agree with the president. >> i think in the reductive partisan world that we live in now, the conversation about the justice department and the fbi has been reduced into this fight between trump and his nominal opponents in his own justice department. but the bigger picture is that there really is as we say something wrong at the place. a series of inspector general reports by michael more horowitz over the last year has uncovered one misstep after another. there are failures to investigate top secret cleared employees who fail plul pomulti
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polygraph tests, there is overriding whistleblower protections and then of course big mismisses like t mish misses big mismisses like t mis like t shooting, multiple other things. and the larger issue here is that the fbi for all its power ultimately relies on trust and credibility for its success in recruiting informants, in getting witnesses, in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. and ultimately in convincing injury juries of the trut of the truft of the evidence about and they found that there has been a decline in the number of convictions each of the last five years for a total of an 11% drop in convictions over that period in fbi investigations. >> so bob huller took over as fbi director september 10th,
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2001. and he took an agency that was literally focused for decades on breaking up the mafia, the mob, and he turned into a vital component of the war on terror, the fight against terror domestically. so what happened? because mueller's stay as fbi director as we all know was extended because of his expertise and his professionalism. what happened and when did it happen to bring the fbi to this point? >> so it is interesting, the discussion, the diagnosis of what has gone wrong at the fbi is on going. under mueller, you're right, he made a massive investment in order to keep it from being broken up into a domestic intelligence agency and a law enforcement -- traditional criminal law enforcement agency, he made this massive investment of resources and personnel in counterterrorism, took them from
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9,000 special agents up to 14,000. but also attracted all the best people within to fight counterterrorism. and some critics say that as a result they lost focus on the traditional on sort of gum shoe criminal and other investigative matters. now, a lot of this reputational damage has to be said occurred after mueller in the 3 1/2 year tenure of james comey. >> and the new issue of "time" magazine is about the fbi crisis. thank you very much. joe. well, and of course it bears repeating because so often people stuuggest that the fbi h an edagenda against donald trum during the campaign. that in fact not the case at all. you had james comey helping donald trump get elected with his letter again days before, you also had the ig report on mccabe because mccabe actually leaked a story about an
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investigation that was ongoing that was damaging to hillary clinton. that was the investigation of the clinton foundation. you also had one story in the "new york times" after another about fbi agents angry that barack obama then the president of the united states was weighing in on the e-mail investigation of hillary clinton and suggesting that no national security issues were compromised. so most of the leaks during 2015 and 2016 were leaks that actually damaged hillary clinton's campaign. one other thing that is maybe inconvenient to the president and of course those on his team that are comparing fbi agents to hitler's stormtroopers, there was an ongoing investigation into donald trump that the fbi did not alert voters to the day of the election. so the whole idea that somehow the fbi was damaging donald
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trump's campaign really shows shear ignorance, shear stupidity or shear bad faith. just look it up, it is all in the record. give me a break. rick, i want to talk about this because we often hear stories about the fbi in crisis, the state department in crisis, the cia in crisis. actually, this is always happening, there is always a give and take. half of the cia wanted george bush to go get 'em after 9/11 and the other half of the cia was offended by how the interrogation process was moving forward, so they were leaking to the "new york times" and "washington post" all the time. the fbi, you got the new york part of the fbi that leaks certparts of the story and the d.c. bureau leaking other parts of the story. so same thing with the state
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department. for massive institutions like this, it happens because saints do not run those institutions. human beings do on. and they all have their own personal prejudices. >> yes, joe, that is absolutely true. and just would be poielcome bac the fbi and the "times" story, the idea that there are problems in the fbi is different than the idea that donald trump is attacking the fbi. donald trump is attacking the fbi for personal reasons. there have been problems with the fbi that we've seen going back as you say to 9/11. so i think they are in separate categories and people shouldn't ally them. but your point about the agencies, yes, human beings are there. and human beings are voters, they are citizens, they are predilections. but what donald trump didn't understand and people in the trump administration don't understand is that they are there to serve the political people in a sense to offer them
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choices. the fbi, the cia, go to the white house and say this is how we see it, but it is your decision. and they are not putting their finger on the scale. s person who is supposed to put the finger on the scale is the political appointee and yet donald trump seems to think that all of these guys are out to get him. he is paranoid about it. and in fact these are people who are really just trying to do their job and go around their own political feelings and say no, i have to be as objective as possible about this and give the president choice. >> talking about being objective, i'm going to test you now. mike pompeo to the state department, here is a guy that knows how to talk to trump. knows how to stay in his good graces. did fairly well at the ceo if you talk to the rank and file at the ceo. do you think he'll be able to do the same thing at the state department, tell trump what trump wants to hear, but rebuild the state department in a way that tillerson could not? >> well, he's more of an
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institutional person. he is an institutional washington person. he knows the importance of agencies. and you can't go in as an outsider and think like tillerson did i'm going to remold this place even before i know it. that is why people at the state department didn't trust him. what pompeo did well is say i want to bring the swagger back, not that the state department ever had that much swagger, but he is an institutional man and we can deal with an institutional man even if we don't like the policy which is probably what will happen. >> rick, thank you so much. and by the way you and i smarhaa birthday, yesterday. and it is willie's today. >> what are we doing after this? >> let's go for ice cream. >> i was thinking jello shots. >> all right. and with so much more important reporting coming out each day, it is important to take a moment to note today as world press freedom day. unesco is teaming up with many leading news organizations including msnbc to rally behind a new idea, that newspapers and
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only one candidate for governor when students were stuck in failing schools, led the fight to turn them around. as mayor of l.a., antonio villaraigosa invested in classrooms and security. graduation rates soared. antonio for governor. well, womenly a liwillie an the rest of the baseball season goes like april, we're in for an extra ordinary run. two of the best three teams in baseball, red sox and yankee, mookie betts hitting another three run homer day which is just extraordinary. gregorius doing great.
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st stanton finally stopped striking out. pitching lights out. this could be a fun, fun baseball season. >> it's going to be a fun a.l. east for those of us on this show. red sox have the best record in baseball, yankees have the third rest record in baseball with arizona in the middle. yes, a r, stand soton hit two h and a double. if he wakes up, there is nobody where to go. and i saw a stat that as slow as stanton's start has been, he is actually a little bit ahead of where he was at this point last year when he went on to hit 59 home runs and become the national league mvp. so he start slow, getting used to a new league, new city and more pressure on him here. >> and don't under estimate the factor all of these teams and players of the weather that we've had this april especially along the east coast. i mean the cold weather, hitters have suffered, pitchers have
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suffered. but now it is warm. >> and they play each other next week. >> i'll be there 37. >> mike, how good is mookie betts? the guy is 25 years old.7. >> mike, how good is mookie betts? the guy is 25 years old.. >> mike, how good is mookie betts? the guy is 25 years old. he's baby ligheen lights out. >> they tell me that you will find few people on the face of the earth with better hand/eye coordination than this young kid. and he is not a pick kids. he is mike stanton. maybe 6 d-feet, 185 pounds. but yesterday he hooked it into the center field bleachers 435 feet away and he is not a big strong guy. the hand/eye coordination is phenomenal. >> and you look at zander as well. he crushed one. they have some great young players. the yankees are unbelievable. what a race. and for those of you at home
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that complained that all we ever do is talk about the a.le. east it's going to be a long baseball season. >> yes, it is. and it starts today. >> really long. >> and then somebody from the n.l. central will win the world series and everything we've talked about will be meaningless. >> we won't show the highlights that day because neither the red sox or yankees will have won. up next, the trump administration's art of the distraction, we'll explain ahead on "morning joe." ♪
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with pg&e in the sierras. and i'm an arborist since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. african-american unemployment has reached the lowest level in history. in history. and by the way, in all fairness, kanye west gets it. he gots it. he gets it. and he saw that. when he sees that
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african-american unemployment is the lowest in history, you know, people are watching. that is a very important thing he's done for his legacy. >> you know what else people are watching, mika? when white supremacists and neo-nazis take over charlottesville, virginia, and the president holds a press conference, and he says they're good people on both sides. and he preaches moral equivalency between protesters against neo-nazis and neo-nazis themselves. that's what people are watching too. >> yes, and then his echo chamber says the charlottesville protests are people expressing their opinions, their emotions, but the parkland students march on washington is just out of line. incredible. tomorrow, the urban league will release its annual state of black america report. now in its 42nd year, the report is one of the most highly
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anticipated bench marks for racial equality in america. joining us now, president and ceo of the national urban league, mark moriel. here on set, arnan gardares. mark what trends are you seeing, and what surprises you most out of the results? >> this, first of all, we encourage people to go online,, in the morning to read the report. focusing on technology and the digital revolution. revealing a paradox. on one hand, african-american consumers are more likely to have a smart phone, more likely to use social media sites, than any other ethnic group with the exception of asian-americans. but on the other hand, african-american employment in major tech companies is paltry. it's at 1.8% on an overall basis, less than five.
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so this new technology revolution, which is changing the way we live, african-americans are leading the way as consumers. but not being included as the beneficiaries of the economic benefits that this new economy is creating. that's an important finding from this report. and we talk in the report about many ways this problem could be confronted. but we've got to shed a light on this paradox in this very important fact. >> eddie, any thoughts, any reaction on what's behind the paradox? >> i think it has a lot to do with the deep inequalities, racial inequalities in the lab are market. i want to ask mark this question. when we talk about tech knnologl advances, it's driving in some ways economic pressure on the nation. having an impact on the availability for work. what do you see in the report in terms of this technological advance and how it's impacting
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african-american communities, given that president trump is touting we have the lowest unemployment for black americans in the history of the country? >> i'll come back to president trump's statement, but let me address the technological advances, robots, if you will, artificial intelligence. they -- that is going to cause us to lose jobs. certain jobs are going to go away. however, it's also creating a whole new class of jobs in the technology, in the digital and in the satellite industry. the trick, the key, for the country is are we doing what we need to do to prepare those who are going to be displaced for the new jobs and the next generation for those new jobs? and i don't think the private sector, nor the education sector, are doing enough in that regard. >> let me -- let's talk about something, expand this out a little bit. my two younger children became
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conscious when barack obama was president of the united states. that's the norm. that's the first thing they knew as americans. i just wonder what good does lower unemployment among black americans, hispanic americans, muslim-americans, what good is that if a black father, muslim-american mother, hispanic mother or father, have to explain to their children hateful racist comments that the president of the united states made about them and their community? >> i think it's always nice to have a job. but it doesn't mean as much as it might when you're living under a regime that is degrading everyone like you and your right to perhaps exist in this country
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and be a full human being. and so you know the trump era, i've had this conversation with people who work for donald trump, will hear a lot of criticism coming at them and then respond with the single data point of the black unemployment rate. and i think what's extraordinary in some of this report that's coming out for mark, we're living in this time in which i'm actually not sure that simply making tech work a little better or figuring out a slightly better tax policy racial legacy. is there -- are reparations, are more fundamental changes simply to kind of create some kind of level playing field, a prerequisite to thinking about things like access to tech and board seats and things like that? do we need to have the basic conversation before we have the
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kind of high end conversation? >> let me say this, i think there is no question, this report deals much more broadly then tech. tech is a focus this year because it's the access of the american in the global economy now. but the broad, broad structural inequality is baked into american society. this index that we publish every year has not changed in the last almost 12 years in terms of the disparities in health, in education, in social justice. it seems to be we're in suspended animation. african-americans are like a caboose on a train. when the train speeds up, we may speed up, but we're still in the rear. so there's no doubt that a more structural conversation must take place. but let me address this, this credit that the president tries to take. the president's like a running back who's put in on the 1 yard line after another running back has carried the team all the way
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down the field. he's given the ball. he gets into the end zone. and he wants to be named mvp of the game. thank you, barack obama, for reducing the black unemployment rate by almost 10%. if donald trump can reduce the black unemployment rate by 10%, okay, then he may deserve a trophy. but let's debunk this sort of spinmeistering that's taking place, where you take a single statistic out of context and try to take credit for the work over a period of years. now, even though that unemployment rate is where it is, the truth is it's still twice as high as the white rate, and it's still true that the black home ownership rate is at a 40-year low, and that structural income inequality and the racial wealth gap detrimentally affected the naegs a nation and people of color. >> we'll be looking for the annual report, out tomorrow.
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willie. >> so, annan, just to pick up, about inequality, my friend who runs robinhood here in new york always gets on me a little bit. i get that the trump tweets and influence on our election and what's happening in the white house is important, but don't forget about the people that i represent, which is he says this inequality thing is as bad as it's ever been, it's only getting worse. so there is that, something that's also in this report, is this state of distraction that he calls it. which is we're obsessed with what's happening in washington and rightly so but there are so many other issues that deserve attention. >> i want to say something to your viewers which really struck me. a writer friend of mine, one of the great journalists of our time. we were doing a panel together. maybe a year ago. she said, you know, in an era like this, there's five or six issues that we're all paying attention to. the muslim ban, you know, attacks at a certain poi in time, mass deportations. but therare thousands of
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things the government does. and she said, you know, the things that she most worried about hurting people were the things that none of us pay attention to. issues with no face and name. she brought up the census, right. if you simply don't put a good person in some third level job in the census, half a million people may not get health care 20 years from now because of all these consequences. and i think there's a whole probably unwritten history to be written one day about all the things we are not talking about that's simply because of unfilled jobs, not caring, are actually harming people in ways that are not visible to us. >> annan, thank you very much. and usually at this time, we take some time to do final thoughts, but we actually have no words. the breaking news of the past 24 hours. no words on what has happened with trump and his new lawyer. but we do have cake, joe. it's not my birthday.
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it's not my birthday. huh-uh, no. it is willie's. give me those. yes, come on. >> you guy, thank you very much. >> joe, do you want to sing happy birthday? >> and with all my friends here. thank you, mika. >> this is awesome. how old are you? >> 43 years old today. >> happy birthday, willie geist. >> 43? >> i got on new blue glasses. >> he's so young. >> willie geist, everybody. >> thank you, guys. >> joe, i think we want to recognize willie's contributions to the tweet desk as he passes the torch to sam stein. this is your cake saying good-bye. >> step aside, my retirement from the tweet desk. >> that's a princeton professor right there. >> that's a good look. >> there it is. >> joe, final thoughts? >> final thoughts, i mean, i think right now, eddie says it all. put the glasses back on, man. >> because if you don't, i will. >> eddie channeling elton john at dodgers stadium in


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