tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 27, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
but what was shocking in the past may almost be expected in the trump era. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> you don't know him. i do. i've sat next to this man for ten years and i watched his back. >> for the first time ever michael cohen testified in public. >> mr. trump is a racist. >> against his former boss. from the russian email hack. >> trump knew from roger stone in advance. >> mr. trump knew of and directed the trump moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. >> to what we still don't know. >> is there any other wrong doing or illegal act that you're aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't yet it discussed yet?
>> yes. >> a hist oorehistoric day of testimony against the public. and the desperate republican attempts to shut it down. >> i'm responsible for your silliness because i it did the same thing you're doing now. >> and "all in" starts oigt right now. two month before reporting to federal prison, the man the president has called a rat for cooperating with the justice department came before congress and the american people to paint a devastating portrait in the first ever public testimony from a witness inside the president's inner circle, muccal cohen pulled back the curtain to reveal an operation built on lies, intimidation and a number of potential crimes. >> i am ashamed that i chose to take part unconsealing mr. trump 's illicit acts rather
than listening to my own conscience. i'm ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he's a racist. he is a conman. and he is a cheat and i have done bad things. but i am not bad man. i have fixed things but i am no longer your fixer. >> the most damaging testimony since, well, john dean. among other charges, he pleaded gulty to lying under oath. >> to attack me every single time about no credibility. it's for exactly that reason that i spent the last week searching boxes to find the information i did so you don't have to take my word for it.
i dont want you to. i want you to look at the documents and make your own decision. >> among the documents was this. a check for $35,000, dated august 1st 2017. while the president was in office. while he was president of the united states. cohen says it was part of his reimbr reimbursement for hush money paid to storm a daniels. that was part of the criminal scheme to which cohen has already pleaded guilty in federal court. a scheme that may well have helped donald trump get elected and the check puts the president sitting as the president while in the white house at the center of the continued scheme. he alleged donald trump jr. and cfo were involved. besides imp llkting it the
president in a conspiracy to violate election laws, he implicated in a number of other laws. funneling h funneling -- cohen accused the president and his lawyers of suborning perjury by effectively urging him to lie to congress. he also claimed the president had advanced kbaunl of wikileaks first release in the summer of 2016. >> mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just got off the phone with julian asange and he told mr. stone within a up cannel of days there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. >> how can we corroborate what you're doing? >> i don't know. but i suspect special counsel's
office and other government agencies have the information you're seeking. >> and that's just the stuff he's allowed to talk about. may be other incidents that are already under investigation boy federal prosecutors. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone acting on his behalf? >> i dont have the spiffbic date but it was a while ago. >> and what did he or his agents communicate to you? >> unfortunately this topic is actually something being investigated right now by the southern district of new york and i've been asked by them not to discuss and not to talk about these issues. >> joining me two members of the oversight committee who question and i'll begin with you. a lot of testimony. we learned a lot of in thes. some were confirmed. what was your tabe away from
today? congresswoman? >> well, my take away from today was we got a few more hearings that we have to convene with paparticularly for starters with president trump's daughter and son and son in law because mr. cohen's response to my question today about whether or not they could have been compromised prior to the election due to their involvement and lying about the trump tower deal certainly created more questions than answers and we've got two of those three people literally working in the white house every single day and it's essential that we ghoot bottom of the deception and corruption that appears to have taken place. >> so you're saying don jr., avaungau and jared, you would like to see him before the committee? >> i would. >> your take away from today? >> the president is a hands-on
leader when it comes to his various schemes. so he was directly involved in running the moscow-trump tower project. directly involved in writing and organizing checks for hush money payments that constituted campaign finance expenditures. he was directly involved in all of the criminality that mr. cohen was discussing today and he came off as a very powerful effective witness precisely because he was pt lying. and he's unburdening himself after more than a decade of bogue involved with this web of propaganda and deceit that trump campaign and trump presidency. i think our republican colleagues apoored to be frantic and unhinged atmany points. they kept talking about lieuing. but as i told cohen they weren't
upset because he had lied to congress. about the president, thaw were upset because he stopped lying to congress about the president. and i think that was very clear. >> it's a strange thing because it's something we all know and have known for a while, which was reintroduced today which is the president is, as a matter of public record, implicated in a conspiracy that is already resulted in a felony pleerks sworn on to by the southern district of new york, all of whom agree that there was a violation of a criminal violation of campaign finance law. and today he show as check the president wrote unaugust his first year in office. did that surprise you? congresswoman? >> it did surprise me. to see the sort of stone cold evidence president trump did is the opposite of what he said. he lied initially and said that
he had not made any payments. knew nothing about the payments as a result of that interaction and what was even more surprising, chris was those payments and those discussions happened in the oval office. that was stunning. that was a stunning admission. in the midst of president trump's running the country, what was he most worried about? making sure that he reimbursed his lawyer, who he had take a loan out on his house, cover up the deed for him and you pay him back during this entire process and while he's been lieuing about it. as president of the united states. that was stunning to me. >> i want to play some testimony with jerry connolly, a colleague
here who i think elicited something entirely new. i don't think we knew this. this is about whether the president how and if the president reviewed his congressional testimony. take a look. >> did you have a conversation with the president of the united states about your testimony before the house intelligence committee. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> who edited your statement on the moscow tower negotiations and did they make any changes to your statements? >> there were changes made, additions. >> so now that's you now. we should say he issued a denial. a specific denial. the testimony that thaw changed anything had to do with the moscow deal was false. edited or changed moscque
negoegziations is false. what is your reaction to both reviewing the testimony we know is false now. >> michael cohen is going to prison for lying to congress about how long the president was involved in his business negotiations for the moscow tower and it was changed from apparently what was accurate, which was it went through most of the campaign,ory at least the sumner to january and what we elicited from him is lawyers who were the president, jay i believe was personally retained lawyer, not a white house lawyer and asual as possibly the white house lawyers reviewed the testimony. that's one of the fruitful lines of inquiry we need pursue now. how involved was the white house in that?
and there are a number of things like that that came up today, which are peeking our curiosity in a strong way. >> thank you both after a a long day for making time with us this evening. let's bring in msnbc legal analyst and both former assistant special watergate prosecutors. your expectations for today and where they today surprised you. >> i wasn't surprised today. i was found him to be a credible and calm witness. maybe i surprised how calm he remained under constant deluj of attack. i was a little surprised by how much documentation he had when john dean testified during
watergate he was all not corroborated. but he didn't know that there were any tapes at the time he testified. he testified simply from memory and in this case we had actual documents. seeing the checks and sooing donald trump's signature was -- that was a very dramatic moment for me. i think the identification of -- as congressman just said, line of inquiry to be pursued was very dramatic and the number of krumz identified today. i mean you had -- you knew about bank fraud. we knew about some of the campaign finance violations. but there was the foundation and fufrps of the painting. and the ego in jacking up the price for that. there were just a lot of crimes identifies.
so i think there's a lot left to be pursued and investigated, both by mueller by the congress in public. >> i think the big issue is his credibility. >> i was personally surprise bide how credible and calm he seemed, honestly. >> but what is the test of credibility? cross examination. they didn't ask about the incidents involving donald trump. they asked who paid for your lawyer. they never even touched one of the items. they called him a friend of the democrats on the committee. he wasn't testifying because he was a friend of the democrats. he was testifying because he had been a friend and a confident of donald trump for over ten years. and the more they beerate him --
>> they ask you tabelieve he lied. he told the truth when he said he lied to congress. kbut then they say don't believe him when his boss, donald trump lied on a bunch of different occasions. >> we're going to talk about more of this and then i'm going to come to you. but what dprum the special counsel's perspective did we hear and didn't hear? >> i think what's real a significant is that he kept away from good part of the russian investigation. we just got little snippets from the beginning relating to trump tower, roger stone in conversations with julian a assage. but he didn't get into this whole idea of whether he was involved in the end in trying to cover up the role of being russian involvement in the entire campaign.
and the fact that is an open issue to me says we're not going to get a report from mueller anytime soon. >> and when the congressman said all are there other crimes we haven't heard about? and he said yep, there are. >> that will show us there is much more to come. i think one of the things that said to me credibility was how controlled and careful he was in his testimony. he did not stretch the truth. when he thought that there was something exonerating, he said it. he saidb i don't think he would ever hit melania. he was very careful. he didn't say yes, he knew that those emails were from the russians. he said he knew they existed because i heard this conversation. kbut he was very careful saying exactly and only what he heard.
that's an example of a credible witness. that made me think that people will believe him. >> he said a lot of things that were exical puatory. the infamous blackmail tape. i don't think that exists. it did the president pay for medical procedures? i don't kno. every fever dream you have is true. knocking down numerous things. >> and they're trueing to make it a big deal because this person shouldn't be relieved. the fact of the matter is this happens all the time. when i was a prosecutor, i have been a guy who spent his whole life scheming and stealing and committed nine murders. and i had a lot of people convicted on his testimony and that's because he had lots of corroborating testimony -- corroborating evidence and other
testimony. >> cfo of trump world, that guy's got talking to do because he got name dropped a lot. and i imagine we will be hearing more from him in some capacity or another. much more to get through in the first public testimony. the president's former right-hand man, including cohen's allegations the president is lying about some of the questions at the heart of the mueller probe. e questions a the mueller probe. it's absolute confidence in 30,000 precision parts. or it isn't. it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned, or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through february 28th. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer.
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peculiar happened. don trump jr. came into the room and walkbed hind his father's desk, which in and of itself was an illusion. people didn't just walk behind mr. trump's desk and i recalled don jr. leaning over to his father and saying in a low vous, which i could clearly hear, and saying the meeting is all set and i remember mr. trump saying okay good. let me know. so i concluded that don jr. was referring to the 2016 trump tower meeting about dirt on hillary with the russian representatives when he walked behind that desk that day. >> michael cohen under oath said he thinks donald trump knew ahead of time about the trump tower meeting and his campaign expected a russian representative to share dirt on hillary clinton as part of the
kremlin's efforts to get elected. >> mr. trump knew from roger stone in advance about the wikileaks drop of emalls. in july of 2016, days before the democratic convention, i was in mr. trump's office when his secretary announced mr. stone was on the phone. mr. trump put mr. stone on the speaker phone. mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just gotten off the phone with julian assange and that assange told mr. stone within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. mr. trump responded by stating to the effect, wouldn't that be great. >> here to talk about what the president knew and when he knew it. and co author of "russian roulette."
the inside story of putin's war on america and donald trump. i should say wikileaks -- wikileaks sawing they've never had a phone call. assang's lawyer says roger stone did not have a telephone call michael cohen described stone claiming to have. what's the significance of this from michael cohen? so first all of you have to think of it in terms of perjury, right? because he told mueller, according to cnn that hey had never been told by roger stone about the impending wikileaks releases. if michael cohen's claims are corroborated and mueller thinks that he's a credbible witness, that could be a big problem for the president. secondly i think his claims
really really show -- on july 18th that's around the time cohen says he heard the phone call and also the exact day that wikileaks message as russian intelligence and said thanks. got the dnc emails. ready to public them the next week. another thing is on july 22nd, the day the dnc emails were released, roger stone is contacted by senior campaign official who had been dreked by another campaign official who had been asked when more emails wou would be released. >> you know i kept thinking about how we got this whole weird subplot of the intermediary between them and he's trying to throw them off the scent of one or the other. it is a very different picture of the chain of communication
and -- >> it happens before the conversations that we know about i always thought the big puzzle is stone has said he told reporters that he was his intermediary and he never said anything about jerome corsi. so my questionall why is he so careful? why is he lying? allegedly committing the crime to correct the corsi channel but telling everybody about credico? my hope is mueller knows and one day he'll inform the rest of us. but i think the trump tower meeting revelation might be more important. because that gets to the issue of whether trump himself knew that the kremlin was trying to
help his campaign. not whether they got dirt or not. it came with with an email but this is part of a kremlin plan to help trump. who saw that? trump jr. and paul manafort. they were told russia wants to help them. now they kept saying no russian intervention and trump said the same thing that if he knew about that meeting, he knew the russians were up to something to help him and he lied to the public through the rest of the campaign. >> first oall of cohen's testimony, of course donald trump micromanaged all this stuff and persuasive. my take away is of course all these people knew what they were doing. the kremlin knows what donald trump's doing when he says please hack the emails. and at least he's a strong leader for his country and we can probably drop sanctions.
and crimea probably wants to be part of russia. and donald trump knows what's happening. no one needed to tell theucter party >> and he placed donald trump at the center of the most important discussions happening in the campaign and after the campaign. when you think about the trump tower meeting, he says don trump jr.fe effectively told him abou that meeting. and he said stick to the story. no russia collusion and michael cohen took the hint there. when it comes to wikileaks, he was involved there too. what he did was he put trump at the center of the conspiracy in a way that we cannot deny any longer that trump knew about the collusion aspect of this. >> it's not just collusion. the fact that donald trump, a
presidential nominee spent months denying that ruggau was attacking united states when he knew or at least the people knew and maybe ea he did too and even after he was briefed in midaugust that russians were behind these attacks. he went throughout and echoed, bolstered, amplified the russian disinformation that they weren't doing anything. that's the profound act of betrayal that he's been able to side step a little bit. he never told them where to hit dnc servers. it's this other larger betrayal that is one of the biggest scandals in american political history. >> thank you both for taking the time. nex that embarrassing lengths republicans went with through today s went with through toda this tookus. to take care of any messy situations.
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rnls not great look for the republican oz on the oversight committee when they did everything they could to disrupt the oversight committee. they tried to end it before it began, before portraying the former lawyer a lying criminal, disputed by no one including michael cohen. they frequently yielded their time back to ranking member, jim jordan but he was repeatedly
rebuffd and even scolded by cohen. >> shame on you, mr. jordan. that's not what i said. shame on you. that's what what i said. what i said is i took responsibility and i take responsibility. what i was doing was explaining to the gentleman that his facts are inaccurate. i take responsibility for my mistakes, all right. i am remorseful and kblb going to prison -- >> two things quickly ebecame obvious that house republicans had nothing to attack co within and that they had no power anymore. >> i asked unanimous consenttop. >> the gentleman's time is expired. you may answer the question. >> i don't know what you're referring to, sir. >> mr. chairman -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> republicans are left resorting to childish taunts, literally liar, liar pants on fire or trying to solve
imaginary crimes. and the search for michael cohen's missing boxes. >> again earlier you said i spent last week looking through boxes to find documents that would support your documentation. where are those boxes? are they in your garage? >> in storage. >> are these not boxes that should have bun turned over to investigatebive authorities? >> i spent the last week searching for boxes. where are these boxes. >> they actually had been seized by investigators and returned, which she tried to explain maybe a dozen times. one of the bizarre moments came when they brought in lin patten, a former trump employee who is now the hud regional director from new york, despite having zero relevant qualifications for that important job and she had
him stand awkwardly behind him to prove he wasn't racist. >> just to make a note, mr. chairman. just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for themmer does not mean they aren't racist and it is insensitive that someone even say -- the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber in this committee is alone racist in itself. >> my nieces and nephews are people of color. not men a people know that. you know that, mr. chairman. and to indicate that i ask someone who's a personal friend of the trump family who knows this particular individual that she's coming in to be ea prop, it's race to say suggest that i ask can her to come in here for that reason. >> how about that?
i'm responsible for your silliness because i did the same thing you're doing now for ten years. i protected mr. trump for ten years. and the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and you want to use that as the premmes for discrediting me, that i'm not the person people called at 3:00 in the morning would make you inaccurate. it would make you a liar.
which puts you in the same place i am in and i can only warn people the more people who follow mr. trump are going to suffer the same consequences that i'm suffering. >> michael cohen, a convicted felon warned republicans on the oversight committee they could end up just like him if they continued to carry water for the president. >> you don't know him. i do. i sat next to this man for ten years and i watched his back. i'm the one who started the campaign. >> joining me rick wilson. there's a lot of weird moments. i want to start with the bizarre lin patten moment in which mark meadows goes out of his way to rebuff the testimony, calling black voters too stupid to vote for him and has lin patten silently stand up >> on an auction block and say
look at my black friend. look at her. that means the president isn't racist. was the epitome of racism. are you serious? is she the black ambassador for the entire race because one person out of his entire cabinet, his entire staff is there as the black person that this is who you bring up? the fact that he thought that was going to be like a got you moment is incredible to me. incredible. >> it was awkward and bizarre in the moment. i think even to people that mob a were disposed to be sympathetic on the committee. >> that was exclusively to play to their base because it's my black friend theory. it was cringe inducing. it was awful. get off that train. that is not great place for you to be.
>> there are twtwo things that me. there was a kind of totian quality to it that was striking. there was an abjectness in which they didn't even pretend to care about the things that were being made. >> they never addressed anything. they avoided saying the t-word, donald trump, the entire time and what you got was a lot of high school drama class over acting by jim jordan throwing people and meadows practically spiting, who's so angry. all of this contrived, phoney. it's so over the top and so silly. and of course they're demeaning themselves. >> i just don't want to insltd high school drama classes because ib think they put in a lot of work. they put up a poster board that says liar ux liar pants on fire.
no one does that in real life. >> ehe doesn't give a dam about high school drama. the facts -- the fact thattoo cohen's review today are going to be rememberd and known and litigated long after all this play time is over. >> they didn't even try to dismantle any of the facts. the fact that the president -- there's one guy stooby, i believe his name is, did this long thing of is there any corroborating evidence and michael cohen says no. and he's like rudy giuliani says there was imbrsment. by and large there was no actual factual attack. >> and that's what i thought was so troubling is here was their opportunity to say i want to get to the truth. here we are. we know republicans had control for two years.
but this is our opportunity to show the american people we care more about the truth than we do about the proximity, the power and money. it is an incredible aphrodisiac. that's what michael cohen said. be better than me. >> and there's the reality of the whole spectacle which is them hammering michael on his conduct and you're like yes, exactly. have you looked at the white house? i felt like they were doing what i do every night on the show like this guy. >> was michael cohen a scum bag only after he ratted on trump? no. and everything about donald trump's organization that weisselberg and con are going to peal back over time is going to look sleezy and nasty and small ball. it's not the tv show image of the "apprentice." it's the real donald trump. the sleez.
>>. >> the deputy finance chair for the rnc. like -- >> he -- michael cohen said i know donald trump. i sat next to him and with him for ten years. so the idea is that a, donald trump wants us to believe that he is an idiot and know-nothing that happened in this organization or they want tuse think he's brilliant and my question is which one is it? which donald trump should we know, understand and believe as american citizens? ib dont kno. so my gut tells me you're an idiot. you've surrounded yourself with people just like you and thaw will do anything and everything in order to cover your tracks. i can't help but ask myself why. what are you go tag get at the end of the day? because he is going down? >> yeah.
that was the question i kept asking myself watching the entire performance today as well. the question michael co cohen was asking. thank you. still to come michael cohen's portrait of the trump world the code they operated under. plus this literal portrait of trump, one of the more bizarre stories to come out of today's hearing. stories to come out of today's hearing. it's screening technology that helps you find a stock based on what's trending or an investing goal. it's real-time insights and information, in your own customized view of the market. it's smarter trading technology, for smarter trading decisions. and it's only from fidelity. open an account with no minimums today.
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portrait that afternoon. the portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. mr. trump directed the trump foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. >> so just been clear, donald trump ordered michael cohen to find a phony bidder to jack up the price of a painting of himself apparently all so that he could brag that it was the most expensive as he did in a tweet right after the auction, and i quote. just found out that at a charity auction of celebrity portraits in east hampton, my portrait by artist william quigley topped the list at 60k. that was just one of many glimpses we got today inside the sordid, petty, small, desperate and thirsty world of donald trump. we'll go even deeper with trump world with "art of the deal" author tony schwartz, next. only,
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ask you to threaten an individual or entity on his behalf? >> quite a few times. >> 50 times? >> more. >> 100 times? >> more. >> 200 times. >> more. >> 500 times. >> probably. over the ten years. >> michael cohen's testimony before congress today offering something we rarely get from a trump world insider, an unvarnished description of how donald trump really operates, and specifically, how he gets his dirty work done. joining me now is someone with unique insight into that process. tony schwartz, ghost writer, co-author of "art of the deal." that part i thought was striking, the threat, and how much they're a part of the trump m.o. what did you think of that? >> well, i mean, trump was all over you like a wet blanket no matter who you were, trying to impose his agenda on you in every moment. that was true in my own experience, and it was true watching him. i was thinking today oddly about robert trump, his younger
brother, who disappeared off into a farm in upstate new york many years ago. but when i was doing this work was the number two guy at the trump organization. and i just watched him over and over be crushed by donald. >> what do you mean by that? >> just do this -- it's like michael cohen. do this, do that, stop, shut up. you know, interesting, for example, what he said about his own son today. he's got the worst judgment on earth. >> right. >> you know, that donald trump would sell out his own children in one moment if it was him or them to go to prison. >> by the way, the president right now is meeting with kim jong-un in hanoi. the two are set to have the first full day of essentially bilateral talks. we're now seeing i think that's live pictures in hanoi, vietnam, just as that is going on while this is going on back here. and one thing i thought was really interesting is what cohen said about how trump got people
to toe the line. the story comes out that buzzfeed that he was directed to lie to congress and the special counsel's office knocks it down. and here is a kind of threading of the needle as cohen explains it that i thought was interesting. i'd like the get your response. take a listen. >> mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates. in conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no russian business, and go on to lie to the american people by saying the same thing. in his way, he was telling me to lie. he doesn't give you questions. he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in a code, and i understand the code because i've been around him for a decade. >> yeah. and what it makes me think, chris is just this is a man, as
i've said many, many times, without a conscience. and so the idea of lying, not lying, they're all the same to him. it's how do i get what i want when i want it. you know, to me, the only question from today is what did he know, when did he know it? what did he do, when did he do it? it's so fascinating to me that i cannot in reading over this see one instance in which anyone, any republican said anything to defend him, to actually defend him. that's an amazing thought. >> it's such a great point. no one says are you saying the president lied about this? you want us to believe that donald trump wrote a reimbursement check in the white house? obviously all that's plausible on its face. every single last detail. >> yeah. and even up until almost the very end with nixon, there were people who would talk about what a great statesman he was. >> right. >> what an extraordinary person he was. and this was after he was clearly guilty of felonies.
no one at this point will say anything positive about donald trump. >> it's true. they did not affirmatively defend the man. what they did is attack michael cohen's credibility. but they did not defend the character of the man that he was speaking about today. >> that's all they have left. >> what do you -- here's my question, i guess. i always wonder how conscious he is of the law and of skirting it. people describe this sort of mobster mentality, like he doesn't tell you to do something, but he sort of winks winks, nods nods. how conscious is he? >> you want to have a clear answer to that question, and i don't think there is one because he slides back and forth in and out of reality. i think that he -- what really dominates him is the awareness that or the belief that no matter what it is, true, false, right, wrong, criminal, not criminal, he will prevail. and let's be very clear. he has prevailed and prevailed and prevailed until this day. he is teflon until he's not
teflon. i think it's getting closer, but i've thought that for a long, long time. >> it's a really, really good point. tony schwartz, thank you so much for coming through tonight. >> thank you. >>that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. we were made for this, my friend. this is what we train for. >> i know. that's exactly right. >> thanks a lot, man. much appreciated. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. as we speak, president trump and the north korean dictator kim jong-un have just had their second televised handshake of the trump presidency. they have headed into what is expected to be a short and technically bilateral meeting between these two leaders. of course, the historic first meeting between president trump and the north korean dictator was eight months ago in singapore. so it's happening right now is their second meeting. so what that means in terms of our experience and the news they're making here