tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 23, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT
her work and a nation that is better for both. that is our broadcast on a monday night as we start a new week. thank you so very much for being here with us, and good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. >> plus, huge turnout for the first day of early voting in texas, while trump rallies for ted cruz. >> i call him texas ted. >> then new evidence that robert mueller might have the goods on
>> i will never roll on our president. >> new promises from democrats to reopen the russia investigation if they win back the house. >> the fake news. >> and "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we are now just 15 days from the midterms and both sides are extremely fired up. 72% of democrats telling nbc news and the "wall street journal" they have a high interest in the midterms with republicans close behind at 68%. while nobody knows what's going to happen, 50% of the likely voters say they prefer democrats to control congress after the midterms compared to 41% who want republicans to keep power. the biggest question now is who turns out to vote. appearing in nevada today, former president obama warned of the consequence of staying home. >> the stakes are high. the consequence of anybody here not turning out and doing everything you can to get your friends,
neighbors, family to
turnout, the consequences you staying home would be profoundly dangerous to this country, to this democracy. >> already more than 5 million or early absentee votes are cast nationwide. in texas today, on the first day of early voting, the turnout was, in the words of the houston chronicle, down right shocking, with thousands in line before a key early voting event even opened. very enthusiastic beto o'rourke casting a vote. trump supporters were camped out ahead of the rally tonight with ted cruz in houston. while the president has been talking a big game in public about the midterms in private, ard cog to politico, he is distancing himself from a gop thumping. telling confidants he doesn't see the midterm on a referendum on himself. according to carl bernstein, he's also considering casting the results as legitimate if the
gop loses. >> i talk to people in the white house or in touch with people in the white house on friday who believe that if the congressional midterms are very close and the democrats were to win by 5 or 7 seats, that trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory, actually, and say that the election has been ill legitimate. >> there's been a stark divide in the closing arguments for the two parties. health care is the top issue for voters. many republicans have responded by misrepresenting their record like candidates like month am's josh hawley falsely suggesting they fought to ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions when in fact they're on a lawsuit that would end it. if there was any doubt where the gop truly stands, the trump administration itself put it to rest today. releasing a new rule two weeks before the midterms to allow states to add plans that effectively do not cover preexisting conditions. trump, the gop have been working hard to inflame the republican
base, in part, by spotlighting a caravan of desperate migrants traveling to the u.s. border and falsely asserting it is full of criminals and terrorists and trying to infiltrate america with the support of democrats. >> are you thinking that as we watch this caravan make its way through mexico, is this going to be a winning issue for your party? >> i do think it's a winning issue, and i think the president is handling it perfectly. >> there you go, a winning issue. amazingly as we get closer to election day, the lies are only being ratcheted up in intensity and frequency. trump is taking and claiming at rallies democrats want to give free cars to unauthorized immigrants. fact check false. with polls showing the gop's tax cut for the rich and corporations remains remarkably unpopular, the president has been suggesting congress will pass another tax cut before the midterms even though that's literally impossible since congress won't be back in session until after the votes are cast.
>> we're giving a middle income tax reduction of about 10%. we're doing it now for middle income people. this is not for business, this is for middle -- >> joining me now democratic senator sherrod brown of ohio running for reelection in that state. the president inventing a 10% tax cut for the middle class between now and election day apparently. what do you think of that? >> i just think he's talking and making it up. nobody knows what he's talking about. more to the point, it brings back to mind what mcconnell and ryan did when they jammed through the tax cut for the rich a year ago. more than three quarters of all the benefits go to the rich is 1%. then mcconnell said just recently, and this is the real key there, not only the tax cut go to the rich est people in the country, but mcconnell, they usually wait until after the election to do this. but now he's saying what they're going to do, and that is that
they're going to cut medicare, cut or raise the eligibility age for medicare and social security in order to pay for the tax cut. so, we cut taxes on the rich, and then we pay for it by the middle class by the tab being stuck by -- the cost being stuck by the middle class. it's what republicans are doing now. >> what do you tell people who say while the president says that's not going happen, don't listen to mitch mcconnell? >> i think it's clear that the president is already saying we have to make cuts. whether that's in my state cuts to lake erie clean-up or whether it's cuts in medicaid. i was in st. vincent charity today in cleveland. a hospital that does more to deal with opioid addiction than probably anyplace in the state. and they have told me if medicaid is cut, that people will die. the number of people -- couple of people around the tabled i was talking to said they want to come back, they want to repeal the affordable care act. that means cutting medicaid. they want to raise the eligibility age to medicare. they want to cut social
security. it's the same game they always play. tax cuts for the rich, come back and stick it to the middle class. i urge people to come to my website, sherrod brown.com, sign the petition saying no to these cuts for mcconnell because that's what they will try to do if they win the house and the senate next year. and trump as he always does, goes along with the corporate republican agenda every single time. >> you know, one of the main issues in this race has been health care. it's been under covered at the national level. every race you look at, your incumbent of the republican party, republicans swear they want to protect preexisting conditions. today the white house itself issued guidance to states that will allow them to essentially allow for plans that skimp on coverage for preexisting conditions, allow larger rates to be charged to those people. what is your feeling about how bedrock the republican commitment to people with preexisting conditions actually is?
>> it's all talk. every incumbent house member has voted -- if they've been there more than two years, i believe -- have voted to repeal the affordable care act at least a dozen times. and that means they have voted to take away the consumer protections for preexisting condition. they're giving the insurance companies the power to deny coverage. if their incumbent senators, they voted the same way to deny, to allow the insurance kwpz to deny coverage. they can, they can prattle all they want in all the protestations of old they're going to preserve it. no they won't. they're going to cut medicare and social security and go after preexisting consumer protections. they already tried. we beat it back by one vote in the senate. they will be back with more tax cuts that go overwhelmingly to the wealthy. and again, more undercutting the safety net. they don't like, they don't like social insurance, medicare social security unemployment. they live to do tax cuts and
they live to shred the social safety net. that's who they are as a party. i don't judge them morally. maybe i do a little bit, but that is their political strategy. that's what they've done for 20 years or 30 years or 40 years. they never really loved medicare to begin with. so we know that's their game plan. you can count on it. that's why we fight back. that's why democrats are going to be successful in the midterms. >> final question. you're in a state that trumpcare i had by quite a few points, 7, 8 points. you're running ahead now. what is the issue terrain you're hearing when you're talking voters, engaged in this race at the local level? >> voters know that -- they know that president trump has followed the typical republican corporate agenda. except on trade, and i happen to agree with him mostly. i wish he'd done it a little differently, putting mildly. everything else he's followed the corporate agenda. more tax breaks for the rich,
more bail out, more gifts to wall street. more standing up and giving away -- everything, pro drug company, pro wall street. this whole agenda, this corporate agenda, look who -- their supreme court nominees, both of them put a thumb on the scales of justice so that corporations get -- corporations win over workers, and insurance wins over patients. that's who they are, that's what they stand for. that's what's going to determine this election. that's why democrats are going to win. >> senator sherrod brown, thanks for being with me. >> always. >> i'm joined by karen finney, stacey abrams gubernatorial campaign in georgia. podcaster to pollsters, and contributor jason johnson, politics editor at the root. i feel like there is a sense collectively this is a test right now. the president has been lying with more zeal and frequency than even normal all day -- inventing the 10% tax cut. the democrats are -- want to
give people cars, the democrats are behind the caravan, terrorism, all this stuff. there is a real question. is it going to work? >> right. >> has everyone learned their lesson? how do you see it from your perch? >> you know, one of the things i think is interesting about your poll is whereas we see maybe support for the president going up, we also see the enthusiasm on the side of democrats continuing to be strong. we're seeing that in some of these early vote numbers. so what that says to me is that people might be saying i still like the guy, but i'm going to vote for democrats. and so to that i say, i think it's probably not going to work. it certainly seems like a sign of desperation on the part of trump. and did you ever think you would say he's lying even more than usual?
what he's doing is what he always does, right, is he's not just lying, but he's also trying to have it both ways because he's saying, i mean, if we lose it's not on me, but, you know. >> right. >> i'm going to come and save these people except if they lose. >> part of what has made this an unnerving situation, a lot of people feel the stakes are high. it's hard to follow the polling because of individual races. i've been talking to pollsters communicating by e-mail. we don't know how to model this ee legislate rat. if polls under estimate republicans 2 to 3 points, an error, under estimate demes, their path is much more viable. what don't we know about where we're headed right now, margie? >> well, what we're asking polls to do is or asking voters to do is imagine a universe of people that doesn't exist yet. people don't know if they're going to vote. they are giving us their best estimate as to whether or not they're going to vote. and we can take them at their word. we can use other information. there is certainly internal polls and campaign polls that
are different than some of the national public polls, that look at turnout scores and turnout modelling. but that's based on past voter propensity. you talk these estimates into account and look at the different range of turnout scenarios to see what the range of outcomes will look like. but -- and then we have now early voting which in some states is starting to look democratic, and some states it's actually a little more republican. is that a signer where things end up? or is that just election day voters who are just voting early as opposed to election day. these are all questions we won't know the answer to yet. so that is oop why it's important to not just look at who is up plus 2 or what does the model say about this, but what are the issues that are driving voters? what are they thinking about? what calculations are they making? enthusiasm is one metric, but an enthusiastic voter's vote counts the same as someone who reluctantly goes the day before
to vote. >> begrudging vote. on the issues face, jason, it's so reminisce entitle of 2014 to me when americans obsessed over ebola cynically including donald trump. he was driving it back in 2014. as soon as the med terms happened, we're talking about ebola again because it was a convenient thing to inject a kind ever reactionary mind-set in their base. they're doing the same thing here it seems to me with the caravan. >> right. there is this zombie apocalypse of people coming from mexico and they're connected to isis and they're magically going to disappear when republicans retake the house or keep the house. chris, here's the important thing to remember. everyone is lying right now if they think they know what's happening. trump always lies. that's a given. the universe we're dealing with is unseen. you look at georgia, you look at florida, you don't have to just look at this idea, all right, the electorate may be different from 2010 and 2014. you have to take into consideration what impact did hurricane michael have on early voting?
what impact does voter suppression have on who is going to turnout and when? really important, i think what's been driving democratic enthusiasm is people can't trust the polls right now so they've got to get out and vote. no one can sit on their laurels and say, i think we've got this. that's going to help democrats slightly more than republicans. >> karen? >> what i was going to say -- let me just say, let's be very clear. in this election, health care is a top issue. you're asking about what the issue landscape is. i will tell you that in the state of georgia where i'm working with stacey abrams, i mean, you have a majority of republicans who want to expand medicaid. so i think part of why -- >> that is remarkable, by the way. >> the polls, by the way, are asking the what, but not the why. so a lot of what we're not understanding is, right -- so when you have mitch mcconnell -- sara brown was so right, out there saying, hey, we're going to cut social security and medicaid and these programs,
people know that to some degree this election is about fundamental fairness. part of the reason the republicans are not running on the economy is that they know it has not trickled down to a lot of people who are still waiting for this infrastructure plan that was going to create these jobs. and so trump has returned to his racist play book, right. and people -- i really do believe people get this is fear mongering at its best and they are determined to turnout and say, no. >> your point, karen -- margie, that point about sherrod brown making the point this is his go-to point, it's been effect nichl ohio. there is no difference between this guy between paul ryan and mcconnell and classic standard republican tax cuts for the rich. trump won i think in large part because he was able to convince people that wasn't the case. in this race that's a harder sell when you have a republican congress on the ballot that has the votes they have. >> they don't have -- they don't have the goods that people want. they don't have a position or record that voters want. what -- their one accomplishment, the tax plan, has become increasingly unpopular in polls. a large number say they're not
sure how they feel about it. they resulted to a base play, a trump-inspired base play, which is not good -- not only is it not good for the country, it's not lood r -- not good for the long term health of the republican party. their view of the record as you were talking about hawley in missouri and other candidates, that's what is left. and voters are seeing through it. things like health care transcend party lines. i'm not surprised about what karen is seeing because everybody has health care challenges for themselves and their family. >> the question, jason, does reality help. can you look into a camera and say i'm for protecting preexisting conditions even though i'm on a lawsuit to end it and that gets enough people in the end to vote for you? >> i think with the best indicator that the message of protecting health care and keeping the economy move sergio garcia help for democrats is because republicans have to keep
changing their message, right? i'm old enough to remember a couple months ago where the biggest problem facing the country was black guys kneeling at football games. republicans had to get rid of that because it's not working. then they talked about the tax plan. it's not working. democrats have stayed on message. we're going to expand medicaid expansion, make it easier for to you vote and rein this guy in. >> the fact they want to make an election around this caravan that has occurred in the last few weeks does not bode great. at the last second, that's why we should go back and retain cower. thank you all for being with me. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> next, here's a question are there any persuadable republican voters or is it now the party of trump? a look at the success of the president's political strategy and whether it will hold in the midterms in two minutes. cancer ... it's very personal. each of us is different. and each cancer is different. how it reacts, how it evades and adapts. and how we attack it. that's why at cancer treatment centers of america,
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the only thing that matters is his base. it's why in 2015 he called mexican immigrants criminals and rapists and why he said this. as president, three-years later. >> they're not sending their finest. does that sound familiar? remember i made that speech and i was badly criticized? oh, it's so terrible what he said. turns out i was 100% right, that's why i got elected. >> he was not 100% right. donald trump does not care about the truth, but more interestingly is he doesn't care about persuading people. he cares about what appeals to his supporters. that's it. the story julian has a great piece in the atlantic that suggests this is not such a bad strategy. president trump has a coherent theory about american politics that can be summed up in one sentence. republic kwanz will always come home. until now that strategy has worked relatively well.
the question is, how effective will it be 15 days from now? joining me now to talk more about the strategy, national political correspondent for the washington post who has a piece out on the topic and david jolly, former republican from florida. jenna, your piece is about a safe space world of the trump rally which is really not an event intended to persuade. it is not an event about -- we're used to american presidents talking to the middle, talking to people that don't agree with him. that is not his rhetorical mode. >> not at all. these are rallies. these are all about rallying people who already support the president. i've been to many of these rallies. the message is often the same. the reason that people go to these rallies are often the same. and republicans know that this is probably the way -- the best way to use the president ahead of the midterms. have him go to places where he's popular, have him get his fans excited, and leave the suburbs and places where he's less popular to other means. >> yeah, this striking stat you had in your piece, the 27 midterm rallies he's held this year, were in counties he won by
an average of 59.5%. he's going to the deepest of the deep red areas. david, i think the bet that he's making as lined out is a pretty savvy one. it's the bet of, i can shoot people on 5th avenue, it's the bet that worked in 2015, which is no matter what, people will come home when the chips are down and they have to vote. >> that's it. this isn't new -- donald trump is not the first person to recognize this. look, i've had races, i think every candidate out there, when you have to make a decision to get that next vote. are you going to energize your current voters to get more of your base out? or are you going to try to expand the coalition by inviting, as you say, persuadables in? what i'm looking for on november 6 is where those persuadables go. it may be that donald trump is not trying to persuade them and you can ask if the democrats are trying to persuade them. we know there are voters right now looking for a political home on november 6. the delta i want to see and the long length of history looking back, what i want to study on november 6 is this. there are republican voters, disproportionately large number
of republican women voters whose ideology will not be the first fact or that informs their vote on november 6. it will be about sending a message to trumpism and the trump republican party. ideology will be second. do democrats find an opportunity to court those voters or do they accept them as willing participants in a coalition on election day? >> the question is the size of that set, which i think is smaller than people think. i mean, honestly, i think -- when i look at this data, our polling having his approval rating at 47%, there is some marginal set of people who generally think of themselves as either republicans or conservatives who are driven crazy by lots of high jinx of the president and things he does. when it comes time, there's two tribes in america and they don't
know which one they're part of. >> exactly. a big reason that donald trump got elected in 2016 was not just because he had such strong supporters out there. people who hadn't voted in many years, many people who used to vote for democrats but voted for him. it's because there are so many republicans out there who are willing to hold their nose and vote for him. there was more loyalty among the republicans than we saw on the democratic side. and the question is, does that continue in a midterm election when trump is not on the ballot? and when people are voting on races that could impact their own lives. >> david? >> these races are decided at the margins. i'll tell you what both sides are looking at. you need to hold 90% plus of your voters. so republicans right now in a lot of key races including the florida governor's race ron desantis is worried his governor support has fallen before 90, where andrew gillum is exceeding 90. that is enough to persuade the race. that 90% benchmark could decide
a lot of races on november 6. >> it is interesting to look at some of the polling in the florida gubernatorial -- they just had a vote. it's true in a few other places, jenna. they seem the most exempted from trump because they're not about whether he's going to retain full control of the government or his party will. and yet he's still inescapable in every race even gubernatorial races. >> yeah, exactly. i mean, every midterm race is kind of about the president, kind of looms over all of these. it's unlike anything we've seen. and trump himself has said, voting for a republican is voting for him. and has encouraged people to think of this as exactly a referendum on him. yeah, governor's races are particularly interesting because it is one of those last forms of statewide races where people feel like they're voting for someone that perhaps they'll have access to, who is going to be deciding on things that are actually happening in their lives. you know, tolls on bridges, state taxes, you know, what's happening with the legislature
and things like that. when i'm not in the country, it's interesting to hear people talk about congressional candidates who feel like they live just a world away from this district, and gubernatorial candidates, where a lot of times voters say they're looking for someone boring, someone who is going to get work done, things like that. >> all right, jenna johnson and david jolly, thank you both. >> good to be with you. >> coming up, would democrats reopen the russia investigation if they win back the house? house intel member on that. more on the latest developments on saudi arabia after this. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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today national security advisor john bolton took an interesting approach to russian interference in the presidential election. while in moscow to discuss u.s. withdrawal from nuclear weapons treaty he told a radio station, quote, a point i made to russian colleagues whatever they had done in terms of meddling in the 2016 election, that they had any effect on it. but what they have had an effect on the u.s. is to sow enormous distrust of russia. that is according to attacks provided by the u.s. security council. they may get their chance to share views on the records if the democrats were to win control of the house and reopen the russia investigation. congressman jim himes of connecticut say member of the house intelligence committee and he joins me now. there has been some movement to suggest that's in the offing were you to take back the gavel on the democratic side. is that true? >> well, chris, there is certainly ample information that we would want to get.
so, interview after interview where one of two republicans would say, hey, did you conspire, collude or cooperate? and the witness would invariably say, no, and the republican colleague would say, oh, that's good. and we'd move on. no attempt to follow-up, no attempt to, you know, look at phone calls that we would have liked to have known were made. certainly, chris, this doesn't get a lot of coverage, but incredibly broad assertions of executive privilege including for the period of the transition, including for conversation that's didn't happen anywhere near the president. so there's ample questions that we have. but here's the thing. we've got a mueller investigation underway. presumably he is going to cover a lot of the questions that we were looking at. so before we know exactly how big we would want to be, we would want to hear from bob mueller and see what he determined and look to see if there were any holes we could
fill. >> since you're on the house intelligence committee i also wanted to ask you about developments in the killing of jamal khashoggi in the consulate in istanbul. gina haspel, who is the director of the central intelligence agency, has been dispatched to turkey. do you understand the nature of that mission? what is your sense of what the u.s. is doing now? >> well, what i'm going to tell you is a little speculative. my guess is very senior people in washington -- the secretary of state, secretary of treasury, the president, head of the cia -- don't want to be caught under this rolling disaster of changing stories that is coming out of saudi arabia. the president of the united states, of course, has been all over the map on this issue, which is not a good look for the united states when a journalist has been killed. and so my guess is that gina haspel, who is very serious business, is going to look at whatever evidence the turks have, listen to tapes, look at videos, whatever there is, and come back with an assessment. and while i don't trust the president to get consistent on this, or if it turns out that the worst is true and the crown prince ordered this, to be particularly aggressive in his response, i do trust our intelligence community to come back and tell us what happened. >> yeah.
i wonder, there is an oversight question here as well, not just obviously on russia, but on saudi arabia. this bit of reporting today caught my eye, which is that a pro government turkish newspaper doing the leaking of what appears to be turkish intelligence, said that four calls went to the head of prince mohammed's office, and another call -- this is in the midst of the killing -- went to the united states. seems relevant to me to find out what is going on there if that's true. >> yeah, it sure does. and, you know, chris, i'm again speculating a little bit here because none of us are in washington being briefed at this point in time. our -- i am pretty sure that our intelligence apparatus already has a pretty good sense of exactly who called whom, maybe even the substance of those calls, any e-mails, any texts that went back and forth. you buy a lot of capability with what we spend on our intelligence community. i've been a little bemused as i've heard the president continually say we don't really know, we don't really know, we
don't really know. i'm not sure that's true. i'm sure we know things the saudis don't know we know. >> should there be a fundamental reassessment of the relationship given what we have learned? >> oh, you know, yes. there should have been a fundamental reassessment when the crown prince kidnapped the lebanese prime minister when he started a war in yemen. when he decided to brutal eyes canada over a tweet. i was hoping the crown prince would be a reformer. none of us knew. but he is taking actions with our tax-payer funded weaponry, even before khashoggi there was a dire need for a reassessment of that relationship. of course the president got charmed, he got charmed because they treated him with a lot of respect in riyadh. that's going to be a tough thing to overcome, i think. >> final question, a factual one. is there anyone in your orbit on
the intelligence side, do you have any idea what bob mueller is up to and when he is up to it? >> i'll offer a real tribute to bob mueller. the answer to that question is an unequivocal no. you might imagine that mueller, given the stakes and given the performance of the house intelligence committee under chairman devin nunes, would treat us like we had small pox and, in fact, i think for that reason -- and also because it would be inappropriate in an independent a political investigation to have communication with a political body. we don't know much. in the early parts of this investigation that we did, we set up a mechanism to make sure that we didn't do an interview that would screw up his legal process. >> right. >> but beyond that, no, we've gotten nothing. >> congressman jim himes, thank you for taking time. >> thank you, chris. >> still ahead, robert mueller has his eyes on roger stone and his changing stories about his connection to wikileaks during the election.
passed the loyalty test. you may remember reports earlier this year that three mar-a-lago members, a doctor, a lawyer, and the head of mar-a-lago entertainment were secretly running the v.a. from the palm beach resort. last year the president tapped three mar-a-lago members for ambassadorships, though two politely declined. it appears he's ready to try again. he has a mar-a-lago member he wants to be the ambassador to south africa, and, boy, does she fit the bill. >> this connection, it is inspired by nature, starting with the beautiful oceans, the blue oceans, and the waves of the oceans lapping up against the shoreline. the sky during daytime, midnight, and the evening. >> that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
for the next ambassador to south africa. and her resume feels strangely familiar. as the daily news puts it, lana marks is a relentless self-promoter, protector of her brand and teller of fantastic tales of wealth and privilege. lana marks has repeatedly been accused of stiffing her attorneys, landlords and employees in a dozen of past lawsuits. she talks of the extraordinary magic of her relationship with princess diana and claims they were to be on a trip to milan but it doesn't lineup. she attended the wimbledon and south african open which they weren't able to find evidence of. and perhaps feeling the scrutiny, the president's looming appointment is bringing ms. marks' trip to twitter yesterday to bran dish her south african credentials, she has been a mom for 37 years, wife for 42 years, and a ninja forever. i have literally no idea what
tonight the republican who organized a shout down protest of nancy pelosi in florida is apologizing, not for his behavior, but because he was protesting alongside a violent ultra weight ring group. proud boys swarmed an alley outside the offices of florida congressional candidate donna chalet la as pelosi entered through a side door. >> nancy pelosi right here. look at this piece of [ bleep ] right here. look at this piece of [ bleep ] pelosi right here. you don't belong here, you [ bleep ] communist. gets the [ bleep ] out of here. [ bleep ] out of here. >> [ bleep ] and your democrat, open up. it's the proud boys in here. >> yeah, you hear that? also they are among the protesters banging on the door pelosi just entered. the kwhar man of miami dade republican diaz he did not
organize the protest, although his organization the miami dade gop did send out an e-mail which asked the public to please join me in protesting the very presence of the invited guest. diaz later explained, quote, his emotions got the best of me and the hate espoused by the proud boys, there are proud boys out here. i made a mistake and i apologize for it but i have nothing to do with that group. i am not a member of the proud golden state r boys group nor do i support their group or their mission. that is good to know. as i said before the show, i don't think yelling at public officials is a great crime, but it is different when a members of a group do things like this, engage in a violent street brawl as the so-called proud boys did after their leader spoke at the metropolitan republican club here in new york city last week. a brawl which resulted in multiple arrests. republicans can be held accountable for not only who they are inviting but who they are enabling. today is the day you're going to get motivated...
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mueller is taking a much closer look at roger stone. according to "the washington post," the mueller probe is investigating whether long-time investigator roger stone, or any other associate of the president had advanced knowledge of wikileaks's plans to release hacked democratic e-mails in 2016. during the campaign you might remember stone said he could get in touch with wikileaks founder julian assange. now he says those comments were exaggerated or misunderstood. according to a new cnn reporting, investigators have been provided recordings of stone claiming he talked to trump regularly in early in the 2016 presidential campaign, and citing a single source, cnn reports that later after various document down loads from wikileaks, stone claimed in separate communications he should receive credit for coordinating with the group. i want to bring in nick akerman and msnbc little contributor, and barbara mcquade, a former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor. when you worked in watergate, you actually interviewed roger stone. >> i did. he was just a bit player in the
whole operation that i was investigating, but today he is a major player in what's being investigated by robert mueller. >> he strikes me as -- we've been getting more and more evidence in reporting that mueller is taking a hard look at him. he has subpoenaed people close to him. >> right. >> we're getting all these leaks. he strikes me as the most significant target so far in this entire inquiry. >> he is absolutely the key to the connection between the trump campaign and the russian government. if you look at the indictment that came down naming those 13 russian intelligence operatives. >> who did the hacking. >> who did the hacking into the democratic national committee, that the object of that conspiracy was not just to break in and steal the e-mails and the documents, but it was also to release and stage those documents in order to benefit the trump campaign. so what robert mueller has done is he has set up the canvas of
what he is looking at, and he is now looking to put the american side of the equation into that indictment which puts roger stone right in the middle. >> and barbara, we're approaching some really interesting and dicey legal territory. the law makes a distinction between someone that, say, hacks documents. clearly that's illegal,and someone that distributes hacked documents. so "the new york times" does that sometimes. they might upload documents that have been hacked. the question of what roger stone did and how he simple indicated legally could be a really, really thorny one legally. >> i think to enhance what nick just said, robert mueller has really laid a beautiful canvas here because he hasn't framed it as a crime of hacking. he framed it as conspiracy to defraud the united states by interfering with the election. so that conspiracy includes both the hacking and the dissemination of the stolen e-mails. so if roger stone. >> right. >> did something as simple as
agreeing to participate in a conspiracy by encouraging this or providing advice about the optimal timing of the release, that could be enough to put him or anyone else who committed those kinds of acts right in the center of this conspiracy. >> there is also question about how significant his contacts were. he is sort of always claiming he had this one new york city radio host, randy credico was the go-between and maybe somebody else. he kept bragging about how easily he could get -- >> he kept saying he had an inside contact. here he is talking to guccifer 2.0 which is the original staging of the documents. >> a gru officer. >> exactly. and then he is talking to none other than julian assange where the documents moved over to be released. >> right. >> how many people in america were speaking to guccifer 2.0 and julian assange? >> that's a good point. >> this is no coincidence. >> right. >> this is a guy who in august of 2015 was supposedly fired by the trump campaign. he claim head quit. but in fact what we have found is he has gone under deep cover
so he could be separated from the campaign so that there would be plausible deniability for what he was doing. he was a dirty trickster back in 1973, and he continued that pattern straight up to the present. >> i don't think you deny that. i think he likes being known as a dirty trick center. >> and he lies about everything he does i want to play a clip. this is mueller talking about he has done everything in his power or the get him to flip and he won't do it. take a listen. >> having come up with no evidence whatsoever of russian collusion or wikileaks collaboration or any other illegal activity pertaining to the 2016 presidential election, out-of-control special counsel robert mueller is now poking through every aspect of my personal, social, family, business, and political life, grilling my long-time associates in an attempt to fabricate some offense in order to destroy me personally and financially.
i'm ready to fight. i will never roll on our president. >> you know, barbara, you hear that. everyone says they'll never flip until the day when they show up and have flipped. >> yeah. and, you know, he says that robert mueller has done everything in his power to fabricate evidence against him. robert mueller i believe will follow the department of justice guidance and will not file charges unless he has evidence of it. but once someone has charged, things look a lot different. we saw that with michael cohen. it's easy to talk tough when you're not charged. and to suggest that there is no evidence here, all of these statements about his predictions that it will soon be podesta's time in the barrel, get ready for the october surprise, i think there is certainly some indicia there he was involved and communicating with wikileaks and assange. robert mueller has an obligation to investigate those things to see if is there was a connection between him and the russians. if he finds it. >> he'll charge him.
we'll see at that point if roger stone is interested in cooperating. if not he can be charged as a defendant and proceed to trial. >> look who the biggest cooperator is right now. it's paul manafort ifrgs right. >> paul manafort were business partners going back to 1980. >> it's wild. they founded their firm together. >> if you had to pick one person who would know exactly what was going on with roger stone during that campaign, it is paul manafort, the campaign manager. it was roger stone who brought paul manafort into the campaign in march of 2016. he would absolutely know what roger stone's role was, what he was doing. he was at the convention, paul manafort was, was involved with the whole business with the ukraine and the platform committee in keeping that out of the platform. that was the quid pro quo for the theft of these e-mails. paul manafort can absolutely put it to roger stone. >> yeah, and it's wild to think
about these two guys, these two operatives in republican politics coming up together over decades who are now both sides of the special counsel, nick akerman and barbara mcquade, thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. john bolton goes to russia and tells them their election meddling had no effect on 2016. but would the intelligence community agree with that? on the russia front, roger stone feeling the heat of mueller's attention. the reporter who broke the story joining us tonight with details. "the 11th hour" on a monday night, begins now. good evening from our nbc headquarters in new york on a monday night.