tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC February 24, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PST
that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." i'm fiphililip mena. now time for "weekends with alex witt," and there she is! >> good morning. appreciate that hour of news, phillip. and good morning to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. it is 7:00 a.m. in the east, 4:00 a.m. in the west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." hardened criminal. an assessment of a one-time campaign manager in a new court filing, but what does it tell us about the president and russia? and that big red line for donald trump is his children, particularly ivanka. >> the big, red line. one-time trump fixer michael cohen to testify this week. how much might he spill on don junior and ivanka? on the 2020 trail. a new poll with an early look at the front-runners as many of the candidates fan out across key states again today. you're going to hear what they're saying, ahead. border wall battle.
democrats take the fight to capitol hill this week as a number of republicans are expected to join them in voting against the president. who are they and why? next. new today, fallout from robert mueller's scathing assessment of donald trump's former campaign manager. in a highly anticipated sentencing memo, special counsel prosecutors portray paul m manafort as a hardened and bold criminal who repeatedly and brazenly violated the law. manafort could effectively face life in prison when he is sentenced next month. meanwhile, a big month ahead on capitol hill. michael cohen will testify twice, this behind closed doors before the house and senate intelligence committee, and then on wednesday he's going to have his marquee public hearing before the house oversight committee. cohen implicated donald trump in campaign finance violations. he also pled guilty to lying to congress, later admitting that then-candidate trump was involved in discussions during the campaign to build a trump
tower in moscow. now, yesterday i spoke with former white house aide omarosa manigault newman and asked her what she's expecting when cohen talks. >> there is no question that that big, red line for donald trump is his children, particularly ivanka, and once michael cohen starts sharing details that may actually implicate them, you will see him truly become, well, unhinged. meanwhile, the house votes tuesday on a resolution to stop the president's national emergency declaration, and that will trigger a vote in the senate, but the president has vowed to veto the resolution. democratic representative dan kildee spoke with my colleague, reverend al sharpton, and vowed to fight the declaration in congress and in the courts. >> this is a violation of the constitution. this is not the president using emergency authority. this is the president himself having a political emergency. as the circle is tightening around him. and happening today, three of the 2020 democratic
candidates are back out on the campaign trail. you've got senator kamala harris. she's got three stops in iowa. yesterday she also had a busy schedule and told this to the asian and latino coalition in des moines. >> we were founded as a nation on noble ideals. i don't have to tell the people at this table that we also must be clear-eyed. we've not quite reached those ideals. this is an exciting time, and there is lots of good stuff to fight for. years from now, you know, people are going to look at all of us, and they'll ask us, so, where were you at that inflection moment? >> meantime, acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan toured the u.s. border with mexico yesterday as the pentagon examines a proposal to allocate billions of dollars towards the construction of the president's border wall, and it is all coming ahead of house democrats' vote rejecting the president's emergency declaration. nbc's mike viqueira's at the white house with more on all this for us. with a good sunday morning to you, my friend. wow! there is a lot happening! >> reporter: i'll tell you,
alex, every week for the last two years, we've said this week is going to be crazy! well, this week is going to be crazy, because it might even be kind of historic in a way. we have a constitutional challenge. some are even calling it a constitutional crisis under way now, with the president's declaration of a national emergency because he did not get the funding that he wanted through the regular process of appropriations, the power of the purse as exercised by congress. let's take you through exactly what's going to happen with this joint resolution that would bar the president from declaring that national resolution. under these rules that were passed under a law way back in 1976, in the wake of the vietnam era, a national emergency can be declared, but it was meant to restrict the president's ability. and as part of that, any congressman can bring up this joint resolution. if it's voted on by the house of representatives, which it will be on tuesday, then it has to be taken up by the senate within 18 days. if it passes, it is expected to pass the house of representatives on tuesday, but the future in the senate way up in the air.
as many as six republicans now are on the fence that we know of. they include lamar alexander, ben sasse the conservative of nebraska, lisa murkowski, thom tillis. susan collins of maine has already said she is going to be joining democrats and voting for this resolution. now, as you mentioned, in the meantime, the pentagon making preparations. the acting secretary of defense, patrick shanahan, went to el paso and new mexico, at the border with mexico. afterwards, he told reporters about what he had seen and plans to build the wall. [ inaudible ] >> and part of my responsibility is to translate that. we can help -- [ inaudible ] but a number of things i took away from my conversation with chief hull is barriers work. he implored on me to put
barriers in place where illicit activity, people and drugs can vanish. he described it as -- [ inaudible ] anyplace where people can cross the border and disappear within seconds to minutes, that's where you need barriers. >> reporter: so, alex, so many moving parts here. congress, even if it passes the house and the senate, unlikely to override the president's action. that leaves the courts. meanwhile, we have the pentagon moving forward with their plan. some question whether they have the funds to move ahead with this. they want to take it for military construction, but they're not going to use, they've already declared, funds for military housing. and meanwhile, in the midst of all this, president trump isn't even going to be here. he's going to hanoi for his second summit with the north korean leader. alex? >> like i said, busy times. okay. thank you very much, mike viqueira. appreciate that. joining me, melanie and david levinthal from the center for public integrity. with a
good morning to you both. david, to you first. how do you see this all playing
out on tuesday, especially that you have representatives in congress. we're talking about republicans who are going to be put on the record on this issue of the national emergency and diverting funds. >> so, this is a huge problem for republicans in the sense that, okay, they can block this now. likely president trump is going to veto anything that comes before them in terms of a resolution to block the wall. but what republicans are so concerned about is that, well, what happens if a president bernie sanders or a president elizabeth warren, some democrat down the line, having these exact same powers and declaring national emergencies for things that would be absolutely unpalatable for republicans? so, it really kind of just speaks to the issue of what is enshrined in article one of the constitution, congress having the power of the purse, congress having the ability to control the money, and that's really, you know, kind of the thing in their stomach that they're dealing with. >> dave, look, you are talking about something mitch mcconnell was passionate at first about,
like this cannot happen. the president cannot do this, should not do this. and then, whoop! what made mitch mcconnell flip? >> he's -- mitch mcconnell, you would have thought, would have been the ultimate institutionalist. >> right. >> fighting for the checks and balances of the legislative branch and the executive branch, but the political particulars are such that they simply don't want to go against the president right now. that's understandable in a political context, but when you play the long game, that's something that is very concerning for republicans. >> so, in terms of what you reported, in addition, melanie, to tuesday's vote to block the trump declaration, you say democrats are also preparing to subpoena the administration for a whole trove of documents. so walk us through that. >> that's right. so, oversight committee is preparing to issue three subpoenas for three different agencies. they're trying to get these documents that chairman elijah cummings had had requested in early february. they're really trying to get to the bottom of this family separation issue, which is a top investigation target for top democrats. and republicans are saying,
look, this is really premature. they only just took over the committee. they only asked for these documents in early february. like, let's give it some more time before we rush ahead. but democrats are really itching to get to the bottom of this. and they're also weighing whether to issue subpoenas to get their hands on some documents related to the white house security clearance process. so, democrats are going to huddle monday night. they're going to do a tragedy session. how do we tackle not only just this hearing on wednesday with cohen, but how do we tackle these subpoenas? they're also bracing for republicans to do as many disruptive and delay tactics as they can, such as forcing motions to adjourn, which is something they can do to sort of disrupt the flow of things. and so, you're going to see republicans really go on offense here as the oversight committee really starts to pick up. >> right. but this trump hearing on wednesday, first public one, we should add. if this goes through, what are the expectations, melanie? >> well,
the expectations for wednesday's hearing are -- number one, i think it's important to point out that
there is a limited scope to this hearing. that's something that the chairman agreed to in consultation with the justice department. they do not want to step on the toes of the mueller investigation or the russia probe. but what they are going to ask about are the hush money payments, president trump's personal business finances, his empire, even his just personal truthfulness is something that is a potential topic. and cohen himself has said i am willing to talk about my personal memories and anecdotes and interactions with the president. he is not going to hold anything back. he wants to clear his name. and so, while there might not be bombshells, because we have gotten a lot of details through a lot of these filings and a lot of these reportings, i do think there are going to be fireworks. >> clearing his name, dave, is one thing, but do you anticipate he may throw the president's children under the bus? you heard omarosa with whom i spoke with yesterday, she was at the top of the show. she said shas certainly a red line for the president, if he crosses that. what do you expect? >> michael cohen sort of on a save his skin tour, and this is
part of that. look for republican -- first of all, yes. i think anything is fair game, but look for republicans to try to undercut michael cohen at every turn. you're going to hear once, twice, maybe 50 times this week republicans saying, hey, michael cohen, he lied to congress. michael cohen is going to prison because of that and numerous other things where he just simply told untruths. so, the erosion of michael cohen as an agent of truth is going to be a major theme that republicans are going to have this week. >> okay. let's pivot a bit to the 2020 race, guys. and melanie, there's bernie sanders out in a new poll, who's now surged to front of the pack with 27%. joe biden, who has yet to announce, we have to remind our viewers, fully in second at 25%, kamala harris in third. what is your read on these numbers? >> look, it's not surprising bernie sanders has the benefit of name recognition along with joe biden. so we are expecting him to be at the top, especially of these early polls. >> and can we also point out, this poll's in new hampshire? >> yes, exactly. >> so that's neighboring to
vermo vermont. >> exactly. important to keep that in mind. but look, bernie sanders, no doubt, he had an excellent rollout. he raised $4 million in his first day, absolutely massive fund-raising haul. but the question for bernie sanders is how will he distinguish himself this time when he is competing in a very crowded primary field with a bunch of other liberals who are now sort of saying the same things that he did that gained a lot of popularity in 2016? so, for him, he needs to be able to differentiate himself. i would also keep an eye on kamala harris. she when you look at the polls over time is making the most progress in the shortest amount of time. so in six months from now, i'm interested to see where she lies in those polls. >> yeah, well, she's certainly committed in iowa now, three stops there today. dave, you have a piece out about the president which you argue that the president created a permanent presidential campaign. explain that. >> president donald trump on his inauguration day didn't just become president of the united states, he filed paperwork with the federal election commission to run for re-election in 2020.
so, literally, from the moment that he became president, he's been running for president again, and that's just not paperwork. that's literally going out and raising money, holding campaign events. we counted 57 campaign events, political events that the president has conducted since becoming president. so when you add that all up, it adds up to a whole heck of a lot of money that he's already raised, about $67.5 million. then he has this whole constellation of super pacs and non-profit organizations, groups that can act in a very political way in order to forward donald trump's political future. that has changed the game. there is no president who has ever done anything like that, democrat or republican. and at least to some extent, it's forced democrats to kind of accelerate the way that they've launched their campaigns. you have people launching in january. that wasn't the case four years ago even. >> can you tell me, dave, who's got more money now, republicans or democrats? and who's expected to have more money in the build-up to 2020? >> coming into this year, donald trump had more money than any of the democratic candidates, either who have announced or who
might announce. now of course, that's all changing. bernie sanders said he raised $6 million in the first hours, but we're measuring it in the tens of millions of dollars as we speak in terms of the money for all candidates. we say they every cycle, this will be the most expensive election cycle we've ever had, but man, 2020 will be the most expensive by a country mile. >> wow! kind of daunting when you think about it, those numbers. all right, dave, melanie, good to see you both. thank you so much! >> thank you. >> thank you. what to make of the redactions in the manafort sentencing memo. legal analysis of that next. sentencing memo. legal alanysis of that next. i o switched from geico to esurance saved an average of $412," you probably won't believe me. but you can believe this, real esurance employee nancy abraham. look her up online. esurance, it's surprisingly painless. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were too loose. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with a range of sizes, depend® fit-flex is made for me.
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i've always found paul manafort to be a very decent man. he was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time, but i've always known him to be a good man. >> i think the whole manafort trial is very sad, when you look at what's going on there. i think it's a very sad day for our country. he happens to be a very good person, and i think it's very sad what they've done to paul manafort. >> well, the special counsel in a new redacted court filing is describing president trump's former campaign manager, paul manafort, as a hardened criminal who knowingly, repeatedly, and blazenly violated the law. the memo states, "given the breadth of manafort's criminal activity, the government has not located a comparable case with the unique array of crimes and aggravating factor."
joining me now, msnbc legal contributor katie phang. katie, that is a powerful statement. i mean, that description right there. give me your sense of that. >> it showed exactly how there's this exceptional difference of opinion between mueller, the federal government, uh, i don't know, american law and american jurisprudence and that of the president of the united states, the president who wants to minimize the involvement of paul manafort in his presidential campaign, says that he's a good guy and it's such a travesty who has occurred to paul manafort. yet what we saw in the redacted sentencing memorandum from the mueller team, paul manafort is what you said, alex, a hardened criminal. it says he has a high risk of recidivism and that there is no midmit gating factors that could be applied for purposes of his sentencing. he deserves to be in prison. it's exactly where he's going to go. and at his age of 69, he will be leaving in a body bag, alex witt. >> i have to remind people, those weren't my words, they were mueller's words, which are
even more powerful, for sure. >> yes. >> all right, so he was not charged with conspiring with russia, but if mueller does have evidence of conspiracy, katie, why was it not included in this filing? from what you've seen, are there more charges coming down the pike? >> so, none of us really know what is going on ultimately with the mueller investigation. there is all of this debate and this wonder as to whether or not it's going to be concluded imminently. this is what we can conclude, alex. the sentencing memorandum yesterday, people were very excited, including me, about seeing what comes out in it, and we were looking to see what was going to be redacted. there wasn't a lot redacted in the memorandum, but let me tell you why it was not a big deal, why there was no mention of russian collusion or conspiracy, specifically regarding paul manafort. the sentencing men dumb dealt with the two counts of conspiracy to which manafort pled guilty and dealt with a fact to the reference to the eastern district of virginia where we know that he was found guilty of eight felony counts after a jury trial. that's it. if you look at section three of
the memorandum, alex, it says manafort's relevant conduct. well, what does it mean by being relevant? well, there's a united states federal statute that says that you look at things that are relevant to the offenses that are before the court. there is no charge, no indictment right now that says paul manafort conspired with the russians, and that is the reason why i believe that mueller didn't include any reference to that. we know that there was this now-infamous havana room meeting that occurred between paul manafort and konstantin kilimnik, where he shared polling data regarding trump and the campaign. there was no mention of that in the sentencing memorandum, but we know that it exists. so it doesn't mean there was no collusion with russia on the part of paul manafort, but it just wasn't charged and therefore wasn't before the court for purposes of sentencing. >> in regards of those who manafort is said to have lied to, you have members of congress, his own legal team, the grand jury, the special counsel's office. this list goes on and on and on. how does that look to the judge?
because it appears he has lied to just about everyone, including during a period of time when he was allegedly cooperating with investigators. >> and that's key, because when he did that plea agreement wherein he said he was going to cooperate with federal prosecutors, he also, we know, was basically double-timing them. he was communicating with trump and his legal team. but beyond that, the judge is going to look at things like that laundry list of people to whom he's lied, and the judge is going to look at fact that this man has committed a lifetime of crimes. we're not talking an isolated incident or an isolated period of time where in paul manafort's 69 years on this planet he went off the grid or he did something that was an aberration from the norm. this was the norm for paul manafort, to commit crimes, to live a life of crime. and so, he will be sentenced accordingly. and again, the range is from 19 to 24 years in virginia. and then in d.c., he could get another ten years. so you can imagine that's going to be a lot of time for him. >> when you just said, katie, that he was communicating with trump and his legal team, does
that equal conspiracy? >> well, you know, there's been a whole lot of hay made over the fact that he was doing this joint defense privilege issue and still operating under that when he should have kept his mouth shut, including his lawyers when he was on this cooperation agreement. it would be a little bit of a stretch to include that. the sharing of information is not going to rise to the level of criminal conspiracy, in my opinion. but you know, it makes him look bad. if you're being a part of a cooperation agreement with the federal government, you're supposed to be telling the truth and you're supposed to be assisti assisting. and if you're basically taking that information and you're sharing it with somebody who is a potential target or subject of a criminal investigation, then it makes absolutely no sense to be given credit at all for any assistance you've provided. >> okay. you get credit for providing me assistance getting through all this. thank you. the trump/kim summit part two. what trump may trade away in the dealing. and in honor of black
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the standoff in venezuela turning deadly, leaving two dead and some 300 injured. it happened on saturday when a u.s.-backed drive to deliver foreign aid met strong resistance from troops. nbc's tammy leitner has the very latest. >> reporter: some of the most violent clashes yet, as angry venezuelans protested president nicolas maduro's decision to block desperately needed food and other aid from colombia and neighboring brazil. bullets and bloodshed. bridges into the region still blocked. telemundo's reporter is in the middle of the battle. >> reporter: i'm here at the ridge in colombia, at the
border, where four trucks with humanitarian aid close to the other side, two of them were burned down, and the situation here gets worse by the minute. >> reporter: reports of several protesters dead, killed by maduro's security forces. tensions have reached a boiling point. things so volatile, some of those soldiers switching sides. now pledging allegiance to interim president juan guaido, who is in colombia spearheading efforts to get aid across, much of it from the united states. this is the third trip the u.s. military has made with life-saving medical supplies. this c-17 is carrying enough medicine to help 40,000 people for three months. and there's enough rice on this flight alone to feed 2,000 people for a month. none of it has made it into venezuela, where people like yenedi guzman are starving. "sometimes we don't have food," she says. "sometimes it's difficult for me
to eat." during a rally in caracas, maduro continues to insist there is no humanitarian crisis in venezuela. and speaking directly to president trump -- [ speaking foreign language ] tammy leitner, nbc news. well, vice president mike pence will be traveling to colombia on monday to call for nicolas maduro to step down and to recognize opposition leader juan guaido as the president. overseas now, kim jong-un leaving north korea today by train for the summit in vietnam this week with the president. that meeting is set for hanoi this wednesday and thursday, and it is aimed at reducing one of the world's biggest nuclear threats. joining me now, evans revere. evans was one of the state department's top asia experts, and he's now a senior adviser with the all bright stone bridge group. let's get right into it, because north korea saying this morning that the u.s. will never escape security threats if there's no result in these talks. this is just kind of typical tough talk ahead of a meeting, and what do you think?
what would your response be to this statement? >> good to be with you this morning. i think this is north korea's way of trying to put a bit of pressure on the administration, particularly encouraging the administration as that message did to not listen to people cautioning the president about going too far and too fast with the north koreans in hanoi. so, this is rather typical of north korean tactics, particularly on the eve of a major meeting with the united states. >> i area wading some of the details about how you negotiated with the north koreans, particularly in relation to the release of otto warmbier, who tragically died upon returning to the united states, so you know what they're like. for the u.s. to get anything tangible, definitive out of this meeting, what does the president have to do? >> this is going to be a major challenge for the president. there are three things that i think he has to do. one of them is going to be quite difficult. the other two may very well be
impossible, to be very frank with you. the one thing that he's going to have to do, the very first thing that he's going to have to do is to do what he failed to do in the singapore summit, which is to get the north koreans to take a definitive, tangible, verifiable step towards denuclearization. that didn't happen in singapore. it hasn't happened since. it has to happen now for this process to be credible. >> so evans, before we get to the second part -- >> sure. >> just because the fact that the north koreans have not launched missiles, that does nothing to quell your concerns? although the president touts it all the time as being evidence of success. >> it is good that the north koreans are not launching missiles. it is good that they are not testing nuclear weapons. it is bad that the north koreans are expanding and enhancing their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs without testing. that concerns me. >> okay. you mentioned the one difficult thing. get to the two impossible things. >> the two, perhaps impossible things. one will be to get the north koreans to agree to a definition
of what denuclearization is. >> right. >> a senior government official this week confirmed what many of us are saying, that we and the north koreans don't even agree on what denuclearization means. here we are 72 hours before the summit, and the two sides don't even agree on what the word means. and then finally, another major hurdle for the president of the united states is to get the north koreans to make that strategic decision to denuclearize. the u.s. intelligence community, u.s. military people, and a whole range of experts, including myself, firmly believe that the north koreans have not and will not and cannot make an actual decision to denuclearize. >> okay. in terms of strategy and tactic, let's listen to what the president said friday about this meeting. here it is. >> drawing down u.s. troops in consideration with your upcoming summit with north korean leader kim jong-un? >> no, it's not. that was not a consideration. that is not one of the things on the table.
>> what is on the table? >> oh, you really want me to discuss that now? >> i do. >> everything is on the table. >> okay. so, if drawing down u.s. troops in south korea is not on the table, it's my understanding that the north koreans in their attempt to define what denuclearization is includes that particular fact -- they want u.s. troops out of south korea. so, to your point of what's nearly impossible, defining denuclearization, where does this go? >> well, that's a problem. the north koreans at the end of the day do want the united states to leave. they do want the end of the us/rok alliance, and they want the removal of the u.s. nuclear umbrella that defends south korea, and of course, japan. that's not going to happen. even under this presidency, i can't imagine this president doing that. but some other things may be on the table, including perhaps the issuance of a peace declaration indicating an intention to bring the korean war to an end.
the president might also extend the suspension of our major military exercises, which are already having a negative effect on our readiness, by the way. he might do that. beyond that, he might offer some limited sanctions relief for the north koreans. >> yeah, yeah. who do you think, evans, is in the better position to get what they want? is it kim jong-un or is it president trump? >> i think kim jong-un is playing some strong cards at this summit. both leaders want to keep this bicycle from tipping over, so they both have an interest in maintaining the process, but i think the president, as he did in singapore, seems to want this more than the north korean leader does, and that's not a good position to be in with a north korean leader who has really done his homework. >> well, i know, evans revere, you're going to be scrutinizing all this very carefully this week and i'm sure we'll speak with you again. thank you. >> good to chat with you. so, if you watch the news every sunday morning on msnbc, you know we're just getting started. we've got two hours of
roundtable discussion with david gura on "up with david gura." look, david's in studio! what's coming up? >> it's too tempting to stand here on a sunday morning and say we are facing a very busy newswe newsweek, but we are indeed, facing a very busy newsweek. we're focused on the split-screen thing happening on wednesday. that is when michael cohen will be in washington, d.c., for testimony before the house oversight and government reform committee. we'll see what he's asked, what he's able to talk about. of course, there are restrictions on what he's able to say, but this is testimony that could be pivotal, that could change this presidency. we're going to be paying close attention to that. all the while, as we pay attention to what evans revere was just talking to you about, what's going to be happening in vietnam, in hanoi with that summit. just look at the expectations there. so much of our show centers on how you process all the news coming down the line. and certainly, there's a lot happening this week. >> i know. i think we both have to drink a lot of coffee, too. >> fair enough. and more. >> that's got to be it. and more. okay, david. see you in just a little bit. thank you. listening in! up next, hit the campaign trail
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next battle, 2020. on the campaign, no day of rest for three of the candidates. amy klobuchar's spending the day in new hampshire with two events there. cory booker holds a conversation with cory in los angeles, and kamala harris is the busiest with three stops in iowa. meanwhile, oddsmakers are saying harris is the most threatening
challenger to president trump and betting odds are predicting a democratic president in 2020. there is new reaction this weekend from declared and potential 2020 presidential candidates. the hopefuls visiting primary states like iowa and new hampshire as well as south carolina, but new polling in new hampshire finds bernie sanders leading with 27%. former veep joe biden trailing him by just two points. and here is what candidates were saying on the trail yesterday. >> i want to see a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and make sure every vote gets counted. and i want to overturn citizens united. democracy is not for sale! and by the way, new hampshire, i don't take corporate pac money. shoot, i don't take pac money of any kind. i don't take federal lobbyist money! >> those pharma companies, since they own washington, well, they
don't own me, all right? and they don't ono. how about harnessing the energy of 43 million seniors, right, who can get better prices by negotiation under medicare? how about bringing less expensive drugs from places like canada? in minnesota, we can see canada from our porch, all right? you should stop this practice where big pharma pays off generics to keep their products off the market. that is just wrong. >> we've had extreme tragedies just in our recent memory. yet, congress has failed to act. i support universal background checks. i believe that we need to renew the assault weapons ban. because why in a civil society would we allow weapons of war to be on our streets to the extent that we have all seen them be used to kill babies and police officers? >> if we want to be the healthiest nation on earth, it means that we need a different
health care system. i want to make sure that we strengthen medicare, not weaken it, for everybody that's on it and also that we have medicare for all in this country so that no matter who you are, you can get good health care, not health insurance, health care when you actually need it. >> unions, people in their union halls and church basements, in their ethnic organizations, in their clubs where they fight for workers and they band together and they get government to pass medicare and social security and civil rights and seatbelts and clean air laws and minimum wage and workers compensation and unemployment insurance, and all the things that government can do when it's on the right side of issues. i will always fight for workers. i will always be on the side of workers. >> and once again, more democratic hopefuls will be campaigning today or are on the
campaign trail. cory booker will be in nevada. new york city mayor bill de blasio's in iowa and then possible contender beto o'rourke will be sitting for an interview with oprah winfrey. president trump's longtime lawyer, former lawyer, rather, and longtime fixer, michael cohen, about to tell all on capitol hill. so, what could he testify about in front of congress this week as we await news on the mueller report? r elle report wish is our command. steak & lobster is back by popular demand, starting at only $15.99. hurry in to outback! and try our everyday lunch combos, starting at $7.99. every day, visionaries are creating the future. so, every day, we put our latest technology and vast expertise to work. ( ♪ ) the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country.
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some new insight into the game plan for robert mueller's report. washington's certainly on edge amid indications that the investigation is winding down. a senior doj official telling nbc news that the report will not be dropping this week, but the "washington post" reports doj officials do expect to receive it some time in march. let's bring in democratic strategist bishop garrison, interim executive director of the truman project, and republican strategist brian darling, founder and president of liberty government affairs. hi, guys! good to see you on a sunday morning. >> good morning. >> good to see you. >> all right, bishop, we'll start with you here. mueller's team, the sentencing memo that we got yesterday on former trump campaign chairman paul manafort revealing very little that we didn't already know. do you see that as an indication of what to expect from mueller's
report on the bigger, ov overarching russia investigation? >> well, thank you for having me, alex. the bigger thing we need to understand is everybody needs to take a breath and have patience here. you have a career law enforcement official, a man who's director of the fbi for ten years, who's a former u.s. prosecutor. he has a theory as to how all of this needs to unfold. he has a team, an incredible team of professionals that have been brought together to do a thorough investigation, and we just need to let this investigation continue. we need to ensure that it is protected by congress to ensure that it completes its fruition, and we have a better understanding of who was a part of the criminal activity here and what needs to take place. people need to be held accountable, and mueller is going to assure that that happens. >> yeah. brian, the president's team, and the president, sticking with the
same message when it comes to the threat of that report. let's listen to this. >> we're seeing the same reports that you are. >> we will read it like you do, whatever is released, whenever is being public. >> i look forward seeing the report. >> we've wasted tens of millions of dollars and two years looking for collusion. >> there was no collusion. >> there was no collusion. if it's an honest report, it will say that. >> we feel good about the fact that what we've said all along for the last two years will be clear. >> we'll be ready. >> a couple things here, are you concerned that they are not going to be ready? they say they're going to be ready, but might there be information in a mueller uncovers that they don't expect? >> it's quite possible. this is going to be -- what we anticipate to be a very comprehensive report. we don't know what is going to be released. mueller will submit this report to the attorney general and the attorney general may send a summary, may send the whole report to congress. we don't know how this is going to come out and if the american
public will get to see this report as a whole. but i think to date from what we've seen, in the numerous mueller cases, there's no evidence of direct collusion right. and maybe there is going to be something -- some evidence of that in the report. but i think that's what everybody in washington is looking at. is there going to be some evidence of direct collusion? >> what do you think that the trump campaign is planning to do when it drops? the white house, what it will do when it drops. do they try to shield it from public view or does that just depend on how damaging it could be for the president? >> i think you're hearing a lot of the allies of the president talking about how this report needs to be released. i think if you do hide the report, the american people will have -- will want to see the report and there will be theories that there's a conspiracy to hide what's in the actual report.
so i think ultimately i think the american people have a right to see what's in the report and if the report does not show any collusion between the trump campaign and the president himself and russians, i think it will turn out to have been a big witch-hunt where they got a lot of guys and they've got a lot of individuals on perjury, on perjury traps and obstruction of justice. but there is -- doesn't appear at this point yet to be a smoking gun that shows collusion between the russians and the -- >> why does anybody lie? you're talking about putting perjury out there. why does anybody lie if there's nothing to cover up? >> just from the roger stone piece, we see there's a clear connection back to the campaign in an effort to enhance and enrich itself from the ill gotten gains of russian hackers. we saw that during the campaign in august of 2016. i was there. i was in brooklyn when roger stone came across media and
announced he had something big that was skcoming out. and he was having back door talks with wikileaks this entire time -- >> he wasn't part of the campaign. he was not part of the campaign. >> he had the ear of the campaign. he was working at the be he's of van anyone. we know this to be true and we're going to see more of it come out as we see roger stone go through the legal process. >> brian, with regard to bill barr, where is the pressure on him coming from? what is he going to do with this report? >> that's the million dollar question. i don't think anybody knows whether he will release the whole report, whether he will release a summary of the report, whether he will heavily redact the report and release something that's somewhere in between.
he's very new into the job. he served in the george h.w. bush administration as attorney general and somebody who has a great deal of experience in this area and has opinions on what to do. but i don't think anybody knows how this is going to play out. we're all in the dark just waiting to see what's going to happen. >> i know. okay. bishop, sam nunberg i mentioned, here's what he's expecting from the mueller report. take a listen to what he had to say. >> i can't imagine that the special counsel is not going to release something that shows a road map for the house to investigate a conspiracy to answer it as a political question. >> impeachment you mean? >> correct for articles of impeachment. >> what's your take? >> what i think is we have again as i said we have some highly trained professional law enforcement officials that are going to go through and they're going to look to see what criminal activity has taken
place. i don't think you're going to have anyone who's looking to fully paint this as any type of political issue. what they're looking to do is see who actually violated law and to ensure that those individuals are held accountable. this is a nonpartisan issue. we should have democrats and republicans that are looking to protect this investigation and looking to see who actually violated law. >>, you know, there's another theory out there which is that mueller has been writing his report in plain sight this entire time. if that's the case, hasn't it already jeopardized the trump presidency given the many other trump-linked investigations that it has sparked? >> there's no doubt that we've seen numerous public filings and basically a mueller report already in the public with this massive filing when you look at the manafort case and all the other cases out there. there's a wealth of information out there right now that
actually is a report, in a mueller report that the american people can see. so, yeah, that's damaging in one sense, politically damaging, but i don't think legally damaging at all. most of these individuals -- look at manafort. a lot of what he did had nothing to do with the campaign. same with roger stone wasn't part of the campaign. a lot of it didn't have anything to do with the trump campaign at all. >> that's a wrap. i'm sure i'll see you next week. thank you very much. the unofficial donald trump book club. david gura is going to show us what he thinks we all should be reading. inks we all should be reading. yeah, uh...for the team... the team? gooo team.... order online pickup in an hour. get up to $200 off on pcs and your tech destination. at office depot officemax but i never had the time and then i tried babbel. - [announcer] babbel, the number one selling language learning app in the world. - you're learning phrases that you can use right away in real life conversations.
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click, call, or visit a store today. we'll see you at noon eastern. it's time for "up with david gura." >> this issup. a new memo from the special counsel. maybe as important this morning is what is not in that 800-page document. >> it also doesn't tell us one way or the other what evidence bob mueller might have put together. >> plus michael cohen gets ready to spend three days on capitol hill. his testimony could determine the future of donald trump's presidency. >> he knows a lot of secrets and he's prepared to go public and talk about