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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  December 10, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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my thanks to my guests on such a crazy day of news. devlin, chuck, carol, michael, most of all, thanks to you for watching. that does it for our hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. welcome to tuesday, it's "meet the press daily." good evening, i'm chuck todd in new york. formal articles of impeachment against this president have been unveiled. it's just the fourth time in american history that any president has had impeachment articles against them. today, democrats introduced two. number one, abuse of power, number two, obstruction of congress. moments ago, the house judiciary said they will start marking up the articles tomorrow night.
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in its current form, they accuse president trump of, quote, ignoring and injuring national security, of corrupt motives and of attempting to, quote, cover up his own repeated misconduct. and they warn if the president stays in office, he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution. that is in this article. now, the message that democrats seemingly want to convey to the public is that president trump is a threat to the democracy. >> the integrity of our next election at risk from a president who has already sought foreign interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections and who consistently puts himself above country. that is why we must act now. >> it is bad enough for a candidate to invite toforeign interference into our political process, but it is far more corrosive for a president to do so and to abuse his power to make it so.
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despite everything we have uncovered, the president's misconduct continues to this day, unapologetically and right now. >> but then literally an hour after portraying president trump as a changer to the country, democrats announced they struck a deal with the president on one of his biggest priorities, nafta 2.0, usmca, which would represent one of his biggest legislative achievements as president. those announcements highlight how democrats might be muddying their impeachment message. they believe he's a threat, how can they trust him to implement a massive foreign policy deal he will lean on during the 2020 election? the decisions by democrats to limit the scopes of the articles of impeachment seem to signal that speaker pelosi is thinking about protecting her house majority, especially as republicans blast away at impeachment. and there does not appear to be any cracks in the president's republican firewall, as today,
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he defiantly tweeted that impeachment is a, quote, witch hunt. and his attorney general, bill barr, went to extraordinary lengths to push the president's ideas. we'll have a lot more on that in a moment. but we're going to begin tonight with the historic developments surrounding impeachment. i'm joined now by kristen well kerr and garrett haake. the markup. what's there to mark up on this one? >> yeah, look, this is pretty much a formality tomorrow. the markup will start at 7:00 tomorrow night, they'll go for a couple of hours, resume again on thursday. when you have a resolution like this crafted by committee chairs with the stamp of approval from top leadership, there's really not a word that's likely to be changed, but this is one more opportunity, again, for both sides to present their arguments in a major forum before this heads to the floor. i expect this will be a pretty nasty process here over the next two days, almost every parliamentary tool available can
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be used in a markup like this, expect a lot of amendments, a lot of roll call votes, a lot of back and forth fighting over this and even that's probably just a preview of how much more nastiness this will get before this thing goes to the floor sometime next week. >> do have more intel on why they went narrow and decided to go the two articles, there was talks about having articles that maybe others wanted to see, mueller-related, but maybe those would get voted down, did they decide they wanted to keep the party unified? >> there's a couple of things going on here. there's the element of keeping the party unified. bring forth the best case you can prove, essentially, and that's what democrats are trying to do here. part of this is, you look at their messaging over the last several weeks on this, they want the impeachment message to be focused on 2020, to be forward-looking. what the president, they believe, did in ukraine or with ukraine is a threat to the 2020 election. it's a threat going forward. the mueller-related elements could be seen as more backward-looking, more about 2016. they didn't want to get bogged
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down in that debate. you have the two very narrow articles that democrats think they can keep or most all of their conference united on. >> kristen well kerr, the president gets usmca, is the white house happy or do they wish they had the talking point that democrats aren't doing anything other than impeaching this president? >> it certainly waters down that key argument of president trump's, that this is the do nothing democrat party. now, of course, it's going to be a lot more complicated, but look, this allows president trump to claim victory, as well, and so you're clearly going to see him focus on that, chuck, the fact that he was able to get something done in the middle of this impeachment. he'll likely boast about that tonight, moments from now, he's going to be traveling to the battleground state of pennsylvania, to hershey, pennsylvania, to be, exact, my colleague hallie jackson out on the south lawn, waiting to try to ask the president questions about this historic day, to get his reaction, but as you point
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out, he has been responding to this on twitter, calling it a witch hunt and i think you're going to hear his full-throated response when he's out on the trail. he is, of course, in his element when he's out on the trail. you'll hear about usmca, the fact that he's going to beat this. and i can tell you that the thinking inside the white house right now is to really focus on that senate trial. the deputy press secretary out today saying they want to see adam schiff testify, joe biden, hunter biden, but of course, that would require 51 votes and it's not clear that mitch mcconnell is going to be pushing for that, because his main goal is to try to not only protect president trump, but to hold onto the republican majority in the senate. >> very quickly, before i let you go, the lavrov meeting, the foreign minister of russia came to visit the white house today. look, we'll let the novelists and the academics and 30 years from now talk about the coincidence of that meeting hall on the same day as articles of impeachment. what have you learned about the meeting, anything? >> just moments ago, we got a
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readout of the meeting. let me read you a little bit of it just to give you a sense of what they discussed, according to the white house. it says today president trump met with foreign minister lavrov. he briefed president trump in the state of the bilateral relationship between the united states and russia. it does say that president trump warned against any russian attempts to interveer fere in u states election elections. that part notable, because that is at the center of this impeachment, and this impeachment has put the president's policies as it relates to russia and ukraine under increased scrutiny. he's been widely criticized for not being tough enough against russia. he's pushed back on that, so, it's notable that the first line in this readout effectively deals with the issue of russian meddling. >> i was just going to say, this feels like written by foreign policy professionals. >> that's right. this was written by someone who knew that they needed to get
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that up very high, chuck, because as you may recall, in other meetings that president trump has had with president putin, with sergey lavrov in 2017 -- >> he latchughs it off. >> right. just contrast today with what happened in 2017, chuck, because remember, that happened a day after comey had been fired, president trump referred to comey as a nut job in that meeting. he even spilled some u.s. intelligence secrets and so he set off alarm bells with the meeting. this aimed at sending a different signal tonight, chuck. >> garrett and kristen, what a day. a lot going on. you've kicked it off pretty well for us. thank you both. joining me here now in new york, national political reporter steve kornacki and contributor brett stevens. steve, what are we to make -- nancy pelosi is very aware of this house majority and she
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wants to keep her house majority. on the other hand, she is very focused on trying to make this impeachment thing work. how should -- what should rank and file democrats take away from her decision at 9:00 to have the articles and at 10:00 to give the president his trade deal? >> one of the biggest criticisms that you hear from trump and his supporters is, hey, the democrats are so fixated on impeaching me that the business of the country isn't being done. so, now democrats have an answer to that, well, we have the articles of impeachment and we got something done. i think there is a bigger question here, and this applies to dms and how they approach this, this applies to trump, and that is whether anything, a trade deal, impeachment, anything else, is going to change anybody's mind, because what keeps coming back to me, if you look at the average on the polling right now, impeach trump, 48%, 46% no. 2016 popular vote, hillary clinton, 48%, donald trump, 46%.
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it feels like everything has synched up with what it has been for three years, pretty much nonstop. >> are you comfortable with this as a democratic activist? >> look, i think the democratic congress has actually done over 200 bills that are right now languishing at the feet of mitch mcconnell. the trade deal is the biggest, because what nancy pelosi is able to demonstrate is, look, impeachment is not personal. you try to say it is personal, we are still doing the business of the people, but what he has done is crossed significant lines. and at the end of the day, what the democratic party needs to do is to figure out how are they going to increase the base. it's the base of voters they need to bring. how do they bring more people into the population. the fact that it's a 50/50 split, that's not surprising. are they going to be able to up courage people to participate in their democracy? they did exactly that in 2018. they did grow the base with young people, with foreign youth. >> we'll knoll in a year if this was the right strategy or not, we'll know in a year, but there
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is a part of me that thinks that republicans have treated this as a threat to president trump, democrats haven't, collectively, maybe in the house, they have, but not in the campaign trail, not -- they're not singing from the same song sheet. >> with respect to impeachment, no, i mean -- but look. i want to say about what pelosi is doing. this is good politics but it is also principled politics, and this is something that's been on the conservative side my entire life. >> nancy pelosi, principled politics. ten years ago you might have struggled with that. >> passing usmca is a critical national security priority. if we don't pass it, we could have trouble in north america for decades to come and the fact that she is doing this at the same time as impeachment is moving forward shows that she wants to get the people's business done and that she's acting in the interest of the country at large. i think it's good politics, precisely for the reasons that
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you -- you spelled out, which is to say, we are not the do nothing congress, we are willing to work constructively with the administration when it helped -- when it helps the american people and we are not going to let the business of impeachment get in the way of the business of the people. >> the decision to go narrow. it seems to me -- i'm guessing they thought about the broader, steve, and then they came up with the vote counting reality, they would have a bunch of members vote against some of these, but all of them would likely have made it out and that probably was the uncomfortable issue. >> it's interesting, it tells you, i think there's a high degree of confidence these two can get through. the last time we went through this 20 years ago with republicans, they included one in there of abuse of power in '98 they knew it was going to fail. >> designed to fail. >> 285-145, something like that. moderate members looked as the midterm election in '98, looked at the polls, i don't want to vote for any of these. vote against these ones and vote
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with us against perjury. very different calculation here. democrats see an opportunity to get these two through, see complications with the others and are not interested in playing that game of saying, vote no on these, vote yes on this. >> the liberal democrat from memphis basically said, yeah, there's some things i would like to see in there, but it's better if we're united. >> if they included mueller in this, you knew a lot of the moderate democrats would say, that's harder for me to sell, because at the end of the day, people said there was not enough evidence. these other two are actually much more linear, folks understand that the fact that if you do this impeachment -- people understand that, we need to make sure that everybody is in their lane when it comes to balance of power, the fact that the president is not allowing people from his administration to testify. those are things that are digestible to the american public, that are easy to understand. >> the entire republican
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strategy is to throw marbles on the floor and hope that the democrats trip up. >> it's a great metaphor, because that's exactly what it is. >> the effort to narrow it down perfectly comprehensible things which are in miniature the entire trump presidency, obstruction and abuse, is very clarifying for the american people. it's easy to get. if you have to keep track of anything more than two items, it becomes difficult. >> there does seem to be, you can tell, there's now a hesitance about what a senate trial looks like. and it is looking clearer and clearer to me that we are -- i think we're not going to have a real trial. >> yeah. >> because the white house is going to set up a strawman of what they think is fair, that includes, you know, all the bidens testifying. how do we end up -- does this thing -- i think it gets garlanded, which is always around. >> they have to take it up in some form. can you take it up and immediately move to dismiss it and would have republican support to do that? you have to wonder when you have
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the narrow margin republicans have and the fact you got susan -- a couple republicans up in 2020 who, i think, have to look to the voters who are re-electing them like they took this seriously, even if they don't vote to convict trump. they have to look like they did more than just take it up and dismiss it. i'm getting the feeling like you are -- they don't want to go down the road and have a six-week trial on that. >> if you remember what arlen specter tried to vote, he tried to vote, he said, in scottish law, there's something called not proven. i vote not proven. he wouldn't vote to convict -- i bet you susan colins would like scottish law today. steve, marie, brett, you are guys are going to stick around. an extraordinary nbc news exclusive on this day. bill barr on camera dismissing some of the findings of his own inspector general and lam basbig the fbi. >> i think our nation was turned on its head for three years. i think that there were gross
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welcome back. a day after the justice department's inspector general reported finding no evidence of political bias in the launching of the investigation, attorney general bill barr not only dismissed those findings, but also said he believes the fbi may have operated out of bad faith when it investigated the trump campaign. this, again, after the inspector general's report found that wasn't the case. in an exclusive interview with our own pete williams, attorney general barr insisted the trump campaign was spied and and said the russia investigation was based on bogus narrative. also criticized the scope of the i.g.'s investigation, the media and a whole lot more. here are just a few of the highlights from this extraordinary interview. >> but in one area, i do disagree with the i.g., and that was whether there was enough to
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open a full-blown counterintelligence investigation specifically using the techniques they did. from the very first day of this investigation, which was july 31st, 2016, all the way to its end in september 2017, there was not one incriminatory bit of evidence to come in. it was all exculpatory. the core statement in my opinion by the i.g. is that these irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfy factually explained. and that leaves open the impossible to infer bad faith. i think it's premature to reach a judgment on that, but i think that further work has to be done and that's what durham is doing. >> based on what you know so far, is it -- do you still stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon?
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>> oh, it was clearly spied upon. that's what electronic surveillance is. i think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying. also, a few weeks ago, i told him that he should spend just as much attention on the post-election period and i did that because some of the stuff that horowitz has uncovered, which, to me, is -- >> such as? >> well, what i said is, their case collapsed after the election and they never told the court and they kept on getting renewals on these applications. they -- there's documents falsified in order to get these renewals. there was all kinds of withholding of information from the court and the question really is, what was the agenda after the election that kept them pressing ahead after their case collapsed, this is the president of the united states. >> you're concern about the fbi's investigation is what? civil libertarian?
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>> i think our nation was turned on its head for three years. i think based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press and i think that there were gross abuses of fisa and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the fbi. >> are you concerned that ukraine has a missing server from the hillary clinton emails? >> fortunately, i haven't gotten into the ukraine thing yet, i don't know, i'm not even sure about the nature of these allegations. >> what about the allegation that it was the ukrainians that meddled in the election, not the russians. >> i'm confident the russians attempted to interfere in the election. i don't know about the ukrainians, i haven't looked into it, frankly.
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>> our justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. i have to say, the last part of this was the most striking to me for this reason -- he said, well, the russians, i'm pretty sure they attempted to interfere, and when you asked him about the server, he didn't seem to even remember wikileaks, remember the stolen dnc emails, remember the stolen podesta emails. there seems to be a lot of missing information. he used the word nothing after july 1st 2016 and i'm thinking, huh, why do you pick that date, not anything -- not all of the stuff that happened before then? is he cherry picking here? i can't figure this out. >> well, of course, the date that he used for the beginning of the investigation is when the fbi opened the investigation of the trump campaign, so, he's talking about the duration of the fbi's work on the investigation. and then, at the end, on the stuff on ukraine, you know, my take on that was, he was trying to make it clear that he is not
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chasing around the things that rudy giuliani thinks needs to be pursued. i think he was trying to draw a line that, that's not my thing. >> what does it potentially do for morale in that justice department? he's basically saying he's not taking the word of the inspector general as the final word on fbi bias. he wants another investigation of that. does that -- >> well -- so, here's what he says -- >> okay. p go ahead. >> well, he's saying, i don't agree with the inspector general that there was, you know, as they say in the law, a pred cice predicate, a enough to justify opening this investigation, that's where he and the inspector general die verge. he drills down a lot more in the inspector general's really quite robust criticism of the way the fbi handled the carter page fisa application, which the inspector general says was really yielding nothing and yet the fbi kept pushing for it, and that's what barr is especially critical of,
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and he notes that the inspector general report says, while the inspector general can find no evidence of political bias, he also found no satisfactory explanation for that, and that's where the attorney general is timing in the blanks. >> and he said, we might get the durham. he didn't commit to saying the durham investigation and the results of it would ever be made public. >> well, yes, first of all, he said durham's work is by no means done, we're not going to hear about it until maybe the spring. obviously there is a grand jury investigation, so, if anybody was ever charged, we would find out about it that way, but he basically said he hasn't decided yet, hasn't talked to durham about whether or how durham's findings would be made public, but my guess is that the attorney general wants to see it made public. i would be very surprised if it isn't. >> he used a date range of late spring/early summer. interesting timing there.
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>> right. >> get our your calendars. that's the nightmare season for you that's called supreme court ruling season. anyway. people williams -- >> true. >> thank you, sir, for standing in the rain, appreciate that. also in that interview, attorney general barr takes on former cia director john brennan. we're going to get former director brennan's first reaction to that after the break. break. four years ago. ...i felt awful... ...because of my psoriasis. i was covered from...
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inexplicable is that they talked to the russians but not to the presidential campaign. on august 4th, brennan calls the head of russian intelligence and says, we know what you're up to, you better stop it. he did it again later in august and then president obama talked to president putin in september and said, we know what you're up to, you better cut it out. so, they go and confront the russians, who clearly are the bad guys and they won't go and talk to the campaigns and say, you know, what is this about? >> welcome back. that was attorney general bill barr questioning why then cia director john brennan did not alert the trump campaign into its investigation into russian meddling in the 2016. john brennan joins me now. and i have a feeling i know one of your quick reminders is going to be that the cia can't talk to, i think, american citizens about things like that, but address that, because i've
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askeded you about this, you did not brief then-nominee trump the first time he got an intel briefing and i think i've asked you this before, in that intel briefing that he got right around the time you confronted the russians, was he told of russian interference efforts in that briefing? >> well, chuck, it was all over the papers of the effort by russia to try to interfere in the election and their activities, as far as the theft of emails and other types of things, so, when i spoke to alexander bort any cover, the head of the russian security service, i referenced those points, warning him off of doing anything that would come anywhere close to trying to interfere in the election. so, this was not a big secret, and so mr. trump was fully aware, i think, of the things that the russians were doing, as well as what he was saying publicly to the russians, it was the end of july when he called upon the russian intelligence services to find the missing
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emails from hillary clinton. mr. barr is underplaying the knowledge that was in existence at that time of russian interference. >> but let me ask you this, this has been an ethical debate that i've engaged in with many people. and that is, if -- if we knew a foreign campaign was trying to infiltrate a campaign, does that campaign need to be warned? >> absolutely. and, in fact, the obama campaign back in 2008, along with the mccain campaign, were informed about efforts by the chinese and others to try to interfere and to do things that was going to affect the election. >> i believe the chinese, we think, got both the mccain and -- hacked into both the campaigns, if i'm not mistaken. >> well, yes, that's the responsibility of the fbi. so, i did have conversations with the fbi and jim comey and the white house about the need to inform the campaigns, and so, we would leave it to the fbi to take care of that type of
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briefing that would need to take place. >> it's your understanding that the fbi did brief, was supposed to tell the trump campaign, hey, the russians are trying to infiltrate your campaign. >> yes, that was the fbi's responsibility. i know there were conversations that the fbi had. one of the challenging aspects was that some individuals in the trump campaign had some interactions of concern with the russians. and so how do you then ensure that they are informed about the threat but as a counterintelligence investigation that's ongoing, it was at that time, what do you do to protect those investigative processes that you have under way? >> let's go to the -- probably the most critical aspect of the i.g. report has to do with the handling of the fisa applications, in particular carter page. and it looks to me, and, look, i don't know how much you're not allowed to talk about, because of the rules on informants, but it looks like as if the cia and the fbi were not speaking with -- there was some stove piping coming on when it came to
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carter page. how do you fix that problem? >> well, in fact, in early august, i directed that fbi, cia and nsa experts get together and so, we set up what is called a task group within our cia headquarters, to ensure that all information would be shared among the three different agencies. i spoke to jim comey about it and jim clapper, because i recognized that in the past, stove pipes can prevent and impede the flow of necessary information. and when you talk about confidential human sources foreign assets, you don't want to not ensure there's going to be that free throw of informati information. >> again, i go back to and i know you are under some guidelines here about classified information, but when you have a confidential source and another part of the government wants to do a fisa warrant because of
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suspicious behavior, or maybe suspicious meetings, but another part of the government knows, well, actually, he gives information, so, we already have an idea, perhaps, of what's there, i mean, whose obligation is it to warn the fbi about that? >> well, if cia is aware that the fbi is pursuing an investigative lead that involves an individual that the cia -- >> but if they don't know he's a cia informant, right, that's obviously part of the problem, how do you fix that part of it? >> well, within the counterintelligence environment in cia and fbi, we do have joint groups that are able to share information across the boundaries of those agencies. at least by my reading of the report, there were conversations that went back and forth between cia and fbi about individuals affiliated with the trump campaign who had some prior relationships with the intelligence community, with the cia. so, it's a difficult thing. you want to protect individual's privacy. you don't want to presume any
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type of nefarious activity, but you want to make sure that information you have in your databases is going to be available to other agencies. >> everything you read in hindsight now, should there have been an approved fisa application to surveil carter page? >> i would defer to the bureau on the fisa matter, because they're the ones that initiate and follow through on it, but as i've said in testimony to the hill, i think that there were contacts between individual associated with the campaign and russians that deserve to have followup investigative work done on it. >> were you contacted by the i.g. for the justice department in any of this or not? >> no, not at all. >> and i think i asked this before and at the time the answer was no, i'll ask again, has u.s. attorney john durham contacted you? >> not directly, no, but i have been informed through legal counsel that i am likely to be interviewed at some point, but i have had no direct interaction with mr. durham or any individual who is working on his
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investigation. >> and final thing there, you've heard attorney general barr's essentially summation that takes issue with the -- that there wasn't a predicate to open an investigation. you've seen a lot of this information, do you agree with him? >> well, first of all, i think mr. barr, like mr. trump, has failed leadership 101, not in terms -- in terms of not supporting his organization. the fbi, which falls around the department of justice, basically exonerates them from doing anything that might have been politically motivated as far as launching this investigation. it's important to follow up on the inspector general's, you know, items of deficiency, and i think chris wray did a good job of that. but i fail to see how mr. barr is leading the department of justice and the fbi in and honest and credible fashion when he continues to make these statements that clearly are partial to mr. trump and does not say anything at all that
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really would endorse the great work of the women and men of fbi, which requires, i think on his part, great praise and appreciation. >> john brennan, former director of the cia and nbc news national security analyst, thank you for coming on, appreciate it, sir. >> thank you, chuck. coming up, the justice department inspector general will testify about all of this tomorrow. we're going to talk to one of the democrats who will be doing some of the questions. plus, you almost have to see it to believe it. the russian foreign minister visits the white house the same day the democrats unveil articles of impeachment. it's easy to move forward when you're ready for what comes next. at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement,
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itreat them all as if, they are hot and energized. stay away from any downed wire, call 911 and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. welcome back. let's bring back the panel. brett, you work on the opinion side of "the new york times," but let me put up what i thought was a striking analysis from mark mezetti about the investigations, talking about the republicans and this hope
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and the i.g. report, and he writes, they followed a script they have used for nearly three years. engage in a choreographed campaign of presidential tweets, fox news appearances and fiery congressional testimony to create and when it doesn't emerge, skew the results and prepare for the next opportunity to execute the playbook. the durham investigation. it's a pretty scynical view of what -- >> i you this it's an objective description of the way the republicans have behaved. what you see now is missing the forest for the frees. look, it's absolutely true that the fbi has to be held to a high standard in terms of the way in which they go about their investigations, because of the power that they have and any of us who believe in civil liberties should rightly be alarmed at the way they went about this. but the core conclusion that there was no political bias that went into the origins of the investigation is something you don't see. i was very struck, just walking
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down sixth avenue earlier today, looking at the headline of the "new york post", a 1 murdoch publication, which makes it seem like they uncovered the deep state, and then "the wall street journal" making the case that it found many errors, it did not find, you know, the allegation that has been at the center of trump's contention, that there's a deep state bias against him. >> "journal" has the most complete headline. they had the most complete head headline in that errors were found, no bias was found. it was a very -- some people picked one side over the other. look, this is -- the continued dismissal of government investigations on this issue, i mean, the long-term damage this is going to do, i mean, we already have institutional trust issues and, you know -- there's a phrase out there that i'm adopting, toxic cynicism.
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it is that bad. >> sadly, his strategy is eroding the institutions of our democracy. i don't say that lightly. when you talk to most -- you can talk to any cab driver in new york city that fled any country and they've seen this play before, and that's one of the reasons they fled. when there's no trust in our institutions that you're going to be treated, especially by a court of law or law enforcement, that erodes the ability to say, hey, if the president's not being treated well, how am i going to be treated well? what he is doing is long-term damage and there's going to be a lot of healing that needs to happen. but this notion that there's, you know, a sense of corruption increasingly happening in our institutions, that's a cancer. and taking that cancer out of our institutions is going to be long after trump is gone, something we're really going to have to deal with. >> the attack on chris wray has not gotten nearly -- i know he does some things that are startling, that was the most startling thing he's done, deserves more attention. >> yeah, again, you look at the difference between wray and barr and what they're saying publicly here and it's --
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>> he attacked wray. he's not going to attack barr. >> exactly. and that is trump in a nutshell. if you are saying the things he wants to hear, you're good with him. if you are saying the things he's not -- >> the point is so true. i've followed turkish politics for a long time and one of the things that erdogan, the now strongman did, it's almost as soon as he came to power in 2003-2004, he started attacking the institutions of the state, which he presumably controlled. constantly alleging that there was a deep state, that there were conspiracies against him. he had more powers to claim -- >> that's what mccarthy did, i mean -- >> conspiracy so vast. >> all these individuals, all they want is -- that is what they do. creating the question mark if the institution is fair, everyday people, you're allowed
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to basically do smoke and mirrors. >> it's the war of power against legitimacy. >> and the way, steve, this -- donald trump doesn't believe anything is on the level. he thinks his whole life -- in his mind, he rigged his whole life so therefore, everybody's rigged all of their lives. all of this is rigged. >> again, in some ways, there's a real complexly to donald trump and in other ways, it's very simple. the sort of venom will land on anybody and anything that he seems is in his way, and the opposite, you'll get affection, you'll get praise from him. if you are on the team. think the lack of an itsdz logical mission here is what sort of makes all of our heads spin sometimes. >> exactly. he's putting himself over country, and we've never seen that before . >> not even putting an idea over country, just himself. >> that's the center of the impeachment. >> exactly right. all right, steve, maria, brett, thank you for following me up. appreciate that.
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but don't miss the latest episode of stephen's podcast, "article ii: inside impeachment." pl up next, a senator at the center of all of these stories we're talking about today and including one we're not talking about, the presidential race, it's delaware's chris coons. 195? how did you know? mom...that was taken at the farm. it was in this small little village. in connemara? right! connemara it is. honestly, we went there- oh, oh look at that! look at that.
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begin the official markup of the articles of impeachment, just like a bill it gets marked up. before that, the senate judiciary will hear from the justice department inspector general on the origins of the fbi russia probe. joining me now delaware senator chris coons. he will be on the senate side. good to see you, sir. >> good to see you, chuck. >> what's the biggest take away for you from the i.g. report, the biggest finding? >> to me the several hundred page report by inspector general horowitz was there was no political bias and no fundamental flaw. at the beginning of the fbi's investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. let me remind you what the basic fact pattern is here. they confirm the intelligence committee's conclusion russia interfered in our 2016 election. as candidate trump welcomed that
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engagement and interference and the fbi appropriately launched an investigation into contacts between the trump campaign and russia. >> how would you discern -- you know, one of the issues of bias that you hear in investigations usually never has to do with political. almost always has to do with investigative, meaning -- >> that's right. >> when you have a theory and there is a piece of evidence that fits the theory, you're like, you're gungho. how would you try to discern that kind of bias in an investigation like this? >> well, that's a great question, chuck. if you were looking for prosecutorial bias in an investigation, you'd be looking for whether or not the investigators and ultimately the prosecutors were open to competing theories and competing evidence. one of the challenges that the house committees conducting the impeachment inquiry have faced is that the white house stonewalled the production of either documents or witnesses
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who might offer something in support of president trump's theories. so one of the impeachment counts that is moving forward which is obstruction of congress is because the president stonewalled those exact requests for information. >> so apparently the president's attorney rudy giuliani says that he's -- the president has asked him to brief investigators, including some republicans, about what he's found in ukraine. would you be open to giuliani testifying before the senate judiciary committee on his findings? or do you think even entertaining this is a mistake? >> my gut reaction is that even entertaining this is a mistake because rudy giuliani, as we now know, has been conducting for many months an independent, frankly illicit and inappropriate side foreign policy designed to gin up and attack president trump's strongest political opponent, joe biden of delaware.
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it is because of that i have no -- what his motives are and intended outcome would be. >> lindsey graham has talked about potential investigations and potential hearings he might be willing to have, he might be willing to entertain. sometimes i don't know if he's just doing it to troll folks in the media or if he's serious about these things. can you tell us what's real? is there going to be -- is senator graham putting together a larger hearing here? >> i don't know that yet. i have discussed this several times with chairman graham. and the last that i knew for sure was that he had submitted a request to the state department for a transcript of any conversation that might have happened between then vice-president biden and the leadership of ukraine. and he has said publicly in the press, but repeated this as well to me, that if there's nothing there, if those transcripts are clean, that he'll be the first person to say that there's
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nothing there, and this doesn't warrant any further investigation. i certainly hope that's the case. i think that would be an appropriate end to what i am confident will be an investigation into the vice-president's actions during the obama administration, where no outlet of the media, no advocate has suggested that joe biden did anything wrong as vice-president with regards to ukraine. >> do you have confidence in the u.s. attorney general's investigation? >> i don't know enough of the details. i have some real concerns about why an independent and separate investigation in addition to the inspector general's investigation was called for. i was struck that attorney general barr was throwing bombs at the inspector general's report, when this is one of the longest-serving, most respected, most independent inspectors general. he has served across several administrations and attorney general barr himself has previously said lauditory things, positive things about
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the inspector general. we'll have him in front of us tomorrow and i'm sure several of my colleagues will ask about the attorney general's comments and the separate investigation by u.s. attorney durham. >> unlike the house side, you can't assume to know how the senate side does questioning at hearings. senators usually do worry about multiple sides of an issue. anyway, >> reporter: coosenator coons, u for joining us. >> thank you, chuck. >> we'll be right back. ght back science is a process. it takes time, dedication. it's a journey. we're constantly asking ourselves, 'how can we do things better and better?' what we make has to work. we strive to protect you. at 3m, we're in pursuit of solutions that make people's lives better.
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that's all we have for this tuesday night. we'll be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. the beat with ari melber starts right now. good evening, ari. >> thank you, chuck. we begin this episode of "the beat" with news breaking. december 2019, the u.s. congress unveils two articles of impeachment against president trump. if congress votes on these new articles, donald trump will become only the third president ever impeached in the first, think about this, the first elected president ever impeached in his first term. >> the house committee on the judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment. >> the first order of business for members of congress is the solemn act to take an oath to protect and defend the constitution. >> the articles put forward today will give us a chance to show that we


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