tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC March 26, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. that is all for "mtp daily" "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. >> i had fun doing that coverage over the weekend with you. you pulled heroic hours sunday. >> for me having covered this now -- since june of 2015, it was one of the most interesting moments and i'm really happy i got to be there to report on it before the baby came so -- >> before the baby. >> now we're in the clear. now we can go. >> as i understand it your life is overlapped with your work, right? i mean you've been through so much particularly from covering this campaign from the start so the questions you posed about whether donald trump was being serious when he asked --
>> totally. >> and collusion in the view of mueller. what's your take now that it's all settled in? >> i have the question why he would look and say russia found hillary clinton's emails. maybe it is as simple as he was trying to make a business deal or he just really likes vladimir putin. i mean he tweeted in 2013 that he wanted to be vladimir putin's best friend. so maybe it is that simple. maybe it's more nefarious. i'd like to see more of the report to see what mueller found. we'll see. >> is it that simple? wasn't it wu-tang clan that asked can it be was it all that sim "journal" we don't know how simple it was. maybe it was really simple and maybe people lied because they were in the habit of lying. >> or we can go and say we've got it simple because we've got a band. >> wash your wash and drive me to firenze. >> do you think the baby's first words when he comes out will be
"no collusion"? >> ah, i don't know. i don't know. but i look forward to -- is this weird to say -- i look forwarding to meeting the baby and seeing whether collusion is his or her first water. katy tur, always good to have a toss with you. thank you. >> by, ari. a big show including special guests. there are reports tonight that a public verse of this mueller report will be out within weeks. according to the doj that's big w this probe over, as katy and i were discussing we are getting inside scoops like we've never seen before, in fact, tonight for the first time ever on msnbc, the now famous convicted ex-trump aide who sparked the mueller probe then went to prison, we'll get into awful wit george papadopoulos. i'm going to get into a big question that i think we're all still wondering and trying to figure out, why so many lies including his confessed lie when there was no chargeable
collusion? also what was it like in prison. get papadopoulos on "the beat." big news on obamacare. we begin with what is known about what bob mueller found. for all the talk about mueller's findings, no one outside of the doj as of this hour has seen them yet, instead we have attorney general bill barr's now famous letter, some democrats are calling it basically a press release. it states, mr. barr's view of things and as attorney general we report on his view, it's important. but democrats are now dialing up the pressure in a big way and demanding the public report within the week, one week and there's new signs as i mentioned the doj is responding saying tonight it will come out within weeks but not by that deadline in that big letter that you see on your screen. dems say they have leverage because they will issue a subpoena if needed and speaker pelosi now taking a pointed shot at mr. barr, donald trump's newly installed attorney general. >> let us see the report. we don't need an interpretation
by an attorney general appointed by the president. we need to see the report. >> what you heard there is the sitting speaker making a serious allegation against the person in charge of upholding law, the sitting attorney general. we should note pelosi is going much farther than president obama's attorney general eric holder who had criticism for barr but not quite to that degree and made his first comments on the way he's handling it telling us last night he viewed the way barr is doing this as wrong. take a look. >> i think he's wrong. i mean, i think he is taking on to himself a role that has not typically been used by people in the position that bob barr has had. it seems hard for me to imagine that bob mueller asked bill barr to do this. that seems -- because that would be bob mueller shifting the responsibility from making the call to the attorney general and
that's just not the way in which bob mueller is wound. >> i'm joined for the kickoff by jim walden, a former federal prosecutor who represented a mueller witness and nbc's haydn przybyla. what nancy pelosi supersized -- >> really, there is a problem here. on the one hand he was -- trump was cleared of collusion. on the other we have this big riddle. what is the evidence of obstruction and what did mueller say about it? i certainly agree with eric holder i've never seen anything like this before. usually when you have a report you have a recommendation and we have that with respect to collusion. where is the recommendation with respect to obstruction? >> do you think it's possible that barr is spinning this and he has taken a considered watergate-style road map and turned it into a power grab. >> i don't think barr would do
something like that. what i do believe that report does one of two things, it either, one, says that there's enough facts to indict the president but unclear if there is enough to vick the president or, two, it takes barr's view that even if you do something with corrupt intent as long as you're allowed to do it you can't be indicted for it on an obstruction statute. i don't suspect barr's motives, fair and appreciate your care there to that issue. let me play a little bit more of the attorney general, eric holdinger, you both have worked for attorneys general and his view of what jim was just talking about, the decisions that someone in mueller's position would have to make. take a look. >> i think bob was faced with just a couple of possibilities. given the fact he could not indict, he had the possibility of declining prosecution and he thought there was too much evidence i think there to decline. if you look at the letter, the letter talks about he's not exonerating anybody so he's not in a position to decline the case. the only other option, that
would be the attorney general, somebody in the justice department shipping out that which he put together to congress for consideration. >> is your view that given the discussion of what happens with sitting presidents this was mueller trying to send it to congress or we don't know? >> i think we just don't know right now. it's hard to know what mueller was intending. as you've mentioned on this program before we didn't get any complete sentences from the actual mueller report. >> is it suspicious. >> i don't know if it's suspicious but frustrating for us trying to draw conclusions about that without having any details. >> said is it suspicious. you said frustrating. i'll give you another word, berit, for your analysis. i think it's whack. i think we went 22 months and mr. barr gets to do two things. he does have the lawful authority to issue judgments and to share them so he did that part. that's fine and he has a view that actually if anything is
transparently known and skeptical of the idea any president can obstruct justice. he might think it's a literal impossibility in most of the situations described but he's also saying and this is what the rules require, here's what mueller did, here is my confidential report and i'm transmitting as required not his call to congress, indictments we already knew about, declination we didn't and putting the thumb on the scale with selective quote, isn't he? >> the question is, when we actually get to see this, one, how much of the report are we actually going to get to see? will we get to see the underlying evidence that, you know, went into mueller's decisions on that and will we get to see the pieces of evidence that he laid out there that mueller said did not fully exonerate the president? if the answer is, yes, then the american people can draw their own conclusions. the chapter on whether tll be criminal charges is closed. the attorney general made a decision -- >> on conspiracy. >> but the attorney general made
a decision he did not think that there was enough to charge obstruction. so if -- >> but, again, i think that is confusing to people because no attorney general indicts the boss president under the current rules of the doj. in any party in any administration. >> but there is one part that's just wrong, right, and that we can go to marta stewart and scooter libby as examples but barr's claim that you can't indict someone for obstruction of justice if they're not guilty of the underlying crime is not doj's policy even during barr's administration when he was attorney general. there was case called comisano, the united states versus where barr's justice department indicted someone for obstruction when they weren't charged with the underlying crime. >> so the question for the country is how much do you want to put credence in barr? i mean, you could do the thought experiment, heidi, and democrats have been arguing what if it was a letter from whitaker who was whether people or like it the acting attorney general or whether it was sessions? there is something about this
sort of steely long-running washington credibility of mr. barr and i've said on this program and i'll say it again, he is a very talented lawyer and prosecutor. there's something there where he's getting farther. can you walk us through in the building you're in, the fight on the hill what democrats are doing and how that's affecting when people may see more of this report? >> right, ari, with the justice information coming out now that barr plans to release this to congress within weeks, not months, the question now is how many? how long. democrats are not willing to wait that long. you saw they gave the week-long deadline and i met with a number of committee representatives today, ari who said that they do stand ready to subpoena that document if it's not given to them in a timely manner. if barr says it's in weeks and not months, well, that's a pretty wide open category and also saying that he'll give some version of it. so based on the memo he released there are a lot of skeptics they'll get all of their
questions answered and so they are discussing now at this hour what to do if time passes on friday and barr hasn't produced the report and hasn't given them a specific date for when he's going to produce that report. >> let me ask you, briefly, the metaphysical cal political question, whose side is time on? is delay better for the doj and mr. trump's defense or is it better for the congress and the democrats in the house? >> delay is clearly better for the president. every democrat who i spoke to today, ari, was really agitated by the thought that the president is really capturing the narrative here and declaring himself exonerated on everything which is just not the case when it comes to the obstruction situation which we have described in detail. >> right. >> and yet the democrats don't have anything to counter that with yet because they don't know what the reasoning is. i will tell you this, there is another thing, ari, that is important -- there is a time line here. barr is going to be up here
testifying on april 9th before the house appropriations committee, a regular budget testimony that he has to give and i can tell you based on my suggests with aides that they're already discussing the questions that he must answer and it starts with those questions that you've been deliberating about whether mueller was operating under the assumption that you cannot indict a sitting president and the way the memo is crafted it might have been rosenstein and barr who were making that assumption. >> there is a lot of talk whether bob mueller punted and no one will know any of that fact until we see what bob mueller wrote. jim, on the other side, which we always try to look at all sides of this, the president's lawyer decided on the big monday night news to come on "the beat." we were thrilled to have him. and here was part of his explanation of their view of it in our exchange. take a look. >> while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. so what does not exonerate mean to you. >> they did make a
determination. that's all it means. they did not find the president committed a crime. they did not make a determination. what did they do? they either -- for whatever reason they had internally they had a discussion, they decided that it was not going to move forward as a crime. it says while this report does not conclude the president engaged in a crime it doesn't exonerate. >> jim, stuck in the question. the bottom line when this report comes out and august the facts are laid bare it will be bad news for trump and sooner or later that will come out. >> that is interesting and might explain why some of the folks seemed on the trump side surprised by how good it was or how good was it? we don't know. what was good was donald trump's hand picked attorney general's summary. maybe it's not a surprise that part was good even though as we've been reporting since friday on the lack of any conspiracy indictments was obviously great news and settles that from the chargeable analysis. jim, berit and heidi, thanks to each of you. i'm moving fast, coming up i have the mueller witness who
literally sparked the russia probe and went to prison for lying to the investigators and feds with his first ever appearance on msnbc. if there was no collusion why so many lies and later my interview with senator sheldon whitehouse grilling donald trump's attorney general on obstruction back in the day and the trump administration with a new attack on obamacare that could matter? you're watching a special of "the beat" on msnbc.
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one of the most pivotal figures in the entire mueller probe, the feds say george papadopoulos unwittingly helped launch the investigation itself. he also, you may recall, was the very first to plead guilty and he quickly became a household name. >> newly unsealed guilty plea from george papadopoulos. >> trump campaign volunteer adviser george papadopoulos. >> george papadopoulos. >> george papadopoulos. >> george papadopoulos pleading guilty to lying to the fbi. >> trump's team, however, quick to downplay papadopoulos' role in the campaign. >> he was the coffee boy. i mean, you might have called him a foreign policy analyst but, in fact, if he was going to wear a wire, all we'd know now is whether he prefers a caramel macchiato over american coffee. >> that barista dis became
famousen its own. this photo with papadopoulos. he was telling them about a potential meeting idea between trump and putin and "the new york times" went on to report how his wine-fueled conversation with the australian ambassador set off the investigation itself and revealed emails linking him to a russian intelligence operation that was going on alongside the 2016 election. now, in december papadopoulos completed a 12-day prison sentence. he struck a plea deal with mueller's investigators for lying to the fbi. now today he is saying he didn't really lie and claims he was pressured into that deal. george papadopoulos is here joining me for his first ever msnbc interview when we're back in 30 seconds. or what i witnessed,l you m but i can tell you liberty mutual customized my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no...
only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ heartburn and gas? ♪ fight both fast tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums tums chewy bites with gas relief i'm joined by george papadopoulos for his first ever interview on msnbc. thanks for coming on "the beat" is there thanks for having me, ari. i'm looking forward to this. >> i want to get into all of it. let's start with the meeting you took. "the new york times" reporting mifsud arranged this meeting with a woman falsely described as putin's niece and this and other meetings were part of what
kicked off the whole probe. one thing i'm asking what you know now do you regret going to those meetings which contributed to a probe which you said was a real hassle? >> i definitely wish i never came into contact with these people but not necessarily because of the way they were falsely portrayed by the fbi, quite frankly as russian intermediaries or the niece of vladimir putin. she was obviously not that person. >> what did mueller's investigators want to know about what you did with what you heard at that meeting because as you know, there was a real crime of stealing emails? >> yeah. >> the russians have been found to have been involved in that and they were wondering what that you might know. >> have russians been talking to you about hacked maiemails, rusn interference, i said no and this is quotable. i said no but there was this maltese guy named joseph mifsud.
the look was like they already knew it. so this guy told me it. that's okay. it's not that important. tell us when you -- >> let's slow down. your contention being you were dropping a bombshell. >> exactly. >> oh, my god. this guy, hillary's stolen emails, maybe russian spy -- they don't have a big reaction. >> exactly. >> so then let's get into the book. that you write in your book that they want to meet with you without a lawyer and you say, like a fool, you went ahead and did that meeting. >> yes. >> then they ask you, the fbi, we want you to wear a wire. we want you to work for us. we want you to get this guy mifsud for us. we'll pay you. you can be a key part of the operation and you write what the "f" am i supposed to say to this? am i hero now? i'm a policy guy, a networker who wants to build alineses but a second part of me likes the idea. why not go wear the wire?
>> there was that thrill for the split second like, who knows, maybe i can be a hero. at the end of my day i dealt a lot with american intelligence type. >> were you worried? >> i was worried for my safety and that i could possibly get sucked into some rabbit hole without any end in sight. >> so you say no to that. >> i say though to that. >> then when you look at this, their desire to have you wear a wire against this person, mifsud, that suggests that he is not on team fbi or otherwise why would they need a wire for him? >> it could have been an entrapment operation. >> against who? >> against me. >> but they already had you and got you to plead guilty. >> they didn't get me to plead guilty for almost a year after that. >> they didn't need that to get you. you went to prison with all respect. you know they didn't need that on you. does it make since that they would need a wire against someone that was on their team? >> look, it's a bizarre story.
i'm just giving the facts now, right? >> where is mifsud now? >> now, mifsud, no one has seen him in two years. >> so this guy, talking all this stolen email talk, which was part of what launched the probe, no one can find him. >> no one can find him. i wish i could find him just, you know, or i wish like something or -- >> you wish you could find him or do you wish you never met him. >> of course i wish i never met him. he basically, you know, tried to ruin my life or did ruin my life or a couple -- for the last couple of years. i'm just now coming up for air. >> let's go to a larger plane. >> for sure. >> mueller looked at this closely. he found no chargeable collusion. >> yep. >> why didn't you tell the whole truth from the start? >> that's a great question. and it was foolish and i want to make it clear that i'm not disavowing my guilty plea. i served 11 nights in prison for that.
and obviously my case is done with and the whole investigation is over. so -- >> are you trying to withdraw your guilty plea. >> my lawyer, my current legal team who you know very well and you've interviewed her, they're looking into options. i'm not a lawyer -- >> but you're not trying tonight to withdraw your guilty plea. >> they're looking at options and probably best to ask them that question because they are the legal mines looking at what's in my best interest. >> so let's help us understand this because you can understand, people watching see you as maybe having gotten caught up in something that was a lot biger. >> definitely. >> than what you realized at the start. >> absolutely. >> and you pleaded guilty to a felony. >> yes. >> and they're trying to understand if there was no chargeable collusion why were people including you, sir, lying about contacts with the russians? that mystery still seems to be here tonight. >> yes, and let's look at what i lied about. because and this is all public record now. i as i mentioned earlier i told
the fbi voluntarily this guy, joseph mifsud told me the russians possessed hillary clinton's emails. what did i plead guilty to, the timing and extent of my interactions with joseph mifsud as i detail in my book. >> ki put it in plain english. it seemed like you were trying to play down your russian contacts to the fbi. is that right? >> i was trying to play down what i thought were my russian contacts. >> understood. you were trying to play it down. why? >> because i felt i guess i failed in that mission to connect trump to vladimir putin. i ended up successfully intertro deucing him to the egyptian president but so i was thinking if the fbi is trying to talk to me about russia conspiracy and the entire campaign and trump, why would i get those guys involved when it was my mea culpa dealing with this person mifsud. no one else in the campaign met mifsud. they had nothing to do with him so i felt that the fbi was really trying to incompass the entire campaign in my mistake so
that's why i tried to distance -- >> you told george stephanopoulos, part of what you were motivated by was protecting donald trump. let's take a look at that. >> i found myself pinned between the department of justice and the sitting president and having probing questions that i thought might incriminate -- >> you were trying to protect the president? >> of course. >> here we are tonight with no chargeable collusion. how does it protect the president to mislead the fbi about the contacts related to russia? wouldn't you have done a better job by tell the whole truth from the start? >> well, like i said, the president had nothing to do with my meetings with this person, mifsud, or any of this -- these bizarre meetings i was having in london that i guess resulted in this crazy situation that we've been all living the last two years so, of course, when the fbi was asking about others in the campaign or president trump involved, you know -- it's a confusing situation. >> but let me press you on this. from what mueller said and you
admitted to, deliberate repeated lies claiming 12 types the interactions with this professor occurred before you joined the trump campaign. when they were after. i want you to be honest with me tonight because a lot of people are interested in what you're saying. was there any part of you that thought, maybe other people had done worse things related to russia in the emails and that's why had you to play this down at the time? >> you know what, and that's a really good question and i'm actually going to bring the facts to the table right now. in tent of 2016 i had a meeting with an undercover fbi asset named stefan halper and he was asking, this was all public, "the new york times," every newspaper has documented my interacts with the cambridge professor in london who paid me $3,000 and then he started talking about russian hacking and he asked me flat out, is the trump campaign colluding?
what do you guys foe about the russians hacking. is trump involved are you involved we're playing 29 questions and i flat out categorically unequivocally tell this person i have no idea what the heck you're talking about, i have nothing to do with what you're describing. neither does anyone on the campaign. so if i had simply just followed that guideline to -- >> but were you worried at the time that other people may have done something worse and that would explain the cover story you pried? >> i don't think so. like i said it was a chaotic interview. we're talking about a lot of different issues from, you know, the steele dossier, israelis, russian interference, maltese professors, the fake niece of vladimir putin, all around 9:00 in the morning in chicago as i'm just getting out of the shower. >> let me put it this way and i say this factually, i don't mean this disrespectfully. >> for sure. >> do you understand why people watching this find this to be
hard to believe you because during the probe you were downplaying all these russian contacts. now there's no chargeable collusion and people are thinking why did you play it down? >> i tried to explain it, i was trying to distance myself from my i guess stupid activities and didn't want to involve other people. as i explained -- >> whether people agree or not with every aspect you're taking i think some sort of responsibility at least tonight and calling that stupid. do you put this discussion of special outreach to the russian government during the campaign in that category? because you have mifsud saying i'm going to introduce you to people, set up a meeting between trump and putin. you say that's an excellent idea. everyone remembers all the other ways that donald trump has proven to be quite close with the putin government including briefing them on removing james comey in a meeting that they wouldn't even let white house press in, the famous picture.
was that also a bad idea at the time? >> i -- look, look, in fact, before i joined the campaign i actually was very hostile towards russia in terms of just my work at the hudson institute in washington, d.c., some articles i've written, just conferences i've spoken at but at the end of the day i had a boss donald trump who wanted to have some sort of working relationship with russia so as i'm joining this campaign and as i describe in the book, you know, everything seemed so smooth and cool, i'm in -- >> thought you could impress the people at that table by getting something going with russia. >> absolutely and i've always been fully transparent about that even on the stephanopoulos interview you reference earlier and even in my book, the campaign was fully aware of what i was doing. weeks before that meeting that you just saw on the tv, i was -- emailing the teams saying, hey, i got putin's niece, hey, i just met the russian ambassador. hey, even though i never did. i just met this guy joseph mifsud, he is going to be our go
between between trump and moscow. excellent work, keep it going so by the time i went to that meeting i was very confident. >> right lori loughli. do you stand by your guilty plea. >> yes. >> two, do you want to get a pardon from president trump? >> i'm not asking one. i know my lawyers have formally applied for one. if i'm granted one i would accept it. it's an honor. >> you're saying tonight your lawyers are asking for a pardon and you mention i spoke with her. she says to "the beat," we have made a pardon application well before conclusion of this probe. >> oh. >> so you are asking for a pardon from donald trump? >> that's what my lawyers are doing and they represent me, yes, that's what we're doing. >> do you think you'll get one. >> i don't have an expectation for it and i have been vocal i have no expectation for it. it doesn't change my life at all quite frankly whether i have it or not, probably from just a
vindication standpoint it might help, but the president, you know, he is the ultimate authority in this question, he is the executive -- head of the executive branch and has the ultimate authority to pardon anybody he wants. i'm sure he will look at the facts. he's going to look at my congressional testimony. he might even read my book and after he has all those facts in front of him now that we know there was absolutely no collusion he's going to make a decision and if he pardons me, that's amazing. if he doesn't, that's his decision. >> 37 people were charged in this probe. who do you think got the rawest deal between what they went through and what they did? >> i think a lot of us went through a lot. i mean, i guess i could speak for my personal point of view and i can maybe -- >> for example, did manafort get what he deserved given all the crimes that he has pled guilty to that occurred before 2016? >> i mean it goes -- i guess you could look at it two ways. one is the special counsel was appointed to look into collusion, first and foremost
but then he's charging him and convicting paul manafort on various crimes on fara violations and bank fraud, wire fraud, et cetera, et cetera, so those are legal activities but what was the purpose of bob mueller pursuing those crimes and not collusion, especially with somebody like paul manafort who he had real russian ties. he was lobbying, ukrainian oligarchs yet he never found anything nefarious between manafort and the russian government. >> do you think paul manafort through the total of his conduct was disloyal to both donald trump and the united states? >> if you break the law there are going to be repercussions. i don't know him. >> who got the rawest deal? i'm asking because you were, again, they called you coffee boy. i would observe you were a lower level aide who as you say it, as you write in your new book was
trying to cooperate with the fbi in large part and you wound up in jail for those 12 days or 11 nights. do you think you got the rawest deal? >> quite frankly, you know, i'm just happy that this situation is done with. it was 11 night, the thing that bothered me the most was not being with my wife quite frankly but then i also look at paul manafort who has been in jail i think already for a year or so or close to a year and he's looking at almost 7 1/2, 8 years in prison at 70 years old and roger stone look at further crimes so i can't compare who got a so-called raw deal or the rawest deal -- >> there is a difference -- there is a legal difference between some of the so-called process crimes and underlying crimes. michael cohen and paul manafort have both confessed and pled guilty to full substantive crimes. you and some others have been caught up in what are call process crimes and now with no
chargeable collusion the question is whether you or roger stone should be pardoned. >> as i said earlier, i have no expectation to be pardoned. i've been asked this question many times and i have the same answer. i have no expectation to be pardoned. if i am offered a pardon i will accept it because it's an honor to be pardoned. >> you view it as an honor. >> i would because that's the purpose of my book. i think my book really is a -- corroborates what the conclusion of the mueller probe was, that there was no conclusion yet there was something else going on and that's possibly why there might be a second investigation that looks into various other characters, maybe american officials, maybe foreign officials, maybe fisa abuse, i don't know if i mentioned it earlier but i was in this congressional testimony that was released earlier this year, i was only one of the four witnesses invited to testify in front of the oversight committee and you know who the other three
names were, jim comey, sally yates and loretta lynch. why would george papadopoulos be involved in that group? when you read this congressional testimony you'll see why and i guarantee you it's going to probably open up new doors and potentially a new investigation that might lead into an entire new can of worms. that's what i believe. i obviously don't have a crystal ball to guarantee that's going to happen but i guess we'll just say stay tuned and we'll see. >> are you supporting the president's re-election? >> i'm supporting president trump. i think he's going to get re-elected whether i support him or not. i do support him overwhelmingly. i think he's doing a great job. >> you worked on the last campaign as an adviser. would you work on the next one? >> let's see how america and the world kind of reacts to my story. let me make sure i'm vindicated first. let me support my wife first who
is in l.a. pursuing her career then i'll think of a potentially advising a campaign and 2020 or even in the future or ever getting back into politics again. i'm keeping that door open for now and focusing on other things. >> were you surprised by mueller's findings? were you worried that he would go farther than this and indict on some sort of conspiracy? >> unfortunately, i know it's probably going to bother a lot of people but i fully expected that there was going to be no collusion. that's why i have this book out because i really had very, very hard suspicions that there was no there there. >> that may not bother people in the sense that means you also had faith bob mueller would follow the facts wherever they led. >> i wanted bob mueller to follow the facts wherever they led. i had no issue with that. even when cooperating with mueller i gave him full access to my devices, let him do whatever i wanted. i was an open book to this guy so i wasn't trying to hinder him. i don't know why he was actually so harsh on me at my sentencing,
why with michael flynn it's been so kind. something doesn't add up in that situation. i don't know what i possibly could have done more than i already did. but i'm glad bob mueller -- >> flynn hasn't been sentenced. do you expect he'll get no jail time. >> i think mueller recommended no jail time as i remember. i was in prison while i saw that recommendation and people were just like nudging me like, oh, you know, i was in the cafeteria if that's the last question before we go. what was it like for you in prison? how were you treated by the other inmates? you were not the traditional short-term inmate. >> it was trump country, okay. oxford, wisconsin, is trump country, a population of 800 people. i think the federal minimum security camp i was at was one of the major jobs that people had at oxford, wisconsin. quite frankly, i was treated excellent. i mean -- >> you're saying the other inmates were trump supporters and viewed you through that lens? >> let's say i had some street
cred meaning that by the time i got in there -- >> george, george -- >> listen, i'm telling -- >> what kind of street cred did you have. >> you know my lawyer, caroline so by the time i got this there we were talking about withdrawing that guilty plea. she was on tv. i was on tv. we were -- >> they saw you as a celebrity or a fighter? >> i don't know. i don't consider myself a celebrity but they saw me -- >> a political celebrity. >> they considered me as that and as a fighter and that counts for street cred when you get into a place like that even though i was dealing with a lot of doctor, lawyer, businessmen involved in similar crimes like paul manafort or michael cohen, so it wasn't a dangerous place. >> did anything surprise you about it inside? >> i was surprised that it was actually cleaner than my university dorm and that there was a softball stadium outside. it was a little too cold to play softball but that was the only thing that really surprised me. i was treated well and i got out
and right now we were actually filming a docu-series with my wife about our life post-mueller, the path to prison, post prison and just focusing on our life right now in l.a. we're having a great time and just trying to move on and just get the truth out there, hopefully america, you know, believes my side and i'm not hoping they do or i'm not hoping they don't. i just want them to look at the facts then they can make their own dig and the president himself can and very grateful for your time on this show and let me do that here as well. >> we've spoken to your lawyer and people around you in our reporting about this throughout the entire probe and we talked about getting you on. i'm glad we finally did now that the probe is over and i will mention the book is "deep state target." george papadopoulos, first time on msnbc and we will be right back. >> thanks so much. >> thank you, george. i wanna keep doing what i love,
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democratic senator sheldon whitehouse on the justice department issues here. you're on the judiciary committee. thanks for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you, ari. >> you and then attorney general nominee bill barr talked obstruction at the hearing. let's look at that. >> and it is not your up tension tensio -- >> no, it's not. >> -- particularly as they may bear on obstruction by the president or people around him? >> that's right. >> thank you. >> you got a sort of commitment there. do you feel else's honoring it? >> it's hard to tell because of all the different charges that one could bring, you know, there are a lot that are a mixture of fact and law and an obstruction charge is about as fact heavy a proposition as we have, so his letter said that most of the
obstruction or potentially obstruction conduct has been public but that implies obviously that there is some conduct that is not known to the public and until you see the whole thing, it's very hard to sort that through and apply it against the prosecution standards of the department. >> let me give you the benefit of responding to the arguments that are coming from the white house. the president's lawyer jay sekulow is here. here's what he said. take a look. >> difference between lee kwon jaworski and ken starr was they reported to judges and panels. the special counsel reports to the attorney general of the united states. that's different and then there's a specific regulation that governs what confidential report is delivered not to the united states congress but a report that first goes from the special counsel to the attorney general. >> what is your response to his argument that the rules mueller
is operating under allow bill barr to render this final judgment and make congress less essential in his view to assessing potential obstruction? >> well, they are different obviously, and bob mueller has conducted himself very differently than starr and kavanaugh did. they ran a really public smear effort through their special counsel effort whereas bob mueller kept a very confidential private and professional effort going. so there are a lot of differences but barr remains accountable to the public on this and it is well within his discretion to hand over the report to congress and he ought to do that. i think the implication of all of these regulations is that ultimately particularly when you're dealing with the public official who is potentially subject to impeachment congress will get a look at what took place and here with the public promises that barr has made
we're expecting that he'll make a lot transparent and that he'll be very cautious about dealing with the grand jury 6e rulings with the potential executive privilege protections and with the i guess uncharged person traditions of the department so that we get to see as much as possible and that the american people can see as much as possible. >> so on that before i let you go -- >> around 6e so the house -- >> before i let you go, do you view the letter that he sent over the weekend as satisfying the rules' requirement they explain to congress -- >> no. >> these declination digs. >> i don't think he does either. but an opening response to quiet a lot of very active speculation but knowing full well he'd have to back it up with a very, very transparent release afterwards and we're going to hold him to account for that. >> understood. senator sheldon whitehouse,
thanks for joining us. thanks. the bizarre fallout from what george papadopoulos told us including how he and his wife met through a now missing russian spy. be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
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and an alleged russian spy and the reason george met his wife. we taped a separate joint interview with them. they say their interactions with the professor were quote very weird. >> i happen to finish working for the one starting the russia gauge and marry george papadopoulos and i do in very specific moments. >> you guys realize this is weird, right? >> it's super weird. >> it's super weird and there's lot of other questions about papadopoulos's verasty. it's up at msnbc youtube channel. you can go on our instagram or facebook pages to find this digital exclusive. and when we come back one more thing from eric. blrlcome back one more thing from eric. thing from eric. blrlrd label.
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we even talk basketball. there's a lot more we're going to show you including starting tomorrow. and that does it for me tonight. see you back here 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. trump with a vengeance. let's play "hardball." ♪ sfloets ♪ ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we have arnold schwarzenegger, the "terminator" tonight. he called jerry mandering a scandal. a cause i fully agree with. remember the count of monty cristo who dies trying to get revenge on his enemies? neat count of mar-a-lago. donald trump is out there