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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 3, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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on television with a colorful description of her sexual relationship with mr. trump. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> michael cohen is a very talented lawyer. >> the president's legal problems grow exponentially. >> and the white house scram bes to explain rudy guiliani's stormy daniels admission. >> they funneled through a law firm. funneled through a law if i recall and the rez repaid it. >> tonight the latest trump world excuse for firing james comey inside the trump lee strategy with the president's informal legal adviser victoria toensing and the tortured relationship between the trump white house and the truth. >> how are the american people to trust or believe what is said here or what is said by the president. >> "all in" starts right now. >> we give the very best information that we have at the time.
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>> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight the president of the united states somehow finds himself in an even deeper legal crisis than he was just 24 hours ago. the president's lawyer in the mueller probe, rudy guiliani, just revealed seemingly out of nowhere his client has been lying about the payment to stormy daniels and also managed to expose the president to further legal jeopardy. we found out federal investigators have monitored the phone records of the president's long-time attorney michael cohen and the special counsel just filed a request for 35 blank subpoenas to compel testimony against the president's former campaign chairman paul manafort when he goes on trial this summer. even for an administration defined by chaos and a president who is already the subject of criminal investigation, things continually manage to get worse. the shock of the president's own white house, his attorney, his outside attorney rudy guiliani just gave a string of live
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interviews on national television in i which he revealed the president has been lying about the hush money to stormy daniels and everyone around him has been part of the cover-up. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> why did michael cohen make it if there was no truth? >> you have to ask michael. michael my attorney. you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> i've had conversations with the president about this. there was no knowledge of any payments from the president. >> the president was not aware of the agreement. at least michael cohen never told him about the agreement. i can tell you that. >> okay. we've been hearing that for months i guess. the president doesn't know. mike cohen sort of out of the goodness of his heart because he gloves donald trump foots the bill for $130,000 to pay off a woman who did not have an affair
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with the president. giuliani acknowledged contrary to those accounts the president guess what, personally reimbursed michael cohen for the $130,000 paid to stormy daniels in exchange for her silence. >> 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 a law firm? >> funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know -- he did? >> yeah. >> oh, i -- i didn't know that. no one did. rudy giuliani and president did, mike cohen did. giuliani claimed that because of the way the payments to cohen were structured at the time, the president did not know he made them till a couple weeks ago. even if that were true, it still exposes the president to a number of potential campaign finance and banking violations. giuliani tried to invoke the same defense used successfully by john edwards in his campaign
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finance trial that the payment had nothing to do with his political campaign. >> 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. >> hmm. help his family. giuliani blew up that entire argument within just minutes pointing out what seems obvious on the face of it, that stormy daniels was paid off to prevent a scandal in the days before the presidential election. >> imagine if that came out on october 15th, 2016 in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. >> so to make it go away, they made you this payment. >> cohen didn't even ask. cohen made it go away. he did his job. >> for more on the president's growing legal troubles prrks national security analyst clint watts. daniel goldman, former assistant district attorney. from the same office that rudy
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guiliani used to run. what are the legal consequences of what giuliani has now admitted? >> well, the legal liability now for the potential campaign finance violation shifts a little bit from what we thought was michael cohen making an excessive campaign donation by paying off stormy daniels 11 days before the election, now it goes over to donald trump who is allowed to give his campaign as much money as he wants but he must disclose what he gave. and so by saying that i knew about it and i repaid him, giuliani referring to trump, that is an indication now that donald trump may be in the threshold of a campaign, or the clenches of a campaign finance violation. >> what do you think, clint. >> it's hard to watch giuliani talk. the more he waves his hands, the more you know there's something not right. >> well, i have to say, as a new yorker and as italian american, i am a little offended by that.
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>> the intensity picks up when the story gets crazy. so whether you know, the way he is describing it, he's essentially saying the president knew about this and he's saying as he used in his own words, he is funneling money, which funneling is a term you usually don't want to use talking about what the president is doing because it says you're trying to covertly send money to an associate which is what this is essentially about which is why did you do this, if this was not that important and if cohen didn't need to do this, why just a few days before the election would you do this if it happened many years ago. that comes down to intent. >> the best gloss on this, if you put some sort of method to the madness, it's some argument that goes like this. michael cohen made the payment before the election but he knew he was going to get paid back by president trump so it wasn't a campaign finance donation. president trump didn't pay hip back until after the election so he wouldn't have had to disclose it. okay?
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and somehow in that whole entanglement, maybe you have an argument there was nos campaign finance violation. that's not what they're say. that's not at all what giuliani has been saying over the last 24 hours. >> they should hire you. that's a better legal argument on behalf of the president where like everybody has just enough knowledging to not violate the law. that's essentially what you're saying. > i think that's the best argument i can think of. there are hoes in it. >> the broader thing to me about this is the level of sketchiness that is now -- here's rudy guiliani beak saying why are you guys stressing out about this. this happens all the time. take a listen. >> i think when cohen heard $130,000, he said my god, this is cheap. they come cheap. let me get the thing signed off. >> in other words, to make it go away rather than fight this allegation. >> don't you think a lot of these people would pay that when they can? i represented i can't disclose, i represented clients who paid
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substantially more than that. >> does this happen a lot like you said in the tweet when you're waety? >> if you're wealthy, you're a target. >> we know michael cohen is being looked at by the southern district of new york, he's been raided. there's a ren register of call logs according to reporting today. it seems like there may be more there. >> if they're already moving on this in terms of the pace of this investigation, i would not imagine that simply a referral to rod rosenstein that gets sent to the southern district of new york would go trigger such a rapid response. just looking at this from the outside, it would seem they were already moving on some sort of investigative case whether it's white collar, what have you. this gave them that extra meat they needed to really go for the more investigative steps like showing up at his door and actually doing a search warrant. it seems that this was a pile on. this wasn't the first thing that came out of the blue. >> the focus has been so much on the stormy daniels payment and the campaign finance violation. but if you look at the filings
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by the prosecutors in the southern district, they are emphasizing to the judge that most of their investigation and most of the communications that they are privy to through e-mail search warrants relate to cohen's business dealings, completely separate from the campaign finance violations. as someone who worked there, there's no way they're doing sequential search warrants for a home, office and hotel room based on campaign finance allegations. >> your reaction to something giuliani said about the agents doing there raid and weather caused them. take a listen. >> 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. >> storm troopers >> can you believe this is the rudy guiliani on 9/11 that was the rallying person that literally brought the nypd and
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fbi together so we can counter-terrorism and now talking about storm troopers, the same rudy guiliani there was talk this is trumpville in new york city going into election day. for him to say that, he's trying to tear down institutions in the united states and putting wedges in between local and federal government. and it's just a sad state to see what was once a storied individual take had route and really follow the president destroying u.s. institutions. >> clint and daniel, thank you both for joining me. the president and his legal issues mount. ted lieu a member of the house judiciary committee, your colleagues, congressman, seem to be ramping up attempts to cut all this off at the pass. where do things sit right now? >> i find it despicable that some colleagues of mine in the house are trying to impeach rod rosenstein and i think he absolutely did the right thing when he said the department of justice would not be extorted. i was watching the interesting conversation you had.
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i think it's pretty clear that the president was using michael cohen as a straw donor to conceal the true source of the payment. that's a flatout campaign finance violation and because it exceeded $25,000, that's a felony. i think that's enough to get fbi agents to show up on your doorstep. >> do you think that's what this is all about? do you think at the core there's a serious question of a campaign finance violation. >> it's one aspect. i would not be surprised there are business problems michael cohen had. what's important is that this is an investigation run separately from robert mueller, a u.s. attorney's office for southern district of new york. those prosecutors and dpoib agents will do their jobs. because of rudy guiliani's stunning admission last night about the president reimbursing cohen, they're going to want to talk to the president now. now you'll have two sets of investigators wanting to talk to the president of the united states. >> what does it mean we now know the president lied about this? >> you know, chris, today is
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thursday which means we find out what the president lied. this was such a stunning number of lies. this is the fourth iteration of this story now. the first lie was oh, stormy daniels is all fake news. then it was well, it's not fake but no money changed hands. then it was, well, michael cohen made the money, didn't get reimbursed about now we know trump reimbursed him. the mounting number of lies shows that they were really, really scared of what the story was going to do. now it's full blown in front of the american public. at its base, it's really about donald trump having an affair with a porn star trying to cover it up, but the way he did it violated campaign finance laws. >> congressman charlie dent says there should be hearings on this matter. said if obama were doing it, we would be "waving the bloody shirt." what would congressional oversight of this look like if the members and the majority wanted to exert it? >> we would have hearings next week. i have to say i was deeply
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disturbed when paul ryan threatened saying hey, if the democrats take back the house, we're going to be subpoenaing people. well, yes. we're going to be executing our responsibility to be a collect and balance on executive branch and we will be issuing subpoenas to make sure we have appropriate oversight over the executive branch and all the bad things happening. >> do you think, do you have any confidence that would happen short of democrats taking the majority? >> only if a lot more republicans retire because i've seen a lot of courage from republican who are retiring. >> congressman ted lieu, thank. >> you thank you. how will the president habl the mounting legal pressures? victoria toensing is one of the president's informal legal advisers talks about the latest in the mueller probe. don't go away. i think that's going to be pretty interesting. ant stuff. like, say... your car. well good news, the esurance app
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he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation.
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he's entitled to that. hillary clinton got that. and he couldn't get that. so he fired him. and he said i'm free of this guy. >> latest rationale for donald trump's firing of james comey. joining me to discuss the latest on the investigation, former federal prosecutor victoria toensing, former legal adviser of the president. conflicts prevented her from joining legal team. >> just to clarify, i'm not advising the president about this special counsel mat pempt only way he's going to hear what i'm going to tell you is if he's tuned in. i'm sure he is. >> a boy can dream. let me start with what rudy guiliani said there. if the president fires the fbi director because he refuses to publicly clear him in an investigation, there are some who argue that on its face is obstruction of justice. >> i don't know who those would be. i think they didn't make it to law school. the president under article 2 has the unfettered authority to
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hire and fire people. don't forget civil service protection is not involved. he can hire and fire all of these people. comey and kelly. and because of article 2, but how would firing comey ever be obstruction of justice? there's 15,000 more fbi agents that are there. as the fired and the investigation continued. so what does that obstruct for goodness sake? >> i've heard that argument before, alan dershowitz made it, joseph digenova. >> liberals and conservatives. >> it's impossible to obstruct justice when the president is exercising his full article -- it's impossible for a president exercising his rightful presidential authority to obstruct justice by doing it, right? that anything he does there, he has unfettered power to hire and fire. >> that's right. >> it seems that problems too
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much. if president obama comes in when the fbi and the justice department are investigating robert menendez in new jersey and he says look, i need that senator's vote and he fires the u.s. attorney in newark because he wants him to stop going after an robert menendez he's obstructing justice clearly even if he has the power to do it. >> no, he's not. >> you think that's fine. >> i'm just telling you what the law is. >> no. >> i know your wife's a lawyer. maybe she can tell you what the law is. take your argument. let's go with it. it's obstruction of justice. so a possible crime. >> right. >> now, rod rosenstein talked with the president about the basis for firing comey. rod rosenstein wrote a ter dg memo entitled "restoring the credibility of the fbi," and gave the president three-pages of reasons why comey should be fired.
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so therefore, rod rosenstein under yours and mueller's theory that it might be obstruction. >> right. >> -- is at best a witness under my theory but a co-conspirator under your theory. >> although he gives. >> who reports to rod rosenstein, gets a conflict. >> i just want to be clear, the rosenstein memo, this what's so strange. >> the may memo. >> the may memo is a manifestly and obviously pretextule as we learned from the president and rudy guiliani. >> you have to understand how all of us were pauled all of us a part of the justice department and know how comey usurped the role of the lawyer. he may have a law degree but he was an investigator as head of the fbi. we were appalled. you just need to know that. >> appalled by the fact because he was too mean to hillary clinton? >> well, yes, that's the other reason. he usurped the role of the attorney general and then he revealed information uncovered in an investigation.
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you're never supposed to do that. >> i watched the president and republican party, all those people in the circle quote james comey at that event all the time. no one said he shouldn't have released derogatory information. >> i did, chris. i'm saying it again today. >> i praise you actually for your consistency. i think i agree with that. that was a position of the show. i guess my point here, it's fundamentally this. is this the case that the president with country intent can use his constitutional authority to fire people in pursuit of obstruction of justice or is that not -- you don't grant that's conceptually possible? >> no, you cannot delve into his intent in a matter where he has unfettered authority. let me give you another example. before we go there, chris, will you address the issue of rod rosenstein supervising a case where he is at best a witness and at most a co-conspirator? i think that's a legal problem.
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i'm a lawyer before i'm a republican. i didn't go to law school to be a republican. >> all i know he has checked in with the department of justice whether he should recuse and followed the recommendation. did they make the wrong recommendation? i don't know the substance of what's inside the redacted memo of rod rosenstein. i don't have a position. what i am driving at is whether the president in a fundamental sense is above the law. i want to give you another hypo here. let me give you another one. >> i can give you an example of unfettered authority. may i do that. >> okay. >> bill clinton. received $450,000 from marc rich's ex-wife and hillary clinton received $100,000 for her senate campaign. and bill clinton pardoned marc rich. you know who opened up a case against bill clinton? do you know? james comey. >> uh-huh. >> i know this case well because we represented somebody in the matter. and guess what, he had to close the case because bill clinton
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even having received over half a million dollars in personally for the pardon, they could not look into the intent of the president for that. i'm saying all these questions mueller has posed are improper because they're looking into his intent in article 2 authority. >> you will concede, right, that the president can commit crimes. >> yes, of course. >> obstruction. if he does things like he conspire to violate the computer fraud and abuse acted or he. >> if he distors documents or if he tells somebody to lie, simple stuff. >> all of that stuff. you're of the belief the only remedy fur that is impeachment, right? >> that is because the justice department has a long held opinion in olc, the office of legal counsel that says that a president cannot be indicted. in both parties. >> do you understand why people have a hard time with the credibility of the president's
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denials? >> it doesn't -- what do you mean, denials of what? everything. he said he didn't pay off stormy daniels and did he. >> i said i would not talk about stormy daniels on your show. i don't appreciate it coming up. >> listen. >> i do not opine about like the media, i do not opine this things i do not know about. >> my only about that we can be talking about what he ate for breakfast. there's a material misrepresentation that comes from the white house. do you understand why people are skeptical when they say we're on the up and up here how we've conducted ourselves? >> i'm talking about this case and the special counsel. i'm saying it doesn't matter if one day the president says he fired comey because he wouldn't come out publicly to say that he was not a target. or if the next day he says that it's because i was mad at him and didn't like the cut of his jaw. it can be ten reasons or no reason. it is unfettered just like the pardon power for bill clinton
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when he got half a million dollars. >> if he came right out and said look, i told him to lay off michael flynn. he didn't and i fired him. you think even if he came out and said that, that would be fine. >> he can do it for any reason. he may not like our constitution but that's the way it is. now, if he went to a witness and said i want you to lie about michael flynn to help get him off, that would be a crime. >> last question here. if the pardon power. >> only one more? >> well, you'll come back again. i enjoy doing this. the pardon power is unfeathered. if the president's bag man intim days a witness and gets caught for it and the president pardons him afterwards, that's fine? >> yeah, completely unfettered power. >> those are the two powers he can fire whoever he wants and pardon whoever he wants and neither of those things can be obstruction of justice. >> not just in my mind. in the mind of many legal
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scholars both on the left and the right. >> not unanimously. i want to be clear about that. >> some people don't understand the law. >> people always say that. victoria, thank you for being with me. i'd like to have you back if you will come back. >> okay. >> thank you. coming up, 35 blank subpoenas requested by robert mueller. what this means for the manafort investigation right after this. so, you guys have recently started dating... yes. - yes. a little less than a month. coming up on two months now, yeah... cool. so, i want to show you guys these three chevy suv's. the first one is called the trax. beautiful! do you think it would be good for moving in together? moving in together?! ahhh! - ahhh! okay, well, this is the chevy equinox... wow. nice. perfect for when you two have your first kid. give me some time... okay, this is the traverse. for when you have your five kids, two dogs and one cat. (laughter) whoa! five? ahhh... well, no matter what stage of life you're in chevy has an suv for you. you have it all planned out, thanks.
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and the fact that we can bring it together and effectively work together is pretty special. they bring their knowledge, their tools and equipment and the proficiency to get the job done. and the whole time i have been in the fire service, pg&e's been there, too. whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. >> here to sift through that attorney lisa green. professor at the new school and senior editor at "the daily beast." the position victoria held there which is one that a bundle of people defending the president have, what do you think of it. >> well, i would take issue and i thought you did a deft job of pushing back. it's a much more nuanced topic. >> whatever you think about it, it's not like something everyone knows. oh, this is open and shut. the president can do whatever he
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wants. >> that is not true. the president cannot do whatever he wants. what we're seeing in her argument is the strain of a larger argument we'll start hearing when his new lawyer comes to start working and start asserting executive privilege. a much more assertive defensive obstreperous role saying you can't touch this. >> you can't touch it it, corrupt intent, that's what you have to show to show obstruction of justice. is that there was corrupt intent. which he has essentially argued is that the president is above the law because he can dismiss someone with corrupt intent not because certainly if he was dismissing comey for some other reason, it would not be corrupt intent. >> policy disputes, et cetera. >> but to suggest that the president of the united states is somehow protected from any kind of criminal violation that has corrupt intent as part of it
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to protect himself from violating -- from an investigation about violating other criminal laws is essentially to argue that the president of the united states is not subject to the laws of the land. >> it does feel like we're running up against, we're headed towards another fight with thenismon precedent here whether fundamentally, whether we view the president as subject to laws here. >> we're potentially just rolling past it and don't know if this is a wiggle fight or a political one. my 6-year-old, i didn't do anything wrong and you can't punish me. and that's not the point, you're in trouble now. that's what's getting argued here. you can't judge presidential intent. anyway's his intent is fine. and anyways and anyways. >> we should say we don't know the full facts. when the full facts are out, but what was interesting she conceded even if he fired comey because of flynn, even if he said to him, let my buddy go, stop investigating my dude, and he didn't and he fired him for
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that, if he admitted. >> here's the thing. he can pardon flynn so what he was really trying to do is protect from the investigation. he has all -- he could have used his executive privilege to protect flynn by saying if there was an investigation and then an indictment and then an actual prosecution, cothen pardon him. >> but then you would suffer the consequences of i think you would still suffer some political consequences of pardoning. so this was a weird end run. >> here's the other thing, too. i feel like this is laying the ground for what is esz ca lating aggressiveness, maybe moving against rosenstein at some point. maybe pardoning people you know, give michael cohen a blanket pardon. all of that stuff seems possible. rudy guiliani right now, harry, i know it's someone you've covered for a while. he seems at the center of this. i can't figure out what he's doing. >> he doesn't care. i'm serious.
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rudy guiliani is not so smart, is not so foolish. he's in the middle of his third divorce hanging out by himself in the club in jared kushner's building smoking cigars not having gotten a role in his administration. we're all talking about him and he's happy. last he was seen, he was working with former ag mike mukasey to defend account guy breaking the iran sanctions rudy guiliani trying to cut a deal on his blood vess -- here he is suddenly people care about him again. he's sucking up that attention and if you look at that fox interview. >> very trumpian. >> big-time. he kept talking about we and you could see the pleasure in his face like he was reanimated and now he got to say all the stuff he says to his friends how the fbi is full of storm troopers, the boss, not the rank and file who leaked to him which we're still waiting for the ig report on. >> it was almost like rudy attended for extra credit this studio 54 school of law.
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what do i mean? he and trump are saying outrageous things, sort of casually misogynistic. it's attention getting. but this is not a joke. we're not in a discotheque and the '80s are over. we're watching someone who seems to be at odds with a disciplined approach. we heard it from victoria to put pressure on prosecutors by attacking the basis for their investigation. >> and it works with the base. >> right. >> it works with the base. i think what giuliani definitely scored points on last night although all of us can pull it apart from a lee analytic standpoint is nothing happened here. >> i got to say part of what is being peeled back, the sketchiness factor. what these folks are, here's giuliani talking about this deal where he has this little parenthetical with a little profit thrown in for michael cohen. take a listen. >> everybody was nervous about this from the begin.
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i knew how much donald trump put into that campaign. i said $130,000? he's going to do a couple checks for $130,000. when i heard cohen's retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president, i said that's how he's repaying it. with a little profit and a little mar yin for paying taxes. for michael. >> michael's got -- that's -- >> seriously. >> michael's been demooed. last on the show we talked about how he had done a tiny amount of work for the president and rudy says essentially no work at all for $35,000. >> looks like it was over $300,000 in incidentals on top of the payoff. look, when rudy guiliani runs for president in 2008 and pat robertson be endorses him, you know he's pro guy marriage, cross dressing, living with -- and he's choice of the evangelical community that's the
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moment when all bets were off and became about power. that auger is where we're at with trump and makes his return in this setting fitting in a way. >> these would are thick as thieves no one else can break the generational connection. thank you all. ahead, what to do with a white house so openly and regularly lies to the american people. which by the way, includes scott pruitt and he's tonight's thing 1 thing 2. it's a very good one next. nick was born to move.
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with dell small businessout your technology advisors you get the one-on-one partnership you need to grow your business. the dell vostro 15 laptop. contact a dell advisor today. thing 1 tonight, epa administrator scott pruitt has been involved in so many scandals over the last year and gotten away with all of it so far that we are way past asking the usual questions like whether he's corrupt on if he should get fired. now we're watching in kind of awe wondering how far he can go.
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it's like watching michael phelps rack up medals except pruitt is competing in the swamp loiks. he got in hot water over an apartment he renned from a lobbyist in d.c. who had business before the epa. now we know he once bought a home with a lobbyist. the grand home was reg r reg zered to a slel company owned by pruitt who was a state senator as well as a lobbyist. "the new york times" reports whitefield was a regular sistered lobbyist who was pushing for changes to the state's worker compensation rules changes that, lo and behold, pruitt championed in the legislature. this is the best part. he's purchasing with a lobbyist. they purchased that house at a steep discount from another lobbyist who worked for a telecommunications company with business before the oklahoma state legislature. scott pruitt isn't going to window the swamp olympics. he also has to bring down the competition. how he's trying to do that is thick two in 60 seconds.
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so scott pruitt's team is trying to distract from the epa chief's transgressions by pointing fission at other scandal ridden members of the cabinet. the atlantic with a great scoop today that a member of pruitt's press team, michael abud has been shopping around negative stories about leaks coming from ryan zinke's staff with the intention of taking the heat off pruitt. when reporters started making calls about the claims, staffers were able to figure out it was abud behind the stories lodged a complaint with the white house personnel office. you remember that particular office from the report earlier this year which describes the pp oo as something not unlike a frat house. it sounds like they pulled it together since then responding strongly to the complaint about pruitt's aide and inchoiring whether they were able to fire him. only pruitt has that authority. we don't know how much of this whole plot pruitt knew about, but a white house official with
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most pills only block one. flonase. the president of the united states, he's getting ready to negotiate probably one of our most historic agreements since the opening to china. >>nismon with iran. >> and we got kim jong-un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today. and i've got to go there and jay sekulow and the -- we have to go there and prepare him for this silly deposition? >> rudy guiliani doesn't have security clearance, he's just the president's personal lawyer. threw was on trump tv making a major foreign policy announcement of matters of life and death telling the world apparently north korea was planning to release three americans being head prisoner today. the white house said they cannot confirm the validity of what giuliani said. ben rhodes former deputy
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national security adviser for strategic communications was the president's right-hand man on foreign policy. what do you think about this president's approach to korea at this point given the news these hostages or prisoners might be released? >> well, i mean, chris, it's hard to tell. first of all, part of what is so confusing right now is that he's at the beginning stages of a negotiation with north korea, has not gotten in the room with them. yet, he's tearing up a deal with iran or threatening to that already imposes constraints on the iranian nuclear program. at the same time that he's initiating negotiations with north korea, he's threatsening to scrap an agreement that achieves what he's trying to achieve with north korea with iran in a way that will undermine our credibility. it's also confusing at no point in my eight years would we have outsourced a negotiation over something like prisoners or brief them.
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it's a question of how does rudy guiliani know this if he doesn't have a security clearance. >> what do you think accounts for the seeming con dra tra dictions between north korea and iran? >> trump hasn't articulated what would be a successful deal with north korea. they've made a commitment to denuclearization through the obama administration. that's not new. it's preferable to conflict. but there's no scope of what timeline they'll denuclearize, what the inspections will be. what you can take away is that he is as opposed to anything barack obama did. and barack obama with several other countries negotiated the iranian nuclear deal. that has very strict constraints on the program. and yet, he's prepared to scrap that at the same time that he is you know, celebrating the fact that he might negotiate with kim jong-un and suggesting he should get the nobel peace prize when
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we don't know what that agreement would look like. >> he's being lobbied by benjamin netanyahu of israel are, muhammad bin salomon of saudi arabia, united arab ep rats about those three countries in particular hate the iran deal and will tell anyone they hate it. they kind of hate you because they think you were part of it. >> i'm aware. >> you are hated by the people that they hire. you're hated by the people that view them -- why do they hate it so much? >> well, i mean, chris, all i can take from this is that the iran deal prevents iran from getting a nuclear weapon. it's not a broad rapprochement with iran to deal specifically with the fact we want to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. what they would really like is escalation with iran and potentially regime changing with iran. that's why this is dangerous. there's not any reason to precipitate this crisis with the iranians. there's a deadline of may 12th
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that allows us to stay in the deal. the fact is if we pull out of the deal, it risks confrontation with iran and it may be those governments want that confrontation between the us the and iran. they want a conflict between the united states and iran. and frankly, it's not in our interests to get into another war in the middle east particularly with a country as significant as iran that could frankly be much more complicated war than even the wars we've had in iraq and afghanistan. so i think that those countries are very focused on escalating a confrontation with the iranians. i don't think it's in america's interests to lift the constraints on the iranian nuclear program and rick that confrontation. >> ben rhodes, thanks. >> still to come, a look at the white house's comfortable relationship with telling plipz sarah huckabee sanders was put on the spot about that today. her response next. for just $15.99.
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you said on march 7th there
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was no knowledge of any payments from the president and he's denied all of these allegations. were you lying to us at the time or were you in the dark? >> the president has denied and continues to deny the underlying claim and again i've given the best information i have at the time and i would refer you back to the comments you yourself just mentioned a few minutes ago about the time line. >> that statement was in reference to the reimbursement, the payment. >> i gave you the best information that i had. >> sarah huckabee sander was caught red handed today having deceived the american people. this is nothing par from the course. nothing from this white house can ever be assumed to be true. here me to help me understand the kind of toll this takes, congressman from oklahoma. am i crazy to think there's a
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level of deception here that is different in kind or degree of other administrations, other politicians? >> i've never seen anything like it. donald trump is still in the persona of a new york developer hustling money to build buildings. he tells lies, nobody checks on it. you can do that when you're building buildings in new york ci city. when you're in congress nands the white house every time you say something, people write stories and check to see if it's true. he just doesn't get it. there's so many things he doesn't get. >> does he not get it senator boxer or pay no consequence for it? >> i think donald trump doesn't know what he says from one day to the next. >> right. >> seriously. this is an incredible situation. i think the new york times is actually looked at all presidents and yes all of them have lied from time to time and they actually made a point that donald trump has lied more than
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2,000 times. look at other presidents, republican and democrats, 85, 90 times. this is unbelievable. i feel for sarah huckabee sanders because maybe he tells her one thing and she goes out there and says it, and the next day he says something else. she's got to be the one to decide if she wants to do this. all she says is talk to the president's lawyers. talk to rudy giuliani. why didn't she stand up there and apologize that rudy giuliani actually compared this country to nazi germany when he said the justice department acted like stormtroopers. i'm stunned at that from a man who pulled us together after 9/11. this is a sick situation. >> even trivial matters, i've been slightly obsessed with the doctor situation, ronnie jackson comes out and gives this glowing account of the president's health.
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the previous account with dr. bornstein, it was dictated by the president. the astonishingly healthy letter. how do you navigate thinking about this white house having to assume that they are lying all the time? >> everybody who works for anymore knows in other words to keep him happy you have to lie. you have to do whatever story he's telling at the moment. part of the problem is he knows the base he has and he has to keep his base happy and they either don't care. they either believe everything he says or they don't care. they're with him no matter what. he can get away with it. the problem he's going to run into -- i watch this and saw victoria tensing on here before trying to do the richard nixon defense if the president does it, it's not wrong. it's not going to work.
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he's digging himself in deeper and deeper. it's all coming out of his own mouth. >> you ever work with someone -- go ahead. >> i was going to say he's so right. we know no one is above the law. we know that in congress. you have the ethics rules if you break them. eventually, you'll get in trouble. we know that when you're president and you have an entire country with a free press watching what you do. you've got to walk the walk. this man and mickey is right on this point too, he never was used to telling the truth in his business. we know he never paid the bills of people who did work for him. he comes with an attitude that is frankly, more like the mob than it is running an administration. it's like a criminal enterprise. here's the point. mueller's on the case. mueller knows the truth. whether we know the truth or we don't know the truth, i believe
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mueller knows the truth and has the goods in so many areas here. it's getting very close. >> a question i'd like both of you to answer in your respective political careers, you ever work with someone or have someone who you served with that was like this? that you just could not trust a single thing they said? >> no, chris. i'm a republican and when i was in the house it was completely dominated di democrats and we were on opposites side but i never doubted they were being truthful. >> you did not run into people like this? >> i did not run into people like that. they were people who lived in the public spotlight. they understood that what they said would be challenged. that people were going to be looking at what they said and checking it out. i can't think of a single instance in either party who was just so cavalier with the contacts. >> how about you? >> it's true when you're in
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congress and working to get things done for the american people and somebody looks you in the eye and they say i'm with you on that one. you could take it to bathe bank? >> really. >> maybe they have other problems in their life, i don't know about that. i can tell you when it comes to work, your word is your bond. you never get anything done if you cross someone or lie to someone. it just doesn't work. >> it's like -- it's interesting. it's not necessarily the character is the environment that you're in just out of necessity there's a certain degree of trust that has to happen for people just to get the job done and someone like the president who didn't come up through that came up through the new york real estate world has a very different mode he's adapti adapting to. always great to have both of you. >> thank you. >> on nights like tonight when we have so many great guests and fascinating interviews, i didn't write that own copy.
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i didn't call it fascinating. the guests are fascinating. you can catch them any time, anywhere with the podcast. that's "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow shows start now. thank you. it is hard to know where to start on a night like this after a day like this. in a world like this. let's just start right here tonight. let's start with this. james comey was right. >> he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say he was a target of the investigation. >> once upon a time, the white house tried to pretend that president trump fired james comey, the director of the fbi for something having to do with the handling of the hillary clinton e-mail