my thanks to peter baker, john heilemann and others. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> thank you, nicolle. if it's wednesday, we're all atwitter about obstruction. tonight, president trump tweets for his attorney general to end the russia investigation. did the president just hand robert mueller an obstruction of justice case? >> it's not an order, it's the president's opinion. >> plus tailormade trial. the special counsel is working to unravel paul manafort's defense, highlighting a lavish lifestyle and closets full of designer suits. and trump versus the blue wave.
the president is making every midterm race about him. >> trump! >> will it pay off for the party in november? this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. well, good evening to you. i'm chuck todd here in washington. welcome to "mtp daily." if the president of the united states summoned his attorney general to the oval office and said, attorney general jeff sessions you should stop this rigged witch hunt right now before it contains to stain our country any further, that would be a bombshell story because it would arguably be evidence of an intent to obstruct justice and many cabinet officials would interpret that statement as an order, regardless of whether or not the order was carried out. well, today the president told the attorney general in plain view, mind you, attorney general jeff sessions should stop this
rigged witch hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further. so let that all sink in a minute. the president just publicly told his attorney general that he should stop, emphasis on should, a criminal investigation that has implicated the president himself. remember, he is a subject of this. his campaign chief, his campaign chief's top deputy, his campaign advisers, his business, his son, his son-in-law, all just to name a few. here's the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, this afternoon suggesting that the president was not trying to obstruct the investigation. he was just complaining about it. >> it's an opinion. and he used his -- he used a medium that he uses for opinions, twitter. one of the good things about using that is he's established a clear sort of practice now that he expresses his opinions on twitter. he used the word "should." he didn't use the word "must" and there was no presidential
directive that followed it. he didn't direct him to do it and he's not going to direct him to do it. >> that's what giuliani has to do now, parse presidential tweets. he also argued if the president wanted to obstruct the investigation, he's simply shut it down. >> if he wanted to obstruct it, he'd obstruct it. he could just end it. the best proof is in the pudding. he didn't obstruct the investigation. it's been going on for a year and a half. they have talked to every witness they want to. we haven't exerted executive privilege and they have gotten every single last document, 1.4 million they wanted. >> all of this comes after the president has explicitly been warned through reporting in "the new york times" that bob mueller is actually examining all of these tweets that the president has shot around the last two years as possible evidence of obstruction. and it also comes as the president's legal team has told us that they will not let him sit for an interview with mueller if he asks about potential obstruction. it also, of course, comes amid a frenzy of developments in the
mueller investigation, like paul manafort's criminal trial getting under way, which many experts say does not look good for manafort and, oh by the way, that's just day two of that trial. so what the heck is going on right now? remember, the president's legal team basically argued a few days ago no one would be crazy enough to obstruct justice in plain sight. >> obstruction happens this way. hey. it doesn't happen by -- he has a 80 million followers? >> he's got a lot. >> you've got to give rudy giuliani credit. he sort of -- at least he emotes. so is a crime like the intent to obstruct justice any less criminal if there's evidence it's happening in plain view? why don't we ask an expert on this, mimi rocah is former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. she joins our all-star panel of susan page, michael steele, msnbc political analyst and of course a former rnc chairman and
howard fineman, an nbc news analyst who spent his tuesday in judge ellis' courtroom marveling at paul manafort's wardrobe. anyway, mimi, let me start with you. define obstruction of justice and is it something that has to be done in secret for it to be a crime? >> sure, chuck. i want to answer the second part first. it does not have to be done in secret. the definition of obstruction of justice, there are different prongs of it, depending on whether you're trying to interfere with witnesses or tamper with evidence. it's basically trying to impede an investigation corruptly, with corrupt intent, which simply could mean you're trying to stop an investigation because you don't like that that investigation is zeroing in on you or your close friends, so it can't be -- it has to be for a bad purpose and those would be bad purposes. and that's why this tweet right now looks so incriminating because what's happening -- >> you believe it's very
incriminating? you have said you thought this was obstruction in plain sight? >> i would say it's a good piece of evidence of obstruction in plain sight. and here's why the plain sight part doesn't matter. take what he wrote in the tweet, put it in a text to a close confidant and assume -- let's pretend the government found that text and read it. would it look like evidence of obstruction? i think here what we're saying, as you said, i mean you said it perfectly. if he called sessions into his office and told him to fire him or if he wrote what he thought was a secret e-mail to sessions saying you should end this investigation, that would look really bad. and should versus must? that's what giuliani -- that's what this is going to come down to? that shows the weakness of where their argument is. >> let me play sarah sanders' response here for the panel. she too -- they clearly -- they clearly colluded on the idea that twir tter is now an opinio page for the president. take a listen.
>> look, the president is not obstructing, he's fighting back. the president is stating his opinion. he's stating is clearly and he is certainly expressing the frustration that he has with the level of corruption that we've seen from people like jim comey, peter strzok, andrew mccabe. there's a reason that the president is angry and, frankly, most of america is angry as well, and there's no reason he shouldn't be able to voice that opinion. >> howard fineman, is this a new level of -- look, it's a new explanation on twitter they have all come up -- usually it's the tweet speaks for itself. today she decided, no, she has to explain what the tweet because if you let the tweet speak for yourself, it may speak obstruction. >> well, their defense is essentially that they're politicizing this whole process even more. they're doubling down on the notion that the contest between the president and bob mueller is not an investigative legal proceeding, it's a political campaign. and they're defending the tweet in the sense that it was
politics. >> he's running against him for office. >> he's as though he's running against him for office. sitting in that courtroom yesterday, i realized that everything that happens in that courtroom is the exact opposite of donald trump's mentality. in the courtroom, you can find truth. you do have procedure, you do have respect for the law. it's not a political campaign. everything he's doing here is a political campaign. and by the way, it's not not working. it's not not working. >> mimi, i'm curious, so rudy giuliani said if he wanted to obstruct, he'd obstruct, he's just end the investigation. if -- can you still be accused of obstructing justice if you say, no, no, no, no, i'm not trying to end the investigation. but maybe i'm disrupting it. maybe i'm trying to make it harder. can you still make an obstruction case? >> yes is the short answer. i mean i think it depends which of his many tweets we're looking at. so some of the earlier tweets,
you know, going back months seem to be trying to almost pressure certain witnesses. you know, there were tweets that he didn't want people to sort of -- it seemed like he was trying to get people to not be cooperative with the special counsel. now this seems more about trying to get it to end. and, you know, the idea that he can just end it any time, yes, i guess that's true. but even trump knows that that would cause quite a political storm and he's trying to get somebody else to do is dirty work for him. that's the way i look at it. >> i was just going to say, mimi, could you actually say the president, as leader of his political movement, is sending a signal to all his supporters, hey, harass jeff sessions. harass jeff sessions. he has the power here to stop this investigation. >> exactly. >> is that evidence of obstruction, if he's trying to rally political supporters to essentially harass jeff sessions
to do this or get matt gates or mark meadows from the house to continue on this path. could you make that an obstruction case? >> yes. and again, this is not standing alone, right? it's going to be a piece of evidence together with many other tweets, many other statements and the actual acts that he did. remember what just is starting to come out now, that when he fired comey, it sounds like his close associates have told mueller that he knew flynn was under investigation, something he has denied. that could be a very strong part of an obstruction case. so you don't have to look at each act individually. a prosecutor would look at them altogether. >> well, jeff sessions spoke today. here's -- it seems to us he was sort of responding to the president's tweet. take a listen, susan. >> the day i was sworn in as attorney general, the president, president trump, sent me a clear order. he can send out orders pretty
quick when he's serious about it, we salute, but this is one that i really embraced, i tell you. he told me, quote, reduce crime in america. didn't tell us exactly what to do, but reduce crime. >> we think that was the attorney general's way of sort of responding to this morning. and he's always had a weird deflective nature to these tweets. >> but jeff sessions is not the attorney general we thought we were getting when he was named. he's been more interesting, he's been more willing to stand up to the president than we thought. >> more protective of that institution. >> that's right. that's been more interesting and a lesson to us all not to judge. if the president had a legal strategy, you would not have rudy giuliani out there speaking to you. he has a political strategy that's designed to convince his supporters that whatever mueller finds about him, they should disregard. >> michael. >> well, yeah, that's the goal. but at the end of the day, what
does that goal really amount to because mueller's findings will be mueller's findings. so you can jump up and down, set your hair on fire and scream how tainted it is. facts are a terrible, difficult thing to get around sometimes. and that's what this president is trying to buffer himself against, the facts. the fact that he had so many of his comrades in arm already linked into this spider web that's being weaved by mueller, and this is the same crew trying to define collusion, all these things, lost their minds when bill clinton tried to redefine the word "is." so it's not believable. it's clearly political theater to say, hey, mr. president, we're with you, but mueller at the end of the day holds every card in this thing. >> mimi, i want you to assess if you think al capone or paul manafort is getting mistreated worse by the federal government. this is the president's tweet today.
looking back on history, who was treated worse, alfonse capone, legendary mob boss, killer and public enemy number one or paul manafort, political operative and reagan/dole darling, now serving solitary confinement, although convicted of nothing. where is the russian collusion? the president has gone back and forth on whether to be nice to manafort or distance himself from manafort. today it was be nice to him. he fears a lot about this trial. what we're not 100% sure of yet. >> right. what he fears is probably not going to come out in this trial because ironically, even though the president keeps talking about manafort, the government is prohibited from talking about any links to russian collusion with manafort, even though they very well may know them that they exist but they're not allowed to talk about them in this trial. for the president to say where's the collusion is just a joke. and the al capone reference is
very interesting because of course he was taken down by tax fraud acti fraud, even though nathat was n the only crime that he committed. that was what they got him on and that may be the case here. >> i don't know if the president wants to go down the tax return trail. >> i've known and covered manafort longer than i actually want to admit, but probably more than 30 years. and i looked at him very closely in the courtroom yesterday. he's 69. he's trying to put on a very strong and brave face. he very much participated in the jury selection process. he's a detail guy, which is significant, because his defense is going to argue that he didn't know anything that was going none his own business. i watched him doing that very carefully. and i think if donald trump, even though it's not on television, donald trump's got to be worried that paul
manafort, at this age and station, if he's facing a long jail sentence, and they threw the book at him just in this tax and fraud case, is going to want to -- is going to want to flip. and i think the president is calculating now, number one, whether -- when he can pardon manafort. if. if and. when and if and when he can fire or somehow get mueller off the case. and i think he's looking to see after the rally last night, after the rally last night where he was absorbing all the fan love, whether he's got the power and the timing to do it. >> you're right, i can just picture a guilty plea on monday. pardon tuesday. tweet storm on wednesday. mimi rocah, i'll let you go. much appreciate it. thank you for your expertise. susan, michael and howard are penalized and stuck with me for the rest of the hour. we are only two days into the trial. as you heard, things are already
looking pretty tough for paul manafort. we'll go live to the courthouse in northern virginia for the highlights from today's testimony. ♪ a hotel can make or break a trip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts on select hotels right until the day you leave. ♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip. only when you book with expedia.
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and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec® and muddle no more®. new laptop with 24/7 tech support. yep, thanks guys. i think he might need some support. yes start them off right. with the school supplies they need at low prices all summer long. save $200 on this dell laptop at office depot officemax. welcome back. it's day two of the trial of president trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort. so with everything that's going on, let's not lose sight of this fact. the man who ran the president's campaign is on trial. true, this trial is about paul manafort's work for russian friendly ukrainians, not the 2016 campaign, but it is the first trial resulting from the special counsel's investigation. and, wow, is this trial moving pretty quickly. the prosecution spent today telling the jury about manafort's lavish lifestyle. that he paid for in an unusual
way. he would buy his fancy suits with international wire transfers. not credit card, not diners club, not paypal, not cash. you know, wire transfers from your normal international institutio institutions. nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian joins me from outside the court house. ken, i believe we have recessed for the day so the good news is you don't have to run back into the courtroom. >> correct. >> it seems as if it was a battle of the prosecution trying to paint a very lavish and elite lifestyle of paul manafort while a judge was trying to convince them not to do that. help me out. >> that was part of it. yeah, that was part of it certainly, chuck. this judge, t.s. ellis, is trying to restrain the prosecutors from graphically illustrating of just how lavish and strextravagant paul manafor lifestyle was. he tells them he is not on trial
for being rich or spending lavishly, you've got to show the relevance. but they did bring in a series of vendsors. paul manafort spent more than a million dollars on suits over like a four-year period. from two custom makers, one in beverly hills. there was testimony that he bought a house for his daughter for $2 million. $3 million in improvements on his hampton properties for a home improvement contractor. all of this was paid for by wire transfers from an account in cyprus that prosecutors are going to allege later was parked there to avoid u.s. taxes. >> let me stop you right there. that is the important fact here. it's how he paid for all of this. it's not that he bought all of this, it's how he paid for it. >> that's right. >> the transaction he used, a wire transfer. anyway, go ahead, ken. >> absolutely. because, look, in theory he should have been able to afford all of this stuff anyway.
he was paid $60 million, or his firm was, for his work for this ukrainian politician. what prosecutors are saying is he was so greedy, he still had to avoid american taxes on this. here's another important thing that we learned from today, chuck. all of these witnesses were asked by the prosecutors, do you know who rick gates is? and they all said no. unless they have heard of him in the news. the point the prosecutors made was while the defense was trying to say that rick gates was behind this illegal conduct and they're going to blame rick gates, that's essentially their defense, each of their witnesses said they never heard of rick gates, he had nothing to do with these transactions. paul manafort paid these bills with money from cyprus. it's not clear because the prosecutors won't talk to us whether they're tailored their case to respond to this defense of hail mary trying to blame rick gates but that's certainly what's happening. and now we don't know if rick gates is going to testify because one of the prosecutors raised the possibility that he may not testify at the end of the day. >> the evidence that was presented today, yes, you had
people on the stand, but it was a lot of paper that was presented to the jury today, right, which seems to indicate you may not need rick gates for this. they may have him just with ledger sheets. >> i think that's a very important point. yes, each of these witnesses were used to enter into evidence documents, invoices, e-mails, describing payments of the aand government indicted paul manafort and rick gates together so they are prepared to go to trial and convict both of these men. gates was gravy, he flipped, he turned state's evidence. it would be nice to have gates to walk through this. and they may need him in the d.c. trial because that's failure to register as a foreign lobbyist. but it's not clear that they need him in this case. >> and it's very possible they don't want manafort's lawyers beating up gates in this trial, which would then harm him a little bit for the next one. let me ask you a final question, another lecture that the prosecution got today from the
judge on the use of the word "oligarch." explain. >> yes. judge t.s. ellis makes a lot of these proceedings about him. he's been on the bench since the reagan administration and he went through a whole discourse about how the word "oligarch" is pejorative and possibly you could call high school principal an oligarch in some certain sense and the prosecutors shouldn't use it. they replied judge, we're not using it, witnesses are using it to describe some of these ukrainian funders. but at the end of the day the judge is the judge and the prosecutors surrendered. >> what are they using, extraordinarily wealthy russians who got their money from vladimir putin's government? do you just say it like that? >> the judge is proposing to use the word funders. >> well, that's no fun. anyway, ken dilanian, just two days down. prosecution still calling witnesses tomorrow, we assume?
>> they are. we're going to hear from some bookkeepers and accountants. they actually told us today they may be ready to rest their case by next week. this trial is moving must faster than we anticipated, chuck. could be finished in two and a half weeks. >> well, it's the rocket docket. that's its nickname, so all of our experts tell us. ken dilanian, thank you, sir. up ahead, president trump's unbelievable florida rally. really. much of what he said last night was not to be believed. >> you know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. you need i.d. ♪ dear foremothers, your society was led by a woman, who governed thousands... ...commanded armies... ...yielded to no one. when i found you in my dna, i learned where my strength comes from. my name is courtney mckinney, and this is my ancestrydna story. now with 2 times more geographic detail than other dna tests.
welcome back. tonight i'm obsessed with how we're no longer obsessed over the things president trump says. is that a good thing or a bad thing? we've already talked about the president's tweet today that attorney general jeff sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further. well, imagine the outrage among republicans if barack obama had said something like that about benghazi or if george w. bush said something like that about torture of iraqi prisoners. are we being conditioned to not be outraged by outrageousness by this president anymore? last night president trump gave a speech in tampa. how is there not folks up in arms by this absurdity? >> democrat party, they want to
abolish i.c.e. in other words, they want to let ms-13 rule our country. that's not going to happen. >> or there was this sort of fantasy, if you call it. >> remember the attack on merry christmas? they're not attacking it anymore. everyone is happy to say merry christmas. right? and that's because -- only because of our campaign. >> literally bill o'reilly invented that controversy. it does not exist. how about this dishonesty. >> fake news, fake news. they are fake. >> look, you may say you're exhausted from the outrage and we get it. but when you ignore this, you get this.
>> and this kind of unfocused visceral anger at the other side of really neutral people like folks in the press corps, it can lead to this. look, according to today's "washington post" president trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days in office. that's an average of 7.6 a day. this is not normal. we shouldn't be in the business of just shruging our shoulders and normalizing it. we'll be right back. alright, i brought in new max protein
rhetoric that the president throws out to his supporters. >> are you willing to take his word for it, whoever trump says to vote for, you vote for. >> i do. anything he says. he hasn't -- everything he says is true. it comes true. >> trump is a genius. put your mind -- his mind and my mind together, we don't match trump's brain. the man's a genius and he's cut from a different cloth, a different material. >> well, there you go. with me now from orlando is nbc news political reporter ali vitali who was at last night's rally, spoke with those trump supporters. during the 2016 campaign was in that pen quite a bit, as they call that press pen there. ali joins our roundtable of susan, michael and howard. so, ali, first just give us a taste of that rally last night. it just seemed a little rowdier than we've seen a trump rally in a while. >> i think that's a pretty fair assessment, chuck. i have a really high tolerance
of these rallies after being at hundreds and hundreds of them and even i was pretty stunned last night as i was standing in the press pen watching these folks go after jim acosta and try to screw up the cnn live shot. the thing that's stunning to me is they were doing that even before the president got on stage so it's not like they were being egged on. it was more a matter of they felt this was the thing they wanted to do. i also think that in the course of talking to several voters who were there last night, i asked them point blank when you hear the president talk about fake news or the media being the enemy of the people, they all told me, yes, that's true. one man summed it up so perfectly and he said it's because they're saying things that i don't believe. it's not even a matter of fact anymore. anything that goes against what they believe in president trump or what they believe themselves is suddenly fake to them. >> was it rowdy for rowdy sake or shall we say did we have the too many open concession stands last night? >> i didn't see anything like that there. but i will say i've seen this
kind of across the country. it does depend where you are, but people here obviously were very in the pocket of the president and they wanted to show that they supported him. i think they see this war on the media as one way that they can show trump that they're there to have his back against people who they feel are constantly maligning him every day on the air waves. >> well, let me play for you sarah sanders, play this for the panel here. here's how she responded to a question about it where when you listen to her answer, i want you to ask yourself this. is she condoning verbal abuse of the press? take a listen. >> this is a two-way street. we certainly support a free press. we certainly condemn violence against anybody. but we also ask that people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly. >> no one was being violent last night in terms of hitting anybody and no broadcaster was broadcasting state secrets. they were trying to do stand-ups at a public rally and you had
people trying to yell over them, prevent them from doing their jobs and yelling that their network sucks on live tv. do you support that or not. >> while we support freedom of the press, we support freedom of speech and think that those things go hand in hand. >> again, i presenting it to the three of you. she didn't use the phrase. sounds like she's condoning verbal abuse. >> she's not saying it's a bad thing. she didn't say the president wished they hadn't done that. you know, i think this is the same phenomenon we see with his tweets toward robert mueller. i think this is an effort to undermine faith in the institutions that could hold the president accountable down the road so that when the press does stories that are critical of the president or they expose malfeasance by the administration, that they just won't be believed by his followers. >> the press has become othered by -- in trump world. >> in many respects, that's very true. and it is the place where he likes to keep the press, because that way it's impersonal. it's one of those things --
>> dehumanize them. >> dehumanize them, it's a generic wash, it applies to everyone who has journalist as part of their background or media. but let's be clear here. all of this craziness stops if one man says stop. so we sit here and we want to parse it and try to intellectualize it and understand it and psychoanalyze this, this is trump's creation. and whatever comes of it rests on his head. no one else's. you can't blame the people in that audience. you can point fingers at them and say you shouldn't have done that, you shouldn't have gone after that reporter. but this rests on the man who perpetuates it and allows it to happen in his presence. >> howard, it does feel like -- just remember, as candidate, he said the following. i love the old days. you know, what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this. they'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. that's candidate trump. >> when i was covering rallies
of donald trump in 2015 and 2016, i felt at times he was dangling that dangerous possibility out there. but in a way that he could still drawback from it. what sarah sanders said today, i guarantee you is one-third of what donald trump must have said to her in the oval office. in other words, i think he was probably even harsher than she was right there. what she's essentially saying is, hey, you ask me tough questions that i consider to be unfair here in the white house. that's what you're going to get out there. susan is absolutely right and you're right. this is part of the campaign by donald trump to measure the intensity of his support in places like tampa. the dislike of the press within his group, to see what he can get away with when it comes to the question, again i say, of shutting down mueller or pardoning manafort and gates.
that's what he's sitting there calculating right now. and this rally last night was his way of gathering strength to see when he can pull that off. i'm convinced that's what he's thinking. >> ali, you've been through a lot of these and i know only a handful of times have you ever expressed your concern for your personal safety. were you at that point last night or no? >> i mean i was not at that point last night, but that's only because there was no one physically threatening me. i have been in those situations where i have felt threatened before. but the point i want to circle back to and the thing that is the most potentially dangerous to me is that when you guys talk about this being devoid of the humanity, it's like the faceless media. most people are okay with going against a person that they don't know. but i even had folks saying to me last night, one of the women i was talking to, jim is bad at his job but you're very professional.
so then delineate between the point of cnn sucks and talking to an independent reporter who's just standing in front of them asking them questions at a rally. >> i was wondering because the other experience i know you've had and i hope you share with viewers, the president will do this rally and beat the living day lights of the press and see the jeers come in. and then there's the whispers, hey, by the way, i respect what you do. did you get some of that last night? >> actually, no. >> welcome to tampa, i guess. >> they were not willing to say good job, by the way, so no. >> and by the way, the president has only begun to fan the be bellows on this this fall. he's trotting this amped-up version of it out and it's going to be major all the way through the fall, even more than you saw in the 2016 campaign. >> you know, i spoke to a class of army folks, young officers in the army last week, and i always thank them for their service. two of them thanked me for my
service. >> i had that by somebody and it totally threw me off. whoa, whoa, whoa, you put yourself in harm's way. no, you are too. i hope not, frankly. >> that is striking to me that there are americans who see this as -- americans who are not journalists who see this as threatening. >> he's effectively declared war on journalists in this country. he's made them the scapegoat for all of his shortcomings and failings and it's an easy target to go after because, again, you represent a broader piece of a narrative that he can go after. >> the fact that you think, and i think there's a lot to what you say, that the president has concluded that we're an easy target is in and of itself a sea change. i'm old enough -- >> we don't have a political party to defend ourselves. we're a neutral entity. >> even richard nixon, who was out after the press, in many ways did it through subterfuge and secret through the irs, not always in public and not as part of a open, front and center
political strategy the way this is. >> spiro agnew. but those were gentle. that was gentle. that sounds mild. ali vitali, thank you for sharing. i know it's uncomfortable to talk about yourself as a story. but thank you for your professionalism and for the way you represent nbc news out there. >> thanks, chuck. >> you got it. all right. one more segment, panel, much appreciate it. up ahead, welcome to august. it's the final primary stretch. wait until you see the loaded primary calendar we have ahead for you for the next four tuesdays. ♪ this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
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>> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ welcome back. tonight in meet the midterms, we're in the home stretch of primary season. august is not a sleepy month. august marks the last big month for primaries. there are five election days this month. starting tomorrow tennessee thinks thursday should be election day. nine states are holding august primaries, tennessee, kansas, susan page's home state, michigan, washington, hawaii, minnesota, wisconsin, arizona and florida. it's those last ones that we're watching the closest. wisconsin's august 14th primary features a tight republican primary. the winner gets the chance to take on tammy baldwin and our latest poll shows baldwin up double digits. on august 28th, it's establishment versus outsider versus extreme outsider in
arizona. the establishment's choice is hoping to come out on top ahead of kelli ward the official outsider and pardoned ex-sheriff joe arpaio, the extreme outsider. august 28th is also the big day in the governor's race for both parties in the state of florida. the democratic side, gwen graham is trying to hold off three men. tallahassee mayor andrew gilham, phil levine and jeff greene. and ron de santis appears to be writing his trump endorsement to the republican endorsement against lifetime candidate for governor, adam putnam. by the end of this month, we'll have a pretty good idea of what the midterm slate will look like in november. boy, though, there are some exciting primaries to follow until then. back with more "mtp daily" after this. ♪
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panel is back, susan, michael, howard. okay, you devisguys, other than quick little mastnafort shoutou you didn't get a chance to weigh in. this is a a fast-moving trial, feels like this is -- i feel like we're watching a pre-season football game and we're sort of getting a taste of what's to come. >> this is not a trial that's about obstruction of justice, not about the russia interference allegations but it sets the stage for what's going to follow. if robert mueller in his first trial gets an easy win against donald trump's former campaign chairman that makes it harder and harder to call his inquiry a witch hunt. >> people forget here that -- some people thought the charges were what was going to squeeze manafort. it's the conviction that mueller wants to do, it seems like, to squeeze manafort. >> that's right. that's what susan is saying. and i agree with that. which is why i don't think it's a pre-season game. it's more like the regular --
the opening day. >> not the playoffs yet, but regular season. >> it's opening day without the bunting, in both senses of the word. so i was watching everything very carefully, including the prosecution team. it's very interesting, because it's in the eastern district of virginia, the irascible famous judge, judge ellis, wanted somebody who had practiced before him to be the lead attorney. so it wasn't mueller's team, per se. >> oh, interesting. >> it was the local guy from the eastern district. and that showed shrewdness on the part of mueller and his team. >> you know, if that's what the judge wants, then give the judge what he wants. >> yeah. and then also they have so many charges across tax and banking and so forth. my sense of juries having covered a lot of trials is they will find a few. there's multiple, multiple, multiple charges. they're not going to buy everything the prosecution is going to lay out there.
but the chances of paul manafort getting off scott free are extremely low, extremely low. they've got a paper trail a mile long. >> how mad do you get, michael, when you watch somebody and find out that guy got away without paying taxes? nothing to do with how much it was, ten bucks or ten thousand. >> that's where this gets really interesting for a lot of folks as they watch this narrative unfold. the one thing, going with your football, opening day analogy. >> he went to baseball too. he went all over. >> is the optics of it. and that's the one that i think that donald trump can't control here is the images of the court. you know, we don't have tv inside the courtroom. so the narrative coming out of the courtroom he can't control. the optics from what's being drawn and the artist sketches can't be controlled. and so mueller has a keen -- i think a keen advantage here in laying out the case in a way all he needs is one conviction on the 18 to 20 or whatever charges are before him. he doesn't need all 18.
that's where he scores. >> howard, why are you so convips convico convinced a pardon is coming for manafort? >> let's assume the prosecution is good enough to get a couple charges here, you're talking five to ten years on any one of the charges. manafort will appeal, play for time as much as he can. they'll look for technical errors. we'll go to the further circuit. then it goes to the supreme court. my question is, when does donald trump think that he has -- i have no doubt in my miebd mind, and from people i know who talked to him that he wants to pardon manafort and wants to get rid of mueller. it's not a question of whether, it's a question of when. >> his other problem is a pardon may not work. >> it's not going to work on federal -- it will work on
federal charges, but not on state charges. >> it also doesn't get you out of testifying. >> yeah. but he'll refuse to testify. >> not after a pardon. >> my point is, that donald trump has absolutely no regard for the rule of law, for the procedures of the courts, for any of the things that he spent his whole career rolling over in new york as a real estate guy. and he views it, he does view it as political. and he will roll over it any way he possibly can. >> even as a political matter, i think there are lines that donald trump may be very reluctant to cross. and getting rid of bob mueller, i think, is one of those that really risks the reaction we have not yet seen from republicans on -- >> senate republicans today did not like to answer the question about the tweet today. imagine if he actually fired him. >> we have spent two years or more positing every time the republicans are going to finally say, oh my god, donald trump,
that we thought it would happen at the beginning. mitch mcconnell said it would happen at the beginning. when's it going to happen? >> it's a fair point. it is possible to cross a red line. >> everybody's red line is in a different spot. >> but it's still red. >> yes, it is, well said. thank you all three. up ahead, beware, the honey badger, vicious, and litigious. -welcome. -[ gasps ] a bigger room?! -how many of you use car insurance? -oh. -well, what if i showed you this? -[ laughing ] ho-ho-ho! -wow. -it's a computer. -we compare rates to help you get the price and coverage that's right for you. -that's amazing! the only thing that would make this better is if my mom were here. what?! an unexpected ending!
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well, in case you missed it, apparently honey badger does care. remember this viral video from 2011? >> this is the honey badger. watch it run in slow motion. it's got a snake. oh, it's chasing a jackal. oh, my gosh. the honey badgers are just cra s. it's got a cobra. oh, it runs backwards. watch this, look, a snake's up in the tree. honey badger just takes what it wants. >> oh, honey badger, 87 million views, people. that one tube video gave birth to an entire cottage industry, t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers. there's a honey badger book. there was supposed to be a honey badger show too. nobody cared. you know what honey badger does care about, apparently royalties. the video creator is suing
papirus which made this greeting card, and an appeals court said the lawsuit can go forward reversing a lower court's decision. see how it plays out. be warned, you'll be well advised not to mess with honey badger. ho how do i know? a little bird told me. >> watch out says that bird. >> that's all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow if honey badger lets me with more "mtp daily." >> it sounds like when it comes to copy right law, honey badger do care. >> there you go. >> there you go. as you and i know, it was a big steve bannon saying as well. >> that, and a defensive back for lsu. go figure. >> culture brings everyone together, even for the smallest moments. i will tell you on "the beat," we have a big show tonight, donald trump coming to paul manafort's explicit