tv First Look MSNBC April 19, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PDT
target us. that is our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. special counsel mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to congress. i hope that was not his view since we don't convene grand juries and conduct criminal investigations for that purpose. he did not -- i didn't talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision, but i'm told that his reaction to that was that it was my prerogative as attorney general to make that decision. >> what a day, what a 24 hours or so, no criminal charges but still plenty of questions in congress. good morning. it is friday, april 19th. i'm yasmin vossoughian. we have made it after nearly two years of secrecy. the most talked about document
of the century dropped yesterday with the release of special counsel bob mueller's findings. it is a sweeping report with 448 pages in all. split into two volumes. one exploring russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether the trump campaign conspired to work with them. the other volume dealt with a potential obstruction of the investigation, chronicling ten episodes of the president's efforts that were mostly unsuccessful. largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or act seat to his requests. if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. based on the facts and the applicable legal standards,
however, we are unable to reach that judgment. with the first legal standard listed by mueller being the doj rule against indicting a sitting president. but quote, congress may apply the obstruction laws to the corrupt exercise of the powers with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law. attorney general barr attempted to shape the public's perception by excusing the president's behavior detailed within it. watch this. >> president trump faced an unprecedented situation. as he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates. at the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president's personal culpability.
yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. >> all right, so the report showed the decision on collusion is not as definitive as barr just described, as you just heard. mueller writing this. while the investigation identified numerous links with ties to the russian government and individuals associated with the trump campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. in his news conference yesterday, attorney general barr acknowledged that he gave the white house counsel an advanced look at the redacted report to decide on whether the president would invoke executive privilege, citing the cooperation with the probe, yet, trump did not agree to an interview and mueller's report says that after the president answered written questions in november of 2018 they informed trump's lawyers of quote the insufficiency of the responses,
namely, that in 36 separate instances the president said he did not remember or could not recall the conversations and events that they're asking about. questions that trump had described as easy at the time. watch this. >> you have provided answers, sir? >> about what? >> the special counsel -- your lawyers -- >> yeah. my lawyers aren't working on that. i write the answers. my lawyers don't write answers, i write answers. i was asked a series of questions. i have answered them very easily. very easily. i'm sure they're tripped up because they like to catch people, gee, is the weather sunny or was it rainy? you said it may have been a good day, it was rainy, therefore, to hold a lie. he perjured himself. okay? so you have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions, but no, it's -- the questions were very routinely
answered by me. it didn't take long to do them. i don't need lawyers to do that. you need lawyers for submittal and for the lawyers to do over some of the answers but they're not very difficult questions. okay? >> so mueller's report states that his office considered issuing a subpoena for the president's testimony. but were dissuaded by the prospect of a long legal battle. shortly before the release yesterday, president trump he tweeted this. this "game of thrones" style image reading quote, no collusion, no obstruction for the haters and the radical left democrats, game over. he has it pinned at the top of his tweets. it's not the first time he's tweeted a "game of thrones" style graphic. he tweeted this warning to iran regarding sanctions and he addressed the situation at an event for wounded warriors at the white house. >> they're having a good day. i'm having a good day too. it was called no collusion, no obstruction.
there never was, by the way, and there never will be. and we do have to get to the bottom of these things, i will say. and this should never happen. i say this in front of my friends, wounded warriors, i just call them warriors because we just shook hands and they look great. they look so good and so beautiful. but i say in front of my friends this should never happen to another president again. this hoax. this should never happen to another president again. thank you. >> all right. so you hear that. but congressional democrats they are vowing to wage a new fight over robert mueller's russian report with an increased focus on the parts they were not allowed to see and leaders are calling for both attorney general barr and mueller to
appear before lawmakers on the matter. capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt has more on this. >> reporter: democrats are lashing out at the attorney general. >> we clearly can't believe what attorney general barr tells us. >> reporter: saying a redacted mueller report isn't enough, now threatening to subpoena the full report with the underlying evidence and demanding to hear from the special counsel in person. >> i want to ask mr. mueller who is a former republican appointed fbi director about what happened with this investigation. >> reporter: the attorney general saying he's fine with mueller appearing. >> i have no objection to bob mueller personally testifying. >> reporter: mueller said there wasn't enough evidence to charge the president with a crime, democrats are zeroing in on the issue of obstruction. citing this passage in the mueller report which says congress should make a decision, writing quote, congress may apply the obstruction laws to the corrupt exercise of the powers of office. >> in terms of obstruction of justice, certainly mr. mueller
had the opportunity to say there was no obstruction of justice and he did not. >> reporter: all of it adds fuel to the several investigations that house democrats already have under way. into everything from the president's finances to possible abuse of power. but republicans are insisting the mueller report should close this chapter. >> i think our friends on the other side will try to destroy their reputations because they don't like what they're hearing. >> reporter: barr is set to testify in just two weeks. democrats also want mueller to testify before may 23rd and have promised subpoenas for the unredacted report. >> thank you for that report. joining me on the set, is legal analyst danny cevallos. you were on yesterday when this was breaking. one of the biggest takeaways was this quote that i read earlier, i'm going to reread it for everybody. i want to hear from you what
your biggest takeaways of that 400-plus pages or so was. we don't have that much time, by the way. so here's one of the major quotes that came out of it. if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would state it. we are unable to reach that judgment. >> would you believe that your favorite quote of that 400 page report is my favorite quote of that 400 page report. it's the one that jumped out at me because it's saying if we had seen clear evidence there was no -- nothing afoot here, no smoking gun, nothing bad, we would have said so. and the silence there is deafening because they didn't do that. they concluded early on he made the binary decision, robert mueller, they could not indict a sitting president and that colored their investigation throughout. that's why they simply amassed facts and data, shoved it over to whomever would look at it.
whether that's barr, congress, whomever. robert mueller is a rule follower and he amassed the facts and early on concluded pursuant to the opinion you can't indict the sitting president. >> and the president was angry and justifying so using that as a defense as to why he possibly tried to obstruct justice and yet the people surrounding him did not let him do so or let him follow through. >> we have a political analyst here today, but the choice of wording to say -- bear in mind, the president was frustrated. that was a gratuitous thing to say and yet it made him look very partisan. >> made him sound like a defense attorney. >> as a defense attorney i know that frustration is neither a defense to a crime nor is it even a mitigating factor. no defense attorney would stand up at sentencing and say, but,
your honor, my client robbed the bank because he was frustrated. i found that frustrating. perhaps it was an extemporaneous comment, a poor choice of wording but adding that at the press conference -- >> a slip of the tongue ala sarah sanders, maybe? >> perhaps, perhaps. it was a poor choice ultimately of words. maybe if he had it back, barr might not use that sentence again because saying that the president was frustrated to justify what he did wasn't a good look for optics. >> it's changing after more -- it seems like people's views of barr have changed considering what has taken place over the last couple of weeks or so. let's talk about the quote that kasie hunt pointed out. congress may apply the laws to the corrupt exercise of the -- to the accords and the principle that no person is above the law. what is congress' options now going forward? >> so it seems like if they wanted to investigate these
obstruction claims against the president there are two things they have to do first and they're taking steps to do that. the first is to obtain an unredacted copy of the report and the grand jury evidence and testimony that was included in the report but that was redacted. the second thing is to actually hear the special counsel's thoughts on the way this report was portrayed and the evidence in the report in his own words which means getting him to testify in front of congress. it's unclear if he'd be as forthcoming as he could be in the open hearing. so it would be behind closed doors. what was interesting to me the fact that mueller cited this opinion saying he couldn't charge a sitting president, the obstruction volume of the report, the second volume, was laid out like a road map. it featured you know 11 separate
instances of potential obstruction of justice by the president and in fact a couple of times that mueller seemed to be determining that trump's actions met the legal threshold to be obstruction. so it was interesting he said i can't charge the president. i can't really do much more here but it's up to congress and here's the road map. >> we have heard talks of impeachment. we'll talk about that later on, and of course the husband of kellyanne conway saying that the president is a cancer on this country and impeachment must be the next steps here. do you think this is only the beginning for talk like that? >> oh, absolutely. i think that the -- i think that the mueller report was kind of an inflection point. it might have been the midway point in this entire trump/russia story and the way that the republicans rebut the democrat -- the democratic actions here is going to be -- it will be going on for a long time. >> i understand that may 23rd is feasibly the deadline to see bob mueller testify before the house. you think that likely -- that
deadline is -- they're going to stick to that deadline? >> i think they're going to try to. but i wouldn't be surprised if they extended it if he wasn't able to. >> thank you guys, both. still ahead, everybody. we have much more from the mueller report including some of the moments sean spicer and sarah huckabee sanders were caught lying to the press. plus a check on your forecast. the truth of the forecast, when we come back. ♪
and that dependability is what we want to give our customers. at comcast, it's my job to constantly monitor our network. prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work in the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. welcome back. bob mueller's redacted report reveals that deputy attorney general rod rosenstein resisted an effort by president trump to get him to lie about former fbi director jim comey's firing. according to the report, on may 9th of 2017, the day comey was actually fired, the white house press office called the department of justice and said the white house wanted to put out a statement saying that it was rosenstein's idea to fire
comey. rosenstein told other doj officials that he would not participate in putting out a false story. the president then called rosenstein directly and said that he was watching fox news and that the coverage had been great and that he wanted rosenstein to do a press conference. rosenstein responded that this was not a good idea because in the press asked him, he would tell the truth that comey's firing was not his idea. but later that same evening, sean spicer told the media the recommendation came from rosenstein. >> the president was given a recommendation by the deputy attorney general who the fbi director reports to. the attorney general concurred with that that the fbi director had lost the confidence to lead the fbi and the president took the recommendation and agreed with him. >> another thing the mueller report reveals that then deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders lied to the press about
comey's firing. on may 10th of 2017, the day after comey was let go, sanders told reporters that quote, countless fbi agents had told the white house they had lost confidence in jim comey. she repeated that claim the next day on may 11th as well. >> i have heard from countless members of the fbi that are grateful and thankful for the president's decision and i think that, you know, we may have to agree to disagree. i'm sure there are some people that are disappointed, but i have certainly heard from a large number of individuals and that's just myself. i don't even know that many people in the fbi. >> you have said today and i think you said yesterday that you personally have talked to countless fbi officials, employees, since this happened. >> correct. >> i mean, really? like -- i mean -- >> between like email, text messages, yes. >> 60, 70? >> look, we won't get into the
numbers game. i have heard from a large number of individuals that work at the fbi that said they're very happy with the president's decision. >> so she stated it and then she doubled down. but according to the report, sanders who was interviewed by the special counsel's team admitted that her claim of hearing from countless members of the fbi it was quote a slip of the tongue. let's get a check on your weather now with the meteorologist. >> a difficult day, yesterday, 16 reported tornados in less than 24 hours. let's look at the video out toward utica, mississippi. look at the damage potentially of an ef-3 tornado. sustained winds of about 140 miles an hour. and we're still under that threat throughout the afternoon. let's take a look at what's happening right now across the radar. you can see the severe squall
line that's making its way across the panhandle of florida. that potential for this morning could go severe. but the biggest threat here this afternoon will be across the carolinas. currently we do have a tornado watch that's in place for alabama, georgia and the florida panhandle until 9:00 a.m. now, the big threat for the carolinas, we haven't seen this in a while. widespread tornado outbreak potential here for 44 million with damaging winds. also that large hail. the gusts are really picking up throughout the afternoon. so if you have travel plans it's really important to pack your patience here because the flood threat really increases from charlotte. if you're leaving out of rdu you'll have some delays also into new york. we'll be watching for the flash flooding. >> a tough weekend ahead for a lot of folks. still ahead, everybody, that op-ed i was talking about,
george conway, the husband of white house counselor kellyanne conway is out with his new op-ed calling president trump a cancer that must be removed. we're going to read from his new piece. you do not want to miss this, coming up next. next how do you get skin happy aveeno® with prebiotic oat. it hydrates and softens skin. so it looks like this... and you feel like this. aveeno® daily moisturizer get skin happy™ you don't see psoriasis.
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had to dig out their computers from 1994 to read it, i guess. say what you will about this president. he does have americans reading again. >> welcome back. in the wake of bob mueller's redacted report becoming public, george conway the husband of senior white house counselor kellyanne conway is out with a blistering new op-ed entitled this, trump is a cancer on the presidency. congress should remove him. he writes this in part, the special counsel's report is damning. mueller could not say with any confidence that the president of the united states is not a criminal. he said stunningly that quote if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice we would so state. mueller did not so state. presidential attempts to abuse power by putting personal interests above the nations can
surely be impeachable. he may have the raw constitutional power -- not to serve the public interest but to serve his own. he surely could be removed from office, even if he has not committed a criminal act. what the mueller report disturbingly shows today there's a cancer in the presidency. president donald j. trump and congress should excise that cancer without delay. still ahead, what it reveals about the russian efforts to meddle including the moment that the hackers started to hunt for hillary clinton's emails and how congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle are reacting to mueller's report. we're back in a moment. ck in a t ♪ - [woman] with shark's duo clean, i don't just clean, i deep clean carpets and floors, so i got this.
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and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi. this is xfi. simple, easy, awesome. ♪ welcome back. i'm yasmin vossoughian. it's the bottom of the hour. let's start with the morning's top story. president trump and his team they're celebrating the release of this report. claiming vindication, but the battle may not be over for the administration. nbc's peter alexander has more from the white house. >> good morning to you. president trump is projecting confidence, his personal lawyers feeling so emboldened that they're signaling they might not put out a counterreport, all eager to turn the page. but will the report's details allow them to move on?
just moments after the redacted report was released, president trump interrupting a celebration of wounded warriors labelling robert mueller's conclusions a personal victory. >> they're having a good day, i'm having a good day too. it was called no collusion, no obstruction. >> reporter: the president casted himself as a victim. >> this hoax, it should never happen to another president again. >> reporter: on a day president trump has waited nearly two years for tweeting a "game of thrones" themed game over. his aides ecstatic. >> the best day since he got elected. >> reporter: and reviewing the report ahead of time touting a massive win. >> not only has bob mueller concluded that there was no collusion with the russians, even under a twisted theory of obstruction -- i call it obstruction by tweet. even under that twisted theory, they could not write up a report on obstruction. >> reporter: but while the
special counsel's report didn't put the president in immediate legal jeopardy, politically it gives democrats new ammunition, especially on the issue of obstruction. it paints a remarkable portrait of the president as obsessed with the russian investigation, trying to seize control of the inquiry through his white house aides. it highlights at least ten current and former administration officials or associates who did not carry out his orders. including don mcgann who refused to tell the acting attorney general to fire mueller. the president ignoring the questions, offering only smiles and we have as. the report he thought might end his presidency marks the beginning of a new phase. peter alexander, the white house. >> thank you. the mueller report has shed new light on russian's role in meddling in the election along with the contacts with the trump campaign. mueller's probe did establish that the russian government believed that it would benefit
from a trump presidency. and worked to make sure it happened and found that the trump campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information that had been stolen and released through moscow's efforts, but the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in the election interference activities. the investigation also found that despite the numerous contacts between russia and the trump campaign, it did not amount to a legal influence when it came to the election. it should be noted though that our heavy redactions when it comes to the campaign's contacts with the russians. while the report is submitted one mystery from his investigation still remains. the special counsel's team referred 14 criminal cases of potential criminal activity to outside offices because the cases were quote, outside the scope of the special counsel's
jurisdiction. but only two of those referrals are public at this point. the cases involving former trump lawyer michael cohen and former obama white house counsel craig. and it details thousands of missing emails from hillary clinton's computer, her server, during the height of the presidential campaign. following this infamous plea by then candidate donald trump. >> but it would be interesting to see -- i will tell you this. russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. let's see if that happens. that'll be next. >> and according to the special counsel's office within roughly five hours of trump's statement, russian intelligence offices -- officers targeted clinton's officer for the first time in a bid to find those emails.
mueller's report goes on to say that the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the trump campaign lied to the special counsel's office and to congress about their interactions with russian affiliated individuals and related matters. those lies materially impaired the investigation of russian election interference. joining me on the set again, a business insider and the legal analyst, danny cevallos. it seems a lot of things that took place in the trump administration do not age well, considering what is coming out in the russian probe. danny, let's start with this sweeping statement from attorney general barr using the words no collusion which by the way was specifically stated in the mueller report not to be a legal term and yet the attorney general used that term yesterday morning during the press conference. no collusion which we well know the president has used thousands
of times probably at this point. not only on twitter but in public as well. in his public statements, but this report indicates that the no coordination line with russia, it's not as cut and dried as the trump administration and the attorney general would like the public to believe. >> that's right. it's a fundamental concept of american criminal law that mere presence, mere knowledge of a criminal or a crime is not itself a crime and what -- the way i read the mueller report is that it describes all of this activity. this gleeful -- this happiness of the russian hacking, knowing about it, having special knowledge about it, all of those things while morally questionable might not rise to the level of a crime. but in reading between the lines it feels like mueller concluded that they went right up to the line in knowing about the hacking. being happy about it. reporting on it internally. all of those things are not
quite enough for criminal liability. but just a little step further and they might have walked right over the line into conspiracy or attempt. >> but the trump administration just wants people to believe the bottom line. and the bottom line's -- the judgment of the bottom line of what the attorney general put out there in the four page memo despite everything that's been laid out in the 400 plus pages. >> that's right. even though there's a conclusion that there is no conspiracy and frankly i don't know who came up with the word collusion, right? i would line to do a special counsel investigation of who started the word collusion because it doesn't have any real legal significant, but it works for trump because if he says no collusion, collusion is something that isn't criminal anyway. but ultimately the conclusion that there is no conspiracy to commit an actual crime like computer hacking is good for the trump team. however, it's not great for impeachment because in theory, you need not have a crime in order to institute impeachment. >> what's interesting to me, if
we look ahead for a moment, there becomes these blurred lines of what the president -- of what potential presidents in the future or candidates can engage in with foreign -- with countries, with other countries overseas. >> yeah. absolutely. i think that that is going to be a complicating factor, especially for prosecutors investigating these kinds of actions in the future. but i think it's really important to note that anybody who says that this report completely vindicated the president is somebody who hasn't read the report. it's interesting, a lot of the time what actually stopped prosecutors from charging people with crimes was their belief that a lot of the time these people might have just been too incompetent or really didn't have an understanding of the u.s. legal framework. >> it goes back to the conversation, danny, that we had yesterday which is this question of intent. that it seems as if that was the thread throughout much of the 400-plus pages for the mueller report was that they could not necessarily say outright that they knew the intent of not only
the president, but the people surrounding the president as well. >> one of the things that criminal defense attorneys will tell you is that not knowing stuff is a premium if you're a criminal defendant. it's better to not know stuff than to know stuff. it appears that everybody on the trump team seems to know that fundamental principle of being a criminal defendant in america it's better not to remember and not know things than to have a memory, get it wrong or even guess. >> if donald trump was not the president of the united states, do you believe he would have been charged, danny? >> i believe because donald trump is the president, he has special duties and special privileges in that, for example, he can fire james comey. these are all things that he can do lawfully. he can issue pardons, things like that. if they're done with a corrupt motive they can cross the line into criminality. but that makes the president special and unique.
had a regular citizen done -- well, a regular citizen couldn't fire comey, but if a regular citizen committed these acts and then claimed i don't remember or i just didn't know it was illegal that's not the kind of thing that gets a criminal defendant very far in plea negotiations or a trial. >> talk about the fact we'll see the second version of the mueller report read by the gang of eight in a couple of days or so. >> they'll see the less redacted version but i doubt it will satisfy democrats who still want to see the unredacted. the completely unredacted version of the report but certainly they'll learn new details. most likely in the first volume of the report which details contacts between the trump campaign, people associated with the trump campaign and russians because that obviously that section contains by far the most redactions. >> all right. thank you guys so much. i appreciate it. still ahead, everybody, much more of the coverage of the mueller report including the steps the members of congress
but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take osteo bi-flex, to keep me moving the way i was made to. it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long term. osteo bi-flex. because i'm made to move. osteo bi-flex. it comes to the investigation into this president? do you really believe attorney general barr read a nearly 400-page report in one day? and that his 4-page summary is the whole truth? i'm tom steyer, and i'm organizing an effort to to release the full mueller report now and let the american people decide. if you think we have a right to read the report for ourselves, you can call the attorney general at this number.
our tax dollars paid for the report. don't let him cover up the truth. if old sphow will theyense helps know i worked hard?, i've gotta make stuff harder. ♪ there, that's hard. ♪ on a john deere x300 series mower. because seasons change but true character doesn't. wow, you've outdone yourself this time. hey, what're neighbors for? it's beautiful. run with us. search "john deere x300" for more. (burke) at fso we know how ton almost evercover almost anything. even rooftop parking. strange forces at work? only if you're referring to gravity-and we covered it. talk to farmers.
we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ welcome back. house judiciary chair jerrold nadler pointed to a need for further congressional oversight writing in a statement this. even if it's in complete -- even in its incomplete performance the mueller report outlines disturning evidence that president trump engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct. however, he was noncommittal about the potential for impeachment. >> the special counsel made clear he did not exonerate the president and the responsibi to the president accountable. >> if you choose to go towards impeachment how important would this report be? do you think this provides a road map? >> well, it's too early to talk about that.
i think it was probably written with the intent of providing congress a road map. >> all right. with the attorney general bill barr set to appear on may 2nd, nadler has called on special counsel robert mueller to testify by may 23rd. meanwhile, the committee is expected to issue subpoenas for the full unredacted report and underlying material any day now. the top leaders weighed in on the redacted mueller's report release yesterday. nancy pelosi is expressing her uneasy on twitter claiming that barr confirmed the staggering partisan effort by the trump administration to spin the public's view. also in a joint statement with senate minority leader chuck schumer, the two lined out four specific points where they believe barr quote deliberately distorted signint portions of special counsel mueller's report
including on the topic of
obstruction of justice. mitch mcconnell had a different take, releasing his own statement shortly after the report's release. it reads quote, the nation is fortunate to have an experienced leader like bill barr in place to ensure maximum possible transparency. he followed up, those sentiments on camera yesterday afternoon. >> this seems to me pretty clearly the democratic playbook is to go after the attorney general and for that matter i guess question his integrity and maybe that of the deputy attorney general. not to mention bob mueller. all three of them, sterling reputations. all three of them as close
to apolitical as you can imagine. let's get a check of your weather with janessa webb. >> we have seen this multiday severe weather event here and it will make its way to the
northeast later on this evening. but yesterday taking a hold of baton rouge, louisiana. we saw highways definitely flooded, over two to three inches per hour in spots of baton rouge. if you have been to heyman, to the zachary area, we are talking about two-lane highway so the drainage systems were overflowed in the area. things will clear out and things will start to dry out across louisiana today. but the biggest threat is across the carolinas from raleigh durham to charleston, south carolina. we do have 44 million under that severe weather risk. also, if you're flying out major airports are going to see big-time delays this afternoon. as the severe weather makes it way in and also the gusts will pick up to 35 to 50 miles an hour across coastal areas of the outer banks of north carolina as well. so expect these airport delays from charlotte, new york,
possibly pittsburgh. this whole system will make its way to the north by saturday afternoon. so just unfortunate, it's a holiday weekend, people are trying to get out and going to have some problems. >> thank you, janessa. coverage of the mueller report's release continuing. we're going to explore ag barr's thought process when it came to the redactions in this report. there were a lot of them. a look at that straight ahead. t.
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welcome back. the much anticipated mueller report contains more than 900 redactions. bill barr color coordinated the redactions. there were 426 spots that barr deemed important to ongoing sessions, including the case against former trump associate roger stone, 358 redactions related to prohibited grand jury material, 93 cases where if left unredacted the information could potentially reveal law enforcement tactics and sources and 74 instances that could infringe on the personal privacy of those mentioned in the document. within the 448-page report, seven entire pages are completely blacked out. the report also appears to reveal that the president did not actually think he would win when he was a candidate but
rather his candidacy was more of a branding exercise. during the trump tower moscow project, there were conversations with trump in which the candidate suggested his campaign would be a significant infomercial for trump-branded properties. coming up, axios's mike allen has a look at this morning's "1 big thing." and president trump and his team are celebrating the report's release declaring complete exoneration, but democrats in congress appear to see things a little bit differently as lawmakers grapple with what to do with the special counsel's findings. "morning joe" will pose that question to elijah cummings, richard blume enthat will, and congressman tim ryan and house committee member veronica escobar.
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all right. joining us from washington with a look at axios a.m., the co-founder of axios, mike allen. how you doing? >> great. happy friday. it's good friday. passover begins at sundown. after this crazy week, it's going to be a chance to refresh, recommend initial, recharg-- ree and reboot. >> talk to us about this morning's "1 big thing." >> the other don besides the president is don mcgahn. the president's relationship with don mcgahn quickly soured. we saw that don mcgahn talked for 30 hours with the mueller team. a lot of it shows in the
cinematic detail about what don mcgahn was doing, who he was thinking, who he was calling. the president realized that don mcgahn was soaking in and even letting go of a lot of what was known. axios has learned that the president got so suspicious of don mcgahn that he started to wonder if he was wearing a wire. we learn in the report that the president said that he was suspicious of all don mcgahn's note taking. this is a priceless exchange. the president said why are you taking notes? i've never had a lawyer who took notes and don mcgahn said to him "because i'm a real lawyer." >> wow. talk to us also about the report when it comes to mcgahn and comey and the firing of comey and also then the president wanting to see mueller removed from his position. >> that's right. and this was one of the many
cases where the president's aides saved him from himself. it's clear that the president wanted to orchestrate what was going on with the investigation. one of my takeaways from the report was we'd seen the president as sort of a passive actor in the investigation, ranting on twitter, but what we see again and again in the report, hints of this have been reported but we see much more detail about it is the president was trying to be an activist defender, to move the investigation himself. so here with don mcgahn where we hear in detail about how he was determined to resign, he thought that what the president had asked him to do was so inappropriate. we see that with several of these aides. people were asked to do things they either didn't want to do, knew were illegal so they either slow walked them and ignored them and actually kept the president out of trouble, perhaps kept the president from
provable destruction because they were disobedient aides. >> many examples in this report are from the early days of the trump administration. do you think that this type of tactic from the president's staff has continued in which they're not listening to the president for the things that he asks of them? >> that's a pretty good point. there's more and more people in this white house who are less and less likely to stand up to the president. so what you always hear from inside is a good thing about this white house is you can put something in the president's mind and it will happen. the bad thing about this white house is you can put something in the president's mind and it will happen. so the guardrails, the process that had been put in place is gone. there's fewer and fewer, aide after aide, jonathan carl counted seven of them who had resisted what the president asked them to do.
there are fewer and fewer people who are likely to do that as the circle has gotten smaller and smaller, you have more and more people who are more likely to carry out what the president wanted to do. we saw another case of this where the president wanted people to interfere in the at&t case. they ignored him and probably kept the white house out of trouble. >> thank you. to all of our views out there, you, too, can sign up at axios.com. "morning joe" starts right now. >> and as the special counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining himself presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. >> you s