tv Deadline White House MSNBC December 2, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern with stephanie ruhle and at 3:00 p.m. eastern. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. where team trump is expected to be a no-show at the house judiciary committee's first public impeachment hearing on wednesday. the president, and his lawyers doubling down on complaints about the impeachment process as the flow of evidence from the investigation underscores and confirms what two weeks of public testimony laid bare, an attempted extortion campaign run from the top down by the president, his personal lawyer, and their deputies. and becoming even clearer today, it was carried out against the backdrop of potentially tragic consequences for a nation at war. ukrainian president zelensky speaking out today in a brand-new interview saying this. quote, i don't want us to look like beggars, but you have to understand we are at war.
if you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us. i think that's just about fairness. it's not about a quid pro quo. it just goes without saying. trump of course seeking to twist zelensky's words because they had a chance of knocking any sense into the kinds of republicans who at other points in time were moved by the life and death struggles of russia's adversaries with a tirade of lies, instead of engaging on the troubling facts of the pressure campaign, trump's lawyer is choosing instead to launch their process attacks in a new letter that calls the impeachment process unfair and irretrievebly broken. working on a report of their own today detailing the findings of their investigations as new revelations further clarify the picture of a president who withheld military aid into a politically motivated investigations were announced publicly. our friend a.b. stoddard writing
in "the bulwark" a series of new developments started breaking in the press. stoddard then lists a report about russia's years-long effort to blame ukraine for election meddling. new reporting about mick mulvaney's scramble to find legal justifications for trump's actions after the fact and news that two white house budget office officials had resigned in protest over trump's delay for military aid for ukraine. but jerry nadler put in a statement today, quote, if the president thinks the call was perfect and there is nothing to hide, then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power. the case against the president and his refusal to offer even a scrap of evidence to refute any of the facts is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. from "the washington post"
national political reporter robert costa with us on set senior writer for politico, jake sherman. former democratic congresswoman donna edwards is back. plus, former chief spokesman for the department of justice matt miller is here. bob costa, let me start with you. i thought a.b. stoddard's piece put into sharp relief the actual dynamic. and i know we all swim in the political reality, but the actual dynamic is that two weeks of sworn testimony with a punishment for lying being perjury has only been confirmed by subsequent revelations reporting in your newspaper and other news organizations. just talk about what is becoming sort of beyond debate, the facts of this case, what trump did. >> president trump's allies on capitol hill are reluctant to engage in a substantive debate about the substance of the testimony because they feel that's not a comfortable position for them to be in ahead of a senate trial, ahead of their own elections in 2020.
instead, in private conversations and in the documents they are continuing to release this week, their counter report, they are arguing that the process isn't fair to president trump and trying to just move on from the actual discussion about the president's conducting of foreign policy. >> you know, jake, to bob costa's point, i mean, it's what you do when you have no facts. and what's so interesting is that it's sort of described as a fait acompli, how this is all going to end. i hate to use the word smoking gun because it feels like we have 17 of them, smoking guns in the form of witnesses in the impeachment investigation, but do you think there is any sort of doubling or tripling or quadrupling of the fact pattern that people are hearing or has that all been tuned out? >> i think it's been tuned out. i agree with bob completely. he's right. i got a call from a trump ally today on capitol hill who said
the only bipartisan vote will be the democrats abandon their party and vote with us against impeachment, which i think will be interesting to see in the house of representatives that there might be some democrats who vote against impeachment. there is not going to be any smoking gun that's going to appreciably change the political dynamics. i don't think at this point it doesn't seem that there will be. now we are entering a new phase of this process where the judiciary committee is going to pick up. there's been some unease in how they have conducted themselves in the past. we will see if that -- >> talk about that because i picked up on that too. >> i think nancy pelosi and ms. edwards could talk about this maybe better than i can. but she trusted adam schiff much more than she trusted jerry nadler. >> let's be super duper duper blunt. [ laughter ] because this has already taken a turn to the political dynamics. and, i mean, the blunt assessment i heard from a source close to the house intel committee is that if you think it was an accomplishment for public opinion to rise to 50% of the public who supports donald
trump's impeachment and removal, the terror now is watch it deflate as gnatler takes over. >> that's right. but we are not talking about a huge swing in public opinion. >> it's ten points higher than mueller. >> but i don't think it's going to go back down to this point. they believe they are within a two-or three-point window where they have public opinion on their side. that's why they want to move quickly. i laid out a case in point that i think moving quickly is not the best thing for house democrats. but they want to do this by the end of the year. jerry nadler has his work cut out for him which adam schiff, when did you like him or not, had a really tight grip on the process which was really useful for democrats, frustrated republicans, even republicans who considered adam schiff to be a decently honest player on the intelligence committee came away with this process with how he
conducted himself on the process and how tight of a grip he had on the committee. >> the political reality may feel uphill for democrats. but i am just blown away, and a.b. stoddard's piece, at least for me today, is laying brick after brick after brick of the same exact story. and these were right-wing nuts, and i say that lovingly, having once swung around with a lot of right-wing nuts to lifelong diplomats who really despise the idea of being associated with either party, told the same exact story. since that investigation democrats are now armed with new reporting, one that trump knew about the whistle-blower complaint before he ever started throwing around the word no quid pro quo. two, that two omb officials resigned. the facts keep telling the same story over and over again. >> yeah. the irony of the situation is the reason democrats have tried to move so quickly is they are trying to bend over backwards to
be fair to the president. it ought to wrap up before we get into the heart of the election season. if they make the calculation that, look, republicans aren't going to move no matter what, republicans just have their minds closed, completely partisan, they are not going to look at any evidence, so let's just try to weaken the president to the greatest extent possible, they would keep this impeachment inquiry going for months. their powers are at the maximum with the courts. more willing to enforce them. they can keep public opinion focused on the president's misconduct versus all the things he wants the press and the public to chase from time to time. but they have tried to be fair. they have tried to move quickly to accommodate the president and to accommodate the country's need or what they perceive to be the country's need to get this over with before the election. now the president of course he turns around and uses that against them and saying that they are rushing to do this rather than to take their time. it's ironic. i think what it shows is there is no good faith answer on the other side. they are going to criticize the
process if it goes fast. they are going to criticize the process if it goes slow. they are going to criticize it if you let the president's lawyer participates. so i think the democrats just have to lay their best case forward and let the political fallout be what it is. >> i think all the fact that the pressure's on the democrats to keep doing what they've already done, which is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that donald trump held military aid out for a country at war, that very powerful interview with zelensky makes clear, in exchange for an anticipation and waiting for a public commitment of the investigations. what else can they do? >> well, here's what they can't do and what they can't do is allow the next phase of the process to get out of control. and i think that you're talking about a judiciary committee, republicans and democrats, it's hyperpartisan, that spans the spectrum of democratic and
republican parties. and i think that there is a danger that democrats in this phase of the process actually could overstep their boundaries, and there still is a lot of pressure to bring in the mueller findings into the articles of impeachment inquiry. i think that the ukraine story is understandable. democrats just need to drill it down to the basic facts, present them to the american people. i don't know that that's going to move republicans. i don't know that it's going to move certainly on that committee and in the congress. but it actually could move that sliver of the public that it isn't quite as tuned in yet. we have to keep in mind that even though there was high viewership of the hearings that took place, it wasn't as high as it could be, and there were still people who didn't tune into all of it during that time. and so there are still people who can be moved. but if democrats overstep their
bounds, then they are going to be in deep trouble. and i think judging from the mueller hearing before, we saw that happen, and i don't think it went well for democrats. >> i know they listened to you. so just be super blunt. is your bottom line do what adam schiff did, don't do what you did with the mueller hearings? is that your advice to them? >> well, i think so. [ laughter ] i think that one of the things they'd be right to do is actually have professional questioning. incredibly well for the intelligence committee. and gichbt make-up of the judiciary committee -- i'm being really diplomatic. >> i love it. i forgot all my diplomatic niceties, not that i had many. take me inside what could possibly explain trump's interpretation of the zelensky interview. he says in this interview, basically -- he says i don't trust anyone at all, ukraine president zelensky speaks out on
trump, putin, and a divided europe. i don't trust anyone. and he talks about basically the kinds of messages that we heard from ambassador bill taylor that, you know, just in the last few days ukrainians have died, ukrainian soldiers have died at the hands of russians. i think 13,000 ukrainians have died in this conflict. is there anything that sobers this up? or is the whole thing sort of lost to the politics of it? >> you see not only president trump, but other republicans continuing to talk about the biden family, hunter biden, burisma, and not talking about the ongoing hot war in ukraine with russia about the issues, about crimea, and that is the real dividing line in this impeachment process is that most democrats see a ukrainian president, a 41-year-old volodymyr zelensky struggling to get military aid, securing it
from the united states congress, yet finding it delayed month after month. and hearing this president talk about corruption and issues there amid this delay and aid and seeing a real abuse of power in that sort of conduct from president trump. but republicans keep trying to say president trump's intent was simply to look at corruption and the intent, if that was the intent, it's excusable. and so far because we live in such a partisan era, you see both camps essentially staying in their respective spots. >> so let me ask you about a man who may be one day be described by trump as a mistake. we learned there may be more federal charges, more accusations against rudy giuliani's two business men. i believe it's fair to call them rudy giuliani and donald trump's men on the ground in ukraine. they were involved in smearing marie yovanovitch, the recalled u.s. ambassador to ukraine. they expect to file additional
charges in their case against giuliani's associates, lev parnas, igor fruman, and a couple more names challenging for me to pronounce. but, bob costa, what is sort of the state of rudy giuliani right now? what is the gravest concern? and are you picking up that he's been given any reassurances that this won't go very far from the very trump friendly justice department? >> there are many lingering questions about mr. giuliani and how he dealt with these associates, lev parnas and igor fruman. and the real questions remaining are about president trump's involvement in private conversations with mr. parnas and mr. fruman have both mentioned having exchanges with president trump through their lawyers. learning more about those exchanges will give us a better picture of what president trump explicitly did or not in terms of directing some kind of outside of the chain of command foreign policy operation. >> you know, matt, bob's colleague bob woodward says the truth emerges, and it emerges
from weird places. but as bob costa is saying, it could emerge from sort of working their way up. there aren't that many people between lev parnas and igor fruman. and there's nobody between them and rudy giuliani. and according to rudy giuliani, there was nobody between rudy giuliani. he was there on behalf of the president. this seems like a very ominous sign for rudy and potentially the president. >> i think so. look, the truth emerges when the people who are trying to get to the truth have leverage. it was i think incredibly impressive how much of this scheme adam schiff was able to uncover given what they had to work with. in two months they were able to break the stonewall, get witnesses, hold public hearings. it really revealed to the american public. they didn't have a lot -- they don't have -- they can't threaten people with federal charges. what the southern district of new york can do is threaten people with charges. rudy giuliani is under investigation. the prosecutor said in court today it's likely there will be superseding indictments. those can be additional charges.
it could be charges against rudy himself. and so i think when you look at the parallel tracks that these investigations have been going on, the kind of political investigation in the house that could result in impeachment and the criminal investigation in the justice department. as the criminal investigation keeps working its way forward and kind of moving up the chain in the same way we've seen criminal investigations move forever and ever and ever. when it gets to rudy giuliani, eventually you are left with this same question. he's left with this same question that people always are left with in that situation. am i going to cooperate and help myself out or am i going to take one for president trump? and maybe he will make the gamble which is what other people have made which is i will hold out for a pardon. roger stone is going to go to jail awaiting his pardon. >> they are all in jail. do you think that there is interest in these committees, or is there a real willingness to sort of let the southern district run its course? >> there is definitely an
interest. a few thoughts. number one, we were talking about this before the show. but if they're already involved with the justice department, there is probably little chance that they are going to feel the need to talk to congressional investigators and there's not much overlap. it's not that the justice department is going to say we'll let you off the hook. >> you reported though that parnas' lawyer has offered. >> but that's an offer from one side. i'm not sure that that's a reciprocal agreement. i don't think we know that at this point. and the speed that democrats want to proceed precludes them talking to this universe of witnesses. there's not much time. think about what needs to happen in the next three weeks to get this done before the end of the year. adam schiff needs to go in front of the judiciary committee. republicans need to respond. they need to do articles of impeachment. that took three days alone 1998. there's a lot of stuff to get done in a short period of time the democrats really want to get this done in. >> bob costa, i'm going to give you the last word before we lose you. do you understand that there was any debate inside the white house about how to respond or
whether or not to send someone to the judiciary committee hearings? or was that a pretty cut and dry decision made by the white house counsel? >> there has been internal debate about whether to send someone from the white house. but ultimately it was decided that the republicans and president trump want to argue that this is a process that's illegitimate in their eyes, and that's the case they want to make. so by not participating they are making that case. but they are putting some pressure on congressman collins and others on the judiciary committee to make sure that they are going to speak up and have a pretty forceful case on president trump's behalf in the coming days. but as ever, president trump wants to mount an outside operation from the white house, a media-driven, tweet-driven at this point. >> and that's to be expected. we'll all be watching for it. bob costa, thank you for spending some time with us. when we come back, donald trump's fake orgasm did more than disgust viewers everywhere.
his r-rated performance also served as a proverbial straw that broke the camel's back and forced her to break her silence. we will show you her in-depth interview and the president's angry twitter response. also ahead the putin talking point that the gop just can't quit. we go behind the propaganda and ask why. and trump's first nato summit since his former national security adviser john bolton was caught behind closed doors suggesting trump could someday withdraw from the alliance. all those stories coming up. before we talk about tax-smart investing, what's new? -well, audrey's expecting... -twins! grandparents! we want to put money aside for them, so...change in plans. alright, let's see what we can adjust. ♪
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lisa page, what a group. she's going to win 10 million to one she is going to win i'm telling you. oh, i love you so much, peter. i love you, peter. i love you too, lisa. lisa, i love you. lisa, oh, god, i love you, lisa. [ laughter ] >> we normally would not show you any of that. we are not sure exactly what the president's acting out there. maybe a sex scene. we are not sure in front of thousands of people. but these are not normal times, and imagine being lisa. in that moment, the most powerful man in the world piggishly humiliating her by name on a stage seen by millions. in fact that moment we just saw was the moment that page decided she needed to break her silence. in a brand-new interview published by "the daily beast,"
former fbi official lisa page whose text messages with peter struck, also an fbi agent were released to the public almost exactly two years ago. describes how profoundly the scandal has affected her life. from that interview, quote, i wouldn't even call it ptsd because it's not over, it's ongoing. it's not a historical event that's being relived. it just keeps happening. and as if on cue the president couldn't help himself, trump tweeted about the interview this afternoon writing, quote, when lisa page, the lover of peter strzok talks about being crushed, ask how innocent she is, ask her to read peter's insurance policy. also why were the lover's text messages scrubbed after he left mueller? why they, lisa? the doj inspector general is expected to release his report according to the "new york times" it will reveal no
evidence was found to support the accusation that the fbi attempted to spy on trump's 2016 campaign. joining our conversation adam goldman, reporter from the "new york times." he's been on this story on this beat for a long time. were you surprised that lisa page picked this moment to tell her story in that interview in "the daily beast"? >> a little bit because she's been silent for two years now, and now she's going to find herself in a bar room brawl with the president of the united states. and we found that typically when you get into this kind of a fight with the president, you are not always on the winning side. he's got the most powerful podium, perch, in the world. and he can do an enormous amount of damage in his tweets or as we just saw in these rationalize. >> i guess i would just ask if -- i mean, this is how she describes her life. how much more damage can he do to her? i'm someone who is always in my head anyway, so otherwise now normal interactions take on a
different meeting like when someone makes eye contact with me on the metro, i kind wince. it's immediately a question of friend or foe. if i'm walking down the street and there's somebody wearing trump gear or maga hat, i will try to put some distance between us because i'm not looking for conflict. really what i want most in this world is my life back. he's taken away an institution she revered. he's taken away her privacy, feeling hunted on subway trains. i think the decision to speak out seemed either tied to thinking that this i.g. report might exonerate her or just, you know, this sort of feeling at the end of being liberated by what else can he do to me that he hasn't already done? >> it's clear from her piece she got fed up and she wanted to speak out. i think what trump could get back with her is her ability to move on, to lead a normal life, to raise her two children, to repair her relationship with her
husband, which clearly they have been struggling to do. but every time he tweets about her or says something about her, she's got to relive this moment. it's like people who go to therapy are trying to resolve the past. but she can't move forward. she can't move forward because he is always putting it in front of her. he is always sort of making her relive these mistakes that she clearly regrets. i don't think she wanted to leave the fbi. she wanted to, you know, jeopardize her relationship with her husband over this affair. she acknowledges she makes all these mistakes, but he's not preventing her from moving on with her life. it also raises the question why does trump feel the need to do this? she was not to mitigate the text, but she was just a lawyer at the fbi. she had no operational control. she didn't get to decide what cases were opened or what cases were not. yes, people consulted her because she was an expert on national security law. but she wasn't running the show there by any means.
>> do you think trump is re-upping? he obviously could have ignored. this was a deeply personal interview in "the daily beast." do you think he's re-upping these attacks to have fresh ammunition? what's the i.g. report going to say based on your reporting? >> the i.g. report is going to sta say a lot. it's more than 400 pages. there are going to be a lot of different takeaways. i think the primary one was there wasn't some sinister politically motivated plot to take down the president, right? >> no spying. >> well, the spying issue is a semantic one. you know, people who say that the fbi ran an informant and at least one informant, maybe more in an undercover agtd at george papadopoulos. there are people who are going to interpret that. if you are using an informant to spy on these people who were associated with the campaign at
that time, maybe that's a form of spying. i think fbi director chris wray has taken a different position. he says he didn't see spying, maybe because he is saying that, you know, properly predicated lawful surveillance on suspects doesn't constitute spying. so there is something of a distinction there. one thing i understand is they didn't try to -- trump had tweeted this idea that they tried to infiltrate the campaign. but it's my understanding they didn't try to place informants or undercovers inside the campaign. now that would literally be spying if they did that. it's also going to debunk a number of right-wing conspiracy theories that somehow john brennan, the former cia director was the former puppet master giving information to the fbi to open their investigation to take down the president. i think that's going to be proven to be false. >> and we will see. donna, i know the president's been brutal to lisa page's former boss, andy mccabe, to
andy mccabe. he savages men and women regularly. but it seems that he does reserve the most humiliating enactments and i'm not clear on what that totally was for women. >> what struck me in all of this is not just the president attacking lisa page in the way that she did. and the way that she describes how she is physically affected by every one of his attacks, it feels very much like, you know, some kind of really abusive relationship. but he does reserve it for women. what i am struck by those is rod rosenstein, just like mike pompeo, did not, you know, in the department of justice didn't defend those fbi employees when he knew that they didn't do anything wrong even though it was inopportune for them to talk about the president in that way. and mike pompeo who didn't defend ambassador yovanovitch. and both of these women have
come under attack by the president of the united states. >> and she actually saves some of her harshest words for the institution. she still reveres. we are going to get to that in the next block. after the break while the human carnage on page are described by page herself, she saves her most haunting observations about the justice department abandoning its principles of truth and independence. we will show those comments to you next. we will show those como you next edicare. gimme two minutes. and i'll tell you some important things to know about medicare. first, it doesn't pay for everything. say this pizza... [mmm pizza...] is your part b medical expenses. this much - about 80 percent... medicare will pay for. what's left... this slice here... well... that's on you. and that's where an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company comes in. this type of plan helps pay some of what medicare doesn't.
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we're back. we have been talking about an extraordinary first interview with former senior fbi official lisa page, a frequent target of donald trump's. here's what she says about the justice department. quote, the thing about the fbi that is so extraordinary is that it is made up of a group of men and women whose every instinct is to run toward the fight. it's in the fiber of everybody there. it's the life blood. so it's particularly devastating to be betrayed by an
organization i still care about so deeply. and it's crushing to see the noble justice department, my justice department, the place i grew up in, feel like it's abandoned its principles of truth and independence. i can't say this is the first time i've heard that sentiment expressed. >> no. we have heard that over and over from people who have been at the justice department for the last three years really going back to the very beginnings of the trump administration starting with the moment when he fired jim comey. and i think the frustration she expresses in that article, obviously she has a lot to say about donald trump. but when she talks about what's happened at doj, she's not really talking about donald trump. we expect that kind of behavior from him. i think everyone that watched the campaign expected that he was going to -- >> so name names. >> i think she is talking about rod rosenstein, jeff sessions. rod rosenstein made the decision to release her text messages before the i.g. report was completed. and to hand them over to congress. what's notable is the context in which he did it. he didn't just turn them over
kind of in the sort of regularly scheduled production of documents. he turned them over to congress the night before he was due on the hill and was expected to get beaten up by republicans for not exceeding some of their crazy demands. he basically threw lisa page and pete strzok to the wolves to save himself. it was a despicable thing for him to do. it's one of the things along with the memo he wrote justifying the comey firing that i think said to a lot of department veterans like me that rod rosenstein was not the protector of the department that we expected him to be. >> the rod rosenstein picture is muddy. and taking that sort of chapter and putting it alongside the fact that republicans move to impeach. they are now going through this very deliberate, very thoughtful, a case proven 17 times over process about impeaching donald trump for abu abuses of power carried out and confessed to. republicans were going to
impeach rod rosenstein. they drafted articles of impeachment. so, you know, you are right, but it was also an extraordinary moment for the department i'm sure. >> well, and remember, the person who prevented that was paul ryan who kind of put the horses back in the barn, so to speak. >> you can call them horses. >> this is a mark meadows' driven production when he was trying to -- i'm not going to say -- >> meadows, jordan. >> it was the freedom caucus which had extreme power the last congress. and paul ryan did a lot to try to hold them back and successfully did for a long time. but, listen, this is the politics of today. people justify certain actions because they believe it will get them in the good graces of president trump. you see that now on capitol hill where you have voices of traditional foreign policy kind of turning away from that embracing conspiracy theories, embracing far-flung ideas. and you can't get into
somebody's head. but what people are doing lines up with what the president believes and the president says. so you can put those two things together and come up with a conclusion. >> one quick thing about that, which is, you are right, they were going after rod rosenstein pretty hard. they threatened to impeach him. they held him into contempt. i never saw him more forcy, more angry and more committed to do the right thing where he would say, you want to come after me, fine? you want to come after the people that want to work through the justice department, that's a leader's job, it's what jeff sessions and rod rosenstein and bill barr have never gotten with this president. >> once the i.g. report is released next week and it debunks a lot of these conspiracy theories but also is going to shine the light on some serious problems that they did putting this fisa together, what's chris wray going to do? is he going to have his moment and finally stand up? you've heard from him every now and then, i wouldn't call this spying. but is he actually going to
stand up and do a forceful news conference and defend the agents and the staff of the fbi, the country's premier law enforcement agency? what is he going to do? and is he going to continue to allow -- none of these facts might matter, by the way. the freedom caucus, they might to the care. they are just going to keep saying what they're saying. but what is wray going to do? when is enough enough? and the fbi, when the i.g. report comes out and shows there wasn't some great conspiracy to take down the president, you know, the fbi is just going to -- spent the last two or three years demolishing that institution. >> i guess, and we'll have to have this conversation another day, but the fbi fighting white nationalism, the president who plays footsy and sees people on both sides. echo putin's talking points. and the president, i'm sure, will be very reluctant to
abandon the conspiracy theories that have served him so well. i think it's a great point, a space to watch, what does chris wray do? thank you for spending some time with us. after the break putin's puppets working overtime to spread kremlin propaganda. is it time to press a little harder for the answer to why that is? - [spokeswoman] meet the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology, you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps.
russia was very aggressive, and they're much more sophisticated. but the fact that russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that president poroshenko actively worked for secretary clinton. now, if i'm wrong and if all -- >> actively worked for secretary? senator kennedy, you now have the president of ukraine saying he actively worked for the democratic nominee for president. now, come on. i got to put up, you realize the only other person selling this argument outside the united states is this man, vladimir putin. you have done exactly what the
russian operation is trying to get american politicians to do. are you at all concerned that you've been duped? >> no. because just read the articles. >> for the second sunday in a row in defiance of facts, intelligence assessments, reason, senator john kennedy was out peddling vladimir putin's talking points because as greg sergeant and "the washington post" notes, kennedy is saying not just that this interference happened but also that it justified trump's demand for investigations to get to the bottom of it as part of his efforts to fight foreign corruption, efforts that have never, ever, ever been documented by anyone anywhere in or out of the government. joining our conversation just in time editor-at-large for "the bulwark" charlie sykes. we have been watching these interviews, and we try not to
amplify russian propaganda here. but i keep airing that because i have not heard an explanation as to why. >> i wish i had one. i mean, this is the guy who has a degree from oxford. he's not an unintelligent man. yet he comes off as an addled russian asset on television. is this the price now to be paid for kurting favor in trump world? did he have to go full devin nunes on all of this? and i think this is part of the dilemma dealing with impeachment, the willingness of people who ought to know better to pedal this kind of flat-out b.s. it's just this torrent, this hurricane of misinformation from people who you would hope would keep a calmer head about them, a calmer demeanor. >> and i don't care if they lose their mind. like the lack of calm doesn't bother me. and the refusal to see facts is something that is -- that is what today's gop is defined by.
i don't understand the crimes of comission. >> we have spent the last three years figuring -- what is the line that republicans, that they won't cross. we found out there are no lines whatsoever. we are finding is how far they are willing to go to set their reputations on fire and to do the bidding of -- basically he's peddling propaganda that had been cooked up by russian military intelligence. this is a year's long effort to frame ukraine for this. this is flat-out misinformation. and it's kind of stunning, especially from a political party that claimed to have credibility on national security and that claims to be defending american interests, when, in fact, think what's going on here, that in fact you are weakening america, you are strengthening and giving aid and comfort to a country that has not only attacked us but is continuing to try to undermine
our democracy. >> and people are dying. i think zelensky's interview today, we are a country at war. bill taylor's testimony, you know, ukrainian soldier died in ukraine the week before he came to washington to testify. why are republicans playing with, you know, lit matches? >> first of all, the president is facing impeachment not because he betrayed ukraine but because he betrayed this country. he sold out this country's democracy and its national security. that's a point that i think needs to be made over and over and over again. and i think part of the extraordinary thing about this is to get your head around, i think it was john harwood who wrote a piece saying all roads lead to vladimir putin. think about how many stories that we have had in the last three years that raise the question why is donald trump doing this? why is he defending, rationalizing, enabling russian foreign policy at the expense not just of our allies but of our own position in the world. >> and, i mean, it's like a
braid and it all ties back. john bolton said behind closed doors in a hot mic moment that if trump's there for long, his foreign policy views could lead him to withdraw from nato where he's on right now. why doesn't richard burr care? why doesn't rob portman care? why don't the people who were, you know, i say this affectionately because i know these wars are challenging, why aren't they gauled by the russian corruption of u.s. foreign policy? >> because i think at the core they don't really believe in anything. there is no core principle, that everything the republicans have said about what they believed about america's role in the world turns out to be what? just sort of eye wash. i don't know what the other explanation is. they are afraid of tweets? >> maybe putin has a lot of tapes. now as we near the final threshold they must ask themselves these republicans if this doesn't merit impeachment what does? if an out of control executive faces no real check from the
legislative branch and can not only declare national emergencies to redirect congressionally appropriated and approved funds but also bribe a foreign government for help in his domestic political campaign by threatening to withhold more congressionally appropriated and approved funds, does congress have the power of the purse or oversight? what will they do when there's another democrat in the oval office? >> that's extraordinary the fact they have been willing to cede so much authority to the president, that they have been willing to act like they are a potted plant. but also maybe makes the other point if the president is in fact acquitted and there is not a majority of the senate that is willing to go on record saying that he's committed impeachable acts, then think about the way that this sets a precedent. and not just empowers donald trump but also his predecessors -- i mean his successors. but let's think about donald trump. the signal that donald trump will take from that vote. if you don't have republicans
willing to stand up and say this was wrong, he will take all of the instincts that he has to override the norms and the principles of democratic constitutional government. he will feel empowered and emboldened to simply roll over them. i can do these things because i have gotten away with them. and how many times have we seen that pattern? why does the president do x, y, or z? because he knows he can get away with it, and perhaps he is even going to be rewarded, and the republican party right now is rock solid behind him as i have ever seen truly. >> and it's remarkable because he is now rocking the chain of command at the military. he's been rocking the way the order and the discipline of the justice department since he got there. he's been attacking the cia since he got there. and to a.b.'s point, i'm not sure what other information they would need. inquiry. we'll look ahead to his big trip. that's next. welcome to the place where people go to learn about their medicare options... before they're on medicare.
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so any moment, air force one is expected to touch down in london. lucky them. for this year's nato summit. trump's meetings with world leaders are usually tense. sometimes disastrous. sometimes level set. but this time around, there's an added risk of volatility. given that he's facing an impeachment inquiry. always on his mind back home. everyone's still here. this is never, you know, high-water mark for this white
house. i mean, he shoved aside the leader of montenegro. i mean, these are high stakes, at the best of times. >> look. i think the best case for this is he gets out of this without any public embarrassment for the country, right? >> that's a home run. >> as he did shoving the leader of montenegro as you mentioned. but the more serious concern of this is he continues to do things that undermine nato. we mentioned in the last segment all roads go back to putin. this is the serious foreign policy challenge that -- that -- that comes up every time he has an interaction with a nato. where he goes and either does things, threaten things, or says things that actually undermine that alliance's ability to do its job. and i think that's the more serious challenge that we face in the next few days. >> and you saw today lindsey graham and chris van hollen, obviously bipartisan group of people call to sanction turkey for buying s-400 equipment from russia to be clear. so i mean, there is so much going on.
there's probably more going on within nato and the interpol ticks of nato than ever before. so it's a peril ess time. >> we used to sort of, you know, they were low-impact trips. now, we have to watch them like a hawk because anything can happen with donald trump. >> we're waiting for that precisely because these impeachment hearings are going on. and he might want to do and i don't even know what it is to distract us from that. so it's always a worry that we know he wants to deep six nato anyway. and how is it that he's going to do it that he undermines the entire alliance? and and we just have to say it's not normal to want to deep six nato. >> no. this is the fundamental foundational alliance of, you know, the post-war world. and this is where donald trump is not normal. is his disdain for our allies and his fascination with our enemies. is just something that i think historians are going to puzzle over for a long time. >> a long time. and i remember it was the first year that hr mcmaster and others were trying to force that
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my thanks to charlie sykes, jake sherman, donna edwards, matt miller. most of all, to you for watching. that does it for this hour. "mtp daily" with the fabulous katy tur in for chuck starts now. if it's monday, it's "meet the press daily." i'm katy tur in new york in for chuck todd. we are just moments away from key members of congress being able to get their first look at the house intelligence committee's impeachment report. and before that even happens, the first details of the republican rebuttal are emerging. nbc news can confirm that the 123-page report defends the prt