are thanks to barbara mcquaid, frank, elise, kim, and nick. that does it for our hour. i'll nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi chuck. >> you know, i'm here, but i don't feel like i'm here. >> we need like an overhead shot. >> we are say hi to each other in the same studio. you might think our back drops are different, but are they? >> we are in the same room. >> if it's wednesday it is a big long and busy day for russia revelati revelations. >> tonight, multiple breaking stories in the russia probe. new revelations about that trump tower heh meeting. new conclusions with russia's meddling and new disclosures about michael cohen payments. plus, what america thinks. >> witch-hunt to overturn an election. >> i say to get the facts behind
a really happened. >> voter opinion about robert mutual officer the investigat-- investigation. plus, the great debate. >> laurel. >> laurel. >> laurel. >> or yanni. this is "mtp daily," and it starts right now. good evening i'm chuck todd here in new york. yes, the laurel/yanni discussion just started already. i promise we will delay that. welcome to "mtp daily." we begin with the fight for truth. in acue drupel dose of breaking news that calls into question a whole bunch of white house truths. first it's thousands of pages of documents that have been released involving the infamous trump tower meeting led by the president's son. what do the documents largely confirm? the bombshell that the trump campaign was engaged in an
evident of obtaining damaging evidence about hillary clinton. second, new find prosecution the senate intelligence committee now knock down claims made by the president's house republican allies who argue putin's russia wasn't trying to help trump's campaign. but the senate intel competent, democrats and republicans say no, that's incorrect. indeed, putin was trying to help one candidate. that was donald trump. third, new financial disclosures from the white house suggest that the president knew about the hush money payment to stormy daniels and then misled the public about it. after all, it made it on to his financial disclosure. fourth a bombshell story from the "new york times." potentially undermining the president's claims of an anti-trump bias at the fbi. the report details the secret origins of the trump investigation revealing the fbi's evident the keep their counter-intelligence investigation secret, out of concern that the mere knowledge of its existence might devastate the trump campaign. i wonder what hillary clinton is thinking about that right now?
joining me now is den delanian msnbc intelligence and national security reporter as well as our panelist here. katy tur, my colleague here at msnbc and host of the 2:00 p.m. hour and every monday on this show. and zerlina maxwell. ken, let's break things down today. there is a lot out there. can we sort through what's new first and what matters? and we'll keep going down the line here. of these new revelations today, i assume you think the fbi news is the biggest but walk me through it. >> i'm not sure -- i think there is a lot in that "new york times" story we already know. not the code name crossfire hurricane but some other narratives. the biggest thing i was looking for in the trump tower transcript disclosures was what does donald trump jr. have to say about his father's knowledge of the meeting? the answer to that question is
he claims he never consulted his father before when he was setting up the meeting and then afterwards. he claims his understanding is that donald trump, the president learned about this meeting only when it was reported in the news media. to believe that, you have to believe that the blocked number that donald trump jr. called that democrats are pointing out are in the phone records was not his father, donald trump suhr, who known to have used a blocked number at that time. that is one takeaway. the other takeaway is the transcripts is the extent to which they portray that donald trump jr. was completely looking at this as a way to get incriminating evidence against hillary clinton. he started the meeting with one line, i understand you have some information for me. when the meeting was dragging he asked the question, what have you got on hillary. when he learned they didn't have much on hillary witnesses say he was disappointed and quickly dismissed them. >> there is a timing issue that i have always had with the trump tower meeting and the supposed other outreaches that were
taking place, rogerstone and wikileaks, mike flynn, what he may have been doing, michael cohen and what he may have been doing. but the trump tower meeting is sort this separate entity. and the trump tower meeting, if you would have believed the story that comes out of the senate judiciary committee, nothing came of it. and yet it seems like everything came from something in that six-week period. >> yeah. remember the donald trump had promised to make a speech when that meeting was in the process of being set up about hillary clinton suggesting that he had some information about her councilmember then he never made that speech. he canceled it. the meeting did not -- the incriminating information that the trump team was hoping to get from that meeting did not materialize bay all accounts. but intelligence officials looking at it say it could have been a dangle by russian intelligence. it could also have been an
intent to plan come promant. man if that meeting hadn't happened. all these e-mails and donald trump jr. asking for information on hillary the russians would know this and would be able to hold it oufr donald trump's head. >> this is another form of a kompromat? >> it could have been that. but the news media exposed if meeting taking away the potential for that. >> final question on the senate intel report. it seems as if -- it came out today and essentially disputes the house report. not surprising. what else did you learn from it that you think is important when comparing it to the house report? >> i think they gave a lot -- the senate -- it is a bipartisan evident. republicans and democrats agreed gave more credence to the remarks from for example, the head of the nsa. and just -- they found that in fact there was evidence that the russians were supporting the trump campaign and that the
trade craft exercise to reach that conclusion was good. remember, the house intelligence committee criticized the trade craft without evidence because they said it was classified testimony senate is refuting that. >> the other thing we got today was the financial disclosure form from the president. the white house is as if it's like don't miss this footnote. let me show you this michael cohen -- it's very important to them that everybody notice this in this report. is this just them showing the ethics office -- the office of ethics, government ethics, that they are following directions this team? or why is it so important that we notice this repayment now? >> because somebody concluded that they had an obligation to disclose it. and probably should have disclosed it last year, but didn't, and now they are coming clean. often in these kinds of forms cases you can essentially mea
culpa we should have disclosed it and you are fine. it doesn't become a criminal issue unless some prosecutor is looking at you and decides that you willfully hid it from the be approximate. we know that's at issue here and the office of ethics referred it to the justice department. >> on the form, the loan repayment to michael cohen is somewhere in the $100,000 to $250,000 range. rudy giuliani claimed that donald trump paid him in excess of $400,000. there seems to be a missing chunk of money here. >> that suggests that maybe rudy giuliani maybe did not have all the facts because you assume if they decided to disclose it they disclosed it accurately. that is something we will have to see. >> i think donald trump used that same phrase, that rudy giuliani needed to get his facts straight. >> yeah. >> we ran through a lot. panel, katy, you are first. crossfire hurricane.
now that song is in my head. >> it's interesting. i like that you pointed out that this is all happening within this six-week period. >> that's the wind here. something is up. >> it was a contention time. to bring you back to the moment, donald trump was trying to secure the nomination. he had it but there was questions about whether the delegates would lead which is why he hired paul many of the and paul manafort had all these shady dealings but then again he was somebody who knew politics and knew conventions. that's why he was brought on. the family was really happy about it. in the middle of the democratic national convention, suddenly donald trump is on stage holding a press conference asking russia to find more of health care's e-ma -- more of hillary clinton's e-mails. so much going on. finding out more about this trump tower meeting only raises more questions three or four or five weeks prior to donald trump being on stage talking about
hillary clinton's e-mails. when i look at don jr.'s testimony -- or his interview, because he wasn't sworn under oath, a couple of things caught my eye. number one he kept saying i don't know, i don't recall. >> that's legal advice. that's what you say when you don't want to guess at facts. >> that's right. but here's the thing. there are a couple of thing that a son or anybody who has had a phone call from the president knows, which is that he calls from a blocked number. i have gotten phone calls from him. he calls from a blocked number. i made sure to ask from those who know him if that was just me. >> one time i got an unblocked number. i saved that sucker for a while and then it was no longer in use. >> everybody i talked to said they get calls from blocked numbers. you would think that donald trump's son would know whether or not thinks dad got a blocked number or not. know definitively. >> but legally -- >> why reveal it.
>> why? >> it does raise more questions. also he seemed to know nothing about donald trump, his father, crafting that statement for him aboard air force one regards to this meeting. that to me is something that obviously we are going to find out more about later on when the mueller results come out, if we see them. but that raised some flags as well. >> what did you learn today that made you feel exculpatory versus damning towards trump? >> from everybody's testimony they were baited into this meeting. they wanted something, sordid as it was, information on hillary clinton. what they got was a dangle. and they didn't receive night we still don't have a why in this meeting. >> to the extent donald trump yur is telling the truth they don't have a lot of problems.
it's whether or not he is telling the truth. that's speculation. what is concrete is that the senate intelligence committee has said russia enter convenience on donald trump's behalf. >> hard stop. >> it leaves devin nunes's house intelligence committee out on a limb. and to the extent that they have confused and forced republicans to confuse the integrity of the committee with his personal honor has been a stain on that committee and that has been reinforced by this position. >> zerlina, i know you want to talk about the "new york times" decision, what to reveal and not to reveal about fbi investigations. >> you mean that there are no connections between russia and the trump campaign. >> the totality. >> i think the trump campaign's official line has been we attempted to perhaps coordinate in some way to get some dirt on hillary clinton. that's their official story. but the key fact here is that an attempt to clued is still a
problem for them in the legal conteb. i think that's what i take away from today. not much has changed. we just have more meat on the bones. we have more information to fill in some of the holes in terms of the story. as noah said, i think that the key here is that they don't tell the truth ever. from basically -- going back to the campaign, november 11th, 2016, hope hicks tells the "new york times" in a statement there were no contacts and coordination between the trump campaign and russia. we know that is completely untrue and every stage they have lied about it until it's been revealed by the media. >> i go back to the meeting at the trump tower. for the donald trump jr. story ha to be accurate, everybody else has to be inaccurate about what happened. the timing of wikileaks, the timing of the decision to change the ukraine language. >> it all has to be one giant coincidence. >> it is a bizarre coincidence or paul manafort acting on his
own. >> manafort on his own, papadopoulos acting on his own, page acting on his own, flynn acting on his own. they were in and out, coffee boys, they had little to do with the campaign. there is a lot of smoke. >> it's all fine if donald trump jr. is tell the truth. >> >> russia, if you are listening fine those e-mails, i want to see them. >> that was answer incredible moment and will always be. >> to that extent it raises the possibility there is the element of coordination here. >> aligned versus coordinated. >> that should matter. because if the russians reach out the to the clinton campaign many of my colleagues said they would have called the fbi. previously when inappropriate information was given to the campaign that's what the
campaign did. >> alg's campaign in 2000 when they found out they got a stolen debate tape of george w. -- >> you can compare the two. >> my point is al gore did exactly what everybody claims they would have done, they called the fbi. >> i totally agree. >> yeah. >> if you are asking will voters care it's hard to compare donald trump's campaign with anybody else. i hate to be this person, old man yells at cloud, do voters care about this investigation? no. they don't. they do to an extent. if robert mueller comes out with something extraordinarily damning look at what this administration did when they were campaigning for the presidency. look at how they coordinated or clued. i think voters will absolutely care. up until that happens peep are more concerned about their jobs, about health care, about tariffs, whether or not donald trump is going to use his nuclear button. there are all sorts of things
out there that are sorry for the word trumping the mueller investigation. not the say that people aren't curious and do want to know what's going to come out of it. >> all of that is true. but when indictments come down and we have guilty pleas it's in the going to matter. in the heel context they are going to do their work. whether or not voters say that's a big deal that may be irrelevant on criminal charges. >> and he won't be able to run again in 2020. >> we have actual voters who were asked last night by our friend peter hart. we will find out how they feel about investigation. it is fascinating. it gets at this core -- this to me is the -- put it this way, bob mueller needs to watch this focus group. up next it's former cia chief john brennan. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. on this very busy day of breaking russia news we figure we should use some of our experts, john brennan joins me now. mr. brennan i know we are keeping you busy today. thank you for sticking around. >> sure. >> let me start from what we learned from the senate intelligence committee versus the house intelligence committee. you and i have had conversations about sort the house committee being broken. what you read and saw from the senate intel committee today i wanted to get your initial iraq reaction. >> i was up at the hill this morning along with jim clapper and rogers, former head of nsa. we testified in front of that committee. we answered a lot of questions that they had. i must say they are conducting their responsibilities in a very good manner. it's bipartisan.
it's thorough. it'srigorous. all the things that the house counter-part has not done. i think there has been great leadership by senators burr and warner. their findings basically defended the intelligence community's assess meant. i have confidence that the senate intelligence committee's ultimate report will come out with some recommendations about how we can prevent recurrences of these types of efforts or at least make it much more difficult for foreign entities or malactors to interfere in the election. >> walk viewers through the difference between what the senate intelligence committee is doing and what robert mueller is doing. i think it's important to hear it from someone like yourself. explain the difference. >> well, bob mueller's charge as special counsel is the try to get to the bottom of russian interference in the election and to find out whether or not there
was any criminal activity that took place during these russian efforts. that's why he has come out with some indictments already. that is a criminal investigation. it is a law enforcement evident. the senate intelligence committee and the house intelligence committee are -- their efforts are designed to try to understand from the standpoint of good government what the intelligence community and fbi did during that period of time, try to understand the vulnerabilities that exist within the system, and then to try to move forward with either legislation or public recommendations about what should be done to try to prevent occurrences like this in the future. so i think they have two different purposes. one is looking at whether or not there were any illegal activities that took place and criminal charges that need to be leveed. the other is not a criminal investigation. the congressional investigations are looking at what happened and how we can prevent it. >> one quote that i have always
highlighted, circled, you can talk to my staff. we have it cut out. we had it i think plastered on one of our walls of timelines as we try to keep track of this. it's something that you said in to congress in may of '17. you said frooktly people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a trnous path until it is too late you. >> weren't trying to specify an individual at the time but when you look at the trump tower meeting and everything that happened in it is it an episode like that that you were describing? is it episodes similar to that when you use that specific quote about a treasonous path? >> well, i was basing that on my experience and the intelligence world and the trade craft that goes along with intelligence collection espionage. frequently intelligence officers will try to cultivate a relationship with individuals without revealing their intelligence affiliation. so individuals are frequently led down a path because of
either friendship or some type of business interest or collaboration and they start to do things that are unethical, a bit abnormal in terms of what their responsibilities are, as well as illegal. and that's what russian intelligence officers try to do. try to get people into position where is they have already compromised their integrity, may have already violated the laws, and as a way to encourage them to continue to go along that path. so a lot of people unknowingly get involved. >> what you are saying is they are not doing it by choice. they are basic esaying do you want us to turn you in or not? right? is that the -- >> they can blackmail individuals. >> yeah. >> but frequently individuals are already deep into the fool and then they recognize that they are guilty and they might as well, you know, keep going, believing sometimes that they can outsmart the law enforcement and intelligence professionals and they are not going to get caught. so they just keep going down
that path. >> well, the trump tower meeting -- sometimes -- i know it's frustrating for you and it can be frustrating for us when we interview you, i know already some things you can't reveal, meaning like when did you learn of it and some things like that -- unless you want to -- unless you can reveal that. but what kind of red flags should that meeting have set off? >> certainly for those who were -- >> he want to start with the russian lawyer. how important is she in this in your mind? >> well, the russians, whether the intelligence officers, citizens, lawyers or others who are going to be used by russian intelligence, these are the things that i think u.s. earn approxima -- u.s. persons as well as individuals who were part of a presidential campaign need for very wary about. and they should have had some real red flags thrown up to them if there were offers to provide information about hillary
clinton. whether it is real naivete, i go noshs of the law or feeling they can do whatever they wanted to because they were who they are, i think it none straighted to the russians who were party to this that there was a bite on their line. and then they started to reel people in. because if they showed up for a meeting where they thought they were going to get dirt on a candidate, it showed a motivation and an inclination to accept that type of information from individuals of questionable backgrounds and affiliation. >> let me ask you straight up, everything we think we know about the trump tower meeting, what donald trump jr. testified before the senate judiciary committee and the version of events based on the transcripts that we have all read today, do you believe those version of events? or do you think we don't actually know what happened in that trump tower meeting?
>> i think there is still a lot that the public does not know. i know there are a lot of things that i don't know. i knew a lot when i was in government but i am -- >> do you know more about that meeting than we do in the public domain? >> i'm not going to talk about what i might or might not know. >> i only just said because you just admitted it. so i had to -- i hear you. >> i know a lot about what happened during my time at cia during the presidential campaign that has not come out publicly for a variety of reasons. but i know that bob mueller and his team of investigators have uncovered a lot more information and are putting the pieces together. so i don't think anybody should assume complete knowledge and the truth about any of these interactions or meetings. because we only see and hear what has come out so far. but i'm sure there is still a lot more out this. >> very quickly, what did you make of ran paul's request, the senator from kentucky that gina
haspel say definitively or not whether donald trump was spied on by the cia? >> rand paul phil bustered my nomination when i was cia director. i find a lot of things that rand paul does inexplicable. >> was that an appropriate question to ask? should gina haspel or the cia respond to him? >> any senator has the right to ask a question. i think if he is really interested in this issue i think cia can provide a response maybe to the intelligence committee. rand paul is not on the intelligence committee. he is not privy to a lot of things that cia does or knows. so this is an issue that i think richard burr and mark warner have to work as sort of intermediaries between ran paul and gina haspel and cia. >> john brennan, former cia director thank you sir. up ahead, one person's
russia investigation is another person's witch hunt had. the great divide among americans on what's the motivation behind the mueller investigation. discover card. hey, i'm curious about your social security alerts. oh! we'll alert you if we find your social security number on any one of thousands of risky sites, so you'll be in the know. ewww! being in the know is very good. don't shake! ahhh! sign up online for free. discover social security alerts.
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the fine students at the virginia military academy. but was the message meant for someone else? >> the essential tenet of a free society, a free people, is access to the truth. a government structure and a societal understanding that freedom to seek the truth is the very essence of freedom itself. you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. it is only by fierce defense of the truth on a common set of facts that we create the conditions for a democratic free society comprised of richly diverse peoples that those free people can explore and fine solutions to the very challenges confronting a complex society of free people. if our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of all turn tifstive realities that are no longer
grounded in facts, then we as american citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom. when we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on america. >> now, i want to stand up for my friends in the state department press corps. because it would be easier to accept tillerson's strong word about press freedom if he hadn't spent his previous tenure at the state department keeping reporters off the plane and not interacting with the press. all that said, do you have any idea who he might have been talking to in that speech? we'll be right back. this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years,
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doctrine of the justice department and has been since we believe 2000. and mueller works for the justice department. so it's in the a surprise. but it is notable that giuliani is now claiming that mueller's team is reminding the president that they are operating under these guidelines. what does that mean? that means that the president may be a subject of this investigation but never a target. if you can indict a president he can never be a target. mueller take note. president trump called the russia investigation a witch-hunt more times than we can count. it seems many of his support remembers following suit. msnbc sat in on a group of voters in wisconsin last night that was moderated by peter king. take a listen to what the trump voters in this group of half trump voters and half clinton voters said when they were asked to write down what they believe to be the purpose of mueller's investigation. >> a witch hundred to sway public opinion and keep negative press in the forelight.
>> to assess if president trump clued with russia. >> i wrote it was a witch-hunt to overturn an election. >> i call it a farce created by the deep state. >> dealing with russia but there is just so much going on now it's confusing and i don't know what path they are going down and why they are still pursuing it. >> overwhelmingly, it seems, they think president trump is telling the truth and mueller is not. folks, bob mueller may want to watch this focus group because if he has the goods he is going to cede need some of the folks we just heard from to believe him. back to the panel. i told you i had an interesting way for you guys to finish this conversation, will the voters care? won't they care? noah, did that surprise you? >> it did surprise me, the extent to which we in the mainstream press and this panel for example, focus on these issues and shy away from language that is frequently appears in donald trump's
tweets, witch hundred, deep state, the kind of thing we think is indicative of somebody who is detached from the news, who doesn't pay attention to the news. i know that sound condescending. you can't prove the existence of a witch-hunt. there is no such thing as a deep state. it proves that the president can shape narratives to the extent that he wants to. bob mueller's investigation is going to pursue whatever avenue it wants to independent of what the voters think or not. but if bob mueller has the goods on anybody in donald trump's circle it's going to be met with incredible duality. >> i was interested this the last guy we heard from, curt was his name. dealing with russia, there is so much going on, it's all confused. i don't understand the path of the i totally get it. i have had people getting, wait
a minute, stormy daniels, michael avenatti, the russian thing. michael cohen guy, taxicabs. wait, ukraine. i understand. it feels like you are stuck in a bad novel. too many russian plotlines. >> that's why mueller has a big team of prosecutors. it is complicated. you are dealing with money laundering, dealing with possible collusion, but that's not actually a crime so he is probably looking into conspiracy and underlying obviouses like campaign finance is hacking laws. but i think that the bottom line here for voters should be you know, when did the president know, if anything, about what all of these different people were doing in relation to russia? and when he comes out and he says, we had nothing to do with russia, i have nothing to do with russia, we now know that's not true. i think that if trump ends up in legal jeopardy -- i think it's easy -- giuliani is leaking that mueller has said to them that
you can't indict a sitting president. i think that's a constitutional question. >> the fact the justice department operates under that guideline going ptak back to 2000 when the question was about bill clinton. >> correct. but it can go up to the supreme court and we can have a legal argument. there are people that disagree on that question. i think that the american people are going to look at the president and see if he is telling the truth about this stuff or not. i think we have enough evidence to know that that's not true. i think the president lying matters to voters. >> unless we are in a post truth world. >> i don't think we are. >> i think if lying mattered donald trump wouldn't be president. if lying mattered to voters, donald trump wouldn't be president. >> noah, i feel like you are the tennis match guy. >> i think voters knew he wasn't being honest. >> that wasn't a bug. it was a confuseture. >> impactly. the lying mattered to voters, then donald trump wouldn't be there. he got 30% of the vote but he
won the electoral college. the question is not necessarily whether donald trump voters will come out and continue to vote for him. yes, maybe they can. the question is, are voters across the country who do not like him or maybe took a chance and decided they don't like him now, are they going to come out in enough numbers to overturn that. is the voter turnout on the democratic or independent side going to be big enough in order to overturn that electoral college vote. >> i want to put up another screen from the focus group. the word they were using to describe mueller. clinton voters used intelligent, respected, smart, investigator, unstoppable. trump voters, there were a coup couple, nice comments, but despicab despicable. and then it's important to
remember that mueller doesn't have to convince all trump voters that the investigation is on the up and up. >> when donald trump's ratings decline it's because republicans peel off. when they do that he frustrates republicans in congress and in the media and then they criticize donald trump. that's when you get a split. if he was to fire bob mueller it would peel off. when he criticizes women, uses coors language, it has little to do with the russia collusion narrative. when we get away from the russia collusion narrative we are getting away from issues voters don't like. >> he went to four different states and talked to voters over and over again over 15 months. trump voters, counties that flipped talking about whether they still support trump. the joft of the answers were yes but with caveats.
one of them was i don't like his tweeting, obviously. but another one was i don't like the mueller probe i think it was a witch-hunt but i do think it would be a mistake for the president to fire him. >> you know that that's where the line is that clearly the president looks like even he has figured out. >> the prosecution team that mueller has put together is a very aggressive prosecution team. >> yes. >> they prosecuted enron in a very aggressive way. spouses ended up in prison over that investigation. >> and some of the convictions were overturned because too aggressive. >> it was very aggressive. >> yes. >> we are talking about a lot of people tangentially related to the president who are in legal jeopardy. regardless of what giuliani says and regardless whether or not voters care the legal system does care. >> until donald trump pardons them. >> can't pardon state crimes. >> stick around. did you know there were a few primaries last night? i swear to god, elections still happen in this country even when
donald trump is in the news. we will break down some of the winners and losers next. so lionel, what does being able to trade 24/5 mean to you? well, it means i can trade after the market closes. it's true. so all... evening long. ooh, so close. ♪ happy anniversary dinner, darlin'. can this much love be cleaned by a little bit of dawn ultra? oh yeah one bottle has the grease cleaning power of three bottles of this other liquid. a drop of dawn and grease is gone.
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defeated a former member of congress who was backed by much of the democratic establishment. can she win in november in a district that president trump won narrowly. in pennsylvania who doesn't have a single woman in their congressional delegation there could be as many as four after democratic women won big last night. in idaho, paulette jordan won the democratic gubernatorial primary. she would be the state's first native american governor if she won. on the republican side of the idaho governor's race, labrador lost his primary. get the theme here, congressman loss, bar leto did win but underperformed in the republican primary in pennsylvania. we will be right back to find out if you can change your name from congress nanoand actually still run for office. ♪ you and me together ♪ through the days and nights.
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all right. i wanted to get to some midtemer, but "the register" road rage news, it's something we knew, but it's very important for giuliani, he wanted to get it out there. that the president cannot be indicted or at least that's how mueller has somehow reminded giuliani that that's how they're operating. >> that's it, giuliani is telling the truth about it, number one. >> if that's how it was relayed. and i have questions about that. but it also just feels like rudy giuliani more than anything else is talking to the president directly when he's talking to reporters. don't worry, mr. president. you can't be indicted. calm down, take a breath, it's fine. you can't be indicted. i mean, i -- he talks so much to reporters, you have to wonder what the real goal is there. is it to further their legal strategy, if there is a legal strategy, or is it to calm a very anxious executive? >> noah, i think katy nailed it on this one. i completely -- rudy, like
everybody else who works for donald trump, is speaking to an audience of one. >> i would expand that out and say it's probably a couple hundred members of congress, the president is insulated by the republican majority. the indicators that we have, generic ballots, what have you, suggest that the president's performance, his position is improving and he's an asset to the gop. the second he is not, his cushion goes away, and the real threat to his presidency is here. so i think that's probably the audience is really keeping everybody on the train. >> i would add that i would think that it's -- like you said, it's a pr strategy, but it's also just throwing a lot of information at us in order to confuse us. and as you saw in the focus groups, it's working. >> that works really well. >> i think it's both. i think it's absolutely, he's speaking to the president, but he's also throwing a lot of information out there, so americans don't really know what's going on. >> all right. i want to spend two and a half minutes on the midterms. i would like to at least try. >> there's a way to bridge them. you can say, do the voters care about the russia investigation? maybe not. but what is definitely not
helping donald trump is his inability to let it go. he's taking focus away from the republican agenda. >> and weirdly it might help them. >> you think so? >> democrats have their own problems too. >> that's what i want to get into here. the omaha primary. this is the first time, the bernie t. struck. it's like watching 2010, but through the democratic mirror there. if she doesn't win, then suddenly that's a -- how big of a blow. if bernie people lose these generals, does that mean they will lose this war for the ideological soul of the democratic party? >> i would argue they've already lost the war, but in this specific context, though, i think that it's -- they actually don't have a long string of victories when they have endorsed a candidate. if you look at all of the evolution and endorsements. so i would argue that they are an important part of the progressive movement in this moment, but they are not the totally of the progressive movement. i think that women, and particularly women of color, are the base of the democratic party
going forward. i think that they are where democrats, the establishment, and also activists should put their energies, because they win elections at levels -- that's what we saw in alabama. that's also what we saw in the statehouse races in virginia. >> give democrats a preview of what the fracturing of a party looks like. because i'm seeing socialists now get -- you're seeing the democratic umbrella get split up in the same way we saw the democratic -- >> the problem is they don't have a establishment. there's a self-serving narrative that prevailed until last night, that is that the democrats have something in their soul that is impervious to this sort of fractionousness. that's not going to be the case, especially when we move into california, we'll see a lot more progressives win elections. this is the very beginning stages of a tea party revolution. >> could be very interesting. guys, i'm out of time, unfortunately. thank you very much. up ahead, it's the debate that is truly consuming america today.
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tonight's topic, yanny or laurel? >> laurel. laurel. >> i heard "yanny." obviousl obviously. >> i would like to declare something that is just so obvious. it is laurel and not yanny, all right? >> laurel. >> excuse me, mr. ryan. >> laurel. >> you are speaker of the house, not listener of the house. it's clearly yanny, right, sherrod brown? >> well, this time i hear laurel. earlier i heard yanny. i guess i'm saying laurel. >> wait, now you're hearing laurel. >> i hear yanny here, i hear laurel here. now you're hearing it. it's a rare show of bipartisanship. how about senators kennedy and king? >> senator kennedy? >> yes, ma'am. >> very pressing question for you, yanny or laurel. >> laurel. >> laurel. >> yeah. no question. >> you guys are out of your mind. it says laurel.
>> okay! laurel, 4-1. what say you, chuck schumer? >> laurel. >> oh, come on, senator schumer, take a stand. yanny or laurel? all right. so will this great debate -- i have to stop this -- the laurels will eventually come around and embrace the yannies, just like they did when everyone eventually agreed this dress is white and gold, which is obviously true. it's what yanny wore. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. is it ari or air-y. >> some people say air-y. if you're using the name at all -- >> i hear it ari. did you hear air-y? >> it's a post-modern world, is what it is. thank you, chuck todd. we begin with breaking news about donald trump allegedly lying to federal authorities about how he paid off stormy daniels.