tv Deadline White House MSNBC September 21, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york on another huge and bonkers news day. an announcement today from the new york attorney general tisch james that is nothing short of a bomb shell. the new york a.g. announcing a civil suit that could be potentially devastating to the fortunes of the trump family and filing a criminal referral to federal prosecutors, as well as to the irs. at a press conference today, tisch james accused the trump
family and the trump business, the trump org of engaging in systemic bank, tax, and insurance fraud for decades. of manipulating the worth of their properties to deceive lenders, insurance companies, and government authorities, though reap billions of dollars of financial gain. here's some what she said. >> the pattern of fraud and deception that was used for their own financial benefit is astounding. inflating the values of assets by whatever means necessary. to increase mr. trump's purported net worth. and then that net worth was used to further enhance his financial standing, intentionally misstating his financials to obtain incredible economic benefit. it was a scheme that by its very nature became more profitable over time. it is all in stark violation of the law.
>> the lawsuit, which seeks to bar the trumps from doing business in new york, as well as to fine them to the tune of $250 million reads, in part, quote, the number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering. affecting most, if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year. all told, mr. trump, the trump org and the other defendants, as parts of a repeated pattern and common scheme, derived more than 200 false or -- and misleading valuations of assets. the a.g. making it clear that the scheme, which james describes as astounding, was directed from the tippy top of the organization. once again from the lawsuit, quote, these acts of fraud and misrep ten sags were approved at the highest levels of the trump org, including by trump himself. in a statement, attorneys for donald trump and the trump org deny any wrong doing and accuse tisch james of blah, blah, blah, playing politics. it's an allegation' that's been
before a federal court and rejected. happened last december. a district court judge dismissed a lawsuit by trump seeking to block tisch james' investigation and rejecting trump's claims that the probe was politically motivated. for her part, james said that her lawsuit and the criminal referral she's making to the irs and the justice department is simply about holding donald trump and his family to the same standard as every american. >> claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. it's the art of the steal. >> and that is where we begin today with some of our most favorite reporters and friends. with me again, nbc news investigations correspondent tom winter, plus, we have neal katia joining us, msnbc legal analyst. also the great suzanne craig is here, whose work covering trump's finances has earned her and her colleagues a puitzer
prize, and david ferenhold. both of them, msnbc contributors. tom, what leaps out? >> a couple of different things. first off, the scope of this. that it continued up until 2020, when trump, by that point, had to know that he was under investigation or at least questions were well swirling about what was going on in his world, and yet, according to the attorney general, didn't lay them to step off the gas, that they kept going with some of the evaluations that she now questions. so, i think that that's interesting, number one. number two -- >> he was committing fraud while he was president. >> and while apparently he was under investigation. and so, i think that is -- those are two kind of glaring points, according to the attorney general's office. and another thing that sticks out to me, you mentioned the potential $250 million discouragement, the potential for a lifetime ban for the trumps, not just the former president, running his company,
but this idea and it's an issue we're really starting to dig into from a reporting standpoint, which is, what is the future of donald trump just from a financial standpoint and his family? the other penalty here that effectively would bar him from getting any sort of new loan for any bank that's registered with the new york state department of finance, how far does that go? he's already, as we've previously reported in the nbc news investigative unit, he's already up against it on a number of loans and some loans are starting to come due, and so, he might need to roll those over, get additional financing, what does that mean going forward? that could certainly impact his properties. is he going to get to a point here where he's going to have to start selling things off just to be able to pay the bills, so to speak, as it relates to this case? so, those are certainly things that jumped off. i know you want into get into the criminal referrals, i think everybody paid a lot of attention to that, because it may indicate there's more or new information potential already
for federal prosecutors to look at. >> david, your first reactions to what you heard from the a.g., and what you've read in her lawsuit? >> well, this may just be me, but the thing that i was struck by was, we've all, journalists, have been looking for a long time at these statements of financial candidate, wrr trump's brag sheets about his finances, to look for places where he might have misled lenders and insurers. we thought we found it a lot, but the a.g. found it so much more. more than 20 properties, more than 200 examples. it touched things like how many square feet is the apartment where trump lives in trump tower? every little piece of this was exaggerated or outright invented. even i was surprised at how she found also hoods and exaggerations basically everywhere and every year in these sheets. >> suzanne, she had access to an amount of material that seemed to swell. the supreme court opened up her access to some of those
documents, her ongoing investigation opened up even more, and i wonder your reaction, having -- as david said and tom, as well, having investigated some of these open questions for a long time, what do you make of what you saw in this lawsuit today? >> i was just reading before it came on air, david's comments do resonate, because one of the things i was just wishing that we've had during our investigations, you know, the accountant, donald bender, was interviewed. they have so much information. and he's saying, look, i didn't get this information. they didn't send it to me or i got other information. and it just shows the accounting firm that donald trump was using has severed ties with him. but just the depth of information that they had and the people that they were able to interview, it was very rich in reading and i'm still not done, i'm going to go through it several more times tonight. but just every page was like,
wow, this is incredible. you are just looking at one of the things i'm always interested in is their charitable donations. they've been out there that they would put very high valuations on their charitable donations, land donations they had, because they would get a great tax break. a lot more detail about things like that that we have wondered about that have been in the public purview, but just a lot more underlying information there. >> so, neal, i'm -- i have always tried to understand trump through the patterns. and my sort of take on him after six years of covering him now is they are not new moves, they are just new grifts. so, what i saw in some of the documents that are cited is, he lied to his accountant, who then would vouch for valuations, the same way he lied to christina robb about the mar-a-lago classified documents. the patterns are always the same. >> 100%, nicolle. this new lawsuit is basically
alleging that donald trump ignored outside experts and advice, that he inflated his personal value, and he roped his family and friends into supporting the fraud, and say what you will, donald trump ran his business the way he ran the country. and you are absolutely right. it's pattern after pattern. now, to be sure, this is a civil lawsuit, so, if it is successful, as i suspect it will be, it won't land donald trump in prison, there are criminal implications we can talk about in a minute, but i think tom winter is exactly right to say that this really does put a huge financial -- puts him at huge financial race wk a lifetime ban on the trump organization, loans being called and all sorts of things. i guess on the other hand, the new york attorney general was seeking to bar the trump family from acquiring real estate for the next five years and given trump's average return on investment, she might be doing him a favor. i don't know. but you know, to me, what really stood out is the devastating range in this complaint.
200 examples, over 222 pages. and it feels ironclad. i mean, remember that allen weisselberg, who was trump's cfo, has already plead guilty to these -- to these offenses. 15 different felonies he plead to. 15 felonies. and somehow i don't think that allen weisselberg is the one who committed the most crimes here. >> so, a former prosecutor described the evidence that she's marshalled to me as being presented in, quote, mind-numbing detail and the conduct spans ten years and the pattern that we've been talking about, overevaluations which is kind of undeniable. and i want to turn to what the criminal investigation would look like. the document production and what is in her complaint, i don't see michael cohen's name anywhere, i mean, clearly, if he was the match that started this, what has been filled out is, you know, hundreds of pages now of evidence based on documents that are indisputable.
>> already on the public docket are ten years of the former president's personal financial statements or at least his presentation of his wealth. and when you start to go through and i'm there with susanne, it's going to be a day or two of read ing through this thing before it all sinks in, you see email exchanges. paragraph to paragraph, point to point, they are pointing out, this person says to do this, this person says to do that, so, the -- the civil complaint, if it's to be believed, is built on top of kind of real-time contemporaneous notes about exactly what the business was doing or trying to do at the moment it was trying to do that. are these email messages new? are they new types of evidence that they can hand over to the southern district or the irs criminal division? and if so, is it going to be just a strict, you know, hey, here you go, and hand it over to them, or is it going to be the type of thing where they say, you know, here's our road map
and you guys can go with your own federal grand jury subpoenas. probably a couple of different ways they could go with it, but it would allow them to move forward if there's -- and this is the big, kind of the big turning point here, one, does it violate federal law in statute. that's more of a neal question than a tom question, and then the second thing is, you no e, this is a civil case versus a criminal case and the bar is higher in a criminal case, that's just -- that's just known, and i know you know that, so when you look at this in totality, are they going to be able to tie that all together? i still think, though, the immediate threat for the president, who is facing an ongoing criminal investigation evolving classified documents, that we've talked about a lot this week, the idea and prospect of him losing his business, his legacy, his kids' business, their legacy, compounded with the other investigations, even if his political funds are helping to support that defense effort, still is really starting
to become an anvil over him, as far as moving forward and maybe his calculus. then that becomes a political calculus, that's much more your world than mine, but -- >> yeah, to your point, they're totally -- you can't separate one from the other, because the fervor on the politics, the taking on the qanon people, is about losing his legacy and his business and his family fortune. >> yeah, he's starting to look at some chips that are stacked against him. he got no favors in front of the special master yesterday, so, he's looking at a situation where he's fighting a lot of legal battles on all front. and i know, people say you are talking about every single development -- we talk about developments involving the current or former president of the united states, because those are huge developments. the reporting that david and susanne have done, it's incredibly important to understand who was running or the president of the united states. no guarantees are made as far as any sort of investigations
bearing fruit from a indictment or civil standpoint. analysts are free to make those judgments, that's what they're paid to do, they have the expertise to do it. finally, when you look at all of these investigations now, that we have been talking about, we've been talking about this one today in particular for years, they're all starting to come to a point. and they're all starting to come to a conclusion and they're not concluding with a -- we can't really bring a case. they're not concluding with a -- we're not going to sue. they're concluding with, we're suing. they're concluding with, we're getting a search warrant for the president ees president's, former president's residence. all these things are starting to come together in a way that points for significant legal trouble on the horizon, not just political trouble because, oh, a special counsel mueller brought somebody else in today to talk to. no, these people are bringing in people and are actually making cases directly against the now former president of the united states. that's a point that shouldn't be lost in all of this. >> it's a pretty powerful point. i know you have to go, i know
you develop a twitch if you sit on tv and not dive into the documents themselves. but i mean, what has changed, though, is the evidence. and the access to the evidence. and this case is all on paper. this is all about what -- it's about -- and i just want to put up one before you go, because it's a perfect example. this is something that everyone can understand as illegal, cheating and fraudulent. this is tisch james on how he lied about how much his apartment was worth. >> mr. trump represented that his apartment spanned more than 30,000 square feet, which was the basis for valuing the apartment. in reality, the apartment had an area of less than 11,000 square feet. something that mr. trump was well aware of. and based on that inflated square footage, the value of the apartment in 2015 and 2016 was $327 million. to this date, no apartment in
new york city has ever sold for close to that amount. tripling the size of the apartment for purposes of the valuation was intentional and deliberate fraud. not an honest mistake. >> and then we've got from the lawsuit itself, this is the power, i guess, of what you're describing, the legal process, sort of combing through witnesses, including donald trump. when asked about the scheme she just described there, he invoked his fifth amendment privilege. the question, you are aware that from 2012 through 2016 the value of your apartment in trump tower was calculated by multiplying 30,000 square feet times a price per square foot. is that right? same answer, he takes the fifth. and you personally directed the use of 30,000 square feet in valuing your apartment for the statement of financial condition. same answer, he takes the fifth. the 30,000 square foot figure is false, is that right? same answer. when you directed the use of
that square footage to value your triplex, you knew that the 30,000 square foot figure was false. takes the fifth. so, she's got the lie -- >> well, and she also has a deposition. and that deposition and those comments, if this does go to a jury trial, is something that is admissible. so, what you just did is presumably what a prosecutor might do in a year, two years time from now, in presenting this going forward. this is not a case based on what we've been told today by the attorney general, where we're relying on michael cohen's statement, stormy daniels' statement, anybody's statement. we're relying on, we have the president actually answering questions in front of a live questioner, not somebody who sub milted him written questions, and we have documents, financials and math that's occurring here. undoubtedly, the trump side is tweeting about it -- >> he doesn't get to tweet. they are doing something else. social -- >> yeah, his -- his children are tweeting about this, but when
you look at this, it is a very different case than some of the actions that have been brought before, or some of the investigations that have been brought before. >> tom winter, thank you. you are free to go report. i wasn't to play for you something, david, that caught my attention, it's a question to attorney general tisch james. >> do they just not check anything that people tell them or they presumed it was true or do they have hints that these things were not true, that they were being told? and what does it tell you about those institutions? >> let me just say, they indicated on the statement of financial candidate that it did not certify and did not audit these statements. that does not about solve mr. trump or submitting accurate information. two, with respect to curbman wakefield, there is an ongoing investigation into curbman wakefield. and then lastly, with respect to deutsche bank, deutschen bank,
we're in conversation with them, they are been cooperating with office. >> when she pulls the curtain back, it's a very far-ranging investigation that has checked all the boxes of any potential participants in the fraud. >> yeah, this is important here. one of the -- the questions that they're going to have to answer in this case is, you know, well, this is real estate, everybody fudges the numbers, everybody says their properties are the greatest. so, how do you draw a line that separates just sort of normal puffery from fraud? and i think the way they're going to try to do it is by showing, look, they did talk to appraisers, they talked to people, they had access to real people who saw this from an objective point of view and told them the numbers were totally wrong, not even in the same ballpark. and then knowing the right answer or the range of the right answer, they chose to ignore it. i think that will go towards showing the kind of intent they would need to prove to show this is not just an honest mistake or normal real estate flip flam,
but something that moved into the realm of fraud. >> susanne, we learned from your reporting that flip flam was not the family way, it was this sprawling and audacious pattern of fraud, passed down from the father. >> right, as tom winter was talking, i was thinking about it, what we're seeing here is such a pattern. whether it's this case that we're talking about, the civil case today or the one, the criminal case against the trump organization that's going to trial in october, it's just case after case after case where they just are really -- they're pushing the line or moving it right into illegal behavior. you think about the criminal case that's going forward where allen weisselberg has entered guilty pleas on it. he was -- you know, they had just incident after incident where he would take, you know, tuition or a car, and those are taxable benefits and they were never recorded as that. and then you look at that and you look at today's case and
it's just a pattern of behavior that is really alarming. we've uncovered it in our reporting and while we're seeing it play out in the legal arena, and it's just -- it's something. because -- we've been, you know, talking about it for a long time, but it never -- you can't really cease to sort of shock you when you see it. >> so, neal, i gauge how shocked i'm going to feel by how shocked people, reporters like tom and david feel, and when they are shocked by the criminal sort of behavior around finances, for me, it elevates the story. and it elevates the evidence she's marshalled, so, i guess the question for you, neal, why isn't there a criminal investigation underway by sdny? >> well, there may be. on page two, the attorney general isolated a list of federal crimes she thought were potentially violated.
and the thing this lawsuit did was collect all the reporting from our friends on this show, but then add to it all the evidence from the accountants, the evidence from the cfo and others, and it's a tremendous -- it's a case based on a huge amount of paperwork, which is unlike a lot of the other investigations that trump has faced, where his allies can just make up stories to protect him. this is based on cold facts with paperwork that is under the trump organization. i think donald trump probably at this point wishes he could flush some of those financial statements down the toilet. some, there's a big difference between what's going on in this attorney general suit and a criminal one. and one part of it is the burden of proof. which, in a criminal case, is beyond a reasonable doubt. very high standard that the prosecution has to show for all sorts of good reasons before you can put someone in jail. but there's a -- and the civil case is just a preponderance of the evidence, 51% or something like that. as i say, this new york one is a
civil case, so, the standard of proof is lower, but the other piece about it is all these times that donald trump and his family took the fifth amendment. hundreds of times in the new york attorney general's investigation. and a criminal case, because of our fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination, you can't have some sort of inference when someone takes the fifth amendment, but in a civil case, you can. so, this new york case is a much easier case, because the jury can be shown exactly what you just put on the screen, where trump refused to answer question after question about these property values and the jury is going to be told by the judge, you can infer from the fact that he's not trying to say he's innocent and dispute this, that he isn't. so, it's a huge difference, and so, if you are a prosecutor, you might actually want to start and let that civil lawsuit unfold first and then bring the criminal case later. it seems like a food criminal case at this point, based on
what i'm seeing in the complaint. >> all right, we're going to continue to dig into this part of the story. tisch james today name dropped michael cohen, at least called him out for his role in this. sparking or being the genesis of the investigation. we'll show you some of what he had testified to publicly next. plus, the ex-president's problems, of course, do not start and stop with letitia james. the january 6th committee will hold another public hearing one week from today. we'll look at all the things that have changed in this country since we last heard from them in a public way, including a huge ramp-up of the justice department's parallel probe into january 6th. and trying to isolate another world leader on the world stage, president biden this morning on the dangerous aggression coming from russia's vladimir putin. who today doubled down on threats of using nuclear weapons. we'll talk about all that when "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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it was my experience that mr. trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes. such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in forbes. and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes. >> but to your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan? >> these documents and others were provided to deutsche bank, on one occasion, where i was
with them, in our attention to obtain money so that we could put a bid on the buffalo bills. >> that moment right there may ultimately have led to today's bombshell announcement from tish james. that was trump's former personal attorney michael cohen in a house hearing in 2019, alleging that donald trump routinely manipulated the value of his assets and then deflated him when it served him. back with neal, susanne, and david. what is this next step in the civil suit? >> well, i suspect that trump will file some sort of motion to dismiss, saying that these allegations aren't proven, so, write a long brief by the lawyer that will write it for him, and then the government will respond in their brief and then there will be an oral argument on that. civil litigation moves fairly slowly, so, we shouldn't expect
this to be done with rapid speed. and trump's playbook is always delay, delay, delay. so, what's going to happen next? i'm sure it's going to be some motion to delay. >> neal, let me just put up what is alleged in the lawsuit again. so, he represented mar-a-lago's value at $739 million. i've driven by, i don't know much about mansions, but that sounds like a really expensive mention and turns out the real value is $75 million. not even close. so, i mean, do you say, like, oh, i missed a column? i mean, and same thing with park avenue. he said it was $135 million, it's actually $84 million. he said trump seven springs was worth $291 million, not even close. it's worth $56 million. so, how do you -- what is the innocent explanation for such flagrant lying? >> well, i mean, i suppose with mar-a-lago he can say, it was
worth $739 million, once you count the street value of all the classified information that he was there that he could sell off to other countries or something. you know, i don't think that there's -- it's going to be easy for him, so, i don't think he's going -- the defense is going to be two-fold, i suspect. one is, oh, he had nothing to do with it, that was his people, his accountants, this, that and the other, and that's why i think that language that you pointed to from tish james' statement today about donald trump personally orchestrating this stuff, that this came from the top, is going to be so important. but nonetheless, that is going to be, you know, a big argument. the other big argument was teed up by the josh ger stein question, which is, everyone is puffing in real estate. and, you know, there were very sophisticated financial, you know, entities on the other side, like deutsche bank and the like, and if they didn't see anything wrong, isn't this just kind of industry standard? and i think, you know, maybe a few dollars here or there maybe industry standard, but going
from, as you say, $75 million property to a $739 million property at mar-a-lago, or saying that your apartment is 30,000 square feet when it's 11,000 square feet, and representing it to be the most expensive real estate sale in new york city by far, you know, at some point, it doesn't pass the smell test. and both for civil and criminal, these are really easy things for a jury to understand. this isn't complicated stuff. people get it. and so, if i'm trump right now, i'm feeling incredibly worried, not just about the civil lawsuit, but that the civil one is going to mature and flower into a criminal one, as well. >> neal, i know you have to leave us, thank you for spending time with us today. david, my question for you, you know, and in your body of reporting and susanne's, as well, trump isn't just in the room, he is making all the calls. he's the quarterback in everything. he picks his walkup music as his
rallies, which is why it's hard for his staff to walk away from the small stuff, because he is obsessed with the small stuff. he didn't like certain candidates for cabinet jobs because of the way they look. so, putting him in the room feels like an easy thing to do. how difficult does that make the efforts to defend this flagrant fraud? >> well, i -- his layer of protection has typically been that he doesn't use email. so, there's no written paper trail of him saying do this or do that. and you'd have to find somebody from this very small circle of people, which, from which only michael cohen has ever left, to say that, he told me verbally to do this. that's why i think the charges against trump's children and the emails they sent is so interesting, because they do use email, and they're in this complaint using email. and so, the question would be, well, if trump didn't say it, well, now i see ivanka, eric, don jr., issuing these orders over email. did they do it on their own? if not, you sort of have to
choose one or the other. if they're acting on their own, then they have the responsibility, and if they're not, then their father has responsibility. i think that's why she's included evidence from them, and included them in this suit, because you can't sort of have one without the other. and somebody's taking responsibilities to which trump is going to take that fall. >> it is so interesting to them is that the kids are in the lawsuit, because a normal dynamic, people go down to protect their kids, this is not that. this is not normal. and we know from don jr.'s email, you know, when offered oppo from the russians about hillary clinton, quote, if it is what you say it is, i love it, end quote. what do you think is on this trove of emails from the kids? >> well, i think there's a lot of back and forth between different, whether there's some from people who have done aplace appraisals, but the kids had their own discreet areas. you see the emails where they're going back and forth about the appraisal. eric trump was very involved with seven springs. he comes into it there about the
appraisal that was done for the land, a charitable donation there. and i think that's what you're going to see. and they all had their sort of discreet area. so, you see them across the lawsuit touching very different areas. >> david, what, as you sort of dive through, you know, everything that was introduced today by this lawsuit and the copious amount of paper that she's marshaled to final this lawsuit, where does your sort of line of questions, where do you go in your head in terms of what you want to know next? >> well, i can tell you i want to know more about how they established -- how they connected this to trump? thousand they overcome the go defenses we talked about earlier, a, we don't have any trump emails and how do you overcome the it's just real estate, everything is fair in real estate, how do you overcome those defenses? i think they will overcome those by saying, look, he lied to the people who then represented himself to the world, he lined to his appraisers and
accountants and within the puffery of these appraisals, there was specific facts that weren't exaggerated, that weren't sort of guesswork, that were wrong. he said he could develop x number of lates where the number was half of that. he said he had the right to develop mar-a-lago into homes, where he had given that up long ago. if there are specific facts that underlie there, it's harder to defend those numbers. >> all right, david, thank you so much. we have roped susanne sticking around for a little longer. she stays with us. for donald trump and the world to hear today out loud that he's a liar and that he's not worth nearly the amount of money he says he's worth is something that donald trump has sought to avoid almost more than anything else for years and years and years. our next guest knows this all too well. tim o'brien joins the conversation in a few minutes. don't go anywhere. magical ever,
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my name's donald trump, and i'm the largest real estate dropper in new york. i own buildings all over the place. model agencies, the miss universe pageant. jetliners, golf courses, casinos. and private resorts like mar-a-lago. one of the most spectacular estates anywhere in the world. it's doing great, everybody's talking about the building. they love it. it's become the favorite place in hawaii. part of the beauty of me is that
i'm very rich. i'm really rich. i'm proud of my net worth. i've done an amazing job. i ventured into manhattan and doing great deals. i love what i'm doing. >> ah -- let me be honest, i know that makes one of you want to throw up in your mouth, but it's how it became president. his supporters loved all that stuff. and it turns out, we learned today, it was all a lie. and it's a moment he hoped would never, never, ever happen. a lawsuit directly targeting his empire. the lie he credited mostly for tv. an entire tv show, empire, was built on it. became the foundation for the big lies he'd tell as our country's president. and commander in chief. joining susanne craig, joining us harry littman. tim o'brien is also joining us, senior executive editor of bloomberg opinion and msnbc contributor. tim writing a new column about
trump's business facing a serious reckoning. tim, i want to start with your piece. tish james' lawsuit won't land the trumps in prison, but it seeks to bar the trumps from running a business in new york state and may unravel the trump org. trump brought the family business into the spotlight for the second time in his career. he's put the family's business legacy on the precipice. trash canning the new york remnants of what his father started about a centrally ago will weigh on trump regardless of what he says about it. >> yeah, he -- journalists and his business competitors have known for years that his behavior involved lies and exaggerations, but little of what he said about his business dealings in manhattan were true. you know, the clip that you played from "the apprentice"
many he said he's the biggest real estate developer in manhattan, he's never been, either by the value of what he owned or the scale and scope of what he owned. the difference is, that kind of behavior never exposed him to existential legal consequences. and this is the first time i think his business dealings have come under the legal scope with this kind of presession and with the potential that the family business will effectively end in new york state. i think tish james has a hurdle here in front of her to convict him. he was dealing with sophisticated banks, they were banks like many in new york that knew trump was a grifter, and i think did some of their own due diligence, regardless what he told them their properties were worth. so, that is going to be a hurdle. on the other hand, i think there's a legal case to be made that his mere attempt to try to
mislead may be damning enough. and i think those are some of the things that tish james is going to have to convince a jury of. she doesn't have to show intent. she can introduce the fact that donald and eric both took the fifth hundreds of times. and a jury can interpret that as a possible admission of guilt. you can't do that in a criminal suit. she's got some play here with the jury. but at the end of the day, i do think it is this -- the art of the trump family's life in new york city, as developers and as business people, could come to a very rocky and ugly close as a result of this lawsuit. >> susanne, the arc is also a lie, though. your great reporting was captured on showtime that shows if an arc goes like this, what was over here was all fake, too. let me show this sort of -- the
family business, trump's taxes, and the myth of being self-made. >> the family did not want attention drawn to that sale. we spent months going through public records, just trying to figure out what was transferred and what the price was. where's the mortgage document, just so we've got it noted? >> it's on the drive, yeah. under property records and there's a separate folder for 220. >> and we started to realize not only was there that one big payday, there was dozens of streams of revenue from fred to donald. >> so, back to sort of the montage that i started at the beginning of this block, the whole thing was stagecrafted. >> well, it's -- let's start with the montage, where, you know, to make the great point, he's not the biggest real estate developer in new york. and you look at what was put up on that screen. taj mahal is gone. like, it's just -- i could keep
going. and then you also have, at the core of this, and he ran for president on this idea that he was a self-made -- self-made man, a self-made billionaire -- nothing could be further from the truth. he is the son of an incredibly successful real estate developer, fred trump, who he inherited hundreds of millions of dollars from. and just beyond that, fred trump propped donald trump up at every turn of his career. particularly when he was starting out. donald trump has talked about how he got a million dollar loan from his father and he built that into an empire and he's used that lie and told it to the american people and then said, you know, vote for me, and that's the sort of, you know, great imaginative thinking that i will bring to this country. that's just all a lie. >> just amazing. i want to read you, harry, another thing from tish james'
lawsuit for the kids -- not kids, grown people. as executive vice presidents of the trump organization, donald trump jr., ivanka trump and eric trump were also aware of and knowingly participated in the scheme. as executive vice presidents, the three children were intimately involved in the operation of the trump organization's business. they were aware of the true financial performance of the company, whether through donald trump jr.'s work on commercial leasing, ivanka trump's work on doral, trump chicago and opo, or eric trump's work on the golf course portfolio, which, of course, brought us the great revelation that they had all the money they needed from russia. is this the civil version of the kind of evidence that would be marshaled in a rico investigation and prosecution? >> yeah, look, it's pretty close. and a rico would show that they themselves were a criminal
organization. but what is this? it's the equivalent, but as to the trump brand, which has always been so important to him and, of course, to his children. basically, it's -- it's the entire business. people have noted this. but just to put a finer point on it, all the properties, scotland, florida, whatever, they're involved, because he uses them in new york to inflate the value. so, a lot of people are clamoring for trump the person to be in an orange jumpsuit. may or may not ever happen, even if he is convicted, but to the extent trump the brand has been, you know, equated with him as he's wanted it to, this is an absolute cannon shot against trump the brand and i think it is basically indefensible on their part. yes, there are some difficulties, tim just mentioned some, burden of proof and the
like, but i don't see how you bring this case to a jury, just listen to what he said at the top of this segment here, a jury would loathe him, put on tom of that the lower burden of proof and the wildly inflated valuations. this is really an existential threat to what is second only to his physical person, and that is the trump brand. now, in the past, and in history. this is -- i would argue, the future is now, as it were. everyone's waiting for things to start. i think given the kind of mortal threat this is to the brand itself, we are now in the period where a reckoning has begun. >> the reckoning has begun. i have to sneak in a quick break, but i have 10,000 more questions for each of you off of that answer. don't go anywhere.
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this painful, blistering rash can disrupt your life for weeks. it could make your workday feel impossible. the virus that causes shingles is likely already inside of you. if you're 50 years or older, ask your doctor or pharmacist about shingles. everyone is back, tim, i want to ask you a question. there's this, i think false caricature of trump that he's putin-esque, and putin is an ex-kgb agent. what do you think is actually happening right now? >> well, i mean, we know that donald trump right now is mired in a -- a tar pit of lawsuits. he has a federal investigation
of why he took state secrets to mar-a-lago and stuffed them in a closet there. he now has tish james' lawsuit as a threat to his business. manhattan d.a. still has a criminal investigation going. and i think there are federal investigations stemming from the january 6th committee revelations that have yet -- that he has yet to contend with, if merrick garland follows through on the evidence trail. whatever he might be saying in terms of bravado or a willingness to go on, something he's always relished french warfare, the reality is that he's never been exposed to so many threats legally. and i think there's a myth around the idea that he's been able to escape from absolutely everything, but the truth of it is that absolutely everything has always landed on his doorstep and now it has. and he may be screening movies at mar-a-lago and pretending to be blase, but all of this has to be lurking in the back of his head. >> harry, you know, you look at
the work that tish james did, i'm not even going to dignify the responses that trump had to her today, but they're beyond dog whistles, they are racist smears, you look at the work that willis has done in georgia. what is the best way for us non-lawyers to understand why they seem to be out front of doj. >> well, what they're doing is smaller, it's easier for tish james to put together and civil lawsuit, and fanny willis is focused only on what happened in georgia. and second, you know, merrick garland, whom i've championed as against a lot of protests, there's a book at doj and they're now looking at six or seven, and this is leaving alone mar-a-lago, discreet kind of offenses for the january 6th committee, that's a whole cluster of conduct that proves something about trump. for the doj, those are individual exercises in proving of element, consideration of
what's on the other side, et cetera. so, doj, by its own timeline, is not being slow here. but i think it's really the -- you know, the tighter and more discreet aspects of both the lawsuits. look, tish james today gave a referral to sdny, but also to the manhattan d.a. in criminal conduct. they haven't done anything yet. it's a bigger thing, especially with a nonuser of email, like donald trump, to stitch up something that you really feel is bulletproof, that has to do with fraudulent intent. >> susanne, quick last word? >> yeah. just -- i mean, i'm just thinking, you know, you didn't mention the irs, as well, and there's going to be a reherral to the irs. it does feel like -- i need a spreadsheet to keep track of all of this, and it must be getting really -- to tim's point, there is just so much going on and, you know, i'm very focused on the businesses, and this is just
another -- just another just mess. and the trump organization is going to trial in manhattan in a month, you know, the trump organization, and all of these things are going to have collateral consequences for the business. will it be one or the other? you don't know what the tipping point is and will there be a settlement, you don't know, but this is just -- he's got a lot of bad headlines and it's just so much more. and you can't -- i just -- all of january 6th and everything that proceeded it and everything that's come since has been bad for his businesses and this is just horrible. they were losing so much money before and now, like, good luck, you know? >> doesn't make it any better. susanne, harry, tim, thank you for being part of our coverage. so grateful to all of you. when we come back, the ex-president's problems continue to mount and the january 6th
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in our hearing tonight, you saw an american president faced with a stark and unmistakable choice between right and wrong. there was no ambiguity, no nuance. donald trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office, to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement, to threaten our constitutional order. there is no way to excuse that behavior. it was indefensible. our committee understands the gravity of this moment, the consequences for our nation. we have much work yet to do, and we will see you all in september. >> hi again, everyone. it's 5:00 in new york. those were the final words, the
last words that we heard from the january 6th select committee's last public hearing. it was exactly two months ago today. a grave warning there about the threat posed by donald trump, his allies, and his supporters who remain fueled and fired up by his lies. the threat they pose to our country endured, said liz cheney. now, since she made those remarks, there has been an avalanche of staggering developments surrounding the twice impeached ex-president that bear out warnings like the one you just heard. today's bombshell announcement by the new york attorney general of her filing of a lawsuit against trump, his three eldest children and his business, accusing them of large scale fraud and referring them to federal prosecutors and to the irs. there was, of course, the monumental move last month by the fbi to search mar-a-lago for classified documents that the president took with him when he left office. it's a move that has landed him at the heart of a criminal investigation for possibly violating, among other things, the espionage act.
we've also seen the big lie and election conspiracies seep even deep entire the republican party's dna. election deniers in key swing states like michigan, arizona, and wisconsin won their respective gop primaries. according to a recent analysis, 27 states now have election deniers running for governor, a.g., or secretary of state. positions that oversee the administration of elections. there was also the expected but still significant primary loss by the committee's vice chair, liz cheney, in her race to keep her seat in congress. cheney's defeat was a direct result of her efforts to take down trump for inciting an insurrection and trying to overturn his loss to president joe biden. we've also learned of massive escalations in the doj's probe into the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, including the earlier this month, the justice department issued about
40 subpoenas to trump aides and seized the phones of at least two top advisers. additionally, reports reveal that among those complying with his subpoena is trump's former chief of staff, mark meadows. with all of that as the backdrop, the january 6th select committee is set to hold its next public hearing one week from today on september 28th. we are still awaiting an official announcement, but since the committee is required to give a seven-day notice, we expect that some time today. chairman bennie thompson noted this hearing will likely be the committee's last and said it will focus on a theme the committee has not covered previously. it's where we begin the hour. joining us, congresswoman eileen dean of pennsylvania, who served as the house manager during donald trump's second impeachment. we were looking back at what the state of american democracy and politics and efforts to hold trump accountable look like at the night of that last public hearing and almost a sea change of really a deepening crisis.
your thoughts on the stakes an the work before this committee when they come back? >> well, i'm so proud of the committee, nicolle, you know that. they've been at one thing, which is telling the truth to the american people who had been so broadly deceived by a former president who failed to win re-election and by those around him. you know, i've just come from the floor, nicolle. so, in addition to all of what you just layered on, we here in congress are doing our work as a result of what happened on january 6th and the events leading up to it. we just passed, or i just voted yes, along with my colleagues, to pass the presidential election reform act, to clarify and make stronger the electoral count act, which you saw become such a piece of fodder for president trump, trying to convince the former vice president pence to overturn the electoral count. so, we're doing our job here to put guardrails back up by way of
legislation to an incredibly corrupt president. i've talked with bennie thompson on the floor about the upcoming hearing. he confirmed the things that you are reporting. that there will be substantial video and there will be substantial testimony. you know that they have interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and he expressed to me, there are so many at very important levels of government or influence around the president. so, i expect that this hearing, while it may be the last and though he hasn't counted out future hearings based on more information constantly coming in, this will fit the exact pattern of what they've already done. extraordinary work to reveal the truth. and note that most of the testimony that has been revealed, whether live or videotaped, has been from republicans who wanted nothing more than donald trump to succeed. of course, he failed miserably. his corrupt grifting has been revealed. and now we see all of these
investigations closing in on the president. >> congresswoman, we have, by our count, just nine republicans voting for the electoral count act. what about it could one be against? >> i can't imagine. defining clearly that the vice president's job is ministerial. maybe they didn't like the fact that in the bill, we say that you can't just have one josh hawley or somebody say, i object, i object. we actually tried to put more teeth into it so that objections would not be frivolous, baseless, and so corrupt as the ones we suffered here and struggled through on january 6th. it's government -- it's good government. it's actually pushing back on the fact that the former president failed to win re-election and tried to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. you saw that we only had ten republicans vote with us in terms of the article of impeachment, so, sadly, the other side of the aisle is guided by the man from florida,
a failed former president who cares only for himself, nothing for the constitution or his oath or the people of this country. >> liz cheney gave an interesting interview where she talked about republicans knowingly signing onto the objections to president joe biden's win and almost muttering the things they would do for orange jesus. if you step back and you take the deadly insurrection and the shredding of the constitution out of it, it is almost funny to hear her and her sort of dry cheney tone refer to what they call him orange jesus. but when you put it into the context of the qanon rally, the qanon sort of song playing at trump's rally saturday, the people holding up the finger, it feels like the brainwashing and the zombie-nature of trump
supporters is now at a very obvious intersection with the threat of extremism. it's overdue for a come to jesus, but do you hold republicans responsible if there is political violence in this country? >> i certainly do. anyone who incites their supporters to violence through lies and disinformation. i just came from a judiciary markup where election denying was present in that hearing from republican members. you just used the expression the deadly insurrection. they were actually taking criticism of that. what was so deadly about it? who died there? >> what? >> they didn't want to acknowledge the deaths of the police officers brian sicknick and those who died, sadly, by suicide, following the combat. where they worked to protect our lives. it was an outrageous set of comments that i'm about to
return to, but when it was evident that the election denying, the denying of the truth, has been so potent and so poisonous, that these elected officials can't seem to bring themselves off it. i really invite them, and you should have heard the beautiful words of my colleague from new york, mr. jones, who invited them with compassion, that it is not too late to turn to the truth and reveal that all of this has been lies, and it's lies that are so extraordinarily change routs, as to lead to violence. like we saw on january 6th, and what others think could come and they actually want to come if mr. trump doesn't get his way. the indecency here is staggering. the fact that our democracy is on the line, they don't seem to notice or to care. i don't understand their extraordinaily corrupt and indecent criminal behavior of
donald trump. >> congresswoman dean, thank you very much for starting us off this hour. >> thank you. let's bring in some of our favorite reporters and friends to this conversation. congressional investigations reporter jackie alamanie is here. barbara mcquade with us, as well. jackie, what should we be looking ahead to from the 1/6 committee. what do they mean when they say they're going to cover a topic they haven't covered yet? >> i'm not quite sure yet, nicolle, and that is a question we've been asking our courses all this week and last week. and to no avail, obviously, though. otherwise we would have reported it. but once source said to me, though this is pretty vague and nonspecific, is that if you think of the first set, the first season of hearings that we saw from the january 6th
committee, over the summer, as what trump did, that they would then view the upcoming -- at the time, this person was referring to hearings, now right now, at least, there's only one hearing tentatively scheduled, that they would look at this hearing as trump's intent. what he -- what he was trying to do and what he was thinking while he was trying to do those things. sort of getting a little bit more inside the head, inside his head, adding some more analysis and putting in the context of what it means for our current political environment and what it -- the damage and sort of corrosive hold it has taken on republican politics going forward and how those implications are, i know we just used this term, but how the insurrectionists would have been a slow rolling insurrection and has continued in real-time with this new slate of election
deniers, many of whom have won their primaries and might even be serving in congress in the 118th congress starting in january. >> it's so amazing to think about how impactful the public hearings were in their, as you said, jackie, the summer series of public hearings, and yet how much the world has changed since the last one. i mean, a judge found probable cause to authorize a search of mar-a-lago, 27 states are looking at election deniers as the top executive of their state, the top law enforcement official or the top secretary of state job. you now have real, serious legal breath to his business empire. i feel squeamish calling it an empire. but barbara, i wonder how you sort of evaluate the stakes in terms of this committee's singular ability to turn the country's attention to trump's misconduct.
>> well, in many ways, nicolle, trump, his misconduct serves as a distraction for his misconduct. it's difficult to focus on -- because of all the distractions. but you can't ignore any of them, right? you don't say, well, we're just not going to worry about these classified documents at mar-a-lago, because we don't want to detract from our work on january 6th, or, we're going to ignore $250 million worth of fraud of new york because of what's going on on january 6th, so i think every player has to keep their eye on the ball. everyone is -- and focus on that. and these things are very, very bad. the mar-a-lago documents are very bad. $250 million in fraud is very bad. there's nothing worse in my mind than trying to overturn a presidential election. and for that reason, i think the january 6th committee needs to make sure they resume where they left off. they had a lot of momentum going
in terms of holding this president accountable and, so, i think -- every expectation, what they will do just what they did in the prior hearings, making them very compelling, using a lot of media to make it engaging and to tell the story. and i think there are pieces of the story we haven't heard yet. the extent to which the big lie was also the big rip-off, that we've heard some hints about. and i think also connecting up donald trump to those who used force at the capitol on january 6th, seditious conspiracy, can you make that link? i'll be looking for those links when they resume the hearings. >> tim, the mar-a-lago conduct was tied to the big lie in a really sort of gave me, you know, my ah-ha. she said, you know, the defense around taking, packing, keeping, and then lying about returning highly classified documents at mar-a-lago is all predicated on,
and you heard this yesterday in judge dearie's courtroom, they still call him the president, he's not the president. he's the twice impeached ex-president, who was a failure on every count. but he's not the president, he's not president trump, he's formerpresident trump. the tie between hiscriminal conduct there and the lie that is insighting his supporters to hold up the finger and sway to mood music that was played under trump's remarks. i've never seen music play when he was talking. and you also have someone who died trying to attack and shoot up an fbi field office. frank figliuzzi calls it a trump death count. what do you think of the committee's opportunity to tie all of these threats and active threats because of trump's response. trump's continued delusions and mainlining to his supporters these subtle and not so subtle lies about still being the president, having the right to
declassify and the work specifically in the scope of the 1/6 committee investigation. >> well, i trust that jackie has about the best sources around over there on the hill, if we're talking to getting to intent, i do think that it relates. and you can't just separate all of these things. donald trump's lack of respect for our institutions, for the rule of law, for what his obligations were as president, as it relates to the documents that he brought to mar-a-lago are quite similar to, or obviously, of a peace, really, with his lack of respect for the democratic since constitutiic i tried to undermine and going all the way back to when he got into the race. so, i think that's an important part of the story for the committee to tell. that part is kind of the narrative part, which i think is an important part of their work, right, making sure people understand the threats. i think another is the action part of it and we're seeing some
of the action part of this right now, through the january 6th committee, they are having a vote in the house on the electoral count act reform. this is something where, you know, we never expected to have a president like donald trump who wouldn't give a riff about the way that we have a transition of power, that we'd have to think about, oh, we need to update this 1800s law about how we transition power, it doesn't occur to anybody throughout the 1900s, this was something that needed to be updated, because we never assumed there would be somebody like donald trump in the white house that tried to, you know, look for any nook and cranny he could to hold onto power. so, now they're trying to update that law right now in the house. and as we were coming on, what happened? only the impeachers and one additional house republican was voting for this just common sense reform to make it more clear, to avoid loopholes, to avoid having an opportunity like january 6th, and that is where the entire republican party is right now. they're so enthralled to him
that they are unwilling to even do the basics to safeguard our democracy, because who knows, maybe he'll have another chance in 2024 and try to undermine it again and they would want to support him again. so, i think that what the committee has to do going into this fall is both of those things. make that case, tie the room together if you will between all of his different, you know, insurrectionists and extra legal behaviors, and also, you know, try to get some recommendations passed, hopefully in the house and the senate while the democrats are in charge. >> all right, no one is going anywhere today. there's much more to get into. the january 6th committee gets ready to return to center stage, again, after months of growing legal peril for the ex-president. later in the hour, president joe biden's harsh and historic rebuke of russia today, as he sought to rally the united nations in support of ukraine. it comes as vladimir putin is making some very alarming news to escalate the war with potentially unfathomable consequences.
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are you going to speak with the vice president of president trump, you guys made any decisions on that yet? >> no, we're still in communications with the vice president's attorney, but we've not talked to my knowledge to the president. former president. >> you're two months to the midterms and you have make decisions on two very significant witnesses. >> well, you know, we have a lot of information, and so, we're not certain if they will come,
but significance in your mind, but we have testimony from a lot of witnesses as to what they know. the vice president and president would be an addition, but it wouldn't determine the ultimate outcome of the report. >> we're back. jackie, how -- how much of this is to say they offered them an opportunity to talk and how much of this is real? what do they need to know from either of them? they have absolutely encircled those men with their closest advisers. >> yeah, i think there is a feeling that having vice president -- former vice president pence come in and potentially former president donald trump lends a certain credibility to the investigation. that -- there's also, you know, the fact that, i think, there's a need to at least check off the box to formally invite these two men, potentially, because they were such integral parts of the
efforts to overturn the results of the election. but again, there has been a consistent desire to get pence on the stand himself to retell and recount the pressure campaign himself. as we've seen throughout the past several months in these public hearings, even though a lot of this information has already been public for quite some time now, there's nothing that's been more powerful than hearing it first-hand from witnesses, targets, and people who were the targets of the efforts to overturn the election themselves. hearing it straight from the mouth of cassidy hutchinson, and what was going on in the white house that day. and i think there's also the recognition that hearing it from pence, despite the great detail that his top advisers have provided in extensive depositions behind closed doors, but also during these public hearings, we heard from greg
jacob, his counsel, who was going back and forth with john eastman before and after the actual attack on the capitol about getting pence to try to intervene and return results of the elections, that hearing it from pence himself is just -- it's a bit of a game changer, i know bennie thompson says it's not, and i don't think it changes the essence of the report, the recommendations and what we're going to see put out, but i do think that if you want maxim pact, max eyeballs on the final hearing and the best way to do that is with these two players themselves. >> i mean, barbara, i'm trying to envision it. mike pence, were you afraid for your life? no. why you were in the basement? mike pence, what did they say to you on the phone? did he call you the p-word? he can't go in, because he can't lie to congress, but he -- to
tell the truth. >> i might disagree with jackie here. i think for that reason, maybe at the end of the day, the committee does not want him to come forward. he is not going to be the kind of witness that is helpful in a case, when a prosecutor thinks about having a witness that is being cooperative and getting credit for their cooperation and they have an incentive to tell the story, versus someone who is there only pursuant to a subpoena who will answer questions as if you are pulling their teeth. you might get a yes or a no, but not a lot of collaboration. you could kind of damage the impression of what we currently have, having heard from his aides, a very realistic view about just how dire that situation was that day, and what the role of donald trump was and what the role of mike pence was. now, i do think he would need to testify in a criminal case. because you need first-hand witnesses in that scenario, and so, maybe that's the place where we hear his story, because there were some conversations that only he was the other party to it. people may have heard one end of the phone conversation, but he's
the only one that heard both ends of the conversation. and in a criminal trial, you need first-hand observers to be able to testify to what they saw. but i don't know that he adds that much to the story that the committee is telling, and i think he could harm their case if he decides to try to, you know, mitigate what happened or minimize anyone's role here. >> tim, i think -- i don't know where he opines that he either truth socialed or did some interview where he said that if he ran for president, he would never pick mike pence again, because when he had to vote, he voted the wrong way. trump is just squashing pence, and if he had a backbone, he would go out and just tell the truth. but i don't think that's who pence is, do you? >> pence has no backbone. he's still owned by trump. but i have to have a contrary view to what some of the folks on the panel have said. i just think the facts of the case are so bad for donald trump that no matter what mike pence
tried to do to wiggle out of them and he's not that skilled, he would have to at least speak to the basic facts, and having the former vice president of the united states, just for example, testify to the fact that he had to be the one to call the national guard in when our capitol was under siege, because the president was sitting in the kitchen watching the super tivo, i mean, that's, i think, a pretty big moment, both politically, historically, for the committee, and so, i don't -- i understand the reticence, the feeling that mike pence might try to undermine the committee in some way, to get credit with the base that's never going to love him. he might try that, but liz cheney has proven to be very skilled, i think that she could ask him very narrowly tailored questions that would make the former president look awful, because the facts are awful for the former president, and having the vice president there would be a really big prime time moment and i think frankly pence should feel obligated, putting politics aside, to testify, to
live up to his own oath. maybe he doesn't and he won't, but i don't think we should just let him off the hook by assuming that he won't, because the politics will be bad for him in a republican primary that he's never going to win. so, i would have liked -- maybe i'm in the minority of this, but i would have liked to have seen more pressure put on pence by the committee to testify and by others to testify and -- because i think that it's important that he does, though i don't expect that he will. >> important for us to hear all of that. jackie, barbara, tim, thank you for spending time with us today. shifting gears for us here, to the war in ukraine. today, the united nations, president joe biden delivered a strong condemnation of russia at a time when moscow is looking to escalate its brutal war against the ukrainian people. we'll show you what the president said and what might happen next.
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like real time cgi. okay... yeah... oh. don't worry i got it! become an agent of innovation with invesco qqq let us speak plainly. a permanent member of the united nations security council invaded its neighbor. attempted to erase the sovereign state from the map. russia has shamelessly violated the core tenants of the united nations charter. no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force. this world should see these outrageous acts for what they are.
putin claims he had to act, because russia was threatened. but no one threatened russia. and no one other than russia sought conflict. this war is about extinguishing ukraine's right to exist as a state. plain and simple. and ukraine's right to exist as a people. whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not -- that should make your blood run cold. >> that was president joe biden earlier today, speaking in front of the united nations, forcefully condemning russia and its president, vladimir putin, for its cruel and unjust war against ukraine. the speech by president biden was a rarity for an american president to give before the united nations general assembly. it was aimed directly at an immensely critical of one
country, while seeking to rally the world at large to stand beside ukraine and returning to a theme so common in his presidency, the battle between democracy and autocracy. president biden's powerful speech today comes amid a flurry of moves from vladimir putin, as he seeks to avoid further embarrassment and as russia continues to falter on the battlefield. today, in a rare address to the russian people, putin anointed that he would call up 300,000 new troops to the front lines, as ukraine continues to take back territory from russia. putin reserved most of the blame for the u.s. and for europe, accusing them of nuclear blackmail. putin said this, quote, in the face of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, to protect russia and our people, we will certainly use all of the means at our disposal. this is not a bluff. i will emphasize this again -- with all the means at our disposal. joining our coverage, helen
cooper, msnbc contributor and with us at the table at long last, nbc news correspondent carol lee. carol, tell me about the making of this speech and whether there are policy goals or whether it was the sort of fire everybody up to stand with ukraine? >> it was more of the latter. there needs to be a policy behind and commitments behind rallying people, but this was a speech that was really designed for the president to isolate putin. he did it right from the beginning of his speech, saying that the war in ukraine is responsible for just -- it is the responsibility of just one man. and then again said that only one man can really end this, and that's obviously not what he wants to do right now. so, there was this effort to isolate putin, isolate russia, and then call on all of the leaders, some of whom were in the room, some who weren't, but all the members of the united nations and say, we need to do something here. and so, the goal is to keep everybody united against russia
and for ukraine. and you heard the president very specifically say to the u.n., up know, you need to do more. this is a country that has a very prominent seat on the u.n. security council, one of five permanent members, has veto power, and they're violating everything it is that the united nations says it stands for. and so, it was a bit of a mix of isolating the russians further, and also a rallying cry and saying that everybody needs to stick with this, because one of the concerns the administration has, as this drags on, the war goes into winter, that people will start to look away. >> right. and the economic pressure will override. helene, u.n., i'll be as generous as i can, is not known for making any moves, ever, about much of anything. in terms of a conflict that involves a member of the security council. i mean, the chances that the speech will move anyone are very limb.
so, to carol's point, this is almost about shaming anyone continuing to stand on the fence. putin turns into a cartoon character, i will use my nukes, this is not a bluff. it's cartoonish, the things he said today. >> it really is. hi, nicolle, hi, carol. the fact that vladimir putin is using these, like, nonvery veiled at all nuclear threats is not really surprising anymore, we've come to expect this from him this year. he's -- this isn't the first time that he's done it. this is the most explicit that he's been, but he is -- let's face it, and you both alluded to that just now, he's -- he just got -- he just got beat in the last two weeks, embarrassingly so, his troops ran away, the troops are in full retreat in
the northeast, where they weren't expecting this ukrainian, like, lightning strike. they've underperformed from day one of this military, special military operation, and his announcement now that he is calling up 300,000 more troops is his effort to try to impose some sort of will on a really chaotic war that has blown up in his face. but it's also an acknowledgement from him, whether he says so or not, is an acknowledgement of just the abject failure of the russian military so far. so for president biden, no, you don't go to the u.n. to try to get, to shore up support for ukraine, you are never going to get that there, because so many of the countries in the u.n., because of its -- the size of it, you have countries who are -- who are -- have other interests that they must weigh, countries in the third world,
people in africa, countries in asia, they are all making their own calculations. for president biden, where he needs to make sure that he continues to have unity is europe and with nato, and so far, he's got that, but that's where i would be a little bit more worried, if i were him. pay a lot of attention to what the german chancellor olaf scholz said today. he had strong words about germany and about russia and about germany continuing to back the sanctions and continuing to stand up to ukraine, but that's where -- that's where we need to be looking at, as winter comes in the next few months, as heating, you know, these -- the national -- the energy prices soar and you see europeans starting to shiver and having to choose, god forbid, between whether they'll have heat or whether they'll eat. and that's where the rubber is going to hit the road when you start talking about international unity against
ukraine, but for putin, right now, he's -- his back is very much to the wall and he's calling up reinforcements. >> carol, what is -- what is happening with president biden that we're not seeing? i mean, are there meetings with our friends to try to gerd them for the winter ahead? >> that's one of the things that the administration thinks is beneficial for having this general assembly in person. we know he had a one-on-one scheduled meeting, it was public, with the new british prime minister, but he also had a pull aside, that's what the phrase is for two leaders -- >> totally planned -- >> totally planned, spontaneous conversation. >> they just happen to see each other in the hallway, and with three aides. >> translators. >> yeah, and so he had a pull aside with macron of france and it was notable that an official in that meeting deals with energy issues. for the administration. so, this is a huge concern.
and from the white house's perspective, they feel, and the president feels like, they've gotten -- done well so far in terms of maintaining that unity, but this is going to be the real test and the longer this goes on, the harder it gets. and that's one of the reasons why you see the u.s., you know, part of this is leading by example, so, the president will announce a new amount of aid. there are things that the u.s. is not committed to that the ukrainians want. be interesting to see if they move on that stuff in the coming weeks, but you see them trying to take steps to figure this out and make sure that everybody sticks together to the extent they can. >> ukraine's president zelenskyy is addressing the u.n. right now. we'll try to turn some of that around for you and play it for you on the other side of a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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all u.n. member state who would say now, if he could interrupt my speech, that he's happy with this war. with his war. but we will not let this entity prevail over us. >> that was ukrainian president zelenskyy, the beginning of his speech, just a few moments ago. he's either still giving that speech or it has just wrapped up in front of the united nations general assembly. helene, zelenskyy is the x-factor. this has all gone differently than what anyone in the united states government thought would happen, because of that one man. can you talk about how he's moved u.s. foreign policy? >> ah, he really has, i mean, by virtue of his charisma, his steadfastness, his refusal to run, i think, you know, you
recall the united states had just come out of that very brutal and painful extraction from afghanistan, they watched as afghan national government that we had supported for 20 years collapse and the government flee, and so when this war started, people were not sure, i think american policy makers, the american military officials, biden administration officials, had been scarred by afghanistan and nobody -- the expectation was that the ukrainian government would collapse fairly quickly, that the russian troops would be to kyiv within a week, that, you know, you would maybe see a ukrainian state and we'd end up in a situation where we're backing an insurgency, but where russia would have successfully managed to invade. you remember that video that zelenskyy put out you like, i think it was in the first three or four days of the invasion where it's night time and he's
out there with a bunch -- >> yes, in the flak jacket. >> yeah. people were on instagram and stuff putting it on tiktok, putting that to rap music, i mean, it was really, like, a bunch of guys that you'd be willing to follow. they were --saying, i'm here, a listed the names of the officials behind him, the mayor of kyiv is here, and that -- that stick, we're here, and we're going to stay, and we're not going to be run out of our country. we're going to stay and fight. and that's what he has done for the last seven months. seven months now, an extraordinarily well. like, shockingly well. i spoke with an american -- a senior american military official this morning who was talking about just how surprised the pentagon remains at the ukrainian military's ability to persevere and push forward, and they all say that at this point, nobody at the pentagon is betting against ukraine in this war.
>> and it is such a shift. i mean, what sort of -- how much visibility do we have into the personal relationship between biden and zelenskyy? >> well, look, it wasn't, you know, early on, when this -- when russia was amassing the troops on the border, and zelenskyy was saying things out loud and he had said things publicly that would sort of -- >> he didn't want all that intel out there. >> head-scratching, and there was a lot of -- there was frustration within the administration with him and how he was comporting himself and there was a sense that he wasn't been realistic outwardly to the public, and even if he was a little more realistic in private conversations, they weren't entirely happy with him, and that just switched. and what we've seen is a pentagon and a white house that has, at times, been reluctant to give things to the ukrainians, to zelenskyy when he's asking for them and they get pushed and pushed, and congress has played a huge role in that, including democrats and republicans, and then they give them the -- what
they're asking for and then they are successful and so it keeps sort of feeding on itself. one interesting thing about zelenskyy's comments is he sounded very similar in terms of the message that biden had, which is that, this is all happening -- there's only one person who likes what happens here, and that's vladimir putin. >> yeah, no, it's amazing the way zelenskyy has driven the conversation, including here at home. helene cooper, carol lee, a pleasure to see both of you. thank you so much. another break for us. we'll be right back. u so much. another break for us we'll be right back. oooh we're firing up the chewy app... what do we want delivered every month. hmm. clumping litter? resounding yes. salmon pate, love that for me. and some of those catnip toys. just choose the frequency... and ship it. we did it. i feel so accomplished. now you can pet me. ok that's enough you're literally so annoying. just kidding love you. great prices on everything pets want. chewy. choosing a treatment for your chronic migraine - 15 or more headache days a month, each lasting 4 hours
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today, united states capitol police officer eugene goodman approved in a washington courtroom to testify against qanon member doug jensen, who can be seen here chasing officer goodman up the stairs during the january 6th insurrection. goodman told the court he felt threatened, and said, i felt like they were going to rush at any time. he provided a fuller picture of the horrors of that day, describing being hit in the head, targeted, and overpowered by rioters and sprayed in the face with bear spray. all of it before the now infamous stairway chase even began. it comes as the disgraced ex-president, who incited those rioters, is now fully and publicly embracing the dangerous right-wing conspiracy theory qanon, appearing at an ohio rally this weekend, wearing a qanon pin and playing a song that sounded a whole lot like the qanon theme song. we'll be right back. the qanon theme song we'll be right back.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hey, ari. >> nice to see you. welcome to "the beat," we have breaking news on legal action hitting trump. new york attorney general letitia james suing donald trump, his children and entire company. this is a culmination of this investigation she has so doggedly pursued. we're going to get into it with our experts. let me tell you, james is saying trump has committed