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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  April 17, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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>> we've never seen anything like it. >> i know i've never seen anything like that. you're not impressed? come on. maybe you were expecting halle's comment? that's all we have tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with "meet the press" daily. good evening, bill barr, has he briefed you on the mueller report? >> he hasn't briefed me. the briefings are beginning, they've been talking to the white house and we have the press tomorrow. it's huge. hearing your bit above the sky makes me think of the famous gang star song, above the clouds. for political junkies, it samples kennesampl samples john f. kennedy's speech. >> you put it all in there. >> and it was an unredacted song. we'll be seeing you tomorrow with the coverage. i'll be busy, you'll be busy. we're all looking forward to learning facts.
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>> chuck todd, thank you. we begin here on "the beat" with breaking news. hours before the release of this mueller report expected tomorrow morning, the trump doj has made this announcement. you may have heard about it. it is new. it is not what we knew would happen. but it is now the plan. trump attorney general bill barr holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m., with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. what i can't tell you is what they're going to do about the redacted report. we know that we're going to see some attempted continuity. barr and rosenstein together no, word on whether bob mueller would be in the room but all of this comes weeks into barr's process of basically delaying when the redacted report would come out, after issuing conclusions and summary that's he did not want called summaries. when we get a press conference, we'll get something about the mueller report. the key to think about with this press conference, as well as whatever tomorrow turns out to be.
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we'll be dealing with primary sources when we see the reports from the court ordeal with evidence or the material is present in context. we won't automatically be getting facts about this report. when we hear from government officials, whoever they may be. or politicians in whatever party or the president who has a vested interested. we'll hear a lot of debikss which when this all breaks tomorrow morning. >> you'll see a lot of very strong things come out tomorrow. the attorney general barr will be giving a press conference. maybe i'll do one after that. we'll see. but he has been a fantastic attorney general. he's grabbed it by the horn. >> grabbed it by the horn. also breaking tonight, the "new york times" reporting on details that doj officials under barr have been briefing the white house on mueller's conclusions, citing numerous conversations just this week in these recent days. we have a lot to get to so i
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want to bring in our panel. jason johnson, and the editor of above the law. and the contributor to the nation and an analyst we've relied on here as we look at the intersection of the law and the narrative around the law. wherever it comes from. i begin with you. your reaction to the fact that while mr. barr has obviously taken scrutiny and heat for the way that he is selectively managing this process, clearly with an eye on headlines and narrative and media. now he'll get out and hold this presser tomorrow morning. >> so bill barr is the new michael cohen. he's like trump's lawyer and fixer. and we should be very concerned. so this was the most consequential investigation of an american president in history. 3,000 scene thubpoenas, 500 wit 500 search warrants, a 400-page
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document and the attorney general gets to decide how much we see. the question is, is he going to scrub the document so much that there will be all these black and red and yellow lines through it that it will be a literal and symbolic cover-up? >> when you look at this as a reporter interested in the facts, and we emphasize on the show, there have been facts alone, without summary, without hype, have been positive for donald trump and his team. don jr. not only never indicted with you never interviewed. then other facts in evidence that have been very negative. the highest rate in history. what does it tell that you donald trump is out there today praising mr. barr's p.r. strategy, which donald trump as president, appeared to know about in advance. the quote i made with was the read that getting ahead of it. what does that tell but the
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space between facts, wherever they lead, and some of the very aggressive attempt to set they will up by the trump administration in coordination with the doj. >> the president does love a good story. he hasn't said i'll do a press conference. he has not said aha, perhaps i'm completely exonerated. he knows this will be embarrassing. what will be key, and what may influence how the president lays out whatever facts he lays out in the press conference, is this an itunes where he will lay out everything. that's what the president actually knows right now. and that's going to determine what facts we end up hearing about. >> you're not even bringing up the sound cloud rapper section, rudolph giuliani online. >> he is trying get his links out there so we pay attention. we don't know which facts will be looked at. as paul mentioned, the whole
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thing could be x'd out like a prison uniform. >> this is embarrassing. obviously the attorney general of the united states think that's his job is to be trump's security as opposed to the actual people's lawyer. we should not take anything that barr says. you said it exactly right. we should not take anything that barr says as anything other than performi performing. we should not say anything that the president says tomorrow as anything other than spin. >> let me draw your attention specifically to the "times" reporting on that. i think that the attorney general always, if you want to be as open minded as possible, always plays two roles. there's a part of the attorney general that does represent the policy and the administration at that high level. and then independent investigative part. what the "times" story does, in addition to president trump pre announcing what doj is doing, is
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make it look like on this issue of the, basically what comes out of the mueller report, that barr is leaning in. that they are coordinating. do you view that as potentially inappropriate? >> i think entirely. this isn't briefing the president on what's happening. this is prepping the president. so the doj and the executive branch have a coordinated effort. remember, they don't think it is possible for the president to obstruct justice. i think that's one reason he feels so comfortable they know president obstruct justice. what we would have needed is somebody with credibility to tell us what the official doj position is. but credibility is concerned and barr has done nothing cynic he got the job to earn any credibility or respect. an obvious question was, with the doj emphasizing that no one
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had seen the mueller report, and it would be released in a fair fashion to all redacted, what kind of counter report can you write? so i wondered what you think. i'm going to read from it again. coming to the newsroom. they've had numerous conversations with white house lawyers about the conclusions made by mueller in reason days. the talks have aided the legal team as it preps the rebuttal. do you view this as the normal way they operate or something different? this is becoming a positive advocate for the president.
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we know he has reason to be concerned. we know from what's in the public record, that he fired james comey because of the russian investigation. he filed michael flint even though he learned about it. the president tried to, he wanted to fire mueller and -- >> let me pin you on the new part. everything is true context. it appears to be that the timing matters. sooner or later, if the doj is fair, if they release material to congress and the white house, that's fair. the idea that they are acting as elie was saying, leaning into helping the white house by giving them a jump on this. is that unfair to a degree that concerns you? or is that just the benefits of incumbency? >> it is unfair in a way that makes us doubt how much faith we should put in the report that comes out tomorrow.
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it is of a piece with the attorney general last week, repeating obama's lie. i'm sorry. trump's lie about the obama administration spying on the trump campaign. >> yeah. the attorney general sounding like he's spouting off talking points from fox news. i don't know why we is this trust him. >> everyone hang with me. we've been jugging breaking news. "the new york times" announcing that the president previewed it. for more, i want to bring in the security reporter who has been covering this story. >> this announcement really took people who have been following this closely by surprise. it was not expected. it is and raising a host of questions and i think your
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panelist articulated it very well. what exactly barr is up to here. he has already released the conclusions of the mueller report. there is no one that i talked to -- >> his depiction, you're saying. >> his depiction of the principal conclusions. so there is nobody that i've talked on who can think of a good reason why they have to get up and give a news conference. particularly if they're speaking before the report has been released. they will not say whether we will see the report before they get up and talk to the press or not. >> again, i'm not going to put any words in your pouth. i would wonder if there is an effort to come out and do another previewish summary before people have had time to digest the report. whether that looks like what really mr. giuliani's role should be. everyone is free to make their case. the notion that the justice department which oversees the integrity of the probe could be getting involved in the
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spinning. unless they were so concerned about what is not redacted that they would rather take hit for that than the hit for hours of coverage for the words and the report. >> i agree. i think that's where most people come out. the idea that barr is putting himself between the mueller report and the public yet again. if that's the way it transpires tomorrow. it does long like he's doing the president's bidding and it is part of a pattern. calling what happened with the trump campaign spying was feeding into what the president has been talking about. when the president that, the attorney general is going to come out strong tomorrow, there's been some speculation that he may announce. remember, he said he would review the origins of the mueller investigation. that's one possibility. he comes out tomorrow and announces the members of that panel which will further trump narrative that there's something wrong at the heart of this. >> are you hearing from anyone? that the announcement or press conference tomorrow may be doing more than just discussing the mueller report but may be adding other things?
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which again would look like a distraction going into the holiday weekend. but is a classic washington move. >> we just heard the speculation. that's one of the things on the table for barr. related to the mueller report. very much in white house wheel house. a mention that they want to get out there. the appointment of a panel to investigate the origins of the mueller investigation. >> stay with me. i want to ask you. sometimes the jokes in this business reveal truths. i think it is well known at this point and this era that sometimes our friends and colleagues and late night comedy are nailing this stuff better than we might. i certainly feel that way a lot of the time. and mr. stephen colbert made the point in a very funny way, if this is all a strategy to bury something going into the holiday weekend, it may not work. take a look. >> the report was originally supposed to be released tuesday.
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today. but the justice department delayed with it no explanation. i have a feeling they're hoping to bury it over the holiday weekend. because if there's one thing easter is famous for, it is things staying buried. >> jason? >> yeah, yeah. this is just the beginning. this is all going to be resurrected. no matter what it is that we get tomorrow, we know it is not the full complete report. we know that democrats are still going to sue for the complete report. we know that democrats in congress are still going to try to find the underlying information for the report. so all this administration is doing is attempting to put on another dog and pony show to distract the public from what they want. here's the other thing of i think this is key when we talk about giuliani and barr. in coordination with the white house. i think rudolph giuliani is a very smart guy but he is not a speed reader. there is no chance that he is already preparing a counter response to this mueller report if important sections haven't been linked to.
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this he can't read it any faster than anyone else. >> i've spoken to members of the trump legal team. what they envision is an attack on the investigation. it was partisan, bias. the many ways they think it was illegitimate. >> so let's do a little live analysis. if that's what they've landed on. that would suggest in conjunction with the new report out of the "new york times." they must think the rest is pretty bad. if they thought it was in line with mr. barr's depiction, hey, there's not a lot here. not really crimes committed. if that was what their heads up told them, they would go supporting the credibility. >> a shorter way is to say why do you need to rebut a report that exonerates you? when barr issued his letter, i was hearing talk from the white house, hey, we may not need to
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release this counter report after all. but you're right. they're thinking about how damaging this could be to the president. >> i have to wonder. why are people always surprised by these people when they do this? in ken dilanian's report. they are surprise that had barr is making this press conference. we have to stop being surprised when they act in corrupt or unethical manners. how many times do you have to go out in the rain -- >> you're there. i can't speak for everyone. jason, i'm going to say this to jason. the reason jason and i get surprised, we don't know what we're doing. >> i'll just free styling it. >> i'm going to take your, having made a joke, i'm going to take your premise seriously. a night like tonight. wee on the eve of the mueller report. barr has again done something to
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paceally try to up end what would have been the normal process of following the evidence and what's in the written report. when people sound surprised, i understand your frustration. i think part of what goes on is people are accustomed to trying to give the benefit of the doubt to public officials. up and in they who's it. and that was a system that head us about the parties. when you have a president who has been caught lying more than any other in history, that's a big deal. the people around him were saying things about spying that quite frankly was not the way he always testified in the bush era. we've covered his approach to the pardons. i will tell that you the trump version of barr does actually look in many evidence based ways, worse than the previous way. so part of it, i welcome your response, people saying, oh, wow, it has gotten worse.
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people don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. >> the map auditioned for the job with a discredited legal theory that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice. it is that theory that got him the job. i feel that given that he got the job under those pretentiouses, the benefit of the doubt should never have been extended to him in the first place. and everything he's done cynic he to the job has deepened my cynicism and trust of this man. >> we appreciate your vigor. stay with me. bill barr has made this public statement of seeing it before you see it. before the public gets any of it. this is important as we get ready for this press conference. this will be national and international news. what do you need to know? barr's four-page summary claimed he was telling you what was in the mueller report. only quoted 75 words. as i noted immediately, not a
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single complete sentence of mueller's. then he won't to ahis own decision. and saying that he disagreed public reaction and accounts and then told congress, the results of the probe, the words and all that. he web on to say he would discuss the or j, the origin of it. >> there were a lot of rules put in place to make sure there's an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance. i'm not suggesting that those rules were violated. but i think it is important to look at that. >> to probe this issue, i turned to former prosecutor gene rossy,
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and a former bush white house official who knows some of these key players. good evening to both of you. your reaction to both what it means to have a barr-rosenstein press conference tomorrow morning around the release of the redacted report. and second, a narrower item but one that our viewers who have been following this, who are reasonably tegt could not super, we did not get the announcement. we got this rushed noult. >> i am taking a deep breath. i have to tell you this. in the 30 years i was with the doj, i never saw a report or process like the one that we've been witnessing in the last two weeks. regarding the press conference, didn't jim comey have a press
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conference? that didn't go very well. so when department of justice officials, whether it is the attorney general and or rod rosenstein, have a press conference regarding a report that in terms of historical proportions, is off the chart. to have them give us the cliff notes, if you will, the prologue of the report after it comes out, that smells of, donald trump is crowing the attorney general will do blocking for him and it smells of politics. i don't like it. it stinks. >> bill? >> i think it is foolish, actually, from barr's point of view. bill barr may have tilted things more to trump than i would like and others would like. i've thought at the end of the day, he would let us see a responsively redacted report and stay within the four corners of the law, even if he regards himself more as the president's
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cabinet second staying within the bounds. this seems like a tooish decision. it won't work. it will back fire. everyone is saying, are you kidding? he's not putting out a statement to explain how the redactions were done. that would be uncontroversial saying here are the lawyers who did it. here the processes we followed. he's having a press conference and the president is touting it? i think trump knows the report is. he's gotten enough briefings. the white house counsel has heard enough. and he says spin it the other way. and barr for whatever reason, instead of saying, no, mr. president, that would be inappropriate. we'll see. maybe he'll stand up there and take three minutes and say this is how the process worked. the following 14 lawyers worked on it.
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they worked in this room. here's the color code of the redactions. you will read the report. >> that depping view is a little of what he said in the first letter. we had the witnesses. both of you stay with me. bill mentioned, did the president order it? we're not reporting that. we do have a brand new report from a key player. jerry in aler who says i'm deeply troubled by reports that the white house is being briefed on the mueller report ahead of its release. and doj is informing us. we will not receive the report until after 11:00, 12:00 tomorrow afternoon. after barr's press conference, this is wrong. let me explain this. this is news in real-time. this is the cheryl of the house judiciary committee. not just stating a view, he is saying that doj is informing us
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we won't receive it until tomorrow. a second version, an oral version of the now infamous four-page summary letter. don't call it a summary. now chairman nadler saying the doj has informed him. an on the record report. i bring back the panel. we'll have according to chairman nadler's description, and again, feeding into the view of this being a controversy, paul butler, the doj trying to drive the mood. they're being told, it won't really be out and everyone will be living off maybe the revenge of the summaries. >> this is highly irregular. the department of justice likes to let its actions and its documents speak for itself.
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presumably, relosing the report and allowing that would be fine. >> a lot of people will be observing good freeway. and quuns agai, and once again, didn't need on exonerate him. he exonerated him even before he read the report. whatever else is in the report about obstruction, barr does not want the american people to focus on that. >> bill kristol, your view of what we're hearing from chairman nadler. >> i'm actually shocked if they are going to try to have a press conference two hours before they release the report. and i think it won't work. i think their just heightening suspicion. how do you do it? seeming credible. and then tilting it a little bit. this is just flat out, i mean, i
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totally agree. put out the report. put out whatever you need to do to explain the process and how we got to where we are. and then you can then try a day later to split it. or even two hours later to put your thumb on the scale. maybe you're even titled. >> i hate to get into the depth of the passover eve of it all. now what we're seeing, according to chairman in theler, things can always change. right now, barr and rosenstein coming out. there is no claim that mueller will be with them. to say what mueller did without letting him see it, and driving it for hours. then according to nadler, breaking in this hour later, the report goes to congress.
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that would seem for, i don't know, vaguely familiar with press conference torsion give barr and trump hours to set the narrative and drive it home. then by the end of thursday, you're getting into the eve of the holiday weekend. >> okay. tomorrow is holy thursday. and there's absolutely nothing holy about the process used by the department of justice. number two, the attorney general has one duty. to enforce the rule of law and lady justice. the appearance now is that bill barr is protecting the president. and the third and last thing is this. fear. the reason you're doing it this way is that trump is deathly afraid of what the american public are going to see and read. that's why they're doing this. >> did not nixon late in watergate say we'll try to summarize the tapes for you.
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we're not going to push them out. trust us. from mississippi, a friend of his. >> i don't care if it is the face-o face-off. >> you don't care? >> i deeply care. my rhetts watching. >> the report is going to be. i want bring in another expert that we have lined up. the skratic strategist from harvard institute of politics. how are you doing? >> good, good, good to see you. >> pick up on the point, tv is funny. people quote things, we were having a joke about the holiday. the more serious implication, bill mentioned at one point the
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stand-off over the nixon tapes was over. summarizing them. having rachel maddow, the professor and others have been covering the way mr. barr used the summary technique on a smaller issue when he was head of the office of legal counsel at doj. taking us to what i man to speak about, how do the democrats deal with this? reports they could issue subpoenas for the full mueller report as soon as friday. and being the freedom of information request. walk us through what you're seeing and what you know from your contacts. >> the short answer will be all of the above. there will be some reason why it doesn't come to them in a timely fashion. so that i think the democrats up on the hill are prepared to go every route. i want to get back to this trust
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issue. we are in a position where the american people don't buy and don't believe a summary. we don't believe what donald trump's agents are saying about him or about this report. because the president himself has created a climate where we cannot trust. he has done all that he can to really dismiss the media. to really turn the conversation about formally trusted institutions, like the federal government, the department of justice, that has always independently done its job. what he's done is he's created a distrust out there in the country to his benefit, i think. so i don't want us to lose that. this game that is being made right now by barr and by the president is very much calculated. so what i'm hopeful of, the democrats, that the democrats are really savvy and they use all the tools in their arsenal to go in every direction to try to gather information and to not get kind of, to chase tails. >> to your point, to the extent
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one of the tools in the arsenal and proving to independent judges, that something is off here. this is not the normal course of protecting grand jury material. but rather something else. the suspicions being lit up tonight in the new york times account and the press conference, all of that could help the democrats. put that up against it. after the ken starr debacle, we have a much more comprehensive process. take a look. >> it is interesting. this whole mechanism for the special counsel was established during the clinton administration in the wake of ken starr's report. that's why the current rule says that the report should be kept confidential. because there's a lot of reaction against the publication of ken starr's report. and many of the people right now
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are calling for release of this report were basically castigating ken starr and others for releasing the starr report. >> bill? >> an interesting question. whatever you think of the behavior of congressional republicans, they have that, many say we need the mueller report. a lot of them have said we need to see the report. maybe with some modest redactions but nothing big. if you are a swing republican who wants to support trump because your voters like him but you have some concern for the rule of law and actually getting to the truthful if you're a chuck grassley, i really think you have a problem now. are you going to defend this process? if barr goes out. we don't know what he'll say. and rae try to spin something before it is released? as with nixon, what was the effect of nixon's cover-up? ultimately the republicans left
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him. people like me have kept thinking, they should leave trump and they don't. i rae wonder the accumulation of what's happened over the last couple weeks. especially tonight. i wonder if it doesn't increase the chances of some republicans saying, enough is enough. we need to see it in a straightforward way. >> what do you think of the notion that this is another test of what he's done with his letters, i don't want to summarize this in a piecemeal fashion. we'll do it right way and then we'll have the redacted report. chairman nadler, again, i'll read from his report for those just joining us. the news is that the mueller report is supposed to come out tomorrow. ed in a hir said we won't receive the report until tomorrow afternoon, after barr's press corporation. this is wrong.
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how much does that taint what has been a 23-month long report in the making? it hurts it two ways. first off, all of these addition distractions, they've made it look guilty. we have to remember that what we're finally going to get, we're about to get radio version with all the good words beeped out. at the end of the day, this will be redacted in ways that are supposed to be protecting the prults. ultimately, what would have made the most sense, to deliver the entire mueller report honestly, openly, and allow the public release, give it to the judiciary committee and allow the conjunction with the white house and the doj to do redactions. that's not what's happening. i think this is really important. the republicans won't leave trump over this. they've signed up for it for years. in charlottesville in li, if th isn't enough for you to heave
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the president, it won't be enough on change any republicans' minds. what's in may is how aggressive the democrats get and what kind of facts we will see under the beat tomorrow. >> yes. i totally agree. i think the republicans are just way off the deep end. here's something else i wanted to bring up that we haven't talked much about. i wonder if the democrats in congress would consider digging into barr. he all but told us that he would start a witch hundred, an investigation into a hunch that he had that perhaps the president was wiretapped or spot on. he's clearly told us in multiple ways that he would be doing the president's bidding and politicizing this role. i wonder if there's the opportunity to get to the heart of that. we cannot have an actor in place at the department of justice who will act like the new michael cohen and serve as the president's attorney, as oppose the to the attorney of the
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people. >> well put. i have something which is also rare. a very terse statement being reported in this hour by bob mueller's longstanding spokesperson. someone named peter carr. when i call him, he often refrains from saying anything, certain bhi matters that go outside of his ambit. take a listen to this terse statement that says much in what it doesn't say. neither mueller nor anyone else from the special prosecution's team had been in attendance at the barr press conference. mueller spokesman peter carr told politico, he'll be this in the role because he's no longer there. it being a generalist doj spokesperson. your view of that. confirmation that neither
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mueller nor anyone with mueller in that capacity will be there at the, again, to state obvious, the alleged unveiling of the 23-month results of the moou probe. >> i had the great honor of working with him. he has more integrity than anyone i've worked with. that statement is so profound, it is beyond belief. it is like having a wedding and one side of the wedding doesn't show up. that's what's going to happen tomorrow. >> very interesting. >> go ahead. >> it would be one thing if mueller doesn't show up. for carr to go out of his way to say today, he must have checked with mueller. for carr to say tonight that neither bob mueller nor anyone in his team will show up is in itself a statement. >> i agree on that. bill, sometimes it may sound like we're getting into very specific particulars of but they are what matters.
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if you take vague generalist view, you say, oh, i heard he wrote a letter. what i'll contribute is, in my experience, when it comes to what mueller is doing or not doing, peter carr doesn't say anything on the record without being 100% that mueller is doing it or not doing it and mueller wants it on the record. >> you've dealt with him more than i. i do think that is significant that peter carr is saying that. >> can we just start? everybody on this panel is saying that the press conference tomorrow is a farce. can we look at the man in the mirror? at the mowed for a second? is it too much to ask the media, the press conference will go up at 9:30. congress won't get report until 12:00. let's say an hour and a half to read the whole thing. can we just hold off on repeating the lies coming out of trump administration and bill barr's mouth? could we wait five hours? could we wait until we've read it ourselves?
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the only way this trump strategy works, and i agree with bill kristol that it won't work, but the only way it works is if the media keeps repeating the lies they hear at the press conference before they have the opportunity to read it for itself. state sponsored media hwill do what they want. but the rest us -- >> let me speak to that. we're going to a white house report that i'm excited to get. first of all, only elie can make a plea for calm with such an energetic voice. in the spirit of that, we began our broadcast talking about the difference between the primary sources and the facts you may get when the report comes out. ultimately unredacted or in its redacted version. that's different from what mit people say tomorrow. the second point is i want to read from his words. he now announced what he's going to do.
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befo yet, many barr that, everyone will soon be able to read the report on their own. i do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report in serial or piecemeal fashion. looking at that, before i go to the white house for reporting, by that barr standard, what i would call the march 24th barr standard, do you think holding a press conference tomorrow, according to chairman nadler, before it is available, would potentially violate the public interest of barr attempting to summarize it in a serial or piecemeal fashion? >> completely. it is not the public. the public probably won't see it for hours and even until after it goes to the members of congress. bob barr has been nothing but the legal baghdad bob for this
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administration the entire time. so no one should be surprised that he is hiding for him. >> the baghdad reference from the corner. >> whoa! >> the whoele panel stays with me. but now, as promised, i turn to hive reporting from my colleague at the white house. what an interesting day to be this. what are you learning? >> yeah. interesting to say the least. it has been a little bit of a fire hose. here's what we know. we've been in conversations with the outside health team. this rebuttal to whatever is released tomorrow, they may or may not make it public tomorrow. so here's what you can look for. a couple things. and then when you might hear from the president, what you might hear. if the president's legal team goes ahead and releases this
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counter report, that is an indication that they are gravely concerned that whatever is in the mueller report. for weeks, in my conversations with sources close to that team, we've been hearing they may not release it. especially after they got the four-page summary of principal conclusions. it felt very much like folks had been riding high. so now if they do decide to go ahead and release this 30-plus, 30 to 40 page report, on friday, it is a concern among aides and allies. we know there's anxiety. not because of the piece on any evidence of conspiracy with russia, because the attorney general has said, robert mueller did not find any. pits the details. it is could reflect very poorly on president trump and the wild card is how he reacts. how might he react? you probably saw that radio interview in which the president said, hey, bill barr will have a
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news conference 20 minutes before. the president said he might take questions. i would caution that you this had been a big rose garden news conference. i don't think that will happen. >> on that though, you're getting ahead to what he may do. how do you as a journalist so close to these matters, understand or interpret that announcement that the president made that turned out to happen? i can tell you, tip which i a justice department, it is done by the press. >> in my years covering him, he likes to share a juicy scoop when he has one. i think he was on the line with a radio host and felt like giving him a little something there. >> juice yify. okay. a couple of sentences, what else do we need to know heading into tomorrow? >> watch for the president's
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departure on the president's south lawn before he heads to florida. he may take questions there. he may say, i want to talk about this. let me hold a little mini impromptu session with reporters. >> fascinating. we turn to congresswoman she'lla jackson lee who served on the committee. thank you for hopping on the line. congresswoman? >> all right. thank you for having me this evening. >> we're happy to have you. we have reported out what your chairmanned in ed in nadler has this. what else have you heard from the justice department today and your review of what we're now seeing, the plan by the attorney general, according to your chairman, to hold a press conference, to discuss the mueller report without yet releasing it to you in congress. >> well, first of all, i think it is very cheer that director mueller and his team have washed
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their hands of attorney general barr. i don't think they believe that there is any pathway forward in joining him, in press conferences or supporting with clearly the actions that undermine the public interests to release these documents. they are consistent. we want the report released without redaction. we're already disappointed with this limpy explanation that general barr will give us a report that has redactions, the grand jury testimony, classified information that he langs, when members of congress have the highest level of security clearance. the investigation so alleged an ongoing investigation, and then finally on the ground of privacy.
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we know well that members of congress can continue their work the parameters of making sure that the elements that should not be released, are not. on behalf of the american people, as much as possible. we're going to be very stood just and we're going to use subpoena power to see what is actually true in the mueller report. >> and based on what happening happening in the last few hours, has it changed your view at all on what you expect terms the credibility of what we hear tomorrow? and the credibility, as you mentioned, the underlike redactions, has it made no difference, improved or discouraged your view of that? >> you know, i still believe in the integrity of the mueller report. and i also believe that there are hard working people at the department of justice. the judiciary has worked the
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department of justice personnel for a long time including law enforcement. i am very concerned that general barr did this before, some years back under george w. bush's administration with reporting that got altered. so i'm not interested in general barr's press conference. i'm not interested in his subsequent interpretations. we want the raw data and the summary that's were provided as well by director mueller that we never received. i wonder why those were never produced. we will see general barr on may 2nd before the house judiciary committee. we have subpoenas out to 81 different persons. some of them may be mentioned in this report. and at some point we'll hear from mueller. what the conclusions and the basis is.
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that's all we need to be consistent with the rule of law. we won't spend time on what director, attorney general barr will be saying tomorrow. we are certainly frustrated that there's a press congress before the members of congress receive it. >> on a very big night, hearing from your chairman online with what he posted, and perhaps more from other members of congress over the course of what looks to be quite a big eve of the release of the mueller report. thank you for jumping on the line with us. >> i certainly appreciate it. >> one thing we are concerned to find out that there has been dialogue between the white house and of course, the department of justice. that will be investigated as well. >> thank you. very interesting. speaking with congresswoman sheila jackson lee. she and her chairman have mentioned the "new york times" report that says for all the talk about a uniform process
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where the doj would release it to everybody, the "times" reported the white house has had a jump on special consultations, multiple conversations. the story breaking late tonight. our live coverage on "the beat" continues. and i bring in a new guest. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> you've been here, viewers have come to know you as one of the legal voices we we rely on. my colleague doesn't tweet on every story but she has posted on something that sit a striking set of points. she quotes jerry nadler saying barr is planning to hold his own press conference about mueller, without mueller there. that has been confirmed by mueller's former spokesperson just this hour. and rachel notes, well before anyone will be allowed to access even barr's redacted version of mueller's findings.
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why? where's mueller? i put her simple questions to you. >> i think bob mueller is biding his time. what i'll say, ari, those of us who work for the department of justice
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i do not believe it will be in the public's interest to summarize the full report or release it in a piece meal fashion. that will be on defense and people overreacted to the initial letter. if as chairman nadler asserts that they do this press conference before releasing the report and mueller's folks say he's not there tomorrow, is that the right thing or what barr claimed he would not do. >> he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. he is the consummate institutionalist and we heard so
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little from bob mueller and his team and his spokesperson and what did we hear tonight in the few words that statement as you put it, we are not coming. we are not cosigning this. we are not giving it our stamp of approval by standing behind barr with hostage eyes and breathing life into it. >> that's important because what we are being told without the mueller report coming out, and rosenstein who is mueller's boss and oversaw the firing of comey. rosenstein played different roles at different times. he has a new essay out, praising his boss, mr. barr. that's where rosenstein is now. that's an attempt to grab the credibility of that in the same way mr. mueller is name checking for redactions and a plan that appears to be driven by the trump agenda of defending the
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white house and owning the news cycle and driving it forward. the whole day is about their first draft of history, don't call it a summary. at what point does the establishment legal community say the respect and esteem barr had previously is now gone. >> it's hanging on by a thread, if at all. i think tomorrow once we see this is a fair shot at redacting out what must be redacted. we don't want to compromise ongoing investigations and some things need to be redacted out. will there be enough substance that it is a fair reading of what in the world is going on with this president and this administration. >> let me ask you this. i have been waiting to get to you here as one of our prosecutors. have you seen the president
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announce a justice department press conference about the findings of an investigation into the white house? >> no and we as prosecutors don't typically do that. >> there so many details for folks watching. we came on the air and said new, there is a press conference will be there. rosenstein will be there and mueller won't. if nothing else, why was the president of the united states appearing to manage the announcement strategy of the very investigation that ensnared six aides. is that an appropriate role for the president? >> it's a conflict of interest and they are dealing with a crooked death. i still have faith in bob mueller. he taught me how to be a prosecutor in washington, d.c. >> we are talking about whether your faith will be information that is revealed or hidden. >> i don't think bob mueller will let justice stand.
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he took a step on the road to correcting the record when his spokesperson announced we ain't coming. we are not going to cosign whatever barr said tomorrow. if barr continues down the road of deception, i don't believe mueller will let it stand. he will stand up and tell the american people the truth. >> that's the fascinating point of why there is more leverage. mr. mueller leaves the doj and will comply with the lawful request to testify. there is a lot more we can learn and learn whether he was invited in a non-speaking role. i want to keep glen and talk to the panel. we have a tradition to get a final thought in a lightning round from everyone. we want to mark something up from something we prepared. it has been 23 months since mueller was appointed and there is a lot of information the
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report will cover. >> the justice department announced a special counsel. >> i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> why the president's son, son-in-law, and his then campaign chairman met at trump tower with a russian lawyer. paul manafort, former chairman is a criminal defendant. george papadopoulos admitted he was in touch with russians during the campaign. >> trump ordered mueller fired. >> this is the biggest thing to happen in the rush judge probe since donald trump fired jim comey. >> it charges 13 russian nationals and three russian companies. >> the fbi raided the office of donald trump's long time lawyer, michael cohen. >> i will plead not guilty to the charges. >> individual number one is president donald j. trump. >> special counsel bob mueller finished his russia investigation. >> he finished it. we have been tracking it, but we
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don't know what's in the report and may not know what is in the full un redacted report. with the few minutes we have left and i want to go around the horn. in one or two sentences, what's the most important thing on your mind for tomorrow? >> the special prosecutor was appointed so there would be an independent investigation. everybody should be reminded that barr is doing everything he can to undermine the independence of this outcome. >> this is a political process and we can't forget that. i'm fascinated to see what buttigeig and booker and members runs for president have to say about what comes out in this report tomorrow. >> i think we protected the mueller investigation and will see the mueller report and the cover up won't work. >> tomorrow is holy thursday, but there is nothing holy about
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the justice department process. >> and glen? >> this is a dangerous game barr is playing. he will lose. i throw my lott in with bob mueller. >> very well put. i will close with a final thought. i want to thank you all for being part of our special coverage. if you have been watching, this is one of the nights where it may feel like so much has happened it's hard to track. i want to tell you a couple of things that matter. number one, the reporting matters. we have been indebted to the "new york times" journalists that blew a lid off of up until tonight may have been a theory or suspicion and the barr justice department has been briefing officials at the white house about the conclusions of the mueller report and according to the times, around the cross, white house justice department officials discuss mueller report before release. in contradiction to the public
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statements and things he committed to congress with regard to maximum transparency, telling one side that's the subject of a probe before the public or the oversight committees. not full transparency. the other thing to keep in mind is tomorrow is a test of the journalists and the narrators and how we cover this tomorrow and how many traps might we fall into while they are set. it's a test of the system and the branchs and your ability and i say this earnestly. to listen and to be patient and thoughtful. it's going to take time. i'm planning like so many people of getting up and getting ready and following the evidence and reading the hundreds of un redacted payments and keeping an eye on the future. we won't know what matters tomorrow in an hour or even a day. let's not pretend. we will try to do our part and in closing, if you watch, there is a lot more to watch tonight and tomorrow morning.
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i will be on the "today" show. that does it for me. thanks for watching the beat and thanks to our panelists. i will see you tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. behind closed doors. let's play "hardball." >> goods evening. img chris matthews in washington. hours from now the american public will get its first look at the 400 page report from robert mueller's investigation. just tonight on the very eve of the revelation, we have the disturbing new that is the trump white house had the guts in its hands for days. they issued a report tonight revealing that the justice department officials had numerous conversations with white house lawyers about the conclusions made by mr.


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