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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  March 6, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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origalinly discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. thank you, ron, charlie, paul, emily, cand donnie. that does it for us. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> hi, nicole. and apparently we're about to go to congress. mr. cohen is leaving the building. so, thank you. if it's wednesday, the list of the president's alleged crimes has gotten longer. good evening, i'm chuck todd here in washington. welcome to "meet the press daily." at this hour, we are keeping a close eye on capitol hill where michael cohen has been testifying behind closed doors before the house intelligence committee, a second visit back,
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if you recall. adam schiff teased this last week. we do expect him to make a statement after the hearing wraps up, which we think is any minute now. and we were told the hearing had been wrapping up. we also expect to hear from the chairman, adam schiff, as well. we don't know how long we'll hear from him, but we'll hear something from him. cohen's testimony comes as a source tells nbc news that cohen turned over new documents showing how his false 2017 testimony to congress about trump tower moscow was edited. and if these documents back up the claims cohen implied last week, that the president's lawyers made those edits, it could potentially implicate them in cohen's false statements. one of the president's lawyers is denying that they altered a key part of his testimony. we're going to have a lot more on this developing story in a moment, along with some new jaw-dropping poll numbers in the wake of the cohen testimony. but for now, as we await mr. cohen to the microphones, we're going to begin with this pile of
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evidence that is piling up against the president. maybe it's too much. the latest, there are now eight checks in the public domain showing how the president reimbursed michael cohen while president, for those illegal hush money payments during the campaign. eight. and that's just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the alleged wrongdoing directly involving the president. what you're seeing right now on screen is a bullet point list of the alleged crimes and misdemeanors that democrats are likely reviewing as they begin to lay the groundwork for what could be possible impeachment proceedings. as you can see, there's a lot. we're talking about allegations of obstruction, multiple allegations of those, allegations of conspiracy, multiple allegations of those. allegations of campaign finance felonies. those we know aware of. each check is multiple, by the way. corruption, violations of the emoluments clause, and straight-up abuses of power. but the challenge facing the democrats is they have to fashion this into a cohesive
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narrative, can you keep track of it all? the president and his allies probably hoping that you can't. joining me now for this part of the conversation, greg boud, and with me is kimberly atkins, senior washington correspondent for wbur, matthew, and howard fineman, an nbc news analyst. greg, let me start with you. and people saw the scroll, but i want to put up this big graphic of everything -- and we're not just putting up little ones that are out there. it's everything that is of some substance. we're going to keep it up for a while. we did break it up into different parts here. we've got obstruction of justice, campaign finance, straight-up corruption, the conspiracy allegations, and the issues of abuse of power.
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so, greg, as a prosecutor, what would you do with a situation like this? you've got threads, some of which are pretty, pretty detailed. some of which are pretty loose. how would you pursue something like this? >> well, the bottom line, chuck, is as a prosecutor, you want corroboration. you want witnesses, you want documentary evidence, and if you can put enough of that together, you can make a case. what's interesting here is, is whether or not the special counsel, bob mueller, is going to report to the attorney general that he found evidence of criminal conduct on the part of the president, but because of the prevailing doj opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted, didn't feel like he could ask a grand jury to return an indictment. i think that's the key to all of this. what did bob mueller find? and if it wasn't the president we're talking about, would he have sought an indictment? >> let me ask you this, greg. on the issue of obstruction of justice, and we put -- we have about ten bullet points under
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here, specifically. and i'm curious, are these -- would you call this one charge or essentially ten different charges? firing comey, because of the russia probe. suggesting to comey to drop the flynn probe, ordering the white house counsel to try to fire mueller. calling for the attorney general to fire mueller. dangling pardons for russian witnesses. revoking clearances of potential witnesses. threatening to publish tapes of a mueller witness. are those -- is that one charge or are those separate charges? >> well, of course, i would have to see the specific evidence, but it sounds a lot to me like it could be a case made up of separate counts of obstruction, if, in fact, there was enough evidence to prove obstruction on each of those counts. >> howard fineman, here's what i challenged somebody today. i said, give me the elevator pitch for why you should impeach the president. if you believe there's all of these, you have this list, can you give the elevator pitch? can you do it in 15 seconds?
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>> the donald trump and his organization amounted to a criminal conspiracy that either was forced into or willingly, if not eagerly cooperated with whomever they could, including russians and criminal actors, to gain power. in a way that -- and to continue in power, in a way that violates the spirit and fact of the law, and therefore he does not have the character to be president of the united states. >> it's not easy, is it? >> i thought i had it better than that, but -- i fumbled around a little bit. >> -- legal training at work there. >> but is the president's best defense the fact there's so much? >> the president's best defense at this point is that the public, according to the polling, is not interested in -- >> they're kind of numb to it. they're not keeping up. >> so the challenge for democrats is they engage in all of these investigations, they
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collect all of this evidence, they fire their subpoena cannon at the white house. but the second they cross that line, where impeachment hearings begin, if they don't have serious evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor, it's going to be viewed as a political stunt and trump will get the advantage. >> how do you define that, though, right? like, every -- one person sits here and says, boy, what he did with fox is an impeachable offense, ordering the justice department to try to get involved in this cnn merger, for instance. but that may not rise to the bar that matthew's talking about that gets you the 15 or 10 republicans that you need. >> right. i mean, we don't have a standard for what high crimes and misdemeanors are. and this is a political process. which is different than the legal process, which is what mueller is doing. but at the same time, you have the house, and we're talking about the house bringing articles in this. forget about the senate momentarily. you have the house, which in the past brought articles of impeachment against a president for perjury. it was a crime.
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if there is -- if robert mueller's report says that donald trump committed crimes, particularly if he committed crimes while in office, i think it will be very difficult for democrats to be able to distinguish why that would not be reason to bring an article of impeachment, knowing that that will lower the bar. if another president committed a crime, if he was impeached, this lowers the bar. what does that mean to the future? i'm not saying that it's an easy task to make or an easy line to draw, but that's one of the unintended consequences of that. >> i happen to think from the beginning that robert mueller has had a holistic theory about this, from talking to people who know about how he's proceeding. >> what's that? >> that he's looked from the beginning, especially by hiring all the people who studied money laundering and are expert mis i that kind of thing, that he's looked for the underlying motivation, either positive or negative, meaning something to gain or blackmail to avoid, in what donald trump was willing to do by way of cooperation, in the
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2016 campaign. and what he may have stumbled on in the process is ongoing criminal activity in the white house. but the original view was, is this a criminal enterprise that either was subject to blackmail or was all too willing to cooperate with people he shouldn't have been cooperating with? that's been mueller's theory. how much of that mueller has been able to prove or whether he will say any of it or whether william barr will talk about any of it are different questions. >> greg, do you think you can fairly say, if you were in mueller's shoes and you know, look, you're never bringing the president into a court of law unless he's a former president, at best, right? maybe you'd get a sealed indictment and wait until he's out of office. more than likely you know, this is your gathering evidence so that the political people can make the legal decision. how does that color the investigation? does that impact how you go about certain -- how you pursue certain threads? >> well, yes and no.
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i mean, what typically takes place with respect to an ordinary criminal investigation is, of course, the prosecutor needs to be able to prove to a grand jury probable cause that a crime was committed in order to get an indictment from that grand jury. but the reality for doj prosecutors is that typically, a case won't be taken to a grand jury and a request for an indictment won't be made unless the prosecutor is confident that he or she really has enough evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. here, though, because it appears that bob mueller does not believe he can indict the president, he may have an interest in just getting before the house of representatives, all of the evidence he found that may be irrelevant to impeachment, even though it wouldn't necessarily be enough or sufficient to get an indictment. and i think that's the key here, chuck, if i might. the key points are twofold in my
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opinion. one is, the house really has to demand, and i think, will demand that everything the special counsel has learned, all the evidence that he has gathered should be turned over to the house for the house's consideration and secondly, i've said this from the beginning, i think the house majority would be well advised to not, to not seek impeachment, to not commit impeachment proceedings, or at least, follow through with an impeachment vote unless it's truly bipartisan. >> matthew, let me ask this. if bob mueller testifies before the house and says, if he weren't president, i would have indicted him for obstruction of justice, does that change -- what -- should -- how powerful could that be? >> that's another arrow in the democrats' quiver and it might spur them to accelerate the impeachment process. but the democrats -- >> short of that, though, do you think it probably -- they'd need something that concrete from mueller before they'd go, or do you think -- >> no, i think you're right. the assumption of this segment
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is correct that the democrats want to impeach this president. >> there's no doubt they want to do it, but they don't want to -- >> -- they're trying to find some way to impeach him. their constrained by what they find and they're also constrained by the calendar. because we're already engaged in a presidential election. if you'd begin the impeachment process in the middle of a presidential election, i think there are going to be many american voters including many independents who are going to say, let us vote. let us have a say here. we didn't put the democrats in the house to impeach. we didn't put them -- we put them as a check and put them to protect our pre-existing conditions. that's why the house was elected. let us vote. and so there, too, if they go down this impeachment path, prior to election day 2020, they face political jeopardy. >> yeah, and i think by focusing on the word and the process of impeachment, we're really kind of missing the point here, because what has to be served here is public knowledge and history. for a variety of reasons, donald
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trump got elected in 2016 without the american people knowing anywhere near the full story about donald trump and how he got to where he was and who he really was. >> did they -- >> i go back and forth -- >> and how he really operates. >> on the details i agree with you. but the greater grand scheme of thing, you don't think the voters kind of knew? yeah, we kind of know he's not on the level. >> okay, they might have said, a little game, but we don't really know. but it's in the interest of the american people and the rule of law and our understanding of our own history that -- that's the way i think these hearings, however scattered and overdone they may be, if they put together the full story of how donald trump operates, really operates, that's a useful exercise and it will be up to the american people in 2020 to decide if they want to allow that to continue. >> so then it becomes, is that
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actually the proper way -- it's like, look, kocongress isn't gog to go into this. here you go, american public. it's almost like their version of the mueller report. mueller, hey, it's on you. now congress is like, no, no, no, no, congress, it's on you. you decide what to do with him. >> that's the role of congress. that's the difference between these committees and robert mueller is that they are fact finding and presenting this information to the public. they also have that option to, if they find a crime, to make article of impeachment, but that's why the senate is there, because that's where it would -- there's no way that they would approve it. it would go down. and so, ultimately, that's a lot -- that's what this is about. the robert mueller probe something entirely different. and we don't know. at the end of the day, we don't know if a president can be indicted or not, legally, yes, that's the doj's position. that's another legal battle that might be fought. >> the pigge estbiggest threat president is in the southern district of new york. >> what is, that though. >> it's not mueller, it's not congress, it's the southern district. >> what is it -- >> when you say the biggest
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threat, is it the threat to him politically or personally? >> it's a legal threat, the threat of indictment. >> yes, that's what i -- greg, do you agree with matthew there, that if you look at the legal -- the biggest legal problems facing the trump family and organization and the president long-term are in the southern district. >> i agree that potentially that is a bigger problem in terms of criminal exposure, but we have to remember, because i've heard this misunderstood on other shows recently. the southern district of new york prosecutors are part of the department of justice, and they are bound by the same doj position with respect to whether a president can be indicted. and so, it's not as though main justice can tell bob mueller, you can't seek an indictment of the president, but the southern district of new york prosecutors can do that on their own. that's not real the reality. >> greg, let me ask you this question about this issue, if the southern district says they're worried that he wins a
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second term, some statute of limitations will expire, and they go to barr and say, we need a sealed indictment, and we won't unseal it until after he's out of office, be it january 20th, 2021, or january 20th, 2025, is that how that would work? >> yeah, i think that -- well, that would -- we're definitely in uncharted waters when you raise that issue. that's potentially possible. that request could be made. that would be an interesting dilemma for the attorney general. that's one way to do it. i would like to think, though, getting back to the earlier point, i would like think -- and i recognize that i could, of course, be wrong -- that if bob mueller tells the house of representatives that but for the president's status as a sitting president and but for the prevailing doj opinion from the loc memos, he would have sought an indictment from a grand jury, and he's confident he would have received one, i would like to think that that will cause a
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bipartisan movement on the part of the house to impeach. >> right. well, we won't know that moment until we live that moment. greg, hang on a minute. let me go to capitol hill. we're expecting michael cohen. he's been band closed doors with the house intelligence committee. we know he's going to come to cameras any minute. while we don't know yet what he's been telling members of congress today, we do know that he showed them something. we have now-confirmed reports that cohen provided the intelligence committee with a document that shows edits that were made to the false statement he delivered in congress to 2017 about the discussions involving a proposed trump tower in moscow. and a source familiar with the document says it will bolster cohen's public testimony from last week when cohen alleged that president trump's legal team altered his statements before congress. nbc news has not reviewed the document itself. cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress for those statements, but even so, a new poll shows 50% believe cohen more than the president, compared to just 35% who believe president trump more than cohen.
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let that sink in a minute. a majority of americans believe a confessed liar more than they believe the sitting president of the united states. joining me now outside the cohen hearing room is our own capitol hill correspondent, kasie hunt. so, kasie, this has been the question all day, obviously, they spent a lot of time on this issue. it sounds like, frankly, this committee asked them to bring more documentation, because they're showing up with it. what else have you been gleaning? >> reporter: this issue of the trump tower moscow, chuck, and how long it went on has really been at the heart of this second day of testimony. while many of the members that you talked to are very reluctant to, you know, certainly admit that they're talking about classified hearings or anything like that, it's the topic that comes up over and over and over again. and of course, part of that is because it's the topic about which cohen lied. and answering that question, why did cohen lie, and now, based on this new information, why did
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the president specifically want cohen to lie about this to the point that he would risk, you know, he and his team would risk altering the testimony in a way that could result in what we've seen play out, is really at the heart of this question. you know, did the president put his business interests and therefore talk about the, you know, leader of a foreign adversary in a more congenial way or treat him in a more favorable way because he had a foreign business interest, a financial stake in that relationship that was at odds with the interests of the american people. that is what democrats have really focused in on here. and you know, cohen's team has been pretty strategic about, you know, kind of dripping out these documents. they put, you know, a set of exhibits together for that hearing last week. we saw "the new york times" report on checks we hadn't seen. now here another document drops into this kind of landscape. so, interesting to know what else they have held back from
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the committees. and what's the interplay between the investigations, the southern district of new york, mueller's investigation, and the release of these documents? i think that's another important unanswered question. >> i want to get two exchanges in front of everybody here before we continue this conversation. first, i want to play what michael cohen said last wednesday about the editing of his testimony. take a listen. >> there were changes made, additions. jay sekulow, for one. there were several changes that were made, including how we were going to handle that message. which was -- >> will you finish? >> yes, the message, of course, being the length of time that the trump tower moscow project stayed and remained alive. >> all right. i wanted everybody to hear that, because let me show you jay sekulow's very specific denial last week after the allegation was made public.
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here's what he said. "today's testimony by michael cohen that attorneys for the president edited or changed his statement to congress to alter the duration of the trump tower moscow negotiations is completely false." greg braeuer, i, there was a -- i throw this up there because it was very specific, and to me, it's always a yellow flag when a denial has a specific in it. they want to deny -- it's like, okay, what are they denying here? they're not denying they edited -- they are not denying they edited the testimony. they're denying a very specific thing that they edited in the testimony. >> yeah, i think we all ought to be seeing a bright yellow flag on that one. and i would also point out that this may be a semantic thing, but when cohen refers to his testimony before congress as messaging or the message, that's also a red flag. you know, congressional testimony, just like court testimony, should never be a messaging exercise. it should just be the truth. and it just -- it seemed like
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cohen was telling congress that there was a messaging effort that the president's lawyers participated in to make sure that not the truth was provided to congress, but a certain message. and so that's something that's going to have to obviously be flushed out fully, but it raises a huge bright yellow flag. >> but let me ask you this. howard, jay sekulow may have not been told the truth himself. he only knows the truth with which his client will tell him. and we know who his client is. that's the same person that the public said is less credible than michael cohen. >> well, in my elevator pitch, i was saying that this -- you could argue that the big theory of this is that it's a criminal conspiracy that uses and abuses the law anytime it needs to, to protect itself. and within that is obstruction of justice. the idea that the truth doesn't matter. what matters is the spin that you tell to congress. now, not to be naive, every
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administration sending a witness up there is going to want to talk to the witness about it. but this is an important legal matter that goes to the heart of whether there was collusion, whether there was potential blackmail, et cetera, et cetera. and so, this is potentially obstruction of justice behavior that comes under the larger rubric of how donald trump and his circle operate. of course donald trump wasn't potentially telling jay sekulow everything. how do you ever know what donald trump is telling people is true? that's the ultimate point. >> and greg, so jay sekulow, or abbe lowell, the other lawyer name checked here, if they could plausibly say they were abiding by what they thought was the truth, have they done anything wrong here? >> well, perhaps not. but i have to say that as i've watched sekulow and some of the other lawyers for the president appear on tv over the last several months, i have often
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times just winced at what i've heard, because they've been so adamant and so specific and so sure of themselves in relaying what is true and what is not true. and i can tell you, you know, i'm a former prosecutor, but also a current defense lawyer. and you oftentimes, you have to take with a huge grain of salt what your client or what witnesses are telling you before you believe it and certainly before you put it out there as truth. and we've seen a lot of that. and like i said, it's raised red flags with me. >> i want to get to the polling here. so quinnipiac, matthew, showed president trump, who's more believable, 35, said to him, and michael cohen, 50, i want to circle that 35 a minute. because i want to go to our last poll, nbc/"wall street journal." we ask a question of, has the president been honest about russia. it's 37% saying that he's been honest about russia. his job approval rating is 46. my point is, matthew, i think we know who the core trump believers are. it's about 35 to -- it's
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somewhere in that range, 35 to 38. he has another chunk of people that like the job he's doing, but think he's a liar. is that the game? >> it's been the game since election day 2016, when people viewed him as untrustworthy and yet voted for him anyway. in fact, the approval number in your poll, 46%, is his share of the vote. >> it's the same number -- the numbers in some ways haven't changed. >> he needs to get there or a little bit more for any chance of winning in 2020. so he's counting on this. he's counting that people will dislike the alternative to him more than they dislike him. >> hillary clinton's not running, that's the one thing he doesn't have. >> that's the biggest difference between now and then. yes, he has a base that has been really inelastic throughout all of this. but hillary clinton is the variable that is not -- that is different. we don't know who that person is and we don't know how they're going to run against donald trump. they're still, i think democrats are still trying to figure that out. do they run on their issues or
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run against the incumbent. >> howard, the thing i just modeled is the resiliency of this 35 to 37%. by the way, it's always been that number. wherever we've asked about russia, the core number is under 40, right around 35. >> those people, and i spent a lot of time at trump rallies during the campaign, they believe donald trump is an instrument to change the power structure in america. that however imperfect he might be, and by the way, they don't think he's imperfect, but however imperfect he might be, he is the type of person, and at this point, the only one on the horizon, as he said during the campaign -- >> hey, they're giving you hell! >> i am the only one who can fix this. and that's what those people believe. >> and i think they like the idea that we're irritated. i'm not kidding. i've had plenty of people saying, that's fine. it's almost as if we stopped covering it, maybe they would be upset. look, we're going to sneak in a break here. we'll keep an eye on that door
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where michael cohen's house intel testimony we thought was wrapping up about 30 minutes ago, but they're not dope yne y. we are expecting to hear from him and we'll bring it to you as soon as it happens even if we have to break out of commercial. greg brower, thank you so much. casie hundred kasie hunt, you have to stay. democrats in disarray, at least in congress right now as they debate a resolution to denounce anti-semitism. how an issue that should be a layup is somehow dividing the democratic party. we'll be right back. democratic party 'lwel be right back. i did a lot of research into dna tests. most can tell the continent or country that your ancestors are from, but ancestrydna showed me the specific places they called home. 20 million members have connected to a deeper family story. order your kit at ancestry.com. about medicare and supplemental insurance. medicare is great, but it doesn't cover everything - only about 80% of your part b medicare costs, which means you may have to pay for the rest.
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that's where medicare supplement insurance comes in: to help pay for some of what medicare doesn't. learn how an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, i promised you, i would get out of commercial. here he is. >> um, responses that i gave to them, i told them that any additional information that they would want, they should feel comfortable to reach out to my counsel and i would continue to cooperate to the fullest extent of my capabilities. so thank you all very much for being here. thanks so much. >> all right, kasie, you got to hear all of it. our folks missed a little bit of it. obviously, it sounds like he was trying to not give too much, but i'll be honest, he did look like a guy who's been in a hearing for nine hours. >> reporter: uh, right? he had that like haggered look
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that i try not to have. i'm keeping an eye behind me, because he'll probably appear under my elevator. >> up with more shot to question him. come on over, say hi to us, exactly. >> reporter: we'll see how it works. but, you know, i think it's notable that he did try to say that he is cooperating with the committee. and here mr. cohen is right now. >> go for it. we'll let you do your duty. >> reporter: mr. cohen, why did you lie about the timing of the trump tower deal? >> hey, how are you? everything went very well, i believe that they're happy with my responses. it's been a long day. it's been a long couple of days, but again, i believe they're happy and i have given my assurance that any additional information that they need, i'm here to cooperate and will continue to cooperate. so thank you all very much. >> reporter: do you have any plans to come back, sir? thank you, sir. so there you have it, chuck.
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he does say that if they need anything else from him, he will fully cooperate. so, again, you know, a lot of times in these situations, we end up with more questions than answers, which is why we have so many friends now in the legal world who are able to kind of understand, you know, why it is a witness may not be able to talk about something in particular. but you know, again, this is not somebody who had been previously cooperative, with these committees on the hill. in fact, he so angered members up here when he put out a public version of his original statement that, you know, the senate told him not to even bother showing up the first time around. then, obviously, got in trouble for lying to them, which, let me tell you, never goes over very well. clearly, he has at least convinced you know, the democratic members of this committee, anyway, that he's worth listening to. >> kasie, i know you're going to see if you can grab one or two of these members as they come out. alert us, will you, and we'll come back to you. >> reporter: for sure, we'll be
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here. >> kimberly, the one thing about what michael cohen is doing, at least with lanny davis, is it feels as if, boy, this feels like they're piecemealing stuff out a little bit. and they're, you know, granted, they're not the first lawyer/client who has tried to sort of build a narrative here. what's the risk in doing that? >> well, yes, there is a part of this is building a narrative, part of this is re-building michael cohen's credibility, right? that's a huge part of this. he was convicted for lying. he did hold water for donald trump for a very long time. so i think for a lot of people, justifiably so, they don't know which person to believe. he's also constrained to some extent by the mueller investigation and by the southern district of new york and what he can give away. so what he can do, publicly, as we're seeing, and what he's doing with -- more so with members of congress is trying to preserve his credibility whatever he has left, coming with documents. we don't know what they all are yet to try to bolster that and
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build the case as best as he can. >> but howard, it's my understanding that members of congress don't like when it seems as if somebody is coming to testify, as selectively leaking some things to the press, giving you some things, maybe you get more stuff. we don't know, is he giving a whole bunch more to them? i'm always just a little hesitant here. like, what aren't we being shown and what aren't we being -- and why does it feel as if it's being dribbled out? >> well, i'm not sure how upset they really are. >> the democrats aren't? >> i don't think the democrats are. because as you were saying, he has emerged as the great introducer as the next stage this whole drama. and the democrats need him to have some credibility with the american people. so i don't think they necessarily mind, as long as he gives them other stuff that you're not seeing on television. and he has emerged as a rather more important guidepost to what may be happening down the road
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than i think people ever anticipated a couple of weeks ago. so, you know, his public role is very important -- it turned out to be really important. >> he obviously is having some success at rebuilding his credibility, at least, i guess q qu qub, i guess if he's being measured against the president. >> before he goes to jail. >> it's ironic he's convicted of lying to congress. >> he's no longer on donald trump's side and so he's politically useful to the democrats and so they're giving this information piece by piece, as you say, and as howard says, it's really not about the conspiracy to hack the election anymore, right? it's really now moving on into donald trump's businesses, into the negotiations over the trump tower moscow and to donald trump's payoffs to get the stories of his dalliances quashed by american media inc. we've moved on to a much broader constellation of issues.
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>> that's not exactly what i said. what i said was mueller, i think, based on what i know, had from the beginning a holistic theory of the case that involved a guy with his organization and its way of doing business, either affirmatively not caring about the law and seeking to break it, or being subject to exposure in other ways. >> and all we've had from mueller so far are indictments for perjury or lying to investigators or lobbying crimes that had nothing to do with the election. >> well, i will say this, mueller has been careful -- mueller clearly is careful to keep russia in his purview and to any other crimes, he has put -- because he doesn't want to look like he's violating his -- because he did have a very fairly narrow investigatory path. >> and issues with his business are connected to russia. >> they're connected, but they're not. i think mueller issi being carel
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not to look like he's over -- >> i'll say this on obstruction. if the obstruction is firing comey, there will be no republican support for indictment on that. because many republicans, including our attorney general, believe that was simply the exercise of a presidential power. >> if it happens -- >> i agree -- >> i was just going to say, i doubt he would use that and that alone if that is going to be his case. we are not solving this today. that i image. so i'm going to take another break. but we are awaiting possible remarks from a couple of members from that intel committee, including adam schiff, after they just wrapped up their long second day of hearings, if you will, over a week with michael cohen. if any of these intel folks speak, we are bring you those remarks as soon as he comes to the cameras. meanwhile, when we come back, we'll deal with this other story that's been tying house democrats in knots today. g hous democrats in knots today london & you start to panic... don't. because your cto says we've got allies on the outside...
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...& security algorithms on the inside... ...& that way you can focus on expanding into eastern europe... ...& that makes the branch managers happy & yes, that's the branch managers happy. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &. & when this happens you'll know how to quickly react... tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management. as soon as we went to break, adam schiff happened. here he is. >> by members of both parties. he was fully cooperative with the committee. we had requested documents of mr. cohen. he has provided additional documents to the committee. there may be additional documents that he still has to
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offer and his corporatioperatio our committee continues. so i think the members found it enormously productive session and we're very grateful for the time it went on. obviously, a lot longer than anticipated. we expected we would have one day of testimony, but there was more than enough questions for him to last well through his second day. so, again, very productive day. we will fill you in on further witnesses and testimony that we anticipate, but two long, hard days. and again, we appreciate very much your cooperation. thank you. >> all right. i'll admit, i'm mildly surprised that adam schiff didn't take a question there. i want to turn now to that dilemma that has been facing house democrats today. they're delaying a planned vote on a resolution condemning anti-semitism. it's not just because they can't agree on the language, because
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they can't agree on the language. but they also can't agree on whether they should have this vote at all. multiple of people inside the democrats' closed-door caucus meeting today have told nbc news that tensions were rather high. the resolution began was a response to recent comments from freshman congresswoman ilhan omar that critics called anti-semitic, including a suggestion that anti-semitic trope. some democrats say any resolution should also include language that condemns anti-muslim sentiment. others question whether calling out one of their own is a good strategy at all, especially when others have accused president trump of even more inflammatory behavior. >> i'm sure many people in their freshman term have said things that they regret. she has apologized, she's accepted responsibility, it's now time to move on. >> some members who either repeatedly or individually continue to use anti-semitic tropes, and i'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say
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it's unknowing, then apparently we do need to put a resolution on the floor that educates people about how harmful and hurtful anti-semitism is. >> for us to go out just because a member said something and put a resolution out, i just don't see the value of that. >> with me now is jake sherman, he's, of course, senior writer over at politico, co-author of "the "politico playbook," and a msnbc political contributor. the panel is also back. kimberly matthew and howard. so, jake, wow. i guess we will not have a resolution this week. is that pretty much -- that looks like that at a minimum, they're punting. >> yeah, so we just caught up with nancy pelosi within the last, let's call it hour and a half. and she said a couple of things that were interesting. she said, number one, she doesn't know when this resolution is going to come up. it has to go to the foreign affairs committee, which is taking care of it. so that's removing it one step from the leadership offices. number two -- >> although that's eliot engel's committee. >> it is eliot engel, but number
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two, pelosi, who as you know, and the viewers know, who have a very strong grip, she doesn't believe what omar said is intentionally anti-semitic. that's a new turn of the screw that pelosi is giving her kind of what appears to be a little bit more of a benefit of the doubt that what she said was either accidental, she didn't get into details, i'm just extrapolating based on what she said. she said, it wasn't intentionally anti-semitic. there are two different issues at play and a lot of democrats recognize this. this has legitimate criticism of the israeli government, which a lot of democrats and some republicans even take issue with, netanyahu's government. and then there's widely considered anti-semitic tropes like accusing people who support israel of having dual loyalty or saying it's all about the ben benjamins when talking about jewish lawmaker support for israel. so two different issues at play. one thing we can say with certainty is this is swamping democrats' message at the moment.
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and two votes in 60 days to condemn a member of their own majority. >> i will add one more point. i thought that was a brilliant point you made, jake and kimberly, if you take the characters in virginia, basically the democrats spent the month of february condemning themselves. >> yes. yes, they did. but, i think, look -- >> by the way, over things that have outraged them about president trump. that's the irony. that's why they're in this box. they're so upset at how trump has behaved on some of these things and it's bounced back -- they're like, okay, slornzero tolerance, welcome to zero tolerance. >> and like the resolution in virginia, there's no real resolution of everything it all flared up, they reacted and basically hoped that this would go away. and that's why this keeps happening over and over and over again. we see, we have members of the democratic caucus who have issues with u.s./israel policy. now, is there a difference between that and, you know, demonizing israel or anti-semitism? yes, but these things are often
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done in an overlapping way. and we have not had a discussion about where those lines are and what they mean and why these tropes are as offensive as they are. but this resolution won't get us there. that's not the solution that is necessary. >> when i heard jake -- jay, when i heard you say that nancy pelosi say, well, you know, i don't believe she intended to be -- matthew, i don't want to -- i don't want to speak for you, but i can hear every conservative friend of mine going, conservatives are never giving the same benefit of the doubt on this, too. and that is sort of always the issue here, when there is this finger pointing. which is, each side is willing to give their own bad guys or gals more of a benefit of the doubt than the other side. and therefore, hypocrisy reins. >> and it opens the door for more extreme statements on the part of representative omar. how many times are we prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt? the democrats gave her that for her tweet saying that israel had
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hypnotized the world. they did that for the it's all about the benjamin comment. she apologized, benefit of the doubt. now you hear, again, oh, well, actually, she hasn't apologized for this one, which i think is interesting, because it's even more serious. it's accusing supporters of israel of allegiance to a foreign power, which is the old dual loyalty smear. and if the democrats can't condemn this, then the door is wide open for omar and others to make even more anti-semitic statements. >> you know, howard, it's interesting to me, it's -- i think she's in a -- i'm pretty confident she's been in an information silo for a lot of her professional, political world, life. whether that's an excuse or not, i think that's a big problem that mainstream democrats are dealing with. i think whatever her news silo is, it isn't very mainstream. >> i don't know that she's been in a news sigh lowe. i'll just tell you what i saw
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this morning, which was, i was up on the hill, and a lot of her supporters were out holding a press conference, organized, i think, by linda sarsore, who is one of the leaders of the group questioning american support for israel and so forth, and championing the rights of muslim americans. and i guess looking at it, well, one thing, the first thing that impressed me is that they were all declaring victory here, because the original resolution was withdrawn, the second resolution was withdrawn. and it's now being fashioned as a condemnation of all forms of bias and -- >> by the way, a lot of these resolutions end up that way. >> yeah. and when steny hoyer, who's made a real effort, the number two in the house, has made a real effort to reach out to aoc and to others and so forth, i think he's one of the people who have tried to engineer this thing. they're going to come out with eventually some kind of anodyne
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thing that condemns all form of discrimination and racism and so forth. my view is, fine. if that's what they want to do, fine. this is not -- this issue is not going away and ilhan omar is not going away. >> you know, jake, are democrats now realizing why republicans did put their head in the sand sometimes? why paul ryan did? why boehner supposedly did? because once you go down this road, you never stop, right. that's the problem. it's never muenough. that's been an argument i've heard from the right for a long time, why some on the right say, stop with this stuff, because you'll never win, and the left is finding the same thing out. >> reporter: and it's a member management issue for a leader like pelosi or john boehner, do you want your members voting against one of their own time and time again? and you're right, what howard said and you said and mathews is right. she's going to keep talking about this. these are beliefs that she feels strongly about. whatever she believes, i'm not saying she's an anti-semite, i'm
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just saying she believes in this stuff, clearly because she keeps talking about it. another thing i keep hearing and i wanted to write a story about this, but i haven't had time, but republicans have been saying for years that they believe that the democratic party is shifting away from israel in a way that free beacon readers probably know very well, because this has been in the pages many times. and i don't mean in that in glib way. i think republicans are now seeing what they've been predicting for many, many years, they think democrats are moving sharply away from israel and now is a time where some democratic voters are going to say, my party has moved away from me on an issue i care about. >> for the last ten years, the democratic share of the vote for jewish voters has gone from 78 to 72. it is not a huge move. >> here's the irony, donald trump as a campaigner and as president arguably has opened the door for all kinds of craziness -- >> well, that's -- >> yes. >> i'm going to pause here. jake, thanks a lot.
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crazy day. you got a real smile from all of us around the table when you said, i had this other story i wanted to write, but i just haven't had time. welcome to the trump era for every reporter in washington. anyway, jake, well done, sir. thank you. up ahead. the homeland security secretaryworkersecretary, oh, by the way, another big story today, kirstjen nielsen's big hearing on the hill about the border. saving you time for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ if your moderate to severeor crohn's symptoms are holding you back,
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with expedia, i saved when i added a hotel to our flight. so even when she grows up, she'll never outgrow the memory of our adventure. unlock savings when you add select hotels to your existing trip. only with expedia. when you saw those pictures of babies in cages, what did you do? what did you do? to just scream bloody murder up the chain to the president, to say, i cannot represent an agency that is forcing its border patrol to do this? what did you do? >> so, i went to the border, i spoke to the men and women there. i looked at the facilities myself. i talked to hhs to understand
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and visited their facilities, as well, to understand the care that they provide to the children once they're in their custody. >> homeland security secretary kersten kirstjen nielsen appearing before the committee the first time since the democrats took over. she faced tough questions from democrats over family separations. the president's national emergency declaration, the border wall and other aspects of the trump policy democrats don't like. republicans did do their best to try to make the case for the wall. while democrats came loaded with questions, the secretary at times didn't have many answers, or didn't want to give too much. time now for the lid. kimberly, matthew and howard are all back. so, child separations here, it's sort of gotten lost. we had this fight over the wall, but we've had, kimberly, this -- there is still this other debate. look, "the new york times" today on the front page -- everybody agrees what's happening at the border isn't working. >> right. >> we just -- we're so caught in
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the politics, we don't seem to know what -- we know what to do. we don't seem to want to work together. >> we can't manage to do it. that's an ongoing problem when it comes to immigration policy. but i think in particular now that we're heading into an election year, 2020, i think this issue of the border is not going to go away. i think in particular, the issue of child separations and the treatment of children -- and i don't think that it helps republicans at all when you have the head of homeland security equivocating about what constitutes and what does not constitute a cage. >> you brought that up. let me play that exchange. it was an awkward exchange, not one i'm guessing she wants to save for the clip file. >> are we still using cages for children? >> sir, we don't use cages for children -- >> just yes or no, are we still putting children in cages? >> to my knowledge cbp never purposely put a child in a cage -- >> purposely, whatever. are we putting children in cages
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as of today? >> children are processed at the border facility stations that you've been at -- >> and i've seen the cages. i just want you to admit that the cages exist. >> sir, they're not cages. >> what are they? >> areas of the border facility that are carved out -- >> by chain link fence. >> right. >> by any other name, how did she handle that, matthew? >> family separation policy was unpopular from the beginning, and it hurt the trump administration, continues to do so. moreover, it seems to have been ineffective, and this "the new york times" story that you quote today gives all the details of what amounts to a crisis. dare i say emergency on the southern border with many tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors trying to come across the border without authorization. so there's the family separation issue.
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>> uh-huh. >> which is a loss for the republicans and for president trump. but there is the other issue of the southern border, and the crisis, the humanitarian crisis on the southern border. to that extent, i actually think that the secretary's testimony and "the new york times" story and the testimonials of representatives kinzinger and crenshaw have been there at the border are helping the president's case with senate republicans on the emergency declaration. >> just a small factual d distinction. someone making an asylum request isn't crossing the border without authorization. >> they cross the border, and when they're apprehended they make the asylum declaration. they're not going to the port of entry -- >> the reason there is more of a crisis, howard, the president's policies didn't work. they're changing their way to try to -- his policies aren't working and they're responding to try to go around his policies. >> right. my policies aren't working and, therefore, my policies need to
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work. >> that's the problem here. the president's solutions, they have tried to implement and they're not working outside the wall. >> i get matthew's point about the balance here. i think the way things are going, the president may end up ultimately not benefiting from the issue that overall got him elected in 2020 -- excuse me, 2016. i don't think it's going to work in 2020. he can't go back there because he hasn't fixed it. and because it's a morally more complex issue than he made it out to be. >> don't forget, he can just say, hey, i fixed it -- i'm sorry. do you not believe he could just say some form of that? hey, it's better now than it was. >> i believe that a good portion of his supporters knew that he probably couldn't do most of the stuff that he said he was going to do. exactly. >> that's what they would say to me, we just want him to try.
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>> customs enforcement, he will use immigration issue against them effectively. >> i've heard some democrats say they wish beto o'rourke had never said tear down the wall. something to file away in case he's the nominee. kimberly, matthew, howard, thank you all. what a crazy, sometimes running in place, but you guys are great treadmillers. up ahead, true staying power. -guys, i want you to meet someone. this is jamie. you're going to be seeing a lot more of him now. -i'm not calling him "dad." -oh, n-no. -look, [sighs] i get it.
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well, in case you missed it,
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where were you on march 14, 1973? all right, you don't remember? don young surely does. he was sworn in the house of representatives. the long-time alaska lawmaker became the longest-serving house republican in history, 46 years. he took that mantle from the former speaker joseph canon who served 16,800 days in office. they got him a house officer-involved shooting building because of it. he retired in 1923. 75 current house members had not been born by the time young started serving in the u.s. congress. young's decades-long tenure is not without controversy. he has faced his share of ethics investigations for gifts he accepted. he made controversial comments along the way, a physical altercation or three. he's been rumored about. but he's also known as an extremely effective lawmaker. check this stat out. he has sponsored or co-sponsored
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7,000 pieces of legislation and how is this for a startling fact. he's now served alaska in the house for more than 70% of the time it's been a state. and i think he has a bumper sticker on his car that says my congressman can beat up your congressman. i kid on that. half kid. we'll be back tomorrow with more mtb daily. the beat with orr auri melber. >> president trump walking out of private meetings moments ago where he testified against the president he used to serve. there is also a question will house demes go full mueller with witnesses who defy them? i have a report on that later tonight. plus the story breaking late today, the dnc making a move against fox news, the party chair says tonight there are new reports that prove fox has become trump's state tv and they won't do business together. it's a big political story. i want to get into that a little later. i begin with michael cohen apng

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