tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC May 17, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
a happy washington, where everyone gets along, where we put our machines down and -- oh, wait, sorry, let me take care of this. i gotta go, i gotta send it over to ari melber. ari, i gotta check my phone. >> we're all addicted. i started my 5:00 hour watching the top of your show, as we so often do. and i do your headline banner, "mo mueller, mo problems." i gotta say i love that. >> my staff always said, that's one ari will like. >> do they? >> when there's hip-hop references, that's all for ari. >> and biggie said "federal agents mad because i'm flagrant, tap my phone in the basement." there's a lot of law enforcement issues in that song. >> i hear that's what michael cohen is listening to now. >> could be. we begin with new heat tonight on the man chuck just
mentioned, trump lawyer michael cohen. he sits in the bulls eye of two different scandals, the mueller probe and the payments to remember tstormy daniels. her lawyer kicking off the day with a tease of more to come, prodded on the set of "morning joe" where i was also at the table. >> there's at least two that i think are on solid ground. as the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as it relates to this payment. that michael cohen was not a ec >> women with agreements with donald trump? >> correct. >> and women who had affairs with donald trump? >> correct. >> and did they have payments larger to then than $130,000? >> yes. >> what's new is the allegations were larger than the payment to
danie daniels which got him in so much trouble. >> we also asked if that could create more criminal exposure. >> do you believe any financial dealings with these women were properly reported at the time or like stormy daniels, do you believe they also might create other exposure for donald trump? >> i think they may create additional exposure. >> that's the view from michael cohen's antagonist. but in another twist, fitting for 2018 today, "the new york times" reports avenatti looking at teaming up in a deal with an ally of trump and cohen's -- former white house communications director anthony scaramucci, the two reportedly pitching a joint tv show to cable networks, including msnbc. it's not clear if such a show is anywhere close to an actual formal pitch or how stormy daniels might feel about her lawyer working in partnership with someone on the trump team. cohen's troubles reports he
tried to get qatar to pay him a million bucks. "the new yorker" reporting cohen's financial records were leaked by a whistle-blower concerned that cohen's other banking files were potentially improperly missing from a secret federal database. the reporter who broke that story, telling msnbc, those suspicious activity reports did appear to go missing. >> your source says the reason he or she did that was because of concern that other similar reports that are gone? >> yes. and we can absolutely report the two that you referenced, now unaccounted for, exist. they are referenced in the third report. when you search for cohen's name, they should come up in the system under the normal course of business. they do not. >> i'm joined by independent counsel from the white water investigation and participated in the questioning of president clinton in his grand jury appearance, bringing a lot of experience to this discussion. also former prosecutor seth
waxman, and also speech writer for george w. bush who has talked about corruption issues with donald trump from the start. before i get super legal, let's get super real. david, when you connect all these dots tonight, what do you think is important? >> well, not to add to anybody's reading pile, but i think there's one more piece from the day that people need to look at, the story in buzzfeed that shows contrary to repeated denials from president trump, from his family, from michael cohen, that indeed the trump organization and michael cohen were working on a project in moscow through the republican convention, through the campaign and almost to the point of inauguration day when it finally fizzled out. and the big prize for the deal, should it happen, would be to announce sometime in the fall of 2016 at a trump/putin joint meeting. one of the questions that many of us have had in figuring out the trump/putin attraction, was the lure in the past? something trump had been before that the russians held over him?
or was it in the future, some tasty tidbit the russians were holding in front of his greedy nose? >> put that in context to the open investigations and the increased attention on michael cohen and these somewhat missing or mysterious disappeared records? >> yeah, every time we hear about michael cohen, we hear about more and more contacts with russians, and it goes to the idea of this potential conspiracy between the russians and the trump campaign to influence the 2016 election, whether there were gifts or payments as part of a quid pro quo. so now we're hearing about this activity going into the moscow hotel and connections there. as for the missing documents, i've seen some reports that the financial enforcement network has come out and said that they do limit access. so it may be the case these files hadn't gone missing, that they are being limited in access by either bob mueller or the southern district of new york. and finally, whether they're
restricted or missing, the underlying documentation at the individual banks will still exist. so i have little doubt that bob mueller and the southern district of new york can go out and get the documents -- >> let me jump in. what you're saying is that the underlying evidence is not necessarily going to be gone. that's not what's concerning about it from say, a chain of custody position. we're six minutes into the show, so obviously we'll talk chain of custody, because it's exciting. but the larger issue that the whistle-blower is raising is whether -- let me read to you -- whether this presents new deceit. i've never seen something pulled off the system, when something's not there that should be i immediately became concerned. the person goes on to say i'm terrified right now. to be in this situation, to watch all of this unfold. this is a person who is obviously taking risks to leak, and saying their concern is that
there might be people inside, the authorities of the financial oversight, or the american government, that's trying to hide stuff. >> that's the allegation. i find that hard to believe. the idea that someone can go in and manipulate the system and permanently delete a computer file, it just doesn't happen. working with the fbi agents, i would be involved in cases and say, can we get this e-mail from ten years ago, where i would never be able to accomplish that. they would go in there and find it through servers or all sorts of avenues. so the idea that someone, a mole, was able to intentionally go in there and manipulate and delete a fincen computer sars, i find it difficult to believe. >> we have breaking news coming to our newsroom, building on reporting out of "the wall
street journal." nbc news now reporting for the first time this moment, paul manafort's former son-in-law being who also was in business with him has flipped and cut a secret plea deal with federal investigators. a matter of major significance to the open mueller case against paul manafort. panel stays with me, but first i'm joined by phone, by nbc investigative journalist, andrew blank stee blanksteen. what can you tell us? >> we know from law enforcement sources that paul manafort's former son-in-law has reached a plea deal to plead guilty in connection with a real estate fraud case that's ongoing in los angeles. what we don't know is whether it involved local prosecutors in the central district of california, or it involves people on bob mueller's team. we also don't know the specific details or when a potential plea would be entered and when that
happens, when there would be a sentencing. >> you mentioned the timing. one of the most tantalizing things of "the wall street journal" reporting on this, was that what might have been reached as a secret deal was as far back as january, which means that whoever paul manafort's son-in-law is cooperating with, it's been going on all this year. >> one of the things in terms of checking back on this, obviously when it initially began, the question was, was it going to be a matter of time? when was the case going to get going? and now, although we don't know the specifics of what the plea deal would be in exchange for, we know that certainly bob mueller's people have been looking into all aspects of his former father-in-law's finances. and in this investment fraud case, it's how does that sit on
the rest of this case? i think that's going to be really interesting going forward. >> stay with me. david, from one other thing that we do know that looks more significant tonight with this breaking news, 6:09 p.m. on the east coast, reports that paul manafor manafort's estranged son has flipped and he's cooperating. we don't know who he's cooperating with, but we know bob mueller's investigators had previously met with him. your view of this story? >> well, there's so many angles with the manafort story. because many of the things manafort did before joining the trump campaign were so intensely suspicious. so it's not clear to me that this would have a direct bearing on anything to do with what happened in 2016 and after. but the thing that everyone needs to keep in mind, his pre2016 dealings, he volunteered to work for the trump campaign for free. that's just something you have to keep in mind. manafort, not a very charitable
person normally. so why do this? why do it for free? what motivated him? that's the big overhanging question. and if not what, who motivated him? >> also a question of intent. i bring in saul wisenberg, one of the only people alive who's questioned a president in a grand jury proceeding. i appreciate your patience. dealer's choice, your view on all of this? >> well, one thing to really look at when you're dealing with the mueller investigation, is to look at the plea agreements and to look at the language of the plea agreements. one thing that is striking about the language of the plea agreements and the associated documents is, it doesn't look like, and hasn't looked like for a long time, like he has a case on criminal collusion. you know, conspiracy to violate any of the offenses that have to do with the campaign activity. we see that in the flynn plea
agreement and statement of the offense. we see it in the papadopoulos one. so it will be interesting to look at this. there's nothing in those two or in the gates agreement that would indicate -- i mean, typically you'll lay your case out to let it be known there's very damaging evidence here. so i would say, wait, and look carefully at the language. with respect to your respect about the ronan farrow report, what's interesting to me, if i'm not mistaken, it's a crime to do what this person did -- >> typically, yes. >> -- to leak it. i think he even says it. i haven't had a chance to look at the statute. >> those kinds of activity reports are highly protected. >> that means there will be a criminal investigation -- they're already looking at the leak, but there will be a criminal investigation of this. i think at some point, farrow, if he has a prosecutor as aggressive as patrick fitzgerald was with the press, that he can
expect a subpoena, and he'll have to make a decision about whether or not he's willing to go to prison to protect a source. because it's a very big deal to leak one of these. i completely agree with seth, the information is there. the information isn't going to be lost. but also if you read that report, many of the people farrow talked to, at least half the people, i think, said, well, there could be an explanation for this other than the theft or the -- >> and i appreciate that nuance. and indeed nbc's reported on the possible counterintelligence reasons, which is to say, it was put to the side for the right reason, not the wrong reason. although i did read the allegation of the whistle-blower. seth, when you look at these reports breaking over the last five minutes, that paul manafort's estranged former son-in-law has flipped, as far back as january, is cooperating with investigators and that we don't know whether that directly comes from the mueller probe or separately, this is a person that was on their radar, that
was investigated, that did meet with mueller's investigators. walk us through just as a line prosecutor, how this kind of thing works, why, for example, is it a secret plea deal? other plea deals have been released in the course of normal investigation. your analysis? >> i think it couldn't be any more clear to me. i want paul manafort. there were three people in that meeting, kushner, don jr. and paul manafort. they are trying to get someone on the inside of that meeting to cooperate and roll them up on don jr., kushner, and potentially the president. be it an indictment in d.c., an additional indictment in virginia. which as i understand it, is about 300-plus years, and now they've flipped his son-in-law. >> let me go to the secret thing. i mean, it's hard to be afraid of a concealed weapon if you can't see it. so why secret if the goal is pressure? >> i don't know that they didn't tell paul manafort this was
going on. i suspect they had. why secret? it could be they have pro active cooperation going on. in other words, they flipped him, and it could be the case -- >> talking about a wire? >> talking about a wire. that they wired him up and got him into conversations. paul manafort's on house arrest. so in theery, he could still have phone calls and meetings. whether that happened or not, there's a whole host of things that a prosecutor and fbi agent team would use to use a cooperator proactively. i can almost assure that all the defense lawyers for mr. manafort and anyone else indicted, they're saying, don't talk to anyone. don't talk on the phones. >> david, i've dealt with mr. manafort in a reporting capacity. you're no stranger to a lot of players in republican politics. walk us through the mind-set here of an individual with this much pressure coming down on him, his deputy flipping who he brought in originally as an intern in his firm. his son-in-law flipping since
january and seth giving us the reason that prosecutors do that, to put more heat on. what's paul manafort holding out for? >> i don't know. but the question that i would keep brooding about is this who question as well as the what. when paul manafort went to work for donald trump for free, did he do so because he had people to please or people to whom he owed money. people who might come at you with something a little more frightening than a subpoena. >> final word from you, sir. >> well, if the son-in-law was wearing a wire while he talked to a federal defendant under custodial control, that would be amazingly aggressive and risky prosecutorial tactics. so again, i think we have to wait and see. i think you need to be very careful not to make enemies with your former son-in-law. i think that's a very important lesson. >> well, it all depends on what he has on you, like so many things.
special thanks to all of you. a lot of experts on this panel. coming up, my special guest tonight, the man who literally wrote the rules that govern bob mueller. neil catchual is on "the beat" and talks about what could let to indicting a sitting president. >> also, nothing wrong with getting dirt from the russians. >> nothing ill legal about that. whether it comes from a russian or german, doesn't matter. congressman joaquin castro is here to discuss donald trump's attacks on ms-13 and immigrants in general. and a special guest tonight on the woman who could be the next attorney general in donald trump's home state of new york. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. as a control enthusiast,
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i will. no. make that the password: "you_stillóhave_toóvisit_us." that's a good one. [ chuckles ] download the xfinity my account app and set a password you can easily remember. one more way comcast is working to fit into your life, not the other way around. neil katyal. big story right now is this. can bob mueller indict donald trump, charge him with crimes that could lead to prison while trump is in office, and eventually send him to prison? if that sounds like resistance fan fiction, consider the topic is news tonight because like many terrible stories for trump, his own attorney, rudy giuliani brought it up on tv. >> first of all, he can't legally be indicted by anyone. i president can't be indicted. he can only be impeached. >> i asked them if they realized they didn't have the power to indict. he said -- well, he wouldn't answer. one of his assistants said, they
acknowledged they were bound by justice department policies. then the next day or the day after, they clarified they didn't have the power to indict. >> if true that was really interesting. giuliani taking everyone inside a secret meeting with bob mueller himself and rudy elaborated on this in a longer interview, saying, quote, one of his assistants broke in and said, well, of course, we're bound by justice department policies. and giuliani then said mueller looked at him, like, quote, don't interrupt me. then giuliani said, it reminded me of that scene in the god father where he said, you're going to take care of us, we can take care of ourselves. >> your business a little dangerous. >> if you're worried about security for your men, they'll guarantee it. >> are you telling me that the italians guarantee our investment -- >> wait a minute.
>> i have a sentimental weakness for my children and i spoil them, as you can see. they talk when they should listen. >> corleoney then warns, quote, never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking again. in giuliani's telling, that's what mueller would be telling to his deputy. maybe some day they'll write movies about this period in america, but that assumes america makes it through this period. while giuliani has gotten a lot of things wrong, it is true that justice department guidelines do state, you cannot indict a sitting president, which would be unconstitutional. and giuliani's basically saying a mueller aide cited that rule in their meeting. which is possible. the rule that the doj applied for past presidents would seem to continue. people who want to change it because they don't like trump may not appear credible unless they have a better argument. and what about the rules that give mueller this power?
well, my next guest wrote the rules, neil katyal, and he points that they provide for exceptions of doj policy with the approval of mueller's boss, in this case, rod rosenstein. my next guest wrote those rules, neil katyal. he points out the rules do provide for exceptions to doj policy with the approval of the special counsel's boss, rod rosenstein. mr. katyal, you worked at a doj with the same internal policy about not indicting a sitting president. why should that be different now? >> i think the first thing to point out is that we -- just consider how low the president's bar is here, what he's saying. we've gone from, russia, what's russia? or stormy daniels, who's that? what's the $130,000? to, oh, you can't indict me, i have a get out of jail free card. and that's a remarkable thing. we're talking about the
president of the united states saying that. there's a large number of reasons to be suspect about what mr. giuliani has said, apart from the fact that details and facts aren't exactly his strong suit. the story just seems very incomplete, because the special counsel rules, as you just said, ari, do absolutely permit mueller to indict the president, but he has to seek the permission of the acting attorney general rod rosenstein first. >> are you familiar with a situation, though, where the acting attorney general would authorize directly contradicting standing guidance from the office of legal counsel which is sort of the doj's doj? >> absolutely. so when we wrote the rules, we had in mind a situation in which, you know, there are some doj policy, something like that, that would preclude the special counsel from doing his job. and in an appropriate circumstance, we said absolutely the solution is to go and ask the acting attorney general. >> did you have in mind something as big as indicting a
sitting president? >> we certainly had in mind big things. there's no question about that. and the rules reflect that, in point 7 of the rules. >> don't you see there's a concern here, that it all seems to be changing within the context of donald trump? what do you say to people who perceive, even from folks who talk about the rule of law and the importance of the nps independence of the doj, a hunger to go tougher when donald trump is the target? >> i'd say a couple things. a lot of these opinions that a sitting president can't be indicted were before the paula jones case. and the supreme court in that case said, the american principle, no one is above the law. that was a civil case, and what goes for a civil case, i suspect there will be a pretty good argument, goes even stronger for a criminal case. that a president shouldn't be able to commit crimes and act
with impunity. there's a second real problem here. the whole idea behind, you can't indict a sitting president, a large part of it comes from the fact that indictments are distracting to the president who is very busy. courts operate in the real world. and they know, for example, that donald trump has golfed 53 days out of his 482 days in office, more than 1 in 10 days. so it's a little hard to make the kind of distraction arguments that are at the core of presidents can't be indicted opinions when you're talking about this president. >> let me push you on that. because that was an issue in paula jones, and just about anyone can file a civil case. but i don't think it goes down just to the time and the golfing. i think it goes to the idea that a federal indictment of a sitting president would effectively knee cap their term and potentially their re-election, that you are taking the person charged with executing the laws and making
them subject to other decisions within the executive branch that might detonate their presidency as a practical matter. >> that's absolutely right. very good point. there are two basic paths. one is to say, we have a principle that's more important, no one is above the law. and it arguably applies to criminal, and at least may apply to the indictment of a president. and maybe you say, you can't try him in office, that would knee cap him. the second and more funeral poin -- fundamental point, all the scholars who say, you can't indict a president while he's sitting, say, the remedy is impeachment, it's congress doing its job. you can't, if you're the president, say on the one hand, you can't indict me, and then say, mueller, you can't write a thorough, comprehensive report, detailing everything you found. both arguments can't be true. so they work together. so these people who say, you can't indict a sitting president also say congress should have all the information available to
it. and the constitution's kind of like a graphic equalizer. if you put everything up -- [ inaudible ] trump's arguments are always to go minus 10 on everything and destroy the symmetry in the institutional equilibrium. it's absolutely fine. i can imagine an argument that says a sitting president can't be indicted, but it's always then coupled with, mueller, all the stuff you found, all these reports and stuff, everything has to be turned over to the congress of the united states, both the majority and minority party so you can do your job effectively. >> you say it's like a graphic equalizer, when you think about checks and balances and the language relationship between bass and treble, obviously those are important matters of ek wi pose. before i let you go, i have to ask you about your arguments against trump's travel ban in the supreme court.
what did you take from the arguments that day? do you have a chance to win? >> i'm not going to comment on that, i'm sorry. but that's my basic policy, when it comes to a case that's pending in the supreme court. >> i've heard about that kind of policy, but i had to ask. neil katyal, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> let me bring in a former trump campaign surrogate and graduate of ohio state law school, and also a fellow at nyu's mcsilver institute. this seems tabo be a big topic kicked up by rudy giuliani. what's your view? >> i think there's arguments to be made on both sides. at the same time, something that's not been mentioned enough, if we were to indict a sitting president, any sitting president, not just trump, that would essentially give a jury up to only 12 people the ability to essentially overturn a national election. and that's a pretty scary thing. >> christina, what do you think about that? neil walked through a lot of the nitty gritty details on the law. but at the broader level,
america is now taking this all in, rudy is going to the mat, because he thinks, to madison's point, that a lot of folks would have the natural reaction. if this were obama and it were going to be up to 12 jurors, people might say, is this any way to resolve this? >> it would be highly problematic. we talked about this a year and a half ago. the way the framers laid out the constitution is such that there have to be checks and balances. so congress is always supposed to serve as a check on the president. the problem is, because this president has a republican house and a republican congress, or a republican senate, they're acting like a bunch of sycophants. they're not stepping up. we've never seen a president like president trump. the closest we've come is nixon. and nixon actually was a public servant, was an elected official, and had some decency in the sense that he stepped down so he wouldn't embarrass himself and the american people. >> your argument is not necessarily this is a normal thing that we shouldn't be concerned about indicting a president, this is abnormal but in the right abnormal circumstance it might be
merited. >> it might be. because as mueller, who is moving in silence, as he uncovers and excavates possible real deep-seated corruption on a series of levels for quite some time, i think this is worth keeping on the table. i agree with madison, we shouldn't just move the bar just because 50% of the country or maybe more doesn't agree with this particular president. we can't set that precedent. however, we've never had a president who's been this disrespectful to the american office of the presidency, because he's never been a public servant. it's a smash-and-grab presidency. we're seeing this on a financial level. >> a smash-and-grab. madison, there are politics to all of this obviously. take a listen to senator richard blumenthal on msnbc going where more and more democrats appear to go. >> it has never been tested, there's no precedent. there is a department of justice guideline apparently that says the president cannot be
indicted. there's a lot of legal support for that view, but my own view is that he can be indicted. he's not above the law. impeachment is not the exclusive remedy. >> do you think democrats are basically changing their rules because they don't like donald trump? >> i think the only response to this is in the words of lauren hill, y'all can't see the truth in a courtroom of lies. so many democratic senators and congressmen are going against what they would have said if this was obama, clinton, or someone else. and they're not really looking at the constitution, looking at the history of the doj and the risk that we would take if we were to indict a sitting president. >> the flip side, you want to do this through lauren hill. she also said consequence is no coincidence. and the idea that christina's raising is that donald trump has pushed the norms, devalued the independent independence of the doj and fbi, that there has to
be some reaction. >> assuming we're going off that, he's different than the presidents we've had before, but that does not change the constitution and it does not change the rule of law in this country. >> the constitution's a rough draft. >> a rough draft for what? >> it is an outline of things. >> an outline of things is how you would define the constitution of the united states? >> i would define it that way, because the framers never thought they would have a president in the man of donald trump. we are supposed to elect a president who puts this country first. this president has never even had -- excuse me, madison. [ all speak at once ] >> i'm going to go to christina and then back to you, madison. >> this president has never had a board of advisers for any of his businesses. he does not respect the rule of law, because he says he didn't read. he's never even read the constitution. so we have to rely on the courts and congress to serve as a check on this president, and they're not doing so. so unfortunately, yes, we are in a constitutional crisis, not might be. and we know that the doj might
have to indict a sitting president, which we've never had before. but we've also never had someone like donald trump. the worst thing that obama did realistically is his tan suit and his mom jeans, when you put it in the grand scheme of things. bill clinton and the monica lewinsky scandals and all these other things come nowhere near the trump administration. i mean, this is a point where domestically and internationally, we are in a crisis. and if you look at all the various articles of the constitution, they're pretty vague. and it's up to congress to fill in what they deem appropriate. so, yes, it is a rough draft from over 200 years ago, and we are the ones that are supposed to uphold -- >> as promised, i want to give madison a rebuttal. on the point on the rough draft, there were a lot of problems in the original constitutions. there are amendments. it is true while the doj policy says you can't indict that language itself is not in the constitution. final word, madison. >> exactly. it's not in the constitution, but i think it's insulting to
this country and the framers of the constitution to call it a rough draft when that's what this country is -- [ all speak at once ] >> let me go back to something that she said, saying that the president has never read the constitution. i know the president. that's not true. he's read the constitution of the united states. he's also read federalist papers number 69 about alexander hamilton, where he talks about the fact that the president should be impeached before being charged with a criminal offense. and that's what they intended. >> might want to read about separation of powers. >> that's part of my argument. we have separation of powers and checks and balances so we don't unduly burden the president. >> we're quoting lauren, different federalist papers. >> ready or not, here i come, a quote from robert mueller. >> thank you both for talking directly to each other. we like to do that on "the beat." congressman joaquin castro is live with me when we're back in 60 seconds. if you use some of these moves way too often...
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breaking news this hour, nbc news reporting paul manafort's former son-in-law has flipped, cut a secret plea deal with federal investigators which could have implications in paul manafort's prosecution and potentially in the mueller probe. i'm joined by democratic congressman joaquin castro from texas. thank you for joining me. business news night. your view of this breaking news and any idea of whether it is connected to the mueller probe? >> i would suspect that it is. i think most of all, it's probably for bob mueller and his team, a way to put pressure on paul manafort to cooperate with them. and that can have a real significance for donald trump and his other campaign associates. >> you're on the intelligence committee, so you know more than most, and you know more than i think sometimes you are allowed to say under those rules. but how do you feel when you learn this information, that the reporting, starting with the wall street, alleges a secret
plea deal from january. we've been doing these discussions and reporting across the country, that would suggest the whole year, paul manafort's son-in-law has been secretly cooperating with somebody. >> well, personally, it makes me wonder if it's just coming out now, what he's been doing for them since january. how much he's been cooperating and in what ways. you know, when all of this started, when the investigation started over a year ago now, obviously year and a half, sortsort shortly after that i was asked what i thought the eventually outcome of this would be, and i said in march of last year, that i thought that many people would end up going to jail. and there have been 22 indictments, people are on their way to jail now. my sense is that this will continue, that more folks will be headed to prison. >> more folks headed to prison. that's an interesting statement from you, on the house intel committee. we don't want to just talk
russia. a lot of other things going o including the debate about immigration. the president making these comments yesterday, referring to animals crossing the border, which today he emphasized was a reference to ms-13 gang members. take a listen to both of those comments. >> so here we are stuck in the middle, trying to decide, we have federal law, we have state law. >> for what? >> ms-13 gang member. if they don't reach a certain threshold, i cannot tell i.c.e. about them. >> we have people coming into the country, trying to come in. we're stopping a lot of them. but we're taking people out of the country. you wouldn't believe how bad these people are. these aren't people. these are animals. >> ms-13, these are animals that are coming into our country. we're getting them out. when the other gang members come into our country, i refer to them as animals. and guess what, i always will. >> do you accept the white house argument that plenty of politicians talk tough about criminals and gang members, or
do you view this as a wider attack on immigrants? >> it's true that politicians talk tough about gang members, but it seems like every time the president talks about immigrants, he basically seems to assume that everybody is part of ms-13. whenever he talks about immigrants, he always leads with ms-13 as though he's casting everybody that's an immigrant as an ms-13 gang member. or somehow saying that ms-13 gang members are the embodiment of who immigrants are. and so it was very strange to hear a president of the united states speak in such dehumanizing terms. the other thing, ari, it's clear that the justice department and this administration are going after people and claiming that people are gang members, simply because they have something like a tattoo on their body, which to them signifies that somehow somebody is automatically a gang member because they've got a tattoo. so there's not only been very
disturbing and dehumanizing language the president has used, but harsh and draconian apolicis he's mpursued. >> listen to something that's gone viral concerning immigrants. >> your staff is speaking spanish to customers. my next call is to i.c.e. to get them out of the country. if they're going to come here and live off my money, i pay for their welfare, for their ability to be here. >> is this a trump effect? are you worried about how we relate inside this country with people, that individual referencing whether people speak spanish which is a perfectly legal and fine thing to do in the united states. >> i think it's at least partly a trump effect. he's basically emboldened people to let loose on their prejudices
and let them fly and become very open about that. that's one video that's gone viral, but as you know, there have been many others. and so i suspect when the president continues with this kind of rhetoric, we'll see more of this. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you. up ahead, we're looking at going beyond the mueller probe, including new corruption allegations. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling. jackpot. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, you could be picking up these charges yourself. so get allstate, where agents help keep you protected from mayhem... ...like me. mayhem is everywhere. are you in good hands? feclaritin 24 hour relief when allergies occur.
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illegal. a hundred percent illegal. >> and a special guest for this, fordham law professor who wrote a book on corruption in america and she's exploring a run for attorney general in new york, and doing that after the resignation of eric snyderman after he was exposed for domestic abuse violations of a very serious nature. starting with this corruption, was this predictable and how should it be stopped now. >> this is really chilling and we have to not ever get used to this. the corruption stories that we saw just today involving qatar, both the michael cohen story and about jared kushner, both of them show ways in which foreign governments are really destabilizing foreign policy in the united states by using investments, bailing out jared kushner. what it does, it calls into
question all of our foreign policy voices. so this is destabilizing for all of us in this country, it's also globally destabilizing. i think it's really important we never come to accept, that's trump, and that's the trump administration. it's especially chilling for me because when you look at the founding era that people who wrote our constitution, one of the things they were most worried about, and talked about day after day in that hot summer in philadelphia, was the way that foreign interests might interpose themselves, using cash and influence to try to impact the young country. >> and one of their animating concerns was the central corruption of monarchies because power is unchecked. here we are in 2018, dealing with this type of corruption. turning to the post you're exploring running for, eric schneiderman was known to many
people around the country who opposed donald trump, took a tough line on a host of issues. how would you oppose this administration if elected within the rule of law, would donald trump be more worried about you than eric schneiderman potentially? >> a lot of people in new york and maybe around the country, i'm still shaken up by the allegations, i mean, the story, the very powerful story last week and what we learned about schneiderman's abuse. and we had seen that office as one of the most, and should continue to see it, under acting attorney general barbara underwood, who is incredibly accomplished, as one of the most important posts standing up against the lawlessness, unconstitutional behavior and corruption of the trump administration. >> would you be prerd to use the powers of that office, within your understanding of the law to pursue people who might get federal pardons? >> absolutely. one of the most important things that you may have talked about before on this show is that
passing a pardon does not include state crimes. and so there's many different ways in which a state attorney general, but in particular, the new york state attorney general but in particular the new york state attorney general has the power to really resist the lawlessness and corruption of the trump administration. first of all, the trump administration looks to be violating state laws as well as federal laws, bank fraud, financial fraud. second, it will be important to be working with federal prosecutors. >> i would say the issue is complex enough we should return to it in another segment if you'll come back. >> absolutely. >> i followed your work for a long time. we will be right back. ♪ ♪ so is his horse. ♪ ♪ when it comes to snacking. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ that's why he uses the chase mobile app,
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go national. go like a pro. thing. the trump white house still doesn't have the timeline straight. >> can you say yet when michael cohen stopped being the president's personal lawyer? >> i'm not going to get into anything on that matter. you'd have had to reach out to the president's outside counsel. >> that's what we call a very
answerable question but like many stormy daniels, michael cohen questions, apparently they don't have an answer to stick to yet. you've. watching "the beat" with ari melber. i'll see you back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. >> the follow the rubles. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump marked the industry of special counsel robert mueller's appointment with a tweet this morning proclaiming his innocence. congratulations, america, we are now into the second year of the greatest witch hunt in american history. there is still no collusion and no obstruction. he went on to claim that despite the disgusting illegal and unwarranted witch hunt, we have had the most successful first 17-month administration in u.s.