tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC November 7, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
michiganders voted out medical marijuana. there might have been a blue wave last night. but there appears to be a green one at least in the u.p.. that's all we have for tonight. we will be back tomorrow. "the beat" with ari melber begins right now. breaking news tonight, president trump firing attorney general jeff sessions late today and installing a trump loyalist as bob mueller's new boss. we have this story for you from several angles. the two biggest stories are licked. donald trump removing jeff sessions and nailing an active attorney general who talked of de-funding the probe and democrats are taking the ga vel and subpoena power after this blue wave. they marked them by a state wide margin in yesterday's misterms. sessions made it clear in his letter that his new out tonight,
saying trump demanded to leave what he listed as several accomplishments. here is new video we got in our newsroom. you are looking at jeff sessions leaving the department of justice for the last time to a round of applause. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> here's the context. jeff sessions now joins a long list of the top law enforcement officials ousted in just the first two years of the trump administration. >> that includes those top fired fbi officials. look at that in contrast to donald trump's own top aides the president has watched guilty pleas and flipping by his long-time lawyer, campaign chair and deputy chair and national security adviser among others. tonight i can reveal a president so intent on taking control into the investigation into his own campaign in the house thwhite ht he is willing to risk the blowback and guilty inferences that come with this type of move
after the election. and that raises a question, not a question we like to ask, it's the question of whether donald trump has reason to believe the mueller probe was not going to stop at the age confessed on the screen that donald trump believes for some reason there may be evidence out there that would keep this froeb barreling towards his family or towards the president, himself. the idea that the president wants the attorney general to be his personal protector would make anybody sound bad. this is what happened in nixon. >> that negative view of trump comes from trump, himself. he publicly admitted the reason he didn't like sessions is jeff sessions followed the rules and recuse on the russia probe when trump wanted him to defend trump. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recuse himself almost immediately after he took office and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to
taking office. and i would have quite simply picked somebody else. >> jeff sessions recuse himself, which he shouldn't have done or he should have told me. for him to take the job and for him immediately to have recuse himself is a disgrace. >> just listen to those words. they are newly relevant with this firing tonight. donald trump thought the disgrace was jeff sessions following the rules and not interfering in the probe. ened there is something else disturbing, i will show you the new replacement. matthew whitaker was chief of staff at the doj. he will now be acting attorney general until a new attorney general in senate has to confirm that person. right now tonight are you looking at bob mueller's new boss. this is what he said about trying to limit the mueller probe. >> bob mueller and his small u.s. attorney's office as i've heard it described today does go beyond the 2016 election and get into trump organization finances
unrelated to the 2016 election and really unrelated to russian coordination if it even exists. i think that would be crossing a red line. >> crossing a red line. whitaker describing things we know bob mueller did and rosenstein even approved, like looking at manafort's now admitted crimes that weren't related directly in 2016. you are looking at your new attorney general. he has discussed in public. tonight democrats are saying he should recuse. he's discussed a blue print of sorts to further oversee or interfere with, yes, the mueller investigation. >> i can see a scenario where jeff sessions is replaced with a recess appointment and that attorney general doesn't fire bob mueller, he just reduces the budget so low that his investigation grinds to absolutely almost a halt. >> grinds to a halt. one of the men on your screen was on your screen a moment ago. because john flannery is a former federal prosecutor in some of those discussions now at
the white hot center of this debate. gene rossi a colleague at the doj who has joined us before and another ace reporter all over this story from the start betsy woodruff. very important to have you all here. we will discuss the elections which have implications on the subpoena power. john, is this firing in your view inappropriate? is there enough evidence to say it, itself, become as part of the obstruction probe? >> absolutely. i have no doubt about it. we are on notice from everything trump said before about what he wanted to do with the attorney general. the principle objection he continually makes is that he didn't recuse himself so that he could handle the investigation. he expected his attorney general to conduct an obstruction of the investigation by getting there and staying in that position. how can we think he's going to do anything else with his chief of staff when, normally, the assistant attorney general or
deputy attorney general becomes the attorney general acting in the interim. >> when you spend time with him and what we show a little bit on camera. did you get the view he would be a non-part zaen to the doj or did he have a political agenda in the mueller probe? >> he's a nice guy with a partisan taint, shall we say? >> is he too partisan to be bob mueller's boss, in your view? >> absolutely. think about it. he was chosen after those statements by the justice department to be in a position he's in at a time when we had the president saying, sessions won doiwasn't doing what he nee to do. there was a meeting between the president and whitaker before this appointment was made after they got rid of session today. so the one of the first questions is, what did you say? he starts with a conflict. and as for the president doing this, what the president is
doing, it's not like he's appointing people and doesn't have an interest. he has an interest. his family has an interest. >> sure. i'm coming ba back to you, jean e gene, same question. >> i agree with john to a certain extent. this would be an overt act for an obstruction of justice charge. however, i tried a couple of such cases. i've had acquittals. what you need is a few more overt acts the comey firing and other things. i do want to say this, ari. >> let me pause you on the comey firing. we're on the same lines. americans are watching this. we just had an election the president fired the attorney general. it feels like a big moment. i will put up on the screen the incriminating language from the president at the time. i spesht e appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions i am not under investigation. donald trump linked the firing of the top guy to his own investigation. now he's fired the top guy at the doj a lot of people are saying on the hill it's also
because of his own investigation. if that's true, that wrong? >> let me tell you something the best witness in the prosecution for donald trump is the words of donald trump. and his acts speak to themselves. i got to say this i think this is a huge game changer. it's a huge deal for two reasons. one, if whitaker smothers the mueller investigation, that is going to cause a second action. a flurry, a flurry of subpoenas from the house committee to have him explain his actions. and, number two, also to say, what did the president of the united states say to you when he asked you to be acting attorney general? and that conversation could be a deathnel for the president of the united states. >> but the problem is -- >> back to john, betsy. >> one thing that's important to remember looking forward on this question, my colleague and i have colleague sources in the justice department for the last several hours from the moment
this news broke. one thing we heard from multiple people is matt whitaker and rod rosenstein have a very tense relationship. these two men do not seem to get along. we're not clear yet when this tension began or what particular factors have fed into it. but this is not a happy relationship between these two men who are now the top two officials at the justice department. i don't anticipate whitaker now ascending to the highest level of the doj will be a force for stability. the other thing important here looking forward on the mueller investigation there has been numerous reports whitaker would be in line for a senate-confirmed position if trump were to move forward to reshuffle all of the doj leadership. if that's going to happen, whitaker, of course, into evidence to make sure any decisions he makes in the next few days or weeks as he's acting tomorrow, don't scuttle his chances at getting through senate confirmation. >> there is oversight there. >> exactly. i don't anticipate whitaker will take dramatic steps related to the mueller investigation until
or unless trump moves forward we are organizing the top doj and bringing in people with the power and clout and job security that comes with being senate confirmed. >> this goes to the heart of it, john, trump is moving away from the people that protect rod rosenstein and toward people he thinks will be tougher. as for that tension betsy articulated. take a listen to whitaker on rosenstein. >> i think what ultimately the president is going to start doing is putting pressure on rod rosenstein, who is in charge of this investigation, do something a little more stage crafty than the blunt instrument of firing the attorney general and trying to replace him. >> john. >> you know, whitaker, it seems to me to be the new bourque. we have done to this justice department what happened when we had nixon and we had mitchell and klein destroy the reputation for law and justice in the department. this is such an attack on the
justice department and what is it like? it's like a criminal running away. he realizes if he waits too long, the house may have democrats who can stop him. so this is going to be a midnight raid and i wouldn't be surprised if in the next day or so we see the rosenstein thing. i think if you look at the original order. >> that i have problems as a matter of law getting around that order. mueller is no fool. you can be sure he isn't sitting on his hands right now. he is dealing with what he anticipates will be the misconduct of this organized crime system that passes for this administration. >> tough words. gene. >> whoa. >> i want the viewers to understand who the new acting attorney general is. he is someone who against what most legal experts i think and certainly what most political operatives think. he said publicly, no problem, trying to get foreign help, which, of course, any lawyer knows is a violation a likely violation of campaign finance act. take a look. >> to suggest that there is a
conspiracy here. i mean you would always take that meeting. if you have somebody you trust that says you need to meet with this individual because they have information about your opponent, you would take that meeting. i have run for public office twice. you certainly want to have any advantage, any legal advantage you can. >> you hear that at the end? he did run for office as a republican in iowa. no problem in and of itself. genes, do you agree with his claim that a lawyer a former prosecutor running for office would definitely take a meeting with foreign officials when you know if they give you anything of value, i mean a thousand bucks let alone anything else they were offering, that, itself, is illegal? >> he's an idiot. here's why. i ran for public office. i ran for lt. gov. of virginia. i got my tail kicked. and if anybody from russia offered to give me information to boot my two opponents, i would have said, i'm going to call the fbi. you are a crook.
let me tell you this right now. i am so disappointed in the u.s. department of justice right now because the morale is being decimated. i felt sorry for jeff sessions right now when he walked out of that building. i who rkd in that building for five, six years on the 4th floor and when gonzalez was the attorney general, i can tell you, we had to get lysol to clean that place out after he left. that's why my heart bleeds for the department of justice. where i worked for almost 30 years. >> mm-hmm. betsy, i am about to be joined by a democratic member of congress on this, what does your reporting tell you about where this fight goes with the hill? what are the big questions for these democrats who now are going to have power? >> i would say one of the top questions is whether republicans come together and decide to push back against any efforts on the part of the justice department to push out mueller and, of course the key question for house democrats is, how prepared
is a special chairman jerry nadler who heads the house committee, who will on january 3rd, how prepared he is to send subpoenas. we know he will ask for doj and white house officials to voluntarily come in and testify before his committee. is he sort of willing to bring the mus toll the fight when it comes to pushing for these official to testify? part of that why it's important, under republican control, white house officials took an expansive field privilege as related to the house intelligence in this russia investigation. they claimed executive privilege for conversations before trump's inauguration. they claimed executive privilege for conversations the president was involved in and nunez of the republican committee let them get away with it. the question for nadler and other democrats are they going to enforce the traditional and narrow understanding of are what kind of privilege comes with being the president or with working directly with the
president? >> betsy, you are laying out the key questions as you often do. everyone stay as promised. i bring in a member who serves the intelligence committee. first of all, thanks for joining us on a busy night. >> thanks for having me. >> second of all, congressman, i know you and your folks have taken a victory lap with a pretty big gain in the house. when you look at the firing of jeff sessions tonight, do you see it as already linked to the mueller probe as inappropriate or is it too early in your view as a sitting member of congress to determine that? >> well, it certainly looks that way because of how james comey was handled, mccabe, rosenstein so far by the president. but it really speaks to the need for a congress act in a bipartisan way and pass legislation that protects bob mueller and this investigation. >> i will cut in. you and i, we talked about this before. >> that makes a lot of sense. the republicans have moved
further away from that. lindsey graham was talking about, it would be bad to fire sessionles. then as you know he was supporting it. if you don't have that, there are no signs, sir, unless have you news to break for us. there is no signs it's going in that direction. what are you going to do? jerry nadler says we'll be issuing subpoenas when warranted. is this a subpoena that's warranted? will you have to bring him before the house and ask was he asked for a loyalty oath? . >> i think it would be fair for the house judiciary committee to bring the new acting attorney general in front of them regardless. because every time you get a person in office, you bring them before the committee and grill them and ask them questions. so i would expect that will happen. hopefully, it won't take a subpoena to get the answers the committee needs. if that's what it takes? that's what it takes. >> when you look at this in the context of last night, do you think that the president was on his way to doing this regardless? do you think this relates to his fears about what mueller may
have in store or what you guys may have in store? and how would you ballpark last night's victory? a rip him, a wave? a big wave? >> yeah -- a rip him,pleripple,? >> we won a lot of state legislative races and governor's races. so i thought it was a strong night w. we saw other states, texas and florida get more competitive than they have been in a while. that was a promising thing. with respect to what happens with the judiciary committee and with this new acting attorney general, i think that most of all we have to protect that investigation. and mitt romney and lamar alexander, i believe, have made promising comments today. now there is a difference between republicans saying something and then actually acting upon it. >> right. >> but, hopefully, they will turn that into legislation. with the new blood coming into the senate and the house. >> congressman castro, gene
rossi, sean flannery on a big news night, thank you to all of you. is this donald trump's version of a nixon style massacre but done more slowly neighborhood, plus, mueller's response to this news. we have a very special guest, his former chief of staff on what past president shows us how mueller is dealing with this tonight and can trump's new pick legally oversee this probe? we also have a special guest with a breaking news. i got him booked. the man that wrote the rules, he says there may be limits tonight. he joins me on this special breaking edition on "the beat." i'm ari melber. we'll be right back. coaching means making tough choices.
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welcome back. we are about to speak with historian michael beschloss as mentioned. i want to clear up something from our earlier segment. we showed a graphic with james baker. it had the wrong james baker. a former bush administration official. it was the wrong photograph. we regret the error. now we return to breaking news, donald trump firing jeff sessions. an assault on the law and order of our government, particularly those who are doing investigations of trump, himself. in fact, earlier this year i was reporting on how donald trump could pursue a massacre in the making slowly ousting key law enforcement officials. a reference, of course to richard nixon's iconic and very controversial firings of the people investigating watergate.
>> the country tonight is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history. >> an investigator appointed to investigate scandals was fired because he insisted on investigating scandals. >> i am joined by nbc presidential historian michael beschloss. thanks for being here tonight. >> my pleasure. >> mid-term election. firing of jeff sessions. replaced by what looks like a loyalist who is on the record for narrowing in this probe. where does this rate in comparison to 96 season. >> ari, if this is going the way this looks, this is ten times worse than nixon because, let's look, if this leads to let's say the firing of robert mueller or the substantial limiting of this investigation ten times worse than nixon because let's look at what donald trump has done here. let's first look at the supreme court. he now has a five justice majority on the supreme court
the fifth justice is the one person of all those people on that federal society list that has the most extreme views of permitting a president not to be investigated, not to be indicted, not to be subpoenaed, used pardons to help himself. there is no doubt in my mind why brett kavanaugh is on the court tonight because donald trump wanted him to be reliable if a trump case could come to the court. remember, that was a vacancy that donald trump created by encouraging anthony kennedy maybe to resign from the court earlier than expected so that it would be brett kavanaugh in this position tonight and not anthony kennedy who might have been a little more in a position to pr as if he's directly not only firing the attorney general and putting in someone to replace him, who is by most accounts, by
most accounts, not terribly qualified. by some accounts a political hack. by almost all accounts someone who can be relied upon to be completely obedient to president trump. then the other this inc. that makes it worse than nixon is that this is not just about a, you know, misdeeds within our system. nixon obstructed justice, told the fbi, told the cia to tell the fbi not to investigate watergate the case we're dealing with is a possible covert relationship between an american president and a hostile foreign power. that's way beyond watergate. >> you just said could be ten times worse than nixon. when you look at the reasoning, james comey removed the president on the record in the letter firing him. >> right. >> this was, hey, you cleared me of wrongdoing. then they had to clear up the rod rosenstein and now jeff
sessions has been removed, had a cover story that was removed. >> don mcgahn that left the white house says he was asked to fire mueller. jeff sessions now out for that reason. all the evidence come income says that the new person is in also for an elicit reason as you just said to be a loyalist. >> and also someone who is already prejudiced and should recuse himself. >> that article that whitaker wrote on cnn.com saying the mueller investigation was illegitimate, he's got a view in advance. that's not someone -- >> you think he should be out? >> he should recuse himself from the mueller case. >> it's fascinating, given your knowledge of how this has worked in the past. michael beschloss, thank you for being here tonight. what is mueller doing right now? will america tolerate this? two special guests. we are back in just 30 seconds. i'm aiming it. ohhhhhhh! i ordered it for everyone. [laughing]
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book is "dawn of the code war." how does a prosecutor like bob mueller in your view deal with this situation given both the obviously practical pressures, which your view verse now heard, without overreacting or assuming anything about under the rules his boss? >> you know, i think that's right. look, bob mueller from when he was a marine to align, prosecutor a top justice official as director of the fbi has always done one thing. his job. i don't think he's going to worry about the distraction above him. he will continue to follow the facts where they may and layout things like the massive multi--million dollar russian conspiracy to attack democratic campaigns to try to use social media to influence voters. he will follow fraud like the jury trial where they convicted manafort from the millions they took from russian interests.
he will continue to do so unless he is overtly blocked by someone in the justice department. >> let's go to overtly. if whitaker walks into mueller's office tomorrow. he can likely do. says to mueller in private, what he said on cnn now, we should just de-fund this thing and that makes it go away? then based on your knowledge of bob mueller, how does he deal with that? >> look, i think we need to see the statements that mr. whitaker has made in the past and then the justice department usually follows a process where there are career ethics official that would require your recusal from a particular matter. now after yesterday's elections, there will be oversight. those are the types of questions that can be asked and examined if someone does not follow the advice of career ethics officials. >> bob mueller's recourse. if he is pushed in some way,
even as all those other things in the background, anyone watching this says, that sound nice, donald trump has moved a lot of people in and out and changed a lot of the way people deal with the rules what is his recourse? can he go to a judge? can he go to another actor in a lawful manner, we know he doesn't leak and say he thinks his new boss is doing something wrong. >> he does not leak. there are important questions to ask about under the regulation whether or not you need to report to congress if you were to cut the budget of the special counsel's office? you also definitely through the oversight power can ask budgetary questions. so congress can find out whether or not that budget is cut. in terms of mueller's reaction again he's going to work with the resources he has to follow the facts wherever they might lead unless he is unable to to do so. if he's unable to to do so, he will as he has at least one time before, he will not perform the job if he thinks it's unethical
to do so. we seen that with him. >> john, stay with me. again, your insight is invaluable on a night like today. i want to invite in professor from george town university, we have discussed the three branches of government the congress, which was won by democrats the white house with the president and the courts in the independent rule of law plays in our republic i want to turn now, professor dyeson, having layout the legal side. what object the public? all three of those branches are ultimately answerable to the american public who spoke last night to the elections. what do you think is the roam of public outrage or concern if this continues to go as so many are warning tonight as a slow motion massacre to end a probe that was supposed to resolve very major national security and election questions? >> it's an outrage and the public must continue to raise its voice. the american people have spoken last night in a split decision the senate went to the
republicans. the house to the democrats. but more than 100 women were elected in the immediate after math of the kavanaugh fiasco and debacle and also with the president who is grossly insensitive to the needs, claims and arguments of its citizenry. so, yes, i think what we should do is express our outrage continually. look as the great legal defense fund said i car no brief for jeff sessions. if shot and freud were an art this would be a picasso. at the same time the attorney general has basically been handed his hat to walk out the door while the president is capable of exercising his will through a person who is, if you will, his second there in the department of justice who will do the president's bidding. this is a subversion of everything american and everything american ought to be outraged. >> what do you think people are to make of this, though, when the democrats say we're almost there. this looks like it? i heard from a congressman that
said this could to be that thing. but no one seems to be hitting the red button yet. i think donald trump, who is a master a master at communication and deception i think it's fair to say, even he admits that, has found a way to keep moving it slowly and slowly, our republic like a proverbial boiling frog. i don't usually get that poetic. when you are here, i get going. >> right. >> how is the public supposed to decide when the line is crossed? . >> donald trump is kaiser solcy. all along it's been him, as a puppet behind the scenes manipulating the strings as marionette. so the reality is this. unless we have the courage to say enough is enough. we have all been police it in this. look at the outcome last night. white women voting in extraordinary numbers to support people who undermine them. black men joining in, in texas and in florida in ways that are disturbing. all of us have been hoodwinked. what we need to do is stand
outrate, citizens of outrage, enough is enough. pull the plug. stop going along with it. nancy pelosi stand up and speak in try dent and serious terms against what is an american massacre in the office. >> john, i'm going to bring you the hardest question. you approach these matters as law and order, rule of law non-port sand. we are talking about counterveiling partisan pressures, widely identify fareed donald trump from his own words, what do you want out of this probe? and part of the energy against that is itself partisan and the resistance. yet the goal the true goal the good constructive goal shouldn't be partisan against trump one way or the other but merely to uphold the doj? can you think of a time other than watergate where we have been in this situation and what is the key for america getting out through this without it becoming the doj caught in the partisan crosshairs? >> yeah. i hope that people of good spirit on both sides of the
aisle, democrats and republicans can understand the importance of the institution of our justice department. why is it the envy of the world. one of those reasons is, we do not use the justice department to pursue people for political gains. there is a long tradition of independence. there are thousands and thousands of amazing career prosecutors and agents who swore an oath to the constitution and every day seek to uphold it in the facts that they do. there are a lot of threats that face us. real threats to life. like we saw in the massacre that just occurred in pittsburgh. as we have seen in the charges the that have been laid out by a former director mueller that talk about russians are trying to do to the united states and when people are slaughtered for their beliefs in a synagogue or russians are attacking or trying to undermine our election system, they're not doing it to attack democrats or republicans. they're attacking us as americans. and what we stand for. so i think it's -- time will
tell whether someone tries to interfere in the justice department to end this investigation. you will be able to tell because there's oversight by congress and also because if they suddenly end the investigation, there are ongoing court cases in front of our judiciary. also, many of these cases have been moved over to career parts of the justice department from the prosecution. >> right. >> -- of president trump's lawyer. >> right. >> to the follow up on the russians. >> that goes to one of the reporting out. as we will continue. hopefully with your help later this week all the other cases. john carlin, professor, thank you both. the top official says jeff sessions may lack the authority over mueller. he wrote the rules on special counsel live on that important issue next. [woman 1] this...
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doj who says there actually may be legally required limits on jeff session's replacement which could prevent him in theory from overseeing the russia probe, acting solicitor general under president obama, i mean he was arguing before the supreme court, an important position. he served in the clinton administration. get this before, he wrote the rules that govern the very post mueller has. that was back in 1999. first of all, neil, thank you for coming on our special coverage tonight. >> thank you. it's great to be here with you. >> you state there may be a way oz of this moment in terms of the nulz we have been reporting, whitaker is acting attorney general of the united states. but you say there is a way he may be limited. what is that? >> yeah. so the constitution really does put some limits on this. you know, just as clarence thomas, who's president trump's kind of favorite justice on the court. just a few years ago wrote an
opinion that said, you know the senate has to confirm principle officers like the attorney general. it can't just be the president can install whoever he wants in that. justice thomas's idea there. he says the word bankruptcy. what if the president is corrupt. you wouldn't want to have a circumstance where anyone can go and exercise the say full powers of the attorney general a cabinet officer or something like that. there is a point to senate confirmation. this is i think a tough thing for president trump who says he wants to strictly construe the constitution and be guided by the founder's intent. justice thomas says that intent is really pretty clear. the guy who is the acting attorney general is not the attorney general senate confirmed, rod rosenstein or neil francisco senate confirmed. it's like a staffer. that's unusual. we have not seen that before. this is the attorney general of
the united states with all of the massive powers incumbent and it's being you know handled by effectively a constitutional nobody. >> right. >> the constitution has a lot to say. >> you call him a nobody. a lot of people watching the news says we never heard of whitaker. now he's the guy. in trump's vision, he has wiped out rod rosenstein. he's on the record saying all of these things. i want to read you, unearthed from july 2017. it's ominous. with regard to laws to protect muler that might reenforce his independence, he wrote, they'd be a mistake. cannot have anyone unaccountable in executive branch. ", already protected enough, neil." >> i think this is all deeply, deeply worrisome. look, i understand when there is death or disease in a cabinet official, you want to put someone in to temporarily handle those responsibilities.
i have been in the justice department twice. i love the department and what it stands for. you heard mr. carlin saying a moment ago. you know there are a whole host of authorities, laws and so on, written for emergencies like death and disease. you have to be circumspect about using them f. you cry wolf and pick them up and use them for stuff they're not intended for, it makes it harder for future presidents down the road. that's what this president has done. he's taken an emergency situation and used it to force out his attorney general, to put someone else in place who is effectively his lackey and who can literally you know try and end the mueller investigation and so we are at the beginning stages of a deep constitutional crisis. we'll see what happens. >> you say we're heading towards a constitutional crisis. michael beschloss said tonight in this hour, i'm responding to the breaking news, it's ten times greater than nixon. how will it work? be a limit executed on this
issue, if you are correct? >> so whitaker the acting attorney general could terminate mueller tomorrow or refuse to do certain things that mueller asks like subpoena the president or something like that. those special counsel reg lalgss, which erode in 1999 put the acting attorney general in the driver's seat when it comes to supervisors of the special counsel and approval of all requests. now, there is one safety check against. that we put in the regulations. we said if the acting attorney general says no to the special counsel, no to mueller, it's got to be reported to congress and so. >> which it can become a democratic congress. you stitching that together. i'm supposed to fit in a break. it's so important i'd love to have you back on "the beat" again on this and other stories. thank you. >> of course, thanks. coming up, here's a quote, angers me to the core. what a congressman said about trump spewing filth. >> that congressman joins me
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today donald trump absolutely hammered some members of his own party. >> on the other hand, you had some that decided to let's stay away. let's stay away. they did very poorly. i'm not sure that i should be happy or sad. carlos kur bella. mike coffman. too bad, mike. mia love gave me no love and she
lost. too bad. sorry about that, mia. and bosch ra comstock was another one. i think she could have won that race. but she didn't want to have any embrace. peter peter roskam didn't want the embrace. >> many saw that as false and misleading and petty. republican congressman ryan costello joins me in a moment. to deal with harassment and filth spewed at gop members in tough seats every day for two years because of potus, to bite your lip more times you'd care to, to disagree and to lose -- what do you want to say back to the president today? >> well, ari, i wash the show sometimes and i know you like those rap lyrics.
and i feel if you were to go to ghetto boys, my mind is playing tricks on me, but the president here, his mind is playing tricks on him. we lost those seats because of the president. those are good members of congress. i understand people didn't vote republican this time around. but they worked hard, they all had an independent streak, and every single day they were dealing from incoming a lot of hate and a lot of tough stuff said their way. and they did their best. and to have the president of the united states mock them on the way out after a tough campaign, i just think it's deplorable and it really bothers me. >> well, congressman, i wasn't expecting you to reach into the vault for ghetto boys. in that song you have an individual describe who thinks he's fighting another person and he ends up realizing his mind is playing tricks on him and he's fighting the cement, punching out the cement and he's hurting
himself. >> i think that was bushwick bill. >> so here we are. do you think donald trump is being bushwick bill and ultimately hurting himself. >> certainly. we have a democratic house now. i heard folks on your show talking about whittaker and what happens next. the realty is i don't think you can do much in the way of ending the mueller probe without certain things happenings in the house. even if he were to somehow be fired congress will very immediately be able subpoena anything that any report that mueller has issued. and i think more broadly here's the real issue, the president chooses to fight everyone. and in this instance you're talking about members of congress who woke up every day and gave their all. and at a certain point in time you don't always have to agree with what everyone says or does, but there's a certain base level
of respect that i think everyone serves. and what the president did in the white house today showed a total lack of respect for the members of congress, many of who are my friends, and it's just entirely inappropriate. >> do you think it goes to donald trump's moral character, and do republicans need to stand up to that in. >> well, certainly it's a character issue. but in terms of republicans standing up to him, i don't know what that means. i speak out regularly as do many others. i know you do. and i appreciate you coming on the beat. i guess what it means in the short term we have left, do the republicans need to say without even a hint of conflict without regard to law and order regardless of where this probe leads. >> good tweet. you can find senator lamar alexander, a republican senator who said that no attorney general nominee will get confirmed if they are willing to shutdown the mueller probe.
in other words, the mueller probe must continue unimpeded, in interrupted. i think you'll see a lot of other republican senators say it. we have a bill in the house that would also protect it. i'm a little concerned with what whittaker has said in the particular column that he wrote. but i don't think that mittker is going to have free reign to impede this investigation -- >> but do you think it is wrong for president trump to install someone in there who's on the record saying we should basically defund this probe to end it? >> listen, the president has a right to terminate an attorney general and nominate someone of his choice -- >> i know that and you know that, but this guy's got a record. there's a lot of lawyers out there. >> i understand. but this is a 210-day appointment at its max. i'm not hammering home on you on that, but this is not his nominee, nor do i think this individual will be the nominee first because of some of the
things he's said and written. >> you're drawing an important line there which is, yes, this is supposed to be temporary. who's the person who can actually get through the senate and the house having more power. congressman costello, i hope you'll come back. >> i look forward to it. >> thank you, sir. we have one more thing when we come back.
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released a statement. he's said he's committed to quote, the rule of law. a lot more on this story tomorrow. i want to mention also we have john podesta, a council to barack obama, and joins me an a very, very busy week. don't go anywhere. hardball with chris matthews starts now. street fight. let's play hardball. good evening, i'm crith matcrithu chris matthews up in new york. obviously suffering from that rebuke at the ballot box donald trump struck out at his enemies today with all of his fury. he dumped the attorney general he's never forgiven for