tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC November 16, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
preview prompts a sneak peek to see if julian assange is the canary in the coal mine and could it mean more indictments from robert mueller? >> this is consequential if these charges are relate nod the 2016 election or not, because if he is charged criminally, it is giving mueller leverage to get him to say what he knows. >> access granted, a judge appointed by donald trump rules that the white house must let cnn's jim acosta back in after the secret is service pulled his press pass after a heated exchange. >> this is great day for the first amendment in journalism. >> let's go back to work. >> and an exclusive report reveals that the round the clock detail could add up to almost 0 $20 million by next year. >> what this is, it is a unprecedented security arrangement by the u.s. marshals, and these are people who protect the supreme court
justices, justices, and they run down drug dealers, and these are not the people who are usually protecting the cabinet secretaries. good day, everyone. i'm in for andrea, and ther is a surprising silence from the white house today. president trump is staying off of the social media today after the thursday twitter storm of attacks and unsubstantiated claims against robert mueller. while a cast of characters linked to the president and the 2016 campaign are in the headlines amid headlines of the mue mueller's team next moves. joining me is intelligence jim clayny and correspondent geoff bennett, and analyst jonathan le mere white house are reporter for the associated press, and barbara mcquaid, former u.s. attorney. great to have a all of you with us. and geoff, let me begin with you, because it has been more
than 24 hours since the president vented all of the frustration to like the 55 million dwiter followers and how is everyone in this white house doing this friday? >> and eamon, remember that the president seemed to suggest in the tweets that is something that we may soon find out about, and somebody close to the president said that the mood is dour around the west wing with at least in relation to the are russian investigation that the white shouse beyond the no comment period. and people close to the president have been imploring him not to impede or downright shutdown the investigation, and they are making the pitch and the argument to him based on the way they believe he is best apt to receive it. they are not saying shut down the investigation because it would tip the country into a constitutional crisis, but you have been compliant so far and let it play out.
and so far the president has been receptive to it, but he is feeling a a little bit relieved in that he has a ally in matt whitaker overseeing the entire thing. >> and jonathan, let me pick up on the point of how this may play hout out, and we are getting a better idea of what the president is dealing with from none other than his own lawyer rudy giuliani who told the washington post that there are some questions that create more situations legally than others and some unnecessary, and some that were possible traps and we might consider some as irrelevant. so the question, jonathan, is this a good indicator of where this president, where his legal team fears pressure is coming from? >> yes, in is the strategy throughout, and giuliani has told me that they want to address the subject of collusion only in a written form which is for now something that robert mueller wants the do. he says they don't want to touch the obstruction issue, because it is out of bound, because it took place after the president
was in office, and mueller should be restricted to investigating the campaign, but what we have seen here at the last couple of days the white house is part of the meetings going over the responses which is explaining the outburst yesterday which suddenly mueller who had fade pod the background and the probe that stretched into the midterm elections, because the special counsel went dark is suddenly front and center again for the president. he has had to deal with the questions, and seen a lot of speculation in the media, and jerome corsi and roger stone may soon face indictments thapd have talked about it themselves, and the whitaker appointment is someone who is so critical of the mueller probe, but, trump makeing him the acting attorney general has drawn blowback from both sides of the aisles and are frustrated that the whitaker choice is not this slam dunk that he hoped and so yesterday, he told lindsey graham that he would allow the mueller probe the continue. >> and barbara, before the legal analysis of, this ken, let me get your take on what you have
been tracking is the potential connection of joule yaj assange, and the trump campaign, and he is still in the ecuadorian em bas si in london and now he is back in focus because of a court document filed in washington, and what d can you tell us about that? >> well, there is a lot of secret information that prosecutors know about that we don't know, and in this case, it came into glimpse by mistake, because a prosecutor in the eastern district of virginia was filing a document in unrelated case and motion to seal a case, and he appears to have cut and pasted from a secret julian assange file, and he lefts a saung -- assange'ses name in the public court document, and it says that he has been charged privately, and it does not prove it, because it could have been a draft cdocument, but either way charging or just contemplating a
series of charges is a milestone, because they have been investigating julian assange and wikileaks for years, but now he is figuring prominently in the russian investigation, and whether or not these charges are related to the russian investigation would be significant if he was charged, because it would give robert mueller leverage to compel his testimony and cut a deal and get him to say what he knows if anything about the collusion with the campaign and the russians. >> and first, let me start with paul manafort and rick gates, because they are very much relevant here, and not just based on what ken is report, but in addition to robert mueller asking for ten more days in order to get more information or perhaps more information from manafort. they are obviously still cooperati cooperating, and what they are saying is seeming to be important enough to keep the mueller team interested. how critical are they as the president starts to address some of the questions that are pertaining to collusion and the campai campaign? >> well, potentially very critical.
those two were in key position s in the summer of 2016 which is in the period after the hacking of the dnc e-mails, but before the dissemination, and they were there to understand what role if any the trump campaign had providing encourage and advice which could make any of them co-conspirators and delaying the information from the gates' case to find out that they are getting information this is fruitful, and that is making sense that when they are investigating the stone associates they may have to go back to square their stories with other witnesses. >> and so, jonathan, the answers kored by rudy giuliani in writin writing, and how significant that he is admitted some of them could be perceived as a trap and some of them problematic for them. and what potential problems could the questions sent to rudy giuliani and the white house pose for the white house that has giuliani somewhat concerned about? >> well, we have not seen the questions, but they relate to
russian interference, and they could demonstrate knowledge of things that were previously unknown no the president, and when did this happen and when did that happen and did you know about x to cause them to say, oh, my gosh, they know about x, and those are the kinds of things that could perhaps explain president trump's apparent panic in the tweet storm that we have been seeing, but hard to say. getting the written answers is e never as good as asking the person on the spot for their answers, because you lose some of the candor and you get lawyers' answers instead of the witnesses' answers, and they can massage the information a little bit, but there is no hiding the fact, and i imagine what robert mueller is trying to do here is to lock president trump into the story to make it hard for him to wiggle out of later, and that is causing the alarm to rudy giuliani. >> and let's talk about it in terms of the implications that he may ultimately face charges in the u.s. and no clear indication na ecuadorian government and the british
authorities would ask for the authorities out there, and detain him in some capacity and extradite him to the u.s., and any sense that there is any movement on any of the levels of the processes whether it is the british government or the ecuadorian government or others near in the u.s.? >> no, there are statements that he has worn out his welcome there and become a thorn in the side diplomatically, but if charges are unsealed against him, and he is facing serious prison time, he may have things to offer robert mueller, and wiki a leaks was mention and not named in the last indictment when he charged the russians with hacking and manipulating the 2016 election, and wikileaks was not implicated in the crimes, but it is wildly indicated that they know more about assange and wikileaks than he has made public so far. >> and geoff, a sense from where
we are with the president's outrage on twitter and the outburst and the 24 hours from here and the accidental slipup from the eastern district of virginia that julian assange may be arrested and that anything is changing in terms of the legal strategy from the white house or what is coming down the pipeline. >> and not really, kellyanne conway was asked about it, and she said we will let the chips fall where they may, and the trump administration has sent conflicting messages about this, and in the campaign, he famously said that i love wikileak, but mike pompeo as the cia director call called them a hostile intelligence service, and jeff sessions said that julian assange's arrest is a top priority and there are attempts to bring him to arrest, and the latest has to do with the cable transfers from chelsea manning. so this is one way where they
say one thing and the administration is acting in a different way. >> and tell me about the differences of in particular the concerns of giuliani and the white house have from the legal developments that we have seen and not just in terms of trying to get ani ally in someone like matthew whitaker as the acting attorney general, but also the revelation that the president in his tweets have made references to the inner workings of the mueller investigation, and a is that problematic for the people at the white house, and do the people express concern that this is another slipup of the president in the same way that the "daily caller" article made reference no the mueller investigation in reference to whitaker. >> it is still being determined and people are not sure what the president meant about that and if he is talking to other witnesses or people who have sat before mueller or whether there is something perhaps more s significant about the slip-up, but in the daily caller interview, he clearly equated whitaker being elevated to this position as a response to the mueller probe, and in our
reporting we know that part of it is that he is frustrated with the blowback to whitaker is that he is not senate-confirm and he is saying, well, robert mueller was not senate confirmed in this position either, and of course, he did not have to with be to be special counsel and he was confirmed when he was fbi director, so that is one of the many fronts that the president is dealing with and coming off of the day by day with the delegates loss in the house is worst and a steady stream of bad news for the president, and the white house is girding up for that fight, and now the d democrats are in control of the house of congress and armed with the subpoena, and make it clear that they plan to connect a slew of investigations with the white house that they are on battle footing here getting ready for what is coming in january for when the democrats take power. >> and ken, i wanted to get some quick reaction from you regarding the new developments regarding federal prosecutors as well as the defense attorney for maria butina who is the russian national who has been a accused
of espionage or certainly acting as an agent of the russian government in d.c., and what more can you tell us about that? >> fascinating are reporting from our colleague tom winter who says that the prosecutors are negotiating over a potential resolution in the butina case which to me would seem that he shoo would give some information about the actives here which could with be important again in the mueller investigation, and she does not seem to be directly relate nod the 2016 election interference, but she was sent here to courier favor with the white house, and although she is not accused of espionage, and the extent to which she is clean and talks to american authorities about who she met with could be important for the counter intelligence and the fbi and the robert mueller investigati investigation. >> indeed, a fascinating development and a lot of moving pieces. thank you all very much. coming up, press pass, a
trump-appointed judge tells the white house the reinstate a cnn reporter's credentials and we will have the latest than coming up nextt on "andrea mitchell reports." reports.first. so you don't die waiting. upmc does more living-donor liver transplants than any other center in the nation. find out more and get out of line today.
my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. i want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who s supported us this week, and i want to thank the judge for the decision that he made today, and let's go back to work. >> all right. that is cnn's jim acosta outside
of a d.c. court after a u.s. district judge appointed by donald trump important to note ruled that the white house must reinstate acosta's press pass after a contentious exchange last week. and joining me is peter baker and msnbc political analyst, and jill wineback is a special prosecutor and also msnbc contributor and great to have both of you with us. and jill, explain what happened in court today in terms of the legal developments and what is going to happen next. >> the legal occurrences today were a temporary resolution of the case restoring jim acosta's hard press pass. it is not a final resolution on the first amendment. the judge as judges tend to do found the narrowest grounds that he could to decide the case, and that is on the grounds that jim acosta had not been given due process as is required before
his press pass could be taken away, and so it is simply a decision on due process and the first amendment issue is one that will be now decided while he has his press pass back. he can go into the white house, but it does not mean that the press officer is going to call on him, and so he may never get to ask a question, but he is going to be at least able to be in the room and that is a good thing for the free pass. it is a very important issue that we should not ignore, because if his pass be taken a away, and so can anyone else's, and the next thing only fox news is going to be in the room. >> and i know that peter, the white house has react ed to thi and in fact, the white house press secretary sarah sanders huckaby said that today the court made it clear that there is no absolute first amendment right to access the white house, and so we will temporarily reinstate the press pass and develop rules and processes to
ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. what do you make of this language, peter? the term that she is using is fair and orderly press conferenc conferences, but also the fact that she suggests that obviously the court ruling as jill said, does not address the first amendment issue, but she is going further to say that the first amendment can does not guarantee you access to the white house. >> that first part is a spin, because nobody said that it guaranteed everybody access under all circumstances to the white house, and maybe the argument was made in the lawsuit was specifically to jim acosta's circumstances and did not plan to go that far and setting up a straw man, and the judge did not address that, but the larger point is the point that they are going to be creating a standard or process to address the 5th amendment grounds on which the judge did rule that there has to be a process before you can take anything away and what that process and the standards are going to be is the real
question. you can imagine a fair-minded set of standards that would in fact try to have some sort of decorum to a press briefing and that reporters could agree to and the truth is that this white house is weaponizing this fight, and very likely could use whatever standards it sits as a way to the take away jim acosta's pass again just using the the new process, and in the statement, she says they will temporarily reinstate his pass. so what is happening is the sword of damocles is hanging over the head of reporters who don't decide on their own unilaterally is the standard we should meet in a asking questions. >> and jill, i love the draw on your institutional knowledge, and is this deja vu looking at the edadministration's disdain r the press and similar to nixon'ses disdain fthe press? >> well, this is a little bit
more dramatic, and nixon had an enemy's list for the press and he tried to the take away access of the washington post at one point, but want to go back to something which is that i don't agree that this is not something that the first amendment allows. there's already one decision that says that the president cannot cut people off of his twitter account, because he does not like what they say. that his twitter account is a public account, and the white house and the press briefings are for the public, and so i do think that the first amendment mandates that everyone who has a legitimate press behind them and certainly jim acosta does, has to be allowed to have access. so i think that there's a legal problem with what they are saying. >> an indeed. and let's switch gears for a moment, and peter, i want to talk to you about monica lewinski, and the clinton affair 20 years later hearing her side of the story, and let's listen
to what she had to say. watch this. >> for the last two weeks leading up to the election, i did not hear from him at all. i had naively invested in his promise, and expected he would have won the election and within the first few days he would have called and, okay, great, where do you want to work. that didn't happen. i had this nagging insecurity that maybe he just did all of these things the last six months because he was trying to keep me quiet in the election. how stupid am they i believed this? that i bought this? >> so it is an interesting revelation there, and one that i certainlyner heard before in how she approached the situation, and i know that you, peter, covered the white house, and you have been covering it since 1996 and you were there for the lewinski scandal, and what is that like to the hear the details 20 years later and are you hearing the details for the first time? >> i am feeling like i am having
flashbacks discussing it. some of the details are out, and some of them fleshed out or elaborated on and they provide a human portrait of who monica lewinski is, and unfortunately for her, she was a cartoon figure in this extraordinary campaign in 1992, but at the heart, she is a real person who got herself in over her head and found herselves in the crosshairs of a frenzied political media that, you know, nobody could want to be in. and for her to now have a chance to speak out to tell her side of the story in a more fulsome way 20 years later with the perspective of hindsight and history and maturity is helpful for her and for us to see her as a real person. >> and not the mention the context of the entire metoo movement and what it has done to the collective consciousness of this nation. piter baker and jill, thank you for joining us.
and mississippi mud, and day days after remarking about a public hanging, a republican senator from mississippi is now caught on camera making more controversial comments about voting. the details are next only on "andrea mitchell reports." i can't believe it. that grandpa's nose is performing "flight of the bumblebee?" ♪ no, you goof. i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. nice. i know, right? ♪ [nose plays a jazzy saxophone tune] believe it. geico could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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it has been ten days since the midterm elections and we have important updates for you. democrats continue to expand the majority in the house and flipping another republican seat bringing the pickup totalle to 35 seats and this is questions swirling about who is going to the lead the democrats in the house. msnbc learning in the last hour the current democratic house leader nancy pe llosi is meetin with the possible challenger for the seat which is marcia fudge. pelosi said that the two had a candid and respectful conversation that lasted for about 45 minutes, and joining me now is garrett haake on capitol hill, and rick tyler who is former adviser to ted cruz and also our political reporter. and what do we know about the meeting with pelosi and fudge?
>> not much. they met behind closed doors for 45 minutes, and marcia fudge talked exclusively to nbc news and we have this place wired and this is what she said when she came out to maya sotomayor. >> any insight into the meeting with pelosi? >> we had a good discussion. >> okay. did it come up that you were potentially being at least pushed by a lot of the caucus to -- >> it did. >> to go into her spot? >> yes, it did. >> and what was her reaction? >> we talked about the differences that we with have, and we had a very good meeting. i am going to continue to think. >> and when are you going to make that decision and announce it publicly? >> probably thanksgiving, and go home the spend some time with my family. >> and so after thanksgiving for this decision as to whether or not she would challenge pelosi does not leave a lot of time that democrats with the closed
door meeting they will select their candidate for speak ser set to be that wednesday after the democrats get back, and so it is not a lot of time to whip up support, and that is a simple majority vote, so if you are placing bets at a home, pelosi is in the strong position here. as the conversations continue, i can tell you that pelosi is meeting with some of the new members of the caucus, including some who have said that they will vote gains hert. i watched max rose, the democrat, coming around the corner, corner, and he said that only thing that she offered him was a coca-cola, and so those conversations are going on. >> and max rose's seats are gain bade democrat, and so he has leverage to say that he is going in there to speak on behalf of his district. and let's switch gears, because i want to talk about the race in mississippi and a runoff between cindy hyde smith and mike espy, the democratic candidate and a pretty easy race for her, at least in the runoff, but she is
raising eyebrows again with another insensitive comment, and about her suppressing votes, and people say it is a example of her blatant racism. and let's listen to this for a moment moment. >> so she is talking there about making it difficult for those liberals to vote, and obviously, that is conjuring up a lot of negative images for people in mississippi historically, and what do you make of the controversy surrounding senator hyde-smith and what does this mean for the republican party? >> well, for the senator hyde smith this is plaguing her throughout the republican primary and a special election, so it was a nonpart sisan prima where she ran against chris daniel who got the conservative
vote, and she would have taken the more moderate vote, but she is continuing to say things that lead you scratching your head. she is also very weak on policy. it is mississippi, and it is a deep, deep red state. it would be hard to imagine as it was in alabama that they would send a democrat to the u.s. senate to replace the candidate in the special election. and so it is very, very difficult for the republicans to hold on to and she is getting negative attention. >> it is hard to imagine that if is she does win, she is going into the senate with a lot of negativity attached to her for the comments. sebrina, democrats are expanding the power in the house, and flipping a number of republican seats, and what are the implications of a possible electoral shift for 2020? >> well shgs, i think that one e pieces of where we have to be clear-eyed about it is that last
week, i should say that there is undeniably a blue wave and more and more results are trickling in, and the democrats may get closer to picking up 40 seat, and some of the opportunities came from a wave of the republican retirements, and so one of the biggest shifts that we saw was critical to the success of the democrats was suburban women, and really swinging in favor of the democrats, and that is typically a stronghold for the republicans, but we know that suburban women in particular have taken issue with donald trump at the helm of the republican party, and you did see the democrats recapture some of the independent vote which is of course in favor of trump in 2016. so i think that one of the challenges for the republicans this cycle is that they made it very much a base-only election, and so whereas that may have given them short term gains in the senate, there are long term gains that the party may address as you are seeing the momentum
now on the side of the democrats and also we will see how they handle the expand ed majority i the house, and how the dynamics impact what the electorate looks like going into 2020 >> and so, now, to the point that sebrina was talking about, rick, that the republican party is very popular in rural america, but anything that they can do to widen the base, and to try to get more voters and more inclusivity into the party which is squeezing every vote out of the red states that they can. is that a strategy to sustain them in 2020? >> it is not likely. the reason is that donald trump is going to override everything that he has done. look at the last election, and florida was very, very close, and georgia is a swing state, and north carolina is a swing state, and if he is going to lose florida, he can only afford the lose one other swing state which is arizona a new swing state, and georgia and north carolina and pennsylvania and michigan or wisconsin.
if he loses florida and any one of those states, he loses. if he keeps florida and loses any three of the combinations of any other state except for pennsylvania and georgia or pennsylvania and michigan in which it is an electoral tie at 270, he would lose for instance if he lost wisconsin and michigan and pennsylvania, that would be a loss for donald trump and remember, we just had six statewide races there, and the republicans went 0 for 6. >> and not to mention how close the race was in texas between ted cruz and beto o'rourke who says that texas may be in play in a couple of years' time. and so, thank you all very much for your time. coming up the high cost of education, and why are the taxpayer taxpayers paying $20 million to protect the education secretary betsy devoss, and we will have more on that. and she is getting a lot more protection than any other cabinet official at this point, and we will explain that next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. 2, 1...
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♪ applebee's bigger bolder grill combos are back. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. welcome back, everyone. in an exclusive report nbc news has learned that education secretary betsy devos has been receiving around the clock protection from the u.s. marshal service, and it cost be costing the taxpayers close to $20 million by next year. she was granted the protection after being heckled by people in
washington, d.c., just days after the inauguration. >> you should be so proud of yourself -- >> and joining me now is nbc national political reporter heidi prizbelya and so welcome. >> when nbc contacted the department of justice, it is clear they were not familiar with the arrangement, but because the marshall's office does fall under the purview of the fbi's office, jeff sessionings did have a signature on it. >> and we showed the video of the hecklers getting into her way in the time she left the middle school there in washington, d.c. >> the marshal's office was not
able to tell us about the specific threats facing her and when i contacted the department of education they said s significant otherwise she would not have this protection and what we know it was granted three days after the heckling incident of which you are playing footage of and we note how unusual this is, eamon, and just to put it in perspective, this is the type of the protection that is received by supreme court justices, and it is used to chase down fugitives and the only cabinet official that we could find that ever had this kind of protection was the former drug czar who would be wanted by drug cartels and gang member, but not any other current or past cabinet secretary who has had this kind of the protection. so we have been trying to get answers on who made the call, and why. we have been told by former law enforcement officials atop levels that this type of protection can be granted on the temporary basis during periods of elevated threat level p but this is going on 19 months now.
and it is unclear specifically what threat there is to her that is so significantly different than other members of the cabinet. >> and yeah, i wanted to ask you about that, and who usually provides the protection for cabinet secretaries, and we think of the protection at the high levels belonging to the secret service, but in this case, it is the u.s. marshal's office office. >> yes, and usually the security is provided through a staff that is hired through the individual agency, and that is the arrangement that was the case with previous department of education secretaries and what nbc found out in the course of our reporting is that unit which had sat around for a while while devos was also protected by the marshalls was ultimately let go. and so this is no longer a temporary situation. along the lines of what security officials told me might be a appropriate. but again, i want to stress that we are not privy to any of the specifics of what the threats may be to her, but we can point
out just how unusual this arrangement is. >> and you have a statist irk that after receiving the marshal service, she has spent less of the time and spending only less than 4% of her time outside in schools. >> we did look to make a comparison to arne duncan who spent significantly more time visit i visiting the traditional schools and we are making a distinction of the traditional schools which is a majority of the schools, and charter schools where betsy devos has had more visits which is an issue, because hers is not one of the public official, and one of a charter school advocate and so what we are seeing is that she is not using the added security to go into the type of the urban and traditional public school settings where a lot of
u.s. students, you know, attend school. >> and nbc's heidi prizbyla, thank you. and now, joined by hallie jackson at the lawn of the white house. what happened? >> he was nup in the bill signig and made some news that he had with the reporters gather ed around him for china and trade, and one of the trucks here behind me was about the mueller investigation, and the president insists that after the tweet storm yesterday morning after he railed again after robert mueller he is not agitated by what he again described as the hoax, and our reporting here at nbc news is that the president has been and a source tells me that the president has been working on the questions with orobert mueller and met with his legal team several times this week, and the president is confirming that publicly, and he is saying that he is writing the answers to robert mueller's questions stressing that the lawyers are not the ones who are
actually putting those to paper or the keyboard if you will, and that it is the president formulating those. and he is talking about a moment that you may have seen here on the north lawn a few minutes ago which is the reinstatement to the press pass to the c nshnn journalist who had the pass revoked. he said that there needs to be decorum, and the importance of putting the rules in place, and emphasizing the freedom of the press, and this is interesting one, because i am not sure how it will shake out between the president and the members of the press corps here. and the white house press association here as i was walking out came out with a statement that they praise the ruling to give this temporary win to cnn. and let me just also say that the president is happy with most of his cabinet. and almost all of the members of the cabinet and i am paraphrasing that, because we is not seen the video that i will roll soon, and notably the person in the room as you will see in the video standing off to
the shoulder is homeland security kirstjen neilson and the president thanked her publicly on this, and she has been the subject of much speculation of whether or not she is going to be ending her relationship soon, and we have noted that the relationship between the two is tense for a matter of time and it is not if but when she is going to depart -- >> and you have thrown at lot to us haley. and i want to go become to you in a moment, but there is a lot the talk about. and one more point of clarity, the mueller investigation, and i want to get this correctly. the president has said that he has answered questions in writing to the mueller investigation, is that right? >> lt me be clear here. he is saying that he is answering the questions. >> got it. >> so i don't know if it is completed or not, and presumably in the quotes here in the video here, but he used both of the tenses, and he said that he is working on them and that he answered them, but again, he has
stressed that the lawyers are not the ones writing it according to the reporters in the room with him, and those reporters have now left the room. i will say, eamon, as i look through, he says that, the president says that they have not been submitted, but that he has written them, and he has answered them. so we presume that they will be submit f submitted to the special counsel shortly, and the timing is lining up with what our reporting was earlier in the week that the president would be expected to turn it over to special counsel by the end of the week, so maybe we are on track for that. >> and so we are expecting that tape from the president to come out momentarily, and when it does, we will play it for the viewers and watch it all together. but hallie on the point of the questions, we know that his attorney rudy giuliani had suggested that some were a trap, and other questions that he felt were irrelevant, and giuliani suggested this to the post, and have you gotten a sense from the president anything to do with the nature of the questions that the mueller team has asked him?
focused solely on collusion or beyond the scope? >> well, that is an excellent point, and we don't know if the president has addressed that and looking at the notes from the colleagues in the room, he did not, but hesitance on the part of the legal team and they would not do it is to answer questions about obstruction and that piece of it, because the thinking inside of the legal team, that would relate to the firing of james comey in their view, and they felt it was not under the purview of the special counsel, and so they did try to delineate the topics that robert mueller could ask about, and a couple of pieces to this, written questions may or may not satisfy robert mueller, and we will have to see. typically, when i have talked to legal experts they say, hey, somebody wants to be in person to ask the questions, and the special counsel did -- >> i think that we just got the piece. let me play this tape of the president. >> we are writing up rules and regulations to make a position.
i they you were treated very unfairly, and both of you, unfa unfairly, because you have somebody interrupting you, and if they don't listen to rules and regulations, we will end up back in court, and we win. but more importantly, we'll just leave. and then you won't be very happy. because we do get good ratings. >> you talk about rules and regulations, what do you mean? >> decorum. you can't take three and four questions and just stand up and not sit down. you have to practice decorum. you were there. you understood. and you understand. we want total freedom of the press. that's very important to me. more important to methane anybody would believe but you have to act with respect. you are in the white house. when i see the way some of my people get treated at press conferences, it is terrible. we are setting up a certain standard which is what the court is requesting. but that's the way it is. and we always have the option of
just leaving. you know? if we feel that things aren't being treated properly, that people aren't being treated properly, we always have the right to leave and i think the other media, the other press in the room will not be very happy if that happens and instructed my people when they're not treated properly, you have the right to just leave when you want. >> mr. president -- >> response this week to -- requests. have you seen that response? >> you say china? >> china, yes. >> go ahead. tell me what their response was? >> a response of 142 items on -- >> yeah. that's good. china wants to make a deal. as you know, jeff, china wants to make a deal. they sent a list of things that they're willing to do, a large list. and just not acceptable to me yet but i think some point we are doing extremely well with respect to china. i have a great respect for
president xi and china and taken advantage of the united states for many, many years. ron johnson knows that maybe better than anybody else. he's a big believer in what i'm doing and i think they'll come in and open up china to make it fair. they do very little business with them and we do a lot of business. just can't be. plus they have tremendous barriers. they have tremendous tariffs on us that we didn't have on them. that's all changed now. we have put on tariffs. $250 billion worth of goods and we have $267 billion do go if we want to. china would like to make a deal. our country has done very well and china as you know has not done very well. they have been down 30%, 32%. they have been down very substantially. we have helped create china as we know it today by allowing money to be sucked out of our country by the billions.
$500 billion a year in many cases. over a long period of time. and we can't allow that to happen. i think we will have a great relationship with china. hopefully we'll make a deal. and if we don't, we're doing well the way we are. we have tariffs on goods and billions billions and billions a month flowing into our country and has already started. that comes from china so china's never been put in this position and i don't want to put them in a bad position. i want to put them in a great position but it's called reciprocal. we can't have trade that's meant for stupid people. and that's the way they took advantage of our country. and we don't have that anymore. and they understand that. and i think a deal will be made and find out very soon.
>> mr. president -- >> just to follow up, sir, the list they submitted, do you think it goes far enough? >> it's a pretty complete list and the things we asked for. there are some things, four or five big things left off. i think we'll get them, too. it's a complete list. i think 142 items. >> that's right. >> that's a lot of items. okay? thank you very much, everybody. >> thank you. thank you. >> thank you. >> one more, mr. president? you on twitter yesterday seemed a bit agitated about the mueller investigation. >> no. it's hoax. the whole thing is a hoax. there was no collusion. >> did anything trigger that set of tweets? >> not at all. i'm have been happy with the white house. i'm extremely happy with our country. we are doing better on the economy. maybe the best economy we have had and best unemployment and employment numbers we have ever had. more people working in the united states right now than have ever worked in the united
states by far. by far. i'm extremely happy. i'm very happy with almost all of my cabinet. and, you know, changes are made because they're always made, especially after midterms and all fake news. it is -- i'm thrilled with the way the country is going. i think on foreign we're making trade deals. we just made a deal with mexico and canada, with south korea that are phenomenal deals and they were horrible deals before. >> you seemed unhappy with the mueller investigation particularly yesterday. >> no. it's just a continuation. you can go. they should have never been any mueller investigation because there was never anything done wrong, never collusion. you would have known about it a long time ago if there was. there was nothing -- they should have never had it. they have wasted millions and millions of dollars. they should have never been a so-called investigation which in theory it is not an investigation of me. but it's as far as i'm concerned i like to take everything permly
because you do everything better that way. the witch hunt as i call it should have never taken place. continues to go on. i imagine it's ending. from what i hear it's ending and i'm sure it will be just fine. and you know why it's just fine? because there was no collusion. the fact is i was a much better candidate than hillary clinton. i went to the right states. she went to the wrong states. she was not a good campaigner. i campaigned very well and i won the electoral college. i guess 306 to 233. that's a big difference. >> have you provided answers, sir? >> about what? >> the special counsel. the lawyers. >> yeah. my lawyers aren't working on that. i write the answers. i write answers. i was asked a series of questions. i have asked them very easily. very easily. i'm sure they're tripped up because they like to catch people, gee, was the weather sunny or raining?
he said it may have been a good day. it was rainy and told a lie. he perjured himself. okay? you have to be careful answering questions with people that probably have bad intentions but no. the questions were very routinely answered by me. by me. okay? >> special counsel -- >> submitted? >> yeah. to the special counsel. >> you submitted? >> i just finished them. i'm a little bit busy. we have been in europe. working various deals. we just finished the u.s. mca. if you look at that deal which is one of the great trade deals you can see how pap pi our farmers are. we have done a lot of work in the last period of time and been very busy and very hard to find time and didn't take long to do them. they were my answers. i don't need lawyers to do that. you need lawyers for submittal and go over some of the answers but they're not very difficult
questions. okay? thank you very much, everybody. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> you were just watching the president there addressing reporters inside the west wing, the oval office. the president was participating in a cyber security and infrastructure security agency act signing ceremony when he decided to take some questions from the pool there that you saw. most significantly, in addition to addressing his cabinet, in addition to addressing the developments involving cnn and that court ruling, the most significant news to come out of that involves the mueller investigation. the president for the first time confirming at least publicly that he has answered in writing, in writing questions that were submitted by the mueller investigators. i want to bring in nbc chief white house correspondent hallie jackson watching this with us as it was playing out. pretty significant news out of the president in addressing the questions in the way he deflected some of them saying
they were very easy questions that he himself writing them. what did you take away from what the president said about the mueller investigation? >> reporter: significant but not shocking. let's make one thing clear. the president said he is writing the answers. the lawyers are working with him on that. and that is just a point of fact here based on the reporting we have been doing as the president prepares now he says to submit this to robert mueller and finished these answers but i haven't submitted yet that means likely it is still in the vet process with the legal team so we're working to find out more on when specifically the answers will be submitted to the special counsel and question to follow up on some of these issues and questions raised so i do think that that is significant. the president talked about the idea to trap him or there's the potential to be trapped. right? you heard about it sunny or rainy. what do you remember? talking to legal experts they
say and chuck rosenberg said there's no such thing as a perjury trap. you tell the truth or you don't which seems to be the feeling of the former prosecutors that we speak to for our reporting. that is the headline out of this. it was initially something unexpected. the pool was called in sort of last minute. that group of reporter that is goes in and clearly the president wanted to talk. let ice address another thing that the president talked about. he was asked about the developments we have been covering this afternoon related to the revocation of the credential for a cnn reporter reinstated at least temporarily by a judge. a donald trump appointed judge. the president talked about the idea as that truck pops again down the driveway there needing to be decorum. that was a word used at least once and talked about rules and regulations put in place. i do think we would be remiss not to note what has happened at least from the president's perspective. that isi