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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  October 9, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york and 1:00 here in los angeles. she's not running. that was nikki haley's bizarre declaration as she sat alongside the president she served since the earliest days of his administration. h haley, former governor of south carolina, was once a fierce opponent of trump and backer of his primary opponent, marco rubio, who deferred sharply from trump on foreign policy. this being the time of trump, we glossed over the fact as her departure was being announced and she and the president lavished praise on one another in a display of mutual admiration, nickki haley was on of the administration officials suspected of penning the anonymous op-ped in "the new york times" a few weeks ago. but today, other than using her departure photo op to announce she would not primary trump in 2020, haley was all smiles. >> for all of you that are going to ask about 2020, no, i'm not running for 2020. i can promise you what i'll be doing is campaigning for this one. so i look forward to supporting the president in the next election.
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>> well, not as influential as advisers like mike pompeo, haley won praise for her polished public performances and being one of the if few influential high-profile women in h donald trump's circle. fresh off the kavanaugh battle with four weeks to go before the midterm election, polls show democrats have a clear advantage with female voters. that places an enormous amount of pressure on the administration to replace one of its most public women with another woman. here to help us answer what happens next, some of our favorite reporters and friends. jonathan swan, national political reporter for axios who first broke this story today. the "washington post," white house reporter, ashley parker. and senior political reporter, aaron blake. with us on set, ben rhodes. alice jordan, a former aide in the george w. bush white house and state department and co-host of the fabulous new podcast, "words matter." jonathan, let me start with you since you broke this news. take us through the morning's events.
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tick through all the advisers who were caught off guard. >> well, i still don't know what happened, really. i mean, i reported that she resigned. she told trump that last week. i still don't know the real backstory, and frankly, nor does really anyone that i've spoken to in it the white house or outside the white house within the circles that you would normally expect would know this. the news, mike pompeo was caught off guard by this, and as were other senior foreign policy officials. it was kept very, very, very close. right now, i can confirm that people inside the white house view dina powell as a front-runner for the job. by no means is that a done deal, but that is a name that is now being discussed inside the white house as the successor for nikki haley. >> and ashley parker, nbc news is also confirming the same reporting that jonathan swan has, that dina powell is under consideration for the top u.n.
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job. she was in full disclosure, she was my former colleague in the bush 43 white house. remains close. she's one of these people who like nikki haley straddles establishment republican circles but is also a member in good standing with donald trump and, perhaps, more importantly, the trump family. nikki haley singling out jared kushner as not a stable genius, but a secret genius. and lavishing praise upon ivanka as well. take me through this possible line of succession from nikki haley to dina powell should that come to pass. >> sure, well, dina powell is also one of these rare people in the president's orbit who, like ambassador haley, managed to leave this white house, you know, not just unscathed, but almost efven elevated. that's incredibly rare. both of these women left as of now, at least it seems, on their own terms, on their own timetable, without a cloud of rumor hanging over them. they were not fired by tweet. they were not pushed out. and dina powell certainly stayed in the white house's good graces
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and it does sort of speak to a truism of trump world which is that, you know, you can always leave, but you can possibly maybe come back if you haven't become an enormous source in one of these books or slam the president publicly. and it's worth keeping in meein the president has a very small group of people who he knew before he came into politics and who he really trusts. so if you are able to make this kind of silky exit which is worth noting is incredibly hard to do, you stay in that orbit, you stay in touch with people. you talk to the president. he calls you late at night. you stay top of his mind and you are a person who can be brought in and i think that's what we're seeing with deina powell right now. >> aaron blake, it's not -- it did not go unnoticed to me that donald trump made a point of talking about how nikki haley made the u.n. job glamorous again. he's always casting people in positions, not necessarily hiring people. i'm not making any commentary about anyone's qualifications, but i thought that that sounded
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like a little clue or little reveal about some of what he was looking for in nikki haley's successor. >> yeah, that comment really caught my eye, too. certainly, it should not be underestimated how important that is to president trump. i think, you know, besides her qualifications and everything else, you know, this is somebody who established some independence from the president in real ways, and from the administration at times. and you have to wonder if part of the reason that she was given that kind of latitude was because the president had such a regard for what she was doing both for the position, and also just kind of her stage presence as a public spokesperson for the administration. we've seen this repeatedly with people who may run afoul of the administration but don't do a very good job of it. then we see other people who may say things that are critical of the president or the things that he's done and if the president has real bona fide respect for them, they can remain in his good graces. they can remain in his orbit.
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i think nikki haley is arguably somebody who did the best job of that of anybody because she was the most independent, arguably, of anybody in his cabinet. >> but this being the trump white house, it was super weird for her to announce that she wasn't going to primary her boss while she was sitting there receiving all the praise we've been talking about. being glamorous, being good at her job, being someone that could still call him whenever she wanted to. it was like the gary cohn departure, maybe she'll come back. how knows. it's still, you know, she's been singled out for the things she did well and she should be. but this was never a perfect fit. she was a fierce opponent of donald trump in the primary. her endorsement in the gop primaries was coveted. jeb bush jockeyed for it. it ultimately fell to marco rubio. there was nobody in the republican field more distant from donald trump on foreign policy than marco rubio. she became an able u.n. ambassador up in new york, but she was so suspected of differing on a policy level,
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perhaps even a personal conduct level, that she was on the suspects list when the anonymous op-ped came out a few weeks ago. >> wrote a rebuttal, too. >> right. >> answering that whoever wrote the op-ped should have come public with their concerns or resigned. nikki haley is one of the most deft political players of the era. the fact that she was able to navigate what you just outlined that basically her foreign policy views are somewhat opposed to donald trump's, and she was actually anti-trump during parts of the republican primary, and then she goes into the administration and manages to be a huge star and leave with her reputation unscathed. much in very similar to dina powell who is being spoken of as a potential contender for the job. and i spoke to a source today who is close to nikki haley who said that ambassador haley is -- she wanted to control it on her own terms. that it made more sense than having it leaked which was a -- always a possibility because she had told president trump about
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six months ago that it -- you know, toward the end of the year would be her time. and so she was able to control that message today as we see. >> weigh in on both, just the bizarre optics. we've all worked -- the three of us have all worked in white house. i can't imagine anybody leaving their job two years into the bush's first term or obama's first term for that matter and saying i'm out, it was great, and i'm not going to primary this guy. it was weird. >> yeah. it was weird. and, look, and this is someone of the plum jobs you can have in an administration. i think the fact is what we've seen, if she does have alternative views on things like russia, human rights, she was squeezed out. john bolton who used to have her job is sitting down the hall at the white house from trump as national security adviser. mike pompeo taking a huge role in the north korea negotiations. and, yes, while nikki haley was an effective spokesperson for her beliefs, those weren't often the beliefs carrying the day and, frankly, i think what she did is she saw this might look like a sinking ship and get this news out before the midterms and get out unscathed in terms of my
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reputation with parts of the republican party that agrees with me and not trump. >> let me press you on this policy difference because it hasn't received enough attention but mike allen, a former national security official from the bush 43 white house, and someone familiar with sort of this policy difference between, perhaps, what nikki haley thought on the issues you raised and the more hardline views of john bolton and mike pompeo made this point this morning that on a policy level, she probably wasn't prevailing behind the scenes. is that your sense? >> absolutely not. and, you know, she comes from a more conventional republican approach to foreign policy that stands up to vladimir putin, that wants to be tough on russia, wants to promote democracy and human rights around the world. that is clearly not happening. so, you know, in those internal debates in the situation room, her voice clearly was getting softer and softer relative to bolton and pompeo over the course of this year and frankly, she wasn't having much of an impact. >> donald trump just weighed in. let's listen to that and talk to jonathan and ashley and aaron on the other side. >> dina powell is out there,
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that would be a trade, one strong woman for another. what are the chances of that happening? >> dina is certainly a person i would consider. she is under krrconsideration. we have actually many many names. nikki haley has been great. nikki is going to work along with us, she's going to help us with 2020. nikki is a great friend of mine. we've become great friends. she's done a fantastic job. she'll be involved. and dina certainly -- there are other -- i've heard a lot of names. i've heard ivanka. i've heard how good would ivanka be? >> would you consider -- >> the people that know -- there's nothing to do with nepotism, but i want to tell. you the people that know, know that ivanka would be dynamite. i'd then be accused of nepotism it you can believe it, right? yes? [ inaudible question ] i think ivanka would be incredible. doesn't mean i'd pick her because you'd be accused of nepotism.
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even though i'm not sure there's anybody more competent in the world, but that's okay. we're are looking at numerous people. >> nepotism, clearly the president's word of the day today. jonathan swan, president seeming to confirm what you reported on our air, what nbc news has confirmed, that dina powell, former deputy to h.r. mcmaster who has since been ousted, under consideration to replace nikki haley as the u.n. ambassador. also, i couldn't tell if he ruled ivanka in or out because of nepotism. it sounded like he landed on out. but naming two high-profile women in his inner circle as possible candidateskki haley. >> counts on -- i mean, he said it there. i mean, he said he wants to have nikki haley involved in the decision of her replacement. nikki haley is very, very close personally to dina powell. jared and ivanka are very, very close personally to dina powell. somebody who would be working
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against her, you mark my words, they'll be working against her, is john kelly, the chief of staff, who was no fan of nikki haley, either. it's not like it will be some smooth red carpet, but if trump is behind her, i don't know what has been said, but if he's behind her, it really doesn't matter what john kelly thinks or says. >> just explain for our viewers sort of those -- that pressure between john kelly and some of the washington professionals and the family and those aligned with the family. because that is sort of the age--old power dynamic. >> right. >> sort of the root of so much dysfunction is those two sort of pressing factions. can you flesh that out for us a little bit? >> i don't think it's a state secret that john kelly does not have a wonderful relationship with jared and ivanka. the relationship has been worse at times than it is now. i think he's made at least peace with the fact that they're not going anywhere.
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but there's no love lost between them. and, frankly, my understanding from talking to people close, around kelly, allies of kelly, is that he does not have warm feelings toward dina powell, either. so this is -- anyone being pushed by jared and ivanka, there's often a dynamic, a countervailing dynamic, from john kelly. >> okay. viewers, jonathan swan is taking you deep inside the trump white house dysfunction. i want to show you something because here's nikki haley pouring some salt on those open wounds. listen to nikki haley on jared and ivanka. >> jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands. i mean, to redo the nafta deal the way he did, what i've done working with him on the middle east peace plan, it is so unbelievably well done. and ivanka's been just a great friend and they do a lot of things behind the scenes that i wish more people knew about because we're a better country
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because they're in this administration. >> so, ashley parker, she's not going to get in a word for subtlety today, but clearly trying to elevate the forces who might be inclined to side with her selection for her ssuccesso. no? >> absolutely. look, ambassador haley is nothing if not a savvy survivor. that's one of the ways she's done that is she's sort of befriended the right factions in this white house. that includes, of course, the family. made no secret about it, those remarks i think jumped out at me and everyone just because they were sort of so blatant on her way out the door. and she -- and this is how you sort of function in this white house. and she's been savvy not just with the family and who she's chosen to align herself with, but even when she's had disagreements with the president and there have been a number of them, she's managed to sort of communicate publicly with a wink and a nod that she disagrees, but while often says on
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something like charlottesville, for instance, she conveyed her thoughts privately to the president and she'll leave it at that. so i was talking to senator graham today, he said, look, she's someone who earned the president's trust very early on. he believes she has his best interests in mind. if you have that, you have a lot of leeway in this white house to kind of move and maneuver, and i think that's what we've seen all along and certainly what we saw today on her way out the door. >> all right. and aaron, i'm not a fan of identity politics, but you can't miss the gender play in all this. here's nikki haley talking about women who accuse -- this case, it was roy moore, but accuse men of sexual misconduct. >> women who accuse anyone should be heard. they should be heard and they should be dealt with. and i think we heard from them prior to the election, and i think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up. >> so that was nikki haley on actually the president's accusers. it was around the time of the president's endorsement of roy moore. but obviously, today's
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resignation and her efforts to install possibly dina powell as her successor come at a time when this administration really can't stand to lose any more ground among female voters. >> yeah. i think that's part of what makes the timing of this so difficult. partially it's because nikki haley is just such a popular person in the administration. i would put her probably alongside defense secretary james mattis as being somebody who is liked by both the right and the left. is also well known to the american people. and is viewed as something of a steadying force, perhaps, by your average american out there who doesn't maybe follow politics on the regular, but, you know, pops in from time to time and sees her talking about issues like north korea, sees her at the united nations. but you're right, there is also, you know, losing that kind of person four weeks before an election in which the conduct of the administration could be on the ballot, you're also losing the most high-profile arguably female in that administration and so i think that in addition
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to a whole lot of other factors makes the timing of this really questionable, suspicious, maybe unnecessary, given the fact that she was going to stay until the end of the year, anyway. you know, it just leads one to wonder what the whole backstory has been here, and, of course, as jonathan said, we just don't know what that whole backstory is. it's been several hours now which makes the fact that we don't know more even all the more unusual. >> elise, i'm with aaron and jonathan on this, that give her the -- let's just -- so she was done, she wanted to go. it's 28 days before the midterms. if you want to go, and you've made your departure date known, there's no difference between announcing it today and announcing it on november 10th. >> or she knew it was going to leak. again, that was what i heard from a colleague of nikki haley's who is familiar with how she was thinking about it. and i think that you look at the political deftness that she has
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shown throughout her entire tenure in the trump administration, and definitely i would say that this is calculated. why is still the question that we're looking at. but she's going to be -- she's relatively unscathed by this bruising experience in serving in the trump administration. she's actually burnished her credential and will be viable t go into the private sector. she'll be setting herself up well for 2024. >> let me ask you about turnover. "the new york times" out with a piece that says "top turnover on trump's administration in first 14 months, trump had 9 people leave. clinton had three. obama, two. and bush one in the same period of time. what does that do to the national security policymaking process? >> oh, it's incredibly disruptive. i mean, we had one u.n. ambassador, first term, susan rice, one, samantha power in the second. you're managing so many complex issues. for someone to come in and get up to speed, that is disruptive. and i think what we see here, too, the hidden genius of jared
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kushner, he's hiding it very well, you know, she is compromising herself. i mean, we're praising her political acumen, but if you make the decision to be in this team and in this trump white house, i think that does stick to you. and, you know -- >> i totally agree. and, listen, the things that stick to you are the fact that he went to his first nato summit and refused to confirm acommitmea commiour commitment to article 5. he's wrapped both arms and legs around vladimir putin. you can't say enough nice things about kim jong-un, the late john mccain called a murderous little thug. i think other words not appropriate for family-friendly television. that is the foreign policy with which he will be associated forever. >> that's right. the helsinki summit, genuflecting in front of putin. this is the conflict i see republicans going through who are in this administration, you know, am i able to have my voice heard, do i want to have the influence that comes with this job even if the policy ends up reflecting differently? and, frankly, even though she's leaving, by sitting there in the oval office and embracing trump
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and praising jared and ivanka, i mean, she is aligning herself with, you know, whatever the outcome of this administration is. >> deif dina powell is the front-runner for the position of u.n. ambassador, what are her confirmation hearings going to be like? she was one of the people at the forefront of the trump administration's alignment with saudi arabia, the aftermath of this horrible incident we're still not sure what happened but it's pretty clear that a dissident journalist was murdered on turkish soil. >> jonathan, ashley, let me give you the last word on this. any predictions on wrt story is going to go? jonathan, you opened up, said you have no idea what the backstory is. what are you chasing? >> i want to know why. i want to know why now. it's -- it came as a complete shock to a lot of people in there, and i just want to know what actually happened. and i'll just be really honest. i don't know. i don't know. i know what people are telling me, but i don't really believe them. call me -- call me crazy, but, you know, i've been covering
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this white house for 18 months and i -- you know, when i get told a story the first time, i'm going to do a little bit of checking. so i don't know, i really don't know what happened. and i'm trying to find out. >> is ashley parker, what parts of this story are you most skeptical about at this hour? >> i'm with jonathan. this is a white house where everything leaks. so far, we sort of know what happened but have no idea why. the timing is very savvy and suspect. on the one hand, she's getting out before the midterms which could go poorly. she's getting out before mueller comes forward with any conclusions. she's getting out in a sort of save yourself way. on the other hand, a number of people have speculated to me there seems to be a certain amount of urgency. if you're going to stay until the end of the year, why announce this 28 days before the midterms? there has to be some other there, there. i, too, like jonathan, don't quite know what it is yet. i'm chasing that. >> aaron blake, going to end on the reporter's notebook. with what aare you chasing in t
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story? >> what her plans are for the future are significant here. obviously those don't include a 2020 presidential campaign. i think that was always pretty farfetched from the beginning. she was associated with the president. but, you know, this is somebody who like we've talked about is extremely savvy. has proven that throughout the first two years in the trump administration. she certainly has to have some plans beyond being u.n. ambassad ambassador. maybe she goes and makes some money for a few years. i wouldn't be surprised if this is geared toward something in the future, whether it's 2024, whether it's something back in the state of south carolina. she has a future on this stage. i think that's what we've seen, clearly, for the last two years. >> all right. jonathan swan, ashley parker, going to let you go back to chasing those leads. thank you for spending time with us. when we come back, yesterday donald trump declared no collusion about his campaign. it turns out his campaign was trying very, very hard to make it look like it was interested in it colluding. we'll bring you brand-new reporting from the "the new york
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there's a big potentially significant development to tell you about. new reporting from "the new york times" reveals that the trump campaign open to, but eager to collude this time with an israeli company that would have run an internet disinformation campaign. quite similar to what some of the russian intelligence associates charged by special counsel robert mueller were caught doing during the 2016
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election. the scope of work the trump campaign considered included the creation of fake online identities to help the trump campaign manipulate voter sentiments during the gop primary against ted cruz. and ultimately, against trump's general election opponent hillary clinton. deputy campaign manager rick gates who has pleaded guilty in the mueller investigation and is now a cooperating witness sought out proposals from the israeli firm that also included, quote, complementary intelligence activities about mrs. clinton. the firm was not in the end hired but at the very least the proposed work ed scope of work a window into the kinds of tactics, tactics now under scrutiny by robert mueller, that the trump campaign was soliciting from a foreign firm. on the question of whether crimes were committed, the "times" writes this, "it is unclear whether project rome proposals," the name given to the proposed campaigns, "describe work that would violate laws regulating foreign
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participation in american elections." former u.s. attorney joyce vance joins us. joining us on set, todd purtham, staff -- i want to a california correspondent for something. california correspondent for "the atlantic." aaron, ben, and elise are still here. joyce, let me start with you, take me through what this says about the trump campaign at the highest levels of campaign leadership, what was their mindset about colluding, coordinating or receiving really material benefits in terms of a campaign strategic imper tiativ to take down their opponents in the primary? it would have been ted cruz. in the general election, would have been hillary clinton. from a foreign firm. >> so my answer may be a little bit disappointing, but based on what we know right now, we just don't know enough to call this one. it looks, however, very interesting and we know that bob mueller is spending a lot of time interviewing many employees of side group which would seem to signal there really is some fire here along with the smoke. here's what people need to know.
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the illegality that we've talked about in the trump campaign's interaction with russia involved illegally receiving donations or contributions from a foreign entity. federal law prohibits that. but it might not necessarily prohibit paying money for a service. so that could be okay. even if that turned out to be the case, though, this entire deal illustrates an interest by the trump campaign and using really distasteful voter manipulation processes to influence voters. there's a lot more here. i think that we're early days on this story. >> and joyce, do you think it's a coincidence that the actual work product that they sought out a proposal l frfrom an isra firm to do, the quork work product would have used bogus personas. the work product they sought from the israel l i firm included collecting research and complementary intelligence activities about hillary clinton and people close to her.
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they sought out a product that would help them use social media to expose or amplify divisions among rival campaigns and factions. is it a quecoincidence those ar the three activities the russ n russians ultimately engaged in during the 2016 election? >> you know, there's no such thing as coincidence in law enforcement. that's the voice of experience speaking. there is at least some suggestion that whether or not the campaign concluded a deal with sy group, may have worked with cambridge analytica, which, of course, provided many of the services that you just detailed. so we could be seeing the origin story for the work that was ultimately done and became the focus in large part of mueller's investigation and indictment into russian behavior online and social media manipulation. >> i want your thoughts on this. i want to read you one more piece. just to help our viewers understand how robert mueller is looking at this. so the "times" reports that investigators working for robert mueller, the special counsel investigating russia's campaign to disrupt the 2016 election,
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and whether any trump associates conspired, have obtained copies of the proposals and question the firm's employees according to people familiar with those interviews. "why do you think that is? >> well, because as you alluded to, nicolle, what's clear here is they were seeking out collusion with a foreign entity, doing what russia did. creating bogus social media profiles. tries to dig up dirt on hillary clinton and other people. what the russians end up doing is what was on the table here with this israeli firm. i think what that shows clearly is you and i both worked in politics. there are certain lines that we never would have even considered crossing. never would have considered to the bush campaign, the obama campaign -- >> like what? ? what lines don't get crossed? >> we don't hire foreign intelligence -- >> ding, ding, ding, ding. >> -- agencies or firms to dig up dirt. >> this may be a personal problem. when you work on a campaign -- >> you just don't do that.
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>> especially when you leave the white house to work on the campaign and know people in foreign governments. even if they're your friends. the difference between this story and russia story, with russia, it was an adversary. you should know better. the israelis are obviously allies of our government. you do not take favors, work, consultancy, from a foreign firm. >> that's right. i think what we're going to find in mueller, there's been an interesting bread crumb trail here about emeratis, saudis, colluding with trump before and after to service his ends. i think we're going to find it's not just russia. that was a lot of activity, lot of cross pollination, dealings between the trump campaign and foreign interests who had their own either financial stake or or national interest stake in our election and i think the american people don't like the idea of turning over our democratic process to these types of shadowy foreign intelligence actors, whether they're friends or adversaries, particularly if it involves
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manipulating them. >> i wonder if we are so behind the 8 ball, the conversation we have, we pose collusion as though it's a question. this piece seems to ask and answer an intent to conspire with an israeli firm to do these three things. to use bogus personas, to target and sway delegates against ted cruz, to collect opo research against hillary and use social media to amplify divisions among rival campaigns. >> i think what's really clear, whether it's criminal, whether it's paid for, or in-kind contribution by russia, it's dirty pool. opposition research, as you know, is finding public documents, finding available information, finding divorce records. a lot of stuff that might be embarrassing or nasty or painful for a person to see. but it's not -- it's not dirty pool. and this is like really creating a fake entity of some kind or other to pozit a view that isn't a real view to prompt people to do things they wouldn't have done otherwise. i think that's something new under the sun in american politics, in h american life. this is not something -- >> we used to do our own dirty
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tricks when you and i -- >> exactly. you wouldn't hire out -- >> you're saying -- >> wouldn't hire the russians to -- >> the good old days. we're dating ourselves. there's so much more to talk about. we're going to. pi pick this up on the other side of the break. when we come blaack, weaponizing intelligence. how donald trump sought to create intelligence reports on his opponent and staff members from someone who was once targeted, who may be at our table. t our table. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. start with 100% cleancheese? ingredients. like vermont white cheddar. then... add bacon, bbq chicken, or baja blend. catering and delivery now available. panera. food as it should be. about the colonial penn program. here to tell you if you're age 50 to 85
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all the farmers are able to get their money, pay school fees and improve their standard of living. with citi, we see a bright future for our farmers and their families. ♪ we've been talking about that blockbuster new report in "the new york times" about robert mueller's interest in the trump campaign's efforts to engage an israeli firm to sow discord. one of the other items discussed with the firm was the weaponization of intelligence. the "times" report, "the proposal to gather information about mrs. clinton and her aides has elements of traditional opposition research, but it also contains cryptic language that suggests using clandestine means to build intelligence dossiers."
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the panel is still here. you've been targeted. >> yeah, that happened to me. yeah, no, i learned earlier this year, blackcube, the same israeli intelligence cube, that targeted harvey weinstein's accusers, had been hired to dig up dirt on me and another obama official. h they contacted my wife. they had photographs of my house. they had my parents' information. and, again, this just crosses a line entirely, nicolle, where you're trying to tear down and destroy your political opponents with foreign intelligence services? it was a kind of shocking and jarring thing, and i wondered at the time, who would do this? and was never established who was behind it. one of the reports said it was trump people. well, this seems to be a pretty clear indication that they had no compunction with doing this. it makes it pretty obvious to me who was behind targeting me and my family. >> elise, you were talking about the mindsets of the people around donald trump. talk about paul manafort, his mi mindset? >> so paul manafort was brought in to wrangle the delegates at
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the convention. his top lieutenant apparently wasn't totally confident in their ability -- >> rick gates. >> rick gates, through traditional means. and this was something that the rnc, reince priebus, was very conscious of not wanting to contest a convention and taking measures to prevent it and so you wonder how far this plan went outside of rick gates and paul manafort and to members of the rnc. >> aaron blake, tie this together for us in terms of what we know about the trump team's defense. when the trump tower meeting came out and donald trump junior had to reveal his e-mails about being willing to meet with russians to get dirt on hillary clinton. his response was, if it's what you say it is, i love it. we know so much about their intent. their intent was to take dirt from wherever it came from.russ israeli firm. talk about what you think that means in terms of the investigation into whether or not there was a conspiracy to coordinate with foreign governments? >> the timeline here is extremely important. i don't think we should lose
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sight of this. this reach-out to the sy group, the israeli company that we're talking about here in "the new york times" story, came four days after paul manafort was brought onboard to basically save the trump campaign from a difficult, potentially difficult republican convention. this was something that they did from almost the very beginning. something that rick gates was doing from almost the very beginning. and then when you bring in the trump tower meeting, you know, the defense after that by the president and by the people in the white house was this was donald trump junior kind of doing his own thing. he took a meeting that he probably shouldn't have. there were even -- there was even a time where the president and some of his loyalists were talking about how donald trump junior kind of talking about him like he was a young, you know, upstart intern on the campaign or something like that rather than a 40-year-old man who is engaged and a ed in all this st. their defense was he didn't know what he was doing, he wasn't experienced in campaigns so maybe this didn't raise a red flag with him.
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this really gives lie to the idea this is not something the campaign was prepared to at least entertain. in this case, i would say proactively. we're seeing this filled out repeatedly first with the trump tower meeting, then somewhat with cambridge analytica. now with the israeli company. the question really is are we only learning about this because this is what is coming out of the investigation? what's leaking out. what is in this proposal that we don't actually know about? it uses a lot of very coded language about what the proposals might be. but these -- it all speaks to the intent. it all speaks to the idea that this wasn't just one person who did know what they were doing who was going down this alley. think that's the really significant thing here. this really fills out the. icture of the trump tower meeting in a lot of ways. >> joyce, i want your thoughts on that. i want you to respond to everything aaron blake just said. i also want you to help us understand. i understand on the obstruction plank of the mueller investigation, that if you intended to obstruct the investigation, that is more
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incriminating. talk about the role of intent as aaron just detailed it around the trump tower meeting with russians. around seeking out a proposal from an israeli firm. what does that say about the intent to potentially conspire with foreign actors? >> you know, we have evidence sitting right in front of us, staring us in the face, of groups of people getting together and agreeing to achieve an illegal outcome and that's pretty much the heart of conspiracy. it's the formation of that agreement or the intent to as a group work together toward a goal that turns out to be illegal and to take one significant step toward that goal. and donald trump junior's ignorance and innocence, notwithstanding, ignorance of the law tends to be no excuse in this area. so what i think we're seeing evolve in realtime is just the tip of the iceberg of the evidence that mueller is compiling beneath the surface.
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i tend to agree that what we're now seeing is this full-on effort by the campaign, itself, to reach out and exploit new media. the issue with technology, sometimes it outstrips the capacity of the law to appreciate conduct that should be legal and conduct that should be illegal. here we have emerging technology. there may not be crimes that completely catch conduct that we all agree will need to be considered for criminalization in thenonetheless, there's activity that forms a conspiracy in this regard. and worth flagging the fact that this goes back to a march 2016 meeting at the mandarin hotel between rick gates, the number two guy on the campaign, and the folks at sy group. i think we're seeing this timeline now of conduct that resulted in what we know actually took place as the campaign got closer to a close. >> so, todd purdum, these two things can no longer be true. o
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often the defense that he was too stupid to collude with the russians. obstruction, he could have done that, but on collusion, too stupid. and particularly with his oldest son. that's the thing trump's associates will say privately. this all seems to blow that up. >> yes. i think whatever the legal ramifications, legal or illegal as joyce was just sayin inin ii whether it's a conspiracy. the appetite is lodged there with a senior levels of the campaign and there's no denying that they were willing to do this, wanting to do it, and they would have done it if they could. so i think, you know, that's really the question is their moral appetite for it is now indisputable. >> you mentioned intent. >> intent is the legal definition of an appetite. but, you know, their appetites, commonsensical definition people can relate to, wow, they were willing to do this. pretty extraordinary. >> you were on the receiving end. i'll give you the last word. >> we don't want this in our politics. we want to close the door to this in our politics. >> how about the swamp? >> the manipulation of voters,
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manipulation of technology. who wants to go into politics if you're going to have foreign intelligence agencies trying to destroy you? we really -- >> like in the gold old days it was just the other party, oh, shoot, the israelis and the russians. >> this is not woodward and bernstein. this is really business darr. >> dark stuff. dark stuff. all right. joyce vance, thank you so much. still ahead, donald trump being donald trump, he couldn't just shake off taylor swift's endorsement of democrats and now it turns out she might actually be having a significant impact on the race in her home state. that story eegs next. on the race in her home state. that story eegs next
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we asked the "washington post's" phil rucker yesterday at this hour if donald trump would be able to resist a celebrity smack down with taylor swift who took the rare step of weighing into the midterms yesterday. here was phil's prediction. >> i can't imagine his advisers at the white house would like for him to weigh in. as we said earlier, he's got a
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number of these make america great again campaign rallies this week. we know when he gets in front of those crowds, he can go off the script, so to speak. i would not be surprised if he were to pop off about her at some point. >> and on cue, approximately one hour later, the president said this. >> marsha blackburn is doing a very good job in tennessee. she's leading now substantially, which she should. she's a tremendous woman. i'm sure taylor swift has nothing, or doesn't know anything about her. and let's say that i like taylor's music about 25% less now. okay? >> a margin she can probably handle. on the question political pundits and entertainment reporters, alike, were struggling to answer at this hour yesterday, will it matter? here's some data to chew on. in the 24 hours following swift's instagram post, the non-profit,, saw 65,000 registrati registrations. that's more than one-third of the total of registrations last month. and more than all of the
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registrations in august. meanwhile, we're learning that taylor swift's nemesis, kanye west, will visit the white house tomorrow. aaron and the whole panel are back. this seems really stupid, if i may. stupid if i may. picking a fight with taylor swift reminds me of that scene where keep it here, she is way out of your league. taylor swift just might wake until kinds of voters that republicans need to stay home in midterms if they are to keep their advantaging in the state like this. >> it is interesting too that taylor swift is weighing in in tennessee. and her endorsement of phil brettison against a woman. i have friend there s in tennes one of them told me that marsha blackburn's 5ds weads were fear
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mongering and she felt like she was talking about child trafficking and fear tactics. and these friends of mine grew up staunch republican families. and they basically represent what i think is happening, a fundamental political realignment with women. and these are their college educated women who probably won't go back to voting republican. >> and taylor swift isn't just adored by her issed a dord. she came to "the view" and she stayed to sign every autograph of everybody in the automaticiencautomatidience so to think that taylor swift's involvement in the midterms won't have an impact with the group that do vote is more republican idiocy. >> and remember back in 1944 when frank sinatra decided to campaign for fdfdr's re-electio
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he risked alienating half his audience. so t taylor swift must know her audience and why would she waste her effort if she thought it would backfire. >> the big one is dolly parton. if dolly parton gets in, it is game over. >> and let's me bring you in, i probably watched this closely. what needs to happen in this race? other than people don't understand about midterms, these are congress allege districts where just ticking up 1 force 5 5 -- 1% to 5% can totally change the outcome. >> and this is a very unusual race. phil was a moderate popular
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governor for a lot of years. astro nonl cal approval ratings really. if this was a gubernatorial race where there was into tnot a sen seat at stake, he would probably be running away with it. but this is one of 50 senate seats. so voters tend to be voting more along the lines of is this going to add to the senate majority, will they provide a vote for the next conservative supreme court justice. so i think that that is where an endorsement like this could potentially have some impact because it gives people a sense that maybe phil bretison is a little different, maybe he can get a person like taylor swift come forward and being political for once. i don't know that this will end up affecting much of anything, but there is a pivotal race when it comes to democrats majority map.
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>> so not a lot of celebrities endorse a lot of republicans, but it seems like if this works, this would be the kind of celebrity endorsement that democrats should welcome. she is younger, so she brings out a group of the electorate that is not a midterm voter. there is something about her tone perhaps like sinatra. but her tone has in mind that she can't and doesn't want to alienate the part of her base that may not be to the left or center left of american politics. and she went to social media which is where she is one-on-one with the voters. could she be making a new model for democrats? >> yes. two important things. what sometimes rubs voters the wrong way is when celebrities do this talking to each other. so you see a bunch in los angeles at the oscars or fundraiser and they seem distant as they talk about their own politics. this is taylor swift going right
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to her fans on who she has very direct connection with and using that platform to reach them. it is not her and some fundraiser or some hollywood party. and the second thing is we have more women running on the systemic side. and i think this is of a piece of that a. these are the voter, the young white college educated voters who will put democrats over the top. so this is note tis not the norh at the awards show. this is as much more positive model. >> and taylor swift is from tennessee. like willie nelson is from texas when he decided to weigh in. so these are two of greatest musical icon in his american history who have decided that they are weighing in on the 2018 midterms. >> this is a jump ball for the political nerd club gathering,
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the kanye factor. who wants in? >> my former boss called him a jackass. kanye is not swinging votes here. >> no? >> it is hard for me -- and i enjoy some of his music, but i don't see african-americans moving with could kanye on this be. this is theatre and undercuts donald trump's argument. they say the democrats have all these celebcelebrity, but they out the red carpet at the white house for kanye. >> and i'm not good enough to get in the middle. grateful that are here. we will be right back. ight back. when i was shopping fothe choice was easy. i switched to geico and saved hundreds. excuse me...
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. my thanks to our panel. thank you fu fyou for hosting u. m tch mtp daily starts now. >> nicolle, where are you? i'm in your story. >> i've gone rogue. >> and i'm not there. anyway, thank you. if it is tuesday, we have a tale of two midterms. ♪ good evening. i'm chuck todd here in noin new. it might have a nervous couple of weeks for democrats. is it still a wave if republicans increase their margin in the senate? we have a blabd nrand new poll will probably rattle a few


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