tv Deadline White House MSNBC June 16, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. paul manafort is about to spend his first night in jail. and it could be the first of many. a judge saying today that she cannot turn a blind eye to charges of witness tampering that occurred as recently as this april. quote, this is not middle school. i can't take away his cell phone, the judge said. if i tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th? manafort will remain in jail through his trial in september on charges of money laundering and conspiracy. the president weighed in on this news with a defensive rant. wow, what a tough sentence for paul manafort, who has represented ron reagan, bob
dole, and many other top people in campaigns. didn't know many of the was the head of the mob. what about comey, and contradicted hillary and all of the others? very unfair. the president doesn't seem to understand that paul manafort hasn't been convicted of or sentenced to anything just yet. he's going to jail because he apparently couldn't make to it trial without committing new crimes. trump's tweets keep coming as questions mount over whether manafort will flip and cooperate with mueller in the russia investigation. but the president started the day with nearly an hour of media appearances. here he is on manafort. >> manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. i feel -- i tell you a feel badly about it they went back 12 years to get thing that he did 12 years ago. paul manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. he worked for me for what, 48 days or something? a very short period of time. i feel badly for some people because they have gone back 12 years to find things about somebody. >> once again, the president has his facts wrong. manafort worked atop the trump
campaign for about a hundred days longer than trump claiming. the alleged crimes that put him behind bars were committed weeks, not years ago. from the "washington post," white house bureau chief phil rutger joins us. harry litman. former just attorney and former deputy attorney general is here. paul butler, a former federal prosecutor. and john hilemon is back. national affairs analyst. let me start with you, phil rucker. quite a display. a spectacle is the word that comes to mind. >> yeah. >> the president holding court on everything. but really, i want to show you something he said about andrew weismann, one of the prosecutors who i believe has his name on all the charging documents as they pertain to paul manafort. president trump may have known this was coming. let's watch. >> the problem with the mueller investigation is everybody has massive conflicts. you have weismann who was at hillary clinton's funeral,
meaning her party that turned into a funeral. and they were screaming and cry -- they were going crazy. how can you have people like this? i all the them the 13 angry democrats. you have a tremendous animosity. >> tremendous animosity. what he chalks everything up to, facts be damned? >> that's right. it fits a pattern from donald trump, president trump, over the last several weeks along with rudy giuliani, his attorney, to try to make this investigation seem partisan, to talk about the 13 angry democrats, which is a term he uses over and over again on twitter to really discredit what mueller is doing and discredit some of these charges. you know, now we have somebody for the first time going to jail over all of this. that's very real. i think it's quite frightening to people around the president. i know it is. it probably is to the president as well. so he's trying to, you know, basically be the referee here and say this is unfair. it's tainted. it's partisan. it is a political witch-hunt. but it's a real investigation, and it's serious. and the actions today tell you
how serious it is. >>ead you rudy giuliani's quote to the new york dily news today. quote, when this whole thing is over things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons. there is a pattern here with pardons. i want to ask you what that looks like to investigators. "new york times" reporting that trump's then lawyer, john dowd, had raised the prospect of pardons for flynn and many of the the summer before they were charged by bob mueller. and i wonder what all this talk of pardons looks like on the day that the president's former campaign chairman goes to jail. >> what it looks like is more obstruction, although obstruction that does partake of a very tricky constitutional legal question. so for prosecutors, they see it as more attempt to just -- not just scuddle the possible prosecution but actually telegraph to witnesses, in some
ways even more offensive, to just sit tyke, don't talk, don't cooperate, it will all be good at the end of the day. there is a lot of reason to think that that is a flatly unconsti use of the pardon power. but it's a question that actually hasn't been litigated and would put mueller and company into tricky legal territory. but they certainly see it as more attempts to just flagrantly throw a wrench into the prosecution. >> i want to go into some of the substance with you, john hilemon. the president also weighing in on one of the flash points in the obstruction of justice investigation, talking about -- he was pressed on whether or not he dictated that statement that was crafted aboard air force one. we know that everyone involved has been of interest to bob mueller and his obstruction of justice inquiry. it was on that flight where they crafted a statement for don jr. it was the flash point over which mark corallo, the spoke person for the legal team quit
because he thought he was watching obstruction -- >> let's watch the president try to explain that. >> don jr. did you dictate the statement about donald trump jr.? >> let's not talk about that. you know what that is? it is irrelevant. a statement to the "new york times." the phony failing "new york times." >> clear it up. >> that's not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. that's a statement to the phony "new york times." frankly, he shouldn't even speak to the "new york times" because they only write phony stories anyway. although yesterday they wrote a nice story. >> i don't know. i have question to formulate. just go. >> i mean, so many things to look at there. obviously, that is just -- the simple plain truth of it is that's a question he didn't want to answer and didn't come close to answer in any way.
all he did was turn on the fog machine, and say next question, right, while throwing a few elbows at the "new york times." >> right. >> if you try to pars it in logical terms his argument would be something like the "new york times" is fake news so it's okafor me to lie to the "new york times." which is obviously ridiculous. >> let's go through it. >> there is that, obviously ridiculous. also, as we all know, when the president, or one of the middler of a investigation like this issues any statement, it is to all of us, not to cnn or the "new york times" you are making a public statement from the office of the presidency or from one of the children of the president. as it happens, the president is involved in of the contracting it. he is making an official statement on behalf of the president of the united states to all americans. even if you took the first argument, obviously he was just trying to get out of the question, it would be -- if you didn't consider it ridiculous, it would be irrelevant to the real question which is this is the public statement to the american people.
you cannot lie in the middle of an investigation to the american people and to the prosecutors who are part of the american people. >> right. i guess part of the answer that i thought was so interesting is that's not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. bob mueller is an investigator looking into the crafting of the statement and whether or not it was an obstruction of justice. >> it seems like he was trying to say i was not under -- who knows what donald trump is ever trying to say. but to the best of my knowledge it seems like he is trying to say i am not under oath when i speak to the press. it's different if you are in a court of law. we have noted on this show in other occasions that it is not a crime to lie to the press. if it was, every president in our lifetime would have gone to jail. but it is the case then in the middle of an ongoing investigation when you are making public statements from the office of the presidency, you are not entering things that will become part of court record
or part of the political record. so it's ridiculous on 25 levels, basically. >> it's also where scooter libby ended up being charged with obstruction of justice and perjury because he lied to the federal investigators about conversations with reporters. there is a lot of people where people are charged because they lied in their conversations with reporters. i want to give you a two parter here. thoughts on that. also, paul manafort was this that meeting about which they lied to the "new york times." >> certainly. >> that meeting was the trump tower meeting. trump jr. was there, paul manafort was there, then the campaign chairman. jared kushner and natalia veselnitskaya. i'll never not be proud of myself for learning how to say that. you can see that. lots of russians. loads of russians. >> obstruction of justice, witness tampering, all go to the integrity of the judicial process. rudy giuliani sent one message today. the judge sent a different
message. she said, if a $10 million bond didn't work, if house arrest and two ankle bracelets didn't work, well, you are going to learn today. you are going to learn by going to jail for witness tampering. so, you know, she stepped him back. not a couple of days to get his affairs in order. she said give your wallet and your watch to your wife. you are going to jail right now. again, that goes to the integrity of the process. judges don't play with that. so that's a word not just to manafort, but frankly to the president, because if he is talking about pardoning people who are a part this investigation, that's not witness tampering per se but it sure looks like obstruction of justice. >> to this answer, one last thing. >> yeah. >> we know that in the theory of the case by which a president can be prosecuted, whether in the political judicial process that is impeachment or in other processes that one of the key
elements, the argument in response to the rudy giuliani argument which is a president cannot obstruct justice just by carrying out a constitutionally allowed thing like firing jim comey, right. part of the answer that lawyers give is corruption of intent is what matters. that answer today, and his unwillingness to address a straightforward question from a reporter whether he was involved in drafting a public statement again will be one of a large mosaic of things that point to the question of did he have corrupt intent through all of his acts, and in fact this specific content related to this very specific meeting. >> harry and phil, let me ask you about the judge's statement, let me ask you first and about the brazenness that a man who has been charged with mora than a dozen count of violations and money laundering -- the brazenness with which a man facing so much criminal liability, so many years in jail, to tamper with
witnesses between the end of february and april of this year -- do you think he's already been promised a pardon through some intermediary by donald trump? >> it's really been a mystery what manafort is up to. especially because the charges against him are so strong. this is likely, if he doesn't cooperate and doesn't get pardoned, the first day of a life sentence in jail and the complete sea of change that comes with it. i think it's hard to say he has been promised a pardon. we have had all kinds of speculation. is he scared of putin? does he have hope for a pardon? now we'll really know because the system is now handing them out. the worst he is going to get. he's not going to win at trial. it is a pipe dream. so he is looking at a life sentence. i want to make a quick point about your air force one meeting there, because you are exactly right.
what that means here, that meeting with the high command, and let's add hope hicks into it who is probably cooperating, that's a conspiracy. if trump has done something wrong, don jr. is looking at criminal conspiracy liability, potentially manafort. others tip toed away on the plane we are told. but the people riding in that sort of consortium riding with the president could all be liable. >> the president on the driveway also weighed in on another one of his buddies and former associate who is hot water. michael cohen. let's watch it. >> are you worried michael cohen might flip? >> look, i did nothing wrong. you have to understand. this stuff would have come out a long time ago. i did nothing wrong. >> is michael cohen still your friend. >> he is really nice. i have always liked michael. i haven't spoken to michael in a long time. >> is he still your lawyer? >> he is not my lawyer anymore. but i always liked michael. he is a good person. >> i want to though if you are worried -- >> you are asking me a question. i'm trying to answer it.
>> just want to know if you are worried he is going to cooperate? >> no, because i did nothing wrong. >> bold faced lies, when cohen's offices were raided the president of the united states called it an attack on our country and called michael cohen the friday after that raid, i think it was a monday or a tuesday. revisionist history from the president this morning. >> there was a lot of revisionist history on a lot of topics from the president this morning. but to talk about michael cohen for a minute, i think trump was trying to send some warm vibes to cohen with what he said there, complimenting him as a good man, as a loyal guy. he was really bothered by that raid we knew at the time and it's clear now he continues to be upset by how the fbi handled that. at one point he said why didn't they raid barack obama's lawyer's office. he probably has less interesting records in his office than michael cohen did. but he just seems to be using this as an example of the system
being unfair to him, as this witch-hunt out to get him in an unfair and partisan way. it fits that theme. >> we have been hearing since this raid that this really is the trigger. i guess if there is a parallel on the russia probe, it has to be manafort. steve bannon who says in fire and fury that the way to trump is through manafort to jared to f trump on money laundering. >> this is not -- the president has been hiding in plain sight about this. from his interview with the "new york times" however many months ago where he tried to draw a red line and say you can't look at anything outside of the campaign saying business dealings before that are irrelevant are. obviously they are not. it shows a pattern of business practices with russia and all of those things. he laid down a target on his back, look here, investigators. and the reason why manafort and cohen are such ripe targets for
prosecutors and the reason why they represent such vulnerability to trump is they go right to those questions. it's not about those guys. paul manafort was an important part of the campaign for a few months. they have a history together that goes back. and manafort is deeply corrupt and implicated with russia and ukraine. michael cohen, the same thing. these are the guys who has history with that extend prior to the campaign that lay out the pattern of behavior that comes to fruition in 2016 and 2017. that is where the real problem is for donald trump. >> there is also the men from whom investigators seized the most materials. i mean, prosecutors, investigators have to have a trove of information about donald trump from the searches and seizures of those two men. prosecutors, investigators have to have a trove of information about donald trump from the searches and seizures of those
two men. >> which is why michael cohen is so scared. remember, he hasn't been charged yet. but he is being double teamed by investigations in the southern district of new york and by the mueller investigation. two things we know about paul manafort. mueller thinks he is a stone cold thug. this no-knock warrant, the three superseding indictments and now trying the send him to jail today successfully. mueller thinks manafort has the goods on somebody and he is trying to make him spill it. >> all right. phil rucker and harry litman thank you for getting us started on a friday. when we come back, the audacity of liars. fact checking donald trump and rudy giuliani's lies about the inspector general report. also ahead, the travesty of children being separated from their parents. new reports on who is to blame for the crisis at the border. it isn't the bible. and trump's love for authoritarian leaders and their grip on power. we'll be right back.
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the report, the ig report, was a horror show. i thought that one sentence of conclusion was ridiculous. comey was the ring leader of this whole den of thieves. it was a den of thieves. i have said i'm going to stay away from the justice department until it's completed. i wanted to stay away. i don't have to. i don't have to, i can get involved but i don't want you people to say i am interfering. looking you have 13 angry democrats, i call them 13 angry democrats, and others work forred for obama for eight years. i mean you have no republicans. it is a very unfair situation. if you read the ig report i have been totally exonerated. >> president trump trying to take back the news cycle. it's ban minefield of triggers
for him over the last 24 hours. one trump ally told me he is worried the president will go too far in using the inspector general report as a weapon against mueller's probe. apparently, trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani does not share that concern. >> that should end it. the ig report basically tells you that both prongs of the mueller investigation are either corrupt or answered. the second one, the obstruction of justice -- i mean, this report is a complete and absolute explanation of why comey had to be fired. so how can it be obstruction of justice? every reason for firing him is laid out here. he usurped the power of the attorney general. he leaked information illegally. i believe that rod rosenstein and jeff sessions have a chance to redeem themselves. and that chance comes about tomorrow. doesn't go beyond tomorrow. tomorrow, mueller should be suspended, and honest people should be brought in. >> what? they have been so outrageous we need to debunk the lies and
misleading statements one by one right now. first the time the ig report tells you that both prongs of the mueller investigation are corrupt. the reality, this investigation has nothing to do with the trump investigations. this report has nothing to do with the mueller investigations. why comey was fired, insubordination and leaguing. but the president of the united states offered four different excuses for firing comey. insubordination and leaking don't make the top four. the last, mueller should be suspended and independent people brought in. happened months and months and months before mueller was appointed. the investigators criticized in the report were purged by robert mueller more than a year ago. and joining us at the table, evan mcmullen, former cia operative, independent candidate for president.
and alicia men ends, journalist and contributing editor for bustle. evan, rudy? >> rudy said they are not playing defense anymore. they are playing offense. >> they are playing big fat liar. >> that's right. but they are having success. you are watching -- >> i don't care about that. they are having success misleading people who are crawling in the sand toward a mirage. people are eating the sand. rudy giuliani is debasing an institution he was once a part of it. the effect is they are impugning the credibility of the men who are left to clean up. >> exactly right. but it does matter that they are having success. it matters that now 53% of americans have an unfavorable view of robert mueller. it matters unfavorability is rising within democrats and within independents. why does that matter? because it may come down to congress, to the house for us to hold the president accountable for these thing.
and it's going to be increasingly difficult if they are able to change public opinion in this way. so this ig report comes out. there is no communication strategy for the ig report. the fbi sort of puts it out there and hopes that people like us will explain it to the american people. but there is no communication strategy from them. that's not what they do. but from the white house, from the president's bully pulpit, there is. this information disadvantage is a serious thing. that's why people like you and us need to clarify to the american people what this actually is and is not. >> i want to underscore evans's point. it's not just the white house. it's also congressional republicans who are jumping in and making this case. >> that's right. >> to your point it has moved public opinion. you have polling on this since november. you already said that one number but only a quarter of registered republican voters think there is credibility to this probe. that's deeply problematic.
>> i keep think there is no way trump read the report, none, it's 500 pages. he has never read 500 pages in his entire life. >> say his friends. >> i keep thinking there is a chance when trump sees ig he thinks that means instagram because he is a social media savant and there is some guy like pepe the frog who has done a 20 second video that summarizes the actual ig report and that's what trump has seen and that exonerate him fully. >> that's not true. >> i know. i know. >> that's just my -- i can't come up with an alternative explanation other than he is a bold faced liar. >> there you go, very good. >> he says these things over and over again. >> you went through it all. there is not much more to say. except for i think that one of the i think so this that trump is brilliant at, genuinely brilliant, this stunt this morning. he has not done a press conference in a long time, like a real press conference.
doesn't do interviews with anybody, hasn't sat down really since lester holt. >> because the last time he did he told lester holt basically he obstructed justice because that he fired jim comey because he didn't like the way the investigations with going. >> he gets to pick and choose. he handles that, looks accessible, he manages to lie to everybody. deflects, lies, obfuscates, fantasizes, engages in delirium and all the crazy stuff he does. but this is a good way to throw all this chum in the water. i believe we should fact check him. we do it every day. i do it every day. but this will work, to ed mcmullen's point, this will work with the base of support and what he and rudy are trying to do, shore up that base of 42% who think this is corrupt, that he is exonerated when it comes
to political impeachment he will be able to muscle through. >> he also appeared on fox and friend. you are getting at the intersection of the legal strategy and the pr campaign. >> i am. >> let's watch him talking about that interview, which is still something on bob mueller's wish list. then we will talk about it. >> rudy says you should not talk to mueller. >> a lot of people say that. look -- >> given the ig report and stuff that's come down. >> they are getting people who say something a little bit off. is it a nice day? you know, no it's not a great day. oops, he lied. got problems. people are afraid of that. i would like to talk. but it seems to be very biased. >> so the reason rudy giuliani doesn't want him to talk, and he said this on george stephanopoulos's program, and the reason his friend don't want him to talk is they know he is a pig fat liar, they said it on tv. >> with which would get him into trouble in terms of obstruction or perjury. or they know he might tell the truth, which gets him in trouble for obstruction and collusion.
>> you either go down with obstruction and perjury or obstruction and collusion. at's what his friends think. >> i want to speak up. the other railing percentage. if they understand, this is about our democracy, this is about whether the rule of law exists. this is about whether the man who is president now conspired or his people conspired with russians to steal the election. the stakes are really high. >> let me ask you about something, charles crowdhammer who sadly has written about his own final chapter in his life recently. but the first line of his book is about how he changed fields. he was working in psychiatry and switched to political science because he believed if you get the politics wrong, nothing else matters. if you get the russia question wrong, if vladimir putin picked
our president, does anything else matter? isn't it valuable to the 60% to get to the bottom of this. >> we are counting on the fellow americans to climb the learning curve, realize what a threat this. it is a threat other nations faced up to, especially in europe. we have got to do it and that has to come first. the defense of our liberal democracy a free democracy where yes majority rules but we all have individual rights that are protected no matter what. that's what is at stake here. we can debate all the other policy issues and there are important issues and we can have strong debates but we need to unite as americans around the defense of a free america. because we have a president who did come to power with the aid of a foreign adversary in the same way that other some foreign leaders have come to power with that kind of support from moscow. that is our situation right now. if we want to protect america, protect a free america, we have
to be united around that concept and not let other things get in the way. at least around that we must be united. >> why do you think republicans can't get behind that? >> i think we are incredibly polarized as a country right now. many have seen the pugh diagram that shows that the parties were mostly ideologically overlapping in 2004 and before that. now they are moving to the extremes. there is still a space in the middle of people who aren't ideological. they aren't caught in the orthodoxy of partisanship. they want practical evidence based policy making. they agree on a lot of issues. but there is no empowerment of those people right now. the parties and other political machinery support increasingly the extremes. >> extremes, yep. >> there was a letter and some communication revealed recently between intelligence leaders clappers and others talking about how we can't raise this during election because basically the american people
will accuse us of tampering. >> we read it on the show. >> it shows they were seeing this polarization. we are so polarized, we can't defend ourselves. that is alarming. >> crazy. to be continued. evan mcmullen thank you for spending time with us. when we come back president trump blaming democrats for his administration's policy of breaking up families at the border and leaving thousands of children without their parents. two motorcycles, a boat, and an r.v. i would not want to pay that insurance bill. [ ding ] -oh, i have progressive, so i just bundled everything with my home insurance. saved me a ton of money. -love you, gary! -you don't have to buzz in. it's not a question, gary. on march 1, 1810 -- [ ding ] -frédéric chopin. -collapsing in 226 -- [ ding ] -the colossus of rhodes. -[ sighs ] louise dustmann -- [ ding ] -brahms' "lullaby," or "wiegenlied." -when will it end? [ ding ] -not today, ron.
the children, the children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and immediately. the democrats forced that law upon our nation. i hate it. i hate to see separation of parents and children. the democrats can come to us as they actually are, in all fairness, we are talking to them. and they can change the whole border security. >> but there is no law that says that families have to be separated at the border. there are other ways to go about this.
>> the democrats gave us the laws. now i want the u.s.a. laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong. i don't want bad people coming in. i don't want drugs coming in. we can solve that problem in one meeting. tell the democrats, your friends, to call me. >> your friends, the democrats. there are two explanations for what you just heard from the president. either the president isn't briefed about what's going on at the border. >> ding, ding, ding. >> or he is lying to the public. here are the facts. forcibly separating children from their parents at the border is not, not a democratic law. it is a policy put in place by the trump administration. full stop. that trump administration policy has resulted in 2,000 children being taken from their parents through a six week period from april to the end of may. in case that number is hard to visualize, let's put a face to it. this photo was taken on tuesday in texas. a 2-year-old honduran child sobbing as her mother is searched and detained at the border. the caption reads the next stop
on their journey, one that began one month and 1,500 miles earlier will be a customs and border protection processing center where they will be forcibly separated in keeping with trump's policy. joining us now, president of the national action network and host of a show here on msnbc. we have a lot of conversations about politics and what kind of country we see when we see attacks on the justice department, attacks on the intelligence community, the bold faced lies coming out of the president's mind. but not very many things make me wonder what the hell are we doing. what the hell are we doing? >> i think a lot of us are wondering that. when you saw this picture you just showed of a 2-year-old kid watching his mother frisked. when you then see not only a distortion of facts around the law, because the law that the
democrats put in or president obama put in did not require you to separate children from their parents. >> the law -- that bush plan didn't require it. the law clinton put in be -- no president. >> the thin that outrageous a lot of us in the clergy is for the attorney general to stand up there and use the bible to justify something as wicked and reprehensible as what they are doing. and use a biblical verse that they use to try and justify slavery. i mean he should have just said, you know, slave, obey your master, because that's the biblical reference he was making. and it was not the right interpretation of the bible. you know, i spent much of the day -- we are putting together a clergy group to go down there and attempt to visit these children because they should at least have a clergy visit and talk to people. i'm going to see if he lets us visit people.
they let gangsters see clergy. i'm going to see if they will let children see them. >> more and then i'll get to you. phil has a piece, i want to explain the nature and lie the president is telling. the separation policy is a funk of decisions made by trump and his team. the key shift here is to go to criminal prosecution of the parents that are caught combined with the practice of not leasing them. for a family being released on bond allowed the parents and the children to stay together. if no bond is granted, the child is separated from a parent because the parent goes into criminal detention. >> did you read the story about the 5-year-old boy from honduras who brought scribbles, little notes that are -- he calls pictures of his family. he is now sleeping with them under his pillow at night as he cries himself to sleep in one of these detention facilities. that's where we are because of his policy.
i think it's important that we remember that this does not require legislation to be fixed. that could be handled by dhs by reversing this policy. and it is a crisis of america's own invention. it is taxing a system that was never meant to handle this type of overflow of children. look at that 2-year-old -- >> could we put that back up? >> that 2-year-old raised in honduras, probably doesn't speak english. has very minimal language skills. how do you explain to her what is happening? and also remember that the reason these migrants are coming is because they are seeking asylum in the united states because something that is happening in their home country is so bad, so dangerous they have risked this journey to the united states in order to find freedom and safety. instead what we are doing is taking these children away from their parents. >> are we still america, when you see these pictures? >> unfortunately, there is a lot of ugly stuff happening in america.
so we are not the best of america when we see these pictures. we are not the america we all want us to be. >> worthy of the statue of liberty? >> no. this is a self imposed humanitarian crisis unfolding in front of all of our eyes. it's obvious -- obviously, this is jeff sessions' policy. this is why does jeff sessions put up with donald trump's abuse? why does he stay in the job, why does he stay in there because it is a thankless act. this is why. he is the ultimate restrictionist and this is the kind of policy he wanted for a long time. i will say this, i love the fact there is clergy that are going to go down there. i think they need something else. we need a bunch of lawyers to get on a bunch of planes. >> and get down there and get down to those border towns. these people need lawyers. >> these people need mothers to go down there and hold these babies. they need a lot of things. >> they need legal representation right now.
i don't have law degree, if i had one i would be rounding up my friends at the law firms and saying let's get on planes and get down there and fight fights for these people. they need that. >> i agree with that. i think a lot of these civil rights groups that we have been talking to are going to provide the lawyers. the thing is, you are again talking about children who don't know what they need. they are in a strange land. most of them with a strange language, who don't know what they need. >> they are basically >> they are basically imprisoned. we are imi have been wering children. >> chutely. >> that's the look that attorney general session is going for. when he talks about deterrent he looks at that honduran kid and said good i hope everybody is looking at this. that will teach you not to come into the country. it is a power play. it's ugly, unconscionable and un-american. >> it is a disgrace. a couple of candidates for the fbi director walked away. they said jeff sessions wasn't interested in the fbi, he was
interested in securing the border, crimes committed at the border and securing the country from crimes committed a the border. this is an obsession turned into a dark, real cruel punishment for people that come to this country for a better life. >> before i got to sessions, i just want to say that it struck me today as president trump was giving his interview and answering -- no, it was during his tweet. he tweeted that he thought -- >> i have got that. >> pretrial detention was too harsh for paul manafort. so it's too harsh for paul manafort, but not for the thousands of asylum seekers that have come to our border. that's one. but they have also succeeded. this conversation has swung so far to the right. like in 2015, you had congressional democrats hitting president obama about family detention facilities. >> correct. >> and now all of a sudden family detention facilities seem like a great option in comparison to having children in tent cities.
>> but the morality here or the i should say the immorality is consistent. we talk about in one week the president of the united states saying that kim jong-un was -- had to be a ugh guy. they talk about people, mr. president, he killed people. he incarcerated, you have got to be tough. and you have got to be tough with children. i mean look at the thread now in one week that we have heard from this administration. it's frightening. >> all right. i have got something i want to show you. the president tweeted about it. we have to sneak in a break. we will pick this up on the other side. you're turning onto the street
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went too far saying that the slave obey your master. which is also misquoted by the apostle paul, i mean, it seems to be they are very picky on which laws they want obeyed. what about the affordable care act? >> they don't respect the rule of law as carried out by their own appointees in the justice department. i don't know why anyone would worry about that critique. the president this afternoon get in the president's mind. >> thanks for that task. i will get my miner's hat on with the lamp on the front. >> you are more skilled than the three of us. >> i guess my larger frame is i think they know they have a problem. i called a couple of folks at the justice department in the white house today. this transcends the russia probe and the many of the -- >> it's pictures. >> these are pictures of children being yanked from their parents arms. this is a policy travesty and a
political problem. the president tweeted this. the democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the border with their horrible and cruel agenda. any immigration bill must have full funding for the wall, et cetera, go for it. >> the president knows he has a problem. and the whole white house knows he has a problem. it has video, pictures attached to it. it's different from the russia thing or anything we have to explain. you can watch it. it's visceral. it's like katrina only self imposed. there is no one in america. the stupidest person in america doesn't know that donald trump is the toughest guy on immigration. he has been telling us through the beginning of his campaign. that the mexicans are the ones with the drugs and the rapists who are going to come over the border. he built the edifice of his political character, his public image has been built around the notion that i'm the guy who is going to get tough on these people. now he is trying to tell us no, it is the democrats who are causing this problem. the president for all of his
dumbness and all of the various crazinesses of him. he knows that's not a winning argument. he also knows these picture are devastating. they have to find a way out of this because it's not going to go away. it's not like fewer cameras are going to go away. it's not like fewer cameras are going there. more cameras are going there. >> this is why you see two pieces of legislation coming out from congressional republicans, one that probably won't go anywhere, one a compromise among republicans. if you really look at that legislation, first of all, republicans forgot to actually add the language that would have stopped family separation. even though you don't need legislation, they wanted to put that in to make it more palatable and to create the sense that democrats voted against a bill that would have stopped this. but the legislation basically uses dreamers as leverage to spend more money on the wall. it ties them being able to get their green cards and visas, that when one stops, the other stops. and it slashes legal
immigration. so it's proposing radical changes to america's immigration policies and using this as the lens through which americans are going to understand it even though they have nothing to do with one another. >> you know, the irony of all of trump's criticisms of sessions, you keep wondering why does the man keep his job. well, now we know. sessions is actually more effective at implementing trump's agenda, his very right-wing, extreme agenda, than any other cabinet secretary. >> all i know is that either he is so politically desperate that he needs a spectacle to keep the right wing nuts and that hard core base happy, or he is to the core cruel and disgusting. >> or both. >> or both. >> you mayi be dealing with someone who needs distractions because he knows what we don't know about what mueller may calm -- come up. and he might just be that cynically wicked. >> here's what's at stake here.
when we were doing the circus on the last run, we were down on the border, alex wagner and steve schmidt were talking to a border patrol guy saying, here's the problem. america is a beacon. we have the beacon on. the beacon draws people here. how do we deal with that? do we really want to turn off the beacon? jeff sessions, donald trump have set out an explicit, particular, intentional way to shut the beacon off. that's what is at stake here. it's not just the lives of these children that are obviously at stake, but that's what this fight's about right now to go back to the very top of the conversation. it's about is america still the beacon or is it not the beacon? that's the war we've got to win because as soon as we shut the beacon off, we are not the same country as we were before. >> and all those children down there. after the break, so much love for dictators. what gives? once again, we'll go inside donald trump's head and try to understand his attraction to autocratic leaders.
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on how to deal with natural gas and electric emergencies. everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. he's the head of a country, and i mean he is the strong head. >> mm-hmm. >> don't let anyone think anything different. he speaks, and his people sit up at attention. i want my people to do the same. >> that was trump on kim jong-un this morning. you just can't make this stuff up. he says he was kidding. he seems to be doing a lot of that lately. while in singapore, "the washington post" reports that at one point after watching north korean television, which is entirely state-run, of course, the president talked about how positive the female north korean news anchor was toward kim
according to two people familiar with his remarks. he joked that even the administration-friendly fox news was not quite as lavish in its praise as the state tv anchor, one of the people added, and that maybe she should get a job on u.s. television instead. watch out ainsley earhardt. >> it wasn't enough that the president went to the singapore summit and expressed mere a admiration for the most brutal dictator on planet earth. he now comes back and supposingly jokingly expresses aspirational envy. if only i had that kind of a reaction. you can say you're kidding about it, but like what normal person, let alone a president of the united states, thinks that would be a funny thing to say unless you really somehow deep down -- that's actually what you want? >> it is very, very revealing. and for those of us that have had to deal with him for years, it's not surprising. >> and it's not a joke, right? >> it's not a joke. he admires tough guys.
who else would sit up among proper company and say a guy like roy cohen was my mentor? this is a guy who represented thugs and the mob. so i mean he is the kind of guy that has always admired this. kim is the ultimate in that. but he's talked that way about putin. and anyone that shows humanity and morality and care, they are weaklings. >> and what he wants from his people is obedience and oh baesance. >> and to sit up when he's talking. >> he wants for people to see him as a tough leader. the number of times that toughness was emphasized and the way that people saluted, it's all there. you don't even need to interpret it. it's right there. >> it's hiding in plain sight. >> the problem is this man who loves strong dictators also happens to be the most powerful person in the world. so the effect of that is appeasement. we have these republican senators. we have these cabinet officers who have to know better, right?
but they try to appease him. you don't play nice with a dictator. all that does is drag you down. >> let me give you the last word on this idea of disparagement of our allies who share our values of democracy and freedom and this affinity, this attraction, almost physical attraction to duterte, to putin, to kim. what's it about? it's gross. >> it's repulsive and disgusting, and it's this -- i mean i'm not the right person to make this point. but in the kind of toxic culture of toxic masculinity, he's like the apogee of that. >> isn't it the weakest trait of all to like dominance? it's the least masculine. >> it's always the weakest men. >> right. >> who put on the toughest guy costumes. >> and the most insecure man, which is why trudeau -- >> bow before me. >> which is why trudeau is a threat to everything he is. >> the ones with the smallest
hands. before we get into trouble, elevate us. >> i don't know how to elevate from that. >> you got nothing. all right. it's a friday. nowhere to go after small hands except to chuck todd. my thanks to the panel. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. i'll see you back here monday for "deadline: whitehouse" at 4:00 p.m. manafort goes to jail. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. tonight president trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort, is in federal custody and will spend the remainder of his days pending trial in jail. already facing multiple counts of bank fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering, paul manafort arrived at a d.c. courthouse this morning pleading not guilty to new federal charges of witness tampering.