tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 29, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
problems to solve are the ones created by his own policy. that's all for tonight. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. >> the attorney general issued a clarification. the mueller report is several hundred pages long. we, the people, can expect a redacted version by mid april. that's going to cut it for democrats in congress. >> plus, a former ambassador to russia is with us to talk about what it was like in front of adam schiff's house intel committee. the president begins another florida weekend claiming he has an exonerated and threatening to shut down the border. all of it as t"the 11th hour" gets underway on a friday night. good evening once again from our nbc headquarters, day 799 of the trump's administration. it may be proof that our
attorney general has a working television and seen some of the coverage of the last words he spoke to an anxious american public. his four-page letter orrin sunday which was after all all we had to go on. today after six-day of non-stop coverage. the anger among democrats who are not allowed the see the report. the president declared himself exonerated. the attorney general corrects the record a little bit given the reaction of the last letter, he was not an exhaust recounting of the special investigation. barr plans to release the mueller report by mid april if not sooner and he does not plan to give trump an advance copy for review. he says it is nearly 400 pages long and he's available to testify in congress about it in early may. the president was asked about it in florida today.
>> i have great confidence in the attorney general, and that's what he likes to do -- i have nothing to hide. >> the response is a bit subdue than the message he sent out later. "no matter what the radical left democrats get, no matter what they give them, it will never be enough. just watch, they will harass and complain and resist, maybe we should take our victory and say no. we got a country to run." more on that later. the most notable part of barr's new letter of mueller's findings involved what we'll not see. he writes that he's working with the special counsel. robert mueller after his job is done is still redacting or admitting the following. material compromising and
intelligence sources and medals. materials affecting ongoing investigations including those referred by mueller and other doj offices. materials infringing on privacy and reputation of peripheral third parties. that could mean a whole lot of people. >> about that criminal procedure rule 6-e. here is how fox news's legal analyst explains its relevance to the content of mueller's report. >> he says if there is information in there negative to a person who was not charged, that information can not be released. that's what the democrats want. this is why i think adamsivi sc is right. there are materials out there points toward guilts but not enough of them to reach a level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. >> rudy giuliani says he still
wants the full report to come out adding this note. "if we have a few nasty facts in there, i am ready to slam it down their throat." barr's letter was sent to the chairman of the judiciary committee house and senate. the man running the house committee. jerry nadler of new york responded in a statement that read in part, "congress requires the full and complete mueller report without redactions as well as access to the under l p lining evidence by april 2nd, it is critical for attorney barr to come to congress to explain the rational behind his letter." house democrats are gearing up to accuse barr of the cover up if the findings he releases are not complete. one house staff member told the post ", post, if he does not include the full summary or whatever he gives to congress, that amount to a cover up.
we do not want anything in the words of the attorney general's. we want to see robert mueller's words. many hope mueller's report will answer why trump was able to avoid an interview, a sit-down interview with the special counsel. he was allowed to submit written answers instead. here is how his formal white house lawyer ty cobb responded when asked by kristen welker today. >> why didn't the president ever sit for an interview with the special counsel. >> other presidents proceeded of written questions. none of them provided the degree of cooperation that this white house did. it was a great compromise to proceed by written questions. it prevented a 9-15 month court battle that would not have generated much information. there were concerns at some point that based on the
negotiations that they had to get the scope to a reasonable point in order to be confidence so the president can answer the question factually. >> our contributor, who happens to be former fbi assistant director for counter intelligence told nicole wallace this afternoon where he believes we may learn the real answer to that question. >> i think the answer is in the appendixes and here is why. from what i know how mueller works on these sensitive issues is he'll remoralize it for the record. it is not likely it is in the body of the report. >> let's with that bring in our lead-off panels on a friday night. joyce vance, brian bennett for time magazine and jeremy bash,
former chief counsel of the house intel committee. jeremy, what was the headline of that letter today? >> well, i think first of all, with respect to the materials that'll be withheld because it can compromise intelligence and sources and methods. the committee can't have access to that because anything in the possession of the intelligence community can go to the hill. congress will see that, i don't know how much of that will be made public. the other headline brian was a notion that the attorney general is going to make a decision about protecting quote, "peripheral third party." that can be anybody, don jr. or jared or ivanka or other campaign staffs and other people in the trump's inner circle. it will be more pruden prudent -- public interest will be better served if bill barr
>> imagine how many attachments and appendixes this case has. >> a big part of the news today was not very sexy but it was finding out how many pages were involved in mueller's report, learning it was almost 400 pages and that did not completes the exhibit that they were in addition to that. when the fbi does these investigations, they write down a report of the interview for every witness they talk to it is called an fbi 302. it is a complete restoration of the conversation. that could be thousands upon thousands of pages of additional evidence. we don't know if that'll be transferred to congress as part of the mueller report, it will be critical for congress to have access to all of that raw data to aid their investigation to permit them to engage them to oversight. >> brian bennett, is this not risky by house democrats to put their foot down and insist on april second. does a.g. have the ability to call them together and look you don't want me to do this. there are names in here and it is not ready. let me go through the process and we'll talk about it then? >> well, the attorney general, william barr, has shown himself to be this big umbrella over
donald trump. he's plan to take his time and looking at the report and make redactions. he's going to be under tremendous measure to lead us into the report as much as possible in the hands of congress. we'll have to see how that plays out. jerry nadler said i want to see the report on tuesday and he should come and testify immediately about this. barr is saying i need to do responsible job to address all these concerns and the report is handled in an appropriate way. another thing that he'll be redacting or looking at redacting is information that deals with cases that are ongoing. he does handle over the report who had a lot of redactions, it could be assumptions of a lot of cases ovove overlap with the mus case. >> joyce, as we can really envision when we'll get our hands-on what ever it is left on the 400 pages.
do you anticipate the president and his lawyers again rudy giuliani as tonight we say let it out and let's release the report. do you think it will be brave as the day approaches? >> i think it is unlikely that they'll continue to put up the brave front. the president never hesitated to shift courses midstream when he thinks it to his advantage. as his date goes larger, the idea, don mcgahn interview that you reference or bob mueller's conversation of hope hicks that all of that material or most of it is going to go on the hill or maybe have public release. that's going to increasingly weigh on the president. we'll see if he'll perhaps try to exert executive privilege down the road. >> jeremy, no one stands up and interrupts and fact-checks, when he said he did it last night and
completely exonerated, there was no one there to object. does this letter today change anything about the parameters surrounding donald trump's contention? yeah, i think this is the president's essential problem here. he had his best headlines and the entire episode already passed from last sunday. it is only going to go down here from here as we and the public learn more of the facts of what's in the report. the report was not a binary question who shot j.r., was it person x or person y? this is a report about a body of information and evidence, mueller will show a lot of trouble and conduct and suspicious conduct and a lot of conducts that we may think it is
for giving us the j.r. reference. >> do the days get worse from here on out and for the president as this gets more real, maybe it is a much more flimsy thing that he says he's been totally exonerated. >> overtime more and more details are going to come out about what's in the report. that will means more and more focus and attention and narrative about what connections between russia and the trump campaign. a lot of that is in the public domain but the next several weeks causes a moment for it to be judged backup and rehash. it is not good for the president. there is a demand for information that mueller found out to go under the public domain, why? we have an election coming up in 2020. voters need to know what their sitting president did during his
campaign and fill in the details and the gaps between the information that has already come out during the mueller indictment. >> can i close with you joyce, is robert mueller going to let bad things happen to his work product? is there private of authorship? he does have a seat at the table during the editing and redaction process. he's likely to be called before congress as well. >> mueller has a very simple job here. it is a prosecutor's job. it is not a political job. he's not a historian or a savior. his job is to make the investigation. the decision maker here, he needs the think of his legacy
and the american people. william barr who was hired to submit this 90-page memo have preanswered questions that the president wanted him to answer in the way the president wanted to see those answers. now we are about to find out is barr the president's lawyer or the people's lawyer. he's supposed to be the people's lawyer. >> much to joyce vance and jeremy bash and bennett. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> one of our big confrontation of capitol hill this week. later, president trump warns he's not playing games, he threatens to close down our southern border. we'll have our two best journalists tell us what they are feeling about this political strategy post-mueller as "the 11
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bill barr and his confirmation says i will be as transparent as possible. if he's true to those words as jerry nadler says, he would not be saying i am cutting all the grand jury material. congress, i would go to court tomorrow to seek permission to send it all to you. >> i was in this studio tonight, the house intel chairman adam schiff speaking to rachel machad maddow.
on thursday republicans called for his resignation during a hearing. congressman schiff made clear that he would not redesign laid out what he sees is a deeply troubling pattern of conduct from trump and trump's associates related to the 2016 campaign. tonight it was brought to our attention that schiff's t-shirts are for sale on the official trump's campaign website depicting him of clown features. our next guest witnessed this week's partisan outburst. he was sitting in the hearing room and testified vladimir putin influence in our world and election. >> can you use your five minutes to speak. >> you attacked me in your opening statement. >> i have not to respond. >> no one every here thinks that. >> no one ever boaover here thi. >> the attorney was not recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman.
>> that man is with us today, mike mccfaul. tell us why you were there ambassador and what it was like to be there? >> first, it was quite an introduction after all of that argument. i was there to testify about putin's use of money of the oligarchs. i got a detailed letter asking us to address those certain questions and that's what i was there to do. >> the republican, nunes, been the chairman of the committee opened up an interrogation of you. he asked you questions of carter page and fusion gps and the steele dossier. what was he getting that?
was he trying to infer you are working for the other team? >> i guess so, brian. now i have testified many, many times over decades in the u.s. congress. i have never been interrogated like that. the insinuations was somehow that i committed some wrong doing. of course, i had nothing to do with all of those people. i said that. although i did say when he asked me if i met ambassador kislyak, i said yes, i met him many times because i worked at the white house as you know for three years. i dealt with kislyak on diplomatic issues and he was my counter party. that was also odd like i surely a member of congress would have known that. it is easy to google and find images of us. i think he wanted to link me to this conspiracy that they are trying to connect dots to of corruption around the steele dossier and the fisa process that led to the monitoring of
cart ir pa cart carter page. that was my theory. >> because of your unique portfolio and your life's work, you bring a unique view of this whole case as we discussed with you in realtime for the better part of two years. what do you, mike, mcfaul, wan to see and what aspect of the mueller report are you ready to thumb through or read? >> i want to remind viewers that if you go back and look at his two indictments of the russians, the internet research agencies, the group that falsely appeared as americans on websites. we learned an incredibly amount of the russian operation to influence voter in 2016. those were not the only two things that russians did.
mr. mueller is the most expert person in the world on what russia tried to do in terms of influencing voters in 2016. i hope he documented it in that report so we can no what happens with respect to the russians so we can move to the descriptive phase. >> his word can be the closest thing we have in this debate to gospel? >> you know i hope the report will be as detailed as i would expected to be. i used to work with bob mueller when i was a government. he was a thorough guy. the main thing i would hope and i said it at the hearing yesterday. i am so tired of americans polarizing which should be national security issue. i used to work for the national
security council. i did not work for the democratic security council. there is no such thing as democratic or republican security. there is winners and losers and you can support that. when we are attacked, our foreign enemies are not attacking one or another. i hope that the report will help to cut and get us back together to deal with the description. we have done next to nothing to prevent a similar attack happening from 2020. remember it is not just the russians. everybody is watching putin's play back and a lot of actors dould could be doing the same thing >> our former ambassador, mike mcfaul. thank you for coming on. >> sure. >> coming up tonight, new reporting on how the trump campaign plans to use the mueller report to win a second term.
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>> anybody there getting a hint of revenge, that was the president's message at last night's rally in michigan. according to new reporting, "mr. trump is focusing on vengeance after the end of the investigation led by the special counsel. his campaign are attacking the democrats." later today of another favor. >> we have two big caravans coming up from guatemala. massive caravans walking right through mexico so mexico can stop them but they chose not to. now they're going to stop them. if they won't stop them, we are closing the border. we'll keep it close for a long time. i am not playing games. >> marco rubio nodding in agreement there for a moment and to be clear. this would mean shutting down all trade with mexico which
amounts to almost $2 billion a day. back with us tonight, jonathan allen, our national political reporter and annie carney, annie, there is no way to put this. is this an all base all the time? it is not a great way to win but we have been wrong in the past. >> the president shows no interest in winning of new customers. his 2020 campaign which i toured this week and writing ining the, it is a real operation. it is a huge field operation and much more real campaign in 2018. what has not chaeng nged is the candidate they are working with. and so what we saw last night was a good preview of what's going to happen. he did his vengeance against
mueller and started the drain the swamp harping back to the outsi outsider. and he's going to hit this mueller probe as a way t to -- they said it is useful even in the plain field in terms of credibility which the president is low of all the fact-checks we have done in two years. this can mean that the media credibility and democrats credibility is also low. >> i am talking about a rick will c wilson's tweet. he passed 500,000 followers this week. this is wednesday. "aren't we due for a caravan." it is friday, we have two caravans, what are we going to do with this?
>> he continues to expand his field of potential supporters. you know the caravans are something that president trump continues to turn to. he's a president and a candidate who talks in terms of nostalgia. i wi this campaign is looking like fear and loathing on the campaign trail. this attempt to undermine adam schiff and jerry nadler and anybody that's operating a check on him or pursuing the leads that mueller had uncovered or we'll see uncovered when we see the report. the caravan is something that's important to him and something that he is going to continue to distress. he'll talk about billing tuildi wall. we'll see him going to the border and show with the money he reappropriated in congress.
so you know buckle up, we'll get a lot of the same but maybe at a higher speed. >> annie, i note that you and maggie buried a little ied for the end of your story when you reported that the president bend tires, he was pushing back against the addition of a campaign stop. that's not going to go over well. >> that's not going to go over well. that may be a line in there that the president does not like to read or reacts to it or gets out there on the road let's just say. yeah, there has been some unstoppable candidate who used to do at the end of last cycle, four rallies a day has had been forced to do it and we talked about this rally they wanted to do. it is notable that only because the campaign's trying to push him to do it, it is not that he wants to do it.
that can change and he did a lot of campaign for the midterms, he did a lot of talking for the caravan. that message did not help the republicans to keep the house. maybe it is different when trump actually have a ballot. for now, he's not dying to get out there to do three rallies a day. >> i wonder if nanyone will cal him low energy. john, considering the president converted a four-page letter of sentence fragments of mueller into total exoneration, did he have the best week he could have in current time? >> yeah, i don't think there is a better week for the president since he took office in terms of having an opportunity free and clear given to him by his attorney general to go out and make the case that he's the victim as he did last night of what he said was a left wing deep state conspiracy to deny
the legitimacy of his election and prevent his agenda moving forward and preventing him becoming the president. that was the four-page letter of the attorney general. he already starts to soften as he talks to congress of what's coming. we'll see the report. it is not a total exoneration even though fragments of sens sentences that you talked about say the opposite of obstruction of justice. i am not saying the house will impeach president trump but two have been impeached by the house of representatives who would tell you that impeachment does not have to be done in conjunction with things that the president would be held accountable in a criminal court. bill clinton was not convicted of any crimes but impeached.
andrew johnson was impeached and did not serve any prison sentence. with big tips to the hats of our john allen and our annie karni. appreciate it, guys. >> we ask two of the most historians of our time, if there is any hopeful of what one of our guests describe as a new age of enlightment as this post era as we come back. my experience with usaa
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democrats have decide whether they'll continue to plotting the public with ridiculous -- >> so that happened in michigan last night. that's new in our public discourse and the rest of it yet another example of the president's unique embrace of triablism as attack on the other, everyone and anyone who is going against him are not new. one of our next guest suggests each side viewing this moment in history as a learning opportunity. in an article for time, john meacham wrote, "we tend to assess events not in the light of reason but with the flames of partisan passion." we welcome to the broadcast, edwin thomas. his new book is "first."
the portrait of the first woman supreme court justice. our discussion on that forthcoming. john meacham, coauthored with tim mccgraw of "songs of americ" is due out on june 11th. john, you need to do first. is this a thing now? are we going to have to paut language warning on our president's speeches. fdr did not talk like this or 41 did not talk like this or obama did not talk like this? >> yes, we are. that's evidence for three or four years to look now that the presidency of the kind of moral guidance that we have been used to looking for a point of exercise and a temporary passing thing. president trump is defining the presidency down. we know that the presidency has
not changed him. we don't know whether he changed the presidency with any kind of permanent effect. >> evan, same question. >> well, the question, has he made it normal to be profane in the presidency, as in normalize -- hope not. this country comes back from a lot of -- john meacham is the expert on this. we had a lot of bad periods and people misbehaved and each time somebody comes along the make it better. >> evan, will it be an individual who gets us back to true north in this hazy future we are talking about or will it be a public longing for standards and the way we used to
be? >> usually it is a crisis and something terrible happens and somebody comes forward, fdr, there is a lot of examples, lincoln. somebody rises to the occasion. america has wonderful gifts to find leaders and time to make it better. i don't know what the crisis are going to be or the leaders. i have faith that if the crisis comes, somebody will arrive to it. not more than one person. the country arrives to it but true leadership. >> john, what about the drum beat of crisis. we have not one but two new caravans headed to the border that the president is threatening to shut. >> right, i think to go to the leadership follow ship point and this goes straight to the president attempt to find the enemy even if there is not one or exacerbate threats and create this sense of urgency that we would presumably need him to
resolve. he's creating it. leadership is really only possible in a democracy when followers make it so. we are the most human form of government. you would think a monarch would be. in fact, beginning with plato and running all the way through james madison a republic is in fact most humans under take him. our disposition are harden minds, matter in the public's square. the presidency has been most effective, when someone in power has truly reflected the voices of the powerless. when the power of the united states curses in front of x
number of thousands of people. he's reflecting a broader d culture. it is up to us to make possible to incentivize leaders to try to return to a certain kind of dignity and a certain kind of reason. do we really believe? does caravans come into take away what we really have? if it does, there is a rational political respond. do we support the president? if that seems to you over heated and perhaps may be convenient? it probably is. my argument is to take data and weigh it and don't follow one person or another but make up our own minds and figure out what's the best vessel to make that broader experience come to past. >> to our audience, both of these gentlemen have agreed to
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evan thomas and jon meacham remain with us. fans of old school journalism will note both gentlemen, while still young men, are visa of news week, the only original "newsweek" and the only word i left out of evan's title of editor at large are former. both are widely published historians. as we noted, this is one of the odd weeks in the calender year when jon meacham doesn't have a new book out and evan does. and what a book it is. it is in my happened. it is called "first" sandra day o'connor, an intimate portrait of the first woman supreme court justice. evan, i've got to say i am
enjoying every page of this. i'm up to let's call it pillowgate, something i prefer from contemporary history, which we won't explain, we'll force people to buy the book and figure out what pillowgate is. i have one question, could she be confirmed today? >> probably not. she's too moderate. she's too reasonable to use jon meacham's criteria. she was confirmed 99 to 0. you don't find that today. she was a person of the center. she valued that. she valued common sense and reason. she really didn't like doctrine. she didn't like rigid doctrine. she was somebody who could make a deal, even on the supreme court, a principled deal but a deal. >> i just came across a scene two readings ago where she's taking a winter walk as she liked to do with her clerks and staff. someone goes to steady her elbow
and in effect she swats away their hand, which speaks to her can tank russness and her independence. the portrait you draw let's us believe that absent her upbringing and humanity she wouldn't have been who she was. she wouldn't have been the jurist she was. >> she grew up on a ranch, you know, 160,000 acres, really taught her self-reliance. taught her to be an independent thinker. she could be ornery. she could be tough but she could also be loving. one of the stories i really like in the book is -- clarence thomas told me, justice thomas, when he came on the court after the anita hearing -- the anita hill hearings, which were pretty harsh, justice thomas said i felt hammered and justice o'connor walked with me and said, you know, those hearings, they were really damaging.
thomas didn't know what to say. damaging to him, well? of course. the next day she walked with justice thomas and said you got to come to lunch, you got to come to lunch. she made him come to lunch and he said it changed everything for him. he didn't feel alone. he didn't feel like an outsider anymore. he felt like part of a group. she was the glue that kept the court together. >> jon meacham, i thought of you today because jim mccarthy tweeted, "closing the office of george h.w. bush after -- what an honor truly and to serve with such loyal devoted colleagues made it all the more special. of course the cause goes on. what you and evan have in common is sandra day o'connor's family opened up diaries. they had no secrets. and you had that same access to
41, whose death kind of bookends this period we're in. >> it does. and i'm glad you showed that. no greater man was ever served by a greater group of people there in houston. and one of the things that is so remarkable about evan's book, and i was lucky enough with as you say president bush, is you actually get inside the private thoughts of people who wanted you to think a lot of the time they didn't have any private thoughts. and one of the -- one of the things about president bush was as he used to say nobody wants to hear the president of the united states whine all the time. gee, that seems somewhat relevant. you know, you've climbed the highest mountain in the world. people don't want -- people want -- they look to you for a calm in a storm and i think the same is true with justice o'connor. and what evan's done so brilliantly here is given us this complicated portrait of a woman who i think wanted us to
see as this tough westerner, as this pragmatic person, but like all of us is an immensely complicated figure and the fact that she was truly the first. before ruth bader ginsburg, before rbg there was soc and the value of this book is you find this wonderfully complex woman who changed american history, the first woman on the supreme court. >> this is the book in my hand appropriately titled "first." the author evan thomas with us tonight, as is our friend jon meacham. gentlemen, thank you both so much for coming on on on a friday night. we really appreciate it. and coming up, even entire societies times need to be reminded what makes them great. life isn't a straight line. things happen. and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow.
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[zara larsson - "wow"] ♪ ♪ baby i'm not even in a gown ♪ and the only thing u have to say is wow ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ ♪ and you never felt this type of emotion ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ last thing before we go tonight. there were people in the streets and parks and squares of london today. another perilous day for the united kingdom where everything
but civil order and tea service appear to have fallen apart. these are terrible days for one of the great nations on earth. parliament has been through more brexit votes than we can reliably recount here. originally this was supposed to be the night of the british exit from the eu. that's gone by the boards. the prime minister has offered to resign and she likely will have to soon, but it's almost immaterial at this point. no one knows where britain is headed. it's a terrible spectacle for the whole world to watch. so we thought it might be high time to remind great britain why it's great. and who better to do that, really, than one of their own? former prime minister hugh grant. >> we may be a small country, but we're a great one, too. a country of shakespeare, churchill, the beatles, sean connery, "harry potter," david
beckham's right foot. david beckham's left foot, come to that, and a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. and since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward i will be prepared to be much storage and the president should be prepared for that. >> that is what british greatness looks like right there. it was a message you'll know president billy bob thornton no doubt needed to hear. a sentiment we hope great britain keeps in mind as it is facing this great challenge ahead of them. that is our broadcast for this friday and for this week. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. happy friday. thanks for joining us this hour. turns out the news rules of this era we're all living through have not been suspended. it is friday night, and therefore per unshakeable decree