tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC May 3, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
that. because you know what else, is ichiro ever did, i don't think he bet on anybody but himself. "the beat" starts right now. good evening, ayman. >> i think a lot of of people would agree with you on ichiro as well. thanks for that. i'm in for ari melber. we begin tonight with rudy guiliani's bombshell revelation, admitting donald trump repaid the stormy daniels' money. >> 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 through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know he did. >> yep. >> there's no campaign finance law? >> zero. >> the president reimbursed that over a period of several months. >> so many questions in that particular statement from giuliani. though now questions over whether trump broke federal law by failing to disclose that loan
as a campaign contribution. i'll hawk talk to the head of a watchdog group targeting trump over this issue. giuliani claiming it was a personal reimbursement from trump to a lawyer who handled all sorts of dealings for the president. he also gave more details about that repayment, telling "the washington post," quote, it took place over a period of time, probably all paid back by the end of 2017. that is probably a few other situations that might have been considered campaign expenses. well, giuliani also saying trump had no knowledge of the payment to stormy daniels until very recently. >> he didn't know the details of this until we knew the details of it, which was a couple weeks ago. maybe not even a couple, maybe ten days ago. >> that's the giuliani argument, the stormy daniels story was a possible embarrassment on a personal level with potential to affect trump and his family and
therefore not related to the campaign. but then there was this morning. giuliani seemed to indicate, no, there were, in fact, campaign considerations at play. >> imagine if that came out on october 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. cohen made it go away. he did his job. >> so you heard his job. kind of a switch of the story. natasha bertrand, renato mor yaty and malcolm nance, great to have you with us. let's beginning with giuliani's claims that trump only learned about the payment ten days ago. stormy daniels' lawyer on the air today, pushing back on that specific claim. take a listen. >> mr. giuliani's claims that the president only learned about this in the last ten days, that's not believable. you mean to tell me the president has had his head in the sand and knew nothing about this until about ten days ago? the likelihood of us having a
chance to depose the president went up exponentially. >> so we know renato, that the chances of the president not knowing about this as michael avenatti was saying, slim to none. he consumes a lot of cable news, this story dominated for a long cycle when it came out. what will this mean legally for the stormy daniels case? >> it's certainly going to be harder for trump to argue that he doesn't need to be deposed. originally his position was, i knew nothing about this, i knew nothing about the deal whatsoever. i knew nothing about the payment, so why are you trying to bring me into this lawsuit, i have nothing to do with it. that's plausible if he really was somebody who was totally unrelated to the suit. but now he's saying, of course, i was part of this payment, i reimbursed the payments, i knew about this. well, suddenly, he has something to do with the facts of this lawsuit, which frankly, that was just common sense from day one. i do agree that from the beginning, you had to wonder
about the president's story. >> and let me juxtapose these statements for you. this is what michael cohen told "the new york times" on february 13th. >> i used my personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to stephanie clifford. neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with miss clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly. so how again does that statement fit or pose a problem for the revelations that giuliani made, that the president now knew about the payment, even if it was as recent as ten days ago, and in fact, that it was reimbursed and that it was repaid. >> right. that was lawyer speak, essentially coming from michael cohen. he was very, very careful to say that it was either the trump organization neither the trump campaign that reimbursed him for those funds. i was one of probably dozens of reporters in the immediate aftermath of that statement went to michael cohen and said, okay,
but did the president himself pay you back? and of course we never got an answer to that. that was something that he was very, very clearly trying to avoid. because if it did come out that trump was made aware of this payment and that he did tell cohen to solve this problem for him and said, don't worry, i'll pay you back, then that would speak to trump potentially being implicated in campaign finance violation, trying to bury something before the election. and rudy guiliani has really done no favors for the president. i mean, just his statement last night and this morning about how this, if it had come out in the final debate with hillary clinton, that it would have been really damaging. i mean, that right there speaks to the extent to which the trump campaign was clearly worried about this having been revealed before the election. so that also indicates that perhaps there was some awareness on the part of trump or the people around him at least, that if this came out, it was going to be really, really bad and they had to do should go about it. >> certainly it suggests that there was a consideration from a political and a campaign
perspective. and as we mentioned, michael cohen obviously talking about it, giuliani talking about. but here's the president in his own words. he's publicly denied he knew about the payment or where the money cohen used actually came from. take a listen. >> do you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. that was my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> so from a law enforcement perspective, would the president's statement, rudy guiliani's statement and michael cohen's statement create some conflicting statements? what do they do when they see three different people with answers that don't necessarily add up? >> well, they do what robert mueller's going to do, which is, he's going to try to get them to make these statements in an official capacity, and then tear them apart. and make his case. whatever the outcome of that's going to be. but that's a factor here they think a lot of people are
missing because we're really getting into the weeds about this one said statement a, statement b, statement c. this is a form of psychological warfare being carried out for the republican party, for donald trump, and that 37 to 40% of people who voted for them. i don't think they care at all about what anybody else thinks. you know, giuliani started framing this last night as just some guy who's a good guy, who has friends, who are taking care of him. and they are going -- and they didn't even have to inform the guy, but his key point was, it's all legal. it had nothing to do with campaign finance and federal election laws. and they're going to keep hammering that, no matter what's said here. and they need to keep hammering that, because i really think to a certain extent, they think that they're sort of above the law. and that being said, they can get that 40% angry and mad and
discount anything robert mueller does from this point forward. >> this tweet caught my attention earlier today. this was a president trump tweeting out about the michael cohen payment, the received payments. i think this is one of the most if not the most legally worded tweet i've ever come out of the president. i've seen people say there's no way he wrote that with the grammar and punctuation. it says, not from the campaign, having nothing to do with the campaign from which he entered into through reimbursement, a private contract, money from the campaign or campaign contributions, played no role in this transaction. and you can read the rest of it, but all of that in the context of the payment that was made to michael cohen. so renato, does it matter where the reimbursement came from if the intent, as we heard from rudy jewel ja rudy guiliani earlier today was to somehow shield the president from the fall-out of this news
in the campaign run-up? >> no, it really doesn't matter. i have to say, i originally thought, when i first heard giuliani on the hannity show, i thought, okay, he's trying to take some of the heat off cohen. maybe they're trying to prevent cohen from flipping, but his statements became more ham-handed over time. he essentially admitted this morning on fox news, on fox & friends, that this was related to that, trying to make sure this didn't come out before the last debate. so this is essentially, the way he's describing it, an in-kind contribution -- excuse me -- a personal contribution by trump to his own campaign and he's funneling it through cohen, in order presumably to avoid reporting it as a campaign finance contribution to his campaign. so he's got the problem either way. and it's really just creating more of a problem. >> there are those, natasha, who may be saying, what has transpired in the past 24 hours was somewhat unexpected, you know, the way it's created
upheaval in terms of the legal response that we're seeing. but rudy guiliani is new to the legal team. in fact, he told bob costa, that he did this with the president's blessing, this revelation that he had made the payment. what is the mind-set about this legal strategy going forward? is there a clear one that has now emerged after what we've seen in the past 24 hours? >> honestly, what i've seen is nothing resembling a coherent legal strategy. what i keep seeing is just a lot of mud being thrown up against the wall to see what sticks. it's really hard to see a legal team that is working together in a coordinated way here. this was not a carefully crafted statement by jewgiuliani. it was not handled in a way they think was helpful. frankly, brought attention to a case that has been put on hold by the judge. a very stupid legal move. >> natasha, i'm going to give you a chance to respond as well. go ahead. >> i was going to say, i have no
doubt that rudy giuliani and donald trump are talking about these things privately and not looping in the rest of the white house on this legal strategy. their peers, their friends, on the same page about a number of things, including disdain for the justice department. but it seems the strategy now is they're going to say it was trump's personal money that was used to pay back michael cohen, so that the heat is taken off the idea that it was taken out of campaign funds. that way, it will make it seem more legitimate. they've also started to say that a reason why this money was paid back was in order to save the marriage, was in order to keep melania trump happy and keep the marriage from failing. so this is a whole new strategy. they're making it much more personal and they want to stay away from the political side, because of course they know that's what's most dangerous. js interesting to see how it all plays out. renato, malcolm, natasha, stick around, lot more to talk about. still ahead, more on the
trump/stormy daniels revelations. we'll hear from the head of a watchdog group saying trump's campaign problems just got a whole lot worse. plus, a new reason why trump fired james comey. it could be a big deal in the obstruction probe as well. >> he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. >> believe it or not, there's more to that interview. giuliani's bizarre comments about the trump family calling jared kushner a disposable man. >> jared is a fine man, you know that. but many are, you know, disposable. but a fine woman, like ivanka, come on. >> is this a clue to the new trump legal strategy if there is one? you're watching "the beat" on msnbc.
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i will. no. make that the password: "you_stillóhave_toóvisit_us." that's a good one. [ chuckles ] download the xfinity my account app and set a password you can easily remember. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. we're back with breaking news coverage. rudy guiliani revealing president trump reimbursed michael cohen for that $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. in a moment, i'll talk to the head of the watchdog group who says it creates brand-new exposure for trump when it comes to campaign finance laws. giuliani says the opposite, that the pay-off wasn't a campaign violation, but a routine expense for trump's lawyer. >> the question there was, 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 down 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. and the president reimbursed that over the period of several months. >> with now, paul ryan, vice president of policy litigation for common cause. his organization first brought a complaint to the stormy daniels pay-out and alleged campaign finance violations. great to have you with us. i want to first get your reactions to giuliani's comments that this was not a violation of campaign finance law, something that the president routinely expected from his fixer michael cohen to do. >> that certainly tells me that rudy guiliani doesn't understand campaign finance law and how it works. that's bad news for president trump that his lawyer's going on national television offering up evidence of a crime having been committed by the president, a
criminal violation of campaign finance law, and then displaying his lack of knowledge about how the law applies to his client's conduct. >> let me read to you the bit from the fec, talking about disclosing loans. it says, if any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate gives or loans the candidate money for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office, the funds are considered a contribution. so from that specific definition, would this be covered as something that would be or should have been disclosed? >> it most certainly should have been disclosed, for a couple of reaso reasons. number one, it was a payment for the purpose of influence an election. the trump campaign was required to disclose that. michael cohen also made an illegally large in-kind contribution the minute he tapped into his home equity line of credit for $130,000 that he used to pay stormy daniels. and i think there are additional
reporting violations related to the ongoing failure of the committee to report this, if you want to call it a loan, call it a loan. if you want to call it a contribution, that works too. loan is within the federal definition of contribution. so ongoing violations, reporting violations related to the failure to report by the committee and the incremental repayments by donald trump to michael cohen. >> so very quickly, with the statement that giuliani made this morning on fox news, saying, can you imagine if this would have come out in october 15th in the heat of the election weeks before the voting day -- could that statement alone be considered evidence to back up your point that this was an in-kind contribution or loan or whatever you want to call it, in the heat of an election? >> i certainly consider it strong evidence of the obvious, that this payment was all about the election. look, stormy daniels has said in legal papers filed in court in california that this was all about the election. there are a lot of other -- the timing matters. the fact that stormy daniels was threatening to talk to the
press, national media right before the election, the timing of the "access hollywood" tapes a couple weeks prior to this, there's a lot of evidence this payment was about the election. >> natasha, to that point, if trump did just find out the details of this situation about ten days ago or so, does that time frame, that window of the past ten days give him a justifiable cover that he did not know about any of these payments or how that payment was made or what it was for, et cetera? >> for starters, i don't believe -- >> sorry that question was to natasha. give me a second. go ahead, natasha. >> i was going to say, i don't think so. especially knowing what trump and cohen's relationship was like. cohen is trump's fixer, yes. but the relationship between them was very, very close. cohen worked with trump for over a decade. it would have been very, very odd if cohen hadn't alerted the president, then candidate trump, to the fact that he was going to pay stormy daniels $130,000 to remain quiet about an affair
they allegedly had a decade ago. this would be totally out of character for michael cohen to do. and of course this also speaks to whether or not what michael cohen did was legal or ethical. i mean, keeping -- if what they're saying is true, that he kept this entire thing from the president, could cohen be disbarred for that? legal experts i've spoken to have said, yes, he could. >> and honestly, that's a perfect segue, it's as if you were reading the questions we prepared. what i want to get to, how in the world could a guy who works with trump, michael cohen, his fixer, not talk to him about a payment like this? this is what giuliani said about the arrangement between cohen and trump. listen. >> 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. >> so does this suggest,
natasha, that, in fact, michael cohen was arranging other payments on behalf of president trump? >> so this was a really interesting comment. and i think another slip-up by rudy guiliani. nothing was disclosed. cohen was not disclosed as, you know, a -- someone who was giving loans or making donations to the campaign. so if he was making other payments that could be considered campaign donations, and again, it wasn't disclosed, this increases the jeopardy here. it's very, very odd that rudy guiliani would come out and say that, yes, the stormy daniels payment was one and there may have been others that were related to this. ths n it's not out of character for michael cohen to have done this, he was trump's fixer. but it raises questions that perhaps mueller will want to know about, as part of the russia investigation. what else did michael cohen pay to cover up during the election? >> it's a valid point. natasha, paul, thank you both for joining us.
ahead, judy giuliani's other bombshell from that interview on the real reason trump fired comey. will mueller be looking at trump's lester holt interview for possible answers? also, rudy echoes trump's assault on the justice system. wait until you hear what deputy attorney general rod rosenstein is saying about trump-friendly members of congress, republicans. and we go interviews mueller's interview room, the comments from former trump aide who went face-to-face with mueller and why collusion is on the table. and this. >> if they do, do ivanka, the whole country will turn, which they will. they're going after his daughter? >> what does it mean for ivanka trump? and why does giuliani say that jared kushner is, quote, disposable? it'll connect us to everything that's going on in the company. get it for jean who's always cold.
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other bombshell, the real reason trump fired comey. >> he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. lester holt asked him, why'd you do it. he said, i did it because i thought i had to explain to the american people their president was not the target of the investigation. >> so you heard giuliani reference the interview with lester holt and paraphrase what trump said to lester holt. that's not what trump said to lester holt. this is what he said. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. and in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> so it's about russia, according to trump. so trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani, has a new reason for the trump firing. but bob mueller wants to hear from trump about it. in fact, the decision to
terminate comey is one of the questions, "the new york times" reported on, and all of this coming as we're getting a rare look inside mueller's process. here's michael caputo on his interview. >> the mueller team knew more about what i did in 2016 than i knew myself. and i think they know more about the trump campaign than anyone that ever worked there. they're clearly focused on trying to identify some russian collusion. i'd say the mueller team is spear fishing. i think they believe they know where they're going. they're not asking a wide range of questions. 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. >> back with me, renato maroty and malcolm nance. renato, let me begin with you, your thoughts, your reaction to that inside look into mueller's interview about what they're going after and the information they may already know. >> sure, i watched that entire
interview. one thing he talked about was that compared to the congressional investigations which were sort of all over the place, that the mueller investigation was really very focused. they were very -- they were pinpointing on specific areas, trying to prove specific instances of collusion, and that's very much how white collar, you know, investigations operate. how complex investigations like this one operate. prosecutors aren't trying to prove everything under the sun. they're not trying to have some grant conspiracy. what they're doing, they have a lot of knowledge, like he talked about on the clip you just aired. they gather lots of knowledge, and then they try to identify specific areas that i can charge specific crimes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. and they do everything they can to zero in on those crimes, and that's exactly what we've seen so far in the manafort sdi indictment, for example, a limited conspiracy regarding money laundering and tax evasion and very specific crimes about not reporting bank accounts and acting as a foreign agent and so on. >> so you can imagine that eight
discrepancy this wide was certainly going to be brought up today in the press conference at the white house during the briefing with sarah huckabee sanders. she was asked about trump firing comey. listen to her response. >> there are a number of reasons that james comey was fired. but the bottom line is, he doesn't have to justify his decision. the president has the authority to fire and hire. certainly james comey was fired for lying, leaking, and politicizing the fbi. >> so i want to get both of your responses to this. malcolm, let's start with you. he doesn't have to justice it. from your perspective, is that legally true? >> well, you know, i'm not a lawyer, but i've taken the oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the united states. no man in this nation is above the law. donald trump is not above the law. everything he does, he is accountable to the people of the united states. so, yes, he does have to justify it. if he doesn't justify it, we're going to start seeing results as
to, you know, in the mueller investigation as to how he's going to have to, you know, claim that he has some special privilege that no other president in the united states has had. that being said, i really think that, again, this is some sort of narrative framing that rudy giuliani and donald trump have sat down over a bowl of pasta doing a bad version of "good fellas" and they've decided they're going to reframe the history of this for their constituency. i think they feel their populist backers will just discount the mueller investigation. >> yeah, it may be for their constituents, but there will be a legal reckoning about it at some point, at least, according to the mueller investigation. let me get your thoughts, renato, on this. does he have to legally justify it, or does he have the power to do what he did? >> well, i think even trump's supporters and his legal team
would concede there are certain instances in which the president could fire somebody for an unlawful reason. for example, if he fired somebody because they -- because he received a bribe, or if he fired somebody because of their religion or their race or something like that, obviously there would be -- those firings would be unlawful. and similarly, if you fire somebody because you want to stop the investigation of yourself and your friends, that's also unlawful. so mueller's properly inquiring as to that, and i think this effort, you know, you played the dueling clips earlier, the effort now by rudy giuliani to try to come up with an explanation for the firing, i think, is actually an effort by him to come up with something that explains the firing that sort of takes into account what trump said to lester holt and what comey said. if you're not going to say that those conversations with comey didn't happen, you're going to have to come up with some
explanation, and it doesn't quite fit, obviously, as you saw the clips back to back. it doesn't quite fit with what trump told lester holt. but at least it's sort of, if you squint at it, sort of having to do with russia. trying to say, hey, i was innocent and wanted the word out that i wasn't a target of the investigation. >> trump has been a lot more aggressive lately talking about solution. take a listen. >> there was no collusion. there has been no collusion. they won't find any collusion. it doesn't exist. >> there's been absolutely no collusion. there's been no collusion between us and the russians. >> russian collusion, give me a break. >> it's a witch-hunt. that's all it is. there was no collusion with russia. >> so in that sound bite that we played earlier with the former aide, trump's former aide, he said mueller is, in fact, looking at collusion. malcolm, what do you make of the revelation that in fact
collusion is still very much on the table in terms of the mueller probe? >> really, to be honest, when i heard donald trump say that, and when i hear him constantly hammering on the word collusion, in all caps in his tweets, i feel sorry for him. because i don't know whether it is stuck in his mind and he's really believing this reality he's crafted for himself. because the problem is, it's not collusion, it's conspiracy against the united states that is going to end up being the principal, actual crime that will have been carried out if these members had coordinated, cooperated, communicated or colluded with a foreign intelligence agency or foreign power. >> malcolm nance with a twitter analysis there of the president's psychology on it. malcolm, renato, great to have you with us. thank you. ahead, rudy giuliani saying ivanka trump is off limits to mueller. while jared kushner is, quote,
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this morning, "the new york times" is reporting that rosenstein suspects some republicans in congress are actually abusing their oversight authority to gain intelligence about the mueller investigation, to share it with the white house. in other words, here's what he's saying. he fears republicans may be leaking doj investigation secrets back to the trump white house. this report dropping days after a right-wing faction in the house of representatives drafted articles of impeachment against rosenstein who called it extortion. and as rudy giuliani during his fox news interview attacked the fbi agents who raided michael cohen's office, he called them storm troopers. >> the settlement payment which is a regular thing for lawyers to do, which usually would result in a fine, not storm troopers coming in, breaking down his apartment and his office. >> so fired fbi james director james comey responded on twitter
to that, saying, quote, i know the new york fbi, there are no storm troopers there. our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to nazis. joining me now is matt miller, former chief spokesman for the department of justice in the obama administration, and paul butler, a former federal prosecutor. great to have you both. matt, let me begin with you. giuliani comparing fbi agents to storm troopers, your reaction to that. >> it is such an appalling thing for -- really for anyone to say, but especially for someone who -- two things -- one, is the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. his office oversaw those same fbi agents who executed this search warrant on michael cohen's office. second, he wasn't appearing in any kind of personal capacity or surrogate for the president. he was appearing as the president's personal representative, his attorney, speaking on behalf of the president of the united states. the fbi, part of the executive branch, ultimately works for the
president of the united states. and for him to come out and attack fbi agents who put their lives on the line across the country every day, fighting violent crime, fighting terrorism, and to compare them to nazis is so beneath him, so beneath someone that's a representative for the president. it's a shocking thing to say. and more shocking we didn't hear anything from the white house about this today. this is a moment -- the president leads the fbi. that was a moment for the president to come out or the white house to come out and say, that statement was over the line. we disagree with it. we think the fbi does fine work. >> paul, i want to get your response, picking up on matt's point. you have the official lawyer of the president of the united states and no reaction from members of congress, republican members of congress, no reaction from the white house, to fbi agents being referred to as storm troopers. >> well, can you really be surprised? rudy giuliani and donald trump are two peas in a pod.
if donald trump were a lawyer, he'd be rudy giuliani. they have no apparent strategy. they create chaos wherever they go, and they sell out people when it's expedient, just like yesterday giuliani sold out the president's son-in-law. the thing that really galls me about the storm troopers comment, is that when mayor giuliani ran the city of new york, there were so many concerns with how the police treated communities of color, especially black and latino men. and there giuliani was all for police power, do what you need to do. so it's one thing when it applies to young men of color, it's another thing when it applies to the president's rich, white friends. >> yeah, that's a very appropriate comparison there from paul. appreciate that. matt, let me ask you your reaction to this, which was the reported concerns allegedly by rod rosenstein, as reported by
"the new york times" that the department of justice, that the gop lawmakers are actually gathering information through their legitimate oversight responsibilities, and then sharing those secrets with the trump administration to perhaps shape their legal strategy. >> yeah, i'm glad rod's figured that out. i think it's been clear for some time, that's the goal of this group of really far right-wing apologists for the president in the house, led by devin nunes and mark meadows. it's been clear a year from when nunes started the masking controversy. he had been put up to it by someone on the president's staff. all of these document requests that nunes and others got access to, to their attempts most recently to get the jurisdiction memo that shows what exactly bob mueller's investigating, it's been pretty clear they're not
exercising legitimate oversight purpose, they're trying to interfere with the investigation. and i think the deputy attorney general is right. they're not just trying to publicly interfere with it, but they probably are funneling information back to the white house which is a gross, gross abuse of power on their part. >> there was another comment that rod rosenstein made this week. this one was actually on the record, and he reacted to gop lawmakers threatening him with impeachment. take a listen to this, paul. >> there have been people who have been making threats, privately and publicly, against me for quite some time. and i think they should understand by now the department of justice is not going to be extorted. >> so paul, how rare is it to hear a senior member of the department of justice use that kind of language. what does that tell you about what he is feeling in terms of the pressure and the heat coming on from members of congress, that he thinks, and his words were extortion. >> it's extraordinary. i know rod rosenstein, and he's a mild-mannered guy. so for him to go there means
that he's not taking this stuff anymore. including from the president. so the president himself has been very critical of rosenstein, but rod understands that he serves at the president's will, and so if the president wants him out, he goes. with congress, though, on the other hand threatening impeachment, there's a standard for that, high crime and misdemeanor. what has rosenstein done to deserve that? the only thing he's done is to maintain that the department of justice represents the interests of the united states of america and not donald trump. that apparently with this congress is enough to get him impeached. >> i think a lot of people scratching their heads thinking, you know, separation of powers between the legislative and executive branch, not seeing it much this week. matt, thank you very much. paul, i'll ask you to stick around longer. the other issue rudy giuliani brought up in that interview, his belief that trump's daughter ivanka, who is a senior adviser to the
president in an official capacity is somehow offlimits to the special counsel. >> if they do, do ivanka, which i doubt they will, the whole country will turn on them. they're going after his daughter. ivanka trump? i i think i would get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance if they go after ivanka. >> and then he goes on to explain why ivanka is off limits and trump's son-in-law jared kushner is fair game. >> what about his son-in-law? >> i guess jared is a fine man. you know that. but men are, you know, disposable. but a fine woman like ivanka, come on. >> i think some would argue that is a misogynistic, perhaps even sexist comment. phil, let me first start with you, if i may. what do you make of the idea that a senior adviser to the president, regardless of the fact that it is his daughter, should be off limits to the
special counsel? >> well, you know, ivanka trump is the president's daughter, but she's chosen to take a job at the white house. she works on the white house staff. she's a senior adviser, as you just put it. she should be sort of fair game in this investigation just like any other staff member at the white house. and i don't think the mueller team would view her any differently than other staff members at the white house. to our knowledge, she's not been called in for an interview yet. that doesn't mean she may not at some point. it doesn't mean that mueller's not looking at her role in all of this. she was actually in position at some key moments in the investigation into potential obstruction of justice by the president. she was around the president at the time when she made his decision to fire comey as the fbi director. she was on board that air force one flight where the president came up with that statement for his son, don junior, to issue regarding the trump tower meeting with the russian lawyers. so she's a key player in some aspects of this.
>> paul, what's your take on that? from the statement that we played giuliani and that he referred to her as a fine woman? >> you know, again, it's hard to understand that there's any real strategy to what giuliani is doing. one reading might be, he's offering jared kushner's head up on a platter to mueller, as long as he leaves the president's daughter alone. now, they both have exposure as phil mentioned, in terms of obstruction of justice. ivanka was there when they ginned up that false narrative to air force one about what happened with the meeting with the russian lawyers. she was around when the president was deciding to fire the fbi director comey. now, jared, on the other hand, has a whole lot more exposure. so if it's true, if it's only going to be one, it's probably going to be jared. but again, that's not how investigators think.
>> so what are we to make of giuliani saying that people, even his son-in-law, are, quote, disposable to donald trump? phil? >> yeah, that was a pretty interesting statement. and i can tell you it caught a lot of officials at the white house off guard. they were surprised that giuliani would characterize the president's son-in-law and a senior adviser at the white house as disposable. but it's the phrase he used. perhaps he meant it in gest, but he said it nonetheless. it's interesting, kushner has been, early on in the presidency was so powerful and made a lot of decisions in that white house. in the last couple months he's been off the radar, focused on middle east peace. but he's not been central in a lot of the decisions the president is making. we don't see him publicly very often. he's kept a much dimmer profile than he had in the earlier times of the administration. >> it will be interesting to hear if he responds to his father-in-law's lawyer saying
he's disposable. great to have both of you. next, new developments in the michael cohen investigation. ♪ ♪ i try so hard, ♪ i can't rise above it ♪ don't know what it is 'bout that little gal's lovin'. ♪ ♪ but i like it, i love it, ♪ i want some more of it ♪ we know you love it, so get more of it, with applebee's new bigger bolder grill combos. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. proven to protect street skaters and freestylers. stops up to 97% uv. lasts through heat. through sweat. coppertone. proven to protect. ♪ from only the thickest, juiciest heinz tomatoes. no one grows ketchup like heinz™.
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welcome back. we're backing with nbc news reporting that the feds are monitoring michael cohen's phones. this is part of the investigation into possible criminal activity by donald trump's long-time personal lawyer. this monitoring was signed off on before the fbi raided cohen's office, his hotel room and home back in early april. i want to bring in nbc's julia ansley covering the story for us throughout the day. what type of information are the feds getting with this tactic? >> so what they're using here in new york is called a pin register. that is something they're able to get through an affidavit they take to a court. a judge allows them to monitor call logs. that would be like if i called you eamon, they would be able to see the time and that i called you but wouldn't be able to hear our conversation. they're also able to follow his
e-mails, and text messages for the same kind of metadata. this is significant because it shows that the prosecutors in this case are able to pass that legal bar. not only were they able to raid his apartment and his hotel and his offices like they were in early april, even weeks before that, they were meeting a legal bar in order to monitor these type of things. it's the kind of thing you wouldn't get from a judge unless you could show there was some type of criminal activity, ongoing that needed to be followed. and that this person had been uncooperative. usually the first thing you do especially lawyer to lawyer get a lawyer to cooperate with you or subpoena then them. >> i wanted to jump in on that point. that's an important point. that is, presumably just knowing who the person is calling even if you're not listening in on the calls themselves or reading messages themselves is pretty significant. what other types of surveillance have the feds been using in this
investigation? what does that tell you about the nature of the investigation itself that they are going after this information now? >> right. it's interesting. if you think about it, a lot of the work that michael cohen has done particularly for donald trump has been more like a fixer more than a lawyer. he's someone who negotiated and paid that payment to stormy daniels right before the election for $130,000. those kinds of interactions and he's done that for other clients, as well. we understand he represented sean hannity. those interactions can be monitored when you're looking at a call log and seeing who he might be interacting with. >> thank you for that. a sign of the times, the trump brand, the trump name and a big ruling from a judge here in new york. that's next. g, and make a difference. at some point, we are going to be able to beat als. because life is amazing.
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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 botoxcosmetic.com/men. another sign of the polarization in the trump era. you're looking at trump place right here in new york city for 19 years, this 46-story
condoable on the upper west side had the trump name on it. yep, the name in big bronze letters. just after trump took office, the condo board took an informal poll of residents. 63% wanted to remove the trump name. they went to a judge for a ruing on it. in fact, the trump organization and lawyers fought back saying the license agreement states that the trump name was required. well, today a new york judge disagreed saying the condo board can remove the trump name officially. since trump took office, we have seen trump's hotels in ban panama city remove his name, his posh new york city hotel in soho take away the name, as well and his hotel in toronto remove the giant lettering from the top of that skyscraper. eric trump says he will fight vehemently to protect the legacy of a true visionary but trump branded buildings in new york are selling for about 6.6% less than the manhattan average last
year. i'm not a real estate expert but my advice to eric would probably be don't. maybe it's better for businesses to keep the trump name off. that does it for me. ari will be back here tomorrow night. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. >> hush hush sweet stormy. let's play "hardball." \s. >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we're learning for the first time the hush money paid to stormy daniels came from president trump himself. the dramatic confession of the president's personal involvement with the payoff was made by his new lawyer, rudy giuliani. >> this was supposed to be about trump campaign, russia collusion. >> gone. >> it's gone. never happened. >> he's been cleared of that. >> my question is, are you concerned in the process of