tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC March 25, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
you have somebody as highly respected as robert mueller come out after an exhaustive investigation and say that the president of the united states did not collude with russia to win the investigation. now get back to work and get people better health care. how is that? >> i would just add to the narrative of the day should be that this report has not been seen yet so there's still much more to learn. karen, ed, chris, mike barnicle, thank you all and that -- chris, we'll be watching. >> "hardball." >> i can't wait to get back to my pipe. >> what's the opening line? >> i agree with joe. it's good for america. >> okay. that does it for us this morning. >> the president was a problem in terms of loyalty. >> that's true. gi chris picks it up this morning. >> i'm in for stephanie ruhle.
no collusion but more questions. the special counsel finding no evidence the trump campaign conspired with the russian government to interfere with the 2016 election. this was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at the other side. >> the question of obstruction of justice answered not by mueller but by attorney general william barr. he tells congress there was not enough evidence even as he acknowledges that while the report, quote, does not conclude the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. how much of the report will congress see? how much will the public see? and what if anything in that report could be used in ongoing congressional investigations? the president still remains in legal peril. there are multiple open investigations surround president trump's business, finances and inauguration.
>> the american people are entitled to a full accounting of the president's misconduct. we will demand the release of the full report. >> and the impact on 2020. the president's win on no collusion, what is the democrats' path forward in congress and on the campaign trail? we begin today with the long awaited mueller report finally in, essentially echoing the president's rallying cry for the better part of two year, no evidence of collusion. but the obstruction issue wasn't settled by mueller so not the total exoneration the president is claiming. we have a great team to break it down for you but first this morning, democrats and republicans are waking up to a brand-new political reality. after robert mueller and his team spent nearly two years digging through the evidence issuing more than 2800 subpoena, executing nearly 500 search warrants and interviewing approximately 500 witnesses, the results are in and take a look
at the headlines from "the washington post" to "the new york post," they're what the president wanted. the very real caveats notably the controversy and questions arising from the special counsel punting on obstruction are adding fuel to calls for the mueller report to be released in its entirety. we don't even know right now how long that report is. as of this morning, it is still under wraps, but we have attorney genera attorney general's four-page summary 48 hours after he received the findings. on the issue of collusion he says the special counsel did not find that the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the russian government in these efforts despite multiple offers from russian affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign. but as said the issue of obstruction isn't so cut and dry. in the end mr. mueller opted not to draw conclusion. instead, setting out evidence on both sides of that question.
barr's letter says, quote, the special counsel states while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. instead, mueller left it to the attorney general to decide the issue of obstruction and in the space of the past two days he did. in the letter barr says, quote, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and i have concluded it does not kong collude that the president committed a crime. he wrote that unsolicited memo arguing that the obstruction issue should never have been developed. is he biased? can he reach a fair conclusion in the space of a weekend, two days to review two years of work? as far as the president and his allies are concerned barr's letter means these issues are closed. here's president trump speaking
an our after that was made public. >> it was just announced there was no collusion with russia, the mostry lick douse thing i've ever heard. there was no collusion with russia. there was no obstruction, none whatsoever and it was a complete and total exoneration. >> so now attention turns to of the report itself. democrats are calling for it to be released in full. some coining for bill barr and robert mueller to testify. in his letter barr suggested there's more information coming but said he'll work with the justice department to see what can and cannot be released. barr says, quote, as soon as that process is complete, i will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in terms of applicable law and policies. so much to talk about i want to bring in julia ainsley, hans
nichols is at the white house. julia, i have many questions about how that process will work when we find out how much of the report we see and when. but two people made a decision on obstruction, one was bill barr and you just ran into the second person, didn't you? >> that's right, i did just saw deputy attorney rod rosenstein on his way in to work this morning. he was look at his phone. i asked how he was feeling, he looked up, gave me a big smile and said no comment but the mood is different here today after this summary came out yesterday. we used to see a lot of tense stoic faces around here but the work is not over for rod rosenstein or william barr or really robert mueller because the special counsel will be consulting with the attorney general and deputy attorney general as they decide which pieces of the report they can let go to the public. the attorney general recognizes there are a lot of unanswered questions that the public needs to know and that this case is very different from a typical prosecution where you would not use any information that might taint someone's reputation when
there's no charges. but, again, this is the president of the united states and we've already seen that the bar here is higher particularly in the way that the attorney general decided to go forward with saying equivocally he would not be making any charges on obstruction after robert mueller didn't weigh in. that's another question we're ask here today is why the attorney general felt he needed to make that decision when robert mueller didn't necessarily ask him to but left that open ended. so for now we're waiting to see when we could find out any more of those additional details but i have to say, chris, it seems like it's a while out just from reading the letter they say and what evidence might be needed for further investigations that spin off the mueller probe. >> so, hans, we heard a little bit, from the president yesterday, but tell us what we know about what's going on up side the white house and what their plans are to take this moving forward. >> i think it's still to be determined, chris. i think there are three things going on at the white house. number one, you've got the
touchdown dance, victory lap, ang important as second of what's happening. two, after years of disparaging robert mueller, they're now celebrating it and saying this report has a lot of integrity and a lot of credibility and that is their line going forward. and the third thing they're doing is expanding the playing field. it's clear that they want to have more investigations, they want to get to the bottom, so after years of talking about no investigations, now they're calling for more of it, listen to how rudy giuliani put it just this morning. >> if there was no evidence of collusion, three evidences, no evidence of collusion, who made it up? it had to come from somewhere? it just didn't come out of thin air. i want to know who did it, who paid for it, who fueled it because the person who did it and the group that did it knows it's untrue because they invented it. >> on this crucial question on whether or not this report should be made public what the white house seems to be doing is giving themselves plenty of
wiggle room. they're saying this is clearly the a.g.'s decision. they're almost hiding behind the a.g. empowering him to make this call now. i asked kellyanne conway if the president has spoken to mr. barr or in the last 24 hours, she didn't have an answer so i think we have to see just what the president says on the release on this because a few days ago he was for the release. let's see if that's the case today. chris, just one other point, remember the president has spent disparaging the credibility. i asked kellyanne whether or not the president still thinks he's a liar and her response to me was, well, he didn't fire him. >> thank you so much. the panel, we have the perfect people today, joyce vance former u.s. attorney and professor at the university of alabama school of law, matt miller is former chief spokesman for the justice department. ben witas from the brookings skoougs and editor in chief of
the law fare blog. so, joyce, this is not, i think we can say this unequivocally not the total exoneration that the president claims, but what is it? >> well, i think what this is is a great day for the american people, but maybe as good of a day for the president as he seems to believe. it is comforting we don't have to worry about the president being involved intentionally neverthelesses with russia to interfere with our election so that's good. it's bad for the president because there are so many hanging questions. the biggest one is, of course, this finding that special counsel bob mueller did not make a decision about whether the president engaged in obstruction of justice in a way that could be charged criminally laying out evidence on both sides and apparently calling the issues complex. that means that we need to see the report. there is a lot more there and also it leaves open the
possibility that the president could be in trouble up on capitol hill where congress has more latitude to look at obstruction sort of issues and, of course, the president is still the subject as are his businesses of many open investigations and at least four u.s. attorneys' offices as well as variety of ethics involving the administration so for the president there's still a lot of issues that remain. >> a lot hanging out there but, again, as you point out a lot of questions and, matt, the special counsel according to this letter from barr left the whole issue of obstruction unresolved because of, quote, difficult issues of law and fact concerning whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as on instruction. what does that mean to you? >> i don't think he declined to make a decision about whether the president committed a crime because it was too complicated or because it was too hard a call but laid out the facts an didn't make a traditional prosecutorial decision as the letter said. i suspect because the department's own policy means
that the president couldn't be indicted any way so that question was ultimately a question that the department had no reason to answer. it was a question that would fall to congress to come to a conclusion on. which is why i find it somewhat odd the attorney general having taken that report and seeing the evidence and seeing that the prosecutor that spent two years looking at that question and looking at both the facts that would support any interpretation and legal questions decided after 48 hours to make his own judgment. i think the way he said it in his letter that the special prosecutors' decision thought to make that leaves the decision to the attorney general. i don't think it's correct. i don't think it does leave it to the attorney general. i suspect it left it to congress and the attorney general decided rather that just release the conclusions that mueller found as he said he was going to do on friday. he released the kong inclusions and put his own spin on the ball on the obstruction piece and i think the question for bill barr is why he felt necessary -- why he felt compelled to do that
rather than just report what the special counsel said. >> i want to go back to that but the first question that i have about all of that, matt, is the obstruction issue, if he didn't make a decision on it, did he -- well, let me ask you this, ben, did he -- did robert mueller not fulfill his mandate by saying here's the pros, here's the cons, you figure it out. >> i don't know because we don't have what bob mueller d we only have the way bill barr characterized very briefly what bob mueller did. i assume what bob mueller did was laid out and explained at probably a great deal of length in the underlying material and i suspect it runs along the lines that matt was describing with an additional element which is not only can he not indict the president and so you kind of kick it to congress, but the
nature of the interactions between the obstruction statutes and article 2 of the constitution are very complicated and so i think what he probably did here although we don't know is simply say, okay, there's no reason to decide as a criminal matter whether the president violated the law because there are hard underlying legal and constitutional questions and, besides, we can't indict him anyway so what we're going to do is lay out the facts really carefully and give a dispassionate analysis of whether it conway city tuts that it does constitute a legal violation and doesn't and let other actors, i.e., congress decide. i think it would be very interesting to know as matt said whether he said we leave this for the attorney general to decide in which case bill barr's letter makes a lot of sense or whether he merely said, i
decline to do this in which case barr's additional analysis seems more like a kind of op-ed designed to satisfy and appease the president rather than anything that the attorney general needed to do to resolve any outstanding legal question. >> yeah, even not knowing, janai, how long this report is, how involved it is, how deeply it dives into all of those interviews and every aspect of the investigation, we do know that it took almost two years, it was 22 months and in two days the attorney general reached the conclusion that he did, that has a lot of democrats scratching their head if not charging that this has not been fair. what do you make of the fact that there's a report about something that went on for 22 months and essentially it gets summarized? two days. >> well, first we'll see the
report to figure out whether bill barr's summary was accurate. i think bob will have to testify and explain whether he agrees with the way bill barr characterized the report. sick, in the barr letter there were two anythings of interest. first it said the fuss federation engaged in multiple offers to help the trump campaign that to my means that the trump campaign knew that the russian federation was interfering in the election. in some ways the important isn't whether or not the trump campaign then reciprocated and said we'll assist you, it's whether or not american foreign policy subsequent to the president's election has been shaped by the fact that russia has interfered and helped and the fact that the trump campaign knew it and knew it secretly and i think if that is the case, if, in fact, congress looks at this -- >> how complicated is it to prove that intent? >> again, i think there's some -- you'd have to ask the relevant witnesses but also i think importantly we have to
look at the policy and how foreign policy has been subjugated to the will of the kremlin and how obsequious the president has been to vladimir putin. that's sort of a political and policy judgment that i think congress can arrive at. secondly, very importantly, we have to understand why bill barr thought it was his role to substitute his own judgment for the judgment of the special counsel or the congress. i don't think the pots, rules and regulations governing the special counsel or the justice department say it's bill barr's job to do that and for him to do that i think is to require a number of questions directly to him about his judgment there. >> soy now what a lot of people want to know as you all do is, how long is the report? what's in the report, when are we going to be able to read it? how much of the report will we be able to read? here's what republican congressmcongres congressman john ratcliffe had to say. >> i know the democrats are saying we want everything but the law doesn't provide for that, in fact, it says the
opposite. and i very much doubt that bill barr is going to turn over classified material or material subject to executive privilege or grand jury testimonies that bob mueller has received that did not result in charges against anyone. >> joyce, is he right about that? >> it sounds like the real sticking point on turnover is going to be grand jury material. we know that a lot of witnesses were subpoenaed to the grand jury. it's undoubtedly voluminous. but here on the one hand we have a president who is saying i did absolutely nothing wrong and at the same time now his party is beginning to withdraw the initial offer that they would make all of the underlying materials available. that will not give the american people a lot of confidence and jeremy makes an important point which is that there is a difference between what prosecutors might view to be obstruction, prosecutors are constrained by the actual language of the law and when lawmakers wrote the statutes they really didn't contemplate a
president who might be engaging in obstruction using official powers of office. or this sort of policy spin that janai talks about, that is a political issue. congress needs all of this material if they're going to get to the bottom of it, if the president wants us to have confidence in what he's calling the conclusion of the mueller report, then he needs to make sure that everything that can be turned over absent classified information makes its way to the hill. >> ben, we only have 30 seconds left. what are the democrats' business arguments for getting this information released and the majority of this out there and quickly? >> the best argument is that we will not know how to understand the conclusion of these matters until the -- as much of that document is public as possible and the president can claim all the vindication he wants in the meantime, but all we really know is that no charges will be filed
and no collusion or conspiracy can be proven and i would think the president would want and the justice department would want a fuller accounting to become public than that. so that people can really understand how to understand what happened here, not merely what the legal disposition of it was. >> janai, benjamin, matt, joyce, so much more we could be talking about but thang for being with us this morning after the report and up next, the president said he's completely exonerated but his potential legal perils are far from over. federal and state officials in new york in particular deepened their own investigations. the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, fired by president trump joins me next.
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isn't over. what the special prosecutor did is refer a slew of legal issues to other investigators. there are a dozen fate astate investigations that involve others in his orbit. it involves hush money payment, the president's inaugural committee, a pro-trump superpack. trump insurance policies and real estate deals and the trump foundation. that doesn't even include two
lawsuits also facing the president. as "the new york times" details, the investigations show though the center of gravity from mr. mueller's office to new york. joining me now to break it down nbc news investigation reporter tom winter. a lot of this came out of michael cohen's testimony. but walk us through what you see as the key investigations that are facing the president and his inner circle right now? >> sure, so, chris, i think you're right, some of the information michael cohen has temperatured to in the past in his ongoing discussions with prosecutors have informed these investigations, i would say that the key investigations as it relates to the president have to do with the trump inaugural committee and have to do with individuals in the trump organization. the payments have to do whether or not there was any straw donations that were made to that committee and whether or not the inaugural committee was aware of those straw donation, that's an important kind of a two-tip if
you will to get in as far as charges are concerned. tigs to that, they're taking a look into certain individuals in the trump organization and whether or not there's any sort of fraud that has occurred over the years. two very important caveats here, chris. one statute of limitations concerns particularly when we're talking about the president's business, it's typically five years, ten year, sometimes on certain bank fraud, so there's going to be a limited amount of window investigators can look into here chronologically speaking with respect to the -- with respect to the trump organization. the other thing that i would note here and if it wasn't clear before today, it was certainly clear following the memo from a.g. barr, the bar, if you will to indict a sitting president is extremely high in that justice department forbids it and it's clear for barr to have even considered it yesterday or to raise it would have had to have
overwhelming evidence, in addition to that, chris, we know from the cohen investigation that the president was directly implicated in that and we see him facing no charges out of it, so how much legal jeopardy he is in is a big question. >> tom winter, thanks for that. let me by in preet bharara author of "doing just tight," he was fired after he refused to follow attorney general jeff sessions' request for all to resign and he's here in new york. i have a got the book. let's start and just mick up on what tom had to say about some of the challenges that are facing any time you're looking at a president but also talking about potentially his family, inner circle. what do you see as the biggest threats to trump world right now? >> i should just point out something before we talk about those. we've just concluded a two-year
almost investigation at the end of which he chose with respect to the collusion issues, conspiracy issues that there was not evidennough evidence to bri case and on the obstruction side such a close issue he punted. when people talk about the other investigations i hope people are not pipping their hopes because they dislike the president on these investigations, maybe causing his ouster from office. bob mueller comes out of the justice, obviously the southern district is part of the justice department. i ran it for 7 1/2 years so with all these investigations people are going to be looking at the facts and fearless, they're going to be independent but at the end of the day they may yet yield no charges also. i want to make sure people understand that. >> aren't these different topics than what was that limited mandate that robert mueller has when you start talking about the business. when you start talking about real estate deals and start talking about hush money, those are not in robert mueller's direct purview. >> no, absolutely. so the threats, legal jeopardy
threats to donald trump and his associates and members of his family have proliferated because, you know, mueller found some things, reassigned some things to the southern district of new york, namely the michael cohen case then you have offshoots from that. in the same way that the reason we know about the college admissions scandal is not because they were investigating the college admissions scandal they were investigating a particular individual on securities fraud and they flipped him so that's what happens when scrutiny comes upon you by federal prosecutors. and so we don't even know that the items you mentioned are the sum toelt alf investigations that we'll talk about in six or eight months because what we know from the trump foundation, based on the new york attorney general's investigation and its suit against the trump foundation it was basically in some ways the personal piggy bank of donald trump and his associates. the trump organization hasn't been managed well. what i can tell you from my time running that place, it'll be
done fairly and appropriately and aggressively. >> will it be done expeditiously, i think so. as i say in the book, investigations take time. particularly white collar investigations that involve flows of money that involve potentially cooperating witnesses seeing where they take you and sometimes you go down one path but leads to another path and people have been complaining about the mueller investigation for a long time. i think no reasonable person can say that concluding a complicated investigation with 30 some odd people charged, a trial happening with respect to paul manafort. multiple people flipping, to do that and have a report done in 22 months is too long. sometimes it can take six month, a year or two. folks will be mindful of the clock and make sure they understand they don't want to put a thumb on the scale with any upcoming election but do an appropriate time to make sure they do the time right. >> people looking and, frankly, a lot of democrats at trump directly and what sdny might mean for him.
let's talk about cohen's cooperation. he pleaded guilty to eight felony counts, hush money, campaign finance violations and he said he was directed to commit those crimes by the president himself. >> yeah, so the clearest evidence that you have endorsed by it seems a court not just michael cohen and also by the southern district of new york is this famous statement that michael cohen made in a plea proceeding where he decided to admit guilt to a crime is accepting responsibility for the crime is going to prison because of that crime, campaign finance violation which he said he did in coordination with president 1. it leaves the president open, would he be subject to charges if he were not in the white house. i think it would get very close to that. it's a different matter for someone pleading guilty to other things against going to trial against the president of the
united states and how credible you find michael cohen cohen as a witness. he has credibility problems but that's a serious question. >> i know you have to go but want to ask you a final question about the mueller report, the possibility of it coming out. we were talking in the break. you said there is no reason it would have to all come out at once. a lot of us have focused on is obstruction. could they decide, okay, let's deal with the obstruction part of it first, release that, how re realistic is it? >> i think it's very important the public and congress get a sense of what was in the mueller report and what i'm worried about, have you this four-page summary done over a 48-hour period after a two-hour -- people may get a misleading idea. on collusion that is less important to become known. it clearly wasn't a close question for robert mueller. no charges forthcoming on that.
to the extent grand jury information, more of that is implicated in the part about collusion given the nature of that investigation. less of grand jury material, my guess, of grand jury material classified information might be implicated in the obstruction part. that to me is very important. the obstruction information becoming known to congress and the public because bob mueller, you know, had no qualms about charging people with obstruction cripes but it was such a close question he decided not to answer the ultimate question of whether or not you could c i would like us to know what that evidence was. what the evidence in favor of obstruction and the evidence that mitigated an obstruction charge was and if it is the case, that you can get to the bottom of that more quickly and redact whatever grand jury or classified information more quickly on that i don't see why that can't come out. >> come back and talk to us when it comes out. i'm sure many times before. "doing justice" the name of your new book. thanks, those growing calls for
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we got our first glim but now as "the washington post" detail no collusion goes from a defiant mantra to a rallying cry for trump's re-election but as the 20 to election ramps up how will democrats use mueller's find jgz will they dig in and continue to call for transparency or justice or largely drop it and move on to other issues like the economy and climate change. phil rutger here, behind that report. rick tyler a republican strategist and an msnbc political analyst and jonathan alter columnist for the daily beast and lauren leader, co-founder and ceo of all in together. great to have all of you. you know, i know, phil, that you talk to the former new jersey governor, christian christie. he said this clears the way for the president to be judged based on his record in 2020. is that what we're looking at
here? >> well, chris, the findings yesterday were a real triumph for the president politically speaking in terms of his re-election campaign and givers him a powerful argument and can say the special counsel with the full force of the fbi and the resources of the department of justice found no collusion, no conspiracy, no criminal wrongdoing on his part and it helps according to the people we talk to for this story helps inoculate the president against future investigations that congress may have, against the southern district of new york investigation when he's in the political arena, he can always point back to this mueller finding and president trump and his advisers are already making plans to use this on the campaign he's going to be doing a campaign rally on thursday, later this week, where we can expect he'll go on the offensive against the democrats and against, frankly, the news media saying that we overhyped all of this for so many years. >> some are calling it a victory tour, rick.
i guess there is a chance now or is there a chance for the president to essentially hit the reset button. could this be a turning point for him? we know what his messaging will be and know he'll do these rallies and going to be talking about this nonstop. >> absolutely, there is a turning point. i mean, there was a turning point for bill clinton right up until oklahoma city where he transformed his presidency because he had a terrible first two years but this president isn't capable of that so let's take that offer the table. one thing i want to say, i think one of the things the ear raf fake news is now over. because there's no credible media outlet or reporter or journalist who was -- who wrote about a criminal conspiracy that donald trump or his campaign colluded with the russians, right? that's not there. i've challenged people to find it. it doesn't happen. the press reported on an investigation, but all of the
hyper reporting about it was generated by the president because robert mueller and his team did no cable news interviews, no press conference, no press releases and don't have a twitter account so all the news that was -- if the president and his team stayed quiet bit and said we'll let the mueller investigation proceed and then there wouldn't have been a whole lot of news to cover because nothing came out of the mueller investigation. instead they spent two years trying to ruin the credibility of a man who now they'll point to as their vindication. >> yeah, i was just going to say, obviously it's good news for president trump this weekend, maybe for the next week, maybe for the next month, but the idea that this is going to help his re-election, i am not a crook is not really a great campaign slogan and people are being sort of bowled over -- >> the illusion is 271 types i think he said that -- >> plane of collusion, just
didn't rise to a criminal conspiracy. >> we're talking about messaging by the president for 2020. >> there is a couple of other things. you know, the report hasn't come out yet and there's going to be a lot of damaging details that make him look like somebody who maybe didn't get caught or they didn't have enough evidence of treason, but the details will not be helpful. and we can look forward to seeing that when some of the details in the report -- >> i'm not sure the details are going to change the president's messaging on this. phil, you wrote aides say trump plans to highlight the cost of the probe and cowl for organizations to fire members of the media and former government officials -- i don't know how you fire a former government official, who he believes made false accusations about him. i mean in his mind there is no way to go too far, right? >> i think that's right, chris. there is a big difference between the sort of nuance in this report which we have not
yet seen and what it may show and what future investigations may show and the political campaign environment where the president can make sort of a blank kel argument and hope that sort of washes over all the detail and the nuance on the campaign trail and he's going to certainly try to do that and been given a pretty powerful tool with just sort of the broad conclusions of the mueller report. that mantra of no collusion, i think we'll hear it over and over and over again with president trump saying mueller agreed with me. there was know inclusicollusion. >> i know you have to go, phil. i recommend your article to people but, lauren, so 2020 -- we know what the president will say and how he's going to use this. this is not a surprise to any of us. but the democrats do have a choice. >> we do. >> do they dig in? do they drop it? do they say, look, let's get on with the work of the american people? what's the right choice for a democrat here especially the 2020 candidates? >> look, i think there's no
question that the 20 to candidato -- 2020 candidates have to paint a better picture. the economy is beginning to contract. part of why the interest rate dis not go up, growth is not what we were expecting it to be. he can't continuing campaigning on the stock market. he has nothing on a number of his big proms including north korea. for the democrats, the opportunity is obviously to paint this contrast which is we have a vision for the future. green new deal even if it's not exactly a green new deal but dealing with climate change, changing the economic status quo for average americans who have not seen the kinds of benefits that were touted by the republicans in the tax cut so in many ways democrats have a huge runway to paint and alternative picture which is very much the obama 2008 playbook. he stepped into an environment with an historically unpopular president and didn't have to just run constantly against bush
and do that and paint a picture of the future. that's the problem for the president. his entire rhine for his whole, you know, sort of raise all debt is having enemies to fight against, been backfiring and did in the john mccain case. who does he fight when the mueller report is over? he can fight congress all he wants but at some point americans begin to ask what about me? >> let's talk about americans. we haven't gotten to the one other key question, how much does the mueller report matter to voters for 2020? i want to bring in ron hilliard talking with voters in slidell, louisiana. are they deconstructing every nuance of what we know the way we are? >> reporter: yeah, good morning, chris. this par particulari parrish, this is his ardent group of
supporters who have viewed the president as, quite frankly, a sympathetic figure and this report only emboldens that. this is jerry, ray and guy and what they told us. >> need to start concentrate on doing stuff for the country instead of spending all this money on trying to get something on trump. >> where do you want their focus to be? >> on making america better. >> do you think it should be made public. >> yes. >> why? >> the whole sthipg so there will be no question because if it isn't made public in the whole time the democrats are going to keep saying they're hiding something. so let the whole thing out. then they can't claim he's hiding anything. >> what's your takeaway? >> about time. spent a lot of money for nothing. i mean, since when do we start investigating sitting presidents? this is ridiculous. the fbi went after -- look, i never reel liked the man but he
hasn't been a bad person. the economy is going well. people are happy with a lot of the -- he's doing the right thing. >> chris, as you've noted throughout this hour there was much that came from the special counsel's investigation. i asked that first to jerry about those 26 russians that were indicted in those three russian businesses that were indicted for information warfare and for hacking and he said that it's important because he said that much of that while there may have been the hacking and information warfare that took place that they felt the democrats were for too long trying to tie that to the president. the third person, guys, michael cohen opened up to the american public that the president was working to build a trump tower in moscow and he said that, again, much like jerry, he said just because you're trying to do business with russia doesn't implicate you for having some perverse intentions when it comes to the american democracy.
>> thank you for that let's point out he's in a heavily republican area. in the last minutes i want to do a speed round. here's the argument i've been making. i'm not convinced from the travels i did in 2018, nobody who had voted for trump before who was a democrat who voted for trump, who was a moderate who had voted for obama now is voting for trump. nobody who would be a true swing voter said to me that their vote was premised on the mueller report. it was premised on the economy, does this matter in terms of 2020? >> the point you made is good for democrats, because by taking impeachment off the table, which this does, it allows democrats to be for something and that's what the american people want to hear so in some ways, this could be helpful for democrats because the voters didn't care very much even before we knew what the results of the mueller investigation -- >> besides ginning up his
business, they'll go craze i in michigan thursday and in subsequent rallies, does it do anything for the president's re-election -- >> nothing has changed and it will continue in the future and by releasing the report, this is a democratic ad maker's dream to get ahold of the report because their ads that they will run up till 2020 will come from it. >> what i heard from a few democrats, my concern as democrats they're saying is that we won't let go. that we will play this too much as if this never happened. >> yeah, i think that's real and why you see candidates focusing very much on their vision for the future and in my lightning round i'll say this, watch for the women. women are the majority of the electorate and outvote men and have in every election since 1980. everywhere i go frommed inned in to iowa to south carolina where i travel constantly, what i hear from women most of whom are on the conservative end of the political spectrum they may have
voted for him in '16 but so turned off by his behavior overall, the more the president behaves badly in his day-to-day the more he turns offer the most critical segment turns off the segment of american voters, women. >> thank you all so much. we have growing questions this hour about what action democrats on the hill will take in the wake of the mueller report. we're going to get answers when the vice chair of the house oversite and reform committee joins me live next. is decision. it's screening technology that helps you find a stock based on what's trending or an investing goal. it's real-time insights and information, in your own customized view of the market. it's smarter trading technology, for smarter trading decisions. and it's only from fidelity. open an account with no minimums today.
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to capitol hill now where the next fight over the mueller report will be decided. msnbc's geoff bennett is on capitol hill. geoff, what are you hearing? >> democrats are warning against drawing any conclusions from bill barr's summary of the mueller report. they're seizing on the gray area surrounding obstruction of justice. and they want to know how it is that bill barr over the course of two days reached a conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to bring an obstruction of justice charge against the president when robert mueller wasn't able to do that himself. what you're hearing from democrats is they're making the point that yes, bill barr is a skilled attorney but not an honest broker in any of this.
here's a statement that nancy pelosi and chuck schumer issued yesterday. they say this. given mr. barr's public record of bias against the special counsel's inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report. when they talk about the public record, they're talking about the memo where he made the case he did not think the president could be brought up on obstruction of justice charges. you've heard nadler saying they want to call bill barr up to the hill to explain how he reached his conclusions. >> thank you. i want to bring in democratic congresswoman katie hill from california. it's good to see you congresswoman. let me start with a question that was just raised by geoff bennett. do you believe the attorney general was biassed in his conclusions and in the letter he sent out. >> we know trump hand selected
barr because of his statements about the mueller investigation and how he thought that it was fundamentally, i don't know, flawed. so i think that it's absolutely accurate, that he is biassed and that at the very least he is not the person that needs to make the final determination on what the mueller report says about the president. right? so i think we do have to see the full report congress voted unanimously, both republicans and democrats. then we go from there. >> what's the next step to get that done, congresswoman? to make sure that report gets out there and as much of it as is reasonable and that people can agree should be in the public doe nmain gets out? >> it's going to go through the committees that people on those committees are willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure that happens including up to subpoenas. i hope that doesn't happen. it doesn't have to happen. and i also think that public pressure has to continue. it sounds like from some of the earlier interviews from the district in louisiana that was plus 50 that people want to see
the full report. now, i don't know that the report is going to say that anything beyond what the summary is, but we need to know all the supporting evidence that happened in there and what we know is that the report said without any kind of, i don't know, contradiction around the fact that russia did interfere in our election. and russia wanted trump to win. why is that? and how does that influence the actions that he has made in the last two years since he's become president? >> so to that end, who would you like to question in front of your committee? do you want to see the attorney general, the deputy attorney general? >> i mean, i would love to. i don't know that that needs to happen in front of our committee or if it happens under judiciary, but i think that's a question that i'll leave up to the committee chairs in terms of the jurisdiction. in the meantime, oversight as incredibly important work to continue with that has to do with the fact -- with the actions that trump has taken since he actually was inaugurated? >> as a practical matter is impeachment off the table now, congresswoman?
>> i don't know that much has changed around impeachment. you can impeach -- i never thought that impeachment was going to center around what he did before he was president. i thought if we impeach him, it's on the actions since then. that was never part of the mueller report. >> you have republican colleagues calling for the chair of the house intel committee, adam schiff, over democrats calling to apologize. >> my question is to adam schiff to said recently we know there's collusion. collusion is there. where's the apology, mr. schiff? where's the apology saying there is no collusion? that's what i'd like to know. >> did some democrats overstep? should some of them apologize? >> i don't think they need to apologize. i think we've seenov over and or in the public eye how questionable trump's actions have been. whatever kind of collusion that didn't lead to a criminal indictment doesn't mean that it didn't happen. so i don't know.
i think this is -- we have to be careful about what we think that this says and it doesn't mean that trump is free and clear over what he's done with respect to russia. >> i'm sure you've had conversations with your colleagues. what's your expect rations, your realistic expectations? i covered you when you were running for office. i know you're a realist. so tell me, realistically, how much of this report are we going to see and how quickly? >> i would not imagine it's going to be very quickly. i think it's probably going to be a prolonged fight. we'll get bits and pieces. right now barr is the one who is going to control how quickly and how much is released. we know he's a trump ally, plain and simple. and remember, barr is under the executive branch. and i think that we know from the constitution that the executive brarc executive branch is not supposed to provide oversight over itself. that's our job. we have to pursue that. >> katie hill from california, always good to talk to you. thank you for coming on the program. >> thank you. >> that wraps up this hour.
coming up right now, more news with hallie jackson. >> thank you. i am hallie jackson in washington. the russia investigation may be over, but the story line is not with lots of moving pieces today. and a full court press from the president and his team publicly and privately jubilant. you can practically hear the bottles popping in the west wick after -- wing after the two year all caps claim of no collusion is validated. >> it's hard to complain when you have this letter from the department of justice. >> it's a complete and total exoneration. >> there was no obstruction of justice. there was no collusion. >> reality check. there is still a gray area on the obstruction question. that's a fact. and that's what democrats are seizing on today. because while the white house may be trying to move bas the mueller report, democrats are not with more investigations on the way. we've got those, the reaction, the fallout, the plan for what's ne