tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC December 7, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
world war ii when he was killed. he was only 24 years old. >> today we honor doris miller and all the heroes of pearl harb harbor. that's it for us. thank you for watching. i'll be back at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> i'll be performing my rendition of all of stevie nix's greatest hits at a karaoke lounge. >> quite a voice. >> i'm so glad you glad you said that. have a great weekend. >> see you in an hour. good afternoon. we are just three hours away from robert mueller's filing deadline. the michael cohen sentencing memo which could give us some idea of what he had to tell investigators over 70 hours of
interviews and maybe even more telling, a separate filing. what are the crimes and lies mueller says were committed by former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. leading them to blow up his cooperation agreement and what price will he likely pay for it. this wraps up an impactful we f that began with another mueller filing. the heavily redacted document outlining michael flynn's cooperation. president trump knows this is coming to and he was rage tweeting about mueller this morning. seven times. often using the words leaking and lying and anticipating what he has dubbed the final witch hunt report. he contradicted his lawyer saying it's not true that the white house doesn't have time to plan a response to the report. in fact, trump called that fake news and claims that a major counter report is already 87 pages done. he accused mueller of being best
friends with james comey who it just so happens has been on capitol hill today testifying in front of the house judiciary and oversight committees. a grilling nbc news learned was expected to last about eight to ten hours. only adding to all the drama this morning, president trump announced his nomination of william barr for attorney general. barr would wield enormous power and he has raised questions in the past about the special counsel's objectivity. all of this brings us to today's big question. what will we learn from robert mueller today? joining me now is nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken delanian, david corn and former federal prosecutor, elliot williams. elliot, how much is mueller
likely to tell us about what investigators have kcalled his crimes and lies that they ripped up the cooperation agreement and to e tossed it away? >> i think i'm going to break the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. people who are looking for the smoking gun or smoking e-mail, i think today is not going to be the day. just because we know from flynn's document earlier this week there's one ongoing criminal investigation and perhaps others. it's likely we'll see more redactions in any document that comes out today just because this is common practice. prosecutors will hide facts or will conceal facts from the public just to or the integrity of investigations. >> we go back to the document earlier, the redactions did tell us some things like there were three separate investigations that he provided information.
even though it might not be a smoking gun, it will be lots of clues, won't there? >> maybe not smoking gun but a simmering pot or something. i think it's more crumbs like bobby brady in that episodes of the brady bunch leaving the popcorn. >> i didn't get that cultural reference but i'll go back and look it up. >> i'll tweet it out after. you talked to a former prosecutor about the value of holding back information. i felt this was interesting in what you wrote. if mueller waits and does his big reveal at once, everything is done. it's too late for trump to engineer his firing. i want to ask you ken, as a close observer, what's the strategy behind these filings and how much they tell and don't tell? >> some legal expert s have theorized that mueller would use the documents to inform the
public. obviously, that didn't happen. we saw from the flynn document it was heavily redacted. anything that touched on the investigation was blacked out. one way to read that is that robert mueller feels confident in his situation. he doesn't see anything impeedig his investigation. another theory is mueller has realized it makes sense to hold everything close. we as saw we the michael cohen plea document which had a lot of information in it, what did trump do? he attacked cohen on twitter. in the wake of the flynn document which had very little hints about what hefrs s was sa trump was radio silent because he doesn't understand whether flynn is bad or good for him. mueller is considering hording everything until it's too late for donald trump to impede his
investigation or perhaps fire him. >> if the flynn filing was meant to send a message, at least in part about the benefits of cooperating with robert mueller, what are we likely to see with cohen and contrast that with manafort. >> it depends to see how much they reduce the sentence that cohen got. it's clear there's a benefit to cooperating and providing information to the government. we'll see what he's providing. it's likely we're not going to see what he has provided because some of it may weigh on future inn vest ga investigations. we might find out more about the hush payments just because it's clear that they don't necessarily touch on these collusion or russia investigation things that are much more sensitive and much more criminally fraught. maybe those there but it's hard to tell at this point.
>> david, you were very busy calling him a desperate man and scared. i was thinking as i was watching your tweets, is this different than what we have seen before. is this not just donald trump being donald trump? is it maybe some sort of bigger thing. rage tweetsi intwaet tweeting i phrase we used. >> he's gone up to 11 and then it's 12 and 13 in the subsequent week. there's no ceiling on his outrage and ability to avoid real news and be self-obsessed with the mueller investigation. >> which is not to eliminate the reality this is somebody under a lot of pressure. >> i think fst the sign ofit's pressure. he said michael cohen has pleadsed guilty to crimes that has nods to do with him.
absolutely wrong. he's pleaded guilty with two crimes that have a lot to do with donald trump. one is the payoff from stormy daniels. he pointed to trump as a co co-conspirator. it's possible that in the memo that comes out today that maybe more details on both of those crimes that will make trump look bad. that's one reason to be upset. he seems to think that mueller is coming out with this grand final report that may not happy. mueller is not obligated to do anything. he's doing what he does best. >> it is fair to say the president is not having a great week. we had the flynn filing on monday.
two more comie ining today. we have a rocky stock market. under achieving job numbers this morning. you've seen this backlash. some pressure from kacongress about the gm plant closing particularly in states where it's happening. do your sources tell you what's setting him off? >> i think it's the president is feeling more and more pressure from the robert mueller investigation. the legacy of his presidency is hanging in the balance when it comes to whether or not robert mueller will come out with a robert that says a foreign government worked with the trump campaign to try to hack an election and whether or not anybody around the president knew about that. i think that is the number one thing that's really a big thing that's weighing on this
president. he was sending out tweet after tweet. >> going back to david's point about will there be a report, won't there be. rudy giuliani said in an interview with the atlantic that everybody is so busy they didn't have time to put together a response to the report. now president trump said in a tweet this morning, it's wrong. there's going to be a major counter report. that 87 pages are already done. which is it? is there no report, they're too busy or they already have 87 pages written? >> as someone who covered the trump white house, i would not be surprised if the president came out with his own report. something to give to his base, to give to republicans who want to hold on to the yidea that robert mueller is a partisan hack. the president is good at messaging. even if his report is filled with falsehoods and is not true, it's going to be covered because if it's an 87 page report that the president puts out, they
will be compared to each other. that's what president trump will want. i think the messaging has been consistent. those are presidewords that the president thinks are buzz words. >> one of the things he did tweet today is he called it the witch hunt report. also the reason the president's team is so busy, at least in part is if robert mueller's team tries to issue pesubpoena the p, quote, we're ready to resist that. do you think is subpoena is on the table? >> first, anything that rudy giuliani says is hard to take as fact. where he's correct is it would
be difficult to subpoena a president of the united states. it's an open legal question even if you can. yes, he's got a point that it could be a very challenging legal question but who knows. >> ken, let me finish up with you and clarify nfor everybody who hasn't been following the tick tock of this. we could get one report by 5:00. the other one might not come until midnight. >> technically. they have a deadline of midnight for the manafort lies and crimes report. the cohen would be the one or two sentencing reports. the judge set a 5:00 p.m. deadline to be hand delivered to the court. that doesn't mean we'll see it
at 5:00 but i think we'll see it shortly thereafter. the thing i'm looking most closely at with the michael cohen document is what does the special counsel say about the value of cohen's cooperation. we know he's been very valuable in the southern district of new york. what is his value to robert mueller. is he implicating other people. when you consider the circles he's been in for the last ten years that's very prospect for this white house. >> he's been a fly on the wall for a long time for donald trump. thanks to all of you. from day one he's taken a hard line against undocumented immigrants. if president trump really wants them out, why does his company give them jobs? it's timereso revolve door at the white house. we would be close to another shake up at the west wing after a couple of changes announced today.
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he will be he replaced by nick airs. this news coming on a day when the president confirmed to other news on his administration's car carousel. >> bill barr will serve. she'll be ambassador to the united nations. she's very talented. very smart. >> joining me now is nbc news national political reporter carol lee and bill crystal. what is kelly's expected departure mean for the white house now? >> it means that essentially there will be a shake up at the top tier of the white house and there's going to be a changing of the guard.
if it's nick ayers, that will be a different chief of staff. his background is in politics. he's worked in republican politics. that's where he's made his money and his basic nothing is. nick is much younger than john kelly. if does become the replacement, he would be much younger than some of the people supposed to report to him. that would be different. >> i'm curious because we heard this before. we've heard it before many times that john kelly is on his way out. i wonder if you got an indication from the folks you talked to why this time might be different? >> a couple of things. we're at a point in a dprenz si that's typical for the president to change a chief of staff if he was looking to do something like that. the president is pivoting toward
his re-election campaign. john kelly had gotten on the wrong side of the first lady which is bad place to be for any staffer in the white house. there's an accumulation of frustrations with john kelly. the president has gone back and forth for months about whether he wants to keep him in the line. the president had seen a possibility for an alternative. >> bill, remember when kelly was brought on after reince priebus. he was supposed to bring stability and discipline in the white house. i wonder is the message that even a general who fought a car, commanded people in war, who fought terrorism as the head of homeland security is no match for donald trump. >> trump can overwhelm most efforts. really is overwhelming most efforts to great guard rails and
restraints upon him which is bad thing for the country. one can criticize certain things that john kelly did as chief of staff. the one real significance of this is john kelly could say no to donald trump. he was his pier, his age and stature. he could pick up the phone and call rex tillerson. rex tillerson and jim are doing things. nick ayers will not tell donald
then you look at samantha power, whether you like our politics or not, her credentials. she was a war correspondent. she was an adviser to barack obama. is she qualified for this position? >> in the trump administration. >> what is it a sliding scale? >> yes. let's compare it with nikki haley. she managed to get along with donald trump. she did things at the u.n. and did them capable. she was the governor of south carolina. she had a certain standing. i believe she could get on the phone with mike pompeo and say on this kind of thing, let's eeh if we can't talk the president
into this. can she get on the phone with jim mattis and say can you walk me through some of the complexities of this possible resolution on north korea or syria. maybe she can. i don't want to say ahead of time. >> or deal with long time ambassadors from other major countries. >> will they think they are dealing with someone who really speaks for the president? maybe. the president seems to like her. i think probably did a goot job of helping even more things from going awry. >> nbc news is reporting it's no longer going to be cabinet level position. bill crystal, carol lee. thanks to both of you. right now former fbi director jim comey behind closed
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which means the dow is near correction territory. this comes after a week of losses as dump stocks concerned about a lack of progress. we're going to continue to keep our eye on it throughout this afternoon. the former director of the fbi is back on capitol hill. james comey answering questions from the house sjudiciary. his testimony is coming in the 11th hour for themajority. they pushed for comey to appear. today's closed door hearing could last up to eight or ten hours. we won't know what lawmakers asked or how comey answered until a transcript is released and we might not get that until montds. we' -- monday. we're waiting outside those closed doors.
>> director comey, will you take some questions? >> good morning. >> joining me now nbc news capitol hill correspondent. that was a no from james comey to will you take some questions. let's start with the nuts and bolts. what do we know about any questions comey is facing and what about this transcript which i thought was supposed to show up within 24 hours. >> reporter: that was the deal that was struck between comey and his attorneys. i guess we'll find out exactly what that means when they wrap up here. the latest guidance we're getting is that might happen this evening as opposed to late tonight which is what it had been looking like earlier in the day. part of that i appears is comey
is not answering all of their questions. he's been accompanied by two lawyers including one pr tfrom department of justice who has advised him not to answer specific questions. we know they are working their way through stacks of questions and one of the lead interrogators and long time thorn in the side of james comey, mark meadows had this to say about what they are learning so far. >> we have learned a few things that are new. your follow up question, i can't tell you what that is. we're at the beginning stages of this transcribed interview.
we'll build on that foundation. i know there's a number of questions that we have. >> that answer circumspect around what republicans are getting at. they really wish they could have gotten rod rosenstein in here instead of james comey. he's the man they want to talk to. this is it for the judiciary committee into the investigation of the fbi. >> congress is supposed to have an oversight role. that is their job. one member isn't happy with the way comey has answered or not answered. i want to ply a bit more sound for you. >> director comey is no longer
director. >> there were two attorneys. one is from the department of justice has repeatedly, i would say, at his gleeful acceptance instructed he will not be answering a great many questions that are items that are core to our investigation. there's no question hwhen we leave here at 4:30, one of the things that will have to happen is the department of justice will have to agree to allow him to come back to answer a great many questions. currently he's not answering. >> 4:30 today. he says this will be done in two hours and sit a friday and people do want to get on with their weekend. i don't know. what do you make of that. is that all politics or is he making a legitimate point here?
>> we have seen in the last couple of years under this particular administration and this congress, this blurring of the justice department and other parts of the government. i think to the extent to which a justice department, someone who is in the chain of command to the president of the united states is saying, listen, these questions cannot be answered now because presumably it would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation. that's the way it should be. it's not against the law for congress to ask them but to political size criminal investigation is a problem in separation of powers and a functioning of fair system. >> what will you be looking for when this transcript comes out? >> i think the republicans will be looking for inconsistencies with mr. comey's testimony. the question has to do with how much do we really care what happened under obama given all the things happening now under
trump and the serious, serious investigation that's going on by mr. mueller that really congress hasn't addressed on its own. >> thanks to both you have. appreciate it. it's no secret that president trump doesn't want undocumented immigrants on american soil, but when it comes to staffing his personal properties, is there a different standard? i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix.
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a couple of new controversies today surrounding president trump and his get tough immigration policies. the new york times breaking the story about an undocumented immigrant working at president trump's new jersey golf club since 2013. she made donald trump's bed, cleaned his toilet. was even given a certificate for her service from the white house but she's the kind of person she wants out of country. she's not legal. kate snow speaking at the center of the controversy. >> i told them i don't have paper and i don't speak english and i was an immigrant. they said it doesn't matter. i liked working for him but when i saw how he talked about us, i felt humiliated. >> then there's the family separation that brought it back
into the light in a big way. the administration promised and they were under a court order to reunify those families. 193 migrant children remain celebrated from their families. some of them are babies, as a result of trump's zero tolerance policy. babies to 17 years old separated from their parents. the reporter on the byline about what was going on. it's great to have you. let's be clear about this. if she's in the country illegally, how was she able to get this job? >> with fake documents as other undocumented immigrants do. they know where to buy these documents that are prepared by experts in the field and they present them to employers who take them at face value as being
authentic. >> when you say take them at face value asauthentic, would it be fair to be assumed or an argument that anybody who uses large numbers of immigrants probably has a clear understanding of what's real and what's fake or are they that good? >> sometimes the documents are actually pretty well made. the issue here is that there is a step that employers can take to verify. >> e verify which president trump has praised in the past. >> exactly. in fact, some of his properties do use the system to weed out undocumented immigrants. that's what the system is designed to do is check if someone applying for job or new hire is eligible to work many this country. he obviously was not using this.
>> you spoke about the president's rhetoric. the president's tone seem to emboeldsen othe embolden others to make negative comments. the housekeeping supervisor frequently made remarks about the employees vulnerable legal status when critiquing their work calling them stupid illegal immigrants with less intelligence than a dog. is that what made her come forward? >> a number of factors. she was hurt by president trump's derogatory comments about immigrants. calling them criminals and pledging to erect a wall to keep them out and then there was this hostile work environment that was getting worse and worse. i think her feeling was that this supervisor felt emboldened by the president's rhetoric to
speak in this manner toward her and with utter disdain. >> this isn't the first time the trump organization has been accused of using undocumented workers. several years ago and i think it was more than a $1 million settlement with the labor department over the treatment of undocumented polish workers who were working at trump tower. is this is a do as i tell you, not as i do? >> i don't know. my reporting suggests that the president wasn't aware that these individuals were undocumented. he's not, i believe in charge of hiring folks. he has people under him. whether they look the other way or not, maybe an investigation will bring that to light. >> let me you really quickly because i know you've been following audiotape ll of this. the 173 children still separated from their families.
there are some of them that have been deemed to be dangerous for them to be returned to their families. that's fairly small number. when you're a baby, you cannot speak for yourself. you can't say my mom is from here. this is where i'm from. here is my phone number. for these 173 still left behind, what are the chances. every day that depogoes by is l and less like lly they will be reunified. >> one might assume that. the hope is their parents will be relolocated or whatever is standing in the way, they had a d dui or red flag can be surmounted so they can be reunited. >> so many other people who are following this is such a not
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mic microscope? no politician is immune to that question. it's a whole different ball game when you're talking about running for president. democrats are lining up, 15, 20, as many as 40 depending on which list you look at. so many almost certainly that there's talk of restructuring the primary debates and the scrutiny has already started. senator elizabeth warren newspaper has suggested she missed her moment in 2016 and has become a divisive figure when a unifying voice is what the country needs. senator kamala harris is in an unwanted sp eed spotlight aftees resigned following a harassment settlement. all the while names like joe biden, michael bloomberg floating on people's lists. the question is what kind of candidate will last?
joining me new new york times political reporter who is an msnbc political analyst. nick, if i get one question more than any other from voters it's not who can from voters is not n beat donald trump is what kind of candidate beats donald trump? is there an answer. >> the person that can beat trump is somebody who doesn't try to be donald trump. you can't beat him at his own game. and shouldn't try. the democrats won the house back by ignoring the president and campaigning on policy and health care staying away from the din and kiebl news and twitter and newspaper op-ed pages pan focusing on policy to reach the voters. that's a signal to the field it has to be a person who can outtrump trump is a bad idea. >> let's say, somebody like, jake, michael bloomberg who money is not a question. you can make an argument that any of the top tier candidates
money is not an issue now. there is so much money from so many different places. i can't imagine how much is going to be spent. you have a shrinking number, arguably of battle-ground states, politico report says it's only six now. you know, you have a michael bloomberg who has enough money. he can write his own checks. he has experience. he knows donald trump. he is somebody who is not playing his game. what sort of is on your list? who is on your list. >> i want to layer one thing on top of what nick said, the reason democrats did well in 2018 were for all the reasons he said plus they had a lot of candidates who were first time candidates who had no record, were able to kind of weave as interesting story about themselves, whether it be military service, corporate work, any number of things, non-profit work. and that's helpful when you don't have a political record to run on but rather you have a personal story. >> let me push back against that point for a second, which is this, that a lot of the people i
talk to who were volunteering for first-time candidates and who wanted that freshness, tired of business as usual, also said to me, the one thing we have learned from donald trump is that experience matters. >> well, i'm not sure what experience does -- yeah, i guess that's a fair point. and the crop of democrats that got elected in 2018 taking the house back we haven't seen how they comport themselves up here on capitol hill. i do know on the michael bloomberg angle, he has a long history and a democratic party that is shifting left. and there is no question about that. it's not clear that they're going to nominate a former republican. that seems to me a very rich republican. and again we don't want to lay down markers and say definitely. but it does seem off to me. the question is does he have cross overappeal? will people who are republicans, not for donald trump vote for somebody who wants to ban soda and doesn't like plastic straws and things of that nature?
we don't know the answer to that. and we don't know the immediate of the electorate. but that dynamic, new candidates with interesting personal histories and no concrete political background is something that did in fact work in 2008. >> yeah, the other thing i want to point is what you wrote in playbook. where will the mueller investigation, the economy? but when you look at candidates, i thought it was interesting that joe biden said i'm the most qualified person in the country to be president. will qualifications matter? or will a fantastic personal history that chars ma and lack of a record be a plus. >> i think so. the last two winners of the presidency were people with a small traditional resume or none. that's president obama or president trump. there are a variety of forces pushing in the direction away from personal experience and qualifications. i do agree with jake and other
people that after the trump presidency some people will say we need somebody who knows what they are doing. but culturely there is movement away from being attached to the establishment and towards a politics more sen thitic wsh social media and personal experience driven >> nick and jake, thanks for coming on have a great weekend. well, i don't know how much of a relaxing week you we have with the two sentencing memos coming out. nevertheless another house seat picked up by exacts in california and a sos from the head of the state's republican party about what it means for the gop future nationwide pup one more thing for you next. that's a win. but it's not the only reason i switched. the geico app makes it easy to manage my policy. i can pay my bill, add a new driver, or even file a claim.
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well one more thing before we go. after weeks of counting ballots, nbc news declared tj cox the apparent winner california's 21st district. the cox win brings the total number of house gains to 40 seats. by that count, democrats will hold 235 seats when the new congress is sworn in. republicans, 199. cox edged out the republican opponent by 800 votes. it helps to paint though a bigger picture of california's fast-shifting political landscape. with cox's win democrats hold all but 7 of the 53 districts. including the red bastion of
orange county. secretary of state and attorney general are all democrats. state level democrats won 3/4s of california's assembly in 2018. that's the biggest margin in 100 years. sheer how "the new york times" put it. the california republican party, a once dominant power in the nation's largest state, the party of errol warren, richard nixon and ronald raying isn't teetering on the brink of right here he will z. as to that a dire warning from the head of the republican party. it's not just about california. it's a canary in the coal mine. warning it needs to wake up to the demographic reality that in 2044 the u.s. will be a majority minority country and winners will have to appeal to all voters. that's going to wraup thup hour. i'm chris jansing for katy tur. ali velshi brings it up. and we're in a coal mine.
>> good message. >> i'm ali velshi we are awaiting the new documents from the mueller investigation. and so is the president president. he has been releasing a slough of tweets revolving around the special counsel russia investigation. while the president started the morning on that, news of another white house shake-up broke. chief of staff john kelly's long anticipated departure, he may be on his way out in coming days, according to four sources. mixed with that is trump's announcement of heather nauert as the next u.s. ambassador to the united nations to replace nikki haley. but that's not all. the president is announcing his decision to nominate william barr for attorney general. that's a role he previously held during george h. w. bush's administration. but barr may face tough questioning over the confirmation. particularly comments about the russia investigation. all right. lots to cover. joining me from where the president just left is
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