tv Deadline White House MSNBC June 3, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
gotham city on this friday. i'm john holman in for nicolle wallace. for the last time this week, at least. major development in the investigation into the january 6th insurrection. the justice department has issued a two-count indictment former trump adviser peter navarro making him the first administration official working in the white house on january 6th to be charged with a federal trial. two counts in the doj's indictment for contempt's congress. first refusing to testify to the house 1-6 select committee. second, refusing to produce documents demanded by that committee. each charge, if proven carries a maximum sentence of one year in the pokey. navarro appeared in court earlier today without a lawyer. also revealed he was arrested and taken into federal custody at the airport as he was about to leave on what he claimed was a trip. former trump adviser one of the biggest promoters of the big lying peddles conspiracy and to
the wider public through the right wing media concocting with that man, steve bannon, they called "the green bay sweep" involved persuading members of congress to challenge the college electoral results setting off a chain reaction by their theory also by their cockamamie theory lead to stage legislators appointing trump elengthers. months after the january 6th committee made a criminal reseveral navarro to the department of justice, turn over records including communications with donald trump. at the time navarro's contempt with congress, cited executive privilege as a reason for stonewalling the select committee even though he wrote a book and went on television to boast about his role in the insurrection and how his plan for a bloodless coup would have succeeded if it weren't for the violence on january 6th.
here he is. peter navarro on this very network with our amazing colleague, ari melber. we'll see ari in a moment. on yesterday. the very same die the indictment unsealed today was handed out by a federal grand jury. >> waging this legal battle not to talk to the committee. not to talk to potentially doj, although you said, tbd. risking going potentially to jail, not to talk to them, but you're out here talking in public. you do realize these investigators can hear you when you talk on tv? >> we're talking about now, ari, the case law itself, and the constitutionality of executive privilege, testimony and immunity. second key issue in the case is the separation of powers. this committee, this kangaroo committee, is clearly violated the separation of powers. they're not supposed to act as judge, jury and executioner.
they're only supposed to pursue a legislative function. >> we are keeping an eye on the federal courthouse down in washington, d.c. where navarro is currently before a judge. that hearing expected to wrap up any minute now and if he walks through those doors and has something to say we'll bring those remarks to are live. bring in the aforementioned ari melber, hosts of "the beat" and the network's chief legal correspondent and former assistant attorney general during the clinton administration and "washington post" reporter and msnbc contributor jackie alamani. what the hell is he doing knowing he's in legal peril and he's done it more than once with pup talk about yesterday, a consequence and speak to the wider issue what his game was by being, you are a magnetic and
compelling figure, still, awfully risky thing to do. >> you just reported we know when speaks in that interview last night, our third, he was under sealed indictment. it's under seal because through the process of our federal government they determined that he was flight risk. he does not cooperate, which is, of course what he was indicted for. and that's why as you report he was somewhat dramatically apprehended and arrested on emergency basis. mr. bannon, has many issues with the government still able through his lawyer to come in peacefully. not arrested and apprehended that way. mr. navarro represents himself. told us last night. he thinks he doesn't have to respond because he thinks it's invalid. already that's been acknowledged, validity. it's a lawfully authorized committee with subpoena power. two, ask what he's up to?
didn't seem last night from what he said he was recognizing the seriousness of this. he was speaking at times threatening that if the republicans win back both branches of government he would putprison. you best your "blank" he said. he thought he was on offense. how you catch a fish, you make the fish think that it's hunting. when it goes for that -- for that -- that actual underwater fly, it finds a line on it. he thought he was hunting as far as last night. today, right now, he's dealing with the judge trying to figure out the matters of his confinement. it's serious. as with any american presumed innocent until proven guilten. two of four who defied the committee have now been indictedant and the brief he
filed, going through this without a lawyer. his legal skill, not top notch. as demonstrated here media skills, put in question. judgment doing some of these things. the scapes evolved now knows who the huntsman is, hunted and hunter. picked up at the airport, brought in. you realize what position you're in. >> if it wasn't real for him, it just got real. >> the notion he was about to go on a trip. you say, federal authorities thought a flight risk and right if they thought. he was about to get on a flight. >> the airport is a dramatic and indeed potentially embarrassing place to be apprehended. no reporting yet on his destination. said last night in discussions with the justice department. one other point looking how this stretches out beyond what everyone thinks ever mr. navarro, what is he hiding? why is it so important he not speak about this to the committee? he's leaked and released and spoken about certain aspects. a lot more investigators want to
know and also facing a separate criminal grand jury request for documents, suggests even apart from this, they want to know if it leads to potentially other crimes. >> lames he wasn't going on a lam. find out at some point. and read from this indictment, doj note that navarro hasn't communicated with the committee at all. what it says -- february 23, 2022, 10:00 a.m., navarro did not appear before the select committee and produce documents and communications or a log of withheld records as required by the subpoena. also did not request an extension of time or certify he had conducted a diligent search for responsive records. in fact, navarro had not communicated with the select committee in any way after receiving the subpoena on february 9th, 2022. harry, one question i raise whether part of the reason why
the doj may have indicted in a -- navarro. as ari said, illegally sanctioned body and raises other questions whether navarro understands the concept of this subpoena power? >> didn't help. eventually said executive privilege. what he said to congress, go talk to president trump's lawyer. now, we have six rulings that it's president biden. he's found no executive privilege. even leaving that aside, he also, as you say, published everything in a book. he had waved things left and right. i think significant here. you do see the department drawing distinctions. yeah, he's in the white house, but a trade adviser. scavino and meadows have some argument. of course, meadows might be cooperating at this point. like seven months. in any event, they have some
argument of special treatment, almost inherent privilege because they're really shoulder to shoulder with trump during his working days. navarro, no way, and all he had to actually stand on were really discredited, lousy arguments. no legislative valid function of the committee, forget about that. and no executive privilege. effect ar that as well. really noteworthy, ari says, they sealed the indictment, arrest him. he's been in custody. in the clink until making this appearance. the judge did provisionally appoint a public defender. we'll see how that plays out, but he is by all accounts sort of flamboyantly combative and non-responsive and yeah eventually that means that the doj had congress' back here, and is saying, you can't for no reason at all just simply thumb your nose at congress.
>> stick with you. we understand the hearing is now wrapped. there's a chance peter navarro will walk out through those doors any moment. until he does, and if he has anything to say -- sticking on a human level with. someone was assistant attorney general and a former u.s. attorney, does the kind of brazenness, not just not replying to subpoenas, pretty brazen in and of itself. brazenness going on a media tour, an ongoing kind of sequential media tour involving three appearances with ari. said last night on the air, you heard, a notion of, you know the prosecutors are watching. they can hear what you're saying here. you're playing with fire. is that the kind of thing from a prosecutor's standpoint, brazenness actually matters? they are watching, but does it affect decisions like issuing an indictment? >> it can. actually coming up with trump
himself in general. those unrepentant, thumbing their nose at the system, making no efforts to cooperate. that bears on their guilty intent. right? that shows that they're not even trying to make any kind of credible argument of cooperation, any sort of nuanced negotiation with congress. this guy is very much a sort of flamboyant trump warrior in the mode of say a mike flynn, and that makes him look like he's got really no leg to stand on when it comes to the contempt charges. >> more like extending a one-fingered salute. i'll ask you, jackie, what the altitude of the committee is. first get to the question how, if you have reporting on, how the committee or committee member, reacting to this news today? number one. number two, given what they want, what the committee wants to get out of peter navarro, are we today closer to getting that
information that the committee wants than we were yesterday? >> all very good questions. we haven't heard publicly at least from the committee yet, but the indictment we heard from the doj today might not necessarily actually produce any tangible product or results for the committee. we've talked about this extensively before. holding someone in criminal contempt will result in a fine or up to a year in prison but doesn't actually compel them to cooperate with the congressional investigation. that is really not the point of it or the way that the committee has been using this, these criminal referrals. doing it more to apply pressure to get people to actually come in and cooperate with their subpoenas. peter navarro along with steve bannon, and then two outstanding criminal referrals including dan scavino and mark meadows, the doj has yet to decide on. using it as a tool to get those people in. the four outliers.
the committee has been, talk and it yesterday. their heads buried in the sand getting on work prepping for the hearings and able to work around navarro involved with the green day sweep he's talked about extensively on ari's show and in his book, but the committee has had lots of cooperation from the people in the states and involved with the alternate slates of elector at a more local level he might have potentially been involved with in a vor oh and able to work around the people that haven't complied. the indictment will renew news on merrick garland for legal and political conundrum in with regards to dan scavino and mark meadows he's taken in action on. i checked in with their lawyers today haven't heard back. curious to or hear whether or not the doj actually has cleared them from their contempt referrals now that it's been several moss and we've heard this latest navarro decision. >> so, ari, the drama of peter
navarro and ari melber is a three-act play. one in january. second appearance in february. third appearance just took place yesterday as we pointed out. first appearance in january was navarro comes out more or less says here was the plan to get them to vote against the certification and that will eventually lead to this process laid out. i won't go into the details. you said describing a coup. a lot of people thought that was right. i want to play from the second appearance. described, heard references to the green bay sweep. i want to hear navarro talk about that and we'll talk about it on the other side. let's play that. >> my focus, ari, was simply on the green bay sweep plan, which was basically to have, it started flawlessly, the battleground state challenge the results nap would trigger 24 hours of hearings in the house and the senate, and by that we could bypass the media and get
out the truth of what probably happened in the battleground states. quarterback mike pence's job at that point was to take ten days and go back and give the state legislature -- really, the one whose have the power to determine whether an election is fraudulent and give them a second look. >> wonder what your reaction was when you heard him describe that? thinking, you're a lawyer and a, a political mind. astute political mind. i hear unrepentance, very proud of this plan how brilliant he thinks it was and thinking he'd be happy to try this again. >> hitting on exactly it. important question. viewers know you from anchoring, a longtime political journalist and writer. a lot of times talking to people and it's not on tv. to say what he just said, definitely not want it for attribution. especially as people try to move the markers. boy, has the trump era seen markers move. it was scandalous within the
republican party when donald trump, before he was the nominee, talked about jailing opponents. now you hear it constantly. so i think you're bearing down on this. there's a writer who wrote that a coup without consequences is a training exercise. a failed coup. there were people inside the government, this committee trying to figure how many, wanted to do exactly that. knew they lost. knew that the electors were against them in the states they lost and their plan abuse incumbent government power to hold on to power. that's the little ral desks of a coup whether involving violence or not. threat of violence or actual violence. mr. in a vor oh in his interview and part of 9 book, we can do more of this. running for secretary of state reported maybe elections aren't up to voters. maybe elections are up to voters if they pick republicans. they don't, up to the politicians who are also republicans in those states. that's where fascism comes from. this is much bigger than just
mr. navarro. it goes to why of these ideas being pushed, laundered and sold. let me be very clear. there is no precedent or legal authority for what he says. things happen all the time without precedence, john, and the plan was to create fake doubt based on lies to not certify. if the presiding officer, be it mike pence, talking at one point of grassley, someone else stepping in, refused to certify, then there would be a claim they would kick to the house, which republicans controlled, about to lose control but the old pre-election outcome, and they would try to seize the election. would the supreme court stop that? maybe. we don't know. is that currently lawful? i doubt it. could they try it so we're not sitting here afterward reviewing something that didn't work but on january 11th, 15, 18, everyone talking what's the military going to do? they say it's contested. the plan. whatever happened to mr. navarro's individual case if
this become as mainstream approach of political parties in america we have a real problem on our hands to your point, ari. seeing in the political realm a lot of these, besides the laws and state legislatures that would make it easier to make this plan actionable. you have the seating of it. your point, through repetition, by talking about this, mainstreaming these ideas in my 32 years covering federal national politics never heard these arguments made by anybody. fringe on the right. fringe on the left. no one ever said these things out loud. these guys say them over and over and over again so that the moves going on in state legislatures and governor races and others, suddenly starts to sound normal. >> yes. to your point, aides around donald trump in the final days in january said we should try to get the military involved. we should seize these voting machines. we've reported that. mr. giuliani not known for his
restraint reportedly said, tr try to do that we'll all end up in jail. that's when trump stopped. today mr. navarro in the courtroom considering jail, the guardrails of our system. everybody tough, until they got to go and seat judge. >> right. everybody has a -- until hit in the face. tyson has said. doj now has issued indictments. they are trying to get peter navarro to cooperate with their probe in an ongoing way. how does that bjorke citing him with contempt. one side, try to induce him to cooperate. how does this play out? the legal game, strategic game that plays out before navarro, assuming he eventually gets a lawyer and doj and committee for that matter? what's the weeks and months ahead like? >> yeah. this was the dilemma with bannon. also going to be the dilemma
with meadows, because they now charged him with contempt. it doesn't matter if he says, oh, i'm sorry. i'll go and talk to the house. he's still going to be, the crime has been committed. there's no taking it back now. there's a cost especially to the house. he doesn't get this stuff now. meadows, now gone away. they've got 2,000 emails, but what happens to the other 1,000? i think in doing this they're looking to deter other witnesses, but they, themselves, pretty much give up on their evidence. back to the department of justice. as you say, it's also considering a part of a broader investigation. people were titillated that the subpoena to navarro included the name "donald trump." in retrospect that was about trying to get him to establish the bone feed ais why he says the communications with trump were privileged. nevertheless, there's stuff he could say and he's got a
criminal contempt charge, looking at others's could try to bargain that away with the doj, as part of the doj's ongoing look at some of the political actors which they know, we we know has now begun. but these contempt referrals the congress dearly wants and wants the sort of the doj to have its back and it does today come at a cost in their own investigation. they're not going to see squat now from navarro for the hearings that are going begin in a few days. >> jackie, republicans on capitol hill who are -- have always been completely steadfast supporting donald trump on pretty much everything but not always willing to support some of donald trump c oust terie.
is this a thing the political risk for what constitutes the main stream are the republican party on capitol hill is too great and they want touch peter navarro? >> i think you'll see the far right fringe wing of the party potentially come out and support him, but i could also see lawmakers on the right potentially ignoring this altogether. they, republican lawmakers at least in the house now have luxury weeg out of town and not have to be directly respond to reporters' questions right now and usually by monday i think they'll have had an opportunity to craft some sort of clever response, or a new cycle, a new news cycle will take place and they will no longer be asked about navarro. i also think that the trend that we're seeing right now is seeing what lawmakers altogether,
trying not to comment on january 6th. issue a broader attack on, know, claiming that the committee is illegitimate inship way. like these lengthy letters we've seen from people like minority leader kevin mccarthy's leader, or jim jordan, fighting against complying with the committee. i am not necessarily sure we'll see a massive groundswell in favor of peter navarro who has been pretty out there, even in comparison to other of these house freedom caucus members and right wingsers. >> and who thought a trade adviser, a humble trade advisers would be this controversial. he suggests yet he might still be open to cooperate with the doj, with you on the air? >> said discussions he wavered. didn't sound like someone who knew he would be indicted today but sounded like someone who was trying to convey more validity
in his eye what's they were doing. more of a desire to read an understanding he did towards the congress. that is what everything thinks of him is a shift from how he sounded previously. >> sticking around for the next play? >> definitely. >> i have to work on my show. >> let me ask you one question before you go. what i thought. wanted to make sure. sticking around, hold this question. >> yes, sir. >> ask you now. won't have a chance to talk to you live like this. ask you the question we're going to talk about in the next block. what do you think it signals? reading of tea leaves of doj on everyone's mind, from january 6th committee on. all over america, people from the left in twitter feed all day long. pounding merrick garland. doj is at least done one thing. is this beginning where the dam breaks or do you think it could be an outlier? >> like nicolle wallace, whose chair you're in you ask the key
question. put aside mr. navarro's volnerability, which we've seen. he is the first trump white house official who was there on the 6th to get a grand jury subpoena an knowledge of crime and to be indicted. is he physical of many? looking for crimes that may have originated in the white house? or is this end of the row? i don't know the answer. i wouldn't claim to, you're asking the exact right question. that's what these hearings will be so interesting to track next week if the congress has new goods and evidence. you see reports mike pence knew more than anyone, subject of the effort to actually do what they wanted on the 6th who knew donald trump very well and how to work with him. when you see reports that mike pence was worried that the coup was coming and trying to physically remove him from doing his government job for democracy, by men and women with guns, then you have to ask yourselves what else was it? was that end of the plot?
middle or so much to be uncovered? more indictments. in navarro more important for his role that what everyone thinks about his rhetorically. >> speculate, sort of did, speculate add second ago. of the view that the way to read merrick garland and read the doj's behavior, build our case from the ground up. start bottom. build to the top. this indictment would be consistent with that. if there were, trying to make the case that's what they were doing. you would say, peter navarro makes a lot of sense moving up the chain, if that's where they move up. consistent with that theory? >> and other -- i can't say how high the chain goes. just following it. there are other strands we know that it was a navarro aide who let in outside trump lawyers who were agitating for the thwarted military plot i mentioned and that aide lost his credentials
over that. other strands at least need investigated. >> looking forward, mark meadows on the air. looking for the next "get." who's the next trump official to blow up their life on your show? >> i don't do predictions. what's on in 90 minutes or so. great lawyers including john flannery, michael cohen will be on. get into a lot of where this goes from here. >> and the man of the moment center of the story. peter navarro, the other man of the hour. thank you. when we come back january 6th committee spent the last several months pleading with referrals. one of the closest advisors to the president. mark meadows referred to the doj 171 days ago. we dig into what might be the holdup. plus, extraordinary new reporting on the early warnings about the potential danger of january 6th and why they were
worried about safety of mike pence and what was done about that. all of those stories and much more when "deadline" continues right after this. please, do not change that dial. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ crossed the desert's bare, man. ♪ ♪ i've breathed the mountain air, man. ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ ♪ i've been to: pittsburgh, parkersburg, ♪ ♪ gravelbourg, colorado, ♪ ♪ ellensburg, cedar city, dodge city, what a pity. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ if you have type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure you're a target for chronic kidney disease. you can already have it and not know it. if you have chronic kidney disease your kidney health could depend on what you do today. ♪far-xi-ga♪ farxiga is a pill that works in the kidneys to help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.
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and unlawful and i made thecase based on four legal arguments. the first is that this committee is neither duly authorized nor properly constituted. meaning that it doesn't follow the rules of either the house itself or the committee's own authorizing resolution. i would refer you to the civil suit but it's h-res-8 and h-res-1087. i am not the only who questioned validity of thatrang kangaroo committee. ms. pelosi her calls that committee unprecedented and she's absolutely right. the second point, and by the way, my book "taking back trump's america" i need
everybody in america to buy that book on amazon today. that is for two reasons. that's going to be my legal defense fund because these people are coming at me hard. that book is about why we need to take the congress back from the kangaroos on capitol hill. the second case part of the civil case is simply that over a five-year period congress has weaponized the investigatory powers of congress in a way which is unconstitutional. the people are america need to understand. congress has the right to investigate, but only for non-punitive legislative purposes. what that kangaroo committee is doing right now is investigating for punitive purposes. they're essentially acting as judge, jury and executioner. their mission, their clear mission is to prevent donald
john trump from running for president in 2024 and being elected for president, and people like me are in their way, and they're not coming for me and trump. they're coming for you. all 74 million of you who voted for donald john trump. >> mr. navarro -- >> hang on. i'm not finished. you either read -- do your homework. that case went out. every one of you. i bet there isn't a single one of you read that whole case. the third issue is that the constitution is a prohibition against what's called bills of attainers. okay? this is bills against undue punishment of citizens of this country. today the punishment was, which was inflicted on a man presumed innocent, and innocent until proven guilty demonstrates the
utter disregard for the constitution of the law that the department of justice has. i sent them a letter on wednesday offering a modus vivende. i told them, contact and individual who would discuss this matter. what did they do? they didn't call me. i spoke to the fbi agent that arrested me. i spoke to him wednesday night. i said, walter, whatever you need. you don't have to come banging on my door like you did last week getting me out of bed. i'm here to cooperate. okay? what did they do? all right? i was on my way to nashville today to do a tv appearance with mike huckabee's show. all right? and instead of coming to my door where i live, which, by the way, is right next to the fbi. instead of calling me and
saying, hey, we need you down at court, we've got a warrant for you. i would have gludly come. what did they do? they intercepted me getting on the plane, and then they put me in handcuffs. they bring me here. they put me in leg irons. they stick me in a cell. by the way, just historical moment. i was in john hinckley's cell. they seem to think that kws like an important historical note. that punitive. what they did to me today violated the constitution. in my lawsuit. in my lawsuit, i discussed going back to nixon gsa and other cases that what this government is supposed to do when they've had an issue such as they've had. this is not the first readio they've had. they've had plenty of people -- >> i am a devotee of breaking news but only so mitch bug-eyed
gibberish we can tolerate. mostly what we're hearing from peter navarro, who has talkeds in those few minutes on john hinckley, who claimed nancy pelosi was on his side about the 1/6 committee, which she call as kangaroo committee saying nancy pelosi was on his side called it unprecedented's somebody needs to get him a dictionary and the best right ching charlotte hawking his book saying everybody should buy tis book and it's available on amazon.com and also said political message, "they," they are not coming for me and trump apparently, trump's running mate now. they are coming for you. so i think that we, may have extinguished utilities. anything he says serious more substantive we'll come back and cover it. joining us now, msnbc tributer, and katie, since you weren't with us earlier. your take on the events of the
day related to peter navarro and we'll go from there. >> sure. no. keep in mind that the subpoena -- sorry, that the indictment against peter navarro is extremely different and completely separate from the january 6th investigation happening at the justice department. the only reason he was indicted, only reason this happened because the committee voted to hold him in contempt and all this is doing is saying that, yes, the indictment says that he did defy the committee. he's being held in criminal contempt. this would never have happened, peter navarro would not have been indicted for criminal intent if the committee hadn't sent that over to the justice department. this is a separate matter with little meaning. peter navarro could still defy it and punished much, mitch, much later down the road after some sort of trial, but the justice department what they're doing, it's extremely df. they're doing a long-running criminal investigation of all
events that began with january 6th, the actual attack and now branched out and bridged out into investigation of conspiracy amongst far-right groups including the proud boys and oath keepers to attack the capitol and we're seeing beginnings offen a investigation that leads closer to the white house with subpoenas asking about the lawyers who worked on several of the schemes that were intended to overturn the election nap is a separate matter from we've seen today with peter navarro. a very limited indictment. >> katie, i'll come back to you. so many your remarks, incredibly helpful clarifying the legal directions and places i wanted fod go. first i want to bring harry litman back in a second. harry, i realize i made comments about peter navarro. i'm not a lawyer. perhaps the things he said were not gibberish. i'd like to know am i right in my asment saying gibberish or were have legitimacies of what
peter navarro was saying on the courthouse steps. >> gibberish. talking about, by the way, his filing. an 88-page, half created from other places. half is just his own pro se gibberish, like a guy with aluminum foil on his head. all of this points, if you can even discern what he's saying legalry, you can for one and maybe the third are completely bankrupt. i do want to follow-up with what katie just said, because it is important to the extent we're talking about is the department now working its way up the ladder and the like? eastern the subpoena to navarro, which he did not, which he also ignored, was about this contempt of congress charge. it's not to say they're not investigating it, but this particular charge is simple. it goes off of the committee's referral and it doesn't auger any kind of a immediate well, now we're at the meadows level
or the scavino level or the pence level et cetera. two separate tracks. issued, very importantly, the indictment, by the same woman who issued the indictment for bannon, the d.c. u.s. other than's office as opposed to main justice, criminal division, which is handling the bigger investigation of political officials. >> also super helpful. back to katie bennett. ask this question. katie, you're a great student of the doj. you demonstrated that countless times on this show and elsewhere. talk about these are all, there have been four now. right? citations where the house committee has gone to the doj and cited, wanted to cite these trump people for contempt of congress. one was steve bannon october 21st. that's when the contempt citation happened november 12th. shortly thereafter indicted. mark meadows, september 14th remained unindependented.
scavino, unindicted. peter navarro, same day as scavino and indictment today. can you explain, katie, the difference, key difference between why it is that bannon indicted quickly. navarro indicted quickly. scavino, still on the navarro track. doesn't confuse people as much but meadows is the one people ask about. what's the difference? what could be the plausible reasons why the meadows citation hasn't been acted on by the doj when others have? >> sure. i think that's a great question and i think it makes a lot of sense to ask it. we're looking at four different gentlemen who played very different roles in the white house, or not technically in the white house, in those weeks before january 6th. bannon did not work at the white house. he had very little claim to his idea any of his conversations could be legitimately privileged, because he was working on government work, executive branch work. he wasn't an employee. we see navarro.
he was working as a trade official. it's difficult again to make the argument in his work as a trade official he would have legitimate reason to be talking about election issues even election security or election integrity issues in any realistic way as part of his work for the executive branch, plus in navarro's case he made public his entire plan to overturn the election in his book, in letters, podcasts and public broadcasts. asking him to explain his detailed plans to overturn the election that he had already put out into the public record. those are very different, i think, from what you see with scavino, perhaps, and then, of course, meadows, who had the role of chief of staff at the white house. the very, very closest official truly to the president. for whom many, many conversations do need to be protected traditionally when you're looking at a president and the chief of staff. so i think one of the reasons
why it's taking prosecutors longer to figure out whether to indict and how to indict and make that argument is because they don't want to set any kind of precedent that would make it easy for somebody working at chief of staff to a future president to have their conversations put into the hands of congress for these sorts of oversight purposes, because traditionally chief of staff to the president has had their conversations fairly well protected. it's a very different issue from somebody like navarro who really has very little claim to say he's working on elections when he'd a trade official or bannon who just didn't even work at the white house. >> almost never heard peter navarro talk about trade. always confusing me. never hear him talking about the subject he was supposedly serving the president on. not sure he knows about that either any more than he knows about the law. jackie, i want to ask you.
everything katie said makes a lot of sense my guess, harry would echo a lot of it. the white house chief of staff is a job unlike any other job in washington, d.c. arguably second most powerful person in the country, but also it's clear mark meadows is at the center of this committee's investigation. more importantly, based what we know, saw a former committee staffer come out on cnn a couple days ago say that meadows is key to everything. i want to read to you from the contempt citation december 13th the committee when they referred the contempt citation to the doj. for the full house vote. according to documents and testimony obtained by the select committee mark randall meadows is uniquely situated to provide critical information about the events of january 6, 2021 as well as efforts taken by public and private individuals spread widespread fraud in the november 2022 election and delay or prevent the peaceful transfer of power. detailed in public reporting mr. meadows was with or in vicinity
of then president trump january 6th as mr. trump learned about the attack on the u.s. capitol and decided whether to issue a statement that could help stop the rioters. so i guess my question is right now, does the, the committee must -- whatever it feels about what's happened with navarro at this point they must have their eyes on this larger prize. what's your sense how expectant they are or the timeline they're hopeful getting action on mark meadows or a building frustration, meadows the most player may be outside their grasp? >> why this is such a complicated question. as katie pointed out the justice department historically defends the right of executive branch to assert executive privilege and pass legal department, legal opinion, justice department legal opinions asserted congress can't made a president's top adviser talk as their official diets and members on the house
selection committee investigating the january 6th insurrection, some are lawyers and constitutional experts definitely understand this. i think at this point there is not necessarily an expectation that meadows' decision will be made imminently, and we heard the committee express those frustrations publicly and reported privately. we also previously reported some people on the committee investigators quietly reached out to the justice department and asked about the status of their contempt referral of mark meadows, and to actually, had been ignored. advances rebuffed by the department that has tried to maintain a firewall between the congressional investigation and the criminal investigation but the committee as doing all along worked around these road blocks and as you pointed out, john, mark meadows is a key person they've honed in on during this investigation. he was not just a conduit to
former president trump but also an operator and facilitator for a lot of these tentacles of these various plots that were underway to try to fulfill and sustain the former president's claims of election fraud. so he is very important and the committee worked around honing in op people like cassidy hutchinson we've reported gone into for multiple interview wis the committee and potentially will be a witness in the live hearings come june. >> katie benner and jackie alamain, both of you so damn smart and thank you for helping make us smarter today. harry, agree about the gibberish point. on that basis alone you're not going anywhere. new reporting shedding light on another warning about the violence comes to the capitol january 6th. this time mike pence's chief of staff, he knew the ex-president was going to turn on pence and there would be a security risk because of it. more on that, next.
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of donald trump. the day before a mob stormed the capitol, maggie haberman writing in the times reports quote pence's chief of staff mark short had a message for pence's lead secret service agent. the president was going to turn publicly against the vice president and there could be a security risk to mr. pence because of it. the only time mr. short flagged a security concern during his tenure as mr. pence's top aide. the warning shows the concern at the highest levels of government about the danger that mr. trump's anticipated actions and words might lead to violence on january 6th. joining us now, "new york times" congressional reporter luke broadwater, a colleague of the aforementioned maggie haberman. luke, tell us about this blarg piece of breaking news in your paper. say more about it. we just barely grazed the surface. an incredible story. maggie haberman has a book coming out. she disclosed this is
information she obtained in doing her book reporting. tell us about what's in it and what its implications are. >> one thing maggie is great about, when she gets a scoop she doesn't sit on it. she learned from her reporting that mark short had become increasingly aware and worried about what was happening with donald trump. you know, behind the scenes, president trump had been pressuring his vice president. he had these meetings with john eastman, bringing him into the white house to try to convince mike pence and the top attorney for the vice president greg jacob to go along with this plan to throw out the legitimate votes for joe biden in favor of illegitimate electors for donald trump, and it was getting nastier and nastier, and finally, it got so bad that short went to the secret service agent assigned to mike pence and raised it as a security issue
the day before, and that ultimately proved prescient because as we know there was a great security risk on mike pence as we reported in the times recently as the protesters, as the rioters were outside chanting hang mike pence, when donald trump learned about that, the committee now has testimony that he said, or he gave some sort of agreement that this was maybe a good idea, maybe the rioters should hang mike pence. that's one thing the committee has been asking witnesses about, and in fact, the committee has talked to mark short as well about these interactions, so, yeah, i mean, this is very very disturbing stuff, obviously, for the president to be creating a security risk against his own vice president and for his own staff to realize that it was getting dangerous. >> luke, i think it's one of the darkest, truly darkest parts about this entire story, and i thought it was true in realtime.
you know, this notion that trump, the way he was tweeting, the way he was behaving, knowing that pence had been whisked to safety, just what we could see from the outside, on january 7th, trump willing to throw pence to the lions, you guys have now reported this out. it turns out, trump was saying things that validated those darkest kind of perceptions behind the scenes to mark meadows, according to your reporting and this sets up the notion that mark short, a very smart guy, sort of saw it coming, saw the writing on the wall. i mean, you think about what a darkly pathological place the white house was in these days immediately before and immediately after january 6th. that's stuff of great novels. what does the committee do with that? what does it mean for the committee and the case they're trying to make and the story they're trying to tell the american people over the course of the next month? >> there are a couple of investigations i'll be interested to see how they
respond to this information. the house committee is rolling out these hearings throughout june. we know that there will be great interest in the pressure campaign on mike pence. that was sort of the last ring of the several stage planned to overturn the election. you know, it started with court challenges, and then it went until the fake elector scheme, and then it went into perhaps doj could do something to overturn the election. then it got into seizing voting machines, and finally when everything else failed in those last couple of days, it became -- the plan came down to pressuring mike pence to see if he would unilaterally defy the will of the people and go along with this, and even as the rioters are storming the building, donald trump is tweeting out negative comments about mike pence, about how he didn't have the courage to go along with the plan, so he was actively encouraging it publicly.
you know, so, i mean, yes, it is very -- it's a dark chapter in american history, and for mike pence to be rushed out like that was a very scary moment. you know, i was in the senate chamber moments after that and i remember how the fleeing and the rioters and everything, it was a chaotic time, and truly a dark day. >> so much more to say about all of that. harry litman, thank you for being with us for most of this hour. have a great day, you guys, have a good weekend. president biden going all in, calling on congress to bring back the assault weapons ban as well as a host of other gun safety measures. that all happened last night. we'll take a look at it all and what it means when we return. k what it means when we return any. thanks, dad. that's right, robert. and it's never too early to learn you could save with america's number one motorcycle insurer. that's right, jamie. but it's not just about savings.
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i've been in this fight for a long time. i know how hard it is. but i'll never give up. and if congress fails, i believe this time a majority of the american people won't give up either. i believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. enough. enough. enough. >> aloha, namaste and tgif again, everyone. it's 5:00 in new york city. i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace of the last hour of this week. in his second prime time address to the american people, ten days of the gun violence epidemic in this country. president joe biden spoke the
world felt by so many of those still reeling from the recent spate of mass shootings. enough of the violence, enough of the killings of innocents, enough of the families stricken with grief over lost loved ones, but tragically as "the new york times" reports quote, since the devastating attack on an elementary school in uvalde, texas, last week, mass shootings around the country have been relentless, coming at a pace of more than two a day. the shootings came as americans went through their ordinary routines, outside a bar and liquor store in michigan, at a house party in california, in a downtown area in tennessee, and at a medical building in tulsa, oklahoma, where four people were killed on wednesday. today, we should make note marks gun violence awareness day, a moment for the country to remember victims and survivors of shootings, which already number 23,000. 23,000. so far just this year, according to one count. despite the mounting culture change, there is no hope without
the votes of some republican senators who joe biden called out again in his speech last night. >> in order to get anything done in the senate, we need a minimum of ten republican senators. i support the bipartisan efforts that include small group of democrats and republican senators trying to find a way. but my god, the fact that the majority of the senate republicans don't want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote i find unconscionable. >> biden outlined a series of changes he wants congress to pass, including banning assault weapons and high capacity repea for gun manufacturers that limit their liability. while these proposals stand almost no chance of making it past a republican filibuster, democratic senator chris murphy, the leader of a bipartisan group of senators toiling away at a compromise bill offered
reassurance that some change may be on the horizon. he told "the washington post" quote i know there are some on my side who are worried we will do something that might look good on paper but won't significantly decrease chances the wrong people get weapons. i want to assure my friends, why i'm willing to compromise, i'm not willing to do something that isn't going to be impactful. joining us now, quinton lucas, one of the mayors who signed the letter urging them to act on gun safety measures. and shannon watts, founder of moms demand action for gun action in america. and ben rhodes, former national security adviser to president obama, and author and historian, curt anderson, his most recent book, "evil geniuses" the unmaking of america. and shannon, you have been working this issue as intensely and as passionately, and as long as anyone i know, and not much
has changed at the federal level at least. joe biden's speech last night, what did you think about it, and do you think it will move the needle? >> i thought it was excellent, and i thought it was important that he was putting a flag in the ground and saying that, you know, there will be consequences if you don't compromise. for too long it's been all or nothing, and we really need to come together and find common ground on things like red flag laws or background checks, secure storage, mental health support, this is something the vast majority of americans want, and john, to your point, look, i have been doing this work now for a decade, and i have certainly been disappointed many times, more than i can count by the senate, but i want to be clear that if this does fail, and i'm hopeful always that it won't, this work will not stop. we will keep fighting. i mean, just in the last days, you know, we have driven over 680,000 messages to the senate. we have dropped off tens of thousands of petitions. we're having 350 events this weekend. we have launched a $400,000 ad
campaign, and we will be waiting on monday when these senators return, and we will be telling them don't look away. it is time to act and do your job. >> mayor lucas, i'll ask you a similar question, you're out there in the heartland of america, and i'm wondering what you thought of the speech but more importantly, what your constituents thought of the speech. you hear from people on the ground in kansas city who -- for whom joe biden's words last night rang true or people so numb to what's going on that despite the fact that we are hearing these increasing calls for action, there's a lot of people who are like nothing is ever going to change, i give up. >> i think we're concerned that there are a number of people who are in the i give up sort of position, and that's why i thought it was important that the president spoke last night. we recognize that we keep having these tragedies and in cities like mine, chicago, so many in middle america, we have tragedies like this every day with gun violence. there is one bit of area that's changing. i'm getting a lot more people that are coming up to me.
sometimes if i'm in suburban communities who are saying, we have to do something. things have to change. we can't keep living like this. i do think that there actually is a ground swell of folks who are saying we're not just sticking with moving on yet again. you can't look at 19 children slaughtered and look the other way ten days later. >> i'll stick with you, mayor lucas, you're a member of the u.s. conference of mayors, bipartisan group, you called on the senate a couple of years ago, you called on the senate to pass two gun safety bills passed by the house, hr 8 and hr 1436. you did it by reissuing a letter you sent to the senate in 2019 after the el paso and dayton shootings. it's amazing to me, literally the same language, back then you were talking about 2019 there have been over 250 mass shootings, and now the tulsa shooting on wednesday was the 233rd this year. i mean, you could almost just switch around some of the names of the cities here, and the same thing is happening two years
later. it must be dispiriting, if you are mayor, republican or democrat in this country, signed up for a letter like that, have seen the carnage in the streets, have the kids go to school, fearful, going through the drills that they have to go through, and to be able to reissue a letter two years later where nothing has happened. and literally almost no words in the letter have to be changed to pursue what you guys think would be the kind of change we need. >> yeah, it's discouraging for sure, but part of what we do each day is taking on the intractable problems, in the last two years, presenting quite a few. that said, the problem that is sticking around in every city is this gun violence issue. that's why we not only reissued the letter but are pushing in different ways as a conference to make differences. finally more lawsuits against gun manufacturers, something my city did with discuss, to put people who are legally trafficking guns out of business, coming up with more collaboration in our own ways.
i come from a red state, born and raised in missouri, but making sure that our senators in missouri, everyone who's at the federal level is recognizing, whether it's missouri, alabama, michigan, we've got mayors from every state of the union who are saying things need to change. that's why we're not giving up hope ever because as we look at homicide records in our city, as we look at officers who are under attack, we can say things like if you really back the blue, then you back responsible gun legislation. and that's the message we have to get across. if you want to protect our children, then it's vital that we make some change. we believe that incident after incident will have an impact on the american people, and finally saying we want to see a difference, and i think uvalde was that difference maker. >> shannon, i want to go back to you, and play a little bit of fred gutenberg, an activist like yourself on msnbc earlier today, and expressing pessimism, a man who has had boundless fortitude
and maintained optimism in the face of all available evidence about the prospect of change, fred. he lost a daughter in parkland. i'm going to play what he had to say about what's going on in the senate right now, and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> mitch mcconnell, it's time for you to use the word gun, and until you do, i have no faith in your ten members. senator rick scott, please stop running away from governor rick scott. because governor rick scott was a leader on this issue in florida. we changed the law in florida because of your leadership, so don't run away from yourself. be part of the ten. the truth is i have no faith in the ability of ten members to come along. i am certain the two senators from florida won't in spite of parkland and pulse, and so while i am appreciative of what the democrats are doing because they want to save lives in america, i
don't see the path for ten. it's good that it's happening. i don't see it, but i am hopeful beyond measure that i am wrong. >> shannon, of the things that joe biden talked about last night, there's no doubt fred gutenberg is right. there's not a group of ten that are going to ban assault weapons, that are going to ban high capacity magazines, that are going to repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers, the question on the table with the senators, these bipartisan senators getting together led by chris murphy is whether a red flag law could pass or background bill could pass or raising the purchase age to 21. 85% of the public agrees they should happen. do you have any more optimism that maybe there are ten republican senators who would be in favor of those things. >> i actually do, but you know, then again, optimism is my whole thing. i was sitting in the senate gallery ten years ago when i watched them vote down toomey.
i am hopeful the conversations i'm hearing about and that we are a part of signal to us that we may be able to bring people together on red flags, background checks, secure storage, funding for mental health services, again, this has to be a situation because of the slim majority we have where it's not either/or. for too long it's been neither, we need to come together and to compromise, but i want to be clear that if these republican senators don't, that there needs to be consequences for that. there needs to be hell to pay, and that is on all of us between now and november. it seems like a long time away, it's 150 days, but our organization has grown exponentially in the last two weeks. we have a lot of volunteers in every single state who are ready to go, ready to hold our senators, and not just u.s. senators but elected officials up and down the ballot accountable in november, and this is going to be definitely an issue that energizes,
particularly parents and students when they go into the polls. it's our job to make sure that happens. the only way we have change is to hold the lawmakers accountable if they don't act. >> i want to take this one question to you here because we have talked in many cases about some of the great aspects of our federal system, 50 states, experimenting, laboratories of democracy, and some that are a little less great. i note that just in the last day or so, we've seen these two different news stories. one, here's a thing from the "new york times" talking about new york the state we're sitting in now. when new york tightens strict gun laws. the new york state legislature passed a broad package of gun bills that would raise the minimum age to buy a semiautomatic rifle to 21, and ban bullet resistant body vests, and making new york the first state to approve legislation following shootings in buffalo and texas that left 31 dead. i think we think that's a good idea.
other things elsewhere in america. nbc news reporting two states aim to arm teachers, despite opposition from educators and experts. two states, ohio and louisiana are considering decreasing requirements or allowing to fulfill a firearm after training. i ask you, the patchwork of the way these states handle these things. obviously america is a diverse place. what does the country look like if we're headed in opposite directions, our approach to guns becomes as polarized as politics, what does america look like five years from now if there's no federal legislation. >> it's one way in which the fisher is getting wider and getting to a place you mentioned the laboratory of democracy, beautiful idea of federalism and at some point, there gets to be a place where these laboratories are pursuing entirely different versions of democratic goals. and new york, yes, new york
state is passing these sensible laws immediately but of course today in western new york a congressman in suburban buffalo, chris jacobs, a republican, after a week ago saying he was going to support a ban on assault weapons and big magazines was forced out of the race because of the whip effect of the gun extremists who control the republican party in western new york or in his district. so he's not running because they were going to basically make it impossible for him to win his primary. so it really is, i mean, beyond the difficulty of solving this obvious crisis problem by sensible gun regulation that, subside, huge majorities of americans and have republican support. the extremists are in control, and i don't see a way around it. not only in terms of this issue,
but as you say, five years, ten years down the line. it's hard to imagine -- it's hard to imagine maintaining our republic in a satisfactory way. >> mayor lucas, i want to ask you that. i want to pick up on what curt just said, you're out there, as you said, you're in a red state, are the extremists in control there? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, they are massively in control even if we have major cities within our states. missouri, we have kansas city and st. louis, big places but the votes are in rural america. the fight for those who want to see responsible gun control need to pick, and it's most of the country is that fight for the people we used to call soccer moms 25 years ago. i do not think there's a parent dropping off their kids at school who wants to say, wow, we're playing roulette in a way in terms of if there will be a mass shooting. i don't think there's anyone who wants to see officers under fire and out gunned by ar-15s possess
bid 18-year-olds. we need to continue to hit that message consistently, because i have had at more meetings and functions women, and often white women over the age of 50, a group that sometimes will veer more conservative that say to me, do something. you have to act, do anything in your power. we know you're not in the senate, and i think that is a message that can relate to people all around the country. >> mayor quinton lucas and shannon watts, thank you both for sending time with us. we'll continue this conversation with ben who hasn't been in the conversation yet, but i can't wait to hear from him in a moment. the news last month that the saudi government invested $2 billion in an equity fund run by jared kushner, shortly after his father-in-law left office set off alarm bells. now that investment is under investigation by a house committee, looking into whether kushner's financial interests can influence u.s. foreign
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as we have discussed ad nauseam over the last several days, the calls and demands for change when it comes to gun violence in america are coming from all over the place. big names in the world of sports and entertainment are not staying silent. yesterday we saw another example following a semifinal win in the french open. coco gauff wrote peace and gun
violence on a tv camera. our colleague, tom llamas, has more sfl now that i'm 18 and of the age to vote, i have been paying attention to what's going on. >> reporter: recent shootings compelled her to speak out. >> for me, it's kind of close to home. i had some friends that were part of parkland shootings. luckily they were able to make it out, and i think it's crazy, i was maybe 14 or 13 when that happened, and still nothing has really changed. >> we are back with ben rhodes and curt anderson, ben, i didn't get to you before the break. i want to start with you here. you know, i have been asking people about these examples in culture, whether, you know, it's country music singers or athletes in major league baseball or in other sports, whether they change the complexion of this in a meaningful way. there's also next week, the victims' parents, the survivors of uvalde, and buffalo. shootings are going to be testifying before the house oversight panel. they have another special kind of credential, a sadly earned
credential. is somehow different voices, we need to hear different voices to change the game here because the familiar voices have just become white noise for people even in the face of all of this violence and death. >> i think what we have to really think about, john, is how we broaden every aspect for common sense gun laws in this country. what we have been doing isn't working, and if you look at the cultural movements that have succeeded in bringing about political change on either side of the divide, so the movement for guy marriage, for instance, on the progressive side, or frankly, the successful movement against abortion from the right. these were like multidecade sustained efforts that had a political component that was top down and bottom up, and had a cultural component as well. and so if you're looking at what can be done differently here, i think from a political messaging standpoint and i have been in political campaigns and in the white house, this can't be something you're dealing with that's a gun issue. it's a national security issue
as well. it's an education issue as well. it's a crime issue as well. i think from the president on down, democrats have to be hammering this issue not just in the after math of shootings and not just on the discreet question of guns but integrating into broader debates, changing societal attitudes, ways that have an impact on politicians and the ballot box is it has to have a sense of a movement in this country. that's what's ultimately going to bring change. in the near term, the best we're going to get is probably something incremental on background checks or maybe red flag laws. we may not even get that, but if you want to change the game in this country over next five, ten years, if you want to get to things like banning on this because i think it's super important the point you're making, what i want to tease out even a little bit more, we talked about this week the pro gun people in america, not just
the lobbyist but the second amendment fetishes it's become a cultural issue as much as gun right, don't let liberals take away something i consider important. it has a meaning larger even in the second amendment or even the individual gun. and what people have done, is as you said, take this issue and make it part of a larger belief universe in a sense for been able to do is they haven't been able to turn this issue into the focus of single issue passion in the way that it is on the right, and i want to read this one thing about every town, and ask you what you think about this. lawmakers to act on gun safety measures, the week long $40,000 advertising campaign focuses on lawmakers in north carolina,
ohio, alaska, kentucky, maine, louisiana, missouri, texas and utah. while they do not maintain specific lawmakers, the ads are running in states, republican officials to take action from senator john cornyn of texas to senator lindsey graham of south carolina, and ben, again, as you pointed out, you have been in a lot of campaigns, seems all of that is necessary, the broader messaging work but also the muscle of hard core, hard hitting political advertising of this kind that's targeted and tries to turn this issue to the advantage of people who want sensible gun safety laws. >> all of those people being targeted are the kind of people that say complete gaslighting nonsense in the after math of shooting because they want to get it off the news cycle. they want to move on from it. what you do with advertising is make sure they can't move on from it. you make an important point. i went back, this has turned into an identity politics issue on the right in the way it's not on the left, and you go back and look at the history, we had gun control laws in this country in the 19th century.
the nra supported gun control legislation in the 20th century. this has been manmade, this has been created by multidecade strategy on behalf of gun manufacturers, the nra and right wing politicians to make people care about this in a way they didn't care about it 50 years ago, they assumed the government would regulate guns and ammunition, and what you can have and where you can take them. this is a creation. they want to make you believe there's a state of nature in the country that people can have whatever guns they wanted. that wasn't the case with assault weapons, as recently as 20 years ago. what you have to do is you have to keep this in front of voters. you have to be hard hitting and hold people accountable, so they can't shirk accountability, if they don't get things done, and then you have to get out there and do the work to make this a voting issue in a way that it just hasn't been in district after district and state after state in this country. we know soft public opinion is on the side of people who want
common sense laws, but you have to do the work not just when there's a mass shooting or an election around the corner, you have too that work in a sustained way to change attitudes and make this the kind of identity issue people vote on on the same way they have voted on other issues that have driven elections in this country. >> we don't have enough time to discuss the issue i want to discuss with you, but i want to raise it to hear what you think. it has come up everywhere in my life, i have been raising this, and now jeh johnson, the former head of homeland security for barack obama wrote an op-ed saying this very thing which is we need to shock the system, and a real shock to the system, all of this is now white noise for people, and what would be the shock of the system, an emmett till moment, open casket funerals for the kids who have been shot, pictures widely disseminated, people have to know what an ar-15 does shot 6 feet away from the face of a 9-year-old. that's the only kind of shock that would work and this has prompted debate about what would
have to happen. it happened with emmett till. do you think that's, a, necessary, and b feasible. >> it's an interesting question. jeh johnson, is such a by nature prudent and moderate character. >> sober character. >> it's an extraordinary suggestion. you have all kinds of issues of you wouldn't do this unless the parents agreed, for instance, but we should talk about children. >> which of course emmett till's mother did. open casket was her choice. >> i thought that was an interesting thing, and indeed, i think the kind of reticence of democrats on all kinds of issues, this one among them, to go there. whatever there is, to have high impact disturbing political messaging is this is a place where, you know, it's definitely something to think about what we could do to make people look at it for more than a day or two
with the latest mass shooting. >> ben and curt, thank god, are sticking around to help me through this last half hour. we have a bunch of interesting things to talk about including this. last month we told you about the saudi government sinking $2 billion in jared kushner's equity fund. now that fund is under investigation. we'll explain all of the juicy details after this quick break. y details after this quick break it's hot! and wayfair has got just what you need. we need a rug. that's the one. yeah. yeah we're getting outdoorsy. save on outdoorsy furniture, decor, and more. you're so outdoorsy honey. what are you... spend less on everything outdoorsy at wayfair. ♪ wayfair you've got just what i need ♪ ♪♪ making friends again, billy?
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i have been engaged in trying to work with how we can bring more stability and peace in the middle east. and there is a possibility that i would be going to meet with both the israelis and arab country at the time including i expect would be saudi arabia would be included if i did go. >> is he still a pariah in your eyes. >> i'm not going to change my view on human rights but as president of the united states, it's my job to bring peace if i can, peace if i can, and that's what i'm going to try to do. >> that was president biden earlier today passing up the opportunity to confirm a trip to saudi arabia after reporting earlier this week by "the washington post" that ignatius and confirmed yesterday by the ap that the president will meet with saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman during his trip to the region later this month. president biden promised to make saudi arabia a pariah during his presidential campaign, and news of the trip has raised eyebrows
from everyone from 9/11 families who are demanding accountability from mbs to human rights issues asking questions about the 2018 murder of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. another potential topic for the trip, the former president's son-in-law ties to the crown prince. the house oversight committee announcing they will investigate whether jared kushner used his influence in the white house to secure a $2 billion investment in his private equity company months after leaving the white house after which time he helped to shape u.s. saudi relations. joining our conversation is "new york times" columnist kate kelly whose by line was on that times report. tell us about the kushner situation, the investigation into it, and how it might fold into joe biden's trip to saudi arabia if it will at all. >> a couple of interesting elements here. carolyn maloney, the chairman of the house oversight and reform committee issued this letter to jared kushner asking for a whole array of documents associated with his private equity firm's
$2 billion investment from the major saudi sovereign wealth fund, which is called the public investment fund, which is chaired by prince mohammed, the crown prince of saudi arabia, but also asked for communications between prince mohammed and jared kushner spanning trump administration and beyond, so we've written and it's somewhat well known that the two of them developed a good rapport during the trump administration, communicated by whatsapp, there were numerous visits and jared kushner was something of a defender and a sort of connector for prince mohammed with both his father-in-law and other key players on the u.s. side. so the question being examined here, and it's a question that's been raised ever since by a colleague david kirkpatrick and i wrote our first sort of substantial story on this on april 10th is whether or not there was any sense, while mr. kushner was a senior adviser in the white house that this may come later or any discussion about a potential future investment. that's what congresswoman
maloney says she wants to look into and she's curious adds well whether there need to be tighter ethics laws governing investments from foreign entities that were government counter parts. that's a mouthful. president biden's connection to all of this is not direct but as you noted, john, you know, he had some very hash words for the kingdom while on the campaign trail with reference to jamal khashoggi, as you said, the war in yemen, other human rights issues. now as my colleague peter baker i think wrote yesterday in his story about the potential saudi visit or the confirmed saudi visit, when i was in saudi arabia last fall for a conference sponsored by the entity that invested with mr. kushner, there were very few representatives of the biden administration there. they only sent the deputy secretary there. however, the place was long on trump administration alumni, so you can see this is a real shift, not just from campaign language, but from actual
representation and visitation in the region. i think there have been other visits, but president biden himself has notably avoided it. >> i'll follow up with you on one question. when we had you on last week, you talked about your reporting on kushner's fund, but also steve mnuchin's fund. i wonder if you think the step by oversight, whether it might be -- mnuchin might be next? >> yeah, i had that question, too, and it's not clear at this point whether that will be the case. however, it wouldn't surprise me. i mean, as you know, there's a similar set of issues there, and we did a story a couple of weeks ago, that looked in a little more depth at the timetable under which former secretary mnuchin set up his own private equity firm which of course got a significant investment from the saudi public investment fund, and it seems that very shortly after leaving office, he was thinking about the hierarchy of his firm, he hired as a managing director, a gentleman who was still technically on the payroll of the secret service when those hiring conversations
were had. and certainly the relations that secretary mnuchin, former secretary at the time had with senior leaders and even investors in the gulf region were warm from interactions they had had in the trump administration, including a substantial trip he made to the region that spanned the january 6th period and after of 2021. >> ben, i want to ask you about the biden element of this, which i, you know, i'm uncomfortable with like a lot of people are uncomfortable because of the khashoggi story, and, you know, reality, not so much there are questions. i don't think there are questions at all. the man was killed by agents of the saudi government, and people say it was the crown prince and there has been no credible evidence put forward to suggest that's not the case. biden was very strong on this issue in the campaign. and now gas prices are high, and we're headed back to riyadh. talk about that a little bit. you have been in the middle of these kinds of decisions inside
the white house, these very kinds of decision. i'm curious what you think about how they're handling it, whether they're doing the right thing by at this point, as kate said, a real politic kind of cozying up to saudi arabia despite all of their qualms. >> i think they're doing the wrong thing, and i've been in those conversations and the reality is the real politic doesn't bear out either. the saudis have been working against american interests, particularly the interests of democratic administrations in that region for a long time. and when i look back on our administration, you know, one of my biggest regrets is that the obama administration supported that saudi war in yemen, around some of the same logic. we thought we could moderate their behavior, we thought it was important to maintain this partnership, instead of having a rupture. the bottom line, as joe biden said, we are in a war around democracy and autocracy around the world. if i'm getting my team together
for a battle between democracy and autocracy, i don't know how you could have mohammed bin salman in your lineup. what message does that send to the rest of the world, and i also don't have a ton of confidence, i'm sure the saudis will say certain things and talk about raising production, i don't have a ton of confidence that the saudis are going to come riding in on a white horse to bail out the programs in the american economy. frankly, if you want to know about their political preferences, a guy who puts $2 billion into the hands of jared kushner, who's not exactly the person that i trust with any mutual fund, the idea that mohammed bin salman's preference in american politics isn't abundantly clear, never mind the fact that not just the murder and dismemberment of jamal khashoggi but the war in yemen, a humanitarian catastrophe, the support for dictatorship across the middle east and africa. the cozying up to russia and china over the years, i don't think you're going to undo those things with this visit.
i think you invite a lot of problems, and it's not clear to me. i understand the rationale, i have been in the meetings. like have we really gotten a lot out of engaging them either? i think we haven't tried it the other way. we never tried a different approach here, and i think the message is therefore one of immunity, essentially, to a saudi government that is not only violating human rights but crossed with both american foreign policy, and frankly taken on democratic administrations directly. >> ben, is there a worse american ally of such importance, of all the american allies that rank as among our strongest, staunchest allies in some sense in name, is there a worse one in terms of actual behavior in saudi arabia. >> no, and i think it's important to realize, human rights is an enormous part but these are not people, the iran nuclear deal, they opposed. i mean, all manner of things they have been out of step with
priorities, and i don't think one visit is going to fix that and is going to come with a price tag in terms of the message it sends to the world about our prioritization of democracy and human rights, and climate change. never mind that, you know. >> i know how ben feels about this which is why i teed him up. i feel the same way. and i know how you feel about jared kushner. everyone go to medium.com, and you could read curt's tail, the headline, maybe you don't want to be in business with jared kushner, you were once in business with him, and it didn't work out that well. >> briefly, it's a revealing piece. the point of jared kushner and the investment in the gulf states, the whole point of this affinity partners of him that he started as soon as he ceased being the middle east czar was to do business and make deals with the gulf states. and here we are. and of course, while he was in office, the fund bailed out him and his father from -- >> their real estate problems.
we saw that, watched that float by, and barely remember it. kate kelly, and ben rhodes, thank you for spending time with us. and ben thank you for making those points, they are essential about saudi arabia. curt is sticking around. when we return, the war in ukraine is 100 days old, we'll have a live report from kyiv after a quick break. stick with us, if you would. m kv after a quick break. stick with us, if you would. [ kimberly ] before clearchoice, my dental health was so bad i would be in a lot of pain. i was unable to eat. it was very hard. kimberly came to clearchoice with a bunch of missing teeth, struggling with pain, with dental disease.
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putin and the kremlin is now grinding into its 100th day. the word impressive doesn't come close to doing justice to the spirit and the fight and the grit, the determination, the resilience, the resourcefulness of the ukrainian people in the face of such overwhelming odds or at least apparently overwhelming odds. president zelenskyy marked the day with a video message on instagram. the translation quote the armed forces of ukraine are here, most importantly our people, the people of our nation are here. we have been defending our country for 100 days already. the victory will be ours, glory to ukraine. joining us now in kyiv, ukraine, is nbc correspondent ali arouzi, and you have been there since the beginning. tell me, 100 days, what's the most striking thing to you about the evolution, how this war has gone, the surprises its held, and where we stand now? >> reporter: hi, john, that's right. well, look, at the beginning of this war when it all first launched as you mentioned in your introduction, everybody
thought that the russians were just going to sail through this country. it was going to be a park walk for them, they would take kyiv. zelenskyy would run away. obviously that didn't happen. the ukrainians have shown incredible resolve. the initial invasion by the russians was really botched. they spread themselves thin. everybody was very impressed by the resolve and the fighting skill of the ukrainians, and they still are, but unfortunately now the russians have refocused. they've regrouped on the eastern front. they have poured all of their troops in, and they're gaining momentum, and that's not something i saw last time i was here. look, they pretty much control the whole luhansk, donetsk, donbas region, they're about to take the capital of luhansk, severodonetsk, and that wasn't happening last time. so there's a sense of despondency amongst the ukrainian people. they're upset about the gains the russians have made there.
zelenskyy also said in a video recently that 100 ukrainian troops are dying every day on the ukrainian front, so that change in momentum has been slightly surprising for me coming back here right now, and you can see the russians are starting to connect the dots. they took crimea in their invasion. took mariupol not long ago. about to take the eastern front. they're gaining objectives there, and that's a blow to the ukrainian people. we know that the ukrainians are getting advanced rocket systems in the americans that can hit targets very precisely, 45 miles away. that may change the tide, but they're not going to be on the battlefield for at least another three weeks, until the ukrainians have trained on them. we'll see what happens when they're in motion. >> one of the big questions present ever since the beginning was how will this end? what's the end game? the notion of negotiated settlement, ukraine might have to give up land to get russia to back off and ended war, always on the table. now we see a poll from the kyiv
international institute of sociology, sociologist polling. like it. 80% of ukrainian adults. 82% believe no territorial concession should be allowed in order to reach a peace agreement. is that what seems to you an accurate assessment of ukrainian public opinion as you encounter it on the ground? are people digging in saying, no. not a, not giving anything up. either win or lose this thing. that's it? >> reporter: 100%. you heard that. i heard that all the time last time i was here, and from the first day i got into ukraine again, that's the question i asked everybody. the answer was a resounding, no. we're not willing to give up any of our territory, even if the war was to end tomorrow. that's out of the question for the ukrainians. i mean, even zelenskyy said for peace talks to gain traction with the russians they have to go back to the pre-february 24th invasion. give all of that land back and
then we'll talk peace. so that is completely off the table to given up those parts of the land. interesting, john. i asked somebody as we. willing to give up? would the french give up their land for gas prices to come down? no. why would we be willing to do that. >> thank you for reporting. got to say, once you start talking about vladimir putin being a war criminal and genocide, that's the kind of talk that makes people, if nothing else, makes people say there's no compromising with someone who's a genocidal war criminal. where we are now. got to sit with the ukrainians on that front. thank you for spending time with us. always great to see you. haven't seen you for a while. great to be here. >> better than nothing. >> so damn smart, too. quick break and we'll be right back. right back (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
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