Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 10, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
medal and the title of spicy queen. the photographer here is for "imagine china" via the associated press. would love to hear your thoughts. for you, over to craig melvin, the spicy queen. >> you beat me to that title. have a good week. craig melvin. nbc head quarters in new york city. president trump boasting no smocking gun and no collusion between his campaign and the filings by robert mueller. with scrutiny on the president's conduct, how much jeopardy is he in really? and white house chief of staff john kelly is on his way out. the man tapped to replace him says thanks but no thanks. who is next? omarosa will join me for more on
8:01 am
that. and james comey asking american voters to end donald trump's presidency in 2020. comey's war of words with the president continues. more on that in a moment. we start with president trump's see no evil game plan today and over the weekend the president has essentially tried to down play the gaming reports from two teams of prosecutors including bob mueller's special counsel's office. for the first time the government has tied the president of the united states to a federal crime. campaign finance violations. the memos also providing greater detail of how intertwined the president and his people were with those close to vladimir putin in the leadup to the election. lots to sift through. who better to kick us off than ken delaney. he's diligently followed every footnote of this investigation. i want to start with news just into the news room. the woman who is accused of
8:02 am
being an unregistered foreign agent, some new reporting on her plea arrangement, and perhaps a change of plea. what do we know? >> reporter: that's right. courtesy of tom winter reporting that she is going to change her plea, potentially to guilty. and it's looking like butina is moving toward a plea agreement, a cooperation agreement with the government. that's not in black and white. if we learned anything, you can't count on that being the case. she's changing her plea to guilty. if she cooperates, it's a significant development. who is butina? she's a russian who's lived here for years and is accused of essentially running an influence development. she had close ties to the national rifle association and was working with a russian
8:03 am
central banker and has ties to the russian mafia. and he actually had dinner during the campaign with donald trump junior. he was trying to broker a meeting between vladimir putin and donald trump. he also had close ties to the national rifle association. there's no evidence that's emerged linking butina or torsion to the russian election operation. it's an interesting development with potentially significant significance for understanding how russia was trying to influence american politics. >> the attorneys saying in part all parties involved have resolved the matter. she remains in custody. let's pivot here and talk about what we saw transpire over the weekend. prosecutors saying the president of the united states directed the payments that violated campaign finance law. this was the president's spin today. quote, calling the payments a simple, private transaction. wrongly called a campaign contribution which it was not.
8:04 am
credible defense there, ken? >> let's remember this is a simple, private transaction involving $130,000 payment to a porn star to silence her in the last months of a presidential election. campaign finance violations are difficult to prove. prosecutors would have to prove criminal intent on donald trump's part. but you have michael cohen, the man who made the payment now saying this was a payment made to hush these women, to help donald trump get elected president. that's the very definition of a campaign expenditure. it's very plain to most legal experts that if donald trump was not the president, he would be in the cross hairs of the prosecutors in the southern district of new york. not to say this was a slam dunk case or they've accused him of a felony, but he would be the target because you have michael cohen apparently prepared to go into court and say i was dire directed to make this payment to hush these women. what other evidence there is
8:05 am
remains to be seen, but that's a persuasive case. >> ken for us, thank you. we have assembled quite the roster of experts here on a monday morning. sometimes i say it and i don't mean it, but this morning i mean it. mimi roka, chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney, senior fbi official, jennifer reuben here in person, an opinion writer at "the washington post." all of them, msnbc analysts. chuck, i'll start with you. do prosecutors appear to have a smoking gun here as it relates to campaign finance violations? and can the president be prosecuted? >> the second question first, yes, when he leaves office. while he's in office, open question. there's doj policy that says no, but it's never been litigated. and it would have to be litigated for us to have a definitive answer. right now doj policy says a sitting president cannot be
8:06 am
charged, tried, convicted. and do prosecutors have a case? they seem to. ken pointed out and is right the hardest part of this, hardest part is intent. john edwards had a similar set of charges lodged against him in 2008. he made a similar claim that it was not to influence the election, but to conceal an affair from family. if that's what the president is now saying, that is a tried and somewhat true defense, because it mostly worked in the edwards case. time will tell. >> "the new york times" reporting the campaign violation part of this investigation is moving in a new direction again. this according to the times. federal prosecutors in manhattan have shifted their attention to what role, if any, trump organization executives played in the campaign finance violations according to people briefed on the matter. what are they trying to find? >> i think this gets to the first question about this case. this is not just your ordinary
8:07 am
campaign finance violation. this was an entire scheme that michael cohen and we now know that prosecutors, not just micha michael cohen, but prosecutors believe trump helped cohen devise and coordinate and organize this scheme, and the scheme involved, the trump organization. because what they did is they tried to hide the payments that were being made to the women. it wasn't just a hey, let's pay them and we're going to tell everyone we're doing this because we don't want the details coming out. it's let's orchestrate this in a secretive, underhanded way so that hopefully nobody even asks us questions about it. that's where the trump administration comes in. they listed the -- cohen put the money out to begin with, and then to pay ami back is complicated and then the trump organization paid cohen back and lied and said it was a retainer. there's other possible crimes, not just campaign finance crimes. there could be bank fraud.
8:08 am
wire transferring fraud. he opened up the shell company. it's one of those things where once again you have to ask what were they trieding to hide. one, yes, the campaign donation which it really was in kind, but it's really what the whole scheme was. that's where the trump organization comes in and that's where people involved in the organization could be in trouble. >> jennifer, i listened to the next line of that tweet i just read. even if it was a campaign finance violation, it's a civil case. it is only a civil case like obama's, but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. lawyer's liability, if you make a mistake, not me. can the president have it both ways? >> we always start off with the maximum denial. no russian contact. i lightly look tatd deed at the. yes, normally these are civil
8:09 am
violations. they become criminal violations just as mimi said, when you have a criminal intent to defeat the finance laws. and when you do it more than once, we had two women who are paid off in this fashion. a little different because the facts were different on each one of these. we've already seen some really hard evidence in those recordings that michael cohen made in which they're discussing one of the payments. and it's discussing within the context of the campaign. they're going through poll results and talking about this. the timing of it speaks to the fact that it may be campaign related. it was in the final days of the campaign. so there's a lot of evidence we already have, but, of course, some of the best evidence may be from the corporation and those people. and i will say although a president, an individual can't be indicted, we can indict corporations. and it would be a very interesting turn of events if the corporation with donald trump's nail on it were indicted. >> we should note here the
8:10 am
president has repeatedly denied any relationship with either of these two women, but could it be -- all the talk of collusion, all the talk of obstruction of justice, could it be a situation where the presidency is unravelled by payments to a porn star and a former playboy mod snl. >> i think so. i think it's all these things coming together. it's not a coincidence that the southern district and the mueller -- the russia probe are sort of feeling like they're both coming to a boil. i think both things are really zeroing in on their main purpose. and with the payments -- it almost sounds like we're minimizing it when we say it's about payments to a former porn star. it's about a scheme to deceive the american public to get him elected. they say nobody cared.
8:11 am
we can't say that. that's not how the electoral system works. and with russia the same thing. he hid facts from the american public that we need to assume would have made a difference. it was that he had a vested interest in curing favor with the kremlin because he wanted a tower there. i think there are criminal implications. both of those things are similar. this man got to the presidency by deceiving the american public in criminal ways. and i think that's what will bring him down. >> his strategy so far, jennifer, here to fore, appears to be to declare a victory despite the evidence. the president said saturday about the memos that came out, this. well, we'll get that sound for you a little bit later. "the washington post" reported about the president's strategy. this is what the washington post said. the white house is adopting with one official term a slugghrugge
8:12 am
shoulders term. the white house is adopting what official termed the strategy for the mueller findings calculating that most gop base voters -- >> well, first of all mimi is right. we're talking about if you will, the legitimacy of the presidential election. legally he's the president. he got the electoral votes. he was elected. donald trump has always said they're out to prove i'm not legitimately president. he did that himself by concealing facts. to the issue of his sort of shrug the shoulders or his denials, those are political strategies. they may or may not work if we ever get into the context of an impeachment proceedings. they're not a legal strategy. what is so fascinating to me is that when you actually see lawyers, good lawyers, federal prosecutors, set out facts in the law, it doesn't matter what
8:13 am
donald trump is spinning or telling his base or how gullible they are. what matters is what happened? what can you prove? and what is the law? so if he thinks he's going to do this and get by an impreaeachme he may be right, but as a legal strategy, it's not a good one. >> there's a report the russians interacted with at least 14, 14 trump associates during the campaign, and the transition. as an investigator, that number, does that give you pause? >> well, absolutely. but i think that is probably the tip of the iceberg. if there's a theme that runs through all this, it's russia. it's the moscow trump tower project. it's interference in the election. it's false statements by papadopoulos and flynn about conversations and connections to russians. it's a theme that runs throughout. we know, perhaps because of good reporting about 14, but i can almost virtually assure you
8:14 am
there's more. there's always more. every time mueller drops something into the public record, we're surprised. we're surprised by the level of detail and surprised by the level of criminality. i have no reason to think it would be otherwise here. >> all right. chuck, thank you. jennifer and mimi, good to have you in person. we should make this a regular thing. come back to new york any time. at the bottom of the screen we've decided to show you what the markets are doing. and we're doing that because once again, they are tanking. down more than 417 right now. we have hit officially correction territory. that means that it has now lost 10% from the record high. the last time we hit a correction, february of 2016. again, the dow approaching 2% down, 2 % for the day. we'll have much more on this coming up in just a few moments. also head staff shakeup. the man chosen to succeed outgoing white house chief of staff john kelly says thanks, no
8:15 am
thanks. former staffer and insider, omarosa is with me this morning. she's going to join me to talk about who gets the job. also james comb cey all but begging democrats to nominate someone, anyone, who could beat the president in a slalandslide. the message to dems. and ag nominee. president trump actually wanted his pick for attorney general william barr for another job. ♪
8:16 am
8:17 am
-we have the power -to make a difference, right now. we have the power to make sure everyone has clean water. to provide access to education for all. -to rid the world of aids, -once and for all. we have the power. to choose to include. to create clean energy. to raise capital. and be fearless entrepreneurs. to understand different perspectives. we stand behind all our partners working to make a difference. what would you like the power to do?
8:18 am
8:19 am
another bad day for the stock markets. the dow jones industrial average is down more than 400 points at this moment. closer to 500 right now. that puts us below the 24,000 mark. the first time it's done that since june 28th. the jitters today after the dow lost more than 4% last week. let's get to cnbc's dominique chew. what's got the markets so spooked today? do we know? >> it's tough. it's a confluence of different things, and they've played out over the course, arguably over the last two months. there are fears that the global economy might be slowing and that, in turn, leads to a u.s. slowdown as well. there are also concerns about what's going to happen with interest rates in the future. tariff and trade policy. the brexit situation in the uk and europe. all those things were in play for the better part of a year or
8:20 am
two, but somewhere inbetween september and now the markets went from an accentuate the positive. we had record highs in the beginning of october. all the sudden to a situation where traders and investors are accentuating the negative. we're seeing a slide play out to the tune of 4% last week. we didn't think it was going to continue as strongly this morning. again c that brexit delayed vote from theresa may, the prime minister of the uk kind of exacerbated the downside situation. that's what we're dealing with right now. >> uncertainty. a great deal of global uncertainty. >> well, and it's not just that. remember, we often talk about this time of year as being strong. people are maybe in the holiday cheer. typically in the september, october, november, december time frame, at least with november and december, stock markets typically have gone higher historically speaking. some people maybe call it the santa claus rally. other terms. in this situation we look for some kind of a situation where
8:21 am
the economy was doing relatively well. consumers feel relatively confident about the economic situation they're in. fuel prices are lower. that should be helpful for the u.s. economy. traders are turning a little more toward the uncertainty and for that reason, you're seeing the markets behave a little more sloppily than they normally would. >> there is occasionally a tendency to associate the markets with the economy. are the fundamentals of our economy strong? we know unemployment is at -- remains at historic lows. what do we know about the overall health of the economy? the stock market notwithstanding? >> it's a great point. oftentimes there's maybe a loose correlation or relationship between the stock market and the economy. like you pointed out, there are certain key parts of the economic backdrop that are constructive. you pointed out the unemployment rate. that's doing really well right now. americans are getting hired. there are still more unfilled jobs right now in the economy
8:22 am
and there are people who are looking for work. those are all positive signs. we've also got consumers. consumer sentiment near these really high relative levels. the problem is the reconciliation for when the consumers feel worse about things. markets are pricing in lower expectations for economic growth down the line. that may be involved with things like whether or not the fiscal stimulus from the tax cut and jobs act starts to wane in the coming year. all those concerns are leading people to flock to the safety of u.s. government bonds, and when they do that, the expectation is the growth picture. it's not to say it's going away. but that growth expectation has become more muted on a relative basis than it has been in the past, and that's where the cause for concern lies. >> dominic trying to help us make sense of it. thank you so much from cnbc has the markets continue to struggle on this monday. we'll turn back to politics in a moment.
8:23 am
who is going to be president trump's next chief of staff? former trump staffer insider best selling author, omarosa is with me on the other side of the break with her picks. building a better bank starts with looking at something old, and saying, "really?" so capital one is building something completely new. capital one cafes. inviting places with people here to help you, not sell you. and savings and checking accounts with no fees or minimums. because that's how it should be. you can open one from right here or anywhere in 5 minutes. seriously, 5 minutes... this is banking reimagined. what's in your wallet? there areand the best.s... which egg tastes more farm-fresh and delicious? only eggland's best. with more vitamins d and e and 25% less saturated fat? only eggland's best. better taste, better nutrition, better eggs.
8:24 am
8:25 am
- [narrator] for powerful suction, you need a shark. with two swappable batteries, at maximum suction the shark ion f80 has more run time than the dyson v10 absolute. or, choose the upright model for whole home cleaning only from shark. - (phone ringing)a phones offers - big button,ecialized phones... and volume-enhanced phones., get details on this state program. call or visit
8:26 am
and accessoriesphones 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
8:27 am
as the revolving door of the white house hits chief of staff john kelly in the back, we have new rorting on who may be next. congressman mark meadows, mulvaney, david bossie, steve mnuchin, matt whitaker and new york yankee's president. a report that mulvaney and mnuchin are sending signals they're not interested, and we know one man who is definitely not taking the job, the chief of staff to vice president pence says he's headed back to georgia with his family to advance the make america great agenda instead. jeff bennett joining me now. what's the back story on all of this? >> reporter: well, first a bit
8:28 am
of news. mark meadows is sending signals he's not at all interested. and mulvaney and mnuchin are also signaling they might have a hard time getting to yes if asked. to your question about the back story on airs, sources say the talks between them broke down over the time frame. the president wanted airs to commit to a two-year deal to fill out of the rest of the president's first term. ayers already promised his wife they would take their family back to georgia at the end of the year. the talks broke down over that issue. there's a lack of clarity over whether or not he would have hiring and firing authority. but look, whoever ends up landing this job as white house chief of staff is going to face a democratically controlled house that is unafraid to send subpoenas down pennsylvania avenue. you have the russia investigation and a president who has shown a willingness to undercut the people who work for
8:29 am
him. and case in point, take a look at what president trump told reporters on saturday about john kelly. >> john kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. we'll be announce who will take john's place. i'll be announcing that over the next day or two. but john will be leaving at the end of the year. >> that announcement is not the way it's supposed to be. sources are telling us it reads this way. john kelly did not show up at work friday and the lights in his west wing office were off all day. those closest to kelly said they did not know his job status. he's said to have gone to the white house friday night and ironed out the departure. they agreed they would announce it monday. the president announced it saturday. and amid the flurry of headlines, he wanted to change
8:30 am
advisers said. that's why it's proving to be tough tore fill the position. >> -- tougher to fill the position. >> jeff, thank you. let me bring in someone else not on the short list to be chief of staff, omarosa. she is also the author of "unhinged". safe to say there's no love loss between you and john kelly. you shared that secret audio recording of kelly showing you the door last year. did you think he would be headed tort exit so soon? >> i knew that his relationship between donald trump and chief kelly was really, really deteriorating. but one of the things that was completely unexpected because chief kelly stressed in our senior staff meetings, if you are depart, let's make sure we do it in an orderly way. this was not an orderly departu departure, and donald trump likes to push people out in a way that they kind of leave
8:31 am
damaged. this is what happened to general kelly who had a very distinguished career before joining the white house staff. >> how do you think that kelly's departure is going to impact the administration day today operations? and maybe even long-term? >> well, i think it will have a big impact. one of the things everyone touts is he came in to create order. i must say some of the craziest things that have happened have happened in the last six months under his tenure. i think that what we'll have to look for is trump himself. everybody tried to reel him in. i think he will become even more unravelled as he continues to look for people and they continue to turn him down, he does not like being rejected. look for him to throw a curveball candidate in, although everybody is throwing out names like mulvaney or mnuchin or even bossie. look for trump to throw out surprises as well. he likes to do that. >> curveball like whom? like someone from the business sector? >> like a woman. i was talking to a former colleague who said that trump
8:32 am
was looking for a potential woman to serve so there could be the first woman chief of staff in the history of the white house. and so that's the kind of things that trump likes to do in this theater that he has turned the white house into this crazy reality show. >> is there a woman in the orbit right now that comes to mind? top of the list? >> you know, i have -- since i heard that rumor, i tried to think of who would do that. i'll tell you who i would like to see, and she serves in the c cabinet right now. linda mcmahon. she's tough as nails. she gets on with the president well. as we hear this rumor about him wantsi wanting to change the narrative about people rejecting him, look for him to throw a curveball back at us. >> i want to remind the listeners that when the white house insider pinned that anonymous op ed for the new york times trashing the president in september, this is what omarosa
8:33 am
said. >> by the way, who do you think wrote the op ed? >> i think it's somebody in pence's office, and i suspect it might be nick ayers. >> then he was reportedly replacing kelly. a deal is off. what's your theory there? what happened? >> you know how i feel about him. i think he's playing the long game. why serve as trump's chief of staff when he thinks he can wait and serve as president pence's chief of staff? he's playing the long game. also why be be tied to trump when he makes most of his money during campaigns. with the biggest campaign coming up, he wants to be free. i think the long game is ayers' focus. he expects pence will be president. i said that for a long time. ayers knows what he's doing and being trump's chief of staff is not in his plans. >> i want to remind folks what
8:34 am
the president said in the past about chiefs of staff and turnover. in 2012, then a private citizen tweeting this about barack obama. three chiefs of staff in less than three years of being president. part of the reason why barack obama can't manage to pass his agenda. president trump is going to beat that record in just two years. does it matter, omarosa? does president trump even need a chief of staff? >> well, let's not forget that it was jimmy carter who said i'm not going to have a chief of staff, and he didn't. i believe for a year, year and a half. and so it's not mandated by the law, but if there's one person that needs someone to oversee his schedule and pull the staff together, to look at what's happening on the hill, to focus on the overall agenda, that's donald trump, because he's all over the place. and at times unhinged, and he needs somebody who can pull it together and run the white house in an orderly way. i hope he doesn't go the way that carter did and not have a
8:35 am
chief of staff. >> general kelly's crowning achievement. what do you think it is? >> i think that one of his achievements, i think for a very short amount of time was that he was able to kind of bring some type of stability. people on the hill felt comfortable with him there. the one thing he lacked was understanding donald trump. he had a complete lack of understanding of how trump worked and how very, very shaky he could be. volatile. and he failed at brokering a true relationship with him. and he also had some big issues like the rob porter issue where he stood by rob porter when he was accused of domestic violence when he attacked representative wilson, when he went after people who he thought were causing trump to actually break down, but they were actually providing emotional comfort for donald trump. for instance, keith shilling who he got rid of early.
8:36 am
i think his understanding of trump world was the problem. >> always good to have your perspective. author of the best selling book "unhinged". why former fbi director james comey says if donald trump were not president, he would be in serious jeopardy of being charged by the special counsel. also new reporting today that attorney general nominee william barr had previously met with the president to talk about a different job. one defending the president in the russia probe. i'm going to talk to one of the reporters who wrote that story.
8:37 am
hi, i'm joan lunden with a place for mom. when my mother first began to forget things, we didn't really know what that meant or where to turn for more information. looking back i wish we'd asked for help sooner. that's why i recommend a place for mom. it's a free service that pairs you with a local senior living advisor who understands memory care and can help you find the right place for your mom or dad.
8:38 am
our advisors have helped thousands of families and can help answer key questions like: we all want what's best for our parents, so get advice from someone who's done it before. call today and talk to an advisor who knows memory care. you'll be glad you did. a new way to save on travel. now when you book a flight you unlock discounts on select hotels that you can add on to your trip up until the day you leave. add on advantage. only when you book with expedia.
8:39 am
but he has plans today. so he took aleve this morning. hey dad. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that. aleve. all day strong.
8:40 am
all day long. now introducing aleve back and muscle pain, for up to 12 hours of pain relief with just one pill. obviously it's evidence of obstruction of justice. former fbi director james comey speaking out after testifying for more than six hours before two house committees friday. he joined msnbc's nicole wallace at new york's 92 street y where he said that and speculated more that prosecutors are closing in on the president's conduct. >> is the president of the united states right now an unindicted co-conspirator? >> i don't know. not in the formal sense that he's been named in an indictment, but if he's not there, he's certainly close given the language in the filing. >> ken vogel is a new york times reporter. aaron blake is also with me. ken, through this interview
8:41 am
comey implied that there were many loose ends. one of which being evidence of obstruction of justice. take a listen. >> the obstruction statute requires a specific corrupt intent. so we had evidence of obstruction that he needed to investigate further. one of our problems was what would the investigation look like? you're alone. if there are tapes that solves the problem of the investigation. because it's not my word against his. i wrote a memo. that's great. if it's a tape, i know what will be on that tape. >> following weeks of legal experts, analyzing the president's latest tweets, your reaction to that. >> yeah. i mean, it is true that there's a little bit of a he said he said here, but we don't have to look a whole lot further than the action that led comey to be where he is right now which is his firing to see the potential building blocks of an
8:42 am
obstruction case. the question as to whether trump actually asked comey to go easy on or let the flynn investigation go is almost secondary to that point. there definitely are parts there, there are sort of pieces here that could be put together to build an obstruction case. the question is whether that's where mueller is going to go, and which pieces he chooses to seize on. and ultimately, who he chooses to believe and trump's answers to questions that were submitted in writing will potentially go a long way toward shaping the answers to those questions that he would have to ask. >> aaron, we heard comey say he didn't regret how he handled the clinton probe, but he did have some concerns about leaks. take a listen. >> there was media reporting that seemed to indicate that most probably rudy giuliani had information in october about what the fbi was doing, and that
8:43 am
there might be something coming with respect -- >> donald trump has a surprise or two. >> i didn't remember the words. i was concerned about the leaks so i asked for an internal investigation to find out what is going on, and that was still ongoing when i got fired. >> there he points directly to the president's top attorney. how might house democrats handle that information in the new year, aaron? ? >> well, i would imagine this will be something that's of interest to them, especially if there was some kind of information that was beneficial to the trump campaign toward the end of that campaign. a lot of these questions go back to the possibility that the trump campaign simply had a leg up due to something untoward. of course, that's the whole question behind russian collusion. that's the question at the root of the entire stormy daniels situation is whether there was a campaign finance violation that actually helped the trump campaign get elected president. this is another example of
8:44 am
something that i think democrats could look into now that they have subpoena power. they certainly don't like rudy giuliani very much. he is a figure in this who is pushing a very trump-like line about these matters. and so it comes down to how aggressive they want to be, how many things they want to look into. and then from there whether this is something that's going to rank on their list of priorities, which at this point is pretty voluminous. >> ken, what does james comey get out of all of this? i mean, you see him sitting there with nicole. he's been known to do a fair amount of tweeting as well. he hasn't crawled in a hole. what is -- what's with james comey continuing to talk about all of this? >> well, you have to look at the context. this is just after he gave these many hours of testimony before congress and you have both house republicans and donald trump himself suggesting that he lied, and preparing yet another
8:45 am
assault on him as a way to undermine the validity of the mueller investigation. this is his way to kind of get out front of it, defend his name, sort of proactively in anticipation of these assaults, and let's not forget also that he is going -- he's sort of become a public figure here, and he has -- he had a book that was out. he is as you mentioned, active on twitter. and so he is -- he's become a participant in a debate in a way that republicans say undermine his credibility to some extent as a former fbi director, but he recognizes that he has in some ways, his credibility is linked to that of the mueller investigation. he clearly from his comments wants to see the mueller investigation be successful and so his defense of himself is maybe part of that. >> ken vogel, aaron blake, thank
8:46 am
you. the role of attorney general was not the first job the president approached william barr about. what he first wanted barr for, and why it may present a conflict of interest. first, parents of the children killed at sandy hook released a new public service announcement ahead of the sixth anniversary of that tragedy. sandy hook promise created it to stress the importance of being aware of warning signs. >> stupid freak. >> look at me. ♪ ♪
8:47 am
hi. this is peggy. (vo) you do more than rescue pets when you share the love. you build families. get a new subaru, like the all new forester, and charities like the aspca can receive two hundred and fifty dollars from subaru. (avo) get zero percent during the subaru share the love event.
8:48 am
8:49 am
i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. smoking. it dictates your day. i didn't like something having control over me. i wanted to stop. the thing is i didn't know how. chantix, along with support, helps you quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke to the point that i could quit. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions with chantix. serious side effects may include seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or allergic and skin reactions
8:50 am
which can be life-threatening. stop chantix and get help right away if you have any of these. tell your healthcare provider if you've had depression or other mental health problems. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. the most common side effect is nausea. for me chantix worked.boom. end of story. talk to your doctor about chantix. last week, president trump announced his pick for attorney general, a man who previously held a job during george h.w. bush. this is not the first job that bar's name has come up for with this president. barr had gotten on trump's radar
8:51 am
that spring after a newspaper op-ed with the decision to fire james comey. he goes on to say, white house officials have been talking to him off and on for a long time and started with the russia defense skrjob and the ag's job well said one source familiar with the conversations. chief investigative correspondent for yahoo news, michael isakov. it is your reporting, we'll start with you. tell me how a candidate like william barr is the person who oversees the mueller probe? >> as you pointed out, barr was on the white house radar screen from the get-go because he was one who immediately came out of the block and defended the president's decision to fire comey.
8:52 am
white house officials brought him in and the president gauged him in being the top defense lawyer in the russia investigation. as you might remember, greg, a lot of turmoil in the trump defense team at that moment and they were having trouble recruiting top flight lawyers to take the job of being chief defense lawyer. barr emerged and said he'd have to think about it. he had other obligations, but it didn't stop there. in fact, for months and well into this year, he was still being approached about taking this job of being the top defense lawyer and it continued until earlier this year when rudy giuliani came along and eagerly offered to take it. so, you know, there was one set of conversations being the top defense lawyer and defending the president in the russia probe and then, there was another set of conversations overseeing the russia probe as attorney general. >> does barr need to recuse
8:53 am
himself? >> in overseeing the russia probe? probably not, although, i think that's an open question and it will depend on some of the answers to questions at hearings which makes this very different than whitaker, where there will be a confirmation process where he'll be asked hopefully tough questions. first of all, if he learned anything about the russia probe that wouldn't already be, you know, known to the public through that interview process, that could be a problem. the fact that he made this comment about comey, i mean, i think he has to be asked tough questions about it. he didn't know all of the facts when he made that statement. he was expressing an opinion about what he knew at the time as an opinion writer. i think he needs to be asked tough questions, but in my mind, the fact that barr actually said no to being trump's criminal defense attorney and the fact he's apparently saying yes to being the attorney general is actually an encouraging sign for the public, for the american public. he did not want to take on
8:54 am
defending trump personally and so he must see this, the attorney general properly as a different role than defending trump personally. trump doesn't see it that way, but i'm actually encouraged that barr, it suggests that he does and that's the role of the attorney general and that's what we should hope for right now. >> michael, do we know whether mr. barr was asked to take any sort of loyalty oath to the president? >> bill barr has been around a long time. he's far too smart to be involved in a conversation along those lines and i fully expect when he's grilled what the president asked him about the mueller investigation and what he said, he'll have a pretty forceful response saying he had no commitments. one other thing i should point out, and we do write this in the story. barr and mueller have a relationship. mueller was chief of the
8:55 am
criminal justice department and worked together on major cases. the locker b bombing, the prosecution of emanuel noriega. they have a relationship that's going to affect how this plays out, if and when barr is confirmed. >> appreciate your reporting and mimi doing double duty on this monday. thank you. here's something to make you start your week with a smile. when the campfire ravaged paradise, california, andrdrea s forced to leave behind her dogs. a month later, andrea returns home and she was met with a special surprise. her dog madison sitting in the rubble of what was once her home, standing guard. miguel also returning safely after being found by a rescue organization. their family finally reunited
8:56 am
for the first time since that fire broke out. >> it's like a sigh of relief. it was like an affirmation that these dogs are survivors. >> andrea lost her house in that fire but is now able to find comfort knowing that her two best friends are safe. we'll be right back. executive finance committee is now in session. and... adjourned. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it.
8:57 am
you're in the business of helping people. we're in the business of helping you. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. - [narrator] for powerful suction, you need a shark. with two swappable batteries, at maximum suction the shark ion f80 has more run time than the dyson v10 absolute. or, choose the upright model for whole home cleaning only from shark. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice. a place for mom is a free service that pairs you with a local advisor to help you sort through your options and find a perfect place. a place for mom. you know your family
8:58 am
we know senior living. together we'll make the right choice. but he has plans today.ain. hey dad. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. introducing zero account fees for brokerage accounts. and zero minimums to open an account. we have fidelity mutual funds with zero minimum investment. and now only fidelity offers four zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. because when you invest with fidelity, all those zeros really add up. ♪ so maybe i'll win ♪ saved by zero
8:59 am
that's going to wrap up this
9:00 am
hour of "msnbc live." now andrea mitchell reports. moving past the key players and focusing sights on the president of the united states. msnbc's nicole wallace, the former fbi director said the white house should be worried. >> if trump wasn't the president, someone went to court in the southern district of new york sponsored information that they directed a crime, what would happen to that person? >> well, that person would be in serious jeopardy of being charged. thanks but no thanks. president trump going back to the drawing board for the top pick to replace john kelly, declining the offer. heading both into reelection season and with this mueller investigation, increasingly ratcheting up, the president could use someone who could help him navigate that political
9:01 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on