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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  March 20, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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>> see, i knew you knew what all of that meant. happy spring. that's all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more mtpda daily. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. happy spring. >> i have one item before you go. i know you don't know what i'm about to say because i haven't discussed with this you, but you and your "meet the press" team just met a walter cronkite award. we pulled a clip from your award-winning piece. take a look. >> we're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. the earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period. we're not going to give time to climate deniers. the science is settled, even if political assignment is not. and we're not going to confuse
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weather with climate. a heat wave is no more evidence that climate change exists than the blizzard means it doesn't. >> congratulations to you guys, and that's such an important topic to dig into. >> much appreciated. you know, ari, when you have an award with cronkite's name on it, it does mean a little extra something to you, i have to say. >> sure. >> this one means a lot and the whole staff, we worked really hard on that show, so it's kind of nice to see it noticed. >> i bet, he's probably someone you may have looked up to. >> no, the whole thing, to get -- to have it acknowledged by the folks who give out a cronkite award does give it that -- you feel like, you know, the whole goal was, in this day and age, say what you see, right? >> right. >> this is on everything we do. whether it's climate change, whether it's donald trump, whether it's the democratic party, stop rounding the edges and you know, we've -- look, we've all rounded the edges over the years when we've reported certain things. i think this straightforwardness is say what you see.
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and that's the bottom line. >> and then people can do what they want with the facts. >> exactly. >> congrats to you and your whole team. i know you're proud of everyone who worked on it. >> i am. thank you, ari. >> thank you, sir. >> yeah, brother. we turn now to tonight's news. we have several brand-new stories in this show. we're not covering president trump attacking the family members of his own aides or disrespecting the late john mccain. those are stories donald trump clearly wants everyone to focus on. we haven't covered those on "the beat" tonight and we're not covering them tonight. instead, we have some stories tonight on the trump administration cracking down on key protections for victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery. we have a report on how ideas for radical reform are going mainstream in the current political moment and what that means. and we begin right now with a topic that donald trump often tries to overshadow with those other antics that i mentioned. the topic is the grinding progress in the mueller probe, as trump's closest advisers, paul manafort and roger stone, await their next trials. and as washington remains on edge over where mueller is
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headed and if he's nearly finished or if his prosecutors are busy with the press of other work. that's the reason one prosecutor sided for a delay in another case. whatever mueller does next, the facts are that he's produced the most effective far-reaching into a probe in white house history. six people indicted in the last two years, a higher rate than most other presidential investigations. and as manafort awaits another trial in new york, mueller has also scored one of the longest prison sentences stacked against any other probe of any white house. so keep that factual record in mind right now. this historic indictment rate, as you witness donald trump's new claim today, that he welcomes any new report or information from bob mueller, even if it might further implicate trump's team. >> does the public have a right to see the mueller report? >> i don't mind. i mean, frankly, i told the house, if you want, let them see it. let it come out.
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let people see it. that's up to the attorney general. we have a very good attorney general. he's a very highly respected man. and we'll see what happens. >> everyone knows good cop, bad cop. this is kind of good president, bad attorney general. donald trump now claiming he's fine with the public report, but it's the other guy who will decide and maybe he'll decide something that's unpopular. maybe that other guy, that bad attorney general, i'm saying, colloqui colloquially, like bad cop, will decide not to release mueller's findings. you'll note this is the exact same spin that president trump used whether he would sit for a mueller interview in the first place. he claimed in the rose garden that he was game, only his lawyers, bad cop, might hold him back. donald trump, as you might know, never actually stepped up to face mueller one like, say, president clinton, who did face questions after a long battle, or president bush who faced prosecutor fitzgerald after an investigation that he would do it face-to-face, but not under oath. and donald trump is also
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bringing up today the last time he did talk to bob mueller face to face. >> the day before he was retained to become special counsel, i told him he wouldn't be working at the fbi. and then the following day, they get him for this. >> that's actually interesting, when you think about it. why is donald trump talking about this right now today? and i want to be clear, we were just talking to chuck about what's true and what's not, it is true that donald trump asked bob mueller to come on down to the white house in those hectic days right after he'd fired james comey and that mueller reportedly showed little-to-no interest in that job. and then that same week, rod rosenstein was urgently searching with someone to be the special counsel to investigate collusion in the wake of this firing and rod landed on bob. and that was a full 22 months ago. and mueller and trump haven't faced each other since. the closest mueller has come in
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person to donald trump was probably this now-famous chance overlap between mueller and the president's son at the ronald reagan washington national airport. that's don junior in the hat. now, why does the president have his last face-to-face meeting with bob mueller on his mind today? and will bob mueller end his probe without any further indictments? and why is the president emphasizing someone else, bill barr, will decide whether to release mueller's findings? well, to put a twist on a classic piece of wisdom from christopher wallace, if you don't know, now you don't know. because i'm going to be honest with you. only mueller knows tonight what comes next and only trump knows why he's going down memory lane and hedging his bets on his newly installed attorney general. let me bring in a power panel, melissa murray, elie mystal, a man who is infatuated with the southern district of new york,
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and sam seder, the host of t tth the majority of new york radio show. why do you think first and foremost drrp is reminiscing about the last time he was eyeball-to-eyeball with rob mueller? >> this is straight out of the playbook. delegitimize everyone who has an opportunity to delegitimize you. if you make it sound like there was some kind of cozy relationship with robert mueller and then robert mueller becomes the special counsel and drops this report, already there's a huge base who is ready to discredit the mueller report, who has an even bigger reason to do so now. >> i think that's right. his whole game is to move the goalpost. he wants to make it seem like we're waiting for mueller to update wikipedia as opposed to potentially bring indictments against him and his family. so he's just trying to move the goalpost to some other place in the future. >> but that's a mood thing. what you're hitting on is there's all the evidence in the law. i just went through some of it. people should know the indictment rate. it's pretty bad-looking, although that doesn't mean that donald trump did anything criminally wrong. we have to wait and see. but what you're talking about is
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the mood. forget all the facts. the mood is just, wioh, bob mueller is some guy and he has some report. does that really work? >> you're saying it exactly right. we don't know and i'm not trying to come up here and lie and say i'm not, you know, friends with bob mueller. but it feels like something might have happened with bill barr. because when trump kind of explodes like this and there's been this recent change in the person in charge of the entire justice department, i wonder if barr said something, some kind of conversation, something happened, that made trump kind of even more head up and worried about the upcoming report. >> or maybe more confident in some respects, that it could be coming, but again, it's not going to be my decision as to someone not seeing it. i mean, i think from the beginning, this has been a political process, right? because there is at least within the white house, i think a confidence that no one can bring an indictment against the president. and so, this is a political process and donald trump plays
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to his base. and in some respects, in the same way that he hopes that the attorney general is going to give him cover, he's giving cover for the republicans in the senate, because it's up to them, ultimately, if they basically say, like, there's a problem here. and as long as donald trump is out there fomenting this, i guess, skepticism amongst his base, those senators in the -- those republican senators in the senate, they're protected. >> misinformation, amongst his base. but i think the other issue here is, i think you're exactly right, trump is very confident that he cannot be indicted, but i still come back to the kids. i don't see how this ends without really dealing with his children. his children have not been interviewed, they can be indicted, we don't know if they will be or not. i don't see how any of this ends without mueller either interviewing the children tor indi or indicting the children. >> the children may have one of the better defenses of anyone mixed up in some of these meetings that they probably shouldn't have gone to, which
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is, i don't know what i'm doing? that's a defense. which is different than, i'm here to commit, melissa, an overt act as spattpart of a conspiracy. those are different things. >> those are very different things. and i think this is a group of individuals especially well suited to launch an ignorance defense. that said, there are some telling tidbits that have come out over the course of this investigation that lean more toward a concerted effort to do things that would help out dad rather than just mere ignorance. and i think that really might be the worry. and even if he's not going to be indicted, and he may well run again so he can't be indicted for another four years, if that's the possibility, but i do think the children are ones that could be implicated. >> and sam, what candidate or president hasn't said at one point or another, i want to run for office, not only to serve, not only to try to connect with the american people, go around the country and meet them, but to try to run out the statute of limitations on my criminal liability? >> right. i'm afraid of those handcuffs,
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as i attempt to walk on that helicopter and fly away. i mean, the thing about the kids, though, we're presuming that their jeopardy lies only with the mueller investigation. but i think that anything that we've seen in the past couple of weeks -- >> hold on. who's we? who's we? i know "we" doesn't include this guy. do you ever watch "the beat"? >> i do, i do. >> elie mystal, i'll let him respond and you can decide, elie mystal is obsessed with the criminal liability in new york and why were these materials redacted this week if not for an open investigation that involves crimes, that involve the trump organization, and i can say crimes there. a viewer sometimes may say, i'm still parsing. i can say crimes there, because there's a confessed election crime involved in the 2016 actions by the trump organization and fraudulent checks. >> right. well, that's the point. you know, cy vance drops these indictments on the day that
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manafort is getting sentenced and it comes out of the blue, right? who knows what else is in the wings? either the southern district of new york, or theoretically, it could be the ag's office in new york state, or out of the city. so there's -- and maybe there's other jurisdictions outside of new york. i mean, so, it's not just the mueller probe that i think is -- that will provide some jeopardy maybe for the rest of the organization around donald trump. >> i mean, this goes to a general point here. the mueller report, wherever it comes out, is not the end of these investigations into donald trump. the mueller report is actually only going to be the beginning of further investigations. i think one of the things that happened within the last hour or so is that hope hicks, trump's kind of personal pants ironer, she agreed to voluntarily turn over documents to the house judiciary committee, so like that's happening. >> and she's a serious professional, who served in the government and served in the
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campaign and has not been accused of wrongdoing. i think she's a lot more than a pants ironer. >> i don't -- i feel that because she is turning over these documents, they mustn't be very interesting, because one of the things that the house democrats haven't done, and we don't usually talk about like where the democrats are on this, but one of the things they haven't done, they haven't issued subpoenas yet. right now the democrats are still in this fantasy world where they're playing nice and they're like, oh, mr. trump, can you please give us your documents. >> but that's also the best legal strategy to not go to court and get hectaring right out the gate. it has been fascinating to see career prosecutors basically come out over the months and say, we had to change the fundamental way we did our jobs when we got a sense of how donald trump was trying to cultivate us or even potentially improperly interfere. preet bharara was here last night and he basically said rod rosenstein, hep doesn't think was joking. and that it was reasonable and a potentially good idea to consider reporting the
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president. take a look. >> that's why this whole debate about whether rod rosenstein was joking when he said, wire up the president or not, sort of rung in my ear a little bit. and i tend to believe he was not joking. because there has been a certain kind of conduct that happens. and when you're used to seeing someone tell untruths about what happens in a conversation and you care about your own integrity, i didn't want anybody to say, you know, you had some side conversation with the president of the united states. so we didn't do that, ultimately. weap we thought that was a bridge too far. >> i think this only goes to show how unorthodox this entire administration has been. like, everything has been unorthodox, from the way they came in, from the inauguration, how they set up the administration, and now this. it's not business as usual. you're dealing with a whole group of people who are more attuned to playing the new york real estate game than they are actually about the playing the game of government, right? this is, they don't know how to do things by the book. they're uninterested in doing things by the book. they don't care about the books. they know how to get things done
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in new york, brass knuckles, sharp elbows, but they don't actually know how to abide by the rules. and there are career prosecutors who have to play by the rules, actually having to think about how far the rules have to be expanded in order to accommodate the gross capaciousness and expansiveness with which this administration runs itself. >> but this is why we fail, because preet didn't actually record him, right? people keep -- they're so desperate to go by the book that they keep not prevailing to understand that donald trump does not care about your stupid book! and at some point -- >> but the book still exists and will exist long after donald trump. if we throw the book out now, we're not going to have a government. we're going to have an autocracy. and that's the point that preet is making. you still have to abide by the book, even if this guy is not. >> i think that's an important debate you're having and will continue. and there's a debate about whether the book will still exist or the book will be replaced by twitter and our society will slowly crumble. one of the questions.
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i'll fit in a break. melissa, eelie, sam. an exclusive report. i'll explain. and my special report on trump pardons and what happens when mueller does turn in his findings. we have a full breakdown. and that's not all. political candidates, you may have noticed, are embracing some ideas that used to be called radical from scrapping the electoral college to exploring new solutions to slavery. we're going to get into that with a very special spate of guests. i'm ari melber and you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. me watching "the beat" on msnbc paper prepares us for success.
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the emerging debate among democratic candidates running to replace donald trump is increasingly described as moving to the left as the majority of candidates now agree on policies that were seen as really only for the most liberal challengers, even just a few cycles ago. democrats backing universal health care, publicly funded tuition, government-backed child care. and while those are progressive policies, it might be too limiting to view these shifts on ideology alone. the current political era shows much more interest in big ideas that would require some sort of radical or systemic change. ending the electoral college, a systemic product of slavery, or reforming voting rights fundamentally or changing how democracy works, or even changing the rules for how many people are allowed on the supreme court.
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you may have heard about that this week. that's a change that america deemed a radical power grab when fdr once tried it. but from martin luther king to gloria steinem, a lot of social justice reformers claim you have to change the premise of what's possible before you get into the talk about ideology or policy. in a very different way, i think everybody knows donald trump tapped into some idea of disruption with his supporters. he proudly breaks norms. and today's organizers are not saying they should echo trump. don't get me wrong, and twitter, don't come for me. but some are looking at this disruptive moment and saying, there is a political courage and a radicalism that actually pre-dates trump, which can capitalize on the mood on what are clearly unusual times with implications that could go way beyond any democratic presidential primary. to dig into this, we have two special guests. people who know a little something about radical movements. todd getland was a leading
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activist in the 1960s, organizing with the famous students for a democratic society, a protest movement that was a major opposition to the vietnam war and lumped in a lot of other issues on racial justice and civil rights. he teachers at columbia university and is a well-known author. thanks to both of you for doing this. >> thanks for having me. >> you bet. >> there's a lot going on in the world and in the news tonight. and we don't have to do this conversation and we could talk about the candidates straight up and we want to learn about them. but you're both here because i want to take the thesis i just laid out and ask you what you see out there. so as you said, this ferment of social activity really comes about in all of the protests that have marked this decade of the 21st century. we began with occupy, we began with arab spring, we moved on to the movement for black lives and then we moved to the women's
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march. so there has been a push to the left. in fact, some of the election of donald trump is about a reaction to this perceived push in social movements for us to finally get progressive on racial issues, to finally get progressive on women's issues. and so now you have candidates who are using this opening. what they see with trump is that we are in a position as a nation where we have to make a choice. which direction are we going to go? are we going to be a nation that does not embrace the future? that closes our borders, that becomes increasingly insular? or are we going to be a nation that really tries to strive for our highest democratic ideals? >> i think it's not just a move to the left. i think it's a move toward taking the fight seriously. >> i think the democrats mostly think now that what was the consensus through the last two democratic presidents was mild, was meek, was easily cowed, was economically not progressive,
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was fearful, was worried too much about what mr. mcconnell would think or what chuck schumer would think, for that matter. and the old consensus, the economic consensus is broken. people are now not wanting to stand up to trump. that's not necessarily left wing, because most of the party, i think, would agree. women's equality, yes. most of the party would agree that we need medical care to complete the affordable care act process. i think most democrats and most of the country would agree that climate change is real and humanly caused and needs to be addressed forthrightly. so this, i think, is a new -- is a moving of the center of the democratic party. >> right. and brittany, i don't know if you ever heard this, but there are some people in american politics who say, slavery was a long time ago. why are we still talking about? and there are many answers, more than we're going to get to in this segment, but one reason is, we still pick our president
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based on a white power slavery system. >> absolutely. >> take a look at how mainstream it's become for big democratic candidates to call to an end for that. >> we have to recognize that everybody did not start out on an equal footing in this country, and in particular, black people have not. >> this country should resolve its original since of slavery through reparations. for people who are the desce descendants of slaves. >> we have to invest in those communities that have been so hurt by racism. >> it's time to start the national full-blown conversations can about reparations in this country. >> i love it. look, part of the challenge, if you think about the electoral college system, let's remember that in the 21st century, republicans have only won the popular vote in one presidential election. and that was 2004.
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democrats won the popular vote in 2000, 2008, and 2016. and yet we have had half in half in terms of who actually gets to run the country. and so there is an actual pragmatic reason that the democratic party needs to embrace removing the electoral college system, because the country is telling us that they might actually be more to the left than we think, but because of entrenched power on the right, we can't actually govern in ways that are progressive. that is the thing that makes me optimistic. i'm less optimistic about the reparations conversation. in part, because while this country certainly owes african-american people reparations, i think that we have to be very clear that this is not like cutting checks to individual black people, right? but really is about investing in a set of social policies that try to rectify generational inequities. and i think that while the country is progressive, as you say, todd, on things like climate change and health care, or can be, folks become very upset when we start talking about racial justice issues. and so i think we have more work and more building to do, so that
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people can think about what it means to rectify these old centuri centuries' worth of injustice. >> i think elizabeth warren put it right. she said, it's time to start the conversation. and i think most americans don't understand that a lot of the inequality, racial inequality in america is a matter of government policy in our lifetimes. this is not just from slavery. this was a matter of government policy. >> right. >> about housing, segregation, and so on. but i think that it will -- it will be clear that the consensus position in the democratic party will be that a majority will want to see racial justice, but doesn't want to feel that they are being taxed for it. they want to see that it's a matter of general good. >> and they want to have a system here where these ideas are debated on their merits and not crowded out, i think, by an establishment that says, that's not practical or that can't win, because, again, they're looking at a world where it's like, a lot of things that aren't
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practical seem to be happening every day. i would love to have you both back to continue this and look at where it goes. >> absolutely. >> todd and brittany, thanks to both of you. up next, an exclusive story we brought here. the fox news reporter will now be able to speak to congress about the alleged burying of a story that involved michael cohen's crime in 2016. but first, we're back in 30 seconds. > but first, we're back seconds.
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bob mueller's racked up an historic number of indictments and his work isn't done, meaning, anything could happen in the future. but when mueller's findings do come through, that is when a lot of, historically, the big fights begin. we know that at the end of these kind of special counsel probes, whether it is an appointed prosecutor or someone like mueller who operates inside the doj, afterward, people in the president's circle, a lot of other things tend to happen. another chapter . the question is whether the president will use what is a lawful power, the power to pardon. consider that the new attorney general has in previous republican administrations been involved in overseeing exactly that. it was in 1992 that bill barr supported george h.w. bush's very controversial decision to pardon, count 'em up, six different reagan officials indicted throughout iran-contra. >> a deal by the reagan administration to free hostages in lebanon, sell arms to iran,
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and divert profits to the nicaraguan contras. today it ended. president bush pardoned caspar weinberger, accused of lying dong and five others in the scandal. bush called it an act of healing. >> in light of president bush's own misconduct, we are gravely concerned by his decision to pardon others. >> that was controversial but at the time it was considered lawful. barr later discussed this saying, i didn't oppose any of them. i favored the broadest and he continued to say, look, there were some people arguing just for weinberger. and that's one of the people indicted. and he said, no, in for a penny, in for a pound. it wasn't just in that bush era you had pardons after a probe. this is important as we look to what happens after the president finishes. bill clinton pardoned one person connected to white water. and george w. bush used his
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pardon power to commute scooter libby's prison sentence when the valerie plame case was all done and finished. he didn't pardon him. bush basically thought that would be a bridge too far, even for him. and that was after his white house counsel advised against it, saying libby had never even accepted responsibility for his crime. sound familiar? well, anyway, we also know that turned into a big fight. scooter libby had been, in dick cheney's view, a loyal aide. and he was imploring bush to go further and issue the full pardon. president bush never yielded, which is pretty interesting when you think about how history looks back on these things. nobody thought libby would ever get the full pardon. and then, years later, donald trump, who's known to have feuded with the bush family, suddenly took this interest in the case and issued a full pardon for libby for those obstruction crimes. why would donald trump pardon a bush aide when, again, you have this antipathy toward the bush family. this is a really important
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context. they ran against each other, of course, in the primaries, they didn't support him when he ran in the general election. well, a lot of legal experts and frankly, political experts close to the whole thing say, the only thing that might override trump's distaste for, you know, the people that he ran against, like the mccains and the bushes of the world that didn't support him would be to send a message, a wider message in the mueller probe. >> it's very clear that this is a message he is sending that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned. >> a pardon for someone like scooter libby, to prepare them for the pardoning of everybody in donald trump's seemingly corrupt criminal enterprise. >> that there is a colleague who knows something about the bush world, as well. now, i want to be clear, because we're talking about this in the context of what the law is, not what you might like it to be. presidents have this power to issue pardons. and they can do almost anything with who they choose. but that doesn't mean there's no such thing as the abuse of the
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pardon power. you may have heard the phrase, abuse of power? this can include it. president nixon was accused quite credibly of dangling pardons before defendants to try to get them to not to, quote, rat on him. his white house counsel then warned him that could backfire and be part of a cover-up. >> you know, the watergate hearings just over, hunt now demanding clemency or he's going to blow. and politically, it'd be impossible for you to do it. after everyone -- i'm not sure that you'll ever be able to deliver on the clemency. it may be just too hot. >> you can't do it until after the '74 elections, that's for sure. >> that's right, it may further involve you in a way you shouldn't be involved in this. >> no, it's wrong. that's for sure. >> "it's wrong, that's for sure." that's a sitting president talking about what he would be doing would be wrong on tapes that, of course, well, you're hearing them. they later came out.
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what did the house democrats think? they used that tape you just heard, that evidence, that pardon dangling against nixon in their draft articles of impeachment, saying he offered faired treatment in return for false testimony. and that brings us back to today. and what does president trump want to do if he contemplates dealing with the end of a mueller probe, these sitting indictments, and whether he wants to lawfully use the power or risk, as nixon did, potentially abusing the power. to get right entitle, i bring in former federal prosecutor, glenn kirschner. thanks for joining me. >> thanks, ari. >> we don't know if we are in the 9th inning or the 8th inning or the 7th inning, but we have a lot of evidence we're not in the 1st inning. if bill barr oversees multiple pardons as he did in the bush era, would that be perfectly fine? >> you know, it wouldn't be perfectly fine. it might be an authorized
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exercise of presidential power. but i still maintain that if you grant a pardon for your own corrupt purposes, to perhaps dissuade somebody from providing evidence that would incriminate you, it's really not a lawful exercise of the pardon power. >> and you know who agrees with you? >> i'm sorry? >> you know who agrees with you? >> who? >> bill barr. let's take a look and get your reaction. >> do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient's promise not to incriminate him? >> no, that would be a crime? >> i'm with bill barr, and i know a lot of people have taken this wait-and-see approach when it comes to bill barr. i have been hopeful that bill barr is not the kind of person, given his long career both in and out of government that is going to be willing to die on trump hill. he knows bob mueller well, has
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known him for decades. their families are close. and i can tell you, i learned how to be a federal prosecutor from bob mueller. to know the man is to respect him. and to understand that his heart is absolutely in the right place, and he stands squarely with the rule of law and the american people. so i do look back at the iran contra pardons, and that gives me pause. i think it gives a lot of people pause. but i think that was a different time. and i'm not -- listen, as a career prosecutor, one thing i really don't like is pardons, because it undermines the hard work that law enforcement and prosecutors do to win righteous convictions. but i think people might have looked at the iran contra pardons as some -- now, i don't say i agree with this, but some republicans who got caught up doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. so maybe people could swallow those pardons. i don't think anybody can accuse this president of being a republican doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
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so i am hopeful that bill barr will be the stand-up attorney general that we all hope he will be, will give mueller the leeway to do what he needs to do to finish things up. issue the report, and let the american people see the results. >> former federal prosecutor, glenn kirschner breaking it down. thank you. >> thanks, ari. later tonight, we have some exclusive reporting on the future of that nda testimony, that story we've been breaking right here. and up next, i want to show you why donald trump is wrong and hypocritical on human trafficking and what's important in protections for these victims. wrangler, an "affirmation of automotive freedom." we say... (sfx of jeep wrangler) wooo! they said, "it's what crossovers want to be when they grow up." we say... (sfx of jeep wrangler) they said "it was a thorough rework of an american original." we say... (sfx of jeep wrangler) because actions speak louder than words. now during jeep freedom days well qualified lessees
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now we turn to an important report the trump administration might not want you to hear about. this administration is cracking down on key protections for victims of human trafficking. this is an international crisis that impacts 40 million victims
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annually. they call it modern slavery. and while the human rights and immigration rules are key here, president trump has actually mostly invoked these victims as props for a wider immigration agenda. >> if you look at the human trafficking, they come in, they nab women, they grab them, they put tape over their mouth, they tie their hands, and they go right over that border. they have tape over their mouths, electrical tape, usually blue tape, as they call it. it's powerful stuff. not good. women are tied up, they're bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths. in many cases, they can't even breathe. >> the president gives those speeches and has used related powers of his office to draw attention to this issue. he declared january as national slavery and human trafficking prevention month. hep also created an inter-agency task force on this issue. now, with the right policy, those other steps could be constructive. but tonight i'm reporting for
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you on the fact that the trump administration's actual policies and protections for these victims are lacking. and that has more impact, of course, than words. let me mention one basic point, as well. protecting victims of sex trafficking isn't historically in america been an ideological issue. people have recognized these as worthwhile candidates as something called a human rights "t" visa and it provides victims a safe haven and potential work in the u.s. you had president bush create a version of the visa and president obama continued it. >> one of the ways traffickers keep women and girls enslaved is by telling them they will be arrested and deported if they try to run away. we're removing that tool of coercion by treating the victims of trafficking not as illegal aliens, but as refugees. they should find the protection
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generous heart of america. >> we're working to simplify visa procedures for "t" visas, so that innocent victims from other countries can stay here as they help us prosecute their traffickers. >> over the last decade, more than two-thirds of those malaysians have been approved. those people that bush said are people, not illegal aliens, well, a lot of them got visas. and since taking office, the trump administration is reversing this trend. take a look at the rate of visa approvals for trafficking victim applicants since 2014, down to 60% in trump's first year in office and falling all the way to 40% last year. you see the trend line. this is a major drop. and since 2005, visa denials remained rather steadily after an uptick in 2015. last year, you had more applicants deny visas than any year since 2005. so the result is, you have the number of approved visas hitting, under trump, this seven-year low. and that's not all. a backlog of pending applicants
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doubling from two years earlier, to a record high. translation, the problems pr's getting worse and the trump administration is getting worse in dealing with the problem. it goes beyond visas. look at this, last november, the trump administration put out a notice telling these victims they might have to go through deportation proceedings and immigration court if they're denied their visas. so if the victims do apply for help and they're denied, chuck see is more likely, they're not lawfully in the u.s., they can face this additional punishment. this is a fear tactic that actually bush was speaking about in 2004. how traffickers used the fear of that deportation to prevent these victims, again, these millions of global victims of sex trafficking, from ever running away in the first place. "the new yorker" reports on this and asked that they provide further proof that they were trafficked in order to qualify for protections. and when it comes to prosecuting the traffickers, "the washington
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post" reported in 2017, new cases opened had fallen from the previous year, putting an end to human trafficking has always been a bipartisan goal, since, as i mentioned, these policies got going. and trump has claimed to be a crusader, but we've been showing you here how he's working against these victims. now, we did reach out and we got uscis responding to this. that those who were denied a "t" visa are summoned to court on a case-by-case basis. they can appeal negative decisions and still have their right to due process. we want to include, as always, their view of these facts. but donald trump's desire to clamp down on the border is sidelining these people who are actually suffering some of the worst crimes known to man in the world. and again, it's not democrats or republicans with different views about the wider immigration debate, which is a big debate. it is donald trump not protecting these victims and then using their own horrific stories to push his separate
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agenda. >> they nab women, they grab them, they put tape over their mouth. electrical tape, usually blue tape, as they call it. it's powerful stuff. not good. >> the problem is powerful. but the facts indicate president trump is actually undercutting the very protections for those victims that he keeps invoking as props. presidents of both parties have long stood united in this basic human rights policy. and we are talking about people, about potential immigrants who have suffered unimaginable tragedies, seeking, i think it's fair to say this, seeking one of the best things that america can offer, at least on its best day, protection and asylum for the needy. that protection, those visas, matters a heck of a lot more to, i think, those people than any political speech. ch
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breaking news. we have an exclusive story on the story weave been reporting on. frrtsz the reporter who said fox dumped her story. that reporter has begun cooperating directly with congressional investigators. now turned over at least some documents that have been requested by the democratb chair of over site committee.
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she'll talk to them about what happened. fox news has denied her claims on the record. liz is host of "considerate" and has been on the stormy daniels reporting from the beginning. >> i call my job the stormy daniels beat. >> and more. they are not all the same and there can be employees that have an mrbs ba. what do you think about this step where this reporter is still bound but we may not learn but he's going to learn what she says happened. >> and as you know a purpose, but i thin are abtually bad. >> journalism as an entity and i think it's bad for the american public because there's a lot of information they have a right to know about if they might not know about if they continue to
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go on media. i mention the timing of donald trump's calling kellyanne conway the husband from hell. it might become clear that donald trump paid off women to prevent that information from getting to his wife and asked michael con to lie about it to his wife. isn't it ironic? don't you think? >> allanrbalanis. >> morrisette. because i'm canadian. so i have to reference canadian artists. >> what do you think of a lawyer for other fox employees including gretchen carlson. she seems to be finding different ways to push back within the law at what fox has
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tried to do with nondisclosure by definition to keep secret. >> and we have stormy daniels lawyer on the record saying that the fox news reporter reached out with the amount, the corporate names, the days of the affair. there was a lot of information that would have been enough to be a story i think from a lot of editor's perspective. and it's not from her point of view, i think from stormy daniels' lawyer as well. >> how many different entities were burying this or not. i mean that's the part that's bigger than a so-called media story. thanks for coming through. and. up ahead a revelation about jared and ivaughanau trump. t jared and ivaughanau trump the way they subscribe to movies. we don't follow the naysayers.
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we covered a lot of ground it felt like tonight including look that way they're undercutting the protections i mentioned for victims of sex trafbbing. it's one of the many stories that goes to how the trump administration does messaging verses look at what they're abtually doing. the journalist and author vicki ward will talk about the unusual way jared and ivanka rule in the west wing.
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we'll be joined by "art of the deal" co author. and can anything that happens in washington or mueller land tomorrow. don't go anywhere because "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. the ghost in donald trump. lets rrb play "hardball." ♪ ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight there's a ghost in the white house and the ghost appears to be winning. the spirit of john mccain is haunting this american president to the point he talks like his own rival is right there with him. he speaks in the present tense about how he's not happy with mccain and late today he complained out loud that he never got a thank you f

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