tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 21, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
affectionate, wonder roous timer us all. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from los angeles. i'm ari melber in for chris hayes tonight. it is another busy night of news. we are now two hours away from senator chuck grassley's new deadline for dr. christine ford, the woman who says brett kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school to respond to the republicans' terms for her testimony next week. grassley is threatening to move forward with a vote on monday if she doesn't comply. first, we are beginning with these breaking news items that touch on everything that matters in the mueller probe. now, consider that in the last week mueller has gained what may be two of the most crucial cooperating witnesses yet, former trump campaign chair paul manafort and michael cohen, trump's long-time lawyer and fixer.
so it is at this very pivotal moment, this is the context for a stunning set of leaks that would appear to give president trump at least the excuse that he has been hunting for to oust the man overseeing the mueller probe. if you haven't heard it by now, this is a bombshell. "the new york times" reporters michael schmidt and adam goldman reported that rod rosenstein suggested that he could secretly record the president inside the white house and he discussed recruiting trump's own cabinet members to see whether he might convince them to remove the president from office under the 25th amendment. if that sounds explosive, it is. there is more to it. "the new york times" noting that those pieces of the story themselves are contested. and while the paper cites sources who were briefed either on the conversations or the memos about them, it also quotes rosenstein himself denying the thrust of the story, saying, quote, "the new york times" story is inaccurate and factually incorrect based on anonymous sources obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own
personal agenda. he goes on to say based on my personal dealings with the president there is no basis to invoke the 25th amendment. and that's not all. doj's sources who spoke to the times as well as nbc are casting some of the controversial remarks in a different light saying the wiretapping comment was, quote, sarcastic. and nbc's citing sources that say that rosenstein was not the one who even mentioned the 25th amendment. either way, though, the outrage machine is in gear. house republicans posting a new demand tonight asking to get those memos. and linking directly to that "times" story. fox news laura ingram cut right to the chase, saying rod rosenstein must be fired today. we have several experts on this. we begin with one of the reporters who broke the story, michael schmidt. thanks for being all in, michael. >> thanks for having me. >> is this story important buzz
rosenstein was seriously looking -- or because there are people leaking that to undercut rosenstein? >> no, i don't think that this is someone that is -- you know, this has been leaked to undercut rosenstein. we went back and have been trying to look at the period of time between the comey firing and the appointment of mueller. this is in eight days in may of 2017 where rod rosenstein was thrust to the front and center of the country and had to decide whether to open an investigation into his president. these are two things that he brought up. he brought up using a wire. he brought up invoking the 25th amendment. as we tried to explain and understand this, these are the things that we learned. when we felt comfortable with them, we moved forward with it. >> you mentioned the wire. let's read what you wrote there. rosenstein "raised the idea of wearing a recording device or wire to secretly tape the president when he visited the white house or other fbi officials interviewing with mr. trump for that fbi job." now, as you know the doj follows
very detailed rules on getting warrants for surveillance. is your reporting that rosenstein was considering illegal surveillance or trying to get a warrant to do the wire or that it never got that far? >> well, i don't think it got to the point of legal review on what to do with this. this was not a wire in the sense of tapping the president's phone or installing a listening device. it would be a recording as if, you know, you sat down and we had coffee and i recorded it. washington, d.c. is a one-party consent so you know, anyone can basically record any type of one-on-one conversation with them. obviously taking such a move with the president would have been extraordinary. this is something the justice department uses in drug cases or gang cases and to go back to the -- >> you mentioned the one-party consent law. michael, as law enforcement they wouldn't go near wiretapping someone in the executive branch without more.
>> yeah. look, this, as we point out in the story, never moved to the point where they did a legal review to make a decision with it. this is something that rosenstein brought up multiple times with fbi officials in this period of time. it wasn't just once. as the justice department has put out this person that was in the room saying it was sarcastic, well, rosenstein brought it up later in the day. as we point out in the story, rosenstein was asked in the meeting whether he was serious about this. and he said that he was. so that contradicts what the justice department had put out and that's why we felt comfortable and moved forward with the story. >> right. well, and you're getting into the sourcing. i wanted to ask you about that. you have -- you write several people who were briefed on the events themselves or memos written by fbi officials. besides rosenstein, none of your sources who said rosenstein was serious about the wire were actually in the room. is that right? >> i can't go any further than how we did in describing that, about describing whether they
were in the room or not in the room. we went as far as we could in describing, you know, the knowledge that they had. >> well, i mean, that's what i'm reading from, briefed either on the events or memos. so that would imply that they're basing it on that secondhand material. >> we went as far as we could go in the sourcing on it in what we wrote. >> i guess the other big question that hangs over this, and i'll bring in some other experts, you are a very experienced reporter, you've got a bombshell in your hands, and we all know. but ultimately you have the on the record denial from rosenstein in there. you're talking about matters of constitutional crisis level stuff, like the 25th amendment, you ultimately as a reporter with your colleagues made a determination that these other sources were more credible, you gave them more weight than rosenstein, the doj's rebuttal, who said it was sarcastic, et cetera. can you help our viewers help us understand why you gave so much more weight to those other folks and not the on the record denial? >> yeah, because we went back
and did diligence on the information and we looked at what actually went on in the meeting and what happened in the meeting was that rosenstein was questioned about whether he was being sarcastic. and he said that he was not. he said that he was serious about it. and that this was something that they were considering. we also know that this was not the only time that he brought this up. we also know that in the documents, in andy mccabe's memo, it says something about, references rosenstein talking about the 25th amendment. when we looked at that and had that information in front of us, and we went back and checked it, we felt good about it and we moved forward. we are here to follow the facts. and try and get to the bottom of all this as much as possible. and, you know, if one side likes that or the other one doesn't, you know, it's our job to be accurate. we felt good about that. >> stay with me, michael. i want to bring in someone who has been one of the types of sources you would be referring to, matt miller, handled media relations for eric holder at the justice department. and is an msnbc analyst.
matt, your view? >> look, i think the story is a fascinating window into the turmoil going on at the justice department at that time. when rod rosenstein really was in a fight with a lot of people who trusted him as a person who would protect the department from donald trump. and just led to the memo of the firing of jim comey. one of the people that was especially frustrated is andy mccabe. one of the interesting kind of things still going on today is to some extent the war between andy mccabe and rod rosenstein that was very much happening in that meeting has never ended. andy mccabe is being investigated by the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. right now for false statements, he's been fired by the justice department. if you look at, you know, the way he's been handling himself, i do think that he has been trying to tell a story. i'm not speculating who michael's sources are. i suspect there were a lot of people in the room. andy's very much been trying to paint a picture of himself as someone who was fired,
retaliated against for political reasons to try to make any kind of indictment as painful a choice as possible for rod rosenstein in the justice department and any trial. >> you're hitting on something very significant, people may remember that mccabe stepped up to replace comey as acting fbi director. he had a reportedly fight with donald trump over the phone immediately over the treatment of comey and whether he got to take the fbi plane back and then trump privately turned to blast his wife for being a candidate for office to depict her as a hillary stooge and the rest and then ultimately got him run out of the fbi and tainted him as a potential witness in any obstruction probe. you're saying that obviously michael's not going to get into his sources, but you're saying at least the mccabe memo fits into this and has a different agenda? >> yeah, i'm not just basing it on this story. there have been a number of reports that have managed to leak out from the department over the last few months that relate to mccabe's timing there. he has a book coming up.
he's pursuing a pretty risky, but maybe ultimately wise legal strategy to tell the justice department, if you come at me with ultimately very political charges, to file false statements charged against me in a case that usually the justice department wouldn't bring, usually wouldn't see a deputy director fired for what he did, if you do, i'm going to make it as painful as possible for you. i'm going to air the dirty laundry from my time in the department. i'm going to make it clear from my opinion i was retaliated against and make that choice as hard for you to make as possible. >> michael, a final thought as we widen out big picture to the implications of your piece. obviously, plane crashes get more coverage than plane landings. the thrust of your piece, putting aside some of what we've already sort of discussed, is that rod rosenstein was saying things that concerned people, and that looked like potentially poor judgment. we went back and forth on the wiretapping thing. ultimately what do you see as the implication here and do you see this as a period of time when people were concerned, when your sources apparently feel he
was making rough remarks and diggss or did this cast his larger service and leadership in doubt? >> well, they've described him as sort of emotionally sort of struggling in this period of time to grapple with the pressure that he was under. you have to remember he had played a role in the comey firing. he helped provide the rationale for it and then has been sharply criticized. this the the first time he'd been on a national stage. a u.s. attorney for many years before this. it's far different to basically be blamed for such a momentous moment in donald trump's presidency. and he was trying all that he could. he said he would be vindicated some day for his role in this. and in that period of time, you know, he got very emotional in his discussions with folks and he considered a wide range of things. some things that unnerve people and some things that didn't. ultimately, i think rosenstein, you know, the ultimate decision he makes is the appointment of mueller. that's when the eight days end, when he appoints mueller, and obviously that is a huge turn in the story, and something that,
you know, i think that rosenstein would say was the right thing to do. >> right. well, you have on your hands a hotly contested story that a lot of people are taking in a lot of different directions. we want to dig into it with you. i appreciate your spending your time with us, explaining your reporting and process and thinking. michael schmidt with the big story. matt miller, stay with me. i want to bring in gabe sherman, reporting breaking tonight that the white house communications director has a media strategy to build public support for, guess what, donald trump to fire rod rosenstein. what are you hearing, gabe? >> this is obviously something the president has been wanting to do for months now. internal pushback. "the new york times" story lays a predicate for the president if he indeed wanted to fire rod rosenstein. so a source close to the white house about the media plans told me bill shine is making sure trump allies in the pro-trump media are pumping the message
out this is the time to move against rod rosenstein. we saw earlier tonight laura ingram already tweeting that this should be the action the president takes. it will be interesting to watch sean hannity's program tonight, another vocal -- >> will it? will it be interesting? >> well, you know -- >> is that the right word? >> i mean, it will -- >> you work with words for a living. >> we'll see, basically the idea being this would be the message the pro-trump media is pushing out there. talking to allies in the pro-trump media today say it would be premature for the president to move against rosenstein now and it actually would be something of a trap that just going off the basis of a "new york times" story, firing him, and perhaps going after mueller would be overplaying his hand. so i think the white house, what i'm understanding is that they're going to see how this plays out over the next 24 to 48 hours. >> matt miller, i mean, the whole issue, and what i was getting at with michael near the end of the interview there is the zostory has a lot in it.
anytime anyone is allegedly talking 25th amendment, that's a big deal. no one can remember that coming up in any other presidency, right, which speaks to the era we're living in. yet, the larger question, when you peel it back, is anything in here really bad? because something was done, or nefarious because something bad was in the works and was stopped. and does it question rosenstein's leadership? or not? are these leaks that don't go to the heart of the matter? >> that's nothing that's unethical in a traditional sense reported in this story, nothing that violated any kind of doj rules. you could say it shows disloyalty to the president. of course the deputy attorney general is not supposed to be loyal to the president, he's loyal to the country. >> let me push you on that. he's not supposed to do a whip count for the 25th amendment here either. >> no, not necessarily. >> i don't mean to be a stickler, he's not in the cabinet. >> yes. if you're rosenstein at that point you're in a turbulent time, turbulent for him
personally having signed that memo and being attacked by a lot of people he respected for having given trump the weapon with which to fire comey. and then seeing those reports that came out, remember, the same time this happened the comey memos were coming out and rosenstein was finding out all of the troubling interactions comey had had with the president. if you're rosenstein, no, it's not technically part of his job. but you're grasping for ways to react. i will say there is something ironic about people in the administration, and people on fox news taking a york times story after months of attacking the failing "new york times" and fake news and using that as a basis with which to attack the deputy attorney general and ultramay will the mueller investigation. it is, at best, quite convenient. >> it's hypocritical, but no different from the original stated reason for removing director comey, which is that he was unfair to hillary clinton. convenience seems so trump consistency over there. i think it's fair to observe. my thanks to matt and gabe. i turn it as promised to congressman ted lu.
the house committees are responding. what do you think is significant? >> well, i don't think a lot is significant because in terms of the 25th amendment, people have been talking about that and the white house for a long time. omarosa said it was so routine they had a hashtag for it, tfa. what's alarming is people who didn't think about it. anyone watching this would have thought about it. none of this appeared to have been executed. didn't seem to have taped anything or gone much further with the 25th amendment talks. this would not be enough. if he did, it would be obstruction of justice. >> with your blessing, congressman, i would like to get really nerdy here and talk about a concept in government that is, quote, pre-decisional, you're familiar with that concept in the foia context when you have freedom of information requests, that there is a space in government to talk about things pre-decision, before a decision is made. and it seems we are in the heart of that at doj during what is an incredible time, brought upon by donald trump's actions, where
there was a range of discussions going on. i thought it was notable that mike schmidt who's done this reporting didn't think the wiretap got anywhere, and so whatever it was it wasn't a thing. >> that's a great point. so the reason that the public can't get documents that are pre-decisional under foia, these laws of transparency is because we want people to be able to put out ideas that may not be good ideas, or they want to take back, or they're just floating it out there. that's why, i don't think this is enough to fire rod rosenstein. and the president did it, it really would be a pretext to get a mueller investigation. it's really suspicious, the timing of all of this. you had paul manafort flip, michael cohen his long-time lawyer flip and all the sudden we see sources talking about what rod rosenstein did. >> that goes to what michael schmidt was defending and viewers can take this in for themselves and think about it both ways. on the one hand they may have spent a long time reporting this out and some of this may have just come together. on the other hand, the times may
feel they've been working the story. some of it may have just come together because there may be people right now for a range of reasons who are going hard at rod rosenstein. it's quite noticeable and quite blatant when this is happening. >> that's absolutely correct. even the sources, as you had pointed out, were not in the room. it's hard to know if someone is being sarcastic or not if you're not listening to that statement firsthand. and i think you have other reporting now, one from the "washington post" that does suggest that maybe rod rosenstein was being sarcastic. end of the day, none of these things he mused about or thought about were actually ever implemented. it could simply turn out he thought about it, had the interactions with the president and decided no, i think the best thing is not to do a 25th amendment. as ehe said in his own statemen, no basis for it. >> when and why is what we're exploring. congressman ted lieu, thank for spending time with us tonight. >> thank you, ari. a new deadline for brett
kavanaugh's accuser as she prepares to testify as early as next week. and why one pivotal republican senator is appalled at donald trump's treatment of the accuser. the growing concerns that the rosenstein reporting could be a prelude to a saturday night massacre. frank knowns northern soul, but how to set up a limited liability company... what's that mean? not so much. so he turned to his friends at legalzoom. yup! they hooked me up. we helped with his llc, contracts, and some other stuff that's part of running a business. so frank can focus on the beat. you hear that? this is frank's record shop. and this is where life meets legal. with a range of suv's perfect for any adventure. lease the 2019 nx 300 for $339 a month for just 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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believe, you take a poll, i've got to be at 95%. but you've got some real bad ones. you've seen what's happened at the fbi. they're all gone. they're all gone. they're all gone. >> there's the president of the united states in a rambling apparent reference to not only his own justice department, but what everyone's been talking about "the new york times" report, about rod rosenstein. he was speaking at a speech in missouri. the question is whether donald trump is laying the ground for a saturday night massacre to take control of the mueller probe. tackling the two questions, two attorneys that worked in the southern district of new york which recently handled michael cohen case, maya wiley and daniel goldman. maya, what do you make of it all? >> i make of it that we have a president who has a justice department that's trying to figure out how to do its job despite him. we don't know what rod rosenstein says, we know it's
credibly important for him to finish his job there. at the end of this i really think it's -- there's loose lips sink ships. it's the uss trump that's leaking. >> hey, hey. dan, dig into the wiretapping part because michael schmidt, the reporter earlier in the hour here was talking about party consent laws in d.c. i don't really think that's the issue if law enforcement from rosenstein on down is going to wiretap someone including the president, there's a whole process for that. no? >> the problem with this story, ari, is is it's such a preposterous notion that the acting attorney general in the russia investigation would actually order someone to go in for an interview to be the director of the fbi wearing a wire. it's so farfetched and it's so far from the reality of how an investigation would work and what would actually be required in order for that to be authorized to do that it really
seems to me that -- and i don't question michael schmidt's reporting. what i question, and having been on the other side and seeing reports where information is in very esteemed news outlets like the times and "the washington post," the problem is that the sources are not accurate. it's not that michael's not, this is so farfetched. >> i know you, dan. you're a very nice guy. it sounds to me like in a very nice way you're saying it's embarrassing that that fanciful notion even made it into print in the "new york times." >> i think, yes, frankly, i wouldn't say it's embarrassing. but i think what people don't realize is it's not the times reporters, but it's the sources. there may be axes to grind here if they were not actually in the room, as congressman lieu said, there's absolutely no way they can know whether it's sarcastic. if someone has an ax to grind, they can take this a little bit further.
it's a slight exaggeration. not made up from whole cloth. it's a slight exaggeration, a misinterpretation. the only reason i really question it so much is it's such a preposterous notion that it is hard to imagine rod rosenstein, who has been a career department of justice official, is a very measured and careful person. he is not an outlandish extremist, that he would actually seriously encourage or consider doing something like this. >> right. and that brings us, maya, to the wider context. this just doesn't come any old day in the mueller probe, it comes when the people that are most incriminating to donald trump are his own former top people, manafort and michael cohen. and maya, i am reminded of something lil' wayne cautioned about, the danger of cautioning witnesses on your own side, yo own people could be them people, even glasses can't help you see them people. and this comes at a time when
the president is very upset about his own people, flipping on him. >> yeah, you know, it's bad when you have to quote lil' wayne. so the bottom line is, you know, i actually absolutely agree with dan in the sense that even when i was in the mayor's office we'd often read sources who were credible sources, meaning they had jobs in the mayor's office, but weren't in the room, and then would share something that was factually really not quite accurate. not because they were lying, but they weren't in the room. it's important to know whether the people were in the room. i do think it matters the timing, it matters incredibly. this investigation has got to be fairly close to -- i won't say over. i would suggest there may be next level of indictments coming, whether or not they'll wait until after the midterms, we don't know. but this is really a critical and pivotal moment in the investigation. this is not the time when you change the home team unless you're trying to disrupt the
investigation. >> right. and that goes to why there is just so many serious questions about what was leaking out and what's being reported tonight. as we just saw, the president appearing to seize on it. my special thanks to daniel and maya for giving us the federal prosecutorial expertise. tonight, those negotiations have a new development, we'll fill you in on that when we get right back. my mom's pain from
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donald trump was supposed to help his supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh by staying quiet. his aides were working in overdrive to stop trump from any attack on the accuser which could backfire. tonight the backfiring has begun. trump claiming in a tweet that someone who experienced real abuse would have reported at the time. she was 15 and most legal and sexual assault experts say that view is totally incorrect. many victims of sexual assault spoke out in response about their own delays this reporting and the many valid reasons for that. it was grouped under a hashtag online why i didn't report. >> i was appalled by the president's tweet. first of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault, i'm not saying that's what happened in this case, but we
know that allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreport unreported crimes that exist. so i thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong. >> now, kavanaugh denies that christine ford's claim that he did assault her when they were in high school. senate republicans now negotiating over when to hold this potential hearing with both of them. dr. ford saying she's willing to testify. her lawyer says she can't get to washington before next thursday. committee republicans now offering to hold this hearing on wednesday. that's before dr. ford says she can get there. they also only want to allow for calling two witnesses, which would mean they wouldn't hear from the man dr. ford says was in the room during the alleged assault. they also want female staff attorneys to question these witnesses, which would keep some of the republicans on the committee, all of whom are men, from having to directly question dr. ford or challenge her
voracity. i can tell you something else tonight, the negotiations are ongoing. the man in charge of this committee, senator chuck grassley, set a 10:00 p.m. friday deadline for her to respond. if dr. ford's attorneys don't respond, they will go forward with a vote on monday. that, in turn, has earned a new response we got just within the last hour from dianne feinstein, the top dem on the committee and she sounded outraged saying "bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee at a time when she's receiving death threats is an extreme abuse of power." given all of the late night action and flurry, we have nbc news capitol hill reporter and producer frank thorpe who's followed many of these. what can you tell us? >> what we're doing now is waiting to hear back from dr. ford's attorneys here, going through this counteroffer from the chairman of the judiciary committee chuck grassley trying
to figure out whether or not this is a tenable solution for them, whether or not dr. ford can appear at this wednesday hearing. this was a hearing that she only wanted -- she wanted to do at thursday, at the earliest. and they want to push it back 24 hours. as you were mentioning, the ranking member of the committee dianne feinstein calls this bullying, says that what's another 24 hours for a justice that could be on the court for another 40 years? but you have a situation where dr. ford made a number of conditions that she wanted to be met and chuck grassley returned with -- and he met a couple of those conditions. but also came back, as you said, and said that he couldn't -- that some of those conditions were actually unreasonable. and one of those conditions is actually one that wasn't mentioned was the idea that dr. ford wanted to go second. she wanted to testify second and have judge kavanaugh testify first, give her the chance to respond to judge kavanaugh. the committee, the republicans on the committee said that that was not a reasonable condition and they told her that judge
kavanaugh would actually testify first. so you have this situation where they're going to have to make a decision about this. and the reality here is that if they decide not to testify, if dr. ford is not going to testify here next week, or they miss this 10:00 deadline, it's going to be a situation where the committee is going to vote on kavanaugh's nomination on monday. >> right. and so what we're looking at here in the next hour and a half or so is a key inflection point to this vote on the supreme court hanging in the balance as well. frank thorp, thank you for your reporting. i trust we'll be hearing more from you in the hours and days ahead. up next, mitch mcconnell vowing kavanaugh will be on this court no matter what the accuser even says. that's right after this break. (man) managing my type 2 diabetes wasn't my top priority.
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kavanaugh will be on the united states supreme court. >> mitch mcconnell showing his mind is made up and it doesn't matter what dr. ford would testify if she does testify in the brett kavanaugh confirmation hearings that could basically reconvene next week. she has publicly alleged that when she was 15 he assaulted her. republicans, some of them here saying they want to go forward no matter what. i'm going to be joined by a former senator barbara boxer, hosting the podcast "fight back" and has been involved in her share of confirmation debates. senator boxer, what is your view of the negotiations as we wait on this grassley installed 10:00 p.m. deadline, and what's important as americans think about what they might learn if there's a hearing next week? >> i want americans to know that what grassley is doing with the republicans, what mitch mcconnell is doing, it's unprecedented.
i was in washington for many years. i was chairman and ranking member, of full committees, of subcommittees. we always worked across the aisle. we always worked to accommodate the witnesses. we never had a situation where we said, by the way, we senators don't want to question you. we're going to get a special counsel so we can hide behind her skirts. i'll tell you something. i don't know how this is all going to come out. one way or another this woman is going to be heard. but i have never seen anything like this. the last point i want to make right here is today the daughter of a president, patty davis, who is the daughter of ronald reagan and his wife nancy, said that she held to herself a rape that occurred 40 years ago. these republicans do not understand this at all. they don't get it. they're unfair. and they don't deserve to
govern. >> well, you've just unpacked several important things. i believe you used the term hide behind the skirt, quote/unquote, of a potential female litigator. you mentioned what we know in the public record about how these alleged crimes are reported and when. which goes to a lot of the investigative work megan twohey has done. can you speak to that piece, megan, and how misplaced it is for the president to claim -- not just the president. other people are falsely claiming this as well, that somehow a delay speaks to a lack of truth. >> yeah, i mean, today when -- i thought it was remarkable that trump for days was seemingly following the advice of his aides who said, listen, don't go on the attack against this woman, even though that's basically been his playbook. during the presidential race i was one of the reporters who, you know, reported on allegations of sexual misconduct by trump. when i confronted him with those
allegations, one of his first lines of defense was where are the police reports? well, you know, i've been reporting on victims of sex crimes for over a decade. and, you know, people who claim that they were attacked by high profile people and everyday joes, and, you know, my reporting and the research suggests that very few women go to the police. very few people report their alleged attacks. sometimes it takes years before they even tell members of their own family what happened to them. now, in the case of dr. ford, she actually did speak out about this before last week. she spoke to a therapist about it in 2012. >> senator boxer, what do you think of your colleague and your former fellow california senator you guys were serving in the delegation together, senator feinstein saying tonight that, while, yes, the negotiations can escalate, that happens on committees all the time, there is a civilian involved, it's not
just senator on sender, what she views chairman grassley doing at this hour as bullying an alleged survivor of attempted rape? >> she's absolutely right. you know, senator feinstein does not go around saying bad things about her ranking member, her chairman in this case. she feels it in her bones. what they are doing is victimizing this woman all over again. look, these senators, these republican senators care about one thing and one thing only. they want a republican operative on that court. there is no rush. as has been said over and over, it took them 14 months before scalia's seat was filled. they held up merritt garland in that period for about 11 months. and now they want to jam this, they want to try and bully a woman into not testifying. and it is really sad.
a woman who didn't want to, you know, become known. who did this out of a civic responsibility. and if you read everything, and you look at the fact that kavanaugh does not want an independent investigation, or background check by the fbi, he has not taken a lie detector test. they don't want to have that third person who was in the room testify because that man has written things that are so over the top and sexist and violent toward women they don't want any part of it. and we need to slow this train down. and whatever these republicans do, there's a wave of women coming to washington. i can tell you that. >> well, senator boxer, you're giving up several things to think about in the hearing. you make a point that i think many of the viewers who follow politics know, which is that senator feinstein is certainly known to be measured, even
democrats in the california primary who complained she is not quote/unquote aggressive. that's the reason why she's spoking out so forcefully. before we go, if there is a positive note here, megan, i wonder if you have any positive view of what could be constructive if there is a hearing next week and both sides are allowed to testify and what americans might take from that as a better rerun than anita hill. >> to go back to the pressure that's been applied to dr. ford today, this evening saying she has until 10:00 to basically make a commitment to come in next week, she said she's willing to come in next week and testify, she's said -- and today, today she was with the fbi reporting out the death threats that she has received this week. we know she's in hiding. it's just an indication of what she's been doing today while she's been receiving this political pressure. but i will say that i think the
reference to the opinion piece that was done by reagan's daughter talking about her experience is just one of countless women who have stepped forward in the last week to share their stories. and this comes -- you know, this is almost a year after the me too movement started. and i think that if anything that is one of the reasons that next week, if she shows up, it's guaranteed to be different than when anita hill was testifying. >> megan twohey and barbara boxer, thank you both. we have another item in the newsroom when we come back. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them. we give you research and data-visualization tools to help identify potential opportunities. so, you can do it this way... or get everything you need to help capture investment ideas and make smarter trading decisions with fidelity for just $4.95 per online u.s. equity trade.
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one call 811 before you dig.ings you can do is to make sure you calling 811 can get your lines marked. it's free, it's easy, we come out and mark your lines. we provide you the information so you will dig safely. did you hear about this? donald trump's former lawyer michael cohen showing up at a federal courthouse in new york today. that's one month to the day he plead guilty and implicated the president in crimes. the purpose unknown, and he told reporters he was there, quote, for a visit. of course it also comes on the heels of reports that bob
mueller is looking into over $3 million in suspicious transactions that took place around the trump tower meeting, money moving between a billionaire russian real estate developer and one of his employees who organized the meeting. all that is the man who first contacted trump about setting up the meeting, rob goldstone speaking out to say the help was dirty and possibly criminal. >> i've always looked at it as a bait and switch. >> and possibly a crime? >> and possibly a crime. >> but it was a dirty offer. >> yes. >> it was a dirty offer that they accepted. >> yes, that is true. it didn't materialize, but yes. it's the willingness to accept it. >> that is true, and that is the backdrop against which donald trump and some of his allies are now threatening to oust rob rd e rosenstein. more on that next. more on that next. ♪ quit cable
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hands. number one, you see donald trump on stage there in missouri as he has been rallying and attacking his own doj. but number two, i'm holding a new statement from rod rosenstein responding to reports that he suggested he secretly recorded the president. quote, i never pursued or authorized recording the president, and any suggestion that i have ever advocated forrer the removal of the president is absolutely false that is rod rosenstein again denying the story in "the new york times" in a late friday night statement. i'm joined by natasha bertrand, staff writer at the atlantic and ali nejad of above the law. it is pretty late for rod rosenstein to be redenying. >> right. and he said he would not be issuing any more comments with regards to this "new york times" piece, but i guess he really could not help himself. look, i think that the comments that have been made by certain "new york times" reporters, "washington post" reporters, on twitter and even in the stories have been really irresponsible if we're going to be completely blunt about it. we have words being thrown around like rod rosenstein was unhinged and erratic in the days
following comey's firing. look, president trump had just fired the fbi director who had launched an investigation into his own campaign. he had asked the president for a loyalty pledge. he had met with the russians in the oval office and released classified information and boasted about firing comey, saying that he had fired him and it lifted a great weight off his shoulders. if ro rosenstein was concerned about that, he should have been. if he was joking to say maybe we should be recording the president to catch him in anything obscene or outrageous he might be saying, then that would be something that would not be shocking. but to suggest that he would actually go through it w that, that someone who is so by the book as rod rosenstein, who for all intents and purposes is a complete stickler when it comes to the rules and a career doj prosecutor that he would actually do this, go into the oval office with his cell phone and record thepresident's
surreptitiously, it's a huge overstatement for anyone to be suggesting he was completely detached from reality and going completely crazy. that's not to say he is completely blameless in all this because did write the memo that trump used to justify comey's firing. but to say he is suggesting this seriously is disingenuous. >> ali? >> you know, i kind of agree with natasha that he probably wasn't serious. but my question for rosenstein, why wasn't he serious? why wasn't he recording the president? we have a president of legendary incoffer tense. everybody in his white house seems to think he is completely unfit to do the job. and the only person with the guts to put the president on the record and expose him to the american people is omarosa? is that the world we're living in? somebody should be recording the president. somebody should be telling us everything that he is doing, and somebody should be exposing this man for the charlotte tan that he is.
>> well -- i feel your feelings, elie, but you know that's not the role of the deputy attorney general. natasha, i think what is important here is if you belief "the new york times" story that the deputy attorney general was trying to use the 25th amendment to oust donald trump, that is a problematic deep state thing. but if it's not true, the times has just put that in a headline that has profound implications for the mueller probe. >> right. and of course there are conflicting characterizations of that. he apparently had two meetings that day, and in one of those meetings, lisa page, the former fbi attorney was in that meeting and she did not record any such conversation in her notes, but andy mccabe did. of course, andy mccabe has his own kind of credibility issues. he is currently under investigation for misleading fbi officials, and he perhaps has reasons for wanting to get back at the justice department, who knows. but it's really -- if trump was boasting to the russians in the oval office about firing comey and releasing classified information and asking for loyalty pledges, then it does
make sense perhaps that rosenstein would be questioning his fitness for office. whether or not he was taking a straw poll, trying to ask cabinet officials whether they thought he should be removed from office. i don't think "the new york times" has any proof of that. >> and elie, very briefly because we are never late for rachel around here, "the new york times" story in your view overwritten or under written? >> over, over. i don't think that -- i think that some sarcasm was probably missed. >> and that could be dangerous in life and in law and in politics, if we don't hear the italics sometimes. that's why texting is so coop fusing. >> i would agree. >> my special thanks to elie mystal and net tasha bertrand. chris hayes will be back on monday night. if you're ever looking for me, you can find me at 6:00 p.m. eastern on "the beat." next we'll i'll be joined by the art of the deal tony schwartz.
we're looking forward to that "the beat," 6:00 p.m. eastern week nights. but more importantly "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. good evening, ari. thanks. much appreciated. thanks for joining us at home. it is friday. so that means the news has again a little nuts again. i feel like there is nothing predictable about american news cycles anymore other than the fact that the cuckoo pops out of the clock reliably every friday night. that's one thing you can count on. it's friday. things are nuts. tonight is no exception. tonight the cuckoo has popped out of the clock. and over the course of this hour, actually, we're waitsing for the next big thing to happen on two very important stories. i'll just tell you flat-out, we expect to be covering developments in both of these stories over the course of this evening, potentially into the overnight hours tonight. as i speak right now, it's 9:00 p.m. eastern, and this hour is going t