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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 14, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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you pass compromise legislation next week to end the practice. really serious than. i would love for you to take a collective victory lap here. mark meadows and john garamendi, thanks for being with me. >> thanks, chris. >> that is all for this evening. tonight, the man referred to as donald trump's fixer, michael cohen, about to change legal teams leading to speculation he's close to cooperating with the feds to save his family. plus, news tonight from "the washington post." robert mueller still asking witnesses about cohen as recently as five days ago reportedly. and tonight, what it all means for the president, his west wing, and his legal team as he returns from the summit as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a wednesday night. this was day 510 of the trump administration. there is new pressure on the president's long-time personal
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attorney and so-called fixer, michael cohen of new york tonight. and by extension on the president himself. cohen is currently the subject of a criminal investigation into his business dealings. the case was referred, you may recall, to the feds in new york from the mueller team in washington. sources close to cohen tell nbc news he's now looking for a new legal team, or lawyer, to represent him. one report even raises the possibility that cohen may. more likely to flip and start cooperating as a highly valuable witness for the government. nbc news reports that cohen has not yet spoken with prosecutors, but the possibility of him flipping has rattled trump's allies, who see the potential legal jeopardy for the president. in large part, because remember, the president knows the kinds of things that would be seized during a raid of cohen's home and office. also tonight, "the washington post" has brand-new reporting on robert mueller's continued focus on michael cohen.
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quote, cohen is under intensifying scrutiny from mueller who's continuing to investigate episodes involving cohen, according to a witness who testified in to front of a grand jury in washington last week. a former member of the ukrainian parliament said in an interview that many of the questions he faced during several hours of testimony on friday were focused on his interactions with cohen. "the post" writes that the witness met with cohen in january 2017 to discuss a back channel peace initiative for ukraine. also reports that witnesses told the paper, quote, i realize that michael cohen is a target of special interest to mueller. rudy jewel janney, the defacto spokesman for the trump legal team in the russia matter is speaking out about cohen tonight. he first told nbc news kristen welker, quote, i have no information suggesting cohen is going to flip. and there's nothing involving the president, even if he did, and therefore i'm not concerned. and then here is what giuliani said to laura ingraham on fox news in just the past hour. >> we don't think he's cooperating, no doe we care
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because the president did nothing wrong. michael cohen, i think he would tell you, has nothing incriminaing with the president. and really, they should stop going after him. they're torturing the guy. they're trying to frighten him. >> he handled delicate matters in trump's personal and professional life. here is cohen on the subject of his client prior to the inauguration. >> i'll do anything to protect mr. trump, the family. fortunately mr. trump has a significant number of people. i like to keep myself in that little circle of extremely loyal people. and we will do what's necessary to protect him and the off of the presidency. -- office of the presidency. >> that raid of cohen's home and office a few months back yielded a large trove of documents, in addition to numerous cell phones and computer, which the feds are using to try to figure out if he broke the law during any of his
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business activities, including paying out things like hush money to porn star stormy daniels who claimed to have an affair with trump. while cohen described his relationship with trump as offering protection, here's how trump described it. >> we also know that cohen was paid by a company with ties to one of russia's wealthiest oligarchs, victor vekselberg who reportedly met with cohen during the transition and at the inauguration. cohen then worked on a secret project to build a trump tower in moscow and his name appears in thes d dossier. >> here in new york, nelson cunningham, normer assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york who worked under rudy giuliani and along
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sides james comey among err pops he's also the former general counsel under president clinton and happens to be the former general counsel for senate judiciary committee. and daniel goldman is back with us as well. also former u.s. attorney general for the southern district of new york. a lot of talk about the southern district of new york these days. i wonder why. shannon, bring us up to date on your latest reporting on michael cohen. and the reporting out there today that what he's looking for in a lawyer is exactly what bev at the studio in new york, people with experience in the southern district of new york. >> well, that could be what he's
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looking for right now. the indication we got is that he needed someone to help him through the next phase of this case. now, whether that means he needs someone to help him through a phase where he's a cooperating witness, past document production or a phase where he has to find a different way to pay his legal bills. we were never able to get to the bottom of so far today. but we do know to this point that was made earlier, his legal bills were becoming astronomical. he had 15 lawyers, two data specialists, a team of paralegals and associates working around the clock, sleeping on couches, trying to review all these documents. actually, one associate had to be sent home because he developed a hand tremor. so that is the type of legal might that we're talking about
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here. this could be something that reaches well above $1 million. so the idea and this issue of him paying for his legal bills is a real concern. whether that had anything to do with the switch in lawyers or not, it's the issue out there. >> one can only imagine the hourly rate while the meter is running. daniel, i received questions from a nice man, a lawyer named rob here in new york city. and you're the perfect man to answer this. would you please consider asking your guests whether this might be a ploy to simply delay the case as new lawyers are identified and get up to speed? second, how many times can a client replace their attorneys and for what reasons? >> well, the answer to the first is i don't think it's a ploy to delay the case because there is not yet a case. let's remember what's going on right now is simply a review of documents that were seized pursuant to search warrants. he has not been charged with any crime yet. and so there is no case here. what i think is happening is that michael cohen is recognizing that he needs to get ready for the preindictment phase of this case, which means that there will be negotiations with the u.s. attorney's office
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about what they're interested in, what charges they're thinking of bringing, whether he might cooperate. all of these things are things that the lawyers have -- the prosecutors and the defense lawyers. my guess is that michael cohen is readying himself to get past this document review, which did not reveal very many privileged documents to this point. and there's still a lot that remain to be searched. but he's starting to get ready for the big time, which is what actually happens with the case and whether he is charged. >> nelson is, there anything unusual thus far in all your experience, as you listen to us recite the details of this case, is it unusual that he hasn't met with the feds? anything unusual yet? >> well, first of all, we don't know for a fact whether or not he has met with the feds. mueller's team, of course, has been very quiet. the southern district of new york, which is handling the other part of the case is also being very quiet here. we simply don't know. every criminal case, 7/8 of it are you should water, like an iceberg.
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we only see the tip that's above the water. it is unusual at this moment that cohen would be looking to change lawyers. perhaps it's the money, as many of us suspect. but don't forget, until now, the trump campaign was paying cohen's legal bills. we learned from campaign finance documents released a couple of months ago that the trump campaign paid $228,000 toward michael cohen's legal bills for october to january. and we'll learn in a couple of weeks when they put out their next campaign finance filings how much more they will have paid for cohen's legal work. maybe they're fed up with paying it, maybe trump has cut him off. that would lead to -- that could lead to the sort of break where we may be seeing today. >> and there's this reporting from "the times" just before we came on the air, the trump family has been paying for the time-consuming and enormously expensive process of reviewing the voluminous materials seized in the raids according to people familiar with the case. recently, however, a dispute has erupted over the amount that mr. cohen's lawyers want to charge
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the trump family enterprises for the review. that hourly rate, again, which the lawyers have said they're running with a large team of associates which shannon mentioned. the disagreement could further isolate mr. cohen from mr. trump, a risky move for the president. this is from a piece tonight in "the new york times." is it just coincidence that the decision to change counsel comes at the end of this kind of lay term, discovery process, where cohen now realizes everything that was seized in the raid. his client, the president, has a pretty darn good idea of what was sitting in iz his lawyer's office this whole time. and now the feds know everything that was seized. >> well, don't forget, the president and all of the trump organization members also know
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what they did. forget about what the documents were. but if michael cohen were to cooperate, he not only would be providing documents, he would be providing very valuable testimony. look, there's a lot we don't know. i wish i could tell you it's x, y or z. the fact of the matter is i was surprised that he wouldn't have gotten a southern district -- former southern district of new york prosecutor to defend him once these searches occurred. >> at that point? >> yeah. >> i actually -- i disagree with daniel here on this. >> okay. >> maybe because i was a lawyer here in new york at the u.s. attorney's office, but i've also practiced down in washington for the last 24 years in the
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washington world. ena for washington, you need a different kind of lawyer than you need for southern district of new york criminal lawyer. being a lawyer in washington who is more media savvy, who understands the way congressional investigations work, who understands the 24/7 nature of the media cycle. his current lawyer steve ryan, whom i've known for 25 years, is up with of the best that way. he's a practiced criminal lawyer. he worked on capitol hill. he's been through this before. i frankly think that a lawyer who knows the southern district extremely well may not know the washington media as well, won't know "the washington post" as well and may not wind up defending him in the public sphere as well as the criminal sphere as well as what he's got right now. >> brief rebuttal, counselor? >> i was going to say, up until this point, until the southern district took over the investigation, and he learned that after the searches, you're right. that's why he had steve ryan. i think once things, from my experience, for the past ten years, when i was doing white collar case, almost every single defense counsel that i dealt with came from that office. that's -- and there's reason for it. different offices are particularized. so i think we don't actually disagreement that much, nelson. >> okay, to the always agreeable shannon, we just want to let you know, we haven't forgotten about you. now you get to take on the mueller tranche on this. we have a report that mueller is still asking cohen-specific questions. and also, shannon, we have whatever your reporting is on the status of the potential mueller-trump sit doup. . >> yes, this issue of an interview is about to come to a head. our reporting indicates that mueller's office wants to wrap
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this up. this question about whether or not the president is going to sit for an interview, the president's lawyers, rudy jewel janney has indicated he wants to wrap this question up, too. they' been putting it to the back burner because the president was focused on the singapore trip. but with wheels down this morning from singapore, the next big issue on this president's plate is going to be whether or not he sits for an interview with mueller. and the indications are that we can be on our way to a subpoena and a supreme court battle. there's a very good chance that mueller will issue a subpoena if the president does not voluntarily sit for an interview. the president's lawyers indicated they do not think he should have to comply with a subpoena. and so then it goes to the courts. it will go to the d.c. court and
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likely make its way all the way up to the supreme court. so this could be a very big battle that could go on over months, potentially, and be another cloud hanging over this presidency, in addition to this investigation, this question about whether or not the president will even sit down for an interview with mueller. >> and i noted that rudy giuliani slipped in the mention of a possible subpoena with laura ingraham who is herself a very good lawyer. nelson, you're nodding yes. >> last month i sat down and took a look at the legal precedent and wrote a piece for politico. the supreme court cases leave very little doubt that the president must comply with a criminal subpoena. in u.s. versus nixon, the watergate precedent, the supreme court said richard news at 6:00 son had to provide documents in response to a criminal subpoena
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from the grand jury in washington, d.c. he had no ability to avoid that. 20 years ago, the supreme court again unanimously said that bill clinton had to appear and testify and give civil testimony in a sexual harassment case, the paula jones versus clinton case. now, if you put those two cases together, one case that says a president must give civil testimony, and another that says the president must comply with a criminal subpoena with documents. i think the supreme court would swiftly conclude that the president must testify if handed a subpoena. >> daniel, last word. if you were a betting lawyer, should paul manafort as the feds like to say, bring a toothbrush to court for his friday appearance? do you think his bail will be revoked? >> yes. >> wow. thank you very much for a conclusive and one-word response from a member of the bar here in
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new york. history has been made. our thanks to shannon pettypiece for starting us off with her reporting tonight to our co-counsel nelson cunningham and daniel gondman. thank you very much for starting us off in great fashion. coming up, how is this affecting the president and his west wing? three top reporters share their latest insights. and later, the campaign tour billed as a road trip that also happened to have an air wing attached. "the 11th hour" just getting started on a wednesday night beneath the washington monument. with tripadvisor, finding your perfect hotel at the lowest price... is as easy as dates, deals, done! simply enter your destination and dates... and see all the hotels for your stay! tripadvisor searches over 200 booking sites... to show you the lowest prices... so you can get the best deal on the right hotel for you. dates, deals, done! tripadvisor. visit tripadvisor.com
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welcome back.
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as we previously reported, michael cohen is expected to part ways with his current lawyer and hire a new lawyer or legal team to handle the ongoing federal investigation into his business dealings. nbc news reports cohen hasn't yet spoken to federal prosecutors involved in the inquiry, nor is that unusual, despite some of the speculation you heard from one of our co-counsel in the first segment. but some say today's news is a sign that cohen may indeed cooperate in the future. meanwhile, the white house is closely watching how cohen's situation plays out. maggie haberman of the new york times reports, quote, one person with knowledge of the legal staffing change says that mr. trump's camp was very displeased with with the way the cohen investigation had so far been conducted. mr. trump himself has told people he's angry with mr. cohen over messiness of the situation, especially those aspects oinvolving ms. clifford. but he's afraid if he pushes too far it increases the likelihood that cohen offers information to the government. this as a new report reveals cohen feels hurt by the lack of support he's received from the
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trump family. and we quote, earlier this year, he heard that eric trump was telling associates that he felt cohen was sloppy in the way he handled the daniels agreement. i feel like do quixote he said to people close to him. it's ruining my children's lives, it's worrying my wife's life. it's worst than a pit in your stomach. interesting place to start our discussion. with us to do that is john heilman, happens to be co-awe thr of "game ching" and "doubledown" and "the circus" on showtime in his spare time. jonl lamier and ashley parker, reporter for "the washington post." ashley, you're a stylist among stylists here. i would like to begin here. michael cohen had a vision of life far different from the life
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he's having in new york right now, living in a hotel because a pipe in his trump apartment building burst. everyone now knows where to stake him out and wait to try to see him as he gets into any number of cabs and lifts and ubers to go about his business. this is a guy who thought he might be white house counsel. what are you hearing on the other end from people in the west wing about the plight, the life and potentially the future of mr. cohen? >> so on the one hand, people inside the white house are not particularly sympathetic to him. there's a reason that his life has turned out very differently than he envisioned it. and sort of almost since the campaign, it's been a series of disappointments. he expected a huge role on the campaign.
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he didn't have that. he was sort of shunted off to an office in trump tower but not officially part of the campaign. he expected to come to washington with the president, be white house counsel and he was blocked by some of the president's family. and a number of people who knew him quite well from the campaign. and now this. and there's a reason he was blocked, because people on the campaign knew and people in the president's orbit knew when there was a sensitive issue and a sensitive discussion they didn't even like talking about, someone would say that's okay, michael cohen would handle it. that said, there is a lot of unease within this white house about him. there is a sense as the mueller probe unfurls that basically people believe in the president's orbit that he will not be guilty of collusion or conspiracy, but it's sort of
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these other tangential things that worry them. the obstruction of justice and, of course, exactly what's going on with michael cohen. and the most frustrating thing for a lot of these people, especially the low-level, mid level, and even some senior white house aides and trump friends is they don't know what they don't know. and they're learning it the way we are in the news, reading a report that says, you know, this new legal shake-up for cohen's legal team might mean he'll flip. so they don't exactly know. they just have a sense it's not looking good. >> that's a harrowing existence. john, you know the harrowing and exquisite roller coaster of a telephonic discussion with giuliani. what is his thinking does it seem to be about mr. cohen? also, while we're at it, the possibility of a mueller interview? >> giuliani in my last conversation with him is projecting confidence, the idea that we don't believe that cohen will start cooperating with the federal prosecutor.
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even if he does, we're not worried about it because the president has not done anything wrong. behind the scenes, people close to the president, senior aides in the white house, as well as his extended orbit of influential figures in trump world are very nervous about this. they feel that the idea that cohen, who has worked with trump for so long, who knows so much, who knows where those bodies are buried could end up cooperating that shall's something that concerns them deeply. there's also concern of the unknown. since those raids, they're not sure what was seized. they're not sure what could be incriminating. and they also realize that there could be potentially, whether it be payments to the stormy daniels situation, or other sort of business dealings, those are things where the president could be very vulnerable as this investigation ramps up. as far as the mueller interview goes, let's remember, giuliani publicly said they would start having conversations, about whether or not they would have that interview once the north korea summit is over. well, as of 24 hours or so ago, it's over. giuliani and the rest of the legal team are to convene shortly to discuss whether they want to have this interview. but every signal has been making it harder and harder for mueller's team to clear the bar that would make them want trump
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to sit down. at the moment, i would think it would have to be considered unlikely. >> john heilman, veteran journalist and psychology enthusiast, i note the president went after us, nbc and cnn particularly today. and gave us that rare enemy of the people stamp of approval. what is his mindset returning from what he saw as a spectacularly successful summit with kim jong-un, coming back to what he knows exists. and remember, i keep reminding everyone, he knows what was in his lawyer's office. >> yes. well, and i will point out, the one thing most about that tweet, we were also supposed to be distracting from the quote, deal with north korea. i don't know what the deal was since nothing was given from
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north korea to the united states. it wasn't really a deal. in any case, look, the president has -- part of the reason, if you want me to play psychologist, i'm happy to. you invited me to, so i will. part of the reason the president put so much emphasis on this north korea summit is because it's a play for the history books. but another part of it was, as we all know, when we're facing dread, when we're facing the fight, the moment of catacalysm, we always look forward to the trip to cab bow or whatever until there's the moment at happened. we know the mueller investigation and the other investigation are going to come to a halt around labor day for about two months before the election. they may resume after the election. but we have a window here where some business is going to get done. and the president knows that's true.
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and he knows it's going to be an ugly time. final decisions are going to have to get made whether he's going to sit for bob mueller or not. and the situation with michael cohen, i believe -- donald trump knows what was in his lawyer's office. he also particularly knows because the reality is, and this is part of the emily jane fox reporting, for this whole time, michael cohen's lawyers and donald trump's lawyers are working together. they are sharing information. the president's lawyers and the president know exactly what is there. in real time, not just on the basis of memory. but they know exactly what's there right now as the documents are being -- and the audio is being gone through and determinations are being made about what's privileged and what's not. they're learning that very little is privileged and an awful lot is not. and we know what -- not just where bodies are buried, but the kind of work michael cohen did for donald trump, for that decade all around the world and the ugliest parts of the world, doing the ugliest business deals
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imaginable, or trying to. the president is starting to -- he's been acting out for 16, 17 months. but right now, he knows the moment is nigh. and he's coming british columbia and realizing he might get through it, but it's going to be a very ugly summer. >> it does have a scoscorsesean whiff about it. we are less thrilled to have to roll to break, but we must do that to keep the studio operating. all three have agreed to stay with us. we'll be right back after this.
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republican congressman mark sanford, who was upset last night in his primary, says his past criticisms of president trump led to his loss. the former south carolina governor told "the washington post" this morning that a last-minute tweet from the president endorsing his opponent -- and by last minute, we mean something like four hours before the polls closed, is exactly why more members of the gop don't speak out against trump. quote, they don't want the tweet i got last night. there's no motivation like self-motivation. two gop senators who have already chosen not to seek re-election warned again as they can about the dangers of blindly following the president. this morning, tennessee senator bob corker rebuked members of his party for just that. >> it's becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? it's not a good place for any party to end up with a colt like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of purportedly of the same party.
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>> arizona senator jeff flake took to the senate floor this afternoon to urge his colleagues to fulfill their role as a check on the executive branch. >> we continue to act here as if all is normal, as if all parties are observing norms. even as the executive branch shatters them. robustly trafficking in conspiracy theories and attacking all institutions that don't pay the president obedience. our justice system, the free press, the list is getting longer. we demean ourselves and our proper constitutional role when we act like we work for the president, that we are only here to do his bidding. especially now. >> john heilman, jonathan lanier, ashley parker remain with us. and john, i'm going to poz zit a theory to have you kick it around, that this may be the
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most normal thing donald trump does as president, that under fdr, under lbj and richard nixon, you had to stay in line. and you were called out if you weren't. they didn't use quite the levers of power that he uses to do it. but this is a president thing. >> yes. although i would say yeah, 100%, we've seen presidents of both parties try to enforce loyalties in various ways and exact some kind of political cost. usually it would not be a president on whose future in the office depends on his party maintaining control of the house, making it his political situation less tenable. usually you would pick a place where the cost to yourself would be less severe potentially. that's one thing. the other thing is that, you know, you look at a guy like mark sanford. usually the kind of deviations would be of loyalty or ideology. you would see somebody who's supposed to be a member of your party voting with the other party, for instance. mark sanford is a conservative. he's voted with donald trump 87% of the time.
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this is exact retribution purely because of some personal pique. purely because mark sanford said donald trump should release his taxes. not because of a vote or siding with nancy pelosi. trying to enforce discipline, normal. exacting -- trying to enforce discipline when it's self-destructive and when it's over no matter of genuine policy or political principle, that's abnormal. >> jonathan lanier, reaching out on twitter a few hours before polls close is an air strike. it's tactical and kind of stel thi. is this going to be the midterm election by air strike? >> it is. trump was pleased with the report. whether they already knew sanford was going to lose and therefore he wanted to pile on,
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to sort of send that message, don't cross with me, a message that was reemtzed by the head of the republican party who tweeted complacency is our enemy. anyone that does not embrace the real donald trump's agenda of making america great again will be making a mistake. that is a significant broadside to people in her own party, the party that if they challenge this president, they challenge the incumbent here, they would be deserving of a target last night like the president delivered, literally an air strike from air force one as he was coming back from his overseas trip. >> can you imagine a member of mitt romney's family saying that? >> not something i anticipated. >> ashley parker, is everyone around donald trump ready to embrace, including him, this new look gop? like it or not, that's what it is. >> well, the president's aides in the west wing are certainly in the political shop are kind of happy with this cultive personality.
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it works out well for them. and what is so striking to me is sort of the way in which policy and ideology in the republican party has just fallen fwi the wayside. to cite one example, the president, you know, he has sort of been going it alone, taking a lot of unilateral actions. you'll recall at the end of the barack obama's second term when he did that, when he had his pen and his phone and he made a lot of moves with his executive authority, some most notably on immigration, all the republicans called him king obama and an emperor. and that's a very fair view to have depending on your views of executive power. but what's interesting is when the president is exercising the exact same executive authority -- and even more so. taking the pardons, for instance, saying he could even pardon himself, you have almost no republicans standing up to him. and the one that did, senator corker trying to introduce
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legislation to kind of curb his unilateral trade actions were shot down by members of his own party who were silent and even the senate majority leader who said the corker legislation was an exercise in futility. so yes, if you're trump's political team, this is great news for you. >> three journalists whose work with we pay attention, john heilmann, jonathan lemire, ashley parker, our thanks for tonight. and coming up, why hillary clinton's e-mails will emerge tomorrow as a news story all over again. we'll have that when we come back. ahh... summer is coming. and it's time to get outside. pack in even more adventure with audible. with the largest selection of audiobooks. audible lets you follow plot twists off the beaten track. or discover magic when you hit the open road. with the free audible app, your stories go wherever you do. and for just $14.95 a month you get a credit,
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we are just hours away from the release of a highly anticipated report from the inspector general at the department of justice. and it's a widely understood axiom in washington that if
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you're working for the department of justice, you generally don't want the inspector general look into your business, because it's their job to try to come away with something. for a year and a half, this particular inspector general, this gentleman here, has been reviewing the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation leading up to the 2016 election. among other things, the ig is looking into former fbi director james comey's motivations, including, but not limited to, why he felt the need to hold a press conference days before a presidential election. president trump is expected to be briefed on the ig report ahead of its public release. washington post telling it this way, trump is wiet widely expected to use the inspector general findings to launch fresh political attack against not only clinton but also the law enforcement officials behind robert s. mueller's russia probe, which trump has le petedly referred to as a witch hunt. now, the president has expressed his eagerness to see what's in the report. he said this last week, and this may give away what he's looking for. quote, what is taking so long
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with the inspector's general report on crooked hillary and slippery james comey. numerous delays. hope the report is not being changed anticipate made weaker. there are so many horrible things to tell. the public has a right to know. transparency. with me to talk about it from washington, julia ainsley. the nation turns its lonely eyes to you. give us a viewer's guide of what we should try to expect tomorrow? >> i think what you can expect is a preview that the president just gave us, that tweet. there's going to be a lot of political football through this. democrats might look at this and say look, the actions of james comey really affected hillary clon ton's chances in the 2016 election. and then the president is going to be looking ott this trying to find evidence that there is a deep state, that the fbi and the justice department are out to get him and that they have political bias that is one of the reasons why hillary clinton was never charged for how she handled those e-mails. it seems he's already setting it up so he can actually attack this report and the inspector general himself, michael horowitz, who really has
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maintained a reputation as a shrewd investigator, regardless of who he's investigating. trump wants to go ahead and set it up so he can attack horowitz if he doesn't agree with what's in this report. but i can tell you at nbc news, we have a big team that will be ready to go on this. we expect it to go out to the public in the amp. and we will be going through every page of this report. it's going to be long. they worked on this for a year and a half. and it's known that it could be pretty hard on james comey, especially focusing in on those decisions that you laid out, brian, to go public with his decision to not refer hillary clinton for charges in july of 2016, but them to reopen that investigation in october. and then close it again just days before the election. they'll be looking into those decisions, and whether or not he may have been in violation of something like the hatch act
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that prohibits government employees, particularly those in federal law enforcement from making any kind of statement, putting their thumbs on the scale in an election like this. >> i always ask you about what stage we're at in the mueller investigation. do you have any reaction or reporting having to do with "the washington post" reporting that mueller was asking cohen-related questions in the past five calendar days? >> you know, i don't have presh reporting on that. but i think what we can take away from that, brian, is that cohen and mueller are not separate. we've been saying this for a long time on your show. although there was part of this probe that mueller kind of spun off and handed over to the southern district of new york and said please take a look at this, those were the people responsible for those raids on cohen's apartment and hotel and offices, he always had a hand in this. mueller has been in the driver's seat on this. so it makes sense that he's asking those questions, particularly as it might pertain to any kind of pay to play. if cohen was responsible for
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giving access, particularly by foreign governments, to the president, they will want to know who accessed the president, what they paid, and whether or not there was any undo influence on the way. that is part of mueller's job. it can come not just from russia, but other countries that might have tried to influence this election or what happened after the election. >> on the' of what's going to be another big day on your beat, we appreciate you staying up and talking to us tonight. thank you very much. and coming up for us, trouble for a big name dem in the show me state, because there was more to her recent road trip than she showed her constituents. that's when we continue.
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a few weeks back, missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill kicked off a three-day campaign tour in her home state.
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the plan was to travel in the rv that they call big blue to meet with veterans around the state. the only problem according to the reporting of the washington free beacon was that big blue wasn't the only mode of transportation on the trip. mccaskill also used a plain. while not a jet, it is known in the flying world as something of a cadillac of single engine prop planes. it's a swiss made pc 12, a nice ride. it was along for the trip along with big blue. so on may 29th, the rv tour went from wansville to springfield, to joplin and end pd up for the night in kansas city for the next day's event. flight data shows mccaskill's plane taking the same route, shadowing the rv starting in st. louis where it's based flying west to springfield, joplin and ending up in kansas city. her bus and plane took similar routes the next day from kansas city to st. joe to columbia. after the news broke, mccaskill's team acknowledged the role of the plane on the trip but said it only took her to overnight stays and to a last
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minute stop the rv wouldn't have made in time. her initial response provided to politico was this. quote, i added some stops with the use of the plane. but i was on the rv so much that the broken drawer drove me crazy. she added, i even lost an ipad around a corner on the rv. president trump weighed in on twitter though he got the aircraft wrong. he said mccaskill flew around in a luxurious private jet during her rv tour. people are upset, so phoney mccaskill tried to fight being back with a quote paying on my own dime to to visit veterans is not something i apologize for. the latest apology has mccaskill ahead of her republican opponent by four points. another break for us. coming up this has been a dangerous time for norms. in a moment we look at some of
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the norms that have fall 199the last 48 hours or so.
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korea's wish list. for years they have called the exercises provocative now our president is calling his own exercises provocative and says he will end them. another big wish on north korea's wish list has been to get u.s. troops out of south korea. and now the president seems to agree with that too. >> is the military drawing down in south korea? you kind of hinted at that. and is there going to be this tft >> it's not drawing down at all. honestly it was never discussed. i'm sure he would like that. it was never on the table. with that understood and you know you asking me a question like that, i would love to get the military out as soon as we can because it costs a lot of money, a lot of money for us. we don't get paid fully for the military which i'll be talking to south korea about. >> just a reminder here, tonight there are about 28,000 americans
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stationed in south korea. american troops maintained a presence there since the cease fire in the war we fought there. a deployment to korea has been part of the u.s. military experience for hundreds of thousands if not millions of american vets. and their presence gets a lot of the credit for keeping the peace over the years. this makes for a lot of change in the course of just the last few days. that includes hearing of an american president go out of his which to compliment the world's most brutal dictator, using human terms not unlike the way you'd describe a young ceo. >> when you take over a country, tough country, tough people, and you take it over for from your father, i don't care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have, if you can do that at 27 years old, you -- i mean that's one in 10,000 that could do that. he is a very smart guy. he is a great negotiator. but i think we understand each other.
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>> but he has done some really bad things. >> yeah but is so have a lot of other people done bad things. i could go through a lot of nations where bad things were done. >> what surprised youed to about kim jong un. >> really he has a great personality. he is a funny guy. he is a very smart guy. a great negotiator. he loves his people, not that i'm surprised by that. but he loves his people. and i think that we have -- the start of an amazing deal here. >> but you -- he staevd thm he has been brutal he still loves his people. >> he is doing what he has seen done if you look at it. but itch to go by today and by yesterday. and by a couple of weeks ago. because that's when this whole thing started. >> again, just a portion of the change we have witnessed take place in about the space of a couple days. that is our broadcast for this wednesday night thank you so very much for being here with us and good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
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this morning a possible legal shakeup for president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen, a source tells nbc news cohen may be parting ways with his attorney as investigators dig into his business dealings. >> and he's praising the leaders of north korea and china and doubling down on his call to readmit russia to the g7. >> and hammering out the details of two competing immigration bills. we're getting a look inside a detention center housing more than 100,000 immigrant minors.

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