tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC April 20, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
statement wasn't true, she actually lied about her lie. to people who knew she was lying about her lie. that, that is truly pathological lying. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington and welcome to msnbc's special coverage of the mueller report. special counsel mueller offeress damning evidence and yet "the new york times" according to those close to trump the president has not even read the report. the irony is right now it's democrats, not republicans who are divided on their next moves. elizabeth warren is calling for the house to begin an impeachment inquiry. saying by tweet the severity of
this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set side political considerations and do their constitutional duty. that means the house should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the united states. that's a direct quote. she emphasized that point yet again here on msnbc. >> this is about a point of principle. i get it there are people who think, politically, no it's going to be too hard to do this. this isn't about politics. this isn't even specifically about donald trump himself. it is about what a president of the united states should be able to do and what the role of congress is. >> i like that, but the democrat who holds the gavel now house speaker nancy pelosi has released a statement saying, one step at a time. we're focused on getting the full unredacted version of the report she wrote and it's
underlying documents as well as hearing from mueller report -- mueller the report itself raises more questions and concerns that we believe the american people deserve answer to. that doesn't sound like a leader and the homeland security. congressman, i get the very clear message from your speaker and your leader, they do not want to impeach? >> what's my job? chris, my job is oversight and making sure that justice is done, transparency for the american people. this morning i had a meeting with students and parents. we started talking about the possible repercussions here of working on the president and i had divisions up and down people saying, yes, impeachment, other people saying, no, no impeachment. the issue was the facts. what are the facts? i think that's what we have to do in judiciary committee, which is we've got to come out and let the public know what is going on. 100% transparency. >> well, yes, but you've got a 400-page report in hand now and
maybe you can get some nuance from the redactions, maybe, maybe some more nuance from the sworn public testimony of barr, certainly mueller. it seems to be that 90 something percent is in front of you and nobody wants to make a decision except senator warren? >> no, it's not about making a decision. it's about making sure we make an informed process. to me, mr. mueller did a great job. now it's up to us and that committee judiciary to do our job which is to look into the report. i want to hear from mueller himself, what happened, what he found out. i want to find out from mr. barr what is it that led him to come up with that four page conclusion. you know why? the american public needs to know what actually happened, what these folks came up with. >> what would make you support -- i could ask it either way, what would make you support
a resolution for impeachment to begin the proceedings, the house has to vote for a resolution to begin the proceedings, not to vote on whether he's guilty or not or to impeach him or not but to begin the proceedings, what would get you to do that, what in this story line that would develop that would say to you, okay, i'm for resolution to beginning the proceeding? >> i think the mueller report was a road map to get there. we just have to make sure that we look at the facts and that the facts are there to to substantiate an impeachment process of the president of the united states. i don't believe we're there because of that term called due process and as the president, he is also entitled to due process. i have to tell you, at the same time, this is going to take time. that mueller report took about two years to get here and we have an election here in california in about a little bit more than ten months, so we have to take all these issues into consideration.
we may run into the fact that voters are going to vote based on the facts that we can come up with in judiciary. >> let's try three things. suppose don mcgahn, the former white house lawyer is telling the truth, that trump told him to fire the special counsel. suppose it's true that trump really did answer his questions 37 times by saying i don't remember, suppose it's true that the president will not give you his tax returns, is that enough for impeachment, those three things? because it looks like that's where he's going. >> chris, i can't deal with suppose. i want to see what the facts are before i make that determination. that's what my constituents expect of me which is, let's come up with the truth. this country is deeply divided. everybody is spinning the truth, everybody is spinning facts and to me, what my constituents want is for us to do a complete overview of the facts to come up with the truth as best as we can and based on what we come up with, then we make a decision. anything short? you know who wins, the russians. why?
they're the ones that infected our 2016 election and they're the ones that are coming out smelling like roses. let's not forget that second aspect which is the russians. what do we do about a foreign power that decides they are going to get involved in affecting american elections, american democracy? at what point does a country do we say, if you do that, that's essentially a declaration of war. those are some of the issues i'm interested in looking at as well. >> thank you, sir. great to have you here on holy saturday. happy easter to you and thank you for joining us. now i want to go to -- >> happy easter. now ryan riley senior justice reporter, kimberly atkins for npr and joan wine banks. i want to start with jill. it feels a lot different than watergate right now. it felt a lot like it for the last two years but now it feels like everybody, oh, we're all
for capital punishment but we're not going to hang the guy. let somebody else hang them. they would have loved it if robert mueller would have done it. the political -- let me put it this way -- caution, the yellow flag is up. it's not a white flag. it's a yellow flag. >> there was a lot of caution even in the mueller report. i personally am probably going to cause a lot of people to be upset. i think he was too cautious. i think he should have subpoenaed the president. the argument that it would have taken too much time is not true. i mean, i can tell you how fast we got from a subpoena for the tapes for the trial to a supreme court unanimous decision was less than four months and it took less than a few weeks to go from the turning in of the road
map to the court's approving the road map going to congress. so i think that there is something amiss here. his behavior is certainly admirable compared to barr's. barr was despicable. he lied just hours before we were going to see the facts, the truth. he said things an hour later that you read, that's the opposite of what mueller said. he's saying something completely different than what we were told and that was a clear p.r. move. that was not an appropriate behavior for the attorney general any more than in watergate it was appropriate for the attorney general in his office of the attorney general approving the break-in and that's what happened in watergate. >> bill barr was acting like a politician the last four weeks. >> yes. >> now are democrats in the house acting like politicians? i think the president smells fear. i think the president is going on offense the next couple of days. he's not going to play defense because he sees the democrats are on the run. they're afraid of making this
decision. i want to hear from mueller and barr, i want to see the unredacted. give me a break. >> yeah. i think what we've seen here is there is the legal question and the constitutional question about what members of the house will do and then there's the political reality and they are not aligned right now. you could say, yes, while robert mueller did not say we have found this crime was committed by this president, he did say, we could not, if we found that there was no crime, we would say so. we did not say that. we have laid out evidence and it is under the per view of congress to act based on this evidence and so it puts it all on them right before an election year at a time where mueller and the investigation is not the thing that seems to be moving voters right now. it's the thing that certainly seems to be galvanizing
republicans around donald trump who is declaring victory and they are at this political crossroads, what do they do? some say, and there's disagreement, some the more progressives say it's our constitutional duty as a congress to be a check, a coequal branch of government that's a check on the executive, we must impeach. others are saying it's not going to pass in the senate. he's not going to be convicted. it's time to move on and focus on other things and in the meantime, they can try to bring in robert mueller to testify while they figure out what the next move is. >> i know -- kimberly's got it right. that the left tends to be more aggressive in partisan terms. i'm not sure it all squares, that there's three or four levels here, there's the ideology and there's aggressive partisanship. that's aligned with the most ideological. i'm a person of either party and i've been elected to preserve the constitution. that's my number one deal here. my oath, it's the only oath i take is to preserve the constitution. you know, i sometimes get thrilled about this, what an honor, what an honor to protect the constitution and you see a
president flaunting it. >> i think -- >> flouting it i should -- flouting it and laughing at it, not even reading the report, going after the one guy that he knows told the truth, mcgahn, his lawyer, making him the bad guy in this mobster behavior and you say, we'll let this guy walk? that's the only alternative. if you don't begin the process of prosecution, you say summary judgment you're gone. i'm afraid that by june they'll do that because they'll be running out of excuses by then. >> we've done some polling on the mueller issue throughout the entire -- >> that's the wrong way to do it, though. polling. i'm sorry. that's my judgment. >> i think what's depressing about it is, people have their views pretty locked in on this. whatever they've thought from the beginning they still think today and that 400 page extensive report that goes into into excruciating details and troublesome actions by the president probably isn't going
to shift that that much. >> you want to ask the people to be citizens. ask the voters to be citizens. ask them to flip it over and say, if hillary rodham clinton had done the exact same thing, benefited from the russian intervention in the campaign. >> sure. >> clearly benefited from it, helped that benefit, enjoyed it, took advantage of and then tried to fire the fbi director for investigating it, tried to fire the counsel, had done -- they would have burned her at the stake by now. are we kidding? okay. if it were the liberal democrat you don't like hillary clinton or moderate democrat you don't like, can't you make them make a constitutional judgment. the average voter said i'd fry her if she'd did this. a lot of these tough guys would say, you're right. if she did this it would be different -- >> that's exactly where the political and constitutional/legal realities differ. look at what happened when bill clinton had articles of impeachment drawn against him. he was not convicted. he was never more popular than at the point when he beat that
and there is a fear among democrats that that is exactly what it will do. it will all but ensure donald trump's re-election. >> can we draw a distinction? jill, bill clinton got in trouble because he misbehaved sexually and he covered it up because that's what men tend to do any way. he broke his oath and lied and he got caught lying and that's perjury and all that, but the underlying crime there was the relationship with the young white house aide. this time it's dealing playing ball with russians who set out to hurt and perhaps destroy our democracy. it seems like there's an underlying crime there committed by the russians and the trump people played ball with them, whatever, the legal term -- footsie works. >> the big difference is that
this is much more like watergate than it is like clinton because you're right, clinton was a question of if he had said gentlemen don't talk i'm not answering your question. that would have been an acceptable answer, but here you have an abuse of government, you have a misuse of the institutions of government. that's what happened in watergate and the difference between what's happening now in watergate is in watergate we had the senate hearings where people saw the witnesses. i don't want to see mueller summarizing the evidence. i want to see the witnesses. i want to judge their credibility, their body language, i want to see what they have to say and compare it to what i know from documents. that's what's important, and i don't think we have to start impeachment hearings. we have to start educating the public with fact finding hearings. let's call the witnesses. let people make that judgment themselves. that's what we really need to be doing. >> you know, i'm going to
remember from tonight's two hours what you just said about bill clinton because i've always wondered about robert bennett, his attorney, having him testifying before the grand jury and you said just come in with the brooks brother guide to gentlemen behavior and say a gentlemen doesn't say. where would that have been in legal terms if bill clinton had said that about the relationship with the aide? >> i don't know. i am one of those people who actually believes i've talked to one of my best friends was the head of the kinsie institute and people younger than me say that oral sex is not sex and therefore when you say i did not have sex with that woman, it's not a lie. it's literally true -- >> so. i did not have sexual relations with that woman. i remember the phraseology. it was very interesting. his press secretary quizzed him about that, what are you trying to get around here? the art of politics, you'll be inartful. enough of this conversation. thank you very much, jill wine-banks. coming up, mueller's choice,
new reporting sheds light on the special counsel's decision not to state whether or not the president obstructed justice. it was a hell of a decision, wasn't it? it surprised everyone including attorney general william barr. i think barr saw what he was looking at. he was looking at mueller as the enemy. and a white house with a pervasive culture of lying. the mueller report exposes lie after lie with the president and his aides. he pays people to lie. stick with us tonight. o lie. stick with us tonight. lios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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welcome back to one of the biggest questions looming over the conclusion of robert mueller's investigation is why he declined to state definitively whether the president obstructed justice, did he commit a crime, a big one? his decision was largely driven by a nearly 20-year-old legal memo stating a sitting president should not be indicted. according to a new reporting from the post today, quote, that move surprised everyone including attorney general william p. barr and his senior advisers. mueller's approach to the question of whether the president tried to obstruct justice has created tension inside the justice september. with me on set matt miller former chief spokesman for the justice department under president obama. this is a bubble relations national communication question. if robert mueller who everybody respects knew two years ago he was not in the indictment business when it comes to a
president, if he knew, therefore, it was unfair to accuse the president the way that comey accused hillary clinton without indicting her and therefore it's up to congress, why have we waited two years for a verdict of that kind, of that quality from this special counsel? we've all been waiting for him to say he did it or didn't. >> because a lot of people outside the justice department created exceptions of what you were going to hear from mueller. prosecutors are not supposed to talk about their investigations. usually they're supposed to wait until they file charges. this is a different situation because the president can't be indicted. i think it's a reasonable position. it might be unsatisfying. it's a reasonable position for him if he can't indict the
sitting president not to make an accusation both because just the accusation of a crime hurts the president's ability to do his job. that's one reason. the president can't defend himself. prosecutors don't pronounce verdicts, they make accusations. you're making an accusation that you can't back-up in court because you can't go to court so how does the president clear his name. it's impossible for him to do it. >> i want to ask you about a reference. boxing was huge growing up. when ali was the biggest of all -- >> because i look like a boxer -- >> no, no. you look like you might be one of the rich people in the first row. just kidding. if it's a tie or draw the champ wins and this has the look of a political draw. the fact that trump's been able to say i won, whoopee, he doesn't even read the report, all the headlines of the right wing press such as it is, he won, because the way the special counsel wrote his report it was susceptible to that interpretation by bob mueller -- not bob mueller, bill barr.
clearly the attorney general took that interpretation four weeks ago, so isn't that a disservice that we don't have something clear to go into the future with? >> well, it is frustrating. there's no question about it. i find it hard to believe that barr had no idea. rosenstein certainly knew this was the struggle. you don't have to look very far in bop mueller's career to know he was going to follow the rules. he's not a break the rules guy and the rule was very clear that you can't indict a sitting president. so this back and forth discussion should not have been a surprise to rosenstein and they should have had some view this was coming and perhaps that's how they crafted this ability to take over the discussion early. there's a couple places where you can feel there's tension, quite a few, but there's tension between mueller and the
department of justice in how exactly things should be handled. there's an really interesting section in the discussion of whether or not trump should -- how trump should be subpoenaed or not where they had extensive discussions about what to do and that will be interesting to see when mueller testifies if he can provide not only flesh on what you're talking about, about the decision of sending it to the house but also the decision of whether or not to interview the president. >> as a prosecutor, suppose a person on the witness stand or defense chair if you call it that, said to you 37 times that i don't remember? is that an instant contempt of the court to say i don't remember to every question. >> it's insulant, the question is what do you do with it? one interesting question about this whole -- the way the president answered, they said he was the subject of the investigation. if they had subpoenaed him he could have just taken the fifth and that's likely what would have happen. all our angst about why wasn't the president interview, if you
know the guy's going to take the fifth, you don't bring him into the grand jury. essentially, his answers are obvious lies to me and it's essentially him just taking the fifth. when you say i don't remember to basic things like did don junior tell you about the meeting to trump tower where he dragged in manafort and kushner to meet the russians to get the dirt on hillary and trump was in the building we know he knew but he says i don't remember. that's essentially -- that's essentially saying i'm just not going to answer that, i'll take the fifth. >> the president is going to run for re-election, how can he take the fifth politically? >> this is a guy that brags he can shoot somebody on fifth avenue and get away with it. of course he takes the fifth. a core group of people say it's a witch-hunt. this one could have gotten away with it. >> help me out here, i always count on you. where are we right now? it's holy saturday in religious terms.
and here we are in a commercial, i said last night, it was the commercial on law and order between the investigation by the cops and some kind of courtroom drama, we're some why in the commercial right now. are we going to have a second half of this show? are we going to have a courtroom drama on the hill or not? >> you're raising really good points, chris, about the dissatisfaction with robert mueller right now. you're starting to see it and as people weigh in. saying he failed. one of the arguments s okay, i get that you can't charge the president with a crime but why didn't you at least make it clear that you wanted congress to make the decision about whether the president obstructed justice, instead he was muttled -- it's really hard when you read through those passages to understand exactly what mueller's intent is and i'm
looking forward to him testifying. he left the field open for barr to step in and say we're prosecutors and we make decisions about crime or no crime. i'm saying no crime. a lot of people are reading the obstruction passage and saying it reads as an indictment. it looks as if the mueller team believed that donald trump did obstruct justice but felt like they couldn't say it. at least they may have -- should have said some people believe, we believe that these are facts that congress should decide. this is -- this is -- he hints at the impeachment process -- >> he basically did say that. he did say that. he said that in the report and he's also -- he has footnotes about impeachment is an option. he has footnotes about, once the president is no longer the president he can be indicted. >> he doesn't say it explicitly enough to prevent barr from stepping in and doing what he did. >> exactly. he wrote this report for me. he said this isn't for the public, this isn't for the congress. he's one of my minions. i'm the big guy here. he wrote that for me. he said it on television. >> i think the special counsel -- bob mueller behaved very responsibly, he created an
opening for a bad actor who didn't want to play by the rules. the answer is not to ask for bob mueller to behavior unfairly, it's to ask the attorney general to behavior fairly and if he doesn't then someone else has to step in. bob mueller's was supposed to be the savior. he was never going to be the savior. he's a prosecutor. it's up to the rest of the country and congress to decide whether they want to do something about it or not. he said during watergate there's a dead rat on the kitchen floor. it's just up to somebody to pick it up and get it out of here. it may not be a dead rat this president, there's a sense that everybody wants somebody else to do it for them. these members of congress would have no problem if bob mueller
had told the president he had to go because then they wouldn't have to decide, but they have to decide and that's a tough thing to have to do politically with a country divided as it is. thank you, ken and cynthia. aoc's district wouldn't mind a bit if they told the president to leave. coming up, a damning portrait of a president lying to throw off robert mueller's investigation and trying at times failing to get aides to lie on his behave. the only guy in trouble in washington is don mcgahn because he told the truth. that's typical washington, isn't it? (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even rooftop parking.
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one conclusion from robert mueller's report that's not at all ambiguous is the culture of dishonesty that pervades the white house. "the new york times" describes it as a hotbed of conflict infused by a culture of dishonesty defies by the president who lies to the public and his own staff and then tries to get his aides to lie for him. among those aides who lied is the person who's supposed to convey the most critical information to the public, white house sarah huckabee sanders in one of the more stunning passages, sanders admitted to the special counsel that she
made up statements about james comey's firing. i'm joined by political commentator for reuters. i want to start with ryan about this. i mean, telling the truth, lying, spinning. spinning i think -- it's like crafting -- like bill clinton. you carve something that can be dispended as truth according to thomas jefferson's rules any way. the lying now is just -- is all across the board. 10 million people were at the inauguration, just saying things that don't mean anything. thousands of fbi people agents don't like this guy and saying i didn't get it from everywhere. >> the fbi thing was pretty clear from the very beginning. because even the best source reporters are talking to a handful of people, actually. the fbi has strict rules around contact with the media. they're not just going to go
reaching out tout white house and -- reaching out to the white house saying great job. that would be very trank to do. whether or not the barr gets put in this category of people surrounding trump now because if you look at that -- >> like spicer. >> if you look at that report, i don't think anyone would say that that four-page letter that he sent to congress in any way summarized this full report and his press conference where he come out and hit these talking points, no collusion. echoing what trump had said clearly didn't reflect what was in the actual report there. people are going to be looking at that and his integrity and his, you know, the view of barr really took a big hit this week. >> in the old days, truth is what advances the communist cause. it's almost with trump that way. it sells -- if it sells the car and sells the building, say what
you have to say. best view of the river. it doesn't look at the river. just say it has the best view of the river. >> we can see from the president's own twitter feed even today there was absolutely no obstruction evidence. we know that isn't true if you read the report itself. we know this is a president from obama and birtherism he has lied his way through the campaign and his first term in office. >> investigators down in hawaii. >> correct. >> there weren't investigators? >> is it a surprise that the members of his white house, particularly the people who stand at the podium and speak on his behave in order for them to do their job, they would have to lie. they would have to agree to do that. the particularly troubling thing about that one fbi, that was meant to sow distrust in the part of the government and investigators who are the backbone of federal law enforcement and that was the tool to do that because that was politically expedient to him. it's quite -- i think it's more than a slip of a tongue to say that you have knowledge about
how people feel when you do not have that knowledge when those people have not told that to you. that's an incredible lie. >> what's that thing where you say you want crowds to show up and say if you bring them in it's like to back up -- >> flash mob. >> to back up what rosenstein signed up the reason we fired comey all made up, we bring in a crowd of voice that's don't exist but thousands of fbi agents agree with this. >> we also have to remember that the president wants there to be this feeling of lots of people going with him. we look back at the campaign where they were rigging online polls. there's a notion he has that when he has a public following, i think the other important thing to look at when we look at the mueller report revealing people not telling the truth in the white house, lied to the president and told him we'll do that thing you told me to do and i'm not -- lewandowsky, mcgahn. >> i'm going to fire that guy. >> there was a myriad of examples of them just telling him yes and ignoring him. >> they knew he had a short attention span.
>> they treated him like a kinder gartner. >> i'll get you a lollipop at 1:00. >> they're baby-sitting him. they're saying they didn't trust him. they're republican appointees, his own picks, saying that goes against the law. >> i think that our political cultures pretty good, most people vote, most people care, most people are moderate left, moderate right. we have a reasonably stable democracy because we believe in objective truth. in other countries with less developed democracies, if you lose an election it was stolen. you say it every time. if you win the election, you arrest the people you beat. it's rotten, it's awful. i don't even know why people bother vote in those countries. i'm thinking of africa, middle east, latin america. the culture we had, i think if kennedy beat nixon by 100,000 votes he really did, we live like that. he really did. even in this culture al gore conceded an election he won by
600,000 popular votes because he believed in the system. there was that basic culture, kimberly and trump has trampled on it. >> he has a fondness for authoritarianism. he's demonstrated that from the beginning. look at the world leaders who he praises kim jong-un and other folks. he wants a military parade thrown in his honor because he loved what happened when he went to france. this is one way where he's been very consistent. he does not seem to value the ideas of democracy. remember, he was already starting the messaging before the 2016 election that it was rigged if he lost, but then he won. it's the same thing with the mueller report. 18 or 12 or however angry democrats, but then they cleared him but he's still -- it's whatever message works for him and if it sounds -- if it wreaks of authoritarianism, it doesn't matter. >> i was cleared by mueller but mueller sucks. >> when the only messaging coming out of the administration was from barr and one that he
liked but when we could all read him using curse words in the oval office and what he said to his subordinates, then all of a sudden it didn't look as good as it did before then he'll go back to undermining. >> do you think mr. barr -- washington, i've been here a long time. it does matter. reputation does matter here. it's good to have some integrity. >> i can't imagine a scenario in where loretta lynch held that kind of press conference on the hillary clinton investigation. that press conference was something that was pretty extraordinary i think there -- >> like they met on the plane by accident. >> yeah. even that, you know, the appearance of impropriety is something that's very important in justice department rules. it's not only that you're supposed to do anything that's unethical, you're not supposed to do anything that looks unethical. that press conference there where he's echoing the president's talking points and
creating this mirage of what the report actually said -- >> the president has a kissing booth down in florida. it's a kissing booth. if you pay for admission, you get to meet the president. for two bucks you get up and bust the cheeks of the president of the united states. >> $200,000. >> it's the same principle as the kissing booth in some sold state fair some where. thank you. the big question for democratic candidates trying to beat trump in 2020, should he be impeached? time to decide. elizabeth warren has decided. she seizes the moment. she jumped on the galloping horse at history. she made her decision when you have to make your decision. she's becoming the first presidential candidate to say impeach the guy. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. it's very frustrating. and i was having these issues, and my friends said, "well, maybe you should switch over to verizon." and then i'd heard that i could get apple music if i switched over and i said, "boom!" music is very important to me. i come from the techno era, but i'm hip-hop at heart.
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for the president this one to be impeached. is she going to set the tone for the field? with me now is former hillary clinton campaign adviser adrian elrod and former hud deputy chief-of-staff and republican political consultant shermichael. i think the democrats in the house and the senate would like someone else to impeach and convict and remove from office president trump. they just don't want to do it themselves but if it happened they'd be cheering if robert mueller had that authority. your thoughts. >> i think your right, chris. you and i both know that the votes are there in the house to impeach donald trump, they are not there in the senate. so i think when you see somebody like cindy hoyer come out and say, this is not what congress should be focusing on right now, we've got to beat him at the
ballot box, i can understand that. at the same time, chris, if you take politics out of the equation and you just simply look at the role that congress plays in terms of oversight, the constitutional role that congress must play in terms of oversight authority, then it becomes a much easier path because bob mueller did create a road map for congress to look at many issues and i think frankly, chris, if we let all of this go and don't do anything about it, this is where democracy's go to die, this is where we cannot move forward as a country and future presidents will say, trump got away with a lot and i can get away with even more. we've got to be careful to strike that balance. >> i can accept all the political arguments. nobody wants to redo what the republicans did, even though w did win in 2000. don't repeat the mistake of going after -- overcharging but they did overcharge bill clinton, obviously, but the constitution is the one you swear an oath to, not to the democratic or republican party or even to your constituents.
the oath you take is to uphold the constitution. the only constitutional provision for dealing with a president who oversteps his authority is impeachment. that's all there is. if you don't do it he walks. >> chris, you're right. democrats are going to be forced to make a decision, either they go all in with impeachment or they're more careful and their surgical in their approach. i think they could make a legitimate case to the american people by having public hearings. you have to convince the people why impeachment is necessary. i don't think they're there yet at least according to most surveys -- >> you think that after hearing from robert mueller after hearing from barr, after seeing the unredacted document that they will then come out for impeachment, you believe that it's just a matter of a couple weeks? >> what i'm saying, chris, is the burden is on democrats to make a case to the american people in why impeachment will be the proper course. this isn't even a top five issue for democratic voters. it's the tenth most important issue for all voters at large. now that is not to say that you cannot shift the needle. you certainly can, but you do that by having public hearings. >> i just wonder if speaker pelosi and steny hoyer want to
play that part, i don't see them blowing the bugle. they're not blowing it for truth, justice and the american way. let's talk about health care they're saying which is what the clinton people said back in '98, move on find something else to talk about. i know what they're up to. they think this is a loser and therefore they don't want to pursue it. it's a political call. nothing wrong with it but that's all it. >> that's correct, chris. they simply know that this is going to be an exercise, it is going to end in the president not ultimately being removed from office. he may be impeached by the house, but he will not be removed by the senate under this current senate construct. they're trying to say let's beat him at the ballot box and focus
on the issues, health care, jobs, the economy. let's beat him that way, but at the same time we've got to be so careful here because if we don't exercise congress's authority, constitutional authority, then we put ourselves -- we are setting a precedent, chris, which essentially says, hey, you can commit crimes, you can do x, y and z and you won't be removed from office. >> my judgment is that if the democrats do it right and choose to begin an impeachment exercise by the end of this summer, they will have made their case that this president shouldn't be in office, whether he's removed or not they would have made their case. if they do it right without a lot of showing off and tom foolery if you will but a ic loe way that mueller did, bring it all out in the public light, show how this is against our constitution, our way of government, i think they can only help themselves in 2020. thank you, adrian and shermichael. coming up, william barr acting as united states attorney general or the president's personal attorney? you tell me. questions raised about his generous interpretation of the mueller report. it was a flack. a flack doesn't tell the truth. the flack tells what the boss once said. the flack tells what the boss once said.
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welcome back to msnbc's continuing coverage of the mueller report. i'm chris matthews in washington. if you have yet to read the mueller report, you have company here because according to "the new york times," that guy right there, the president of the united states has yet to read it. not even a cursory reading. not a skimming of the report that basically charges him with obstruction of justice. the point is he says i'm still
president and that's the issue. anyway, the point that deals with the question now that ware going to get to is what's going to happen now. plenty of lawmakers have read the report, including senator and presidential candidate elizabeth warren who is calling for congress to go into impeachment. she's ready to move. >> i think each person has to stand up and be counted in a democracy. that's why we're elected to the house and to the senate. and there are times when it's beyond politics, when it is a point of principle to stand up and say no president can do this. because it matters not just for this president, it matters for the next president and the president after that and the president after that. >> senator warren is not the only white house hopeful, so is south bend mayor pete buttigieg. >> i'll leave that to congress. there's more evidence coming in as subpoenas work their way through. it's certainly the case that you can see lots of evidence that this president deserves to be
impeached, but since i'm not in congress, i'm focused on placing him the old-fashioned way. >> there's a guy not calling for impeachment, we correct that. pete buttigieg is deferring to congress. nancy pelosi is not ready to support impeachment or even a proceeding toward that. pelosi now says she's focused on getting the full unredacted version of the mueller report and hearing from mueller himself. not mentioned once in her statement yesterday the word impeachment. with me now, jeff mason from reuters. jason korn and natasha bertrand. she's also an msnbc contributor. seems to me that warren will be all alone out there on the hours willing to say this guy ought to be impeached. >> for now. i think they really do want to see the unredacted report. they want mueller to come and testify. that's really key for them. but yeah, the political risk
here is obvious, right? >> tell me. what do they think of having hearings all summer long, bringing out in great illustrative power all the charges brought out in the mueller report against this president, especially on obstruction? >> they think they can do that without launching impeachment proceedings. >> but the subpoenas aren't going to be honored. i understand that the supreme court will honor subpoenas if it's an impeachment exercise. >> that may be the case, but for now i think they're treading very carefully. if the shoe was on the other foot, i think it's very obvious they would have launched impeachment proceedings a year ago. >> she would get burned at the stake if she got help from the russians. >> we can play this game all day long.