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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  November 8, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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it's 4:00 in new york. could president trump's decision to fire attorney general jeff sessions become the nail in the obstruction of justice coffin for the president? we know robert mueller wants to interview trump about his attempt to get sessions to unrecuse himself from overseeing the russia probe. we know based on reporting from "the new york times" that robert mueller has eight questions for the president, specifically about his interactions with jeff sessions. with so much potentially at stake, so much possible legal exposure for the president, why did he fire sessions yesterday? what could possibly be worth that risk? new reporting from "the washington post" might offer some clues. according to the post, acting attorney general matt whitaker has no intention of recusing himself from overseeing the special counsel probe of russian interference in the 2016 election. and this, quote, two people close to whitaker said they strongly believe he would not approve any request from special
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counsel robert s. mueller to subpoena the president. now we don't know if robert mueller was planning to subpoena the president any time soon. but we do know he's given trump every opportunity to get his side of the story on the record. mueller haggled with trump's former attorney general john dowd for months about an in-person interview until dowd resigned rather than let trump sit down with mueller. according to bob woodward's book "fear" he pleased with him. i wish i could persuade you, dowd said. don't testify. it's either that or an orange jumpsuit. mueller told trump's lawyers that he'd accept written answers from trump but just this afternoon, trump's attorney rudy giuliani acknowledged to politico that trump still hasn't submitted the answers. that leaves a subpoena as a logical next step for the special counsel. opening up a high-stakes line of questioning. has donald trump appointed in matt whitaker someone who is
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likely to turn down any request from mueller to subpoena the president? and did whitaker make that promise to trump or anyone close to him before he took the job as acting ag. and if either of those answers is yes, does that represent obstruction of justice? here to help try and answer that question for us, some of our favorite reporters and friends. devlin barrett from "the washington post," katie benner who covers the justice department for "the new york times," former chief spokesman for the doj, matt miller, harry litman and jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the ap. matt miller, you were here in this hour yesterday. we were talking about this in more theoretical thunderstorerm. still figuring out who matt whitaker is. matt whitaker is someone not inclined to approve a subpoena from robert mueller for this president. >> it's fairly remarkable that
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he has already apparently reached that conclusion before being briefed on the case. he's reached the cornclusion he's not going to recuse himself before he's consulted with ethics officials about whether that would be appropriate. it looks like the president has put matt whitaker in this job precisely for the reason obvious to everyone. he expects him to come in and either slow down or curtail or shut down the investigation. one of the cliches that i think is misused most often in washington is the idea the cover-up is worse than the crime. oftentimes people like the president -- like i believe the president is doing right now execute cover-ups because the underlying crime is terrible and they know they're going to get caught. to see the president do something that is so transparent and so obvious and so ham-handed it just makes me wonder what he thinks or what he knows is coming down the pike next from the special counsel's office. >> harry litman, can you jump in about whether or not -- we know the president's conduct, vis-a-vis jeff sessions, is so suspect that robert mueller, i
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think there are 49 questions total. eight of them are specifically about donald trump's interactions with attorney general jeff sessions, his decision to recuse, conversations about whether he would unrefuse, conversations about whether to fire him. he submitted his resignation once before. can you explain how, if those things are under scrutiny for obstruction of justice, it seems logical that firing him abruptly yesterday might also be. >> can i explain? yeah. in a word, brazenness. it certainly could be one of the things mueller considers. it's certainly one reason and one reason only that whitaker is appointed, and that's to put the boot on the neck of the mueller probe. he's got really no credentials at all other than personal loyalty to mueller. and it would be, in fact, a kind of cover-up in plain sight. you could think of legal arguments and one could make when push comes to shove about why he disapproves this or that
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specific step by mueller. but basically, there's, you know, i think it's all transparent. and as matt suggests, trump does it because he thinks he can. now, of course, there's a new cop on the beat with the house judiciary committee and we'll see if that's right. but i don't think there's any secret here. it's just the brazen president. >> devlin, it's your reporting we've been talking about. take us through what you guys are reporting and what people should know about the new acting attorney general, matt whitaker. >> so the new acting attorney general comes from a very strange place when it comes to picking an attorney general. and that's the chief of staff of the recently departed attorney general. that's a very rare way for this to work. normally the chief of staff is someone who is fundamentally loyal to the attorney general and, in this case, he's now -- matt whitaker is now the acting attorney general. and what we're told is that he has made very clear to people close to him that he has zero
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interest in recusing himself. it's not even clear if he is going to raise this question at all with ethics officials. and we're also told he has already expressed in different venues at different times a real disagreement with the very notion that the president should be issued a subpoena. that's important because the threat of the subpoena is the thing that has been hovering over those negotiations all this month. and if you take away that threat of a subpoena, you would then have a situation where one side doesn't have really much leverage anymore. >> devlin, the threat of a subpoena is not a legal tactic. it is a way to get the truth. i guess it is both a legal tactic that prosecutors and investigators deploy, but it's also almost a last-ditch effort if mueller seeks permission to subpoena the president from, i guess, until yesterday it would have been deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. it would have been a last attempt to get the truth. it's abundantly clear and we
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included john dowd's comments as bob woodward reported them in his book "fear" because no one who represents the president in a legal capacity thinks he can tell the truth. >> right. this whole fight over -- this whole negotiation has been a dance and now they basically if the subpoena is taken off the table, and that's still an if but we're definitely getting signals that may be taken off the table, i think the music stops and there's no more dancing anymore because you have no way to force their hand from the prosecution's point of view. and everyone is trying to figure out who makes the next move at that point. >> katie benner, if you could weigh in on what you and your colleagues have reported about being rod rosenstein. not just over the last 17 months but today. today rod rosenstein, it's my understanding, as of this morning, was still the doj official ostensibly in charge of the mueller probe. they put out a statement
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yesterday saying matt whitaker is in charge of all matters and all investigations at the justice department. >> very rarely do we even know who the deputy attorney general is. rod rosenstein has been in a unique position because he's been handling the highest profile and some would call arguably the most important case, the justice department has handled in quite a long time. now by having matt whitaker oversee it, immediately rosenstein becomes less significant and a far less problem for the white house and also far less power. it will be interesting whether he even wants to stay on now that he no longer has control of this consequential case or if he wants to retire, which he's talked about numerous times in light of the reporting the times did saying that he had doubts about the president after comey was fired. that he had threatened or spoken of possibly secretly taping conversations for the president. his future at the department has been very, very procurious and now that he is no longer in charge of this investigation, it
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may be time for him to step down before he's pushed out. >> you and your colleagues -- we've been talking about an investigation that most reasonable people would like to see continue, the mueller probe. there are other investigations that the president and his allies are interested in seeing commenced. you report this. your paper reports, mr. whitaker and mr. trump also share similar views on what they consider the need for a special counsel to investigate hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server. the fbi investigated, but closed the case without bringing charges in 2016. mr. sessions rebuffed calls for another special counsel. in 2014, mr. whitaker became the executive director of the conservative foundation for accountability and civic trust known as f.a.c.t. the organization called itself a watchdog group and mainly made accusations of ethical or legal violations against democratic politicians, including mrs. clinton. now i recall jeff sessions and rod rosenstein being peppered, and that's a nice word, by house republicans like jim jordan and
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mark meadows and others about appointing a second special counsel. they testified under oath that was not necessary. could whitaker reopen that pandora's box? >> sure, whitaker most certainly could. if he does, the next question then is, what happens to morale at the justice department? these cases, especially the hillary clinton case, has been adjudicated so many times, including with an inspector general's report. i tong hink to reopen the matte might have serious consequences about how people feel about working on the case and working for matt whitaker and it makes the justice department a spectacle again and catnip for ultra partisans on both sides of the aisle who want to fight about hillary clinton. i don't think it's a place that anybody at the justice department would want to be. >> jonathan lemire, it's just a remarkable turn that donald trump who is under active investigation for obstruction of justice fires one of the witnesses in the obstruction of justice case and, in his place, installs someone who is interested, who shares his passion and zeal for investigating hillary clinton
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again. >> that's right. and according to our reporting, this, as much as there are certainly overtones here, tactical overtones, the decision to fire sessions was almost instinctual move by the president who has wanted to do this for months. he was tired of having the guy around. so upset by sessions' decision to recuse himself napt was the original sin he could never forgive. as you know, for months, he wanted to do it and was talked out of it by his closest aides inside and outside of the white house. rudy giuliani told me he had to repeatedly tell him, don't do it. it's the worst thing you can do for this probe. and trump agreed begrudgingly to hold off for a little bit. the votes were still being counted in the midterms and he agreed to hold off until then and then decided enough is enough. now it has this repercussion effect and this went into the thinking as to what now for the mueller probe. and there are people around him alarmed by this decision to do
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it now while the investigation is going. chief of staff john kelly suggested he wait until the mueller probe was over before he acted on sessions but trump decided not to. consequences be damned. >> other people have given him that same advice. he didn't listen to them. he's now looking around, casting about for a new attorney general and quince dentally maybe not. chris christie was at the building today. >> he was there for a different event. he huddled with jared kushner after about some prisoner reform stuff. any time they're in a room, it's an interesting moment. but christie is one of the people he's considered. someone i was talking to say even giuliani's name has come up. certainly not really a sense that whitaker will be kept on full time but we've been told is that trump may not rush into this decision. that he feels like, as we know, so regretful of how things turned out with sessions that he wants to spend a little more time figuring out who he wants, particularly because he seems very happy with his interim
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attorney general. >> matt mueller, you said yesterday that matt whitaker would need to or would likely be counselled to recuse himself from the russian probe. would chris christie have a similar set of circumstances that would let you to make a similar assessment? >> i think more black and white in chris christie's case. matt whitaker will be a little gray area based on public statements and the fact he has close association with sam clovis. rod rosenstein is one of those that can tell the ethics officials whether clovis is an important part of this investigation. rod rosenstein may still have a card yet to play. but with chris christie, it would be black and white. under the same doj regulations that caused sessions to have to recuse himself. he had a role on the campaign that was -- that is now under investigation. it would be just as clear that chris christie would have to recuse himself as well, if he was nominated and eventually confirmed as attorney general. >> harry litman, chris christie,
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his body of public statements about mueller compared to matt whitaker's body of statements about mueller puts him far more sort of -- i don't know if there's a center anymore in politics but he has not called for mueller to be fired. he's not ever called the mueller probe a witch hunt. he was very critical of pete strzok who sent anti-trump texts. but he's never criticized the probe as an effort, as an endeavor. do you think that he is confirmable? and if i could just tack on a two-part question here and have you whack at both, what role does an incoming democratic, you know, house judiciary committee and house intel committee have in making sure that the public sees the results of mueller's work? >> okay. so first question is, is he confirmable? i'm not sure but it doesn't really matter. i think the -- i don't believe the idea is to keep whitaker in for a couple of weeks. under the statute, whitaker can serve seven months and then if
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someone is nominated at the end of that period, he can stay on. that's an eternity for the mueller probe which i think everyone agrees is the reason he is in there. so i think if they want him there riding herd or even worse on mueller, they keep him for a while. in terms of the house judiciary committee, you know, yes, i think there will be immediate hearings that nadler will convene. what kind of counterweight would that provide? it should be able to get some facts out and puts a stop to the devin nunes mischief of trying to uncover confidential information. that's going to be the big question, though, of the next year or two. will the american people care deeply and permit the house committee to serve as a real counterweight. i think the jury is out there. >> devlin, let me read you something on this topic from your colleague at "the washington post."
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here's how dems can respond. democrats could subpoena mueller's findings said one legal expert but expect the white house to put up a fight in response to this subpoena. other legal experts think that if the white house defied such a subpoena, the courts would rule against them meaning congress would get mueller's findings. if you follow the logic here that whitaker is there to sort of snuff out the mueller probe, it does -- it could ultimately fall to the democratic-run committees in the house to try and obtain that work. what is your reporting suggest today on the state of that effort? >> i think we're still at the very early stages of that. the next move is basically whitaker's and then a lot of things flow from that. if whitaker does essentially line up in some sort of opposition or resistance to the mueller probe, i think then it becomes a question of, so, what is, for example, rod rosenstein going to do about that, assuming he's still at the doj. what are the democrats in congress going to do. but i do think that when it comes to the question of what
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are the house democrats going to do, whitaker still has the first card to play because, for one thing, the democrats won't be in charge for another two months. a lot can happen in two months. just think of what's happened in the last 24 hours. >> it's trump land. it's like dog years. >> -- before that becomes a player here. >> we live seven years in every one. let me put something to you that i would only ask about this president. he's so obsessed with resume, with the look, with the experience. whitaker doesn't seem to fit the bill for someone that donald trump would typically cast, which is what makes the questions that chuck rosenberg raised during this hour knrft whether there was a quid pro quo, particularly intriguing to me. this reporting from devlin and his colleagues about two sources close to whitaker confirming that he would not be inclined to approve a subpoena which could be mueller's next move if he can't get answers to the questions he's had in front of trump's lawyers for many, many months now. why else would trump have picked this guy? >> he himself says he likes to
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go to central casting to find the guy who looks the part. one trump confidante said he likes whitaker's football style and he's jocular and the two of them have established a rapport. >> he is not a sharp legal mind. >> no. trump also values personal connections, which is how he views, like, foreign leaders. he can become pals with them. >> duterte. >> among others. the two of them became pals because whitaker was going over to the white house because trump couldn't stand the sight of jeff sessions and didn't want to talk to him. there's a little personal affinity there but there is more. and the subpoena thing is huge. giuliani has told me that they're going to fight this. they feel they can win if they needed to, if they go to court up to the supreme court. but, of course, they'd rather that have that fight if they can help it. these negotiations are still going on. we've been told the questions are still with the president and his legal team and they still have not, as was reported by politico and others, have not
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submitted it back to mueller. there's still no sense they're anywhere close to having any kind of agreement to have trump actually sit down for in-person interview. one person i spoke to recently very knowledgeable about this is that is all but out the window. little to no chance of that. if anything happens at all, it's going to be written questions. the white house has been dragging its feet on that. >> matt mueller. take us inside how a man like robert mueller would see to end the investigation without at least trying to obtain answers from the president. i would envision him seeking a subpoena to interview the president for the purposes of completing the investigation for the integrity of the investigation having tried and failed at every other effort to get him to answer questions. >> i think he would very much like to talk to the president. that's why he's been willing to engage in this frankly somewhat silly game from the white house to drag this out, insist on it being written questions and to not sit down which is what other presidents have done when there have been big investigations like this and what you expect any federal government employee to do. that said, i suspect at the end
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of the day, he is able to get everything else about the president's actions from other witnesses, other people in the room. so to the extent he needs to establish the president's intent when he took the action, all of the suspect actions around obstruction of justice, firing jim comey, asking intel officials to interfere with the fbi. he has enough other witnesses to make his own conclusions. if anything, it's in the president's interest to come in and offer an alternative explanation. so i suspect at the end of the day, he's probably not likely to issue a subpoena. the real value in that subpoena is the threat. and the fact that he needs that threat to keep the white house at the bargaining table and the minute it goes away, they have no reason to send written answers in. >> all right. it's never boring. devlin, katie, harry, thank you for spend something time with us at 4:00. we're grateful. new reporting on donald trump jr. and how the president's concerns about his son's legal jeopardy may have impacted his decision to install a mueller critic as head of the mueller investigation. and the white house war on truth. we'll go inside the white
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there's breaking news to california where the ventura county sheriff is about to give an update on the mass shooting inside a bar packed with college students. the gunman killed 12 people, including an officer. he was a 29-year veteran of the sheriff's department before apparently turning the gun on himse himself. sam stein, you were last at this table the day after the mass shooting at a synagogue in
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pittsburgh and here we are again. >> this is happening too often with me and you and then second early, i was looking today because this has been so near our last mass shooting and i looked at the databases. a mass shooting is defined as 4 or more victims. there have been 11 instances of gunfire that resulted in four victims or more. victims meaning not necessarily fatalities. we have a gun problem in this country, and there's no political willpower to solve it. maybe the house democrats will pass some sort of legislation but everyone knows it's going to die in the senate anyway. and we just continuously have these news events. we offer our thoughts and prayers and then move on to other topics. and it's sad and disheartening and watching this father speak about having to tell his other children that their older brother, his first-born son was not going to be coming home sent chills down my spine as a new father. and i can't imagine ever having to have a conversation like
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that. it is heart wrenching. it's unfathomable, and i feel horrible for these parents. >> wait until your baby goes to school. >> i don't want to think about it. >> this is whether you end up a victim of a mass shooting or not. everyone with a child in school, age 3 and up, will have their babies come home and tell them about active shooter drills. that is life in america now. >> and i thought about this morning how at some point i'm going to have to send my kid off to school, and i'm going to have to think, god, please don't let there be a school shooting today. and i just don't -- i can't imagine my parents ever had to go through that. this is the reality of being a parent in america today as you send your kid away and hope they come back. >> it's a reality of being a kid in america today. you have fire drills and they are very different from active shooter drills. and i have a 6, almost 7-year-old who does both. >> i have a preschooler and preteen and they both have this. what to do. for the little kids it's
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indirect. but to me it is a horrifying thing that this is a danger that they have to confront at a time in their lives when they should be focussing on something else. and that it is part of the curriculum. how to stop yourself from dying in a mass shooting. that is part of the school curriculum in america today. >> it's unbelievable. why isn't this front and center in you've been here several days covering the midterms. it wasn't our conversation any of those days. >> because it just keeps -- when it does come up and you have the young kids like the parkland kids really stand up and fight and they got something out of florida. not the best, but they got something out of that. it dies, right, after a couple of weeks, couple months when we stop talking about it. we move on until we see this again. about a year and a half ago, i have a 4-year-old, the old day care that we had her at before, there was an active shooter near that old day care. it was in the mall. i freaked out. even though she wasn't there. i freaked out. and they -- i was still getting e-mails from the old day care
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and they were telling the parents everything has been locked down. the students have been moved to the room. they've closed the windows and the shades down on the windows. i remember i picked her up early and i went there and i asked the school. what do you guys have going on in case this happens because this happened at her old day care. and it's frightening. and there is no political will by this president, by the leadership. it's a republican congress, to really do something. and it's frightening. it really is frightening. and i agree. you have to think about your kids, if you have kids, sending them off and thinking they may not come back. >> you have kids, too. >> two children. >> so you go through this, too. we all endure this. i think a lot of people feel in this country like if after newtown, where babies were targeted, if after parkland where those extraordinary and beautiful kids became the most eloquent activists this country has ever seen for gun control,
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nothing really happened. that nothing is going to happen. and interestingly, donald trump was for gun control before he was more for the nra than any president in american history. >> newtown is -- sticks with you the most. if it's not going to happen then, when is it going to happen? this president who, as a new yorker, never really cared much or had an opinion about guns. his sons are hunters and certainly do have firearms. but once he made his conversion to be a republican and chased more conservative ideas and didn't have a fixed ideology on this, he didn't just embrace the second amendment. he became arguably the most closely allied president ever to the nra. he's addressed their convention both years he's been in office. >> and as a candidate. >> after i believe parkland, he did make a little noise like -- he seemed a little touched by that. maybe there are some things we can do. sarah sanders suggested they look at a few meetings and then had a meeting at the white house
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with the nra and it went away. >> so the only positive for gun control activists has been that on the state level, in the aftermath of these types of trgs, thetrg tragedies, there has been some movement. bump stock ban, raising the age of purchases for assault rifles. in connecticut after sandy hook, there was sweeping gun legislation that passed. but this is a hodgepodge solution to a countrywide epidemic. and the federal government, which can do things if it feels compelled to do things, has decided -- we just sent down thousands of troops to, you know, stop a nonexisting caravan from invading our country but we can't -- we don't have the willpower to do this type of stuff. and so, yeah, i'm not totally optimistic on anything happening at the federal level but the statewide level, it does take tragedy but sometimes that
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tragedy can produce -- >> we're still waiting for the news conference to get under way. we'll sneak in our break. we'll be right back. your mornings were made forck. better things,
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we're still waiting for the news conference to begin in thousand oaks, california. we'll go to that when it begins. we're expecting to hear from the ventura county sheriff. it's one of the most important unanswered questions surrounding the mueller probe following jeff sessions' firing. what's going to happen to the president's son? according to politico, quote, donald trump jr. has told friends in recent weeks that he believes he could be indicted, according to one of those people. on top of that report, gave sherman from vanity fair goes a bit further. three sources tell him junior has been telling friends it could happen this week. one person close to don junior speculated that mueller could indict him for making false statements to congress and to the fbi about whether he had told his father about the june 2016 trump tower meet with
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russians to gather dirt on hillary clinton. this source heard the case could revolve around trump's former deputy campaign chairman rick gates who is cooperating with mueller and who is deeply involved in the campaign at the time of the meeting. trump, this person continued, is very upset about the risk don junior faces. the president is very depressed, this certain said. matt miller and the table are all still here. this is one of the longest running speculation games. has junior been in to meet with mueller or not? if he lied to mueller, does mueller -- is he sitting on an indictment or charges of either false statements or obstruction of justice? is he not, is he sitting on that because it may blow up the whole thing? where do you come down on this speculation? where there's smoke, there's often fire. >> it's one of the biggest questions whether mueller has tried to reach out and get an interview with donald trump jr. because if he hasn't because we know he's talked to everyone else that was in that critical trump tower meeting in 2016.
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if he hasn't reached out to donald trump jr., that's a good sign that he's in the same category as roger stone who appears to be a target of the investigation. i want to say one thing about this piece of the investigation as it relates to the matt whitaker installation at the department of justice. one thing bob mueller, we can all agree on, is very prepared. i suspect he's known this was a possibility for some time. it's been rumored and leaked to the press. i would think on the collusion conspiracy side he's already returned indictments under steel that whitaker can do nothing to roll back or received authorization to return those indictments and they're coming on friday. it's more on the obstruction side where it's a referral to congress. but i think whatever he wants to do with donald trump jr., if anything, he's probably well down the road and has a plan that the new attorney general cannot roll back in any way, shape or form. >> you were nodding. >> it's fascinating to think if this concern was at least one
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factor for the president's decision to change the ag. and i wonder -- it's hard to know and, obviously, there was talk before the election this would happen as soon as the election hand. that he'd drop the hammer immediately. but it points to the peril the president has placed his own family in the campaign and in the presidency. he made a choice to bring them into his world to rely on them, to bring them into the highest levels of the campaign and now they're on the hook for what happened in that campaign. >> karine, there are four families with two generations ensnared. manafort and his son-in-law. flynn and his son. jared with a -- his father served his time but a former felon and son-in-law of donald trump and trump and donald trump jr. it's unbelievable this corrupt political practices became a family business. >> it sure did and came into the campaign and now into the presidency. and, look, you have people who believe that they are above the law. and they are not above the law.
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if i met with russian spies and tried to get dirt on hillary clinton and potentially purgered myself in front of congress and robert mueller, i'd be afraid as well. this is what we have going on. donald trump who is trying at all corners to obstruct this administration, to obstruct this invest gaz investigation. he did it with sessions. who knows what he'll do with whitaker there. >> you say confidently they're not above the law. how do you know that? >> that's the conundrum. i agree with matt for a second there. i want to say this. i think robert mueller has been ten steps ahead of us. we're always six months behind. he is ready for this and prepared for what could potentially happen. >> that seems to be what trugers donald trump the most. one, the silence. he doesn't know how to deal with an entity that doesn't leak or publish its scoops. the mueller probe is this foreign body. >> a complete anti thesis.
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>> classical, ethical, law-abiding. >> quiet. it's unnerving. we've seen time and time again these public meltdowns from the president or realize are pegged to some development in the mueller probe that comes in the next day or so. so that is possibly on the table here as well. there has been, you know, the reporting we've done suggests there's been concern in trump world about don jr. >> since the summer. >> we reported when the manafort trial was going on, the president was telling people around him, even though that trial wasn't about russia, any connections to the campaign but he felt it was a warning shot. it was mueller coming after him saying someone that close to him, the former campaign chairman. he told people around him he thought don junior could be next. there's been concern in that camp for a while even though mueller, of course, remains silent. >> you look at who mueller has added to his list of cooperating witnesses. he has eyes in that meeting. manafort as a cooperating witness. gates as a cooperating witness.
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michael cohen willing to cooperate as a witness to just about anything he's ever seen in his whole life. i'll tell you -- but the point is unlike someone who was swung over more on the campaign and politics side, those people intersected with the family. >> yeah, they're actual witnesses. they were there. they were in the key moments. and to matt mueller's point, at this point you almost wish you had been called in. you know, you want to be the guy who has talked to mueller because that means you don't have that target on your back. what i will say is maybe trump is triggered by mueller's silence and the house democrats taking over. they can restart this stuff. the contradictory testimony that don junior may have given to the senate can be explored by the house. multiple triggering factors. we're now going to the breaking news in ventura county. officials updating on the mass shooting inside a bar there. >> the fbi, los angeles evidence response team, is processing the
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crime scene behind me as well as the subject's vehicle and the home on newberry park. we're going to pursue the leads that are developed from that evidence wherever they take us to identify any possible motivation. paint a picture of the frame of mind of the subject. identify any potential radicalization or any associates. at this point, we do not have any indicators of other associates or there are no other threats to the los angeles area. i can't imagine the stress. can't imagine what the families are going through. appreciate your patience as we work through in a painstaking fashion the evidence recovery and crime scene analysis that will be ongoing for several days. and just want to once again pass
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on our support to ventura county sheriff's department on behalf of the law enforcement community who has rallied a number of resources here to assist in the investigation in any way they can. thank you. >> i'd like to introduce congresswoman julia brownley. >> thank you, sheriff. i just have a few words to say. i'm a congresswoman who represents this area. and i want to thank ventura county sheriffs. i want to thank the fbi. i want to thank the atf. i want to thank law enforcement from so many counties in the surrounding area coming here to help us. i think the partnership has been extraordinary with the quickest response possible. and i just want this community to know that our hearts break. we are a community in mourning, and our thoughts and prayers are
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with the families who have lost loved ones. and we are here to support you and to help you in any way that we can. >> i'd now like to introduce special agent in charge of the los angeles atf office, bill mcmullen. >> good afternoon. my name is bill mcmullan, the atf special agent in charge. on behalf of the men and women of atf, i'd also like to send our condolences to the victims and family members who are trying to get through this tragedy together as they get through the healing process. i'd also like to recognize the leadership of sheriff dean and the entire ventura county sheriff's department as they are going through the same emotions. but somehow finding the strength to bring together all the state, local and federal agencies who responded here to work together
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as one team to make sure the public is safe. atf agents responded immediately when this incident occurred last night. throughout the night, have worked side by side with our state, local and federal partners. we will continue to do that until this investigation is completed. at this point, i'll turn it back over to the sheriff's department for any questions. thank you. >> do you have questions, we'll direct them to the right person up here and try to answer as many questions as you have. [ inaudible question ] >> he said he saw a procession of uniformed officers going inside. i didn't see them. i don't know why they were going inside there. sorry. >> [ inaudible ]. >> they are still processing the car. the evidence that they have
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obtained both in the car and the residence and inside -- they are still processing the car. they are also processing the residence as well as the bar. the items that are taken out of there, we're not disclosing that at this point. >> if you could just address in the few hours that it has been, though it has been some time since this morning on why this took place, can you offer any sort of explanation at this point to where you have an understanding as to how we have arrived at where we are now? >> as you suggested, it's only been a few hours. it would be premature to speculate on the motivation, but i can assure you that we will follow all the leads that are developed through witness interviews, evidence recovery, the forensic evidence, any digital media that we recover and we'll be sure to paint a picture of the state of mind of
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the subject and do our best to identify a motivation. >> reports the shooter has mental health issues, suffering from ptsd. any indication he's on any medication? >> so i've seen those reports, but i don't have any familiarity with his medical history or medications. >> can you give us an idea the scope of the resources that your office is pouring into this investigation? >> it's los angeles evidence response team on site now. we'll be supplemented by response teams from other field offices around the country. the resources of the fbi laboratory are en route. we have victim specialists who are inbound as well to assist at the family assistance center with the victims' families. we will pursue the digital trail
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and any other leads that we need to. we have the manpower to conduct as many leads as are necessary in coordination with the ventura county sheriff's department investigation. any technical resources that they request. we will look to supply. >> [ inaudible ]. >> so the investigation is developing. it might be premature for me to talk about a specific timeline. i know we're working on the sequence of events as they occurred, but i would -- i don't want to get out in front of what the evidence and the investigation will show. >> -- thought the perpetrator shot himself. is that something you can say
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yet? >> i don't think we can say anything definitely about the cause of death until the autopsy comes back so at this point, our crime scene investigators are on the scene. they have had a closer look at the evidence, and we will look for developments in that regard. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ventura county sheriff's department. our federal partners in the fbi are here to support the sheriff. >> can you guys talk a little bit about the -- >> are there any security cameras inside or outside of the -- >> i'm sorry. sir? >> did high stop to reload? can you talk about the magazine at all? did you know anything about the -- >> it's been reported there were high capacity magazines. as for the sequence of events, i think we're going to work down some of the leads to make sure that we bring that out to you. we're much more precise in our analysis. sir? >> your investigators spent some time at the family home and able to talk to the parents or any
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associates of the suspect? >> in coordination with the sheriff's department, a number of interviews are going on, but i don't want to get in front of the sheriff's department investigation and speak to the -- all the investigative avenues that are ongoing. sir? >> are there any security cameras either inside or outside that can help you in this investigation? >> so we're pursuing all the available leads, and, of course, we'll be seeking any video surveillance that is in or around the premises. we'll also be seeking any video that was taken by witnesses that were inside the crime -- inside the bar at the time of the crime. again, we've offered our digital analysis services to the county in support of their investigation. >> can you talk about anything that you may have already recovered from the suspect's home that indicates he had been planning this? any other weapons found? >> no, i don't think i can comment on that at this time. it would be premature.
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> well, i'm sure you can appreciate the sensitivity of this situation and our need to protect the privacy of the families. families to be learning of developments from me on television before other appropriate avenues. so the evidence response team is in place. it's going to be a thorough and pain staking process that will take as long as it takes, quite frankly. it will take some number of day. we'll make sure we bring the appropriate resources from the laboratory division. they are en route. we will use all the resources that we can bring to bare and we'll pursue the appropriate
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interviews, analyze the evidence recovered from the various scenes, look at the forensic evidence, once again we're doing this all in coordination and support of the sheriffs department's investigation. we're bringing our technical resources to bear in support of their investigation. i'll leave it to the captains to talk about the process of the investigative steps after that. >> i'm not going to comment on the evidence at this time. >> i think each one is horrible in its own way. the similarities that we would
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draw at this point are that they are all tragic circumstances. from a law enforcement point of view, certainly, we try to do some pattern analysis to get out in front of these type of threats, to be involved with our mental health community, state and local partners, to reach out to private sector in the community to make sure that individuals that are a risk to come to our attention. >> we're going to have one more question and then we're going to have pios available individually. then one more question and then we're going to end this presser. >> when will this area open up? >> when the scene is processed and we're out of here and we can open it up in a safe manner. we have opened up the 101 off ramp southbound and the onramp
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at moore park road. now the only closure is for residents heading southbound. >> i don't know that. i'm sure that's something that our investigators will be looking at. we're going to end this. we're available individually. we have several pios here to my right and your left. >> all too familiar scene. law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level briefing on the latest mass shooting in california. we're going to sneak in a break. we'll be right back. in a break. we'll be right back. i landed.
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we're back. there's breaking news from the daily beast and we have sam here. your colleagues are reporting that the new acting attorney general has a position on collusion. >> so our investigative team, not really, but we dug up these old quotes from matthew whitaker who had a fairly lengthy stint as a conservative commentator prior to this. and what struck us and i think should strike a lot of people is a year and a half before he came into the position to oversee the mueller probe declared, the truth is there was no collusion with the russians in the trump campaign. he's prederped the outcome of the investigation that he's now overseeing. this is highly problematic. another instance he said the only collusion was between
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hillary clinton and the russians. these are sort of these conspiracy theories that you see from pro-trump media personalities, not the chief law enforcement official of the country, let alone someone who is overseeing the probe looking into this very question. >> it's unbelievable. >> let me bring matt miller in. this is like all things trump out in the blue and shocking and outrageous all in the same instant. >> it's beyond ridiculous he's the acting attorney general. imagine in 2016 in the last couple months before the investigation into hillary clinton was about to wrap up if barack obama had fired loretta lynch and made lanny davis in the job. it would be absurd. no american would have had competence of that investigation with integrity. the same applies here. there's no american that can look at this investigation when you have the attorney general who has pre-judged the outcome
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on multiple occasions and that's the reason he was pick ed for te job. multiple people were passed over for the job. he was installed. it doesn't make any sense. it doesn't pass the smell test. this is a pretty clear sign that he just has to take himself out and recuse himself from the investigation. he's obviously going to resist doing that. >> and yet, but, this is exactly what donald trump wants in an ag. he said so in interviews. >> he wants loyalty and someone that's going to care about the president's interests more than the countries. . even though that's not what the job description is. trump was frustrated he didn't feel like sessions did that. now he has someone who clearly has voiced an opinion on this matter. extremely problematic. one would assume he would receive a lot of pressure to recuse. >> trump won't. democrats will. will he fall like jeff sessions? maybe rosenstein. there will be voices that ask
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him to do it. it doesn't mean he has to. >> my thanks to the panel. that does it for our our. hi, chuck. >> hi, nicole. same as it ever was. nothing going on. >> have a good show. >> if it's thursday, president trump continues to lash out. good evening, i'm chuck todd back in washington. just two days after the midterms, it was only two days ago that you went to the polls. and we appear to be dealing with a power who feels empowered and paranoid. he fired his attorney general and replaced him with a critic of robert mueller. he's threatened a war-like posture with democrats. he's threatened to investigate them if th


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