tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC March 25, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
that does it for us this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tonight for "nightly news." i'll turn it over to craig melvin. >> fantastic hour. craig melvin here at the headquarters of the new york city. we're going to dive into team coverage of the mueller report, starting with what's next. the attorney general says there are no plans to prosecute president trump. democrats though drilling down on the big issue mueller apparently did not offer a conclusion on. on instruction obstruction of justice. also, victory lap. president trump calling mueller's findings a, quote, complete and total exoneration. i'll talk to former white house insider omarosa manigault-newman about how he'll use this to his political advantage. and political fallout. democrats and republicans drawing new battle lines in the wake of the mueller probe with laser focus on 2020. buckle up. the ride is not over. robert mueller's investigation
is done, and now the focus shifts to two key questions. how much of the report will we see? what will congress do with the report? attorney general william barr says the investigation found no evidence that the trump campaign or administration coordinated with russia. mueller says there was no conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. evidence on both sides of that question. president trump's reaction to the report, complete and total exoneration. meanwhile, any minute now, one of the president's key allies on the hill, chairman lindsey graham, is going to be talking to reporters. senator graham spent the weekend at mar-a-lago with the president. we will go live to that event once it happens. there is a live look. senator graham headed to the podium right now. in fact, let's listen in. >> here's the deal, we're going to have about 30/40 minutes together, and you won't ambush me in the hall, deal? >> probably not. >> i tried anyway, didn't i?
okay. so the mueller report is complete. i have a phone call with attorney general barr at noon about what's next. what's next, i hope, will be that he'll come to a committee, release as much as possible of the mueller report. things that can't be release is grand jury information, prohibited by law to be released, compromising the grand jury process. he in his letter to me and senator feinstein and others said that he's asking the special counsel team to help him with the information that may be covered by the grand jury statute. classified information, i don't know how much, if any, that would be something you'd have to think about. pretty much if the administration claims executive privilege about anything in the report, that would be something i'm sure he'd consider. we'll find out what the determinations are there. but those are sort of the broad outlines, in my view, the
limitations of sharing the information with the public. my desire is for the public to get as much of the report as possible, consistent with the outlines that i -- concerns i've just announced. as to my relationship with the special counsel inquiry, august the 3rd, 2017, i introduced legislation, the special counsel independence act with senator booker and tillis. there was chatter by the president and others about mueller being on a witch hunt, and that chatter continued. i just wanted the public to know that i believe that special counsels now and in the future should be protected to the extent possible. the reason i introduced the legislation as a republican is to let people in south carolina and in the country know that i thought mr. mueller was not on a witch hunt and that mr. mueller
was highly qualified and the right guy to pick to deal with such a difficult issue. as to mr. mueller, on march 14th, 2018, the only reason that mr. mueller could be dismissed is for cause. i see no cause when it comes to mr. mueller. he needs to be able to do his job independent of any political influence. i pledge to the american people as a republican to make sure that mr. mueller can continue to do his job without any interference. november 2018, i'm confident the mueller information will vestig allowed to come to a solid conclusion. there will be no political influence put on mr. mueller by mr. whittaker at the time, to do anything other than mr. mueller's job. i am confident that mr. mueller will be allowed to do his job without interference. january 2019, since his appointment, i've supported special counsel mueller's
ability to conduct this investigation without interference. well, the report is over. it was completed without interference. from the day that mr. mueller was appointed, i felt that he was the right guy at the right time for the american people to give us a addefinitive answer about whether or not the trump campaign or anyone associated with it worked with the russians in an improper action during the campaign. it is clear that the russians did, in fact, hack into the dnc. the podesta e-mails, it was the russians. it wasn't some 300 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere. and the conclusion was firm, without equivocation, that no one on the trump campaign colluded with the russians when it came to the 2016 election. as to the obstruction of justice
matter, apparently, the special counsel gave some of this and some of that, and mr. barr and rosenstein concluded that the evidence was insufficient to move forward on obstruction of justice by the president or anyone around his team. so i hope soon to have as much of the report released as possible. and what happens next? what happens next is that i have been talking since 2017, end of 2017, about the other side of the story. nobody much appears to care, but i hope you will find some interest now. that the fisa warrant issued against carter page, based on a dossier prepared by christopher steele, is at a minimum, disturbing. whether or not it is illegal, i don't yet know. i'm going to get answers to
this. if no one else cares, it seems to be republicans do, and as said, if the shoe were on the other foot, it'd be front page news all over the world. the double standard here has been striking and, quite frankly, disappointing. i am 100% convinced that if the republican party had hired mr. steele to go to russia and investigate clinton, and the report was prepared and given to the department of justice, used to get a warrant against a clinton associate, and the underlying information in the dossier proved to be garbage, everybody in the world would have it on the front page. it would be endless chatter on the cable networks. i'm also convinced if the agents involved in investigating
clinton, if the shoe were on the other foot, hated her and wanted trump to win, we'd be having a thorough discussion. i'm also convinced if they interviewed trump with a couple of his associates there, not under oath, and already made up a decision not to charge him, that there would be outrage in this country. so the rule of law applies both to republicans and democrats. why do we have a special counsel? in rare circumstances, to have somebody outside the department of justice to take a look at a hot topic. i know the president did not believe that a special counsel should have been appointed. i do. it was clear to me that jeff sessions was part of the trump campaign, and when it came time to look at whether or not the trump campaign did anything wrong with the russians, it's
impossible for jeff sessions to render a verdict because he was part of the campaign. that made imminent sense to me then and now. what makes no sense to me is all of the abuse by the department of justice and the fbi, the unprofessional conduct, the shady behavior. nobody seems to think that's much important. well, that's going to change, i hope. i've been calling since the end of the 2017 for a special counsel to be appointed to look at whether or not the fisa warrant process was abused for political purposes. whether or not a counterintelligence investigation was opened up regarding the trump campaign as a back door to spy on the campaign. i still to this day am at a loss to explain why nobody went to president trump to tell him there may be some people in your
orbit that are connected to the russians and working with the russians. a counterintelligence investigation is designed to protect the entity being targeted by a foreign power. diane feinstein's case, she had somebody working with her that the fbi suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with the government of china. they told diane about it, and she let the guy go. that's the way it's supposed to work. how did it fail and break down here? was it a ruse to get into the trump campaign? i don't know. i'm going to try to find out. as to the clinton e-mail disposition, why did comey do what he did? why did he take over the investigation in july, make a statement that she did a lot of bad things but not quite a
crime? that did affect this election. if the shoe were on the other foot, republicans should have been pretty bad about that. what was the conflict that made loretta lynch so unable to preside over the clinton e-mail investigation? was it just a tarmac meeting, or was it more? i believe there was more there, and i intend to get to there. how could, in october, right before the election, we find out that e-mails on the clinton server wound up in the hands of anthony weiner, and just within 48 hours, everybody is good to go? this is bizarre, at best, troubling to its core from my point of view. so mr. mueller has been given a chance to do his job. two years, 19 lawyers, 40 fbi
agents, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 people interviewed, 230 orders for communication records, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, $25 million or more. >> there you have it. senator lindsey graham who is, of course, the head of the judiciary committee here in the upper chamber, talking about the mueller report. it would also seem as if the senator is vowing more investigation. it also seemed as if, and we're going to hopefully get clarification here in the next few minutes and hours, perhaps calling for another special counsel. senator graham going to continue there. we're going to listen closely to what he's talking about, perhaps go back when he starts to take some questions from reporters. for now, let me bring in democratic congresswoman karen bash, a member of the house judiciary committee.
he's taking questions now. congresswoman, stand by for a moment if you can. i want to listen to the questions. >> the lawyers into making cases are not making cases business. all i can tell you is that when it comes to obstruction of justice, mr. barr and rosenstein concluded that the facts did not justify a charge. not the idea you can't indict a sitting president. in his memo, mr. barr was about a statute. it is very problematic to bring an obstruction case, in my view, from making a personnel decision. if he fired a u.s. attorney somewhere, does that lead to an obstruction argument because you have a political difference with that attorney general who is not serving your agenda? what mr. barr said at the hearing was that nobody, including the president, can get a witness to lie. nobody including the president can conceal information from a court. those are classic obstruction
activities. mr. mueller apparently could not find sufficient evidence to conclude on his own that the president obstructed justice in a classic sense. and mr. barr said, along with mr. rosenstein, having looked at the evidence, we do not believe there is evidence to support a charge of obstruction of justice. it is important but not dispositive that the underlying crime did not exist. you can actually obstruct justice if there is not a crime, but the intent really does go to whether or not somebody is trying to protect themselves. if they did nothing wrong to begin with, it's pretty hard to prove obstruction of justice. >> was it appropriate for bob mueller to essentially punt on the issue of obstruction, leave it to the president's two top police kale poi political appointments at the
justice department to decide? >> as far as i'm concerned, mr. mueller's report gave the attorney general both sides of the equation. he decided, not mr. barr, to give that decision over to the attorney general. you can ask him. from my point of view, i think what mr. barr and mr. rosenstein did was very appropriate. somebody has to decide, and the attorney general is not conflicted. he was not part of the campaign. so the big thing for me, guys, has always been, did trump work with the russians? i told him to his face, almost two years ago, if you did, that's it between me and you , d and anything that follows, you deserve. i will say that about any politician of any party. here's what we know two years later. after an exhaustive examination
of the facts in this case, by somebody that every american should trust, mr. mueller, the answer is no. >> sir? what about though, is there any daylight, as democrats have suggested, between what the mueller report may say and what barr's memo says? secondarily, isn't there a question of because of the change in the statue of 1999, the purview that mueller had, he may have been restricted in how far he could go and had to defer to barr, because it is unlike the independent statute when starr had more leeway. >> all i can say about mr. mueller's report, he looked at obstruction of justice. he didn't say anything, that i know of, of i can't get there from here because of legal bars. here's the pot of evidence on one side. here's the pot of evidence on the other side. it is complicated legally.
it is complicated sta ed stac d. you can make the decision, and i'm okay with that. hopefully mr. barr will come before the committee. >> you brought up jeff sessions' conflict of interest. you delivered a rousing speech at mar-a-lago over the weekend. does that public closeness with the president at least give an appearance of conflict of interest, given your role? >> you've got to be kidding. did anybody ever ask during the clinton impeachment that a democrat was conflicted on speaking out on behalf of the president? i am a elected political official. i am a republican. i'm going all over the country to speak to the republican party. i want trump to win. i'm chairman of the judiciary committee. i do my job very responsibly. this committee is going to allow mr. barr to come forward and tell us and answer some of the
questions you've asked. i'm asking him to lay it all out. i stood by mr. mueller because i believe in the rule of law. there's politics, and there's the rule of law. so to suggest that if you're a republican, and that you want trump to win, somehow you can't do your job is absurd. >> you also golfed with him though, right ? >> yes. i played terribly. >> you were involved in the clinton impeachment saga back in the '90s. >> right. >> your party later suffered at the polls for its focus on that and other investigations. you know across the building, m what to do next. what is your advice to them? >> learn from our mistakes. let's go back to the '90s. it started out about financial misdeeds and, basically, enriching oneself. it wound up being about an
improper relationship. sexual harassment lawsuits are always about sex. the question was, did the president, in a sexual harassment lawsuit, basically bend the rules of the court to help himself? he was suspended for five years for inappropriate conduct as a lawyer. he was chastised for lying under oath. having said that, looking back, the public sort of knew what they were getting with bill clinton. i think the public sort of knows what they're getting with donald trump. and here's my advice to the democratic party, pursue what you think is important to the public, but if you keep going after mueller spoke, people are going to think you're out to get him. that there is no right answer, other than donald trump must be removed from office, and you'll
probably suffer the same fate we did, as having gone too far. >> just to clarify, when you say you want attorney general barr -- >> there you have it. senator lindsey graham taking questions from reporters there on the hill in the wake of the mueller report being submitted to the attorney general's office. senator graham saying he plans to have a phone call with the attorney general of the united states, william barr, around noon, and then after that, they plan to ask him to come before the judiciary committee, which senator graham, of course, leads. let me bring in democratic congresswoman bash now again. she is a member of the house judiciary committee. as with me is hans nichols. pete williams. former federal prosecutors glen and cynthia, both msnbc legal analysts. congresswoman, let me start with you. we'll start, i guess, at the end of what we heard from senator graham, that advice to members of your party. pursue what you think is
important. at some point, the public might become concerned that you're just out to get the president. what's your response to that, congresswoman? >> well, my response is democrats have been in power now for three months. we are beginning our constitutional duty of oversight and investigation. we have to remember that for the last two years, nothing regarding oversight has been done by congress. i think it is absolutely important that we not overreach, but i think doing our constitutional duty is not overreach. this was a very important milestone, that the report is in, but now we actually need to see the report. we need to see the report. we need to see the underlying evidence. i think we have reached an important milestone, but we have a lodge wng way to go. >> do you accept the special counsel's finding that there was, in fact, no collusion. >> accepted on its surface, but we do have to see the entire report and the underlying
evidence. i'm glad this part is done. collusion is very important. i'm also interested in obstruction of justice. i'm interested in corruption. i'm interested in abuse of power. there are other cases that were referred to other offices within doj. again, an important milestone, but we are not finished with this process at all. >> how much does the mueller report change the conversation surrounding impeachment? >> well, you know, i think the conversation surrounding impeachment was very clear with what speaker pelosi said. it is not the number one issue that any of us are talking about. we won the election in november not talking about impeachment, talking about health care, talking about prescription drugs, talking about jobs. so the democrats have always had a very healthy agenda that we are passing and working on while we are doing oversight, while we are doing investigation. it is not the only thing that is happening in the house of representatives. >> what's going to be the first item of business for your
committee? who do you want to hear from first? >> well, barr, for sure, then potentially mueller. i know that chairman nadler is going to request that the attorney general come before the house. >> but you'd also like to perhaps subpoena robert mueller himself? >> yes, yes. i think there is, you know, just so much more to do. when we get the full report, when we get the underlying evidence, i would imagine there are going to be a number of people that we're going to want to come before the committee. >> you were listening to senator graham there along with the rest of us. did you hear senator graham call for the appointment of another special counsel, or did i mishear him? >> i heard that, too. he also went back to talking about the clinton administration, you know,surpri. i long for the lindsey graham of a couple years ago. he has dramatically changed. i did hear him say that. i'm not exactly sure why. i think he said it was regarding
the fisa report -- or the fisa hearing, why that even happened. that was very surprising. >> all right. congresswoman karen bass there. congresswoman, thanks for your time. do appreciate you. >> thank you. >> let's go to the white house for a moment. hans, do we expect to hear from president trump today? >> reporter: we do. my colleague kristen welker is reporting we will likely hear from president trump today. we don't know exactly the venue for that, craig. he has a couple of events with prime minister netanyahu. they can always open those up. the opportunity for the president is really to clarify go poi two points. number one, does he want a full disclosure of the mueller report? before that came out, he seemed to be leaning in that direction. throughout the conversations and victory laps officials here have been making on tv, they haven't come quite out to say how far the president wants to go, and will he crucially direct the attorney general to release large portions of that report, with all the caveats for national security and whether or
not it'll be violating grand jury rules. the second question is what's the president's thinking on pard pardons? throughout the day, officials are saying no pardons are being discussed, and they have this ca caveat, that they are aware of. is he considering pardoning paul manafort or anyone else? aside from that, except anothpe victory lap from president trump. from lindsey graham, they want to go on the offensive, especially with the fisa warrants, which the republicans think is the original sin for the investigation. if lindsey graham, who just shot -- i don't know if they played 9 or 18 holes yesterday, is calling for a special counsel to investigate the fisa applications, it is a pretty good indication the president might be on the same page. >> pretty good indication indeed. hans nichols, thank you. >> mr. williams, i come to you, sir. what is going to be the next step here for attorney general william barr? we know, apparently, he has this
phone call with senator graham here in the next 30 or 45 minutes. what about after that? >> lunch, i assume, at some point. the larger question here is how soon can the justice department get whatever it is going to deliver to congress of the mueller report after the grand jury secrecy material is filtered out? that's going to depend largely on the special counsel's office. the barr letter says that a lot of the report may contain grand jury secrecy information, and that the special counsel is not best position to know what that is. so, really, the special counsel's office is sort of in the driver's seat, in terms of the timing of how soon this material can be turned over the congress. >> executive privilege, pete, how will they go about determining where they can apply that? >> i don't know. the barr letter doesn't say anything about that. i suppose the white house lawyers will want to be, you
know, advised about it or asked about it. the general rule here on executive privilege is that it is at its strongest point when you're talking about conversations that someone had with the president. so if the mueller report talks about anyone's conversations with the president, perhaps they'll want to assert executive privilege over that. once you get away from that, the claim of executive privilege starts to be greatly diminished. >> bob mueller, we just heard from congresswoman karen bass of the house judiciary committee. she would like to see bob mueller appear before her committee to answer some questions about his office's report. historically, is there precedent for that? >> no. only because historically, there's no precedent for this whole thing. remember, we've only had the special counsel rules since the end of the independent counsel
law. ken starr was the last independent counsel. we did have a special counsel, john danforth, who investigated the waco fire and tragedy there. he did everything out in public. he had a news conference when he was appointed. he put out an interim report. he put out a final report. he was practically going door to door at the end. in terms of the way they've done this investigation, keeping to the rules, there's no precedent, only because it's never been tried before. by the way, craig, on the issue of another special counsel to look at the whole fisa warrant thing, remember, this is not the first time that's been brought up. >> right. >> house republicans made this suggestion in a letter to jeff sessions when he was attorney general, and they were politely told, that's not going to happen. >> glenn, my producer is telling me while senator graham went on that rant, if you will, about the possibility of another special counsel being appointed, you were nodding your head disapprovingly.
i believe that may be an understatement. your reaction to that? >> what lindsey graham just said, among other things, is the reason we give these issues to a special counsel is to take the department of justice out of both the investigation and the decision making process. yet, what do we have? we have a letter from bill barr in which he says, bob mueller could not clear the president of obstructing justice, so bill barr steps in and does it himself. i think that contradicts what lindsey graham just laid out as the reason we have special counsel investigations in the first place. you know, yes, i was shaking my head. some of what he said i agreed with, but i do think that was kind of a sour note from lindsey graham. >> what did you agree with? what'd you hear that you approved of? >> well, here's what i agree with. bob mueller has concluded, if we can credit everything in bill barr's letter, that there was
insufficient evidence to bring a charge of conspiracy between the russians and anybody in the trump campaign. i take bob mueller's conclusion as gospel, quite frankly. do i want to see the information that supports that conclusion? absolutely. i don't want bill barr as a shield between what bob mueller did, what bob mueller concluded, and what the american people get to hear about that, craig. you know, when we look at bill barr's letter, he quoted on pages 2 and 3 just 42 words of the bob mueller report. we need the whole report. the american people need the whole report. bob mueller said, according to bill barr, i cannot clear the president on obstructing justice. now, that matter has to go to congress because they need to determine whether there's enough evidence to conclude the president obstructed justice. >> cynthia, just going to that point there, bob mueller apparently, you know, doesn't
offer this conclusion on the question of whether the president obstructed justice, providing evidence according to mr. barr. on both sides of the question. what's your reaction to that? >> well, i think it is classic mueller. he knew that his charge was to figure out what happened. he knew he was not allowed, under department of justice policies, to indict the president. that's the rule the olc memo. he knew that the decision maker was going to be the congress. what did he do? he laid out all the positives on one side and negatives on one side, and the positives and negatives on the other, and he teed it up for congress. this is something i disagreed with lindsey graham. lindsey graham said, oh, bob mueller sent it up to attorney general barr to decide. there's no evidence that's true. there's no evidence. he brought it forward. he laid it all out so, presumably, congress could see
it and we could see it, and then bob barr is the -- bill barr is the one who injected himself into this process. it is not his place to decide. i completely agree with glenn. that is adding politics to the decision. a decision that belongs rightfully in the house. so i think he did the exact right thing, given the requirement -- or the disallowance of actually bringing any charges under ther. >> hearing from lindsey graham at that news conference, this assertion he wants the public to get as much of this report as possible, of course, after the classified information is red t redacted, the grand jury information that can't be released. >> right. >> how much of the actual report do you surmise we're going to be able to see? >> well, i think in the end, we'll eventually, you know, there's not that many secrets in washington. at some point, we'll get it, but it may be a while. i don't really believe that they
really want to bet tget the evi out. they have what they want. who are we kidding? they don't want to get the positives and the negatives out. they want that hidden. so the house is going to have to dma demand to see the full report if they want to get it, and it is not going to be enough to subpoena barr to come up to the house. we'll have to hear from mueller exactly what he found and what the underlying facts were. exactly just to be sure, why is it he didn't? to see if i'm right, why isn't it he didn't come to a final conclusion? who did he expect to come to the final conclusion? those are the questions only mueller and his staff can answer. the american people need to know that. >> cynthia, thank you. glenn, we've been talking about this special counsel's investigation and the impending report for almost two years then. you and i especially. how surprised for you friday afternoon? >> knocked the wind out of me,
craig. i can tell you, for 30 years, what i did as a prosecutor was i investigated cases, i assessed evidence to see whether or not there was enough evidence to support a criminal charge. what i've seen in the public reporting tells me there is so much evidence to support a criminal charge. now, i have also said i take bob mueller's condition collusions to the bank on conspiracy. i will stick by that until the day i die. maybe bob mueller, in his expansive investigation, found almost nothing but exonerating information. information that showed, you know what, all the president and his loyalists and lackeys were the gang who couldn't shoot straight, and they really, you know, never did reach the level of entering into a criminal agreement to violate the laws of the united states and undermine our elections. they never took an over act, took an affirmative step toward committing those crimes, which is what the law requires if you're going to prove conspiracy. so i accept that finding. i want to see the report that backs it up because i don't want to take bill barr's word for it.
just briefly, craig, i think the other thing that bill barr may have done, whether wittingly or unwittingly, that might turn out to be helpful, is given his opinion. he concludes we can't bring a charge for obstruction. i think he is now leapfrogged the argument that might have taken place over the next year or two about whether we can charge a sitting president with obstruction. he's put this squarely in the hands of the congress to decide whether there is enough information that would warrant the initiation of impeachment proceedings. i think he has short circuited arguments we might otherwise be occupied with over the course of the next year or so. >> glenn, we'll leave it there. thank you. thank you, cynthia. we are getting a preview of president trump's post mueller report victory lap. >> it began illegally. hopefully, somebody is going to look at the other side. this was an illegal takedown that failed. >> joining me now, former white
house aide, omarosa manigault-newman, author of "unhinged," insider's account of the trump white house. thank you for your time this morning. >> good to see you. >> you heard your former boss there, the other side, illegal takedown. knowing the president, the way you know him, how is he going to play this win? >> unfortunately, he only thinks short term. he's not thinking long term. short term, he is going to overplay his hand. he's going to seek revenge. he is going to try to call out off of h all of his opponents. we need to go to the re-election campaign and the damage it'll do to the base. he is not that strategic when he looks at the overall picture. we haven't seen the full report, and he is vulnerable for crimes related to the campaign fraud, financial crimes, and things that have not come forward yet. if i were him, but i'm not, i would kind of sit back and wait a little bit. that's not trump. he is going to scream from the
mountain t mountaintop that he has been wronged, there was a witch hunt, and he was exonerated. >> last summer, you told us you had been interviewed by bob mueller's team. at the time, you said that you were going to blow the whistle on corruption in this white house. what did you share with investigators? did you have any information about russia or obstruction of justice? >> you know, one of the things they asked me that i was very surprised about was a particular time frame. e-mails that were communicated within the campaign about a very specific window. i know for a fact that they have all the e-mails from me. i know they have all the e-mails from the campaign. i think the importance of seeing this report is not only what i shared but what others from the campaign shared about what was going on during that time, that the fbi was so interested in, that mueller's office was so interested in between the trump campaign and russians. >> based on the information that you shared with the special counsel's office, how surprised
were you that they found, apparent apparently, no evidence of collusion and no sufficient evidence to suggest the president will charged with obstruction of justice. >> what you shared is what barr told us. like most, until i see the report, i'm not buying the spin coming out of the trump camp. they're good at spin. the first rule of spin is to get ahead of the message, get ahead of any bad news and frame it. the framing is that he's been exonerated. i'm just not buying that, craig. >> this is what the president's attorney, jay sekulow, said in an interview a few hours ago. take a listen. >> the end result of that entire inquiry was that there was no collusion. to re-litigate this or re-investigate this with the congress is a waste of the taxpayer's money. >> what would you tell congress if you were called to testify? >> well, the congress is already going down the right path. they're looking at his financials. there is a saying, follow the money, and with trump, you won't be disappointed.
we know that he has been involved in shady dealings. we know that he has been involved in paying off porn stars and campaign finance violations possibly. following the money is actually going to lead us to get a better picture of how donald trump misled this country. possibly influenced the election in that way. so he is not totally out the clear, craig. i think that we need to just kind of wait and see. pump the brakes and let the full story be heard. >> omarosa manigault-newman, always good to have your insight. thank you. >> thanks, craig. political fallout. how mueller's findings could impact 2020 for democratic candidates and republicans considering a primary challenge to the president. we're also get reaction from voters. and under pressure. at the white house this hour, president trump welcoming another world leader. prime minister benjamin netanyahu is facing his own political peril. l peril s only 1
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campaign trail. nbc news road warrior is in winter haven, florida. she's getting reaction from voters there. what are you hearing? >> reporter: craig, i'm in polk county, central florida, and a lot of people talking about the mueller report this morning. some people telling me they breathed a sigh of relief this morning after this came out, and that we should move on as a country. others telling me that too much time and resources have been given toward this report. even though they don't believe the findings, they don't think we should spend more money on it. then, finally, others telling me they think half the country is not going to believe it anyway, and mueller and his team are out for blood. let's talk to my friend katie over here. katie, you're a registered democrat. 35 years old. you're a young mom. how are you feeling today about this report? >> i mean, i think even as a registered democrat, i'm very middle of the road. i think it is important that we as a country come together on the issues that are most important. i think the report coming out,
i'm glad it's come out. i'm glad we have an answer to one of the biggest questions. i think at the end of the day, there are people that can answer those additional questions in terms of what wasn't answered in the report. but we are looking for congress to really focus on the things most important to us. jobs, health care, the economy. those are the things most important to the people of winter haven. >> reporter: that's where you think the country should go? >> absolutely. i think what we care about, what people need to focus on for the next years and beyond. i was a young daughter. i want to focus on what will affect her and her life. i'm relieved we're beyond this now and that i hope that our elected officials know that that's the way we feel. we want them to focus on things most important to us. >> reporter: katie, thank you so much. i'll let you get back to your breakfast. >> thank you. >> reporter: craig, this is a place where it is really going to influence which way florida swings. i'm hearing a lot of 2020 chatter, as well, and how much this is going to influence those decisions at the ballot box next
year. >> what's the name of that diner? i think i've been there. where is that? what's the name of it? >> reporter: we've been live from here before, and they love you very much. >> they do great eggs. thank you, mariana. let me bring in professor and host of podcast. noah is an associate editor of "commentary" magazine. also joining us is michael, who classes us the joint. always good to see you. let me start here with you, noah. how big of a boost is this letter from attorney general william barr summarizing bob mueller's findings? how big of a boost is it for this president politically? >> a huge boost. it is impossible to say that the president would be anything other than emboldened by the notion that he failed to conspire with a foreign power to steal the 2016 election.
that's something we should all be probably very happy about that, right? now, the live issue. that is a dead issue for democrats. they can't litigate that further, not if they already said robert mueller is the personification of integrity in office. the live issue is not obstruction of justice now but attempted obstruction of justice for democrats. if we take the letter that said this was conducted without interference from the white house, that's the issue democrats want to litigate. it is process oriented. it is not something i think you'll want to bog yourself down into these details. they're going to pay lip service to it, but i seriously doubt that'll be the head of the campaign going forward. republicans, however, have a lot to talk about. they can talk about fisa. they can talk about unmasking of the officials from the obama era. they can advance the narrative they've been under assault, unduly, for the last two years. >> christina, there are a number of 2020 democratic presidential candidates who are wearing two hats, candidate and u.s. senator. one is amy klobuchar.
she talked about the oversight process. of course, on the senate judiciary committee. >> i think our goal here, oversight, is to get the facts out for the american people. please remember, in 2018, the election was about republicans not kicking people off of their health insurance for pre-existing condition. 2020 is going to be focused on economic shieissues. guess what? we can do two things at once. >> how do democrats walk this line? how do they walk the line between governing and campaigning and overplaying their hand here as it relates to the russia investigation and mueller report? >> i think it'll be difficult. you have a lot of democrats who actually do want to push for impeachment and do want to sort of go with, well, if he wasn't convicted, or if there is no collusion, was there attempted collusion? what graham forgot to mention, as he was rattling off the money spent on the lawyers used, he didn't mention flynn. he didn't mention manafort. he didn't mention several
individuals close to trump at one point in time who are now in the hands of the united states court system. so the candidates have to really think about not just how they'll present themselves to the american public in the candidate phase, but also providing a governance strategy. it has to move beyond this president is corrupt and surrounds himself with corrupt individuals. this president has co-opted the republican party. what actually does the democratic party stand for when it comes to immigration, when it comes to jobs, when it cop come climate change, and how we'll deal with the effects of the hurricanes and tornadoes and floods affecting communities across the united states. those are more complex questions. the good thing is, democrats have a plethora of qualified candidate that is will have so hone in their messaging for not just the democratic party but some people who are in the middle who don't necessarily want to be allied with trump's party right now. >> michael, we are in the middle of this great rift in this country. we've been talking about it for
some time now. >> yup. >> this assertion we just heard from the woman in the diner there, that the mueller report, now that it is out, we can move on. that we can all get get -- get beyond it. what do you make of that? i mean, are we going to be able to move forward now? >> a lot of that is going to depend on what the president does, and this is a perfect time for him to sort of say. all right. that episode is over. now let's see if we can work with democrats. that's something the presidents have tried to do all of the way through american history, unify the country, but this first day is not a very auspicious sign of that. what did donald trump say? he said instead this was an illegal takedown effort by democrats. number one, it was not illegal. it was an investigation. number two, we heard lindsay graham fresh off the golf course with donald trump saying maybe we should now go back to investigating the clintons, and the other thing that donald trump said yesterday was about
the people hurt by this investigation. i hope that does not point to the notion that he's now going to have wholesale pardons of people who were involved in all of this. >> lindsay graham there at the top of the hour, we spent some time listening to his press conference. why not just come out and praise bob mueller, praise the report. you know, you can still chant no collusion, no obstruction. why -- why drag up clinton and carter page and fisa? why continue to -- to throw that red meat to the base? >> well, i mean, i don't want to take issue with michael. i didn't actually hear him say we should investigate the clintons. what he said which is something democrats have missed because it's been primarily located on the right and i've been reserving judgment on this over the course of the investigation. now that we have the evidence it's perfectly prop tore er to k and investigate why the warrants on carter page and why they were
swept up in the surveillances and then their names were leaked, unmasked in tran scripts provided to summarize two reporters. it's how we understand this happened. this is a violation of american privacy, and they're not supposed to be swept up in these intercepts and revealed to the press. >> more investigations are warranted. >> fisa's abuse pre-dates this presidency and we're all aware of it. we've all had conversations prior to the presidents. in so far as it's being used as a political cugile. they're advancing an important issue. >> thank you, glen. sorry, michael. my apologies. it's been one of those days. christina grier. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu expected to arrive at the white house literally any moment now. he's meeting with president trump. two embattled leaders turning to each other, perhaps for a political boost at a krital tcr
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netanyahu, david now running for his fifth term. it's a close fight. how big of a role is his relationship with president trump going to play in his re-election? >> i think it's one of his strongest card, and prime minister netanyahu ought to hope that the two leaders are living parallel lives, but struck by the way in which foreign leaders who have been depending on donald trump for support, and i'd list bibi netanyahu on that list. i would list muhammad bin salman of saudi arabia and vladimir putin in russia. they must be very relieved by the news of the conclusion of the mueller investigation and attorney general barr's report on it. it's a big break for them that their supporter, their patron seems to be less under a cloud than before. >> the scandals that are currently hanging over benjamin
netanyahu, pay for play scheme being one of them, his cozy relationships that have been fitted him in terms of his business. how much of a role do we expect those are going to play in his re-election? >> it's hard to know. there have been scandals surrounding prime minister netanyahu. police and other investigations now for years. the latest seem to be the most serious involving allegations of pof payoffs that were made and it's not been established that netanyahu receive good money, the payoffs in the sale of vessels to egypt and other naval transactions. one interesting thing about this election is that the slate running against netanyahu headed by benny ganst, former israeli chief of staff is running a strong race. it's a stronger ticket than netanyahu sometimes faced and on the elections april 9, this could be more of a contest than
it's been in the past. >> david, really quickly here, switching gears. we expect the president is going to probably be talking about the mueller report here during that meeting with mr. netanyahu. senior justice department official confirming to nbc news now that three weeks ago the special counsel's team briefed the attorney general and the deputy ag rod rosenstein and the investigation at that time he told them that robert mueller would not be reaching a conclusion on obstruction of justice and again, that happening three weeks ago. your quick reaction to that? >> so that's a fascinating new detail. one of the puzzles of the mueller report as described by attorney general barr is that he left open the decision about whether the actions that he had investigated by trump in the white house constituted obstruction or not. the fact that barr knew that three weeks ago has allotted more time to consider the
question than we thought. there was an issue over the weekend whether it was a rush to judgment for him to make the announcement that he concluded it wasn't and now we know that he had three weeks to think about it and it's still going to be a controversy going forward. >> david ignacious, thank you. that will wrap up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tomorrow on "today." andrea mitchell reports starts right now. >> i'm andrea mitch kneell in washington where we will hear from donald trump. the president clinging total exoneration clinging to mueller's conclusion that the trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with russia to influence the 2016 election. the president's own actions did not constitute obstructive conduct while ignoring a critical quote within the mueller report that while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate