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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  February 21, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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indeed. a remarkably dramatic trip for you down to north carolina. i know longer than you originally intended. nbc's leann caldwell, thank you so much. that will wrap things up for this very busy hour. i'm kasie hunt, in for ali velshi. i will see you back here this sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "kasie dc." thank you very much for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york with two of the president's longest serving advisers rearing their heads in washington, d.c. today, one on capitol hill in advance of his testimony before congress next week and the other in the hot seat in a d.c. courtroom, the dark cloud of the russia investigation hanging over the trump white house got a little darker today. michael cohen was behind closed doors on capitol hill today ahead of appearances next week before three committees in the house and senate. and presidential adviser and master of the dark arts of politics, roger stone, who's accused of obstruction, witness
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tampering and false statements, is in court this afternoon being questioned for the very first time by a mueller prosecutor in a hearing he largely brought on himself by posting a photo of the judge in his case with the cross hair behind her head. the self-described warrior against the deep state and by extension the rule of law facing tough questions about that post and his public antics, as he awaits trial in his criminal case. the judge today doesn't seem to buy stone's contrite apology. she told the court minutes ago she doesn't find his explanations credible and noted he couldn't keep his own story straight on the stand. we're expecting a decision from the judge any second now. stone could be sent to jail. we will bring you anything we learn. that's where we start with some of our reporters and friends, devlin barrett, reporter at "the washington post" who focuses on national security and law enforcement is here, former deputy assistant attorney general and u.s. attorney harry litman is back. huffington post senior justice reporter ryan riley is inside
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the courtroom. and here at the table sam stein, politics editor at the daily beast is here. amy stoddard is making her way to the table. that's how we go here, if they're here, they're here, ready when they're ready. we will start with you, devlin. what are you watching in this stone proceeding? if you could just sort of rank on sort of the scale of corruption to stupidity, brazen to devil destructive, finger in the eye of rule of law, and this is also a case of sort of spiting himself. roger stone getting himself in trouble today in court. >> yeah, the stone hearing really is amazingly weird. i started covering courts more than 20 years ago, and one of the things that hand in the course of of this is stone's lawyer filed something called a notice of apology to the judge in preparation for this hearing. i have never heard of a notice of apology before, i have never seen a notice of apology before. pretty sure it's not even a
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thing. anyway, the issue with the stone -- with stone is that he sent out an image on social media, instagram, that basically had a picture of the judge with essentially a shooting crosshairs in the background behind her head. and everyone sort of immediately in the public space sort of the reacted with sort of a whoa, easy, guy, that's a really bad idea. i mean, i know a lot of lawyers who are simply like gob smacked by it because it's such a dumb way to piece offss off a judge holds your freedom in her hand. he immediately took it down but the judge -- surprisingly enough, the federal judge is a serious person, and she held a hearing to try to get a little bit of an explanation how did this happen? what does it mean? does this mean your bail should be changed or even revoked? that's what we're going through now. the reports we're getting from the courtroom are pretty bizarre
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in terms of stone digging himself a little deeper as this goes on. i still would be kind of surprised if she throws him in jail. but to be honest, some of stone's answer have made it more of a toss-up to me than i expected when this hearing started. >> ryan riley is joining our conversation now. he's just out of the courtroom. i understand the judge banned roger stone from making anymore public statements about his case. >> that's right. essentially he said she can't trust him anymore. she set off guidelines and he violated them. now there's a situation where she can't trum him anymore and basically he's not allowed to speak about the case anymore. it's an issue stone's team fought for because they had said on first amendment grounds he should be able to speak about this case. obviously when you post a photo on instagram that includes crosshairs and the judge, that's not going to play out too well for you in court. it was an extraordinary hearing having stone testify on the stand in sort of his own defense in this case and make apologies.
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in the end the judge said, she hears the apology but she doesn't buy it. >> harry, let me read some of what she's communicated and c conveyed to the defendant today. and tell me if it ranks on extraordinarily stupid, brazen or extraordinarily observe australia that roger stone is assured there's a pardon in the works to act like this. the judge saying today, publicity cannot subside if it's the defendant fanning the flames. no, mr. stone, i'm not giving you another chance. i have serious doubts whether you learned any lesson at all. no statements on radio, tv, reporters, no blogs or letters to the editor. >> i'm going with the extraordinarily stupid and not just for him, but his lawyers. it's stunning, nicolle, that they put him on the stand. compare with manafort who had all of these hearings where he studiously avoided giving testimony. this is the first time in the whole two years where an
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important protagonist actually had to face cross-examination by a government attorney. all of everything he said can be used against him later. it was scarcely credible, his saying he thought it was a celtic symbol and not crosshairs. so not just the original instagram, which was really ill advised, but it was a very surprising turn of events to me to see him on the stand. it doesn't say much about the lawyer here. and what she just meted out was about the most harsh she could have. i think it's all the government asked for. he wasn't going to be sent to jail. so being muzzled completely on the case, that's a severe reprimand here. >> ken dilanian, pull back the lens a little bit for us. roger stone has been charged with obstruction, with witness tampering, false statements. thef also executed search warrants and seized a whole
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bunch of data and files from his home. no one has signaled any sort of all clear where roger stone is concerned. and any questions that remain about whether or not there was coordination with the russians usually have a roger stone thread running through them. what did you learn today, or what are you hearing from sources that explains or begins to attempt to explain the stupidity and recklessness of his conduct? >> no source can complain that, nicolle. i like devlin's word gobsmacked. this whole thing is gob smacking when it comes to roger stone and his behavior. in terms of where he fits into the mueller investigation and potential end game, it's fascinating. there's a lot of people who have long been expecting more with stone, superseding indictment, something that links stone to wikileaks and russians and wondering if that's back to the trump campaign. we have not seen that so far. it will be surprising if the mueller investigation ends and this is all we see with stone. after all we saw a draft plea
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agreement jerome corsi showed the word and he hasn't been charged yet. he fits in with stone and wikileaks. so there's a lot of questions here. clearly stone is playing for a pardon and playing to his base from which he is raising money that he's going to stand strong and fight the deep state, which robert mueller to him embodies. >> we had andrew mccabe yesterday, former acting fbi director. he writes about in his book staying the course with manafort and the context is in this climate where donald trump creates, he's gone to war with judge curial in the campaign, he praises the victims in the inner circle who attacked the judges, who act like roger stone did, and he's attacked the corroborating witnesses, people cooperating in federal investigations, the doj and fbi,
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which he ostensibly oversees as this nation's top executive. do you think there's a tone that's been set by the president that stone and manafort and all of these, you know, thugs follow? >> is this what we call a rhetorical question? >> you can draw direct line from a sitting president to the thuggish behavior of these convicted -- >> the question is whether trump sets a tone or he's part of an ecosystem in which that tone has always been tolerated. roger stone has been a trump associate for decades. they've known each other. stone helped chart out his political rise. paul manafort knew donald trump well before the 2016 campaign. he was a tenant in trump power. obviously they knew each other from that. so there is this whole ecosystem in which these people thrive, in which no one's essentially said no to them. they've gone and done extensively corrupt things. they've gotten way with it. in trump's case he's averted taxes. he's gotten away with it. in stone's case he's been a
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professional dirty trickster and not just got away from it but profited from that reputation. at some point i guess that catches up to you. what we're seeing now is stone didn't know the limits of what he was allowed to do or felt totally free to push these limits. >> what do you think it is? he's got a lawyer. >> probably a little bit of both. i'm sure there's a pardon play happening here but this is someone who has done far worse things than this in the past and he's always survived. and maybe now the legal system is saying, you've hit your limits. because for roger stone, a very aggressive gag order like this, is serious. >> let's listen. here he is. >> you remember when he exited the courthouse in florida, he had his hands above his head, to show everyone is hand belly and
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spoke. not so today. no words. ab? >> i admire the judge's restraint given what you just talked about, the intentional undermining of the judiciary drp put so much energy into calling, like you said, cooperators are rats and making it clear that people should be -- remain defiant. she knows roger stone is not stupid. he's a very smart guy. he knows exactly what he's doing. he's never had a problem with lying or making trouble until he gets caught. it was always do what you can and what you can get away with until you get caught. the idea she would sit there and say, do you know how to google search? you could have your volunteer do this or intern post to social media? he knows what he's doing. he doesn't care. he's the ultimate defiant sort of dirtbag. i just admire the fact people who are in this saga who are the
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grown-ups, who are investigators and prosecutors and judges are keeping it professional. >> devlin, you talked about being gob smacked. if you sort of like bureau orou and think about it, there's another surprising at all the longest sitting alterego to donald trump conducted himself like this, particularly if pardons were dangled in front of paul manafort and mike flynn, you have to assume the possibility of a pardon is the last thing he thinks about as he doses off at night. what to make of the line of questioning pursued about mueller's prosecutors and as a.b. is talking about, the sort of guardrail that shows up again and again in the form of these federal judges in these cases in the mueller sort of trial settings? >> right, i think one of the interesting challenges of some of these cases is i think a lot of times lawyers in between think in terms of strategy and goals and how to achieve those goals. but a lot of what comes up in
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these cases is actually just defendant's behavior. it's not necessarily about strategy and it's not necessarily any clear goal, it's just their behavior. so i think you see that certainly with this stone thing and i think a lot of what investigators spent their time trying to unwrap is this behavior -- and this is going to apply to a large category of stuff, is this behavior trying to deliberately mess with the investigation or is it just the way some of these people go through their daily life and it is causing huge headaches and problems once those people get into the legal system or get adjacent to the legal system, let's say? so i do think it's serious, but it's also a function of how they lived their lives up to this point. >> a good possibility too it's to raise money, and he's broke. this is the way that he is incendiary in order to raise money and now this really hurts him. >> ryan, could you take us inside the courtroom and give us
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a little bit of the ticktock? i have only ever seen him looking smug. did he look contrite? whatever he looked like, the judge didn't buy it. but can you take us inside, describe some of the atmospherics for us? >> yes, for that crucial 15 minutes where they were awaiting the judge's ruling he was sort of sitting back, looking around the room, talking to his lawyers a bit. but there were a couple deep sighs and deep breaths and realizing, i think, the severity of the situation. ultimately the judge didn't think his apology was genuine. it was a remarkable situation where you had roger stone actually take the witness stand and questioned pretty aggressively not only by the judge but by the special counsel team there. and really did sort of a remarkable job taking apart the back end of stone's operation and how he worked with these volunteers. the judge was particularly interested in how he actually went about selecting the photograph he posted of her. she said there are a lot of photographs online. there's an official photograph of her on the court's website
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they could have used. so why go with this one that had this marking in the middle that she considered to be threatening there. it was really remarkable to see this sort of situation where roger stone on the stand testifying and not being believed by the judge, frankly. >> i don't know why she wouldn't believe him. here's what he tweeted this morning. this is roger stone this morning. help me in my epic fight against the anti-real donald trump deep state. get your roger stone did nothing wrong. here's the deal, i could never figure out what the case is to believe any of these people. why would you believe him in court when this morning this is what he distributed on social media? and i agree with harry, he's running a gofundme campaign. >> i don't think there's any real reason anyone should believe the guy. he's a notorious liar and anyone who uses him as a source in my profession knows at this point you cannot trust what he says. now, he does have some insights and historical insights from his
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time all the way dating back to the nixon years and he knows donald trump. but everything he says should be dealt with, with an intense amount of skepticism. he's in financial distress right now obviously. part of his fund-raising allure is to act like he's the victim of the deep state. it's a bizarre posture he has when he could just have not gotten himself in this position in the first place. but that's why we are. the idea this is a celtic cross and that he just assumed that is so laughable, but it's scary too, right? all it takes is really one person to interpret it in the way that it clearly was meant to be interpreted and suddenly we have a national tragedy on our hands. >> exactly. and we seem to sort of have these -- >> it's funny but not funny. >> i'm with you, it's not funny. when you look at the few, and there are way too few voices in conservative legal circles who are sounding alarms. in my opinion, it's way too late, way too many tradeoffs for
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judicial appointments. is this obliteration and annihilation of norms around the rule of law, putting crosshairs behind a federal judge gives them discomfort. where were they during the campaign? this is the vain of thuggery that gives them cause. >> where is the outcry? are we hearing from the federal society this week? as you said late in the game there was an assemblage of people in great legal minds that formed checks and balances. bill crystal is trying to make clear to people how it's not just an arm-smashing but our system based on the rule of law and consequences of damage of the trump presidency will last much longer than people realize because of these sort of new -- the smashed reality is the new reality and people accept it.
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but i don't see judge cornyn in the senate. i don't see jeff sessions, a private citizen, coming out this week and saying this is the kind of thing that can get a judge killed. it's silence. >> oh, god, where are you? where are they all? ken dilanian, what happens next? roger stone can go home and knock himself out on twitter and instagram and send out a video message. i'm sure we'll have one by the evening show today. what is sort of the practical effect of today's ruling? >> the way i read this he's not allowed to talk about the case or any of the participants. so he won't be able to attack the judge or mueller any longer. he's allowed to make fund raising appeals on social media but it seems like the content of those appeals is now restricted by this order. that's a big blow to him. as he made clear during the hearing today, he's broke. he's having trouble putting food on the table. this is a legal defense that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions if it went to trial and he wanted to
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mount a full white collar defense. so this will have an impact. and he's going to be sort of under the microscope now. and i don't think there's any room for error here. he's -- there was a chance the judge could have thrown him in jail at this hearing. the next one, you wouldn't want to be roger stone. >> it was a day for all of the presidents, michael cohen was up on capitol hill, devin behind closed door in a skiff, perhaps talking about discussing planning testimony before, on our last account, at least three committees next week. any sense of what the white house should be braced for? michael cohen has found some religion, is a cooperating witness as far as we know. the case is out of the southern district of new york. the mueller probe, there may be more we don't know about yet. and now heading up to capitol hill to do his best to answer to at least one of the committees he lied to before he was charged and convicted and sentenced. >> right. the big moment we're waiting for
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will probably come next week when he's scheduled to testify publicly and we know what sort of the topics are supposed to be for that. it seems to be heavily focused on campaign finance issue. that's an issue he pleaded guilty to already. it may not have much -- he may not have much of anything to say on the russia piece of this, which may frustrate some of the lawmakers and some of the folks at that hearing. but, look, michael cohen is in an interesting position because he's preparing to go to jail for, among other things, having lied to congress and now he's going to have to get through a fairly long and contentious hearing. i think if i'm michael cohen's lawyer, i'm very concerned about making sure he does not repeat past mistakes and does not give anything that can be argued as a false answer. that has proven difficult for michael cohen in the past. i think that will be one of the main things to watch for, not just what he says but does he say anything that's provably
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false in high pressure situations? >> harry litman, that's a great point. a law enforcement official told me with all of the turnover, i think michael cohen's on his third legal team, that he does still face legal exposure if he does what devlin just described, if he makes false statements. he's now offered hours and hours and hours of testimony to mueller's investigators. if anything he says before congress is inconsistent with that testimony, it will be closely scrutinized. what risk is michael cohen taking? and what might we learn if there's some new revelation? >> it's truly true. the doj as a whole has been ambivilent towards cohen. mueller somewhat benevolent but the sdny very arm's length and mistrustful. yes, he's got to tell it straight. on the other hand his lawyer, manny davis, has promised the kind of lured details of seeing the episodes involving trump. can you see there's almost a sense of relish of his
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unloading. remember, it's nothing having to do with russia, trump tower, et cetera. that's barred from the hearing. so it's true he can't be too colorful but i imagine what we will hear is the truth and it will be some pretty vivid stuff and some things that we haven't heard before about the dirty goings on within the trump world including before he was a candidate. >> and it's a good reminder. those are the cases, the ones you talked about, harry, close are the cases donald trump's allies think represent the greatest legal threat to the president, hush money scheme, interconnectedness with "national enquirer," which is now in all sorts of trouble, his own accountant money guy having some sort of limited liability -- immunity. so you're right, michael cohen could tell pretty seedy stories about what he saw and knows. never boring. ryan, ken, thank you for jumping in front of the cameras and
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helping us through the breaking news at the top of the hour. after the break, the end of the beginning or beginning of the end, reports robert mueller may be getting close to concluding his investigation and what that might mean for donald trump's white house and family. also ahead, donald trump's emergency declaration to be officially rebuked by congress. and can they stop him from usurping his power? the president's campaign to paint the press as an enemy of the people. is donald trump playing with fire? we'll ask our panel coming up. a. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma have happened. as have tears in the stomach or intestines, serious allergic reactions,
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donald trump's business, charity, inaugural committee, hush money scheme and campaigns spread throughout federal prosecutor's offices in state and local jurisdictions, news of robert mueller's probe into russian meddling could be wrapping up shouldn't offer much comfort to donald trump. "the washington post" writes the prospect of a mueller report is keeping the white house on edge. an adviser to president trump said there's palpable concern among the president's inner circle that the report might contain information about trump and his team that is politically damaging. "the new york times" adds this, quote, the findings will be sure to send shockwaves through washington, with mr. trump's presidency on the line and both democrats and republicans poised to spin the contents to their advantage. and on the magnitude of the enduring legal jeopardy for the president, the times explains, quote, active cases that have not yet been brought to a conclusion would likely continue after mueller's office is closed down. new prosecutors from outside the special counsel's operation
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could pick up cases that remain in progress. in some cases that spun off from mueller's investigation, including those being conducted by the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan involving michael cohen and trump's businesses will continue unaffected. devlin and harry are back as well as sam and a.b. here at the table. let me start with you, devlin, and your understanding of how much of the actual investigative findings will go to bar or whether or not it will simply be, if it were a case you could prosecute, what kind of material in your understanding will go to barr since our understanding is the justice department is operating under the belief that they're going to adhere to a policy of not indicting the president? >> right. so there's a couple of points. it's a little bit mechanical and a little bit nerdy. essentially what's going to happen is mueller is going to submit a summary to the attorney
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general bill barr that says we indicted the following people. that will probably not be very interesting to bill barr, because i assume he already knows that. the interesting part will be we investigated the following people but chose not to indict them. and that part i think mueller has a fair bit of discretion to decide how much detail he wants to get into in his report to barr. now, what barr has said he plans to then submit a summary to congress and presumably that would also become public very quickly. and so there's a lot of give though i think between what mueller decides should be in his report and what barr decides what parts of the mueller report he wants to be in the public. those are the two i think decision points. i think there's a lot of room for discretion and judgment of mueller and judgment of barr in terms of how much we see right away made public. >> harry litman, my brain is still blown from andrew mccabe sitting at this table yesterday and talking about how there was
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reason to suspect and investigate whether or not the president of the united states was acting on behalf african-american adversary, russia. after the firing of jim comey, so a full investigation, a full counterinvestigati counterintelligence investigation was opened or the president was added to that investigation after the firing of comey and that counterintelligence investigation was ultimately taken over by robert mueller. do you think there's a big enough question out there in the public now that we all know that's been made public, we all know that the sitting president, donald trump, was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation amid questions he might be working for vladimir putin and russia, does that change the calculation on the part of the justice department? >> i mean, it's galactically big that question. by the way, what a phenomenal interview that was by you yesterday. >> thank you. >> yes, we have all of these reports now, little snippets
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keep coming out. but it's such a puzzle. mueller has in plain view -- and remember the rule with mueller is always there's so much more we don't know, but been about the business of constructing all of the misdeeds in russia. and then starting to tie it up with what's hand in the state, and we've got this huge final link in the bridge and we're supposed to think that he just puts it to rest with this bland russtation, here's who we indicted, here's who we investigated. a core, at least a core part of his report, has to be some kind of details analysis of what the president knew and what he knew it. that's front and center. that means some kind of confirmation of the work with stone, possibly corsi and others. so i find it very hard to believe that we're going to have only something that bare boned and that short. moreover, there are those two inflection points but the regs
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permit a much more expansive treatment and i think mueller and barr both, who will probably talk about this together, by the way. it won't just be bureaucratic, will be inclined to give more rather than less. >> i would never bet on robert mueller talking publicly. i can just see a scenario where barr does some of the storytelling. >> look at the report when -- before when he was in private practice, 100 pages -- i don't know if he will talk-talk, but i think he'll write. >> he will speak through his documents. i want to ask you this question about the politics for republicans again. there's a question on the table about -- about donald trump's role in this russia question. i think when it was just can you connect him to the campaign collusion, that was one thing. but as president, the fbi had enough evidence to open a full
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counterintelligence investigation into the president. that is out there. that is something we all as citizens know about. do you think that adds any pressure on the justice department to at least show robert mueller sought to answer that question? >> i do. and i think that as we all consoled the legal experts who are trying to read the tea leaves on this announcement this is imminent, neil katoh wrote the regs and he makes the argument which is very important for republican senators and everyone else to prepare for, which is the remedy for no indictment -- there's always a remedy for wrongdoing. and the remedy is impeachment if the indictment is off the table and indictment if impeachment's office the table. it's not like you get away with being president so you get to do whatever you want. so there's a way for mueller to go around established department procedure, which is you don't indict a sitting president, to
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actually go to -- to try to diept throu indict through the deputy attorney general, who will be rod rosenstein the next few weeks, but there's more likely to be a folsom explanation laying out why maybe they're not indictable but impeachable offenses and wrongdoing. the president is not supposed to be able to be unaccountable. some explanation will have to be made. that said a great mystery could remain in terms of the different characters. if someone has turned and is still helping, maybe even proof of collusion, and is cooperating in a subsequent investigation, then they won't be indicted and that won't be revealed and even that could lead to president trump. it's very, very blurry and very unfinal. >> it's a great point. the idea that mueller may step away, that these cases have been ceded in u.s. attorney's office is something i heard about at
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the end of the summer. there were at least four u.s. attorney's offices who would get pieces of it. who sent those cases? rod rosenstein. there are no new characters. there are no new story lines. this is donald trump and his family's corrupt business, their corrupt campaign and questions about whether or not they were working with russia. >> right. so while we're nearing the end of one incredible drama, several other really incredible dramas are still going on. and on top of that, the house switching hands to democratic power sparks a whole other set of oversight that donald trump has not faced to this point. the idea this is somehow him getting out from under a real burden, i don't really see. i think the bigger question, and maybe i'm not being as optimistic as my hope for transparency as the rest of the panel is, what kind of report gets made public? bill barr was very clear in his testimony that he is not going to release -- he will only release what he feels like he
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can legally release. he made that statement very methodically and i think for a point. as i understand the doctrine, there is no pro-ha bigs on him releasing as much as possible. he stressed the other thing, he would only release what he felt comfortable releasing. >> the regs don't require a report. >> exactly. i'm interested to see how lawmakers handle this one. chuck grassley, he said he wants to see this public. they can exert enormous pressure on barr to get more out there and it's another reflection point for the republican party. >> a known unknown. thank you for spending time with us. we're grateful. when we come back, break glass in case of emergency. what donald trump may have to do for the first time in his presidency and how it could escalate tensions with congress. .
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one week after the president declared a national emergency on the southern border, house democrats will file a resolution to block it. speaker nancy pelosi encouraged her colleagues to co-sponsor the resolution in a letter that reads, quote, the president's decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the constitution and must be terminated. and it's not just democrats who take issue with the president's power grab. editorial boards of conservative outlets like "the wall street journal" and the bulwark warned trump set a dangerous precedent and puts lawmakers in a difficult position. as noted -- it is trump who should not be forcing republicans to choose between fidelity to their president and fidelity to the constitution, and if forced to choose, they must choose the constitution. joining our conversation, former secretary sekts rick stengel and
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max wein blackwell, and both lucky for us, msnbc political analysts. this, republicans are ringing their hands in a tizzy oh, no, donald trump's going to hurt the constitution. they should have thought of that before they voted for him in 2016. what did they think he was going to do? >> they should look at the law. the national emergency act in 1976 is a really bad law. it's overly broad, not specific. it was compensating for a fact there was no law about national emergencies in all. congress in that act cedes all of this power to the executive branch and president. i think the remedy for this is is not in the courts. if i'm a judge i look at the law and say the president did entire will what is in his power under this bad law, which is probably unconstitutional, the remedy is in congress. yes, mrs. pelosi will denounce this in the house, maybe it even passes in the senate, and then
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trump will veto it. but actually the real remedy is to fix the law. >> they can't keep the government open. do you think they're going to do some good government law making right now? they can't keep the government open. you think they're going to fix that law? >> if i'm one of these republican senators who sort of is on the fence about donald trump, the thing that can get me really energized is the fact the executive branch is encroaching on my grounds. that i can stick up for. some of these guys, look, it's not so much i'm against trump. i'm for the constitution. i'm for the executive one branch. so that to me, look, i agree with you, they can't even keep the government open so the idea they're going to amend the law is unlikely, i'm just saying that's what should be done. >> not so much un-lukely it would just take a democratic president to get into office for the republican lawmakers to amend the law. >> that's the way it will happen. >> that's the perfect point. let me show you how republicans
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used to feel about emergency action. >> more than any -- >> i do not believe the president of the united states should use his executive authority to overturn american law. >> if president obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, congress will act. >> this is a tremendous presidential overreach. what the president has chosen to do has done great damage to our nation. >> we are today facing a full-fledged constitutional crisis. and yet politics caused the president to discard the constitutional checks and balances. >> that was the republicans diversity reel for you. but republicans making a passionate and principled case against a president using an executive order. >> i think the lesson here is this current incarnation of the republican party is not behaving as if they have those principles.
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>> they don't. >> even if they were saying during the obama era was done in good faith and not bad faith, as they probably thought at the time, what they're doing right now is inexplicable. they're essentially saying what the president does, it does not matter. essentially they're allowing him to do anything up to this point and really their argument, even in the context of russia is, as long as it doesn't violate a federal statute, it is fine. as a citizen, i don't understand how we got to this place where we have elected people that are saying the president is completely above the law as long as there's not a clear violation of the federal statute, his behavior is, he can free will and do whatever he wants. i think that is something we should ultimately be concerned about every single waking moment. every time the president does something and he's not checked by the congress, he's going four at the boundaries a little further. we've been seeing that over the course of the past two years. >> and the president's sort of rational is the base will let him get away with murder. i'm going to play my new
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favorite piece of sound. ann coulter doesn't think so. >> more than any other, other presidential mandate in the history of the nation, trump's mandate was to build a wall. no one thought oh, look, he was governor of the biggest state in the union. he was -- he used to run the cia. he was reagan's vice president, you know, he was fdr's. no, it was one thing, the promise he made every single day at every single speech. >> i understand. >> so forget the fact that he's digging his own grave. this is just -- look, the only national emergency is that our president is an idiot. >> that's the base. >> i don't think the base is aware that the president's own administration asked congress, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, to provide $1.6 billion for funding for the wall, which they did.
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he then shot the government down. and is now trying to use an emergency declaration to overrun a decision congress made and claw back funding from military construction projects, let alone the possibility that he might also claw into disaster relief, making their pain even gritter. not only the small government republicans have to side with the man and not the constitution, but they're actually also going against their own constituents with projects they fought hard for that are needed. this is insane on so many levels. maybe they don't believe in small government anymore. but the point is for years both parties were guilty of ceding a lot more power away from this coequal branch to the executive. but trump is very much pushing it. and they're not pushing back. >> it's more insane because -- i know this seems trivial, but it's really not trivial. in the campaign the promise was
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not just that he would build the wall. the promise was mexico would pay for the wall. and by declaring a national emergency, we have officially, formally come to the conclusion that mexico will not be paying for it. i think that might -- >> it's a huge deal. that means two governments won't pay for the wall. it means the mexican government said no, thank you. and it means the u.s. congress said no, thank you. >> i happen to think central campaign promises are a big thing. i know obama did too, which is why he got killed for breaking the promise of if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. this is a central campaign promise that had been broken, fundamentally broken. no one seems to care because trump trivialized it so much. >> the argument mrs. pelosi is making and others is the reason he's declaring a national emergency is he can't keep his campaign promise and didn't get the money. that's an inference if you're a judge, will you go well, the court says there's no -- the
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statute doesn't say the president has to have any reason at all to declare a national emergency, and in fact the president declares a national emergency by declaring it. that's it. >> i'm with you. i think trump actually will emerge with a successful legal standing in doing this. i think as a political matter though, how embarrassing to go across the country promising you will get mexico to do this and turn out you have to take it from your open department of defense military base construction, school-based constructions, just to pay for this ridiculous effort. >> and tweeting today a new emergency. >> version 6.0 of the wall and the beat will go on. when we come back, big story unfolding in chicago. chicago
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ing bond, he was charged with filing a false police report. he could state up to three years in prison. i'm a fan of "empire" and his acting, but this is inexplicable. >> yeah, and a lot of people that supported him and are fans of him are sad today. i don't think it is a day to gloat, and i think underlining this is a rise in extremism. it is a reality that people live with every day and this agen allegation turned out not to be true. there is a reason that pea saw it and had a very visceral response about it.
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>> we talk so much around this table about the rule of law. i don't remember which one of you it was, but the rule of law, the guard recaails? our legal system, but you know no matter the context, whether or not it crosses the could try really lines, an tern tentertai story, that saddens me. >> he is obviously disturbed in some way, what disturbs me is it contributes to a larger narrative that people a have that everything is not real, everything is phoney, there are crisis actors, and that anything negative about him is not real, it is created by people on the left who are staging this drama. that to me is what is pernicious
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about this. >> i was just going to say there was real world harm that he caused here. the oh, more importantly, is to future victims of real hate crimes that will not be believed. but then there is the tangible harm that he caused to other people in chicago, michael daily reported there is a homicide case in chicago that went without officer resources because they were diverted to figuring out what was going on. to think that you could do all of this, maybe he didn't know what he was thinking, but this is the real world harm that he caused and it will be very difficult to solve or repair that in the weeks and months and years ahead. >> the story laid bare the cultur cultural divide. it was covered much differently on fox news than it was on this network or cnn. >> it is a vulgar display.
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the president is bashing him. at the same time, you know, there was a man apprehended yesterday that intended to create mass atrocities of democrats and members of the media googling civil war if trump is impeached. but the problem is -- >> that is a great point. >> but the problem is what he did is sick, and it enrages me. women that make up fake rapes, and people that make up fake hate crimes, there is people that really suffer from that. >> there is people that say you should feel stupid for believing him, or you jumped to a conclusion that was not what was happening. defaulting to empathy, to saying i'm taking your account
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credibly. you're not the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, or the cops, you're not doing the investigation. you default to say i'm taking what you say seriously and i'm here to do what i can. that is just being a good person, that is not something i will ever feel stupid for. we feel sadness today, not stupid today. i feel bad for the people that did not default to empathy. the people that defaulted to feeling that for someone, you don't go and file false reports because everything is all good, you know? there is something wrong and that needs to be addressed. i still feel empathy for him pause he is obviously deeply troubled. but i think we should default to trusting people and let the
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prevagen. healthier brain. better life. vladimir putin's goal is to get rid of face of impock democracy. thank you all, that does it for us, thank you for watching "mtp daily" starts right now with my friend chuck todd. my usual 5:00.18. i think i gain three seconds by coming from the west. is that how the time zone works, is that how it works? if it is thursday we're just waiting and waiting and wa

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