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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  October 1, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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this impeachment inquiry renders all legal repercussions moot. what they're saying is any more stonewalling could be grounds for a new article of impeachment which would be congressional -- >> geoff bennett, he reminds me how i started the show because he was actually watching. we love you. geoff bennett on capitol hill. that wraps up the hour for me. "deadli "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts now. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. you know what that means. news breaking today one of donald trump's favorite yes men, secretary of state mike pompeo, plans to say no to congress for refusing congressional demands for depositions of key state department witnesses. that's one day after reports confirm that u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo listened in on the call at the center of donald trump's impeachment inquiry. the one in which the u.s. president asked the leader of another country to investigate a political opponent. mike pompeo plunging his political future and the integrity of the u.s. state department down the stonewalling
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path today. "the new york times" reports on the development this way, "secretary of state mike pompeo threw up the first potential roadblock when he told lawmakers in a letter tuesday morning that a demand from three house committees for american diplomats to sit for depositions this week amounted to an act of intimidation and did not allow enough time for the state department to properly respond." it's important to remember, and more than a little ironic, that mike pompeo rose to some prominence in right-wing gop circles in part out of his questioning of hillary clinton in the benghazi investigation. of course, hillary clinton subjecting herself to questions from the body in which pompeo once served. a move that pompeo today describes as intimidation. team trump's capacity for hypocrisy is limitless, but pompeo is also turning to stonewalling congress after he chose to play dumb about the substance of the whistle-blower complaint in a round of sunday show interviews. watch. >> "the wall street journal" is reporting that president trump
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pressed the president of crukrae eight times to work with rudy giuliani to investigate joe biden's son. what do you know about those conversations? >> so, you just gave me a report about a -- a whistle-blower complaint, up in of which i've seen. >> fact check. we've learned that pompeo was on the call that "the wall street journal" reported donald trump mentioned ukraine eight times on. so it's unclear why he pretended not to know what martha raddatz was talking about. watch more. >> i vice president hhaven't ha actually read the whistle-blower complaint yet. i read the first couple of paragraphs then got busy today. but i'll ultimately get a chance to see it. if i understand it right, it's from someone who had secondhand knowledge. >> all right. fact check. this whole secondhand knowledge deflection has been taken down by none other than the intelligence community's insp t
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inspector general. a trump appointee. he put out a statement just yesterday pushing back on that. republican senator chuck grassley also pushing back on secondhand knowledge attacks. and there's more bad tape for pompeo. this defense of state department officials. >> to the best of my knowledge, from what i've seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by state department officials was entirely appropriate. >> we'll see. because at least one of those officials has stepped down already. ambassador volker felt he could no longer be effective in that job. just this afternoon, the chairman of the three house committees fired back at pompeo's stonewalling attempt with an apparent threat. "any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with congress including state department employees is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry." that is where we start today withfavorite reporters and friends. eli stokols, white house reporter for the "los angeles times." gene cummings, deputy pubureau
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chief for "the wall street journal." chris liu, former white house cabinet secretary, assistant to president obama and served as deputy chief counsel of the house oversight committee during the clinton impeachment. our friend, donny deutsch is back. plus, frank figliuzzi, is here. frank, let's start with you. i wanted to talk to you about all these developments today. talk to me about mike pompeo's exposure in the story, someone who was listening in on the phone call, the capacity as this country's secretary of state, heard the american president mention eight times based on gene's paper's great reporting, ukraine, we know in a transcript released by this white house that the president asked for a favor, though, and we also have a lot of data points that show that military aid was held up before it was released. what do you see in mike pompeo today? >> oh, so many things to talk about. so, nicolle, one of the things we -- this is how fbi agents
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refer to what pompeo did the abc news clip you played. called deception by omission. when you're interviewing the subject and see the halting language, the hesitation, nervous laughter, then they just forget to tell you that, actually, you know, although i haven't seen the i.c., i.g. report, i was in the room. so they just leave that out and it's evidence of consciousness of guilt. the other thing that i think it's important for viewers to understand is pompeo's come out and said, i'm not going to allow this to happen to my staff, my employees, this bullying and intimidation. rest assured, he's not protecting these very seasoned, mature, professionals. rather, he's protecting the president from the truth because the fear, of course, is that these employees are going to say -- these foreign service officers are going to say the truth. they didn't know what rudy giuliani was up to, they can't defend this, they were undermined in their professional capacity.
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it's going to be quite ugly. and back in my bureau career when we had this happen with a corrupt public official, they came out publicly and accused the fbi of bullying or intimidati intimidation, we're not going to cooperate, and in an early time in my career, i was dismayed, even angry, but then i realized i wanted them to keep doing it. i wanted them to publicly do this because it's going to blow up in the face of that corrupt official, and in this case, it is quite likely to become part of an article of impeachment that's called obstruction. and it's all happening on trump's watch. it's a cabinet official helping to obstruct, and i think it's going to be included in an article of impeachment that's called, generally, obstruction. >> frank figliuzzi, there's something i thought of when i went back and watched the pompeo tape knowing now what we know from gene's great reporting and from other reports about pompeo's centrality in all this and the whistle-blower, what they wrote about the state
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department officials. i thought about hope hicks and that statement written aboard air force one where they were going to lock down and lie about don junior's pretense for meeting with the russians and mark cerallo, longtime gop legal communications expert quit because he felt like he was witnessing some effort at obstruction in realtime. it would appear that pompeo's body language was a parallel in this crisis to hope hicks' sort of reassurances that nobody would find out, lock it down, and that's the very word that the whistle-blower uses when he describes the classified computer system for literally locking down the notes. do you think pompeo thought these notes would never get out, where i think gene reported by last friday, eight times donald trump mentioned investigating biden, the leader of ukraine? >> yeah, you start -- you started the question with this, where's the exposure for pompeo?
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and i didn't really answer it on point and now i get to. if he was part of that discussion about where to hide the transcript of this call, he's big-time exposed or as the president would say, big league exposed because he's part of a conspiracy to obstruct and cover up and he's got some explaining to do as to how in god's name that transcript of a congratulatory phone call somehow rises to the level of top-secret compartmented and needs to go into that database. he's in a no-win situation here. >> gene, your reporters, you guys have had some extraordinary reporting on this pompeo part of the story. i've referenced twice this report from last friday by reporter rebecca who wrote that in eight times in that conversation that you reported yesterday, pompeo listened in on donald trump mentioned to the ukrainian president his desire, his wish, or his hope, his aspiration, that the bidens be investigated. >> absolutely. he kept -- we were told that he
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just kept coming back to it, and when the president of ukraine would try to move to a different issue, for instance, buying more military equipment, the president would find his way back to, yeah, i hear you, but, and then he would, again, make a pitch that there was something wrong with what the bidens had done and the corruption around them needed to be investigated. so when the transcript, itself, came out, the whole world could see, there it was. he came back to it over and over -- >> i need a favor, though, was the language. >> indeed. >> when they tried to turn back to the military installations. i want to hit pause on the significance of what pompeo tried to do today. there's a lot of conversation in republican circles about whether trump's sort of impervious political power with his base is transferable. i've always posited that it is not. i don't think stonewalling congress is going to work out as well for mike pompeo as it has for donald trump. >> let's go back and look at
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article 3 of the nixon impeachment. >> i think i got it. >> which dealt with the obstruction of justice. i know that democrats want to focus on these ukraine allegation, but if there's going to be a laundry list, it's in that obstruction of justice. it's not only on this investigation, it's on mueller. let's not forget wilbur ross has been held in contempt of congress on the census. that's part of a broader pattern. i think the more they hold this back the worse it looks. the crazy thing about the pompeo thing saying this is secondhand knowledge, i know someone who has firsthand knowledge, that's mike pompeo and won't come before congress to talk about what his firsthand knowledge is. >> let me put this up. "richard m. nixon failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and thinks as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the committee on the judiciary house of representatives and woefully disobeyed such subpoenas." it's exactly what it appears pompeo's doing. i also went back and watched pompeo with a lot of -- i don't
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know what the right word is, swagger is probably what he'd use, i don't want to use it, very much relish the opportunity he had as a member of the house to question hillary clinton, the benghazi hearing. the idea that it's good for the goose, not good for the gander, why wouldn't he respect the body in which he once served? >> there's a wonderful contrast. hillary clinton testifying for 11 hours taking every arrow thrown her way and mike pompeo, in italy heading to montenegro. >> sebastian gorka. what he's done instead is try to deflect this by starting this millie motivated investigation of hk illary clinton's emails. >> look at the obstruction this administration engaged in be it the mueller report, attempts to switch investigators at the top of sdny where the president felt imperiled, actions to intervene in the irs, this is their playbook. >> it is, and it's worked for them politically to this point. one of the terms frank mentioned was consciousness of guilt.
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there's another term in white-collar crimes, this illusion of invincibility. the president has such a vast illusion of invincibility. maybe it's not an illusion. at this point, the system is designed to provide checks and balances, they're flouting it at every opportunity. they did respond to the democratic subpoenas prior to the impeachment inquiry and doesn't appear they're going to now. we've been talking to a lot of democratic house members, members of the intelligence committee, what are you going to do here? they're basically saying, look, the president, secretary pompeo, these folks, rudy giuliani, if they stonewall us, if the president is out there trying to intimidate the whistle-blower and others in government who may have informed the whistle-blower's complaint to prevent them from coming forward and giving more information, then they will leave democrats no choice but to add this obstruction to the articles of impeachment. ultimately, though, the question is, you know, for the president, he's going to sit back and say, so what, what's that going to do, i've got a republican
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senate, i've got bill barr at the justice department, and as long as i've got those things, i can act basically with impunity. >> i think, though, what the president has done, what he's finally been caught doing, because we don't know that he hasn't been doing this all along, is to really ensnare his top human shields in this. i mean, the whistle-blower names bill barr and rudy as the president's accomplices in this wrongdoing. we know from jeanne's reporting that mike pompeo was on the call, so mike pompeo either thought there was nothing wrong with eight requests to investigate hunter biden, or he'd seen something worse and i'm not sure -- i think both make him an even more important witness to be responsive to subpoenas. >> it's interesting, the thug culture. if you probably -- saw a tape of bill barr 10, 15 years ago, saw a tape of mike pompeo 10, 15 years ago, different. it's amazing that transformation that happens in trump's orbit, and to your point, to your point earlier, i do not think the invincibility translates down.
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>> uh-huh. >> two things that happened with two republicans in the last two days, the fact that mitch mcconnell actually came out and said, no, we're going to have to move forward with the impeachment happens, whereas there is wiggle room there which is surprising and chuck grassley today. i do think, and jeff flake has said, there are 35 republicans if they can do it anonymously would vote. i do think as this thing goes along, and many republicans see that at best, he survives but he's a loser in 2020, that they start to peel. what i don't understand strategically, if i was working for any senator right now who's not going to be primaried the next two years, i can say, you can be a historical figure. stop thinking about what people think about trump today, how is he going to be looked at in three years? it's a chance for somebody to be a hero and start to peel. because i do think once one or two, three, goes, over the next few weeks, as this thing unfoeltunfolds i think the dominos could fall. >> i've been thinking about you as this has gone on. i think to the degree that trump's brand is sort of what he can fit on the top of a hat, it
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now wreaks of political weakness, can't win by himself, couldn't win by himself, needed foreign countries to help him, too weak politically. even weaker than he was three years ago when he seemed to surprise everyone with that victory. to be soliciting the help this time means he's politically weaker. and corrupt. corrupt as all get out. those seem so cut right against -- >> people almost accepted the corruption, he's a dealer, he's ha whe a wheeler. >> yeah. >> when you see him now, he looks weak. he has the droopy days sometimes reading off the teleprompter, always what he had, the one asset he's had, the democrats don't come forward with, is strength. right now you're not seeing it. the camera doesn't lie. he's feeling weak. he's looking weak. for the first time, i look at this president and say, he's really vulnerable. >> i think what he's trying to do is figure out this environment and how to respond to it and how to manage it. because unlike in the clinton administration, they had a plan
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and they put it in place and they created the war-room and they separated it from the oval office. so he could stay focused on governing and those guys over there, they took all the arrows, they took all the media requests, and that sort of thing and they did all the spinning. >> sometimes there's no spinning, though. the problem here that they have is maybe there are no moves. their move is what i call the cap strategy. first you confuse, send giuliani out, say 84 different things, then admit the wrongdoing, like he's saying now, we're going to go to all the world leaders then you point to the other guys but it doesn't seem to be sticking. that traditional strategy that moves everybody off, they don't have a lot of move s based on e black and white quality. >> unlike bill clinton, trump can't compartmentalize the same way, he can go about his day job and vent at night. trump is venting all the time and the entire white house and west wing are consumed by this. you know, you talk about we weakness, people may see different things when they see the president on camera, on tv, but if you step back and look at what they're doing, what
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attorney general barr is doing, investigating the origins of the mueller investigation -- i mean, they're heading into 2020 and the president is still consumed with what happened in an election when ultimately, he won, but he's still consumed by the fact that it was investigated, that the results are questioned in any way. the fact that that is directing the actions of the justice department at this point as he's heading into a re-elect tells you all you need to know about -- >> paranoia. all the echos of nixon and watergate are there. frank, i want to bring you back in. donny alluded to this. i don't want this to escape attention. the inspecter general for the intelligence community, the watchdog who ended up in reseptember of the whistle-blower's seven-page report. the idea that pompeo can't read seven payments makes me really, really scared for america's diplomats all around the world. every diplomatic cable is longer than that. you should all be scared. what the i.c./i.g., intelligence community, inspector general
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did, he obliterated the most frequently trotted out talking point to defend donald trump in the whistle-blower complaint. the idea it was hearsay. the idea it was secondhand. there is a protection for second j hand information from whistle-blowers. the i.g. when he investigated it, that's how he gave him the good housekeeping seal of approval the whistle-blower complaint was credible, because he went out and interviewed other witnesses, other people working on the 18-acre white house complex, and urgent. just talk about that process. >> well, because this is a nontraditional thing for an inspector general to do, they generally work quietly behind the scenes and let their investigations speak for themselves. i'm -- i'm inferring from this a couple things. one is, he feels strongly about what he's got and what this whistle-blower provided and what his investigation of the credibility of the allegations shows. number two, he's battling for
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the future whistle-blowers. he's saying, i've got your back. if you need to come forward and maybe others have, i'm going to have your back and push back. and lastly, i actually see this action empowering members of the media, members of congress, to also push back. i've seen almost unprecedented pushback across the networks over the last, say, three days on any spokesperson oar representative of the white house who's trying to just call, trying to put forth bs. i see them getting called on it. if the i.g. inspector of the intelligence community is leading that charge, amen to that. >> the last point on this whistle-blower, chris, much of what he put out in the seven pages, which is impossible, it's an incredible read, impossible not to read it in one sitting, has been corroborated. as jeanne said, the white house released the transcripts that
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corroborated everything that the whistle-blower wrote about the call. congress was already investigating the holding up of the aide that was released in the middle of the night really once this was all in motion. and we're almost getting beyond the point we're attacking the whistle-blower eeb donald trump is on a focused effort to out this whistle-blower which is terrifying. all of his -- his tip sheet has all been investigated and confirmed. >> yep. this is the problem. you look at the republican playbook. the first thing it was to say this is hearsay. of course, now we have the president corroborating it, himself. they now tried to attack political bias of this whistle-blower. notwithstanding the fact that we take whistle-blowers, you know, how we come, whether it's deep throat, whether it's linda tripp, whistle-blowers sometimes have a political agenda. you look at the facts of what they're alleging. the playbook of attacking the messenger clearly failed in part because of the seriousness of this allegation. if you look at what donny just said about them not having another move left, part of it is if you go back to watergate, the quote/unquote, smoking gun tape
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was the final straw before nixon had to resign. these guys put out the smoking gun tape, they thought it exonerated them. they're trying to walk it back. it's the president's own words and follow-up corroboration that make this so hard to message right now. >> all right. we're going to button it up on this pompeo there, but i have to leave everybody with pompeo's words about why not to release notes from that call. don't do it. don't do it. here's what pompeo said. "we don't -- oh, here, let's listen. >> we don't release transcripts very often. it's the rare case. those are private conversations between world leaders and it wouldn't be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances. there's -- there's no evidence that that would be appropriate here at this point. >> you're watching, that man said that knowing that donald trump asked eight times that the ukrainian leader investigate the bidens. when we come back -- go ahead, you want to say something? >> what's his job again? >> our secretary of state. when we come back, donald trump's international man of
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mystery, rudy giuliani, has some competition from the country's a.g., william barr, who based on new reporting has been traveling the globe investigating the origins, oranges if you're donald trump, of the russia investigation. really. we'll bring you the latest reporting on that unfolding scandal. also ahead, donald trump's war on the whistle-blower. as many of the whistle-blower's allegations are confirmed by the president and his personal attorney. the president threatens to out him and to arrest the chairman of the house intel committee, adam schiff. all those stories coming up. sm. so chantix can help you quit slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility,
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new reporting in "the wall street journal" reads more like a skirmish from within the
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gambino clan than a clash between good and bad. two of trump's favorite fixers at odds over tactics. "the wall street journal" writes it this way, "mr. trump's two highest profile lawyers are again struggling to get on the same page. this time in the face of an impeachment inquiry launched by congressional democrats last week. the president's relationships with his private lawyer who once aspired to be his attorney general and man who currently has that post are complicating white house efforts to build a legal and public relations strategy to keep mr. trump in office." this reporting follows revelations in noo"the new york times" and "washington post" about barr's global effort to enlist foreign intel services to investigate american intel conclusions. "new york times" reports, "the justice department inquiry in a parallel but unconnected effort by the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani represent a kind of two-front war. mr. trump has said that mr. barr can help him validate his 2016 electoral victory and mr. giuliani has been trying to unearth damaging information about former v.p. joe biden in
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anticipation of the 2020 race." "washington post" adds this, "barr's personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from democrats pursuing impeachment that he's helping the trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president's d adversa adversaries." our friend harry litman tries to make sense of it, "simply wacky, no one has ever shown any satisfactory basis for the various conspiracy theories that trump defenders have trotted out to argue the investigation into russian meddling was rotten at the core." frank, have you ever seen such an elaborate -- i know from campaigns that if you were running in an election looking backward at the last one, you know you're going to lose. have you ever seen such an elaborate effort at discrediting an investigation that you believe exonerated you? >> no.
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and it's true -- >> one person, one time, frank, on that one. >> yeah. i'll save you some time. give you a one-word answer. look, it's clear that the president's greatest fear is that the american people and the american people, alone, might determine the outcome of the next election. he needs foreign help. he needs corrupt help from his own executives. and with regard to barr and pompeo and what i call their excellent adventure, they travel the globe trying to dig up dirt that's not there, here's my deep concern about barr. i know john durham. about three decades ago in another life before i entered the fbi, i worked for john durham. john durham is a capable, straight-up investigator/prosecutor, no-nonsense guy. the fact that barr feels it necessary to travel around looking over john durham's shoulder and making sure john durham's doing the right thing tells me a couple things. one, he's really concerned that john durham isn't finding
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anything, and number two, he's going to try to ensure that the outcome of this so-called investigation about the origins of the special counsel decree comes out the way he wants it. so i predict we're headed to some kind of real tension between durham and barr and that, itself, would be fascinating. >> and eli, let me just remind our viewers who durham is. he's running, i believe, the third investigation into the origins of the russia investigation. here he is. he's a u.s. attorney who works out of connecticut. i think in the past he's investigated some of the enhanced interrogation policies and practices of the bush era. he was the third person, i think, i think john huber was one of the people investigating the beginnings of the russia investigation. the inspector general, doj, also looking at it. to my knowledge, none of them have come up with anything yet. it would explain that what frank's talking about, this extreme supervision and it would
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appear partnering up between the country's attorney general and the top investigator. >> right. this is the sort of reverse engineering that we often see from various aspects of the executive branch, whether it's in the west wing or whether in this case it's the entire justice department consumed with trying to prop up something that the president wants to be true. wants to present to the country. and so that's what we have here. and at the same time, you know, i mean, the president, you laid out the -- and jeanne's paper did it really well -- the tension between giuliani and barr. trump wants these two different things. he wants giuliani on tv playing the tv lawyer, doing the fog machine, dissembling, confusing everyone, making good television, combative television. he wants this to look b official, too, and that is -- it may not be any more real than rudy giuliani playing a role on television, but barr's the a.g. and he's going around the world right now conducting unofficial justice department investigation and trump needs it to seem like
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it's a real thing. and the justice department has said -- >> you made the most important point -- >> we told you we're doing this. >> you make the most important point, it's not a real thing. it's not a real thing. tom bossert's sort of primal screen as a one-time security adviser to donald trump about the ukraine conspiracy is that you cannot get through to him. he locks in on these delusions and it seems more than politically motivated. it seems like an impediment to taking in factual information. >> correct, but the people around the president who accumulate some power and influence over him at some point, you can argue whether they actually have any or that he's just -- >> who's ever had power and -- >> no, it's a fair point, but the people who stick around in these positions are the ones who do what he says. who do not push back on him the way bossert may have privately or others may have. i mean, this president just doesn't allow for that. >> in some ways barr's walking the hardest line here and he's already done it. and so what we might looking at
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is a similar model. so take the mueller report. what did barr do with it? first, he tossed the president a couple of talking points. then he released the whole report and everybody saw, whoa, you know, okay, that was not exactly accurate or complete, but he put all of the information out. >> you know -- >> if we have this report -- >> i'm sorry. >> if this report comes in as people expect, they're not going to find that there was some significant wrongdoing, then barr has to be able to go to the president and say something like, i have my eye on this, you know, because he's the one with the most credibility right now with the president to deliver, you know, what could be mixed news or bad news. >> you know what we can't normalize -- >> yeah. >> -- that to trump and the town call says it, barr and giuliani are one in the same. >> yeah. >> that his personal attorney, not even attorney really, he's really a barking dog, and the attorney general, they were
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interchangeable in that call. he's going on the call, he's on the call. we have to pause and reflect on that and how frightening that is and just how our -- the separation of powers and is just not separate anymore. >> so, nicolle, leaving aside how nutty this is, what a waste of time it is given the other things the attorney general could be doing, let's think about how damaging this is. he's going to other countries asking them to provide information about our intelligence community, and mind you, the attorney general is one of the top intelligence officials in the united states. now, this is already an administration that has attacked the intelligence community as deep state, they've questioned their assessments on north korea, on russia, but this is also an intelligence community that's trying to stop foreign interference in our elections. we've got state election officials that are trying to shore up our election systems and got the attorney general trying to dig up dirt on them. >> frank, pick up that thread, in conversations with two former senior intelligence officials, just the mental image for them
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of a sitting attorney general walking into another country's intelligence services, which really is not bilateral. barr has his counterparts. they're not other countries' intel agencies, but sitting down all the same with other countries' intelligence agencies and asking them to investigate the united states intelligence services is mindblowingly bizarre. >> well, there's a couple of issues with it, one, it flies in the face of the facts and reality. let's not forget, we indicted two dozen russians for hacking and social media propaganda. that's a fact. the details are there. and all the classified support for those indictments is at the fingertips of barr. whether he's asked to see it or whether he's seen it and discounted it is a question i don't have the answer to, but he's essentially throwing that all out the window. he's telling the fbi and the intelligence community i'm not
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buying any of this, i got to go out and do what i got to do, and then i have to put our allies and other countries in a box. i have to make an extremely awkward proposition to them, which is to please tell me that the u.s. intelligence services that you work with every day are all screwed up, can you please help me do that? it puts -- it puts diplomatic relations backwards by 10, 20, 30, years. >> and does it dis inceincentiv- does it affect how they'll work with us with in the future? >> yeah, there's long-term damage here. other countries are going to have to decide do we play ball with this administration, which may go away soon, or do we push back on the united states government and hope for the best? >> hope for the best. it's what a lot of us are doing. after the break, donald trump says he has a right to face his accuser. this after he smeared him and accused the whistle-blower's sources of committing treason. how to protect a presidential
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mr. president, do you now now who the whistle-blower is, sir? >> we're trying to find out about a whistle-blower. we have a whistle-blower that reports things that were incorrect. as you know, and you probably now have figured it out, the statement i made to the president of ukraine, a good man, a nice man, knew was perfect. it was perfect. but the whistle-blower reported a totally different statement, like, the statement was not even made. >> except the notes that you released from that perfect call corroborate the whistle-blower account, not yours. donald trump's war with the unnamed whistle-blower didn't stop there. from his twitter feed this morning he wrote this. "why aren't we entitled to interview and learn everything about the whistle-blower and also the person who gave all the false information to him?" that threatening question, the answer to which is relatively obvious, follows a days-long effort by the president and his
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allies to smear the unnamed whistle-blower. several republicans have amplified a right-wing conspiracy theory tweeted in all caps by donald trump claiming falsely that immediately before the complaint in question was filed, the intelligence community changed the rules requiring whistle-blowers to have firsthand knowledge of the events they report. in a rare rebuttal, the office of the intelligence community's inspector general says, sorry, that is not true. from that rare response, "the disclosure of urgent concern from the complaint submitted august 12th, 2019, is the same form the intelligence community inspector general has had in place since may 24th, 2018, which went into effect before inspector general atkinson entered on duty." atkinson, of course, a trump appointee. "the intelligence community watchdog then added, "by law, kp
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complaintant need not have firsthand information in order to file a complaint." trump-supporting republican senator, chuck grassley, the co-founder of the senate whistle-blower protection caucus later released his own statement saying in part, "this person appears to have followed the whistle-blower protection laws and ought to be heard out and prote protected. we should always work to respect whistle-blower requests for confidentiality. no one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts." everybody is here. this, to me, seems to be potentially explosive for the president. the president's attack on the whistle-blower represents three things. one, his terror at how close this account hues to what has probably been going on inside this white house since the beginning, two, how disoriented he is by where the sources came from. i mean, the whistle-blower
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quotes other individuals. and, three, the president's appointee. the watchdog that oversees these issues for the intelligence community has gone in an interviewed those white house officials who corroborate the whistle-blower account. we're almost moving beyond this being a relevant part of trump's political defense even. >> but the president loves having an adversary and now he's got a really powerful one. and he knows it and, you know, the whistle-blower ended up providing accurate information about an act that's -- that the house is now using for the impeachment hearings. this is a -- this is a very threatening adversary, and trump's m.o. as we have seen with hillary and with others, mueller and comey, is to just attack and destroy the adversary. but this -- this one he can't see. it's casper. he can't get his hands -- he doesn't know exactly the line of attack. so given the instincts of this white house, this is probably
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eating him up because they know how to play this game. they're good at it. but they can't play it if they don't know who they're up against except someone who's inflicted a lot of damage on the white house. >> frank, i would surmise, i don't know this, but that if any of the whistle-blower's allegations had not borne out, the trump appointees that run the dni and the watchdog for the intelligence community would have made sure this didn't go so far as to threaten the impeachment of their boss, donald j. trump. >> i think every indicator is that this is a solid whistle-blower complaint and at the time spent by the i.g. looking into the credibility and declaring it credible and urgent indicates that the substance is there. and i also think that we'd be hearing from republican members of the house and/or senate intelligence committees by now that something's amiss with this complaint. we've not heard it.
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i want to take a moment, nicolle, to talk about the physical security for this whistle-blower and his family, and more largely, even members of the key committees here. we have a president who has targeted people verbally before. we've seen people like cesar sayock from south florida who sent explosive packages to people in the media, former officials the president was targeting, we saw the el paso shooter target hispanics because the president was referring to them as invaders. i get really concerned when i hear the president drawing analogies between traitors and treasonous individuals and this whistle-blower, calling people who cooperated with the whistle-blower almost spies. calling members of the house savages. there are unstable people amongst us who will view that as some kind of green light to do something violent, and i'm deeply concerned, and i urge the committees in congress to provide adequate security for
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their witness. he's their witness. whether that means the capitol police security detail, whatever it takes, this is essential and paramount right flow. >> i get concerned beyond the whistle-blower. his tweets when he referred to adam schiff, adam schiff and treason, we know what the penalty for treason is, execution. talking about a civil war. trump is not beyond telling people to take to the streets. i mean, i don't think people comprehend him in a corner, there is nothing -- there's no moral boundary -- he would put the country, set the country on fire, if it was going to in any way help him. i believe he will at some point if this goes down wrong for them say they're taking your president, at this point i can't do anything, do what you have to do. he is capable of that. if i predict he would do that, he would do that. the way michael cohen said he's never leaving office. he's not going to stand there
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and wave with the helicopter behind him like richard nixon if this goes bad. let's understand if there's an end to this, if there's an end, it's not the end. >> he already said the first part, they're trying to undo an election. they're trying to take -- i'm your leader, this is the populism on steroids here, saying they're trying to get me out because i'm fighting for you. he's trying to draw a reaction. now, he hasn't explicitly gone where donny says he's going, but it's imlist splicit at this poi. the question is where it goes if things get worse. >> do you think that becomes the red line for republicans or do you think we're beyond the red line? >> there's the irony, nicolle, that the republican party founded by a person who said a house divided against itself cannot stand is now standing behind this person who seems to be at least encouraging this idea of civil war and as donny said is probably setting himself up to stay if there's any kind of contested election. look, you've seen a couple people come out, adam kinzinger is one who said this is not good. there have been far too voices on an issue that really should be black and white. >> and, you know, the polling is
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what they're all watching, right? you're talking about legacy, think about history. they're not looking long term. they're looking at the shortest term possible, what's the president's daily approval rating, what does it mean for me? the president's approval rating dropped to 37% in one poll today. the low mark for his presidency so far. he's going to have to -- >> the mendoza act -- >> it's close. at this point, this is a party that is mostly a southern party. kinzinger is from illinois. nevada. this is not the backbone of the republican party. lindsey graham represents red south carolina and we've seen him stand behind the president. so the numbers i think have to dip a little further, perhaps -- >> there's one other -- there's one other dynamic that we should keep an eye on. and that's the senate majority. mitch mcconnell will not lose his majority. he will not. >> we'll see about that. >> lindsey graham is only ahead seven points. >> we'll see about that. >> again -- >> saying he -- mitch mcconnell
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must have a pushpin on his little cork board with 55% approval for the commencement of impeachment inquiries against donald trump, in the cbs poll this summer. that was like a polling version of a political detonation when the number went out, i heard from everybody i know. >> jeanne's right, this is a horrible situation for the most vulnerable republican senators to be in, roughly. >> couldn't happen to a better crowd. >> go ahead. >> one more point, the other dynamic is to look at is the number of house republicans heading for the hills -- >> retiring. >> retiring. >> like all of texas. >> the more of them that retire, some are coming from very red districts but gives them much more flexibility to speak out against donald trump. >> all right. break in if you do. you can have the floor. we covered pompeo, we covered barr. what about rudy? will he cooperate in the impeachment inquiry? should he? we'll talk about that next. i
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think jay is absolutely right, you don't have to do anything. >> well, i don't know. i'm waking the alternatives. kind of like go through it, all get all my evidence together. i don't know if they let me use video tapes and tape recordings that i have, if they let me get some of the evidence that i gathered. and i have to tell you, sean, all this nonsense i was interfering in the election, i gathered all this evidence before the mueller probe ended. so, it was clearly under my responsibility. as the lawyer for the president of the united states. >> my eyelashes hurt. so, that was hannity quoting second ewe low to giuliani. there you have it. rudy might testify in front of congress, if he can bring his little recordings and charts and his notes. by the way, trump's personal attorney is getting his own lawyer now to represent him.
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frank and the table are back. frank, you want to hear from rudy or do you think it's just, like a goat rodeo? >> no, no, i want to hear from rudy, because, yes, it is a rodeo, and he's the rodeo clown, but i want to hear from the clown, because i think he gets trump deeper and deeper into trouble whenever he opens his mouth. look, at jim comey said, lordy, i hope there are tapes. i hope there are tapes and charts, as rudy asserts that he has. but let's look at why pompeo is blocking and having his team testify, or, be deposed. part of the reason is because i think they'll refute rudy, and rudy jetgets yammed up. rudy's got to decide if he's going toe say, i'm a private citizen, paying all of this out of my own pocket, traveling around the world for the good of humanity, or i'm somehow this special emissary, envoy with the
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state department. he has far less protection if he's out there hanging exposed as a private attorney only. and if the state department folks testify and say, yeah, we didn't know what rudy was doing, he's not one of us, he didn't tell us anything, he loses that quasi-protection. this is going to get very messy for rudy very fast. >> if he's his private attorney, are we picking up the tab for him traveling around the world? >> i want to know the answer to that. here's the other thing i want to know the answer to. there is a line of questioning about, why did kurt volker resign? had these people all been subverted? were they reporting to rudy? and you have the question of the military assistance, which was held up and then it wasn't. what was rudy's role in all of that? he could expose them. >> exactly. when lawyers start hiring lawyers, here's the thing. giuliani should have started hiring the lawyers before he went on tv with his ipad showing texts he had with volker. >> who resigned.
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>> right. giuliani is the one linking his private actions with the state department. he's actually implicated the state department. i've done my share of congressional subpoenas. i'm going to start asking for audio tapes and video tapes, because rudy said it on tv. he's giving a road map to investigators. so, less seeing his testimony, it's important for investigators to see the documents that he has. >> and volker is going to testify on thursday. he's going to be asked those questions and he's going to give them information about his contacts and his relationship and what rudy giuliani's role was. >> and did he get approval for somebody at the state department to do all this. >> and who pressured him, if at all, into engaging with rudy, because, you know, mostly -- well, we know now is very little, there were spro introductions that volker helped facilitate, but we now know that the president asked the president of foreign country to help him out, was there any pressure coming down on the career diplomats who were in the
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country, as well? and where was that pressure coming from? >> and we know, multiple news organizations have reported that donald trump told mick mulvaney, his chief of staff, to hold up the money. where was rudy in all of that? all right, tons of questions, not sure rudy can answer them. but i'm glad they're going to try. we're going to sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. break. we'll be right back. it was love at first slice pizza lovers everywhere meet o, that's good! frozen pizza one third of our classic crust is made with cauliflower but that's not stopping anyone
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o, that's good!
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wish i had more time to talk to these smart friends. my thanks to frank, eli, jeanne,
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chris, donnie, most of all, thank you for watching. that does it for this hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. welcome to tuesday. it's "meet the press daily" and good evening. i'm chuck todd in washington. we begin tonight with where this is a fast-tracked impeachment inquiry that may have been slowed down a bit and how the administration is trying to this wart it. we also have just learned from two committee aides that ambassador marie yavanovich, who was scheduled to testify tomorrow will now be appearing next week. this mushrooming scandal involving the president and ukraine has further implicated mike pompeo and bill barr. thanks to new reporting and

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