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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  April 13, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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involved in just in the same week that the fbi raided his place. >> michael, thanks very much for your reporting on this. michael roth field is a reporter with the wjs. that does it for me. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. the president's personal attorney is back in court this hour as a brand-new court filing confirms he's under criminal investigation. from that filing, quote, on april 9, 2018, agents from the new york field office of the fbi executed search warrants for michael cohen's residents, hotel room, office, safety deposit box, and electronic devices. the searches were authorized by a federal magistrate judge who had found probable cause to believe that the premises and devices searched contained evidence, fruits and instrumentalities of conduct for which cohen is under criminal investigation. also breaking today, deputy
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attorney general rod rosenstein, the point man at the justice department of the mueller probe and as we learned this week, the senior justice department official who signed off on that search warrant for cohen is telling confidants that he is prepared to be fired. nbc news reporting, quote, one source who spoke to rosenstein said he seemed fully aware that he may soon lose his job and was at peace with the possibility, confident that he had done his job with integrity. if rosenstein is fired and that always remains a big if with this president, one of his enduring legacies will be the appointment of bob mueller. the other, the authorization of the search warrant that may have unearthed the dark under belly of donald trump's personal and professional life. lawyers for donald trump were in court today arguing that president trump has an acute interest in the proceedings surrounding the cohen raid. and asking a judge for first access to the materials seized. the washington post with a good hint on why that may be. trump's allies worry that
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investigators may have seized recordings made by his attorney. the post reports, quote, president trump's personal attorney, michael cohen sometimes taped conversations with associates. cohen who served for a decade as a lawyer at the trump organization and is a close confidant of trump's, was known to store the conversations using digital files, and then replay them for colleagues according to people who have interacted with him. wow, it's another block buster day of news. we have some of the best reporters and friends to make sense of it all. with us from the washington post, white house bureau chief phil rucker from "the new york times" reporter mike schmidt, joyce vance msnbc contributor also joins us and john car lynn, former president former assistant attorney general for the justice department national security division is here. let me start with you, phil rucker, and that fantastic reporting that you and your colleagues had about why the president is so unhinged by monday's raid of michael cohen and perhaps paying closer
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attention to michael cohen's legal exposure and ups and downs and even his own at this hour. >> yeah, nicolle, it was a great story by my colleagues last night and it shows that michael cohen actually recorded many of the conversations that he had on the phone in his office. he would play it back sometimes to colleagues and there is heightened concern in the white house and among the president's friends and close advisors that there may be incriminating or rather damaging information on those tapes that were seized by the fbi in monday's raids. >> joyce vance, take us through what sort of trouble michael cohen is in if these are the proceedings and this confirmation from the u.s. attorney's office, from prosecutors there, that he's under criminal investigation there. take us through how that is separate and apart from whatever bob mueller is investigating vis-a-vis michael cohen. >> apparently in the course of the mueller investigation, investigators came across
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information that led them to believe that michael cohen had committed crimes that were unrelated to the core russia investigation. so bob mueller, we are told, took that information to rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and presumably they had a conversation about whether the mueller investigation had the bandwidth to move forward with these unrelated allegations that had surfaced. and a decision was made to send them to the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district of new york. cohen has a lot of exposure. the search warrant, which was approved by a federal judge, indicates he's under investigation for, among other crimes, bank fraud, wire fraud, as well as for the campaign finance violations. he could be looking at a lot of time if convicted. and one thing that's for certain, in a case with stakes that are this high, the prosecutors in the u.s. attorney's office in southern district didn't go off with a half baked sort of search
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warrant. they had the evidence firmly in hand that they needed to tyco ento crimes long before they went in. >> and it's a good thing for our readers that everything on the "deadline white house" staff follows mike schmidt on twitter because, as he sat down he tweeted this. trump called cohen friday to check in. defense lawyers often caution witnesses and subjects not to talk during ongoing investigation because it appears that they may be conspiring. do you want to fill us in on the news you broke as you sat down and got mic'd? >> yeah, earlier today trump checking in with michael cohen. obviously to lawyers a big no-no. also not the first time trump has tried to interact with witnesses in an investigation. he tried to talk to don mcgahn just a few months ago about how a report actually that we had about how trump had ordered mcgahn to fire mueller back over the summer. and trump went to him and said, this isn't right. what's going on here?
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and most defense lawyers say, this is a big problem. this is not something you should do because it has this appearance, it looks like you're trying to line things up together. all we really know about the call is that trump was sort of checking in, reassuring cohen. cohen said not to be doing too well under incredible amounts of stress given everything that's happened. the raids on his offices and residences this week. beyond that we really don't know. but for white house officials yet another troubling thing the president is doing while he himself is now dealing with two investigations, one here with the special counsel and the other one which looks increasingly ominous in new york. >> let me read a couple, a little bit more from your new piece. the raids were even broader than previously reported. prosecutors said the raids were parliament of a months long investigation into mr. cohen. in addition to searching mr. cohen's office and hotel room, prosecutors also obtained warrants to seize materials from cell phones, tablet, lab top, safe deposit boxes according to people briefed. the searches are the result of a months long investigation into
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cohen and seek evidence of crimes many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to cohen's own business dealings. what sorts of things do we think that the president would be checking in on him about that fall into that category? obviously michael avenatti is a household name with his client stormy daniels who had a sexual relationship with the president. the president seems more upset about michael cohen's body of work on his behalf being unearthed than anything paul manafort or even jared kushner might have been involved in with the russians. >> yeah, and here's the thing. here's how the trump legal team is trying to -- however -- whatever size it is -- is trying to figure out how they see this. they've long sort of understood the special counsel's investigation. they spent a lot of time seeing what happened during the campaign, what the president did when he was in office. they provided all these documents. they allowed white house officials to sit down with mueller. they got debriefed by the
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lawyers and witnesses when they came out. they understood what mueller wanted to question trump about. they sort of got it and they kept on saying, look, not a lot here. nothing to see here. the new york thing is very troubling to them because they don't have a sense of what it's really about. what are they really looking for? what did they get? what information do they have? why is it that the government took such an aggressive move to go and take these materials? they see it as far more problematic. and now it's an entirely new front. the president will now need lawyers in washington to deal with mueller and ones in new york to deal with the prosecutors. they go into court today fighting to try and get some of these documents back, hard to believe that will happen. so, the president's legal issues all of a sudden mushrooming. >> john car lynn, a former colleague of bob mueller tried to walk me through some of the possible timing of this, saying that the august 2nd memo from rod rosenstein which was released in an effort to justify and defend the scope of the mueller probe and a challenge
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from paul manafort makes clear that on august 2nd, bob mueller was given more latitude, that the scope widened. it seems like that may have been a point when he was made aware of more wrongdoing, and that he could have learned a whole lot of things before this referral was made to the u.s. attorney's office that resulted in monday's raid. could you talk to bob mueller's process, bob mueller's attention to detail, and the way an investigation works and what they would have gleaned from and what they would have taken before they handed it off for perhaps things unrelated to russian collusion? >> well, there was a very important filing today by the prosecutors in the southern district of new york in response to the attempts by mr. cohen's lawyers to get the information back that was seized in the warrant. based on that filing, i think we now know for a fact that at
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least several months ago, because i said this investigation and therefore the referral happened several months ago, that the director mueller -- former director mueller's team found information that they believed, and this is classic bob mueller because it's by the book. his referral says, if you encounter information that may be related to a crime but not related to the subject of your investigation, that you should take it to the attorney general, in this case the acting attorney general rod rosenstein. at which point the attorney general makes a decision, and looks like in this case they found evidence suggesting a crime and they referred it over to the southern district of new york. again, in this filing makes clear the southern district of new york and investigators there have then investigated it for months and in that investigation they see -- did a search warrant that has been unknown until today for e-mails related to michael cohen. so, these are historical
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e-mails. >> i have that. let me put that up. you're getting in the weeds and you're lucky our viewers have all earned honorary law degrees. let me put that part of the filing up. so u.s. attorney has already obtained search warrants. covert until this point, as you just said, on multiple different e-mail accounts maintained by co-skpen has conducted a privileged review of the materials obtained. the results of that review indicate that cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work and that zero e-mails were exchanged with president trump. the take aways being, one, the president doesn't use e-mail. but two, to your point, these matters that we're just learning about now have been under scrutiny for a very long time. >> that's right, nicolle, and that shows that there is a significant investigation that's taken place that led to this search warrant and there's been a lot of talk and noise about whether or not the special counsel was conducting this and exceeding the scope of their authorization, exceeding what they're allowed to do. this shows, no, that they did
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exactly what they're supposed to do by the book. they found evidence of potential other crimes and here it looks like the bulk of those crimes, again in this filing, linked to allegations and evidence of fraud by michael cohen that have nothing to do with him being a lawyer. and that's what they're looking for in the search warrants they executed. it also shows that i can see why he's lawyering up and fighting this. i think it's going to be real difficult to convince a judge that they shouldn't proceed with their normal procedures which means that a taint team will be looking through, listening, reading to the full scope of the documents and audio that was recovered, and then making a call. does this have to do with representing a client? and if so, were you committing some type of crime with that client? or is this just have to do with committing plain and simple fraud? >> plain and simple fraud. let me ask you, joyce, if it's plain and simple stupidity what mike schmidt just reported,
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president trump phoned his long time confidant michael cohen to check in on friday as lawyers for the two men went to court to block the justice department from reading seized documents related to mr. cohen's decade of work. doesn't sound like a very good move for himself legally or politically. >> you know, it's such a terrible idea to call someone who's just been searched for the fbi. in addition to this whole idea, it could look like you are colluding and coming up with a plan to avoid prosecution. there is also the risk at this point that cohen could perhaps have been enlisted to cooperate with the investigation and could have been taping the phone call with trump on behalf of law enforcement. it's a perilous strategy undoubtedly his lawyers would have told him tnot to pursue it. and with his usual ability to listen to his lawyers' advice and follow it he proceed today a tread where people would not go in this situation. >> mike schmidt, any indication that he dangled a pardon in
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front of michael cohen in that call today? >> no, no, no, we don't know that. we don't know much about the substance of the call. but that's the problem. it's the appearance. it leads people to raise questions like that. why is it that two subjects in an investigation are talking together? what is it that they need to talk about? the thing is that the lawyers can easily talk with each other. michael cohen's lawyers and the president's lawyers can talk. they can discuss and it can be protected by attorney/client privilege. if you remember, the president's lawyers had one of these agreements with michael flynn last year and it was only after flynn agreed to cooperate with the government that they pulled out of that agreement. that was the first sign that flynn was going to cooperate. now you have the president sort of coloring outside the lines again and creating even more problems for himself. >> phil rucker, is rod rosenstein the deputy attorney general right now at 4:14? >> as far as i know, i haven't looked at twitter since the
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start of the show, nicolle. >> you should as i just learned. >> there have been a lot of -- the rumors have been rampant as you know all week about the fate of the deputy attorney general. sarah sanders was asked about this at the briefing today this afternoon and she said, look, the president has been voicing his frustration, but we don't have any personnel announcements at this time. it is friday. these sorts of firings tend to happen on friday afternoons and evenings. we're prepared for that if it happens, but there's no indication the president has made any sort of decision at this hour. >> so, if the raid of michael cohen's everything, phone, offices, home, has the president most triggered, this little black book has him the second most triggered. tell us, phil rucker, how the white house briefing went down today. i heard some of it. sarah huckabee sanders doing nothing short of character assassination of the country's last fbi director, the country's last deputy fbi director. >> yeah. >> the president's allies and
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fox news and at the rnc engaged in a full-scale war against the character of these two men who served their country for decades on the same day they pardoned scooter libby who was found to have lied and obstructed justice. >> yeah, in the 15 months of this presidency, we have not seen the white house press secretary speak with such verocity of one of the president's political opponents as she did jim comey. she attacked his character, conduct in office, threw the opposition research book at him and said it was one of donald trump's great honors to be able to fire him as the fbi director which he did in may of 2017. so, you're right, it's a war. the white house is going to war with jim comey. the republican party is going to war with jim comey. and as you saw on twitter this morning, the president himself is going to war with jim comey. >> joyce, just one quick last legal question for you on that. jim comey and andrew mccabe who we're going to talk about later in the hour, both men are both
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witnesses in the mueller investigation into potential obstruction of justice by the president. how do these attacks play into an examination of the president's state of mind vis-a-vis these two men? >> you know, these look like the kind of character attacks that are an effort at assassinating a witness before he is being cross-examined on the witness stand. these are not the actions that you would expect to hear from a president of the united states. i don't think even president clinton when he had to fire his fbi director for misconduct used this kind of language. so, it's hard to view this in an innocent context in a removed -- from the ongoing legal proceedings and the risk that both mccabe and comey will at some time take the witness stand against some folks who are currently part of this administration. >> all right. no one is going anywhere. when we come back, jim comey, the ousted fbi director, is out with an unsparing assessment of the president's character and conduct. but two former high-ranking intelligence officials tell me
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that the most damning development for the president may be comey's retelling of trump's reaction to the news that russia meddled in the 2016 election. also ahead, donald trump pardons a former george w. bush aide he's never met. saying he was treated unfairly by, wait for it, a special counsel. and the former deputy director of the fbi is under renewed scrutiny today in a scathing new internal report. please stay with us. 's fly away ♪ ♪ just say the words ♪ and we'll beat the birds down to acapulco bay ♪ ♪ it's perfect for a flying honeymoon they say ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪
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president-elect trump's first question was to confirm that it had no impact on the election. and then the conversation, to my
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surprise, moved into a p.r. conversation about how the trump team would position this and what they could say about this. no one, to my recollection, asked, so, what's coming next from the russians? how might we stop it? what's the future look like? it was all, what can we say about what they did and how it affects the election we just had? >> that was former fbi director james comey. remembering the day he and his fellow intelligence officials briefed president-elect trump on russian interference. in comey's brand-new book he talks about how inappropriate it was to talk spin while there were intel leaders in the room. writing, quote, i should. said something right then. in that moment i convinced myself speaking up would be crazy. i didn't know these people, they didn't know me. we just served up the russians tried to get you elected. should i give them a lecture how to behave with us? when i'm about to have a private session with the president-elect to talk about russian hookers, i
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don't think so. so i said nothing and nobody else said anything either. but the white house has already launched its coordinated response as phil rucker just reported to comey's new book. james comey is a proven leaker and liar. virtually everyone in washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did until he was. in fact fired. he leaked classified information. he is an untruthful slime ball who was as time has proven a terrible director of the fbi. his handling of the crooked hillary clinton case and the case surrounding it will go down as one of the worst botched jobs in history. it was my great honor to fire james comey. and just last hour sarah huckabee sanders responded to the book from the press secretary's podium. >> this is nothing more than a poorly executed p.r. stunt by comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book
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that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction session. like many colleagues of the fbi, comey will be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the president of the united states, the dedicated agents of the fbi, and the american people he vowed to faithfully serve. one of the president's greatest achievements will go down as firing director james comey. >> wow! speechless! joyce, go! >> well, one thing jumps out at me, which is that the director of the fbi does not have a sacred trust with the president of the united states. directors are appointed for ten years. they serve across administrations because they owe their allegiance to the rule of law and not to any particular president. it's possible that jim comey may have violated department policy and even that he should have been terminated for it, but what's wrong is this insistence
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on personal loyalty and the concept this president has that somehow the fbi serves at his pleasure as opposed to -- on behalf of the american people and in conformance with the rule of law. >> so, as someone who -- i think i'm the only one here in this esteemed group who may have at one point in my career been described as a disgraced partisan hack. how far away from reality is that, john carlin, from who comey was? put the whole body of comey's life up there, and i think you can say a lot of things about him, that he got a little isolated, the decisions made around the hillary clinton e-mail investigation are certainly worthy of policy debate, review and scrutiny. that their consequence are well beyond perhaps even what he intended. but disgraced partisan hack, you know, i don't know about that. >> it's a strange phrase to use
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for this -- most of his life republican director of the fbi who, if he's been known for one thing, it's been causing equal agitation to both sides of the partisan debate. and in some respects, when you consider his sense of self and special mission of the fbi, which is to not have allegiance to either party, democratic or republic, maybe it's fitting that he's certainly managed to irritate both with decisions that whatever you think about them being right or wrong, it was clear when he made them, he was doing so considering what would be in the best interest of the country and law enforcement. >> so, let me play a little of why they might be so mad and ask you, phil rucker, to respond to this. this is comey and the headline on my piece of paper says pee briefing. let's watch that. >> i honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but i don't know whether the current president of the
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united states was with prostitutes peeing on each other in moscow in 2013. it's possible, but i don't know. >> phil rucker? >> yeah, so, this is an allegation that really the most lewd allegation in that infamous dossier prepared by christopher steele of president trump's visit to moscow in 2013 for the miss universe pageant and an allegation which is unconfirmed that he engaged with prostitutes in a hotel room there. comey writes in his book that president trump was fixated on this from the very first time the two of them met at that briefing at trump tower before the inauguration when comey presented this intelligence to trump, and then trump had called him a week after that to bring it up again. and he brought it up again and again, four times where trump tried to convince comey that it wasn't true. and even asked comey to have the fbi investigate the allegations in order to prove to the public that they weren't true. so, comey paints a portrait of a president really obsessed with this specific allegation from the dossier.
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>> let me read what you're talking about. we have that excerpt. comey writes, this whole thing was weird enough as i spoke, i felt a strange out of body experience as if i were watching myself speak to the new president about prostitutes in russia. before i finished, trump interrupted sharply with a dismissive tone. he was eager to protest the allegations weren't true. these allegation s were made in the dossier which has since the moment it was first published by buzzfeed, i believe, and covered by other news organizations, driven the president mad. can you speak to -- just tie together comey's interactions with the president, that first briefing about the dossier, and then the subsequent treatment of comey? >> yeah, that first briefing was on january 6 of 2017 up at trump tower. that's the first time to our knowledge trump was briefed on the actual details in that dossier. it was by comey one on one. there was a bigger group of intelligence chiefs. clapper was there, john brennan
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was there, comey as well, and all of trump's national security team for a broader discussion about the classified intelligence regarding russian interference. but it was just comey and trump together who discussed this dossier. about a week later is when buzzfe buzzfeed first reported the dossier publicly. trump called comey to say he was irritated that this leaked, it worried him. he reiterated to comey it wasn't true. he started to provide reasons why it couldn't be true. he talked about how painful it was for first lady melania trump, and he asked comey to have the fbi investigate the matter in order to try to put it to rest. >> mike schmidt, talk about comey as a witness because he writes in this book that he doesn't know if the president obstructed justice. he acknowledges in the book that he is a witness. but talk about where bob mueller is looking at the intersection of donald trump and jim comey. it seems to be, from what we know, around not just his firing, but around his asking comey to fire mike flynn, around
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some of these early interactions around the contemporaneous memos comey took about the interactions. talk about the intersection of mueller's interest in donald trump and comey's interactions with trump in those moments. >> if you take a look at the larger sort of arc of trump's time in office and comey, and you sort of look at what these different witnesses like comey and white house officials like don mcgahn have told mueller, there begins to be a narrative of sorts. why is the president so obsessed with loyalty? why does he ask comey for loyalty seven days into office? why does he follow that up on february 14th just a few days later asking him to end the flynn investigation? is there a larger pattern here? how does sessions play into it? the president having don mcgahn lobby sessions not to recuse himself, then after mueller is appointed the president pushing sessions as hard as he can to get sessions to resign. what are these instances about? is this simply the president
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executing, you know, his powers as the chief executive? or is there something larger afoot here? is the president trying to obstruct the investigation, stand in the way of it? and that's the call that, you know, if the president could be charged and there is a whole question about that, the prosecutor would have to make, is there enough there to show a larger conspiracy. and at the center of that would be comey. it would be comey's interactions and it would be the firing of comey. why did the president fire comey? what were his true intentions? was he simply -- did he think, look, i'm a new president, i want a new fbi director, i think he's no good? or is there something more nefarious? >> we will find out hopefully, eventually. phil rucker and john carlin, thank you for spending so much time with us. when we come back the fbi deputy director andy mccabe who was fired on twitter was delivered a blow today and a scathing new inspector general report. that's next.
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the department of justice inspector general released to congress the highly anticipated report that attorney general jeff sessions used to fire former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe last month. in describing the report, the washington post says it alleges mccabe, quote, inappropriately authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to a reporter and then misled investigators and former fbi director jim comey about it on several occasions. mccabe and his lawyer fired back. quote, in the full context of this case, the termination of mr. mccabe was completely unjustified and the rush to fire him at the goading of the president was unworthy of the great traditions of the department of justice. the president apparently believes the report doesn't go far enough. tweeting just in the last hour, doj just issued the mccabe report which is a total
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disaster. he lied, lied, lied. mccabe was totally controlled by comey. mccabe is comey. no collusion, all made up by this "den of thieves" and low lives. i'm guessing he wrote that himself. joining me at the table, evan mcmullen, former chief policy director for house republicans. most recently he ran for president as an independent. alicia m alicia menendez. betsy, reporter for daily beast and contributor. reverend al sharpton, action network and politics nation here on msnbc. michael and joyce are still being held hostage by the 4:00 p.m. let's start with you, he have -- evan. >> mueller special counsel investigation and how the fbi -- how james comey, how mccabe handled themselves led the fbi with regard to the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, those two things are --
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>> wait, let's put them together for a second. didn't he win because of the way jim comey handled the hillary clinton investigation in part? >> he isn't upset about the investigation into hillary clinton because he didn't handled it well enough. perhaps maybe because they didn't do more against hillary clinton, that it didn't go the way the president wanted it to go, that investigation. the president, though, is upset with comey and upset with mccabe because they are investigating him, because they were investigating him at the fbi. this is the issue. he's conflating the two. it will be great fodder for the conspiracy theorists at fox news and elsewhere, but the two have no relation. >> but isn't it so easily undone when you have comey and mccabe disagreeing and their accounts in this report? >> yeah, but facts never get in donald trump's way. that is factual, these two men are not -- it is clear -- his friends have said he doesn't read. he didn't read the i.g. report he loves so much. let's talk about the substance of this for a second and, mike
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schmidt, jump in if we get any of this fact pattern wrong. what andy mccabe did held under scrutiny is help shape a story in the wjs that w"wall street j that was bad for hillary clinton. what he got in trouble for was not being completely truthful about it. is that an accurate description? >> yes, yes. the interesting thing here, though, is that mccabe clearly did something wrong. there was something that was not -- that the inspector general didn't like, the highest civilian nonpolitical person at the justice department signed off on his firings. but what he did smartly, and the president played right into his hands, was try and become like comey, cling onto comey. play the victim. and the president did that exactly. comey, by saying that they are the same person, they are attached together. so, for mccabe he's able to claim that he is the victim of the president. mccabe's lawyers tweeting recently on twitter here that
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they may sue over this, over defamation. and for mccabe, he's able to come out and sort of, you know, as part of this narrative, as someone that has been wronged by the president and people aren't looking at the fact that it was an inspector general that was appointed by obama and a civilian that basically, you know, signed off on this. >> but it does come out in the climate in which you can't remove the president's twitter commentary about mccabe. you can't remove the insults toward his wife who ran for office and lied. there are some senior justice department officials who will acknowledge that pulling out the andy mccabe piece, betsy, and litigating that and resolving that before the full inspector general report on the entire clinton investigation comes out does raise some questions. >> that's the criticism that i heard most frequently when this story was first breaking. it feels like a lifetime ago. i guess it was less than a month we found out mccabe was getting fired. >> dog years. >> exactly. the criticism i heard from a number of folks close to the bureau was the one issue they
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had substantively with his firing was that it happened before the full inspector general's report was released. that was the concern. honestly, there's a lot of criticism of mccabe from within the bureau. if you talk to retired agents, you'll hear a lot of criticism the way he handled this. mccabe is definitely viewed as no angel in many corners. that said you can't separate his firing from the way the president talked about him before and after his firing. and one question i think that comey has to be asked as he's doing this block buster media tour this week, what does he think of mccabe? does he think mccabe deserved to be fired on the merits? does he think mccabe lied to him? that is an important question i hope somebody brings up with comey. >> joyce, let me get your voice on this question. >> so, i don't think i would take issue with the substance of an inspector general's report. someone is always unhappy with the inspector general investigates and reaches a finding. but one of the things that doj employees accept is that the i.g. has that ability to investigate. the problem here is really this
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problem that's been identified with the process. it was hurried. it was rushed. we heard allegations from mccabe's lawyers that he didn't have the amount of time that one would normally expect to have to review and to respond to the allegations that were in the report. and then you'll recall that rushed weekend where he was fired, he was racing the clock to be permitted to retire with a full pension. the president was tweeting wildly that mccabe needed to be fired, and the attorney general stepped up and delivered. he's the one who made the decision to fire mccabe on this very unusual time line. i think it's that sequence of events that's giving former doj folks like myself a little bit of pause here. >> and when it comes to the president's broader war on the rule of law, you've even got republicans out now with a new ad campaign, making republicans basically choose to either be among those in the party who are for the rule of law or against the rule of law. donald trump has created so many
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bizarre new divides in this country, but he's never really been for the rule of law. >> no, and he's never been consistent. i mean, you know, let's remember. i know it's friday the 13th. but this is the only president that would pardon scooter libby and then write a text on twitter like he just did about somebody who is accused in a very similar matter in the same day. and we're sitting up here. you've got to remember, what libby was convicted of is what they're accusing in a broader sense mccabe of. and this president has no -- i mean -- >> let's be careful with that, though. mccabe is not charged -- i was in the white house. i read the president's statement. scooter libby was accused of perjury and of obstruction of justice. andy mccabe was found by an inspector general to have not been forthcoming. >> what i'm saying is that the president's language -- i'm not
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comparing. >> i gotcha. >> his language clearly contradicts how he's taken positions on two people that have been brought -- one by an inspector general, one in court. >> i gotcha. >> moreover, i think the facts support the reverend's points here. scooter libby was convicted of something in court that was more serious than the allegations mccabe faces and he now disputes. >> that's my point. he pardoned him and he's not charged with a crime and he's a creep and everything else donald trump can think of that he used against mueller -- against -- >> losers and liars. >> against comey. he's running out of profane adjectives. >> he'll never run out, rev. we have to sneak in a break. mike schmidt, thank you for spending so much time with us. joyce vance, thank you. we'll be right back. smile dad.
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he says he may want me to investigate it to prove that it didn't happen. and then he says something that distracted me.
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he said even if it's a 1% chance my wife thinks that's true, that's terrible. and i remember thinking, how could your wife think there's a 1% chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in moscow? there is a less chance it's true. what 99% chance is it possible your wife would think it's true? >> is jim comey a psychology he can comment on someone else's marriage? >> i mean, at a deeper level that was about the character of a man. >> exactly. >> who would want another man to investigate something to prove that it wasn't true to his wife. >> right. that's why i think that is actually a meatier quote from the book. it gives us a rare window into the state of his marriage that
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he felt it was necessary to have an outside agency prove this to his own wife. and secondarily it tells you something about the way the president thinks these agency works, it's worthy of taxpayer dollars for them to be looking into this to prove it to his own wife. >> let me read one more thing he writes to put this conversation in better contech. comey writes about the circle of assent. the boss in complete control, the loyalty oath, the us versus them world view, lying about all things large and small, service to some code of loyalty to put the organization above morality and above truth. >> right. so, james comey at the time thought that the president was trying to set up a system of patronage, in other words, he was trying to set the scenario that comey would be loyal to the president or the president actually went so far as to request comey's loyalty. but this would be a violation of the independence of the judicial system, federal judicial system. but also a violation of the public trust, that the president serves at the people's pleasure.
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the president is accountable to the people. he's accountable under the rule of law. we've seen since him violate that time and time again, or attempt to. but this is incredibly chilling. i can just imagine, i'm envisioning james comey in this scenario. it would have been incredibly chilling to realize that the man sitting behind the desk in the oval office was comparable to a mob boss in the way that he conducted his leadership. >> it wouldn't amaze you. >> no, because when you look at the fact -- you know, when you read the book, when he talks about how, you know, other presidents -- president bush, president obama wants to make you comfortable, trump sits behind the throne because he wants to play that role. you've got to remember, comey's a guy who investigated mobsters. so, this is not just somebody using language. he knows what mobsters act like. he's probably, you know, thousands of tapes and all kinds of -- so, for him to make that
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analogy -- he put crime families in jail. for him to make that analogy is not just somebody writing that in a book. donald trump, when you have a guy that would look at a special prosecutor or an fbi fbi directn this case an fbi director and says look i want you to use the government to clear up something with my wife, i mean, only someone with that kind of mentality would even think like that less alone actually say that. >> one tactic that's best known for being used against organized crime institutions and mob families is raiding number's lawyer's office. >> bring us back to the news of the day. news of the day, we now know from a filing that the president's personal attorney and fixer for many years is under criminal investigation, that that raid on monday came months after rod rosenstein at mueller's request widened the scope of the mueller
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investigation. this was received by mueller to the u.s. attorney's office of the southern district here in new york. and talk about the parallels.i mean this is your beat. talk about the parallels, the public facing outputs of what you see in this investigation, in this raid, seizing record and everything else from a lawyer's home, and a mob investigation. >> when the news of the michael cohen mob investigation first broke i spoke outside folks who were allies of the president, they said they foelt like mueller and his allies and counter-parts in southern district of new york were using organized crime tactics to go after cohen. i know this point has been made already. but this raid would not have happened until unless a lot of people who are senior this their levels in the justice department this the southern district had an extremely high degree of
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confidence that michael cohen was doing something that was terribly wrong. >> one former federal prosecutor who is an ally of this white house said that there had to be such a high degree of alarm that either ongoing criminal conduct was going on or the destruction of evidence. >> that's right. that's a high bar. what i would say here nicole is i feel like we are shifting into a new phase this nightmare. in the beginning it was okay maybe the president is upset by this investigation because it often his ego, undermines the credibility of his election win, this sort of thing. the president at this point is fighting so hard that it seems just patently unlikely that he is inn of what he and his team are being investigated for. he is fighting too hard for innocence. the other thing i would say is that the president's team increasingly engulfed in this investigation. whether it's cohen or manafort.
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there were additional documents discovered recently at a storage locker controlled in part by manafort containing information about his finances. the investigation is getting to a point where it's encircling trump and his team. and he is fighting back hard enough that i think we are getting into the phase where everything is laid bare. the president has something to hide and defend and he is going the use tactics that i think more clearly every day am to the obstruction of justice. and this is going to be a bare knuckle legal fight and political fight. and we are entering that phase. >> there is reporting in the "washington post" this week how they deal with whatever is in front of them. can you speak to what happens in a country when the white house is paralyzed? >> i mean it goes back to the question you always ask, who is in charge, who is he listening
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to? one thin we haven't talked about in the comey book is you havecaly according the comey saying it was dishonorable to have the president discharge him. >> tell the whole story. cally called him and basically talked about resign over -- >> you have to imagine that's an additional fight that we don't even have time to talk about. i think it comes down to who is he listening to, who has his ear and how did you make these policy decisions when you don't each have the policy team in place when it comes to thing like syria. >> do you have an opinion how they hamgded with the global crisis in syria and having to present possible military options by the president while the president is by all accounts fuming and remaining away as mike schmidt reported this hour, calling michael cohen to check in. obviously his head not on world affairs. >> my knowledge involving the
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situation involving potential attacks on syria is more at the pentagon than the white house. they did list potential targets to the white house and there was a hole up. this is a slowdown in the process of potentially putting together a serious strike that occurred prior to the decision-making process getting to the white house. there has been reporting since then there have been conversations in the security council about where to strike. but it's important to remember while the white house clearly is not being managed as clearly as possible it's not the only part of the government where things get hung up. and nothing everything that happens slowly or confusingly is the white house's fault. >> you interviewed joe biden. >> it will be on my show sunday morning. >> i want wait until sunday. >> i wanted him to tell me whether he was really going to run. we talked candidly about what
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he's trying to weigh there. and we talked about donald trump. we talked about 50 years after dr. king's assassination, how he feels trump is doing things that divides americans. he couldn't believe certain things that was done and how he is undermining the legacy of president obama and him, joe biden, his vice president. >> is he upset enough to run? >> i think he's upset enough. but i think he has some things he wants resolved familiwise. and he talks candidly about night can't wait the see it. if you haven't dotten enough jim comey this hour, this sunday msnbc's headliners takes an inside look at the former fbi direct. 9:00 p.m. eastern. next week his sit-down with rachel maddow live in studio on his explosive new memoir wednesday night here on msnbc. we'll be right back. ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪
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observation of the day.
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>> i was texted by a friend a moment ago, why is michael cohen who is under criminal investigation having a more enjoyable afternoon than i am. >> we saw him wandering leisure lee up madison avenue. >> wearing a dapper jacket. >> maybe that was the call with the president. >> looks like he is having fun. >> my thanks to evan, alicia, betsy and the rev. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi chuck. >> hi nicole. lordy lordy lordy. lordy is back. >> right. >> i know, if it's friday, lordy, there's a book. tonight, president trump slams jim comey's new book, calling the former fbi director act i looer, a leaker, a slime ball. >> i think that we have been very clear though how we feel about some of the leadership at the fbi, particularly james comey. plus, we talk exclusively with paul ryan who names his


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