tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC May 29, 2019 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
before cameras today. he spoke about his own 448 page report before officially resigning from his post. in his final words as special counsel. mueller chose to read the conclusions from his report making clear that right from the start justice department policy prohibited his office from charging a sitting president with a crime. mueller reiterated the same point also written in his report that he did not clear the president of obstruction. for those who missed it, i want to play out the full press conference so you can hear for yourself exactly what the special counsel had to say. this is important. >> good morning, every one. thank you for being here. two years ago the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created this special counsel's
office. the appointment order directed the office to investigate russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. this included investigating any links or coordination between the russian government and individuals associated with the trump campaign. now i have not spoken publicly during our investigation. i'm speaking out today because our investigation is complete. the attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. we are formally closing the special counsel's office and as well i'm resigning from the department of justice to return to private life. i'll make a few remarks about the results of our work but beyond these few remarks it is important that the office written work speak for itself. let me begin where the appointment order begins, and
that is interference in the 2016 presidential election. as alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, russian intelligence officer who is are part of the russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. the indictment alleges the use of sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the clinton campaign. they stole private information and then released that information through fake online and identities and through the organization wikileaks. the releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate. at the same time as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private russian entity engaged in a social media operation where russian citizens posed as americans in order to influence an election.
these indictments contain allegations and we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant. every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. the indictments allege and the other activities in our report describe efforts to interfere in our political system. they needed to be investigated and understood, and that is among the reasons why the department of justice established our office. that is also a reason we investigated efforts to ob stru -- obstruct the investigation. the matters we investigated were of importance and it was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. when a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and hold wrong
doers accountable. let me say a word about the report. the report has two parts. addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate. the first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from russia to influence the election. this volume including a discussion of the trump's campaign response to this activity as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy. in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the president. the order appointing the special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. we conducted that investigation and we kept the office of
apprised of the progress of our work. as said forth in the report after, that investigation if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so. we did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. the introduction to the volume two of our report explains that decision. it explains that under long standing department policy a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. that is unconstitutional. even if the charge is kept under seal and hissdden from public view, that too is prohibited. the special counsel's office is part of the department of justice and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.
the department's written opinion explaining the policy makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. those points are summarized in our report and i will describe two of them for you. first, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. among other things that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now. second, the opinion says that the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing. beyond department policy we were guided by principles of fairness. it could be unfair to potentially -- it would be
unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. that was justice department policy. those were the principles under which we operated and fromclude a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. that is the office's final position. we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president. we conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the attorney general as required by department regulations. the attorney general then concludesed that it was appropriate to provide our report to congress and to the american people. at one point in time i requested that certain portions of the report be released. the attorney general preferred
to make the entire report public all at once. we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public and i do not question the attorney general's good faith in that decision. i hope and expect this will be the only time i will speak to you in this manner. i am making that decision myself. no one has told me i can or should testify or speak further about this matter. it's been discussion about an appearance before congress. any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. it contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for decisions we made. we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. the report is my testimony. i would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before
congress. in addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office. beyond what i've said here today and what is contained in our written work, i do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the justice department or congress. it's for that reason i will not be taking questions today as well. now before i step away, i want to thank the attorneys, the fbi agents, the analysts, the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. these individual who is spent nearly two years at the special counsel's office were of the highest integrity. i will close by reiterated the central allegations of our indictments that there were
multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. that allegation deserves the attention of every american. thank you. thank you for being here today. no questions. >> with that he is gone. i want to go to
nancy pelosi who is at the commonwealth club in san francisco speaking about this. >> central america and this is history. we went and it was democrats and republicans, ngos. it was lovely. when we were there we were observing what they were teaching in school. what was happening in el salvador and the rest as well as honduras.
gloria was always taking notes. dr. duffy. she was so serious and she had -- she is an expert on the soviet union, russia and she was taking notes as to the equipment whether it was the helicopter, the parts, the airplanes, weapons that were there and she knew but we didn't know how they could have so much stuff there until we later found out about iran contra. she was really getting to the heart of the matter right then and there. it was an honor to travel with her then and an honor to be today. >> this morning we heard a patriotic american make his presentation. i have the deepest respect for
special counsel -- well former special counsel mueller and what he had to say. he indicated if he saw any evidence that the president was innocent, he would have let us know. if he had any evidence that the president was not guilty, he would have let us know but he didn't. he didn't. i think that was very, very important. i have the deepest respect for him and thank him and his team for the presentation of facts that will further lead us to help us in the congress, in the courts. this is a very valuable contribution. i'm gravely disappointed in the justice department for their attitude, misrepresentation of the mueller report to begin with. they are hiding behind something that you could never find in the constitution that the president is above the law and their misrepresentations even under
oath by the attorney general to the congress of the united states. we will continue on our path which was led by our six chairman. adam schiff, jerry nadler. elijah cummings, maxine waters. all of them have a piece of this. last week we had three victories in the courts. one elijah cummings, the president's accountant, they have to share the information. two maxine waters which is they have to share the information and three not related to the russian investigation or related to other problems we
you mentioned the various committees doing their investigations. some in congress want to go further. representative steve cohen of tennessee opened a dedicated impeachment inquiry judiciary committee. are you -- >> committee one. >> open a specific investigation of impeachment. >> you mean he as a member of the committee because the committee has not. >> yes. there are democrats in congress who want to go further than the existing committee investigat n investigatio investigations. how do you feel about that? do you think there's a role for additional dedicated investigation? >> let me say i'm very proud of our house democrats. they have been very conscientious about how they have reached their decisions.
many of them are reflecting their views as well as constituents. many constituents want to impeach the president but we want to do what is right and what gets results. what gets results. [ applause ] >> we have to remember so there are some and the press makes more of a fuss about the 38 than the 200 who are -- over half of the congress, over half of the democrats in the house sit on one of these six committees. they're all on path of finding more information. during what would not become impeachment but the impeachment investigation of richard nixon, it took months and months of a senate committee that was solely dedicated to researching impeachment before they decided
to have articles of impeachment come from the house which were never executed because the house and senate agreed. it was a democratic house and a democrat senate. we have a different scenario now. the case has to be very -- to the american people. we are legislating and wish the press could cover more of that. thank you for pointing out some of the bills we passed and sent to the senate on safety. violence against women, gun safety. the list goes on. climate action now. in any event we're legislating. we're investigating. we are litigating. we're going to as we go down the path make a decision based on the strongest possible case to get the best results for the american people and the action taken by the special counsel
today, i commend him for the work that they did to present the facts. we have to get it unredacted for the public but nonetheless and for the congress. they say to me, we'll show you. that's not it. the american people need to know. are you going to show me and i'm bound by classified rules of the house not to tell anybody. no, i don't think so. i don't think so. in any event, everybody wants justice. everybody wants the president to be held accountable in the most serious way and everybody believe -- i'm talking on the democratic side, that no one is above the law, especially the president of the united states. >> we'll come back to the
remedies and run up for the 2020
election. let's talk about legislative priorities. you mentioned some of the bills. >> we'll continue to listen in. that's nancy pelosi at the commonwealth club of california in san francisco. we keep referencing this opinion for the office of legal counsel. that's what mueller talking about. mueller says prohibited him from indicting the president. he said today that it would be unconstitutional for him to do so. there is a lot of dispute about whether that's the case because it's not actually referred to in the constitution. this is an opinion that was issued back in the year 2000. it was a memo. an opinion implies it was a court decision. this was a memo issued by something called the office of legal counsel while president bill clinton was being investigated for possible criminal indictment. at the time, his justice department updated and reaffirmed the 1973 opinion saying quote, the indictment or
criminal prosecution of a sitting president would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. this is important because this whole decision about indicting or not indicting if you thought the president were responsible for committing a crime hangs on this. neil, thank you for joining us. one of the reasons for writing the rules that you were involved in was to sort of close loopholes or fix problems that existed in the past from legislation that had been in place and had expired. did you foresee this issue and you think that robert mueller's interpretation of his authority was correct. >> the question of did we perceive the question of whether
a sitting president could be indicted, i think the regulat n regulations were written the year before the 2000 office of legal counsel memo was written. certainly we saw that as a potential issue. that whole question about whether sitting president can be indicted is not really the story today of whether it's true and whether it's in the constitution. the real story today is what mueller did with that conclusion because under the essential counsel regulations he couldn't indict a sitting president because he was bound by that 2000 opinion. what he says two things today. he said number one as a result of that special counsel decision, even if i wanted to indict the president, i couldn't indict the president because a sitting president can't be indicted. number two, if i could clear the president, i would because there's no prohibition against the justice department or special counsel clearing the president if he is truly innocent. today he says he couldn't do
that. >> he referred to something that appears on the second page of volume two of the mueller report. i want to read that because i sort of reset this for our viewers. i want to read what he wrote because he referred to that. he said 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 legal standards, we were unable to reach that judgment. the evidence we obtained about the president's actions and intents present difficult issues that prevent us from determining that no criminal conduct occurred. o co while this report does not conclude the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. the issue here is that there are many americans who have just not heard that part of the story. they either haven't read it or
consuming media that doesn't tell them that part of the story but this is in black and white and mueller said that today. >> you got it exactly right. this is the thing that i and so many people when the report came out pointed out was this page two quote. barr who on his own decided to clear his boss, the president, for whatever that's worth and issue a public press conference but now you have mueller coming back today and coloring totally within the lies saying i'm not going to stray the report but gosh darn it, read the report. read page two. you don't have to go into page 420 footnote 48. it's right there in black and white on page two. mueller chose to mfemphasize th of all the things. what this is all about is it's about one thing which is what's the next step and basically you see mueller between the lines saying the next step is the
congress of the united states. >> thank you as always for joining me. special counsel robert mueller statement comes as members of congress want him to come to capital hill to testify about his report. mueller doesn't want to do that. a short time ago how injujudici committee chairman was asked whether he would compel him to testify. >> would you subpoena mueller to testify? >> mr. mueller told us in light of wh -- a lot of what we made to hear today. he reaffirmed what was many the investigation which is in the report about the investigation which found substantial evidence that russia attacked our political system and the trump campaign benefitted from
russia's interference and trump and those around him welcomed russia's support and throughout the investigation trump sought to obstruct justice and undermine mueller and the investigation over and over again. >> all right. msnbc kelly o'donnell joins us from capitol hill. nobody speaking in as clear english as a guy like me would like today. everybody you got to read between the lines. you have to figure out what they are saying. tell me what you are hearing about efforts to try to get mueller to testify despite what you heard this morning. >> reporter: the dye has not fully been cast. on capitol hill once robert mueller becomes a private citizen that could change the equation where they could continue to negotiate or compel him by subpoena if they believe that's possible in number of lawmakers are saying they still want him to come to the capitol and speak even if it's within the lies of the report and
saying things that we heard him say today but to do it in that setting. i heard that for sure. i spoke on camera today with senator mark warner of virginia. congress is out of town but he lives close by and was working in his office here. he addressed a lot of these issues. he does expect there will be a lot of pressure, primarily from the house, to try to compel or the minimum invite robert mueller to appear despite what he said today. he also drilled down on the issue of mueller talking about had he known information that would have cleared the president, he would have said so and that piece of the narrative you were outlining. the exoneration the white house has looked for. here is the colorful way that mark warner, the top democrat on the intelligence committee responded. >> it will be very interesting to see even with the kind of unwillingness to deal with facts
and reality whether the white house will still claim that the mueller report totally exonerated the president. clearly, bob mueller, i think, laid that false claim to rest. >> reporter: not lacking for hutspah. that's not something i've heard him say before. it puts us in a new category where it's his opinion that mueller was clear that if there was evidence to show the president was committing no wrong doing and had nothing to rise to a criminal offense they would have said so. speaker pelosi says she wants to take a methodical approach to build a case piece by piece and not have everything they are doing on capitol hill be swamped by impeachment. roughly 40 of the 240 members have voiced an interest in pursuing impeachment. that's still a relatively small number even if there's a larger
public conversation happening. >> thanks very much. as you get more reaction please let us know. we'll bring you right back. mueller's words have been at odds with attorney general william barr from when the attorney general released his own four page principled conclusions until today. in those conclusions, bar made the decision to clear the president of obstruction. this is really important. despite the special counsel's inconclusive results. in conclusive and conclusive are two different things. five days after that conclusion mueller wrote a report saying the summary letter to the department sent to congress didn't fully captured context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions. wow. i wonder if everybody in america saw that part. just hours after today's press conference, mueller's office provided this hand out that
you're look iing at. clearly contradicting the attorney general said last month on whether the office determined whether a crime was committed. >> we specifically asked him about the olc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion and he made it very clear several times that was not his position. he was not saying that but for the olc opinion he would have found a crime. he made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime. >> that was justice department policy. those were the principles under which we operated and from them we concludesed that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed crime. that is the office's final position and we will not comment
on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president. >> did not and would not or two different things in this instance. i want to bring in attorney and former new york democratic congresswoman liz holtsman. she was a member of the house judiciary committee that voted to impeach nixon. she's also the author for the case for impeaching trump. it's now become the special counsel legislation. i want to start with you liz. what barr was saying there, what he was saying was is a slight of hand. >> i'd call it a verbal equivalent of a lie. let's use simple words.
>> mueller didn't find any evidence of an underlying crime. mueller said very clearly based on the office of legal counsel's office memo we would not go down that road. we were not going to do that because we couldn't accuse the president of a crime because he wouldn't be able to defend himself. those are two different things. >> absolutely. barr lied. he said the olc opinion was not relevant in mueller' decision but it was. it wasn't true. in addition, barr has also suggested there was no evidence with regard to any involvement of the trump campaign with -- b >> he said there can't be conclusion because there was no underlying crime. >> he also said there wasn't evidence of any underlying crime. what mueller said today, which is very important, is that the evidence was insufficient to charge a conspiracy not that
there was no evidence and the president and bar have been saying no evidence. i'm completely exoneratedexoner. on the russia situation there was insufficient evidence to charge a crime. didn't mean there wasn't ever going to be enough evidence or some evidence. i think that's important too. >> mueller said a president cannot be charged with a federal crime in office even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited. there's been so dispute as to whether the 1973 opinion and the 2000 office of legal counsel memo and all of that leads to it being unconstitutional. robert mueller seems to have made the determination it was. your thoughts? >> i don't think it's unconstitutional. the framers when they discussed the impeachment power so the president could be impeached,
they said he could be indicted after he left office. they left open the question if he could be indicted in office. mueller shined a spotlight on what you and congresswoman have been talking about about no exoneration and on something else. he said i can't indict the president because i would interfere with a congressional p perogative. he made this for congress to decide whether the president should be impeached. >> do you think that was clear enough, liz. you've been a professional prosecutor, a member of congress and you happen to be very involved during the nixon impeachment hearings. you know a lot about this. do you think that the average person with the information we have now understands that robert mueller was saying congress it's on you. you need to do something about this. >> i think the problem with mr. mueller's report is it needs to be interpreted.
>> it's highly detailed but it's not the easiest read. >> it needs to be interpreted for the american people. >> how does that happen? >> congress doesn't seem to have fi pla any plans for that. people any open an impeachment inquiry, that's impeachment. it's not. you don't know what the evidence will take you, whether you have the votes. that's a different point. the american people have to understand what's in mueller report and congress has the responsibility to translate that report for the american people and present the facts to them. >> when you read little sentences like the one i just read, michael, it's as plain as day. i don't know how many euphemisms i can use for this. it's written in black and white on this paper. i get that not everybody will think 438 page offense this stuff is fun reading. it's there. there are about four or five
committees that have different things going on. mueller said you will not get anything out of me that's not in the report. what do you think happens next in. >> i think the mueller said i've given you evidence. mueller said my report sets it out. you have to explain it to the american people. he believes, i think, that he has shown ten instances of obstruction of justice in the report. it's for congress to explain that to the american people. why did mueller give this press conference. he gave it to point the american people to the two things he's talked about. no exoneration and that it's really up to congress. congress has been stalling saying we need more information. we need to talk to mueller. we need the underlying investigation. we need the unredacted report. mueller is saying you don't. i gave you 400 pages of evidence. now do your work. >> i do think there's some little areas that have not been
explored. for example, mueller never called in some of the attorneys who seem to have been intermediaries in transmitting statements about pardon and the president loves you and will take care of you which could have been criminal on the part of the attorneys and could raise the issue of crimes on the part of the president. that's an area that needs to be explored. the question is who explores that? more important than finishes, dotting every i and crossing every t is getting the facts. >> why are they dotting all the the is and crossing the ts? >> they are not even doing that. i don't know that they have a strategic plan. this is in their lap now. what are they going to do with it? it seems to be several things to do. dot all the is and cross the ts. that's one issue. present the facts to the american people. that's another issue. start an impeachment inquirinqu. that's another issue. who will butt that together? >> nancy pelosi seems to think this is not wise to put all of
their energy into this. >> they can't afford it. congress is given the spoj responsibility to preserve this democracy when you have a rogue president. you have a president against whom serious questions have been raised by an outstanding prosecutor as to whether he's committed crimes. whether he's committed crimes. we may have a president in the oval office who committed crimes. congress can't just turn away and say we'll deal with gun control. yes, congress can deal with gun control. when i was in house, we dealt with the normal business of the house of representatives and we did the impeachment inquiry. congress needs to be really strategic and call some of these witnesses in. it has to figure out how it will present the basic facts of the mueller report to the american people. maybe dot the is and cross the ts and i think they are ready to launch. >> can nancy pelosi make this jerry nadler's problem?
can he take the bull by the horn while nancy sits on panels and say impeachment isn't a priority for us? >> she has to agree to a vote in the house to initiate an impeachment inquiry. it's hard to believe but in 1974 that vote was 410-4 to launch which doesn't mean he will be impeached. you have to be careful in trying to dot the is and cross the ts so we don't find ourselves in endless court battle with the president claiming executive privilege for lawyers and every one else. >> did you say 410-4? >> correct. >> you couldn't get 410-4 on the fact that i'm bald today. thanks so both you have. what a spirited discussion. it's got a lot of detail. the case for impeaching trump.
thanks. the white house seemed to glean a different interpretation of mueller's press conference and made sure to publicize that p interpretation immediately. let's go to hans. how is it -- what did they say that was different from what i saw? >> reporter: they think that robert mueller was acting under a different authority and the language that we're hearing from sarah huckabee sanders is that robert mueller had to answer to a higher moral obligation when what's clear that mueller was talking about was answering to the olc, the office of legal counsel. in a lot of ways the white house and robert mueller talking past each other. you could argue the white house is mischaracterizing what robert mueller said and they are also bracing while all of this is going on, bracing for the prospect of impeachment even though they are saying that mueller was really answering to this higher power. >> hans -- >> if bob mueller had determined there was a crime, he would have had a moral obligation to report it to put that into his report.
he didn't. the whole purpose that he had an investigation, the whole purpose the special counsel existed in the first place was to make a determination on whether or not there was collusion. he came to very explicit conclusion on that front that there was no collusion and there was no conspiracy. >> if you're saying that congress has really no reason to impeach, does that mean the white house is not preparing for how to respond to an impeachment? >> we're always prepared but i don't think the american people deserve that. >> reporter: the white house is clearly trying to claim vinds dags, exoneration, a close associate admits the president has had a fairly bad day. 2020 contender kamala harris, a former prosecutor, who now sits on the senate judiciary committee just reacted to robert mueller's remarks. i want to two to nbc news road warri warrior, vaughn.
>> reporter: kamala harris is about to take the stage at her third event of the day. she commented about 15 minutes after bob mueller made his first remarks and just caught up with her again. the question i asked was from somebody with a legal background that she does have, she was the district attorney out of san francisco and the california attorney general. sits on the senate you dish ajud the highest parts of her campaign have not been on the trail but back in washington, d.c. on that judiciary committee just two weeks ago when she came eye to eye with william barr, the attorney general. i asked her from her experience, where does this process go and does it give her a different voice of authority in this whole process? this is what she told us. >> i would suggest that he felt the need to make the statements he made today because the president and the president's attorney general have been conflating issues in a way that had the intention of misleading
the american public about what's going on. let's hear what bob mueller has told us. i would sunlight thggest he is s that now congress is going to have to do its job. >> reporter: what she is just said is this process has worked. it's been interesting to hear her on stages around the can country contend this democratic process is working. there's a system of checks and balances. she says that ultimately a special counsel came to be. over the course of two years with some of the top lawyers in this country came together and put together a report. kamala harris says what bob mueller and his fellow prosecutors put together was a report that laid out essentially a case for prosecuting the president of the united states on the case of obstruction of justice but because of doj policy, old doj policy, the special counsel was not able to
go forward and make that prosecution and make that case. she said to anybody that was listening today, she said it's not hard to infer she was calling on folks like her in the u.s. senate and the u.s. house to take that mantle and press forward with impeachment proceedings. she said not necessarily impeachment but proceedings. she has been very deliberate and she's called for seeing the unredacted mueller report, seeing the underlying evidence. this is something who is a prosecutor by career. she said she wants us to go forward as such. >> thank you. i want to get another look at where things go from here. nbc news correspondent tom winter who is extensively covered the russia investigation joins me. also with me is charlie savage a new york times washington correspondent. he's the author of power wars. the relentless rise of presidential authority and secrecy. charlie, you heard vaughn say
that kamala harris said that what robert mueller was saying is that congress should pick up this mantle and do stuff. we heard that interpretation from a lot of people. for whatever reason, in this 438 page document and in what robert mueller said today, he colors between the lines. he does not say things explicitly as people like me would hope he would. today there were a lot of people were hoping he would spell it out. he said look at the point on page two of volume two which said if we could have concludesed the president didn't commit a crime, we would have. he was not explicit as he could have been. >> that's right. i think we're seeing bob mueller's entire career has been as a bureaucratic person who tries to stay above the partisan
fray and partisan fights. that's why he's been able to maintain respect from both sides of the aisle throughout his time as fbi director and leading up to his appointment. one of trump's many violations is he attacked him any way. that has pros and cons. the kon is he doesn't want to come out and say things clearly if that would mean giving a sound bite to one side or the other to use. he never says it explicitly. he doesn't spell out what me meant by this. i think it's very clear that what he was saying was i cannot bring charges against someone who is a sitting president. a former president loses immunity. we'll gather evidence now and preserve it so we can defer making a charging decision and some future prosecutor can grab this evidence once many trump is out of office. he never has the last sentence.
it allows sarah sanders to say it mean there is was nothing there in first place. this just muddies the waters. >> it would be really helpful if he said it. tom winter, there were 14 cases associated with the investigation working in their way through the court. details of 12 of those cases were redacted from this mueller report. where do we stand with these cases? >> i think we can take one of them off the board. when you look at the prosecution for the case that involved paul manafort and the loans. >> the deal he was going to be the secretary of the army or something. >> kmaexactly. >> going to interview for secretary of the army and other positions that he would be able to get and part of trump campaign as an economic advisea. we can pull that off the board. i think we are down to 12 of the 14. let's call it 11 of the 14.
if there were prosecutions that were ready to be made quickly, we would see those getting pushed through at this point. when you start to look at thoeds investigations, that's probably a significant amount of financial trail or documents that need to be reviewed. those white collar cases take a long time. if there's a terrorist act that occurs, some people can be charged in 12, 24, 46 hours aft after the attack is over. >> that's not the case with these crimes. >> we have been pointing to people to this is not all of them have to do with the trump administration or the trump am campaign or individuals in the trump orbit or this white house. >> there are things that were found in the course of the investigation that may have been illegal. >> perfectly put. >> nothing to do with anybody. not trying to get trump elected. >> everybody to do with the obama orbit in some ways. here is somebody who has been indicted but that's a spin off of this investigation but it's
not something that involves the trump orbit. >> all right. you'll still be busy then. tom winter for us. charlie savage, washington correspondent. author of power wars. the relentless rise of presidential authority and secrecy which i love when it came out but it's uniquely relevant now. robert mueller made it very clear, again, today. >> there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. that allegation deserves the attention of every american. >> after the break, we're laying out how the russians interfered in 2016 and what, if anything, can be done to stop them from doing it again in 2020. you're watching msnbc. 2020 you're watching msnbc. ng moment. ...when a plan stops being a plan and gets set into motion. today's merrill can help you get there
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a large part of robert mueller's speech today focussed on russian interference in the 2016 election and the often overlooked volume one of the 438-page special counsel's report. mueller began and ended his remarks with the issue, pointing out it was an effort to hurt one of the presidential candidates and help the other. now experts say russia is using the same tactics to attack the 2020 elections. the report cites two entities that interfered in 2016, the foreign intelligence agency known as gru and the
russian-backed group called the internet research agency, the ira. the report says the gru stole thousands of emails from the dnc, hillary clinton campaign and others to leak to websites including d.c. leaks and gusfer 2.0. he found they began the operation as early as 2014, posting derogatory information about a number of candidates, including hillary clinton. during the campaign, 126 million americans were exposed to tens of thousands of russian-backed social media posts, according to testimony submitted to the senate judiciary committee and at least 29 million of those americans received information from russian-backed pages directly into their news feeds, making the pages seem like real news or a campaign ad. the frightening thing is, it
seems not much has changed as we go into 2020. joining me is cynthia mcfadden, our senior legal correspondent. what are they -- i'm not sure i understand who "they" is because there's so many people involved trying to secure our election. >> that's the problem, who is the they? who has the white house, the administration pointed to say this is the czar of no more of this business. that doesn't mean there aren't agencies working on it, homeland security, the fbi, and no doubt the justice department as well. however the administration has not taken a strong hand regardless of what sarah sanders said outside the white house today. here's the thing, every intelligence expert we talked to said the russians got inside the system, there's no question they're going to be back and probably no question that they left things inside the system the last time they were there. that's how it works. that's how this counter
espionage happens. so that's true. we have two problems facing us as we gear up for 2020. one is that the u.s. has an aging and failing physical election voting system in the country. only five states, only five states don't have some sort of election voting machine that has been no longer manufactured. imagine that. 45 states have systems, at least somewhere in the system where they don't make it anymore. no spare parts and no ability to update the security system. that's one set of problems. the other set of problems, which hasn't been addressed, it's been poked at, talked about endlessly, but what do we do? how do we know? how do we identify? what are the protocols for influence peddling by russia or anybody else, a foreign entity trying to affect our election, how do we manage it, what are the standards? what are the practices we want to see in effect?
you tell me. have we heard anything from anybody? >> you're right. we've been poking around but we haven't had a solution. you have a piece tonight on nightly news with lester holt about this. >> about this, about what california is trying to do. i want to bring in malcolm nance, author of "the plot to destroy america". malcolm, to cynthia's point, experts like you and others have said this kind of thing deserves what's called an all of government strategy and that means the all of government has to be directed by the president, even in response to the entire mueller report which details russian interference and today's speech, what we still don't have and sarah sanders was asked about this, is direction from the president to say here's the czar of it, here's the mission, here's what's supposed to happen. >> that's because as sarah sanders made it clear, she kept saying that agencies are taking
the lead on these things. but the person who won't take the lead on it is the president of the united states. to have an all-of-government approach you must believe there is a problem. the president believes, in his own words, this is all a hoax. even the government of russia has viewed or prop began diezed that the mueller report had exonerated them from carrying out any activity. robert mueller made it clear today, the united states was attacked almost three years ago by a foreign government using information warfare systems that essentially hacked the mindset of the american people, as you said, 126 million people exposed to their propaganda. until we take effort to restrain that and also to stop the potential of hacking voting systems, we're going to stay in danger. >> to cynthia's point we poke around the edges of this, you've written books on it. but the fact is most of us poke
around the edges, it's incidental to the discussion of donald trump in 2016, when in a normal world this would be its own issue. someone tried and maybe to some degree succeeded in meddling, interfering with our election outcome. i'm not sure why some people get caught up on the discussion of whether or not votes in voting machines were changed because our voting system is about more than votes and voting machines. >> you're right. the fundamentals are we didn't see any real evidence that individual votes were changed. we know the russians probed almost every state in the united states. maybe they were doing that for future activities. but the fact is the electoral process of the united states was attacked, attacked our mindset by filling us with propaganda, to the point one third of this nation will not believe that anything happened.
and two, by coming at the u.s. government personally, attacking the united states system of democracy and wanting to damage that by injecting the chaos they did. >> this is the point, injecting the chaos into the system of democra democracy, should be as worrisome to people as messing with the voting machine. >> more so, to tell you the truth. >> do you agree that we're not necessarily -- not everybody is on board with that, that's a problem we have to solve? >> no. we're not prepared at all. we've been discussing this, now going on two and a half years. we've seen that the russians now have changed their strategy and the way they're attacking the nation. they don't use bots the way they used to. these thousands and thousands of fake accounts. what they do is use trolls now, which are real people behind these messages and they propagate messages so other americans can take them. this is where the danger lies, the nation needs to defend
itself now. >> malcolm nance an msnbc contributor and author of "the plot to destroy democracdemocra wraps it up for me. i'll see you back here tomorrow. "deadline: white house" with nicole wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. special counsel robert mueller speaks very first time since his appointment two years ago, and his message could not have been clearer. mueller underscoring the con lu collusi conclusions of his report and by doing so, showing how far attorney general barr strayed when he sought to spin mueller's findings before we ever saw a complete sentence from robert mueller himself. the three takeaways from mueller today, one if his 22-month-long investigation had found that the president had not committed