tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 20, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
conversation going, like us on facebook.com/politicsnation and follow us on twitter,@politicsnation. coming up next, deadline white house with my colleague nicolle walla wallace. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. as condemnations pour in from around the world over the brutal murder of a "washington post" columnist and u.s. resident. the american president celebrates the violent assault of a report at the hands of greg gee gianforte. >> never wrestle him. never. any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of -- >> i had heard that he body slammed a reporter. i said, oh, this is terrible.
he's going to lose the election. then i said, well, wait a minute. i know montana pretty well. i think it might help him, and it did. >> wow. and here's how the crew working with fox news anchor brett bare described the attack on that reporter by gianforte. >> he grabbed jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. we watched in disbelief as he then began punching the reporter. as he moved on top of jacobs he began yelling something to the effect of i'm sick and tired of this. the reporter works for "the guardia guardian." to celebrate an attack on a journalist who is simply doing his job is an attack on the first amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it. in the aftermath of the murder of jamal khashoggi it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists here and across the world. the white house correspondents association weighed in saying quote, all americans should
recoil from the president's praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his job. we should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media. here to discuss the day's developments mike schmidt, matt miller, former chief spokesman at the justice department, jennifer reuben, "washington post" opinion writer and former senior adviser to the dnc. matt miller, there's such fatigue to all of the obliterating of norms and niceties and customs, but there's a tone deafness to this one. this isn't just a story about the obliteration of norms and what presidents normally do when a journalist is murdered abroad. this is about being oblivious to the moment in which his white house finds itself. his white house is fielding questions about what our intelligence agencies had collected about the saudi's plan to detain jamal khashoggi, and the president sort of has a shifting story at the moment about his views on all that.
>> it is a despicable thing for a president of the united states to say at any time, it is an especially despicable thing for him to say at this time when it seems that one of our allies has dismembered a member of the press in a consulate. our president's administration is seeming to help them cover it up or at least is giving them the time and space to cover it up. it also is such a hypocritical thing for donald trump to say. he's run as a law and order president. greg gee an forte is a criminal. it was a criminal act he committed. he pled guilty to that crime. he lied about it and only admitted it after the fox producer gave her account and ben jacobs released the audio ta showing he was beaten up by this congressman. it goes back to something donald trump has done for a long time. you only have to go back to his rallies when he was saying to his supporters to beat the hell out of protesters and he would pay the legal bills, their legal bills if they did. this isn't a new thing. he has no respect, not just for
norms. he has no respect for the free press. he has no respect for anyone who is not a supporter of him. he is hostile to any of these values that are long held american traditions. >> i went back and looked at what president obama said and did when james foley was murdered. i went back and looked at george bush's remarks when danny pearl died. it's instructive whenever we wonder or despair over the fact that we've gone so far from who we were not 50 years ago, but four, eight, ten years ago. let's watch. >> those who would engage in criminal barbaric acts need to know that these crimes only hurt their cause and only deepen the resolve of the united states of america to rid the world of these agents of terror. may god bless daniel pearl.
>> the world is shaped by people like jim foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him. the united states of america will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. we will be vigilant, and we will be relentless. when people harm americans anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done. >> so just take that and compare it to, i mean, i thought the most riveting thing about trump's performance last night was that he actually acted out the act of body slmiamming a journalist. >> seeing those two presidents, it almost makes you cry. it's not a matter of being a democrat, it's being a person who is charged with protecting the american people, protecting our values, protecting our norms and here he is encouraging two bit thuggery, not only around the world but here at homement i think you're right, matt, it's not only a tone deafness, it's just a complete failure of
leadership. he does not understand what his role is. i've got to say, i'm a little surprised today i haven't heard more from the democrats. i mean, yes, we're in a campaign. yes they want to talk about health care and other things. where is the solid voice of condemnation from the democrats. i've learned to expect nothing from the republicans but democrats, come on, where are you device? >> chuck schumer was on morning joe this morning saying there's too much political correctness out there. i'm sure it wasn't in the context of this incident, but where are the democrats? >> well, i mean, look, i actually think to your point i am surprised that republicans haven't said more because republicans have been saying for the last month or so they've been calling democrats an angry mob, that we're trying to incite violence, that we've sort of hurt the civility in politics, and now you turn around, you've got the president, the leader of the party saying these types of things and republicans haven't said anything. >> republicans aren't going to say anything because they bought
this act. they're done. they're done. and you've got someone here who's one of the strongest voices on everything that's wrong with that. forget about the -- they're not going to condemn this kind of conduct. they're in on it. >> i want to point out, though, that you can't have it both ways with them where they're now lecturing -- >> we get that. we need democrats to stabbnd up >> i think democrats have been standing up for a range of issues, particularly freedom of the press. they've been calling out donald trump for all of the things he said about basically the media being the enemy of people, enemy of this country. this is not just a -- i hate the fact that this is a democratic problem. this is a problem of -- >> we're not calling it a democratic problem. donald trump was just asked if he regrets anything about those comments. he does not, surprise, surprise. let's watch. >> as we wait for the results of the investigation, do you regret bringing up last night at your rally the assault on a reporter
by a congressman? >> no, no, no, not at all. different world. that was a different league, a different world. no, he's just a great guy, and you know greg very well, right? that was a tremendous success last night in montana and greg is a tremendous person, and he's a tough cookie, and i'll stay with that. >> so you interviewed the president yesterday before he headed to montana for that rally. this is sort of classic trump we've all become accustomed to, doubling down. >> it's hard not to see this as part of a larger thing he's trying to do. the biggest thorns in his side are the press and mueller. what is he trying to do? he tries to delegitimize both of them, undermine both of them. if he's going to be successful and he believes that impeachment is a problem, he has to continue to undermine both of them, and that's when he goes out and does that, i don't know if it's that calculated, but it plays right into that. he believes public opinion will
determine whether he gets into real trouble if the democrats take control. >> i want to ask about your interview. he talked to you about khashoggi, and you guys reported a subtle shift from rogue killers did it to maybe my guy in saudi arabia is in trouble? >> yeah, but the president not wanting to go any further than that. >> why not? >> well, he makes snap judgments on a lot of things. he'll say a lot of things very quickly, but similar to how he deals with russia, he's being very calculated here. he doesn't want to go any further than he has to. he's very disciplined about his messaging on this, and that's just something to take note of. >> he usually does that when he thinks he's in trouble. the only time he exercises caution is when he thinks he's in trouble. do you think there's concerns about what jared kushner was talking to mbs about in the early days of this crisis? >> certainly there is out in the real world. i don't think in donald trump's mind. to michael's point about delegitimizing, that's why you
have seen this disgusting campaign to try to call jamal a terrorist or a muslim brother hood person, if frankly any of you justifies this horrendous act but to misrepresent his views entirely. >> let me read to our viewers a piece from that reporting from your colleagues. conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing khashoggi in defense of trump. hard line republicans are mount ago whispering campaign designed to protect president trump from criticism of the alleged murder of operatives of saudi arabia and support trump's continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil rich desert kingdom and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as a reporter covering osama bin laden. >> it's disgusting. they said he isn't a journalist. he was killed for being a journalist. he has been working for journalistic outlets, being chased from his own country for being a journalist.
this is sick and depraved. this is how they think, donald trump won't be in as much trouble if we make it a little less terrible that we had this journalist killed and dismembered. that's how sick it is. i want to say something else as well. that is their foreign policy people who should know better who realize their foreign policy, the anti-iran foreign policy, people have been very strong on encouraging trump to back out of the jcpoa. these people know the policy is in shambles right now, and they are spinning their wheels, just like he is. >> you're talking about john bolton or pompeo or who are you talking about? >> all of the above. they have put so many eggs in this guilt basket of saudi arabia expecting, giving them a free hand in yemen, expecting them to in essence take care of a lot of the iran policy on their own that now they're sort of at a loss. the apple cart has been overturned, and it turns out low and behold, transactional foreign policy that betrays
americans values does not work. this is what happens. they act in ways that are contrary to our values and the american people won't stand for it. they have a total mess on their hand. it is a problem of their own making and they have got to figure out how they navigate through this issue but more importantly what they do about a larger middle east policy which leaves us with no friends. we've alienated the europeans and now we're in trouble with the saudis. good luck trying to figure out a coherent policy on this. >> the stuff that's gone on here is -- there's a larger implication when the president says it. this is something that the publisher of "the times" has said in conversation with us. when trump goes out there and does things like this, talks like this about a journalist, if you're a foreign leader you say, well, if donald trump the leader of the free world, whatever, you know. >> whatever he is. >> whatever. is out saying these things, then why can't i do what i want to do with the press?
if the country that has based itself on the first amendment, on a free press has their president saying that, why can't i do whatever i want to do? >> and he says it so often. let's watch. >> you've got to see this guy, oh, i don't know what i said. i don't remember. >> 70%, 75% is absolute dishonest, absolute scum. remember that, scum. >> like this sleazy guy right over here from abc. he's a sleaze in my book. >> why am i a sleaze? >> a few days ago i called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. >> she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. >> you had many people in that group other than neo-nazis and white nationalists, okay? and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. >> these are really, really dishonest people, and they're
bad people, and i really think they don't like our country. i really believe that. >> by sleepy eyes chuck todd, he's a sleeping son of a bitch, i'll tell you. >> thank you very much. >> stupid question. >> those were all attacks on the u.s. press. to mike's point, i mean, they see that around the world? >> they see it around the world, and people see it at home, too. there's a real effect here. there is a darkness that has descended on the republican party. some of it was happening before. the republican party's been attacking the press for years, but trump has accelerated it in a way we couldn't imagine before. you see candidates up and down the ballot attacking the press, calling them fake news. greg gianforte wouldn't have been reelected in a normal time. he was elected because donald trump is delegitimizing -- >> a normal republican president would have disparaged him and distanced him and the committees in washington would have cut off funds. >> he was elected right after doing that because donald trump has run around telling people
you shouldn't believe the press and the press are fake news. one of the things that's most concerning about the long-term effects. you talk about norms that he's shattered, norms aren't permanent. he has changed the norm for a certain percentage of the population. there are kids growing up who think this is normal. >> do you get any sense in talking to him yesterday that his degree of concern around the khashoggi issue, that he sees any connection to this conversation, or is he totally detached from the effect of his own words? >> about the way he speaks about the media. >> and the closeness with saudi arabia? they're not just any ally. they're his closest alley in the region. >> i think he was very impressed with saudi arabia and the way they treated him when he went over there, and that went a far way him and showed him that they cared about him and the relationship with him. >> they flattered him. >> he felt the same way when he went to china. is there a larger connection to
the press here? i don't think so. >> is he offended, and is he moving on khashoggi because of the brutality of the alleged murder, or does he think that mbs is just getting too much bad press? >> i'm not sure. i just think that the white house found itself finally in a place yesterday where there was an overwhelming about of media attention, overwhelming about of intelligence that was pointing in one direction, and they realized they had to start to head in that way or it would continue to be a bigger problem for them. >> to drop the rogue killers. thank you for spending some time with us. after the break from body slams to f-bombs, brand new reporting about the fireworks inside the white house yesterday. and being beto, how the texas senate candidate is making democrats feel great again. and donald trump's former chairman paul manafort now a cooperating witness in the mueller probe, all those stories still coming up.
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so it's not a stretch of the imagination to go from a president who celebrates a body slamming politician to a president with two senior advisers who nearly go to blows outside the oval office. nbc news is now reporting that white house chief of staff john kelly and the president's national security adviser john bolton exchanged harsh words yesterday in and around a meeting about the president's immigration policy. quote, the differences escalated to an angry profanity-laced exchange on thursday between white house chief of staff john kelly and national security adviser john bolton as a honduran migrant caravan
approachin approaches the border. the dispute was so heated that kelly stormed out of the white house shortly afterwards. the altercation arose from a dispute that bolton had with kirstjen nielsen. nielsen was explaining an 80% rise when bolton said nielsen a close kelly ally was doing a terrible job with the border and that her department was not producing the needed results, and then there were f-bombs. kelly ultimately stormed out of the white house early with no resolution to the issue saying i'm effing out of here. carol lee joins us on set. wow, just another day in paradise. >> just another argument in the west wing. >> i worked in the west wing, and you know, i'm a big fan of the f-word when appropriate, but i never used it around the oval office. >> john kelly has become kind of known for this. he has a reputation for being a bit of a hot head and has a temper, and you know, he --
>> not ideal in a chief of staff? >> no. >> and he and john bolton, their relationship has been fraught from the start. if you remember, john kelly did not want john bolton to become national security adviser. it's not lost on john bolton, and the dynamic is set up so bo bolton reports directly to the president, which kelly finds frustrating. there's all of that simmering underneath, and the closest person to john kelly has been kirstjen nielsen. he's helped her. she was his deputy. >> he brought her into the white house. >> he brought her into the white house. he helped install her over at -- >> his old job. >> his old job at homeland security. she's been under fire from the president, from within her own agency, and you know, to have bolton then go after her for what he felt like, according to our reporting, was her not really doing the one thing that she's supposed to do and the big
thing the president cares about when it comes to her department. >> what's interesting about the palace intrigue story -- and we'll get to the abomination which was the policy they were fighting over, and nobody appears to have been on the side of the humanitarian crisis it is. they were debating not whether to use the military or how to keep the people out. >> it was a policy meeting, but it's hard to be -- >> it was a personal attack. >> hard to be more hard lined than john kelly on immigration issues and these types of things, so the idea that bolton was somehow more -- it had more to do with his attacks on nielsen, according to people we talked to and that you talked to, too. >> what does it say, though, about kelly's standing? we've been chasing leads that kelly was on his way out, that he was at odds with the family, the jared and ivanka wing of the west wing for many months, but he seems to hang on. >> he really does. >> where does that support come from? >> i think it's one of those things when you talk to people about this, they'll say from the president's view, like what's
the alternative? and if he is already being able to go around him and have direct access to people that he wants to deal with like john bolton, then what's the harm? and you can task him with different things here and there, but you know, there's been a lot of reporting of our own, other news organizations about whether or not he's going to stay. the white house tried to tamp that down by issuing a statement saying he'll stay until 2020, but no one really thinks that's actually the case. >> what do you make of the fact that inside the media on immigration, it doesn't appear there was a debate about the substance? i participated in immigration policy meetings, and we landed on comprehensive immigration reform, our closest ideological allies were the late ted kennedy and john mccain who supported comprehensive immigration reform and the entire republican base had moved away from what george w. bush propose chtd whed.
what do you make of the policy itself? it's pretty depressing. >> they have no policy. this is not a policy. this is a non-policy. what they tried -- >> they tried one. they jailed babies. they separated families. >> and now they're thinking of reinstituting that winning policy. i say that with great sarcasm because it was factually obviously completely unsuccessful as we've seen now with another caravan, and secondly it was a humanitarian disaster. so they do not have a policy. they also do not have diplomacy, which other administrations have used to work in concert with mexico and central american countries to try to cut this off down below our borders. all they have to do is scream and rant and try to inflict pain on people who are fleeing for their lives. you're right tr, it is an absol pathetic statement that there is no thinking allowed within this bubble now that would say, you know what? maybe we got the wrong policy. maybe we're going about this wrong the way. maybe we have to start dealing with the humanitarian crises in
these countries. >> that's a good point. the idea that there isn't an ideological divide is terrifying. >> they're all immigration hard liners at a time when there is no immigration crisis. that's the thing -- this is a crisis that is a political thing that they have created. immigration is a historic low, it's up from 2017, but compared to historic levels it's quite low. it is a humanitarian crisis for these immigrants who are coming, who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing poverty. who are coming at a time when the united states is basically at full employment and needs other people to come in and help take jobs. it is, you know, this thing where i think what you see inside the administration is they don't have a policy to fix this. they're trying to satisfy an irrational president who just wants to see immigration -- >> and irrational supporters. this is the right wing media establishments, big deal. >> this is one of the most important issues to the president. what in his mind connects him to those blue collar voters, to the
base. and he's been president now for almost two years and nothing -- he's got nothing done, there's no -- i don't want him to build the wall, but there is no wall money. >> he hasn't, right, right. he hasn't -- there hasn't been any sort of comprehensive legislation that's moved through congress. he hasn't done anything, and i think he knows that, and i think it probably worries him that at some point his folks are going to turn around and say, hey, man, it's been two years. >> right, where's my wall? >> where's the wall? >> did your reporting pick up anything other than this real personal dispute, is there anything consternation that there isn't any progress on what is most closely associated with trump's brand? >> yeah, that's part of the issue is that you have a president who everyone knows has been widely reported is very -- when he gets angry, you know, that tension or whatever you want to call it really spreads throughout the west wing, and so his staff reacts to that, and part of it is that, and one of
the people we spoke with told our colleague julia ainsley that trump is prepared to use any option. so they're really trying to come up with something to satisfy the boss because he hasn't had a lot to show for his biggest promise as a candidate. >> including blaming george soros and democrats for literally paying -- yeah, paying these folks which is a total conspiracy theory. that's where he is right now conspiracy theories, we know how he feels about those. when texas senate candidate beto o'rourke talks, people listen. his performance last night goes a long way in explaining why. we'll show it to you on the other side of the break. stay with us.
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that nickname resonates because it's true. but i got to tell you, it's not something that i feel totally comfortable with, and perhaps in the heat of the moment i took a step too far. >> that was beto o'rourke at a town hall last night talking about whether he regrets resurrecting lying ted at tuesday night's senate debate. this was a new take on when they go low conundrum. the president tweeting this afternoon, quote, beto o'rourke is a total lightweight compared to ted cruz and he comes nowhere near representing the values and desires of the people of the great state of texas. he will never be allowed to turn texas into venezuela. for trump this one might be personal. listen to how beto o'rourke answered a question about impeaching him. >> i do think there's enough there for impeachment. if asked, i would vote on it. i have not made this the mission of the campaign.
never sent a campaign e-mail out about this. i'm not on any articles of impeachment. i'm focused on the future, but yes, i want to answer your question honestly, and i think there's enough there to make sure we move forward. >> with 18 days to go until texas votes, o'rourke has a long way to go in the polls. he's down seven points to ted cruz in an average of the polls. good news for o'rourke. today the "houston chronicle" endorsed him. the chronicle endorsing o'rourke is a sharp turn away from the paper traditionally endorsing republican candidates. it endorsed mitt romney over barack obama in 2008. matt, jennifer and doug are still here. talk to me about how beto's success as a candidate could instruct the future regardless of how the race turns out. we've covered this race more than any other, and we're not blind to the polls, but there's something about the way he talks. he seems to be one of the few
politicians on either side of the aisle trying to answer questions in the old fashioned way, honestly and with some substance. >> he's not out of central casting. he's very authentic. when people really took notice of him is when he was asked a question in a town hall by a republican about nfl players kneeling, and he gave a very passionate, honest answer, and you know, that sort of spread like wildfire. and i think what people appreciate about him is that he doesn't run away from questions. he doesn't hide. he answers them honestly and i think compared to a guy like ted cruz, you know, that can be encouraging for voters. now, he won the houston chronicle endorsement. he also had a massive quarter where he raised $38 million. this has always been a tough race, though. the fact that we're talking about texas, no one thought we'd be talking about texas as a senate race. no one thought we'd be able to raise money to compete against ted cruz, but it's interesting
to see donald trump defend ted cruz after the spat that they had in 2016. >> matt miller, i want to ask you a question about how you take what beto also seems to be doing is he's not buying the narrative that things are so bleak for democrats. there is this resignation setting in among democrats. i see it on camera, off camera. they're slumped. they feel defeated. the midterms are 18 days away. they think that kavanaugh getting on the supreme court changed the dynamics. that's probably only a little bit true. i mean, there's something that happens, both partisans come home as election day nears. there's something about his optimism, and something that reminds me of president obama, of george w. bush before he was running nationally. there's something about just the it factor he possesses. >> there are a few lessons to learn from his campaign. one is be yourself. don't be the politician that political consultants, that pollsters tell you to be. authenticity is the most important thing. voters have gotten so tired of
politics. the second thing is to engage with the grass roots. he spent his campaign going around the state and using social media to engage with the grass roots to talk directly to voters, and the third thing is to compete everywhere. it doesn't mean you will win everywhere, but you will win senate races you don't expect to win. we won the senate race in alabama in a special election where no one would have thought we would have won. beto may not win but the grass roots will probably pull other democrats over the line, and even if he doesn't win, he's going to have made investments in the party. he's going to have energized democrats in a way that are going to pay long-term dividends to the party. >> the way barack obama taught democrats to talk to his country with i don't live in red state america or blue state america, the way he taught democrats how to talk seems to be what beto is doing. he's telling people how to talk in this era, and your point about being authentic, who he authentically is probably a little out of step with texas?
>> that's right. i don't think the majority of voters in texas support impeaching the president. but he was very clear. >> give them a little more time. >> maybe. >> most people would say, look, the way you ought to answer that question is let's wait and see what mueller comes up with. the thing that he has going for them, he will tell voters you may not agree with everything i say. i am who i am. i'm not a phony like ted cruz. i'm going to always tell you the truth. >> george w. bush ran for election on this message. he ran against john kerry. george bush said and the iraq war was unpopular, george w. bush said you may not always agree with me, but you'll always know where i stand. >> exactly. there's sort of a technical thing he does. he is completely fluid. he talks from the diaphragm up. there are so many politicians who either screech, they turn it up way too high because they're faking emotion or they're way
too reticent. >> where's ted cruz talking from? is it the nose or? >> and then there are people who are just unlikable, i think that's the ted cruz problem. there is something you do have to like the candidate. donald trump was the exception to the rule of every election we've ever had. people didn't care because they hated hillary clinton more, but i think he's been able to on a personal level convey some sense of passion, some sense of urgency, and in a way where he says, you know, i'm not going to play those games. don't call me a gun grabber. i'm not going to grab your guns, but here's what i want to do. i'm not for socialized medicine, here's what i want to do. he's not kind of playing in this role. he's not playing on the script. >> it's reminiscent of obama's first inaugural address. thank you for spending so much of the hour with us. paul manafort took a break from all that time he's been spending with robert mueller to appear in court today. we'll tell you what happened next.
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i really am grateful to the president for appointing me as ambassador because i learned so much about the u.n. i learned that the u.n. has 193 member nations, 180, which are mad at us on any given day, and the most important thing i learned is that with all of our differences, there is still one thing that unites all 193 countries. at one point every single one of them was paying paul manafort. [ laughter ] >> i don't know whether to laugh or cringe or both. nikki haley poking fun at trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort who last month pleaded guilty to eight charges of tax and bank fraud and is currently cooperating with the special counsel. manafort appeared in court today where a judge set his sentencing date for february 8th of next year. prison has already taken its
toll on manafort. he arrived at the courthouse in a green jumpsuit, visibly grayer and in a wheelchair wearing only his left shoe which according to his spokesman is due to complicated of a diet change. he attended the june 2016 trump tower meeting and was trump's campaign chairman during critical moments such as the dnc e-mail hack and the rnc's platform change on ukrainian policy to a decidedly pro-russia policy. joining us former prosecutor paul butler and john carlin former chief of staff and senior counsel to robert mueller and assistant attorney general for the doj's national security division. his new book, "dawn of the code war, america's battle against russia, china and the rising global cyber threat" is one that only one of us here has finished reading, matt miller. we're going to talk about it in a minute. manafort's sentencing, any significance to it being so far out? >> again, mueller is a cold-blooded relentless
prosecutor, so basically he made -- >> cold-blooded in all the good ways? >> in all the good ways he made this deal with manafort. he said, look, you're looking at 20 years in prison. you're 70 years old, so your choices are you can die locked up or you can bring me someone's head on a platter, and then cut to these scenes of manafort showing up at mueller's office six hours a day, nine times. he's punching a clock, so he's got the goods on somebody, and again, it's in his interests to deliver either obstruction of justice -- because now he is mueller's inside man at that meeting with the russian lawyer -- or collusion. again, we know that when manafort was running trump's campaign, he was meeting with this ex-russian intelligence officer or russian ex-intelligence officer, and when he was -- when people reached out to the trump
campaign and said we have all this dirt, we have all these hacked e-mails, most folks say they would have called the fbi. manafort tried to arrange a meeting, so who else knew about that? did jared know about that? did don junior know about that? did president trump know about that? whatever manafort knows, bob mueller knows now. >> do you think the determination to sentence him in february, john, does that represent wanting some more time with him? wanting him to log some more hours helping investigators? >> that's what it looks like, and you often do want more time to make sure you can play out an investigation, see the extent of the cooperation you've received before having someone face their sentence. >> does that incentivize more and greater cooperation? >> the thing that most incentivizes greater cooperation is the fact he can have the sentence reduced more. mueller's team would have preferred not to have this date set, they wanted to drag it
until the very end. the judge in eastern virginia had different ideas. >> he's kind of ornery. he never liked this prosecution. he made that clear throughout the trial in ways that were inappropriate. this is more of the same pettiness. >> my understanding is he did make clear at the hearing today that, you know, they can do the sentencing on february 8th, and if the cooperation hasn't concluded by that point, they can come back after the fact and reduce his sentence. >> i think it is doj's national security division today that announced that a russian was charged with election meddling. go figure. talk about the significance of these charges being filed against russians. we saw the exkrush nacruciating with which bob mueller and his team charged 13 russians. it seems like we may have underestimated the capacity of the fbi and bob mueller to really get right down to the keyboard in understanding what people did and when? >> that's right, and it's kind of amazing that here we are towards the end of your hour,
many great topics today, but there is a case today that shows that the russians are spending millions of dollars to undermine not our last election, but the election that's about to come up. >> 19 days away. >> and it's barely catching people's attention, and that's a problem. we're at war. it's a war that's being fought digitally, but it's on our democracy and our country. outstanding work by the prosecutors, agents -- >> so from nbc report, the charges filed friday in the eastern district of virginia accuse elena of st. petersburg of using social media platforms to create thousands of social media and e-mail accounts appearing to be from american persons. >> and you look at the details in this, they're amazing. they go and analyze each of the sub groups in american politics and then give advice to the members of their conspiracy. you know, here's the time of night that this particular group reads their twitter. so that's when you want to send a message. >> you just said the word,
conspiracy, they're able to sort of forensically analyze the conspiracy. you have to assume that's precisely what robert mueller's doing. >> that's right. and i think the takeaway from me for the charges that were announced today is when you go back and look at the indictments that bob mueller announced months ago and this one specifically would relate to the social media activity, that has really provided a foundation for now other offices inside the justice department, the eastern district of virginia. >> is he telling us that i've got other offices that can do this work? it doesn't matter if i'm here or not? >> also there will be ongoing investigations into russian's interference. he has laid the foundation here. he has shown the justice department how to bring these, what the elements of conspiracy are. other offices inside the justice department and the fbi can kind of continue that work. related to trump or not related to trump after he's gone. >> and to echo matt's point, he transferred those cases after he indicted them to the national security division and said, go keep chasing these russians and that's exactly what they did by bringing this case. >> and it seems to be more
insurance, i mean, robert mueller is one of the smartest people, i'm sure, that will ever serve his country, and this seems to be the durability of the mission of the probe, no? >> including insurance against president trump, to put in my criminal law professor's hat, one reason people are indicted is to deter other people from doing the same kind of conduct, and so we see robert mueller steady on the case. what you have to wonder when the president is calling all of this a witch hunt and false news whether that emboldens the russians to go ahead and do the same thing they did in 2016 in the midterm elections. >> you've got a chapter called fake news in your book. tell us a little bit about the book and about what we still don't understand about the extent of and the ongoing nature of russian meddling in our democracy. >> it links exactly to what we're seeing today. when you look at these charges, what you'll see is this wasn't one person or a small group. this was a 15-part organization
within an accountant paying people for different tasks in order to influence and attack our democracy and fundamentally it's not an attack on one party or one person. it's an attack on all of us, and as long as we're fighting amongst each face a true enemy of not just democracy, but of our right to speak. and that would be putin's russia. >> putin's russia though is something that donald trump has got both his arms wrapped around. he stood next to and said he didn't do anything. we've got 600 pages that make it clear this is exactly what the putin is doing. >> one of the most interesting things they showed the russians doing were calling bob mueller a tool of the establishment, some of the exact same attacks that the president of the united states agreed. >> you can call him a lot of things, but that is not one of this em. >> nikki haley gets the last laugh coming up when we come back. in the u.s. it's america's most popular street name. but allstate agents know that's where the similarity stops.
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actually, the president called me this morning and gave me some really good advice. he said if i get stuck for laughs, just brag about his accomplishments. it really killed at the u.n. i got to tell you. last year -- last year, you went with paul ryan who's a boy scout and that's fine but little boring. so this year he wanted to spice things up again, right? i get it. you wanted an indian woman.
but elizabeth warren failed her dna test. actually, when the president found out that i was indian-american he asked me if i was from the same tribe as elizabeth warren. >> that was good. matt miller, she is good. >> she is good and i think, you know, you see there a little bit how she can be -- that last joke was a crack at the president. >> last three, right? killed at the u.n. talked about my accomplishments, an indian. >> she is a real danger to him on the outside. although she worked for him, she never tethered her political career to him. and look, i take her at her word not to run against him in a primary and seemed to be positioning herself leaving early just to be out there in a
strong position in case something happens to him. >> she is sort of an establishment republican's dream. more than a palate cleanser and someone sort of return us to the norms that republicans used to stand for, john. >> yeah, well, as you know, i'm never big on -- >> politics. >> but it sure would be nice to get to -- nice to get to a place where there was a little more humor in our national debate, a little less anger. >> the relationship with law is robert mueller might have something to do with what nikki haley does in the next presidential cycle. right? and some people say the whole reason president trump ran for office in the first place had to do with another jokey dinner like that where there were jokes about donald trump made by obama that trump did not take kindly to. >> doesn't have a great sense of humor as a butt of a joke. when come back, michael cohen with an unexpected message for voters.
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grab your neighbors. get to the poll because if not you will have another two or six years of this craziness. so make sure you vote. all right? >> one more. we know that you had meetings -- >> matt miller cynically called that a fund-raising plea for his legal defense funds. that a fund raising play. my thanks to my guests. i'm nicole wallace. [ so where's the body? let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. breaking news tonight in the case of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. 17 days after his mysterious disappearance, saudi arabia has just conceded that khashoggi died while in that saudi consulate in istanbul earlier this month. the saudi press agency reports that the general prosecutor in that country has issued a carefully worded statement, the