tv MSNBC Live with Kendis Gibson MSNBC April 21, 2019 11:00am-1:00pm PDT
we are all out of time here. happy easter to all of you celebrating. i'll go to my hard working colleague. kendis gibson, take it away. >> as you do every weekend, alex. happy easter to you. happy passover, as well, to many celebrating. i'm kendis gibson at msnbc headquarters in new york. a rare sighting in easter sunday, we are not talking about the easter bunny. >> will you testify before congress, sir? >> so that's what robert mueller sounds like. speaking, briefly. first time on camera since the release of his report. plus what's next? democrats on capitol hill are
set to talk about political strategy of that fallout from the report as the "i" word impeachment hangs over their sunday. attacks devastating and deadly blasts in southeast asia and confirmation that several americans are among the dead. what we're learning that the hour. that's exactly where we begin as we come on the air 2:00 p.m. eastern time. the breaking news, u.s. state department confirming moments ago that several u.s. citizens are among the hundreds of people killed in the easter sunday attacks that coordinated simultaneous blasts come just two days after u.s. naval fleet arrived in the south asian country for a week of exercises. officials are now describing the easter sunday blasts as a terrorist attack by a religious extremist and declared a curfew on the entire island. president trump tweeting condolences this morning saying we stand ready to help. nbc foreign correspondent sarah harmon is following the developments from london.
sarah, officials in sri lanka are saying that it's a river of blood over there. >> a river of blood. it's not just officials saying that. it's eyewitnesses, as well. this is the worst violence that sri lanka has seen is ins the end of the civil war ten yores ago. we know that americans are among the dead. the sri lanka foreign ministry says at least two u.s. citizens killed. the ministry said nine foreign nationals are still missing, unclear what country those nine people are from. and quite tragically, there are still 25 unidentified bodies believed to be foreigner who is are at the mortuary right now. it's quite sad to say that the death toll here, that 207 figure, that's likely to rise given how many people were injured, more than 400 condolences pouring in around the world and including president trump who offered assistance in the tweet you showed earlier and saying the
u.s. is ready to help. the u.s. state department said that attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms we hold dear. in terms of the investigation, attention is now turning to what sri lankan officials knew and when about the possibility of this sort of attack. today, the prime minister acknowledged that there had been information on potential terrorist attacks. he says an investigation will now take place into why precautions weren't taken. at this point, seven suspects have been arrested. sri lanka's defense minister said this is an attack an not saying what kind of religious x extremists and no group claimed responsibility yet. kendis? >> sarah, the sri lankan officials i believe ten days ago issued a warning of the terrorist attack being possible. >> yeah. and the government is now trying to get control of this
situation. they have put in an overnight curfew across the island until 6:00 a.m. people have to remain indoors. travelers who have planes to catch are allowed to leave if they can show a plane ticket and the passport at a police checkpoint. authorities also blocked social media and messaging services. they say they're trying to prevent false rumors from circumstance latting online. kendis, the pope condemned the attack this morning on what is shaping up to be a tragic easter for the world's catholics. if you remember back to the fire at notre dame cathedral this week and now these horrific attacks, a very sad easter indeed. >> yeah. in fact, i was on the air with reverend al sharpton earlier today and he said it's the worst easter he's experienced in some time. sarah, thank you. should mention former president obama, as well, says the attacks on or ttourists and worshippers
an attack on humanity. many people giving out reaction to this tragedy there. okay. so joining me right now on the former is former fbi double agent, joining me in person and also with us by phone is from sri lanka, director of english news and sri lankan broadcaster. can you hear me? >> yes. thank you very much. >> thank you. i appreciate the correction. for us. give us a sense of where you are. these attacks took place in several cities including the capital of colombo. >> i'm actually based in colombo as is our studio also in colombo. >> got it. >> the attacks happened -- >> go ahead. >> the attacks happened in the west of sri lanka. the west coast. and also, on the east coast.
and also, in colombo ooitsz where they also targeted a large church and three star class hotels where the biggest damage happened unfortunately in the churches, especially the one on the western coast which is not far from sri lanka's colombo airport. >> and when this took place, early in the mo rning there on easter sunday when many people were at places of worship there and those hotels, luxury hotels that are popular with tourists. describe to me how massive this explosion and this coordinated attack was. >> actually, it's absolutely massive. in the one church, we had 112 people dead. including several children.
and the attacks on the hotels were at about 8:45 a.m. local time in sri lanka. and it was at the time when they were having a special sort of service in the restaurant to mark easter morning. so the hotels there, all the restaurants in the hotels were rather full. it's here that for the first time in sri lanka we had an attack on targeting tourists. in the past when we had the so-called civil war which ended in 2009, there were no attacks on tourists. >> is the feeling that this was an attack on tourists and people from the west? >> well, it was certainly an attack because in a tourist
hotel one is simply unable to tell the mix of the people. simply there would be more tourists than locals and the tourism industry of sri lanka will take a massive hit, especially because millions of dollars are being spent on tourism by entrepreneurs in the country and it is undoubtedly a hit on the tourism industry in sri lanka. >> wow. well, quite a day, indeed. some five-star hotels attacked and places on worship on the easter sunday in the popular tourist destination of sri lanka, happening about some 11 years after the mumbai, india, attacks that killed people. i hope you guys stay safe over there. best wishes to you. >> thank you very much. >> all right. so let's talk to navid.
you might have heard we mention at the top of the show right there, just two days ago a fleet of u.s. navy vessels arrived right there in sri lanka to conduct exercises they have been doing for 25 years. 7th fleet as it's called. tweeting it out they arrived there in sri lanka and then this attack clearly targeting as you heard there foreigners. is it possible that u.s. service people may have been the target here? what do you think? >> well, i think that -- i want to be careful of speculating but important to understand when it comes to terrorism is this the script. the first order is the kinetic attack. the bombing, the shooting and then a second and third and fourth order of affects which is terror. the primary goal in terrorist attacks not to just cause daniel and death but to make a statement. they have no hope of directly
impact and overthrow a government but to send a message. one is the selection of targets. the second is the dates. things coming to terrorist attacks and we heard the government said it was a terrorist attack, meant to be statements. why didn't this happen yesterday or tomorrow and happened on easter sunday is very much -- not a coincidence. this is.to be a statement. it is, of course, and again, we're talking about three churches and three five-star hotels. that is clearly in my book an indication that this was a message towards perhaps the west. >> quite frightening there. we should mention that there are reports that the 7th fleet says that all of their personnel are safe but as we mentioned earlier there are americans confirmed among the dead there. they were several days of a possible attack. i know it's early conjecture and speculation at this point because we don't know who's responsible for this, but what
sort of groups are at play in this part of the world? >> it's very much sri lanka, unfortunately, as the previous guest mentioned, the tamil tigers. a civil war to 2009. most recently, the country's primarily buddhist and has minority populations of christians and with muslims and as early as 2018 we saw a sort of rise in sectarian violence. there's also the fact that sri lanka is between china and india and many ways at opposed odds. so you have external and internal influence and important to understand that the previous violence in the last year between buddhists and muslims was in many cases it was like almost mob violence. it was not coordinated attacks like seeing here and this hasn't happened even in the civil war. this is something that is a coordinated, planned out. just to have six attacks at six targets simultaneous shows a level of sophistication that we haven't seen in sri lanka. that is something that i'm sure
counterterrorism experts around the world taking note of. >> i found it absolutely incredible to pull this off because some of the locations based on the map there are 161 miles away from each other. >> yes. >> near simultaneous attacks. you see the island nation there of vi listen ka. as you take a look at that. we are getting a statement from the u.s. state department moments ago. the secretary of state saying the attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear and demonstrate yet again the brute call nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim to threaten peace and security in that part of the world. after this took place, a number of different people and a number of different governments increased security at places of worship because they found that this was such a random location and but still not a random date
for this sort of attack. >> yeah. i think it's -- that's a very good point. look. i think the statements that are coming out to me lead me to believe that we're not quite sure who is the one necessarily direct directly responsible for it but a radicalism with it. i sense that this is much more something local to sri lanka. a global terrorist activity? i kind of doubt it. that being said, look. sri lanka is a country with internal sectarian tension and this could have been something in addition to making a statement towards the west. it could have been something simply to stoke the fears. unfortunately of sectarian tension that have already existed in sri lanka prior to this. >> all right. our thanks to you. once again, breaking news, sri lanka, a country that very few people knew about prior to today, is the seat and is the -- is the -- getting terrorist attack on this easter holiday.
still ahead, the holiday message from president trump's personal attorney on this sunday air waves as the mueller report fallout continues. >> it isn't wrong for taking information from russians. >> this isn't -- >> depends on where it came from. number on the dark web. good, cuz i'm a little worried about my information getting out. why's that? [bird speaking] my social is 8- 7- 5 dash okay, i see. [bird laughing] somebody thinks it's hilarious. free social security alerts from discover.
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trump's legal team to control the public narrative after mueller cleared the president on conspiracy but watch as giuliani ramped up the rhetoric while taking a victory lap for his boss. >> any candidate in the whole world in america would take information, negative -- >> from a foreign source? from a hostile foreign source? >> who says it's illegal? there's nothing wrong with taking information from russians. it depends on where it came from. they didn't make things up. they shouldn't have stolen it. the american people given more information of how deceptive, how manipulative her people and her campaign were. when did mueller become god? he said the injury to the justice system is great. we are talking about a crime. we're talking about something to that didn't happen. there was no obstruction. nothing was denied him. nobody crushed cell phones like hillary did.
nobody deleted 33,000 e-mails like hillary's people did. nobody bleached a server like hillary did. how about manafort in solitary confinement and questioning him 13 times? maybe torture is enough. andrew weissman never should have worked for him. he is a hit man. >> a hit man? >> in terms of the way in which he operates. >> came out attacking. house speaker nancy pelosi said to lead a conference call with the caucus tomorrow. on the menu, of course, possible next steps as democrats step up the fight for mueller's complete report. this all comes after democrats declined attorney general bill barr's offer to show a less redacted edition of the mueller report to a handful of lawmakers. let's go to mike vickera at the white house. you were able to track down the special counsel briefly. >> reporter: that's right. the mueller report is finished, in the can as we say in the news
business and as we saw from rudy giuliani there it's all over but the shouting and the shouting of course and the argument of what it means is just getting started. we haven't seen or heard from bob mueller in many months now. we did get a tip he was attending easter services across lafayette park here from the white house. we waited for him to emerge and did ask him if he had any comment. we asked him a series of questions. mr. director, happy easter. mrs. mueller, happy easter. >> happy easter. >> happy easter. sir, could i ask you a couple questions? will you testify before congress, sir? >> no comment. >> reporter: so, bob mueller, no comment. at least not for the likes of me. up in the air when, in fact, or if he's going to be testifying before the house judiciary committee and other committees, especially on the house side going to want to talk to him. of course, bill barr, the
attorney general said he has no problem with that. may 23rd deadline set by the congress is looming for that mueller testimony, kendis. >> mike, meantime, there's new reporting to explain jrudy giuliani's dizzying media blitz. tell us what you're learning at the white house and the mood. >> reporter: the path is in mar-a-lago and made a big public show of appearing with conservative icons as rush limbaugh, on twitter calling it a hit job, the mueller report. but if you look at the list of people that have been interviewed or were interviewed by bog mueller and the team, don mcgahn, the president called him a lying bastard for taking notes as a lawyer in meetings with the president and top officials with the former -- two former chiefs of staff, the former press secretary, close confidants and the attorney general. we know how president trump
feels about jeff sessions at this point in case it isn't clear. >> the president tweeted out the entire fox news prime lineup there. we know his saturday night plans were. mike, at the white house, thank you so much for being with us on a sunday. let's bring in texas tribune's washington bureau chief abby livingston, "the new york times" reporter and msnbc contributor and glen kirshner, legal analyst. matt, let's start with you you. nbc has been able to confirm some of the reporting from your colleague michael schmidt after speaking with him yesterday reporting that trump is growing frustrated at the mueller witnesses who were once employees of his. >> look. i think it's pretty clear from the muoment we saw the report which was not nearly as redacted as many people feared it would be, identifying the witnesses
and the information came from as part of the investigation, that mr. mueller basically leaving the people vulnerable to twitter backlash or some actual backlash from a president who demands loyalty. obviously, don mcgahn by taking notes and being so forceful and so clear about his recollections of some of the more unflattering moments in the report obviously left himself open for criticism. we saw it in his tweets. but he's getting, you know, the michael cohen treatment. if you are seen as turning on the president in any way, even though the white house made the decision to make the people witnesses and saying cooperate fully, we're in total cooperation mode, now that they have cooperated and spoken honestly with prosecutors, obviously they're now vulnerable to twitter backlash. >> glenn, giuliani confirming that trump's lawyers are not preparing a counter report.
what do you make of that? >> not sure what they're intending to counter, kendis, because it sounded like they were spinning this as a total exoneration. why one has to rebut a total exoneration seems curious. but then they would go on in the next breath and call it a hit job. i think we all know, kendis, that the mueller report is chockful of evidence that proves the president committed multiple obstruction of justice offenses. >> that's more reason to have a counter report and we said -- reported earlier that -- about 30 to 40 pages already in the draft version. >> yeah. again, why do you have to counter a total exoneration? >> okay. >> there is offense after offense detailed in the mueller report. there are witnesses named as matt was just saying. so the blueprint is there. the roadmap is there. these witnesses now need to appear before congress so that
the american people can hear for themselves the evidence that supports bob mueller's conclusion and let's be clear. he may not have said i conclude the president committed half a dozen offenses but the evidence, the evidence leads to that conclusion. there is no other reasonable conclusion. now it's time for congress to act. >> all right. speaking of congress, abby, i want to get you to weigh in on this. should the congress -- what should they take next as far as steps go to successfully obtain the mueller report? >> well, i mean, look. congressional leadership is trying to get a hold of an unredacted version but what's more fascinating because it's likely the public will see the report, the congressional testimony is what is going to be the game changer i think. i think when you look back at watergate, you don't remember "the washington post" reporting but the congressional testimony of john dean and the drama of
it. there's nothing that compares to a television hearing versus what we have been reading in the mueller report. >> how do we expect that phone call to play out tomorrow with house leadership and democratic leadership? >> i think speaker pelosi will be doing what she does best which is herding cats. and the initial mueller report released there's not that many statements of rank and file members and they avoided the word impeachment but a few rest of members to impeach the president and they have wanted to long before the mueller report was put out and told until the report. now it is time. so i would say watch congressman al green. he may force the issue. >> interesting call tomorrow. abby, stick around. guys, thank you for your time. still ahead, 2020 hopefuls aren't taking a break this holiday weekend. who's on the stump and why some democrats face criticism over the response to mueller report.
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and easter. but the presidential candidates aren't taking the weekend off. senator kamala harris in south carolina doing what many do on this easter. she attended services at a bible way church in columbia, the state's capital. that's a historically black church by the way and visited south carolina's historically black college in the state over the week. you get the idea. what she is running for. vaughn hilliard on the trail with senator harris and joins us from columbia, south carolina. vaughn, it seems as if the senator is trying to set up south carolina which is second primary in the race as the primary firewall there. >> reporter: yeah. kendis, south carolina is going to be huge for kamala harris. just take in to note here when you're talking about south carolina the democratic electorate, about 60% of the electorate is black and she was over here at the church in columbia, south carolina, this morning for about a two-hour
service in which she did not speak at the church service but she got a nice shout out from the pulpit there in which several hundred congregants stood up and essentially cheered her on and we talked to several folks afterwards about kamala harris, the democratic field and i want to introduce you to kareem evans. >> i was blown away. i didn't know she was a senator. california, representing california? and it was just shocking really to see that. it was a good feeling that -- to know that there's a black woman out there running for president. >> reporter: kareem said that he will definitely be voting in next year's south carolina primary saying he's just starting to pay attention and having a presidential candidate come to the church on easter is a help and kareem is not the only individual we talked to here today and in south carolina that doesn't know the likes of kamala harris or the big
presidential field of almost 20 now and that's part of the process. she was here for three days here in south carolina this weekend and enroute now to new hampshire to be for two days before heading over to texas on wednesday and then las vegas this upcoming weekend. kendis? >> vaughn, does that pretell? you've been in the locations and pretell of a problem for kamala harris? only declared black woman in the race right now in the democratic field. and she's in south carolina. 60% black as you've mentioned. some folks didn't know that she was in the race? >> reporter: it's hard to put voters into boxes here. bernie sanders and joe biden are popular figures, not just across the country but here in south carolina. one woman i talked to yesterday after the event, i said name the top three. kamala harris, joe biden and bernie sanders and specific reasons for them. bernie sanders is more of that sort of street fighter, stood on
the same policies for the last 50 years. kamala harris, they know, this particular woman said, she looks like me and knows the expense i have gone through and joe biden a voice on the stage, a proven democrat in their eyes for now a long time. obviously the second right hand to barack obama. and when you have those conversations a lot of this comes down to name recognition and i.d. you see joe biden and bernie sanders at the top of the list because, frankly, the american people has been introduced to them and takes harris, beto o'rourke in virginia and north carolina this week and takes them going up and down, going to these towns, going into churches and introducing themselves. for as much as social media and the television air waves are great platform, a lot of times it means showing up which is what she did this morning on easter. >> vaughn hilliard there in a very sunny but what's seeming to be a windy day there in columbia, south carolina.
thank you. >> reporter: i'm taking this jacket off here, kendis. >> it's also very hot day clearly. in south carolina. all right. vaughn, thank you. the release of the mueller report is leaving hopefuls divided on whether or not to pursue impeachment. out of the gate elizabeth warren is already calling for the president to be impeached. >> we cannot be an america that says it is okay for a president of the united states to try to block investigations. so i have called on the house to initiate impeachment proceedings. [ applause ] >> that's -- point out that other candidates are sennconcer that impeachment could lead to backlash. two guests are joining me.
welcome to you all. so, gabrielle, if you're advising a campaign right now, it is a sticky situation. would you advise the candidate to call for impeachment or what position would you say for them to stay on this? >> look. i think people are looking for principled leadership and in some way democrats are in a really good position because you have congress whose role it is to investigate this and whose role to worry about the press den dentd and then an election about contrast and one thing american voters look for is principled leadership and a way to talk about this in your so-called lane while congress does the job it needs to do. >> what if you're in congress where you're calling for that principled leadership and running for president? do you call for impeachment, as well? >> look. if democrats, you know, lose this issue, it's because the
trump propaganda machine and the witch hunt won. this is a messaging as much as policy issue. and i think that we need to focus on the job at hand. there's obviously thing that is the president did that we shouldn't allow other presidents to do and shouldn't have allowed him to do to begin with and why congress can begin the investigation. making it a pure political issue lessens it, cheatepens it. they're calling for principled leadership. tell the voters what you believe. explain what's at stake like elizabeth warren did a then draw a contrast to what you want and espouse. >> i was smiling during that because that was a genius way of punting on a question. like -- >> there's a reason i do what i do. >> i love it. i see what you're putting out there and not taking it.
meantime, pete buttigieg and others are saying that they want -- they want to take down trump. the old-fashioned way. as gabrielle was mentioning there, meaning for the vote. here's what pete said, mayor pete. >> i'll leave that to congress. there's more evidence coming in as the subpoenas work the way through. it is certainly the case that you can see lots of evidence that this president deserves to be impeached but since i'm not in congress i'm focusing on replacing him the old-fashioned way. >> right. what's in the background here is what happened before in the '90s when a republican congress tried to impeach bill clinton and there's one view of history that says it damaged the people that went after bill clinton. he got re-elected. there's a different view that says republicans were able to use that effort to sort of build up their ranks. they said we didn't get him this time and built up the ranks and won over congress and the white house. so it's a question of how do you
view history? if you look at this from a strategic point of view, how do you view the impeachment effort? >> and that really is -- go ahead. >> during the bill clinton impeachment, we were facing a completely different democratic field. you know? the clintons were centrists. and that's who they wanted and right now there are so many candidates and the field -- this is the first time in history that 51% of democrats identify as liberals. the field including members in congress are speaking a different tune. we are more to the left than we were then. i think they have to satisfy that hunger. >> all right. i will have to leave it at that. thank you. ozzy, thank you, as well. >> thank you. all right. still ahead, mueller mysteries. big questions left unanswered in the redacted report. and tonight join ari melber to break down what the report means an what comes next.
-while you ponder that, consider adopting a rescue pet. there are 6.5 million of them; they all need a forever home. it would mean the world to them, and they will love you forever. for nearly two years some of us obsessed as we waited for the conclusion of robert mueller's russia investigation but the redacted version of the 448-page report has left so many big questions unanswered. reporter natasha bertrand breaks down the five biggest unresolved mysteries for politico. they include, what did wikileaks know about the souse of the stolen e-mails? what the the nra's relationship with the trump campaign and with russia? and what about that infamous shall we say videotape? known by some other terms allege
in the steele dosier? natasha is joining us to dive into this. thank you for being here. >> thanks, kendis. >> which of the five mysteries stand out the most for you? >> i was really shocked that the cambridge analytica subplot never broached in the robert and a big sunbject. were there ties in the election? whether or not they were helping wikileaks during the election in any capacity because, of course, the ceo did reach out to julian assange in the election and asked if he needed his help to look through the hillary clinton e-mails. other big one is nra, what kind of relationship did the trump campaign have with the nra? there was suspicion that perhaps there were kind of money flows in the nra of russia and robert mueller questioning people of that effect, people familiar
with the campaign's familiar with the nra, with cambridge analytica. those are two things i were surprised. >> two key things, indeed. you write about wikileaks. special counsel's office wouldn't or couldn't explain what wikileaks knew about the true identity of the hackers. i think we'll learn about this particular end of the case from when julian assange goes to trial whenever that is? >> yeah. potentially. i think that's going to take a while for his extradition to actually be coordinated and orchestrated but once he actually does come to the united states, if he decides to talk to prosecutors, if he flips, for example, then we could get a lot of information. if he goes to trial, then that could come out during trial, as well. what did they know about the source of the hacked materials? and why did they try to on vi
skate the source of the e-mails? he was pushing this big conspiracy theory of seth rich and he said he couldn't get to the motivations there because so many of the communications were encrypted. >> more to con of the great writing and full screen of material. let's read this excerpt for you. where you write perhaps no element of the trump/russia scandal was as sensational as a claim that the russians compromises information on trump in the former video capturing him cavorting with prostitutes in a moscow hotel room. how much of the steele dossier is confirmed and what remains out there? there's a lot out there. >> you could say that the broad outlines have been corroborated in terms of the russians support
of the trump campaign and mueller said that the trump campaign welcomed it. the broad conspiracy outlined in the dossier apparently was not proven by the special counsel and details of peter the co-founder of alpha bank meeting with putin in the election on a quarterly basis and, of course, we now know that alpha bank with a pinging going on mistier sli with the trump campaign servers never explained and then about the tapes, left open ended in the mueller report and a conversation between a russian businessman and michael cohen in october of 2016 in which the businessman said i've managed to stop the flow of those tapes coming out of moscow. let me know if you need anything else and did not tell michael cohen apparently that he thought the tapes might have been fake and did tell that to the special counsel later on and no conclusion is drawn about whether they actually exist, which is intimated in the report, and whether they're real. >> so many questions remaining. natasha, was this first week at
politico? >> yes. it was my first week. >> what a first week. >> a whirlwind. >> natasha, who job. thank you. congrats. >> thank you. still ahead, tax time. the deadline is ticking for the president. what happens if he says, no, a second time? ht seem the same, but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. shaving has been difficult for me. i have very sensitive skin, and i get ingrowing hairs. so it's a daunting task.
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audit's complete i'll release them. under audit. extremely complex. while i'm under audit i won't do it. i have no problem wit. >> we have heard ate few times there. the president says his taxes will never see the light of day because he's under audit. in two days as you may know the chair of the house ways and means committee said the irs must hand over the tax returns after asking for them to be submitted april 10th and got an extension. raises the question, will we see the president and the team comply with this? joining me now is a former spokesperson for the house oversight committee and a contributor and abby livingston. thank you again, abby, for being with us. kurt, let's start with you. white house versus house democrats. how do you see this all playing snout. >> well, it is going to be one
of the greatest struggles we have seen and a stress test of the congress with oversight authority to ask for my tax return it wants. it doesn't say if there's an audit going on, they don't have to turn it over. the statute is clear and president trump being the executive branch resisting every possible oversight his way and not intent on turning anything over and sent a lawyer by the lawyer challenging one of the accounting firms subpoenaed by congress threatened them saying you better not do this. he is not a cooperative mood and will be tested where i think what we saw earlier in this decade when the executive branch did not turn over documents subpoenaed, congress sued them for it and we could see ourselves in court over this. >> how long did it take? >> and this is the extraordinary thing. when the justice department didn't want to turn over the documents to congress, they were sued in federal government and congress won. the judge ruled that the executive authority that was being imposed by the president
did not meet the litmus test. same judge that sentenced paul manafort and roger stone. >> abby, meantime, that does beg the question on where kurt left it off. what's the next move for congress? assuming, of course, this deadline's going to come and the president's team is just going to ignore it, subpoenas? what? what happens? >> i think we'll see probably subpoenas but i think this litigation could go all the way to the supreme court. like kurt said, this is a real competition between the legislative branch and the executive branch and the people i think in the hottest spots are at the treasury department, the secretary of treasury steve mnuchin and the irs officials and i think what could be -- reminds me of the mueller report. there is a law there that need to follow and runs count toe the president's wishes and so we're seeing this replicated all over again. >> kurt, as owe know, the
president said time and time again the people don't care about his taxes and the team said it's lit gaited in the 2016 campaign. politico poll shows otherwise. 51% of voters support the democrats' efforts to obtain the president's tax returns. 36% opposed to it. talk about the politics of this. the people basically spoken. will the president listen? >> no. let's be very clear here. we had a midterm election where the president ran on saying if you elect democrats and give them the authority they'll investigate me and as he calls it presidential harassment. the voters did it anyway overwhelmingly so electing the democrats to give them the authority for the oversight. they believe in the check and balances and donald trump may not like it and may not want to listen to it and break the law but there is a clear mandate from the american people.
hearing rudy giuliani earlier today they might be more comfortable if china hacked an enstole the tax returns and gave it to the democrats to put it up because that's a totally okay thing to happen. >> i see what you did there. abby, treasury secretary steve mnuchin, you get an idea he's overplaying his hand? >> my sense is the best thing for him to do is lay as low as possible. another thing about this, going back to the mueller report, almost nothing mentioned in the report about the president's finances and it is what's fascinating to me is a year ago, two years ago, democratic sources kept telling me follow the money. that is where thei think that t returns could be very enlightening. >> you get a sense gnat sdny is following the money at this hour. kurt and abby, thank you guys. >> thank you. >> thanks a lot. all right. coming up in the next hour, manic monday, divided democrats
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proceedings. easter sunday celebrations marred by deadly attacks in sri lanka, southeast asia. many americans we're told among the 200-plus people who were killed. some of the scenes there on this easter sunday. we begin back here at home with president trump. it's been a busy easter sunday. the president lashing out against the mueller report and declaring vigt ri over its findings and this morning attending easter service there in south florida with the first lady and members of the first family, as well. sources are now telling nbc news that the president has been fuming over the media coverage of the mueller report and he's particularly angry at that guy, the former white house counsel don mcgahn. all of this for the extensive cooperation with the special counsel. also annoyed at the many other witnesses who are named in the report. dizzying as you look at the screen right there. we are told that most of his wrath is being directed to the man whose name is cited the most in the obstruction volume.
at the same time the white house and trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani are trying to control the narrative in a dizzying sunday blitz. >> you can't exonerate. exoneration means proving a negative. >> but these are the -- more than that. >> wait. can i just -- >> he is suggesting a case and evidence that congress should examine. >> the central premise here was collusion and there isn't any and i'm shocked that the same people -- >> two years looked at obstruction of justice. >> if he could have charged a crime he would have. >> totally exonerates him? >> yes. >> excuse me, with all due respect that's not the issue here. did the president obstruct justice or not? >> this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime and does not exxon rit. >> respectfully, that's not the job of a prosecutor. the job is to gather evidence and to indict or decline to
inditd. >> interesting take from the trump team there. mike, we see there you caught up with mueller across the street from where you're standing right now. of course, he was there for church services but you did -- you were able to lob away a few questions at him. >> reporter: that's right. we did learn this morning on easter morning, a glorious morning hire in washington, robert mueller as in the past attended services just across lafayette church, the church of the presidents as he is known. we waited for him to emerge. tried to approach him respectfully and this is an individual in the public eye, public official, very important and not seen or spoken to him in months and so we did have an opportunity to as you put it lob him a few questions. here's how it went. mr. director, happy easter. mrs. mueller, happy easter. >> thank you. >> happy easter. >> reporter: happy easter. sir, could i ask you a couple
questions? will you testify before congress, sir? >> no comment. >> reporter: all right. so i went on to ask him a few other questions, questions that are on the minds of a lot of us. number one, did attorney general bill barr mischaracterize his conclusions coming to conspiracy and obstruction? also, whether or not the president if he were not president would be indicted. in other words, would the evidence have led to an indictment of anybody else but the president of the united states? as you may be able to see there, he wasn't interested in talking to at least the likes of me. congress may be a different subject. of course. he's being asked to testify by may 23rd before the house judiciary committee and likely others will want to speak with bob mueller in the historic bombshell report released a few days ago. >> i hope you didn't take it personally. that is my relatives give me the same sort of treatment.
it will be done, house speaker nancy pelosi holding a conference call with house democrats tomorrow. >> reporter: i think we are seeing it writ large looking at the democrats running for president versus leaders like nancy pelosi, not interested in pushing impeachment too far. they look at 1998 when republicans lost seats after pursuing impeachment of the bill clinton. they believe that if you let it slow burn over 18 months with the nadler investigation, with other committees looking into the president's taxes and business practices, business connections, all down the line, the inauguration, that this will be sort of a slow drip that will lead up to election day and nancy pelosi like any other congressional leader is interested in expanding or increasing her numbers on the democratic side of the ledger, in this case, come november of to 20. there will be people who oppose that strategy. a lot of newer members, names familiar to us now, who want to move forward on impeachment now and i believe the majority of
the caucus will back her on this, though. >> she's been quiet since the release of the report and traveling overseas with many other congressional leaders. mike, meantime, at the white house for us, thank you. >> reporter: okay. joining me is greg broward, eliza collins and kevin sarili. welcome to all of you. >> thank you. >> good morning. >> greg, let me start with you. so, seriously, what legal options could house judiciary committee jerry nadler take if the justice department kind of fails to hand over the full mueller report by may 21st? >> the option that the house has is to try to enforce the subpoena leading to litigation and can be protracted and drag it out longer than anybody would like to see. i think that frankly this issue over the redactions is more or
less a sideshow. i think that for most members of the house, they know already from what they have seen from this report the redacted version whether or not they think there's sufficient evidence to commence impeachment proceedings. two fold, for democrats, the democrats are afraid to do something in a partisan way that might look like pure politics and so they don't want to start something they can't finish and for republicans i'm afraid they're just afraid. they're afraid that doing anything that might appear to be going against the president would offend their base and simply afraid of doing that and that's i think leads to a stalemate that is likely to continue until the next election cycle. >> and picking up on that, eliza, some saying that that's really what the democrats are doing right now, they want to punt on the question of impeachment and by keeping this fight going, over getting the full mueller report, they know very well it could go on for quite sometime. >> right. i talked to house speaker nancy
pelosi a month ago and asked her about impeachment and she said it would be a gift to the president if republicans were not on board. they're still not on board but there are some details in the report that have gotten some democrats particularly on the left, particularly newer members, though we saw senator elizabeth warren running for president say that they do think that they should start impeachment proceedings. pelosi and others need to keep it on the table to not alienate the base but the drip, drip, drip over the next year and a half could help democrats in the election by making the president sort of putting a cloud over him. >> kevin, meantime, you know, chairman nadler is asking mueller to testify by may 23rd. of course, doj says, no problem with that. we haven't heard from mueller whether he would testify. what are you hearing there in washington meantime on whether that will happen by may 23rd? >> it is increasingly likely
that special counsel mueller will testify before congress and not just democrats who are calling on bob mueller to testify, but also, republicans. now, when lawmakers return from congressional recess, those criticisms of the special counsel and of attorney general barr are going to continue. and in fact, ag barr is already scheduled to testify on may 2nd so that's really the first opportunity beyond that press conference prior to the release of the redacted version of the mueller report to hear from mr. barr in terms of how he handled the rollout of that. but then separately on the issue of impeachment, from speaker pelosi's perspective and talking to sources in the democratic circle, what they're saying is it's still too early to tell. first and foremost from the speaker's perspective, to get bob mueller on the record, to get him to testify under oath before congress in order to have that proceeding and then move
beyond it. from the republicans' perspective, i speak with advisers to the white house, both in and outside oberthe whi house and they say bring it on. there are progressives saying if you look at polls in particular from the democratic perspective impeachment especially among the base is something that the left would like to see at least be discussed at a national level and from a serious level, as well. >> and i want to show you giuliani who was reacting to mitt romney's reaction to the mueller report on tv. take a listen. >> what a hypocrite. >> any candidate in the world in america would take information. >> why do you think mitt romney is a hypocrite? >> he did things similar to that. >> taking information? >> no, no. nothing wrong with taking information from russians. >> nothing wrong with that?
it's a weird defense of that. i want you to weigh in. eliza, starting with you, sounded like once again rudy being rudy and causing more trouble sometimes for the president. >> he certainly can cause a headache for the white house with statements like that. this isn't the first time he's done that. but this is the white house going after mitt romney who's one of the only republicans who actually was critical of the president after the release of this report. mitt romney says he was sickened by some of the details in the report. now, romney did not weigh in on impeachment but he did criticize the president. he's one of the very few republicans who criticizes the president in general. but most republicans were on trump's side out of this. steve scalese said democrats owed an apology, that trump was completely cleared. so romney was in the minority of the republicans.
but trump and his team can't let that go. >> greg, go ahead. >> yeah. i was going to say that that's rudy being rudy. i'm afraid once again. i think when bob mueller testifies in congress and others testify it is awfully compelling and this is going to be testimony from people who have a track record of trustworthiness, particularly with republicans and hard i think for republicans members of congress to say we believe everything else these guys have said throughout their distinguished careers and not now. it puts i think republicans in congress really on the defensive in terms of how could they look the other way at all of this evidence that the mueller report includes? >> all right. so, appreciate that. kevin, you know, back when i was growing up when you were just a mere kid, we used to have the phone lines where you'd call the 800-numbers and meet up together
and everybody start chatting and i'm really getting to know everybody's talking about. that's a long winded way to say what happens when all of the members of congress, democratic leadership, get together tomorrow? does everybody talk at once or is there like a definite plan for it? >> well, to your point, there's so many different factions right now within the democratic party and not just from an ideological perspective but from a political motivation perspective especially when you have virtually it feels like every senator on the left running for president and then, of course, the freshman class within the house democratic caucus so a lot of -- >> its's leadership. of course will have speaker pelosi to speak, but then do you have the other folks be able to weigh in or is there -- when they do this phone call, is there a plan? >> typically what would happen on the teleconference call is
one by one and be able to raise their voice. when you get behind the scenes of the congressional lunches, though, where there's virtually, you know, dozens of reporters, myself included, outside of the room trying to overhear what's going on inside the room and as a lawmakers trickle out where it's more divisive and full-on display the perspectives in the democratic caucus and where speaker nancy pelosi is going to be playing a sort of political referee of sorts and she is consistent on this point. she has been consistent, speaker pelosi has, saying let's go through the process of every step at a time. it's a marathon, not a sprint. from her perspective, she is saying get bob mueller on the record and questions that ought to be asked of the special counsel when he testifies before congress as is likely going to be expected that he has to
answer. >> okay. >> and that's really where i think the process right now kendis is. >> in other words, i get it. it is going to be less like the phone meet-ups we newsed to have in the '80s and '90s. >> i don't know what that is. >> i'm sure you don't and more like miss clio and nancy pelosi predicting your future, man. kevin is too young for that, also. >> i got nothing. >> thank you, guys. >> i got nothing. i don't know where to go. >> thank you. greg, eliza, kevin, we appreciate it. house democrats debate the impeachment question as you saw right there. what's at stake. holy weekends in tragedy after coordinated attacks across sri lanka. what we know about the deadly blasts and the american victims involved. ♪
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we are tracking the big breaking news of the day and it comes from southeast asia. it is a horrible one. on any day but especially this easter sunday. state department con fims several americans among the dead following near simultaneous explosions at churches and fancy hotels in sri lanka this morning. sarah harmon is following the developments. sa rar sarah, how many victims are we being told involved right now? >> 207 people are confirmed dead following a series of
coordinated attacks across the country and among the dead are several u.s. citizens. as best we can tell based on information from the foreign ministry, there's two u.s. citizens and all we know about them at this point is that they have dual nationality with britain. tonight, kendis, sri lanka's on lockdown. the government blocked most social media and they're trying to curtail the spread of false information because it seems that the situation in that country may not be over yet. our local team confirmed that the sri lankan air force diffused an ied left on the roadside close to the international airport. this development comes after an easter sunday that brought the worst violence sri lanka has seen since the end of the civil war ten years ago. the death toll at 207 as we said. but it could likely rise given how many people are injured. some of the figures over 400
injuries. nine foreign nationals are still missing tonight. there are 20 unidentified bodies believed to be foreigners still in the mortuary and in terms of the investigation attention is now turning to what sri lankan authorities knew and when about the possibility of this sort of attack. today the prime minister acknowledged there had been information on potential terror attacks and he says an investigation will now take place into why precautions weren't taken. >> once again, the u.s. state department mentioning that several americans are among the casualties there in sri lanka. we had reports that at least two people. what do you know of the targets and the timing of these coordinated attacks? >> well, we know that the targets were three churches across the country as well as three luxury hotels. the kind of places that a foreigner would stay if they're visiting colombo and we know tonight that most of the dead are sri lankans.
27 foreign nationals confirmed dead but the overwhelming number are local people. condolences are pouring in from around the world, including from president trump who offered assistance in a tweet earlier today. he was saying the u.s. stood ready to help. and the state department has said that, quote, these vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the united states remains revolved in the fight of terrorism. we also know tonight the u.s. embassy is working to provide assistance to the american victims. kendis? >> you mentioned the improvised explosive device, it is a tense, tense overnight there. sri lanka, a country with a weird time zone. it's 12:50 in the morning. thank you to sarah harmon from london. pope francis offered condolences to the victims of the easter
attack in the easter message addressing the faithful from the balcony. many people listening to him. the pope condemning the attacks as such cruel violence. really has been a really rough week for many christians. some 80,000 people gathered to receive the easter blessing. we'll be right back. behr presents: outdone yourself. staining be done... and stay done through every season. behr semi-transparent stain, overall #1 rated. stay done for years to come.
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okay. so the sunday shows lit up with impeachment talk today and house democrats aren't shying away about what should happen to the president following the mueller findings. >> impeachment is likely to be unself. now it may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless. >> i'm not there yet but i can foresee that possibly coming. >> we may get to that. we may not. as i said before, it is our job to go through all the evidence. if proven some of this would be impeachable, yes. >> okay. is some democrats throw around the "i" word rudy giuliani was on the sunday talk shows, as well, saying that working with the russians on campaign dirt is basically political strategori.
>> there's nothing wrong with taking information from russians. depends on where it came from. it depends on where it came from. >> dana milbank is following from "the washington post" and raul av -- alviar. welcome to you both on this sunday. dana, to impeach or not to impeach. this seems to be what's causing the divide in the democratic party, doesn't it? >> it is. i mean, look. i think probably privately they'd all like to see that happen. the question is, what's the point? now if the point is to remove him from office, well then there really is no point in going ahead with impeachment because we know he'll never be convicted by the senate. but if impeachment is about making the point that this is unacceptable behavior, essentially glorified sensure
vote then you see them saying slow down. not joining with the rank and file and saying let's have the hearings. the whole idea is to put this all in front of the american public and whether that leads to impeachment or whether that leads to schenn sure or to reconsider the wisdom of donald trump president next year the outcome would be largely the same. >> raul, you are the democrat here. and the strategist. if you're strategizing for nancy pelosi and the democrats, it's really a sticky situation. what do you do? >> i think what speaker pelosi is doing right now is what we need to be doing, we need have the full redacted report and have congress be able to look at it and mueller come up and testify, as well, and both the senate and the house. so i think this is exactly what needs to happen and as we keep moving down the line we're going to find out exactly what might
be impeachable if there is stuff that's impeachable. >> you know very well that the fully unredacted office if they decide to release it, it takes a while to play out and by the time it's all played out it will be november of 2020. and we're at the election again. so, you know, there are many democrats who are saying, eh, you're kind of just kicking the can down the road. >> yeah. we can also look at it the opposite side, the cart before the horse. you want to make sure you have all the information that you need to make an assessment and move from that point on. i think americans will start to decide it's still very early and as we move on through this process americans will go ahead and make the decisions based upon a number of different things and this is a part of it. >> okay. dana, meantime, you cover washington. you know the histories well there. you know impeachment did not go through with bill clinton at
all. but we know that the process took place with richard nixon and near the end is where finally some members of his party kind of turned on him. do you think that there's a possibility that that could happen, as well, if the democrats go down the impeachment road? >> there's always a possibility of anything happening and seems unlikely and that argues for having hearings, having this information out there. now, mueller essentially invited further investigation by congress into the obstruction issues but then there's all the other issues of the hush money payments, the inauguration. put these things out there. it seems to me that if ple republicans are enkleined to join with democrat this is's a matter and some benefit of public education, even if the republicans never sign on and at least they'll be made to explain why this is all acceptable behavior by a president of the
united states. >> here's where the voters stand on all of this. this is after mueller findings came out. 40% of the voters in the poll by reuters say that trump should be impeached. 42% disagree. it is like the election itself. this country's divided. you get a sense of voters care about this or more focused on the real issues to deal with on a day-to-day basis? >> i think you hit the nail on the head. how do they take care of their family and take care of children god forbid they're sick? those are the issues americans focus on, the issues that democrats talking about and i think that will prove beneficial to us as we move towards 2020. >> should point out to be able to make that the paycheck is cleared, nbc universal and mgm parks are great in orlando, as well. many corporate synergy.
dana and raul, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. all right. still ahead, nevertheless, she insisted senator elizabeth warren takes a hard line on impeachment proceedings. how are the candidates distinguishing themselves with the mueller report response. and take me to church. that's a message from senator kamala harris this holiday weekend on the campaign trail. how voters in south carolina are responding to her message. f you. from using feedback to innovate... to introducing products faster... to managing website inventory... and network bandwidth. giving you a nice big edge over your competition. that's the power of edge-to-edge intelligence.
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time now for roundup of the other headlines across the world. first time in nine centuries notre dame did not hold an easter service this sunday. displaced people gathered in a nearby church for the holiday. froench officials say the cathedral isn't expected to reopen to the public for at least five or six years. investigators believe the fire was an accident. a deadly hurricane that struck the florida panhandle last year just got upgraded. scientists at the national hurricane center say after months of review hurricane michael was indeed a category 5 storm with at least 160-mile-per-hour sustained winds. last october it was a category 4 and blamed for 16 deaths and $25 billion in damages. and is first cat 5 storm to hit the u.s. since andrew in 1992. tomorrow is earth day. worldwide various events are
held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. it was first celebrated in 1970. earth day includes events many more than 193 countries and coordinated globally. from earth day to birthday. queen elizabeth ii celebrating the 93rd birthday today. the sunday the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen. the second official celebration will be in june. the queen marked easter by attending a service with other senior royals at st. joinlg's chapel on the grounds of windsor castle west of london. noticeably absent is meghan who's pregnant. but we say happy birthday to the queen. y as, queen. okay. so joe biden is set to end months of suspension by officially announcing a run for president next week. he will enter as the declared democratic front-runner making
an already packed field even more crowded. despite the holiday, candidates hit the trail across the country. kamala harris in south carolina. nbc's vaughn hilliard is with her campaign in south carolina. vaughn? >> reporter: good afternoon, kendis. kamala har wis on the way to new hampshire for a two-day swing up north after a weekend and three days here in south carolina. this morning she took part in an easter service here in columbia, south carolina. bible way church. this is part 0of the campaign trail. several folks here said they were unfamiliar with who cara ma harris was or a candidate until she was introduced and this is the reality. she was here for easter service and while you know the discussion of potential impeachment proceedings of the president take place, kamala harris across south carolina. the fourth such trip to the state since announcing the presidential bid. this is a democratic electorate
that's 60% black. several folks here after the service said that they were not only surprised but happy to see somebody, a black woman, running for office and said they want to know more about where she stands on certain issues and intrigued by the candidacy and good to see somebody in the democratic field that reflects them, the experiences and the life that they have lived. she is headed to new hampshire and then texas on wednesday before nevada on saturday, kendis. >> i find it interesting, vaughn, our thanks to you, hitting up tx teixeiexas quite . joining me now are republican strategists and author of "branding america," noel nick poor and former assistant to president obama and former deputy labor secretary chris liu. thank you, all. noel thank you for being here with me. let's start with you and senator harris working hard for votes on
this holiday weekend. surprising she doesn't have some name or face recognition of south carolina blacks? is that a problem? >> it is a problem and watching the tape roll i was surprised as were you that she did not have a little bit more recognizable name i.d. you know? with the people coming out of the church saying this is the first time they heard anything about her. that's a little surprising. which means th, this tells me s has to raise more money to people know who she is. this puts joe biden when he announces right in a sweet spot because everybody knows who joe biden is and he won't have that burden of trying to get out and, you know, say who he is. everyone knows who he is. she's going to have to raise so much more money and she's doing the ground work. she is going to be in texas, already been in south carolina a lot. but she's got to do more ground
w work and got to raise more money. >> that's it. she is doing fairly well with the money raising aspect at $12 million. the first quarter. chris, as you know, every democrat on the national stage to decide on coming out for impeachment or against. how much more dangerous is this as a political run for president? as politicians run for president, rather in. >> right. i think the democratic candidates playing it smart focusing on the issues that matter most to voters, whether health care, education, the economy or not. they have to make a statement on impeachment. this is not an issue that they need to talk about. it's kind of a fuel that is getting the base riled up and it's one of the reasons why you see such large crowds showing up at the rallies, why you see big influx of grass roots dollars and much like how 2018 congressional candidates played it, they don't need to talk about it because that's out
there already. >> chris, i have two quick questions for you. of course, we all -- reporting that joe biden is expected to announce this week, possibly as early as wednesday in a video message. do you get a sense that the democratic base is waiting for joe all this time? >> you know, i think there's a large part of the base waiting for joe biden and i think he comes into this race as you say as the acknowledged front-runner. he has the ability to capture not only traditional parts of the base, union members, african-americans, white, woging class voters particularly in the midwest and he can raise the money and the big brand recognition and the unknown is campaigning skills and stay disciplined and focused on the issue at hand. he has the potential to completely change the dynamics of the race and that's certainly making it challenging for candidates like klobuchar, others trying to tap into the same base. >> to you, you were the former
assistant to president obama at one point. you know your old boss. there are many horses in this race that your old boss is very familiar with including kamala harris and saying that he tried to get her to be attorney general. joaquin castro and joe biden. do you think he's pushing the kind of support anybody at this point or just like, y'all figure it out and let me know? >> i think he'll sit it out and in addition to the folks you have mentioned he's also met i think with most of the candidates at this point. >> he met with people -- buttigieg in 2016 and tried to get him to run for bigger office, as well. >> absolutely. let's not forget he served in the u.s. senate with amy klobuchar, knows elizabeth warren. he has deep relationships, obviously, with many of the people and i think from his standpoint these are all good candidates and he thinks it's beneficial to have as many people out there as possible talking about the issues that talk to people and let the
voters divide. >> picking up on the obama years and the obama legacy, you get a sense that joe biden running on that legacy? are people ready for that? he was popular in the democratic base but do you get a sense that they're ready to look for more futuristic message of biden? >> depends on what state he is in because if you will remember, you know, pennsylvania, wisconsin, some of the states that normally go for the democrat went for trump. so there was kind of an undercurrent of people being upset about the current conditions and felt like they weren't recognized now. with that said, are they happy with trump's performance? are they still going to be part of that trump base? is that a one-time deal? now they feel like they want to go back and switch back? joe biden probably got more of the skill set to make a play for those states that were once blue that didn't go for hillary clinton that they went for trump so he may be in a sweet spot for the
states. >> not necessarily for iowa, new
hampshire, south carolina, california, texas. he's got to get through a whole lot before he gets to the states. >> true. >> noelle, thank you. chris, thank you, as well. still ahead, the prince of perjury? what the mueller report revealed about a president pal named prince that could prompt charges for him. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen.
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eric prince, ally of president trump, and of course, a brother of education secretary betty devos and found himself in the crosshairs of the investigation. prince founder of blackwater and raised eyebrows after holding secret meeting with a russian financier in the islands in the indian ocean before the election and said the meeting happened by chance, just going to hang out there. but the mueller report says it was set up in advance and that the meeting's coordinator assured him that they had influence and sets up what could become a possible perjury charge for prince. joining me is harry litman, a former u.s. attorney and former assistant attorney general.
and washington examiner writer and editor saraj. prince clearly lied. do you think they'll pursue charges? >> he lied about something that matters. he lied about essentially the trump administration's conduct of foreign policy with russia at a time when they weren't in office. supposed to have one president at a time. it is pretty serious. like everything else now in congress with the mueller report, it is tied up in broader political considerations but if they refer it to a u.s. attorney it would be taken very seriously. there's really very little to say to try to suggest it wasn't a material and knowing lie. >> we should point out that congress only recently i believe two months ago handed over the transcripts, were able to hand over the transcripts from many of the witness interviews to the mueller team.
>> right. >> there is another trump tower meeting that we're not talking about. prince met with the trump campaign and didn't tell congress about it. prince was asked why not in an amazing interview. here's his answer. >> i did. as part of the investigations. i certainly disclosed any meetings. the very -- >> not in the congressional testimony you gave to the house. you didn't mention anything about the trump tower meeting. you didn't answer that. >> i don't believe i was asked that question. >> you were asked whether any form of communications or contact with the campaign. you said apart from writing letters, putting up yard signs, you said no. i have the transcript of the conversation. >> sure. i might have been -- i think i was at trump headquarters or the campaign headquarters -- >> trump tower, august 2016. >> possible. >> one would have to hope he did a better job of answering questions to prosecutors. >> one thing that prince did
that hurt himself is not shut up. there are few things that you can really say that eric prince did that, you know, doesn't make a good case for perjury and with respect to his meeting in the seychelles in august of 2016, sure, certain efforts by the russian government to collude or help the trump campaign and it seems that eric prince and at least a number of officials were not very receptive to russia helping them out and this meeting in the seychelles he was not impressed with eric prince had to say and people tend to enflat their own self importance and seems like eric prince did here. >> trump's former lawyer, help me understand this. michael cohen. was sent to jail for lying to congress. why not prince? >> no, right. there's inflating and there's flagrant lying and what he did and of course the original point
is true. when all was said and done they wanted somebody higher up but the idea -- it's clear prince was trying to say that he had great contacts and did talk about it with bannon. this is a flat-out attempt to run some foreign policy before russia before the inauguration is done. if cohen could be convicted certainly so could prince. this is not inflating. this is lying. >> and speaking of cohen mean time, there was an interesting article in today's "the new york times" details how it fell apart between cohen and trump. it reads in part here, dozens of previously unreported e-mails, text msz ands and documents reviewed by "the new york times" suggest that the falling out with mr. trump may have been avoidable. you think that prince could flip just as well as cohen did so easily?
>> there may not be a need for eric prince to flip considering that he is already pretty much doomed himself. if we are looking at the lies that he told or the conflicting statements that he told congress versus what he told the special counsel, almost as plain as day. you need to get special counsel robert mueller in front of congress to verify that the comments made by eric prince to the special counsel are in fact accurate and that might be the nail in the coffin right there. >> one more quick point. george nader in the grand jury talking about those things redacted from the report but that could still be in play in the other referred cases. >> all right. there was an interesting little nugget of that "the new york times" article by the way where michael cohen had a photo that he posted with tom arnold, the actor and apparently that got the president a little upset. little jealous? don't you know once you break up with somebody, just turn them off ux unfollow them or mute
them on insta. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i thought we were here to talk eric prince. why instagram and tom arnold the actor? thank you. tonight, now that the redacted mueller report is public, join ari melber as he breaks down what it all means and what comes next. watch a special coverage tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. we'll be right back. security number on the dark web. good, cuz i'm a little worried about my information getting out. why's that? [bird speaking] my social is 8- 7- 5 dash okay, i see. [bird laughing] somebody thinks it's hilarious. free social security alerts from discover. somebody thinks it's hilarious. craftsmanship and technology that have made the rx the leading luxury suv of all time. lease the 2019 rx 350 for $409 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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that will do it for this hour of "msnbc live." i'll be back. you can follow me on twitter and instagram. the news continues now with my friend. it's kind of weird. like, i remember you from another channel somewhere. >> a million years ago. >> somewhere. >> a million years ago. great to see you again. a lot to get to today. i'm phillip mena. senator warren said impeach donald trump now and hearing crickets in the house leading to the question what more information are they waiting for? while robert mueller seems to have stuck to guidelines the sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, what happens when trump leaves office? plus, joe biden finally ready to run. an announcement expected in just days. how does he fit into the crowded democratic field? a close eye on the deadly