tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC April 19, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
smile. i'm going to leave you now as well. that will do it for this hour of msnbc live. katy tur standing by to pick things up right now. >> craig melvin, thank you. we've got some breaking news. stand by for that. we'll start our show right now, 11:00 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. in the east. first came the raid, now comes the speculation and fear inside trump world that his right-hand man, michael cohen, night flmig. politico has says the anger has now morphed into worry, worry cohen could get hit with the harshest of charges and then rat on the president instead. politico reports that since the raid the president and his advisors have been singular focused on the risk of a potential federal prosecution of cohen. trump and his allies fear documents and recordings that the fbi swept up from cohen's home and office could come back to haunt the president. and today someone who's worked closely with cohen for a
decade told me, it is one thing to be loyal when you are taking shots in the phrase, it is another -- i am paraphrasing -- to ruin your family and go to jail. the relationship between trump and cohen spans about a dozen years. he served as more than trump's lawyer. he's been a confidant, an advisor, a spokesman, a fixer. just one day before that raid on all of his residences, cohen declared his forever loyalty on twitter. quote, i will always protect our potus." but in a call initiated by the president, a long-time legal advisor made it clear to the president that michael cohen cannot be trusted. jay goldberg who represented trump in the '90s and early 2000s says he told trump on a scale of 100-1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, michael isn't even a 1. so the big question we're asking
is, what does michael cohen have on trump? >> even the toughest, most loyal individuals will eventually reach the point where they've got to consider flipping. >> remember the scene in the wizard of oz where dorothy and the house are all up in the twister, the tornado. that's what michael cohen's legal life is like right now. >> i don't know if he's in trouble or not, but if you said to me and i had to flip a coin, is he going to turn on the prosecutor turn on other people? i would say adamantly, no. >> let's get right to our team of reporters. eli stokeless and darren samuelson is the reporter behind the latest report, a senior white house reporter with politico. darren, starting with your reporting. i've been talking to folks today trying to get a sense of what the feeling is in trump orbit. i wanted a reality check. i thought maybe that people were saying this had gone too far.
no offense. but i called a lot of people, and i'm getting the same story that you're getting, that there is serious concern about michael cohen. he is also a guy, though, that has told reporters for a long time, including this vapt fa"va fair" reporter, i'm the guy that would take a bullet for the president. he's told me that as well. why do you think there is a new story about michael cohen surfacing now that he's not quite that loyal? >> obviously loyalty is incredibly important to this president. it is something that we've been writing about and talking about for a long time in terms of all of the people surrounding him, whether it be hope hicks, keith schiller or other staffers who served in the white house. they'll obviously be called, too, before robert mueller and be demanded to tell the truth. with michael cohen, it is a whole different story because of how far back he goes and no doubt, we were wondering the same thing yesterday as we embarked on that reporting assignment trying to figure out if people were really concerned. we didn't necessarily think we were going to get as many people
to say that there was genuine concern. obviously that "wall street journal" story showing the president himself making a phone call on friday and talking with his former lawyer there and getting that read suggests that the president has certainly been upset and concerned about this. that is the information he's taking in. we know from the very first day that the raid happened that he has been very upset, it's been distracting to him as he's been dealing with all kinds of other major foreign policy issues. so no doubt about it, this is something that's alarming to them. >> i talked to one without staffer and i asked him if the white house was worried -- or one staffer. he said, of course. and just take a look at how they are trying to describe michael cohen. they're trying to describe him in the same way that they were describing paul manafort, trying to minimize his role. you write in politico today, much bigger existential threat
to the presidency than robert mueller. >> i think michael cohen has so much more to offer robert mueller. michael cohen goes back a dozen years with donald trump. we don't know but there could be tapes michael cohen kept of him talking with the president of the united states. those are now in the hands of the sort of -- we're in this limbo right now waiting to see who actual i had gets to look at this first, whether it be the special prosecutors or a special master, a tape team that they're hoping to use to go through those materials. that's a key question, a major legal decision we are waiting for by the district court in new york city and whether or not that could go on up and could very quickly elevate to a supreme court case. but what is in the materials that the fbi got is something that i'm sure a lot of people are nervous about. it's why a new lawyer for the president was in new york a arguing that they should have access to those materials. >> i didn't mature past the age of 12. hold on for a second. we have other breaking news we want to get in right now.
a legal source familiar with the issue says the justice department has received a referral recommending a criminal charge against andrew mccabe for lying to federal investigators. joining me now from washington is nbc's pete williams. pete, you got this confirmed. explain it to us. >> sure. so this is the result of the inspector general's report that came out last week saying that andrew mccabe repeatedly lied to the fbi and to the inspector general's investigators about whether he was the source of a leak about the fbi's investigation of the clinton foundation during 2016. according to the ig report, mccabe repeatedly denied that he was the source. his lawyer said that he later corrected this and went back to the investigators and said, look, i've thought about this some more. i see now what you're asking and confirmed that he did authorize fbi people to talk to this reporter about the clinton foundation investigation. so his lawyer has said that it
is not correct that he lied, that he did go back and correct it. nonetheless, the inspector general has now -- this is the term of art they use at the justice department -- referred this to the justice department to consider prosecution. so this is merely a recommendation. this is sort of a formal "here's what we found" report to the justice department. referrals don't always result in criminal charges. the most famous example, katy, would be the referral from the intelligence group about hillary clinton's use of e-mails, as i think everyone knows now. that did not result in criminal charges. there was a long investigation, but there were no charges. so the mere fact that there's a referral doesn't mean that there will be charges. it is going to be up to the justice department prosecutors to decide that. these lying to the feds cases are quite common in the courts, but you have to prove what was in the person's mind at the time they made the statements that are the source of the charge, did they intend to mislead. so that will be a big question
here. so it's certainly a problem for andrew mccabe. i think it is fair to say it is what he feared would come out of this inspector general report. but it doesn't mean that he's going to be charged. >> were we expecting this to happen? by "we," i mean people who understand how this sort of thing works? >> i think the best way to say is, it was seen as a very possible outcome of the ig report. it didn't say it in the report. it is a separate referral. but it certainly seemed to be the way that report was leaning. the report was pretty unforgiving of mccabe's conduct. >> pete williams, thank you very much. back to michael cohen in just a moment but we have chuck rosenberg with us here as well, former u.s. attorney and former senior fbi official, also an msnbc contributor. chuck, we had you on to talk about cohen and that legal wrangling that's going on over him, but i want to get your reaction to the news of mccabe. >> two things might be important for context, katy.
the first is that the office of inspector general, a part of the department of justice, doesn't have prosecutor authority. if someone commits a crime. so often if they find evidence that's compelling, they refer it. so as pete said, it is fairly typical. the second thing for context. there are lots and lots of referrals all the time from different sources. we get them from the intelligence community, we get them from the inspector general, we get them from members of congress, and we get them from the public. so pete's other point, not all referrals result in charges or convictions is also true. i think that's important for context. >> looking on this from the outside, a lot of folks wonder if this is politically motivated. just in the circumstances and atmosphere we're living in. andrew mccabe has been found to be guilty by some serious things
by the oig. they found him lying under oath on several occasions. he lied to the director of the fbi. he implicated an assistant director in a leak that he knowingly initiated himself. there are folks who would say the crime is there. is this standard in your opinion? >> so if by politically motivated you mean were the men and women at the office of inspector general politically motivated, my answer is emphatically no. there's lots and lots of things that are going on right now that are politically motivated. i think one question arises in the context of andy mccabe's firing. how did that process move so quickly. did he have the requisite amount of time to rebut whatever charges he thought needed to be rebutted. put that aside for a manhattan. my experience with the inspector general is that those folks are career people who try to get it right, which is another way of saying they don't always get it right. right? there may be faults in their investigation. they may have come to conclusions that ultimately
won't be supported by the evidence. but politics? no, not in the work of the office of the inspector general. >> back to michael cohen and whether or not he might flip on the president. eli stokles. "mr. cohen could even agree to wear a wire and try to record conversations with mr. trump." "you have to be alert, mr. goldberg said he told mr. cohen. that's somebody who's long used michael cohen from everything to, we presume legal advice to having him as his right-hand man, his fixer, his clean-up the mess guy. >> yeah, that's right. i think that the president has counted on michael cohen for years but ever since that raid on the office and what the fbi took out of there, michael cohen
and donald trump have an idea of what that is. the president has been incredibly rattled ever since that raid and i think hearing this from people who are giving him counsel privately is not going to calm the president down at all. now we also know that the president has reached out to michael cohen, whether that's a smart move legally or not. that's what he's done. he's talked to him and we just don't know where this is going to go. there is the possibility of president trump dangling a pardon to michael cohen but i spoke with somebody who's spent time with michael cohen recently who said for as loyal as he has been to this president, he knows what is coming and does not want to spend the last 30, 40 years of his life behind bars. and so i think the concerns from people who are telling the president michael cohen, as loyal as he's been, might flip on you, those concerns are not without merit. >> there are folks who will say, hey, i believe that michael cohen will take a bullet for the
president. other folks will say those people are deluding themselves. but i talked to one person today who said it is interesting that nobody -- absolutely nobody -- says there's no way that michael cohen did nothing wrong. eli. >> yeah, that's right. i mean the analogy that james comey decided to go with was mob boss. you have even the people who are in the president's circle who are trying to give him advice to protect him, they aren't bothering with any pretense that the president and michael cohen have nothing to hide. they are starting from the point that whatever the fbi took out of those offices and those files is damaging to the president. and that is probably why the president's been so upset about this and why we're talking here about cohen flipping. not that the president should have nothing to worry about once all is revealed from what the fbi took out of those offerses. >> eli stokols and darren samuelson, thank you very much. back with my, chuck rosenberg. hank and i go way back from my
days in local news covering local politics here in new york city. hank, working here in new york, you have contact with donald trump and michael cohen. >> sure. >> you guys go back with your contact many years. your sense of how this is going to play out? >> i think this is very much -- having work all over the world, i can tell you that the new york political climate is a lot different. this is really very much about new york, about how people behave in new york an what's acceptable behavior in new york. now you have the entire world and certainly the country saying, wait a second, this doesn't play very well outside the hudson river. >> what's acceptable behavior if new york? >> tough guy talk. tough behavior. i'm loyal, you're not. i think james comey overstated it when he called it mafia style behavior but that sense of loyalty and standing up by for your guy, whether you do it or not, is what you have to say. or you get marked "lousy." >> michael cohen is the kind of guy who would live up to those
words, i'd take a bullet for donald trump? >> he's a very loyal guy, tends to keep his commitments. in the time i've known him has been very direct about his relationship and feelings about donald trump. >> but would he go to prison for him? >> i'm not a psychologist. >> i've asked you for advice over the years. >> will he take the bullet? it is different when you have a bunch of guys with fbi credentials standing in front of you saying, by the way, let's leave now, here are the u.s. marshals to take you away. >> it is easy to say i would take a bullet, it is a lot harder when somebody is pointing a loaded weapon as you. here is my experience as a prosecutor because we hear lots of tough talk at the offset. overwhelming majority of people, low to mid 90%, plead guilty. and the reason they do that is that the system is structured to reward two things -- acceptance of responsibility. you get credit for that. and cooperation. you get credit for that. and so when folks are looking at
jail time -- and i don't think it is going to be on the order of 30 to 40 years -- but when folks are looking at jail time, three years is a lot of time for us. right? we don't want to do that. >> a year would be a lot of time. six months. >> how about five minutes. >> so there are these two structural things that are dangled in front of folks who are in trouble -- acceptance of responsibility and cooperation. and both of those things can work to reduce sentences. i've seen lots and lots of people talk tough. i've seen almost all of them plead guilty and cooperate. >> hank, have you ever seen or dealt with or heard anything about michael cohen doing anything that wasn't legal? >> it is the persona that gives off the kind of sense that maybe something's not right. but that's very much new york. it's also philadelphia. i've been pr counsel in criminal trials involving public officials all over the country. it is what you show and what you show tends to give off the suspicion. that's part of the problem.
>> sdny doing the raid is already a big deal. we've already established that, chuck. having potential recordings about the president, is it going to be difficult to decide what's attorney-client privilege and what's not? i was talking to somebody today who said in their interactions with michael, he wasn't really acting as a lawyer for the president. trump organization had a general counsel. i know when i had to deal with legal issues with the campaign, ask them legal questions or ask the organization legal questions, i didn't go to michael cohen. i went to somebody else. >> so i don't think it is going to be that difficult. it has to be done carefully because you don't want the filter team passing to the clean team stuff they shouldn't see. that's a problem. prosecutors have been doing this for decades. we know how to do this. and if there is a document that's questionable, it might be privileged, you can leave it on the other side of the wall or you can go to the judge and seek her guidance. so really, there's a system in place to do this.
and i don't think it is all that difficult. >> thank you to two of my favorite people in the world. chuck rosenberg, hank shankock, thanks. tonight it is comey and madd maddow. the fired fbi director will be in the studio live at 9:00 p.m. eastern only on msnbc. if it doesn't feel right, the president says he'll walk away from a face to face meeting with north korea's dictator. but if he stays, could donald trump get kim jong-un to give up his nukes? today, there are more sensors on our planet than people. we're putting ai into everything, and everything into the cloud. it's all so... smart. but how do you work with it? ask this farmer. he's using satellite data to help increase crop yields.
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that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. the wheels are turning at the white house this week as president trump sets his sights on the ultimate deal -- an agreement with north korea that would get the country to give up its nuclear weapons. this week we learned that the president's pick for secretary of state, current cia director miami pork mpeo, has been layin the groundwork for a face to face between the two leaders with the president now saying he'll only go ahead with the meeting if the prospects are good. >> if i think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go. if the meeting when i'm there is not fruitful, i will respectfully leave the meeting.
>> some lawmakers are expressing cautious optimism -- emphasis on the cautious -- when it comes to the president's north korea strategy. >> we node eed to approach thish ke skepticism and caution. kim jong-un has developed these weapons that he hopes will be deliverable to the united states in order to get a ticket towards dying as an old man in his bed. it is his survival. i don't think we shall think that at a meeting all of a sudden he is going to give that up. it is going to take a lot of work, to me, over a long period of time. >> so can this president do what his predecessors have failed to do? that is broker peace on the korean peninsula. nbc news white house correspondent geoff bennett is in west palm beach for the president's trip to florida. our garrett haake also joins us from capitol hill. geoff, starting with you. the planning for this meeting. do you have any insight about what the team is looking at and
what they are trying to get nailed down before the president sits in a room with kim jong-un? >> reporter: hey, katy. i think the biggest take-away at the moment are the president's comments from last night. he was doing some thinking outloud about how this meeting might go, what he might do. and the fact that he said that looks like he's getting rolled, he'll walk away? that's a fairly remarkable statement given that typically what happens with these high-level, high-stakes summits is that the planning happens months in advance. the outcome is often predetermined so the meeting itself is often a formality. in this case that is not what's happening. we know separately that the president says that the metric of success for this meeting is the complete denuclearization of north korea. although historically, kim jong-un sees his nuclear weapons program as an insurance policy for the stability of him and his regime. so he's going to want some security assurances there. the president also says he wants to see the release of the three
americans held captive there, although it is not preconditioned for the talks. then we've also learned from multiple u.s. officials as they're trying to settle on a site for where these talks might happen that they've settled on singapore, sweden, and switzerland. the three front-runners as sites for these potential talks. >> garrett, part of the reason why people are sayi ining mike pompeo went to north korea -- or it is believed right now -- the administration wanted to push him through his confirmation battle in the senate. they wanted him to seem like somebody who is -- who can be a top diplomat and certainly, if anything, going and meeting with kim jong-un and coming back and laying groundwork for the president's meeting would be that thing. but so far, it sounds like things are still pretty hairy in the senate. >> yeah. it is pretty clear that the kim jong-un meeting news did not in and of itself change any votes
for or against mike pompeo. those on the senate foreign relations committee that i've spoken to the last few days say they're glad he's willing to do this. it shows that he does have the president's trust and would be someone that could handle these very sensitive things. but it is not in and of itself enough to convince people who had problems with his record over a longer term, with comments that he's made about american muslims or the values of diplomacy over the long term to switch their votes. the short-term big problem for pompeo right now is rand paul, to be quite honest. and the democrats on the foreign relations are committee who amongst themselves can make it, if not -- certainly cannot stop him from moving to the floor but can make it very embarrassing for him as potentially the first secretary of state -- as long as we've been doing this, to come through that committee with an unfavorable recommendation. that's why you see the president leaning on rand paul yesterday. a lot of other republican senators pushing rand paul to vote yes for the president's man
in this job saying if rand paul wants a libertarian nominee that looks like him, that's not going to happen. give the president his guy. >> garrett, he got confirmed for the cia. what's the deal right now? why suddenly are there a number of folks saying i don't think he's a good enough fit for the state department? >> he got more than a dozen democratic votes for the cia director's job which on paper he was imminently qualified for. republicans argued he's just as qualified for secretary of state. but some of those democrats, including ones i've talked to, like amy klobuchar from minnesota said to me earlier today, they said this is a different job that requires a different temperament and a different skill set and they're not convinced that pompeo has it. the secretary of state job is a little bit more of a policy making job than the cia director's job is. some of these democrats would like to see pompeo show a little bit more independence. there is a feeling like they don't really know where pompeo stands on these issues other than that he stands with the president.
for a lot of these democrats, that's not enough. >> nbc's geoff bennett in florida and msnbc's garrett haake on the hill. guys, thank you very much. let's bring in ambassador nicholas burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs and has served in various roles for both republican and democratic administrations. he's also professor the a the harvard kennedy school. thanks so much for joining us, ambassad ambassador. >> you bet. >> the president going to north korea. the stakes are extremely high. when he says that the deal isn't favorable or is not fair, he'll walk out of the room, what is your reaction? >> i think he's going to have to be patient and have strategic patience over the next perhaps 6 to 12 to 18 months. first of all, i think the president is right to go to north korea. he is right to try to jump-start the diplomacy with a leader that we haven't dealt with in the past. secondly, it was a very good step to send director mike pompeo to pyongyang. no american official in any of
last three administrations has met with kim jong-un. dennis rodman is the only american who has. so you really had to get a sense of him. is he serious about this summit. is he serious about denuclearization. but it is going to be very difficult for the president to convince kim jong-un to denuclearize and commit to denuclearize in the first meeting that they have. kim is likely to going to want to hold on to those weapons. he may be willing to engage in some kind of compromise agreement, katy. perhaps limits on nuclear tests. limits on police tick missile tests. greater iaea inspection with nuclear facilities. that might be the best we can do so the president needs to decide is that going to be good enough if that's the likely end state here. i think to go to our meeting and threaten to walk out, not sure that is the right strategy. >> today south korea's president said that the north has dropped a major sticking point in exchange for putting its nuclear weapons on the table, that it is no longer demanding the u.s. withdraw troops from the south.
you've said before, and others have said before, that north korea has reneged on deals before. who's to say that this time is going to be any different? >> well, that's exactly right. i think this is going to be the greatest test for president trump's time in office on foreign an defense policy. this is going to be extremely difficult. even if the president and pompeo can reach a deal with the north koreans, who is to say that they'll honor it. they burned the clinton administration in which i served. they burned the george w. bush administration in which i also served. we've been down this road twice before. but the problem is, the military options are all quite bad for the united states. they could all lead us into -- >> what about brokering peace on the korean peninsula? >> brokering peace on the korean peninsula? it is hard to know what that means. there was an armistice in 1953. there's been talk today out of seoul, some kind of an agreement to formally end the korean war, to have a peace agreement
between the two. you'd have to look at that very carefully. would this allow the south koreans to have the u.s. stay in south korea, 38,000 troops, for a considerable period of time? the devil is going to be in the details. >> ambassador nicholas burns, thank you so much for coming on. have house republicans just found the key to get rid of rod rosenstein and, in effect, mueller? that is next.
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deputy attorney general rod rosenstein has already told allies he is prepared for the possibility that he could be fired by the president. but now "the washington post" reports that two house republicans, congressman mark meadows and jim jordan, met with rosenstein this week to pressure him for documents related to the origins of the russia investigation. it is the latest political maneuver in the party's attempts to get unredacted copies of memos written by fired fbi director james comey about his meetings with president trump. and it comes as 11 house republicans wrote the fbi demanding criminal investigations into comey, hillary clinton, sally yates, and a list of other former and current fbi officials. president trump was asked again last night about whether he would fire rosenstein and the man he oversees, special counsel robert mueller. >> they've been saying i'm going to get rid of them for the last three months. four months. five months.
and they're still here. so we want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us. >> not exactly a "no," is that? joining me now, julia ainslie, and matt miller. julia, that wasn't exactly a no. >> that really wasn't, katy. it was sort of like, see, there it is. stating the obvious. they are still there. he doesn't want to go any further. if anything, i think that the president wants to continue to have leverage over these people as he sees this investigation ratcheting up against him, especially as it is now involving his personal lawyer of a long time, over a decade, michael cohen. so at this point we know that the tensions that were pushing to get rosenstein fired as of
last week have cooled a bit. some of our white house colleagues have been reporting that. but it seems that the pressure on rosenstein could be coming from another place now, and that's capitol hill as republicans in the house have been pushing for these memos and they may use this as another way to try to get rid of rod rosenstein. i spoke to someone today who said this is is exactly why the president is narrowing in on rod rosenstein now rather than robert mueller. he sees rod rosenstein as a person who is approving the scope expanding this investigation. he sees that as the reason why it is going into michael cohen, why they're bringing in business dealings, why they've subpoenaed his trump organization. and he hates with every ratcheting up of that expansion, he gets upset with rod rosenstein. so he wants to see him either be curtailed, recused or fired. it just might not be the time to do that now. >> while we were on the air pete williams sent an e-mail out to those of us covering politics in the doj.
he says an administration official says the justice department has agreed to provide house republicans with the documents they were speaking on the russia investigation ending a standoff that could have resulted in contempt charges against rod rosenstein. matt, i see you shaking your head. i first want julia to just run down what exactly were jim jordan and mark meadows looking for, why were they looking for it, and how are they going to try to use this to combat the mueller investigation? >> for some time, they've been seeking documents related to the hillary clinton investigation. but this time they also want these seven memos that jim comey wrote after those crucial conversations he had with the president in early 2017. we know a lot about what's in those because comey himself has been all over airwaves talking about them recently and he talked about them before congress in the spring of last year but they want to hold these in their hands and see what was jim comey was writing down immediately after these conversations. rod rosenstein said on wednesday he wanted a few more days because there was some classified information, some
things that fell into the purview of an ongoing investigation, as well as confidential presidential conversations. but it seems that the justice department has decided that because of the nature of these memos and the fact that they've already been discussed so publicly, there may be large sections of them that they can now share to end this standoff and actually really cut away some of the power that house republicans would be able to hold over rod rosenstein's head. >> matt, why were you shaking your head? >> so, two things. first of all on what the house republicans are doing, it is a completely inappropriate request. congress has legitimate oversight of the justice department but the justice department has never turned over records about ongoing investigations. it is not hard to figure out why. if those records were to leak or to be made public or to be given covertly to the subjects of the investigation, then it can give those subjects the chance to change their story, to know what the justice department is looking at, to be able to react and somehow thwart the
investigation. republicans have been pretty clear, that's their goal. they want this investigation shut down. mark meadows, jim jordan and others that are asking for them. from the justice department standpoint, i have some sympathy for rod. he is in a tough place here. no one will really stand up for the rule of law and the justice department's long-time equities. paul ryan has run amok, in no way standing in front of them. on the other end of pennsylvania avenue you have the president kind of conspiring with presidential republicans. the other day after meadows had this meeting with rod rosenstein, he pushed rod to privately turn over these materials so he is in a tough spot. but that said, when the department takes a step like this, there are no rules. nothing in the constitution about what information the justice department gives to congress. it is all based on precedent. years and years of precedent. some things they are turn over, some things they won't. this will forever change what the justice department gives
over to congress and it tells members of congress you can actively interfere in ongoing investigations and the justice department will at times provide you materials. that will have implications for political cases and all kinds of cases in a way that's really damaging to the public's interest. >> let's say these are extraordinary times we are living in, the comey memos have been out there. james comey has written a book. those memos are known. people have read most of them for themselves. does this, by the doj handing them over to mark meadows, to jim jordan, to house republicans, does this take away some of their power as julia was just reporting? >> let me first say these rules and norms exist for extra ordinary times. congress is never asking for investigative materials about unimportant or uninteresting cases. these only come up in very sensitive, controversial cases. so it is precisely these types of cases for which these norms exist. with respect to them turning it
over, it's just such a mistake for the department to kind of move this line and start turning over records because once they turn these records over, there's no reason to think that that's where they're going to stop. yes, some of these memos, the content have been made public, but if they turn these over, mark meadows and jim jordan are not going to stop here, just as they didn't stop when any got the carter page fisa application. they'll ask for the next step in investigative materials and that's where you see the real damage potentially to the investigation. >> whoop, there it is. god, i sound so old and square. nbc's julia ainslie and matt miller. what was the head of the epa doing in morocco? "unbelievable" is next. get dom. it'll connect us to everything that's going on in the company. get it for jean who's always cold. for the sales team, it and the warehouse crew. give us the data we need. in one place, anywhere we need it.
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where he outlined u.s. environmental priorities for updating the environmental work plan under the u.s.-morocco free trade agreement and the potential benefit of liquefied natural gas imports on morocco's economy. democratic senator sheldon whitehouse who sits on the environment and public works committee wants to know more about the trip. the senator cited concerns with pruitt's close ties to the oil and gas industry and pointed out that natural gas is not under the epa's mission. separately, the house oversight committee is also requesting documents receiptlated to the t including a layover in the city of light, paris. were you looking for croissants? when nbc filed freedom of information acts for pruitt's calendar, the days of the trip were blacked out.
tre mysterious. if you want more on pruitt and what exactly he is doing at the epa, "the new york times" has compiled a guide to the various investigations surrounding pruitt. and it was long enough that we could create a scroll. oh, joy to the scroll. for more, i'm joined by ken vogel covering all these pruitt headlines for the "new york times." i'm sorry i success spebjected very terrible french accent. the epa inspector general filed another investigation into pruitt for his travel to places like disneyland and college basketball games. what is going on? if he's got a bunch of investigations, there is a scandal a day, are there any consequences? >> i think we're starting to see consequences, katy, and that came in the form of the white house actually dispatching mick mulvaney, the omb director, to look into at least one minor element of scott pruitt's
spending that has drawn a lot of attention, that being this $43,000 soundproof booth that he built in his office to avoid the prying ears, listening devices that he thought might be eavesdropping on his conversations. it was cast as a security measure. it was done in a way that was deemed to have been outside of sort of agency protocol and agency contracting rules. so the agency looked into it. now we have the white house looking into it. i think that's a pretty good sign that the tide might be turning -- or at least that there is scrutiny coming from within the white house in a way that we hadn't seen before where president trump had been just kind of knee-jerk on the defensive saying scott pruitt was doing a good job. >> what exactly was he doing in morocco? do we have any more reporting on that? why he was there talking about liquefied natural gas, which is not part of his purview? why he needed a layover in paris? >> this is all very much
unfolding information that we're trying to get at. we don't have a lot of it because the information that they did release and his schedules had a lot of redact n redactions and a lot it's yet another instance where there wasn't a top of transparency. even today pruitt was traveling in the midwest. we were trying to get plans about his schedule and we did not hear about it. we see on twitter he stopped by the mascot museum which we didn't even know existed. but it's another example of him traveling in a way where the press is not made aware of it and there is not a ton of transparency built into the way he is doing it. >> the chaos surrounding pruitt, could it be affected by the uneasiness over mike pompeo's confirmation? they are finding it much more difficult to get their secretaries -- sab net secretaries confirmed now than maybe they had hope.
does that affect whether or not scott pruitt keeps his job? >> absolutely. we talked to republicans about this. and there was a lot of unease that they would be able to confirm a replacement for scott pruitt if he were to be fired or step down that said, recently there was a confirmation of a deputy for him at the epa. that potentially might alleviate some of those concerns because even with scott pruitt gone, if he were to go, there would be someone who is a trump-appointed nominee at the agency who could handle some of his duties. >> "new york times" political reporter ken vogel. ken, thank you very much. >> thank you katy. we'll be right back. but first, baby alert. check out the adorable arrival moments ago on capitol hill. illinois senator tammy duckworth and her newborn baby girl. she is on matern leave right now, but headed in to vote, baby in tow. that's something she may not have been allowed to do until
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and accessories for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit while you weren't look, one of the most contested senate races of the mid terms got weirder. don blankenship is running in the west virginia republican primary to be the one challenge to vulnerable democrat joe manchin. we we have learned anything,
it's not to count out a rich by named donald running for office. blackenship is step up. he spent a year in prison for conspiring to violate mine safety standards after an explosion in one of his mine killed 29 men. he said, i was imprisoned for a -- to be clear, blankenship is one of three republicans running for the nomination. so far he is either one or two in that race, depending who you ask. there is concern among democrats in washington that blankenship can win and become something like west virginia's roy moore. ie an easy opponent for democrat joe manchin to beat. i'm directed by larry of the university of west virginia. what is going on in west
virginia average lot, a lot has been going on in west virginia in the last few decades when it switched from democratic to republican. this is a wild primary. you put the choice well. is don blankenship going to be the next donald trump, at least from west virginia or is he going to end up like roy moore. if you forced me to pick today i would certainly pick roy moore but you never know. the national and state republican lead remembers apoplectic that he is doing as well as he has been doing in both public and private polls. balls at least they think -- and they are republican leaders. they think that he would lose rather badly to senator joe manchin. >> i'm a little confused how a man who opened a mine that had an explosion that killed 29 men can be doing well in a state comprised of coal workers. >> you know, katy, you have got a lot of company. we have all been food for years,
because of donald trump, and everything that's happened since. i have a hard time believing he will be the nominee in the end. and this is a very serious matter. the man served prison time. >> 29 people died. i mean that's as serious as it gets. >> exactly. sure. he was in charge. he is a colberton or was a colberton. it is absolutely remarkable. but i will tell you why, he is outtrumping trump in this three-way race. west virginia went for trump, incredibly, by 42%a agpercentag points. and the people who participate in the republican primary in west virginia are few and far between. you are going to have maybe 100,000 people. they ten to be not only very conservative, they are extremely pro-trump. and so they might, some of them at least, pick the one of the three candidates who seems most like trump and maybe that is blankenship. >> does manchin have a chance to
win in the end? >> yes, he does. absolutely. if it were anybody but manchin, i would say forget about it. manchin is the only democrat in west virginia i think who could end up winning. blankensh blankenship, i just don't -- i would be surprised if he wins the prime army i think everybody will be tremendously shocked if he wins the general. manchin could pete him and he could be the favorite even against the other two candidates. >> does that mean manchin has to vote yes for the mike pompeo confirmation? >> you know, i looked at that list, katy, and he's the one who jumped out at me first. he needs more help than anybody, except maybe haed hide camp in north dakota. >> you nailed the two names. thank you so much. >> thank you katy. >> that wraps thing up from me this hour. i will have to say good-bye. and also hello to ali velshi.
>> are you done? for the day? >> yeah. i'm off -- and maybe i shun be saying this, but i'm off tomorrow. >> wow. >> i'm going somewhere sunny and warm. >> you enjoy. i'll try and hold the fort around here. >> you better. >> have a good afternoon. good afternoon, i'm ali velshi. president trump is heading back to his mar-a-lago estate. he spent the afternoon touring a federal anti-drug trafficking agency in key west florida. he started his morgue on twitter trying to focus on north korea and immigration. multiple reports say the commander in chief and those closest to him are worried that trump's personal lawyer and friend michael cohen is going to flip and cooperate with federal prosecutors if he is faced with serious criminal charges. earlier today the president ignored questions on whether he was weird about cohen's loyalty. >> mr. president, could michael