tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC November 29, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
always a different kind of end of the day. anyway, that's all we have for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more "mtp daily." it is a friday tomorrow. you know what that could mean at a courthouse. meanwhile, ari melber starts now. with breaking news tonight, bob mueller gets michael cohen to plead guilty again. tonight, washington on edge right now. you can see the building behind me. a lot of people are thinking about what bob mueller is doing, securing another guilty plea from a trump con if i -- confidant. this is the first public evidence that someone inside the trump organization was actively doing outreach to the kremlin in the middle of the 2016 campaign. on top of that, admitting to lying about it. this is footage of him leaving court. mueller revealing he lied about three things, trump's
involvement in the moscow project, plans for cohen and trump to travel to russia for it, and critically, outreach on the project. saying donald trump referred to in this document as individual one was the person involved and saying cohen lied to congress to match trump's political messaging as well as out of loyalty. cohen's first lie, he talked with trump about moscow more than claimed. he briefed trump's family members, we'll get to that tonight within the trump organization about this project in russia. cohen working on trump projects. the candidate and the president said over and over, he didn't. >> i have nothing to do with russia, folks. i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia because we've stayed away. and i have no loans with russia.
i have nothing to do with russia, no investments in russia, none whatsoever. i don't have property in russia. i own nothing in russia. i have no loans in russia. i don't have any deals in russia. i promise you, i never made, i don't have any deals with russia. >> coten sahen said he lied abo long he worked on it. it was going on months longer than he claimed to congress and trump denied it a month later as he was asking russia for help hacking hillary. >> i mean, i will tell you now, zero. i have nothing to do with russia. i built an unbelievable company. if you look there, you'll see there's nothing in russia. russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> and that's not all. cohen admitting he lied when he said he never talked about traveling to russia for the
project. he admits he did talk about that and he did communicate about it and he did work on getting donald trump to go. mueller also has the evidence, the e-mails about cohen plotting to visit russia before the rnc convention, writing that trump could go once he becomes the nominee. cohen admitting he had help from the highest levels of the kremlin, kronldicorresponding w top aide and personal assistant and talking over the phone for about 20 minutes regarding the project. cohen was lying about all of these things. the reason why, he says, was to minimize links between the moscow project and trump. i want to be clear before i go any further. we have some great experts in a moment. what you saw is more than we usually get from bob mueller. he is not saying he lied or giving bare bones details of a crime, he is getting into michael cohen's motive, covering up the depth of trump links to
the kremlin. i want to tell you what you're about to see is false. cohen already confessed to committing crimes for trump in august. you remember the stormy daniels stuff. those are crimes he committed for trump including paying off women in relationships with trump. watch how donald trump tries to deny it, claims the only reason cohen is giving up goods to mueller today on russia is because cohen committed crimes trump claims are unrelated to him. >> michael telling what he is doing, he was convicted i guess. you have to put it into legal terms. he was convicted with a fairly long term sentence on things totally unrelated to the truck organization. >> donald trump's former private lawyer, michael cohen, accepted his own faith in a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to serious crimes, including paying
hush money to stormy daniels to keep her quiet before the election. cohen said it was at the direction of then candidate trump. >> so cohen confessed to crimes for the campaign. today he admits he tried to work with the kremlin during the campaign. let's think about where we are. these are new questions that bob mueller has deliberately, strategically put out in public. who else did cohen work with? which russians knew about this, and were they working together on other things like potentially conspiracy to hack e-mails inside the united states. we know bob mueller doesn't leak but speaks through his actions and these court filings. he is speaking loudly today, signing this himself, and moving forward after getting the answers from trump down on paper on the record. i can tell you that includes a question about, yes, the trump tower moscow deal. all of this is happening at the same time trump's campaign chair was busted for lying to mueller this week and the feds and feeding that information back to trump and the same time a key
roger stone tipster admitted here on the beat that he worked with roger stone to lie to congress and lie about the source of his tip on the podesta e-mails, after that they were talking into the night in the heat of the campaign when this was going down. this isn't happening in isolation. the charges are a floor, not a ceiling. that's not all. as we were getting ready to broadcast for you tonight, this story crossing the wires in our hour. buzz feed reporting the trump organization explored a plan to hand over a 50 million penthouse in the trump tower moscow building to vladimir putin. that also breaking now. let's get to it. david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones. mey myra wiley, and another former
federal prosecutor, joyce vance. what does it mean? >> when there's smoke, there's not necessarily fire. here there are flames licking at donald trump's feet, he needs to start jumping. those flames are clear. this is the first time we have publicly a publicly a direct link between donald trump and motive for conspiracy for fraud against the united states, it looks like it is there, goes into june 2016, and clear knowledge, direct involvement of donald trump in trying to organize the business transaction. remember and backtrack, felix sodder, who michael cohen had an e-mail exchange with spring of 2016 saying we can get this meeting and we can engineer our guy getting elected. when you put all of that
together, there's a lot of fire. >> a lot of fire. david corn, we talked a lot about the dossier, what in it overlapped with evidence. i'm interested in the evidence, not in the speculation. here is the mueller court documents that are brand new that says minimizing links was the goal. minimizing links for the moscow project and trump. that's why cohen was lying. that's the crime he confessed to. here's the steele dossier. cohen heavily engaged in coverup and damaged limitation operation in attempt to prevent the full details of trump's relationship being exposed. >> there's that. and take a step back one second. i think the bottom line here, the most important thing is when donald trump was running for president as the america first candidate, he, his company, his lawyer were secretly interacting with putin's own office to try to get help from putin's office
so that he could go ahead with a deal in russia to make money for donald trump. he was saying to putin's office, help me make money in russia while he is running for president, and not telling the public that this deal is under way. this is the most significant political conflict of interest in modern history. that's why it is being all covered up. if you're putin, you know this is happening. here trump is coming to you, asking for a favor while running for president. what do you think that's going to mean to putin as at the same time he is beginning and planning this operation to attack the u.s. election. trump wants to do business with me. if i go ahead with the plan, he probably won't mind. so that's the big thing here. it is the diverting of the american voter under way. in the steele dossier, first memo he wrote in june of 2016, he said that one way that the
russians have been trying to cultivate and co-op donald trump is by dangling business opportunities before him. this meets that allegation to a t. >> and you're saying even if there may not be crimes that implicate donald trump, this is a terrible thing for america if you have a candidate trying to do double dealing. >> put aside anything else in the trump, russia scandal. this should be a gigantic scandal of its own. i always thought trump would tell the american public i'm for you while telling putin i need your help. that to me there should be 27 congressional hearings on this alone. now we have the details. and trump as we have been seeing all day can't get away with his denials on this. >> that brings us to this story
i mentioned crossing the wires now. you're doing live legal analysis because i know it broke while you were seated in our chair. i'm going to read from buzz feed. nbc news hasn't confirmed it. donald trump's company planned to give a $50 million penthouse if built to putin as they tried to negotiate that development during the 2016 campaign. they have four sources, including the originator and two law enforcement officials tell buzz feed that cohen discussed the idea with a putin representative. they also note in their reporting they cannot ascertain whether donald trump knew about it. >> this is a real problem that we have going forward and it exists across the entire spectrum of financial dealings that trump had with the russians. the problem is if trump was lying and if michael cohen was lying when they were talking to the american people, when they
were talking to congress, moscow knew they were lying and that made them vulnerable to blackmail. we don't know if that happened or came to fruition, but our country was vulnerable because the president failed to disclose this host of conflicts. that's exactly why presidents give up their tax returns, why there's vetting, why we have an emoluments clause. this is what the founding fathers were afraid of, a president that was compromised and compromised the country. the new story is really pretty remarkable. it may be fine to build something in russia, give somebody a condominium. it doesn't smell good on the surface, it is just breaking now. we need to see how far in progress this was, how much trump knew, and find out where all of the tentacles on the new reporting go because it could be a real bombshell. >> maya? >> it could be a bombshell, but we need to know more.
this isn't the only thing that appears to be a quid pro quo or tit for tat. michael flynn pled guilty to lying about sanctions during the transition. did michael flynn know that donald trump was in the process of trying to get a trump moscow deal? there are a lot of conversations that we need to know about that robert mueller probably does know about because remember, he is talking to all of these folks. and we have the southern district investigating the trump organization. so a lot of this may come to light through multiple sources. >> joyce, i want to ask you given that you have held posts not unlike andrew wiseman and prosecutors that made head way under mueller, how do you interpret the timing and the way mueller is moving and using different individuals, cohen, corsi who as we reported last night was basically given the plea deal that includes his false statement charge, and stone who clearly as we reported
is a target. >> this really looks like the prosecutorial team is engaging in a little business of a pinser's movement. working the roger stone angle, corsi and others, trying to see if there was direct connection through roger stone between the campaign and moscow as the e-mails were hacked and released from the dnc, and that's really interesting because that would be direct evidence of conspiracy to collude in defrauding thei united states if the evidence goes that direction. now we see that mueller is going the direction that trump said would be a red line, into his financial transactions. we're looking at a lot of information i think we weren't sure until michael cohen pled this morning could possibly be on the table. so it looks like mueller has circled the wagons. his prosecutors are able to focus on multiple sorts of cases
at the same time. i suspect that individual number one is having a bad night. >> individual number one indeed. stay with me. i am going to bring in donny deutsch, long time friend of michael cohen's and has been in touch with him through the process. what are we to make of what michael cohen put out to the world today? >> i have been saying this two years. it is always about the money, always has been about the money, and it is always about russian money. you'll start to see stories of saudi money. donald trump went bankrupt in the '90s and couldn't get money anywhere. trump tower is filled with apartment after apartment of llcs of russians. donald trump has been owned by the russians for a long time. donald trump has been owned by vladimir putin. this is the first time we're seeing a line, not just about collusion, it is about the money. it is about business. this is just the tip of the iceberg. i really believe even post trump
presidency you're going to see the trump business empire being picked apart for the next 20 years. it is basically built as a criminal enterprise. as far as michael, i have been speaking to him the last few days, spoke with him today. michael, it is interesting for michael. we know, we talked a lot about the show, was an emotional personal ally of donald trump, it wasn't just business. he felt like a part of the family. and obviously said he would take bullets for him and obviously did take bullets. was he told to lie, did he lie on his own, that's the interesting question going forward. michael, we watched him turn, we watched him all of a sudden say no, i need to help myself, help my family, my country. michael today as i spoke to him sounded different than i have spoken to him the last two years. he finally feels that he is kind of on the other side now. yes, he made mistakes, yes, he is going to pay for them.
but going from being seen as a bad guy to maybe a guy trying to do the right thing, maybe not a bad guy, a good guy, and he knows he made mistakes. >> are you saying that michael cohen conveyed he is proud of this chapter? >> he is beyond proud of this chapter. he feels he has done the right thing, feels he will be the linchpin, and obviously so does robert mueller. you think of the sentence, he got a six month sentence concurrently. he got nothing. he pled to lying to congress and bob mueller basically gave him no penalty. so what does that say to you? it says that bob mueller knows how important it was. when michael cohen is sentenced december 12th for these things together, you will hear the judge read a letter about how he cooperated and the way he cooperated. people in court today saw how he was relating with the prosecutors and press, it was a very different michael cohen than several months ago. michael cohen is on this team,
he is on the blue team and on the right team. >> wonder if you can give your view of his theory of the case which is that the money is the problem. he outlined a vision where the legal process could be picking apart donald trump's entire fortune, if there is a fortune, or debt. and sprinkle in a little of ditty and biggie, he seemed to say we have gone from more money, more problems to more mueller, more problems. >> i thought you were doing kendrick lamar and michael cohen is going you're dead to me. i can go with you, ari. >> we can go kendrick, say he is telling jerome corsi, be humble, sit down. >> yeah. go ahead. we could do this all night. >> yes, we could, but we won't have time. later, christmas party. if we -- i actually agree with
donny in the sense that the money is a critical part of the story. i have no question about that. we have already seen that with the news that's broken today. i will say if there's a family and it is a crime family that michael cohen was part of that, and what he has been done is wiser than paul manafort and recognize that he is a lot better off getting a divorce than he is going down. i think he made the right decision certainly, but i think he made it for self and family, personal family instead of the crime family. >> donny, i am over time, and that's partly my fault from the '90s rap references. i bring you the final word. >> can i bring up an abba reference? >> all views. >> out of respect to the reference of hip-hop, i'm not bringing disco or abba in it. >> i like abba. >> your thought where cohen goes
from here? >> i think cohen you'll see relatively light sentence december 12th, based on recommendations from bob mueller, and i think cohen as more comes out, he will be pivotal as the guy there front and center ten years with his business enterprise, criminal enterprise, with his criminal family. you're going to see michael be a linchpin. >> thanks to you both for your expertise. very interesting. coming up, there's so much more going on. the breaking news on this offer to putin from trump breaking this hour. how a putin spokesman used the same cover story as michael cohen. and congress who is going to have democratic gavels looking into who else lied. richard blumenthal is my guest onset. and we're going to hear from the attorney that was trump's lawyer before cohen. i interview jay goldberg. and the big picture, chris hayes gives us more context where this is headed and fallout from my
interview with a mueller witness so crucial to the case against roger stone and potentially wikileaks. >> i am 72 years old, i might die in jail. >> would you accept a pardon? >> i was telling the truth. >> you were telling the truth about a lie. did you expect him to tell trump? >> there's nothing in writing. >> you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. coaching means making tough choices.
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buzz feed reporting donald trump's company planned to give a $50 million apartment penalty house at a trump tower in moscow. the project in the news said it would be after it was built. buzz feed says they have four sources for this, one of the sources is a verified originator of the plan. they say two u.s. law enforcement officials told buzz feed that michael cohen taullke about the plan with putin's press secretary. it is not clear whether trump was aware of the offer. nbc news in the last ten minutes hasn't had a chance to confirm this story ourselves. this comes as michael cohen's guilty plea comes out today, you see him leaving court, and with a question we want to explore now. are we seeing what amounts to donald trump and russia having a joint defense agreement of sorts? the two sides communicated, coordinated, and used the same false cover story at key moments. court documents say cohen sought
contact with russian official one, putin's press secretary, and he has been his right-hand man for years. e-mails with his office, talking on the phone about 20 minutes with an assistant there. last year, he admitted he got an e-mail from cohen but matched this cover story, this joint offense saying he didn't send any response. that, too, was a lie. before today, cohen was keeping that cover story. the two sides have been on the same page from the beginning. look how they echo each other in separate media events held hours apart after some news broke about the russia dossier. >> president putin and russia put out a statement that the fake news was indeed fake news. i respected the fact that he said that. >> what did you make of that document? >> well, it is about pulp fiction, untrue, and they're all fake. >> they have a horrible relationship with russia. >> how would you describe u.s., russian relations now?
>> needs to be recovered, desperately needs to be recovered. >> i have no dealings with russia, i have no deals in russia. >> if i am not mistaken, he never had business here. i never heard about any businesses of him here in moscow. >> never heard about any businesses. joined by richard blumenthal who is on the senate judiciary committee. senator, do you see in the reporting the outlines of a joint defense agreement between key trump associates and russia and is that wrong? >> it certainly has all of the appearances of what legally would be a joint defense agreement, whether it is explicit, whether it is simply the result of a kind of common understanding. remember, donald trump lied to the american people. that's the import of the cohen guilty plea. he lied to the american people with the complicity of the russians, much at michael flynn did. and sally yates was worried about michael flynn being
blackmailed because the russians were enabling that lie. they did the same with trump. they enabled his lie to the american people and trump was trying to finish this deal before the election because he wanted the money. >> and they could have offered a different cover story. they could have said yeah, we deal with a lot of different places and we never built the tower and that's it, or we did talk to the kremlin but it didn't go anywhere. instead what does it tell you that the kremlin and the trump folks have the same false cover story and why this is even more critical as a member of the judiciary committee, why do you think mueller is putting this in this indictment? >> i think the special counsel is telling a story which often happens in a speaking indictment in order to prompt other witnesses to know that he has facts, he has evidence. that rattles not only donald trump but ought to be rattling
donald trump jr. who was a witness before our committee, the judiciary committee, felix sodder, a witness before the committee, did they tell the truth? arguably not. i said that literally on the day of donald trump jr.'s testimony. >> how do the democrats when they take control in the house and you work with them follow up on this if people are lying to congress? >> first of all we need legislation to protect the special counsel because as the walls close in on donald trump, he is going to begin lashing out, being even more destructive and potentially using matthew whitaker to strangle the special counsel investigation. number two, there have to be hearings. follow the money. the old prosecutor's mantra has to be congress' as well because this violation of the emoluments clause where our president or any member of the executive
branch is taking payments or benefits violates. >> i am over on time, but i have to push you from the other direction. does this progress by mueller suggest your concerns about matthew whitaker have not borne out yet, that he does not appear to be interfering with this action? >> not necessarily no. my concerns about matthew whitaker are deeper today than yesterday because as the special counsel comes closer to donald trump, he will try to use matthew whitaker. yes, matthew whitaker permitted the coten guilty plea to go forward but rejecting it and refusing to allow mueller to go forward with this guilty plea would have been so extreme and so nefarious that it would have been condemned by any member of congress. now he's free to deny resources, to constrict authority, to refuse subpoenas, and greater motive to do so. >> thank you very much. from busting paul manafort to michael cohen's revelation,
we look at all of this with chris hayes breaking in in 30 seconds. there was a lot of talk about that quiet period leading up to the election. if it feels like breaking news is coming out of the russia probe, it is. mueller trying to get answers before some of the new reports, including the southern district, cohen guilty plea, congressional inquiry which mueller used to great effect, he has a guilty
plea related to the congressional investigations. what we are witnessing, new felonies that mueller is charging. i think about cohen confessing to lying about the outreach, the top story, but also, campaign chair paul manafort accused of new crime of lying to prosecutors with the double agent deal, and that tipster to roger stone confesses about e-mails russia stole which puts more heat on roger stone, clearly a target in mueller's court filing and other documents that jerome core ssi had. what's implied, many others could be on the hook, and bob mueller to a speaking indictment as the senator and i were discussing is putting it out to the world. key developments in the russian probe come out after he got those answers in writing. do you think donald trump and his lawyers wish they could have waited a few more days? all depends on what they put in the answers. i want to get to the bigger
picture with my friend and colleague, chris hayes. thanks for making time tonight. >> you bet. >> what does it all mean on a wider lens of today. we did a half hour on just today's news. when you look at everything else going on, what do you see happening? >> i thought the mashup of trump and peskov was great. let's say this is all we know. stop here. the russian government under the direction of vladimir putin engaged in a vast criminal conspiracy to sabotage the american election, to tip the election from hillary clinton to donald trump. at the same time that was happening donald trump and his associates had constant, systemic contacts with russians, russian officials, people that represent themselves in russian government, about a variety f things, including political support from the kremlin, any possible business deal with the
kremlin, up to and including what looks to the world like a $50 million bribe to vladimir putin himself. at the same time, both sides told the same sets of lies about what was happening, both donald trump and the kremlin denied that the russians did the hacking, denied that donald trump had business interest, that they had back and forth. stop right there. they're working together. even if nothing else. what you see, say russia thought this guy, we have him under our thumb, and donald trump and his associates say it looks like they're helping us, that in and of itself is massively damning. >> and they know that. you just put it very well. forget whether there's a technical legal violation and the new buzz feed story raises liability and questions about the corrupt practices. but even if you don't get there, you say this is a thing that even they knew with whatever loose ethics some of them may have. michael cohen said he feels bad about what he did.
they knew to hide it. that goes to felix who you interviewed, fair to say we both crossed paths with a few interesting individuals. >> yep. >> in all of this. and you pressed him on what he wrote about trump tower, what you were pressing him on which i am about to play is all in today's charging document. let's look back at that. >> you wrote that? >> i did write that, yes. >> the e-mails, there's two of them. why are you making a connection between building the building in russia and his electoral success? >> me personally, i was trying to build the tallest building in the world or in europe. >> did anyone ask, suggest to you an interest in cultivating donald trump on behalf of the kremlin, kremlin allied forces, people in russian intelligence when you were working on the moscow deal? >> absolutely not. >> was it ever communicated to you that they were interested in donald trump for reasons other than business? >> absolutely not.
>> how does that look today now that that man is the individual in the documents about what they lied about, which is trying to do this business in moscow. >> in some ways, right, let's say that he was answering the questions accurately, which is that no one came out and said obviously we're cultivating this guy, we view him as an asset for hostile plans for your nation, but when they're going back and forth with vladimir putin's office, a personal invitation to fly over there, when they've already hacked the e-mails, when they already hacked the e-mails, when the essentially operation has already started, you've got to understand what's happening there. >> and there's a lot of people claiming they're willfully dumb, didn't understand what was
happening, or happened to match the kremlin defense. >> yeah. and the other thing to think about here, and you made this point on your program, i made it on mine, why all of the lies all the time about this specific set of connections. in their defense, they lie about everything all the time. they lie about the stupidest, fact checkable things. they can't help but lie. it is a nest of liars. that's the one defense for why they might be innocent, that they're so obsessively and pathologically lying about everything that this is just a subset of a broader untruth. what it looks like is a bunch of guilty people trying to cover their tracks. >> right. and that kind of guilt and obstruction is chargeable if you do it a lot, just means more charges. chris hayes, thanks for making time. i know you have to prep for your show. stay tuned. at 8:00 p.m., all in will be jam
packed. up ahead, the man that said he would take a bullet for trump could be telling mueller. an exclusive interview. and later, roger stone's relationship, what it means when they had late night phone calls at a key period in the campaign. and big reactions and headlines out of jerome corsi's interview on "the beat" last night. hi dad. no. don't try to get up. hi, i'm julie, a right at home caregiver. and if i'd been caring for tom's dad, i would have noticed some dizziness that could lead to balance issues. that's because i'm trained to report any changes in behavior, no matter how small, so tom could have peace of mind. we'll be right there. we have to go. hey, tom. you should try right at home. they're great for us. the right care. right at home. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast, the choice is simple.
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i'm going to be the personal attorney to mr. trump. i'm going to remain technically in the same role for mr. trump for president trump as i was when he was president of the trump organization. >> i assume in that role, not being a government role, that you would have attorney/client privilege with president trump? >> yes, of course. >> michael cohen doesn't have that role any more, but the man that had that role and continues to advise the president from
time to time is jay goldberg, joins me by phone. he has a new book coming out kboem t "the courtroom is my theater." thanks for making time tonight. >> happy to be with you. >> happy to have you. let me ask you point blank. if true, do michael cohen's allegations hurt trump and concern you? >> they don't concern me because i don't know as i said, and neither do you, whether they're true. people who testify for the government are in the criminal justice system. cases are replete with government quote cooperating witnesses embellishing, making up stories in an effort to lead the government to believe they
should be entitled to leniency. >> you're not using the key two words i started with, i was curious whether you thought if true, the allegations are problematic, but in addition as you know, being the experienced lawyer that you are, mueller didn't just take quotes or hearsay, there are e-mails and documentation that show the man you long helped, donald trump, lied about all of this outreach to the kremlin? >> i don't think he lied with respect to whether there was a deal or an option with respect to building in moscow. i don't think things reached a point where you can say there was collusion that effects the campaign. the thing that troubles me, the man is going to a g20 conference in an effort to deal with president xi, and all of this is
coming out that could serve only to prejudice him. >> jay, you and i know the legal, political history. that's a classic nixon, kissinger defense, the president is having his national security role interfered with. we're a nation of laws. i would think as a former prosecutor you would say everything should be investigated and subject to the rule of law, even though the president has an important job to do? >> i say that, ari, and i say it again. do you know whether the allegations of michael cohen are true? >> i know there's evidence here tonight. i'm asking you about the evidence. let me play something donald trump said about michael cohen, he hasn't talked this way about you. >> i know what he said. >> let me play it, i'll get your reaction. here it is. >> he is a weak person and by being weak, unlike other people that you watch, he is a weak person and what he is trying to do is get a reduced sentence.
he is a weak person and not a very smart person. >> jay, final word, is that any way to talk about your former lawyer? >> i spoke to him once in the 24 years i represented trump, once. i foupd him to have -- found him to have earmarks of weakness. when you're an experienced trial lawyer, you can size up the person. he would never subject himself to walking down the aisle with people banging their metal cups against bars saying you're going to be my wife. he is a weak person based on information that i have from -- i can't go into where the information comes from. >> mr. goldberg, i'm going to fit in a break. i appreciate as i do with all guests you giving us your views. thank you tonight. i'm going to fit in a break. up ahead, something important you may not have seen.
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something like that. those are some of the articles that came out of last night's interview. let me show you an important point from last night. how did they react to this oathr defense that made on behalf of roger stone, which is you agreed to help roger mislead congress about how he found out about podes podesta. >> see, in fact, that was the first -- there's two rounds of they went through. round one, i openly discussed that with them, because it was true. i was telling the truth. >> you were telling the truth about a lie. >> no. okay, yes. >> well, yes. seth waxman, former federal prosecutor, is here. you hear corsi there say yes. he implicates stone in a lie to congress to the grand jury. what does that mean for roger stone? >> well, it can mean very bad things. i mean, if you lie to congress, you could be implicated with perjury and obstruction of justice and this all might be a tool, a part of this russian conspiracy in trying to get the trump, rather, the dirt on
hillary out into the public atmosphe atmosphere. >> usually when the witnesses go to the grand jury, we don't hear a ton more from them. what we heard last night from corsi, what everyone thinks, reflects what mueller put before the grand jury. did he put it there so he can charge stone with it? >> yeah, that's definitely part of the plan. stone seems to be play a role in the idea of a quid pro quo and dirt on hillary getting out into the public atmosphere. if it was used by trump to distance himself and use his associates to put that out there as part of this quid pro quo, yeah, that could be a very big part of it. >> that goes to stone's liability then there's the larger question of president trump's ligability. i pressed mr. corsi on whether all of this dirt and intel they got, that proved to be right about the stolen e-mails, was going to be passed back to donald trump. take a look. you would expect he will tell trump rather than keep that from trump. >> i figured out it was po deft podesta.
i told stone and everybody i knew. i knew it would help donald trump. i was happy to do that. i was speculating but sure i was right. >> is it accurate to say you expected roger to tell trump? >> i didn't -- look, logically, should have i expected it? yes, of course. >> of course. so there you have him saying, yeah, all this action was to give donald trump, the candidate, secret early intel on what assange was doing. how bad would that be for trump? >> it could be very bad, if at the same time this dirt and getting it out into the public was taking place, trump was also making promises to the russians that the he would reduce or eliminate sanctions against russian oligarchs then you have the classic quid pro quo. again, that corsi and stone being arms of that illegal transaction. >> right, that could be a thing of value that trump actually gets. >> correct. >> third and finally -- >> yes. >> -- he brought up pardons. take a look. >> i'm not counting on donald trump for anything. including a pardon. i -- that's not the basis on which i made my decision.
>> i didn't ask you about the pardon. you're bringing up a pardon. >> i'm bringing it up because i want to make it clear. i don't expect one. >> would you accept a pardon? >> no, will i accept a pardon is hypothetical. >> how did you read that exchange? >> he had a hard time saying that last part, didn't he? i mean, if he were to get a pardon, he's definitely going to take it. all these individuals seem to be floating the idea to the president, hey, i'm looking out for you, please look out for me at some point in time. so, sure, he want a pardon. >> and even nixon didn't float pardons publicly this early. >> well, right. it seems that trump seems to think by doing it out in the open, somehow it doesn't make it criminal, and, you know, there was something to that. we think if we heard that on a wire, we'd all be sitting back as prosecutors saying holy cow, look what we just heard. the fact that he does it on nbc or some other, you know, news network, we all think it, well, maybe there's nothing wrong it. >> you make another great point there, that's a bizarre part of all this, the televised twitter aspect of it which we're living through does appear to, in their
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accusing manafort of lying about. we also tomorrow have a special report and exclusive guest about a key legal strategy that house democrats can employ if the battle with trump goes to court. it will be new original reporting that you won't hear, i can tell you this, anywhere else. so i do encourage you to check out what we have tomorrow. don't go anywhere because "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. individual one. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. special counsel robert mueller co could now be one big step closer to implicating the president in the ongoing russia probe. today, the president's former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, pleaded guilty to making false statements to congress and said he'll continue to cooperate in the special counsel's investigation in exchange for a lighter sentence for him.