tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC March 19, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
page to raise money for his family. and as you can see, so far, it has raised more than $150,000. he even has some pop stars giving him money. i also happen to know his family will be moving out of the shelter story. that is an american dream story. still, it still exists. that wraps us this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you again at 1:00 p.m. with ali velshi. right now, more news with hallie jackson. >> stephanie, thank you. i'm hallie jackson. we start with breaking news. documents just into our news room from the raid on michael cohen. what we're learning and how it fits into the larger russia investigation. that is not the only thing popping this morning. things are popping up. we're talking trump versus conway versus conway. why the president is pushing a personal matter on to his very public twitter page, going after the spouse of one of his most loyal advisers. and in 2020 news, five democrats, six states, a whole lot of headlines. the ambitious new policies two of those candidates are pitching. plus, why the one with the fewest specifics seems to be
sucking up the most oxygen. is it a gender thing? we've got that deep dive coming up later in the show with our team here, covering all of it on what's turning out to be a busy tuesday. so we start this hour with that news surrounding the investigation into michael cohen. those redacted search warrants, right, related to that fbi raid on his house, his officer, his safety deposit box, et cetera, just released. let me get right to nbc's tom winter who's been reading these documents. also with me, joyce vance, msnbc contributor. paul butler, nbc legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, professor at georgetown law. and ana palmer, senior washington correspondent for politico. sahil kapur joins us too, national political reporter for bloomberg news. tom, you have had a good hour, i think, 50 minutes, at least, to look through these documents. bring us the headlines. what are we learning? and maybe, as importantly, what are we not learning from these? >> we'll just go right to what we're not learning. for anyone hoping these documents would give some more
insight into how the fbi came upon the campaign finance scheme, that was the scheme to make payments to stormy daniels and to karen mcdougal, who alleged affairs with the president and affairs at the white house that the president has strongly denied. if you're looking for more information into the intricacies of that investigation, you're going to be a little bit disappointed today, because there's over a dozen pages of redacted information just in the search warrant that pertain to michael cohen's physical addresses. i'm talking about his home, talking about his hotel room, i'm talking about his office. so that information is redacted and prosecutors had already told us, they had already told a judge that, hey, you know, we want to have the ability to redact certain parts of information, if we have to share these search warrants, because, your honor, we have ongoing investigations. and we know that this is an ongoing investigation by prosecutors here in new york. let's talk about the timeline, hallie. what's interesting today is we're starting to learn when special counsel robert mueller first put michael cohen on his radar and it was at least in july of 2017.
and that's when he first gets a search warrant for one of cohen's g-mail accounts. and as you see here, in august, he's able to get another e-mail account associated with his apple i.d. and icloud. and in november, he goes back and gets a search warrant for a second g-mail account. and in february, of course, this investigation gets turned over to prosecutors here in new york, and then in april, we have the search warrant, and by august, michael cohen is pleading guilty to eight counts in a new york courtroom. hallie, one of the things that fbi agents have to do when they apply for these search warrants is tell the judge, look, these are the possible crimes that we think this person has committed. they have to lay out the reason why they think those crimes have been committed, but i think this is interesting. one of the things that they talk about, the false bank entries, the false statements to financial institutions, the bank and wire fraud and money laundering, those are all things that we thought -- that we knew about kind of before. and those were all things that were associated with some of the things that michael cohen pleaded guilty for. but the foreign agent, failure
to -- or actually, working on behalf of a foreign government as a foreign agent without notifying the justice department, that appears to be a little bit new here today. now, we know from some of the things that have been disclosed on michael cohen's sars and some of the things he testified to, he did do some work after or around the time of the inauguration for a company associated with a russian individual. so it's not clear if this is tied to that or something else. and of course, it's important to note here, hallie, as i said here, these are just possible crimes and not something that michael cohen has been charged with or pleaded guilty to. so maybe something that they thought existed and ended up washing out in the course of their investigation. >> tom winter for us there in new york. tom, thanks. joyce, let me go to you on this. tom talked about the timeline, right? why is this timeline important? why is it important to know when the special counsel was handing over information about this investigation to the southern district? >> it's really fascinating to watch the process of the special
counsel developing information that they then, for some reason, we don't know exactly why, hand off to new york on this timeline. was it just a resource issue? was the special counsel swamped? or did they decide that it was outside of their core russian mission? we still don't have the answer. but hallie, these documents, this is actually the application for a search warrant. and then the affidavit that an fbi agent swore to, providing the judge with probable cause to believe that the locations being searched would contain evidence or fruits of a crime. so the most important thing that i take away from the timeline that we're seeing here today is that there is still redaction involving the campaign finance investigation, which is apparently still going on. >> paul, will we ever learn more about that? or when will we learn more about that? that redacted information that joyce and tom have referred to with, relating to these payments? >> sometimes what's not said in legal documents is more important than what's said.
ongoing investigation about campaign financing. at the same time, the southern district in its papers regarding michael cohen name donald trump as individual one. he directed that conspiracy. so there's been some speculation that while the department of justice policy is that a sitting president can't be prosecuted, that there might be a sealed indictment waiting for the day that trump leaves the oval office. so that might be the time this stuff gets unredacted and we find out whether the president of the united states is actually charged with a crime after he leaves office. >> and let me just remind folks here. because i do think, you know, every day feels like a hundred years when time is a flat circle in washington. but the raid on cohen's office and house is what kicked off really this entire cohen story line, right? the president talked about it back when it happened. and i want to remind you of what he said then. >> i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, good man.
and it's a disgraceful situation. it's a total witch hunt. >> boy, what a different tune from president trump now, right? because that raid is what kicked off the entire sequence of events that led to cohen saying he was going to be loyal to his family, not his former boss, to just a couple of weeks ago, sitting in front of the oversight committee in congress. >> and the really interesting thing is that raid happened long after cohen was on mueller's orbit. so we know from these new documents that mueller was investigating michael cohen a year before these raids. you know, as a former prosecutor, i can't imagine going to my boss at the justice department and saying, hey, i want to get a search warrant for the president's lawyer. you would have to jump through so many hoops. probable cause is the technical legal standard. you would have to be very sure that the president's lawyer was doing something down and dirty to get that kind of dramatic search warrant for his office, his hotel, his home, and so, we haven't seen the end of this story. >> let me, joyce, ask you about
something else that's developing this morning. as we have now learned that rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is going to stay on a little bit longer than expected. our justice correspondents, pete williams, julia ainsley here at nbc news say that according to a senior doj official, rosenstein recently discussed his previously planned upcoming departure with bill barr, the attorney general, and it was decided that rosenstein would stay on a little bit longer. asked whether we should read into that delay as an indication the mueller report might be delayed, the official decline to comment. remember, rosenstein had previously said his departure would come up mid-march. i think he even joked about it at a speech recently, talking about how it would be one of his last big speeches in that role. but here he is, extending his tenure. what does that say to you about the potential for the mueller report, given that rosenstein oversaw that for much of his tenure? >> so i would be hesitant to assume that rosenstein's departure date is pegged too closely to the mueller report. i think that there's one other factor here that we should think about, which is that the senate
confirmation proceeding for the man who will succeed him as deputy attorney general is unlikely to conclude until some point in april. rosenstein, who's an institutionalist, will be very invested in insuring that there's a good, smooth transiti transition. a departure that's too early would make that difficult. and there's a lot of stuff that has to happen inside of the deputy's office that can only happen with a confirmed person there. so he'll be careful in that regard. >> we also are watching another big story back here in washington related to that sweeping document request from earlier this month. remember those 81 names, right there. the house judiciary committee's chairman now says a lot of these folks are cooperating to the tune of tens of thousands of documents they're pulling in. >> we've gotten responses from surprising people, like, for instance, steve bannon. >> okay! well, that's news, ana and sahil, as these documents were turned in overnight. this morning is the first
opportunity we may get to hear about those documents, what's in them, what they have. what are you guys hearing from your sources over on the hill? >> i think two things are really interesting coming out of this. one, they're getting a lot more documents than people thought that they don't have to necessarily force their hand through other legal means. but the other thing that i've been talking to my sources on is, what came from the white house? is this just steve bannon? is this people outside of the white house in the 81, or is it going to be actual agencies, are they going to comply? >> right, they're not revealing exactly who gave these documents, who provided the documents. we know steve bannon, according to jerry nadler, provided thousands of documents. everyone is wondering what's in them. the question is also surrounding executive privilege. lit b will it be invoked? the hypothetical prevents the white house from having to justify the legality of executive privilege and democrats don't view that as a legal argument. they think it's a political argument for them to kind of stonewall and justify potentially not providing the documents. this is going to be a big question for chairman nadler.
what does he do if they don't provide the documents? >> subpoena? >> well, there's not a whole lot of law. because usually what happens is the justice department and the white house work it out. but this isn't an administration that's really into working it out with congress. and so, how it would come out on a subpoena, it's hard to say. just because there's not a whole lot of case law. what's important also to remember is that this isn't in response -- these documents aren't in response to a formal subpoena. they're from a polite letter. so the same kind of legal consequences to not complying with the subpoena don't attach to this. >> paul butler, joyce vance, thanks to both of you for coming on and talking through this developing news. ana and sahil, stick around. we have a lot more to get to, including how the "national enquirer" got those private text messages between jeff bezos and his girlfriend. turns out, apparently, it's all in the family. but first, why the president's is splashing his adviser's personal stuff all over his twitter feed. eed.
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a little thought experiment here. if your boss called your spouse a total loser, what would you do? what if your boss was the president of the united states? that's the situation for one top aide. and what most folks would probably typically consider a private matter between two people. keep it in the house, right? except in this instance, it is in the white house. since the president springboarded this to the top of his twitter feed, calling george conway, kellyanne conway's husband, a total loser. that's after mr. conway's tweets questioning the president's mental health. cnbc puts it into some
historical perspective, pointing out, this is now a washington spectacle, unseen since the wife of tricrichard nixon's attorney general sounded alarms about watergate. oh, boy. nbc's jeff bennett is over at the white house with this one for us. jeff, listen, i know this is something that kellyanne conway has responded to. and typically, right, it's someone between a husband and a wife, in a marriage, a household, whatever, would stay between the two of them. but the president has sort of yanked that away from them and thrown it out up into the public. >> you're right about that. and a couple of months ago, the president dismissed george conway, hallie with , as a publ speaker and today he took it up a notch and called him a total loser. at one point, he was up for a top job in trump's justice department. george conway ultimately withdrew his name from consideration. so this whole surreal twitter saga really came to a head on sunday. the president in the midst of
that twitter tirade, george conway responded to it by posting screen shots of the medical definition of narcissistic personality disorder. and he used this phrase of the president, he said, his condition is getting worse. unsurprisingly, that sentiment is not shared by the half of the conway couple that works in the white house. kellyanne conway has avoided talking about this situation since the two of them have four kids. you can understand how this whole thing is uncomfortable for her to talk about. but president trump, never one to shy away from an attack, today, as i mentioned, posted that tweet calling george conway a total loser. george conway clapped back with this, saying, congratulations, you just guaranteed that millions of more people are going to learn about narcissistic personality disorder and malignant narcissism, great job! so it's hard to believe that will be the final word in this whole surreal back and forth. >> surreal is one word for it. i'll see you back at the white house for that news conference that president trump will have later on today with the leader
of brazil. jeff, thank you much. ana, let me quickly speak to you about it. this is something, you know, people are allowed to disagree in their whole households. we. didn't talk about george conway before kellyanne conway ended up in the white house. he was not some leader in washington. >> this is another way the president has changed the way washington works. republicans and democrats are married. they often disagree behind closed door. but you don't see them on twitter, in public, fighting it off. >> twitter's at the center of another big story that's happening in washington right now with congressman devin nunes suing twitter. he is suing twitter, suing some twitter users for more than $250 million. that's $250 million. the complaint, which was filed this morning in virginia, accuses these cruisusers of defamation, of negligence, and it accuses twitter of censoring conservative voices. joining me now, nbc's capitol hill correspondent, casie hundredhunt, a ana and sahil is here as well.
so one of the users he's suing is called devin nunes's cow. so walk us through what is happening here? >> that's the right question. i had that question myself when i first saw this story pop up. essentially, devin nunes is arguing that he has had to endure, you know, slights, insults, you know, in a way that nobody should ever have to deal with it, people making fun of him, people making crude jokes about him. and that all of this is essentially being enabled by the platform itself. because they have it out for conservatives. so, you know, i mean, our laws protect parody, for example, if you're satire, you're making fun of somebody that is protected under u.s. law. this idea of shadow banning is something that he's brought up, which is essentially this concept that twitter would allow you to post something, but effectively make it invisible, make it not show up in searches. this has been widely debunked. >> and the president has tweeted about this idea of shadow banning, we're going to look
into this illegal practice. he's tweeting about other practices this morning. as you point out, twitter's like, dude, not so much. >> yes, this has been debunked by twitter. they say this is not something that they actively engage in. there was an incident where some people, some prominent conservatives were not showing up in search. they claim it was a brief glitch. but devin nunes, you know, he has really kind of gotten -- if there is a theory out there about how conservatives are being taken advantage of by the deep state, by twitter, you know, devin nunes is right there for it. >> and he talked about it on hannity last night, right? >> right, he did. and, you know, the thing is that -- the one thing that strikes me about this lawsuit is, you know, it seems to have to rely on that conservative piece of it. because how much twitter vitriol do all of us get day in and day out? if i thought i could get thousands of dollars out of that, i'll take it. >> here's nunez's point, here was argument he was articulating
last night on fox. >> this is the first of many, sean. and we're actually going after twitter first because they are the main proliferator and they spread this fake news and the slanderous news. how is it every day that there are conservatives that are being banned? >> so it seems like that nunez is trying to draw a distinction between, my feelings got hurt online, i'm going to sue, and there's like this broader conspiracy give us a senagainsts on twitter. >> this would be a bold precedent to set, to say that anyone can sue users for tweets they find insulting. we are all the targets of this sort of thing. what i find very notable about this, even if devin nunes doesn't win this lawsuit, as it seems highly unlikely he will, even if this get thrown out as a frivolous lawsuit, it could cost these people a lot of money in legal fees. and this could have a chilling effect down the road, for people who fear having to spend lots of
money in legal fees to fend off what could be a frivolous lawsuit. and by the way, in 2017, nunez co-sponsored a bill called discouraging frivolous lawsuits acts. just fyi. >> thank you for that little nug, sahil. appreciate that. one of the people he's suing is not responding to comment, liz maier, but is raising money for a legal defense at this point. >> i think what is very interesting here is this basically gives light for conservatives to talk about something that they believe. and so you're going to see this on fox news, on talk radio. he wants to be the face of this cause and he's very comfortable being that. >> casie hunt, thank you for joining us. primary season has come early for democrats. four candidates and one maybe candidate blanketing states from coast-to-coast with some surprising news making headlines. oast with some surprising news making headlines.
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you are looking live at penn state university, where beto o'rourke will be taking the stage just about any minute. he is not the only 2020 contender out today. news that will surprise you not at all. senators kirsten gillibrand and elizabeth warren will be in iowa and alabama in the next couple of hours. both of them coming off big town halls last night, where they made some big proposals. warren wants to get rid of the
electoral college system altogether and she suggests that a congressional committee should look into the issue of reparations. >> we can have national voting and that means get rid of the electoral college and every vote. i believe it's time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations. i love the idea of this congressional committee. >> now, senator gillibrand for her part promised to hold drug companies responsible for the opioid crisis. she even went as far as to say drug manufacturers should be prosecuted, prosecuted for their role. >> should there be some accountability for these corporations? >> absolutely. >> is that something that you would pursue for the department of justice if you were the president of the united states? >> yes, let's take the opioid crisis, they should be prosecuted. >> both of these women are
presenting ideas, but they have not been on the cover of these glossy magazine covers, unlike o'rourke who has been vague on some of these issues. garrett haake there in state college, p.a., following o'rourke. joining me on set, michael steele, former rnc chairman, and msnbc contributor, adrian elrod, former strategic communications director for hillary clinton's 2016 campaign. and let me actually start on the proposal piece of it, right? the broccoli, which i love, if you will. this idea of eliminating the electoral college altogether. that's a big idea. you've got other big ideas like expanding the supreme court that some democrats have been talking about. reparations, his term, front and center. do you see this becoming a more mainstream discussion as this democratic primary goes on? >> i think so. look, candidates are trying to stand out right now on offering big, bold policy ideas. that's what's separating them from the pack. i think you will definitely see more of this. and i don't think necessarily all of these policies will become law. but i think they're part of the discussion that a lot of candidates want to take a lead on right now during this primary
process. >> go ahead. >> i agree with that. and i think, like, for example, the electoral college idea, yes, the electoral college needs to be reformed. what i support and i think a lot of us out there beginning -- are right now about 13 or 14 states supports is a national popular vote, where you keep in place the electoral college, but you have a compact among the states that says, look, whoever wins the national popular vote of all 50 states and the district of columbia, we will give that winner of that national popular vote our electoral votes for purposes of election. so there are ways around working to make sure that every vote counts. because right now, all we do is elect the president from the battleground states. >> and it's winner take all. >> so i appreciate these -- raising this discussion in a way, whether it's reparations, which lord knows that's going to be a conversation -- >> i'm curious if president trump thinks about that, if he gets into his re-election -- >> that's so much deeper than i think we can do. but it's good that they're
raising it. >> but they're talking about policy, right? you have elizabeth warren who has dope leeply outlined propos. and you have "the washington post" today summing up o'rourke's campaign so far. that's obviously much newer, upbeat sentiments, absent many specifics. are you getting the sense, as "the post" did, that voters want to see more specifics from this candidate? >> reporter: yes, but not urgently, hallie. i think that the voters i'm talking to, and with the caveat i'm at a lot of these o'rourke events that i'm talking to people that they're willing to come out and wait in line are much more willing to give him a little bit of time. he's been in the race for about five days now. and he's not someone who was plotting a presidential race for the months leading up to that, as we are all aware, because we have all seen his public back and forth about his decision to get so this race. and even in the last few days, he has started to get more
specific on some policy things, because he takes questions at essentially every event. we've heard a lot more about dem control, we have to have universal background checks banning assault weapons. he's been more specific about how he would get to health care coverage for all, after saying he likes the idea of medicare for all, but doesn't think it moves fast enough. so we're watching o'rourke, much like the hillary clinton listening tour that led up to 2016, go around the country, talk to voters, but he's letting that inform his ideas. so the folks that i'm talking to are willing to give him a little bit of a grace period on that, even though i think the other contenders, democrats, if we had a debate tomorrow, would probably try to eat him alive on these things. the fact is, we don't have a debate tomorrow. it's march. >> correct. the debate, first one, by the way, on nbc in june. adrian, there is something that's been dubbed and garrett knows this since being on the road, that beptomaine ya. why isn't there also warrenmania or gillibrandmania? >> this is danger we're dealing, hallie, america right now, especially democratic primary
voters, many of them are having a love affair with beto because he reminds them of barack obama. he's sort of the shiny new object. the "vanity fair" cover, the rollout, right? but at the same time, there cannot be a double standard. and i think this is where the media and pundits and all of us have to be very careful about the line that we tell here. do people like kirsten gillibrand and senator warren feel like they have to offer more specific policy ideas, because they are female candidates? and they have more to prove? i don't necessarily think that is -- i hope that's not the case, but i think we have to be very careful that we don't fall in the same trap we fell into in 2015 and 2016, where you know, we want -- we expected more out of some of the female candidates. well, obviously, hillary was the only one, but even some of the down-ballot candidates. now there are sometimes higher expectations of women that i think we tend to place. and so i think we have to be very, very careful in how we sort of nuance this. >> so on this sort of moment of introspection, michael, both of you, we saw this, as you point out in 2016, "the new york times" tracks stories about
donald trump and hillary clinton leading up to the election. showed a lot more attention on donald trump. do you -- what is the onus, then, on the political ecosphere surrounding these candidates? >> give everybody a fair shot. you have women of substance. these aren't folks who just woke up one morning and said, oh, i want to be president. these are women of substance who have had major accomplishments coming in to this race. they should be given the proper due. due a cover story on what they bring to the table, but here's the thing. they're not celebrities. beto o'rourke is. and folks like this -- >> because he lost his senate race? >> of course. all the hype around -- you know, going up against druted cruz. okay, well, fine, that's a great race in texas. you've got it close. but there's a lot of celebrity that was built in off of that brand that he, you know, you know, sort of cultivated and used effectively, in that race. it's now spilled over into the national mainstream and that's
why the "vanity fair" cover comes out. and you have all of this stuff, you know, that's not really putting the same pressure on him, that they may be putting on some of the other candidates. so if this ideal celebrity is still a factor in these presidential contests. >> i would argue that senator elizabeth warren at one point, at least, was considered a celebrity, as well. >> a different kind of celebrity. >> perhaps a different kind of celebrity. i think we have to be very careful -- >> she had many more anchors around her ankles than beto o'rourke does. and so, you know, you had the whole thing back and forth with the president over the pocahontas comments and all of that. so her brand was not coming out of the gate like beto o'rourke's and people emphasized the more negative impact on her campaign than the positives that we see. >> exactly. >> what's been interesting, too, garrett, i'll give you the final thoughts on this, is that you've seen o'rourke, senator cory booker, for example, both in the last 48 hours or so make suggestions, sort of acknowledging they are men in pa race where many democrats are eager to see some women voices
more empowered. and they've both suggested already, 595 days from election day, that they would pick a woman or have a woman on the ticket if they ended up as the nominee. so clearly, there is an awareness and sort of a conscientio conscienceness of that. >> reporter: absolutely. and cory booker said that on the rachel maddow the week he announced. and beto o'rourke said, i think it would be preemsumptuous to tk about things now, but it's hard for him to image not having a woman on the ticket. and black voters asked him on the trail, how do you relate to us. they are being pressed on this identity issue. and if i could put one button on the celebrity thought here, it's not as though some of other candidates aren't getting opportunities, right? elizabeth warren and kirsten gillibrand both had hour-long town halls to present some of these ideas. i've not had one voter, not one
in the week that i've been out with beto o'rourke talk to me about the "vanity fair" story. so i think we should -- we should note the discrepancies here between how these things are talked about in washington and how they're talked about in some of the states with some of the voters who are coming out and being introduced to these candidates for the first time. >> garrett haake, michael steele, eliot elrod, thank you for that conversation. this morning, we'll be talking about those new clues out in a bizarre mystery of who reportedly sold off all of those sexts between jeff bezos and his girlfriend. it may be a family matter, more on that, next. it may be a famil on that, next.
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boost® high protein. be up for life. we are back now with two big stories we've been watching this hour. the release of those redacted search warrants on michael cohen. hundreds of pages detailing why robert mueller wanted the fbi to conduct that surprise raid on cohen's home, his hotel, his office. we now though the special counsel had been looking into cohen as early as july of 2017. and one of the possible crimes they think he could have committed, acting as an unregistered foreign agent. prosecutors, though, have not filed that charge against him. plus, there's a really key hearing happening right now in a federal case challenging the president's ownership of his fancy d.c. hotel and whether it presents a conflict of interest. we expect to hear from the state's attorney general who brought that hearing once the case is over. this is all about that so-called emoluments clause. the highest profile hearing yet in this case.
we'll be looking for more coverage of that later on today. we're also learning more on something else. amazon founder jeff bezos is learning there's one thing that money cannot buy. privacy. it centers on the tabloid's publishing of private text messages between bezos and his girlfriend, lauren sanchez. now "the wall street journal" is reporting that american media, the enquirer's publisher, and a company with ties to donald trump, paid $200,000 to sanchez's brother to get the texts, citing people familiar with the matter. nbc news has not corroborated that report. we have reached out to ami, to amazon, to bezos, to sanchez, to michael sanchez for comment. haven't heard back from any of them. nbc's stephanie gosk knows that well. she's been covering this story and is here to walk us through the latest. steph, it's another twist in a story that has seen plenty of them. >> yeah, it certainly has had a lot of twists. i want to update a little bit of what you just said. we actually have heard back from michael sanchez. he has issued a statement. i'm going to read you just a
part of it. here he says, "the wall street journal's" report on old rumors from, quote, anonymous sources is disappointing. i didn't dignify the rumors last month and i'm not going to dignify them now. he goes on later in that statement to say he never had the, let's call it, the below the belt selfie of bezos that was included in the "national enquirer's" bombshell report. just to remind viewers of what happened in this story, jeff bezos announced he was going to get a divorce from his longtime wife and a couple of days later, the "national enquirer" publishes this expose on his affair is a nice way of putting it. it includes not just text messages, but photos and lots of them. and now "the wall street journal" is reporting that it was michael sanchez that received $200,000 in exchange for those. and it's worth highlighting, hallie, too, that it wasn't just one text and one photo, but rather, quite a lot of photos and texts. the other thing that i would point out, too, is that jeff
bezos, in response to that article, launched his own private investigation, and then wrote an article in medium, where he basically lays out what he says was a blackmail attempt by ami to get him to stop his private investigation. he then went on to throw out some series of how he thought the "national enquirer" got its hands on all of those pictures and texts, including a kind of elaborate plan that he said might have been in the hands of a state actor, some had hypothesized that was saudi arabia. tha all of this goes back to what is a grudge match between donald trump and jeff bezos over "the washington post." as you know, jeff bezos runs "the washington post." many hypothesizing that it was the "national enquirer" owned by david pecker, good friend of donald trump, going after his ed a v-- adversary. none of that is corroborated,
but certainly had a lot of people talking at the time. >> so where does this go next, steph? what's the next shoe to drop here? >> you have to wonder really how these texts and photos were obtained? and if they were obtained in a way that was potentially illegal. and there is not a good explanation of how that happened. although the "national enquirer" has come out and said that this was the result of what they called solid reporting. so you've got some conflicting story lines here and you have to wonder if it's going to shake out. also worth pointing out that ami had an agreement with federal prosecutors in the southern district of new york to cooperate with them on that payout during the election for donald trump. >> yep. >> to silence a former playboy model who said they'd an affair. so, wow, lots of stuff tangled up in this. >> stephanie gosk, thank you for untangling it for us. coming up, new details in
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labor secretary alex acosta still has a job, at least for now, even after this new reporting about something he's been facing questions about for weeks. his role in a plea deal involving a florida billionaire accused of a wide range of sexual misconduct with underaged girls. the deal involved just two counts related to solicitation of prostitution. "the washington post" now says that epstein ended up charged for a crime involving an older teen, that was closer to the age of consent. why does this matter? "the post" reports that federal investigators, quote, flagged scores of potential underaged victims, including the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police. so why wasn't that 14-year-old part of the discussion? all of it is why secretary acosta is facing more scrutiny since a federal judge ruled last month he and his team violated the law when they failed to tell victims about the agreement. the labor department said any decisions that acosta was involved in were approved by justice department leadership and followed procedure. what does this mean for acosta's
time at the white house. i'm joined now by one of the reporters who broke this story. let me start and not the 14-year-old that thought she was at the center of this? >> as you mentioned secretary acosta at his confirmation hearing and one other previous time has defended this plea deal that's come under mounting criticism by pointing to the requirements that jeffrey epstein register as a sex offender. he's a multimillion air who owns five homes and private planes. it's had a different kind of an effect. we learn from looking at the different requirements that vary wildly state by state the age of the victim in some states
matters as to how onerous the requirements are. for example, in new mexico, where jeffrey epstein owns a 7,600 acre ranch he doesn't have to register at all. because the victim attached to his plea was not under 16 years old. >> in your piece you quote the attorney for this 14-year-old, saying, quote, it's unbelievably upsetting. the rug has been swiped out from under the one girl that was brave enough to come forward and break this thing. what do they want to see happen? >> i mean, there's a lot of litigation playing out. most recently, a federal judge ruled last month that, you know, as you mentioned earlier that prosecutors broke the law by not notifying victims. attorneys for those victims are hoping to throw out what was a non-prosecution deal signed off on by acosta that said we'll not
bring federal charges against you. we'll end this federal investigation. and it granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators. >> sarah sanders held a press briefing earlier this week -- i guess it was last week. she was asked about the status of secretary acosta inside the administration. i want to play for you what she had to say. >> what is the administration's specifically doing to look into secretary acosta's role in the secret plea deal for jeffrey epstein, does the president have any misgivings? >> that's currently under review, because of that i can't get into specifics but we're certainly looking at it. i'm not aware of a specific timeline. >> this has been going on for weeks, this review. the urgency just simply doesn't seem to be front and center in the mind of the white house. >> they clearly are facing an onslaught and review and different investigations. so this is one of those times
when you want to say what is happening. there's no other information you're willing to give? i would expect congress and other agencies looking into investigating him. he does oversee these same issues. >> as beth makes it point, house democrats are calling for his reg resignation. >> the judge, i believe has ruled this plea deal broke the law by failing to inform some of the victims it was happening. the line that really, you know, jumped off the page in beth's piece was that acosta's labor department oversees investigations into sex trafficking. regardless of what you think happened, is this the person to be other than seeing that. this seems like one of many stories that would be a bigger deal if it wasn't overshadowed by other scandals. >> we'll leave it there l. yes, it seems like every day there's something else and something new. we appreciate you staying on top
of this critical story. thank you. stick around, because we're going to talk about what our sources are saying. our reporters are digging through the search warrants related to michael cohen. they found another new detail that explains how federal investigators found out about the payments to stormy daniels. they're connecting the dots through these documents. we're going to have that for you coming up in six minutes. we're going to have that for you coming up in six minutes a record deal? unbelievable. whenever we're about to get on a stage for a huge audience, i always give my dad like a facetime kinda moment. you see the crowd, you see the emotion. you know, he has that experience for the first time with me, and that's really important to me. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there for you when it matters most. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone. and apple music on us with unlimited. only on verizon. [zara larsson - "wow"] ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪
what our sources are saying. what story are you working on? what are you digging in with your sources? >> my sources are saying to keep an eye on the emerging divide in the democratic 2020 race. this is over two related issues. eliminating the filibuster and expanding the supreme court. there are those who don't want to go there. bennett slammed his head on the desk multiple times when asked about this by a washington post reporter. then you have new age progressives like kamala harris and elizabeth warren who are open to the idea. the one individual in this 30s who is also running for president, suggested openness to this idea. this is -- going forward i think it splits the democratic party generationally and ideologically. >> do you see it going anywhere? >> if they keep the house and the senate and the presidency. it will be a big deal. >> women's history month and
lobbyists have 37 states, they need 38 to go to congress. they're working right now, los angeles week arizona failed. they're looking in florida, potentially north carolina, georgia, to try to get that done. >> what do they think the chances are? >> they feel it's as good as they've had. >> speaking of conversations, an we're going to be here in washington at the wharf to promote anna and jake's new book, politics and prose right here in washington. congratulations on this thing. it's a cool cover. i can't wait to talk with you morabo more about it. i'll see you live and in person. thank you for coming on the show. you'll see that plug like, a ton between now and april 16th. get ready. that does it for us, right now craig melvin picks up our coverage with lots happening in new york. >> jake and anna have a book? we're going to lead with that. we're leading with that. we're not leading with that.
craig melvin msnbc headquarters in new york. new investigation details with those search wearrants that launched michael cohen's investigation. one of the democratic contenders wants to dump the c electoral college. and family feud, how would you react if your boss called your spouse a loser? the attacks escalate between president trump and the husband of kellyanne conway. we start with the brreaking news, michael cohen, a short time ago a federal court released the warrant and affidavit investigators used today search the former trump fixer's home, office and hotel room last