tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC May 14, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
>> we'll have a good show. we begin tonight with two of the top stories that are actually haunting the trump white house right now. and both of them when you think about it are kind of out of donald trump's control. first who has them and who keeps them, the secrets. and the white house leaking comes from the people he hired, trump officials who are up ending his prioritiepriorities. trump says more leaks in a week from the white house than other the george w. bush administration had in one year. and they are impersonating each other to keep from getting caught. telling axios, to cover my tracks they use other staffer's idioms when giving others quotes, that throws t s ths the off me this person added. or maybe threw the scent off
you, i don't think that trick will work now that you've told everybody about it in that anonymous quote to axios. and working here is like being in a never ending mexican standoff. and everyone has guns, or leaks, and everyone has guns pointed at each other and there's rarely a peaceful confusion, so you might as well shoot first. the idiom there is shoot first and ask questions last. and the other story tonight, the threat to donald trump is bob mueller's probe. while mueller's team doesn't leak, their sources do. here's a rare look from inside the grand jury room, we're watching the jury march into --
the witnesses range from people in the center of the action, like white house counsel don mcgahn, or the 26-year-old assistant to jared kushner. and that is the window here that has now secured 19 indictments and it's not over of the so the picture we go when we put these stories together, is mueller in control in his orbit or is trump's orbit more riled. the president who cast the homecoming of those americans hostages has come kind of ratings play is now cited in this "washington post" report as bringing up the raid on michael cohn as often as 20 times a day and trump explaining that he needs better people to defend
him in cable news. donald trump who willed his way into the white house on television, now largely prevented from defending himself in television interviews, and internal televised interviews that started the whole mueller probe a year ago. and his first interview that was tell vised, the white house was pushing out the now lawyer that the white house is now so unhappy with. >> i would give myself an a-plus. our justice department which i try and stay away from, but at some point i won't. our justice department should be looking into that. instead of this nonsense, this collusion with russia. >> there's no campaign finance
having. >> jared is a fine man, but you remember, men are disposable. >> i have defense attorney ross garber who has represented three republican governors in impeachment proceedings and bill crystal and i'll be joined by a few more journalists who are focused on this story. your view of this secretive dichotomy that i suggested during the open. >> i go back to the cohen raise, it's just such a decisive moment, cohen is trump's personal lawyer, he gets a warrant for an emergency raid on trump's personal lawyer, what did he know? what was he scared that cohen was going to destroy? that's tangential, financial
disclosure problems or campaign finance troubles, or anything like that, so i think trump knows that mueller is getting close and i think he expects and i rather expect that mueller will have a report that would raise questions that donald trump would at least have to look at as we approach this first anniversary very concerned that trump will think of all kinds of reasons to get rid of rosenstein, he's obviously been on political warfare against the mueller investigation for the last couple of months, intensified, i think, in the last few weeks. >> this is the most maddening time i think for a public official or any personality involved in the investigation, you don't control the narrative and you also don't know what the heck is going on. so what you're trying to do is read tea leaves, figure out what the scenario is, and figure out
if you can to get ahead of it. >> i got a tea leaf for you, your personal attorney and long-time fixer has had his office raided, as crystal mentioned. he had 16 phones for god knows what purpose, and he's still calling him. your campaign chairman has been indicted your former national security advisor is cooperating. and you have these funds that are so obviously connected to your administration, how about those tea leaves? >> that's a tea that you don't want to drink, the difficulty is, you can't get ahead of it, you can't seize on the big picture of what's going on and get ahead of the story. so i think -- you can imagine being in the president's position, being in the position of the folks around him, trying to figure out what all those
pieces mean when they're put together and get ahead of the story and meanwhile, as you mentioned at the top, you've got a bunch of great prosecutors, a lot of great agents, sitting in rooms with their heads down focused, focused focussed to put together evidence. so what you're trying to do is try and figure out where these guys are going to be in the next three or four steps and that's what you're seeing with rudy giulia giuliani, it seemed like he was going to leap frog and get ahead of the story a little bit. >> it didn't work, or at least donald trump doesn't any it worked. to refer to ross's tea analogy, this ain't chamomilchamomile.
allegedly detained a lawyer with ties to russia who is closely associated with hillary clinton. again, not to make it too much of a spy novel, when we interviewed a woman who was then an intermedia to him, george pop lpop -- george popadopoulos. >> of course trump knows what he did, and trump knows whether he did or didn't know at the time about the trump tower meeting, trump knows about meetings that he had with jared kushner and his own daughter and manafort will have to testify in those investigations. if trump thinks he's not so innocent, i've got to think he will think at some point that it's less risky somehow to curb, limit or abort the investigation
than let it go forward to win. >> "wall street journal's" shelby holiday, betsy, dealers choice on these issues, go ahead. >> it's a great question, there's so much to talk about. one thing that's really important is when we're talking about the length this probe is taking and the complaints that have come from the white house and mueller himself, the president's own legal team seems to be dragging its feet to decide whether or not to let trump sit down for an interview with mueller. that would be whether they make the final determination of whether there was obstruction of justice. jay sekulow said they still have yet to make a decision, even though they have been in talks with mueller's team and investigators for weeks and weeks and weeks now. it's a curious criticism coming
from the white house, and it seems they're gasping at straws to go after mueller and his team. >> and it appears what cohen thought he was doing, when you consider again that it was a lawyer, mr. cohen began discussing the mr. brody. normal people might say, okay, yeah, get your money where you can. but if you are literally a lawyer for the president, you need to go register as a foreign lobbyist. michael flib aynn and paul mana are registered under the foreign relations act. >> the foreign agents republican strarepublican -- registration act is something we didn't talk about until a number of trump's
associates got in trouble for it. and this is just one example of the missteps that some of the people, or the some of the playing with fire around farrah in the trump administration. a lot of people have gotten in trouble over this. with respect to the business dealings, he was just looking to make money, whether it was foreign governments, or fortune 500 companies. and uber, you have taxi medallions, but he nevertheless aggressively pitched hiss services as the person who is closers to the president. >> do you know how many stars he has on uber? >> i don't know if he even takes uber. >> i could see him dipping below 4. >> the range of outcomes was 4.8
to 8.0. >> are you a back seat driver, bill? >> bill, there are people under 4.8, for sure. when you're a well behaved passenger, you get those high ratings, ari, i don't know what you're doing here. >> wait times if we're getting into it. bill kristol, do you see the best defense left that yes, he was greedy and stupid, but it was personally greed because that would look a lot better because i don't think most greedy lawyers get involved or get the access to get high payouts for russian linked funds, and my job is to report what i know, and what we know is doing basically nothing, which means a lot of money for mo work based on their defenses. >> was he careless about fire? that would be one set of things, or did he do things for president trump that were
arguably legal, obstruction of justice, and those kinds of things. trump seems very concerned about what was discovered in michael cohen's office, other than the normal fraternal concern you would have for a friend who's gotten himself in some trouble. more curious than that. >> ultimately as a legal matter, would you advise trump to testify? starting with ross. >> absolutely no way. and not -- look, donald trump is not just any client, he's a client he's a man who's used to being on tv, he's used to selling things, he's used to being an executive, he's not used to parsing his words. so i think putting him in a room with federal prosecutors and agents would not be the best idea at all. >> there's not a lawyer in the country that would say it's a
good idea for trump to sit inve >> i think trump would like to do it, because it shows that he thinks he has nothing to hide. but i don't think he should. >> he says so many things to all the reporters and everyone around him, i think he should. >> today we have new questions about where the foreign money comes in, actually the head of obama's inaugural committee joins me live. what are sean hannity and the president talking about before bed ever night? and columnist frank rich makes his debut on the beat. i'm ari melber and we'll be right back. choose any availablee in the aisle - without starting any conversations-
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let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. i look very much forward to the inauguration, it's going to be a beautiful event. we have great talent, tremendous talent. >> bob mueller now probing the foreign donations that went into donald trump's inauguration, and that includes money from russia. i'm going to get to the obama inaugurati inauguration -- >> these events are going on all over the city, we're having a lot of fun tonight, and i want to tell you what a day it's been. first of all, did you hear the
speech today? what was supposed to be rain, turned out not to be rain, it was beautiful. >> we do no $26 million was routed to a very close friend of melania trump and it was arranged for two weeks before. and victor vexalberg who's been questioned by bob mueller's team. and alexi repik got to take this picture while trump was speaking. back home, there's the conduit, he would have one-on-ones with none other than vladimir putin himself. and here's these photos look bad, but give us your view
having worked on one of things, is this a thing that looks as bad as it looks or is it a thing where a ton of important people all flock to the inaugural. >> the inaugust aral is a uniqu thing oz to america. we are very particular to make sure that the folks who are in arm's reach of obama or even after an event or any of the cabinet members or even senior member of the administration, that they were properly vetted and the proximity that they got with their tickets and their access, wouldn't be something that we saw in '09 or '16. >> what do you think is going into the trumps? >> i think it's probably 4 1/2 times what our entire staff got for planning in 2009.
that's 450 people. so we had total payroll of about 6 million. >> so you're saying that the $26 million that was wired to melania trump's trend was more than the entire 450 person staff that you had during the '0e9 fo the inaugural? >> are you just taking a shot at sean spicer on the way -- the actual largest -- we're not doing crowd size tonight, we did that already and melissa mccarthy did it, it's done. it's done. but i do want to know if you think that, does that show terrible mismanagement. and we like to give credit, rachel maddow was the first one that handled this, that looked
so large as to be suspicious. >> they either totally mismanaged the 1$107 million thy that raised or it was treated the only way they it can be treated as an opportunities to have a slush fund. this guy got elected president with a -- >> wiso you say this was paid fm a slush fund? >> i know they paid a lot of different production companies to come in and do a lot of different scenarios, but it takes a lot of work to add up to $26 million. >> the producers of the beat, you mentioned the actual largest, you guys pulled off the 55 milli$55 million and it was
accounts a very good event. when i covered donald trump's campaign, it was notoriously cheap and the nicest thing you can say about that is that he won on a cheap budget, and in business, that's considered high return on investment. the meanest thing you could say is he didn't really care about it and he wasn't trying to win, what does that tell you that he was not as cheap with the inaugural funds as he was during the actual campaign? >> because of that control they had, they had an opportunity to take this unfettered amount of money, that really you don't have to do the reporting you have to do with the ftc, so they were able to skirt all the transparency laws, he was able to send everybody to the hotel and pay everybody huge amounts of must be and pay out of the pockets of those people who didn't give to his inaugural
fund, but they made up for it on the back end by giving $65 million to an ininaugural committee that could have only spent $30 million. up ahead, we look at the issue of the new chief of staff, sean hannity, why does trump talk to him every single night. emmy award winning writer, new york magazine's frank rich is here with me live when we are look after 60 seconds. i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd. that's why i fight. because it's my vision. preservision. try areds 2 + multivitamin.
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"veep." he worked at the intersection of the mafia, new york night light and a wide cast of characters. rich writes about his inindictments and scandals including accusations of multiple banks and securities law violations. rich was ultimately disbarred for his conduct, he's considered inf infamous as something of a character. and the question that arises in so many crime stories do criminals want a lawyer to defend them or to help them be criminals. >> seriously, when the going get tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer, you want a criminal lawyer. you know what i'm saying?
>> know what i'm saying? consider that as the context of a 26-year-old donald trump who hooked up with michael cohen in new york, who literally carried a picture of him in his pocket. >> he reached behind his desk and pulled out a picture of roy cohn and asked everybody in the room, do you know who this is? roy cohn, well, roy is my attorney, nobody wants to face roy cohn. >> to build the largest structure in new york city, call on roy cohn, poofs from contrpa contractors is just part of -- >> cohen is dead, but frank rich arguings his scurrilous mindset
is alive, especially when their areach is successful. richard quotes cohn's imagined dialogue in the play who said was it legal? f-legal, am i a nice man? f-nice, they say terrible things about me in the nation, f-the nation, do you want to be nice or do you want to be effective? >> mr. rich, thank you for joining us. if the cohn playbook is effective, how could society dale wi deal with that. >> cohn was a bomb thrower, anything he had to do to keep justice from taking its course. we really have to start largely in the city, because one of the
pieces in my book was that donald trump and cohn were among people in the -- who liked this kind of fixer, likes someone who can get them yankee tickets or get the right concrete company to build the skyscraper or fix something at city hall, a tax abatement for a real estate development. and one of the interesting things about both these guys is they were helped by "new york times," 60 minutes in the case of roy cohn and all kinds of political figures in both political parties. >> that's a point in your piece, there is plenty of evil around, and for evil to survive, usually there's a lot of -- vichy democrats gained power and
consolidated it with the help of the allies among the thee yacht it will and political establishment. it's reminisce septembnt of whe joker tells batman in the dark night series is that you're good, but only as good as you're allowed to be. >> that's exactly right, that rings a cord or touches a cord because there is a lot of gotham, that gotham in the actual gotham and there's a favors bank, and they'll tolerate terrible behavior from a cohen or trump, outlaw behavior even, if they can get something for it. >> cohn talked about being proud of trump, let's take a look at that. >> we all know donald for such a long time, i'm so proud of him,
aren't you? >> when you think back, nikki, you and i knew donald when, and there's so many great moments in his life, and this is the opening of the greatest building in the world, marble water falls it sort of restores your faith that free enterprise is not that at all. >> this was the early 1980s. and roy cohn had been a has-been in america. after the mccarthy hearings in 1954, he and mccarthy were in ruins, mccarthy soon died of alcoholism, but cohn staged a come back in new york city, so here we are, 25 or more years later, after mccarthy and he's the bell of the ball and the host of the festivities. >> one of the things that strikes me about him and we're looking at more of this footage, of the kind of person he was,
and he was a real gangster type, and i don't use that word loosely, and he represents gangsters, but he also had that persona, he was not, okay, we're going to file a motion, sir, that may delay your -- it was much more than that. it i want to play for you, what he said i'll win in court when i can, and i'll win out of court the rest of the time, so get the hell out of my way, which is what trump liked about him. this is one of those examples where they did go up against the city and won. >> he believes you can fight city lal and i believe you can fight city hall and we both fought it together and got a $74 million tax abatement by going to the highest court in the state which decided 7-0 in our favor. >> if trump learned all that
from him, and he's used it, but what do you see as the counter punch. i would submit for consideration, that cohn was s disbarred and he did end up in dispute. >> i think that's going to be a slow process, i don't think it's going to happen through impeachment, it's going to happen one way or another through the rule of law, but i do believe the rule of law will triumph over trump, as ultimately it did over trump, although both of these guys had many powerful allies to help them do their stuff. >> is working on veep harder than writing article snsz. >> no, it's a lot of fun. and it's totally different. but i love both of them, but
"veep" it's putting on a show, and it's fiction, so you can make up anything you want, so you don't have to say the name donald trump on vehiclep. >> we find fake news exhausting because you have to make it all up. i would rather work with facts, but the fake news part, it takes so much time. >> so you understand how we are on veep. up ahead we turn to the hannity connection, who is running the white house? and why do they talk before bed? and i have a new comment from, yes, lodger stone, that's later tonight. what might seem like a small cough to you... can be a big bad problem that you could spread to family members, including your grandchildren babies too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough are the most at risk for severe illness. but you can help prevent this. talk to your doctor today about getting vaccinated against whooping cough. because dangers don't just exist in fairytales.
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because antonio villaraigosa millions got it done.healthcare he defended women's healthcare, banned military-style assault weapons, banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. donald trump has the highest staff turnover in the history of the american presidency, but as the saying goes, you know this man, we all know him by now. one thing is new tonight is that instead of signs that he may be
replacing these people who keep leaving, is that trump doesn't just rely on sean hannity's show for input, but every single night after sean hannity goes off the air, they speak before bed. it says trump's basically replaced former white house steve bannon, with hannity, he just doesn't have a desk yet. and trump and bannhannity also the same policy -- >> we will get the criminals out, the drug lord, we're getting them out. obama care was one of the biggest broken politics in the history of politics. >> obamacaritie its is the bigg massive single biggest mistake in history. >> both sides were involve in the fighting.
>> i think there's blame on both sides. for people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, i think that's disrespectful. >> don't want to see the national anthem be disrespected. >> the "new york daily news," mike lupika. >> i just read the article about the bromance. it and to quote your man, t-pain, we are chocked and screwed. yeah, that's right, that's what i'm talking about. >> you're prepared, i like that. >> if vice president hannity has this much influence with the president, we're in worse trouble than i thought. but don't you like the idea of them kind of chopping it up at night like a couple of high
school sophomores, did my hair look good? how did you like my closing comments tonight? and what do you think of what i said about immigrants today. it's just extraordinary that they would be in each other's orbit now. >> it's the political structure and the corporate fox news structure has dissolved. this just means that they're more focused on content than substance. it says white house staffer aware about the calls because the president will enter the room and say i just hung up gr hannity, or what hannity just said or ring hannity up while h his -- >> he's called hannity about the
nuclear arms deal, about national security. presidents usually don't turn to a.m. talk show hosts to get all of their national security. do you think these guys were talking on secure lines? they're spilling secrets? >> the white house side of the lines should be secure. >> there's no protection here, hannity is just going off nonstop with him. >> let me push you, you are what's known in the business a hannity hater. what if this is just the fact that you don't like this particular person. what if it was, i'll pick a name, and people get upset no matter what name you said. can you pinpoint for viewer whether you agree with him or not, why sean hannity -- >> it was kind of a source of information, you bounced thing
off them. talking to sean hannity is entirely different. sean hannity was pushing the seth rich conspiracy theory, after trump was elected. this is that awful story about the young d.c. staffer who was murdered. fox news dragged this poor kidthroukid through the mud, the family is suing sean hannity. >> it's not that you disagree with his unreliable, it's just that he's a liar? >> i think he's a pathological liar. i think presidents in the past have talked to conservative columnists, i don't think it's a great idea if you're the president to be talking to a reporter daily. >> it and let me get this for your analysis, the other piece is, that donald trump is the president now, but he seems to
almost want to suck up to hannity, he thinks it's cool they talk so much. >> i just did sean hannity. >> i then spoke to sean hannity, which everybody refuses to call sean hannity. tonight it's sean hannity because we had a really good show. hannity is a great, he's a friendly guy. >> it's a different kind of p preamble, to form a more perf t perfectiperfect union, and the union is sean hannity and donald trump telling each other what they want to hear every day. what if you only got your news from fox news, what if it was a constant loop, especiallily at night by the pundits. >> by at night, do you mean
right before bed? >> right before he gets on the phone and they talk about their day and because, you would think they would be doing that with their wives, but apparently this is a different level of bromance. . >> again, presidents are supposed to be seeking counsel, serious counsel, he's gotten rid of rex tillerson, he's gotten rid of h.r. mcmaster, now he has to reach out to a tv host. you were great, i was great, mueller's awful, what do i do? he's looking for a shoulder to whine on, every day. this is just crazy. and that new york piece that says hannity is just the leader of the kitchen cabinet who else is in that cabinet is this alex
jones? they sped past humiliation a lock time ago. >> the most fundamental thing is not about ideology, and in fact these are dwactual top advisors and they're not contractibaccou the american public, that's a problem. ahead, i turn to a special report on the coordinated attack on trump's enemies with dmunew attacks on roger stone and randy credico. did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. looks like we have a couple seconds left. let's do some card twirling twirling cards e*trade. the original place to invest online. i'm lucky to get through a shift without a disaster. my bargain detergent couldn't keep up.
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. now we turn to some new disclosures that offer a window into how closely the trump world coordinates it's potential attacks on law enforcement. the story actually focuses on the recently ousted attorney general of new york who had battled with trump but was separately expose for allegations of repeated domestic abuse. everyone agrees that man eric schneiderman should be out of
office for those allegations against him. some ask why it took so long to get snyderman out of it. now the los angeles times is of. none other than trump lawyer michael cohen was allegedly told about some of these very accusations. and that's not because cohen was seen as an advocate for potentially abused women. it is because allegedly this was the kind of information that trump's team might have been able to use against eric schneiderman who had accused trump of defrauding thousands of people in 2013 through trump university, a claim that trump would ultimately settle by paying many of those people back. but trump did not just deny wrongdoing, he attacked schneiderman, saying is he a crook? saying he is, quote, worse than spitzer or wiener who had their own public scandals of a certain similar nature that could have
been hyperbole at the time, or did donald trump know something? those interest question the new report raises, and there is more. the man who says roger stone was his back channel to wikileaks, randy said there was a gossip item sourced to credico saying, quote, i saw him, schneiderman put it his nose, a white powder in the back of a ballroom while he was state senator. now this long forgotten piece of gossip does look different tonight, and especially when you add this, which we found. at the time, of course, he was just a reality star, but donald trump basically called in to "fox & friends" the same morning of that gossip item and plucked out of the air the same claim by saying "they, some people are now saying schneiderman took coke."
>> police sued me. and i could have sued. i could have settled so easily. and instead of winning the case lightweight and how they're saying he took dope. as far as i'm concerned, they he probably still does. >> schneiderman eman denied that account. but based on the new allegations, schneiderman's credibility itself is in doubt. the other thing that is coming up here, the same people the trump defenders claim are random former advisers, people like stone and credico who trump defenders dismiss who say look, they go rogue or they're just seeking attention, they now appear involved in this very high priority clash with the top prosecutor in new york who was suing trump, and they were hitting the exact message that trump wanted at the same time while he called in tv to push it. so was that a coincidental synchronization or something
more formal, more collusiony? we're not just exploring a theory here. this is also based on reporting. i have a response from credico that stone e-mailed him at the time urging him to continue the attacks on schneiderman. credico said he resisted going further and he wanted his original accusation to be off the record. randy chris darden dickeau told me he snorted cocaine with eric schneiderman in the back room of a manhattan comedy club. i urged him to go public with this during the election for attorney general. now that's interesting because it's more of a confirmation than a denial. it does put responsibility back on credico, which makes sense. credico was the original source. but put aside all those weird details, and the larger revelation is that some attacks on law enforcement which benefit donald trump could be far more coordinated than disclosed at the time. and one of the central questions in the mueller probe is now whether people who may appear,
quote, distant, people like michael cohen or roger stone, were they going rogue, were they acting on their own behalf, or were they making moves explicitly on behalf of donald trump? we don't have all the answers tonight, especially when it comes to the complex history with eric schneiderman or who was paying into the michael cohen slush funds and why, but we do know bob mueller is investigating all this, and only donald trump knows how much real evidence on this is really out there. i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro. i'm trying to manage my a1c,
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musician meek mill surprised a miami crowd on saturday with his first performance since being released from prison. >> i want to say thank you to everybody that supported me, millie. they tried to take my freedom. they tried to crush my dreams. but now i'm many miami. >> he says he wants to work on criminal justice issues, and this is something that at one point had traction in washington considering the house judiciary committee has passed a bipartisan version of criminal justice reform. and jared kushner has been talking about it, even apparently to kim kardashian. >> jared kushner, who i spoke to, has really been working on some criminal justice reform bills. and i would love to sit and talk to them. so far the white house has been really receipt alternative my calls, and i'm grateful for that. and i'm not going to stop that because people personally don't like trump.
>> of course the issue isn't personal dislike of trump, but whether donald trump wants to work with his republican party in control of the judiciary committee to actually get votes on that bill. we will be watching that does it for our show. i'll see you back to you 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. the iceberg cometh. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews from miami. with rudy giuliani at the helm of the president's legal defense team, donald trump is on all-out war footing against the special counsel's russia probe. a new report in "the washington post" today illustrates the alarming degree to which the president is consumed by this investigation. which the authors describe as a steaming locomotive. quote, the mueller operation, like