tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC February 21, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST
stephanie ruhle. my partner, ali velshi, on assignment. it is thursday, february 21st. let's get smarter. jussie smollett, the actor in custody under arrest. he was charged with a felony for allegedly filing a false police report. the 36-year-old is also set to appear in a chicago courtroom later this afternoon. >> this announcement today recognizes that "empire" actor jussie smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. i'm left hanging my head and asking why. smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drive chicago's reputation through the mud in the process. >> what happens if someone decides that they won't step forward now because they won't be believed, that someone will think that what they're saying is a hoax? >> hoaxes cause real damage to society, not only by wasting law enforcement and judicial resources, but by also
terrorizing the community. and a coast guard lieutenant and a self-identified white nationalist is now under arrest after authorities say they uncovered a stockpile of weapons and ammunition and a target list of prominent democrats and television hosts. the suspect reportedly writing, i am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth. after nearly two years of questions about the president and russia, we might finally get some actual answers. >> we are being told by law enforcement officials and congressional officials that the report could be delivered to the attorney general any day now really, and likely within the next week. >> should the mueller report be released while you're abroad next week? >> that will be totally up to the new attorney general. >> what do you expect -- >> i guess that is totally up to the attorney general. any day now one of the most important documents in modern american history will be finished and we're going to be
one step closer to getting answers. we'll hopefully get them about the events surrounding the 2016 presidential election. almost three years after the hotly contested campaign, special counsel robert mueller's report is expected to be completed and submitted, and no matter what the outcome, history will be made. new attorney general bill barr will face one of the biggest challenges any a.g. could imagine just weeks after his senate confirmation. can't say he didn't see it coming. since then, the new year officials have told nbc that the special counsel could likely wrap his case as early as the end of february, which is next week. mueller would submit the report to the new attorney general now overseeing the investigation and could give barr insight into any potential case against the president for coordination with russia during the election. and while president trump said it would be barr's decision on how to proceed with the report, here's what the attorney general said in his confirmation hearing
on that very issue. >> i will follow the special counsel regulations scrupulously and in good faith, and on my watch, bob will be allowed to finish his work. but it's very important that the public and congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work. my goal will be to provide as much transparency as i can consistent with the law. >> will you commit to making any report mueller produces at the conclusion of his investigation available to congress and to the public? >> as i said in my statement, i am going to make as much information available as i can consistent with the rules and regulations that are part of the special counsel regulations. the attorney general, as i understand the rules, would report to congress about the conclusion of the investigation, and i believe there may be discretion there about what the attorney general can put in that report. >> i sense a little wiggle room
there. joining us now nbc news contributor jill wine-banks and "daily beast" politics superstar reporter betsy woodruff. okay, jill, i want to unpack some of what attorney general barr said at his hearing because i feel like he hinted that he's got some discretion about what goes into the report. what does that mean? i mean mueller writes the report and then he puts some stars and question marks on it? >> basically, unfortunately, the way the rules are written for this particular special counsel, there is discretion in the attorney general. and that's unfortunate given what he had written in his memo about what he thought about the mueller investigation and about the opportunity to indict the president. he's already spoken on that. he sounded a little differently when he was testifying at his confirmation. i have been urging that there be public hearings so that the facts can be judged by the american people, so that
witnesses, body language, and their testimony can be evaluated, their credibility assessed by the people who have to make decisions in the next election. so that's an important element, even if the mueller report were to be released completely. the other way to release it, if barr will not release it, is through applying to a court so that grand jury testimony can be released to the congress for their evaluation of possible impeachment if that is warranted. of course we don't know what conclusions mueller has reached. so if there is something there, it may be possible to get it to congress for their evaluation. >> okay. whenever barr mentioned transparency, though, he had this caveat within the special counsel rules. how exactly does that work? >> well, first of all, he can change the rules. >> he being barr? >> he, barr, yes. it's set by the department of justice.
so when he says he's bound by the rules, he isn't. >> he is the rules. >> he is the rule maker. so i think that if he wanted -- if he felt legitimately that the public interest required making this public, and that could be if he felt that he was -- that the report exonerated the president, that's something the people need to know just as much as if the report says that if he were not president he would be indicted because the evidence is of a crime. the only reason that he might not be indicted is because of the office of legal counsel opinion. and that's something that could be tested. it can go to the supreme court and let them decide. there's nothing in the constitution that clearly says you cannot indict a president, and many people in america -- all you have to do is read twitter and you will see that people feel no one is above the law, and that if you say that the president cannot be indicted, even though there's evidence of his criminal activity, then somebody is above the law. >> jill, my friend, i'm not sure
if i agree with you, if we should start making decisions based on what the tweeterverse tells us. betsy, what are you hearing? how close is hereto being finished? >> there was an interesting conversation this morning that andy mccabe had with reporters shortly before his interview with andrea mitchell on this network. of course mccabe hasn't been in government for upwards of a year but he was asked what his take was on these reports about the mueller report coming out. mccabe, of course, played, a, if not the pivotal role in kicking off the mueller investigation and he said that while he didn't have any inside information about the trajectory of the mueller investigation or the status of the report, he suggested that he would be a little surprised if the report comes out as soon as this next week. one of the reasons, i think, that a number of folks are a little bit perplexed about some of this reporting, which is wide, is that there's still litigation going on before the supreme court where mueller's team is trying to get an unnamed
foreign entity that appears to be a financial institution to cooperate in some way with his investigation. of course it's possible that mueller would hand over whatever information that foreign epgt entity would have to another u.s. attorney's office. he's been jettisoning different branches of his investigation to different components of the justice department. that said, there's still a lot of pots on the stove for mueller. whether he is the one that takes those different threads of the investigations through to their conclusion or gives them to other folks in doj after providing a report to bill barr as soon as within the coming days is a big open question. >> that's got to be a big stove. all right, we've got to talk about roger stone. we know he apologized for posting on instagram the picture of the judge, but he is still posting. so help me understand what's going on. he's asking for help in his epic fight against the anti-donald
trump deep state. how is that going to play into today's hearing? >> well, it's certainly not going to make roger's life any easier. federal judges don't like to see those kinds of things. they're not fans of seeing their pictures with crosshairs next to their heads. one thing stone has been saying for quite some time is that this investigation has strained his finances. that certainly is not something that is outside the realm of [ applause plaus ability. but this could get him put under house arrest or in jail depending on how the judge reads the post that he put up. >> jill, what do you think the judge will do here? >> it's hard to say. she will for sure take some action to limit his ability to do things of this nature. she will certainly at least dress him down, so to speak, which is particularly appropriate for roger stone. but i think there's another
thing about roger stone, which is the search of his premises has yielded apparently so much information that delays have been necessary. that's another reason to think that the mueller investigation would not be over, because if he's still reviewing documents from an active case that he's involved in, why would he conclude the investigation now? there are still trials to be had. you don't normally wrap up until all of the things that you've been working on are done. so i'm sort of agreeing with apparently i didn't hear mr. mccabe say this, but i think that it's not clear that the reporting is accurate that there will be a report by the end of this month. >> well, i know people who cover this, they're not allowed to go on vacation until then. jill, betsy, thank you so much. fascinating stuff. we've got to move forward, because as the president is awaiting the upcoming release of that mueller report, his former
personal attorney and self-styled fixer, he is set to face two, not one, but two separate congressional panels next week testifying before the senate intel committee on tuesday and the house oversight and reform committee on wednesday. but in an unexpected turn, cohen, guess where he was seen today? no, not in a fancy new york city restaurant, he was on the hill. nbc's garrett haake was there and actually spoke to the president's former lawyer. what's he doing there? >> reporter: well, stephanie, he's now facing three congressional appearances next week. we knew about the oversight hearing on wednesday, we knew that he would be behind closed doors with house intel on thursday. we heard today that he will be speaking with the senate intelligence committee and with those senators on tuesday. we think that will be behind closed doors. today he was behind closed doors meeting with senate intel staffers. after cohen's last attempted testimony, he got in a lot of trouble and really upset the chairman, richard burr, by
releasing his testimony early and talking about his appearance. as you'll see in a second he was not talking much on camera today when i tried to ask exactly what he was doing here. take a listen. >> reporter: mr. cohen, why were you on the hill today? sir, were you meeting with the senate intel team? >> we're answering no questions. >> what's your message ahead of the mueller report? >> mr. davis, are you going to chat with us a little bit? >> i can't. >> reporter: so cohen not talking on camera did confirm to me off camera that he would be appearing here next week, but beyond that not talking at all about his testimony. it will be a very big and a long week for michael cohen in front of three different panels who have a lot of questions about all the various elements of the president's life that he was a part of. >> and i forgot, are they public? >> reporter: the oversight committee hearing on wednesday will be public. the house hearing on thursday
will not. the senate committee hearing on tuesday we don't know yet. >> that day twitter will just be a sea of those gifs of people watching and eating popcorn. it is going to be an eventful week. officials have called this an alarming case of hate, drugs and guns. a u.s. coast guard officer who allegedly describes himself as a white nationalist is now accused of making a list of prominent americans that he wants to kill. this man is due in court this hour. we're going to be live with the chilling details of what the fbi uncovered. thank you, fbi. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." we'll dig into this on the other side. ruhle. we'll dig into this on the other side so, i started with the stats regarding my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. like how humira has been prescribed to over 300,000 patients. and how many patients saw clear or almost clear skin in just 4 months - the kind of clearance that can last. humira targets and blocks a specific source of
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welcome back. a coast guard lieutenant is in federal court right now facing drug and weapons charges after fbi officials say he was living a secret life and he appeared to be a domestic terrorist. federal prosecutors say lieutenant christopher paul hasson assembled a list of 15 potential targets, including prominent democrats and tv hosts that he considered to be traitors. the fbi says when agents searched his maryland home, they found 15 firearms, handguns and rifles, plus over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. law enforcement officials say there was no actual attack planned. prosecutors say hasson intended to murder innocent civilians on
a scale rarely seen in this country. nbc's hans nichols is outside the court house in green belt, maryland. also with me, michael german, who's a former fbi undercover agent. i want you to pay attention to this. he infiltrated white supremacist groups so he truly understands how they work and he's a fellow at the brennan justice. hans, what's happening in court and what charges is he facing? >> reporter: he's facing two charges dealing with the weapons and as well as charges on narcotics. prosecutors are making the case that he's a flight risk and danger to the community and that's why we know all these details about what he's allegedly thinking about. now, what the prosecutors have done, stephanie, is they have taken this manifesto, this 15,000 page manifesto from that norwegian extremist and they're saying that mr. hasson was
closely following that and that they needed to intervene. so what we have today is an opportunity for mr. hasson's lawyers, he has a court-appointed lawyer, to make the case that he should be set free. otherwise we could get potentially additional charges. the photographers are clicking away here. they might be doing that to be testing their shutter speeds, but we could get something here any moment. stephanie. >> michael, walk me through this. you are a former undercover fbi agent. how would the fbi track this guy down? >> it's unclear right now. it's still very early, and the motion to detain him prestyle is really the first evidence that we've seen in the public about his plans. and it's interesting looking at that document, because it's not clear he was actually in communication with any co-conspirators. most of the documents were things that he had e-mailed himself or things that he had
drafted and documents that were on his computer rather than actual e-mails to other people within the white supremacist movement or other co-conspirators. obviously what he had done is started collecting a lot of weapons and combined that with purchasing narcotics over the internet. clearly i can understand why the fbi and the coast guard determined it was getting to a dangerous point where they needed to take action. >> how do these white supremacist groups work? how do they operate? i know you've infiltrated some. give us a better picture of sort of the domestic terrorism network. >> so it's much broader than i think people understand. i mean obviously there's a lot of concern in this instance because here was somebody who was a coast guard officer who may have had these ideas or inclinations and that had actually written out a plan to do harm.
but they're infiltrated throughout society. they're in corporate board rooms, they're everywhere. that was one of the things that surprised me when i was introduced to the movement as an undercover agent, to realize that these are everyday people you wouldn't really blink at if you passed them in the grocery store. and this ideology that they follow is actually very old. i mean it was really only, you know, 50, 60 years ago that a majority of white people believed a lot of what they believe. so the philosophies and theologies that justify white supremacist ideas are actually quite old. they're the same ideas that justified slavery, that justified colonialism, that justified the jim crow laws. so this has been a pervasive part of our society for the entire existence of our society, and it's been suppressed since the civil rights movement.
unfortunately, we're seeing a resurgence of it because we have a president who seems to speak to this audience. >> my goodness, when you said coast guard, i was thinking, wow, if i walked by him in a store and my kid saw him, i would have told my son to shake his hand and say thanks. >> right. >> how does the justice department generally respond to things like this if it's a hate crime that hasn't been committed yet? >> so there aren't any crimes or statutes that you can use to punish somebody for what they were thinking about doing. i don't think we want those in our society. where there is a conspiracy, in other words, where somebody is acting in concert with another person to commit a crime, acts, overt acts that would not necessarily be crimes themselves could be treated as an overt act in a conspiracy and, therefore, punishable. but if the fbi is unable to show
that this individual was actually working with others, perhaps the method that they have taken charging him with the possession of drugs and the possession of firearms while addicted to drugs is a good solution. there are plenty of laws on the books. there are 51 federal crimes of terrorism. in addition, the fbi -- or the justice department has five hate crime statutes, so there are a lot of laws on the books and a lot of different ways to attack this problem. so it's not a matter of needing new laws, it's a matter of making sure that the fbi and the justice department are actually focused on this problem. part of the problem that we identified in a report that we published last year is that far right terrorism is deprioritized within the counterterrorism world. it's behind what the government calls international terrorism.
even though white supremacy didn't start in the united states, it's actually an international phenomenon. so there's this inappropriate degrading of white supremacist violence as a national security concern. and in fact a lot of times it's downgraded to what they call hate crimes which the language we use is important, but more important is that terrorism is the fbi's number one priority, counterterrorism. civil rights violations like hate crimes are number five. so categorizing something that could be just as dangerous as an act of terrorism and meet the definition of an act of terrorism as a hate crime does have an impact as far as how many resources that are devoted to investigating and prosecuting that crime. >> this is complicated. we're lucky to have so many great people in the fbi.
thank you both. police say it was all just a hoax. a hoax seems like a comical word, but there's nothing funny about this. "empire" actor jussie smollett is under arrest and is due in court after being charged with giving police a fake report claiming two men brutally attacked him last month. today the chicago police have revealed a possible motive. we have got the latest twists and turns in this case. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. last years' ad campaign was a success for choicehotels.com badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows?
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we are back with breaking news. "empire" actor jussie smollett is due in court in about an hour after the chicago police department revealed for the first time a possible motive in the alleged hate crime attack that investigators say was staged. smollett surrendered this morning and was officially arrested after being charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. smollett, who's black and openly gay, claimed he was attacked by two masked men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs. smollett said the men put a rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him. this morning visibly angry police officials dropped a bombshell saying smollett set up the attack to help promote his
own career. >> smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language. when that didn't work, smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack. this stunt was orchestrated by smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary. smollett was treated as a victim throughout this investigation until we received evidence that led detectives in another direction. >> my goodness. the chicago police department have a lot of real business to do. if convicted of this felony charge, smollett could face probation or up to three years in prison. last week spoke out and defended his claims. >> i'm an advocate. i respect too much the people, who i'm now one of those people, who have been attacked in any way. you do such a disservice when
you lie about things like this. >> smollett could also face federal charged if the fbi determines that he lied about an alleged death threat he claims he received in the mail. there's a lot to go through. this thing is complicated. joining me now is earnest owens, a writer at large and maya wiley back with me. she joined me this morning and i thought the conversation was so good, i'm glad she came back. all right, maya, now that we know or the police are saying it was a staged attack, what is next for him? >> well, you know, after he appears in court, and we don't know what he'll say. little, it will be through his attorneys. the question will really be whether or not there's going to be a trial on the facts of this or whether or not there's going to be a plea deal. he was charged with a class 4 felony. it's a felony, but it's a low-level felony. sometimes these are misdemeanors. we might see a downward plea
where he pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. i think the bigger issue here is the larger conversation that this is spurring. jussie smollett said it himself when he said it's critically important not to lie about these things. and it is, because there actually, we talked about it earlier today, there is a narrative out there that suggests that people who claim that racism is still real in society or that homophobia is still real in society or any of the societal issues that we see trends around in this country are not real, there is literally in one opinion piece i saw, a headline that said why all the hoaxes in relationship to this story. i'm just going cite one statistic to say why. we have a problem of race and homophobia and other hate in this country. hoaxes, according to brian levin, who's a professor in california who's tracked it himself. these are not fbi claims, he's
tracked reports. has found between 2016 and 2018, 49 hoaxes and 21,000 hate crimes. >> but by doing this, ernest, doesn't jussie smollett only fuel those who say this is all a hoax, there's nothing real? i don't want to use the word "gift" but it's almost a gift to those who deny that there's social injustice. we all know that there is and we know that hate crimes are on the rise. >> absolutely, stephanie, thank you for having me on. it's very frustrating. it's a devastation to say the very least. you know, today marks the anniversary of the assassination of malcolm x. nina simone would have been 86 today. with all these icons who have, you know, actually done the work and actually have experienced hate crimes in their lives, you know, jussie smollett just made himself the 21st century poster child for a hoax.
and for people to use this outlier as an implication to other real crimes that actually are happening today. we know the statistics, we know that hate crimes are growing, especially during the trump administration. and it's just really frustrating that this selecelebrity, who amplified the community at large, especially the black lgbtq community, to push this message and realize this is a lie has been an embarrassment to the black community, to the lgbtq community and to any victim of an actual hate crime. it's disgusting. >> i want to share what the chicago tribune's editor wrote. he fabricated a vicious assault, thus wasting police resources in a city that is struggling to contain gun violence and solve crimes. the police clearance rate for homicides and shootings in chicago is atrociously low. yet cpd spent three weeks investigating smollett's report, siphoning attention away from
legitimate victims. what's your take on that, maya? >> look, that's clearly -- if this in fact was a hoax. i do want to be a little careful because if we've learned anything from this news cycle it's let's wait for all the facts. what we heard from the police commissioner is what they believe the facts to be. they have to be proven. or jussie smollett has to plead guilty, and we'll see what happens. but i only say that to say that if this turns out to be a hoax, appeared there's lots of evidence that it may well be a hoax, it absolutely is, for all the reasons we've talked about, extremely destructive. it's destructive to law enforcement, it's destructive to the larger narrative about what our societal problems are. you know, it's destructive to jussie smollett. i mean he's destroyed some of himself, his career and his reputation in this. so he will also pay a price, not just a criminal justice price, but he has -- he's going to have some explaining to do.
>> this is a very complicated story. it's complicated for the media. >> it is. >> thank you. ernest owens, maya wiley, thanks for coming pack. a day of reckoning for the catholic church. this is also weighing on me. new revelations are coming in by the minute. a historic conference is under way at the vatican folk uing on child sexual abuse by priests and pope francis is meeting with survivors while promising, quote, we hear the cry of the little ones. well, i hope we do more than hear it. i hope we take serious action. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." ing "velshi & ruhle. (vo) we're carvana,
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this hour more than 100 perpetrators are being accused of sexual misconduct with minors in the archdiocese of new york. it is just the latest revelation in a global crisis. at the vatican today, pope francis called for action in the ongoing priest sexual abuse scandal, asking those within the catholic church to, quote, listen to the cry of the children. >> translator: in the face of this scourge of sexual abuse to the detriment of minors, i thought that i would summon you, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops of religious superiors, so that altogether we may lend an ear and listen to the holy spirit and with obedience and docility
to his guide listen to the cry of the small who are asking for justice. >> this thing is unbelievable. the historic summit comes amid years of countless allegations of sexual abuse within the catholic church. a body of faith that currently has 1.2 billion followers around the world. and of those followers, 414,000 of them are roman catholic priests. many of whom were allegedly involved in the attacks and covered them up for decades. the church is so powerful it owns 300,000 square miles of property. just to give you an idea, that is almost double the size of california's entire land area. the vatican bank is so rich it currently has $8 billion, with a b, dollars in assets. but get this, please. over $3 billion have been awarded in settlements to victims of sexual abuse dating
all the way back to 1950. the allegations of abuse span across continents. but in the united states alone, the latest bishops report received allegations from 18,565 victims. here are the heart wrenching stories of just some of those victims. >> i was groomed starting young. >> the day i met him, i was around 18 months old. >> they targeted me because i was fatherless. >> we were taught -- i mean the priests and the nuns are god. >> just think like the word "god" makes me think of him and i just -- >> who would believe me, a priest in 1948 or '47 would abuse you? would do that? never heard of such a thing, because they covered it up.
>> it's very lonely. especially when it's your word against god's. >> joining me now, nbc's anne thompson. she's at the vatican. and boston attorney who represents victims of clergy sexual abuse, mitchell garibibian. i thank you both for your work. anne, i'll talk to you first. walk me through other developments from this morning's hearing. when you and i spoke this morning and got this sort of 21-point handbook of how to handle things, it blew my mind that i would think you don't need 21 points. you need call the police. >> well, i think what pope francis did with those 21 points is they're ideas from bishops around the world. part of the issue here, stephanie, is that different countries are in different places on this journey, if you will. the united states has been through this. i mean we've been through three decades of this.
we know the pain. not every country has had the kind of revelations yet that the united states has had. but again, those 21 points are just a starting point, if you will, for the discussions that will happen over the next few days. still from survivors, they are not getting rave reviews, in part because there is no mention of zero tolerance and there's also no mention of publicly naming priests who were credibly accused. but most important of all for survivor groups is that the vatic vaticans say and promise and say, look, we're going to fire bishops who covered this up. no matter what the policy changes are, at least one survivor group says, look, until they do that and do that consistently, no, it doesn't matter if there are 21 points or two points, nothing will change. >> that's the last thing you want to hear. mitchell, you cover these cases extensively, particularly in the explosive boston scandal.
what is your thought about the pope's comments today? do you expect any change going forward? >> no, i don't expect any change. the last thing that the catholic church needs right now is another awareness conference. for over a century tens of thousands of innocent children have been sexually abused while priests knowingly covered it up. the higher echelons in the church knowingly covered it up. it's time for action. it's time to stop insulting and revictimizing victims with these meetings about -- that only contain talk and not action. it's time to release the secret files which indicate the cover-up, which indicate who the perpetrating priests were, who the sexual abuse priests were. it's time to list priests as sexual abusers, it's time as you stated earlier to call the police, it's time to defrock those priests, and it's time to
stop opposing statute of limitations. you can be in any country in the world and know that abusing a little child, a young child is wrong. you don't need a conference for that. >> well, given what the pope has said thus far today and that you basically think it's hog wash, if not him, is there any window of hope that something could change? if the pope's not going to do it, can anyone else? >> well, i believe that society has raised its awareness level through the work of advocates and victims to the point of where they realize they cannot trust their children in the presence of priests and they better watch their children, which wasn't the view decades ago. and i think people realize, okay, we have to watch little johnny or little jane when they're with the priest because we don't know what the priest is going to be up to. and the supervising priest is not going to protect that child any more than the perpetrating priest is. >> a priest.
people go to the church for spiritual and cultural guidance. for many kids, a priest is like a second father, sometimes an only one. this is so upsetting. anne, thank you so much for covering this. mitchell, you know i thank you for your work. >> thank you. when we come back, a dramatic shake-up in north carolina. this is another level. we've got some stories today. in north carolina, about that congressional race that has gone to court over alleged election fraud. in a very surprise move, the brave son of the republican candidate takes the stand moving his own father to tears. >> i love my dad and i love my mom. okay? i certainly have no vendetta against them, no family scores to settle, okay. >> that's a brave young man. what is happening today in day four of that hearing. that comes next. you're watching "velshi & ruhle."
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did things differently than i would have done them. but in thinking about all of this and engaging in this process and watching it all unfold, i've thought a lot more probably about my own little ones than about membership parents and the world we're building for them and i would be frank, mr. chairman, watching all of this process unfold, we have got to come up with a way to transcend our partisan politics and the exploitation of processes like this for political gain. and that goes for both parties, democrats and republicans. >> that was an emotional plea from the son of congressional republican candidate, mark harris, who is at the center of an investigation into alleged ballot tampering in a north carolina congressional race. in a bombshell surprise testimony, that young man right there, john harris, told election officials he warned his dad about the tactics of
political operative leslie mccrae dowless, who was hired by the harris campaign, but he says his father didn't listen. in the last hour, mark harris responded to his son's testimony. >> obviously, i've see these e-mails today in a very different intellectual light than when i read them when my 27-year-old son, who is a sharp attorney -- >> extremely sharp. >> extremely sharp. but i'm his dad, and i know he's a little judgmental and has a little taste of arrogance and some other things. and i'm very proud of him and love him with all of my heart, but this was a father and a son skpf in wei and in weighing out -- in all truthfulness, today, he was right. but did i read it as a warning or did i read it as the concerns that he was putting out, i read it as the concerns that he was putting out.
>> did he just say his son has a taste of arrogance? bite your tongue on that one, sir. nbc's lee ann caldwell is live in raleigh. so do we know that anything that john harris said, do we know if anything was untrue. it's almost as if mark harris, who was brought to tears yesterday, it's almost as if he was dismissive of his son. >> reporter: steph, it has been a riveting last 24 hours in this hearing. and john harris' testimony, it has really affected where this case is going. mark harris has come to the stand today to defend himself, but his defense was really obliterated, because his son said that he warned him of this character, mccrae dowless, and this absentee ballot scheme. but mark harris was saying, look, i thought this was just my
son's opinion and dowless confirmed me that he worked within the con fifines of the l. so we're in a lunch break right now and they're just about to come back in just a few minutes, but just before they did break for lunch, as you played, it got very personal when he did say that his son was judgmental and had a taste of arrogance, steph. >> that part, well, my son's judgmental with a taste of arrogance. come on, now. leigh ann caldwell, thank you so much for continuing to report on this really important story. when we come back, robert mueller's report on the russia investigation could drop any day. and with longtime ally roger stone in court again in the next few minutes, the question is, could he be the last-minute indictment in the mueller probe? that is the big question in the next hour. but right now, you're watching "velshi & ruhle." but right now, you're watching "velshi & ruhle. ♪
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internet that puts you in charge. that protects what's important. it handles everything, and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. thank you for watching this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern. right now, my dear friend, katy tur, picks up coverage. i'm not sure what she's going to be doing in the next hour, but i know you have a special guest here today and i hope she'll be making an appearance on the show. >> my mom's here. i don't think she wants to make an appearance. >> what? louise ruhle has been on the show with me! >> it's 11:00 a.m. out west,
2:00 p.m. in washington. roger stone just walked into a hearing. she tweeted a photo on monday showing crosshairs next to judge amy berman's head. he took that picture down and apologized, which was uncharacteristic for stone, but judge jackson could remind his bail for that. stone is in court as officials tell nbc news that the doj is preparing for the end of the special counsel's more two-year-old investigation. robert mueller is expected to issue a confidential report any day now, any day now, guys. mueller's conclusion will land on the desk of president trump's new attorney general, william barr. what becomes of his findings, whether they're released to congress and then in some form, to the public, is still, though, an open question. one, though, that the president says is up to his,