tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC April 25, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
political risk for republicans trying to mock that defense. elizabeth drew, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. thank you very much. and "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight in rambling telephone call with sean hannity, president trump repeats his mantra, no collusion, no obstruction, then goes on ore argue the case against hillary, obama, beto o'rourke's crowd size. joe biden makes it official on video and a fundraiser tonight but going after trump head on and there is reporting tonight he's the democrat trump fears the most. and the news of the $2 million ransom from north korea in exchange for otto warmbier and what putin will tell trump after his meeting with kim jong-un. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a thursday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news
headquarters here in new york. day 826 of this trump administration. the president remains knee-deep in his campaign to strike back against the findings of the mueller report, and to shake off the democrats' efforts to investigate his white house. here briefly is some of what he told sean hannity tonight on fox news. >> there was like a one-sided witch hunt as i called it. bob mueller, i turned him down to run the fbi. the next day he was appointed to be the head of this special counsel. $35 million spent and unlimited manpower, woman power and there is nothing, nothing, and it was a very bad two years for this country but the nice part is as far as trump is concerned and the trump administration, there is no collusion and there is no obstruction. >> in the weeks since mueller's findings were released and just
been a week today. the president has maintained his campaign to reframe the damaging revelations about his behavior. this is just some of what he has written to us over the past seven days. and today, sent this out about his former white house counsel who house democrats would very much like to talk to and we quote, i never told then white house counsel don mcgahn to fire robert mueller even though i had the legal right to do so. if i wanted to fire mueller, i didn't need mcgahn to do it, i could have done it myself. that of course directly contradicts a detailed account in the mueller report, more on that ahead. the white house of course is trying to block mcgahn from telling house democrats what he told the feds in nearly 30 hours of testimony. mcgahn did not respond to trump on thursday but "the washington post" reports it this way, some trump advisors said privately thursday that they fear trump's ire could prompt mcgahn to speak to protect his reputation,
potentially creating a wave of challenges for the white house. police politico reports his inability to move on it is starting to worrisome of the president's allies. they want trump to quote stick to playing up mueller's conclusion that his campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with the russian government. one former trump campaign official described the president's post mueller volley as a complete and utter disaster. a former white house official told politico he needs to channel frozen. quote, he needs to let it go. it's especially not helpful to him but he can't help himself. trump is taking on house democrats running a legal blockade to resist the subpoenas and other requests they try to scrutinize his administration. he gave a hint about his battle strategy during this exchange after the midterm elections.
>> do you expect that when the democrats take over the chairmanship of these important committees, you'll get hit with a blizzard. of subpoenas, from the investigation, your cell phone use, your tax returns. >> you're going to if that happens, do the same thing and government comes to a halt and i would blame them. if they do that, it's just -- all it is a war-like posture. >> again, "the washington post" tonight putting it this way, trump's decision not to cooperate with house committees coupled with reluctance from republicans and control of the senate to cross him has left congress struggling to assert it self-as a co-equal branch of government. they go on to quote a one-time administration official saying quote, america's general scorn toward congress, i think that's widely shared in the west wing. "the new york times" reports trump's resistance quote sets the stage for open war fair with house democrats heading into the 2020 election. by essentially forcing democrats to file lawsuits to enforce their subpoenas that, mr. trump
will be fighting what he can portray as presidential harassment. as trump tries to shape public opinion about his treatment by congress and the special counsel, some observers are taking a closer look at mueller's conclusions in the document. in a times op ed law professor says that even with redactions, quote, the report offers substantial and credible information of the trump campaign conspireing or coordinating with the russian government. and fox news legal analyst judge andrew napolitano offered this on the subject of obstruction and to repeat what you're about to see is from fox news. >> when the president asked corey lewandowski, his former campaign manager, to get comey fired, that's obstruction of justice and asked white house ounce toll get fired
and lie about it, that's obstruction of justice. ordering them to break federal law to save him from the consequences of his behavior, that is immoral. that is criminal. that is defenseless, and that is condemnable. >> here for our lead off discussion on a thursday night in new york with us this evening, peter baker chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." by the way, peter's book "obama the call of history" has just been released with material including a forward by john meacham. and reporter with the "new york times" and chuck rosenburg, a former u.s. attorney and senior fbi official, we welcome all three of you. peter, because home field advantage is an advantage, we'll start with you here in new york tonight. for seven days exactly, i've been talking about the disparity and 400 plus pages, all the detail, rich detail, footnotes, granularity versus the
president's quick comeback is as if however judging from his behavior and his talking points that the tonnage is seeping. into the landscape a little bit. >> you see a significant shift in his message. originally he was climbing total exoneration and now hit job. he veers back and forth between these two aspects of the report. it a classic trump world, you know, situation where there is a thin line between victor and victim, right? he expresses grievance at the same time and claiming that he's been vindicated and it's a confusing message for a lot of voters. is he cleared by this report or in fact, is this an unfair hit job on him and he's not really clear with his own voters who are looking for him to give him a clue what to think about him. >> chuck rosenburg, let's talk about the legal battle ahead and to do that, i want to do a dramatic reading from the writing of robert costa. let's put this up on the screen.
in conversations today with several trump advisors, it was clear that trump is the one driving this stand off with congress. no whisperer as one put it, just a man alone eyeing the tv, urging everyone to take a hard line. chuck, how does this end? >> yeah, great question, brian. i don't think it ends well for the congress or for the president or frankly for the american public. this is ugly. it's untoward. frankly, it's jarring. you know, all presidents and all congress, right, have tensions, they fight. they argue. but the way we normally get through that is through accommodation. and there does not seem to be any room for accommodation here. the president is drawing a very hard line in the sand. he's making absolutely no sense except for the fact that congress doesn't seem at least
so far to find a way through the thicket he has planted, and for me, frankly, i'm a creature of the courts. i understand the legal process and rule of law and justice system. i would love to see the president of the united states answer for the things he did in a court of law and congress it looks very different. it's messy. >> tonight's live phone conversation interview with sean hannity was interesting. during it, the president reminded sean hannity i could have fired everyone. could have fired mueller et al. is it more proof of the point we were talking about with peter that at least the people around him are reading into the granularity of the charges in this report? >> i think this is just trump being trump and i mean, it's not a good legal argument he could have fired mueller. it's not helping his case. i think it is more proof that he
is -- i mean, it's always been he's driving the show there but he's surrounded now in particular by a group of aids who are just letting trump be trump and not even trying to guide him one way or the other. he's reacting to coverage. more than reacting to the report. that's why he switched from victor to victim and he's trying to pick a fight with congress, which in some ways is where he feels most comfortable, fighting back with subpoenas that and creating a cloud of lawsuits that will slow down everything coming. this is what he's always done. so he's being himself. that comment i could have fired mueller is as people have pointed out that the true, he could fire anyone he wants but not if there is a particular cause which there appears to be. it wasn't a good valid argument for him to make on national television. >> chuck, back over to you for a second.
some of what ashley parker's written tonight. trump's efforts to enlist corey lewandowski provides a new window into how far the president went in trying to hold back the special counsel. the episode which discomfited some of trump's most loyal advisors was read by some legal observers as one of the clearest cases laid out of mueller's report of potential obstruction of justice by the president, but chuck, i'm not being snide, what do we do with information like this? it's been the question really for the past seven days after all of that was served up to us by the special counsel. >> right. we're still digesting it and it's not clear what we do. i mean, as voters, we'll have an opportunity to do something with it in 2020. the congress has the constitutional authority to do
something with it right now and quite frankly, every sitting president becomes a former president and so conceivably, former president can be charged while a sitting president cannot, brian. i think there is a useful exercise here. if you were to read volume 2 of the report, the part that's about obstruction and take out the name trump and take out the title president and substitute any other name and title in its place, you would have somebody already in handcuffs. it is such a compelling case for obstruction. i was a federal prosecutor for a long time. i brought obstruction cases. i brought them with much less evidence than this. i understand that mueller can't charge him and therefore i understand that mueller can't recommend charging him, but people ought to read volume two to see what the president of the united states tried to do. >> annie back over to the hill for a second. it is very clear that mitch mcconnell is earning the
admiration of this president by among other things, running a factory assembly line for federal judge nominees as they get distributed to their jobs on the bench across the country at roles big and small but aside from that, what of the trump agenda, we're back into this daily routine. here is a news flash. it is said from inside the white house there is no one to disagree with the president and his thoughts are dominated by live television coverage. >> annie? >> sorry, i'm back. and there's no one to deal with in congress? i didn't catch the end of your question. >> no, there is no one to reign in the president's behavior in the white house yet again we're told the same narrative, there is no one to disagree with him. no one to bump up against and his thoughts are dominated by
what he sees here on live cable news coverage. >> that's right. mitch mcconnell does have some influence on the president i've been told in terms of his nominees for instance, there is issues right now with his nominee for the federal reserve steven moore. mitch mcconnell if he counted votes and saw six noes for him, trump would listen to him and possibly withdraw that nomination in a way he doesn't listen to anyone else. but in terms of the mueller report, we haven't seen a lot of republicans at all in the hill pushing back or saying we need to hear more or there is anything of concern here. we've heard very mitt romney maybe is one but we've not heard a lot of republicans. there has been a lot of silence. on their part. they are the party of trump and not looking to raise red flags about what's in this report that some people like chuck are saying is a clear case of the obstruction of justice outline.
>> peter baker, because you have written the story of various presidents and because i do come for you for the big thought during interviews like this one, a very sober-minded person said to me tonight that our country has been destabilized, that our president remains under investigation and that the whole world is watching. is that an over statement in any way? >> no, not at all. this is a test of democracy. what is the right answer here? we have been through this before but every time we go through an impeachment battle, we rewrite the rules for the next time. what is the precedent we're setting here? let say for the sake of argument they impeach him for this. we're setting a bar at which we said this is a line beyond which we don't think a president should cross. if we don't impeach him, we're setting a bar to say it's okay to do the things he's done because they don't cross a line. that is something that will ripple out years and years to come for future presidents.
if he wasn't impeached for that, therefore i can do this. that's what democrats are struggling with. the practicality of the politics. yet, there is a consequence if in fact they believe as some of them do that crimes have be committed here or allegations of crimes are worth looking at. >> so this may call for a judgment on your part. do you think the middle ground that is most attractive to pelosi et al. are hearings that are impeachment hearings except in title? >> yeah, looks like an impeachment hearing and smells like it and sounds like it but they don't use the word impeachment. they explore these issues and have hearings and call others to testify and call robert mueller to testify, and they may not take a vote at the end of the process but they have explored these issues and put them out there for the voters to look at. we're heading into an election year and will say fine, we're not going to decide it but the voters have to decide it. maybe that's what we do. a quasi impeachment. >> can't thank our big three enough for starting us off tonight and peter baker and annie and chuck.
thanks for being on. as day one of the joe biden campaign comes to a close now, new reporting tonight on why donald trump sees biden as his biggest potential threat among the democrats, if that's to be believed and later, an attempt by the president to rewrite history as of 7:47 this morning as "the 11th hour" is just getting started on a thursday night. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office they have businesses to grow customers to care for
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title x for affordable natbirth control and reproductive health care. the trump administration just issued a nationwide gag rule. this would dismantle the title x ("ten") program. it means that physicians cannot tell a patient about their reproductive health choices. we have to be able to use our medical knowledge to give our patients the information that they need. the number one rule is do no harm, and this is harm. we must act now. learn more. text titlex to 22422 the latest inisn't just a store.ty it's a save more with a new kind of wireless network store.
it's a look what your wifi can do now store. a get your questions answered by awesome experts store. it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. i believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as
an abhorrent moment in time. but if we give donald trump eight years in the white house, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. our very democracy, everything that's made america america is at stake. that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> well, as you heard, joe biden is in. his videotape announcement was a direct attack on the president as one "new york times" reporter put it earlier today, biden is running as the national emergency candidate as he sees it. and he's unmistakably running as the guy who can beat donald trump, not that his road will be easy. for starters, he's the front runner early. that's traditionally not the place you want to be and starting along and punishing journey. he's a white male in his 70s and
a party that shifted away from all those things of late. that makes the primary campaign tough. he also has a vast legislative past of close to half a century and while people change over the course of a lifetime, it's a lot to defend nonetheless. biden's campaign launch video focused on the white supremacist violence in charlottesville and the president's response to it weighed heavily on his decision to run. john allen sums it up, hope and change were luxuries of the past. joe biden is running on fear. biden received a warm welcome to the race from the incumbent president as you might have seen, quote, welcome to the race sleepy joe. i only hope you have the intelligence long in doubt to wage a successful primary campaign. it will be nasty. you will be dealing with people who truly have sick and demented
ideas, but if you make it, i will see you at the starting gate. tonight with sean hannity the president added this. >> i think that when you look at joe, i've known joe over the years. he's not the brightest lightbulb in the group i don't think but he has a name that they know. >> earlier in the day, biden brushed off the president's insults. >> do you have a message for president trump, he welcomed you in the race and questioned if you have the intelligence to be the president of the united states. >> everybody knows donald trump. >> here for more tonight, mike nbc news national political reporter who spent the day on the road with joe biden. matthew political reporter for "the new york times" and alexi, politics reporter for axio. sorry, my mouth took the night off without letting me know. good evening and welcome to
you all. mike, you covered joe biden the last campaign. >> uh-huh. >> you're just back. thanks to you and amtrak for getting here tonight. what's different this time around? >> well, you know what was interesting? there was a lot of talk about the suspense of joe biden's decision, how long it took him to enter this case. if it was up to joe biden, he would have waited longer to get in. there is a number of reasons his team said this has to be the time but you can see there when i asked him the question about the president's comments, whether he wanted to engage, you can see the wheels turning and there was something we don't often associate with joe biden, which was restraint there. he wanted to engage. he's ordinarily inclined to do so. what rerecognizes and his campaign team is trying to impress upon him stay above the fray. the higher the stakes, the better you'll do and get on my back, i'm the person who can beat this guy and forget about the policy discussions and everything else. this is about ending this national emergency and defeating
him at the ballot box. >> matt, talk about his choice to lead with charlottesville. >> it was clearly to your point a way to put trump in his cross hairs early on. the other candidates are running aspirational visions of their own and certainly talk about trump negatively but not the center piece of their campaign. this is him saying above the fray away, i'm the candidate to beat donald trump next fall. i'm the candidate with the sort of gravitas and history to fill this role. and charlottesville is as low of a moment both sort of in polling and for a lot of democrats under trump and i think that sort of reaction is something he's trying to channel in the video. >> alexi, i have a dramatic reading for you from politico about trump's insults against biden today. trump's insults were actually masking respect and genuine concern about biden's potential
to win his advisors say as early as last fall, trump was talking privately with aids about the threat biden posed. how are we going to beat biden he would ask when reassured the moderate biden would never defeat several of the more liberal rivals. trump pushed back but what if he does? alexi, that's the question to you. when you think of the democratic party, the p word comes into play for the progressive wing, the kind of new left the young left, how do we process it all as of tonight? >> well, there are a couple things i'd like to say about that. one, president trump as with most people you attack what you fear and it's clear by the people that he's attacked in the 2020 democratic primary he fears joe biden by the way he talked about him today and elizabeth warren because i think if my knowledge is correct, she's the only other candidate who he has tweet attacked in this race so far.
joe biden's age as you mentioned is certainly something that people question when i talked to voters, swing voters around the country and rural areas in the midwest, age doesn't seem to be a factor with these folks. they mostly say to me and axios they want someone transparent, who is honest, who they think is predictable and who they think can return the country to a sense of normalcy they don't necessarily feel under donald trump. i think that ultimately is what could really help joe biden. people think he might be predictable because they know what he was like as vice president. whereas with president trump a lot of people took a chance on him after voting for obama in '12 and '08 and voted for president trump and seeing what unpredictable presidency looks like. they want a sense of normalcy. that might be why joe biden is appealing to folks now despite him not being the most express progressive candidate in the field. >> a question out of nowhere, the president wrapping up his interview with hannity tonight referring to kamala harris
having a nasty wit. can you imagine that? >> i certainly could not. the only other time i could think about him using the word nasty is in the hillary campaign a rallying cry for feminists and women and folks in the democratic party. it interesting that he uses sleepy with folks named joe. joe donely, joe biden, i'm not sure where that comes from. maybe it's his affinity with the word sleepy and joe but i wouldn't expect him to use the word nasty with a man and he hasn't so far. >> this is where we are in 2019, cataloging and categorizing insults. our guests, and not against their will, have agreed to stay with us over the break. coming up, one thing this obama biden democrat was missing on day one of his run for the white house.
i just wanted to ask you quickly if you are the best choice for the democrats in 2020, why didn't president obama endorse you? >> i asked president obama not to endorse and he doesn't want to -- whoever wins this nomination should win it on merits. >> so that's interesting there. we're back talking about joe biden and all things with our panel. so that was interesting. >> uh-huh. >> i've heard a lot of our
colleagues on cable news tonight say do we really believe that? he's running as an obama biden democrat in what some will label an attempt for obama's third term. talk about that moment. >> joe biden has a new name for the campaign, obama biden. what's interesting though in conversations with obama advisers in the last few days i was interested in whether he would weigh in. he hasn't with any other candidate entering the field. the fact they put out a statement at all reminding everyone that in the act of selecting somebody to run as your running mate is saying this person is qualified to be president, to talk about the close personal relationship they have is not an endorsement but a signal to democratic voters that i have his back. joe biden may not have said to the former president i don't want your endorsement but i don't think he would have asked for an endorsement knowing that the president was probably not going to offer it anyway, that
know he knows what the president's advisers are saying is true, that he benefitted from that tough 2008 primary against clinton. it made him a better candidate and president. there is that element of needing to prove it to the voters to the country that you can go through the grind of this campaign, it will make you better for it. >> alexi, joe biden has lived a long life and a lot of it in public life. he has sadly lived long enough to bury two children. we have seen him at the political peaks and valleys in our country. one particularly pungent chapter of his life was the anita hill hearings. his phone call with anita hill prior to getting in the race apparently left her less than satisfied. talk about how all the aspects of a almost half century-long legislative life will have to get kind of mixed together and assessed from a 2019 standpoint.
>> you know, that will be the fascinating and potentially challenging thing for joe biden as he explores the run for the election. he had 20 something years to kill anita hill and apologize to her and he called her days, or maybe weeks before he decided to launch this campaign for the house. >> great point. >> just looks like it's politically motivated and not from a genuine place of moral authority. as anita hill said, she wasn't satisfied because she thinks he needs to express perhaps more regret to the american public in general. especially after the me too era. we're in a time women and people no matter your gender are expecting different types of behavior from people especially folks seeking public office. they want to know that you are genuine in everything you do and you're genuinely sorry for what you've done in the past. because he's lived such a long life, as you have just mentioned, he has this tort of
opportunity to to say look 40 years ago, 20 years ago, i was a different man. it was a different time. i thought about things differently. people are allowed to evolve certainly. i'm encouraging and a lot of people are of folks learning and listening and trying to understand the ways in which the world and society has changed over time and adapted to their own views in that way. biden could come out in a way and express that but in his politically calculated, it seems apology to anita hill is not what folks are looking for and the bottom line again, you might want someone who is compassionate or transparent but you want someone that's authentic and will own up to the things they have done and show they will not make the same mistakes moving forward when 2020 might look totally different in society than it does in 2019, than it will in 2022 and 2024. you need someone that will listen and learn and educate themselves and be willing to evolve. voters might not be forgiving in that. we saw the ways in which hillary
clinton was dragged in 2016 because her stance evolved over time. people weren't willing to accept that because they liked bernie sanders consistency. so it remains to be seen how upset people will be but the fact this this is coming out on the first day he announced his campaign will prove to be a problem for him until he addresses it. >> matt, let's talk about the primaries. we know the crowd the republican primaries brings out and the crowd the democratic primary brings out. his theory of the case is i'm your guy to beat this guy but primary voters may not agree with that. >> the electorate is much less sort of progressive than you might believe watching cable news or being on twitter, there is a wide swath of the electorate like him that sees this as a national emergency and sees joe biden as a stabilizing force to sort of right the ship is not necessarily as fired up
about sort of sweeping the changes is not necessarily somebody who wants to see him for all and progressive policies put forth by bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, others in the field. it's a down the middle moment not just centrist on policy but centrist in the temperament and moment we're in. we're in making the case this is a stable force that you can kind of attach yourself to to take on donald trump in fall of 2020. >> as we like to say, we're just getting started. a reminder to all, it's eight months until the first primary but no excuse for not talking about this stuff tonight. so mike to alexi, matthew, thanks for helping us do that this evening. >> thanks brian. coming up for us, new reporting on the price north korea put on the life of a young american hostage named otto warmbier and dealing with the north korean regime when we come back. - [narrator] do you have less energy than you used to?
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we learned the u.s. envoy that brought otto warmbier back home from north korea was handed a $2 million medical bill for the college student's care while remember he was being held in a labor camp. north korean officials gave american diplomat joseph the bill insisting he agree to pay before they would release the comatose warmbier. he contacted former secretary of state rex tillerson that spoke with the president, paper said trump agreed and the bill went to the state department. warmbier was flown out of north korea in a coma on june 13 of 2017. he died six days later in this country. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders was asked about the report and responded with quote, we do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration. warmbier's father said he was
not aware of this payment but sounded like a ransom payment for his late son unclear if a payment was ever in fact made to talk about it with us tonight, a senior fellow for the korea chair at the center for strategic and international studies. she's also a former senior analyst at cia, was in charge of this part of the world while on the white house national security counsel to top it off, she returns from the peninsula just this morning. we won't keep you, we're very happy to be able to ask you a few questions. how should we think about this potential ransom payment? >> well, this is extraordinarily brazen even for north korea since they returned otto in a comatose state and essentially killed him. it not surprising at all because north korea does not do anything for free. it not surprising several years ago, four years ago they
released another citizen and paid $100,000 for his release. the question is whether president trump paid this ransom and if he did, it is concerning because he has denied it. as recently as last september he said that he didn't have to pay anything, which means he has lied. of course, we don't know if he paid or not but considering if he did pay, you know, we don't know. >> i have to ask you about this week's summit between kim and putin both men our president is believed to widely admire. >> right. yes, they met. this is all part of kim jong-un's summit in diplomacy, now that there is an impasse with washington, what kim is trying to get is relief primarily to loosen implantation on sanctions from countries like china and russia but i don't think anything substantive came out of this. i think it was mostly symbolic.
it is all part of his effort to pressure washington and try to get some sort of sanctions relief. >> what can putin gain from kim? >> putin wants to show he's a player. russia always wants to be part of this diplomacy. and now that kim has met with president xi jinping four times, president trump, putin wants to make sure that he has -- he can influence what's going on. and i think now from kim jong-un's perspective, the one country that's left is japan so we have to look and see if kim meets with prime minister abe. but again, this is kim's effort to try to get sanctions relief and mobilize these countries and isolate the united states and pressure the trump administration. >> and because we're living in 2019 and everything in your world is upside down when trump accepts putin's offer to call him and brief him on the summit,
how much diplomacy does that overturn? >> i don't know how much diplomacy it overturns. it's pretty ridiculous scene. but, you know, it's -- this is where we are. north korea and the united states is at an impasse in the aftermath of the failure of the hay hanoi summit and we're not really getting anywhere with north korea and i don't see any kind of progress in the coming months. >> sue mi terry, thanks for coming on tonight. i don't know what time it is for you right now. we appreciate you joining us from chicago. >> thank you. >> tonight's uncovered segment has more from the man on the mueller report that's clearly on the president's mind this week.
report, writing, "as has been incorrectly reported by the fake news media, i never told then white house counsel don mcgahn to fire robert mueller, even though i had the legal right to do so. if i wanted to fire mueller, i didn't need mcgahn to do it, i could have done it myself." well, as part of our series of reports, "uncovered," going back over what has not been widely covered, from deep inside the mueller report we are focusing tonight on the portions that detail trump's efforts to remove the special counsel. in the report mcgahn testified the president called him twice, mid-june of 2017. mcgahn said both times trump directed him to call rod rosenstein and tell him mueller was conflicted and could not serve as special counsel. and here now is how the report explains it and we quote. "when the president called mcgahn a second time to follow up on the order to call
department of justice, mcgahn recalled that the president was more direct, saying something like "call rod. tell rod that mueller has conflicts and can't be the special counsel." mcgahn recalled the president telling him "mueller has to go and call me back when you do it." mcgahn understood the president to be saying the special counsel had to be removed by rosenstein. mcgahn, of course, never followed through on that and in fact the report says he wanted to resign but ended up staying on the job. well, fast forward january 25th of 2018. that's the day "the new york times" reported that trump had ordered mcgahn to fire mueller. mueller's team writes trump was upset over the newspaper story and brought it up during a february 6th meeting. "mcgahn recalled the president said "i never said to fire mueller. i never said fire. this story doesn't look good. you need to correct this. you're the white house counsel." in response, mcgahn acknowledged
he had not told the president directly that he planned to resign but that the story was otherwise accurate. the president asked mcgahn, "did i say the word fire?" mcgahn responded, "what you said is call rod rosenstein, tell rod mueller has conflicts and can't be the special counsel." the president responded, "i never said that." the president said he wanted to raise the conflicts issue with rosenstein and leave it to him to decide what to do. mcgahn told the president he did not understand the conversation that way and heard instead "call rod, there are conflicts. mueller has to go." the president asked mcgahn again if he would do a correction and mcgahn said no. mcgahn thought the president was testing his mettle to see how committed mcgahn was to what happened. we should further point out a critical single sentence in this mueller report. it says the following.
it says, "mcgahn is a credible witness with no motive to lie or exaggerate, given the position he held in the white house." as we get in another break here tonight, coming up, what we learned all over again just today about the echo chamber we sometimes inhabit around here. that when we come back. if you have medicare, listen up.
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they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again! last thing before we go here tonight are some pretty important findings about something that certainly affects our life and work around here,
and that's twitter. something we know but we tend to forget with regularity is that twitter is used by somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 of the u.s. social media age population, and something we know but tend to forget with regularity is this. it punches way above its weight in terms of its heft. the influence it has on our news media, on our politics, on the national conversation. we now know even more about the influence of twitter thanks to some hard numbers from our friends at the pew research center. the numbers show us, "twitter users are younger, more likely to identify as democrats, more highly educated and have higher incomes than u.s. adults overall." it goes on, "twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country. and to see evidence of racial
and gender-based inequalities in society." the study shows that twitter as a society is very top-down. "much of the content posted by americans on twitter reflects a small number of authors. the 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by u.s. users." and because just about every conversation ends up here, let's get to donald trump. while most days he seems like the loudest voice in all of social media, he has just under 60 million twitter followers. that puts him just behind kim kardashian, but interestingly, it does not put him in the top ten. here they are. led by katy perry, barack obama and justin bieber. and with that list of the top ten, that is our broadcast here tonight for this thursday
evening. thank you for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. all in with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on all in. >> america is coming back like we used to be. >> the man at the top of the polls finally enters the race. >> we are in the battle for the soul of this nation. >> tonight, can joe biden's general election strategy to attack donald trump work in a contested democratic primary. >> i dream about biden. >> then is the president creating more problems for himself when he calls his former white house counsel a liar? >> don mcgahn is a really good guy. >> pay appreciate that the president does have a concern for christian values. >> a trump supporting evangelist calls for mayor pete to repent. william barber is he to respond. all s
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