just on this week that was because you put a lot of it in motion. >> i appreciate that. i think this is going to be looked back as one of the defining weeks of this administration, where a lot of this was brought to light, the relationship with putin, his refusal to condemn russians and support his own intelligence agencies. it's going to have ramifications. we'll see it play out over the months and years ahead. >> my thanks to jonathan swan, joyce vance, john heilemann,
jonathan lemire. "mtp daily" starts right now with katy tur. >> wait a minute. i didn't have the jonathan swan noise. >> there it is. >> it's going to show up. >> off camera, john heilemann. anyway, thank you, guys. thank you, nicolle. if it's friday, lordy, there's a tape. tonight recording revelation. we'll dig into the legal and political fallout of the
trump/cohen tape. plus, in defense of democracy. how far can the intel community go in speaking out against the president. and cyber war warning. just how vulnerable are the midterm elections to foreign meddling? this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. good evening, i'm katy tur in new york in for chuck todd. welcome to "mtp daily." as i said earlier today and moments ago, we'll probably keep
saying, lordy, there are tapes. at least it looks very likely that there are tapes because there is a tape from someone who was known for making a lot of tapes. everything we've learned points t there being more tapes. the president's personal lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, secretly recorded president
trump during the campaign on at least one occasion. a person familiar with the legal strategy said trump had no idea he was being recorded. as "the washington post" reported back in april after the fbi raided cohen's hotel room, business and home, people close to the president were worried about federal investigators seizing recordings made boy his attorney. we heard he had some proclivity to make tapes, said one trump advisor. but at that point it was unknown whether cohen taped conversations between himself and donald trump. well, now we know he did. on at least one occasion. could this be the only time cohen secretly taped trump? maybe. we don't know for sure. but as michael cohen's friend, sam nunberg told me earlier today, don't bet on it. >> michael cohen recording calls. is this the only one? >> with donald trump. >> yeah. >> i doubt it. >> why? >> i think michael recorded a lot of calls. there are people who would even say in trump org don't go into
michael's office, he might be recording everything. but people said don't go into trump's office, he might be recording. there was a lot of recording going on or suspected recording. >> to be clear we don't know how often michael cohen recorded his conversations with mr. trump during the campaign, but michael cohen does and the fbi probably knows too. a person familiar with the president's legal strategy tells nbc news that there are other tapes, but they're not aware of anything substantive beyond the recording that was reported today. that recording was part of a trove of material seized by the fbi when they searched cohen's hotel room and his business. they took his shredder and his cell phones. as "the new york times" first reported and nbc news confirmed, cohen recorded a conversation he had with mr. trump two months before the presidential election. they apparently discussed payments to a former playboy model, karen mcdougal. mcdougal's allegations are being investigated by federal prosecutors in new york who are looking at, among other things,
hush money payments that may have violated campaign finance laws. the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, claims that this specific recording is less than two minutes long. giuliani says it proves trump didn't do anything wrong. but coming back to the question of whether or not there are more tapes, why would cohen go through the trouble of taping a single conversation with the president that lasted less than two minutes? think about it. joining me now is mimi roka, eddie glaude, john podhoretz and between the glaude and had pod is alexi mccamman. mimi, taking the 30,000-foot view. trump is the subject of a criminal investigation that is probing his campaign. michael cohen has a recorded
conversation with donald trump during the campaign. everything points to there being more recordings. earlier today you said this was just the tip of the iceberg. what did you mean by that? >> well, what i meant, katy, is that as you said, there likely are more recordings. and this one may be two minutes long, but we don't know how long the other ones are. even if there aren't other recordings, any recording is like a smoking gun in the sense that if michael cohen becomes a signed-up cooperator and he is some day on the stand or in an affidavit telling a story about events that occurred between him and trump and others, the prosecutors will need what's called corroboration. that's the key to any criminal case. and a recording of michael cohen and trump talking about anything really will likely corroborate things that michael cohen is telling them, telling the prosecutors. and so it can become very
valuable. it is very valuable evidence that prosecutors can use to corroborate not just what is specifically on the recording, which sounds here like it's going to be important, but also just to bolster the credibility of the witness in general so that a jury or others believe other things that that witness is telling you. so it's a very important piece of evidence. >> so the description of the tape that we have is from -- mostly from rudy giuliani. how they were talking about a payment to karen mcdougal and talking about writing her a check instead of sending her cash. ultimately that didn't happen because "the national enquirer" ended up buying her story and giving her a contract, in return that she says this did not fulfill. the legal ramifications of that conversation, what are they? >> first of all, just because they did not -- they meaning trump and cohen, did not pay karen mcdougal but somebody else did doesn't take them out of the equation. i think that's what giuliani is trying to say, that this is
exculpatory. they talked about it but they didn't write the check. that's not how the law works. if they were trying to come up with a scheme to pay her off, to keep her quiet, and somebody else is part of that scheme but ultimately wrote the check, they're still part of that scheme. so, first of all, everyone has been talking about there's this possible campaign finance violation. again, it doesn't really matter who wrote the check or paid the cash. you can be part of a conspiracy, you can be part of a scheme. if you're part of the planning of it, even if you don't actually hand over the money. and then there's likely some kind of fraud claim here. in short, karen mcdougal got scammed. she was told she was being paid for one thing and that didn't turn out to be true. so this tape in and of itself probably isn't going to prove all that, but it just sounds like it's one step closer to this theory that a lot of people have been talking about being true, and that cohen possesses information about it.
that's the other piece of the iceberg i was talking about. >> one other thing, why would a lawyer record a two-minute conversation? >> as we've said before, a legitimate lawyer, a real lawyer wouldn't. but michael cohen was not acting as donald trump's real lawyer. we've been saying -- he was his fixer, he was really more of a businessman, a helper. and for anyone, why does anyone record people's conversations? well, they do it because they know they're up to no good and they want to make sure that they have something later if they need it. it's kind of like an insurance policy. >> who wants to take it away? >> i think that the point about michael cohen acting as trump's fixer is so rich right now because he's the person who made trump's problems go away for so many problems and now he is the problem that trump cannot make vanish. michael cohen is perhaps the only person on earth who is so intertwined in his professional life, his legal life, his family life, his personal life, he knows so much and this tape
could lead to so many different follow-up questions by prosecutors and by mueller that he couldn't have anticipated that could lead to even more incriminating things. >> and michael cohen is telling people that he doesn't have any loyalty to the president any longer. his loyalty he says is to his family and to his country. he believes that the president has backed the bus up over him. loyalty is a one-way street with the president and he's not going to be standing there waiting to get hit by the bus again. >> it's always the case with leaks and stories like this that you ask the question who benefits. i think it's pretty clear that the person who is the beneficiary of this story is ♪ michael cohen. that is to say it makes trump look bad and it is a message to trump. the message to trump is get me out of this however you can. i mean the ultimate thing is some kind of -- >> pardon. >> some pardon. otherwise, the leak doesn't make sense.
it doesn't make sense that the southern district of new york is leaking it or the fbi is leaking it. >> could it make sense -- i don't know who leaked it. this is not my reporting. what if it was giuliani that leaked it because he believes it's exculpatory. >> let's say that giuliani believes that and he leaked it. what we then see here are two different schemes in the same six-week period. so we have a scheme to pay off karen mcdougal that ends up with "the national enquirer" buying her story and then burying it. then a couple of weeks later, we have the scheme to pay off stormy daniels which involves michael cohen and this other lawyer and david -- and donald trump being named david dennison in the papers. so we have basically a machine at work manufacturing ways to pay people off before the election. now, that may not be illegal, we don't know. so far nothing -- nothing is
illegal. but, you know, somebody who has to build a machine to pay bribes to people, that's not -- doesn't look good. >> there was also something in place within the organization. when i was talking to somebody who had knowledge of this, there was like a system in place. go pay somebody and then just submit it for expenses. there seemed to be some sort of expense system in place the trump organization, four things that needed to be fixed, like a stormy daniels, maybe like karen mcdougal, who knows. >> and the fact that it was so close to the election raises all sorts of questions and this is the issue around campaign finance law as well as issues of fraud. but, you know, just think about this week. i mean friday there was the indictments of the russians and then there was the american university student and now there's this. all of this is centered around this one guy. >> there's putin. >> there's putin. and so this idea -- and then
what the cohen tape also revealed is concrete evidence that the guy lied. i mean blatantly lied. >> that is a very good point. this is another piece of evidence that the trump team is willing to lie lateblatantly ab anything they need to lie about. mimi, this is an sdny investigation. sdny has these tapes. if the sdny comes across something that is pertinent to the mueller investigation, is there a system in place where they hand it off to the mueller investigation? how does that work? >> absolutely. you often have coordination between different federal prosecuto prosecutorial offices. with this much at stake there's no question in my mind they'd work with mueller's team. i can tell you right now the southern district did not leak this, nor do i think the fbi did. i don't know who did, but there is a theory out there that
giuliani did because it's to distract from the horrible news about putin and trump. >> so here's some horrible news about put enain and trump. >> by bringing back the who he slept with story. >> it's so ridiculous. >> and that may not be it, but i want to remind people and this is sort of to your question that cohen is not necessarily separate from the whole russia conspiracy collusion scandal. remember, cohen was working on trump's behalf until much later than anyone had previously thought on getting him the trump tower deal in moscow. and part of what people -- there are some indications that if putin has leverage over trump, it has to do with his finances. so this all could be tied together and that's to your point. >> you were getting to the next point i wanted to make. if anybody knows about russia and anybody is going to have information that could be interesting to robert mueller about russia, it's michael cohen. but robert mueller has not
compelled michael cohen to testify. he hasn't subpoenaed him. there's been no interview. michael cohen has not been touched by robert mueller. why not? >> because mueller is smart and strategic. there was a separate case here to very legitimately bring in the southern district of new york. there's all sorts of things to look at that aren't been mueller's purview and he's going to let that play out. you'd much rather have cohen as a cooperator than a subpoenaed witness to the grand jury. you will get much more information that way. it looks like this may be working out that way and the strategy may be absolutely correct. >> just because this week is completely insane and 2018 is completely insane and there's just no headline we can't not expect, the new york madam, you remember this, kristin davis, has now been subpoenaed by robert mueller. kristin davis, the new york madam, that is involved in the eliot spitzer saga. client number was it 9? >> client 9, yes. >> what is the deal with her getting subpoenaed, john?
>> we don't know what the deal is. we do know that kristin davis has a long, close personal relationship with roger stone. roger stone being trump's long-time political conciliary and the person who talked him into bringing paul manafort in. he started the first major k street political lobbying firm in the '80s, black, manafort stone and kelly. stone and trump part ways in 2015. he's not going to work on the campaign. 2016 manafort comes in. oh, you know what, i'll do it for free, manafort says. you don't even have to pay me to be your campaign manager. if he's -- if he's subpoenas kristin davis, it's because there's something involving either roger stone or manafort or both. that is the only connection there can be. >> i'm sorry i'm laughing, it's so absurd. the headlines are so absurd.
we should remind everybody that robert mueller when he has witnesses that he's interviewing, roger stone's name comes up and there is an indication from the line of questioning that roger stone is somebody that they're looking into as an intermeadary between donald trump and russia. did they coordinate anything when it comes to the e-mails? who knows. it's only going to get weirder from here shall guys. mimi rocah, thank you very much. eddie, alexi and john, stay with us. next, the intel community sounds off, but are truth and justice able to defend the american way? sweat the details. noticing what most will never notice. it's what you do. when the thing you're making... isn't a thing. it's your reputation. the all-new ram 1500. comfortably, the most luxurious truck in its class. and why more people are switching to ram
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welcome back. today marks the end of a really bad week for president trump. it began with that disastrous press conference with russian president vladimir putin in helsinki on monday and ends with an invitation on the table for putin to come to washington. in between, the white house tried to walk back or clarify the president's position on all things russia, including, of course, whether the president believes russia interfered in the 2016 election. but the people around him were a lot more definitive. >> he's got his view, he's expressed his view. i can tell you what my view is. the intelligence community's assessment has not changed. >> like terrorism and other national security threats, a malign foreign influence threat requires a unified strategic approach across all government agencies. >> it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community and on behalf of the american people. obviously i wish he would have made a different statement. >> let's bring back today's
panel. so wray, coats and rosenstein all saying what happened. here's what i think. can they keep their jobs when they're that honest? >> i don't know if coats is going to keep his job. wray -- wray was a bit strong yesterday as well in terms of the steely nature of his spine. i can imagine trump seeing all of that and really being unnerved, because his ego is so fragile. so i don't know if they will keep their jobs. i don't know if it's the right setting for them to lose their jobs is i think a different question. >> axios always has a good nose on what is going on behind the scenes. what is going on behind the scenes? >> it will come as no surprise that morale is at an all-time low. if you keep your job, how happy are you even in the job you're doing when everything you're saying, though based in facts and evidence, is upsetting the president because he just fundamentally disagrees with the story line because it is against the story line that he prefers. i think that is a culture that
we've seen from the beginning, but especially now. it's not just morale is low, it is infuriating and confusing. but we had a poll this week that showed 79% of republicans are happy with the way trump handled his press conference with put anyone helsinki. even if you're close to the president and a gop and unhappy, it doesn't really matter. >> john, explain that to me. >> i can explain the positive numbers. we're at a period of negative polarization. people get called and they know when the question is anti or pro trump. they are not going to hand pollsters a victory -- >> because pollsters are the enemy. >> they're not going to talk bad about trump to a pollster. this doesn't measure intensity of support, for example. having said all that, i think what you see here is and the
cognitive dissidence of this administration is astounding. christopher wray and rod rosenstein at the justice department are sitting there and they may well be saying, you know, we're riding this -- we're going to say whatever we think we have to say and do whatever we think we have to do. our reputations -- we have careers, we have lives, we are not going to surrender our integrity to support this plot line. and dan coats, who has served two different sessions as a senator from indiana, is 70 years old, has nothing to prove anymore. he clearly doesn't care whether he stays or goes. >> so is there a shadow intelligence government? >> well, i think the shadow is trump. that is to say that the dissident voice in the administration on these issues is the president. it's not that there's one guy going rogue -- it often happens that everett coop, the surgeon
general, went rogue on some subjects during the reagan administration. this is like reagan saying, you know, that there's x disease that needs to be and everybody else in the government is saying, no, there's no disease, what are you talking about. >> okay, explain to me kirstjen nielsen because she was the most confusing person at the aspen security forum. listen to what she said about who russia was trying to help. >> i haven't seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party. i agree with the intel community's assessment, full stop. >> so the intel community's assessment full stop was that russia was helping donald trump. >> it makes no sense. it's just a blatant contribution. one claim or statement is directed towards the intelligence community. the other statement is directed towards donald trump. and so i think there are two things going on here. at least with regards to the big shadow. let's call him the big shadow, donald trump. one is the question of -- the
enclosure question of how he's -- what putin has on him and how it's being leveraged. we can mine that to see what's happening. the second one is donald trump does not believe in the post world war ii consensus, period. and there are folks around him that don't believe in the post world war ii consensus. what happens is we have a convergence of the fact that donald trump may be compromised and the ideological commitment that he's not invested in the world as it is. >> can we talk about kirstjen nielsen? >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. so she's like -- here's who she is. she is somebody who has been elevated into a cabinet position for no good reason. she was john kelly's deputy. he gets her elevated to homeland security. she has no business being in that position. she's a person of no reputation, very little independent standing and is trying very hard to be a team player because that's the only reason that she is there. wray, rosenstein, coats, these are people with independent
reputations, independent existences before the trump administration, and a sense -- this is her main chance. all these guys can do is destroy themselves if they sort of surrender to speaking untruths that they know to be untrue about russian meddling. >> what about the silence of gina haspel, though? she has a reputation. >> but she's not -- she's not out in public. she's the cia director. she's not going around -- we don't know what she's saying. >> it's a woman who's lived her life behind the scenes. >> she's not supposed to be talking. the cia director isn't supposed to be giving interviews. >> i also think president trump if i remember correctly was a little skeptical of kirstjen nielsen in the beginning which i imagine sort of influences the behavior. she's serve the intelligence community with one statement and the other statement, she's serving that to the president.
election interference shouldn't be a partisan issue but trump cannot fundamentally separate collusion from election meddling. >> i don't even understand why they went to aspen. i don't understand this. what are they doing in aspen? >> it's a security forum. >> they should have cancelled. >> they need to come out and need to push back on this idea that the russians were not meddling in our election. we had a president of the united states stand next to the president of russia, the man who our intelligence community has said ordered the attacks on our election, and pat him on the back and flatter him and doubt the fbi and trash robert mueller. maybe this was the perfect week to have this. and let's not lose sight of this. the president has invited vladimir putin to washington, a man who attacked our elections. he's invited him to washington. the midterms are right around the corner. after he maybe comes to washington. this is also a man who has been accused credibly and is believed to be behind the murder of former russian spies in england.
this is a man who annexed crimea. he's fostering a coup in montenegro. the list goes on and on. this is not a good, fair broker. >> so if you're putin and you've had the last two weeks that you've had, here's how i see it. it's like he goes and trump says, hi, here's our bank vault. i'm going to open the door and, you know, it's so great to have you. i'm going to go upstairs and have a cup of coffee and the entire united states fortune is in here and putin is saying this has got to be a trick, right? something is wrong. why is he being -- unless, you know, he has -- let's assume that he isn't. if you're putin, you've got to be sitting here going is there some game being played on me? because this is all too easy. >> or is he thinking this guy is really that easy. he really is that easy. >> or i pulled off the greatest espionage in the history.
>> i told you it was only going to get weirder from here, so stay with us. eddie, alexi and john. we're going to talk ahead. a new warning about more bad actors in the global cyber war. we have exclusive nbc news reporting, next. n. yes or no? do you want the same tools and seamless experience across web and tablet? do you want $4.95 commissions for stocks, $0.50 options contracts? $1.50 futures contracts? what about a dedicated service team of trading specialists? did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. looks like we have a couple seconds left. let's do some card twirling twirling cards e*trade. the original place to invest online.
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here's why. about a month ago the u.s. senate did something it doesn't do much these days. it stood up to president trump. senators voted to reinstate tough penalties on zte, a chinese telecom company that has violated american sanctions on iran and north korea. that was a direct rebuke to the president, who had wanted to lift penalties on zte after china's president personally asked him to save the company. well, only about a month later, the senate appears to be backing down. the penalties on zte were included in the senate as an amendment to a must-pass defense bill. but now lawmakers reconciling that bill with the house have reportedly agreed to water it down. democrats are up in arms, claiming the move is a win for china over american workers and national security. republican senator jim inhoffe of oklahoma says negotiations are ongoing and would not discuss it.
i wonder what marco rubio thinks? we'll keep our eye on how this plays out. up next, though, after the director of national intelligence warned that the threat of a cyber attack is growing, we have exclusive reporting on just how close that kind of attack could really be. it's the ford summer sales event and now is the best time to buy. preparing classic campfire trout. say what? trout. trout. all right. you don't think i need both? why does he have that axe? make summer go right with ford america's best selling brand. now get 0% financing for 72 months plus $1,000 ford credit bonus cash on a great selection of suv's. during the ford summer sales event, get our best offer of the season 0% financing for 72 months plus $1,000 ford credit bonus cash.
i'm aditi roy with the cnbc market wrap. the major indices closing slightly lower amid president trump's comments on the dollar and threats to further increase tariffs on china. the dow falling 6 points, the s&p dipped 2 points, the nasdaq closed 5 points lower. and jetblue announcing plans to restructure operations and eliminate a number of positions from its new york headquarters. the low-cost carrier hopes the moves will reduce costs by as much as $300 million a year pie 2020. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "mtp daily."
welcome back. multiple top administration officials warned this week that russia will try to continue to undermine our democracy. but it is not just our elections that russia is targeting. director of national intelligence, dan coats, said that targets range from the federal government, including our military and critical infrastructure for american water and energy needs. that is just to name a few. russia is not the only threat. multiple foreign adversaries are trying to target this country. multiple senior u.s. officials tell nbc news that iranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyber attacks on u.s. and european infrastructure and on private companies. there's no suggestion an attack is imminent, but still, iran's cyber weapons are at the ready. i'm joined now by nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian, who was one of the reporters who broke this story. ken, tell us a little bit more about the iranian side of
things. >> reporter: katy, our sources tell us that this is in direct response to the decision by the trump administration to pull out of the iran nuclear deal and that it's a common practice of iran every time they think they are at a disadvantage with the united states, they amp up their cyber probing. in this case they are laying the groundwork for cyber attacks in a more aggressive manner than u.s. officials have seen before, probing things like electric grids and pipeline networks. that can include probing network defenses and also implanting cyber bombs essentially that they can detonate at a later time. now, as you said, there's nothing that suggests that this is imminent. the iranians still wanting to see how the iran nuclear deal shakes out and what kind of sanctions are imposed on them. but look, they are a very dangerous cyber power. in 2012 when they attacked saudi arabia's largest oil company, they turned 75% of the computers at that company into bricks, erased all the data. imagine that happening at
walmart or amazon or bank of america. it's a very serious threat u.s. intelligence officials take seriously. >> and what have we done to target iran in the past? >> well, you bring up a very good point. the u.s. probes networks all over the world of our adversaries and specifically with iran, it's widely believed that the u.s. and israel were responsible for the suxnet. there's an argument that the attacks iran perpetrated against the west were in response and the u.s. started it. u.s. policy makers had a very strong intent to subdue iran's nuclear program but that was a very aggressive cyber move by the united states and israel. >> who does the intelligence community see as the biggest and most imminent threat right now? >> reporter: well, it's sort of neck in neck between china and russia. some say russia is more aggressive right now but china overall in terms of a cyber espionage threat, they are doing
the most widespread hacking, economic hacking as well as national security espionage. but close behind would be iran and north korea, katy. they have less technical capability, but they have the intent, iran and north korea, to target the west and do damage against the west. in the case of iran, though, the u.s. has the capability to strike back and strike back hard. part of our reporting is that the u.s. government is considering countermeasures, including in cyberspace, against iran. >> let's listen to rod rosenstein at the as sppen secuy forum talking about how he's going to alert the public. >> exposing schemes to the public is an important way to neutralize them. the american people have a right to know if foreign governments are targeting them with propaganda. >> so how is rosenstein going to do this? and is this essentially them learning from their mistakes in 2016? >> reporter: it is, but it's the department of justice stepping into a vacuum created by donald
trump. there is no trump administration strategy to stop foreign election intervention, but rod rosenstein has just articulated a department of justice strategy. part of that is he's going to step up the prosecution of foreign actors perpetrating these kind of campaigns. part of it as you played there, he's going to try to make more of this public, because he feels like if he can call out essentially a foreign actor creating a propaganda campaign, whether on twitter or facebook, that can help inoculate the public against these divisive messages. there are a couple of problems with that. often the way they learn about these campaigns are through classified intelligence gathering and they are loathe to make that public. that's why they were reluctant in 2016 early on to say explicit low that the russians were intervening in the 2016 election. >> ken dilanian. ken, remarkable reporting, thank you very much. and next up, how republicans are tying i.c.e. out the midterm competition. so that if she has a heart problem
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♪ [ screams ] ♪ [ laughs ] ♪ whoa, whoa, whoa. your one item would be the name your price tool? it helps people save on car insurance. why wouldn't it save me? why? what would you bring? a boat. huh. welcome back. today in "meet the midterms" republicans think they found a winning strategy. ice, ice baby, as in immigrations and customs enforcement. some democrats are pushing to abolish the agency, and republicans are doing everything they can to highlight it. earlier this week the house voted on a resolution to support i.c.e. that was designed to expose divisions among democrats and put them on the record on
the issue. and now a super pac aligned with house republican leadership is out with an ad targeting the democrat in an upcoming ohio special election. >> the liberal resistance is demanding open borders. they want to eliminate the law enforcement agency that enforces our immigration laws, opening america's doors to more crime and drugs. and they want danny o'connor's help. >> another gop group is trying to make this an issue in senator manchin's race, and some democratic gubernatorial hopefuls are being targeted in ads too. why does it matter? republicans see the i.c.e. issue as an easy way to frame democrats as being too extreme. we don't know if it will work. but we do know you can expect more ads about it. we'll be right back with more "mtp daily" right after the break. pe with... a steak. luckily for brad, this isn't a worry because he's discovered super poligrip. it holds his denture tight
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guys, kompromats. the question as a little taboo. not so taboo a little longer after that news conference. >> well, it's hard not to at least ask the question. if you're not asking the question, then we can only conclude that you're not reasonable, right? >> i -- perversely i would almost prefer that there be kompromat, because then why an american president is trashing nato and praising a russian dictator would have -- would be something you could understand, like the behavior of the last 11 days has been so inexplicable that, you know, bribery and, you know, standard issue human weakness would at least be something that would make more sense. >> here's my question. what could donald trump possibly be embarrassed by? we've seen so many things come out. he's never embarrassed by anything.
he's got no shame. what could be embarrassing? >> yeah, money maybe. >> money? >> or just something that remains to be seen somehow. >> i don't think the salacious stuff will embarrass him. i think you're right about money. >> i think at the end of the day, he has a lot of leverage over him. he's indebted to a bunch of russian oligarchs. this is my theory when i'm at home by myself thinking about this stuff. there's no evidence. >> you poor, poor man. >> but i think it's really -- because the one thing he doesn't want to be revealed -- he could be revealed as a fraud in a whole number of different areas, but when it comes to money, he cannot be seen. >> that's why we haven't seen his taxes. >> that's right. but the other thing is, of course, if there is a central thing that's being covered up, once you start covering it up, you can never stop covering it up. and that's where the -- that's where someone has leverage over you. it could even be a very small thing. but the admission of whatever misdemeanor guilt there might be, right, it's not the crime,
it's the cover-up is the famous watergate line. >> yeah. >> maybe there was some kernel of something that he didn't want ever to come out and now that there is now an entire superstructure of denial and policy and stuff that has gone along to continue to keep the coverup going. i don't even know if that's true. as i said, i think it's perfectly plausible that trump came to this view that the entire world structure is ridiculous and that he, a strong leader in america, should ally with the strong leader in russia to change the world dynamic and leave the, you know, pansy europeans to one side and, you know, try to make deals as they can make deals. that's more plausible to me than that somebody's got blackmail money over him. >> i keep going back to 2013 and when he was having the percentage ept pageant in moscow. he really wanted putin to be there. he was hoping to see him.
he tweeted about it, are we going to become best friends? maybe that was donald trump being completely honest. maybe he just really wanted to be best friends with vladimir putin? is that crazy to think? it all boils down to the guy's got a man crush, and he really wants to be friends with him? >> it could be, deep insecurities, a tendency towards strong men. one of the things we have to stop doing is exceptionalizing donald trump. this is a quick pivot. we have to stop exceptionalizing. if you listen to 1996, pat buchanan's convention speech, a lot of the positions that donald trump holds today are articulated in that speech. he's not that much of an outliar. his personality is particular. but in terms of the ideas, they've been hovering around the margins of american politics for a long time. they've just now -- they're now
sitting in the white house. >> the one thing we know about president trump is that he is all about optics. he loves surrounding himself with the best people. and he is the arbiter of who is the best. so if you're having this pageant in moscow, you want to be seen with the president, the russian president because that's who he thinks will make him look good in that moment, or look good to other folks. it's all about the appearance and the performance with him. i think that's what we saw when he was in hielsinki. those loyal to president trump said he corrected himself. doing it on u.s. soil is totally different than saying it in helsinki. >> listen to this latest op-ed, his talk, maybe donald trump's been a mole for a long time, for decades, maybe he is working as a russian operative. here's what ignatius says, the russians would never allow such a true mole to take such crazy risks. they'd tell him how to behave so
as not to endanger himself. i think that's a really good point. >> look, people lost their minds a week ago when mueller's indictment -- when the indictment of the gru agent said something happened on the same day that he called out to the russians to find hillary's e-mails. well, i mean, really? is that how the russians are going to work? like, a guy is going to make an open speech, and say, boy, i wish you'd find those e-mails. >> explain that timing then. >> i can't. they've got to be better at it than that. >> explain that timing. >> i can't, but he -- >> on that day. that day is the day the lightbulb went off, come on. >> they make a deal when you want the information, say it in a nationally televised speech. >> i don't know if they anticipated -- he's unpredictable. he goes up and says whatever he wants. if he knew this was coming he loves sharing information and being the first to break news,
he does it on twitter, unprompted in speeches. >> he is not controllable. one other thing, will hurd, op-ed, "new york times," representative will hurd, over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the cia, i saw russian intelligence manipulate many people, i never thought i'd see the day when an american president would be one of them. by playing into the putin's hands, he actively participated in -- that legitimized russian denial and weakened us to our friends abroad. and donald trump's tweet. i got ciriticized for being too nice to putin. if i was loud and vicious, i would have been criticized as too tough. when i was too tough on chairman kim. hypocrites. we're out of time. that's it. all we got. donald trump gets the last word today. i told you it would only get weirder from here. i was not lying. >> blame everyone else. >> eddy, alexy, john, thank you
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waiting to tell you the exact opposite, really. but in case you missed it, i have real helicopter parents, as in parents in real helicopters, really, which brings me to a segment we like to call really, with seth and katy. my parents, they worked a ton. it's the news business, it's crazy. their way of making up for it was to hover above the baseball. >> i mean, really. >> i go to school in the palisades, and i see my parents hovering overhead. why won't they leave me alone? i'm furious about it, i get home and start yelling at my mom. how dare you? how dare you hover over my school? that is my school. you've got to give me some privacy. and my mom's like, katy tur, we were over o.j.'s house. >> really. >> yes, really, my mom calls me katy tur, and yes, really, i went to middle school down the
street from o.j.'s house, sixth grade. i do really want to thank seth meyers for having me on last night, it was a really good time. and that will be all for tonight. back on monday with more "mtp daily." and in the meantime, "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> katy, it looks like you had fun last night. how dare you, what is that expression, that you were using? >> how dare you? >> how dare you? >> how dare you violate my privacy as a sixth grader? how dare you? you want to spy on me mom and dad? i would like to have my cheese fries without you knowing about it. >> if you text, do you ever shorten it to hdy, as a brief? >> it doesn't get the same impact. you have to type it out in full words, and with periods after each word, how, period, dare, period, you, period, question mark, exclamation point. >> and this is my last question, you've had a long and busy week. >> i'm here for the