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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  August 6, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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for the day. the dow is up about 30 points. the s&p and nasdaq also up. and a quick update also for you at the top of the hour. we reported that rick gates was expected to take the stand next in the paul manafort trial this afternoon. however, the prosecution called paula list to the stand instead. we do still expect gates to testify. that does it for me this hour. "deadline white house" with my friend nicolle wallace starts right now. /s >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. it it's a presidential tweet that may amount to a smoking gun into the investigation whether donald trump, jr. conspired with the russians to impact the 2016 election and whether the president's aides obstructed justice when they lied about the trump tower meeting being about adoption. with the presidential interview special counsel robert mueller up in the air, president trump is doing his best to answer as many of robert mueller's questions on twitter as possible. tweeting a confirmation that his
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son did indeed meet with russians to get dirt on hillary clinton. president writing, quote, this was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics -- and it went nowhere. i did not know about it. "the new york times" fact checks that for us writing, it is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government. the president and his son have maintained that the campaign did not ultimately receive any damaging materials about mrs. clinton as a result of the meeting. but some legal experts contend that by simply sitting for the meeting, donald trump, jr. broke the law. aside from being illegal, the president is also wrong about such meetings being done all the time in politics. they are not. but his tweet signals growing panic from the president himself and there may very well be ample cause for his concern. a source close to the trump legal effort tells me today that the president's conduct since the trump tower meeting, his efforts to cover up the real purpose of the meeting and conversations he has had with white house aides about it point
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to an increasing likelihood the president could be vulnerable to charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. it also brings back into focus the ongoing legal jeopardy facing all of the individuals who have testified to robert mueller about the crafting of the original false statement and any conversations they may have had with the president about their testimony. with all this in mind, we wondered what did hope hicks and the president talk about on the plane this weekend? joining us to discuss that and all the day's developments, some of our favorite friends and reporters. msnbc national security analyst figliuzzi, former assistant director for counter intelligence at the fbi. aaron blake, senior political reporter for the washington post and here at the table anita kumar white house correspondent for mcclatchy and nbc and msnbc news analyst john heilman. thank you for anchoring thursday and friday. >> it was my pleasure. you have the best audience in the business. they are so, great audience, great guests and great staff. the staff on the show, so top
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notch. >> i love all the love for you. i'm going to start, though, with you, frank figliuzzi. this source close to the trump legal team and still in contact with members of it past and current telling me that the president's conduct and the fact that he's thrusting this trump tower meeting the lies told about it, the actual genesis of it back into the spotlight suggests that he may have some increasing awareness either conscious or subconscious of his own legal jeopardy. >> yeah, something, something's particularly got under his skin over the last few days, nicolle. and while we'd be engaging in conjecture, i think it's more than just media coverage of this. i think there is something else going on here. he may sense or even have information that perhaps don junior is criminally exposed and looking at a target letter or some form of grand jury proceeding. it may be that he's heard something about cohen and the veracity of cohen's assertion about the trump tower meeting, and that the president knew
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about it. something directly has him spooked. but it's caused him to make a tactical error, which is to come out and essentially throw his son and his son-in-law under the bus and say, yes, they were there to get dirt on hillary clinton. >> okay. joining jared and his son under the bus was jay sekulow, one of his last remaining tv lawyers other than rudy giuliani who may just have the tv part of that job. let's look at his statements now rendered as someone who has been on both sides of the question about what the president knew about the trump tower meeting. >> when you look at a meeting -- when you look at a meeting, george, that took place a year before, now two years ago, the question is what law, statute, rule or regulation has been violated. no one has pointed to one. >> they pointed to "olympic zone" spir si to dee frautd the united states. that would be one possible charge. aiding and abetting a conspiracy. >> do you buy that's a serious risk for donald trump, jr. and jared, frank?
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>> let me tell you, jay sekulow is telling me he doesn't know ed if raleigh alexis campaign laws, president trump has more of a problem than we realize. of course it is against the law. there is a conspiracy aspect even though it didn't happen. we have communication from don junior saying, i love it, in response to there's dirt on hillary and he shows up for the meeting, there's a legal problem to that. sekulow is just in another planet at this point. >> let me ask you about someone else who may wish he's on another planet. the theory was posited to me that hope hicks, between the time that she was known to have gone before mueller's investigators and the time that she ultimately left the white house, may have had a few challenges in the workplace. one, she may have been queried by the president about what she said to robert mueller's investigators. two, she may have been confronted either by mueller's investigators or back channel conversations that her lawyer had with other lawyers, that her accounts weren't necessarily in
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line with those given by other people. i think there were six people. hope hicks, sean spicer, reince priebus, don mcgahn and josh rafael, james berman who was deputy in the counsel's office who were added to bob mueller's list of people he wanted to interview sometime around that period after the statement was crafted aboard air force one. do you think there is any scenario where hope hicks has now offered to cooperate or offered something up to bob mueller if she did, in fact, give some sort of different account or if she did have to call and say that the president had asked her about her testimony? >> the way this usually works, nicolle, is that such a person, a witness is called in and given a shot. look, you've given us information that's inconsistent with what others are telling us. there is a veracity problem here and you're actually facing a violation of usc section 1001 lying to a federal agent. we're going to give you one shot to correct that and cooperate. she either has or she hasn't. the mysterious appearance over the weekend on air force one is a head scratcher to me.
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and i hope that no one is attempting to tammper with this witness because that is a serious federal violation. >> aaron blake, we know from reporting in "the new york times" that the president is being -- and i believe your colleagues have run this down as well, the president is being investigated under beefed up witness tampering law put into effect after enron. there are prosecutors also part of bob mueller's team. this is a real raw nerve for the president, real exposure, area of exposure. >> yeah, this is not the first time that we've gotten a whiff of this kind of thing potentially going on, or at least faced questions about it potentially going on. there were a couple instances back when he was in the white house in which he talked to reince priebus and don mcgahn that there was potentially running into some foul territory here. there are real questions about whether the president just by his public comments, i would add, is really able to separate what he's able to say and do as the subject of an investigation
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and what he's actually supposed to do. so the idea he wouldn't be doing this necessarily behind closed doors is i think a little bit difficult for some people to swallow. now, whether any of that rises to the level of illegality is another question entirely, but certainly he's shown that he's not terribly careful about these, at least by outward appearances. >> and you write today that -- here's the thing. this is a tweet -- this is about the president's tweet yesterday morning. this is a tweet about how the trump tower meeting was totally fine. nothing illegal to see her. if you have no real concern about legal exposure from the meeting why distance yourself from it? has anyone offered you any plausible explanation s to your very astute point there? >> yeah, i think everybody is focusing on the admission that this was in fact about opposition research. what about the fact that in the space of one tweet we have the president both arguing that this is totally much ado about nothing, not illegal at all, oh, and by the way, i wasn't involved in it at all, just in case there was something going on here. there's no reason to separate yourself from something like this if there was nothing wrong about it.
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so the fact that he slipped that in at the end of a tweet about how there was really nothing wrong here, i think belies the actual feelings and what he's being told by his lawyers which is collusion is a crime and this is at least in a very much illegal gray area. >> john, i've heard there was a debate at the time -- the times and the post were calling about this meeting and when that statement was crafted aboard air force one. there were people on the legal team and around it that argued for just going to mueller and telling them the whole story. those people lost. >> yeah. >> the lie was told, that the meeting was about russian adoptions. that was never the case. the president has now krerktcor the record. if you look at scooter libby, look at bill clinton. it is almost always obstruction of justice and perjury that trips people up in special counsel investigations. >> and there is almost always in all of the special counsels that i've covered, there is always a
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cadre within every administration who is making that argument for more disclosure, you know, rip the band aid off, let's get whatever the troubles are get them out as fast as possible. it's going to be better for us in the long run politically and legally, almost always they lose for a variety of reasons. we've heard a lot about this period. we've not heard everything that we're going to hear about that period to this point. but i think the president -- it's an extraordinary thing. and i think it's just worth stepping back for a second and acknowledging what just happened here. the president lies all the time. we know he lies all the time. the lies aren't acceptable. 4,000 whatever he's told in eight months according to these counts. but this lie is a different order of lie. for the president to go on kind of in some kind of a fit over the weekend and basically say, just come straight out and said, you know what? the story i told you, i lied about this and i'm worried about my son. i'm either too dumb or actually don't care, but one way or the other, i am, as frank said, he just threw his son under the
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bus. i mean, the admission of it is an add myths of incredible will law. >> his son can be charged. >> the lie is an historic lie that he told. the admission is a potentially cataclysmic admission for the whole -- this element of the investigation and particularly for his son who his father has basically went on twitter and testified against. >> frank, can you unpack that for us? we stare at those trees. we stare at the tweet as if it's a tree. the forest started as a counter intelligence investigation by the fbi for the bureau you're very, very familiar with. and we now have the president corroborating a fact about why his son went in and met with russians. and i talked to someone who knew a little bit about this meeting and said that they always knew this was a meeting. and in attendance were russians close to the kremlin and with ties to russian government officials. is that potentially more
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evidence that the prosecutors could use, investigators could use against don junior? >> there's no question here. what height of irony for a father's tweet to become exhibit a in evidence against his son. i was joking over the weekend on the air that the folks at twitter should essentially install a pop-up miranda warning on the president's twitter account just saying, hey, you have the right to remain silent. please use your right to remain silent. but yes, indeed. we have potentially evidence in the form of a tweet. and ironically, if the president had come out previously and just said, look, we're new at this, we were voted in because we're from outside washington. we didn't know what we were doing. here's the story. the cover up is always worse than the crime. >> the stupidity defense. it can be deployed and it's plausible. >> but it's too late for that. the president's hubris, his inability to say i screwed up and got it wrong is going to cause his downfall.
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that's where we're headed today. >> hope hicks, the period of time from which we know she went in and testified to robert mueller, questions about whether her testimony was consistent with that of other people, i think we can put their names up. hope hicks, sean spicer, reince priebus, don mcgahn, josh rafael, their names were all submitted to the white house in that period right after that statement was crafted aboard air force one that turned out to be a lie. the president now agreeing that statement was a lie. are you hearing any reporting from your sources about either the role hope hicks may have played in providing information about the conversations the president was prone to have with close aides about what the experience was like in the mueller room? >> i am hearing they pushed back on it. that's not why she was there. they're not going to say that's the reason. the list you have is interesting because most of those people don't work there any more. one thing about president trump is you can leave, but you're still kind of in his orbit.
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>> right. you can check out -- other than pour don mcgahn. don mcgahn is still there. >> you can see this is an interesting time. what you're going to start to see is the president right after this vacation next week is moving straight into campaign mode. >> right. >> he says he might be on the road five, six times a week. white house says maybe a little less. >> got to find five or six candidates. >> hope hicks is going to be out there. sean spicer is already on the road. there's going to be a temptation for him to talk to these people about what happened, what they said, what they didn't say, you know. >> right. >> could you just insert the word irresistible before temptation, that would be -- >> do you have any new reporting whether or not the president is going to sit for an enter rue with robert mueller? >> no, still his attorneys are saying, don't do it. and he still wants to do it. and you can see just from these tweets that he's bursting. >> he's bursting, he has more admissions. we also put together the evolving defense of the trump tower meeting. at some point robert mueller isn't going to need to interview him. he's going to tweet out -- he's
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got all the questions. here's what we have. when "the new york times" broke the story about the trump tower more than a year ago, don junior dismissed it saying it was primarily about an adoption program. that statement drafted, of course, as we've been discussing aboard air force one on the way back from the g20 summit. donald trump admitted on twitter this was a meeting to get information on an opponent. that is one glaring inconsistency. another on whether trump was involved in drafting the statement. jay sekulow said days after the story broke, the president wasn't involved. months later trump's attorneys admitted in a memo sent to robert mueller the president dictated it. on whether trump knew about the trump tower meeting in the first place, the official party line is trump knew nothing about it. that's what donald junior testified to before the senate judiciary committee back in september. of course now nbc news is reporting trump's former fixer michael cohen is prepared to tell robert mueller donald trump did know about the meeting beforehand. let's a lot of flips and flops with the president and his legal
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team which raises a key question on their outstanding claims that nothing came of the direct offer from russian nationals to offer damaging information on hillary. do we still believe that to be true or is that a known unknown? robert mueller has indicted close to two dozen russians. almost everyone in the trump orbit has a lawyer and is either a witness or a subject of an investigation. and it seems like it's a known unknown whether or not they gleaned anything there of value. >> it's 100% a known unknown. we don't know the answer to that question at all. what we know is that from that point forward, from july, august, september, october, with an extraordinary did egree of relentlessness, there were coordinated messages coming out of the kremlin, social media accounts coming out of the kremlin and the trump campaign. without any investigative authority and subpoena power i can tell you -- >> just with google. >> you can see the two of them working hand in glove. >> right. >> so, is there on a circumstantial basis, should we
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accept the notion that nothing came out of that meeting? i think you'd be out of your mind nothing came out of it. we have not proven anything like conspira conspiracy at this point, but if there is nothing there, there is no reason it is not there. if it's there, i'm betting bob mueller is going to be able to prove it. >> frank, give you the last word on this question. how does that look to robert mueller? >> yeah, when -- look, when you're building an obstruction case, you're trying to prove inat any time i intent. all the subsequent statements lying about the meeting shows intent to obstruct. so it clearly has value. whether it happened or not, whether dirt was provided or not doesn't essentially matter if it goes toward obstruction. >> all right. doesn't sound good. thank you so much for spending some time with us. when we come back, the star witness in the manafort trial gets ready to take the stand. he's one of the original trump campaign aides charged in the
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mueller probe. his name is rick gates and he may be one of the only people who can connect the dots between paul manafort, the russians and the trump presidential campaign. donald trump goes negative on lebron james in what may be a political miscalculation. donald trump will have blood on his hands for his attacks on the media as the enemy of the people. stay with us. this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
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the fact of the matter is who would not be concerned that the lead investigator on your counter intelligence investigation -- and we now know was going on for well over a year before robert mueller was put in place -- was making the
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statements that he made to lisa page showing bias. >> the number 4 at the department of justice's wife working with the people at gps, fusion gps and the steele dossier. there is a new foia request against former minority leader harry reid and his potential action there. we know that christopher steele talked about the dossier 12 times after president trump tried to initiate a conversation about that 12 times after president trump was elected, so yes, there is frustration -- >> the white house is consistent in their attacks on the russia investigation. stepped up in recent weeks as new reports signal mueller's probe may be speeding towards trump's inner circle. his aides showed sunday performance in the twitter attacks over the weekend. why aren't mueller and the 17 angry democrats looking at meetings concerning the fake dossier and all the lying that went on in the fbi and d.o.j. i can't read this.
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more looney bird stuff from the president and the people following him in line. here's the punch line for the president. people close to the president believe he may be increasing his legal jeopardy by-icontinuing t speak publicly. he himself is under scrutiny for possible obstruction of justice. joining our table elise jordan, msnbc political analyst and now this is so awesome, co-host of the new podcast words matter with our friend steve schmidt. john, frank and aaron are still here. reading it, i feel like i'm doing my part. we have very savvy, smart viewers. doing my part to spread his lunacy. this is the irrational response to what is a very rational evidence-based, fact-based investigation into him. it drives him crazy because bob mueller, someone who is part of the legal team told me today, bob mueller is following the facts wherever they take him. they seem to be leading him deeper and deeper into trump tower. >> it seems to be all of trump's team has to defend him with is
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to dig into his own craziness with these tweets. there would be times during the campaign where donald trump, you know, i believe it was about august, mid august, where he started to tank. it was after he had attacked -- >> the kahn family. >> and he calmed down a bit in his rhetoric. he started to stabilize and the polls went up again. he went through a period with the mueller investigation where he wouldn't tweet about it. he seemed to be somewhat listening to his lawyers. that has gone all out the window. you can tell he thinks attacking it is a witch hunt. >> you look at his response, i think there is a line, stay with me here, that runs through attacks on lebron james and his wife sort of receiving to, i don't know, give lebron a little bit of the benefit of the doubt there. >> i'm looking forward to the unified field theory. >> he's addicted to cable. if he could just watch fox, which he should, that would be
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my advice. he seems lunatic. he sees the other stations, he sees the manafort trial, he sees lebron on cnn and tweets about it. he sees the cohen stuff. he seize lanny davis talking about what cohen could tell mueller if mueller decided to use him. i mean, he is obviously now running from his own sort of awareness of what he might be in trouble for. >> yeah. i mean, yes. look, he is omnivorous. he's amusingly obsessed with don lemon who he calls the dumbest person on television. he cannot take his eyes off don lemon. >> i find it creepy. >> i don't mean it that way. i mean, look, for someone who is supposed to be the dumbest person on television, what are you doing watching him, mr. president? >> he also had the best own in twitter history, too, when he tweeted that donald trump locks children up. lebron james puts them in school.
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>> right. i think that's what put melania over the edge. >> look, he's obviously wholly triggered, at the same time -- again, one doesn't want to get away from that. yes, it's getting crazier because there is more -- the walls are closing in. a lot of different metaphors around this. but it's getting more serious for him. he is triggered. he does watch television. he hate watches morning joe. all those things are true. yet at the same time, if the reality is that your legal jeopardy and political jeopardy are getting worse, the only you've done that worked in is push up mueller's negative with the republican voters, it's worked, it's not surprising he's doubling down because he doesn't have anything else. >> that's the only tool he's got. aaron, i heard last week before he sent out the tweet on thursday, calling on sessions to end the mueller probe, that he was, again, musing to confidants about firing sessions. is that still a flash point?
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that's still something people are having to go into mueller's investigators to answer questions about, isn't it? >> it seems like this is something that keeps coming up. it's not just firing sessions. it's maybe firing rosenstein, maybe firing mueller. we get this dribbled in piecemeal as it comes out. he's talked about firing or somehow getting rid of all these different people. i think suggests this is part of a pattern of behavior and there's got to be, as with every aspect of the mueller investigation, we probably only know five to 10% of what's actually happening just because the special counsel's office is so tight lipped about everything else. so, yeah, i think that that's a reasonable conclusion to draw here. >> 5 to 10. i would put that at the high end of what we know. we have some breaking news in the manafort trial. star witness rick gates is now on the stand. ken dilanian is outside the courthouse for us in alexandria, virginia. is this happening before expected and is he giving any
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information that surprises you or surprises people in the courtroom? >> hey, nicolle. i just stepped out of the courtroom where gates had just taken the stand and really started the introductory portion of his testimony where the prosecution was introducing him to the jury. he was explaining his background and how he came to work for paul manafort. first as an intern back in '96, '97 for the firm that charlie black was a part of. and then for davis, mfanafort partners and how he sort of took on increasing responsibilities at that firm. it was just a really dramatic moment. after all, he was manafort's protege for ten years and here he is coming in, sitting down 20 feet from paul manafort beginning his testimony against mr. manafort. but there was also a fairly dramatic moment before gates took the stand on redirect for the accountant cindy laporta where the prosecution seemed to imply that $10 million loan we heard to manafort was actually not a loan but was, in fact,
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income. so one of the things that manafort's defenders have long said about this case is this isn't about russia. he was paid bayy ukrainians, russians. he was actually paid by russian, oleg. that's the man he was offering private briefings to during the campaign. that is important not really for this trial, but all of us who are following this to try to understand what it means for the russia investigation, nicolle. >> frank figliuzzi, a smart man named ken dilanian once told me follow the money and all these questions about the trump campaign and russia and their ties to it. it seems like the backdrop or sort of the context to be gleaned is that that is precisely what robert mueller's investigators have done. and we're going to understand the entire pathway between paul manafort and the russians who funded him, and maybe we'll have the answer to just why paul manafort went to work for donald trump for free. >> so, it's really -- you're on the money, and so is ken when you say follow the money,
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because when you hear ukraine in this trial, when you see the tens of millions of dollars coming into manafort's pockets because he's working on behalf of a pro-russian ukrainian candidate, understand, we're talking about russian money. that's what we're talking about here. so this does have significance. and if indeed the prosecution is impliedi implying that the $10 million payment was a payment not a loan, that is significant. with gates taking the stand, this is a confident move by the special counsel. he's essentially calling manafort's bluff. he knows manafort is going to blame all of this on gates. so essentially, mueller today is saying, you know what, i'm calling gates to the stand, not you. he's our witness and he's going to be more credible, even though he's already pled guilty to lying to the fbi, he's more credible than you. so take your shot at him. here he is. >> and, elise, gates is a cooperating witness for the entire mueller investigation,
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not just the manafort trial. mueller isn't done with gates until he's done with gates. i have to imagine unlike manafort since gates was around after inauguration, he was around through that, he was around the west wing, he was around the white house. he was around the president's kids, he was around senior white house staffers until the week before he was indicted. he has to be the person that's triggering, if not the president, some of the people around him. >> he was there at the start and he was there very importantly at the -- during the rnc convention which i still think is going to come back and be a pivotal moment in this entire investigation when what went down with the platform change, when that finally is revealed. and then now today, he has a lot at stake. frank can correct me if i'm incorrect, but i think that he faces at least five years in prison. and extraordinary cooperation, maybe he could get that lessened. this is someone who probably does not want to go to prison, as most people do not. and paul manafort faces a life in prison. so the stakes are incredibly high right now. >> here's another known unknown,
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something everybody assumes. when the president talks about paul manafort was there only a while. he's known manafort for years going back. the campaign chair for a pivotal period. who is to say paul manafort after he left the campaign left the campaign -- who is to say -- >> cory lewandowski didn't. >> who is to say paul manafort wasn't still in touch with the campaign or people on the campaign or donald trump and others on the campaign? again, known unknown. how much communication was there? my reporting suggests at least donald trump stayed in touch with paul manafort. how much more he talked to people on the campaign? we don't know the answer to that question. and certainly his friend rick gates stayed behind. why did rick gates stay behind when he was mostly coming to paul manafort, they had been close, they had been together forever. rick gates stayed. is rick gates not talking to manafort throughout the fall when the conspiracy or collusion happened, if it happened? color me skeptical. >> ken dilanian, do you want to
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jump in on that? >> yeah, i don't have much to add to that. my head is in the trial right now. those are all fantastic points. the point you made earlier about gates as a cooperator in the entire mueller investigation. we don't be know what he's offered on potential collusion. manafort's lawyers may know, though, because they have all his fbi interviews and that may mean donald trump knows and that may be the reason trump has been tweeting what he's been tweeting in recent days. >> but manafort's lawyers would only know what gates has testified to as it pertains to paul manafort. they wouldn't have access to what gates has testified to about other individuals who may be subjects of an investigation at this point, would he? >> well, discovery is pretty broad in a criminal case. anything that would tend to impeach him, that a prosecution would have to turnover. we don't know everything that they have, but they might have a lot. >> aaron blake, i have heard that the gates testimony was one that could bring about surprises, that there were people that he was never sort of cast out, that after the
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inauguration paul manafort was sort of outed as having a dirty book of business. but rick gates was sort of viewed as the good guy, the clean guy, which is bizarre when you look at everything we've learned about how they off rated inside their firm. are you picking up any anxiety around current or former white house advisors about what gates may know? not just in the manafort trial, but his broader sort of window do trump world? >> i think you make a good point that he's cooperating for the entire investigation. this is not just a case about paul manafort. all these charges had to do with things that happened before the campaign. but that doesn't mean that's all that mueller has on manafort in this case. it doesn't mean he doesn't have anything on collusion right now. there is a severe interest when you're in a position like mueller is in keeping details of another investigation that has to do with another potential crime as quiet as possible. and, of course, the idea here is that the manafort trial is really just a pretext for getting some kind of cooperation
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out of him. what kind of cooperation would that be? you would think that would be pertaining to the collusion aspect of this investigation. another key point here that i think people might have missed a little last week is we learned that mueller had farmed out the investigations of some democratic and republican lobbyists on foreign lobbying, potential foreign lobbying case violations. he sent those to new york. he sent the cohen case to new york. this is the case that he's trying. he's trying the manafort case himself with his own team. why is that? well, it's partially got to do with the fact that manafort was, of course, so close to president trump. but i think it also suggests that there is another use for this besides just the financial crimes here. that mueller sees this as a potential game changer in the broader probe and that this may not be -- these two manafort trials -- there's two of them now -- may not be the last he's involved in this case with. >> they may answer some of the questions about russia. ken dilanian, frank figliuzzi, aaron blake, thank you all. one year since charlottesville,
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one the president couldn't condemn white supremacists and neo-nazis, we'll look at why he continues to wade into that culture war. that's next. . it's america's most popular street name. but allstate agents know that's where the similarity stops. if you're on park street in reno, nevada, the high winds of the washoe zephyr could damage your siding. and that's very different than living on park ave in sheboygan, wisconsin, where ice dams could cause water damage. but no matter what park you live on, one of 10,000 local allstate agents knows yours. now that you know the truth, are you in good hands?
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this weekend makes it one year since charlottesville. undoubtedly the most racially charged period of a racially charged presidency. to kickoff this week of reflection and thought, the president is tweeting about lebron james. the nba star said the president uses sports to divide people, so here's the president's response. quote, lebron james was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, don lemon. he made lebron look smart which isn't easy to do. i like mike. insulting the intelligence of a black athlete and a black journalist isn't anything new for trump. why? here's how tim sullivan put it in usa today. we have a president is with a 4th grade vocabulary and an aversion to truth, devoid of
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compassion and impulse control is attacking the intelligence of a basketball star. donald trump would rather do battle with black athletes than malevolent dictators is at a minimum reflective of his skewed sensibilities and his willingness to pander to the racist element in his base. joining the conversation, kim atkins, chief washington reporter for the boston herald. op-ed for "the new york times." all msnbc contributors. kim, let me ask you to weigh in. let me put up for our viewers. this is a list we threw together of some of the hottest and uglyest flash points of the trump presidency. charlottesville as we mentioned. the attacks on frederica wilson by him and his chief of staff. they called her wacky. attacks on maxine waters which are ongoing. they call her an extraordinarily low iq person. calling nfl players sons of pitches and tell theme they a t
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all fired. and african nations. the president agitated by successful and/or powerful black men and women. >> and i think that's the point that i was going to make, you hit it on the head, powerful people of color, black people who dare to criticize him or his policies in particular. i thought it was interesting that he said, i like mike in that tweet because up to now michael jordan is not somebody who has been really prominent, really out front in protesting the president, although he did say that he supported lebron in this effort. but he attacks the people who either he sees as a threat, like president obama, remember when he questioned how he got into columbia university. or oprah as insecure. anybody who challenges that narrative who is a black person or person of color is immediately targeted by this president above other people who do the same. i think it's not must to say that he's doing this to appeal
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to his base. this obviously is something that the president clearly feels, it comes from the gut. it seems to be one of the more honest moments that we see from him when he does this sort of lashing out. >> mike lupica, you draw a line from lebron's work as sort of a reluctant warrior for social justice through billy jean king, arthur ashe. talk about the place lebron is carving out at this moment of complete vacuum of leadership in washington. lebron seems to be filling an important place in the conversation. >> nicolle, i think this guy is in the process of leading a great american life. and he's going to build it out of his own experience in akron , ohio. and i think he's going to be a world figure the way arthur ashe was, the way billy jean king -- ali did not start out wanting to change the world. he didn't want to be drafted. he didn't want to be in vietnam. over his life he became an
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important figure in the area of social justice. lebron is only 33 years old. think how far he can go with this. and, again, as kimberly was saying, you look at this, both sides of this debate. he can't just say that he's angry at what lebron james said. he has to imply that he's stupid. it's like when meryl streep took out after him. not only did he not like that, she was a bad actress, too. he ascribes all of these other qualities to people who have hurt his feelings. but he can't win this fight with lebron james. i keep saying this, nicolle. one guy starting the i promise school. the other guy comes at this from trump university. >> that's a good point. you've also got the sinister and the ugly under belly of trump and his supporters, not just tolerating the racism of donald trump's presidency, but cheering him on. i mean, it's chilling to watch the video of him calling nfl players sons of pitches.
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they were cheering him on. lebron draws a wide base of support and children. >> speaking of stupid, how about attacking the most popular charismatic sports figure in america? that's a smart one coming from a politician. i do want to say i have a fourth grade daughter katia and her vocabulary is much larger than the president's in reference to, in reference to the quote you read. but look, this is part of the pattern that we've seen from this president now for years, going back at least to the birtherism. the constant use of very basic, very malevolent insidious racist tropes in order to stir up the most bigoted aspects of his base. the pattern you pointed out, always questioning the intelligence of african americans, whether media or sports or elsewhere. of course congressman waters.
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congresswoman waters. that's something -- there is something that's at play there. that needs to be pointed out. the fact this is a year's anniversary of charlottesville ought to remind us of exactly what this presidency is about. and of course it's not just for african americans, although it is for african americans. it's for other minorities throughout the world. mexican-americans, so many people that he's attacked. >> can i just say, first of all, when he was talking about the most charismatic, most credible athlete, i was going to say you mean steph curry? when did the president start attacking steph curry? put that aside. yes, he attacks -- he baits his base and he attacks prominent african americans who have attacked him, he does does that, sure. he labels alma african countries in private s-hole countries, right? >> eyesore? >> he's not a maligned political figure, he's a racist. on the day the access video came out, that same day, october 27,
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2016, was when when donald trump was giving interviews, i still believe the central park 5 are guilty and should be put to death. that is a campaign that he waged, a racist campaign against not powerful african americans. he's been doing it forever. the history of racism in the family, it runs straight through him. it's not restricted just to the lebron jamess in the world. he doesn't like black people. >> whoopi goldberg and i were discussing whether he was a racist. it was around the access hollywood time, the birtherism and the attacks on the central park. what do you think it is that his supporters bake into their support for him? i don't think that every trump supporter is a racist. >> i think there are a lot of racist trump supporters and a lot of not racist trump supporters but are willing to
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tolerate the racism because they like him for other reasons. >> what are the other reasons? >> they like him because they're willing to vote for him because they like the supreme court judge, the tax cuts, express their sense of grievance, things they think trump gives voice to, they're willing to sort of say -- they probably have not confronted their own deep racism in some senses, but they would say they're in favor of racial equality. but that they don't think -- they think trump is just talking about that stuff. they don't see it as insidious as it is and they're willing to excuse it. i'm not saying they should be willing to, but they are willing to excuse it because they think there are other trump does that they like. >> i think that's right. >> plr plenthere are plenty of supporters who come by their support honestly -- >> they excuse the racism for a reason. that's the question nicolle is asking. >> we ought to be explaining to them without making allegations of what they're willing to excuse or not. we ought to be explaining why this is so. >> here's the deal. if you have a child, you should
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know already. i'm not explaining to any trump voter. my parents included. you associate with someone who is a racist and you get the taint of being a racist as well. i think we're done with that. that was the excuse in 2016 when he was an unknown. we're now 365 days after charlottesville. he is now governing as an american president who is also a racist. enough. >> believe me, i know. but as abraham lincoln said a long time ago, a drop of honey draws more flies than a gallon of gall. >> i guess i don't want those flies any more. after a quick break, at what point does free speech become incitement? and what questions should we be asking about the president of the united states? hi i'm joan lunden.
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explaining this to the american people. they purposely cause great division and distrust. they can also cause war. they are very dangerous and sick. again, when do these tweets go too far. bret stephens writing trump will have blood on his hands. maybe trump su poses that the worst he's doing is inciting the people that will come to his rallies to give reporters like cnn's jim acosta the thirng. and maybe he thinks that most journalists richly deserve public scorn. for every 1,000 or so trump supporters whose contempt for the press rises only as far as their middle fingers, a few will be people like my caller. of that few, how many are ready to take that next fatal step? that was about a death threat you got. tell us about that and your concern about where this is leading. >> this is the third time that someone whose politics clearly align with those of the
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president has implicitly or expressly threatened to kill me. and it's one thing if there's some crazy person who is doing that. it's a very different matter when the president of the united states is naming an entire category of people, an entire profession as the enemy of the people. remember, this is a phrase that goes back to lenin if not earlier. this is a phrase that has been weaponized by dictators and demagogues to target the fourth estate, to target those of us in the press trying to hold those in power to account and bring the news. previously i thought that journalists would be in danger only in places like pakistan where my colleague, my late colleague, danny pearl, was murdered, in mexico, venezuela and so on. it's astonishing that this is now happening with the open public support of the president. now, we had a shooting in maryland. fortunately it was not politically motivated, but five
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journalists were murdered. and i think we are marching towards the day when someone who thinks that he is taking directions from the president and acting in the best interests of the american people against those of us presumptive traitors around this table, someone is going to do that in a major american newsroom. when that happens, mr. president, the blood will be on your hands. >> can i just say one thing about this real quickly. the thing that is so striking about the voice mails in your phone, the guy who's calling you and talking about shooting you is invoking the language, directly invoking the language. you are an enemy of the people. he's invoking the president's rhetoric directly and then making a threat of taking out -- of using violent action. i think that's the most chilling thing about that. not that it's just out there but the people making the threats are adopting the rhetoric. >> mike lupica, i think we're too careful. i think this leap that bret made is long overdue. i don't think we should wait until one -- why does the
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variable have to be just one guy that's nuts? he is essentially labeling the media an enemy of the people. there are violent people in every subset of american society. and why do we have to wait? why can't we do something now to make sure nobody gets hurt? i have to say i hear the same conversation take place around the fbi, that the things he says about the fbi every day, if you live outside of washington and the fbi comes to your house in some sort of hostile act, the president could have blood on his hands if an fbi agent gets hurt if that's someone that subscribes to his political ideology and believes that he's doing as bret just said the work that the president wants done. >> nicolle, i agree with everything bret said. in my newspaper career i have had death threats from time to time. the shooting at the "capital gazette" wasn't politically motivated, but that guy was mad at that newspaper. my dear friend, the great columnist carl and his brother
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rob worked at that paper and was gunned down that day. he was just a fine writer and editor himself. but the guy who did the shooting was mad at one paper. we've got a president who wants you to be mad at all the papers if they print stuff that he doesn't like. he wants you to be mad at all the networks if they run stories that he doesn't like. as far as i'm concerned, bret was dead on the other day. this enemy of the people stuff is -- to me is a grenade with the pin pulled. >> kimberly atkins. >> i agree. and it's not just, as you said, with journalists. the rhetoric that the president is giving, even about the racist comments that he makes that we talked about before, we've seen increased hostilities towards people of color on youtube every single day. i personally have experienced that and animosity because of my profession. it's something that is growing. it is something that is real. it is something that we can point to a cause of. >> kimberly atkins and mike
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lupica, thank you so much. we have to sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. ahoy-hoy. alexander graham bell here... no, no, my number is one, you must want two! two, i say!! like my father before... [telephone ring] like my father before... ahoy-hoy! as long as people talk too loudly on the phone, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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bret, elise and it says heilemann in the prompter, thank you for now. i'm nicolle wallace. thank you for being with us. "mtp daily" starts right now with katy tur in for chuck. >> if it's monday, the prosecution's star witness is on the stand right now at paul manafort's trial. plan. good evening, i'm katy tur in new york in for chuck todd and welcome to "mtp daily." we begin with breaking news. you're looking at the federal courthouse in virginia where rick gates, the prosecution's star witness, has just taken the stand no more than 40 minutes ago in the criminal trial into the trial of paul manafort. we are watching what could


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