tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC April 10, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
federal investigators. michael avenatti is in "the 11th hour" with brian williams, and that starts now. breaking tonight, is the president starting to make his public case to fire robert mueller? the white house press secretary claims for the very first time today that the president has been advised that he has the authority to do so. also breaking tonight, "the new york times" reveals that donald trump wanted mueller out back in december. it's the second time that we know of that the president sought to shut down the investigation. one of the reporters who broke that story is here. plus news that stormy daniels, the porn star paid off by the president's lawyer, is now cooperating with the feds just one day after the fbi raided the office of trump's attorney. michael avenatti, stormy daniels' lawyer, joins us live. "the 11th hour" begins right now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here
in new york. i'm nicolle wallace in for brian. it's day 446 of the trump administration, and "the new york times" reports tonight that the president wanted special counsel robert mueller's investigation shut down in december. the times reporting tonight, quote, in early december, president trump, furious over news reports about a new round of subpoenas from the office of special counsel robert s. mueller, told advisers in no uncertain terms that mr. mueller's investigation had to be shut down. the president's anger was fueled by reports that the subpoenas were for obtaining information about his business dealings with deutsche bank according to interviews with eight white house officials, people close to the president, and others familiar with the episode. the december episode was the second time mr. trump is now known to have considered taking that step. the other instance was in june when the white house counsel, don mcgahn, threatened to quit unless mr. trump stopped trying to get him to fire mr. mueller.
also tonight, the associated press reports that today trump, quote, privately pondered firing deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and publicly mused about firing special counsel robert mueller. those reports come just hours after we heard this in today's white house press briefing. >> does he believe he has the power to fire special counsel robert mule center does he believe that's within his power? >> certainly he believes he has the power to do so. >> you say president president believes he has the power to fire robert mueller because most legal experts believe he would have to order deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to fire robert mueller and rosenstein could refuse. >> i know a number of individuals in the legal community and including at the department of justice that he has the power to do so, but i don't have any further announcements. >> and that came just 24 hours after we heard this. >> why don't you just fire mule center. >> why don't i just fire mule center. >> just fire the guy. >> i think it's a disgrace what's going on. we'll see what happens. but i think it's really a sad
situation when you look add what happened. many people have said you should fire him. >> those remarks were part of trump's angry tirade in the wake of fbi raids monday at the home and office of his personal lawyer, michael cohen. as far as we know, those raids are not linked to the russia investigation but part of a separate investigation referred by robert mueller to the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district of new york. adding to donald trump's ire at his deputy attorney general, we learned that rod rosenstein personally signed off on the search warrants. multiple news organizations report that agents were looking to seize documents tied to payments to two women -- former playboy model karen mcdougal, who says she had an affair with trump in 2006 and was paid $150,000, and porn star stormy daniels, who received $130,000 in hush money from michael cohen. nbc news has learned that stormy daniels is now cooperating with federal investigators. her lawyer, michael avenatti, is standing by to join us in a few
minutes. but first let's bring in our leadoff panel for tuesday night. mike schmidt, "new york times" washington correspondent who cou could wrote tonight's breaking report. phil rucker, white house bureau chief for "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst. and jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon. he's also an msnbc national security analyst. mike, let's start with you and your reporting tonight. take us through this december episode and just how close the president came to firing robert mueller in december. >> there are reports out there that mueller had sent a subpoena to deutsche bank, a bank that had long been associated with trump, saying that mueller wanted documents directly related to trump and his family. obviously trump has sort of obsessed and the media has obsessed about these so-calledd line he tried to create last summer, saying if mueller was looking at his finances beyond
the question of russia, that would have passed it. if you remember, trump never said what he would do about that. but when he saw this back in december, he got very angry. i know we talk a lot that the president gets angry, but he got very angry and really wanted to get rid of mueller and openly discussed it and was putting the pieces in motion to do that. what happened was is that trump's lawyers know where his accounts are. they know where his money is, and they said this did not make sense to them. they were able to get in touch with mueller's office and ultimately the president backed down. but what it shows you is what the president was willing or certainly thinking about doing considering strongly when he knew mueller had gone after the issue of finances. this is something the president has repeatedly said that mueller should not do. we pressed him about this when we saw him in july, and it was clearly a trigger issue for him in december. >> well, it's positively chilling on the same day that the white house press secretary
makes her first public argument that the president of the united states now believes or is in receipt of some sort of legal analysis from somewhere or someone that he has the power to fire robert mueller. it certainly is part of a pattern that is eerily similar to what either bob mueller's investigators or the investigators working for the southern district of new york would now be in possession of when it comes to mr. cohen's records. what do you -- you know, you were in the room with your colleagues, peter baker and maggie haberman. you guys pressed him on that red line. just tie owl thall that togethe president's own words about where his red line was, the incident in december that brought him to perhaps the verge of firing mueller, and what we've seen in the last 24 hours in terms of what the fbi may be in possession of now after that seize of michael cohen's home and his office. >> well, in terms of mueller and sessions and rosenstein, he's
thought about firing them for a year. the thought of firing them is not new. this is something he has talked about openly. he talks to his friends about it. he talks to his advisers about it. he certainly thinks a lot about it. he's even sort of broached the subject publicly, even telling us in july he wouldn't have made sessions the attorney general if he knew he was going to recuse himself. obviously we don't know what the president's going to do. he's an unpredictable person. will he fire mueller? everyone in washington ask ths t question. who knows? what i do think we'll see here is a more adversarial tone towards mueller. the president has had kid gloves a bit toward mueller, saying in december he thought mueller would treat him fairly, following his lawyer's advice not to attack mueller that much on twitter, breaking from that only in recent weeks. but the president, as we have to remember, still has an interview decision to make about mueller. will he willingly sit down and
talk to him? and given the recent events, will the president now take a more adversarial tone and say, okay, mr. mueller, you want to talk to me, subpoena me. i don't think i have to sit down with you. let's go to a judge and figure out if that really is the case. and this could be the beginning of a new phase of that, a new phase of contention towards mueller instead of the notion coming from trump organization or from trump entities saying, yes, we will comply with subpoenas. maybe now they'll fight those subpoenas. >> so we went back and looked at your reporting from the president ordering don mcgahn, his white house counsel, to fire robert mueller in july. the white house counsel, don mcgahn, it appeared sort of laid his body down on the tracks and said, if you do that, i'll resign. in the account that you report tonight about the incident in december, it sounds like one of the lawyers representing him in the mueller probe, perhaps someone like john dowd, was able to open a line of communication to mueller's team and get some
reassurance that those news acts weren't correct. by your assessment, who remains on trump's legal team who could be any sort of guardrail to prevent what happened in july and what happened in december from resulting in the firing of robert mueller? >> well, there is really no one, and as we know with the president, he thinks he's his best lawyer. he thinks he's his best spokesman, his best strategist, and he has sort of cleared out his lawyers. but he seems to be relying on two people, jay sekulow, who came on last year as part of the legal team, someone more versed in constitutional issues than regular white collar criminal issues, but someone that the president has grown to trust. the other person who's back in the picture is kasowitz, marc kasowitz, his longtime new york lawyer, who had been fired last summer when dowd came in. trump at the time going with sort of a more established washington white collar lawyer.
nowcast now kasowitz coming in, the sort of scrappy new york lawyer who represented the president in different litigation. kasowitz back last summer wants to have a more adversarial tone towards mueller, was pushing the president in that direction. dowd came in, went with something more conciliatory. and i think the president thinks that lighter, nicer tone with mueller didn't get him very far. >> phil rucker, you're tweeting about another lawyer perhaps in the model of a kasowitz, alander shall oh wits. tell you what you learned tonight. >> so alan dershowitz, the retired harvard law school professor, who's a frequent commentator on fox news, offering legal advice through the television to the president, who is watching, he had dinner at the white house tonight with president trump. i caught him on the phone after that dinner, and what he told me was that the dinner was mostly about middle east policy. he was advising on syria of all
issues with jared kushner and other advisers around the table. but when i asked whether they talked about the russia probe, dershowitz fell silent. he said i'm not going to disclose what i talk to the president about, but he made clear he is not acting as the president's attorney right now. there's no attorney-client relationship, and that he's just offering his advice and will continue to offer his advice but through the television set. >> why? >> well, he said he wanted to come down and see the president. the president invited him for this meeting. he's offered a lot of very pro-trump commentary on tv about this case and actually was saying -- i talked to him monday as well, and was saying that he thought it was inappropriate for the u.s. attorney in new york to have ordered these raids, for the fbi to have conducted these raids because so much of that correspondence is privileged information between attorney and client. and i think president trump must have probably seen some of that commentary and felt it resonated. >> let me ask you, phil rucker, to take us through your
reporting on the mood in the white house. i heard from someone today that even the very senior west wing staffers were scared. i had your colleague, ashley parker, on at 4:00, who painted a very bleak picture of what's going on inside the west wing. you and your colleagues have some reporting out late today about sort of the staff reaction to that tirade yesterday. just take us inside what it's like right now in donald trump's west wing. >> well, it's a pretty chilling moment inside the white house and, you know, my colleagues ashley and a few others and myself have been working the phones for the last two days to try to get a sense of the mood there. there's a great deal of fear and trepidation. i think staffers were quite stunned to see the president so openly discuss the possibility of firing robert mueller as the special counsel last night in front of the reporters. and by the way, that was at a military meeting. that was a meeting around the table to discuss a possible syria strike with the military
brass. it was an odd setting for that set of remarks. but it was really chilling for the staff. they feel like they don't know what's coming next. they have very little visibility into the mueller probe. they don't know what they're really looking into with cohen beyond what they see in media reports, and what they have is a president who's reacting to what he's hearing from his friends, who's reacting to the news reports he sees on television, a president who seems afraid and worried about what's happening. and it's an unsettling moment for the white house for sure. >> jeremy bash, i'm going to give you a two-part question. one, i want you to just take us through the rhetoric that came from the white house briefing room today. your reaction to the white house press secretary saying that it's her belief that the president has the authority to fire robert mueller. and then i want to read you something from mike's colleagues, julie davis and mag day haberman, who report that inside the white house, mr. trump furious after the fbi
raided his longtime personal lawyer michael cohen, spent much of the day brooding and fearful and what people described as a meltdown. >> nicolle, in terms of the president's fury, i think it's not principled. it's not like he's offended of the notion of somebody looking into his lawyer's files. he's scared. he's scared they will find evidence of a crime that implicates him. i think he's lashing out because he worries that for the first time, investigators, federal investigators might have their hands on e-mails, on phone records, on files that show that he worked with michael cohen to undertake illegal acts, whether it was bank fraud, lying to the bank about the nature of the payments to stormy daniels, or whatever it is, and we know that michael cohen has many files on donald trump's business activities. donald trump is worried. it's the same reason he was worried about bob mueller looking at his finances, because he doesn't want anyone looking at them because there's clearly
something inappropriate there. finally on sarah sanders's rhetoric from the podium, you asked. i thought it was interesting because one of the thing she said when she was pressed, what's her basis for saying the president could dismiss mueller. it's kind of like web when he said i have many friends in the fbi, and they all think james comey is not doing a very good job. there's no basis for that. her friends, i think are her imaginary friends, maybe ones she learned about from the president. >> we'll all had imaginary friends from time to time in our lives. all right. it so mu thank you for starting us off. coming up, another sign that we're in uncharted legal territory with this white house. does the president have the authority to fire mueller, and is he ready for the fallout? also ahead, news tonight that stormy daniels, the porn star who received $130,000 from trump fixer michael cohen, is now cooperating with the feds. her attorney, michael avenatti, joins us live. that's just minutes away. "the 11th hour" is just getting
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play [music plays]his". when everything's connected, it's simple. easy. awesome. does he believe he has the power to fire special counsel robert mueller? does he believe that's within his power? >> certainly he believes he has the power to do this. >> they said rod rosenstein oversees special counsel and only he has the power to fire special counsel? >> again, we've been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision. i can't go anything beyond that. >> the press secretary saying the white house has been advised that donald trump has the power to fire bob mueller. and the president is no longer
denying that he's considered doing just that, but the question remains can he? and what would the fallout look like from republicans who have been reluctant to stand up to the president on anything? joining the conversation now is mimi rocha, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. jeremy bash is also with us. jeremy, you and i started this conversation at 4:00. you do not think that the regulations permit for the president to fire a special counsel? >> well, the regulations make clear that the removal of the special counsel can only be accomplished by the attorney general. in this case the attorney general is rod rosenstein acting in the shoes of jeff sessions. however, since 4:00, i've been talking with some legal colleagues -- >> you did some more homework? >> i did. >> that's why i love you. >> there is some school of thought that says because it's a regulation and not a statute, the president could actually overturn a regulation. he could set in motion basically a way to deregulate that
regulation, overturning it and issue, using his executive authorities, a new regulation that says the president and only the president can remove a special counsel. this could be litigated. this could be tossed around. ultimately i think it could go to the courts and maybe congress. >> let me ask you a broader question about the blow it right represent to our understanding of the rule of law and to the norms of the justice department. it is no secret to anyone who follows the president on twitter that he is in a hot war against his own political appointee as the justice department, his own political appointees at the fbi, and now, you know, the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district where mimi used to work. at least it's interim u.s. attorney, the person he selected to be confirmed to run that office is also someone handpicked by this president. >> thank you, nicolle. it's a great point. we should never lose sight of the fact that this isn't merely a president trying to test the limits of his power under the constitution to issue regulations. he's trying to shut down an
investigation of his own illegal conduct. he wants to get rid of somebody who he believes is going to call him on the carpet for doing the worst thing a president can do, which is work with an adversary to undermine american democracy. so this is no mere deregulation effort by a president looking to limit government. this is much, much bigger, problem lynn the biggest seen we've seen in our history. >> would the second worst thing be obstruction of justice? could it also be viewed as obstructing justice? >> it could be. the question is whether it's within the president's power to actually fire someone in the justice department investigating a matter. but i think there's no question that if obstruction is part of the thing that congress ultimately considers on articles of impeachment or removal from office, this whole episode is going to be right at the hot molten core of that inquiry. >> so we are talking about the president talking about firing bob mueller based on something that mueller didn't do. bob mueller, in my view, to
protect the integrity of his investigation and to, i think, illustrate that its scope is focused on what jeremy just talked about, collusion with russia and potential obstruction of justice, simply did what you do with evidence, right? you refer it to a u.s. attorney's office. can you speak to how vast the amount of possible crimes or sort of the legal liabilities are for all of the people in the president's orbit that you now have not just a special counsel's investigation that enrages the president, but you now have the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district with a completely separate set of issues and potential crimes they're investigating. >> yeah. this is a big deal, nicolle, as you're alluding to. you have the southern district of new york, which is one of the, you know, preeminent -- and i'm not saying that just because i worked there -- preeminent u.s. attorney's offices in the country. it's known for bringing very
complicat complicated, complex, aggressive cases against all sorts of people, whether it be terrorism, drug dealers, organized crime cases, and public corruption cases. and guess what, those public corruption cases have been brought against democrats, have been brought against republicans. it's not about whose party they're in. it's about what crimes they've committed. and it's not just the u.s. attorney's office. my understanding from the reporting -- and this makes sense given what i know about the u.s. attorney's office, is that the public corruption squad from the fbi in new york is working on this case with the u.s. attorney's office as they would normally. >> what does that mean about what they seized and what they were looking for in michael cohen's home and his offices? >> well, that's a very perceptive question because, you know, for most lawyers, cases against -- i mean i did several cases against lawyers and worked on investigations of lawyers who were not the president's lawyer, who were not affiliated with any public officials. and we most often would not have
had the public corruption squad working on those cases. it would have been a separate, like, white collar type of squad more generally. so, you know, is this designated in the public corruption area because this is a lawyer who is part of -- you know, affiliated with a very public figure, namely the president, or is it in the public corruption squad because they think this might ultimately lead to the president? probably both. could be both. could be that the answer to your other question about the range of crimes and what this means, i mean i think we don't know yet obviously. what we do know is that to get the search warrant, they would have had to list specific crimes. you can't just say, i'm looking for evidence of any crime. you have to say, i'm looking for evidence of these specific crimes, these statutes, and here's why i think there's evidence of those crimes in these places. once you go in and you get the evidence, though, it's not like you can only look for evidence of those crimes.
if it's right in front of your case, you know, your investigation expands that way kind of naturally. and my guess is that's what would happen here is whatever the enumerated crimes are, once they start looking, there's going to be evidence of other crimes. that's just my hunch. >> let me put you both through a lightning round. michael avenatti's up next. he has been making a case for weeks now that his client, stormy daniels, has a strong legal case that th test test te
welcome back. as we mentioned, stormy daniels is cooperating with federal investigators in connection with the broader probe into attorney michael cohen. her lawyer, michael avenatti, joins us now. so it strikes me that you've been out there slugging away largely as a one-man p.r. operation against the leader of the free world, his lawyer whose offices and homes have now been raided by the fbi, making points that some people have been skeptical of. but it seems that you've been proven to be on to something when it comes to michael cohen's conduct and his lawyering.
>> well, you know, we don't just file a case like this and go out on a speaking tour without any substance behind this. we're not just making it up as we go along. so, you know, i will tell you that it's been nice to see some of these things come to fruition over the last seven to ten days and it's been nice to hear a lot of the pundits reverse course and have to acknowledge. >> i'm not one of them. >> that's correct. but there were a lot of people that called this, you know, a publicity stunt, that my client was in it for the wrong reasons. that's now proven to be completely false. but let me say this. i'm used to litigating very high-profile cases against some of the best and the brightest in the united states. i mean lawyers at the top of their field. >> mm-hmm. >> strategists. the one thing people ask me, well, what have you been surprised about in connection with this process, this case? and i will tell you it's not surprise. it's shock. the level of competition on the other side is pathetic. >> so michael cohen is a bad
lawyer? >> i just don't get it. i don't understand. i mean it is shocking that the president of the united states and even before he was the president of the united states, you know, a man who trumpets his wealth and talks about how great he is at the art of the deal and how great he is at negotiation and business. i don't understand how you get to that place or this place without people that actually really know what they're doing. mr. trump shouldn't be in this position. he put himself in this position because he surrounded himself with weak players. >> let me go through some of the developments because we haven't talked since the president went to the back of air force one at the end of last week and when he was asked about the payment to your client, stormy daniels, he said, you're going to have to ask michael cohen. what was the significance of that statement in terms of your legal case? >> well, in connection with our case, it's clear, and that is that you can't enforce an agreement that you claim you didn't know anything about. and so when the president basically admitted that he did not know anything about the
$130,000 payment, that's a critical material term of the agreement. what follows is -- >> he had to know about it for her to be bound by the nda with him? >> absolutely. there's no question. >> that was one of your legal arguments. she is now, in your view, not bound in by any sort of -- okay. let me go through something else that's developed since we've spoken. i last talked to you the morning after the "60 minutes" interview, and it was the first time the country started talking about potential campaign finance violations. it's been reported in "the new york times" and "the washington post" that one of the things the fbi was looking for in monday's raid -- was that yesterday? >> yes. >> i live in dog years. was potential records to support that investigation. tell us where you are and where you think that investigation is. >> well, a couple things. first of all, i think that proving a campaign finance violation a felony, whether it be against michael cohen or the president, is going to be much, much easier than proving
collusion with russia for a whole variety of reasons. all the witnesses are here. there's not going to be as much documentation. there's not going to be as much obstruction. i just think from a lawyer's perspective -- and i've been saying this for a while, and people have been skeptical. they're starting to come across or come along. it's much, much easier to prove. so that's first of all. second of all, this issue relating to the $130,000 payment, if the president reimbursed either directly or indirectly or some somebody else reimburse michael cohen for the $130,000 payment, that's a serious, serious problem, and that's likely a felony, campaign finance law. that's "a." "b," even if he didn't reimburse him, but he knew about it, and he didn't make sure that it was reported properly or he conspired with michael cohen to make sure that it was off the books, if you will, that too is going to pose a serious problem for mr. trump and michael cohen. and that violation would only
take potentially michael cohen rolling over on the president if michael cohen faced criminal exposure. >> someone said despite michael cohen said he would take a bullet for the president, not a lot of people think he would be willing to go to jail. take me inside what you thought when you got news of this raid. it broke right before my 4:00 hour, and it was a stunning development that the president's longtime personal attorney's office and home had been raided. what did you think when you saw that news? >> last thursday i stated that i thought michael cohen was being placed in the crosshairs, and if events developed, that it could pose a very serious problem because he would be expected to take a lot of heat and have to withstand a lot of pressure. that's exactly where he is right now. he is going to have to withstand a lot of heat and a lot of pressure. and let me comment on one thing. you said that, you know, whether he would be willing to take a bullet. it's one thing to tell somebody you're going to take a bullet for them. it's another thing when the bullet's actually in the chamber. >> you think that's where he is
right now with the fbi having raids his home and offices. >> i think the bullet is in the chamber and i think the safety is off. >> you've gotten a little bit of heat for two things. one, the dvds you've posted. what is that a dvd of? >> this is a long-term chess game. i'm not going to disclose everything we have. i like our record over the last six weeks. i think we've made a number of good moves in this case, and i think a lot of things have come to fruition and we've got a long road to go. >> let me ask you about the sketch that you committed to releasing. this is a sketch of the potential suspect. i think one of the most haunting things for any woman watching your client's interview on 60 minutes is that a man came up to her while she was with her infant at a gym and threatened her. where are you in that investigation, and where is that sketch? >> i have the sketch. stormy daniels, ms. clifford sat down with lois gibson, who is a world renowned forensic artist based in houston.
she has the world record for the most identifications from sketches. she's incredibly talented. she sat down with her for the extended period of time. an accurate sketch has been compiled. >> a creative delay? an artist's delay? >> it's not a creative delay. it's ready to go. we were asked this morning to delay the release of the sketch. we were prepared to release it. >> for law enforcement purposes? >> i'm not at liberty to discuss who asked us to delay it, but we were asked to delay it this morning, and that's what we're going to do right now. >> based on how the sketch turned out, based on what the artist conjured, have you seen names of who that person might be? >> we have made progress relating to that identification process, and we're hopeful -- at this point, i'll tell you this. we may not need to release the sketch. >> so you think that the process of stormy daniels describing the person, of the drawing being made was sufficient to match up with some sort of lineup or some sort of image? you believe you know who the person was who threatened her in the parking lot? >> i think we have some pretty
good ideas and here's what i'll say. this is a very dynamic case. a lot has happened in the last 36 hours that make it possible we may never need to release that sketch. >> let me ask you a broader question. did you ever think you'd find yourself making the rounds on cable news, debating some interesting folks on other shows, never on ours, about the leader of the free world, a sexual encounter with your client, a porn star, and did you ever think you'd have your phone ring and never know if it's another woman calling to say, hey, me too. i had an encounter with the president and a botched nda with michael cohen. can you help me? did you think you would find yourself in this line of work? >> no, i didn't. it's been a very surreal process. we don't know how it's going to end. look, from a personal perspective, i'll be frank. this could end really, really well, or it could end really, really badly. but one thing i hope that it does end with, and that is the truth. >> thank you so much for talking to us. when you have that sketch, share
it with us. share it with us first. come back at 4:00 if you're available tomorrow at 4:00, or if you know who the suspect is. that sounds like a pretty big development, that you think there's an identity and a name to go with the person who intimidated your client. >> i think we're close. >> michael avenatti, thank you. coming up, the warning from republicans to the president about trying to get rid of robert mueller. will it make any difference? that's when "the 11th hour" continues. >> tech: ...every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why at safelite, we'll show you exactly when we'll be there. with a replacement you can trust. all done sir. >> grandpa: looks great! >> tech: thanks for choosing safelite. >> grandpa: thank you! >> child: bye! >> tech: bye! saving you time... so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
i have confidence in mueller. the president ought to have confidence in mueller, and i think to answer your question, it would be suicide for the president to want to talk about firing mueller. >> i'm not concerned that he'll fire mueller. i don't think he'll fire rosenstein. i can't think of any reason to do it. i'm confident that will be the beginning of the end of his presidency, and he's not going to do that. >> i think the president's too smart to fire mr. mueller.
>> if he did, it wouldn't end the investigation. >> i don't think he's going to be removed from this office. he shouldn't be removed from the office. he should be allowed to finish the job. >> what movie are they watching, though they stopped short of calling for legislative protection of mueller, the gop reaction is growing more urgent. joining me now, charlie sykes, longtime conservative radio host, author. i don't know if you, like me, describe yourself as a recovering or non-practicing republican, but those are words. those are just words. not one of those men has done anything to protect bob mueller's investigation. >> that's exactly right. this is a moment where they have to draw that red line now because you know that donald trump thinks this is an existential threat to his presidency, and all the voices in his head are telling him, fire mueller. fire rosenstein. and, you know, all the accounts that we're getting are these he's thinking about it. he's moving toward it.
there's no grown-up in the room that i know of who is laying out what a disaster this would be. it's good that they're speaking out, but it's not sufficient. until mitch mcconnell and paul ryan make it absolutely clear that this is their red line, that they won't tolerate this, and by the way that's also -- that's the smart political move. yes, it might tick off the president. there might be a tweet storm about all of this, but it's certainly better from the republican point of view to do this now than to have to endure the nuclear winter that would result of a firing, of a saturday night massacre. >> and what degree of confidence do you have that any of them are going to get religion on bob mueller? we did an hour on him. he's a purple heart recipient, combat valor. he is someone who led the fbi. he's the only person to ever have his term extended because he did such a stellar job leading the fbi.
if they don't go out on a limb for this man, then for whom would they ever do anything? >> well, and it's not just him. i mean we're talking about the possible firing of, you know, the deputy attorney general. who knows whether they would have to fire the fbi director. there's the fundamental issue of the rule of law. i know that some principled idealistic republicans are now beginning a campaign, republicans for the rule of law, reminding people that this is a fundamental, bedrock principle of their party. so, yes, i mean robert mueller needs to be defended because of his personal record, but there's a larger issue here. the president of the united states actually obstructing an investigation by shutting down people who are looking into possible criminal activity and misconduct in office that's an extraordinary story. and, you know, do republicans want to be complicit in that by their silence? >> i think a lot of people think they already are. let me ask you one more
question. if the republican party is at a place now where they have to separate the one who's are for the rule of law, does that mean the rest of them are against the rule of law? >> well, it means the rest of them are invertebrate. they're unwilling to stand up to this president. we've seen this. and i think that's what president trump is probably thinking, that, you know, he can ignore the words. he can ignore these press conferences because, you know, how many times has he pushed back and seen the republicans roll over to him, capitulate to him? you honestly think he's worried about lindsey graham? you think he's worried about some of these other comments or chuck grassley? and, again, imagine who he is listening to. imagine what he's seeing on fox on a daily basis. you know, the people who are on the phone, they are all feeding his worst instincts here. we're getting the reports that he's talked about it for months and months and months, and now they're not even making any
secret of it. that sarah sanders comment this morning was -- i mean this afternoon was rather extraordinary, that she basically claimed that the president has the right to fire the special prosecutor. i don't know. had you heard that before? that's what they're hearing, and that's what they may act upon. >> she said she's hearing it, but we know sometimes the president speaks of friends that we cannot later track down and verify. charlie sykes, thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, day one done for mark zuckerberg on capitol hill. what you need to know tonight before he sits down in front of lawmakers again tomorrow. that's when "the 11th hour" continues.
you've messaged? >> senator, no, i would probably not choose to do that pub lack laehere. >> i think that may be what thus is all about. >> thank god for senator. mark zuckerberg defending his comp canany from handling of russian eelection interference. zuckerberg apologized for not doing more to prevent the social network from harm. we're happy to have you as our colleague every day. we've spoke at 4:00 and you thought he had been hit with mostly wet noodles. they should get a bit of a refund. but take us through what happened today and what you exepect tomorrow. >> there were a lot of senators asking questions. i'm changing from wet noodle.
it was like boo eing batted around with a soft pill o. he was asked generalized broad questions. so he got to answerer specifically and they allowed him to do it frrps there was a limited time question for these senators and so you couldn't get to the point like are there more cambridge analyticas. and he was making the overall point that mark zuckerberg likes his privacy protected so why shouldn't we have that privilege? >> you took us to the heart of the matter and that's facebook data was used by cambridge analytica. it didn't seem mark zuckerberg had to answerer for that today. do you think he will tomorrow?
>> they seemed very out of it and wanted to make broad generalused speeches about the state of the internet. that it's important to all americanss, which i think we all know now. but in format. and the power this guy has is enormo enormous. i kept trying to think of how they handled a cigarette executive. he seemed rather upset and it allowed him to say almost nothing to him. >> let me press you on why that might be. without being politically incorrect, may be just that technology isn't something a lot of them are fluid in. the language of technology, the use of technology and so maybe understanding how the technology
was used against this country in 2016 was foreign for them. and again you've started by taking us right to the heart of this, which is the cambridge analytica intersection and the possible cuclusion. where do those questions get answered? >> not at all. i didn't hear a clear answerer. there's an internal investigation. we should have said something sooner. i thought that was one area they started going down that road is why didn't you disclose but they never followed up on it and i don't think it was mark's fault. and right after someone got a picture of his talking points -- >> two strikes against that pr team. >> yeah. the talking points had more information and were more revelatory than anything the
senators asked today. there was an attack on apple. i think there was even an i care sentence. so ethat was interesting to me. but otherwise i don't think there was anything said that -- and we'd like to have fiberer in our area. could you bring it here? and the worst part was we should do regulation. what do you suggest we do? asking mark zuckerberg what he should be regulated by, i'd like to be asked that if i were mark zuckerberg. >> how would they treat tobacco executive in that situation. this is frank's dog. and this is frank's record shop. frank knowns northern soul, but how to set up a limited liability company... what's that mean? not so much. so he turned to his friends at legalzoom. yup! they hooked me up. we helped with his llc, contracts, and some other stuff
you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo! the very last thing before we go if you're away from your tv, you can listen to us liechb and subscribe to our podcast for
free, using your favorite podcast app. ial crr be right back here tomorrow. and goodnight from msnbc head quarters in new york. we edo have some news to break. there's a lot going on. first thing i have to say is a question. why was president trump called david dennison? in the agreement that his lawyer made with the porn star, stormy daniels. he had his office and home raided by the fbi, multiple news outlets reeport that one focus was for information related to that stormy daniels' agreement and $130,000 payment that cohen says he made to stormy daniels. today we learned stormy daniels is herself cooperating with federal investigators as