tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC May 4, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
counsel. so we're live at the white house with the chances of that actually happening for the former head of the trump campaign. plus, can't stop won't stop, rudy giuliani is not stopping but that may be creating a credibility constitutional rights sis for the white house. we're laying out the top four reasons why rudy giuliani could be make the special counsel's job easier. six months out from the biggest primary day yet, let's call it drks "d" day because it's big on the ballot for the democrats. the chair of democratic congression a.m. campaign committee will be here live. we want to start first with our justice correspondent pete williams. you were watching the developments happen in court as it relates to paul manafort. explain how this is part of the bigger robert mueller investigation. >> he's challenging robert muellerer's jurd diction to having ever brought these charges. he made the same argument over separate charges in the district of columbia.
now there's a separate case against him in virginia. a lot of overlapping charges. what he's saying to the judge is that robert mule her no legal authority to bring these charges. here's why. he says the special counsel regulations say that a special counsel is appointed to investigate a specific matter which in this case was russian election meddling. so the charges against manafort that have nothing to do with that, about his lobbying or ukraine and his efforts to hide the money according to prosecutors, that's beyond his original charge. secondly they say when the department attorney general rod rosenstein said that mueller could investigate anything else that came -- that he became aware of as a result of the investigation, that was too broad because that goes beyond what the special counsel regulations allow him do. and secondly they say the justice department already knew about manafort's ukrainian lobbying and all those questions because he was investigated in 2014. so mueller can't say this is something that he became aware
of as a result of his investigation. so for all those reasons, manafort's lawyers say these charges should be thrown out. now, he made a similar argument, as i said, before a judge here in washington a couple weeks ago. the judge appeared not so receptive. we'll see how this judge takes it. i think you have to say this is a long shot. this is a legal long shot, but it's certainly they believe worth the effort. even if they get one or two charges dismissed. >> i was going to ask you the handicap how think it's going to turn out later today but i think you just did. >> it would be shocking if the judge said yes but it's not a crazy argument. >> pete williams there in our washington bureau. thank you very much. i want to bring in the national security institute ef george mason university, also a senior adviser to the senate foreign relations committee. you're heard pete say a legal long shot. is it hurting manafort that he never ended up joining together
the d.c. and the virginia indictments in the special council case? what do you think? >> i think he's brainging the best arguments he can. i think it's a long shot. at the end of the day the think the way it will play out you might see one or two of the charges dismissed because there is so overlap here and that's a challenge. but beyond that this whole idea that mueller can't investigate or bring charges based on stuff he finds in the investigation, additional information he finds on stuff he even knew before before is a little bipt of a stretch. >> what's next if these charges are upheld. what's the next step? >> they're going to fight the evidence. aries going to argue that the evidence was collected inappropriately, they went beyond the scope of the search warrant, the evidence isn't relevant. it looks like paul manafort is going to put up a fight. he's not going down willingly, not cooperating, he's not pleading. we'll see how it plays out. >> i want to staund by here because the president is making his way to texas for the nra convention in dallas. but we have learned he has stopped on the south lawn to
take questions from reporters. we have our first look at what some of those questions are talking about rudy giuliani. of course his attorney who has been out on a television media blitz talking with reporters about that stormy daniels payment. i'm literally just reading this off of my phone from our white house team here. he calls rudy a great guy but he just started. he says he knows this is a witch hunt, that's the president's favorite term for the special counsel investigation. he says he's never seen anything fight so horrible. he was asked about the american citizens who are being held in north korea, and the president in true reality show tv style said, stay tuned. he said they're having discussions, seeing very good things. by the way, as i get to this third beat, the north korean sum mitd, the talks between the president and kim jong-un, he says we have a date and a location. he's going to tell us soon. this is interesting because last we heard is that the white house, kelly o'donnell who is there, is working to narrow down the date for that. kelly, as we apparently the president is still out on the
south lawn, he's still talking with our colleague peter alexander who is out there asking questions as the bugs are flying around where you are. >> reporter: that was a bee. i had to do a little head wave for that. >> got to protect yourself. the president clearly wants to be talking this morning. let me just pull back the curtain for viewers for a second. we have to wait for this tape to be turned around, we can't show it to you live. any minute as soon as the spres done taking questions, the cram raman actually runs the tape -- the thing back in to the president room and then we'll play that out. that will happen in a couple of minutes. but, dell e kelly, given that the president stalking about his new lawyer this morning rudy giuliani, give me a sense of how you see this shaping up. >> reporter: couple of things. from sources i've spoken to i have been told that the president and rudy giuliani are in near constant contact. giuliani giuliani himself talking about the constant contact. this is something we've seen
evolve with the president where he's choosing more age peers and people with a longer relationship to be a part of his team in terms of some of the selections where instead of perhaps somebody new on the scene the president has relied on someone who he could relate to. we saw that originally in john kelly, we've seen it with lawrence kudlow who is now in charge of the economic council and with julienanny there's a decades old relationship. he had prepped the president that information related to the michael cohen payment was in the documentation therefore by extension it would be known by investigators, the mueller team, et cetera, and there fore it was imperative they get in front of it. that's the story we've been hearing over the last couple days. the one part of this is that giuliani really has allegiance only to the president as his outside client. he is not someone who has to inform the white house. the president could choose do
that, to they'll his colleagues at the white house, the people that work for him and he did not. that set up a real problem for sara sanders, also for kellyanne conway who was asked about this earlier this morning right here on the north lawn. >> kellyanne, when did you first learn that the president had reimbursed michael cohen for that payment made to stormy daniels? >> i have no comment on that. >> did you know about it before sara? >> i have never heard about that during the campaign. i was the campaign manager a lot crossed my desk and that was not one thing. >> does the president intend to -- >> the president sent out three tweets on the matter. >> is the president being honest? >> very honest. >> reporter: so we've seen that difficult, awkward moment for both kellyanne conway counselor to the president, former campaign manager and sara sanders who have a role of imparting information to the public and they both say they didn't know until the interview that giuliani did where he brought this out into the public
domain. again, the legal strategy, they claim, is one of getting ahead of it being broken by a news organization or being leaked by someone involved in the investigation. >> right. i'm going to ask you to do the annoying thing and stay right where you are because it's my understanding the president just got on marine 1 which means that the sprint back to the white house briefing room has begun. we should be seeing that any second and i want to talk to you after we play that out because it seems like it was fairly extensive from the president in the last couple minutes. you mind. >> reporter: i'm happy to hang around. >> thank you. i want to bring back in jameel. we have kelly and andy here with us onset. i'm just getting another note from monica alba cho who is out there with peter alexander and she says the president was asked about an interview with robert mueller. interestingly, this ties to what we heard from rudy giuliani because remember he went on tv and said i haven't made a recommendation to the president on whether he should do this interview or not the president could always make his own decision. and the president just in the
last what? three minutes is confirming that. he says, if i thought it was fair, meaning the interview, he says he would override his lawyers. he says he would love to go to talk with robert mueller because he says he did nothing wrong, adding he ran a great campaign and had a great victory. john, again, calling it a witch hunted he's did this morning several times on twitter. not being shy before where he stands as it relates to the special counsel, as it relates to rudy giuliani, all of it bucking this one big story that's hanging over the white house now. >> i think what's bad about this is this insight into the president's mind where he believes that victory, that him winning, the ends justify all the means that be might have got him there and that robert mueller would consider whether or not the president won as a factor and whether or not he committed a crime. so that's fascinating right there. >> yeah. >> i think, you know, the president has moved into public relations mode on this the. hiring of rudy giuliani is not about rudy giuliani's ability to
give legal advice. rudy giuliani hasn't been a lawyer for a very long time. it's about his ability go out on television and try to spin this. obvious the president thinks he's taking a beating in the public and often your best legal advice and pest pr advice are at odds. he's chosen pr for the time being. >> i hear peter alexander has sprintd back from the white house lawn where he was one of the reporters yelling questions at the president. i'm hoping he's with us if not we'll keep up the conversation -- there he is. peter, i know you're probably out of breath. thank you for running. you were there, you were in front of the president. he seemed to want to be talking, right? he seemed to want to be getting this off his chest as it relates to rudy giuliani, frankly as it relates to bob mueller jie think that's exactly right. we'll play it four in a moment, but i'll give you some of the highlights. first of all, he had nothing but praise for rudy giuliani. he said he's a great guy. he did say something that struck me. he said among other things that giuliani is just getting started, he's just getting up to speed, that he'll get his facts right as if to suggest the man
did some of the things he said if they could -- what the facts are or what was the story they ultimately sort of agree on, that he'll be able to indicate that because rudy giuliani didn't have all his facts right he was just getting up to speed. that's something i think we'll be watching. beyond that what was notable he said he would like to speak to bob mueller. he would like to in his words override his lawyers if he could, if he felt confident as we see marine one finally clearing the airspace here at the chous white house. saying if he could he would speak to robert mueller if he felt satisfied that it would be a fair -- the process would be fair. but i think i just interrupted part of the conversation you were having, but this was an important one. as you talk about this relationship between the president and rudy giuliani, these two effectively leaving the white house out of the loop when they came one this strategy as we've been reporting out for the course of the last 24 to 48 hours. the president said something that was interesting. he said, rudy knows it's a witch hunt as if the real sort of point of the two men meet is that they both believe that this is a witch hunte.
>> sorry to interrupt you, let's listen in to the president. we have that video. >> he knows it's a witch hunt, that's what he knows. he's seen a lot of them. and he said he's never seen anything so horrible. as an example, 33,000 e-mails requested by congress with the subpoena and they get burned. they get deleted. and nobody says anything. give me a break. so -- so rudy knows it's a witch hunt. he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. he's a great guy. but what he does is he feels it's a very bad thing for our country and he happens to be right. >> when did you find out what was -- >> you're going to find out because we're going to give a full list and people know and virtually everything said has been said incorrectly and it's been said wrong or it's been covered wrong by the press.
just like nbc and abc yesterday covered the story wrong. but you'll be finding out. it's very -- it's actually -- wait a minute. it's actually very simple. it's actually very simple. but there has been a lot of misinformation, people wanting to say. and i say, you know what? learn before you speak. it's a lot easier. >> mr. president, are you -- [ inaudible question ] >> we're having very substantive talks with north korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages and i think you're going to see very good things. as i said yesterday, stay tuned. i think you're going to be seeing very, very good things. >> mr. president, are you -- >> and also the trip is scheduled. we now have a date and we have a location. we'll be announcing that. >> have you changed your mind at all about being willing to stay with robert mueller? >> well, the problem with sitting is this.
you have a group of investigators and they say that i am not a target. and i'm not a target. but you have a group of investigators that are all democrats. in some cases they went to the hillary clinton celebration that turned out to be a funeral. so you have all these investigators that are democrats. in all fairness, bob mueller worked for obama for eight years. you look at the statements that were made, if you take a look as an example, at the rod rosenstein letter, to me, prior to the firing of james comey, just read it. put it in the air. you're viewers don't know about it. put that letter on the air. it's very much speaks very loudly and that's just one thing. so i would say this. if i could be -- i would love to speak. i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me. in fact, against my lawyers, because most lawyers say never speak on anything. i would love to speak because we've done nothing wrong. there was no collusion with the
russians, there was nothing, there was no obstruction. you know, very funny. if you fight back because you people say smog somethiomething they leake leak like they've been doing, if you fight back they say, oh, that's obstruction of justice. somebody says something wrong, you fight back, they say that's obstruction of justice. it's nonsense. >> are you -- >> so let me just -- wait. wait. let me just tell you. so i would love to speak. i would love to go. nothing i want to do more because we did nothing wrong. we ran a great campaign. we won easily. we won that easily 30 6 to 223. we won it easily. that was a great victory. that was a great day for this country. we just had new job numbers so we broke four. 3.9%. i would love go, i would love to speak, but i have to find that we're going to be treated
fairly. >> are you sure -- >> wait. i have to find that we're going to be treated fairly. because everybody sees it now and it's a pure witch hunt. right now it's a pure witch hunt. why don't we have republicans looking also? why aren't we having republican people doing what all these democrats are doing? it is a very unfair thing. if i thought it was fair, i would override my lawyers. >> mr. president, are you sure that michael cohen wasn't paying any other women? >> i thought the job before was very good the. big thing to me was tracking four. that hasn't been done in a long time. you'll tell me how long. but it hasn't been done in a long time. we're full employment. we're doing great. the stock market is doing -- i guess it's up 35% since the election. and now i think really they're waiting to see what's going to happen on trade because we're going to have some incredible trade deals announced. my people are coming back right now from china. and we will be doing something
one way or the other with respect to what's happening in china. let me say this. i have great respect for president xi. that's why we're being so nice. and we have a great relationship. but we have to bring fairness into trade between the u.s. and china. and we'll do it. >> are you -- >> well, president trump on this friday morning having some things he wanted to talk about, reporters there happy to listen to his answers to a lot of it. president trump discussing rudy giuliani, the special counsel, robert mule, he are what he believes as a witch hunt, as he said before, saying he'd love go to that interview. peter alexander was there among the reporters shouting questions to the president. jamal is here with us as well as well asson thanh allen and ann nip of politico as well. i want to get to all of you. peter, to you first, because you were there, we talked a little
bit about this. we watched the tape here. where does this go next for donald trump? where does this go today inside the west wing as the president is now the dallas at the nra convention? >> reporter: i think the key moment in that conversation with reporters just seconds ago was the fact that he's spoke about rudy giuliani, he called him a great guy. he said he just started yesterday, in fact he start started two weeks ago, mind you. but he said he'll get his facts straight, which seemed to be sort of tell graphing the idea that the white house and frankly the president we should say truly and rudy giuliani are still sort of organizing exactly what their public face is on this and what they have to say. >> donny deutsch was out on this network this morning on "morning joe," he's i friendly face to mj and i'm not going to play it because i want to talk to annie and john here. but he talked about how he spoke with michael cohen. he said rudy giuliani doesn't have all the facts straight. so i fwornd that is a reference on an allusion to more shoes potentially dropping? >> that as a very confusing
statement to see. i don't know if michael cohen is saying i never got paid which would be in line with how trump doesn't pay a lot of people. but that would very much contradict everything that we've heard. >> right. >> and it would in some ways take trump off the hook. giuliani putting more on the hook by saying he made these payments. >> right. >> and trump this morning just the clip that you played, really just confused and made everything much more murky, which may be part of his strategy. was giuliani telling the truth? we don't know now. was he telling the truth opt plane when he said he knew nothing about the payments, we don't know. >> you're more confused now. peter, go ahead. >> reporter: one of the key takeaway rers was using this as a function of criticizing the media, but he said you got learn before you speak. that's advice that's sort of remarkable coming from president trump given all the statements that he's made that have proven not to be true. given the fact that rudy giuliani is insisting he didn't
have his facts together before make statements. but annie is right on this. it sort of makes this more murky and some of the questions still unanswered include the fact that rudy giuliani said the president -- that michael cohen basically did his job. he made the things go away. question is, what else did he make go away? these are questions that remain unanswer and certainly this pur suited will not end soon. >> we're looking on the other side of our screen at marine one landing, touching down at joint base andrews. the president will board air force one for that are flight over to dallas for the nra convention just to gave sense of what you're seeing. jonathan allen, i know you're drying to jump in. >> the problem for giuliani for president trump and michael cohen it's hard to find the morally ethically and pure way in which a fixer pays off a porn star to be quiet about an affair that she says she but the president says they didn't have through payments that are made in, you know, after the lawyer makes them by the way in the milled of an election campaign. it's hard to square all those things and find a way in which
that couldn't have happened that it doesn't either violate a law, violate cohen's faith as an attorney and not criminally fund in the say problem for all of them and the reason they have to think about what the facts are is usually when politicians have to think about the facts are it's because they might not be telling the truth. >> jamal, as we look getting ready to see the president get off marine one and board air force one, what did you make whauf just heard from president trump from the legal perspective? >> i mean you can't make this stuff up. i think that pete and jonathan and annie are all exactly right, which is the president's creating more legal challenges for himself here. he says that, you know, he had a one point of view on what happened with the money that he didn't know about it. now it looks like did he know about it but he repaid him but rudy might not have his facts straight. you cannot get a straight answer out of president, his lawyers, or any of the white house staff. it's unbelievable. >> by the way, before all this happened, because we never know if the president is going to stop and take questions on the south lawn or not. sometimes he walks right on by,
i've been there shouting questions to the president as he hooss not to answer. i've been there as he decides to answer. we were going to talk about overnight the nbc news interview with rudy giuliani. he hasn't stopped talking. he's still out there making his case for why he believes that this is -- the payment say non issue, a nonstory basically. there's a series of highlights from that. i'm not sure if we're able to show you the graphic but we learned from this new interview overnight that the president as rudy giuliani has reimbursed michael cohen for that payment, that he kept that payment a see crete from the president and rudy giuliani talking about how james comey was fired how he would not publicly state that trump was under investigation. here the implaition occasions. it could violate campaign laws. he entered into that agreement with stormy daniels without donald trump's knowledge. it would be problem mat frick a legal perspective. the overall strategy politically of michael cohen paying hush money during the campaign and the story of why james comey was fired. so it's one of those days where
the top two headlines coming out of washington are really interjecting into one. >> reporter: i think there are legal experts who might suggest that the president would have been better off if the hush money was paid to rudy giuliani here. this is only further complicated these circumstances. >> peter. >> reporter: this is only further -- >> peter is on fire, ladies and gentlemen. >> reporter: but think it's fair to say it's only further complicated these circumstances here, the fact that rudy giuliani told our colleague crist ken welker last night that the payments began in january of 2017, so that's half the election that he was paying him $35,000 in 12 installments, which is significant because this potentially raises not just the issue of campaign finance violations which someone first suggested. but if this happened after the fact, the fact that the president has an ethical responsibility. there's ethics violations in not revealing looints flieblts more than $10,000. the president's last form this this effect from june of last
year had no mention of michael cohen on it. again, just to get back to the fact that facts here matter, again saying learn before you say. when the president spoke to us just moments ago as it relates to bob mueller who he was disparaging suggest' was a republican, that he worked for president obama for eight years. robert mueller didn't work for president obama for eight years. the president should know that. he wassa work being for james comey in 2013 he served his administration for four years as you but was appointed by a republican president for br him. >> peter leached they're on the white house lawn as we look at president trump take talking with a group of people. is that the pool? i think that might be. i'm having a tough time seeing exactly what that is, but he may be answering more questions. he seems -- >> you're right. >> we cannot hear it because of the engine. let's listen. >> on north korea, the jobs report today, everything is going phenomenally well attacking the opioid crisis. it's nothing less than pril brilliant's what's been accomplished in 15 monies months, i believe.
>> why did you change your story on stormy daniels? >> we're not changing any stories. all i'm telling is you that this country is right now running so smooth and to be bringing up that kind of crap and to be bringing up witch hunts all the time, that's all you want to talk about, you're going to see -- excuse me. >> you did not know anything about the payments? >> excuse me put take a look at what i said. you go back and take a look, you'll see what i said. >> you said no when i asked you you didn't know about the payments. >> excuse me put take a look at what we said. this is a witch hunt like -- >> and the signal has just dropped out. let's see if we can get that back. >> we're terribly bad things have been done. but what i do want do you is look at our economy. today we broke 4%, 3.9% we hit today for the first time in many, many years. we're really proud of it and we'll talk to you folks later. i will tell you, i will tell you this, i will tell you this, when rudy made the statement, rudy's great, but rudy had just started and he wasn't totally familiar
with everything. and rudy, we love rudy, he's a special guy. what he really understandings is that this is a witch hunt. he understands that probably better than anybody. excuse me. excuse me. that rudy, rudy understands this better than anybody. but what he made certain statements, he just started yesterday, so that's it. so, bottom line is, bottom line is, i want to talk to the people in charge, if they can prove that it's a fair situation. the problem we have is that you have 13 -- people that are all democrats and they're real democrats. they're angry democrats. and that's not a fair situation. thank you very much. we have a chance to bring in -- we're doing very well with the hostages. we're in constant contact with the leadership. we in constant contact with
north korea. we've actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly. >> where? >> and -- very soon. i figured you would ask that question. but, wait a minute. >> fair to -- [ inaudible question ] >> not really, not at this table. certainly not. >> you're not planning -- >> no. no, no. and we haven't been asked to. now, i have to tell ought some point into the future i would like to save the money. you know, we have 32,000 troops there. but i think a lot of great things will happen. but troops are not on the table, absolutely. thank you very much. >> when did you first learn about the -- >> well, president trump double dipping with reporters this morning, speaking first on the south lawn and then again there as he boards air force one put can see him turning around, he'll give a wave as he heads off to dallas. there is a lot to unpack. it's a good thing we hava team here do it all. i have peter alexander on the white house lawn, annie, jonathan with me here onset. headlines coming out of that. i'm struck by what i believe is
the voice, peter, of our white house voice pressing the comment on his initial comments roareding that stormy daniels payment. she asked him about it on air force one. in fact, she sitting where you aron nan yesterday asking the president that exact question on air force one. we played the tape. the president said no. he said flatly, no, i did not know about the payment. now he's telling us to go back and look at what he said. we'll roll the tape again, he's still going to say no because that's what happened, peter. i think that's a piece of the puzzle that the president is looking to sort of reshape, obviously. i'm also struck by john kelly speaking with reporters. i could probably count on one hand the number of times that he's spoken, peter, on the record, on camera to reporters. and clearly a sign that he's looking to get this train based on my reporterining back on tra >> reporter: what we just saw there was remarkable. i can't name -- and i've covered the white house for the last six years, the last time we saw a
president stop before boarding air force one and gather up the pool of reporters an let it rip. >> he's done it a couple of times, peter. i remember recently did he it very quickly out on the tarmac when he doesn't speak -- when he left the south lawn. but you're right. that's really rare. and it's even more rare that he speaks once and then does it again. >> reporter: i think you're right. the point is he has a lot he wants to say right now and while he says we should be focusing on the economy and everything else, it's clear what this president is heavily focus cussed on base on the comments right there. think this administration may -- the president may be hitting a new record for aides, associates, allies he's thrown under the bus with those comments he said about rudy giuliani. saying hey, i think he's a great person but everything he that's said isn't true. i think he's a great guy but he doesn't have his facts straight on this. >> he's just start. >> reporter: we started over again with this white house, sara sanders didn't know rudy giuliani would be saying those things. she said she learned about it for the first time. in effect it's not clear what we know at this point because the president just said what rudy giuliani has been telling us may not be true.
>> peter alexander, you're going to have a real busy day, my friend. thank you. >> we have the former white house chief staff. matt, you are one of the few people that know what it's like to be in john kelly's shoes. we are going to try to cue up a little bit of the beginning but john kelly is trying to get the focus back on for example the jobs numbers that came out today and make juror news potentially on north korea when it comes to those american citizens being held and the date and time of potential talks. john celly is trying to talk policy. that's a little bit different from what donald trump is talki talking about. if you have any thoughts i'd love to here them, mack. >> sorry, i thought you were teeing up john cell. >> i no. >> what do you make of this? >> hallie, you're exactly right. we had the white water controversy when i was chief of staff, ways forced not to be
there when the lieu wince sky saga took place. but this is a challenge. you've got to keep the focus on the business of the american people. that's what john celly is trying to do. but the president also has to have some discipline in his keeping of focus on that. he alluded to north korea and the jobs that have been the bulk of his remarks, and he must be excited about going to dallas because he came out swinging this morning, that's for sure. the bulk of his remarks were really about the mueller investigation and rudy giuliani and so forth. and that's just going to keep this going. and i don't think that it's good politics and not good policy and not good for the american people that the president and his staff should be serving. >> can we take a pause? can we make sure to take a step back and just assess where we are at this moment? because what we just heard was donald trump taking the last 48 hours and essentially working to erase it. what rudy giuliani said wasn't
correct, didn't happen, wasn't the case. now he's coming up friday morning giving yet another storyline, one that may or may not be catching his aides by surprise yet again. speaking with reporters multiple times on his way to dallas. and peter called it a remarkable moment, it is, because have you this president now on the stick of some serious foreign policy challenges. jonathan and annie here, north north korea, this potential summit. he's got a deadline on the iran nuclear deal, job numbers coming out, economic discussions that are happening. he's looking toward a potential interview with the special counsel who's investigating russian interference in this election. we are in unusual times. >> yes. i think what we saw between those two gaggles and kelly speaking out to reporters was a cleanup attempt. >> look, 45 seconds then donald trump jumps in. mack, does john kelly have control of the occasion or was
that the wrong person to ask? has john kelly never had control of the situation? >> i think at times he has and he's certainly tried to gain some order, establish some order in the white house. that seemed to be working for a while. but we seem to have -- he seems to have lost some momentum or grip on that process. he's trying to get it back. but there are some substantive issues that this white house needs to talk about, but i think in the clinton administration when he lloyd cutler, a very seasoned white house counsel with joel fein as his deputy. i asked john podesta to kpesk specifically handle the controversy and that helped too i think. >> as we look at the video replaying it now of the president and his chief of staff boarding air force one, i think a lot of us were struck over the last couple hours he had no idea that rudy giuliani was about to go on tv and it would blow this thing up. the president's reblowing it up again today.
should there have been, in your view, more coordination for moving forward more coordination between the president's legal team and the bhous? because he has sara sanders that comes out says there's a law, not up to me, up to the legal team, i'm not nofld have i don't handle it. is that the right way to handle it? >> the answer is yes and yes on the first two. >> sorry. >> that's fine, you're the host. yes and yes, there needs to be more coordination, there has to be. and that's what i was alluding to with our experience in the white house. and president clinton would get an mated from time to time, as you well remember and you're other panelists do too. but he had a certain discipline about him when he came to these types of matters. he was a well educated practicing attorney so he understood the legal issues very carefully as well. i do think in terms of the press briefing there does perhaps come a time, perhaps come a time, where you have another press spokesman speak to certain
issues. i don't suggest the trump white house is at that point. that's what you saw kind of a beginning of, perhaps yesterday, at the press conference with sara sanders. >> so i want to get to jamal here. because given what we just heard from the president, what could be characterized as perhaps a walk back or perhaps more accurately a sprint back from the rudy giuliani comment, where does that put the president from a legal perspective when it comes to the potential for problems related to that stormy daniels's payment? >> well, this is exactly the problem you have when you have the client running legal strategy. the president and rudy giuliani are eye to eye on this stuff it's because the president is running press strategy, legal strategy, poll vir he's running it all himself and he's doing it at press briefings. he pretty much as said we might be withdrawing troops in south korea in the long run, 32,000 troops. i guarantee you there's not a single person on that security council who's ever heard that before because it's crazy. >> jonathan, annie.
>> well, i think he's absolutely right. the president, look, peter mentioned this before the. president gets out there and says you'd giuliani believes this is a witch hunted. so the great qualification for rudy giuliani is that he has come to a conclusion before he looked at any evidence and he agrees with the president on his point of view. as far as what we just saw on the tarmac, clearly there sound like there needed to be a cleanup in aisle trump from his previous remarks. >> yeah. >> they go out there and, you know, john kelly has this opportunity to talk about things that would be major national news. >> if you're john kelly -- wait. >> 3 noint .9% employment. >> big deal. stephanie ruhle talked about it earlier. we're breaking 4%, we're going to talk about it of course. there's other things to talk about it as well. when john kelly walks over with the president of the united states, does he not think that donald trump is going to also talk to reporters again? >> of course, yes. you know what was funny about the first clip? john kelly was in the background there not really paying attention to what was trump was saying, it looked like he was
talking to stephen miller. does he just at this point we already know he says i don't read the tweets. does he also just not listen when trump talks now? i mean, annie i'm not sure -- mack have that a good idea? is that advice you'd goif john kelly? >> no. i think respectfully it's always good to be very attentive and listen carefully to the president when he speaks, particularly when you're in the same setting with him. >> when you look at the way the president is talking about rubt mueller, because the way that i see it there are basically three big headlines coming out of what we've heard over the last 37 minutes here since this show began. number one it's the piece about rudy giuliani and this reversal of stories, the changing story that donald trump is talking about. number two is what he plans do with the special counsel. and that is him saying woe lohe love to talk. just recently he said it's up to the lawyers. now he's saying i would override my lawyers if i had to.
number three, we'll talk in b in a couple minutes, is news on north korea and the potential release of these american citizens and more information about this summit. those are our three buckets ats we look at that second bucket, as we look at the special counsel and the idea that the president may sit down with him, how risky that for the president and do you think he really would, if push came to shove and rudy giuliani and jay say don't do it, the president would say i'm doing it? >> that's a great chemical weapon. the president said the difference is not whether he talked to the special counsel or not, he's repeatedly talked to the reporters at the poll saying aido it for sure, now he's saying only if it's fair, maybe. the best advice his lawyer could give him do not talk to special counsel. why? because the president has a challenge relationship with the truth. and they can charge you if you don't tell them the truth. so the president has different facts when, you know, he's talking to different people. so you go into these conversations with an experienced prosecutors and that's bob mueller, i mean, you
are just asking for legal jeopardy. >> if you look at the bottom of your tv screen we've been having what we call banners up, right? little headlines at the bottom. one of them said, quoting the president, go back and look at what i said. let's do that. let's go back and look at what the president said about that stormy daniels' payment on app -- april 5th on air force one. >> did you know about the $30,000 payment to stormy daniels? then why did michael cohen make that -- >> you'll have to ask michael cohen. [ inaudible ] you'll have to ask michael cohen. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment. >> i don't know. >> i'm not sure what kind of room for interpretation there is on that, ann nip. is the president now saying that's actually the real story and rudy's wrong? >> i mean, it's a mess. he's created a muddle this mrng, to use a trump word, it's a mess. but that as a definitive no. it's hard to see hedging around
that. there's no strategy here and we don't know what trump was saying was wrong this morning when he was saying some of the facts are wrong. again, the statement that was made on "morning joe" from michael cohen saying giuliani doesn't know what he's talking about, it's a bit of a mud he will. >> i want to see if we have that sound from earlier fwaus could, given what we've learned over the last little bit, help provide some perspective there. jonathan, i know want you to jump in. peter, you're still with you over at the white house lawn? i'm not sure he's still there, that's okay. >> reporter: i'm here. >> peter is there. when you look at where this goes today, we've talked about the giuliani piece of it. what about the special council piece of it? do we have any sense of time, timelines from the president when giuliani may make his decision? >> reporter: it's a good question. we don't know if terms of the timing. i think one thing that strikes me from this conversation, the president was saying how rudy giuliani doesn't have all his facts straight but that giuliani
does know it's a witch hunt, that before knowing all the information he could say declaretorly it is a witch hunt. considering the circumstances for ms flood, this a new attorney. >> hi, emmitt met flood, welcome to your new job. >> your new job, throw up the papers. you're start frrgt beginning that the point and in fact that sounded like what the president was trying to do which is saying that he doesn't are his story straight, we haven't got the facts altogether yet. so i think it's rhee remarkable as robert mueller goes full steam ahead on this investigation, the president right now is throwing under the bus one of his attorneys, even before a new lead attorney arrives to join his team, they certainly have to be on the defensive right now to sort out exactly what their next step would be. >> we do have by wait, as we talk about not just the president trying to walk back rudy giuliani's comments, but michael cohen apparently as well. we want to play this clip four. >> i spoke with michael cohen
yesterday and his quarterback giuliani said he didn't know what he's talking about. he said there are two people that know exactly what happened, myself and the president, and you'll be hearing my said of the story. and he was obviously very frustrated at what had come out yesterday. >> this is -- to take it back on what peter said, someone told us that -- the question isn't why tie cobb would want to leave, it's why flood would want to come in that the moment, who would take this on right now. also with trump's hedging about whether or not he wants to sit with the interview, i'm wondering what effect -- his legal team tried to get questions out what i interpreted as an effort to convince the president not to sit down for that interview. >> right. to show that it was a perjury trap all over the place. >> right. so though it would be a disaster for him to put himself in that position. now with these comments i'm not sure it worked or not. it's not clear. >> there's no such thing as a perjury trap if you tell the truth.
problem with all these people at the white house and other supporters of the president talking about a possible perjury trap, they're basically going after him and saying we know the president lies about a lot of stuff so we're worried he'll accidently lie about something that he shouldn't lie about. the whole concept that you would get yourself in that kind of trouble, you would accidentally say something as opposed to deliberately misleading these guys suggests a certain -- and this is the problem, again, between the public relations piece antsds td the legal piece. you can say things that are legally accurate and terrible public relationswise or vice-versa. i think the president -- i think it's going to be tough for him to sit down with mueller, with confidence that he's going to emerge from that in a stronger place. at the same time it's going to be hard for him constitutionally to not sit down with mueller. >> i know you want to jump in here. >> i'm going to say it's a tough one. i worked with him any white house in the bush administration. he's one of the smartest, toughest, hard nosed lawyers out and there he's going to do a great job if he has a client that will listen to him. right now you have a president
whose made clear doesn't listen to his lawyers. he doesn't ask for advice on policy from his staff. he doesn't talk to his staff about what his lawyers are going to say. this is a -- i can't imagine being chief of staff or lord of this president with all the challenges he's thrown out there just by going out and talking about these things in public creating his own problems. he doesn't want the story wubs covers. he's going and talk about these issues. it's unreal. >> one of things, mack, i want to bring up is at the end of that conversation when had the president was on the tarmac getting ready to board air force one he was standing with john kelly and john kelly made those remarks to reporters. just to pull back the curtain, the president didn't walk tofrt president corps when he's there? we're not right up on the line as he's going to air force one. he had to reroute and detour a little bit or maybe john kelly did although ooim i'd be willing to bet he did not. that said, he comes n and makes the questions about the economy. then he says it's been a
privilege to work for this president. is that the beginning of the good buy song, mack? >> well, that subject to interp tag put could make that remark in a different setting and you might not think anything of it. with the speculation, all the swirl that's going on in so many ways, it's a remark or a comment that bears some scrutiny, that's what you're doing. i think, though, to go back to an earlier point, i mean, the president and his chief of staff, you just have to have trust and rapport and consistently good communication or it just won't work. and on something like this, you frankly do need to be orchestrated and in coordination. you don't -- sometimes it can happen spontaneously. but general lit president just overrolled chief kelly's remarks today. >> mack, you have graciously hung out with us far longer than
we had ske uld ycheduled you to. i promise i'll let you go but we'll have you back soon but 2019 thank you. i want to play a little bit of the other big bucket that we talked about. the third one, north korea, because there's some news on this put heard the president in that conversation with reporters both early on the south lawn and then again on the tarmac talked about how he will be announcing very soon the date and location of the talks between himself and kim jong-un. a lot of people are thinking it will be the dmz like the president wants who his national security team doesn't want that. perhaps it's going to be somewhere in asia like singapore which the president has also brought up. there's more potential for information coming out soon regarding the release of those three american citizens currently being held in north korea. the president also as he's walking away very briefly addressed this new "new york times" report that says the president has asked his team to give him options on drawing down troops on the south korean peninsula. president talked about that and
hanz nickels is here to talk about it with us. i want to play a little bit of that sound so you can let people know what we're talking about here. tell what you, there's been a lot to digest this morning. let's listen. >> we're having very substantive talks with north korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages. and i think you're going to see very good things. as i said yesterday, stay tuned. i think you're going to seeing very, very good things. >> mr. president, are you -- >> and also the trip is being scheduled. we now have a date and we have a location. we'll be announcing it soon. >> so, hanz, i want to get your takeaway in what you've been hearing from defense officials from the last 25 minutes or so since the president spoke about north korea and about these talks. >> well, in terms of the talks you heard it very clear from the president that they're going to take place and they have a location. >> i think we learned something today and that's that rudy giuliani was right on one subject, that is the release of these american citizens.
the president clearly indicating it's going to happen shortly. now, the end there, this is the tarmac portion of what president trump said. he said that the "new york times" story is false. he said that troops are not on the table. here's just let me walk it back a little bit the. "new york times" late last night reported that the pentagon received orders from the trump administration to withdraw or to start considering withdraw of 28,000 u.s. troops that are in south korea. we checked with pentagon officials immediately and folksy korea, everyone said that wasn't true. this morning they came out with an official statement saying that the "new york times" story is false. the president seemed to bols they're, though. i have to tell you just because the president denies something, as we've learned from experience, doesn't necessarily mean that it's not true. this could have been a trial balloon they're floating out there. it could be a way to put pressure on the south koreans to let them know here's what eventually would happen if when he an agreement with the north koreans if the could be a signal to the north koreans that they are indeed serious about offering something in return forpt release ofs these american
citizens or the denuclearization of the peninsula. i do think the president confirmed we are going to have the release of the detainees shortly. >> stay tuned if you heard him there. you also have a busy day, i'll let do you some reporting on that. final quick thoughts at least on this from annie and jonathan here. it sounds like as white house reporters we're packing our bags, we're getting ready to go probably pretty soon somewhere. >> yeah. i think the president has an opportunity if he wanted to to pick a place that's been unknown before and have a big summit that gets known as the trump/kim jong-un place, some hard to pronounce place in east asia. but the interesting thing with the peninsula there, if you were to reduce american troops wore draw them from that peninsula, you'd never put them back and north koreans know that. we always talk about how hard it is to reimpose sanctions when you pull them back, reimposing 28,000 troops say lot harder. >> annie. >> this all fits in a master
note of how trump makes decisions that the pentagon was surprised by this. that he's not consulting the usual channels when making foreign policy decision, legal decisions. >> right. >> it's all part of the. >> want to thank everyone for joining us. kelly o'donnell before that, matt as well. and we have more show to get to after this. we' we're bringing in the head of the democratic committee. we want to hear what he thinks about where things go from here as we look ahead to a big democratic primary day on tuesday.
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simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. joining me now is the congressman of new mexico. congressman, thank you for being here. i have to ask you what you make of what you just saw over the last 50 minutes. president trump seeming to walk back what rudy giuliani has been saying about the payment to stormy daniels. >> well, what an hour. it's hard to keep up with everything that was just said by president trump, and by rudy giuliani over the last 48 hours. as mr. rudy giuliani who was representing president trump as a lawyer, it clearly shows either rudy giuliani got caught in a lie or president trump got caught in a lie as oddly enough, rudy giuliani may be trying to clean up the lies that the president has been telling in
anticipation of the questioning with the special counsel. and, look, if president trump wants to meet with the special counsel, in his words, he would love to do it, and maybe he should invite the cameras in. look, the american people -- >> you know he's not going to have cameras in that, congressman. do you think it's a distraction, the special counsel? the president says he would love to talk with robert mueller. do you think he should? >> look, i don't think that's a distraction at all. i think that it's critically important that we get to the bottom of the facts here. that we need to learn what the facts are, present them to the american people, and make sure the president does face mr. mueller. the special counsel here, but, again, it looks like either rudy giuliani got caught in a lie or the president got caught in a lie and now they're trying to spin their way out of that. we're talking about donald trump and what's happened in the last hour, but also we have to talk about donald trump as it frames up what's coming up, the mid terms.
just about six months from now. we have a big democratic primary on tuesday and several states. many on the senate side, really. for you, there's been a lot of discussion. a lot of headlines about democratic candidates who are upset, progressives who are angry about what they feel like is the d trip putting their finger on the scale. hoyer in colorado asking a candidate to drop out of a race. why does the d-trip know better than voters in given district who to pick? >> voters always know best. and this is up to voters across the country. i think what's important is with all the work the grass roots have been putting in, it's important to have candidates that can win through the election cycle. that's what we've been working to make sure there are strong candidates out there, but ultimately this is up to the voters across america. >> congressman, is it fair to way what you describe as putting best candidates out there can be viewed by some as putting your finger on the scale?
aren't you doing just that? >> i think especially in california where it's been widely reported and we've also been asked and told by many progressive organizations that are out there, of their concerns of not having a democrat in the top two. that's a real concern. as we learned when a congressman was defeated in 2012 and we didn't have a chance to have a democrat in the top two in the general, and all of the work that the grass roots put in to make sure we were defeating -- i think california is a good example of why we need to be leaning in in some of the races. ultimately, it's up to the voters. >> this conversation is making me think of something that happened in texas in the seventh district. i'm wondering if you have regrets. if you feel like that backfired that the d-trip went against her and now he's in a run off. do you wish you hadn't put the d-trip against her? >> i think that some people try to make this about ideology.
it never was about ideology. i'm a progressive. i have a lot of strong progressive positions and i stand by my record. that's not what this was about. when you have a candidate that's been writing they'd rather have their teeth pulled out than move back to the state that they're running in without anesthesia, that's concerning. and then when they continue to write articles that offend the african american community, people with disabilities, people from texas, i think that's disqualifying. and i stand by that decision. >> so no regrets on that. jim clayburn recently said all democratic leaders should step down if dems don't win the house back in november. do you agree? >> i think all our colleagues and people across the country want us fighting for them, and they want us to be focusing on those efforts. our colleagues have been clear. and i support many of our leadership that we have in place today. i support leader pelosi and mr.
hoyer and mr. clooiburn. i've learned a lot from them. >> if democrats don't take back the house, will you continue to support the leadership team? >> we also have amazing colleagues out there that leader pelosi as well as stanley and jim have pulled into the ranks as well. there's many more colleagues elected to their positions like myself rather than being appointed. this was something elected by our colleagues. i think the more our colleagues step forward and ask for their support of the democratic caucus, that's a good thing. the more people want to fight on behalf of the american people, i'm all about that. >> congressman, thank you very much. thank you for talking about that breaking news over the last hour. we want to have you back to talk more about the mid terms. we want to quickly hit today's big picture in hawaii. this is pretty big. you're looking at a volcano which erupted this morning. check this out.
ash into the sky, and by the way, it sent a river of lava flowing below through people's neighborhoods. they were forced to pack up and evacuate. there's a state of emergency. the governor has activated the state's national guard. you might remember years ago i covered a lava flow in hawaii for one of my first stories for nbc news. i want to show it to you on my facebook, instagram, twitter pages. i'll see you saturday morn, tomorrow in new york. i'm co-anchoring the "today" show. it should be fun. 15 seconds over my time. i'm sorry. we had a busy hour. >> no sweat. >> i was over that volcano at christmas wondering when it was going to erupt. >> it was unbelievable to cover the first time around. it's scary stuff. people are right in that path. >> hallie, thank you. good morning. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it is friday. may 4th, let's get started. >> we're not changing my stories. all i'm telling you is