tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 27, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
the ex-president who was behind it all. the drumbeat that has only grown louder as hundreds of his supporters have been arrested by the justice department for their conduct during the attack on the u.s. capitol. some of them charged with crimes as serious as seditious conspiracy and as the public and investigative work in the january 6th select committee has revealed that january 6th was actually the culmination of a complex plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election overseeing and directed at every turn by donald j. trump. an administration official confirms that doj is indeed investigating donald trump's actions as part of its criminal probe into january 6th and the efforts to overturn the 2020 election. that major development was first reported by our friends at the washington post, from that washington post report, quote, prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury including two top aides to vp
mike pence have asked in recent days about conversations with ump from, his lawyers and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute trump allies for certified electors from some states joe biden won. that's according to two people familiar with the matter, both spoke anonymously. prosecutors asked hours of detailed questions about meetings trump led in december 2020 and january 2021. his pressure campaign on pence to overturn the election and what instructions trump gave his lawyers and advisors about fake electors and sending electors back to the states. some of the questions focused directly on the extent of trump's involvement in this fake electorate effort led by outside lawyers including eastman and rudy giuliani and yet another sign of just how far the doj probe has advanced, the post is also reporting that prosecutors have their hands on the phone records of some key trump officials and aides including those of former white house chief of staff mark meadows.
of course, meadows' text message provided such an incredible amount of information for the january 6th investigation that committee member adam kinzinger refers to meadows as the star witness even though he never testified. the committee has reached out to cassidy hutchinson. her riveting testimony pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the white house like anyone else who had come before her in these public hearings. nbc news is reporting this that cassidy hutchinson has recently cooperated with the department of justice investigation into the events of january 6th according to sources familiar with the matter. the justice department reached out to her following her testimony one month ago before the house committee investigating the january 6th capitol attack. the justice department setting its sights on the man at the heart of the plot to overturn the 2020 election is where we
begin today. washington post national investigative reporter carol leonnig who broke that bombshell we justed r from along with her colleagues, now katyal, and editor-at-large of the bull work, charlie sykes joins us, all msnbc contributors. carol, tell us about what broke at 6:58 and i missed it by 58 minutes and i am so excited to talk to you today. >> i wish we'd been two days earlier. so 58 minutes i would have been happy for that. nicole, it was a lot of work. i want to clap out my great colleagues at the post. the team was essential to breaking this story, but you know, let's focus what the story is many prosecutors have said to me in the wake of our story,
well, yeah, i thought he was the subject of the investigation and now we know indeed, he is the former president of the united states is the subject of a criminal investigation that is looking at two tracks and possibly four different possible crimes. that includes investigating the possibility that trump and his allies engaged in seditious conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding. conspiracy to defraud the u.s. government. also a series and sort of a grab bag of fraud in which they could have used the department of justice to try to block that proceeding, but also to try to use the department of justice in other levers of the government to defraud the american public, to push a criminal agreement that involved pushing a big lie and trying to overturn the
results of the election. the other thing we learned and this was the startling thing to me was that the justice department had obtained the phone records of senior and top aides, senior and junior aides in the trump white house to include mark meadows, the former chief of staff and that those records were obtained last april while the january 6th committee was chugging along and doing work and before the january 6th committee began its hearings. >> that's amazing. carol, we tried to piece together a time line of our own because that nugget about mark meadows' phone records is so interesting in terms of the time line for when the justice department decided not to prosecute him the way they have steve bannon. let me just put that up and go through some of this with you. in january, doj confirmed an investigation into the fake electors. in april, ali alexander says he
received a doj subpoena. at the end of april doj first starts requesting the transcripts and the first time they find out that they've asked for transcripts from the select committee. also in april they received the phone records of trump officials which includes mark meadows and we know from your incredible reporting and doj declines to prosecute meadows for contempt. do you think that they were on another track by then with meadows? is that a fair assumption, carol? >> you know, nicole. i have to say that i can't say with certainty. i'm so glad, by the way, i love a time line and we've made similar ones and you and i are on the same track in that regard. i don't like to say what i don't know, and i don't know if the access to his call data records related in any way to deciding not to prosecute.
my sense is from talking to sources and also just informed prosecutors and former prosecutors who worked in some of those offices that the decision with regard to meadows was how close he was to donald trump and what a senior official he was in term of the privilege of the executive to get the council and unadulterated, unabridged and unmitigated advice of senior aides. the president has that right and the decision not to prosecute had to do with that bond that's allowed between the president and the seniormost officials and the one that's most important is the national security adviser, but a white house chief of staff has to rank number two in the privileged hierarchy. >> back to what they the be doing with his phone records. that is the most intriguing part
of what you're reporting about, and i only add declining to prosecute because it was such a sore spot for the committee and they criticized into the position and nobody knew until your story broke that trump was the questioning. can you talk about the kinds of questions that have been put to witnesses about trump? >> yes. so one of the icing on the cake story if you will was great reporting by my colleagues about the kinds of questions that were being asked in the grand jury and the kinds of questions were stunningly focused on trump. for example, in the case of mark short and greg jacob, the questions hovered repeatedly around what did trump ask his lawyer to do? what did you hear trump say? then what was trump's reaction when you or the vice president said that's not legal?
these kinds of questions, over and over again like a water drill, and the amount of time focused on that would be, you know, no big deal if a reporter was asking a ton of questions about what did trump say? what did he do? it would be a bigger deal if an fbi agent kept asking a witness those kinds of questions. mr. short, mr. jacob, please tell me about the president, but when a prosecutor asks those questions in a grand jury andal almost up to 75% of the questions are like that, this is a prosecutor preparing for prosecution, who is preparing for trial. this is not a fishing expedition when you ask questions on the record in a grand jury and what you are seeking to do most typically is get information on the record that's going to be valuable to you in bringing an indictment. i'm not saying that the former
president is going to be indicted. i'm saying the venue is important and the fact that donald trump's actions were such a central piece is important, very important. it's not the only piece of information, by the way, that led us to report that donald trump is the subject of this -- is a subject of the investigation. neil katyal, we are all backseat legal experts watching donald trump sort of whodini his way out of three or four criminal probes, but one thing i found from reading volume 2 of the mueller report is there is an act and evidence that proves the corrupt intention to commit that crime, and if you read, not between the lines, but the lines of carol's reporting, the 75% of questions about what donald trump said and did and whether he was in the room for the things that his lawyer said and did seem to be squarely around
the acts and the intent. how do you read carol's reporting. >> hats off to her and everyone else on that team is usually significant. the former president appears to be part of a criminal investigation by a jury and federal grand juries are always criminal, nicole. they are fact-finding bodies that decide whether someone should be criminally prosecuted. there are two important caveats. carol got to one. there's a distinction between them and investigations and the indictment and the indictment is the formal bringing of charges that's come forward after the grand jury has looked at the evidence and nothing like that has happened yet and this is one of the rare times in american history if ever that a federal grand jury is looking at a former president and his conduct. the closest i know of is richard nixon who was in 1975 interviewed by a you're for two
days and he'd been pardoned for that very crime, watergate. he wasn't facing criminal liability and here donald trump arguably is. the second distinction which i don't think carol got into is the distinction between the subject and the target of a grand jury investigation. so a subject is someone who is within the scope of the federal investigation. that person has materiel information or something like that. they could ultimately become a target and that is someone who there's substantial evidence that the prosecution believes has committed a crime, but right now the reporting and carol is a precise reporting and it's only about the subject. they haven't made a decision to go after donald trump yet. they're asking a lot of questions and both today and yesterday, i think, carol, correct me if i'm wrong we've gone a little further than the story. yesterday you said the questioning was dominated by trump at least with respect to
one of the -- today that occupied several hours and the like. that all suggests to me that the target is definitely a possibility here and it's not just that they're trying to get back ground information, but they're really trying to understand what did donald trump do and when did he do it? >> carol, do you want to respond? >> i do. the subject's in target and scary words for reporters to use for the department of justice and neal and so right in every bit of his analysis and i would add just one thing for target for viewers as has been always explained to me by very patient prosecutors. target also means you not only believe someone is guilty you intend to charge and we are very far, very far from any of that. no indication to me from sources with knowledge from this that donald trump is a target, but let's all still keep in mind
we're early days in this department of justice investigation. if you had just received phone records in late april, you know, as i've said many times a drug investigation can take three or four years of a small-time drug gang in a sector of washington, d.c. and if there was information in april there is a lot to be done even if you rely on the transcripts of the january 6th committee. >> neal katyal, what do we understand that jacob short was in there. is that the beginning, the middle or some advanced stable of an investigation where trump's actions are the subject? >> no clue, nicole. the best guess is that's not the beginning that that is not where you start if you're a federal prosecutor. you obviously want to try and
build and get some information first from others before calling them in. you don't have multiple shots on goal here. you don't get multiple chances to bring people like this in. so before you bring them in you're going to want to have a fair amount decided, but a fair amount already understood, and carol's absolutely right. it would be totally unreasonable to think that any justice department prosecutor and even in the last administration would be talking about a target still and we're still in the early days and merrick garland, if anything was the most cautious about all of this and that's something that the political left and you and i have felt the frustration of how long and deliberative he is, but in a way that's going to serve very well right now because if he is going to take this momentous step. no former president has ever been indicted in american history. this is the guy you want running
that prosecution and the attorney general who is not blood thirsty. who is cautious and who is incredibly respected both by republicans and democrats in this town and who has taken the time to try and build the case slowly, not listening to you and me and everyone else saying the evidence is obviously there, and approaching it like a true justice department prosecutor would in the most sober, careful way possible. so all of that to me says not the beginning and probably closer to the beginning than the end and the question of whether to indict just because there is so much as carol says to look at in this scrawling, complicated investigation. >> carol, the story goes through the two tracks of the investigation that sync up with what at least the public testimony of mr. short and mr. jacobs covered. one of them is the knowledge of illegality and of the eastman
plot and all of the great jacobs testimony, and eastman says we might do 7-2 and he says no, no, no, you're right. how much -- to what degree are short and jacobs fact witnesses to knowledge of criminality that trump was leaded down a path that he was alerted to was illegal. >> i want to be careful here because there are multiple crimes being considered in this investigation for what i will just loosely refer to as team trump, but mark short and greg jacob are very important fact witnesses to pieces. there are a lot of fact pieces to the way in which trump pulled levers and used his officialdom. his office, the white house machinery to try to push the big lie and block joe biden from
ascending to his rightful place in the white house from the votes of the american people. pence's two senior aides have a lot of firsts testimony to provide. they were in the room with president trump. they were on the phone with their boss and president trump. they know -- in the case of short, he's present when trump repeatedly pressures pence to not certify the election even though there are people in front of them saying this plan is poppycock and illegal and unconstitutional, and that trump was alerted to that frequently. so they're important and they're not the lynchpins in this case, but they're critical. it's an area you, neil and many others have focused on
provokingly and provocatively which is intent. what was in the president's mind and they can not take you deep in, but they can tell you what he said. they can tell you what his reaction was to that's not legal. i think of another critical moment, i would imagine that there are key former justice department officials that are also being asked for their testimony just as they were asked by the january 6th committee. people like, as we say in the story, mr. donohue and mr. rosen at the justice department who were present when former president or then-president donald trump was told, look, you didn't win the election. we can't slip a switch and change the results, and donald trump's reaction to them as they've testified was, you know, that's okay. i'm not asking you to flip the switch. just say it was rigged and we'll take it from there. it really gives you a sense of where donald trump's head is at. >> and how many people knew,
neal where donald trump's head was at. the pitch was never give me 24 hours and we'll produce the evidence. the pitch was always just say this to raffensperger. just do this, was there never -- we've never heard a second of testimony where trump says oh, you know -- even with his maps of hurricanes he faked it, right? he drew new cones and made new weather patterns and with election fraud there was such scant, even shards of evidence that he couldn't even manufacture anything to put in front of people. all of the testimony is about him asking people to lie. do you need to talk to mike pence to really pursue this line of evidence that short and jacobs have already provided to a grand jury? >> so, i don't recall that strictly speaking they have to talk to pence. you have other people around that can corroborate the story and tell us what donald trump
was thinking, nicole, but i very much think that vice president pence should be subpoenaed by the january 6th committee. i think the american people should hear from him and it is outrageous to me that he's left his aides to go hang out to dry and tell his story instead of hearing it from the horse's mouth tell the story and i know he has presidential, ambitions to run for office if he is going to sit on the sidelines and be afraid. so that's one thing. the other thing and just to pick up on both your first question to me and what carol was saying about criminal intent. in order for a crime there need to be two things and an actus
reas, a bad act. they are things that we all know have happened in the case that donald trump took. i really believed i won the election or something like that, and because of the fifth amendment in our constitution which prohibits self-incrimination. we can't just extract that information out of someone. so prosecutors always face the problem that you're not going to generally have testimony from the defendant, from the horse's mouth, showing their evil around, and people are around defendant saying here's how he was at the time and people like short, jacobs, cassidy hutchinson and richard donohue,
and it's great some of the evidence has come for. to the grand jury have still claimed some sort of privilege including white house counsel pat cipollone and privileges give way when there's an extraordinary need for the evidence and if this case doesn't qualify, i don't know what would. >> carol leonnig, in the same way perhaps that the january 6th hearings and the testimony of cassidy hutchinson shocked the justice department that some of the reporting in "the new york times" your story seems to have shaken loose a big piece of our understanding. it's answered a lot of questions. we understand cassidy hutchinson is also expected to testify before a grand jury. what are your next questions? what do you -- what are you asking today in the wake of this big scope?
>> oh, my goodness. i'm not telling you that. [ laughter ] but i mean -- not as a journalist, but what are the questions for us to have sort of as we respect the department's process, this is sort of where the two branches diverge. what should we be sort of watching for and waiting for? where does the public interest lie now? is it in the secrecy of the doj process itself? >> i'm going to reverse for a second because i want to answer and be respectful of your question which i think is a really good one, and i don't want to have a bunch of people following me on the skents that i'm chasing. so first off, cassidy hutchinson, can i just say one thing about that? i happen to know -- >> of course. >> a lot of people who are prosecutors or still are as a
result of covering, and so many prosecutors who used to be at doj have said to me in the last week, oh, my gosh, cassidy hutchinson, i can see calling her at trial. i can see the power of having her on the stand in this case and the reason that they're salivating about her as a witness is because one, she was incredibly compelling, composed, specific about everything she said and everything she didn't know for sure and every way in which she learned something i was there, i overheard part of it. i didn't know this. someone told me this. the care with which she relayed and narrated her experience in the final days before january 6th was to use one word, one lawyer's word, exquisite. she's a fantastic witness.
>> the other reason is she's there with meadows, with trump, with pat cipollone. she's there when there are decisions being made that, again, go to the president's say the of mind. >> keep in mind meadows saying to cipollone in front of her, if i recall correctly, you know, pat, i'm sorry, but the president doesn't want to do anything when pat is begging mark meadows to get the president to tell people to leave the capitol after it's been stormed. pat is saying there's going to be blood on our hands. the president -- they're calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung. she hears you know the president doesn't want to do anything and she's also there with the president when he is angry on the morning of january 6th. she's not hearing this secondhand. she is there when he says he's furious that people who are
armed with guns on the national park, and want to come into his rally are not being allowed to come in with their guns. that's a felony for them to have those guns on federal lands. he's tourious that he is unable to come to the rally from which he'll lead them to the capitol with their guns. so again, inside the former president's mind as he prepares to bring an armed cavalry to challenge congress and his vice president. all of these things essential. you asked what am i looking for? i'm looking for every single person who has been brought before the grand jury who we might not know about. although the grand jury is in the early days for this. i'm looking for everybody who has gotten pressed on? >> who will be pressed to come
forward if they're neutral and unless they're names that we haven't heard of they'll be people in front the january 6th committee. >> she plans to appear before the committee. carol leonnig congratulations to you and your colleagues on the huge scoop that changes these conversations and we're glad to talk to you about it. thank you for starting us off. we will bring in betsy and charlie in on the other side. neal will be back. >> there is new reporting on trump's legal bills which he's used to mount. he's been using the rnc as a piggy bank for months and dropping the acting defense secretary on the day of the riot. in it, this testimony by miller contradicts both when he and
mark meadows have said on fox news. that's not a crime, but it is curious. they said on fox news that there was no order or they testified that there was no order from the president to have troops secure the u.s. capitol. it's not what they said on tv. this is what it looks like when you put people under oath and we'll ask what that means now that we have people in front of a jury. and the superstar brittney griner and we'll hear about the offer the united states has put on the table to russia. all of that and more as "deadline: white house" continues after a quake break. don't go anywhere today. e break. don't go anywhere today. when you have technology that's easier to control... that can scale across all your clouds... we got that right? yeah, we got that. it's easier to be an innovator. so you can do more incredible things. [whistling]
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i was in the vicinity of a conversation where i heard the president say something to the effect of i don't f-ing care that they have weapons. >> so he was told again in that conversation that people being aren't come through the mags because they had weapons. >> correct. >> and that people -- and his response was to say they can march to the capitol from the ellipse? >> something to the effect of take the f-ing mag away. they're not here to hurt me. let them in. let my people in. they can march after the rally is over. they can march to the, lips and take the f-ing mags away and then they can march to the capitol. >> there was on the 6th the rhetoric of speech that day. in my conversations with mr. herschmann he had relayed you would be foolish to include
language that had been included at the president's request which headlines along to the effect of fight for trump. we're going to march to the capitol. >> carol leonnig described her testimony as exquisite and in the view of former prosecutors that was exquisite testimony from cassidy hutchinson on donald trump's actions specifically on january 6th. hutchinson telling the committee that trump knew that the supporters in the crowd were armed to the teeth and he did not care. he wanted to direct them to the capitol. we are back with our panel. betsy, i know you have some reporting about the cassidy hutchinson piece of all this. tell us about that and your thoughts about where things stand. >> yeah. i can confirm that she is going to be cooperating with the justice department's broad probe into the january 6th disaster. what we know is that several
months back hutchinson's posture simply was not as helpful as it became on a very short period of time. for the bulk of the select committee's probe she was represented by a lawyer who was deeply enmeshed in trump world former trump ethics luier during the trump administration and it was only in the weeks before her hearing that she changed lawyers and with that signalled that she -- that her position, her view about cooperation had become much more expansive than it had been. the fact that she's now gearing up to cooperate with the justice department probe shows that that trajectory has continued uninterrupted and it also means, of course, that the valuable information she provided will now be available to doj, as well and we should assume that the justice department is likely to have questions that the select committee may not have asked and now the challenge the doj is
going to have to carol's point in the prior segment about potentially having hutchinson be a witness is that witnessing in the criminal trial is a fundamental different animal than particularly in a congressional investigation where all of the interlocutors are essentially of the same view about reality and about the subject matter that you're talking about. hutchinson has yet to face adversarial public questioning and that's something that would present a significant, new episode in the process that she's gone through moving from somebody who herself was a very senior member of trump world to now being arguably the most important witness in an investigation that presents perhaps the greatest legal jeopardy ever to trump himself. >> charlie, i know you and the folks at the bull work have some incredible reporting and analysis, but i first want your thoughts. how did you sort of process this
bombshell last night which, in some ways, i'm not sure how we could have proceeded without learning that trump's conduct was the subject of a lot of the questions for his former aides, and then i think there was also an open question about whether we would see this day. >> first of all, therein lies the how consequential the january 6th committee has been because i get the sense that they have nudged the department of justice to take a more aggressive stance and also the amount of evidence that they have unearthed and are able to forward to the department of justice. also, i thought merrick garland's comments last night were significant where he addressed very, very clearly that no one is above the law and that is what is at stake, that a former president should not be immune from legal consequences and i think that at some point the department of justice will
have to -- it's obviously concerned about the risks of charging donald trump and the impact on the country. i think they have to think through the risks and rewards and in a sense, whatever they do will be tremendously controversial so they might as well go big and the fact that they are pursuing the kind of case that it appears they're pursuing would suggest that rather than nibbling around the edges that they might actually put together what andrew weissmann calls the hub and spoke conspiracy kind of cases and my final point is that there's going to be an interesting contrast between what republican officials say in public and in private and what they're privately hoping that merrick garland and the department of justice get them off the hook. donald trump is not just an actor from the republican path. he is the republican future right now, and i think they are
hoping for the department of justice somehow to let them off the hook. they won't say that in public. this would -- any sort of charge against the president and the former president would enrage maga world, but there are a lot of republicans including the governor of florida and the former vice president who would have a different reaction in private if, in fact, this moves ahead. >> well, betsy, speaking about being on the hook. donald trump implicates so many others in his criminal conspiracy. i mean, he tells rosen and donohue declare the election corrupt and our congressmen will do the rest. you have the 19 members that cassidy hutchinson describes as being in the west wing in december talking about how to overthrow the direction and he wanted to hand a package to mike pence. so many republican elected officials are implicated in testimony that's been provided publicly and in these
depositions under oath. what does this doj escalation mean for them? >> that's a good question. one thing that it immediately raises is how the select committee moves forward with the open subpoenas that has tag ating multiple republican members of congress including the top republican in congress, kevin mccarthy. the select committee has gone as far as issuing subpoenas against those members and very much crossing a rubicon, crossing a line in terms of congressional deference and decorum, some might say. they decided that if their view the information that these republicans have is important enough that it makes sense to take that aggressive step, but it is unclear what, if anything, the select committee will to to enforce those subpoenas based on all of the information that i have have not yet resulted in a meaningful cooperation from the subpoena's target and the select
committee itself isn't moving aggressively to enforce and that also raises questions whether the justice department would be comfortable going in and congress is comfortable going internally. >> any time you have investigations between two different branches of the federal government, lots of lawyers get very excited very quickly and the constitutional questions at stake become very interesting. that doesn't mean members of congress have a pass and they get charged and convicted all of the time, but this, think, would be in its own class in terms of trim nal exposure it's something that garland will be lower case conservative about when it comes to making a decision. >> all right. no one is going anywhere. when we come back, what is real and not real?
a conservative tale spun for months on fox news that the ex-president did indeed do something to secure the capitol during those 187 minutes. we'll play for you what the committee has put out to debunk that next. t out to dunebk that next. uh, how come we don't call ourselves bikers anymore? i mean, "riders" is cool, but "bikers"...is really cool. -seriously? -denied. can we go back to meeting at the rec center? the commute here is brutal. denied. how do we feel about getting a quote to see if we can save with america's number one motorcycle insurer? should flo stop asking the same question every time? -approved! -[ altered voice ] denied! [ normal voice ] whoa. kids, one year they want all dinosaurs stuff the next, camels. - llamas. - llamas. so save money shopping back to school on amazon. you sure that's not a camel? yeah. whatever you say. i brought in ensure max protein with 30 grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks.
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a monster was attacking but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose. even in january that was given as many as 10,000 national guard troops were told to be on the ready by the secretary of defense. that was a direct order from
president trump and yet here's what we see is, there's all kinds of blame going around, but yet not a whole lot of accountability. >> no, they weren't. that was former white house chief of staff mark meadows publicly declaring in that interview that the twice-impeached ex-president gave a direct order. he was the commander in chief. so that would have meant something, right? gave a direct order for troops to prepare to protect the capitol before january 6th that trump did all he could, that's the thrust of what meadows has said there as if it was out of his hands after ward. meadows wasn't the only member of the trump administration to say that publicly. his former acting member of defense, miller testifying under oath telling the committee a very different version o events. a different story, watch. >> just so we are clear you did not have 10,000 troops, quote,
to be on the ready for january 6th -- prior to january 6th? >> a nonmilitary person probably could have some sort of weird interpreted asian, but no, to answer your question, no. that was not part of my plan or the department of defense's plan. >> to be crystal clear, was there no direct order from president trump to put 10,000 troops to be on the ready for january 6th, correct? >> no. yeah. that's correct. there was no direct -- there was no order from the president. >> there was no order from the president to have troops standing by. >> some day the truth will emerge, charlie sykes and we'll probably learn a whole lot more about mark meadows' complicit and the conspiracy to overthrow the election and we'll understand why he told lies like that, brazen lies backed up by nothing. maybe he thought that the acting secretary of defense would never be asked and that no one would
investigate an attempted coup, but the truth is out and meadows looks more aware of his criminal culpability by the news cycle. >> you know, it's hard to keep track of all of donald trump and donald trump's acolytes' lies. this is a pretty important one. this is an alternative myth on conservative media and fox news and this is why the january 6th committee and the federal investigation are so important because we're being reminded again that there is a huge difference between going on fox news and spreading the talking points and testifying under oath before congress for a federal grand jury and that's really what you're seeing here, a stark contrast between what christopher miller and others have said when they go on on a fox news show and what they say when they are under oath and again, there are so many lies to keep track of here, but the
notion that donald trump ordered 10,000 troops is really central to his defense and also the fact that you have mark meadows, and you have kailey mcenany and others recognize that this is a real vulnerable they donald trump failed to prepare in advance, that he sad there for 187 minutes and he did nothing and that he was in fact, derelict in his duty and this is a very, very stark case and that's a rather compelling and unambiguous bit of sworn testimony that you just played. >> i have to sneak in a break, but on the other side, neal, i want to ask you if the fact that they lied about it at the time suggest they knew that there was criminal exposure at the time. we have to sneak in a break. we'll all be right back. a break. we'll all be right back.
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we got the house! in helping hungry kids or go online to you did! pods handles the driving. pack at your pace. store your things until you're ready. then we deliver to your new home - across town or across the country. pods, your personal moving and storage team. we're back with neal, betsy and charlie. neal, i know lying on tv to any of us and to their own voters isn't a crime, but if you take this knowing deceit and 10,000 troops is so many. did they think we wouldn't notice that they did not send 10,000 national guard? the why this lie was told seems like it's more central to any sort of investigation than the lie itself. what does it say about their knowledge of how culpable the president looked in the aftermath of january 6th?
>> yeah, nicolle, it might suggest premeditation and the kind of advanced criminal intent, but do remember that crimes and bad behavior are two fundamentally different things, and you and i have talked in the past about how the tone in government is often set at the top. you know, president bush 43 took a certain tone. that impacted everyone he worked with in the white house, same thing for me and president obama, and donald trump's tone of course was being a serial liar, so it's not surprising in a way that christopher miller also lied about 10,000 national guard troops. it's not clear to me without more that that itself is a crime. that sounds a bit more like the usual lying to the american people that took place kind of, you know, every day of the trump administration. i totally agree with charlie's point that it does show the importance of the january 6th investigation that when you force someone to come and testify under threat of perjury, people have a funny way of giving a truthful account all of
a sudden regardless of whatever alternative facts they were spewing first, and that's what i think the christopher miller thing has shown us. there's one other point i'd make. this returns back to betty cease point about cassidy hutchinson and her first lawyer being abruptly fired or terminated. i do think as we think about where is the justice department investigation likely to go next, that lawyer is a pretty good place to start. that lawyer was -- looks like firmly immeshed as betsy said in trump world, may not have been doing his client's bidding as much as his friend's bidding, which is the absolute death knell for a lawyer to not be pursuing your client's interests and doing something else. that's a standard thing in mob investigations. it wouldn't shock me if the government was trying to flip that lawyer right now. and you know, more generally, the trump team is starting to look like, frankly, a russian nesting doll of lawyers. with every new investigation there's a new lawyer, and that lawyer needs to lawyer up and
hire yet another lawyer, and it just speaks to the pervasive kind of criminality in this trump white house. you know, by contrast in obama's administration, i don't know of a single person i ever heard of who had a lawyer. i mean, for these folks you got to have multiple and the lawyers themselves have to have lawyers. >> and the lawyers lawyer up. that is a bad sign. betsy, i want to come back to this question about the military. if you take milley's testimony that meadows' first concern was in fixing the narrative immediately that pence had been in charge as the insurrection went on and milley's refusal to do, so what are sort of for you the lines of inquiry around what went on at the pentagon? >> so much of what happened at the senior level within the pentagon on january 6th remains to be in a black box. it's actually one of the biggest gaffes thus far in the narrative that the committee itself has laid out regarding january 6th.
in part, of course because there's such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to other material for them to talk about in their hearings. but these questions of who at the senior level at the pentagon was making decisions, how did decisions get made? why did it take so, so long for the national guard to deploy troops to the capitol building to secure the building? these basic fact questions are very much still open, and what we know is that within the military itself, there's strong dissent among sort of the official pentagon line versus what we've heard d.c. national guard officials say on the record, at least in one case in a very thick and detailed whistle-blower document that one of those officials provided to the january 6th select committee accusing senior d.o.d. officials of being bold-faced liars. there's so much more to know on this specific and just crucial topic. >> yeah, black box is a great way to describe it. neal, betsy, charlie, thank you
so much for being with us for the whole hour on such an extraordinary news day. we're grateful. quick break for us. we'll have much more on the justice department's strategy in this unprecedented examination of a twice impeached ex-president's conduct during the insurrection. e insurrection by treating my skin and joints. along with significantly clearer skin, skyrizi helps me move with less joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and fatigue. and skyrizi is just 4 doses a year after two starter doses. skyrizi attaches to and reduces a source of excess inflammation that can lead to skin and joint symptoms. with skyrizi, 90% clearer skin and less joint pain is possible. serious allergic reactions and an increased risk of infections or a lower ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms, had a vaccine, or plan to. with skyrizi, there's nothing like the feeling
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. we never want to get to a position in the country where we prosecute last minute administrations because that's what failed republics, failed democracies do. but if a failed coup and an obvious coup attempt and a president that didn't just choose not to act but willfully watched to see where the mob would go for three hours on january 6th, if he is not held accountable through law, i actually fear that that is a far worse precedent than anything else. if we just wash this under the rug and say for the sake of the country let's put this aside, there is going to be somebody else, whether it's donald trump
in 2024 or somebody else somewhere down the line that recognizes that as the floor of their behavior and pushes even more. and we can't survive that. putting it all out there, hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east. nothing less than the survival of our democratic republic is at stake when it comes to holding accountable and prosecuting former president donald trump. that's according to republican and january 6th select committee member adam kinzinger. the unrelenting pressure to hold trump accountable for a deadly riot on his way out of office and attempting to remain in power. kinzinger and those who agree with him were very likely to be relieved to read last night's bomb shell article reporting that federal prosecutors are examining donald trump's actions in their criminal probe into the efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
the post reporting marks the very first time the public was made aware of the degree of prosecutors' interest in the ex-president. from that reporting, quote, prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury including two top aides to vp mike pence have asked in recent days about conversations with trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute trump allies for certified electors from some states joe biden won. a massive revelation from the justice department as the post points out, quote, no former president has ever been charged with a crime in the country's history in cases when investigators found evidence suggesting a president engage instead criminal conduct as with richard nixon or bill clinton, investigators and successive administrations concluded it was better to grant immunity or forego prosecution. but never in our nation's history did a president refuse to participate in the peaceful transfer of power and instead attempt a coup. as for the mounting calls for doj to act, attorney general
merrick garland told our colleague lester holt, it all comes down to upholding the rule of law. >> how is your department dealing with the pressure? every day you wake up. there's a column in the newspaper talking about what you will do and when you will do it. >> this i've said before and i mean it from the bottom of my heart. the only pressure that i and the prosecutors or the agents feel is the pressure to do the right thing. that's the only way we can pursue the rule of law. that's the only way we can keep the confidence of the american people in the rule of law, which is an essential part of our democratic system. >> it's where we begin the hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. "washington post" congressional investigations reporter, jackie alemany is back, also joining us msnbc legal analyst joyce vance is here, former u.s. attorney and now a law professor at the university of alabama, and miles taylor, former chief of staff at the department of homeland security. he is now the cofounder and
executive director of the renew america movement. your by line is on this stunning scoop of reporting. take us through what "the post" reported last night. >> yeah, nicolle, we've reported that the department of justice is now investigating former president trump himself, something that democrats have been clamoring for for attorney general merrick garland to commence in the seeming absence of this development at least publicly. we also have reported in this piece that the department of justice has obtained phone records including records of mark meadows and other top trump aides and people in trump's orbit, which have given them a clearer picture sort of of the communications that were taking place around trump and with former president trump, and that, again, investigators have
honed in on the former president himself. they've been asking about conversations with him, meetings that he led and sat in on, and basically a lot of the questioning that i think would track with what the january 6th committee was -- has successfully accomplished and was able to even do publicly. i think the question from here now is how widespread is this investigation going to spread. how many more people other than cassidy hutchinson, greg jacobs, marc short have appeared before the grand jury. we have already picked up that there are likely some other white house aides who have already been cooperating with federal investigators as well, though have not been able to nail down any of those names just yet. but it is appearing that finally with merrick garland's bottom up strategy, they're finally getting to the layer that was most directly in touch with the former president, people who had firsthand accounts of things that were taking place in the oval office and the west wing in
the lead up to january 6th. >> the one of the things that doesn't go with the other is the april date of obtaining mark meadows' phone records. what do you understand that to be a part of, jackie? >> yeah, that's a very good question. there are still so many unanswered questions here. i think that the department of justice had done a very good job at keeping this under wraps. they have been methodical and quiet and ser ip tishs. that is their job. it really just works to their benefit honestly to have democrats, especially lawmakers on the congressional committee railing against their approach. it sort of takes some of the shine off of the hyper politicized environment and gives them a bit of breathing room to actually do their work. at the end of the day, if merrick garland does ultimately
decide to indict former president or some of the top people around him, that is a very politically explosive thing for an attorney general to do, and so these tensions that have been playing out between the congressional committee and the department of justice have helped sort of, i think, deflect or at least diffuse some of that politicization. i think, though, this era of doj doing their work quietly is probably behind us as some of the more high profile people are being called in. >> yeah, i mean, miles the only thing i would add is that it's not just democrats calling for accountability. i mean, i've got liz cheney not just calling for accountability but speaking the language of the criminal code. let me play some of that. >> did donald trump through action or inaction corruptly seek to obstruct or impede congress's official proceedings to count electoral votes?
>> trump's stolen election campaign succeeded in provoking the violence on january 6th. on this point, there's no doubt. >> what the president wanted the vice president to do was not just wrong, it was illegal and unconstitutional. >> president trump is a 76-year-old man. he is not an impressionable child. just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices. >> miles, that was back in december, but liz first read from the criminal code. the person who has most publicly and most aggressively educated the public about the crimes donald trump committed and who has forced the i think eight public hearings, nine if you count the first one with law enforcement, they have all been presentations of criminal acts and evidence of donald trump's corrupt intent.
she has almost pushed the whole thing through a presentation of evidence designed to have the public and hence the justice department reach the only conclusion she thinks is possible, which is that donald trump did it and donald trump knew he was doing it. >> liz cheney has left her mark owl over this investigation in a very methodical way. i mean, nicolle, i worked for her father. i know representative cheney. she's not someone who shoots from the hip. she's extraordinarily well prepared, and she doesn't say things she doesn't mean. i mean, it's still remarkable to look at that super cut that you just played of her saying this in such black and white tones. if someone who's been a lifelong stalwart republican is saying this is a black and white matter of law, i suspect in the end that's where this is going to net out. and you know, we've spent a lot of years talking about whether the justice system is going to hold trump accountable, and, you
know, like all stories in history, we often see things come in threes. we saw the russia investigation. it did not ultimately really end with trump, in my opinion, being held accountable. we saw the ukraine investigation and impeachment, same story, but here we are with the third major investigation of this ex-president, but unlike those other two, there are very clear statutory, potential statutory violations of law, also different than those two cases. look at these bread crumbs out there. as you noted many times, nicolle, there is a federal judge who has already said it's more likely than not that crimes were committed. we have an attorney general who's now gone on record and said this is the most important case the justice department has ever investigated. you don't say that if you're looking at low level aides. you say that if a commander in chief, if the president of the united states is in the criminal cross hairs. that so me is very significant, and i don't think merrick garland's comments he's made in
the past few days have disabused us of that notion at all. it seems very much like they are circling in on the former president. but the thing i'll add on top of that, nicolle, is that privately republicans want this to happen. republicans want trump gone, and while i wish many of those members of congress would come forward privately, they still say, you know what? it would be great if something like charges would stick because it would be an easy way for us to get rid of the guy. that's how trump's people in his own party are talking about him, and i think that tells you a lot. >> joyce, i want to make something clear. i mean, chairman thompson has sort of given liz cheney the space to be the loudest voice in the room calling for criminal accountability for donald trump, and it is notable to me that at this point we've seen so much of the january 6th committee's work, so much of what they do is showing us their work, and it is adam kinzinger and liz cheney who are the most brazen and the
most vocal about criminal accountability, criminal prosecution of donald trump. >> it's been a very interesting moment to reflect on the totality of the hearings that the committee has conducted, and it reminds me, nicolle, a little bit of the position i was in as a prosecutor a couple of times where somebody in my chain of command, my criminal chief or even the u.s. attorney didn't want to prosecute a case that i was convinced had merit, and so in that setting you would schedule a meeting and you would trot out all of your evidence. you would put all of your cards on the table. you would show your boss everything that you had and explain to them why the case had to be prosecuted if we were going to vindicate the federal system of justice. and typically that worked. if as a line prosecutor you felt strongly about a case, you could often get your boss there as well. i view the committee hearings a little bit along that line, not
necessarily because they've influenced the justice department as much as because they've made it clear to those of us in the public just how compelling of a criminal case there is, multiple criminal cases if the justice department decides to go there. >> jackie, let me show you something our friend andrew weissman said to our other friend charlie sykes about what you described as a really charged decision tree for attorney general merrick garland. >> if they don't go forward with charges, if they decide that it's just too heavy a lift and trump is returned to the presidency, what would trump 2.0 look like do you think? >> i don't know that i have enough alcohol -- >> yeah. >> -- at home to even fathom that, the abuse of the pardon power i think -- which we already saw -- i think would create a completely lawless
society. he could essentially engage in crime and have other people engaged in crime and then pardon them. >> jackie, i understand that this is not what doj does. they don't prosecute people because of future crimes they would commit, but recidivism is a thing, it is a thing in the criminal justice system, and i wonder what this, you know, four years of investigation, four years of trump sort of proving himself to be a houdini. i mean, the moeller report didn't say he didn't break the law. it says here are six crimes of injustice he committed and we can't prosecute him and can't say that anyone else should either. what is that weight hanging over the justice department? >> yeah, look, i think joyce could answer this much better than i can, and i'm not going to get into the details here, but as we've talked about repeatedly, the bar to actually successfully prosecute and indict former president trump is
extremely high, and that is something that i think is still missing at least in the public hearings and the public presentation so far of what we heard from the january 6th select committee. it's possible that the department of justice has already gathered more information about the direct communications that were taking place with donald trump that could provide more concrete evidence that would help build that criminal case against him, but i think without some of what we've seen, some of these witnesses claim previous executive privilege over, it's going to be extremely challenging to prosecute that case. that being said, that's why it's so important for the january 6th select committee to continue to do what they're doing in the case that the department of justice ultimately isn't able to move forward or at least successfully prosecute this case. they're serving an extremely important, the committee that is, purpose in serving factual
information to the american public in a way that the department of justice can't. i think it's important to look at the two investigations that are now pretty much on parallel tracks as complementary. and especially in things like his abuse, the former president's abuse of pardon power or his dereliction of duty, things that you can't actually charge per se. that's still just as important for the committee to point out and explicitly highlight and lay out, especially to voters who are going to the ballot box in november, maybe again in 2024, and we're going to have to make a decision on trump and election deniers that have followed his lead. >> i want to show you, it's not just adam kinzinger and the 1/6 committee who talked about crimes and lots of crimes. it's the witnesses themselves. here's cassidy hutchinson
testifying about, quote, every crime imaginable. >> mr. cipollone said something to the effect of please don't make sure we don't go to the capitol. we're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen. >> and do you remember which crimes mr. cipollone was concerned with? >> in the days leading up to the sixth, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count. >> in the days leading up to it. joyce, they were worried about trump's criminality in the days leading up to january 6th. this seems like a huge and significant piece of information. >> it is significant, and i thought it was striking when she testified to that in the hearing. it goes back to jackie's really savvy analysis about what a difficult path doj has to sort of jump this gap from we're investigating trump's conduct to
even thinking about bringing indictments. they need to get access to a lot of testimony that it doesn't look like they've had the chance to hear yet. and so as jackie says, crossing the bridge of executive privilege, pat cipollone is an essential witness for the justice department. if you want to know firsthand what his testimony would look like, you've got to issue a subpoena to him, and you've got to litigate those privilege issues before you can get that testimony nailed down, and if you're a justice department prosecutor, you can't just throw your hands up in the air and say, well, we're not going to get that testimony or we don't know what mike pence would say on the witness stand because if you don't have that in your sort of satchel of tools as a prosecutor, there's a good chance that those witnesses slow up on the defense side at a trial and then you have issues with whether or not you can get a conviction. lots of work here that has to be done and hutchinson really highlights, i think, how important much of it is when she
talks about the fact that there was knowledge in the white house that there is the possibility of criminal conduct even before january 6th got underway. so as a prosecutor, your radar goes up. you've got to talk to all of the right witnesses and put the information together so you understand what she's talking about there. >> i think the justice department also has these hours of taped depositions with cipollone where adam schiff and liz cheney very expertly and very quickly got plenty from pat cipollone who by saying nothing at all made clear that donald trump was the only person at the white house who was for letting the riot continue. so even people exerting privilege managed to say something when they are trying to say nothing at all. such smart analysis, joyce and miles stick around, jackie alemany, congratulations on the scoop that you and your colleagues delivered last night. it changed everything about these conversations. thank you for starting us off today. when we come back, why
efforts to stop the next coup might not go far enough. top democratic election attorney mark alias says the plan to shore up the electoral count act could make it easier for big lie governors to help steal an election. he'll join us next to explain. plus, gun makers have thrived selling and marketing weapons of war that have been used in some of our country's deadliest mass shootings. how congress is seeking to hold them accountable today. we'll tell you about it. and secretary of state tony blinken confirms a substantial offer is now on the table to russia to bring wnba super star brittney griner home. it comes as griner took the witness stand for the first time in her trial in russia, what we know about the deal and what griner told the russian court. that's later in the hour. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. stay with us. stay with us when your time is threatened, it's hard to invest in your future. until now. kisqali is helping women live longer than ever before when taken with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant...
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january 6th reminded us that nothing is more essential to the survival of a democracy than the orderly transfer of power, and there is nothing more essential to the orderly transfer of power than clear rules for effecting it. >> republican senator susan collins just one week ago announcing bipartisan legislation to reform the electoral count act, that vague law that trump and his allies, people like john eastman tried to exploit in their plan to subvert democracy and carry out a coup. members of the house as well as leading election law experts are not convinced it will be enough to stop the next coup.
our next guest mark alias writes this, quote, the electoral count act of 18 l 7 is undoubtedly outdate asked needs reform. however, we must accept that some reforms will make elections fairer and safer, and others will create new opportunities for mischief and election stealing. congress has the authority to make changes and enact a law that will improve the eca, the electoral count act, to safeguard free and fair elections. unfortunately, the electoral count reform and presidential transition act is not that law. mark alias, voting rights attorney and founder of the democracy docket is back. he's our guest. mark, tell us what tell us where you come down. there's this almost exhaustion where some people seem to think that something is better than nothing, but your analysis seems to suggest that something is simply a new something for trump and his potential criminal co-conspirators to exploit. >> yeah, so thanks for having me on on what is a complex topic
and an exhausting topic as you say but a really important one. first things first, the electoral count act needs reform. everyone agrees on that, and congress has an opportunity to fix this law that is more than 100 years old and make it a road map to prevent this in the future. what this law does is it replaces one problem with another. the problem that they were solving for was the 2020 problem, which is how do we prevent state legislatures from after the fact sending in fake slates of electors that the house of representatives then seize onto or a vice president does something crazy before congress. what it does, though, is it says the way we're going to fix this is by saying that the governors and the governors alone get to certify what the results of the elections are and that those results are, and i quote,
conclusive. that's it. the governors certification is conclusive, which would be fine if you didn't have people like kari lake and mastriano in pennsylvania running for governor. because if you have a big lie governor, then you face the real prospect that they certify the losing maga candidate as the winner and then we are left with that being conclusive. now, there are provisions to go to court, but they're very, very cramped proprovisions. they're limited to six days, and they are very, very limit limited in what challenges can be brought. i hope we can have a bipartisan reform bill that will be worth passing. >> i mean, let me ask you a blunt or perhaps bleaker question. can you protect the democracy from people like mastriano ask lake should they ascend to power in those states? >> i think that that's the big
question. i think that this is one of the things that we all need to be struggling with right now is we see steve bannon targeting one weakness in the election, which is he's recruiting people at the county and the sub-county level to infiltrate and undermine elections. in pennsylvania tomorrow there's going to be a hearing about three counties run by republicans that have refused to accurately certify the election results in the republican primary election that took place six weeks ago. so that's one set of risks. the second is obviously at the governor's levels at the other end of the certification. but in between there, in between the poll workers and the counties and the governor, you have a lot of people who touch election results, and the question is if we have one major party that is finding the soft points in every law in every state in every level of the process, can we ever reform our way out of this? and of that, frankly, i'm
concerned. i'm a little doubtful. one of the ways we do it is by providing robust judicial review opportunities, and this bill lessens or does not expand those opportunities sufficiently. >> you know, president joe biden, everything he has uttered since the insurrection suggests that he has the goal of protecting our democracy sort of first, second, and third, in terms of his priorities. what could he do? i mean, is there a place to have a task force or sort of a policy clearinghouse where people could provide this kind of policy analysis to propose legislation? if you assume that people are trying to improve the situation, where can you sort of gut check it or fact check it for the kind of expertise you possess? >> look, i think that the president has been a leader on these issues. i think the vice president has been a leader on these issues. going back a year ago when the president said we face the greatest threat to our democracy
since the civil war. so i don't think this is a white house problem. i think that frankly part of the problem here is that there was a commitment among these good, well-meaning democratic senators, and they're all good, well-meaning democratic senators, to work with susan collins and eight of her colleagues and, frankly, you know, the very fact that the number of republicans working on this in the senate are nine may be the tell to why this whole process has been set up the way it is. >> right. right. you always say so much. marc elias, we'll stay on this with you. it is really important. it's complicated, but you help us understand it. thank you for spending some time with us today. >> thank you. when we come back, congress turning its attention to the massive profits made by the maker s of the guns used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in american history. the chairman to put gun makers in the hot seat will be our guest after a quick break. our guest after a quick break.
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americans at these tragic incidences, again, to blame the firearm, the particular firearm in use here that we're talking about, sporting rifles, to blame the firearm is an inanimate object. >> it's an inanimate object that does a whole lot of slaughtering. the house oversight committee for hours today put significant public pressure on gun manufacturers, just prior to that hearing, the committee released the results of its investigation revealing leading manufacturers collected more than a billion dollars in revenue over the past decade. from "the new york times," quote, the committee's findings indicate that the gun industry has thrived by selling and marketing military grade weapons to civilians, specifically targeting and playing to the insecurities of young men while some have made thinly veiled references to white supremacist groups. the chairman of that committee, congresswoman caroline maloney will join us tomorrow.
i got ahead of myself. we're back with joyce vance and miles taylor. >> she seems focused on this on tying the profits and the market and the accountability straight to the manufacturers. do you think this represents a potentially fruitful avenue to holding gun makers accountable? >> well, the big problem that's always been faced on the civil side of legal proceedings is the fact that you can't go after the manufacturers in a meaningful way, and that held true until plaintiffs in the sandy hook shooting began to develop some success, but even that is constrained by the limits of different state laws. so this is possibly a productive avenue, ultimately this sort of thinking could lead towards some sort of repeal of the very blanket prohibitions against suing manufacturers. the real problem, though, is the political will that we have in this country to take on the gun problem, and watching this, you can't help but think there are
so many things that we could do as a society to try to deal with this problem, if we're so far downstream that we're looking at trying to hold the manufacturers accountable, which i think is worthwhile to do, by the way. it's just not the first step in that process. it suggests that there's not political will to take any of the necessary steps, let alone this one. >> well, i mean, i guess, miles, you look at some of the most successful efforts to hold killers accountable, and you look at cigarette companies. i mean, we did change some behavior by changing accountability for the manufacturer of something that killed people. >> yeah, and ultimately i hate to say it, nicolle, it's going to be further tragedy that gets the two sides to the table in congress. i mean, it took a state of horrifying mass shooting to get congress to even pass tepid reforms here, and i hate to say it, but from a public safety and
national security standpoint, we're going to see more of that happen. just look at last year, 20 million guns were bought in the united states last year. that's roughly the same order of magnitude as new iphones, the newest iphone that came out that were sold. think about that. as many guns as new iphones that were bought across the united states. now, look, i am a gun owner. i believe in the second amendment, but that doesn't mean i want as many people as possible to have guns. in fact, there's a lot of people that probably shouldn't have guns and we should be worried about that, and when you look at the figures, that's turning out to be the case. there's a pretty direct correlation between gun ownership and shootings, and when we look at five-year chunks going all the way back to the 1980s, we are right now living in the period of the highest number of mass shootings going back all the way to that time period. there's a huge spike in not only that, these shootings are getting deadlier. it's absolutely common sense
that this would happen, and it's a complete public safety crisis. so you can believe that the second amendment exists and protects your rights to own a firearm, but still at the same time want to address what is very clearly a crisis, and unfortunately i think it's taking tragedies in these members of congress's districts to actually get them to act, and you see legislators saying that as they found out about a shooting in their district, they talked to a family, and that's what's taking them closer to moving on this issue. it shouldn't be that way. >> joyce, you talked about political will. i think that's right, but it's not for lack of public support. you've got 85% of the public who supports a whole host of issues, 85 to 90% supports everything from assault weapons bans to universal background checks, measures that go much farther than the bipartisan legislation passed earlier this year. what do you -- 57% of all
americans support stricter gun laws. when you go through specific things that have been on the table over recent years, there's upwards of 80% support of some of the measures that no one wants to get done. this is raising the legal age to buy a gun to 21, 75% of all americans talk about banning assault weapons. where do you think the breakdown is between what the public wants and what our leaders will do. >> so i guess that's the question here. it's inexplicable, there are very few places in public life where there is as much consensus as there is for adopting these sorts of smart controls on guns. you know, like miles i'm a second amendment person. we do own guns. we live in the deep south. we all know how to use them, and i also view these measures that congress has taken as surprisingly tepid to use miles' characterization. in light of the public support, something that people who are familiar with guns appreciate is that many people would support
strong measures, not just raising the age at which you can purchase certain kinds of guns, but also, for instance, requiring training. you hear it said a lot that you've got to pass a test to get a license to drive a car. well, here we're talking about guns, which have really only one person, right? it's to shoot bullets and to hit something. maybe it's target practice. maybe it's something that's more nefarious. the point here is that there's a lot of support for requiring people to know how to use a gun. to know how to store a gun so that accidents don't happen, and we don't take any of those steps as a society. so ultimately, like so many things in our lives, it's up to voters to drive this home to the people that they're putting in office come november, and whether voters will focus on this as a singular issue with so much going on in our society, i think is up for grabs. but nicolle, when you talk about those statistics about how people view guns and this constant tick of shootings that
we have in our society, perhaps that moment has finally come. >> do either of you own an ar-15 style weapon? i don't know that i've had a panel where everyone i'm talking to is a gun owner. joyce? >> i don't need it, nicolle. why would i need that? if my firearm is to protect my home, i assure you the one that i have will do the job. it's gratuitous to think that you would need more than that. and again, going back to the example of like iphones versus guns. if roughly the same number of new iphones were sold last year as guns, think about how many people's phones you want to take out of their hands because they'll fire off an errant tweet. we're talking about people firing off rounds, that's what's dangerous about this. it's just a numbers game. you put guns instead of iphones in those people's hands, some of them are going to use them, and some of them are people who shouldn't have a gun under the law, but it's so easy to skirt these gun laws today.
so incredibly easy, that's why criminals get their hands on them. people who, again, under existing statute shouldn't have possession, but nicolle, you made the most powerful point. this is somewhere where there's a majority american view, a clear majority american view, and we've got to elect people who recognize that. >> joyce vance, miles taylor, thank you for fielding all my questions. great to see both of you. switching gears for us. there is a deal on the table to bring brittney griner home. she's the wnba superstar, the details on that deal and what griner said today in her own defense in a court in russia after a quick break. ter a quick.
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prevagen keeps my brain working right. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. some big developments to tell you about today in the kis of wnba superstar brittney griner. hours ago u.s. secretary of state tony blinken made news by confirming that the united states has offered russia a prisoner swap that would bring hope brittney griner and paul whelan, he's another jailed american in russia. while blinken did not go into the specifics of the deal, sources have told cnn that the u.s. has offered up viktor bout. he's a convicted russian arms dealer who is serving a 25 year prison sentence as part of that deal. the news coming as griner finally took the stand in her trial telling her side of the story to a russian judge in the hope of obtaining a more lenient sentence. here's some of what she said today about her arrest.
>> phone and google translate for him to be able to tell me a little bit. >> there was a lady that was there that they said was an interpreter, but it was more just her telling me surname, sign, really short words. she didn't explain the content of the paper. i didn't know exactly what i was signing. my rights were never read to me. no one explained any of it to me. at that point i got on my phone and i contacted my spouse, my sports agent, and my club teams translator. that flight was gone, so i definitely knew i was being detained and i kept asking if i could leave or what's next, but it just was wait, wait for results. >> turning our coverage to "new
york times" diplomatic correspondent michael crowley. i feel like you have helped us sort of understand what's going on inside the u.s. government at the highest levels at every step, and i think you were the first person to report on what a prisoner swap might look like. that has come to pass. tell us how we got here and what happens next. >> yeah, thanks, nicolle, russia has, first of all, how scary is it to hear that account? it's totally credible and plausible. ble. account. it is totally credible and plausible. how confusing and disorienting it must've taplbeen for brittne griner. in your heart really goes out to her. and russia has a track record of detaining americans that essentially uses him as leverage to try to win concessions from the united states. that is what the u.s. government that is happening here. and the key figure from the russian perspective, at this point, on our side, is viktor
bout, who is a convicted arms trafficker, who was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison about a decade ago. this guy was oua notorious international arms dealer who made millions and millions of dollars. and russia has been trying to get his hrelease for years now they floated in all kinds of contacts, including there was a talk of swapping him for edward. it looks like that is now seriously on table. we have confirmed with a source familiar with the proposal that secretary of state blink and said the u.s. has submitted to the kremlin that the u.s. is offering to trade him in exchange for brittney griner and paul whelan, who is a former u.s. marine and a corporate security consultant who was arrested in moscow a few years ago. so, you know, president biden has been under a lot of
pressure to get whelan and griner home. the administration does not like doing these deals. it looks like they are prepared to move forward. the last thing i will say, terry blink and said that this was communicated to the russian on multiple occasions. no deal yet. it is not clear that the russians are willing to play ball. it's not clear that we are in the end game here. blink and said e he will speak very soon to his russian counterpart since the first times of the war in ukraine began to see if they can get this deal field. >> if the russians have previously thought to have their prisoner returned, is that the war in ukraine that makes the possibility of this swap not working out? i mean, what would make it not a deal from the russian side? or is that unknowable? >> about, by the way, i said about prame. it is actually viktor bout. i want to correct that.
i think from the russian side, nicolle, the kremlin has probably seized president biden under increasing political pressure. i think it was yesterday on your parent or sister network nbc, trevor reed, who was another u.s. c,marine who had been detained at moscow and was recently released went on television and said, if the white house is not doing enough to get griner and whelan home. griner's wife has been very outspoken, so have many of her supporters and allies around the country. and i think this is very uncomfortable for president biden. look, the uncold reality is tha politics come into play, even in these heart-wrenching hostage situations. you know, the white house, in theory, you would like to look at all of these cases in a clinical way, but i think it is clear that president biden has been under a lot of pressure here, and it may be from the
kremlin perspective, they are kind of enjoying this. may want to drag this out. may want to make this difficult for president biden. the question is, how much do they really care, how much does a vladimir putin really care about viktor bout? even in an interview last week, william burns said it wasn't clear why the kremlin is so interested in mr. bout's release. he said he is a creep and it is a mystery as to why they want him out so bad. >> and he knows putin and russia. that is interesting. how quickly, if they agree, and this goes y,up to putin, how quickly could griner and whelan be home? >> well, you know, i think in theory, pretty quickly. i think that president putin, look, we know the kind of power he wields in russia. he is essentially has powers in some ways. i think it probably get them out quickly. russian officials have said y that griner's trial needs to
play out and conclude before they could entertain any possible deal. her trial has just been getting underway. so, the question is whether they would hold to that. i think i have heard analysts say that the russians like the idea of, you know, they want to present their justice system as being on the level, you know, this is not political. they're going through the normal motions ishere. l. and they are not going to short- circuit it for a political deal. but i think realistically, this could happen quickly if the political will ulis there. >> michael crowley, we will continue to watch her reporting on this. thank you for spending some time with us to talk about it. we are grateful to you. thanks for having me. it a quick break hafor us. we will be icright back. right. yeah, we got that. it's easier to be an innovator. so you can do more incredible things.
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i have just tested negative for covid-19 after isolating for five days. to make the negative covid test seen around the world. that is some great news from and for president joe biden, delivering remarks in the rose garden earlier today pretty negative covid test last night, followed by a never negative covid test today means president biden is back in business, out of isolation. well, that present symptoms are almost completely resolved. the white house dr. has had for protocol, that president putin will play a mask around other people for the next 10 days. when necessary, get treated. thanks to all of you for letting us into your home during these extraordinary times. we are so grateful.
hi, ari. >> reporter: you are giving me surgeon general dives. i like it. >> it will be, i don't know, where do they look for the next one? i will put my resume out there. >> reporter: i believe you have served in high levels of the white house. so, just get the md, and then do that next. you can do anything. >> in my free time, right? >> reporter: nice to see you. >> nice to see you, friend. >> reporter: absolutely. we have got a lot for you tonight. i'm going to tell you everything that is coming up and we begin with a brand-new heat on the doj. new peril for donald trump and we will explain. federal investigators have a new search warrant to access the content of the coup prame lawyer you see with his brush with the federal agents caught on tape. that is when they were seizing coup lawyer john eastman's phone in june. he has tried to fight them from gaining access, and he is allowed to do that in court. but the news is he is