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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  November 13, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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nicolle wallace starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. is the trump white house bracing for an exodus of senior aides and cabinet officials in the wake of a longer, slower, and bigger blue wave than they anticipated one week ago today? nbc news is reporting this afternoon that white house chief of staff john kelly's days may be numbered and that he is, quote, mired in conflicts with a widening array of officials that includes first lady melania trump. from the nbc news report, "kelly's time as chief of staff for much of the past year has been clouded with controversies and disagreements with trump and various west wing staff, but questions about his future in the white house recently became more serious after his repeated clashes with national security adviser john bolton and his deputy." nbc news also reports melania trump raised concerns with her husband earlier this year amid the height of the controversy over his alleged affair with
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porn actress stormy daniels. having learned of the dispute trump was furious and told kelly to give the first lady what she wa wanted. quote, i don't need this bleep, trump told kelly. while there's nothing normal about the white house, the first lady of the united states took the rare step of calling for the ouster of deputy national security adviser mira, issuing this statement through her communications a while ago. "it's the position of the a us of the first lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in his white house." also in the departure long today, longtime kelly ally, homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. the woest wo"washington post" r "trump told advisers he's decided to remove homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen and her departure from the administration is likely to o k occur in the coming weeks if not sooner. the president has grumbled for months about what he views as nielsen's lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a
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replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity." imagine that. here to discuss, special guests at the table, two of the authors of the nbc news report on chief of staff john kelly and more favorite reporters and friends. nbc news national political reporter, carol lee. and nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. also joining us, anna palmer, senior washington correspondent for politico. and jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the a.p. all right. what's going on? melania versus kelly. i think my money's on melania. >> well, it's stunning. i mean, we've spoken to seven different sources inside and outside the white house. >> seven? i know you've been reporting this story for a little while. >> seven. yaerk yeah. who say, look, first of all, john kelly has been clashing with a range of top officials including john bolton, the national security adviser, but he's also been clashing with the first lady's staff over travel and over staffing and one white
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house official describes it this way. "there have been instances where the east wing staff were not treated as equals to the male-dominated decisionmakers in chief kelly's office. promotions were denied then finally granted after months of requests." what a striking way to describe the tensions. now, we should say the first lady's office has tried to downplay this and they say, look, the first lady likes john kelly, she does not want to see his ouster, but the bottom line, nicolle, this all builds to the intensifying discussions around the potential ouster of john kelly, the chief of staff. >> she may like john kelly but she does not like deputy national security adviser -- >> that's for sure. >> let me say something about the east wing. east wing is where the first lady's office is. there is no powerful power center typically than the president's spouse. in the bush white house, laura bush was the most powerful person full stop. >> and everybody who works in a white house should know that. it's, look, i mean, so if you're going to cross ways with the
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first lady's office, it's the cardinal sin. we've seen this before, whether it's chiefs of staff or other people working in the west wing, if you get at real odds with the east wing, which, you know, is its own power center but isn't necessarily the power center in the same way the west wing is, as you very well know, then, you know, life is not going to be good for you. when we were reporting this out over the last week or so, people were saying that because the deputy national security adviser had so many run-ins with the first lady's office -- >> what would the deputy national security adviser fight with the first lady about? >> that was the question -- that was a question i asked someone. i said, well, you know, the deputy national security adviser is usually not someone who is even in position to get cross waves with the first lady's office. largely, there was many, several disputes over the first lady's africa trip where there were some limited seats on the first lady's plane. there were fights over other nsc
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staffers would have space on the plane. she was taking a large press contingent. a number of people. obviously, it was a big trip. she was going to africa. things like that. it just did not go well. >> donald trump needs melania more than melania needs donald trump from an outsider looking in. god only knows what the truth is. but what do you make of what has been whispered for many months, your reporting gives an opportunity to bring it out into the open, the dynamic a lot of women feel john kelly is an a a alpha male, if you will. >> that's an interesting and notable part of the discussion that we've had, there seems to be a clash not only along practical lines in terms of travel or staffing but seems to be this real sense that within the west wing, they are not getting the respect that they deserve from the east wing, which is predominantly male dominated based on some of these conversations and how it's perceived. so i do think, you know, it adds another layer to this. and it adds sort of more difficult questions for this
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white house in terms of how they are treating female staffers, and whether or not, you know, that is something that's going to be increasingly problematic for them. >> you guys both reported that kelly had called the president an idiot behind the scenes. bob woodward in "fear" reports that kelly called him an idiot. former white house officials really lay all the blame at kelly's feet for the rob porter scandal over his allegations after domestic abuse. his tenure has been riddled with crisis. crises. >> and you've, if you look at the rob porter controversy to now, that's the space in which he's really had the most trouble. he -- it was -- white house officials at the time would say that what we were seeing publicly from john kelly, which was changing stories and things that kind of didn't make sense and backing somebody in one way, then saying that he didn't, you know, that that was something they had seen for months before the scenes and that was the first real public moment when everybody saw that. the story also said, nicolle,
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that there were times when john kelly would say things like, you know, women are just more emotional than men or made women feel like they were in this boys club that wasn't necessarily very friendly to them, and i think the first lady's staff, our reporting, felt like they weren't getting promoted and they were watching john kelly promote his male staffers to the same positions that they were wanting to go to. and one other thing, the first lady's staff, melania trump, is much smaller than most of her predecessors'. >> i think it's worth noting that president trump spent a lot of time several months ago trying to tamp down the speculation that there was some issue with john kelly. he put out the statement that he was going to stay through 2020. yet, when he was asked about this, nicolle, at the press conference the day after the midterms, his question was different. he dodged the question. there was no reaffirmation of the chief of staff. it's interesting to watch the body language and tone when it comes to this as well, how
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imminent could this be? that's the question. >> there have been reports in the last two weeks, i believe this so to more of your reporting -- this is -- it's not an overstatement to say that they take on the feel of lord of the flies to cover them. what is your sense of where things stand today? is anyone going to be left? is it going to be donald trump and his kids, the way he wanted it? >> i mean, that could be. certainly, there's a lot of tension around kelly. you hit on the rob porter incident. that was the moment it was described to me, yes, there has been stuff behind the scenes. as it spilled out into the moment, people in the building lost confidence in him. he was willing to sell out others to save himself. one of the meetings about the porter crisis, hope hicks publicly rebuked him in front of staff and noted wide ily around the building and kelly teetered with having far less control than he did prior to that. certainly, bolton is another one. this is a west wing since day one divided by different power centers, different rivalries.
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clashes over territory. it must be said, though, the deputy national security adviser was feet from the president today in the diwali ceremony at the white house. as melania trump was issuing this statement, she was still there a few feet away from the president. >> does she still work there right now as a 408? >> the white house is pushing back on the idea that she'd been escorted out of the building. they're saying she's still in her office. they're being wishy-washy whether she still works there or not. >> she can be in her office with win d windex -- >> that's something we're trying to sort out at this very moment. >> coincidence or by design, kirstjen nielsen, close, close ally, came into the white house with john kelly for a spell and went back to fill his old job as secretary of homeland security. >> it's chaos. the first ten minutes of this show, we're talking about a number of different people, saying are they going have a job tomorrow? >> right. >> the bigger question, truly, who's going to fill the jobs? this has been the problem for this white house for the last several months.
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they didn't have the 18 to begin with in terms of getting a lot of people who wanted those jobs. now you're looking at the lord of the flies scenario. who's going to be wanting to come in and say, yeah, raise their hand, i'm here for the next two years, the next potential, you know, eight years? >> and on top of that, they've got a democratic-controlled house now, committees -- i worked in a white house with the democratic-controlled house and turned over my e-mail half a dozen times. anyone going in now is going to have to have a budget for lawyers. >> that's right. you walk in with a shadow hanging over you with all these investigations that are coming and this is a white house that is starting to have informal preparations to what to do with the democratic-controlled congress. they are not ready. there's no sort of sense of war-room with the staffing that they need to confront what is a significant threat to this president. >> they can't pull off veterans day. who's to say -- what's the deal with that? >> on this past weekend? >> yeah. i was off yesterday. please explain to me how an american president goes to paris and doesn't go to a cemetery is. >> it's a two-part answer. the idea that marine one couldn't go, most say that's legitimate. secret service, military said, mr. president, this is not safe.
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i was on the helicopter when he tried to go to the dmz last fall. they couldn't land because of the fog. that's a safety concern issue. however, there's a -- it's a harder thing to sell, they couldn't find a way to motorcade up there or if not there -- >> harder is the wrong word. it is a lie. >> right. >> the president is always given an ability to go. they may have to get up earlier. i worked for a president whose helicopter often couldn't fly and there was always a vehicular option. >> or at minimum, go to someplace closer. if you don't want to take the hour and a half drive, it's france, there are a lot of monuments toward war there. find another place to go as opposed to being in the ambassador's residence for five hours. as far as nielsen goes, we're reporting her departure is expected soon if not today. you know, next handful of days, week or so. she's someone who's been on thin ice for a while. the president blames her for problems at the border. he's also never fully trusted her, associates her with george w. bush and feels that her loyalty laid far more with john kelly and the president, himself.
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>> my question is, if you're donald trump and believe in a child separation policy that results in children ending up in cages, kirstjen nielsen carried out that horrendous policy. so where did she come up short? >> i mean, she was the fig injuryhea figurehead. the question is how far does the president want people to go? she was the figurehead but not using the same kind of language he would prefer. >> she spoke in complete sentences. what do you think the prospect is of a particularly vast casting call for these empty jobs? >> well, first of all, i think you rigare right in there might a number of different empty jobs. the question is how many of them is he going to feill? some of them he's going to need to if, in fact, the dhs secretary does leave. we're hearing nick ayers being floated about, currently the chief of staff for the vice president, with the vice president for a long time. he was part of the transition. he is widely respected. no comment from the vice president's office about whether that's actually going to happen or about the story in general. but, and this is a big but, there's also speculation,
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nicolle, that the president could maybe leave that job open for a period of time. this is something that he's sort of thought about for a while now. if you talk to past chief of staff, i don't have to tell you this, they say that's a terrible idea. but the question is, how quickly if john kelly does leave would he fill that position? >> and does nick ayers want this job? he would be the third white house chief of staff in less than two years. >> he's known in the west wing as ambitious. one thing that's interesting about him as a choice is if you look at john kelly and where the president is heading into a re-election, john kelly has no political skills and nick ayers has significant political skills. john kelly doesn't really have relationships with democrats on the hill, and someone like nick ayers could maybe go some of the discussions or negotiating or whatever the president is going to need. so he has a different skill set that typically when you see presidents shift into this second half of their first term and looking at a re-election that they -- >> nick ayers is said to have
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the support of jared kushner and ivanka trump who clashed with john kelly throughout. >> said he wants to run for office -- >> this sounds more and more like comey's assessment, sounds like a mob family. thank quyou. any predictions? we heard varying reports as we were coming on the air that the deputy security adviser may or may not have been escorted off the premises. >> it's my sense she's not there for long. let me say that. >> if she wasn't escorted off, she was likely fired. if not today -- >> at least in this white house, you know where you stand. she knows the first lady isn't a fan. after the break, a growing swirl of controversy over matt whitaker's appointment of acting attorney general overseeing the investigation. slapped with a brand-new lawsuit today that argues his appointment is illegal. also ahead, it's an all too familiar sight, donald trump today lashing out at a u.s. ally and still making excuses for that veterans day snub we've been talking about. and the blue wave reaches into landlocked arizona where a
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we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. and there's more breaking news this hour. nbc news has just learned that the president's legal team is close to completing written answers to questions posed by special counsel robert mueller. a source familiar with the matter telling us the answers will pertain only to matters related e ed to russian interf in the 2016 election, not obstruction of justice. the long-awaited rye spo eed re the president will usher in a pivotal new chapter in the
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mueller investigation. coming at a time of heightened uncertainty at the justice department amid an outcry over acting attorney general matthew whitaker. the public mueller critic trump installed as jeff sessions' replacement. here to talk about all of this, former u.s. attorney and senior fbi official, chuck rosenberg, and former federal prosecutor paul butler. jonathan and ann are still at the table. chuck, take me through -- this seems to me an effort to ward off something more aggressive from the mueller probe. there's been so much talk about mueller keeping his head down before the midtermmidterms. now that they're over, he may assert himself, request a subpoena. >> i'm not sure this is the last chapter, nicolle. i cant m't imagine a prosecutor good as bob mueller would think written answers to written questions, which by the we, will inevitably be written by mr. trump's lawyers, are sufficient. here's what i expect. these are probably, you know,
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preparatory questions. these are probably questions that set the scene, but i imagine that the mueller team is still going to want to sit down with the president. now, we don't always get to sit down with every witness we want to talk to, and if, in fact, the president really is a target of the investigation, they probably won't subpoena him, but, again, it's hard for me to think this is the last chapter. >> do you make anything of the fact that there are no obstruction of justice questions? does that suggest to you that he is, indeed, a target of at least the obstruction of justice prong of the investigation? >> very possibly. that's also why i think these are preparatory questions. obstruction of justice, as you know well, as well as anyone, nicolle, turns on corrupt intent. you have to show someone intended or endeavored to corrupt an investigation or to taint a witness to obstruct justice in some way. those questions turn specifically on the president's intent. they're not asking him about that. either because they don't care
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to know what he would say in writing, it's sort of meaningless to them, or more likely they want to ask him that face to face to see how he responds to follow-up questions, to see body language and tone. all of that stuff matters. and so that's why i don't think you see those questions. the obstruction of justice piece here. >> chuck, i also wonder, you know, we see donald trump's -- we hear his voice through his tweets all day, every day, unfortunately, for us as a country. i'm guessing his legal answers to legal questions about his campaign's involvement or knowledge of any interference from russia in the 2016 campaign aren't going to be riddled with explanation points, random capitalizations. does the special counsel care if you lie in written answers or if you have any attachment to the truth or the content of them? >> they do care, but, again, more likely than not, nicolle, in fact, very likely, these are going to be writtenly lawy lby .
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not only will you not see all caps and misspelled words, the grammar is going to be right, but it's going to be very carefully scripted. so i don't know that these written answers are all that important. there's a much, much more important field on which this game needs to be played, and that is in person, with the president, sitting down with prosecutors answering questions and answering follow-up questions about intent, about obstruction of justice. about the things that are at the heart of this investigation. >> paul butler, with the president's ally and someone who shares his view about mueller and the probe, who shares -- that is a critic of mueller and the probe, someone who shares the president and donald trump junior's view that the trump tower meeting was no big deal, that anyone would have done it, when, in fact, no campaign would have met with a foreign adversary to receive dirt on their opponent. what does that say to you about what kind of sort of spying runs through the justice department
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right now when it comes to the mueller probe? >> you know, the president has repeatedly attacked the justice department and the fbi's being incompetent. unless he can use them to his own end as he did with the kavanaugh investigation. and so a lot of my former colleagues there say that it's demoralizing and they're just hanging in there because they are trying to uphold the rule of law. and so we have an attorney general now who has expressed opinions about things which he could have no idea, including that the russian investigation is a witch hunt. so there's no way that he could objectively supervise this investigation, and, you know, we could get into the weeds with whether his appointment is constitutional based on the appointments clause or the federal vacancy act, but, nicolle, i think it's so important to realize what's at stake here, which is what the
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united states has a president who is subject to the rule of law, or whether we have a despot who can bend the law to his own end. because it's clear that the main qualification for the appointment of matt whitaker was his loyalty pledge, that he'll try to impede the investigation of the president. the president of the united states is not above the rule of law. and what trump is trying to do cannot stand in a democracy. >> i want to know from your opinion, paul butler, how important the justice department relationship with the white house counsel's office is, and i ask that question because it's my understanding that the installation of whitaker as sessions' chief of staff was by white house counsel don mcgahn to spy on sessions after that recusal and that emmiet flood wo oversees the russian investigation in the counsel's office approved the appointment of matt whitaker as acting a.g. can a justice department survive without a pipeline, without an ally, i guess, in the white house counsel's office? >> you know, think it's very difficult.
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again, sometimes there are natural tensions and conflicts that arise between these two separate agencies, the justice department is clear that it represents the interests of the united states. the white house counsel represents the white house which is in many cases very different from president trump's own interests. >> jonathan lemire, i want to clarify, nbc news is reporting that -- not that there weren't any obstruction questions, but that donald trump's legal team has decided not to answer any obstruction of justice -- not to give any answers on the obstruction of justice questions. i want your thoughts, one, on answers finally being provided to robert mueller in writing, and also your take on the broader questions that i don't know if the white house is grappling with them, but certainly justice department is grappling with various points of view among doj leadership about the legality of whitaker's appointment as acti inin ining >> sure. first of all, yes, rudy giuliani told me some time ago they didn't want anything to do with the department of justice questions. they thought that was off limits. this is in line with that.
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someone close to the. th in the last week or so all but ruled out the possibility of an in-person interview which we've known for a long time. >> they said over my dead body, there are about ten dead bodies there. >> yes, corpses everywhere. this is another step toward showing that's not going to happen, either, willing to do written questions. whether that's enough for mueller, we shall see. the white house views the controversy over whitaker, caught attention of people inside the building that the justice department is now suggesting maybe there are ethics questions here, could be guidelines we have to look at and that's something that the president clearly would not be happy with since he was so upset with sessions following department guidelines and recusing himself. they are still expressing confidence that whitaker is an appropriate choice. he is going to have an event tomorrow in iowa. he's beginning to come out there as the acting attorney general, going to do things jeff sessions had been doing. they're not willing to back down there now. the question will be, would there be any momentum on the hill, you know, democrats coming into congress, would there possibly be any republicans who
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would dare speak up that would make the white house have to reconsider this appointment? >> spoiler alert, no republicans are going to speak up. >> you got it. >> the drum beat of anticipation that robert mueller is about to indict somebody is at a fever pitch. the names floated are robert stone and mr. course rsi. talk about the csignificance of those two. >> obviously he went quiet before the election. everyone has been waiting with bated breath. clearly roger stone, close ally of the president's. i think less of an interest is james corsi, you know, birtherism, things like that. i mean, it's maybe -- he's been very methodical plodding along. there seems to be biggish fish he's looking to fry before this closes. >> both corsi and stone have publicly been saying we expect to be indicted and that hasn't happened yet. >> they're ready. don't worry. >> they're ready for it. it shows you mueller has the cards here, the rest of us do not. certainly, we don't know if corsi will go, maybe they will, maybe they won't.
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stone is an interesting nexus because of his longtime connections to the president long before he became a candidate. you know, the exchanges -- his longtime ties with paul manaf t manafort, you know, and, therefore, manafort was installed by people like jared kushner, you know, we know that stone previewed, hinted some wikileaks material to steve bannon. >> right. >> that is perhaps the more interesting connection here. >> right. chuck, if you can tie this together for us, we know over the summer robert mueller indicted more than a dozen russians for their conspiracy to influence our elections. is it your sense that even though roger stone and mr. corsi aren't household names, if they connect the trump campaign to the russian effort, that would be an effort to close the loop with that broader conspiracy? >> i think ts that right, nicol. if you recall when they indicted the russian intelligence officers, there was a very big hint in the indictment that there was an american deeply involved and that person would somehow be, or at some point would be next. it's paragraph 44 of the
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indictment, if i remember it correctly, and it talked about an american playing a role in that russian interference scheme. whether or not that's stone remains to be seen. a lot of the speculation suggests that it is. but there is something coming and i think that the indictment hinted at it. >> i don't remember paragraph 44 but remember the keystroke intelligence, thinking anyone e-mailing with russians you're going to be in trouble. chuck rosenberg, paul butler, anna, thanks for spending time with us. when we come back, john brennan weighs in on the future of the mueller probe as well as donald trump's latest excuse for skipping a visit to a world war i cemetery in france. spoiler alert, he's playing the blame game.
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i said on the department of justice i would stay uninvolved. now, i may get involved at some
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point if it gets worse. look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. our justice department which i try to stay away from, but at some. point, i won't. what's happening is a disgrace. and at some point, i wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly, i want them to do their job, i will get involved and get in if there if i have to. >> how many ways can you spell obstruction? president trump has been hinting that he'll take control of the justice department if he doesn't like what he sees. now his critics belief he's trying to do just that. by installing anti-mueller matthew whitaker atop the justice department. joining the table, former cia director, now msnbc senior national security and intelligence analyst, john brennan. what do you make of what we're seeing? i mean, i feel as though you and your former colleagues all but tried to warn us this might be the direction we're heading when this president before he was inaugurated declared war on the intelligence community.
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now it's the justice department. >> well, i think mr. trump realizes what he might have done in the past, what others around him might have done that could implicate them and some type of criminal activity or at least questions about the legality of it, and that's why he's been trying to delegitimatize the department of justice, try to delegitimize the press because i think he recognizes that there are vulnerabilities there. and so it looks like as we're getting closer and closer to additional indictments as well as the mueller report, i think that he's getting increasingly nervous and concerned. that's why putting someone like matt whitaker as the acting a.g., i think it's another blatant effort to try to control that which is under way in the department of justice. >> you chose your words carefully, but i want to see if i understand what you're saying. . you believe this is about his personal legal exposure. >> i don't know the status of the investigation. i just know that the mueller team, as well as the fbi team before that, this investigation has been going on for more than
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two years. it started the end of july of 2016. and so i think -- >> counterintelligence investigation. >> yes. but, and initially it's looking at whether or not there was some type of criminal conspiracy. working with the russians. trying to interfere in the campaign. so that's one bucket that he's looking at. the other bucket is obstruction of justice. but then the third bucket is what type of financial irregularities or illegal activities, defrauding the government, that paul manafort was charged and convicted of? and whether or not any of the individuals in that inner circle are going to be implicated for some type of possible criminal activity in one of those three buckets. i do believe that mr. trump recognizes that it's getting tighter around him and that the mueller investigation is now coming to some type of conclusion, whether it is in the coming weeks or coming months, but i'm sure he feels quite vulnerable, whether it's for himself or for his family or for his close associates. >> a former intelligence official called the firing of
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sessions a medium probability/high impact event that someone like robert mueller would have been prepared for to the nanosecond. do you think that robert mueller spent the fall -- and i ask you this because it is so opaque too -- the civilians. we don't foe what he's doing, but you understand a professional like robert mueller. what do you think his mind sqse was heading into a fall where donald trump out loud said he desired these changes that we're seeing in the justice department? what was mueller doing? >> i think a couple l things. one, mueller didn't want to do anything that was going to have in any way either the reality or the perception of interfering in the election. but also the firing of jeff sessions was the worst-kept secret in washington. >> right. >> it happened very quickly. so i'm sure that bob mueller as well as rod rosenstein anticipated that. and would have staktaken steps ensure their investigative work was not going to, in fact, be buried. and so whether or not they're
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ready to move forward with the sealed indictment, whatever, have the report ready to go, but now in particular, since the democrats have taken over the house in january, there's no way that that report that mueller issues is going to be buried because it is subject to subpoena on the part of the committees of the house. so i feel as though that mr. trump and others are really now worried because there are a number of atmospheric changes that have taken place that make, i think, their life a little bit more difficult. i wonder whether or not what we've seen over the last couple days both if france as well as here in the united states, is that mr. trump is brooding and sulking, concerned and quite anxious, who knows what's going on behind the scenes, whether or not he's withdrawing because of the result of the pressure that he's feeling which is dangerous for someone who holds the office of the presidency to feel that they are under assault from the department of justice. >> he certainly -- whether he's brooding or doing something else, he's certainly carving out
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a lot of time to do it. they put a lid, which means nothing else public will happen in the day on the president yesterday at 10:00 in the morning. it was veterans day. and he didn't do anything. he didn't go to arlington as you pointed out, jonathan. in france over the weekend, he didn't visit a world war i cemetery. you've been warning, really since the early months of the trump presidency, about potential repercussions around the world of his style of leadership or abdication of it. do you think we're seeing some of those repercussions around the world, the rebuke of nationalism from macron and others? >> yes, i think what macron, trudeau, and others are saying public publicly, some of the things mr. trump has said about nationalism, it demonstrates our allies and partners around the world may, in fact, sense that the time is now to stand up to mr. trump. maybe they're also detecting that his political footing is corroding and now's the time to
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actually change tack on this because they don't have to worry about him over the longer term. >> were you -- go ahead. >> on the subject, the alliance that are decades old being strained, something you can speak very well of is on a practical matter, it's not just about trade economics. let's say something about like intelligence sharing. if there's a cooling off between governments, if suddenly france, let's say, feels like they can't trust the united states, what sort of level does that have on -- what sort of impact does that have on a level with the cia and counterparts, intelligence agencies and elsewhere? >> i'm hoping that the intelligence agencies, both american and french and british and others, canadian, are still sharing as much intelligence as necessary in order to keep our country safe and secure. but they -- many of them may be concerned that as mr. trump feels more and more of this pressure, whether or not sharing or sensitive intelligence with the united states, if that's going to be shared with the whou white house, how is that going to be acted upon or is it going to be kept secret? there have been real concerns about some missteps that were
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made by the administration, where information was either inadvertently leaked or intentionally shared when it shouldn't have been because it put sources and methods of our allies, intelligence services, at great risk. so it can have reverberations throughout the system. i really believe the law enforcement, intelligence professionals and the diplomats are continuing to do what they can irrespective of what the situation is now with mr. trump. >> do you think that gina haspel and everyone that works at the cia tells the president everything that they know? >> i don't know whether or not they have the opportunity to do that because it's my understanding that there is not as much interaction with donald trump as there was with previous presidents. so i don't know what gina haspel is able to say. >> i mean, i ask because around the time the khashoggi killing, a couple people pointed out to me that it would be interesting to see the delta between what the cia knew and what the president said and whether he was actually being briefed of things that came out of his mouth or he was just parroting saudi talking points and
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propaganda. >> well, seemed like it was the ladder. but i think -- >> you think the house will investigate that? you think adam schiff's committee will look the at that? >> absolutely. even the senate intelligence committee i think will look at that and gina haspel has an obligation to make sure she tells the truth and makes it clear to mr. trump exactly what it is that we know and what the system is involving -- saudi involvement in this and bin salman's involvement in this. >> how do you feel as someone who served the country for as long as you have to see veterans day come and go and the president to pass up the opportunity to pay tribute to our veterans? >> that's what makes that so puzzling even for a donald trump. it's easy to do. it's a must-do, in my mind, to pay homage to all those veterans from world war i and who died on foreign soil and to not go and do the bare minimum, which is to appear there and to stay in the ambassador's residence for so many hours, there are responsibilities and obligations
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on the part of the president of the united states, and they need to live up to it. every president that i served before did that. not going to arlington cemetery, not participating in these very, very important and very foundational elements of our history, that is inexcusable. and that's why i really do believe that there's something else here. it's not just he was concerned about the rain. it may be that he is behind the scenes and really concerned about where things are going and that is a dangerous time because if he feels that he is being increasingly cornered, how is that going to manifest itself? whether it's in the firings of his members of cabinet or it just shows it's a white house, administration in disarray, and all of these moves including today in terms of people being walked out or the tension between the first lady's staff and the national security council, this reflects this underlying tension that just eating away at our government. at the highest level. and it is really quite disconcerting and concerning,
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and it's not just disconcerting from the standpoint of, you know, americans watching it, it's how are partners and allies and adversaries are watching it? and i still am awaiting the awakening of the storied republican party that's going to awake from its -- >> stop waiting. >> -- slumber of appeasement, and that's what it is, they need to step up and fulfill their responsibilities as american citizens and as elected officials. >> can i just ask you one last question? if you were offering an intelligence assessment of the american president for another country, how would you describe him? you just described him basically as hunkered down and brooding and waiting for some imminent news about something. >> i would say this is even in an administration that has been so beset by problems, this is the most unsettled moment. >> wow. >> because a number of things have come together. the democrats are now in control of the house. are they going to be able to have real investigative powers? you have a lot of people who are
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maybe leaving the administration. attorney general has been sacked. and you have the mueller investigation that's coming to fruition. it's the confluence of factors together, i would say to a foreign leader, america is now going through a real rough patch and i'm hoping that, you know, the secretaries of state and defense and others are going to keep it on a strong track, but i must tell you that the president of the united states is having some real issues to deal with and it may manifest itself on the global stage in some unsettling ways. >> scary stuff. thank you so much for spending time with us. we're always grateful. after the break, it's bigger, bluer, and slower than anyone thought one week ago today. that's the blue wave we're talking about. next. talking about. next managing my type 2 diabetes wasn't my top priority.
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prevailed over martha mcsally making her the first democratic senator elected by the state in three decades. and the state's first female senator ever. the race was tight and many including the president posed questions of fraud and corruption. mcsally didn't jump on the conspiracy theory bandwagon. instead, delivering a graceful concession speech. >> everybody, i just called kyrsten sinema and congratulated her on becoming arizona's first female senator after a hard-fought battle. i wish her all success as she represents arizona in the senate. i also want to say thank you to everybody who supported me in this campaign. my staff and volunteers and everybody who voted for me. i'm so gratef fuful for you as wingmen and wingwomen in this journey. we wish it came out with a different result, but i'm so thankful for you. >> you have your dog. mcsally wasn't the only one with civility in mind. sinema's victory speech last night, she paid tribute to a former arizona senator, one from across the aisle. >> senator john mccain stood for everything we stand for as
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arizonans. fighting for what you believe in, standing up for what's right, even if you stand alone. he taught us to always assume the best in others. to seek compromise instead of sowing division and to always put country ahead of party. >> joining our conversation from the "washington post," jackie, author of the paper ee's "power" newsletter. and co-host of pbs' "amanpour & co." i watched this at 11:00. both those pieces of tape. i watched it again on "morning joe." i'm wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that they're both women, there is a national movement, it's playing out in florida, to charge voter fraud, to contest the recounts. these two women didn't do that. >> i will always give women the benefit of the doubt, and, yes, we know a lot of the research says when they come to lead, they work together. so they're setting an example for the men of the country, but i want to underscore how significant this arizona win is
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for democrats. for a long time, there's been this question of whether or not the southwest with its rising latino population could become a firewall for dems. so the fact that they have their win in nevada, their win in th in nevada and arizona and they closer in texas than a lot of people thought they would come, builds a new map for 2020. >> let me read something your colleague tweeted -- yeah, i think the white house will all say themselves that arpaio was detrimental to mcsally's race. she had to fight a really difficult primary in order to come out ahead. but i think more broadly
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speaking, when you're looking at florida, i think the interesting thing there that we're seeing is that governor rick scott is overseeing his own election, which inherently -- >> a strange situation. >> very bizarre conflict of interest. so i think it presents a bit of a disparity when you're looking at it compared to the arizona race. but we're also seeing a really striking contrast not just in the southwest but between democrats and gop and party of people who want voters to vote and a party that necessarily is working against the right to vote. >> it's not a good place to be in, the party as jackie said is against voting. >> especially when you already have a generational party as a challenge. you look at what happened last tuesday, you had a spread of 35 points for people under 29 years old breaking for democrats, even under 45, those of us who were previously young, 25% gap. >> we're still young. >> i appreciate it. that's not just a problem for
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2020. maybe you eke out 2020 but you have a bigger problem i think especially when you position yourself as trying to discredit our democracy. that's never going to be waning message, especially when you can be on the offense talking about how you update our voting system, how you modernize our voting system, how you actually bring more people into the fold. that's the conversation we should be having around same-day voter registration, online voter registration. instead we're in la la land talking about voter fraud that doesn't exist. >> if young people can vote on their phones, their voting participation with quadruple. >> and democrats have said they're going to push forward a bill for automatic voter registration come next year. but i do want to give mcsally a little credit, she did not engage in the theories the rnc was pushing about voter fraud. >> not just the rnc, the president is trumpeting all of the wildest, wackiest, most ub substantiated v pushing them out through his
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mega phone. >> we abandoned the caravan. haven't heard about that from the president since before the election and now we're on to this, the idea of the florida recount being fixed and rigged, the idea of not counting every vote suggesting somebody's military ballot shouldn't be counted. mind you, yesterday was veterans day and the president sat at the white house and didn't go to arlington. and that's what he's floating as well. so the republicans should feel confident about the outcome of these recounts yet being the party out there suggesting not every vote matters, not every vote should be counted, that we shouldn't see this all the way through, is obviously a bad look. the question is will it be detrimental going forward? >> what's amazing about the white house's reaction to the midterms, a new poll out about how the president is sort of holed up in the white house with nothing on his schedule, not attending any sort of perfunctory and traditional events around veterans day here or in europe, one of the things that may be setting in is sort of the scope of the democratic victory last week.
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>> i think that is part of it. we saw him briefly today at this diwali event but his public schedule the rest of the week is pretty light. he obviously did spend 36-odd hours in france. he's not in asia currently with the vice president for the summits. he did go last year. he will travel to g20 at the ends of the month but there is a sense in the building they're coming to grips exactly with what this means. and they have taken some steps. we work last week at the ap the idea they're going to make the incoming committee chairman famous for all of the wrong reasons. which is what one top white house adviser said to me, they will go after their records and opposition research and the president will go after them on twitter and assign nicknames, obviously one of his favorite things to do. they think can be effective, they want a tie so they can accuse democrats of overreach. >> they haven't even started
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yet. the ludicrous -- there's no much that's ludicrous, i don't know where to start. this is a white house that doesn't govern and they're picking nicknames. i don't even know if that's politics. political people would be offended if that's politics. that's like eighth grade, nicknames for public officials. what do you make of democrats sort of underselling the scope of their victories last week? is it because it took a little while to set in, is it because the numbers keep growing, is it because trump came out and declared victory first? >> i think it's a lesson learned from last elections where there had been victories and felt two years later there was a reversal. so i think there's a little bit of cautious optimism. and i think there's an understanding of where the country is right now, you don't want to overemphasize a partisan divi divide if you want to be a governing body. in in sways it's a swingback of the tone set by president trump. >> a little bit of a correction.
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>> i also think losses in the senate were bigger than people anticipated. there were months ago all of this talk of a blue wave, and democrats progressively tamped that as we got closer and closer. but early voting numbers were huge and minorities and younger voters turned out in record numbers. so when there were such losses in the house, it was a bit of a surprise but we did see the transition from a light blue wave to pink wave to blue wave in the house and finally democrats take hold. >> and the house invested in some of the stars, particularly stacey abrams and gillum. it looked like they would lose. >> if democrats had to trade winning the house for all three of those candidates winning, i advise them to take the house. i don't give anyone advice anymore though. the house. i don't give anyone advice anymore though
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my thanks to jacqui, alisa and jonathan. that does it for our who. "mpt daily" starts now with my friend casey in for chuck. hi, casey. >> hi! nafrpgs to all of you and if it's tuesday, you're going the wrong way. good evening. welcome to "mpt daily." i'm kasie hunt in washington in for chuck todd, who has had a day straight out of "planes, trains and automobiles," the movie. races are still being called, votes are still being counted and the message from the midterms is getting


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