tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 1, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
new york on the fourth day of what's already been nominated for the worst week of donald trump's presidency, a bombshell, something for everyone. a trump lie so big the trump family and their lawyer appear to be in on it. a national security threat so dyer, two of the most senior west wing advisers warned against it and the new hallmark of a trump scandal, contemporaneous memos chronicling the transgression. in this case the story involved the president's son-in-law jared kushner and his pursuit of a security clearance. turns out there was never an all-clear given to jared, there was never a decision jared kushner could be trusted with the nation's most sensitive secrets. from "the new york times" scoop -- quote, president trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and adviser top seek relate security clearance last year, overruling intelligence flags by officials and white house's top lawyer. four people briefed on the matter said trump's decision in
may so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the white house chief of staff at the time, john kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been, quote, ordered to give kushner the top secret clearance. the white house counsel at the time, tom mcgann, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerned raised by kushner by the cia and how mcgann recommended he not be given a top-secret clearance. this reporting also revealed a effort of coordinated lies. >> did you tell general kelly or anyone in the white house to -- >> no, i don't think i have the authority to do that. i don't think i do. but i would never do it. jared is a good -- i was never involved with his security. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> what were the problems early
on? >> there weren't any. >> so no special treatment? >> no. >> there was nobody in the political process that had anything to do with it. there was nobody who pressured it. it was just done the normal, regular way. >> in case you forgot how harshly the republicans treat liars, here they are. >> you're a pathological liar. >> he's going to prison for lying to congress and he's the star witness to congress. >> convicted liar, lying to congress. apparently he died about delivering his own child which his wife had to correct the record. >> liar, liar, pants on fire. it's another example, mr. cohen, of you skewing the truth. >> no word yet from any of those men on the big trump lie about jared. we're joined by our favorite reporters and friends including the reporter on that "times" report goldman. former chief of staff to vice
presidents joe biden and al gore, ron klain is back. matt, let me start with you. i feel like you and i have been having this conversation -- and ron klain probably has to, a background check process, but most people, i hate to use the word normal but normal white house staffers take as seriously as a heart attack. the fact jared kushner never, wou was never, ever cleared and the problems with his background check so dire that the white house chief of staff wrote a memo. i think this is the first report of a memo written by the white house chief of staff. and getting on the record at least internally objecting to jared's clearance. >> it's an alarming action by the president. obviously the career officials who conduct these investigations conduct thorough investigations and they make the decisions based on facts and evidence. the president obviously had the authority to overrule those decisions. it's something i have never heard of a president doing in the past but he does have the
authority, but if he's going to do that, ought to be honest and tell them that's what he is doing. you see the clips from jared to ivanka, all of them not telling the truth about what happened here. they didn't tell the truth because they knew what the president did was inappropriate. i think that raises the question, why couldn't they just be honest with the american public? it raises this broader discussion about how the president repeatedly has pushed back against any constraints on his behavior, any part of the government that is governed by rules, by due process, he's pushed on it and looked to reward his cronies and retaliate against his enemies and i think that's what you see him. >> adam goldman, take us through what you and your colleagues are reporting and take us through what some of the concerns were about jared kushner in the background clearance investigation process. >> well, early on when jared was struggling to get his security clearance, when they had botched two fs-86s, the security forms
they fill out, we started hearing rumblings about other concerns, classified concerns, concerns about his contacts with the saudis, israelis and russians. so we kept digging and digging. in ultimately may 2018 kushner's lawyer abby gets out there and says everything is fine, honky dory. we didn't buy that for a minute. we continued to report. probably a few weeks ago maggie abraham, the force that she is, got a -- got a tip that the president ordered these clearances. and then we had a chance to interview trump. the story wasn't fully baked but we conferred and we thought why not ask trump the question. let's just put it to him. it wasn't a gotcha moment. we weren't trying to trap him. we just thought maybe he will just tell us. because he can be -- sometimes he can be unusually open.
and we put it to him and we were surprised by his response. well, we also realized it raised the bar of putting the story out. and then my other colleagues, mike schmidt and annie carney came in and we -- we got this thing over the edge. and as i tweeted, we live in the age of contemporaneous memos. i'm a big fan of them. i did the reporting on the 25th amendment and the wire comments that rob rosenstein made, deputy attorney general, so we knew there was something out there we needed to get a handle on. there were notable facts in these memos. >> it's such a fascinating peek into your process and you're right, bold-faced liar told to maggie peterson and your publisher's face and for sure that's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. but i want to press a little on the cia's role because when i was vetted, the fbi does the background check, they bring any concerns that come up in the vet
to white house officials, security office and then they get quickly bounced to the normal white house again to a white house counselor or chief of staff. none of those guardrails helped, and it was the cia raising concerns. what kinds of contexts and questions did the cia have about jared kushner? >> we don't have full visibility into that. that is something we continue to report on. but whatever concerns the cia had, they were deep and not to be dismissed. the office of security at the agency is not an agency -- is not an office to be trifled with. and they weren't going to be overruled and they stood their ground. so whatever they thought -- whatever they thought the problem was to give jared tssci, they weren't going to give ground on it and they made that clear and they made that clear to the white house. so that in itself is extraordinary. >> ron klain, i don't know the people who have not been vetted understand the significance of what adam goldman just detailed.
it is not standard for the cia to be the agency that stands in the way of any staffer in the government getting a clearance. but the problems for -- for the problems to have been ignored and the agency a man known to text with other world leaders, can you not have the most classified material in his possession, it's something extraordinary. do you think what the committee is looking into other issues, do you think we will get to the bottom of what it is that makes jared kushner a threat if he were to possess our top secrets? >> you know, i do think that's the question, nicolle. there's a lot of focus on the lies and lies about it. i understand why there's focus on lies about it. do me what you just asked is the interesting question. what about jared kushner is so wrong, is so unsafe that you cannot trust him with this information? after all, surely the cia knew they were under pressure to get the background check.
kushner had an interim clearance for 18 months. he was getting a lot of secret information. and to go to the white house and say you can't grant him permanent clearance. and to have two of the trusted aides john kelly and don mcghan say he can't get a government clearance, there's something very scary or bad there about handling foreign incidents, recs willness in handling this situation. the focus on the lies is important but we need to get to the bottom of what jared kushner has done to make him such a security threat. >> can i make a point? >> yeah, go ahead. >> i was going to say as someone who has written a lot of critical stories about the cia, give them credit where credit is due. there was a political risk to doing what they did, and they did it anyway. which says something about at least on their end, they haven't been totally political sized. >> and that's a good point. the cia, especially under this president, lulls the popular head up and intervened.
you about there's pattern here, and joyce i want you to pick up on adam's point about the memo. don mcghan and the colleagues reported on hours, at least 30 hours we know of cooperation with robert mueller. we learned in a story last week that exhaustive notes were taken by mr. mcghan's former chief of staff, detailed in realtime mr. trump's buy haehavior in the we wing. this was the first memo written and first incident i know we learned of that the cia objected to a white house official getting clearance, someone in charge of middle east peace. what does this picture look like? and it certainly suggests abbe lowell, i don't know what the ethics are for a lawyer but clearly lying in that clip, clearly lying to the press, could abbe lowell have any sort of exposure for the lies told about jared kushner? >> lots of different issues here but one thing you know and i know is when you write a contemporaneous memo and you're a government employee and it's
mott your regular practice, you do it because something bad is happening and you need cover down the road and a clear memory down the road. at least one, two, key people thought something here was a brad problem. it is i think unprecedented for someone to be denied clearance and then to have it superimposed. if you work in an office like mine for long enough, you know periodically there's a new hire that doesn't get a clearance and it's almost always that they lied about something they could have cleared up in the background process had they not lied and tried to keep it from being disclosed. i suppose the question here about abbe lowell is whether or not he was lied to, whether or not he was told everything was cleared without the president's intervention because if he knew, he's in hot water, certainly with the states in which he is barred, where his law license is maintained and likely also some federal prosecutors will want to have a talk with him and congress too. >> goldman, if you want to jump in, i hear that's the story
lowell is telling, perhaps he didn't have all of the information. >> i didn't deal with ab bbe. i do know abbe. he's a smart lawyer. >> let me just read you his statement. his statement is -- in 2018 white house and security clearance officials confirmed mr. kushner's security clearance was handled in a regular process with no pressure from anyone. that was conveyed to the media at the time and news stories do not change what was affirmed at the time. new statements certainly change what was affirmed at the time. >> i don't know what abbe knew at the time and what these individuals were telling abbe about the security clearance process. and whether any of those individuals actually lied to abbe about this. if abbe did lie, he certainly had a lot to lose. it wouldn't have seemed worth it. >> matt miller, let me bring you in on this point.
>> it's never worth it to lie, by the way, nicolle. why don't these people realize it? it's never worth it. >> it's the undercurrent, matt miller. as with mike flynn, who had the authored to change sanctions policy but lied about it to the fbi, as with jared kushner, who probably had knowledge that the president of the united states could overrule the security, why not come clean about what he did? here are three things he failed to disclose in one of his runs. i think he updated his background forms in excess of 200 times. he failed to disclose contacts with russia around the trump tower meeting. had to be a memorable event, i don't know. meeting with kislyak, meeting with the head of a russian bank. those are just big questions about russia's role in the 2016 election and he forgot about them. >> look, i think the reason people usually lie is because the alternative, telling the truth, is extraordinarily damaging. people know if they lie and they get caught, it's going to hurt them but they make a choice
because the alternative hurts. what ron said a moment ago is important, which is what are the underlying reasons why the security clearance, what was rejected but i think the laws are connected to this. they lie because they know the underlying reasons are really important, are really damning so they couldn't just overrule the career officials and overrule the decisions they made because of the damaging information without lying about it. and with respect to abbe in particular, i know him and i would like to think he wasn't intentionally lying here, but as someone who's spoken on behalf of a lot of government officials, spoken on behalf of clients, if a client ever sent me out like that to tell a lie that i didn't know, i would find a new client pretty quickly. >> let me ask you, ron klain, to weigh in on this piece of reporting, which feels different in context of what we're learning from adam's report. "the washington post" reported in february officials in at least four currently privately discussed ways that could manipulate jared kushner, president's son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex
business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience. among those nations discussing ways to influence kushner to their advantage were the uaest, china, israel and mexico. i know just enough about blackmail to be dangerous but mike flynn was fired in part because he was at risk of being black mailed. isn't this the same thing? >> yes, it turns out if the cia security office finds you're a security risk, it may turn out you're a security risk. and i think that's what's going on here. look, it is possible that he was denied this clearance because of his failure to fill out these forms. you filled out the forms, i filled out the forms, i remember in the midst of presidential transitions going out and getting my passport and digging out old tourist trips to mexico to make sure the forms were right. people take these seriously. maybe that was kushner's problem. but far more likely if the cia weighed in against his clearance, it's because they believe his conduct, his dehaver, his context, his
activities made him a risk to handle this information. that's scary enough. we also have to remember for 18 months he had access to a lot of the information on true clearance his father-in-law had granted to him. there was a tremendous breach of security procedures at the white house here, and we deserve to know what happened and why kushner was such a risk to have this information? >> adam goldman, i want to give you a last word on the topic you raised, the gift that is contemporaneous memos. you talked about your reporting based at least in part about memos about rod rosenstein's conduct in the period after jim comey was fired. this is two senior white house officials who had both been fired and essentially run out of the west wing, came to the same conclusion, detailing memos of the same thing. i guess the white house has enough trepidation about what's in the memos or what else may be in memos, they're response is we don't talk about the background checks. they're not rebutting.
they're not disputing. no fact in your story has been rebutted or disputed by this white house. what does that mean? and where does this story go next? >> it means our story was extremely solid or we wouldn't put it in the paper otherwise. where does the story go next? we need to learn more about the concerns that prevented jared from getting a top security clearance. and what did the cia find out? what did they know? and we need to get to the bottom of that. i have a reasonable expectation that the truth will come out, because i know there's a whole team of new york of reporters who are not going to let it go. >> we look forward to you coming back when it does. thank you for being here with us. congrats on the scoop. after the break, the family of otto warmbier speak out with the dictator they believe is responsible for the murder of
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first of all, he's -- he's a character. >> you're laughing about it. >> he's a real personality and he's very smart. he's sharp as you can be and he's a real leader. again, the relationship is very good. he likes me, i like him. some people say oh, you shouldn't like him. i said why shouldn't i like him?
>> why shouldn't you like him? seems rather obvious but here's one reason, a flashback to two years ago. >> otto warmbier is returning to cincinnati tonight but it appears he's gravely ill and has become in a coma since some time after his conviction and sentencing to hard labor for allegedly stealing a poster. >> he's blind. he's deaf. he's got a feeding tube. and we kneeled down and hugged him and tried to connect with him, and he's a complete vegetable, and his bottom teeth look like they had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged them. >> it's hard to watch. that was fred warmbier describing the state of his son after they got him back from north korea. otto was dead less than a week later. now the warmbier family once again forced to speak out publicly two years later. except this time talking about
donald trump and his bizarre, reprehensible claim that kim jong-un knew nothing about otto's apparent torture. here's what they said today -- we've been respectful during this summit process. now we must speak out. kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son otto. kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. no excuses or lavish praise can change that. joining our conversation, michelle goldberg, columnist for "the new york times" and reverend al sharpton, host of "politicsnation" here on msnbc and president of the national action network. donald trump tweeting -- a beauty to borrow one of his words, this is the last few minutes, i never like being misinterpreted, especially when it comes to otto warmbier and his great family. remember, i got otto out along with three others. i'm not reading all of this. basically disputing the account of a family that lost everything. there are some times i don't
even know what to say. >> it's outrageous. first of all, this is a pattern. you're talking about a president that said he believed putin over his own intelligence officers, whose son-in-law was talking to the crown prince even after a saudi reporter that was writing and living here in new york in the united states, writing for "the washington post," was killed and actually dismembered, and now you have him saying that kim jong-un said he didn't know, and i take him at his word. it doesn't matter whether you went and got him, you got him from kim jong-un, now you're going to sit up and give the guy you got him from credit for sayi saying i had no knowledge that an american student was in north korea and i control everything in north korea but i didn't know they were doing all of this to him. who was the one that let you take him out, donald trump?
this is atrocious on its face. >> there was a moment, a lot of people after 2008 said to me, is this your fault you didn't tell sarah palin how to answer the question from katie couric, what to read? i said i guess it was my fault. i didn't think to do it. i'm watching trump with hannity saying why shouldn't i like him? why didn't pompeo or bolton tell him he's a murderous dictator. but why should have to tell him? >> do you think a, he would care or b, that it would really penetrate? he obviously doesn't read his briefing books, he sort of doesn't take in information that's contrary to what he wants to believe. he clearly does feel a rapport with this man i think because they have kind of similar personality types. i think he envies kim jong-un and the lavish deference he gets as a authoritarian dictator, would like the americans do gymnastics in his honor the way
north koreans do. this man, one of the biggest mega stories of the past two years has been his disloyalty to kind of america. but we see there's no individual american to whom he will be loyal and to whom he will stick up for. you see first with khashoggi, a resident of america, he gets murdered and the united states basically throws up its hands and says this really isn't going to affect our relationship with saudi arabia. now an actual american citizen is murdered, he sort of exploits the parents as props at his state of the union when he's taking a very bellicose stance towards north korea. when that no longer suits him -- and i don't think anybody would argue with negotiating with kim jong-un but this kind of -- just like ridiculous flattery and -- i mean, it's obscene. and you see that he -- the fact that this man has kind of been responsible for the horrific death african-american citizen means nothing to donald trump. and i think this is something
that american journalists keep in mind, that we know it used to be that you could kind of count on the american government if something happened to you abroad. you just can't anymore. no american citizen can. >> joyce? >> you know, we're on notice. we've watched president trump do this for three, four years now. we repeatedly watched him cow down to dictators, who he has nice words for that he would never spare for nancy pelosi, joe biden, "the new york times," "the washington post," all on his enemy's list. we have a saying in the house, fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. the american people need to stop being fooled by this man. >> ron klain, there's something about the miss that must be missing in your dna to retraumatize a father who describes the bottom teeth of his son as being rearranged with pliers. we call them a pathological liar. there's something sociopathic
about this behavior. >> i agree with that, nicolle. i think it's one other thing which donald trump likes to be tough and strong but he wimps out when he deals with dictators face to face. it's really the art of the squeal. he's like the little mouse when he faces one of these dictators face to face. he tweet tough things, he can talk tough things but he gets in the room with these dictators and he's just kind of bowled over. so he takes putin's word about the russian elections and he takes kim jong-un's word about what happened to otto warmbier. he doesn't have the kind of moral center that allows a president of either party, of any ideology, to stand up and go toe to toe with a tough foreign leader. he just crumbles when he's face to face with one of these foreign leaders. >> matt miller, i was reminded not just of the putin moment, khashoggi, you know, shameful conduct of this president around his slaughter and dismemberment, but i was also reminded of the president's days long, maybe
weeks long war of words with the khan family when they took to the national convention and criticized donald trump as well as his seven-day war of words with a widow and her appearance after david t. johnson was murdered. it's not hyperbole to say for donald trump nothing is sacred. i heard from former national security adviser who was in this white house when otto warmbier's body came back who just galled by what she saw from her former boss in this appearance in vietnam. >> i felt so sorry for the warmbier family watching the president's words. they suffered the most unspeakable crime a parent can suffer and to have the leader of the government make unbelievable excuses for the dictator responsible for that loss, it must be beyond the pale. i think what hap here, there are two ways to compromise donald trump. one is to spend a lot of money at his tholes and resorts and the other is flatter his ego.
foreign dictators have figured this out. he's an easy mark. whether it's by telling him he won the election on his own and not because of russia interference like vladimir putin did. whether it's throwing a big party for him in saudi arabia and plastering his image on the side of the building that like the saudis did or sending him beautiful letters and telling him how great he is like kim did, what it means is that the end, the president will take your side even over a grieving american family and it is a ream tragedy. >> ron klain, we're losing you. you have to come to new york so we can keep you for the whole hour. thank you for spending the first half with us. when we come back, michael cohen's roadmap to the potential crimes committed by donald trump. where does the investigation go next? next biopharmaceutical researchers.
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five times this morning in multiple tweets calling cohen's testimony fake, full of lies, misrepresentations and contradictions. and then falsely claiming prosecutors are now looking into every deal they've ever done because of the collusion investigation has fallen apart. here's what cohen said after wrapping up over eight hours of grilling by the house intel committee yesterday. >> there's not much i can say other than it was very productive, as i said, i'm committed to telling the truth. and i will be back on march 6 to finish up. there's more to discuss. >> the committee said they will only release a transcript of his testimony after all questioning is done. "the washington post" points out, quote, while it is not clear what precisely was discussed, trump's pardon power and nhow he's attempted to wiel it, has been of interest for american lawmakers, explosioner obstruction of justice allegations against the president. during his hearing michael cohen said never asked for nor would
he accept a pardon. it's mott just cohen the congress wants to hear more from. the testimony left a trail of bread crumbs for the house to follow. elijah cummings will sure to follow. when asked who he will follow up with, couplinummings said, foll transcript. >> who else knows he did this. >> allen weisselberg, rob lieberman. >> who is that? >> corey lewandowski. don trump jr., pecker, dylan howard, barry levine of ami as well. allen weisselberg. alan garden. >> i'm still here. joyce, it's like a rose gallery of names. what was that list? what do they do with that list? i'm guessing be robert mueller's
already got that list. >> that's a list investigators need to talk to, whether they're on the legal side of the house or congressional oversight side of the house, we will hear from all of these people before it's over. >> matt miller, you want to jump in and sort of lump any of those groups together? it seems like the last group, those are people involved in the illegal or partially charged conspiracy, the campaign finance violations charged by the southern district of new york. some of those names felt like they were perhaps at the intersection of donald trump and his business efforts and endeavors and lies about russia. but pretty big list of people who may be ensnared in one way or another in a conspiracy. >> it's a very big list of people and they all have one thing in common, none of them work for the government. jay sec u ler, he's an attorney and he has specials and cannot be called to testify. but more important if we're
looking at now congressional investigators subpoena by of those people either for testimony or documents, they don't have executive privilege to hide behind the way people in the white house can do. so if the committee wants to call matthew calamari, who i can't believe is a real person -- or if they want to call allen weisselberg to come and testify, those people have to show up. they can raise their hand and take the fifth amendment. every american has the constitutional right to do that. but they don't have the same ability to delie and stonewall and block investigations the way the white house does. and i think given the potential criminality we've seen, that we just saw emerge this week in the trump organization across a range of different areas, that's peril for him in terms of all of this being aired publicly over the next couple of years before the house committees. >> rev, i think there's a reality setting in possibly, maybe not yet in the oval, but that the congressional investigations are going to make him miss robert mueller. here's some reporting in axios -- for trump the russian investigation has been a
behind-the-scenes probe with sensationally intermetant revelations. now it's about to become a persistent and very public process at best, a nuisance and at worse a threat to his office. >> i think that is very, very important to trump. trump is the person that believes in caving to the public no matter what. the comfort he has in private situations he can do all kinds of spinning in all kinds of ways he can manipulate public opinion because prosecutors are not going to play the public game, as joyce would know. they just got to take it even if they don't want to. now he's in the public. now you're getting what you love, wall-to-wall coverage, but you are not writing the narrative and you're not the main actor, and it has to be driving him crazy because being the meg low maniac he is, he
can't spend if cohen is sitting there being questioned and cohen is over and over again saying and doing what he said and did, now he's going to bring the others on, possibly members of his family for a meg low maniac who also may have done some very inappropriate, if not criminal things, this could not be a worse nightmare. >> this is like a "curb your enthusiasm" meets "the usual suspects" deal to watching sean hannity talk about what is really on a serious level threatens the presidency but just in terms of the characters ludicrous. here he is talking to the president last night about michael cohen. >> i was kind of dragged a little bit into the michael cohen story. i can tell you personally he said to me at least a dozen times that he made the decision on the payments, and he didn't tell you. he told me personally. >> he did and he made the decision -- and remember this, he's an attorney. whatever decision he makes, you're supposed to rely on an
attorney to make the decision. >> don't take our word for it. here's rudy giuliani rebutting donald trump and sean hannity. >> that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now you don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. >> so they funneled it through a law firm? >> through the law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, he did? >> yes. >> you see what we're talking about, it's not a crime. it's not a crime, george. paying $130,000 to stormy whatever and paying $100,000 to another one is not a crime. >> someone remembers her name. >> we don't even have to take his word for it, trump is on tape, right? cohen released that tape of him and trump talking about that they were going to make this payment. or maybe it was a payment to stephanie cliffords as opposed to stormy daniels. but we know there's no question
this is how they do business. >> but there's something insane about seeing the president of the united states and sean hannity, both clients of michael cohen, who in this twisted story has become the freaking hero. >> you know, the incredible thing about it is i think hannity invited prosecutors on national television to send him a subpoena. back to matt miller's point, he doesn't work for the white house, although he sometimes plays somebody who does on television, and he's clearly made himself a fact witness for everybody to see. >> mommy's heading straight for mommy water after this hour. after the break, mark meadows nearly exploded when he was called a racist during public testimony earlier this week. but days later new video surfaced and has people wondering if he owes barack obama an apology. a an apology
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the highest office -- >> chairman, the rules are clear. my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know that, mr. chairman. and to indicate that i asked someone who is a personal friend of the trump family, who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual that she's coming in to be a prop, it's racist to suggest that i ask her to come in here for that reason. >> congressman mark meadows, outraged after his behavior during michael cohen's public testimony was called racist. his track record suggests it might not be such a reach. listen to what he says a few years back about president obama. >> 2012 is the time we're going to send mr. obama home to kenya or wherever it is. we're going to do it. >> if we're doing our job from a harassment standpoint, we won't have to worry about it. we'll send him back home to
kenya or wherever it is. >> send him back to kenya. he's not from kenya. i think he knows basic the most racist thing that went on, on the right. i spent some time ocn the right was this birther movement. he seems like a card-carrying member way back when. and we didn't catch it by accident. we took ten minutes and found two clips. >> the other thing is that this was kind of taken by everyone as evidence. clearly, mark meadows has this past of racism, but also i think it underlines how preposterous it is for him to be so indignant that somebody called donald trump racist, right? because donald trump was the leader of the birther movement. he was probably its most famous proponent, it's how he rose to political prominence. it's probably why he's president. so the central, i think, kind of
contradiction in our politics is that donald trump is -- should be treated beyond the pale. he should be shunned the way steve king is shunned, right? a fringe racist figure who is also the president and so should be shunned but can't be shunned, and kind of the republicans have a difficult time i think managing his contradiction and the way they try to manage it is act as if it somehow is not only questionable donald trump is racist but to have room to talk about his evident racism. >> and i also think, let's look at it from the proceedings. michael cohen, who was donald trump's lawyer and he said like his son, said that donald trump's a racist. now, are you going to tell me that some event planner, which is all this young lady was, is there to contradict what a guy that was with him almost every day and that was fixing his business, including the mistresses? she couldn't be there to counter that, one.
secondly, she couldn't be sworn in because you have a witness, she wasn't given a microphone. so what is she other than a prop? she had no standing in the proceedings. she would only be a prop. and michael cohen was the one that would reach out to all of us when donald trump had questions of racism. we argue about birtherism, it was michael cohen that called me through a friend of his that went to college with him saying why is reverend al on tv banging him on birtherism, calling him a racist and my friend said he calls me direct, michael cohen. the boss is upset. would you meet with him? would you talk to him? i said this is racism. he's playing on he's not one of us. i go to trump tower, as i have been there many times arcing with donald trump, and have this meeting that michael cohen set up. michael cohen was the guy that set up the meeting. secondly, i've never seen in all of my business to trump towers any black executive. so i don't know what this event
plan cere talki-- planner is ta about. >> she wasn't talking. wasn't given a microphone. >> shfs a prop. and the darkest i have seen is the dim elevator lights going down. i have never seen anything darker on the floor. the other thing you have to keep in mind here, michael cohen called me twice, we had breakfast twice, before he made his guilty plea. he told me personally many things that mr. trump said was bigoted, and i know i fixed meetings with you and him to talk and i had to take the other side. i saw michael cohen say on that stand many things that he said to me. i was looking to see if he would have the same countenance and words and he did. he's the man who told "the new york times" the story that he wanted me to pray with him. he was a man i said well, everything will work out for you, and he said rev, i'm going jail and he talked to me as a
man that knew he had done all that he had done and he was now getting ready to pay for it and he wanted to clean the record because he was concerned about how his kids looked at to unde donald trump's stain on our politics, you just have to look at this flash point. because this actually was a, well, she called him a racist. no, she didn't. congresswoman simply said having a black woman stand next to you without a microphone is a racist act in my view. but we're having this bizarre debate where some people believe her -- i mean the debate is over. donald trump is a racist. no one is still debating that. and why do we both sides question about what is racist? i don't even think stupid people out of industries that aren't supposed to know better like -- i don't think they even debate whether or not a stunt like this is race egg. >> and not only is that -- spike lee makes an accept tachbs speech at the oscars and said do the right thing in 2020 and the
president says he is talking race -- he is a racist. he didn't even mention race. but he didn't even mention race. they are obsessed with race because that is who they where. and i think that we need to say as you would say in court we stipulate to the racism. >> let me ask you one last question. i watched this live. they are not saying we're not racists out of sensitivity to people of color. they are saying we're not racists out of sensitive to white suburban house wives who they need to vote republicans. >> they are playing to the independents because they say or do nothing that would owe depend the racists that are supporting them for race. so they go to, oh, no, don't call us racists but i'll do racist stuff. don't he worry about that. because they want to keep the independents neutralized and have that crowd with them.he wo. because they want to keep the independents neutralized and
have that crowd with them. donald trump takes every opportunity to whip up that crowd while he tries to tell people that he thinks are a little independent how dare they call me racist even though i've done and said the country is s o hole country. b you know i'm saying what we all believe. >> and he never breaks that pattern. >> he never does. and i hear people saying that this could be a teachable moment and i'm all in favor of teachable moments when it comes to race but before you can get to the teachable moment, you have to say what it is. you have to acknowledge what you've done. what you've not, where you've been. and there is no willingness on that side of the aisle to say we really need to consider race. eric holder took a lot of slack for trying to talk honestly about race. the american people rrnweren't
ready for it then. >> and another day we'll talk about the three things cohen charged, racism, financial crimes and coverup, the only one that they tried to rebut is the racism. and up next, the alarming thing people are just now starting to consider. g people are just now starting to consider to licensed agents with geico. hmm? yeah, you just go online, or give them a call anytime. you don't say. yep. now what will it take to get 24/7 access to that lemon meringue pie? pie! pie's coming! that's what it takes, baby. geico®. great service from licensed agents, 24/7.
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there will never be a peaceful transition of power. and this is why i agreed to appear before you today. >> an ominous warning. michael cohen just slipped in there at the end of his testimony on capitol hill this week but as aaron blake writes in the "washington post," it is not outside the realm of possibility. he reports that it is speculation but not completely baseless. remember towards the end of the 2016 election when everyone including apparently trump thought he was about to lose, trump spent weeks alleging voter fraud among voters who hasn't even cast ballots. he even suggested if he lost there could be no other good pl explanation. i hear this more and more from what i call you normal people. even if he loses in 2020, they are afraid that he won't leave office. >> i worry a lot about the damage that he's done to democratic institutions, to law enforcement, to the intelligence community. and i do think if he loses he
won't go quietly. he will complain that it was stolen from him and if there are close elections in the states you might see efforts to make what happened in florida look like child's play. but i do think if he does lose the election, one thing i don't have a worry about is that noon on january 20th, 2021 whether he walks out on his own or the secret service walks him out, he will be leaving the would you say. >> i'll have whatever is in your cup. >> i actually think that is right and partly because he doesn't have a lot of layers of loyalty below him. >> his chief staff and white house counsel wrote con temp rain why you memos about things being -- >> right. if you are going to mastermind a fascist push, you need to have loyal foot soldiers and he just doesn't. so this is in some ways the one saving grace of this administration is that he has these authoritarian instincts, but he doesn't really have the will or the manpower to carry out -- i mean he can carry out some of them, but he can't really transform our system of
government. because he just didn't have that many people who are willing to go out on the lim for hb for hi. >> i think he will make a lot accusations but he will have to leave because he doesn't have the army. he couldn't even draw people to the inauguration. so he can call for the masses to rise up, but the masses aren't coming. they didn't even show up for your swearing in, donald. >> you know, matt is not usually the sunny optimist. but donald trump has eare nor mu enormous incentive to remain in office so he won't be indicted. he lose that protection when he leaves the white house. i think he will do whatever he can to make it tough to go. >> and just to clarify, i have zero faith in him, a lot of faith in the other institutions
of government. >> so you period it hear first, responding to the accusation of optimism. that's why you watch. my thanks to you all. that does it for our hour and our week. thank you so much for watching. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. happy friday. if it is -- if the week ever ends. i was just discussing that. it is a day of the week. >> it is like a 13 day week. i don't know. >> it is. and probably the humpday for that horrible week anyway. thanks. are we hearing -- what are we appearing, is that impeachment? maybe not. ♪ good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. welcome to "mtp daily." buckle, there will be mor