tv MTP Daily MSNBC November 7, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
my thanks to mark, emily jane fox, jonathan, nick. most of all, to you for watching especially as we're reading and ripping and reading. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. welcome to thursday. it's "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington where it's been another busy day in the impeachment front. new deposition transcripts and some new testimony. today, house investigators released the transcript of the deposition with one of the state department's top diplomats george kent. kent testified about president trump's desire for a commitment from ukraine to investigate his political opponents and that rudy giuliani conducted a quote,
campaign of lies, about the u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch. yovanovitch and kent will be publicly testifying next week after bill taylor. going to have more thon that in moment. but we're going to begin with perhaps the most important development. down on through the rank and file have now, whatever you think of their decision, they have contorted themselves so many different ways in an attempt to defend the president that i think we have an idea where this is headed. we've seen republicans call the investigation a sham because the speaker would not vote to formalize the inquiry. and then call it a sham when she did. >> shouldn't they first have voted to start an impeachment inquiry, which has always happened? >> she cannot unilaterally decide an impeachment inquiry. >> you've been demanding this vote. and now that it's happening, you say the process is still a sham. >> i applaud the speaker for finally admitting it is an entire sham but you can't put
the genie back in the bottle. >> alexander hamilton warned about days like today. this is not what we should be doing. >> we've seen republicans obsessed with the whistle-blower whose complaint is now virtually irrelevant because it's been corroborated by witness testimony and white house documents. we've also seen the gop's arguments veer all over the map about a quid pro quo with ukraine. denying it, justifying it, and just about everything in between. take a listen. >> we do that all the time with foreign policy. get over it. there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. >> i think mick was very clear in cleaning up his statement that there was no quid pro quo. >> this is part of a broader analysis of foreign aid in general in terms of what we should do. it wasn't just ukraine where the aid was held up. >> i look at it this way. the aid is there and the investigations didn't happen. so if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn't a very effective one. >> what i can tell you about the trump policy toward the ukraine, it was incoherent. it depends on who you talk to.
they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo. >> lindsey graham. he's perhaps the best individual example of these contortions because his willingness to examine evidence of wrongdoing has now yielded to unwavering support of the president despite the evidence. >> if you could show me that, you know, trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing. i'm not going to read these transcripts. the whole process is a joke. i'm not going to entertain impeaching the president over this matter. period. done. >> and then we've seen other republicans echo the president's personal attacks on democrats in an effort to please the trump faithful. >> speaker nancy pelosi is trying to impeach him. i don't mean any disrespect. but it must suck to be that dumb.
>> look. republicans have a lot of difficult questions to answer right now. but so do democrats. how do democrats prosecute this case in congress when republicans are signaling they will find a way, any way, no matter how contortion the rhetoric has to get to defend the president. jeff bennett join us us from capitol hill and here with me on set, politico associate editor. and nbc news contributor howard fineman. jeff, let me start with you what we learned today. we got a new transcript from mr. kent. and he -- this is where there's a lot of rudy giuliani in here, as well as confirmation of what he saw. what else did we learn today? >> yeah. and we have reported on the broad outlines of this testimony based on our reporting. to sort of refresh people's memories, george kent is the state department official who said that mick mulvaney branded gordon sondland, rick perry, and
kurt volker as the three amigos. those three men working with rudy giuliani to really craft this shadow foreign policy in ukraine. the transcript we got really fills in the details. and so what you get from reading this transcript is sort of the -- he really reflects the institutional outrage within the state department, as he and other career officials within the state department find themselves cut out by this shadow foreign policy that giuliani was running at president trump's behest. that is what all of the witness -- most of the witness -- testimony to this point speaks to. but he also goes beyond that. he says the work that giuliani did really undercut the work that this country, both administrations, administrations both democrat and republican, have done for the last 30 years in trying to build up that part of eastern europe in the post-soviet era. and so really, it is a top-to-bottom condemnation of rudy giuliani. describes him as a ubiquitous
nuisance really as he was running that shadow foreign policy. all the while, smearing other career department officials like marie yovanovitch. chuck. >> i'm just curious, as we continue to get more confirmation of what happened here in ukraine, are you seeing the same phenomenon that we're seeing in polling and we're seeing, it seems anecdotally, too, which is congressional republicans are almost -- it -- fewer of them are believing what they've seen rather than more of them. like, we were -- we've seen this with republican voters. even as the impeachment number goes up overall, the number of republicans is suddenly going down. and i feel like we're almost seeing that echoed in republican responses on capitol hill to what we're hearing. >> yeah, you're right about that. i think at this point, there's nothing democrats could unearth in this impeachment inquiry that could make congressional republicans break from president trump. at least as it stands right now. although, i will say this. i don't think you can find an elected democrat in washington
who thinks right now that the -- that this impeachment process will be the thing that removes donald trump from office. no one seems to think that democrats are going to be able to find 20 republicans over in the other chamber, over in the senate, to caucus -- you know, to join with the 45 democrats and the one independent who usually caucuses with the democrats to get that 67. that magic 67 number you would need to remove trump from office. the thing that they think they can do, though, is politically damage president trump as he heads into re-election and a handful of those vulnerable senate republicans who are up for re-election. i have heard some from democrats, though, to the other point, which is this. what happens if the house votes to impeach, the senate does not convict, and donald trump is re-elected? that has not happened in the history of this republic. andrew johnson was not nominated again by his party. bill clinton was impeached in his second term. nixon, as you well know, resigned before he could be impeached. so if donald trump is elected
after having been impeached, there is some hand wringing that he would be even more immune to oversight than he currently seems to think that he is, chuck. >> and we are exactly where nancy pelosi predicted we would be actually if we ever went down this road with impeachment. we're going to get to that in a few minutes. jeff bennett, thank you very much. anita, where we are in this is not a shock. we always sort of knew -- it feels like we were going to be where essentially we are at partisan point -- everybody is looking at this through a partisan lens now on capitol hill. what do the democrats do? if new information is not going to move people, they seem to be in this box where they can't -- they can't go away now. they keep getting more evidence. >> i mean, it's interesting that nancy pelosi went ahead and did this. we, as you said, we knew we would be here. >> actually, let's play these comments from adam schiff and nancy pelosi back to back. basically, on the point that jeff bennett said. adam schiff and nancy pelosi. this is before ukraine.
actually, it was taking place at this time. but they weren't referring to ukraine at the time. take a listen. >> there is, i think, great weight to the argument that this is the strongest form of censure that we have and if we don't use it, what message does that send to the next generation? i worry equally, though, chuck about the message of taking impeachment case to trial, losing that case, having the president acquitted, and then having an adjudication that this conduct is not impeachable. >> there is a school of thought that says if the senate acquits you, why bring charges against him in the private sector when he's no longer president? >> and you think those republican senators, even if they know he committed a crime, will side with donald trump. >> they have been every day. not one of them has spoken up. >> i think adam schiff presented the dilemma about as well as anybody, which is they feel duty bound to do this and they know it might be a brick wall. >> right. and let me tell you what i'm hearing from people close to the president that he talks to.
there are a lot of problems what west side' going on now. there's not a message. they need someone in charge. all sorts of problems. but some people keep coming back to this. that he will not be removed from office. probably not. they don't have the votes in the senate. then he's feels like he's vindicated. he's going to go on the campaign trail and say they gave it everything they got. i won. i'm victorious and he gets re-elected. that's going to be his campaign rallying cry. >> the re-election part might be more difficult than getting the acquittal part and you can kind of see him. after the mueller report, it was no collusion, no obstruction. >> by the way, trying to think what will follow. >> you know, no conviction. no quid pro quo, right? i think that will help him and will energize him and energize his voters. but i continue to believe that impeachment will be a distant memory by the time we get to election day 2020. >> and he'll have stepped on himself -- >> who knows what else we'll be talking about? >> but, howard, this is a -- what this does do is it presents the most weird 90 days for us.
>> yeah. >> we are going to go through -- because this will impact iowa. this will impact elizabeth warren's campaign. like, this is going to be an unusual 90-day period. >> but let's think it through for a while. okay. the house will do its public hearings. we know that the house will vote to impeach. that means the senate, under the constitution, has to hold a trial. mitch mcconnell keeps saying, well, we don't know how long that's going to be. >> by the way, when does -- do you have an idea when it starts realistically? >> no. but whenever it does start, at some point, he will raise a motion to table -- to stop the impeachment proceedings. but the way that will come up, as i understand the rules in having talked to the parliamentarians about this, it will take three democrats -- excuse me -- it'll take three republicans joining with all the democrats to vote to continue the hearings. in other words, mcconnell makes it sound like he has complete control of when this thing gets shut off. that's not true.
if, say, you know, take three republic republicans do do that. >> and we know the three that won't sign. >> but the other thing is likely to happen it seems to me and i don't think mcconnell will stand in the way, i think there will be something approaching a sit-down strike by the republican senators in terms of their participation in the trial. i mean, they'll be faced with that choice. do they take part in the trial? do they turn it into a real -- buttress the -- the -- >> i have heard that if they speak while the trial's ongoing, they'll be ejected from the chamber. >> oh, elizabeth warren, i'll speak if i can go back to iowa. >> yeah. >> anita, i think i -- i think howard's right there will be some that try some circus antics. that's dangerous though, too. that can boomerang. >> it is dangerous but the president is putting a lot of pressure on them. he is fuming that he -- that the republicans are not up there
fighting back. he's seen that from the house senate republicans. he's very upset about. >> by the way, we have an idea. i want to move to this "washington post" story today about bill barr. i thought, all right, interesting story. bill barr showing a little independence. maybe thinks some of the things with the white house is too far. you know, that trump wanted barr to hold a news conference and he wouldn't go that far. but, boy, is the president angry about this. he's done four tweets on this article. we put up a graphic. look at all of the things he has said. this is like, you know, jeez, i wonder how true this story is. because he's saying totally untrue, we don't have freedom of the press. actually, that doesn't happen make sense on this one. never happened. sources that don't exist. garbage newspaper. degenerate "washington post." he is so upset about this story. does he think he's lost bill barr? i mean, i'm trying to figure out what has angered him about this story that gets under his skin.
>> he doesn't want to look like he's lost bill barr. i don't think he's lost bill barr. i don't think he wants people to think -- >> yeah, he doesn't want people to think it because he needs bill barr for a whole host of things. the major thing he needs bill barr for now is to continue bill barr's investigation of how this is all about those bad ukrainians and hunter biden and joe biden. in other words, the counternarrative that barr has been investigating with his lead prosecut prosecutor durham, trump is counting on that becoming a show trial of some sort that will counterbalance attention to impeachment. >> this is where trump steps on himself. matthew, this is what that story looked like to me. barr is desperate to get some of his independence back, wants people to take him a bit more seriously. he knows he's got this durham report. i think helping his own reputation around town a bit and then trump actually, no, no, no, don't think there's any independence at the justice
department. >> i don't think the justice department has commented yet on the story to deny it or -- or affirm it. >> well, they have -- they certainly weren't very helpful to the post with the story. >> right. well, i think the consequence of trump really being his only spokesperson throughout this process. if you look at his tweeting habits, september i believe set a record in number of tweets. and that continues as he is the only person, in his mind, who is generating his defense as the impeachment moves along. and he has some allies, like lindsey graham. but they're not as prominent in the media as, of course, the president himself. >> now, it makes sense. from what you said, it -- it -- anything that makes trump in his own mind look weak anywhere, in any sense, is what he goes crazy over. >> yeah. no. the reason he doesn't have anyone out there or not that many people is they don't know what to say. as you indicated at the top of
the story, there's been six or ten messages. some are working. some aren't. they contradict each other. the white house has not shared here are -- here is the message we would like to convey. >> i think trump's only audience at this point are republican members of the senate. and anything that make s him lok weak in their eyes is what he's worried about. >> all right, guys. let's put the pause button here. anita, matthew, and howard, stick around. we just got even more testimony that trump wanted to pressure ukraine to investigate the bidens. but does more evidence even matter? does more evidence even matter ave moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections
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welcome back. newly-released testimony today adds another voice to the chorus of witnesses who have come before congress to say the ukraine was being pressured to investigate the bidens and that giuliani was manipulating foreign policy for trump aets political benefit. as we said, even as more testimony is released and public impeachment hearings begin next week, democrats still face one
giant hurdle. a republican-led congress really, both in the senate and in the house side, who seem unmoved by any of this evidence. joining me now is democratic congressman denny heck. a member of the house intel committee. congressman, lets's start with that riddle because i feel this isn't -- you're not building a circumstantial case. you guys have, in some cases, first-person witnesses. this is not the mueller report. this is not one-offs here, an australian diplomat there. and yet, it's not -- it's not moving the other side here. at what point does that become a problem? >> well, it's not moving to the other side, chuck, today. but let's see what the future brings. let's see what the continued disclosure of these depositions, which is incredibly powerful testimony, brings. let's see what the open public hearings brings. you know, we're going to be treated to, i think, some
incredible conversation between some of these witnesses and members of congress. i keep thinking about ambassador yovanovitch, who has had a 33-year incredibly distinguished career in the foreign service. and the administrations operatives went after her to destroy her character, destroy her reputation, to destroy her career. and the fact of the matter is she is exceedingly well-regarded. let's let her tell her story and then see what the american public thinks along with the other witnesses. >> how much does public opinion -- public opinion, at least among republicans, is clearly having an impact on how republicans publicly respond to these allegations. which means public opinion is playing a bigger role in this than maybe, you know, it should. and bewe can debate the ethics that but it is. how much should your side take that into account in your mind? >> i don't know that it's a question of what we're talking
into account, chuck. i'm looking at the evidence. i'm going to the depositions. a paying very close attention to the evidence. but the fact of the matter is maybe what our friends on the other side of the aisle need to pay attention to. what i think is forthcoming is probably going to move more. >> so where do we -- where do you hope, on these impeachment hearings, is there a way that the public's going to feel like they hear new information? or do you believe it's verbalizing it, seeing it in public that will start to chang change the conversation? >> yes, i do believe it will start to change the conversation but it's actually for both reasons. there are, believe it or not, some members of the public who haven't tuned into this yet. and for them, it will be new information. there are others for whom actually hearing it out of the mouths of ambassador taylor and ambassador yovanovitch and dr.
fiona hill. when they actually hear these words and digest what happened here i think could have a big impact out there. i've been virtually every one of these depositions virtually every minute of them and it's incredibly impactful to hear the stories and their words. we should add, chuck, every single witness that has come before us in virtually every material way has corroborated one another's representation of the basic narrative of what happened here. >> i was just going to say, by the way, just curious on the whistle report front, is there anything left in the whistle-blower's report that you haven't been able to corroborate? >> i don't think that that's something i should reveal until the deposition that answers that question is out. but stay tuned. >> well, okay. well, that was a nice little tease there, congressman. >> sorry, chuck. >> fair enough. on the hearings themselves, look, the calendar is what it is
and while i know you want to say you're going to take as long as is necessary but, you know, the calendar is what it is. how many weeks do you expect to need for these hearings? how many witnesses do you think is necessary for the public to understand why you guys may vote articles of impeachment out of the house? >> well, i think there's a mountain of evidence in support of that at this point as we've both indicated. but i think we're going to have fewer witnesses for the open public hearing than we had depositions. i don't think we have to have them all back in and i certainly don't think we have to sit through 6 to 12 hours of questioning with them. but the bottom line and the answer to the spirit of your question, chuck, is i fully expect and hope that this will be completely dealt with on the house side before the christmas district court period. >> i'm curious constituent-wise, i hear two different -- three different -- sort of views of how impeachment plays outside of washington. what i've heard from voters and
i'm curious how you answer the following question. there's -- there's that voter that says i know he's done all this stuff but i knew that from the beginning. you know, you guys aren't telling me anything i don't railro already know. i got this in november. what do you tell that voter about why you need to go through this process? >> so there's probably not a lot of return on investment for that protracted conversation with somebody who's already made their mind up. but i tell you the way that i deal with people when we have this conversation -- in fact, i was home this week at a early veterans ceremony at the city hall of one of the towns in my district. and he was kind of on the other side of this issue. and it was a matter of me just saying to him, and his name is paul, i said, paul, this is a matter of conscience. this isn't about political calculus or an evaluation about what the impact will be on the election. the power to impeach, the remedy that our founding fathers gave us is aside from the authority
to declare war. the most important thing that congress can do. it's the most serious thing that congress can do. so i always talk to peopleabilipeople about i'm undertaking this as a matter of conscience. people of good will, even if they disagree vehemently, can extend to the other person the respect to pursue matters of conscience i think in many cases. >> and then there's another argument you can make congressman, which is you can make the argument the politically-expedient thing to do is to avoid this and just go to the campaign. so in that sense, you guys are doing this the hard way politically, if you will. >> and it's a waiting decision. so why add to the wait of the decision? why add to the difficulty of the decision? the added layer of, okay, what's the political implication of that? it's a heck of a lot easier just to set that aside and ask yourself what is the right thing to do here? >> congressman denny heck. democrat out of washington state. thanks very much. much appreciate you coming on. >> thank you, sir.
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filed fo filed for a presidential primary. michael bloomberg is going to file in the alabama 2020 presidential primary as a candidate for the democratic nomination. a source close to bloomberg says he is expected to file this paperwork this week. november 8th is the filing deadline in alabama. it's the first of the presidential primary filing deadlines. i have had sources for months indicating to me that bloomberg was looking for a way and sort of never fully out of this process. constantly, looking to see the status of biden's candidacy. and obviously, this will be something that many people read as michael bloomberg's assessment of the status of the biden campaign. for what it's worth, if this is what it appears to be, he's filing in alabama. we'll find out in four days if he files in arkansas. that's the next filing deadline. november 12th in arkansas for that presidential filing deadline. so suddenly, an interesting
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anita kumar, matthew, howard fineman are back with us. well, this almost always happens. we had the hand wringing from the democratic establishment going, oh, boy, what's wrong with biden? oh, my god, elizabeth warren's going to be the nominee. low and behold, michael bloomberg files here. now, we're still trying to figure out is this a famous stunt campaign? is he waiting skip the first four states? would make a lot of sense for a guy -- >> or is it preserving his options? who knows? >> the emergency candidate. >> boy, the billionaires really are scared about elizabeth warren. they need a mega-billionaire. tom steyer's not good enough money. you know, andrew yang doesn't have any money. >> i embrace -- this has always
been the problem for bloomberg is that she will embrace this because it gives her the foil. she wouldn't mind a billionaire foil. >> i totally agree with that. this is exactly what she wants, right? someone else coming in. of course, she has another person out there that has all that money. py righe's not getting the attention. so exactly. she could run against this person. she could run against him. >> he could run against her. he's not afraid of it. he's -- i mean, he has experience. he's extremely smart and he's extremely wealthy so he will have all the resources he needs. the question is whether the democratic coalition is ready for him. if there's support out there. whenever i look at the polls, it seems democrats are pretty satisfied with their choices. >> we asked this question and i'm glad you brought it up. we put it in your poll when the times story came out and our pollster's like, guys, this is not a democratic primary electorate who's going we don't have enough choices. we like the field as it is.
so you're right. but -- >> but -- but in terms of the opposition to let's call it the warren and warren 1a in bernie sanders right now, on that side of the ledger. who really is the standard bearer of the rest if it's not joe biden? i mean, i think clearly what the bloomberg people are thinking is the following. joe biden doesn't look like he's necessarily going to take off as that representative of the middle. the center. he's struggling. pete buttigieg is twand likable but is he really the guy to carry that message? steyer doesn't seem to be going anywhere. yang is interesting but a little quirky. i'm sure they said to themselves, you know, and also there are already four or five people in their 70s in the race. >> so age doesn't matter. >> age doesn't seem to matter. so let's make it a party.
>> by the way, he'll did she he's only the third oldest in the race or fourth oldest in the race if you throw trump in. >> he's a kid. >> i don't think people are caring about the age. look at donald trump. >> that's been proven. that's been proven. >> i just -- so -- i just -- i do think this sends a really bad message to donors about biden. >> and they haven't been very excited about biden as it is, right? >> this only seems to add -- and if you're the biden campaign, you're like, oh no. you now have given the people that are wringing their hands -- >> somewhere to go. right. >> look at the election results tuesday. the election results in kentucky in particular, and also virginia to some extent, show that the way for democrats to take back the white house is to run to the center. to run the same campaign they run in 2018. suburban-based healthcare and education. and the worry is, as we know among many democrats, is that elizabeth warren campaigning to restructure american capitalism
is precisely -- >> here's the thing that's been missing in this democratic party. this is a very coastal field. it feels coastal. right? we have a country. we have coastal, middle, urban, rural. elizabeth warren. joe biden. these -- you know, the big ivy league schools. michael bloomberg, you know, the one middle america in the top tier is pete. >> i think that's right. >> yet, he's also defined by harvard and stuff too. so i don't know if bloomberg helps on the culture front. >> he definitely doesn't help on the culture front. but if part of the argument's going to be a fundamental contrast about the nature of economics and the economic system. whether the government should take over all of healthcare. whether there should be a vigorous, sweeping new attempt to regulate business. >> uh-huh. >> whether we're going through another sort of semi-30s era or
even the dawn of the progressive era. so it'll be an interesting intellectual debate. but i agree with you geopolitically, bloomberg doesn't help the democrats. >> there's a huge strength he will bring that nobody else has and it's a unique strength. i saw it myself about a week ago. and that is, the devotion mayors -- fellow mayors have to him. bloomberg has worked mayors. and, you know, he reaches out. new mayors. older mayors. republican mayors. democratic mayors. he is -- and he -- he really trying to activate them on that. that is a formidable. we've seen candidates have the support of governor in the past. that could be a formidable, quick up and coming field operation fast. like the mayor of birmingham, michael bloomberg was just with him last week. >> he has his gun control issue where he's connected with people all over the country. his group -- yes -- and was very involved with the elections on
tuesday in virginia. and other communities. >> they're not coming to this blind. this is not like -- this isn't west clark. this isn't wes clark going, mary, help, what am i doing? michael bloomberg, if you think about it whether it's the different groups that he's funded, he's been politically preparing himself for this for years. >> interesting, not to compare small things with great but pete buttigieg from the beginning, has worked the mayors and i happen to know there are a bunch of mayors around the country who either have endorsed him or who are waiting for the right moment, impactful moment to endorse mayor pete. >> it's the communities. you know, it's something that united states senator and you will be like that in your home state. but you're not around the country in communities talking to community leaders. and that's one of the things his groups have done is that he's -- he or the people that he's involved with -- are out there in the communities talking to law enforcement, talking to community leaders. so there is that advantage. >> -- told corey lewandowski
when he was interviewing for the campaign manager job, i have my own plane. and that actually helpings a candidate because you can fly around the country. corey told -- and not only that, it's a nimble plane, which can get you to smaller towns. >> and joe biden is still going to go with the elitist thing. the thing he is going with now. i mean, he's going toy a he's an elitist. i don't know if it will stick but he will. >> all the elitist stuff on elizabeth warren. now, he's got a much bigger target but a more problematic one. i -- to me, at first blush, it doesn't seem like a great moment for the democratic party. >> yeah. >> it speaks a certain amount of anxiety and confusion. but i will say howard sharp and the elizabeth warren thing big time. >> but, howard, aren't we -- one of the things, this is the point where only -- we're only seeing warts on the candidates. i go back to 2003 at this time. john kerry, dead.
howard dean, the front-runner in the same moment, and suddenly that's when people regular go, can this guy hack it? and that's the moment. and then kerry ended up coming back and he looked really strong for a good six months, right? >> who's the john kerry in your scenario? >> it would be biden. we're sort of writing him off in the same thing and then kerry was sort of the default guy. now, this is where bloomberg screws that up for them. >> the west clark or whatever. michael bloomberg was mayor of the biggest city in the country. has how many 20, 30, 40, 50 billion. help me out here. >> that's -- no, the single most important thing for people to take away from this, this is serious. >> with these margins, the lead. biden's lead in south carolina is very big but that could change. >> people that are polled, even people that say they favor elizabeth warren, lots of room to change their mind right now. it's still too early and they are saying they could change their mind.
>> perhaps, cruelly i'm thinking of bill de blasio right now. sorry. >> i want to go back. so she is going to hit him on the money and she's going to hit him there. one thing, though, on a couple of the huge issues for the left. guns and climate. who's to his left? >> well, beto was to his left. but he's not going to be a factor any longer. >> right? i mean, so -- >> also, the governor of -- of -- >> you can make an argument -- >> i don't think he's braem emb that. >> that's one area where he is more to the center than she is. >> in the mosmoke-filled room, you'd have bloomberg has the right balance of what you want to win a broad election. maybe not a deep election. by the way, bloomberg's arguably an exurben republican and at the time same time, you care about these core progress iv issues
like guns and climate, it ain't just somebody buying an election. >> i'm trying to think of michael bloomberg as the nominee in western pennsylvania. the suburbs of michigan. michigan suburbs. the ohio suburbs. >> by the way, there's only -- it's the same running mate pete buttigieg has to pick. it's stacey abrams by the way. there's nobody else bloomberg can match up with than stacey abrams. >> why? >> i think he has to have a person of color. i think he needs diversity on the ticket. >> i don't know what he would need. i'm just trying to think of bloomberg selling nationally in the nitty gritty of the key swing places. maybe he can. >> but i didn't think -- i think we all thought new york city doesn't sum up america. >> trump was the candidate from the apprentice. he wasn't the candidate from new york.
>> i just think -- >> the guy that talks their language, which michael bloomberg doesn't. >> no but i do this -- i don't think that's going to be as problematic. >> i think republicans -- no -- repunl publ republicans are ready to hit him on the two issues just said. they're going to paint him as elizabeth warren. >> sure but elizabeth warren's going to paint him as a closet right winger. >> before we get to the general, though, there is the primary. when you think about bloomberg's entry and relationship to the democratic primary rules, the chances of a brokered convention have increased if bloomberg is serious about this. >> i know you said every time -- >> i mean, we joked about if -- >> field this large, this front-loaded and with these many candidates pulling a significant percentage of the vote. >> even in '76, people thought no way.
and even '76 wasn't a contested convention. so with the same level number of candidates. >> by the way, i think there's a contested convention's more likely with or without bloomberg. like, i feel like when you have like sanders campaign that will not go anywhere and we know he has a devoted following that is about 15%, it will probably prevent any potential nominee from getting what they need. >> well, ironically, by changing the rules, they pushed the role of the so-called superdelegates to a second ballot. so ironically, that's going to end up making the superdelegates the one deciding. >> and you're going to get hate mail from the bernie people. you' you've already written him off. >> no, i'm not writing him off. you know, i do think that the health issue is something that is going to be something -- >> polls recently have showed people are concerned about that. >> very hard to overcome.
we've all been speculating with a last-minute candidate. what if it had been sharon brown that had jumped in and not michael bloomberg? >> bloomberg has a national -- >> money. >> huge resources and a policy apparatus. remember, before he made the decision to kind of not jump in at the outset, he had consultants running through the numbers. scenario planning. so he has a lot of nfrlinformat and data to bear now. that's something sheriff brown would not have had. >> brown is a terrific candidate and lovely guy. and -- >> the smoke-filled room, he's the one. >> everybody i know who i respect liked sherrod brown. >> i don't think people know him well enough. he doesn't have the name. and it's late in the game and he doesn't have the name. >> that's not happening. >> well, there you go. a little breaking new the in the hour. michael bloomberg. for what it's worth, my sources,
this doesn't necessarily mean he's actively going to have a campaign for the next couple months. this really may be what this is in a case of an emergency filing type of story or so. let's not assume this filing means that bloomberg 2020.com is active. we'll be right back. ♪ (dramatic orchestra) >> "meet the press daily" is sponsored by the all the new 2020 lincoln aviator. new 2020 lincoln aviator there's the amped-up, over-tuned, feeding-frenzy-of sheet-metal-kind. and then there's performance that just leaves you feeling better as a result. that's the kind lincoln's about. ♪ great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance,
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welcome back. nearly eight months after its completion, one of the remaining mysteries from robert mueller's report was whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved in the release of stolen dnc e-mails. some of that mystery may be revealed in the coming weeks with roger stone. donald trump's longtime personal friend and adviser now standing trial on charges that he lied to congress about his communications with wikileaks and that he actually obstructed justice as well. today, during the first full day of testimony, prosecutors presented documents they say back up their claim that stone lied to congressional investigators about never communicating with the trump campaign about his wikileaks intermediary. prosecutors also released text messages they say stone sent to his associate, randy credico, who he told investigators was his intermediary to wikileaks founder, julian assange. it's a rosenkranz and guildenstern cast of characters here. so will the rosenstein trial answer the lingering questions we've had for months about the mueller report.
joining me now, ben wittes, and ken dilanian, who covers intelligence and national security for nbc news and particularly is on this trial. ken, let me start with you. i want to put up a full screen here of the mueller report. volume i, page 51. just a reminder of all the heavy redactions involving stone. harm to ongoing matter, harm to ongoing matter, investigative technique, investigatie ivive technique. it's the harm to ongoing matter. trump campaign showed interest in wikileaks cases in the fall of 2016. harm to ongoing matter. this is the matter. >> i think this is exactly where the material that we are now seeing in the stone trial lies in the mueller report. it's surprising to me that it had to be redacted, because by the time this was released, stone had been indicted and he was entitled to this evidence. so really, the public missed out on a key part of the story, which we're now getting. >> you called this the lost chapter or the last chapter? >> the lost chapter. we've now found it. it's on page 51. and it's a story of roger stone in close touch with then
candidate donald trump. now, the prosecutors don't know what was said on those phone calls, but they have e-mails from stone to paul manafort and steve bannon that just proves that the campaign was closely involved in stone's efforts to figure out what julian assange had, how he was going to deploy those e-mails, how he could use those to the benefit of the trump campaign. he even said, i can save donald trump's you know what, but it ain't going to be pretty. that was his message to manafort and bannon. >> so, ben, one of the, to me, the recurring mysteries. when the russians first shot these e-mails, they kind of dumped them around. they didn't know what was useful, what wasn't. at some point, somebody helped them figure out what they had. and that's to me been one of the mysteries. is it wikileaks that did it, is it somebody that helped them? we don't know. and this is all part of it. there seem to be some group of people who had a lot of awareness about what was happening and what was in them. and that seems to be a mystery mueller never solved. >> it is a mystery mueller never solved. the story that mueller tells is
that, you know, first, the gru, the russian intelligence service basically set up its own site, which was called dc leaks, and just kind of dumped stuff out there through their own -- >> fancy bear, right? >> exactly. set stuff up and kind of released it itself. >> but it wasn't good. they didn't quite know what they had. this is all we've got? >> exactly. then they started using julian assange instead. and wikileaks is pretty sophisticated. you know, they are not simply dumping stuff out there. they were a little bit more sophisticated about it. and this episode is an episode of the trump campaign through roger stone trying to figure out what wikileaks had. now, there were hints of this between the redactions in the mueller report. there's a scene that's mostly redacted, but there's a couple of lines that are there where trump is in a car near the airport and he takes a call from roger stone. and then the rest is blacked out. and so i think this is the part
that we're going to learn what those little episodes were, but that said, i don't think there's, in those redactions, are the kind of -- and there is the conspiracy where donald trump says, aha, now we will conclude with the russians. i think it's more roger stone trying to play this intermediary role. >> now, we're going to have a few witnesses that are interesting characters in this trial, right, ken? steve bannon. >> yeah. >> is going to make an appearance and apparently be a witness for the prosecution. randy credico. >> randy credico today tried to do a bernie sanders impersonation on the stand. >> he is, shall we say, a character. which in some ways i've always thought is why roger stone had sort of slipped out of this for a while. there's always part of stone here like, nah, you never know quite how much of this is bs and how much is real. >> this actually helps him in a perjury case. it's hard to prosecute a
congenital liar for perjury. that's his defense, that he was being played, he played other people. >> this is what he does. >> exactly. but look, they've charged him with intimidating randy credico. here's an excerpt from an email. you're a rat, a stoolie, you backstab your friends. i am so ready, prepare to die this has randy stone to his associate, randy credico. they've got it in black and white on stone. this is going to be really difficult to defend. >> so ben, i want to take it to this logical end. so if one of the key witnesses for robert mueller is roger stone and they've decided he obstructed justice, they decided he lied to congressional investigators, and the government wins that case, well, then the mueller report's not finished. then, okay, it means it is -- they have proven that that investigative track was compromised. and was poisoned.
why shouldn't they reinvestigate? >> so look, there's two possible answers to that question. and to my mind, neither of them is satisfying. the first is that mueller did not finish the investigation and that there really is, you know, a -- you know, roger stone could have been flipped, could have you lean on him and you get his cooperation and you find out what his real story is. that's possibility number one. possibility number two is they kind of knew enough to know that, at most, what roger stone was doing was acting as an intermediary between the trump campaign and wikileaks, not between the trump campaign and the russians. and therefore, really, no matter what roger stone did, it wouldn't change the fundamental analysis that the trump campaign hadn't colluded with the russians to the point that would constitute a criminal conspiracy. >> how long's this trial going to be. >> a couple of weeks. but i want to say, by the way,
that was bad enough that that happened. it may not have been criminal. and it's a shame that mueller couldn't have written his report in a way to communicate to the american people how bad that was. >> ben wittes and ken dilanian, the stone trial at a minimum will be entertaining and at maximum will be quite influential on all of this. we'll be back with more "meet the press daily." "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> we have a big show and exclusive guest tonight. rudy giuliani's name appearing hundreds of times in impeachment testimony as he hires three new lawyers. al mueller witness makes her first-ever appearance on "the beat" tonight. this comes as witnesses take the stand in the trial of donald trump's longest-serving adviser, roger stone, what chuck was just discussing with his panelists. we have sclooucan exclusive on tonight. and later, new reports about trump's plans for leaving the white house. they involve television. so we'll get to that. but we begin with new cracks in trump's defense to impeachment, as an aide to vice president pence knocks the
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