tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC April 19, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
>> that's his final thought. >> it's not a good final thought. >> that seems to be a hateful thing to say on this holy weekend. >> baseball is the holy game. >> i think it's time to put everything away frgt weekend during the holiday season and wish everyone a blessed holiday -- from the weekend during the holiday season and wish everyone a blessed weekend. >> that does it for us this morning. quite a morning it's been. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. any minute now we expect a congressional subpoena for the full unredacted mueller report, and now that we have had the first look at what the special counsel found, will democrats push for impeachment. the special counsel made clear that he did not exonerate the president and the responsibility now falls to congress to hold the president accountable. >> the congress of the united states will honor its oath of office to protect and defend the constitution. >> what about the conclusion
that russia indeed interfered in the 2016 election. what are redoing to stop that in 2020? and speaking of, will any of it matter to voters? >> whatever is factual, whatever is proven to be true, then that will obviously have a bearing on my vote going forward. >> this is about the fundamental protections of our government and this needs to be thoroughly finished. >> we begin this morning with the country and the congress absorbing the full impact of robert mueller's russia report. it is a lot more nuanced than the president's twitter feed would have you believe but the question this morning, where do we go from here. i have a great team to help us figure all of it out, and i want to start with the most immediate question, what do democrats do now. i want to go straight to nbc's mike memoli. >> we could see in the next few minutes, a subpoena being issued
by jerry nadler. we heard him on the morning show saying that that could be in a matter of hours. my sources are telling me it could be any minute now. what the subpoena will do is to ask the justice department to turn over to congress the entire unredacted mueller report, and not just that report but all of its underlying documents, evidence supporting materials. and in fact, we now understand that that subpoena has been issued. this is a subpoena that was voted on by the house judiciary committee on april 3rd, now being issued by jerry nadler himself. what this is now going to do in the longer term is set up a protracted legal battle between the congress and the justice department. we know that in the past subpoenas have been much more effective as a political tool than as a legal tool and so what we have in the justice department here is an argument that they are being fully come plin pliant -- compliant. they are going to make available to lawmakers the gang of eight and the fully unredacted report. we have heard from speaker nancy
pelosi saying she would not participate in a limited briefing with that. the other thing that's going to happen when congress returns on april 28th is a ramp up, a significant ramping up of hearings in those committees. we have attorney general barr expected to come on may 2nd to the house judiciary committee. democrats are very frustrated with him and his handling of the support, that's going to be a major focus going forward. >> if they don't pursue impeachment, how do they move forward? >> reporter: this is the big question. the word we often hear from democrats is accountability. what does that mean? does that mean an impeachment process. we heard from nadler, we're not there yet. we know that's a politically loaded term. does that mean votes to hold the president in censure of congress. we are hearing from candidates on the campaign trail, the 2020 democrats. does this boil down to a political argument that the way we need to end this threat to the rule of law as democrats countily refer to --
consistently refer to this is by beating him at the ballot box in 2020. >> the white house would have you believe this was a clear cut exoneration of the president. that's not the case. the mueller report was exhaustive and detailed. here's what it wasn't. clear cut. i want to bring in three of our very best reporters. pete williams, julia ainsley and nbc intelligence and national security reporter, ken delaney. peter, i go to you first. we have been waiting to find out why exactly mueller did not reach a conclusion on the obstruction question and attorney general bill barr said he spoke to mueller about that and this is what barr told us. >> we specifically asked him about the olc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion, and he made it very clear
several times that that was not his position. he was not saying that but for the olc opinion he would have found a crime. he made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime. >> maybe that's why so many people are pushing back against bill barr this morning. that's not what the mueller report shows, is it, pete? >> well, you know, first of all, we have to say olc is office of legal counsel. this is a long standing opinion of the justice department under both republicans and democrats that for various constitutional reasons, a president cannot be indicted. i always put it simply by saying that you basically can't run the country from jail is the legal theory. so that's the way barr explained it. i think you're right in the way you set this up that the report is not really clear about this for a couple of reasons. on the one hand, it says, yes, a president can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. it rejects a legal theory of the
white house lawyers that because the president's basically in charge of everybody, no matter what he tells them to do, he has the right to do that. they reject that theory. secondly, they do say several times in the report, the mueller team that the evidence on specific obstruction, potentially obstructive actions is ambiguous. it points in both directions. but at the same time, and the very first page of the report, it says we are bound by that office of legal counsel opinion, and so therefore, not only are we not going to challenge the president, we don't think we can even say that he should be charged. in other words, they say, we're going to walk right up to that door, but we can't go through it. they certainly leave the impression that the evidence was strong. >> were we expecting, hoping, believing that the mueller report was going to be something it never could be? if at the end of the day robert mueller couldn't have a conclusion should we have known that from the start?
>> well, i think that's a very good point, and many people said that that was going to be a problem for the mueller report. they chose an interesting path which was to say not only can we not charge him with a crime, we can't even say whether, you know, one option i suppose would have been to say these actions we believe constituted a crime but we can't charge you. that's not what they did. they said even that wouldn't be fair because applying, again, long standing justice department prosecution policies, they said, you can't do that. you can't say somebody is, you know, we think they're guilty but we're not going to charge them because if you do that, you deprive that person of the ability to defend themselves which is what they would normally have in a trial. one day to go, the president was saying he was exonerated and now he's back to calling it a crazy mueller report. >> certainly not exonerated. >> let's talk about the issue of conspiracy and collusion. because again, both the
president's team and attorney general barr made it sound like there was absolutely no evidence of collusion but there are caveats here. ken, walk us through it. >> more than caveats, stephanie. the way i put it in my story on nbc news.com. reports show that the trump campaign and russians were acting as essentially friends with benefits. mueller said he had to reach a really high bar to charge criminal conspiracy. he had to prove an explicit corrupt agreement between the trump campaign and russian. he didn't prove that. what he showed was the two sides were acting out of mutual benefits. the russians sought to help trump get elected and the trump campaign knew and was ready to accept the help and more than that, stephanie, after the campaign, they were open to russian efforts to influence trump foreign policy. let me read two sentences from the report that i think illustrate what they are saying here. the first is the investigation did not establish that members
of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. the report also says the investigation established that the russian government perceived it would benefit from a trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the campaign expected it would benefit from information stolen and released through russian efforts and that's about the election. after the election, stephanie, the report says the russian government launched a full court press on the trump campaign transition. and the best illustration of that in the report is that back channel meeting with eric prince and head of the russian sovereign wealth fund. what came out of that meeting was a two-page document, a plan for u.s. russian reconciliation that was given to a friend of jared kushner kwwho passed it o to kushner, and kushner gave it to rex tillerson and steve bannon. this is one of many instances where the russians were trying
to reason an influence operation. what this shows is there were many counter intelligence issues raised in the report. the mueller team didn't pass judgment on this behavior. you can be sure congressional democrats will continue to look at it. you can be sure there are intelligence reports but the house senate intelligence committees will want to look at. >> eric prince who told us right here on this set, they just met for brew skis. how would you assess the attorney general's outline of the report compared to what the report actually showed. >> reporter: that's a great question and it was interesting the attorney general decided to have the press conference before reporters or anyone in congress had read the report so we didn't have the questions about the material fresh to ask him. two things he spun on it before we went before the public got this report, was one, the olc opinion, which pete detailed completely. i won't touch his beautiful
analysis of that. another piece was a discrepancy, the idea that the white house was fully cooperative. he described them as people who were handing over everything, willing to cooperate at every turn. that's not the impression we got from the report. in the report, mueller's team said they tried for over a year to have the sit down interview with the president. we know that. we reported that here. that was a tense battle between the two sides. in the end what they got were written answers their questions that were not sufficient. over and over the president said he did not recall. i think it was 35 times the president said he did not recall certain situations. this isn't in an interview where you were put on the spot. he had time to go back and collect his memories and look at his schedules and he still didn't provide that information. robert mueller's team said the main reason they did not subpoena the president for that interview is simply that it would be a very lengthy litigation process. that to me really falls outside the characterization that we had from the attorney general yesterday that this was a white
house who was on board from the beginning and just wanted to be transparent. >> yeah, they definitely didn't seem on board. pete, how do you expect the department of justice to respond to chairman nadler's subpoena for the full unredacted report. we're expecting this thing within hours. >> well, i think the congress has a problem here because they are running smack up against a recent ruling from the d.c. court of appeals that basically says grand jury secrecy prevails without exception, that judges can't say, well, you know, there's a broader interest here and we're going to allow grand jury material to be seen. as i understand it, mr. nadler's position is no, actually, what we're anticipating for fits within one of the exceptions. we're an investigation. we have the right to see this. barr is saying congress can see almost all of this, with only the grand jury secrecy limitations, which he says he's stuck with under the law. he's going to let them see the
rest of it. they'll have to come and look at it. he's not going to make 535 copies of this available, but that does seem to undercut a little bit of the congressional argument here, but, you know, mike is right. if the justice department says no, i'm sorry, we're stuck with this grand jury thing, it goes to court, it's going to take a couple of years to resolve. it's not going to be over quickly. >> not going to be over quickly. pete, julia, ken, thank you so much. these three have been working 24/7. i appreciate your extraordinary work. up next, you don't want to miss this. the headline a lot of people seem to be missing is that the mueller report confirmed that russians did interfere in the 2016 election. we know that. that is a fact. but what are we doing to stop them from doing it again in 2020. a foreign government interfered in our election.
this is a problem. i'll be speaking to a man who is very focussed on 2020, former massachusetts governor bill weld who has announced he will primary president trump for the republican nomination. did that report change anything about well's plans? report chan ouabt well's plans discover. hi, what's this social security alert? it's a free alert if we find your social security number on the dark web. good, cuz i'm a little worried about my information getting out. why's that? [bird speaking] my social is 8- 7- 5 dash okay, i see. [bird laughing] somebody thinks it's hilarious. free social security alerts from discover.
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now all you have to do is move...that thing. [ sigh ] introducing an easier way to move with xfinity. it's just another way we're working to make your life simple, easy, awesome. go to xfinity.com/moving to get started. welcome back, i'm stephanie ruhle. on the very first page of robert mueller's 400 page report, it's a finding that may have been
overlooked that should perhaps worry americans more than anything else. quote, the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. robert mueller goes on to detail exactly how the russian govr government interfered to help the trump campaign, by hacking entities, employees and volunteers working on the clinton campaign. what is not clear, what is being done today to ensure it does not happen again. nbc's hans nichols is at the white house. are our elections any more secure today than they were in 2016? >> reporter: certainly there have been changes after the awareness of what russia did. there's a working group between doj and dhs looking at how to make things more secure. the fundamental question is does the white house accept the mueller conclusion, that is it was an interference campaign,
not an influence campaign. because most of the actions that you hear about from the white house are presenting russian influence. for example, in 2018, they did turn off the internet for that russian troll farm, but as of this morning, steph neaanie, we in a wait and see mode. my colleague kristen welker said they are in reviewing mode to see in anything additionally is merited. right now it seems like it's wait and see. >> is there any indications that the findings in the report are going to push congress to do more, to beef things up before election security. the first thing mentioned in the mueller report is social media, and we know those social media giants are working on it. they're concerned about it. but they haven't been regulated. >> they haven't been regulated. but congress has hinted they are getting more in that space. what you are hearing is potentially more money for election security. that's the key distinction here. the white house rhetorically at least will acknowledge there was an influence campaign. they won't acknowledge the interference question which is
what mueller is so clear on. until they do that, you're unlikely to see substantial changes to u.s. election infrastructure on just how you make sure to protect the foundations, the very basics of our democracy. stephanie. >> hans nichols, thank you very much. right now, i am joined by one of only two republicans running for president in 2020. former massachusetts governor bill weld who announced this week that he is indeed challenging president trump for the gop nomination. governor, thank you for joining me on this very important morning. i want to start with what i was just speaking about with hans nicholas, given what we know about russian interference in 2016 is the credibility of our next election at risk? >> well, i think we can set up the cyber security attacks. the thing that leapt out at me from the mueller report was the volume two of the treatment of
whether the president obstructed justice, and you know, that part of the report confirmed for me what i already knew is that this man is a one-man crime wave. he instructed senior legal officials, senior national security, senior intelligence officials to lie. he actively sought out perjury. the president is very fortunate that in substance, bob mueller gave him a mulligan. that's a golf term so i know the president will understand that, but he said, no, i can't charge the president because there's this legal opinion from the justice department in 2000 that says a president cannot be charged. i actually don't go along with that legal opinion. if that were true then the president could defeat the statute of limitations by just getting reelected and he would not ever been able to be charged even though the constitution says that a president remains liable to indictment of prosecution or punishment after he or she leaves office.
>> if bob mueller went just up to the gate and go through but if you read the mueller report, and you say, god, the president's conduct is abhorrent, he behaved like a mob boss before he was elected and we know he won. if he behaved that way while he's in office, is conduct the right thing for you and others to go after in trying to win the nomination. >> oh, absolutely. i mean, on the one hand, you have legal counsel saying you can't charge the president. on the other hand, you have unanimous supreme court and united states v. nixon saying the president is not above the law. no person is above the law. we want to have a government of laws and not of men. donald trump wants a government of caprice and aculltive personality, and everyone responding to him and loyal to him and not to the law. that is criminal conduct and it is impeachable conduct. i'm not saying the house should go there, but it just couldn't
get any worse. >> you're not saying the house should go there, so what are you saying the house should do? >> well, i think the house should have a full airing of everything that mr. mueller found, and you know, go through all the evidence in volume two of the report, go through the conclusion at the very end of that, page 178 of volume 2, the last thing mr. mueller says in the report is, well, you know, to charge the president you would need evidence of corrupt intent. what would be evidence of corrupt intent, well, if the president tried to limit or stop an investigation of him or his family to avoid embarrassment or, you know, criminal exposure, that would be massive evidence of criminal intent. well, that's exactly what will the previous 60 pages of the report demonstrated, so i think the special counsel decided quite early on they were not going to make a standard prosecutorial judgment. they said that right up front.
if they had, they would have charged him. >> if the president's own administration would have carried out his wishes, then it would in fact have been conclusive obstruction. >> don mcgahn was quite right. then you would have had a saturday night massacre. he served the president very well. >> indeed he did. >> the new yorker ran an article on your candidacy and said in private quite a few elected republicans would say that too many, if not all of the arguments that weld has expressed in public even though gop senators who have distanced themselves from trump at times are keeping quiet. if the new yorker is right and lots of republicans agree with you, do you think we're going to see any express the views that you are sharing with me this morning in public? >> well, i think the rank, you know, the rank and file of the people voting in the republican primaries are going to express that view. in new hampshire where i have been spending time, everybody agrees with me, and they don't
make a distinction. they don't distinguish between public and private. in washington, everybody agrees with me. this is people i have talked to so they're my friends and a lot of senior people are my friends, i have worked with them over the years. they agree with me in private. they don't want to rock the boat because it's too much trouble, and the president calls himself a counter puncher. he doesn't wait for a punch. he's not a counter puncher. he's vindictive and everyone in washington knows that. in run up to the release of the mueller report, the headlines that i read the most were everyone easter everyone's terrified of the president's wrath, it's the bullying, acting like a baby, i have to have my way. when that's coming from the president of the united states, it has a certain credibility. that's what's scary to me. >> the only way you beat a bully is to face off against him. >> that's why i raised my hand. >> tell me in the last 24 hours, have you had conversations? have republicans in office
called you about that boat they don't want to rock? do you think it's a little unsteadier today? >> three certain republicans i have had that conversation with, but they are not now in office in washington. they are out in the states. >> people in washington, how do you think they're taking this? republicans? >> i don't really know, and you know, i try never to ask anyone to do something that's not in their own political interest, so i'm not calling up senators saying, hey, you know, step out and make a statement here. i do think that if i make progress as i go along and more and more people say, you know something, what this fellow weld is saying actually makes a certain amount of sense, that's going to create a hydraulic dynamic of its own, and then you'll see cracks in the ice, and then maybe at some point there will be a stampede or maybe it will just be close. but i think a year is a long time in politics, and i do think the house is not going to go out of its way to make this
comfortable for mr. trump. the reason i say i don't counsel impeachment is i don't think they need to go there and i think as a political party, the president would not be convicted in the senate, so you could have a situation next year where the house looks like a bunch of bullies and the president looks like they attempted to railroad him out of town, and that would not be good politically for the democrats in the house, but that's purely political advice. that's not legal advice. >> or for the american people who are sick of gridlock, sick of politics and just want to live their best lives. governor weld, thank you so much for your reaction this morning. >> thank you, stephanie, pleasure. we have heard a lot of reaction about the mueller report from 2020 candidates, but here's what i am desperate to know. what about voters? voters across america, not just politicos, did yesterday's report change anyone's vote for 2020? what matters most. e for 20 what matters most. if you have moderate to severe psoriasis,
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because we know mom wants what's best. more beverage choices, smaller portions, less sugar. balanceus.org welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. just moments ago, house judiciary chairman jerry nadler issued a subpoena for the full unredacted mueller report. we'll keep you posted on any answers from the department of
justice. that as lawmakers have weighed in on the findings. some vowing to start impeachment proceedings with others urging both parties to move on. but what can americans across the country do. do they care? will the mueller report change their minds about the president or their vote in 2020. our team of reporters is asking those very questions across the nation. garrett haake in st. petersburg, florida, ally -- allie vitale. >> you spoke to voters in one county, one who went for obama twice, and trump who won by 1% in 2016. what are people on the ground telling you there and are they mentioning russia at all? because they have a chance to vote for a democrat or a republican but we need to remind our audience of the first thing in the findings, that russia interfered. foreign interference affected the election and could affect
the next one. >> reporter: to the voters i talked to, that is background music. i talked to a lot of folks who were obama trump voters, folks who tell me they are still on the fence about 2020, and there are issues that could swing their decision of who to vote for next year. but those issues do not include what robert mueller put on paper yesterday, the vast majority of folks i talked to yesterday said they know how they feel about this president, folks kwwho lov him before will love him still. folks who do not like him will be reinforced in their views. some people said this is not the issue they want to hear the 2020 candidates talk about either. here's a sampling of the folks we spoke to. >> whatever is factual, whatever is proven to be true, that will obviously have a bearing on our vote going forward. >> is there anything robert mueller could put on paper that would make you go. >> i don't believe half of what i read.
>> reporter: i'm more likely to support trump today than i was at the original election. >> that's interesting. >> because he's not a perfect guy. i think he's a despicable human being, but he's done a lot of good things for the country. >> reporter: how do you think the democrats have handled this whole process? >> nothing is getting done in washington. they should go about their business and get legislation passed. >> reporter: stephanie, the most important sound bite of all of that there to me was the guy who told me he thought the president was a despicable human being but that he had done a lot of good for the country. what that tells me about how the 2020 democrat, every minute they're talking about robert mueller is not an issue they are talking about health care, immigration, t immigration. >> it makes me want to ask republicans, is there not someone who isn't a despicable human being but who can do a lot of good things. i mean, call me simple. ali, i know you have been
speaking to people in new hampshire, what are they telling you. >> reporter: stephanie, i found yesterday in talking to a lot of these voters and even today, there's relief they have come to this point in the mueller report coming out, but among democratly inclined voters, there is one more step they would like to take and that's hearing from robert mueller himself. i think across the board in talking to garrett and vaughan, that sense of relief was kind of the same across the country but this idea that we have not heard from mueller, yes, it's helped republicans gain more trust for him but democratic leading voters, they want to hear his own summary of his report. take a listen to what one of the men told me as this report was coming out yesterday. >> it's all got to come out. i would be very happy to see robert mueller come and testify. and if robert mueller says, you know, the summary that attorney general barr put out reflects the tone of the report, fine,
that would be great. this is about the fundamental protections of our government. and this needs to be thoroughly finished, and then let us move on to actual policy that's affecting people day-to-day. >> reporter: it's two pronged, it's what garrett said where democratic strategists and operatives have been saying, they are not out here to campaign on robert mueller because frankly that's not what most voters say is top of the list as the most important issue. at the same time, i think democratic voters feel that they want transparency on this, and in talking to the same voter this morning over text, he said that the obstruction piece of the mueller investigation, everything that we have learned yesterday and overnight, that's the thing that he wants to make sure that we really do drill down on. he doesn't want this idea of what trump says as old news in this report to be lost in the shuffle because they do have some concerns still about that obstruction piece before we actually get to moving on. >> foreign interference cannot get lost in the shuffle. we tell every american that
every vote counts and we need to ensure that is the case. take me to iowa. what's the sentiment there? >> yes, stephanie, this is a coin here in council bluffs where we spent the last 24 hours. this is a county that voted for donald trump by 21 percentage points. over the last 24 hours, the word frustration is a word that kept coming up with voter after republican voter. i want to let you hear from mick boots. this is part of what he told us yesterday. >> they haven't found anything, it would be great if we just quit looking and start moving on because we have other matters. we have infrastructure that needs to be checked. we have the border issue that needs to be fixed. we have other problems and negotiations with china. we need to come together as americans. we need to come together as a people that we all have the same problems no matter whether we're republican or democrat.
>> reporter: testify knee, and there's actually one other individual that i want to tell you about. her name is joyce tetromanis, i called her up. she lives out of circleville, ohio, i met her in february of 2017, right after michael flynn resigned. donald trump was actually the first time she actually -- she had voted democrat her entire life and for the first time she did not vote for a democrat. she wrote in the name john mccain. i called her up this morning two years later and asked her where her support lies now, and she said based on this democratic field, she is looking that she supports this president neurosurgemore than she did when she talked to me, believing when it comes to isis, to the economy that the president has performed and she said, while the mueller report, you know, may be unflattering, and it may show a man that lacks ethics, she said at the same time, for the reason why she felt like places like ohio turned to him was because he was a businessman, and that's how a businessman operates and what
the mueller report outlined was not that of an individual operating as a politician but somebody trying to get stuff done for the good of the country. stephanie. >> every vote counts. across the country, thank you, here to react on what we just heard. michael tubs, mayor of stockton, california, and daryl west, vice president and director of governance studies at the brookings institution. he is also the author of a book i highly recommend, divided politics, hyper conflict in a trump era. michael, we heard from people across three states. take me to stockton where you have got 23% of your residents live below the poverty line. only 17% have a four-year college degree. as important as ethics are, these people aren't thinking about robert mueller, they're thinking about their lives. what matters? . >> what we have heard this morning, health care, education, opportunity matters, i know folks in stockton care about
equality of the law, they care about their vote counting and understanding the vote is not a perfect tool but it is a tool to create the changes people want to see, so i think while people are struggling, working two jobs, one emergency away from eviction or bankruptcy that they expect their lawmakers, congress and others to do the work in terms of investigating and making sure the united states remains a sovereign nation without foreign interference that our highly elected officials are reflective of our values and make our democracy what it is. >> daryl, you write about polarization and distrust between democrats and republicans. i naively thought that we would get this report and somehow we would come together. it seems we're going to get the opposite. >> this report is an inkblot test for people in the sense that it reinforces existing polarization. i think the report is going to matter because what democrats can argue is if you can't trust trump on his overall presidency,
you can't trust him to handle education, health care, and all of these other domestic issues. i think they need to turn into a referendum on trust, and this report will help them in that regard. >> do you agree? when you talk about those things, they're important to your voters, and you just heard from vaughan right there a woman kw who voted for president trump because the system wasn't working for her, and right there she said, well, he's a business guy who's great on the economy. i cannot imagine the people of stockton are saying the economy is better for them today than it was two years ago. >> and i think when you talk about the american people, you have to understand sdiversity. you have working class people and middle american people that aren't white, rural, and live in ohio. latino, asian, et cetera, that live in communities throughout this nation, and i think people care about the economy and the economy is not working for them, and i think part of the argument we should make as democrats is that if the president's preoccupied with obstruction of
justice allegedly or preoccupied with protecting himself from the findings of said report, it says he hasn't had time to do that, calling people into your office, one on one meetings, where are the phone calls about why one in two americans make sure working people are working and being rewarded with wages, and paid for necessities, like rent, utilities, et cetera. >> well, donald trump or his associates would argue he would be having those conversations but he was tied up in this investigation. mike bloomberg, former mayor of new york city wrote an op-ed saying this. impeachment at this point should not be necessary. the american people will soon have the opportunity to render the verdict they see fit in the 2020 election. now, we know and we have to remind our audience, mike bloomberg has been highly critical of president trump from the get go. he gave a speech at the dnc calling donald trump a fraud who
should not be trusted and elected and in this op-ed, mike bloomberg is saying he's the same person he always was. don't impeach him. don't elect him. >> i don't think impeachment is the way to go, it's going to be divisive. clinton's job approval ratings went up because it mobilized the democratic base who thought it was completely unfair. another option is congress could censure trump. there have been two cases in american history where that has happened, andrew jackson in 1834 over the national bank and james polk. >> what does that mean? >> the house or senate can do this, basically reprimanding the president saying his actions are unacceptable. it's not as strong as impeachment but a way to indicate disapproval. >> i'm pretty sure they do that every day. mayor michael tubs, daryl west, thank you so much. we're going to leave it there. what happens next after the just issued subpoena for the mueller report and the legal
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doespeninsula trail?he you won't find that on a map. i'll take you there. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. back to that breaking news, house judiciary chair issuing a subpoena this morning for the full unredacted mueller report and underlying documents including grand jury evidence. joining me now a pair of msnbc political analysts and former
federal prosecutor cynthia oxny. is it going to set next to the subpoena for trump's taxes? >> it depends whether barr decides to comply with the subpoena, fight it, i do think one way or another, the full report is going to go to congress maybe first to a select group with security clearances so they can see everything. but i think one way or another, the clamor is too loud, and the people's thirst for information is too strong. congress is going to get to see everything unredacted. >> cynthia you say if the president wasn't president, if he was regular guy trump, he would have been indicted. why? >> well, if you read this volume ii in its entirety, i mean, this is basically a prosecute memo. repeatedly he uses the term substantial evidence to support the claim that trump tried to
get mcgahn to fire mueller, substantial evidence that trump tried to get mcgahn to lie about whether or not he tried to fire mueller. substantial evidence about whether or not he tried to get the investigation limited. whenever you see that substantial evidence language, that's basically language that said he could indict but for this rule from the department of justice, which may or may not, it's time maybe to review. but this rule from the department of justice that the sitting president cannot be indicted, so as i look at this in its entirety, what i see is mueller saying this is what i would have done, he would have been indicted, whenever you see that substantial evidence, but for the olc memo, and tease it up to congress to do what they think is appropriate to follow what justice needs. >> glen, i keep thinking that maybe we had incorrect expectations of what robert mueller could provide.
i want to talk about these two stipulations, because he lays them out right at the beginning of the report. if there was enough evidence to exonerate president trump on the issue of obstruction, he would have but he could not do that. and separately, if there was evidence of a crime, mueller also says he couldn't reveal that. so, if he couldn't reveal whether the president was guilty or innocent, what on earth were we expecting we were going to get? >> and everybody is frustrated. and let me set aside the legal, steph. it even surprised me as a former career prosecutor. bob mueller said, listen, the department of justice has this memo that says, i can't indict trump. so, i'm not going to indict trump. i'm going to investigate and see what i find. because he can't indict trump, our ethical rules say we also can't stand up for announce that the person committed a crime and i know that's frustrating, but here is the reasoning behind
that. just as we can't stand on the courthouse steps before a trial starts and announce to the american people, including all the potential jurors, the guy we're about to try is really guilty of a crime now. let's get in there and give him a fair trial because that would poison the well of public opinion. bob mueller said, i am not figuratively going to stand on the steps of congress and say the president committed a crime, now do your thing. let's get this impeachment ball rolling. i know that's frustrating. let's look at his conclusions in part one, chapter one conspiracy and chapter two obstruction. chapter one, i can't find enough evidence that the president or anyone on his campaign. chapter two, obstruction. because i'm not allowed to say the president committed a crime, i'm not going to say anything. but what i am going to say is if i found he did not commit a crime, just like i found in part one, i would stand up and say he didn't commit a crime. but here comes the double
negative, steph. he said, i can't say he didn't commit a crime. steph, that is one and one equaling two. he could have slapped, that's a road map to congress for impeachment just as if he slapped rand mcnaly road atlas and said he obstructed justice. do your thing. >> impeachment which is a highly political process. i want to bring in a key detail that is worth going over. i would say the president owes don mcgahn a thank you note. when you go through the mueller report, it is clear. people surrounding the president helped the president, help protect him from himself. i want to share what "washington post" reports. trump advisors rarely challenged him and often willingly did his bidding, according to the special counsel's report released thursday. but in some cases, they are effused. when trump pushed them to the brink of committing outright crimes. joining me now is the author of
that piece and one of the reporters who knows this story better than anyone. i would say when i look at all the reporting you've done in the last year, phil rucker, i haven't introduced you yet. all the reporting you have done over the last year as you have withstood so much fake news, fake news, my goodness. all the reporting you have done was worth y of that and more. >> thank you, steph. >> walk me through the key players that mueller says the president ordered them to take action like don to insist that he fire robert mueller and mcgahn didn't do it. >> that's right. that is one of many instances where the president tried to push his aides to the brink of committing crimes. we, again and again don mcgahn not following through and refuse
to get the letter and we saw cory lewendowski refuse to fire jeff sessions. >> stay on that. so, president trump picks up a phone and calls lewendowski who is a private citizen. will you see jeff sessions, will you fire him. >> yes, he wanted his outside adviser, as a private citizen too, interfere with the justice department and seek the resignation of the attorney general and cory lewendowski was not comfortable delivering that message to sessions and did not. we see the aides not following through in his orders and what mueller paints in this report is a picture of the president plagued by paranoia and insecurity.
he thought the russian investigation would delegitimize his election win from 2016. and the aides didn't know, you know, what he might ask next. they were preparing a resignation. at one point don mcgahn decided he would resign and go to the office to pack up his belongings and convinced by priebus not to do so. >> what if don mcgoocgahn follo through on the president's request. would they have commitmented crimes? >> they may have, depending on their intent. but i think, you know, phil's point drives home something that i think we all need to pay attention to. if you attempt to obstruct justice, guess what, you've committed a crime. the crime of attempted obstruction of justice. if trump went out on fifth avenue and took a gun and aimed it at somebody and tried to shoot him, as he has talked about.
one of his aides came and knocked the gun so he missed his intended target, he intended to assault. he intended to kill. the fact that mueller's report lays out in chapter 2 attempt after attempt after attempt thwarted by some of his aides, those are still crimes. >> except, of course, cynthia, to you. if they're still crimes, why wouldn't the attorney general bill barr see it that way? he has seen the exact opposite. >> you know, one of the great disappointments and sadness for me yesterday was bill barr's performance. i mean, it's clear that he, frankly, was deceitful yesterday. he tried to frame the discussion to suggest that mueller really didn't see a crime here. and that he wanted barr to come up with the final decision. that just isn't true. mueller clearly, he states numerous times that it's
congress' responsibility to make this decision because of the department of justice rules. and barr led us to believe something completely opposite. many of us, me, too. i'm just as guilty. many of us really hoped that he would be an institutionaleist ad he would protect. he did not protect the department of justice. it's very disturbing. >> phil, you highlight in your article something that was just stunning. the president blasted don mcgahn for taking notes. >> yeah. >> you write this, why do you take notes? lawyers don't take ♪ notes. i never had a lawyer who took notes. according to mcgahn's account to investigators. mcgahn responded that he was a, quote, real lawyer. i had a lot of great lawyers, like roy cohn. he did not take notes. trump replied, referencing a former. we need to remind our audience who roy cohn was.
a man who was disbarred for unethical conduct. what? >> yeah, steph, that was one of the most alarming passages in the report because it just shows the ignorance and naivety of the president when it comes to proper lawyering. of course lawyers take notes. they want an accurate and precise record of what happened. how can mcgahn, you know, follow through on what the president wants if he doesn't take some notes to know exactly what he asked him to do. it's totally normal for don mcgahn to have a record and those notes in the record in addition to the notes of rob porter proved quite useful to mueller and his team in piecing together this narrative. >> my goodness. if lawyers don't take notes, who named it a legal pad. i have to ask you this, phil. the entire report, what stood out the most to you? what was the most extraordinary? you have covered this white house like no one else.
>> yeah. a few things really stood out. but i think the depth of the corruption of deception is very clear in the report, but the extent to which he brought along his aides and other administration officials to lie to the public, to try to create, you know, fabricated accounts and false story lines. you know, we knew in our realtime reporting that they weren't always telling the truth, but this is bob mueller, the former fbi director known for his impartiality telling us what happened based on the record, under oath testimony from these officials. >> stunning. imagine if we had all 400 pages and i keep going back to the first passage. russia interfered in the election. whether or not you think trump played along or not, my question is, what are we going to do to protect our next election? phil rucker, cynthia, thank you
for joining me. that wraps us up this hour. more news with my friend hallie jackson. >> a question i will answer later on this show. we start with the fight over the mueller report centered squarely on capitol hill. jerry nadler has now subpoenaed the justice department for the full and unredacted report this morning. two house committee chairs also say they're no where near done with the doj. >> we will subpoena that entire report today. >> that subpoena is coming today. >> that subpoena will come in the next couple hours. >> we want to figure out whether or not there were conflicts of interest and that comes directly under our jurisdiction. >> the law requires the department of justice to provide that foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information to our committee. all of this is damming and we all ought to expect more from our president than merely t. >> mueller hi