tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC August 25, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PDT
no one has your back like american express. so no matter where you're going... we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it. hey, everybody. i'm david gura. this morning, crack under pressure. president trump's longtime finance guy now talking to the feds. >> replacing george this week is my chief financial officer allen weisselberg. you think george is tough, wait till you see allen. >> cracking the safe. what's in the "national enquirer's" stash of donald trump stories? we have new details. >> inquiring minds want to know. >> i want to know. >> and crack the code. new reporting on white house adviser who is think this is the president defying his legal team again, ramping up for a pardon. >> i must tell you that jon
fortt's a good man and i feel very badly for paul manafort. >> julia maxwell joins us, formerly with the clinton campaign. felipe ryan is former deputy assistant secretary of state under secretary clinton. gabe sherman is a special correspondent for "vanity fair." and midwin charles is an attorney and contribute or the to "essence" magazine. we begin at the tail end of what might be the worst week for the trump presidency so far with nbc news confirming that longtime chief financial officer of the trump organization allen weisselberg was given immunity by prosecutors in new york during the process of the cohen investigation. he's worked with the trump family for decades, meaning he could potentially provide prosecutors with an extensive history of the president's financials. felipe, just on this news, these two incidences of immunity,
let's talk about allen weisselberg and what we know about him, his closeness to the president, and what this says about where this might be headed. >> he's the consular of finances, which is never what you want to -- i'm going to do midwin charles backward a few times. >> everyone does. i've been dealing with it since first grade. >> felipe, continue. >> you know, the thing is, what i don't understand is he didn't just -- they didn't just come up to him yesterday and say, hey, you want immunity? i don't go up to someone on the street and say how do i get to 30 rock? clearly they've been talking to him at least since his name was on the tape, so you have to wonder did the trump organization, were they asked to allow him to cooperate, was he approached and said no, did he demand immunity? i don't know, but bottom line this is horrible. >> the other thing is there's
been reporting recently that the immunity he was given was very narrow in scope, was to talk specifically about michael cohen's payments to women to keep them silent about donald trump's affairs. that means to me if you're allen weisselberg, the feds don't want to give you blanket immunity to all the potential misdoing you had done on donald trump, they only want this. he still has exposure. he's still someone presumably they'd be actively interested in. so this is the tip of the iceberg. >> we're talking about narrow immunity. what does that say? >> it's called use immunity. in other words, you will be immunized against the specific testimony, the specific evidence you have provided that prosecutors will not use that against you. the other type of immunity, transactional immunity, that's we will immunize you just on about everything we know of. in other words, should another
criminal act come up during this process -- >> how rare is that to get? >> it's hard to get. it depends on how much the person knows and how big is the target, who is the target, how long have they been trying to take down this target. one of the things that's really important here to explain is that you do not get immunity if you have not done something wrong. okay? so i think it's important. so far we're talking about allen weisselberg getting immunity as well as david pecker from the "national enquirer." in other words, these men at some point have engaged in illegal activity that requires immunity. and i think that's important to recognize that. donald trump has surrounded himself and right now we see a triumvirate, allen weisselberg, financial, michael cohen, legal, and pecker, pr. you have a tri u up vir --
triumvirate of people. >> we've talked about loyalty to this president, what it says about his style of management. but we're seeing an erosion of that. it's written about in "vanity fair." that has to give this president pause if not concern. if these guys he's had around him for so long, counted as friends and confidants, are, if not turning, talking to feds in a way. >> it turns out loyalty only goes one way, them being loyal to donald trump, when you're facing decades in prison, you're not thinking about donald trump. you eare thinking about yoursel and your family. michael cohen has said that. people are facing deb aipds cad jail. it's an easy decision. donald trump is in a moment where we've had the last two years we were focus on collusion and whether or not there was collusion. but now this week we've learned about two additional
conspiracies that he may have been involved in, one, dealing with ami, the other with stormy daniels. so now we have three conspiracies potentially he's implicated in that impacted the outcome of the election. >> that was the idea i was thinking about yesterday. we look at watergate and say it was this whole raft of scandals, but it started with the burglary, and it was only after the break-in and the investigation started that we saw the scope of richard nixon's criminality. i think it's important to say, the republicans like the say we haven't found collusion yet. it doesn't matter. this investigation started and in the course of it we've uncovered other things and it's important for our justice system we can't just look the other way with it. >> we cannot. >> how monumental this week was. on tuesday, this precedes the immunity, gabe is talking about that historical analog, how this played out. this seemed pivotal in an immediate sense this tuesday. >> just by virtue of michael
cohen going into a courtroom and pleading guilty to something, you knew there was an underlying problem for donald trump. i don't think anyone expected for him to point the finger, all but point the finger because he didn't use the name, but he worked for a federal candidate. i know he didn't work for hillary clinton. >> confirming here. >> i don't know if it's senate candidates or something, but that was shocking. i think it was monumental because it was tangible. and i think it shook people to the core on two levels. first of all, i think we were all shocked and some of us pleased because you want to see justice done, but it bifurcated the republicans' talking points on this. you know, everything is witch-hunt, witch-hunt, witch-hunt. they still do that here, but this was a whole parallel or veering away trek that they could no longer apply the same thing, i think because it was campaign finance it hit home, because that's something people
in washington and on capitol hill -- >> that's something that will be difficult i think for a lot of americans to figure out. there's an inherent plasticity to campaign finance which we're seeing play out. >> only need to worry about 12 of the 300 americans. it won't get that far. the mark of loyalty is not being loyal to someone when times are good, when trump wins and when cohen is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars to do effective lobbying. loyalty is when things are bad. you stick with it. and these people they use him as a meal ticket. they were on his coattails. now that there are none, it's remarkable. >> midwin, what happens next? this was in the providence of the southern district of new york. you have bob mueller's investigation continuing in washington, d.c. i should note michael cohen is able to travel to washington, d.c., where the special counsel is based, among a few other places in the country. you see these other parts of the legal system taking interest or
getting involved. >> i've said many times before in terms of mueller's investigation, i think he's masterful, a highly skilled prosecutor in the sense you have multiple trains on multiple tracks. we don't necessarily know where they will lead, but i think we can all assume at this point that the target is donald trump, perhaps the target is the trump organization, or perhaps the target is also jared kushner, ivanka -- >> don junior. >> i think what's next is how many other people are we going to see granted immunity? how many others were involved in illegal activity? that's one of the most important things to never forget here. you have people who have surrounded donald trump for decades who have engaged in illegal activity, so i think we're going to be looking forward to seeing more people come out who know the inner workings of the trump organization, who know donald trump, and there may be more skeletons in the closet that
will come out. >> the manafort verdict, looking ahead to the next trial on september the 17th. what did you take away from that first trial as you look ahead to the next one? what does that tell you about the special counsel? >> now that we've heard from one of the jurors who was on fox news after the verdict came out who said that essentially he was going to be convicted on all 18 counts and there was one holdout, so that to me means that he's in bad shape going into the d.c. trial because the prosecutors will learn from the experience in the virginia trial and try to adjust their strategy. maybe it's not putting rick gates on the stand because obviously the charges that pertain to him the jury really didn't take him -- the veracity of his testimony seriously. so i think that going forward the charges in d.c. relate more directly to russia than the ones in virginia. additionally, you have all that's going on in new york. so i think we should look to whether manafort is going to make a deal. i don't know. maybe he's old school and doesn't snitch. we don't know.
but i think -- >> he's afraid of russian poison. >> or that. one or the other. >> that's what it is. >> i think moving forward we'll look at what manafort will do because potentially he could flip. and michael cohen, there will be additional probably movement in that space. >> before sentencing in december. >> and maybe another special counsel looking into what's going on in the southern district. i don't know. but there's going to be a lot of activity on all of the myriad legal fronts that donald trump is dealing with right now, and that is bad for the midterms, bad for republicans, and bad for him politically. >> what's interesting, you go back to the juror that's been speaking, paula duncan, you know, this is a trump supporter. she literally came out of the jury room and put on her husband's make america great again. she made a point of saying they share a hat. they don't have two hats. while yes there was someone in there carrying that flag, the holdout, and did damage, first of all, they compromised and
said guilty 8 of the 18, and you have donald trump's own people, who -- you know, this woman was interesting, miss duncan, because she was saying i don't know how we got here from russia, but when you look at what manafort did, he broke the law and he's guilty. and if that pattern plays out, the president's got big problems. >> all right. let's come back here in just a moment. all the stories not fit for print. now the "national enquirer" kept a safe with stories in it killed to protect candidate donald trump. gabe sherman with more.
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will princess caroline's pregnancy save her shaky marriage? inquiring minds want to know. >> i want to know. >> which dallas star gets as on hotels? is too much sugar driving you up the wall? >> it's in the enquirer! >> find out in the enquirer. over 100 features for people with enquiring minds. >> like me. >> this week enquiring minds want to know more about david pecker, the owner of the "national enquirer," and a longtime friend of president trump, at least until recently. he's nabbed an immunity deal with prosecutors in exchange for information about payments made to stormy daniels and karen mcdougal, both of whom allege affairs with the president,
which the president continues to deny. david pecker used his tabloid to vanquish donald trump's rivals during the 2016 election while quashing negative stories about his longtime friend in 2016. but he reportedly kept them locked in a safe for himself, a safe that according to the associated press is filled with other damaging stories about the president. back with me,er er iour panel. gabe, jerry george, the l.a. bureau chief, last night talking about their protocols for dealing with this sort of stuff. let's listen to what he had to say. >> there was such a device in this digital age where, you know, particularly sensitive story files including source agreements and contracts and page proofs were stored for access and protection. when david pecker arrived, he sort of brought with him a silent editor, and that was, you
know, donald trump. i know of stories of infidelities on the president's part and also stories on the children. i mean, between the trumps and the kushners, they have more skeletons in the closet than the adams family. >> gabe sherman, let me turn to you to get a sense of this relationship the president fornlfornl -- forged with david pecker. we hear about how it was literally stored inside a safe. tell us about what he might have, what the "national enquirer" might have against donald trump. >> i mean, if we had the code to that safe, i'd to get in there. you know, this is a relationship that goes back years. i reported during the 2016 campaign that donald trump aides were giving material to the enquirer to publish. one specific piece of reporting i cited was ben carson's mal
pr malpractice suits. donald trump is quoting that ben carson nearly killed a guy and several days later it shows up on the front page of the enquirer. this is a relationship that was used well before donald trump became president. you have to think going back, donald trump is a child of the '70s. in his mind, the "national enquirer" looms large, like "time" magazine, one of the iconic brands in his mind. >> hard to fathom in this day and age. >> it's colorful, has pictures. >> not a lot of words. >> this was a very important relationship to him, and he basically used it as a form as we've now learned michael cohen cutting deals, as a form of political advertising, which is where the "national enquirer" then loses its first amendment privileges because it became a de facto arm of donald trump's campaign. >> felipe, a target of the "national enquirer" has been hillary clinton, for whom you've worked for many years. just behind me here, you can see some of these front pages. >> remarkable. >> sex tape found. we've got the infamous ted cruz
story that came up in the campaign which the president referenced while campaigning, casting legitimacy on this, suggesting the "national enquirer" would win a pulitzer prize. who does this play to? bring it to today, to the last 10, 15 years. what role was it playing? who was reading this? >> what's remarkable is as crazy as these covers, are, some of them are pretty tame compared to what you see online now, whether it's from greatway pundit or info wars. but they seem to be ahead of the game in that literally you would go to the supermarket, this was before amazon and pea pod and insta cart, while you're on line, it was entertain, and i don't think people cared whether it was true or not, you weren't there to fact check, but you absorbed it. and, you know, frankly, the worst thing that happened in politics in terms of this is that they got it right with john edwards. and the minute they got it right with john edwards, it gave them a street cred that they could
always say, hey, you don't know. now, ted cruz's father didn't assassinate jfk, but some of these you might not be sure about. when you have a wire, so if people have a pre-existing concern about hillary clinton's health, because that's something the right loves to hype, and they put something on the cover she's going to die in ten minutes, people are going to say i read in the paper that she's going to die. >> particularly when you saw on 9/11 when she was under the weather and she fainted, right, in front of cameras, and that fed a nary they've the right had created that her health conditions were really serious. but, you know, she's alive and kicking and hiking. >> clearly wasn't dying. it's so silly. >> think about what's too crazy for the enquirer not to print, it's got to be some good stuff. >> she didn't have an alien baby in the '90s. >> more on that after the break. midwin, i want to ask you about
where ami is in all of this now. we've seen david pecker get this immunity from prosecutors. ami is still very much a focus of attention here. you've talked about these three pillars propping up president trump. the pr pillar. how does it change its role when we look at it as a de facto arm of the president? >> from a legal perspective, i think his comment was right that ami worked as an arm of the donald trump campaign. i think they're look at them from a narrow perspective. what role did they play in hush payments? we all know now these hush payments are implicated in campaign violation laws. it's very specific. i know we really want to know that treasure trove, but it's not necessarily relevant to anything other than was a law broken. so i think one of the reasons that i think they'll look very closely at them is what role did they play in hush payments, are there any other hush payments around the time of the campaign, are there any other women or
men, for whatever other reason, doesn't have to be about sex, it could be about business deals, it could be about a whole bunch of things, but were they done in order to quiet someone to come forward before the election? and remember, he benefitted from this stuff. it worked. he won. so those i think are the inquiries that the prosecutors are going to continue looking into. >> gabe, last question to you. how healthy is american media at this point? it was in bad financial shape. we talked about it. look at the endorsements during the campaign. i don't know how many dozen newspapers endorsed hillary clinton or said don't vote for president trump. "national enquirer" with a paper out of las vegas, one in florida as well, i think three newspapers endorsed the president. what about this company? what does it say about the desperate position david pecker is in? >> this is the question. follow the money. american media is concentrated in print publishing, which is a sector of the economy that's been sort of decimated by the rise of the internet.
here you have david pecker forging a strategic relationship with donald trump, and as "the new york times" reported he got an oval office meeting with an adviser to the saudi royal family as a possible way to drum up more business. >> unless we forget that crazy mbs magazine. >> right. it was like a fan zine or something. >> flying off the shelves of walmart. you have someone helping him get elected and saving a troubled company. that to me is the definition of corruption. >> up next, donald trump versus jeff sessions, the latest round. could this be the attorney general's swan song? and in our next hour, more fallout from the shocking verdict from paul manafort and the guilty plea from michael cohen. >> you've heard of black friday. this week we had orange tuesday. this isn't even the main course, which is russia. this was just the stormy daniels appetizer. the campaign manager, guilty.
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welcome back. will he or won't he? there is that is the question many are asking about whether president trump will face jeff sessions. he's faced criticism from the president since recusing himself from the russia probe last year. take a listen. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself almost immediately after he took office. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office and i would have quite simply picked somebody else. >> sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse hince, he should have told me before he took the job and i would have picked somebody else. the attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself, or he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself and we would have used a -- put a different attorney general in. i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department, jeff
sessions. never took control of the justice department. and it's sort of an incredible thing. >> a twist this week, the attorney general actually hit back on what the president had to say. let me read a little from jeff sessions. i took control of the department of justice the day i was sworn in. while i am attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. my panel back with me here in new york. you've watched this play out. the barrage of tweets here that jeff sessions has had to face. i'm sure his staff is printing them out for him. how pivotal was that moment this week, getting that statement from his spokesperson? essentially, it's a proxy war here via statements and tweets, but saying i'm doing my job, stay out of it. >> right. i just think it's a sad day in america when the president of the united states does not understand how the government
works. someone needs to set him aside and let him know that the attorney general is not your personal attorney. this is not an episode of "law and order." you don't get to decide who gets investigated, who is arrested. those are the things he's called for. we saw in the clip you played, which was excellent, the number of times he said that session s s should not have recused himself. he did because he had connections, contacts with russia that he failed to disclose while he was under oath. so the idea that he shouldn't have recused himself is a tacit acknowledgment of donald trump that he doesn't respect law and order, he doesn't respect statements and sort of things that are said under oath. you can't even forget that. and the idea that he said, well, he should haven't recused himself, as though that were not a big deal, but also as though he should only be in the job to protect me and to watch out for
me. that's not how it goes. imagine if barack obama had said that about eric holder or loretta lynch. everybody would be jumps for arms. the attorney general's job is to uphold the law. he's not a private attorney like a michael cohen. he's not your fixer. >> on that point, gabe, you look at the tweets the president sent this week and there's a familiarity there, not the attorney general, jeff sessions. after all this happened, they met in the white house and supposedly this didn't come up. what does that say about the dynamic between these two? a lot of people will say jeff sessions by recusing himself has been able to do a lot of what donald trump had wanted to do, a lot of what republicans wanted to do. is that enough to placate the president at least behind closed doors? >> on a macro level, the breakdown in this relationship to me is striking because we have to remember jeff sessions
was the first senator to endorse donald trump. he put his political future in donald trump's hands, and that in many ways helped solidify trump's support amongst the republican base. the fact they are now at odds shows you again that donald trump, loyalty only goes one way him. the second thing i would say is that all these tweets is part of a public shaming campaign. donald trump wants jeff sessions to resign, as i have reported. donald trump wanted rudy giuliani to be his attorney general. in fact, last week he vented to rudy that none of this would have happened if you had taken the job but you insisted on being secretary of state. that just shows a level of frustration. the third point, calling him jeff in tweets is part of donald trump's effort to delegitimize people. he does that with world leaders, refers to them by their first name. to me this is a part of his strategy to diminish everyone and make himself seem like this authoritarian leader. strikes me, too, all the while he's referring to kim jong-un as chairman kim. using it when he's referring to
the dictator of north korea. there was this moment outlined in michael wolff's book, you had reince priebus running out to the car after jeff sessions threatened he would resign. are you surprised how long he's held on? >> i'm not surprised. jeff sessions is doing all the things on his policy wish list he's wanted to do. far long time he's wanted to be the attorney general. he's in his dream job. he's implementing the immigration policies and the criminal justice policies and the war on drug policies he has always wanted to implement. he's not going anywhere. he's not going to quit. he won't be shamed into quitting. he was senator for decades. you think donald trump scares him? and i think donald trump is again she sh-- showing he's a bully. as soon as they're in his face, he doesn't have anything to say. he's all smiles. >> you've been lending an ear to
what senators were saying this week. initially it was we don't have time for additional hearings if the president were to ask session stoegs resijeff sessions to resign. that seems to be changing now. how much confidence do you have in this? >> less than ai did a few days ago. to go back, when the first couple of times he attacked sessions, trump attacked sessions, you get to the sixth, seventh time, and you're like oh my god, trump is the loser here. to go back to the must-see tv of the '90s. you have a george costanza situation where he's refusing to quit. he has the upper hand. trump is doing a couple things that are problematic. he's acting like the minute bob mueller was appointed that he could do anything. he's obstructing. he would have been better off firing sessions early on. if you think about it, he has not fired anyone since comey on
this matter because they are shell-shocked, because it was a tremendous mistake, he didn't see it come, and i don't think he knows what to do. and, you know, you get to this thing, there's one kind of obscure aspect to this where whether he needs sessions to resign rather than fire him because he has options legally in terms of replacing sessions if he's fired -- if he resigns as opposed to fired. he can sblo he can do an end run around grassley and take care of it like that. i don't want to attribute that much strategy to donald trump. what you see is what you get. >> i want to get to flipping as well. while the president is drawing comparisons to mobsters with his latest comments on michael cohen flipping. >> it's called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. >> you broke my heart. (vo) love. i got it. i gotcha baby. (vo) it's being there when you're needed most.
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it's called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal. >> if you're a rat, then i'm the biggest -- in the history of the mafia. >> for 30, 40 years i've been watching flippers. >> i'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse. >> they get ten years in jail and they flip on the next highest one is or as high as you can go. >> never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.
>> some examples of the rhetoric, shall we say, the president has been adopting lately as he talks about the mueller investigation, all of the legal situations surrounding him. gabe sherman, i read a piece by jonathan shake this week and he said this isn't a president who's watched a lot of movies. he's lived it. his career in new york in construction, real estate, his father before him. he knows these guys. this is his lingua franca. this is the language he speaks. >> we were talking in the break about roy cohn, the president's mentor and god father in the 1970s and 1980s. he was the choice for crime families. this was the world donald trump grew up in. he spoke the language. e understand that your loyalty is to your family, not to law enforcement, and the fact that the president of the united states would call into question the way our criminal justice system works, to me that's another sign he has pure authoritarian instincts. the only thing keeping him on
the road is the fact we have guard rails, institutions that are keeping him there. but he has the mind-set of, as jim comey wrote in his book, of a mob boss. he thinks he makes the law, not the state makes the law. >> i'll get you to redo that eyebrow raise. gabe is talking about institution versus individuals. that's what we're seeing, a fine focus here. there are still people who have a lot of faith in the fact that in this country, institutions are supposed to trump individuals. you raised your eyebrows. >> he said we have guard rails. those guard rails have become loops because we have a republican majority that for all intents and purposes have abdicated their role. their role is to check this president and they have failed to do it and failed miserably. when you look at this sort of explosive, astonishing, historic week where the personal attorney of the president of the united states for over ten years has pled guilty to a federal crime, eight counts, and named the
president as an unindicted co-conspiratoren co-conspirator, and what did we hear from the republican party? silence. >> they had a hearing on hillary clinton's e-mails. they weren't just silent. the house intelligence committee responded to what happened on tuesday by holding a hearing on her e-mails. >> when we were at state department, i used to joke the end of the world would come through pakistan. now it's the house republican caucus. they're the tipping point. it's utterly amazing because to guard rails that i recollect ear meant, if you're nodding off, if we veer a little bit. it's not meant for someone who grabs the wheel and intentionally goes through it because you'll plow through a guard rail if you have your foot to the gas. i think we're seeing the results of someone who never served in government, never served in the military. he's the only president who never has. you have no innate sense of right and wrong. you've been your own boss. >> this is the only metric that
matters is if you make money or not. >> he said that. the most honest part of his interview was why would you impeach doing so well? he stopped with the i didn't do anything. it was basically i gave you tax cuts and i'm building a wall. and i think his 40% agree with that. >> go ahead. yeah. >> this is indicative of someone who's never been under scrutiny. the trump organization is a private company. he's just pretty much done anything he's wanted to do for all his life. he has never had to bear the brunt of scrutiny. i think it's a telltale sign as a country, as americans, that this man was not properly vetted. >> felipe, i'm going to play a game with you here. i was reading in "the new york times," did donald trump say it or did john ggotti say it. he doesn't know me, but he would go down fast and hard all the way. >> gotti. >> trump. >> i'm embarrassed. >> we got a tweet from the president.
jeff sessions said he wouldn't allow politics to influence him only because he doesn't understand what's happening underneath his command position. highly conflicted bob mueller and his gang of 17 angry dems are having a field day as real corruption goes untouched. no collusion. gabe was talking about rudy giuliani. this president thinks he could be a better attorney general than jeff sessions himself. back to the substance of that tweet with regard to flipping. he's again telegraphing or telling jeff sessions here that this thing, this fundamental part of how prosecutors do their job, has to change. what does that say about his perspective on his role of the justice department? >> he doesn't have an idea of what's going on, but he hasn't. he doesn't understand how the government works. that is just illustrated every single day. but there's two points going back to the previous conversation about his mob sort of language, he actually is directly connected to people who are in the mob.
felix sater, an fbi informant was in the russian mob. michael cohen is a childhood friend to felix sater. there is a bar that everybody continue rega-- congregates at has russian mobsters. it's only coming to the floor now as he's under scrutiny. >> we should remember donald trump built trump tower in the '80s at a time when the new york concrete industry was controlled by organized crime. he did business in atlantic city, built casinos, at a time organized crime controlled casinos. he practiced business in industries where you had to deal with these people. >> for "sopranos" fans, i'm sure he had a couple of people in the lawn chairs with the no-show, no-work jobs. but i think there's also to the no collusion, no collusion, i think in his mind there's a line in the sand between election day backwards, election day forwards, and you can see it in
that he says no collusion, because he knows he never got on the phone with someone and said, sure, i'm going to do what you want. but rudy not letting him, his attorneys not letting him talk to mueller about obstruction shows you exactly what they know to be wrong. now, their argument is you can't obstruct when you didn't do anything, when the underlying crime didn't exist or is a joke and you can't obstruct because you're the president. but they know that there's a difference between what he's done in office and what he did before office. >> we'll come back in just a moment. the second congressman to endorse then candidate donald trump is now in legal jeopardy just like the first congressman to endorse donald trump. the twist this time, the congressman is blaming his wife. that's next.
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or if you have received any other meningitis b vaccines. ask your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of bexsero and if vaccination with bexsero is right for your teen. moms, we can't wait. ♪ when i went to iraq in 2003 the first time i gave power of attorney, she handled my finances throughout mayy entire military and continued going into congress. she was also the -- the campaign manager. so whatever she did on, that will be looked at, too, i'm sure, but i didn't do it. >> the financial handler and campaign manager congressman
duncan hunter is talking about his wife there. the two of them indicted on federal charges this week of stealing more than a quarter million of dollars in campaign funds and both pleaded not guilty and released on bond. a lot to talk about here with you guys. i look lthrough this indictment yes, the weird stuff. the tickets to "how the grinch stole christmas." gifts from the international spy museum, the target purchases. >> airline ticket for your rabbit. >> lest i forget. >> real sads in to th s iness a. unable to buy the uber back to the hotel the congressman is staying in. what do you make of that? and reaction to it. a guy did not immediately resign. paul ryan said he fought that. what do you make of that? >> a red district. not going anywhere. >> that's what fueled this, you think? >> they can't take my name off
the ballot. exactly. a heavily red district, my dad held this seat before i came in. duncan hunter the name of the district for 40 years and feels like the voters aren't going to care. they know me, care about me and i can spin this like donald trump has as a witch-hunt led by the media as opposed to something so grotesque they were charging golf shorts and hawaiian shorts to wounded warriors. that's what we're talking about here. not just the silly stuff. also the level of grotesqueness it takes to charge something falsely and say i was buying this for wounded warriors when you're really buying it for yourselves says a lot about this congressman supposed to be in office representing constitue s constituents. >> i keep remembering that trump said during the campaign. only the best people. come in, drain the swamp, bring in people. this is the definition of the swamp cashing in on your campaign for personal purchases.
>> an interesting litmus test. trying to be donald trump, see if everything can wash off. we'll see. >> if they can get away with it. >> we'll see. a red district. he stole a quarter of a million dollars. >> i suspect his wife picked up the phone and dialed 1-800-divorce-lawyer. >> and i'm just astonished how spectacular -- i have never seen a man throw his wife under the bus like that. spectacular. >> and like george conway and -- >> power of attorney while he was serving, you know, i'm serving -- i was serving in iraq and -- >> exactly. >> i was serving my country and she was power of attorney and made all of these decisions on my behalf. >> complicated. too little time to report on this well but heard news from senator john mccain. the starkest contrast look at here and what john mccain
thought of the institutions in washington, d.c. >> he is an american hero in the sense of his service. i'll get attack and twitter for saying that because he was in vietnam, pro-iraq. when you look at his service and honor. saddest about it is he has a higher approval rating among democrats now than republicans, because trump has done such a bang-up job of shellacking him. that's very sad. i love john mccain to death for basically saying i don't want the guy at my funeral. that's a -- wonderful last act. >> still, as of today, no comment from the president on senator mccain. >> better off that way. >> yeah. >> thanks to all of you. all joining me here in new york. coming up top of the hour, a new immunity granted to trump's chief financial officer, and mr. president trump ignore his lawyers and exonerate his
campaign chairman? we'll be right back. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that.
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financial officer who was granted immunity. >> you don't use a big fish to eat a smaller fish. >> new information on what could be inside the "national enquirer's" safe as the owner of that tabloid also gets immunity. and we're hearing the other "i" word an awful lot this week. >> i don't know how you can impeach somebody who's done a great job. >> we're going to break down the legal and political realities of impeachment in a little bit. joining me, sir michael singleton, republican consultant under president trump and staff writer at the "atlanta" msnbc contributor as well. daniel goldman, assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. msnbc legal analyst tiffany cross, co-founder and managing editor of "the beat d.c." right to the questions surrounding the trump organization cfo granted immunity. this development on top of many other legal bombshells this week. re-igniting speculation of what president trump might do if investigators cross the red line of touching his