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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 23, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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before we go. our special coverage of the mueller testimony begins tomorrow at 8:30. i'll be here with my friend brian williams to take you through the whole thing. one more note, yesterday during our hour one of the favorite guests said fox news channel would not be carrying tomorrow's mueller friends. he's a good friend, nice person and corrected that on twitter. we want to make sure he corrected that statement. fox news called us and asked us to let you know they are carrying the hearings. don't watch them, though. watch me and brian. we'll be more fun, i promise. i think maybe that means the president will see it. in the meantime my thanks to chuck roczenberg, senator claire mccaskill but most of all to you for watching. i'm nicolle wallace. steve kornacki starts now.
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if it's tuesday, all eyes are on wednesday when robert mueller is set to testify on capitol hill. good evening, welcome to "meet the press" daily. i'm steve kornacki in for chuck todd. buckle up for a busy hour ahead of late breaking developments ahead of mueller's testimony before two house committees. right now judiciary committee democrats are preparing and strategizing behind closed doors. house democratic leadership is expected to hold its weekly meeting this hour. later tonight the full intelligence committee, republicans and democrats, will huddle together. the president is once again lashing out at the investigation. there is some late drama about the involvement of one of mueller's top deputies in tomorrow's hearing. so let's typhoon in starting with perhaps the biggest questions ahead of tomorrow's hearing, what is mueller going to say. on the eve of his testimony,
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some democrats, including chairman of judiciary committee are accusing the justice department of trying to silence mueller. the justice department sent out this letter to mueller yesterday layering out everything he couldn't say in their view instructing them that, quote, any testimony must remain within the boundaries of your public report. told them not to discuss any reactions or anything about uncharged third parties or any investigative decisions he made that aren't already in the public version of his report. it is important to note this is guidance that mueller apparently sought from the justice department after he publicly stated his testimony wouldn't go beyond the report. still some democrats think doj has gone too far. >> i think it's incredibly arrogant of the department to instruct him what to say as part of the opposing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the american people. >> ahead of tomorrow, some top
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democrats are seemingly trying to tamp down expectations. >> i don't know what the impact of the hearing will be. i'm, i think, very realistic in my expectations. people are pretty dug in on not just trump and russia but they are just dug in on this president. if that appalling display of racism over the last two weeks wasn't enough to move people, is there anything that bob mueller can say that will. >> but still the five hours of public testimony could be seen as something of a hail mary for some democrats representing their last best chance at demonstrating to undecided voters that mueller's report does contain damaging information about president trump, conduct that might even be impeachable. tonight we're left with two big questions. what are democrats hoping to get tomorrow and what will mueller
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deliver. let's turn to reporters covering all angles. heidi, my nbc news colleague. she's on capitol hill. she's been talking to judiciary members there. hallie jackson, nbc news chief white house coordinator. ken delaney, national security and intelligence correspondent and bob acosta at "washington post" and msnbc political analyst. heidi, let me start with you where the action is on capitol hill. we mentioned democrats on the judiciary committee. they are huddling. house democratic leadership, a meeting due there, the intelligence committee, democrats and republicans alike, they are going to be meeting tonight. a lot going on. you hear adam schiff kind of setting the expectations low for this. is this how democrats are looking at this or are democrats looking at this and say there's going to be a breakthrough tomorrow. >> there's always hope but you don't want to set the expectations there's going to be a breakthrough. that's what we hear over and over again from the members of
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the judiciary. >> sorry, apparently we're having some audio difficulties there. they are going to try to fix that. we will get back to you. i apologize for that. let me turn to ken delaney. he's on set with me. you mention we see nadler saying this is an attempt to silence robert mueller. he has doj guidelines. he doesn't have to follow them. apparently he's no longer a doj employee but he did seek them from doj. is there anything to what nadler is saying? >> they aren't binding, many are policy considerations. the law is, he can't talk about classified or grand jury information. it doesn't bind somebody not at doj. it doesn't matter. robert mueller already said he intends to follow this guidance. he intends to keep his testimony within the four corners of this report. he asked for this and may use it as a crutch to prevent him from answering certain questions he doesn't want to answer. i talked to adam schiff over the weekend about this. he said it's going to be a
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balancing act. how much do we want to fight with robert mueller to get him to answer questions that aren't contained in the report. there are certain questions they would love him to answer. for example, would donald trump have been charged with a crime of obstructing justice if he was not the president. robert mueller isn't going to go there. he made the decision not to address that question in the report. he decided he would present the evidence of obstruction but not the legal conclusions. i think what democrats hope is the next best thing, to take the public through that evidence, which they think is very compelling. they think they can convince some percentage of undecided voters there's serious misconduct here. >> heidi there on capitol hill, let me go back to you and let me also apologize to our viewers. you might have thought something was wrong with your set. you were probably hearing heidi loud and clear. we might have had an issue on our end. i think our viewers could hear you well. heidi, in terms of the bar and where the democrats are setting that for tomorrow, what are they expecting, a turning point or
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just more refrenchment in terms of both parties. >> yes, steve. given that only 10% of the public has even read the report, they are saying that a well choreographed recitation, the movie version, if you will, of the written report, is going to be very damning. however, they acknowledge that given the way the committee works and constraints using the five-minute rule, meaning each member only has five minutes, they are behind closed doors right now tightly scripting how that would work. based on my reporting an speaking to members, as well as an attorney who is advising them on this, they are going to have a few foundational building blocks. those building blocks are going to be number one totally blow out of the water the false hoods repeated over and over by the president and even the attorney general that mueller's report concluded there was no collusion, no obstruction. we've heard those words over and over again, yet right there in the report mueller goes to pains to say he was not measuring
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collusion, he was measuring criminal conspiracy. and he outlines 12 different instances of potential obstruction. the last building block of the foundation, steve, is that they want to make it clear to everyone that mueller is emphatic that he was operating under that guidance that he could not indict a sitting president. they want that to be made clear and then build the facts out from that, especially when it comes to volume 1, they say they want the american people onto know. for instance, 100 different contacts that the trump campaign very much invited the help of the russians, that they used the help of the russians in the form of wikileaks, that the russian military reached 126 million americans with disinformation and with information meant to stoke tensions, and then move onto the obstruction portion of the testimony as well. that is the general template.
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they are behind closed doors right now fine-tuning that. >> let me bring in hallie jackson covering this from the white house. hallie, what are we expecting tomorrow from the president, from the administration? do they have a plan here, or is the plan basically see what the president tweets. >> probably the second one, steve, more than the first. it is not some grand coordinated strategy with carefully rolled out laid out way to combat some things robert mueller may or may not say. instead people are taking a wait and see attitude. we know everybody invested in this are going to be watching it, that includes those close to president trump. he knows, of course, this is happening. he's been talking to allies and advisers about the hearing, not i'm told in an angry way but more frustration generally inside the white house that yet again democrats in the view of some republicans that the president is close with, democrats are yet again sort of demanding to hear more about a mueller report that republicans
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believe was pretty clear and should lay a lot of this to rest. you talked with heidi and ken about why democrats believe that is not the case but i do think the president will be somewhat engaged in this. he's been giving mixed messages at least publicly whether he will or will not be watching. yesterday he said i won't be watching it. yeah, i probably with. knows his habits, he will engage in some of it. remember, this is going to begin in the morning when the president is typically watching cable television anyway. all the networks will be wall-to-wall with this including cable networks as well. the bottom line, allies looking for backups on the committees, judiciary committees, intelligence committees who presumably will be asking very pointed questions intended to show the mueller report was not, in fact, as damaging to president trump as democrats believe and are trying to show themselves. you'll see a lot of the back and forth. as for the big question everyone asks will the president be
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tweeting? listen, he's somebody who has thrown curve balls in the past. at times you expect a tweet has chosen not to tweet. in front of a conservative young person's group, the president did bring up sort of obliquely, robert mueller, his testimony, russian obstruction and interference in the '6election, which is an indication this has been on his mind. i wouldn't be surprised to see something from him at some point tomorrow. >> robert costa, obviously this is a big moment on capitol hill, a big moment for his presidency, is this a turning point in terms of democrats have to make a decision affirmatively whether to go forward with impeachment or not to do it. we've seen the most recent public opinion poll and it's still not there in terms of overwhelming numbers. the most recent "washington post" poll 37% supporting it. is tomorrow seen by the white house and by washington in general as sort of the moment where if it's there, if democrats are going to have what
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they need to pursue impeachment, you're going to find out tomorrow? >> that's the view among many of my democratic sources, not just about president trump but about attorney general bill barr. if mueller says anything that would raise questions about the integrity or the rollout done by mr. barr about the mueller investigation and its conclusions, you could see house democrats not only continue to deliberate whether to move forward with impeachment but whether to move beyond just holding mr. parr in contempt of congress perhaps to impeach him. this is a decision point, an inflection point for the democrats. they are looking not only to tell the story of this mueller report but to see if they can draw him out on any obstruction point. that's one of the main goals tomorrow. >> ken, take us through, there was a curious piece of news, maybe you could fill us in on what's going on and what it means this afternoon. mueller apparently requested to have his top deputy sworn in and to testify along with him
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tomorrow. republicans objected. he won't be testifying but he will be there. what's going on there? >> democrats don't want that either. they want robert mueller's testimony. they don't want the testimony of some guy nobody has ever heard of. his name is aaron, decorated consider terrorism investigator, chief dipty of fbi and deputy special counsel. he knows a lot about this investigation. robert mueller was 74 years old, something of a figurehead, a manager in this investigation. it makes sense he would want his deputy at the hearing to fill in the blanks in case he doesn't have the details at hand. the way they have worked it out, he's going to sit next to him as his counsel but will not be sworn in as a witness. >> the idea here, i saw all sorts of speculation about this, is your reporting suggesting this is somebody who can provide details on some answers maybe where mueller isn't equipped to? >> 100%. that's the idea. mueller wanted him to be sworn in as a witness so he could actually testify to the details but pete williams is reporting
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he will not be sworn in, sit behind him as counsel and mueller can confirm with him and he can whisper answers in mueller's ear. >> heidi, democrats and how they are approaching this tomorrow, you mentioned possible approaches republicans can take. what are the concerns democrats have? are there any concerns, i should ask, that democrats have? all those republicans who get the shot at mueller tomorrow that republicans might end up having some success going at him. are there any concerns democrats have along those lines? >> definitely, because the speaker herself has given a mandate to all of the committee members on her side of the aisle to keep the drama down low. they really want mueller's words and the weight of his words to speak for themselves. however, the strategy could be very different on the other side of the aisle with republicans digging into talking points, trying to paint a picture of this investigation essentially being politically motivated, speaking about the former agents, fbi agents whose texts
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became public, talking about the origins of the so-called dossier. if anything, that could lead to a moment of tension, which then we know how that all works with the television cameras and the attention that could get in the news replay. that is their concerns. >> robert costa, in terms of poll six and the democratic side, a lot of indications judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler, he behind the scenes pushing to go forward with commitment. the house speaker not so eager. talk about those dynamics if you could. >> the house speaker, nancy pelosi, she sees the polling data that does not show impeachment at this moment to be a rally cry for many voters across the country. certainly many democratic voters, core democratic voters would like to see that happen and many voters are interested in holding president trump accountable. impeachment is not a threshold that is really there in the minds of many democratic leadership sources of mine and others. so you have the chairman here who wants to move forward, who sees the pressure from the left. he has to prove to the speaker
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in a sense, when you talk to her allies, that this is the right move for the party in the summer of 2019 ahead of a major election year coming off an election in 2018 where they focus on health care and economic issues, is impeachment really the turn they want to make. this wednesday hearing, this testimony will say a lot about the strategic choices the democrats make. >> okay. robert, heidi, hallie, ken, thank you all for being with us. ahead when robert mueller answers questions tomorrow, how much will he actually say to fo -- say. two top fbi officials join me next, one that worked with mueller over a decade. that's next. e that worked with mueller over a decade. that's next. yo, jer! we gotta get to the show. ♪ i was looking for a sign. get on the bus. ♪ i need something to believe in. ♪ throw my hands up to the ceiling. ♪ oh sky won't you give me a sign.
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welcome back. on the eve of robert mueller's testimony before congress, who better to talk to than my next two guests. he worked for robert mueller for 12 years, former assistant
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director of the fbi, served as fbi top intelligence official and greg brower top liaison to congress and also a u.s. attorney. thanks to both of you for being with us. bob, let me start with you. you know robert mueller better than anybody on the show tonight, all of the doj guidance, he should stay within the bound of the report, his apparent intention to stay within the bounds of the report, his reluctance to testify in the first place. you know him well. do you expect any surprises tomorrow? >> no. thanks, steve. i don't expect any surprises. it doesn't surprise me at all he asked for guidance from doj. he looked at this hearing like any hearing he testified at. he's a by the book guy. for 12 years i worked for him, ran numerous high-level investigations. that's one thing bob will give you every time is consistency. i think he'll go in there, stick
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to the four corners of his report. i do think it's a good opportunity for congress to walk the american people through that report. i'm probably one of the few guys that have read it page to page. one, because i had to testify about it in congress about a month ago. but two, also to understand the investigation. there's a lot of information there i think congress can educate the american people on. >> greg, given what bob is saying right there, for a member of congress on that committee tomorrow, if you're trying to maximize the information you get out -- analysis you get out of mueller, what's the best way to approach it? what kind of questions do you ask him? >> let me say first of all rnlgs i agree with everything bob said. with respect to the particulars of the hearing, if i was asking questions i would want to be very concise, much like i would have i was examining a witness on the stand at trial. ask very short questions, ideally asking questions calling for yes or no answers.
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i would try substantively at three particular areas. one is to get mr. mueller to emphasize what his team found with respect to attempts at coordination between the trump campaign and the russians, and there's a lot there. it's all in the report. secondly, i would want mr. mueller to testify as to the extent to which witnesses lied about those connections. third, and perhaps most importantly, i would want to establish on the record with the witness, the extent to which the murp te mueller team found the president obstructed the investigation. there's a lot in the report. it's incumbent on mr. mueller to give that story in a fashion at this hearing. >> there's an expectation one of the questions that may come up repeatedly is a form of this. if the president were anybody but the president and the facts of the case were the same, would he be charged with obstruction of justice? would mueller have recommended charging him with obstruction of justice.
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james comey was on in the last hour with nicole wal oss on msnbc. he mentioned that possibility. here is what he had to say. >> if this were a case about someone who other than the president they would have already been indicted on at least several of these obstruction incidents, maybe all of them. i don't know. director mueller if pressed would reach an opinion on at least some of them that there's sufficient basis to charge the president. again, he's a principled person trying to be fair and said i shouldn't be doing that begin that the man can't vindicate himself. >> bob, democrats pursuing this line of questioning tomorrow, is there any chance they can get a yes out of mueller? >> i've got to tell you, i think it's slim to none. i agree with what jim said, and jim was the third director i worked for before i retired. i just think that bob mueller, as jim said about being principled, it's absolutely dead nuts on. he looks at this as a principled way and i don't think you'll get
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him to say that in testimony tomorrow. >> let me ask you, i'm curious, given your vantage point, we know he's reluctant to testify. we heard that he said at that press briefing a couple months ago right now. there's all this talk out there, hey, if you read the report, mueller is clear as day, he meant this as an impeachment referral. clearly in the court of public opinion that's a disputed concept. if you're mueller and that was your intent, is there any temptation to come out and make it clear. >> there's a tempemptation. he's a very measured man, very smart man. there's no doubt in my mind after reading his report and several times he did make that report to congress and others to look at either while the president is in office or afterwards. there's no doubt in my mind. one of your other hosts brought up aaron zebley, who is probably
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one of the best attorneys i've ever met and i've known him for years. the team he took on with these investigations was better bar none. essentially aaron if he can tell the director some of the answers to this is substantial. i don't think in my mind you'll get him to at least say the president should have or possibly could be indicted. >> greg, republicans on the committee, a lot of speculation maybe the questioning will revolve more around the origins of the counter-intelligence investigation, everything that led to mueller being put in that position in the first place. what are you expecting from them tomorrow and how do you think mueller will handle the republican lines of questioning tomorrow? >> steve, i expect the republicans, for the most part, to overreach and potentially embarrass themselves by doing so. those issues in my view are red herrings. there's no fact rual basis for
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virtually any issues brought up before. it's a side show and distraction. let me just suggest one further point with respect to bob mueller's reluctance to answer that critical question you posed a moment ago. i don't disagree with bob mr. mueller would be reluctant to answer the question whether if this wasn't the president there was enough evidence to charge him, i would submit this is not the ordinary case. this is the president of the united states, who the justice department believes cannot be indicted while in office. so the only remedy for potential criminal conduct on the part of the president is impeachment. in light of that reality, congress needs, i think, this wit's opinion on that question. i've said before, and most prosecutors and former prosecutors would agree, if this was a corporate ceo, if this was a lesser politician, or if this was a mafia boss, this witness -- this target would have been indicted for obstruction of justice. i think bob mueller should
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simply answer that question as honestly and as candidly and clearly as he can. >> yeah. bob, is there -- short of answering yes, no, on would he have been indicted question if he were the president, in terms of pushing it more explicitly on congress, is that something he might say? >> i'll tell you, i think that's the way to go, if he doesn't want to come out and answer that specific question. i do think in his testimony he could make it really clear that the way the report was written -- and again, if you've read it, lays it out no differently than other documents i've seen 1,000 times in my career where he's teeing up and saying there's information people need to review and see if there's an outcome other than what we're talking about. i do think that's a potential way to go and explicitly be clear to congress and say i've laid this out for you. under the rules i function under, i can't do this or you
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guys or whoever needs to look at this to make that determination. >> guys, thanks to both of you. president trump slammed four female members of congress again today. we'll take a look at what the continued controversy is doing to his approval rating. going to the big board. that is next. g to the big board that is next think all premium fuels are the same? new shell v-power nitro+ premium gasoline is engineered with four levels of defense against gunk, wear, corrosion and friction. that helps keep your engine running like new. so, maybe it's time to unthink what you think you think about premium fuel. shell v-power nitro+ premium gasoline... it's fuel for thought. i swibecause they let metual, customize my insurance. and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything, like my bike, and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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but we can't get anything done unless we make our democracy serve the people again. i'm tom steyer. i approve this message. i'm running for president because it's time our democracy works for people. welcome back. millions of americans are going to be watching robert mueller's testimony tomorrow. how many will end up with a different opinion of the
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president as a result of what they hear. that may be a different story. donald trump's approval rating, it will budge sometimes but not that much. in a way that is different really than every modern predecessor. take a look at this. donald trump's polling range, his approval rating, the real clear politics average approval rating, they track it basically every day of his presidency, the high point, the absolute peak of donald trump's popularity as president, what was it? 46%. that was his average approval rating. look at that date, february 4th, 2017, two weeks after his inauguration. that was a honeymoon. usually any president ends up at 60, 65, 70% in the early days of his administration. donald trump peaked at 46%. that's the highest point he's reached.
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this was december 13th, 2017, the tax bill was working its way through congress, that roy moore election in alabama, trump hit 37 in the average. he came close after charlottesville. that is the range, 37, 46, we've not had a president in modern times with that tight of a range. where is trump now? 45% of it's at the high end of that range. the question, we vice president had a lot of polling since the send her back comments have made their way through our media and culture, so let's see. but 45% right now. let's see what happens with mueller. the lesson of trump is, if it falls, it doesn't fall that far and it doesn't fall that long. it stays in that tight range. that tight range, that was the story of the campaign. in 2016 the ample trump versus clinton trump standing against clinton in the polls on a low end he hit 38.3%, on the high
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end 45.7%. that range is pretty much identical to where his approval rating has been as president. liu at this approval rating you say tough to get re-elected. you look at those numbers and you say tough to win with numbers like that. why did trump end up winning in 2016? one of the reasons, he was very unpopular by election day so was hillary clinton. they both had very high he negatives. this is what did it for trump. it was folks who had a negative opinion of both trump and clinton, they told exit polsters i don't like either one of them, they broke for trump nationally by 17 points in some of those key states, wichk, michigan, pennsylvania, they broke more decisively for trump. he bret his opponent's numbers low and the people who didn't like either broke for trump. he may need to set up for that to happen in 2020. that's what got him in 2016 may be his only chance in 2020. very little has moved the needle
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so far. we will see if anything mueller says tomorrow can change that. that is ahead. ing mueller says tomorrow can change that. that is ahead. if you look close... jamie, are there any interesting photos from your trip? ouch, okay. huh, boring, boring, you don't need to see that. oh, here we go. can you believe my client steig had never heard of a home and auto bundle or that renters could bundle? wait, you're a lawyer? only licensed in stockholm. what is happening? jamie: anyway, game show, kumite, cinderella story. you know karate? no, alan, i practice muay thai, completely different skillset. as a doctor, i agree with cdc guidance. i recommend topical pain relievers first... like salonpas patch large. it's powerful, fda-approved to relieve moderate pain, yet non-addictive and gentle on the body. salonpas. it's good medicine. hisamitsu. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes
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no collusion, no obstruction. that's not good enough. let's go more. $40 million. interviewed 500 people, they got nothing. they did everything. their collusion, no collusion. they have no collusion. >> welcome back. that was president trump prebudding robert mueller's testimony. probably safe to say tomorrow's hearings will not change the mind on the russia probe but will mueller's testimony change anyone's mind. joining me msnbc political analyst, heather mcghee, msnbc contributor and columnist and msnbc contributor. starting with you, we were running through the numbers with trump. this is a president who had had
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more crisis, charlottesville, the michael cohen, i can go through the whole list. it seems like at worst his approval rating will drop four or five points and returns to this lukewarm baseline. that might be the best way to describe 45% approval rating. do you expect anything to happen outside of that tomorrow. can you see anything like that happening tomorrow? >> there's not enough time in the show to list all the crisis he's created. there's some that could happen tomorrow if mueller is particularly compelling. there will be democrats on the fence about impeachment that might drift that way. i don't think there's a sense that public opinion will change that much. they believe, the president there, they have been very persistent as to what their case is. they believe the testimony is part of overreach, purely partisan, no longer about getting the truth but just about trying to score political points. they are going to have some sort of response planned. it's not a very robust one.
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originally the president was going to have a rally after the mueller testimony when it was last week. when mueller got postponed, the rally was not. instead there will be talking points circulated among allies. there is no white house press secretary. stephanie grisham has taken the job but yet to have an on camera briefing or on camera appearance since she did assume thatst po' of the president has a light schedule tomorrow. we've been told he'll be watching. i expect the white house response will come via his twitter account. >> democrats to want to move forward with impeachment, open to moving forward with impeachment, seems like there's a number like that, do they need mueller to go outside the confines of that report, to say something like, yes, if he wasn't president, i would have charged him. do they need that kind of moment tomorrow? >> no, i think what they need tomorrow is just to hear the basic facts from robert mueller's voice. we haven't heard that. we heard barr, we heard talking heads across the ideological spectrum but we haven't heard him lay out the absolutely
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damning facts in this case. we know without any doubt, according to mueller's report, that there was a foreign power that attacked our country, that the person who wanted -- who they wanted to be the president of the united states not only knew about it but helped it, encouraged it, did everything in him and his campaign's bumbling power to make sure they benefited from it. then when it was effective and he ended up in the white house in ways we're just now discovering how much, how effective the russian operation was, he tried everything in his power to cover it up. so when you look at the details, that no collusion, collusion is not actually a crime in the federal statutes. that's why donald trump keeps saying it, because he knew it would never be found. robert mueller would never make up a crime for him. if you look at the details, and if the american people are focused on that tomorrow and hear those details, i think it will be damning. i think we know even after
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robert mueller first made his statement you saw doubling of the share of independents who wanted this to keep going, either an investigation or impeachment or some sort of official censure. i think the plan is to make sure american people know what's in the report. democrats have in many ways bungled the rollout of this, and i think mueller has really done a disservice to the power of his own report in many ways by not being willing to go into testimony right away. right? by not letting the momentum happen. by you know, doing a series of letters with barr about barr's completely misrepresenting letter. there was a moment when this could have had a lot more momentum but this the opportunity tomorrow. >> so brett, what heather is describing there, if mueller is there, these aspects of the report get highlighted in ways maybe they hadn't before and maybe public opinion changes. could you see that happening?
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do you think that's possible? do you think that's likely? many things are possible but i would be stunned if anything really changes tomorrow. number one, we know who bob mueller is. he's a very kind of square, straight shooting guy. he's going to stay within the four corners of the report. he's said time and again the report is his testimony and many people have had a chance to go over it extensively. i think it's also not going to change for this reason. the debate has been framed in a misleading way, which is to say you have people, the president and his allies saying no collusion, no obstruction. on the other side people saying impeach and impeach soon or if not, impeach now. i think a more fair and thoughtful reading of the report tells you whether or not the president's behavior is impeachable, legal decision, the behavior was disgraceful. that's what is sort of being missed here. even if this does not lead to an
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impeachment proceeding for whatever reasons, it's behavior that should be broadly condemned. what i do hope that mueller's testimony does is lead at least some greater number of americans, at least fair minded americans, who still have -- still persuadable to say, i don't know if the country needs an impeachment now 18 months before an election, but we have a president who disgraced his party, who disgraced his office, who acted obstructively, and who continues to mislead the american people. for that reason, he does not deserve a second term in office. that's what i hope comes out of tomorrow's testimony. >> that seems to be when you hear about nancy pelosi and democratic leaders in the house, their reluctance to go forward with impeachment, that seems to be the argument they are essentially making to democrats there. you have an election coming up, you have an opportunity to take him out in an election, you don't have to worry about two-thirds of the senate in an election and you've got some
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material here to work with. >> that's exactly right. that's been their calculation throughout. they saw what happened to bill clinton in the '90s where his popularity only increased after impeachment. there's very few scenarios where a republican controlled senate would remove this president. you can make an argument impeachment and lawmakers have done that, set aside the politics, it's the right thing to do. you're voting your conscious to do that. that's not pelosi's job. pelosi's job is to hold the kaub together and in her mind come up with the best solution for the party now and going forward. yes, that's what i'm trying to say. there may be new momentum for impeachment even if mueller sticks to the four corners of the report. hearing his voice. we heard him speak for nine minutes, he'll be up there tomorrow five or more hours speaking. that could carry weight. the white house is concerned it will. that is why the president has been concerned for months. for her, this might make her job a little harder to try to keep those forces contained. there might be more who want
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impeachment even if her argument remains, there's an election year, let's do it that way. >> you mentioned the weight of mueller's voice. from pew, in terms of the view of mueller among republicans, there's been a significant change. right now 60% of republicans, that's what you're seeing here, republicans think he conduct add fair probe. that 60% is a huge jump. those numbers were basically flipped around in january. heather, i guess there's two ways to look at that. number one, mueller comes out and talks about the things you're expecting him to talk about tomorrow, there's suddenly a much more receptive audience of republicans. the other way the president is saying he found no collusion, obstruction and republicans have followed his lead on this. >> i think more than anything else the republican voting base watches fox news and fox news was raking robert mueller over the coals when they thought he was going to find what in many ways the evidence led him towards. he stopped just short and did
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exactly what was done with the nixon investigation. here it is, congress, it's your job. and then the combination of barr, the right wing media's own spin and of course donald trump's twitter account changed mueller into the hero of the republican party. so that's where that was. if you track those numbers from the beginning through when he was really, really being the focus of a lot of, you know, propaganda from the right wing, those numbers went way down. i do think that the details of what happened in 2016 between members of donald trump's family, his lawyer, and including what happened after he took the oath of office are astonishing. i do not think that most people have really been able to focus on them because there's just been too much noise. i am hoping -- frankly i'm very much hoping he sticks to the four corners of the report. i'm hoping the 52% of americans
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who most recently polled want to see something move forward, whether it's censure or more investigations or impeachment proceedings now. recognize that, a, i do think it is nancy pelosi's job to uphold the constitution that she took an oath to and to do what is right for the history of this country, and i think the political calculation that the speaker is making is way off. i think, you know, i grew up with bill clinton's impeachment, and it was sort of manifestly something that people didn't think someone would not do. i don't think any of us would have done what donald trump does. would any of us might have an affair? sure. maybe a third, half of americans do. this is clear. that's the huge difference between, you know, 25 years ago a sexual affair versus betraying your country. i think pelosi is making the wrong political determination with an historically popular president doing something that
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betrayed his oath of office. >> real quickly, i think what americans should be astonished by isn't the president's behavior behind closed doors, what we might not know but should continue to be astonished by the behavior he displays every day in office. >> thank you all for being with us. ahead, joe biden rolls out a new criminal justice plan and cory booker rolls out a new line of attack. that's next. ut a new line of attack that's next. ♪ ♪ prpharmacist recommendedne memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere.
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io biden has released his plan to reform the nation's criminal justice system, a system critics say he helped to create. his plan would, among other things, eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, end the disparity between crack and powder cocaine and decriminalize marijuana. cory booker blames him for creating the system he is trying to fix. he said joe biden had more than 40 years to get this right. the proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it. mike mem little joins from us capitol hill. mike, thanks. cnn released the line-up for the next round of debates. night two, that's joe biden's night and on stage with him there will is cory booker. we saw it in the first debate. kamala harris brought up bussing from the '70s. had a big moment.
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is this booker today saying he's going to try to do the same thing with the crime bill in the '90s at that debate? >> that's exactly right, steve. there was a booker staffer on the night they announced the line-ups actually compared this debate to a confirmation hearing for joe biden saying that's the kind of treatment they expect to give him. what's the old line about why people rob banks, that's where the money is. why if you're a democrat do you go after biden. he has a strong lead still despite recent struggles among african-american voters. that's the bedrock of his support right now. the booker campaign which needs to pick up the pace needs to go after him, needs to have a kamala-like moment for that. cory booker's attempt to do that. this is interesting in the terms of the criminal justice reform roll out plan. biden has had support his older african-american votes, less so among younger african-american
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voters. by getting ahead of the crime bill, getting that plan out this week, this is biden's attempt to stave off some of the attacks. there's no doubt he needs to be better in responding to the attacks when they come. >> you mentioned bide's among black voters. among black voters in the democratic primary, biden in front with 46%, cory booker, by the way, not registering in this poll at ot% among black voters in our poll. you mentioned, you say biden has to handle it better than he did the bussing question with kamala harris. what's your sense from the biden campaign? do they have a plan for that? what are they going to do to make sure he's not caught flat footed? >> the plan is pivot every question or every attack that comes about the '94 crime bill by focusing on the future. that's why it was important to
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get this out to say we don't want to be a cuss about the past. i'm not reliving the past. i'm running to fix the future. that's the goal. it will be interesting in in terms whether the candidates are side by side alongside joe biden, what he can avoid taking the bait if the attacks come, especially if they try to make it personal. >> mike memoli, thanks for the time. we'll be right back. mike memole time we'll be right back. most people think a button is just a button. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer.
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and that's all for tonight. chuck will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. stay with msnbc tomorrow as robert mueller testifies on the hill. our special coverage begins at 8:30 a.m. eastern. "the beat with ari melber"" starts right now. >> thank you so much. we are 15 hours it away from history right here in washington. special counsel mueller testify before congress in public on the criminal evidence against president trump for the first time. that's why pretty much whatever happens tomorrow is high stakes. democrats think mueller's appearance in the flesh will bring to life a case they say already exists on paper. the evidence that the donald trump committed crimes in office. but many of trump's defenders say they're confident in the other side of this argument. that mueller did not charge an election conspiracy, that his worst findings have been out there for months and in terms of politically damaging

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