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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  April 5, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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blossoms we shot earlier today. there you go. virtual cherry blossoms, brought to you by "mtp daily." even though you didn't ask, you're welcome. that's all for tonight, "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. the harp makes me so calm. >> calm is good. we begin with breaking news from air force one, president trump just spoke out on the record about stormy daniels. in a moment, i will have the first live reaction from daniels attorney. trump speaking to reporters, he is denying that he made this now infamous $130,000 payment to her or that he knows where it came from. >> do you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy channels? >> no, what else. >> why did michael cohen pay it?
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>> michael cohen is my attorney and you would have to ask him. he made the payment. >> do you know where he got the money? >> i don't. >> the president of the united states, denying he paid for stormy daniels for that secret nda agreement. you also heard by implication the president denying that he knows where his long-time lawyer got the $130,000 to make this famous payment. and that takes this story right now in a new direction. because up until this hour, donald trump personally had no denied that he made this payment. quite the opposite, since trump joined the case against daniels, seeking millions of dollars. michael cohen never said whether donald trump reimbursed him for the payment. so the president, there on air force one just added more
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questions and more suspicions to this very unusual story. let's get right to it here with the first response to this news is stormy daniels lawyer, michael avanatti. i appreciate you coming on "the beat" here on a night when i know you're in big demand. the first legal question to come out of this, if donald trump didn't make the statement and doesn't know where the payment came from, does that call into question if there was a valid agreement in the first place? >> first of all let me say merry christmas to you. because it's a very merry christmas here in our camp. this is what happens when you have an undisciplined client. we waited for christmas and lo and behold it's arrived. the statements that donald trump made on air force one are serious for donald trump and
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serious cohen, these guys are making it as they go along and our case just got a whole lot better. >> you're happy, you're sharing with your viewers that you see this as good news. >> i'm ecstatiecstatic, let's b, i'm ecstatic. >> if the president didn't make the payment, in your view legally, does that mean he may not be able to enter into the case which he did in trying to take your client's case out of court? >> our case is simpler than that, because if the president didn't know anything about the payment, then he didn't know anything about the agreement, and in that case you can't have an agreement. then there is no nda, and all this bluster that we have seen michael cohen and others about how they're going to take my client for everything she's
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worth and go on an extended vacation. it's all been proven to be baseless. and the statements he made on air force one, i have questions as to wheth as --. >> that goes to the other big question in this story, this is news when the president handles it this way and says this. it's news that it doesn't make a lot of sense, because as we have reported previously. that there are rules that lawyers can -- but then you go to weather he's telling the truth. in your view, do these statements that we're playing, the vo, the video of you seeing him making this unusual statement on air force one, does donald trump making this claim tonight in your view make it more likely that you could convince a court to sit for a deposition?
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>> it will quite certainly. and now he's effectively thrown michael cohen under the bus, by making these statements on air force one. but this is an undisciplined guy, he finally cracked. we knew he would crack eventually. we have been patient, i've been waiting and who would have thought that it would have arrived on this thursday, this glorious afternoon in new york. >> you say he threw cohen under the bus, what do you specifically mean? you're referencing the idea that donald trump which he just did in this hour, say that michael cohen went rogue and did this on himself. and this violates the rules for lawyers because it makes it look like he did something on his own for his client? >> he went off on his own, half cocked and that old saying what
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a tangled web we weave. >> this is quite the unusual air force one statement from the president. before i play it one more time for you. i want to ask, when you look at what he said, does it give you anymore confidence about where you think this money did come from? >> well, i think it's interesting that he denied subsequent questions. i don't know if you have that. but my understanding is that he denied a couple subsequent questions as to whether he set up a fund from which this payment would be made or reimbursed. i find that quite interesting and i find that certainly a topic that we're going to exproper e exprope exproper. >> so you're going to try and get michael cohen deposed in connection with these questions? >> the comments that the president just made on air force
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one. >> do you know about the payment michael cohen made to stormy daniels? >> no. >> why did michael cohen make it? >> you would have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> i don't know. >> when he says i don't know where he got the money. lawyers like to parse, do you view that as a blanket denial that he's not the source of the money, or do you see any wiggle room there? >> there's certainly some wiggle room. the other thing i see is that he's doubled down now on the fact that michael cohen is still his attorney, still his lawyer, i guess this would be an example of one of the best and the brightest of the american people that he was going to bring on board, it's really unbelievable to me. >> michael, stay with me, because i want to get more from you. for some legal perspective, i
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want to welcome maya wiley. maya, your view of this news, and did donald trump as a client help or hurt himself by weighing in this way? >> i'm going to agree with mr. avanatti. if i were sitting in mr. avanatti's seat, i would be doing the happy dance too. a nondisclosure agreement is a contract, two people got together, made an agreement on something of value, gave consideration, which in this case would be money in exchange for silence. and you're saying donald trump didn't know about it? so what's a the agreement? what's the contract? so the whole issue in addition to this the notion of with whether or not he has a campaign finance violation and is that why he's saying he didn't know. i agree it's very, very hard to agree that you just have a
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purely rogue attorney who did all of this with -- for no reason because there was no affair. utilizing his own funds for a client for no reason. >> and maya, that goes to the other point, mr. avanatti and i have discussed and debated this legally before, which is what i have pointed out is i think a weakness to their signature argument, that missing a signature alone could invalidate the entire contract. in the absence of a signature, when you have a payment, you say well that is like a contract, just like there's oral contracts. it seems to me that what donald trump just did there whether he realized that or not was knock out that other stool in public, saying, a, there was no agreement, b, there was no payment, no consideration, and c, he was not the source of those funds. so what's left of a legally
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binding contract then? >> that's right. there are ways you could make legal arguments about whether or not there is enough indication of an agreement in the absence of an agreement. you could potentially in a case cure that not if you say you didn't know about it. >> michael. >> ari, i'm going to go back to what i said before, this is a gift from the heavens this afternoon. i could think of few things that could be better for our case than the few statements that the president made on air force one. here's the thing that i find to be interesting. surely he now knows about the $130,000 payment. so his unequivocal payment that he didn't know about it, just on its face, that's not accurate. at some point he found out about it. i think the correct answer would have been, if in fact he did not know about it at the time, and we believe he did. but if in fact he did not know about it, the correct answer would have been i didn't know about it at the time, but i did
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find out about it, fill in the blank, earlier this month. anyone who's been paying attention the last month or so, knowing michael cohen's statement was that he used his own funds to make this statement. he didn't clarify the answer to that question either. again, they don't know which way is up, or which way is down, they're making it up as they go along, and that's very dangerous and problematic when you find yourself in a lawsuit especially one of this magnitude. >> the one thing we know about donald trump is restraint is not his strong suit. the fact that he was restrained for so long, actually indicates that there may have been a reason for him to be more restrained. why now? it seems to me is a really interesting question. i think he was caught off guard and i think he said something that if he had had time to think
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about it, he probably would have continued to stay silent for the very reason that he will now regret, which is nothing makes sense anymore. >> right, and that he's revived it in an extraordinary way, that he didn't need to do. you're talking about how donald trump operates as a client, we know that his lead criminal defense attorney in the russia probe left allegedly over strains that he was following legal advice and legal strategy. and we know that donald trump has more attorneys working on silencing stormy daniels than he does on the russia probe. so the real question is how he deals with the counsel he gets, it's hard to imagine any lawyer anywhere living or dead, that would tell donald trump, yeah, tonight, on the air force one plane please get into this and then he said what he said. i want to add to our discussion for the election law aspects of this. melanie sloan who is a lawyer and expert on this, joins us as
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well from washington, i believe. melanie, as you look at these new comments from the president, and as we have reported for our viewers, it's really the first time he's personally said he didn't make this statement, doesn't know where it came from, what do you see broadly as a lawyer, and what do you see with regard to election law. >> like mr. avanatti and ms. wiley, it's clear that this is a wonderful day for stormy daniels and it certainly is not a good day for donald trump and his arguments about this. also this further suggests that this was in fact a campaign donation, an in-kind campaign donation. it was made to keep stormy daniels quiet, it was to help president trump get elected. now he says he didn't know anything about it. it's clear that somebody made that payment to help donald trump get elected. when john edwards, the issue
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that perhaps the payment had been to keep it from his wife. it doesn't seem like michael cohen would have been making this just to make sure that melania trump didn't find out about it. i think this is an in-kind campaign donation that violates the federal campaign finance law. >> couldn't someone make actually the opposite argument and say that if true, which is a big question, we don't know if donald trump's telling the truth there, and in which case this also could backfire and hurt him in a different way. but if he says he doesn't know anything about this, and doesn't know what michael did, doesn't that theory that he just did this rogue, make it less likely that he was involved in this and that it was a campaign matter? >> to me it says that michael cohen, trump's long time lawyer trying to help president trump get elected as president of the
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united states, made this payment to stormy daniels perhaps not even realizing the campaign finance aspects of it. michael cohen doesn't seem to be that familiar with the ethics rules of the bar either, . but he certainly is now facing both ethics issues and campaign finance issues and let me say, i also think this is new and interesting for the special counsel bob mueller. because the question is where did this $130,000 come from? $130,000 is a lot of money, and the special counsel has already expressed interest in the trump campaign's finances and some of the trump organization's finances now. >> let me go to maya on that. it also goes to whether john dowd was right that no matter how bad or how guilty it looks, you shouldn't do an interview. these were relatively simple questions from reporters, but
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they seem to have landed trump in hot water. >> even governor chris christie's advice to trump was not to talk. there was a lot of agreement if you can't be considered honest, truthful, and avoid implicating yourself in criminal activity, you ore better off keeping your mouth shut. >> ari, if i could touch base on one issue? because i think that what we saw earlier today is really part and parcel of a movement that we have seen in the administration for the last 10 days in my perspective. more and more weight is being placed on the shoulders of michael cohen. more and more eggs are being placed in the michael cohen basket. if this guy doesn't hold up ultimately, or with robert
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mueller, katy bar the door, a lot of things could happen in this administration, they are putting a lot of faith and a lot of confidence of michael cohen's ability to hold up whether it be question i questioning by mueller. >> are you suggesting that what donald trump just did has not only hurt michael cohen but add to the pressure on him that could ultimately be significant because you believe that michael cohen knows a lot of long-term secrets about donald trump and his business? >> there's no question. and if they ultimately, if michael cohen is ultimately in a position where he cannot with stand the pressure that has been placed upon him and he cracks, and rolls on the president, very, very bad things can happen, they can pierce the attorney-client privilege in terms of the crime fraud perhaps. there could be very, very serious consequences.
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what's happened in the last 7 to 10 days, they are setting up michael cohen to be the fall guy. michael cohen is going to say i never told the president, never talked to him. if that means i'm going to lose my license, it means i'm going to lose my license, et cetera, et cetera. that only wogoes so far for so long in bob mueller's investigation. as this case and mueller's investigation goes forward, i don't know him personally, but from what i have seen and the statements i have seen him make, i don't think he has the mettle to with stand it, and that could be a very, very bad thing for the administration. >> you think the heat that's going to be put on michael cohen will be too much for him now? >> no question. >> michael, you obviously come to this as an adversary of mr. cohen, my job here in this chair is to remind our viewers where you're coming from.
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but i think some of the legal points that you make, n notwithstanding that you guys are adversaries. bob mueller used that to pierce paul manafort's testimony. that is something that in the criminal probe could matter. number two, we have reported on this show, with people who were in the room with the fbi agents working for mueller, including mr. nunberg, is they are asking about payments to women, which we know from other witnesses -- you know sometimes lawyers who are set to take the fall, john dean, sent by richard nixon, he figured out he was going to be the fall guy, turned around and turned on the administration. i want to add joyce vance, a
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federal prosecutor and legal analyst while i still have 3450 michael still here. if you could tell us what you're learning, this new information, what stands out to you as legally important? >> this is a very surprising development. if i was the president's lawyer, one of the principles that would have tried to pound into him would be, if you are asked about stormy daniels don't respond, nothing good happens answering a question about this from any point of view. so now we have the president on record saying he didn't know about the payment. and if that turns out to be in any way untrue, whether legally in terms of a criminal investigation, or in terms of the civil investigation, this may be the sort of pressure that it will be very difficult for the presidency to with stand. by boxing himself in, unless
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he's been scrupulously truthful, i think he's put himself into a world of hurt. >> michael avanatti, there's an old saying, you could have been anywhere in the world tonight, and you're here, we appreciate it given all the news. thank you, sir. donald trump talking about a way to get attorney general jeff sessions out and maybe put in embattled epa chief scott pruitt. also more fallout on the stormy daniels case and the legal implications. i have it all for you tonight. ♪
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the breaking story tonight is a big one. donald trump still considering as recently as in the past few days according to new reports replacing jeff sessions, with guess who? embattled epa chief scott pruitt. it is news and fact and whistle blowers that have turned him from one of trump's favored loyalists, that's why he might be up for doj, into what is increasingly looking like a liability. for scott pruitt, refusing pruitt's request to use lights and sirens in a nonemergency. his scandals include im -- but
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no matter how swampy it seems, remember, trump is standing by his man. >> scott has done a fantastic job, i think he's a fantastic person. you know i just left coal and energy country. they love scott pruitt. they feel very strongly about scott pruitt and they love scott pruitt. >> pruitt had been claiming that ethics advisors cleared his air bnb arrangement. >> that is something that again has been reviewed by ethics officials here, it's said that it's market rate. these are clear ethics violations. >> officials have a new memo saying they weren't actually informed of the facts and details like pruitt's daughter actually staying in the condo.
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but this isn't just about one cabinet member, it's a promise that with less rich people in washington-- >> we are going to washington, d.c. and we are going to drain the swamp. >> we're going to drain the swamp of corruption. >> i see the swamp and it's not a good place. we have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption. i said we will drain the swamp, the place went crazy. >> pruitt joins this list of trump officials that range from tom price to ben carson to jared kushner, for what is still the swampiest thing you can do abuse your office for personal game. first question to both of you starting with hakeem, based on what we have learned should scott pruitt get this potential
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promotion to doj, stay in his job or resign in your view, congressman? >> he should either resigned or he should be fired. you're talking about exhibit a of the fact that a president who promised to drain the swamp has brought us an administration that effectively has become the swamp. and there's no reason to have any degree of confidence that scott pruitt will be a thoughtful steward of taxpayer dollars, he's flying around the country with unnecessary security details, he's flying first class in some instances, using private jets in other instances. basically trading on his position to negotiate sweetheart deals with lobbyists in order to dramatically reduce his costs of staying in a luxuckxury condomi in swaswashington, d.c.
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the fact that donald trump would even think about promoting this individual is -- >> why do you think he would want pruitt at doj? >> i think from my perspective, it all stems from the fact that clearly donald trump above all else, including the rule of law prides himself on loyalty. and he fundamentally doesn't understand that the attorney general of the united states is not his personal lawyer. the attorney general is a lawyer for the people of this great country. >> don, same opening question to you. >> well, yes, it's time for scott pruitt to go. let's just consider what we're talking about and what we're not talking about, there's no discussion really now about whether scott pruitt's policies at epa are wise or in the best interests of the country or not. we're talking about whether the man can be trusted to do his job and whether the public can actually have confidence that regardless of what you think of his policies, that he's putting
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his public interest first and he's not, he's putting hiss own personal interests ahead of the public's. >> you write i have the memo, you and your folks write these kind of memos, now that they're saying the facts changed so pruitt looks way worse. > breaking in the last ten minutes, it says basically woou pruitt fell behind on payments for the $50 a night condo rental, leaving his lobbyist landlord to pester him for payment. if you have a normal arrangement, you usually have the credit card and you're prepaid. i have never heard about this lobbyist-landlord side deal. but what do you make of this? it all seems pretty cheap. >> my wife and i travel back and forth to washington not
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infrequently and use air bnb, i have never found the deal that scott pruitt had. if i could, i would have taken advantage of it. but it doesn't exist for anybody unless it's offered as a special favor for a government official. >> don, from an ethics and legal view, the idea that donald trump might want pruitt to replace sessions so he can make -- >> i come back to the first question you asked and that is really a question of whether scott pruitt is really deserving to be a public servant and be a member of the cabinet and everything he's displayed so far, seems to me disqualifies himself for this position as well as being the chief law enforcement officer of the country. >> strong take from both of you, and we'll see these stories continuing to break.
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up next, i have the big report at the top of the hour, stormy daniels lawyer responding on "the beat" after trump breaking his silence in an unusual way on the story. i have a breakdown of why the doj even under donald trump has demolished that talking point. . and my very official guest, co-author of "art of the deal" on why there are hopes of protests tonight. with a sore back. but he's got work to do. so he took aleve this morning. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that. aleve. all day strong. all day long. and for pain relief and a good night's rest, try aleve pm for a better am.
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breaking news tonight, donald trump breaking his silence, this is the first time he has offer ever commented on the record that he his attorney paid $130,000 to stormy daniels.
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>> why did -- michael cohen is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> i don't know. >> that was breaking news and then there was more news that broke within this hour on the beat. stormy daniels lawyer responded for the very first time to those comments. >> it is a very, very merry christmas this evening over here in our camp. this is what happens when you have an undisciplined client, as you know. we waited patiently and lo and behold christmas has arrived. >> nick, what do you see as the most important legal implication of donald trump's highly unusual statements there on air force one? >> i think he's just lost hiss agreement to arbitrate. i think he's got no chance in hell of ever getting the judge
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to enforce that arbitration agreement. there was simply no meeting of the minds. if he had no idea that michael cohen was entering into this agreement with stormy daniels, the agreement itself explicitly says that david denison, also known as donald trump and peggie whatever her last name was, stormy daniels, agreed to arbitrate. donald trump's just given away the story. he didn't agree. >> and that goes for folks that a aren't experts in contracts. some of this gets into a metaphysical debate. in the end a hush money agreement is a contract. and it becomes is there a contract? and if there is a meeting of the minds, a consideration and the contract agreement. if there is, you debate about what's in it. if there is no contract, you all go home.
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and i want to play what michael avanatti said when he was driving at that legal point home tonight. >> if he didn't know anything about the payment, you can't have an agreement and there is no such thing as an nda and all this bluster and nonsense about how they're going to take my client for everything she's worth and they're going to go on an extended vacation, has all proved to be nonsense. >> he has one side of the case, and he has reasons for making that argument. but do you buy on the point that the contract seems to be evaporating before our eyes according to donald trump? >> it really does seem to be evaporating in a whisp of smoke as it leaves the room. a contract is nothing more than an agreement between a couple of parties and it's usually backed up by something of value. and so when one party to an
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alleged contract knows nothing about it, it's not much of a contract. and here's why that matters. the real benefit that trump gets out of this contract is the idea that it can't be a lawsuit in open court where everyone knows all the details. what he bargained for in this nda was the arbitration agreement. and arbitration takes place behind closed doors with no public revelation. if trump loses the contract, he loses that sphere of privacy that would have otherwise surrounded everything about his relationship with stormy daniels. and ari, it's worth remembering that the president's opening sal v vo in that matter was that he didn't even know stormy daniels. first he didn't know her, now he doesn't know anything about that payment, it's not much of a contract and he won't get any benefit out of it. >> nick, final brief thought on the point that's been raised
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that michael cohen knows a heck of a lot and that donald trump just went up there and said, to the world, to all the reporters, go ask michael cohen, because i don't know anything about it. >> i don't believe it for a minute. donald trump is just trying to disassociate himself from stormy daniels. it just seems so blatantly obvious. he's got a choice, he either keeps the contract or he admits his relationship with stormy daniels. he decided that he doesn't want to keep his contract because he doesn't want to admit to the relationship with stormy daniels. >> i don't know if we have ever covered presidential comments like this. i thank you both. there's a big argument about why bob mueller has exceeded his authority and now foxes has a new chapter in that. i'm going to give you a memo that came from a trump appointee that's undermining those talking
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the civil rights marches of the '60s. the abortion marches of the '80s and '90s. this is right up there. >> rare is a -- famous tribute to a world remembering not what is said and not what is done. maybe not the worst every speech or every song, but people remember americans fighting that draft, we remember the shift, we remember students not only taking on congress, but a sitting democratic president. the establishment didn't think lbj was vulnerable, let alone that that consummate politician would abandon his reelection push from inside the white house, it was young people that pushed that seeming impossibility into reality. barack obama has publicly mused on how older voters were initially skeptical of him but young people stepped up.
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>> i was never the likeliest candidate for this office. it grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy. this is your victory. >> i'm joined now by tony schwartz, he's the co-author of "the art of the deal" and he also wrote "the way we're working isn't working." and he's delved into many of these issues. let's start with how young people in this new gun movement are doing something we remember from the vietnam and the civil rights era. >> i remember students taking over that building in 1970, i have a very good memory of that and all those marches. and i think that what's transformationly changed the experience compared to that one at that time is the blend of the digital world and how it is a microphone and a screen to the world.
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so these are folks who are incredibly digitally sophisticated at 16. and we have the emotions of this particular thing. vietnam was kind of a little abstract and thousands of miles away. this is my future, my safety, my life. >> claire mccaskell said she was feeling pressure from people to endorse hillary, a fellow woman senator and she famously said at the urging of her 18-year-old daughter, she couldn't sit in the bleachers anymore. felt like she needed to get on the field, fighting for what i think is so important for our country. i would know it, that was january 2008 when barack obama was still basically the underdog. what do you think about that, a senator, someone who lives as a political leader, acknowledging it was her daughter that moved her? >> i think the young shall inherit the earth. i think here i am, i'm a grandfather, i can feel it
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comi coming, i can feel it reverberating in my kids already. and i think the lack of cynicism of young kids, the rawness and the degree to which they're hooked into this digital culture. basically you've got a digital world against and an log world. >> what do you think as someone who i think is a pretty deep thinker, the fair logical critique that there is a positive embrace of the youth of spokespersons as if it can't be replicated when certainly it can? >> are you asking is there another point of view among young people, is that your question? >> if it exists. >> of course it does. >> i mean is there a prop attached to those students who were moving on the stage that they can become a kind of prop? >> of course that's a risk. but it isn't only young people, it's women in me too, it's inner
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city black and hispanics, it's all kinds of people, it's all of those people who voted for bernie in the primary two years ago. so there's a new group that's emerging that is coming from many different angles and that i believe is, as i said earlier, an evolutionary force. >> are they democrats or are they liberals or does it matter? >> kids under 30, for example, voted for hillary by a margin of 17%. and hillary was not a strong candidate, and that's far better than she did with any other demograph demographic. or any other age demographic. so i do believe that if you think of this as evolutionary and you think of evolution as seeing more, having a perspective, ari, that's wider, deeper and longer, that's a view. if you want to call it liberal. it's kind of a dirty word in some places, but progressive, it
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does seem to be that is the case. >> i only want to put a word on it because i know you think deeply about the underlying issues here and it's my job to simplify it to the point of uselessness. >> thank you for doing that, ari, i appreciate it. >> and that's how we do it. and as i mentioned, i'm doing this special legal breakdown on the doj memo from inside the trump administration that undercuts a big fox news talking point and where mueller is headed, that's next. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® is a once-daily, long-acting insulin that lasts even longer than 24 hours. i need to shave my a1c. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® works like my body's insulin. releases slow and steady. providing powerful a1c reduction. i'm always on call. an insulin that fits my schedule is key. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪
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now to a breakdown. a key talking point from mueller's critics demolished. when bob mueller first brought those charges against paul manafort last fall there was a big attack you may have heard from the right wing that mueller overstepped his authority because the charges didn't look like they were directly about russia or collusion. >> this indictment has nothing -- let me repeat, nothing -- to do with
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trump/russia collusion. zip, zero, nada. >> this is a sad showing it seems to me on the part of the special counsel. there does not appear in the case of manafort and gates appear to be any connection to russia, collusion. >> manafort and gates engaged in alleged wrongdoing that had nothing whatsoever to do with trump or russia or collusion. >> that was the big claim. nothing to do with collusion and thus mueller was overstepping his doj authority. now we learn this is not a matter of opinion because at the time those critics were saying that, bob mueller's boss, trump appointee rod rosenstein had already privately authorized mueller in writing to pursue those very manafort charges in the context of "colluding with russian government officials" and charges against manafort for committing crimes arising from those ukrainian payments. rosenstein writing about other
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powers he gave mueller, that's blacked out. and we're only learning about this right now because paul manafort's lawyers filed a legal attack on mueller's authority that backfired, leading to this news as rachel maddow reported. >> in the middle of the night we got a new court filing from mueller's prosecutors. we learned from this new court filing that there was also subsequent to that public statement establishing the mueller investigation there was also another bit of instruction. august 2 last year, another sheet of instructions from demty attorney general rod rosenstein to bob mueller's office explaining to him, confirming in writing a list of specific stuff that mueller was cleared to look into as part of his investigation. >> bob mueller's office doesn't leak much but if you turn right wing talking points into a court filing as manafort's lawyers did, you can end up playing yourself because it turns out not all talking points hold up
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and rosenstein's clear support for mueller's authority may explain why for some now on the right it's rosenstein who they see as the new mueller in the sense he's one at doj they want to get rid of. >> rod rosenstein needs to be fired. >> let's say this first of all about rod rosenstein. his conduct from the beginning of this has been a disgrace legally and every other way. he is an embarrassment to the administration. >> rod rosenstein is a coward. he's a disgrace to the department of justice. >> that was last night and that man you saw there speaking is a fox pundit who became donald trump's criminal defense attorney for russia -- for six days. manafort's setback is a reminder of something that even president trump may be slowly learning -- there is a big difference between court and court tv. whe. for leisure.
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headed to testify before the u.s. congress next week and then you have this other story tonight, other countries, including the uk and india cracking down on the social media giant as well. a story we'll be watching well into next week. that does it for "the beat" tonight. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. heating up the temperature. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in new york. frustrated by the realities of governing, emboldened by rising poll numbers and spurred on by fox news, donald trump is raising the heat, in the past week he's picked a fight are china over tariffs, told reporters he wanted to pull u.s. troops from syria and announced he was sending national guard troops to the mexican border. >> we have to have strong borders, we're going to have the wall. the military is going to be


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