tv Deadline White House MSNBC January 27, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
apparent plans to spend this january weekend in florida. and the never trump republican ohio governor john kasich is going to new hampshire, and this is right about the time when we noticed when anyone in politics has travel plans to new hampshire. he's been a rumored primary challenger to trump. you may recall he tried and failed to beat him last final -- time around. to be fair, his new hampshire trip is not planned to involve any diners or dairy farms, rather a fireside discussion of politics on a college campus. that's going to wrap it up for our broadcast on a friday night and after this long week, thank you so much for being here with us. have a great weekend and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. a blockbuster account in the new york city today makes public for the very first time that white house council don mcgahn is serving as a human guardrail to donald trump and his presidency.
that sunning the "new york times" account reveals that donald trump not only wanted to fire special counsel bob mueller, he called in the order. and it was white house would you know don mcgahn's refusal that carried out the order that forced the president to back down. he also had the role of urging attorney general jeff sessions not to recuse himself in the russia probe. we want to be careful not to exaggerate or misrepresent goingmangoin mcgahn's role in the trump orbuio orbit. michael schmidt quoting "the west wing confrontation marks the first time that mr. trump is known to have tried to fired special counsel robert mueller. "the washington post" adding, quote, trump's ire at mueller
rose to such a level that then white house strategist steven bannon and reince priebus grew incredibly concerned he was going to fire mueller and sought to enlist others to intervene with the president, according to a presidential adviser who requested anonymity. both were worried about the possibility and discussed how to keep him from making such a move. the president woke up to the news in switzerland and responded with what has become a reflection for him. >> why did you want to fire robert mueller? >> fake news, fake news. typical "new york times" fake story. >> but no denials from his attorney ty cobb, or anyone else at the white house, ty cobb saying we decline to comment out of respect for the office of special counsel and its process. joining us today, "new york
times" reporter michael schmidt who along with maggie haberman who broke that story last night. michael schmidt, let me start with you and this account, which puts a lot of pieces on the board, if you will, in understanding who the narrators are. what stands out for me is this wasn't the musing that i think a lot of us have heard about of a desire to fire sessions because he recused himself, a desire to be rid of mueller. this was a direct order. how did it not come to be? what did mcgahn put on the line to stop the president? >> well, the president told mcgahn to call the justice department to tell them about mueller's conflict of interest issues and -- >> tick through those for us. those were amazing. tick through the conflicts of interest that you reported on.
>> so the biggest issue or the most interesting certainly of them that the president cited was the fact that mueller had been a member of trump's golf club in virginia and had a dispute with the club on membership fees and that was a conflict of interest that made it impossible for mueller to oversee the investigation. the two other reasons were, one, that mueller had interviewed to be the fbi director, the interim fbi director the day before he was appointed special counsel. and the fact that mueller had worked for the law firm that represented jared kushner, the president's son-in-law. so those were the conflict issues, which i'm pretty sure -- i've yet to hear any attorney in washington say those are certainly enough to disqualify you from leading such an investigation. >> and it wasn't enough of a conflict to have had a dispute over fees at the trump national golf club to have considered him
to be his fbi director, i'm guessing, it was something that had been thought through. but talk about what was really a dramatic scene that you paint in the piece, which was don mcgahn threatening to quit. >> mcgahn basically put his job on the line. he realized this would be catastrophic to the president. a month earlier they had gone forward with the comey firing, it completely back fired on them, it led to mueller being appointed. the president was increasinincr becoming convinced he was under investigation for obstruction of justice, it want just the russia issue, it was also his time in office and it didn't look like mueller was going to be going anywhere soon. and the president was fibsaxate and obsessed with who was overseeing this investigation. and march the president lobbied mcgahn. he said he wouldn't have made
sessions his attorney general if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the investigation. the president was trying to move mueller off the investigation, to fire him, and mcgahn sort of called his bluff in a sense by threatening to resign, making that known to the president and eventually the president backing down. >> i'm not going to ask you how you know this out of respect for sources and methods, but what sort of phase does this suggest bob mueller is in if these are the sorts of pieces -- your reporting includes the fact that bob mueller knows, which you've reported that it was don mcgahn threatening to quit. and we knis it now part of what mueller wants to understand why the president wants to fire him and who was involved in stopping
it and why might that matter in an obstruction of justice inquiry? >> so if mueller were building a broad obstruction case against the president, something like this may play into it as sort of backup evidence, backing up the claims that the president was trying to get in the way of the russia investigation, impacted, have control over it, supporting things in and of itself. it was probably not obstruction but perhaps part of a larger pattern. mueller knows about these things because over the past several months, many white house officials have gone in to be interviewed by him. and while a lot of attention is obviously given to the russia question, the white house officials are largely being interviewed about their time working for the president in the west wing and what went on. and in the course of that, because the white house has waved all its privileges, said it will cooperate with mueller,
give mueller whatever documents wanted, mueller has learned about these different events, these things that have gone on that paint a picture of what was going on in his first year of the presidency as mr. trump grappled with the raussia investigation and eventually mueller. >> i want to ask you about the atmospherics because i talked to a source close to don mcgahn from his pre-trump life and he describes the white house life as a five-way knife fight. he thought that some of this lobbying, "the washington post" has added this tidbit that steve bannon and reince priebus shared this concern about the fallout from the firing of mueller. he described the very existence of your report as a symptom of really an undercurrent of extraordinary turmoil of a whole
bunch of very senior white house aides increasingly concerned about potential legal exposure. i wonder if you can speak to the dynamics and the reception that your story had today. >> well, there's a lot of tension amongst the lawyers at the white house. don mcgahn and ty cobb are not always on the same page. they don't see issues like executive privilege and disclosure to mueller the same way. mcgahn more in favor of protecting those powers for future presidents, mcgahn representing the office of the presidency, where cobb takes the perspective that the president has nothing to hide and the sooner they cooperate with mueller, the more docks they give, the more forthcoming they are, the sooner a resolution and have this cloud taken off over the president, a huge political cloud over him, over everything. and there is this constant
tension between the two of them has tried to do everything possible to try and move along the white house's cooperation with mueller. >> frank, i want to bring you in on that point because i know you shared some thoughts with us today that donald trump's reaction to this story by calling michael schmidt and maggie haberman's account fake news, he may have impeached the credibility or perhaps even the testimony of don mcgahn. elaborate. >> he may have painted himself into a corner that has legal significance. so as we've just heard, this news that he wanted to mueller was not a surprise to mueller. so he's gotten it from interviews, maybe 20 different interviews at the white house. so someone or multiple people in the white house shared this firing with mueller. here comes trump publicly saying that's fake news. he's essentially calling his own staff liars. if this obstruction matter heads
to a grand jury, a courtroom or to congress for impeachment, we may fact a situation where the president is literally confronted with the written statements of his own staff, possibly his own white house counsel, contradicting the president's public statement that this is fake news. his own staff now is faced with impeaching the president's credibility. it's quite an interesting dilemma. >> it sounds like a standoff. where do you put the odds that donald trump will be interviewed under oath as he told the world he would be just before he departed for switzerland. >> 48 hours ago i would have said they're quite high that the interview would talk place. but we've seen, again, this painting into a corner where his counsel is telling him this isn't looking good, you're going to be confronted with our own statements, boss, we told mueller that you wanted to fire
him. we may see the president come out and back off of this but i redistri predict he's going to stick to his statement that it's fake news and he's likely going to regret it. >> betsy, let me get you in on everything we've been discussing. you talk to a lot of lawyers. i want you to speak to what ty cobb has had to do since donald trump, his client, went out and said absolutely i'll testify under oath and since maggie's story hit. >> we've seen the white house make a complete 180, as far as how senior officials there talk about bob mueller. ty cobb has worked overtime to try to assure the president that mueller is not a threat to his presidency and that he's going to clear his name. that's something that i believe has played an important role in president trump's apparent openness to speak with mueller.
that said, i chatted with john dowd, trump's personal outside lawyer who does not work in the white house yesterday afternoon. when i talked with him, he essentially walked back the president's public comments. he said, first off, dowd, not trump will be deciding whether or not trump speaks with the special counsel. second, dowd told me he has not made any decision whatsoever on whether or not that's going to happen. as you all sort of hinted at earlier, the fact that trump sometimes says things that don't line with reality is likely giving a lot of concern to the president's lawyers about whether or not they want him to sit down with mueller. that said of course, the next question becomes does mueller subpoena the president? that's a couple steps down the line. i wouldn't want to speculate about it but the reality is that this potential conflict between the president's outside attorney, john dowd, and bob mueller has the potential to be a really significant stories in the coming weeks. >> michael, you named three excuses that the president had
for firing mueller. he gave you another one when you guys sat down with him in the oval office, i think it was a case of president going a little rogue. but we have your sound from it. this is the president describing what would be a red line for him with bob mueller. let's listen. >> mueller was looking at your finances and family finances unrelated to russia. was that a red line? what that be a breach -- >> i would say yes. >> and then let me just throw in something steve bannon, who we understand will be interviewed by the special counsel imminently someday next week, do you know when? do you happen to know when steve bannon's coming in? i don't want to put you on the spot? >> i think he was maybe supposed to go in this week. i don't know if it's happened. i know he doesn't have to go into the grand jury. >> but he will go in for an interview, we understand here, in the coming days and weeks.
>> yes. >> so steve bannon said you realize where this is going, this is all about money laundering. he chose weisman first and he is a money-laundering guy. his path to [ bleep ] goes goes right through paul manafort, don jr. and jared kushner. he say also have testified to things on that front. can you talk about your question about the president's finances be a redline or whether that's a part of investigation that's gone cold. >> as we know, there are sort of two big buckets of the investigation. one is the obstruction bucket where there's a lot of things to
look at. the other one is the collusion, russia meddling in the election bucket. in regards to the president, we don't know a lot that's there. the third bucket would be the financial there and we even know less about that. there has not been a lot of news about subpoenas or interviews being done on that area. it's something that's been speculated about but there's never been any real there there that we've known about in the public. obviously there could be stuff going on behind the scenes but there's been very little noise on that front, the least noise and perhaps there's nothing going on there. the president in many ways is sort of transparent in that interview where we ask him that question. he says, look, that is a red line, it would be a reason to actually get rid of mueller and something he'd obviously be concerned about. i don't know why otherwise he would say that. but if has been this lingering question, that if mueller find other things that go beyond his
per view, would he have to go to the attorney general to go outside his lane? what would happen with that information? on that front we just don't know. >> frank, let me get you to weigh in on where you would take this in donald truf donald trum client? is it time is to start drawing red lines? >> i think an essential part planning this interview, if it takes place at all, is to absolutely establish parameters. we could see a back and forth on constraints within the interview process go on for quite some time here. i would try to limit it to personal finances being off the table. here's the problem. if there's personal finances that point to why the russians would have something on the president, why the president would be beholden to the russian government, they're fair game. so it's a bit of a trap again to say don't ask about his personal
finances, now mueller comes in and says his personal finances are at the root of why we believe he's been compromised by russia, it's not a winning argument. >> seems like it at the center of the collusion investigation. betsy, let me give you the last word on your piece. you have reporting out today that the efforts to protect bob mueller are going in the wrong direction. >> that's correct. senator tom tillis, a member of the senate judiciary committee has currently essentially stalled or dialed back his efforts to push legislation that he has co-sponsored that would make it much harder for the president to fire bob mueller or for any president to fire any special counsel. his office told me on the record that they think it's very unlikely the president is considering firing mueller. also said they trust trump when he says he's not looking into it. and additionally, and this is quite important, his office also told me that they don't currently think there's enough support in congress for legislation that would protect
mueller. that's an important revelation that they don't think this bill as it stands right now could get passed. it shows, in my view, that right now congress controlled by republicans may mott have tnot appetite to stand up to make it harder for trump to hinder this probe. >> we're grateful to all of you. when we come back, does the latest revelation amount to obstruction or simply prove the white house can't be trusted when they say we never considered firing bob mueller. and is it time for congress to step up? plus donald trump still talking about size. this time it's the size of his crowds that's on his mind. but never mind the size of his crowds, in davos it was the sound of his boos. 'sup, world? it's the box with 30% savings for safe drivers. coming at you with my brand-new vlog. just making some ice in my freezer here. so check back for that follow-up vid. this is my cashew guy bruno.
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does the president commit to not firing robert mueller? >> the president has not even discussed that. the president is not discussing firing bob mueller. >> for the 1,000th time, we have no intentions of firing bob mueller. >> is he setting, is he setting the stage for firing bob mueller? >> no, chuck, no, there's -- >> there's no way -- >> there is no conversation about it whatsoever in the white house. >> does he endorse his legal team's efforts to undermine robert mueller's credibility? >> again, the president has absolutely nothing to do with any of the allegations that are being made. >> have you thought or thought about considered leading the
dismissal of special counsel? is there anything bob mueller could do that would send you in that direction? >> i haven't given it any thought. i mean, i've been reading about it from you people. you say i'm going to dismiss him. i'm not dismissing anybody. i want them to get on with the task. but i also want the senate and the house to come out with their findings. >> when we call you liars, now you know why. for months, the president, his staff have insisted special counsel robert mueller's job was safe. from behind the scenes it may have been hanging by a thread. it is all part of what the "washington post"'s phillip bump described as a pattern of attempts by the president to steer the russia probe in a different direction, or as he writes, into the ditch. let's bring in our panel. with us at the table today lydia pole green, "huffington post"
editor in chief. john padora, msnbc contributor. philip, washington post political reporter and author of that great peace i just referenced and the reverend al sharpton, host of politics nation on nbc and president of the national action network. first, just on the block buster news that donald trump called in the hit, he called in the order to his white house counsel to fire bob mueller. >> i mean, it's deeply unsurprising. i mean, yes, it certainly is shocking. >> really? it's still surprising to me because -- i'm sorry, maybe i'm just slow. it still shocks me to watch that reel. i can watch it five times over. they all just look into the camera and lie. >> that shocks you by now? i mean, that is who they are. but i will say i'm a little surprised at the passion that this has stirred because chris ruddy of newsmax said in, i don't know, late june, early july, just weeks after mueller started -- >> one of the groupies you are. >> i'm a ruddy groupie.
he said trump wants to fire mueller. that was the story from the get go. so, the new detail is that he ordered the code red and mcgahn put the fire extinguisher on it, which is -- that's the interesting detail. >> why is that interesting? what does that tell you about mcgahn? >> well, i don't know what it tells me about mcgahn. it tells me mcgahn had an important survival instinct. i'm not sitting around here, i'm not going to be like, you know, the rabbi who was the last person to support nixon. sorry, you know. don't do this to my career is what mcgahn was saying. >> or my country maybe. >> i don't know mcgahn so i can't assess his character. >> i don't either. >> there are two possibilities. he could either be acting in self preservation, these are not mutually exclusive. if you're acting in self-preservation, we're where the lawyers need lawyers. that is not a good place to be. he could be acting in self preservation. >> first time i laughed all week. that was last friday and i love story. -- stormy. >> this could also be a shot across the bow, a reminder that the last time that this
happened, there was cry internally. by bringing it up, there appears to be a suggestion that perhaps trump is contemplating this again. so in that way -- this was a move and this was a way to provoke, as you said in the last segment, and that's what we're seeing now. >> i think that's possible that this could be a shot across the bow. but i think the underlying, more disturbing point is the only reason you would want to fire him is because you want to stop the investigation. and i think that it is very ironic that as the president is in davos trying to court world leaders, that we are finding more and more reason to believe what we've suspected, and that is that there was some either collusion or cover up with a foreign enemy over an american election. we can go all night on the intrigue, but the underlying fact is you don't want to get
rid of an investigator unless you're afraid of the investigation, whether it's someone close to you or your involvement. and i don't think we ought to mist thth thth thth ththe -- mi through the trees here. the tree here is not who he talked to, when, and why mcgahn might have stopped him. the question is why he wanted to do it in the first place. >> right. >> after what he did to comey. and the only logical answer and logic and trump don't usually fit in the same sentence. >> no, they don't. >> the only logical answer is he had real concerns and he knows why. >> your piece -- let me just get to filibuster. your piece goes through every instance that trump -- and everyone should get online and read this. trump has consistently tried to steer the russia investigation in a different direction or into a ditch. you tick through every instance where he did that. you go through the firing of comey. you go through the loyalty, what broke up that relationship. you go through the desire to have mueller fired. some of the early attempts to save him.
as betsy woodruff reported in the last block, those were off the table. the people for saving mueller are no longer for saving mueller. any clues as to why that's the case? >> i mean, i think at this point, one of the things that's sort of baffling, sort of take another step back and look at is the fact that donald trump should by now have learned the lesson that firing someone isn't going to end this investigation. it's not going to end the investigation. >> it could have opened up a new one. >> exactly. >> it could have been the firing of yates, firing of comey, the lackadaisical firing. the firings are all flash points where you bring everyone into the white house and interrogate them. >> exactly. all it has done so far is take it up a notch in terms of the importance and intensity. so, i think that at this point, i think one of the things that was very revealing about the "times" piece yesterday, it seems as though ty cobb has put
a lid on donald trump's emotions about the investigation. this thing is wrapping up soon, chill out, we're going to get through this, right. that seems to have worked. donald trump has been pretty chill about what's happening with mueller relative to donald trump, right. >> right. >> it's going to be fascinating to see how long that lasts, if mueller's investigation -- >> your paper wrote the great piece about trump as a pressure cooker and hasn't much of it been a lie or at least a myth? it's not wrapping up. >> i don't know. i mean, here's the question. i can construct scenarios in which trump says, look, this whole thing is nonsense and, you know, they're going to do whatever they can to nail -- to get stuff on jared, you know, from 2006. i'm not going to subject him to that so i'm firing mueller. and then mcgahn says, whoa, you're not firing mueller. there are 250 people working in this white house, including me, whose lives are going to be destroyed if you do that. so don't do that. but trump's instinct is, i'm not going to let this go forward. i didn't do anything. and there's that. that would be the counter to the reverend's idea. the other part is, what if he
is -- we're all acting as though ty cobb is talking to him like a he's a crazy person. don't worry, it's going to be over soon. ty cobb has no idea. what if mueller has told cobb he's on a six-month trajectory? we're already hearing he's going to talk to trump. who does he talk to after trump? there is no one to talk to after trump. maybe that part of the investigation is wrapping up. >> i think that that's possible. i think the bigger thing that is also possible is that collusion in and of itself is not actually a crime. and i think the only thing anyone is talking about at this point is obstruction of justice. and obstruction of justice without an underlying crime, there's no reason to believe that the trump administration couldn't survive that. >> right. it would still be very unpleasant. it would indict a lot of people. >> i would note two things. to your point, ty cobb may actually have a decent sense of what the mueller investigation is doing and a sense it is wrapping up soon. we've been hearing prior to thanksgiving ty cobb it was wrapping up soon. thanksgiving is not reese ent.
the second thing is i totally forgot. >> go ahead. >> let me say this. i think it is possible it's wrapping up soon. but to say that donald trump would want to end something because of jared or anybody other than donald trump, if you believe that, i'm not the only man of faith at this table. [ laughter ] >> i've known donald trump. he does not stop anything for anybody but donald trump. >> we're entertaining the possible. your paper and "the new york times" have both reporter the bob mueller probe is likely to exist well throughout 2018. it is now on the record and no one has pushed back with knowledge of the investigation that that's the case. the other, i think, thing to suggest that's not the case is then why try to assassinate the character of the fbi if you think this is all -- there is nothing -- sure, you could be right and i could wake up 6 feet tall 110 pounds looking like gisele tomorrow. it's possible. it is no sign, nothing public facing and nothing that's come out of the probe and nothing that's come out of anyone -- people are still hiring lawyers to defend them. no one is firing lawyers or
letting them go. >> i disagree with you about the trashing of the fbi. that's about creating a counter narrative for trump supporters and republicans on the hill to talk about instead of mueller. that's why that exists. that's a different line of inquiry. >> we can pickup that dee peyton in the next block. up next, donald trump finally gets his moment in the spotlight before a crowd he's revered and resented. he didn't exactly get the reception he was hoping for. ♪ are you reluctant to eat in public because of your denture?
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of a patient's brain before surgery. if we can do that, imagine what we can do for seizures. and if we can fix damaged heart valves without open heart surgery, imagine what we can do for an irregular heartbeat, even high blood pressure. if we can use analyze each patient's breast cancer to personalize their treatment, imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. imagine what we can do for you. we have a tremendous crowd a crowd like this, never had before. actually tell me the crowd like they have never had before in davos. >> really? all right. you want to talk crowd size on a european visit?
it almost feels mean, but you went there first, mr. president. this is senator barack obama's visit to berlin back in 2008. the crowd size at his branden berg gate speech, 200,000. here's president trump in a very different setting earlier today. >> as a businessman i was always treated well by the press. the numbers speak and things happen. but i've always had a very good press. and it wasn't until i became a politician that i realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be. as the cameras start going off in the back. >> "the new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker joins us from davos. peter, i have a two-part question for you. donald trump often dealt with the media as a fake spokesperson for himself. he had a fake publicist so he would call the press. he's definitely romanticizing
his time and the president talking about [ bleep ]-holes and multi-lateral interactions with european leaders, it didn't exactly go smoothly. >> well, look, you're right. obviously when he was a businessman he was dealing with them in a different context. let's remember the very first article ever written about him in "the new york times" was actually about a justice department lawsuit against him and his father for discriminating against african-american tenants at his rental properties. doesn't sound like soft coverage. he played a lot with the gossip columns, he fed them information. he phoned up reporters pretending to be a spokesman for himself and talked about how donald trump is a hit with all the ladies. his experience with the press obviously was different.
let's hope that the press covers the president of the united states differently than it covers celebrity businessman and reality television star. you know, he came here obviously, he likes to brag about crowd sizes as part of it. everything is the biggest and best it's ever been as far as he's concerned. but he did get emotionally warm reception from the people here, not because the billionaire investors and the bankers suddenly decided that they agree with him on globalization and these issues, but because they like his tax cuts and regulatory reform and they feel optimistic about the economy. so, he got a better reception than people might have expected. >> peter baker, the white house staff there woke up to the news from your colleagues maggie haber man and michael schmidt that donald trump had ordered the firing of bob mueller back in june. i've been on a foreign trip in another time zone when a big story probably written by you in some instances, broke. i wonder where the white house staff was when they saw this account and how the white house staff and the president reacted while they were on a trip. >> yeah, that's a good question. they weren't really dealing with that today. they were trying really hard to focus on the event here. the president was asked about it, a reporter actually -- my boss, the bureau chief for "the new york times," happened to be with him when he came into the column and called out and asked about the story. fake news? that misses with nbc, washington
post, fox news have all confirmed the story. he wants to pretend it's not the case, but, you know, so far as i can tell, everybody thinks this is in fact the case. he dismissed it obviously and didn't want to talk about it, his aides didn't want to talk about it. it does shadow a president when they are overseas and these kinds of things are reported. it is something they focus on, fixate on. how could they not? when they get home this is what is going to be waiting for him. the russia investigation isn't going away, a russia investigation that seems to be taking on multiple layers and multiple facets. it's not just about what happened in 2016, it's about what happened in 2017. >> peter baker, thank you for being there. thank you for covering it. thank you for joining us. we appreciate you. still ahead, if you didn't think something like this
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this has been a presidency like none other. trump is currently dealing with quite a list of politically and maybe even some legal hurdles that in any other administration would spell utter disaster. but in the trump presidency, it's just friday. as we have been reporting, there is the ongoing investigation by robert mueller's special counsel. the announcement of a base busting immigration framework neither party likes at this point. an attack on his own justice department by way of a political war he himself green lit. his chief of staff calling him uninformed on immigration issues. and an alleged extra marital affair with porn star stormy daniels. to whom he allegedly paid hush money to, a payment that may have violated campaign finance laws. and daniels could up stage his first state of the union address and she'll be interviewed by jimmy kimmel right after the speech. the panel is back. john, you couldn't even make it through the story. >> i heard the other day that stormy daniels or stephanie
clifford, who i prefer to use her actual name. >> okay, i will go with stephanie. >> somebody was interviewing her and she couldn't answer any of the questions because she's still -- she still is, you know, is healing to the nondisclosure agreement of the payment. so, i don't know, god knows what's going to happen in that interview. what are they going to talk about, the c.h.i.p. funding? >> this is a serious question, though, because this was -- this story broke about two weeks ago. we did it last friday. i think you were here, right? it took us a week to do it, and it didn't cross my radar and it didn't feel to have the gravity that i now understand it to have until someone suggested that if a porn star could blackmail the president, just imagine the implication for the russians. so, the story isn't going away in part because the new development and we bring it up again today because there is now the potential of a campaign finance violation. do you think this is the kind of story that is simply eclipsed by all the other mayhem, or do you
think this is just so in line with what people expect from donald trump? >> i think it's in line, but i think what was particularly interesting is donald trump always felt like the outsider to the crowd that's in davos. i've said to you before, he always would say they don't respect me and my dad. i'm the outer borough guy. the one call he made to me after he won the election, you're an out of boro guy from brooklyn, i'm an out of borough guy from queens. he made it. this was the ultimate to him. i'm the big guy. i'm going to the biggest guys, even bigger than the guys of the power spots in new york. i'm the star of davos. but then his baggage comes out in the middle of this to remind everybody why he was never in the power spots and in the elite spot. so, donald trump is catching up with donald trump at his most ultimate arrival spot. he's sitting there with the elite and they're saying, but you still don't belong there, no matter how you got to be president.
>> the political version of carey. >> i would say i think there are -- >> that was good. >> there are those in davos who have hired call girls. >> elliott spitzer. >> i'm saying, you're right because there is something about the openly sleazy nature -- >> we're not talking about call girls. we're talking about donald trump is too incompetent to pull off the cover up. >> that's right. >> what i would say is as far as we know, what we have here is a guy who has spent his career, you know, suing people and paying people off. and so the blackmail issue is an interesting one because it may not be as, you know, horrifying as he is blackmailable by a foreign leader. what if he was just blackmail able by --
>> how low is the bar? >> i don't know if you ever -- this isn't really your politic. if you ever read naomi kline's shock doctrine. it's shock aftershock aftershock. you can never quite take in the enormity of it all. all the things you just listed. think back 20 years ago last week, this week was the monica lewinsky scandal breaking. think about what an earth shattering revelation that was. we're having monica lewinsky level scandals this, this many in one week. >> the government hadn't shut down a week ago this hour. >> you've done some of the best analysis of the president's twitter feed. you understand better than anyone what his inputs are, what his outputs are. speak about whether this is volume business or life inside his bubble. >> there is this illusion brought up many times when mr. burns goes into the doctor, the doctor tell him he has literally everything. that's okay, everything is in balance. it's a great little scene. to the point you're making, what are you going to blackmail trump on?
literally the number five item on that list is covered up sex with a porn star. what's going to come out that is worse than that and more damning? >> but, yes, if you're going to deal with the stormy whatever -- >> daniels. >> yes, daniels. >> or stephanie clifford. >> the difference is that according to what we're told, the payment was made right before the election. >> that's right. >> he could go through all of this back and forth as a businessman, celebrity, mogul and all. but you're getting ready to be elected president of the united states. that's when he says, wait a minute, we got to stop this or someone around him says that. and that is where the russians could and others could, whatever they had on him, it takes a whole new kind of level of leverage when you're talking about now you're going to be president of the united states. >> fair enough. i feel that as the kids say, l.o.l., nothing matters. we're just living in this world where there is revelation after revelation. and at the same time, you've got
mueller banging on the door. but he's got a very friendly gop in congress that is doing absolutely everything in its power to undermine and discredit, and not to mention, you have fox news that's you have fox news that hyperventilating about the supposed secret society. it turns out that's about a beef cake calendar. >> the danger here is the central political challenge for trump is not having republicans peel away from him. that means whatever comes out about him they're going to be fine as long as he does what they want him to on certain things. >> is that a disgrace? >> of course it's a disgrace. these guys are supposed to be moral leaders.
david didn't get away with murder. >> those people never give me for those choices. >> you have nothing to give them. >> federal judiciary. >> and also the answer that was given was because donald trump punches liberals in the nose. that's what they like. >> they like being invited into the white house to have their picture taken and you know that's a big thing. >> i'll send you the picture. save your dignity. save your soul. we'll be right back. rodney -- mastermind of discounts like safe driver, paperless. the list goes on. how about a discount for long lists? gold. mara, you save our customers hundreds for switching almost effortlessly. it's a gift. and jamie. -present. -together we are unstoppable. so, what are we gonna do? ♪ insurance. that's kind of what we do here.
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obviously i can't discuss particulars of an ongoing investigation, but, yeah, we good. it's nice. you got to understand the guide didn't leave me a trail of bread crumbs here. he left me full loaves. there was no satisfying evening. this ain't lost. >> that was last week's snl. we were talking during the break about how this period where stormy daniels was allegedly paid hush money. it's interesting in terms of what else they might have sought
to clean up and if he wasn't colluding with russia, but simply afraid of being black mailed, what else might have gone down in that time period? how crucial is that? >> i think it's very crucial. i think the fact that the book that came out where they were not expecting to win and many of us, including many people around them, they never thought they were going to win. >> they were all interviewing for other jobs. >> that's correct and all of a sudden they have to rush and try to clean up something they never thought that dirt would matter because in their world it wasn't dirty. it was what you do. i think that in that you get situations like that one and i suggest the russians could have also exploited it because they may have been dealing with some things maybe not in terms of just elections, but just in business, that all of a sudden become very, very easily useful blackmail when everybody started saying this guy couldn't be president and nobody thought
that was possible whenever they did whatever deeds they did. >> we know they were working on it the whole time. all your great work they were hard at work. one more break and we'll be right back. change. most of the time it happens slowly. most of the time. sail with the #1 cruise line in alaska, princess cruises, come back new.
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eat, speak, and smile with confidence. try super poligrip® today. that does it for us tonight. thanks. i'll see you back here monday at deadline white house at 4 p.m. >> you're fired! let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. when in doubt, donald trump does what he does best.
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