pelosi and a member of congress is attempting to intimidate or tamper with a witness the day before he testifies in public and the day he is testifying before a committee, maybe you would think this is contempt. >> and senzure him. >> "mtp daily" starts now. >> i cannot believe that tweet. what's your ending with is what we are starting with. >> unbelievable times. >> indeed. if it's tuesday, president trump is about to get a one, two punch from capitol hill. good evening. i'm chuck todd in washington and welcome to what's going to be an
extraordinarily busy hour of good old fashioned breaking news, washington style. the house will vote on a resolution to determine president trump's emergency declaration on border security and we could see michael cohen emerge from behind closed doors where he has been testifying all day in front of the senate intelligence committee. a committee he is going to jail for lying to. we could also hear from the senators who have been in that testimony behind closed doors ahead of what is expected to be blockbuster open forum testimony tomorrow. cohen plans to provide evidence of criminal conduct by mr. trump since he became president. we will see about that. cohen is expected to go into detail about the alleged racism and cheating by trump as a businessman. mr. cohen is expected to explain why he, cohen, lied before a previous appearance about plans to build a trump tower in
moscow. is there anything michael cohen could say about criminal conduct by the republican to convince republicans to break with the president? that brings us back to the vote that is about to happen in the house. this is about a lot more than a wall. this is about how many republicans could be willing to break away from president trump when it comes to evidence that he is going around the constitution, perhaps when it comes to special counsel robert mueller's findings. we are not watching to see if this resolution passes, a house controlled by democrats, but how it passes. if they are not willing to rebuke when he didn't get his way, it's to say they are never going to rebuke him while in office. covering that house vote is capitol hill's kasie hunt and covering all things michael cohen is garrett. heidi is our correspondent and howard fineman is our an lest and a fellow and a mighty nice
one at the hoover institute. kasie and garrett, i will begin with this vote. walk us through. is this going to start somewhat on time or are republicans in a full court press to limit defections? what are we staring at? >> i never want to make predictions about the timing of things and the house of representatives, we have no indication it's going to be delayed by a significant margin, but one never really knows. your point is the right one and the question is, how many republican defections will there be. democrats hope to get about to ten in the house. what you have seen all day from leaders has been a full core press to keep everybody in their camp. quite frankly, it's been pretty stunning. if you have covered this place -- >> thank you for saying it that way. i am beyond shocked that leaders
of the republican party are so brazenly comfortable with going around the constitution and trying to get their own members not to vote their principal gut here. i'm stunned by how active they are being. >> chuck, it's nakedly political where people are not wearing a lot of clothes a lot of the time. if you think about the rhetoric that you heard from particularly tea party members who are the president's staunchest defenders. they screamed about president obama using executive authority for far less. there is no question that it accelerated during george w. bush's administration that the congress has been seeding power to the executive. that is not a new trend, however republicans had been opposed to this. how many are saying no, this is not what we want. i asked kevin mccarthy this
morning what he would say if the democrats did something like this when they were president. he said they would be right within their legal authority. the senate is still a different story. this is still very contentious and that's where the rebuke to the president is going to come. listen to how mitch mcconnell answered a question. i asked him if this was legal. take a look. >> do you puniersonally believee emergency declaration is legal? >> that's part of what we were discussing today? >> what do you think? >> the lawyer was there to make his argument and there were counter arguments. i haven't reached a total conclusion about -- i wouldn't go to a simple will. i went to law school, but we had serious lawyers discussing that very issue. >> so as you can see, he didn't want to say that he thought it was. i thought that was stunning and
reflects the discomfort among senate republicans with this. >> my panel is champing at the bit here and i have to go. we are shocked when we find hypocrisy on capitol hill. it's stunning. i want to check with you because we have been watching that door carefully and learning very little about what michael cohen is saying, but have you had any luck prying information around the members? >> not much, chuck. this has been a thorough hearing. we knew that the senate intelligence committee would go through cohen's original testimony done before staff and we now know he lied. they were going to go through that with a fine tooth comb and review everything. i can't overstate how low the level of trust is here in michael cohen, especially on the senate side. he was supposed to do this a week or two ago and had to postpone because of his shoulder surgery. the chairman didn't even buy that. the well has been poisoned here
and cohen has been behind closed doors for eight hours. it could be more with senators as they have come and gone with votes. i don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but this is all setting up to be just a blockbuster day tomorrow. i don't mean that in a positive way. so much more heat than light and no fwlee low. just shaping up to be this behind closed doors effort here on the senate side. the senate investigation on the russia issue has always been the more somber-toned one. now this oversight committee with partisan figures in it and it looks like it will be interesting goes. >> that's a fair point there. you brought up the tweet. let me put up the matt gaetz tweet. the three amigos of jim jordan, mark meadows and matt gaetz.
hey michael cohen 212, do your wife and father in law know about your girlfriends. maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. i wonder if she'll remain faithful. she is about to learn a lot. that is a sitting member of congress. i imagine you still consider yourself a conservative. as a conservative, watching all of this, where would you vote on this national emergency if you were a member of congress? >> you have to vote against the president. i don't think there is any question. >> i think the president is going to lose the vote in the senate. >> not veto-proof? >> no, but enough will vote against him that it sends a snal. at the end of the day, people know in their gut where this
stand stands. you saw many others. you cannot get from where we are now and go back in time and think about the times that republicans were against what president obama did and not think it's hypocritical. i think that's going to trouble a lot of the republicans. >> as the resident mitch mcconnell -- >> you were watching him the way i imagined like shawn mcveigh watches jarrett goff. analyzing every breath he took. >> i was fascinated by that. here's the thing about mitch mcconnell. he does consider himself a constitutional law expert. his whole reason for being is to get judges on the federal courts. he says this is his mission in and to believe in the rule of law and the constitution. for him to be hemming and hawing like that and visibly believe it publicly indecisive, i don't
know where he is coming down and i bet he comes down with the president, but he has to look like he is agonizing about it. not a veto-proof level, but for republicans tro to vote against him. >> the lamars. >> it will be bigger than you expect. >> we have 18 days according to the rules. the senate has 18 days to vote on it. the question is, with that stunning display by mitch mcconnell where their own leader won't even concede to whether it's legal, how many other republicans that pushes the conventional thinking is that it will not be enough to stop trump's veto, but it could be enough to accepted a strong message. >> i want to combine matt gates and the threat to michael cohen. garrett i thought was right. we are in for a blockbuster tomorrow, but not in a positive way with the rules or whatever.
they are gone. the naked partisanship right now that is basically -- if you are against trump, you are against the republican party. this tribalism and know we keep talking about it and talking about it, but what we are seeing between gaetz and cohen and what we are seeing here, this is tribalism times a thousand. >> gaetz is out front of this small group of house republicans. >> they are influential. >> you're right. they seem to be willing to do and say anything to defend this president. i do think what you are seeing in other areas as you tie these together, kevin mccarthy decided that's the constituency he needs to keep happy. he can't be seen in public bucking this president in any way. you had seen paul ryan basically
capitulate to them as well repeatedly and it feels like we have taken another step in that direction. that shouldn't be surprising and they are a larger piece of the conference. on the other hand, republicans lost an incredible amount of seats in the house with a country watching what this president has been doing. it's a little bit of a mixed message and in that way, senate republicans represent a more accurate portrayal of what is really going on. you can see the pressures on them more clearly. i think the question is, do we go back to that? is the decorum that they try to practice where our political system is going to be? i'm not convinced. that tweet from gaetz would have been a sitting member of congress that would be completely beyond the pail and here it is just one piece. this is our discourse every day now. >> i have two pieces of michael
cohen breaking news. he is officially disbarred. that's something we were expecting any minute. he also, a spokesperson responded to gaetz. it's a shame republicans resorted to stooping this low about his personal life. the true story will be told to the world tomorrow. >> i want to go back to republicans in the senate. casey made the case that they were more in line with where the party is. i was fascinating with the op d op-ed. he made the case if he were the president, he would do this. as a senator, he has to vote against it. i don't understand that logic. if it's unconstitutional, it doesn't matter if you are in the executive or legislative branch. unconstitutional is unconstitutional. he is afraid to sound like he is against the president. >> that's exactly what i was going to say. he is making it clear in his op-ed, you are busting open the
floodgates for a liberal leaning president to really take off with this and declare national emergency on guns and health care and any number of issues and by the way, to also expand executive power into reaches that we have not previously considered. is this the new democratic president thinking they will add new seats to the supreme court? that's a bad precedent. the fact that he wouldn't just make that call clean in his op-ed, it speaks to the intimidation factor. >> i want to give tillis a little bit of credit. >> could you read that defense on article one? >> there are two different issues. one is the relationship between congress and the presidency which is where he hangs his hat. that's not directly confrontational to the president. it's institutional. the next is whether he has authority to declare the emergency in this way and he said i think the president does.
i don't think it's that inconsistent. we have to preserve congress and it's a safe place to go. i bet it's where cory gardner will end up and a lot of guys like martha mcsally. >> tillis is a 2020 guy. >> the concern for the 2020 guys. >> want to imagine what it was like in the lunge yon todacheon. mcconnell's frame of reference is how do i welcome henry clay ii? he is trying to witness the political needs that he's got against people like lamar alexander and tillis probably. maybe even cornyn of texas. not for constitutional reasons, but immanent domain reasons along the texas border. that's fascinating. the president will come back from north korea and he will spend the time that 18 days you are talking about twisting arms
and making deals to get those republicans off the bill. >> and tweeting. always tweeting. a pause here. before i let you go, what do we got? any news? anybody come in and out? cohen still there? >> they are breaking up for votes. there is foot traffic. i'm going to chase folks down. >> it's a good time to take a break and go find out and bring them back to our camera. thank you. howard and lonnie, you guys are is it stuck. the house is going to be voting any minute now. it's not a question of how this vote is going to go, how many republicans will join the democrats? the stakes get higher for michael cohen's public testimony. will his testimony put the president in the lane of high crimes and misdemeanors? imes an? ♪ ♪ imes an? ♪ your grace.
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never directed you to do anything wrong? >> i don't think there is ghab believes that. nothing at the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. he directed me as i said in my al cushion, he directed me to make the payments and to become involved in these matters. >> welcome back. that interview in december was the last time the public heard directly from michael cohen regarding the payments made to women. the source told nbc that topic will be at the forefront of the public testimony among other things. a former federal prosecutor on ken starr's team. long time no speak. >> good to see you. >> let me start with this promise from mr. cohen's attorney that he is prepared to
implicate the president in criminal conduct. what's the likelihood it will be new information to anyone other than the public? >> there is not much likelihood of that. there may be pacifics that we don't know about that having to do with how he was reimbursed for the payment to the two women. i doubt there will be anything new except one of the things they have spoken about that has to do with financial statements of the president and how they were change and manipulated, presumably in connection with different financial advantages the president was trying to get. that would be something that i haven't heard that much about. there would be potential criminal liability for anybody who submits a phony financial statement to a lending institution. >> if there was another part of that sound byte i just played
and hope you listened carefully enough, but the way he 0ed nothing got done without his knowledge. i thought that was an interesting way for him to answer it the first time. i never heard him say the president directly ordered me to do this. he was very careful not say it there. george stephanopoulos is not putting him under oath, but i found that to be an intriguing missing piece of his answer. >> it would be a significant difference in terms of the criminal law between a witness who said i was ordered to do an illegal act by mr. trump and a witness who says no order ever came down to me unless mr. trump approved it. those are two completely different things. the latter statement in and of itself would not be enough. it's a good point you make and it was a careful statement he made. >> i want to ask you about
something that popped up over the last few minutes and that was this member of congress, matt gaetz who did a form of -- you read the tweet. i will put it back up. is that witness intimidation. would that fall under this? if he said it, if he left a voice mail on michael cohen's machine with that exact phrase, do your wife and father in law know about your girlfriends, maybe tonight would be a good time for a chat. would that be illegal conduct? >> i think it's more -- i haven't heard this. did the congressman tweet that or did he say it on the floor? >> he tweeted it. >> if he said it or tweeted it on the floor or in committee, he might have a debate clause argument, but in answer to your question, i think it's despicable, of course. it's more to me witness shaming
than intimidation. he is revealing. it's not very bright to publicly say it. it would be better to say it in a phone call. it's reminiscent and i know it's ancient history. it's very reminiscent of roger clinton going on live national television and threatening members of congress that if they went forward against his brother, he would expose their sexual escapades. the difference is, as close to the president as roger clinton was, he was not a sitting member of congress. >> so he would be in jeopardy or not? >> i don't think so. it will hurt him, but i really don't think he's in legal jeopardy. if he had done it prior, you might have something different. he publicly said it. >> that goes back to the arguments about the president in twitter feeds. if he said those in private phone calls t would be easier to
claim obstruction of justice than how he does in his twitter feet, correct? >> i don't know about that. my view of obstruction is much narrower than other people. yeah. >> let me ask you about a witness. tomorrow we will hear a lot that michael cohen is a convicted liar. you had to deal with liars as witnesses to support a case and of course you want to use a witness that has been convicted of lying in the past and use that against him. how would you defend michael cohen, convicted liar of his testimony being truth ffl put in that position? >> if you were a prosecutor, you would have to have the others have pointed out. his reputation is so bad for veracity, his credibility is so weak, you want corroboration. the one thing you hear from prosecutors all the time when
they are in front of a jury in dealing with a witness with no credibility, if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. this is who i have to deal with as a prosecutor and he was hanging around the defendant. think about that, ladies and gentlemen. there is no question that he has damaged kredsibility. much more than a typical person who lied once or twice. he has a lot he is fighting for. you absolutely have to be able to corroborate it. >> there is a bunch of the president's defender who is noted he is a convicted liar and these folks have been convicted of lying. it's their way of defending the president. obviously the next logical question is, why does he surround himself with people who continue to get caught lying? >> well, not only surround himself, but work with them for 10, 15, 20 years. it's a fair question.
what's interesting to me about the tweet from the congressman, how do you pronounce his name? >> gaetz. >> when i heard cohen was testifying, i thought it was a lot of theater. what the heck are they afraid of. that makes me think there may be something worth listening to tomorrow because why do you say something like that unless you are really worried about it? >> saul wisenburg, thank you for sharing your views. >> thank you, chuck. >> you are looking live at the house floor. that vote on president trump's national emergency declaration is going to get under way shortly. as you know, we know the outcome. we just don't know the final score. we'll be right back. know the fil score. we'll be right back. building a better bank starts with looking at something old, and saying, "really?" so capital one is building something completely new.
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>> welcome back. in 2020 vision, congressional democrats try to reverse the declaration, democrats are talking about a different national emergency. >> to you, what would constitute a national emergency? >> let's do the list. climate change. >> we do have a national emergency in climate change. >> climate change is a national
emergency. >> a chorus of 2020 democrats agree that climate change is a national emergency. but they don't all agree with following president trump's lead and declaring a national emergency to go around congress. >> we ought to be working on it together. congress and the president and the country. >> i will work with congress to achieve legislation on climate change. >> washington governor ainsley said he would be open to using the president's emergency powers. >> there are new rules the republicans have to understand that democrats will play by whatever the rules are, particularly when it comes to climate change. >> the national emergency declaration is not the only action he is floating to get action. he said he is in favor of eliminating the filibuster and that, by the way, will be a concagious idea in the primary.
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. i have regular conversations with my colleagues about the witnesses that come before our committees and it's my hope that we will provide a robust testing of michael cohen's truthfulness and veracity because he's a liar through and through. >> he is responding to the criticism of his tweet directed at michael cohen. he is expected to part from his testimony any moment now. we saw the chair and vice chair leave so his day one is over. joining me for part of this conversation is bob bauer, a former white house counsel under president obama. coupler bauer, let me ask you about asking saul wisenburg. you have this and that. he did not think there was any criminal liability that he was
facing. what say you, sir? >> i say he is overlooking something that congressman gaetz should be concerned about and that is he violated the rules of the house. members should not discredit the institution and this sort of threatening behavior to a witness on the eve of testimony is something that raises serious questions under that provision. bear in mind, members are not free to behavior as they wish. they have to take into consideration their institutional supports. he certainly hasn't done so in this case. whether anything comes of this, i can't say, but he is not out of the woods on that front. >> let me -- who would that have to be another member that would bring a complain? does that get sent to the ethics committ committee? >> they can receive complains from the general public or evaluate to the house ethics committee.
that's the only official that can take disciplinary action. they have to make sure they surprised a behavior that could warrant disciplinary action. >> let me put the tweet up again because people need to see it. he directly threatened michael cohen about his personal life saying does your family know about your girlfriend. >> certainly i can imagine somebody making the obvious point thaw can't have members of congress putting pressure on witnesses to think closely about what they are going to say right on the eve of a lawful hearing in which they will be giving sworn testimony. i disagree on the question of whether it's shaming and not tampering. it's clearly something intended to get into michael cohen's head and affect his ability to perform as i think we would want him to perform, truthfully before the committee. it is a fundamental infraction. the question is whether or not it will be taken up as such.
>> if you put on another hat and you were back at the white house counsel and had to make a case for the national emergency that president trump is making constitutionally, could you do it? how would you do it? >> i have tremendous difficulty because what the president himself has said, the statute is thought to give the president unfettered discretion whenever he thinks one has occurred. i disagree with that. there has to be an existing emergency. the president declares it and that gives an access to certain authorities he can draw on in dealing with it. the president in his press conference upon announcing signing the national emergency destroyed his own case. he made it clear that was not an emergency, but a political gambit and he was unhappy with the deal he struck with congress and he went so far as to say he was happy with the way his administration had performed at the boarder and they had secured
it and done an incredible job. i don't see how any court will be cob siftent with an existing emergency. >> what about the view that the courts and the supreme court doesn't like to be involved in branch governments and defer to the executive? >> the case for deference depends on how extremely the executive behaves. it's become clear over the years that the court steps in when it believes that the constitutional process is at a breaking point and only the court can, if you will, restore constitutional order. the sequence of events including his own remarks leading to the national emergency declaration is such a travesty and is clearly not consistent with the intent and the express terms of the statute they think the president as we saw, for example, in the travel case provoked the case into actions that might otherwise not be
inclined to take. >> my apologies for pausing for a second, but garrett got mark warner, the vice chair of the intel committee. garrett, let me turn it over to you. what have you learned and what did you get? >> chuck, unless you needed to dial the expectations up any higher for tomorrow, mark warner having taken a break for a vote and coming back to finish for the cohen hearing stopped and made one statement. when this russia investigation started he said it would be the most consequential thing he has done in the senate. he said after today there has been nothing to change his mind and he walked back into the hearing room. one of the more krstic things i heard out of his mouth, but it speaks to the gravity of what they heard behind closed doors. >> thank you for that. bob bauer, let me ask you this. i have been a bit skeptical of
making democrats making michael cohen their first witness and the first action of this house in trying to hold the president accountable is about michael cohen. are you concerned about that? >> no, i'm not. criticism would come at whatever point. >> you get my point. there is others to lead with. you can make an argument. he is a flawed witness at best. >> he was the president's personal lawyer, business lawyer and political associate for many years. we know from the prosecution and the southern district of new york he was at the center of the campaign finance prosecution in which the president figures is individual number one. obviously we will see to what extent the hearing evolves into a shouting circus and that would be deeply unfortunate, but he brings such a wealth of experience with the president and including whatever falseh d
falsehoods he did communicate to the congress with the moscow hotel project. he is indispensable in the investigation of the president. >> let me go back to this national emergency. i'm curious as to this vote that is likely to go -- we know the result in the house. we don't know in the senate, but if both the house and senate while not veto-proof majorities, but if both disapprove and send this to the president and he vetoes it, does that matter in the legal argument that even though it wasn't veto-proof that both the house and senate expressed disapproval? does that strengthen the legal argument against the president? >> it could cut both ways. the other argument is there is a process for congress to engage with the president in this disagreement. it did exactly what they call upon it to do and therefore the court should let it go and allow
the two branchs to have at it. there is no question. it colors the picture of the president losing his own party and clearly engaged in actions at the absolute perimeter if well beyond. what are the limits of declaring a national emergency. in the background, it is not helpful to the president's case. >> thank you very much. garrett for chasing down mr. warner. thanks to you as well. we are waiting on the house to begin its big void to void the emergency declaration. we'll be right back. idhe t emergency declaration. we'll be right back. ♪ feeling unsure? what if you had some help? introducing the new 2019 ford edge with the confidence of ford co-pilot360™ technology. the most available driver assist techonology in its class.
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hurry in to outback! and if you want outback at home, order now! welcome back. with all this breaking news, i'm obsessed with the news story zipping back and forth. it reminds me of something. you may know about the capital subway system. it moves lawmakers between several government buildings. not that many. guess what. it's apparently on the fritz. they tweeted the picture of workers pushing the car down the track. honestly, doesn't this capture the problem perfectly? our nation's infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes. we have to get out and push. this transit system was obsolete decades ago. let's invest in things that keep america moving.
that's why i say it's time to take a bold stance and start under the capital. this is the high speed rail system in china. it tops out at a zippy 350 kilometers per hour especially when tom friedman is on it. the subway system is less than one kilometer along. we put our team to work several weeks later and got a result. at that speed, they could cover the capital loop in under 10 seconds. how fast is that? lieutenant chrisly fast. >> ludicrous speed. go! my brains are going into my feet! >> ludicrous speed is the only
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two years ago when the investigation started, i said it may be the most important thin i'm involved in in my public life in the senate and nothing i heard today dissuades me. >> that was mark warner. the panel is back. give him credit, he said nothing. in some ways he said nothing. he was giving somebody something. >> i think it was pretty clear that if he thought he was wasting his time, that would have been evident and i think that's an indication that whatever you think of michael cohen's credibility there's enough documentation. this is in a way a trial run for
michael cohen. i think that gates' tweet amps up, best publicity for michael cohen, they found somebody lower than michael cohen on the food chain. >> lonnie, this loathe some, it deserves the censure of his colleagues and perhaps of the house itself as attempted intimidation of a witness testifying before a house committee. more important though, what does this say about the degree of panic among trump allies about cohen's testimony. >> it is inconceivable, someone with the president before he was president, was intimately familiar with his business dealings and familiar with his life and conduct of his affairs
would not have anything interesting to say. we'll see what happens tomorrow. people are going to try and get folks all excited about what's going to happen, i'm sure this will be a revealing 8 hours of testimony, but fundamentally, i think michael cohen has interesting things to reveal. >> if we're lucky. think of how many senate intel folks there are, i think there's 14 on the intel committee, maybe 16. 42 members are asking questions tomorrow, heidi. 42. today maybe 14 or 15. >> and the chairman cummings tried to set narrow parameters. i obtained a memo that went out to democratic members, here are boxes i want you to stay in, it was limited to hush money payments, to the president's business dealings, and not russia. but i am told by sources on the committee because this is public and because this is going to be the public's only chance to see what he has to say that there
are going to be members want to blow through that, chuck. then what you're going to have are republicans calling all kinds of procedural calls, trying to shut the thing down. i was told by members, bring a good book. there's going to be a lot of delays because of that. >> and we're all going to be going these are our members of congress. >> i'm afraid to say it will be in the interest of the republicans, many of the republicans on the committee to blow the thing up. elijah cummings will try to keep control of it, and as respected as he is, it will be like herding cats. i was looking at the list of people on the committee. you have a wide range i did logically, but a lot of people on the oversight committee that like oversight. these are people that like to be out there asking questions in a tough and dramatic and -- >> henry waxman, tom davis,
those are two guys that ran government and oversight in a serious way. >> i hate to say it, this is going to be a free for all tomorrow. >> they put the o in oversight. here's the other piece of this. i really feel like if anyone ever wanted a higher platform in politics, i'm sure some members of the oversight committee might, tomorrow might be a day to make a name for themselves. >> matt gates is making a name for himself today. >> if that's any indication how tomorrow will go, we're in for a rough ride. >> his lawyers also built this up, giving us the expectation there will not only be really revealing information on trump's time in trump tower but that he committed crimes while in office. that's a high expectation. >> certainly is. thank you. get a good book and then some. up ahead, let's all take a breather. ahead, let's all takea breather
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favorite host on mondays, katy tur. doesn't everyone feel better now? me either. back tomorrow. "the beat" with ari melber starts now. good evening, thank you, chuck. this is "the beat." coming on a huge news night. top intelligence officials spilling concerns about donald trump's approach to the summit with kim jong-un in vietnam. also at any moment, the house will officially vote and the count looks like they'll be shutting down donald trump's attempt to declare an emergency to get wall money. there's a new threat from the white house. we'll have that later. and mitch mcconnell dropping a bombshell over whether he thinks donald trump is doing something legal there. and tonight, rare to hear from bob mueller's witnesses, even rarer to hear from their lawyers. we have something special that we vice president done before.