tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 22, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT
with president trump saying this morning that he's in the dark too. >> i have no idea about the mueller report. we're going to see what happens. it's going to be very interesting. we'll see what happens. uh, there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. everybody knows it. it's all a big hoax. early win. the trump white house changes decades of foreign policy, giving a big boost to prime minister netanyahu just two weeks before his israeli election. >> president trump as just made history. i called him. i thanked him on behalf of the people of israel. he did it again. and all about that base. why is president trump continuing his days-long attack on the late senator john mccain? >> uh, i'm not a fan. after all of this time, he's -- think of this, repeal and replace, we would have had great
health care. >> but mr. president, he's dead. he can't punch back. i know you punch back, but he's dead. >> i can't talk about it. people ask me the question. i didn't bring this up. good day, i'm chris jansing in new york. andrea will join us from israel in just a moment. but we begin with president trump on a day when anticipation is building to a fever pitch, telling reporters he doesn't know any more than the rest of us about when the mueller report will drop, and then continuing his favorite line of attack. >> i call it the witch hunt. it's all a big hoax. so we'll see what happens. i know that the attorney general, highly respected, ultimately will make a decision. >> attorney general barr will be the center of attention once the mueller report hits his desk because he'll eventually make the final decision about how much of it is seen by both congress and the american people. joining me now, nbc white house correspondent kristen welker,
msnbc international affairs analyst michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. msnbc justice and security analyst matt miller, and msnbc legal analyst mimi rocah, former assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. kristen, the president kept it short and sweet on the south lawn this morning, the "no collusion, witch hunt" remarks that we've all gotten used to. but take us behind the scenes, what's going on with the president and senior staffers as they're waiting for this report? >> well, the anticipation is mounting, chris. there's no doubt about that. the white house is ready with contingency plans, with statements. the president's legal team is ready. i spoke with the president's attorney rudy giuliani overnight, who told me that look, they are anticipating they are anticipating there will be some type of acknowledgement that the report has transmitted to the attorney general bill barr and once that does happen,
they will answer with a short response, essentially saying we're aware that this has happened when we will give a more fulsome response once we've had a chance to review the report, if that happens, because as you say, chris, it's really up to barr to determine how much is viewed by the public. giuliani also saying that, look, whenever it's released, it's released. he met with the president at the white house yesterday, he said the president is viewing it the same way. he told "the washington post," it's like waiting for a baby to be born. so it gives you a sense of what the waiting game has been like. notably, giuliani said that they are not expecting any more indictments to come from mueller. again, that's his interpretation. and he acknowledges he frankly doesn't know when the report is going to come out or what specifically is in that report. important to point out, chris, there are a number of other investigations swirling around all of this. president trump making it very clear that no matter what's in the report, he sees the
opportunity to tack attack it a you'll hear a lot more of that on the campaign trail. >> and rudy giuliani has not been a great source of factual information necessarily throughout this whole process. matt miller, we've been running through the drill, mueller sends the report to barr, he informs the house and senate, and we all resume the waiting game. is this a little bit of, even when it's over, it's really just the first phase that's over and another phase of uncertainty begins? >> it's hard to know. if i were at the justice department trying to manage the public release, i would want to compression the time frame from when it was sent by the special counsel to the attorney general's office and that second step to as little as possible. in fact i would want to see a draft report and any kind of declassification review that has to be done, any kind of clearance of grand jury material, if they're going to a judge to ask for permission to release it publicly, i would want it all done before it got to me so there isn't this long
period between it being sent to the justice department and it becoming public or being sent to congress because that just puts pressure on the attorney general. it increases the chances that pieces of it will leak out. it increases the chances for mischief, people in congress demanding to be briefed on it, people in congress demanding the entire thing be released. so i suspect they will try to have that as short as possible. if i were still there, i would want that to happen in less than a week. but i don't know what they're doing. the integrity of the process, to prevent them of being accused of trying to manipulate the report after the fact, they don't want to see any of it until it's sent to the attorney general and then they'll start the process of writing a second report or doing redactions at that point. >> i did laugh when i heard, mimi, at what rudy giuliani had to say about this being like
birthing a baby, as he said to robert costa. is it possible he saw your tweet that said the same thing almost word for word? he only added "i'll give out cigars." >> i hope he saw it because otherwise it means i'm thinking like rudy giuliani and i'm not really sure i want to be in that position. so i'm assuming he saw my tweet and copied it. but here's the thing. this is why it's like waiting for a baby. first of all, obviously, as everybody knows who has had a baby on the way, you don't know exactly what's going to happen. it's not being able to predict the moment that it's going to happen. but it's also the fact that once the baby comes, that's when the hard work begins. and we're all waiting for this report, but as matt was just going through, once the report gets transmitted to barr, there is going to be a lot of work to do. and i don't just mean in doj. we, the american people, are going to want to see not just what's in the report but why were certain decisions made, right? if there is no more indictments
or if there are more indictments, why was it that people weren't charged? is trump not -- let's assume trump is not charged, okay? is it because he's the president and he could have been charged if he weren't the president? that's a very important fact to know. or is it because there was not enough evidence that rises to the level of probable cause? which i think is mueller's standard, even though it doesn't necessarily have to be if he's not charging one. that would be a very different statement. so that's just one example. i mean, i think you can sort of go through the list. but we need to know why charges are or aren't being brought because it really will inform i think us, the public's, opinion of how much faith we can have in what's happened here. >> and the president has said put it all out there. michael mcfaul, we also have the white house pushing back on those document requests from house democrats. the president commented on that earlier, let me play it.
>> just a continuation of the same witch hunt. they know it. and behind closed doors, they laugh at it. it's just a continuation of the same nonsense. everybody -- they ought to go to work, get infrastructure done, and get a lot of other things done instead of wasting everybody's time. >> so this includes, michael, denying a request for communications between the president and vladimir putin. but if we put aside sort of the domestic back and forth, how is something like this viewed outside of the united states of america? is there anticipation? how is it viewed in moscow? >> well, in moscow they're waiting to get beyond mueller. they thought they were promised a lot of things, a lot of concessions from candidate trump, including lifting of sanctions on a lot of their individuals and companies. that never happened. they blame the deep state, that's the kind of phrases that they use. president trump is trying to do the right thing, and the deep
state is getting in the way, and so they hope that after the mueller investigation is finally completed, they'll move on to that. but i want to underscore one thing we keep forgetting about mueller. it's not just about criminal indictments of americans. it's an investigation as to what russia did in the 2016 election. and we keep forgetting about that in part because the president keeps chasing us to this word "collusion," right? but that i think is the real national security issue, that the work needs to be done. now that we know what they did, hopefully we'll know, we need to move to the prescriptive part. and so far almost nothing has been done to make us more prepared in 2020, compared to where we were in 2016. so that foreign policy/national security debate now needs to start. >> matt miller, speaking of national security, what about the president's son-in-law, jared kushner? his lawyer acknowledging to elijah cummings that he's using
whatsapp for official white house business, although disputing whether, you know, they communicated with leaders like mbs through the app. whether it's an app or his private e-mail, it all adds up to more scrutiny of a critical white house adviser. and lest we forget, a key part of the president's campaign, the whole "lock her up" stuff, was premised on unsecure communication. >> yeah, look, it's the latest scandal surrounding jared kushner. what abbe lowell apparently said to chairman cummings, at least according to chairman cummings' account, is that he would use whatsapp to communicate with world leaders and take screenshots to make an official record. have they verified it, have they looked at his various devices, are the readouts being shared with the intelligence community? we know previously the intelligence community was worried that he was having these
back channel conversations with mbs, that no one else in the government knows about. we need to find out whether he's just communicating about the u.s. government's business or is he also worried about his private business, his brother has been pursuing investments in saudi arabia. there are a number of questions that are going to have to be answered. and the stonewalling that the white house has done, both in this investigation, investigations into how he got his security clearance and other investigations, is not going to work forever. they can delay a little while but eventually there are going to be subpoenas. they're going to be enforced by courts, maybe not all of them, but the great majority of them, and they'll have to turn over some of these documents and start answering questions. >> mimi, do you think that's what will happen here? >> i think the house absolutely will subpoena if they don't get the information that they want. unfortunately it could play out for a long time, by the time we get those answers, with this news cycle, we may have moved on. but that's not a reason not to try to get the information. >> we have some breaking news. kristen welker, i understand
white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders had some news on isis. >> she did. this is when air force one landed and was taxiing. according to a note written by one of the reporters who is traveling with the president today, sarah sanders announced that the territorial isis caliphate has been 100% eliminated in syria. she then said that there is a map of this, she showed this to reporters, so of course we'll try to get this to our viewers as soon as possible. again, this relates to the territory that is controlled by isis. according to sarah huckabee sanders, it has been 100% contained. acting dod secretary shanahan traveling with president trump, briefing him on this, he's also traveling with acting chief of staff mick mulvaney, they briefed him on this development. i was with the president on the south lawn earlier this week when he signaled there was going to be a big announcement related
to isis, clearly this is what it is and the president will want to talk about it. this is something he campaigned on, something he's been talking about for quite some time. important to point out, though, it doesn't mean isis is no longer a threat, it doesn't mean it's been wiped out completely but that territorily it has been eliminated from syria. >> these are live pictures as the president is headed to mar-a-lago. let me get reaction to this statement by sarah huckabee sanders, ambassador mcfaul. >> it's an achievement. we want to eliminate territorially the caliphate of isis. the effort to do so has been a success, started by the obama administration, just to remind your listeners and viewers. it would be naive beyond belief to now assert that isis has been defeated, both in terms of people and in terms of ideas. isis is alive and well in syria and iraq and around the world and that fight will continue for, i think, years to come.
>> ambassador mcfaul, kristen welker, mimi rocah, matt miller, thanks to all of you. this sunday tune in for msnbc's "headliners." we'll take a look at the man behind the mueller report hosted by nicolle wallace, right here on msnbc. coming up, president trump delivers a big pre-election present to israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. anthony mitchell joins us live from jerusalem next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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here's isis right now. if you look, so there's isis.
and that's what we have right now, as of last night. that's what we have right now. you guys can have the map, congratulations. >> that was just moments ago after the president landed in west palm beach, showing a map after sarah sanders came back to say that isis' territory has been 100% eliminated in syria. and we've got msnbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent and the anchor of this program, andrea mitchell, from jerusalem. so lots of news coming out of where you are but let's start with your analysis of what we just heard from the president. >> absolutely. well, this has long been anticipated. in the last a couple of weeks we've seen the great work that richard engel and matt bradley have done in syria.
they've basically gotten it down to kind of a caliphate, if you will, what had been the caliphate, the size of central park, chris. so it was only a few kilometers, square kilometers, but it was still a significant battle in recent weeks. yesterday we asked secretary pompeo about that and he said it's all but 100%, but he didn't want to declare victory too soon, obviously he wanted to leave that to the president. the president had shown that map a few days ago, how much territory had been regained. what is is important to note is that the president has been saying they said it would take three years or two years, even my former advisers said that, meaning jim mattis, but no, i got it done in only a matter of weeks, not months, or months, not years. in other words, he is largely exaggerating what has been accomplished in just the last few months. this is a long battle that has taken years, under two presidents, to at least contain
them militarily. according to all intelligence, they are spreading. they are now in the philippines, they're elsewhere, just as al qaeda spread after the u.s. defeated them in afghanistan. and all of these terror groups keep becoming -- they're resurgent and they're very, very active on the internet. and in briefings i've had recently, their cyber tools are very effective. >> so it's so
interesting that you would say that, andrea, because while you were talking, the president was tweeting. let me read to you what he just tweeted. "isis uses the internet better than almost everyone but for all of those susceptible to isis propaganda, they are now being beaten badly at every level. they will always try to show a glimmer of hope but they are losing and breathing badly. andrea? >> excuse me, something caught in my throat here, it's cold out here tonight.
just to say, they are certainly being defeated on all fronts except on cyber, and they have spread. >> let's let you get a touch of water, maybe somebody there can give it to you. what we've seen is huge news, a significant shift of decades-long american policy. president trump announcing on twitter that the united states should recognize israel's authority over the golan heights, one of the world's most disputed territories. and that announcement gives israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu a huge assist in his tough reelection battle. >> you said it is time for the u.s. to recognize israel's sovereignty on the golan heights. why now? why did you send it out? >> i've been thinking about doing it for a long time. it's been a hard decision for every president. every president has thought about it. >> it's not about netanyahu's
reelection? >> i wouldn't even know about that. he was doing okay. >> andrea, he says "i wouldn't even know about that." surely someone who is on his foreign policy team knows, correct me if i'm wrong, that this is a violation of a united nations agreement. >> it clearly is a violation of a united nations agreement but it's something they very much wanted to do, clearly to help benjamin netanyahu. netanyahu has been pressing them to do this. there is an increasing threat from iranian militants since the assad regime became so strong in the last year, regaining control over syria, iranian militants have been allowed to get to the golan and have been firing rockets at israel. that's been happening over the decades. there have been open conflicts many times since israel took control. even though they had de facto control over the golan heights, going against u.n. resolutions,
going against international law and declaring that the u.s. supports the sovereignty is a different -- it's a step, a much greater step. it does put our leaders on the spot, because they've been pressed by the white house to join this future middle east peace plan which does not involve the palestinians but has been negotiated really with the persian gulf arabs and other arab leaders. and now it's going to be very hard for them to face their populations as the u.s. is being accused of a land grab on behalf of israel. >> meantime, secretary of state pompeo has gone on to beirut and he attacked hezbollah. let me play that for folks. >> the united states will continue to use all peaceful means, everything at our disposal to choke off the financing, the smuggling, the criminal networks and the misuse of government positions and influence that feeds iran and hezbollah terror operations. we will not hesitate to call out those who actively and passively
support these activities and betray the trust and hopes of the lebanese people. >> andrea, pompeo using some pretty strong language there. >> yeah, he previewed that and he's been teeing this up. for him to go to beirut where hezbollah is part of the government, they're elected representatives, they're in the parliament, and next to him the foreign minister said exactly that. there were supposed to be questions from the reporters, including our own ali arouzi is there, but that press conference is canceled. he'll be leaving and coming back to the states ptomorrow. the fact is the real purpose of this trip was to join with israel and go after irani. they're being criticized by our u.n. allies but israel is the key factor now. in going after iran, netanyahu's
election is in less than three weeks, he's coming to the white house next week, which is going to be virtually a campaign stop for him. and he's going to have a white house dinner, white house embrace, he'll be staying at blair house. bibi netanyahu is getting everything he wants from president trump. this is a very close alliance and it's serving both men well. >> andrea mitchell in jerusalem, safe travels back, andrea, thank you so much for that. >> thanks. today u.s. service members were killed in afghanistan while conducting an operation, bringing the total number of american combat deaths in afghanistan to four so far this year. in accordance with pentagon policy, the names of those two service members are being withheld until after the next of kin is notified. the deaths come as peace talks drag on between the u.s. and the taliban. coming up, digging in. president trump now blaming the media for his attacks on senator
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you spend a good portion of your time in ohio the other day trashing john mccain. senator mccain is dead. why are you doing this? >> so it's not a good portion of my time, it's a very small portion. if you realize, about three days ago it came out that his main person gave to the fbi the fake news dossier, it was a fake, it was a fraud. >> mr. president, he's dead. he can't punch back. i know you punch back, but he's dead. >> no, i don't talk about it. people ask me the question. i didn't bring it up, you brought it up. you asked me the question. >> that's president trump not backing down on his relentless public attacks on senator john mccain, seven months after his death. now some of mccain's closest supporters are coming to his defense including former senator joe lieberman who wrote a "washington post" op-ed today. "the person who suffers the most from the strange posthumous
attacks by the president is the president himself." joining me now is jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press and an msnbc political analyst. margaret carlson, a columnist for the daily beast. jonathan, fact check. the president likes to blame the media, but he brought this up in tweets over the weekend, and he brought it up in that speech in ohio. but the question remains, why. are the president's attacks on mccain a strategic appeal to the base, or is even much of his base puzzled by this? >> it is -- the attacks have been relentless, and you're right, the president himself began this, it wasn't in response to the media. there is certainly some here in the white house who are dismayed by them, feel like they're a distraction but they also throw up their hands and realize, this is the kind of thing they can't control, the president is wont to do this. i don't think there is a strategic plan here. it's the president blowing off steam about something that irks
him. he saw the reports over the weekend about the dossier and that it was linked to mccain. his original attack during the campaign was that he preferred war heroes who weren't captured. his animosity towards mccain has only grown since mccain cast his vote on the senate floor that helped kill the gop health care bill. so this is something that he has felt for a while and not letting up. despite pleas from people around him, he's not showing any signs of stopping. and even if someone like senator lieberman says that, that's not going to attract the president's attention either, even some prominent republicans have, although it must be noted the congressional leadership in the gop has not. >> we saw congressman dan crenshaw, for example, who is a vet. martha mcsally, margaret carlson, who holds mccain's seat, she pulled the president aside and talked to him but even her office says she didn't ask him to stop it.
have republicans decided there will be too much of a price to pay for publicly disagreeing with the president, or do they, frankly, find this acceptable? >> there will be a price to pay, which is why they whisper their support for john mccain without criticizing trump for the most part. trump got a standing ovation at cpac for his criticism of mccain. he thinks it hardens its base. there's no counsel that will get him to stop doing that. his base seems to be ignoring that we don't shame the dead, everybody agrees with that. jonathan, i'm sure you remember, at christmas when the president was taking calls from norad about santa claus and he said to the little girl, do you still believe in santa claus? and then he said, he thought that belief was marginal. there was no uproar. that's another thing we all agree on, that we're going to let kids believe in santa claus as long as they will. there is no norm that trump can
violate that the base is going to react to. it's all fine, because it's against the other side, and that's enough reason to do it. joe lieberman is not going to change that. >> and kellyanne conway's husband george conway has cited the president's behavior as an indication that the president is going downhill. he tweeted again today, "think about the fact that we don't just have a mentally unstable president, but a president who thinks he needs to be reelected to avoid being indicted. at least in that one respect, his thinking is clear." is this ultimately, all, again, as you look at him, appealing to his base, all about the re-elect? >> i think of course the reelection is in the forefront of the president's mind. i'm not sure that the attacks on mccain or, frankly, george conway, are an effort there to actually turn out voters. certainly mccain was not super popular among the trump core of the republican party. mccain's biggest supporters are
people who, you know, have -- you know, he is supported across the aisle both by republicans and democrats, but no doubt some of the hard core trump base was n not in great affection of the senator, especially after the health care bill. the president and the people around him are not going to say that he's running again not to be indicted, he believes he's done good for the country and wants another four years in the job. but it points to how all of washington is waiting for that report, it could come any day or any week, and it's hovering over everything that happens in this building. >> a lot of stuff gets lost, margaret, but it seems to be the climate of pettiness, and that's a nice word for some of what we're hearing, turned a lot of women, republican women, independent women away in 2018. i know this from having been on the campaign trail, i talked to them. now you have the republican governor of mississippi just yesterday signing a bill largely
banning abortions once doctors can detect a trace of a fetal heartbeat with an ultrasound, that's as early as six weeks into pregnancy. there are almost no pro-choice republicans in either house now. i'm wondering if these are the kind of issues that are getting lost or these are the kinds of issues that could be significant in 2020, especially as we look at the women's vote. >> there's so much we don't pay attention to, because it's regulations or it's just off to the side because the show in front of us is so compelling that we can't concentrate on it. but in mississippi, there are restrictions being passed all over the country that make abortions almost impossible to get in some states if they're upheld. the supreme court is likely, even though it's a pro-life court, there are some things that are so counter to roe v. wade's trimester division of when an abortion is legal. and the first three months, you
can get an abortion in this country. later on, it becomes more questionable. but that heartbeat bill calls into question the first three months. so it likely won't be upheld. but in the meantime, it doesn't lose trump any votes, because as you said, chris, in 2018, he didn't get that vote anyway. and to call upon kellyanne to choose between her boss and her husband is not going to endear him to women other than that core base. >> margaret, jonathan, thank you so much. coming up, home turf. democratic presidential candidates have started stumping in one another's home states, hoping to gain ground over the local favorites. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. no matter who you are, it's important to go for an annual check-up, and when you do remember to be open and honest with your doctor about how you're feeling. because how you're doing emotionally, affects your physical health - and vice versa mr. danson, would you mind?
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...or trips to mars. $4.95. delivery drones or the latest phones. $4.95. no matter what you trade, at fidelity it's just $4.95 per online u.s. equity trade. here's a 2020 question for you. what the heck are democratic presidential candidates doing in texas, in california, this early? it's another sign the old political playbook is getting torn up and candidates are playing a long game. bernie sanders and kamala harris both making a strategic power play for delegates with their eyes on super tuesday states. those key campaign stops in california and texas. meantime, beto o'rourke is continuing his campaign blitz, traveling across south carolina. msnbc's garrett haake joins me now from south carolina where o'rourke is campaigning today. mark murray, msnbc senior
political editor. garrett, what's he doing in south carolina today? >> chris, right now o'rourke is speaking on the campus of usc in south carolina. he's doing really well with college students, doing really well with african-american voters. we have seen o'rourke break out with young people. probably a couple of hundred students out here. they're hearing about o'rourke's time in el paso, they're hearing about the texas senate race. the bigger question will be, how does he do with african-american voters? we have not seen overwhelmingly diverse crowds as he campaigns across the midwest. that's going to be really important here. how does he talk to those folks and how does he convince people that he's the best candidate in this crowded field?
but so far a warm welcome, so new here he mispronounced wofford, the university. >> mark murray, talk about the strategy, nonbasketball, about campaigning in these early states like california and texas. >> super tuesday, the biggest delegate hauls will be in places like california and texas. one theory of the case on how you win the democratic nomination is you end up racking up the most delegates on super tuesday. kamala harris is from california, you want to be able to win under the proportional delegate allocation system, a lot of delegates there. maybe you want to come in second in a place like texas to get a whole lot of delegates, which is why she's in the lonestar state today and through the weekend. bernie sanders, of course, has a similar objective going to california. that's one theory of the case. the other theory is that iowa and new hampshire and south
carolina where garrett is will be determinative, it will be hard to perform well in super tuesday states like california and texas if you don't come in at least in the top two or three in iowa, ditto in new hampshire. you're seeing candidates like bernie sanders and kamala harris really cover their bases, going to these states, laying the groundwork for the big delegate hauls on super tuesday but also knowing you have to play well in iowa and new hampshire to be able to survive. >> let's go to michael bloomberg, somebody who decided not to run for 2020, took himself out of the race. he has strong opinions on the field, we just heard some of them. let me play that. >> it's just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where i am, unless i was willing to change all my views and go on what cnn called an apology tour. joe biden went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white. he apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anticrime bill.
beto, whatever his name is, he's apologized for being born. [ laughter ] >> today beto is also apologizing for his two arrests, one of them for drunk driving. we're seeing such a different landscape about what voters respond to or what upsets them anymore. >> yeah, and as michael bloomberg is proving, it's a whole lot easier to actually be judging a field from afar as he was or as i am right now rather than being in the fray of things. and michael bloomberg, it is worth noting how sober he is when he was talking about his ability to win the democratic nomination. he had thought about running many times before and always ended up saying no just because of the inability of him to be able to win a nomination or win it as an independent and saying i have a better chance to make change by giving the democratic party a whole lot of money rather than my running for president.
>> focusing on guns and climate is where he's putting his money. always great to see you, thanks to garrett haake in south carolina as well. this sunday tune in to "kasie d.c." for her interview with presidential candidate and senator amy klobuchar. up next, michael beschloss on the impact of past presidential investigations. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. "andrea l reports" only on msnbc visitor experience. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics. yeah! now business is rolling in. get started at fastsigns.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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check out this awesome photo for a flash back friday. it was tweeted thout morning by presidential historian. it's attorney general william barr and assistant attorney general robert mueller at a news conference from december of 1991. it's all the more fascinating and relevant as we wait for special counsel mueller's report on the russia probe to be transferred to attorney general barr's office. and joining me now is nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. such a great photo. such drama, even at a time when
frankly everything seems to be dramatic. >> sure does. >> it's pretty off the charts. is what we're seeing unfold in real time a rare historical moment? >> it really is. obviously it's going to have to depend upon what is in the mueller report. i hope we're going to find out everything important that's in it. but the other thing, look at it this way. in the last century, there have not been many presidential scandals that have attracted this intensity and this big an investigation. teapot dome, warren harding in the 1920s, watergate with nixon, iran contra with reagan. obviously bill clinton in 1998. so that's something that is historic and unusual. and the other thing is that you go through all of american history, almost never have you had a president with this kind of serious accusation of a possible secret conspiracy with a hostile foreign power between that power and either the president or those around him. that's something we haven't seen
before and it's something that the founders of this country were terrified would happen. >> i'm sure, however, that the people who were in the nixon white house at the time and the clinton white house at the time were feeling the pressure in extraordinary ways. and i wonder, as you know those two things but also are watching what's happening now in real time, how you compare this administration's handling of this anticipation of the mueller report to what was happening during nixon or any other time in history. >> much more defiant and much more combative and much more out there. richard nixon tried to deal with watergate, but he did it in what looks today to be almost a gentlemanly fashion. he did not go after the prosecutor. he was not out on tv every single day, although he did say that the investigation of the watergate scandal was a witch-hunt. >> he didn't attack any dead senators, that's for shufrmt >> no, that's for sure. >> i don't know.
do you see his, his tweets, his conversations, his speeches about mccain as a reaction to the pressure he's feeling? do you think that's what's going on here, michael? >> if i had to be a psychiatrist, that is what i would say. and also in terms of political tactics, we are seeing all sorts of things that may be possibly an effort to distract attention. including what sarah sanders said on the plane about isis in syria. this is the way donald trump operates. nixon tried to do that. i have to tell you, chris, i never thought i'd live to see the day when i called richard nixon gentlemanly in comparison to any president. life has changed. >> has it ever. and i also want to talk to you about a very different kind of president, that's jimmy carter. today he is the longest living u.s. president in history. talk about his legacy, where it is now, and where you think it's going, because it's already changed since he's left office.
>> yes, that's exactly right. and look how long it has been since he left office, which was 1981. we are getting near four decades he spent as an ex-president. that is also unusual about him in history. and everything we see in the ex-presidents after jimmy carter has been very much influenced by what he did. he is the one who founded, for instance, the carter center to carry out his values. that's something that virtually every other president has done since then. >> i'm interested -- as an historian, obviously, michael, your job is to look back and help give us some perspective. but i wonder if you can look forward as well. i was just talking about this with mark murray, and already we are seeing a difference in the way, you know, whether bait o'rourke had a drunk driving problem that he ended up having a record for. any conversations that we're hearing, how much have you seen
this campaign change already in reaction to the way this president has conducted himself? >> oh, you have to understand almost everything that is happening in terms of donald trump. you know, you were mentioning jimmy carter. jimmy carter was elected in 1976 for one overwhelming reason, and that is he reminded americans as little of richard nixon as possible. this was sort of the opposite of richard nixon. i don't think jimmy carter could have been easily elected in any election for the 50 years before then. and if you've got a lot of people who detest donald trump and want to see a different life in this country and a different society, you may see them opting for the person who reminds them least of donald trump, and that may have a lot to do with beto o'rourke. >> that's so interesting because he was a proud peanut farmer, right? it wasn't like he was trying to put that behind him. >> carter said, i will never lie to you.
he said, i'm going to be a president who is as honest and decent and filled with love as the american people. not very donald trump-like. >> michael beschloss, thank you so much. always great to talk to you. >> same here, thank you, chris. >> we'll be right back. >> we'll be right back in't easy. 12 hours? 20 dogs? where's your belly rubs? after a day of chasing dogs you shouldn't have to chase down payments. (vo) send invoices and accept payments to get paid twice as fast. (danny) it's time to get yours! (vo) quickbooks. backing you.
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chris rule. >> have a great weekend. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it is march 22nd. litz' remember this date. let's get smarter. of the white house and washington bracing for the report of special counsel robert mueller which could be released any minute. >> it's the same continuance of nonsense. go to work, get infrastructure done and get a lot of other things done instead of wasting people's time. >> it's possible or probable the public will never see it. the confidential report original goes to attorney general robert barr. >> when are you expecting it? >> the deputy that didn't get any votes appoints a man that didn't get any votes, he's going to write a report on me. >> there are investigations by the democrats. >> they say there are lots of things, but i don't know about these things just so you understand. this one, that one -- i don't even know.