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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 28, 2017 5:30am-6:00am PDT

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hey, everyone, good morning. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york at the half hour. breaking news in the mueller investigation. special counsel reportedly filed his first set of charges, although at this point it is unclear exactly what are the charg charges. they are part of an indictment that could be revealed as early as money and the defendant or defendants could be taken into custody. we have not yet independently confirmed the report. this is what was told to rachel mad dough about the timing of these charges. >> i would say the one thing he's known for is approaching
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investigations with a sense of urgency. i think we are seeing that now to have charges filed now. some people think it is not very quick. it is very quick to me. see i think they mean business. i think they will use it as leverage in hopes of getting cooperation against more egregious defenders. >> joining me now is katie fang. do you agree? could it be used as a bargaining chip to try to catch a bigger fish? >> as always. you are always interested as a prosecutor to get as much information as possible to build a case. mueller just got appointed in may 2017. that was just a few months ago. if this guy already has a sealed return indictment from a federal grand jury, that does mean that
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perhaps it's not a awe little fish to build a case. perhaps it's a huge fish to be able to go across and to go get bigger targets as well. >> as in who? you say this just started in may, who is the lowest hanging fruit for an indictment? >> here's the bottom line. i want to make sure this is perfectly clear. we know the grand jury was looking into russian ties into, you know, interfering with our campaign, the presidential campaign last year. but listen, paul manafort, the search warrant executed at his house, it actually has to do with business dealings as well in terms of what he has been up to. in terms of paul manafort's business dealings with other countries. it could not deal with the russian influence into the presidential campaign. so that needs to be made clear to our listeners. >> and you made clear his dealings in other countries. ukraine has been a big focus there. but why would the judge have
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ordered an indictment to be sealed? >> well, it's really not that shocking. if you don't want somebody to be a flight risk, if you don't want somebody to be tipped off in terms of what's going on. more importantly, you could also be negotiating their surrender. if this indictment gets unsealed monday and we see somebody that is actually doing a perp walk but not that publicized, it could be of that ilk. >> to your point of being a flight risk, does that mean any one person or several persons, since we don't know the details here, if they were indicted already in this document, do they not know what's coming? >> well, sometimes they are told. sometimes they are not. somebody like paul manafort, he would have turned in his passport hopefully. hopefully that would have been something negotiated. but at this point in time there's ways the federal grand jury can do its investigation and the indictment and having it sealed is a way of protecting the identity of people and
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obviously protects what are the charges and what are the allegations. >> katie, stay with me. i want to perhaps add to the conversation right now zulina maxwell for the clinton campaign, now progressive programming for sirius kpa which is m. joe watt keups, rick tyler, msnbc political analyst. with a welcome to you guys for this conversation. hey, joe, what happens now to the president's claims that there's nothing to this? >> well, i think what we have to see is exactly what happens on monday. right now since it's sealed. most people are supposing this is more about financial dealings on the part of the person who will be charged likely on monday. more so than charges of collusion 37. we still have to wait to see if the charges are collusion, of course, that's a bombshell. but i doubt that it will be a charge based on collusion. it will be a charge based on financial dealings than collusion. >> okay.
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so, rick, taking what joe has just said, if we learn the person indicted was indeed a big player in the trump campaign what happens then? >> it all depends who it is. legally, there is no collusion. collusion is not a legal term. there could be conspiracy, there could be other things. it also could be just simply a witness. they put out a wide net. they have thousands and thousands of he mails. they went through them all, assembled a timeline. so they have a fact base. then they bring in witnesses and check their stories and get their stories. and someone may have lied to the grand jury or lied to the fbi. if they do that, it is a perjury charge. that sets the tone for other witnesses. or manafort is more likely to be indicted on some financial dealings as opposed to collusion or coordinating.
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i don't think donald trump in all of this is going to beism kaeup was implicated with the russians. this could go on weeks, months, or even years. >> it has been said that a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich. but if it turns out to be a very small fish, what then? >> this is just the beginning. i agree with rick and joe. i think for all the president's claims that this was a hoax and witch-hunt, i think we have a real indictment here. and so this just got really, really serious. and i do believe that based on the facts that we know now as katie said, there are facts that are indictable that we know right now. we know michael flynn was misleading in his conversations with the fbi. we know he left certain things off of his required forms and filing based on his actions as a foreign agent. and i think that, you know, this
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is just going to get more and more interesting. but i think that the white house politically has an issue with calling it fake news going forward when you have a real indictment. >> and katie, again, the timing. last night on rachel mad dough she said it seems quick to her. and your feelings about that. that does that mean there is something of substance? not that it was obvious. obvious there's been months of work leading up to this. you heard rick saying this may go on for years. that has been said by many analysts. >> you don't want it to go on for years. it's not like you will wait until the last minute and then charge 100 people. if you don't have -- and let me make sure this is clear. if you only need 12 out of 16. so 16 is quorum. you only need 12 to be in agreement that probable cause has been presented by mueller's
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team that a crime has been committed. not that reasonable doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt standard. it's just probable cause. so 12 people have decided that someone in the united states in the cross-hairs of robert mueller's investigation has probable cause that a crime has been committed. >> okay. that's a very good point to make there. joe, it's hard to know what is going through the president's mind at any point. i'm just going to ask you, what do you think may be there? what do you think we will hear from him about this? >> i think if the charges are about paul manafort's financial dealings, you will hear talk of just a former campaign worker who had financial dealings well before the campaign. it will be downplayed in the relationship between manafort and trump will be downplayed if manafort is indeed the person indicted on monday. everybody has to wait and see how serious the charges are. again, my guess is that it's
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probably not a charge relating to collusion just yet. it is probably a charge relating to financial mismanagement or dealings or some other such thing. i think for the most part the white house will deflect it by saying if it is manafort, he is somebody that worked on the campaign for a period of time. he left the campaign before the end of it. and that these are his challenges and he has to deal with them. >> katie, i'm going to move on to some politics here. if you have some place to go or breakfast to have with someone, thank you very much for your time on the breakfast. i want to talk about the gop civil war. a super pac, which is aligned with mitch mcconnell is planning to attack steve bannon personally. it is working to protect the incumbents facing the uphill primary fight. how ugly is this going to get? ? it will get ugly and won't work in mcconnell's favor. the reason is in all the primaries where you attack bannon, that is more likely to drive gop voters and trump supporters towards the candidates bannon is aligned
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with. in swing states they are more likely to win the primary but will be damaged for the general election. think of arizona or nevada. or todd aiken who made that unfortunate comment. it was the gop that damaged him so badly that mccaskill was able to beat him. in places like mississippi, it's not going to matter. they will not send a democrat to the united states senate. >> okay. joe, how about the president in citing something of a culture war this week in virginia. he tweeted support saying ed gillespie will turn the really bad virginia economy numbers around and fast. strong on on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage. what does he mean by heritage? >> well, of course the last thing you want to do is get into a discussion about the statues coming down, of course. i guess ed gillespie is somebody i have known for a long time. he's a friend. he worked for george w. bush,
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head of the republican national committee. he's a very decent, solid, smart guy. and he ran a very strong senate campaign a couple of years ago. he has a good shot to be competitive and maybe even when this governor race of virginia. his challenge is whether or not he embraces president, who remember in one of the most populus counties, he didn't even get 30% of the vote. you will want to see him cozy up to mike pence than president trump. but president trump is still going to insert himself as somebody to be dealt with in this cycle. he can't avoid that. >> okay. we will see if that all comes to pass. back to the "our heritage" line. >> it is ugly race-baiting. post charlottesville, it is disful because there was loss of life. kkk and nazi folks marching through the streets with torches. in a state like virginia where that incident took place, it's very dangerous for not only ed gillespie, it's disappointing.
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and i agree with joe that he in the past has been reasonable. when he was the head of the rnc, called for the republican party to broaden their tent and reach out to latino and black voters. so i think it is very disappointing he has now fed into this ugly race-baiting that trump promulgated during his tenure. we need to move away from this. in the united states, diverse. we think everybody should have equal rights. that is what the cup is founded on. and i think that politicians running for statewide office, particularly in a state that just had a racial incident, they should not do this type of campaigning. and the heritage line is essentially a dog whistle to that republican base that thinks that the confederate history is part of their heritage, and we know what that means. >> all right. guys, thanks so much, as always. good to see you. so big changes could be coming to nearly every tax
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payer. but the specifics of the plan still remain under wraps. we will talk about that next. in our next hour, the chilling call authorities received just moments before jfk was shot. how do we say that this fall,
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more politics now in the&a new report saying special counsel robert mueller filed the first set of charges in his investigation. let's bring in democratic congressman john yarmouth, ranking member of the budget committee from kentucky. always good to see you, sir. nbc news, we have not yet confirmed this report. i do want to get your reaction to what we're learning about this. >> well, my reaction is i'm glad that something is happening. whatever it may be. there's been -- there's so much attention being made to robert mueller and his activities. this will certainly give us some direction as to where he's headed.
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again, i think the american people need to have this resolved and get some answers about what happened with russian attempts to influence the election. >> time period here five plus months working on this investigation. are you surprised by this time frame with the first potential indictments? >> i don't know. i'm not a prosecutor. i'm not a lawyer. so i don't have a good sense as to what that is. i would say five months certainly would be, in terms of financial dealings, i would say months is not a particularly short period of time. i would say that would be probably fairly easy to do. some of these other issues where you have to interview a lot more witnesses rather than just looking at financial information may take a lot longer. >> to your point, it may help us decipher what the content will be of these indictments. that said sir, we also learned yesterday that washington free beacon led to the research which led to the dossier. all of this comes on the heels
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of the clinton campaign denying any knowledge to payments -- of the payments to fusion gps. should you and other democrats in congress have known about this arrangement? is there anything there legally speaking or ethically speaking you told? >> i can't imagine. this apparently was a law firm that was doing opposition research for the clinton campaign. i don't know why we would ever know anything along those lines. i certainly wouldn't expect to be told. and i don't know what i would have done with the information if i had had it. >> okay o. there are new and competing congressional russia investigations. how concerned are you credibility of both democrats and republicans are being compromised? >> i'm really concerned about what's happening with the congressional investigations. because, you know, i think they both started with pretty good mutual good faith. and i know we've been briefed,
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obviously not on classified information, but we have been briefed on the progress of the discussions by adam schiff all along. and i think all of us felt to a certain -- at a certain point that they were going to be very productive. but it looks like they're going to end up being resolved on on pretty much a partisan basis. that is a real disappointment and bad for the country. >> you asked about the tax plan which republican colleagues barely passed. what do you expect to learn once they unveil the specifics next week? will it answer the questions or concerns you and fellow democrats are raising? >> well, it will answer some of the questions. i don't think it will resolve the concerns. i don't think that the republicans are going to back off their attempt to eliminate the estate tax and to raise the top rate on income tax and to eliminate the alternative minimum tax and do a lot of things which will benefit the already wealthy americans, millionaires, billionaires and corporations and ultimately pay
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for that with cuts to medicare and medicaid. that is our primary argument. democrats would be fully on board if you had a tax reform proposal that actually was targeted at middle and lower income americans if 80 years the benefit of this, at least the outline that the republicans put out would accrue to the top 1%. that's not the kind of tax reform that not only americans want, that's not what the rich people want, there are not a lot of rich people screaming for this kind of break. >> what about the close nature of how this passed? let's than a handful of votes separated and a lot of republicans crossed the line. do you think you can convince more republicans to join the next vote? >> well, there are a couple really key provisions that will affect whether republicans deserve the effort or not the main one was going to be whether you eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes. that's where most of the republicans were lost on thursday's vote, it came from high tax states like new york.
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>> new york, new jersey, exactly. >> right. but even my state, we have a 6% income tax and there are lot of people for whom that deduction makes a difference. i think there are about a half million people in kentucky, few eliminated that deduction, would lose, a half million people would lows an average of $999 in deduction a year. it has an impact in new jersey, new jersey and illinois. in many states. >> that will be a real sticking point. besides that, it's actually about a trillion 200 billion over the ten-year period that they would lose in revenue, which means that the impact of their tax plan on the debt. >> deficit. >> would be increased by that much, which would make it virtually impossible to pass. >> all right, democratic congressmanniar mou yarmouth fr kentucky. thank you very much. >> thank you. how did a tiny company in
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montana receive the contract to receive puerto rico's 3 million power grid. that's next. they're affordable and fast... maybe "too affordable and fast." what if... "people" aren't buying these books online, but "they" are buying them to protect their secrets?!?! hi bill. if that is your real name. it's william actually. hmph! affordable, fast fedex ground.
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. >> questions are swirling about how a tiny montana company got the largest contract to rebuild puerto rico's power grid. multiple congressional committees are under way as a member of president trump's cabinet denies he had anything to do with the deal. gabe gutierrez has been following this in san juan, gabe, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, fema is saying it has significant concerns about this contract and overnight puerto rico's governor says the results of an initial audit suggest that there's not enough evidence to conclude whether our proper hiring requirements had been met. this as the controversy rose not just in puerto rico but on capitol hill. this morning, mounting questions about how whitefish energy, a montana company, initially with just two full-time employees scored a $300 million deal to restore power to puerto rico. >> everything that i have seen, i think it's an outrage.
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i think the idea that the government or the appropriate authority did not look for mutual aid to not call up utility companies in the united states, which is what is normally done surprises me. >> reporter: some democrats, now nancy pelosi, calling for the contract be cancelled. the council authority preppa the puerto rican government does not have the trite to audit or review the cause. despite that whitefish says it welcomes an audit, the small company which now has 300 on the highland moved faster that its competitors. >> in the conspiracy theories, i get people's questions, they're very legitimate t. contract speaks for itself as the ability to get the work done. >> brian zinke who happens to be from montana met with president trump. >> he did ask secretary zifke just for clarification purposes and he replicated once again
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that we have no role, the federal government, in specifically he had no role in that contract. >> reporter: the controversy erupting as almost three-quarters of puerto rico struggles without power. jose tells us how this san juan neighborhood has been in the dark for more than seven weeks since hurricane irma before maria. >> there's like no hope. we don't know what's going to happen. it's very hard. it's a struggle. it's very hard. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez there in puerto rico. thank you for that coming up next hour, will you hear from the billionaire spending lots of money to get president trump impeached and later today, congressman al green will talk about a heated conversation with housing secretary ben carson. i love you, basement guest bathroom.
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