tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 17, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
scant seconds from now. and with that, that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you so very much for being here with us throughout and good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. tonight on "all in?" >> if you look at the kurds and again i say this with great respect, they're no angels. >> donald trump once again turns on the kurds -- >> eeit's a lot of sand. >> -- republicans join with democrats to overwhelmingly rebuke trump. and the president loses it on nancy pelosi. >> she kept her cool completely. but he called her a third rate politician. >> tonight the latest fall out from the trump debacle in syria. >> we have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president. >> then another arrest in the probe of rudy giuliani associates. and new reporting that trump's lawyer was lobbying the
president on behalf of turkey. plus what we learned from today's new impeachment witnesses, the key impeachment witness now flying in from ukraine, and why mick mulvaney is now officially knee deep in all of the president's mess. >> he's coughing in the middle of my answer. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. this is how bad things have gotten in the wake of donald trump's decision to abruptly with no warning pull u.s. troops out of northern syria and give turkish strong man erdogan the go ahead to invade. here's how "the wall street journal" described our military, quote, carried out air strikes to destroy the syrian headquarters of the american campaign to destroy isis after rapidly pulling americans from the base. we bombed our own headquarters in the fight against isis because they were about to be
taken over by turkish backed forces. with this situation rapidly deteriorating the president is having what the speaker of the house call aid meltdown right before our very eyes. trump went before the cameras today to offer up a series of completely nonsensical and incoherent defenses for his decision to abandon kurdish allies and that kurdish militants are actually worse than isis in many cases and that it does not really matter at all one way or the other what happens in northern syria because people have been fighting for a long time and quote they've got a lot of sand over there so there's a lot of sand there they can play with. the president said all this as hundreds of thousands are fleeing their homes and others are being killed. and he said this in front of his vice president and secretary of state mike pence and mike pompeo just hours before those two men departed for turkey to try to negotiate a cease fire with
erdogan to stop what's going on there. erdogan who not only has rejected the idea of the cease-fire but also initially balked at even deigning to meet vice president pence. meanwhile congressional leaders across ideological lines are freaking out. today the house voted shockingly, overwhelmingly to condemn trump's withdrawal of u.s. forces 354-60. 129 republicans supporting the revolution. even trump's staunch supporter and loyal admirer and golfing buddy senator lindsey graham seems like he's had enough. >> he's not listening to his commanders. he's not listening to his advisers. he is not -- he's making the biggest mistake of his presidency by assuming the kurds are better off today than they were yesterday. that is just unbelievable. >> after the house vote congressional leaders meant to meet with trump at the white house's invitation and that turned into by most accounts a meltdown, an absolute debacle. listen to the shell-shocked account and congressman hoyer
just minutes after they walked out of that meeting. >> he was insulting particularly to the speaker. she kept her cool completely. but he called her a third rate politician. he said that the -- there are communists involved and you guys might like that. he said the communists are -- >> that might make you happy. >> that might make you happy. >> a little bit later on capitol hill pelosi added this. >> what's really sad about it is i pray for the president all the time and i tell him that i pray for his safety and for his family. we have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president. >> you'll learn more about the meeting from our democratic sources. senator schumer started to read a quote warning about an isis resurgence but trump cut schumer
off saying mattis is, quote, the world's most overrated general. you know why? he wasn't tough enough, i captured isis. personally i guess he captured isis. the source said trump also acknowledged up to 100 isis fighters escaped due to his decision but insisted twice, they are, quote, the least dangerous ones. trump also handed out copy ies a letter the president said he sent to erdogan a week ago. a senior democratic aid said trump bragd about the letter which erdogan appears to have completely ignored since he did it anyway. it was released first by fox business. doctor mr. president, let's work out a good deal. you don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people and i don't want to be responsible for destroying the turkish economy. and i will. there's more in that tone.
history will look upon you favorably if you get this done in the right and humane way. it will look upon you forever as the devil if you don't. joining me now someone who was at that white house meeting today, adam washington who chairs the armed services committee. let me start here, how did this meeting come about? >> well and we in the house and senate for that matter asked to be briefed by the administration on what was going on in syria and turkey. they came back with a variety of offers and this was one of them to have a white house meeting with senior leadership. the president seemed to be under the impression that we had asked -- i don't really care for who asked the meeting. we're having a classified briefing in the house armed services committee tomorrow. we were suppose to have a full house committee but the secretary of state is out of the
country now. so, that's how it came about. >> i think you probably heard the reporting that about what happened in that meeting that i just read. is that accurate? >> well, it's interesting. people say the president had a meltdown. he didn't sound altogether that much different than i've seen him in a lot of other settings. i went to college in new york and more accustomed to it. and also the president the way he talks. i mean, it is problematic. he's very insulting particularly to people who disagree with him and particularly to the speaker. and he was very dismissive and insulting but he kind of always is. and, you know, he was very boastful about his own accomplishments and his facts were very questionable as he was laying them out. but that -- i didn't see it as being that much different than what we see certainly at his rallies, various press conferences. it's who he is. it's the way he talks. and my perspective was -- it's fine. i respect completely the speaker's decision that it wasn't a productive meeting.
but some of us stuck around to have the conversation because it matters. okay, they're planning on sanctioning turkey towards what end? what's going to happen with that? are we keeping forces in the region? a whole bunch of policy questions that matter that we did discussion. >> does the president have command of those policy issues? >> not really. i think he's off on a number of key points, and the biggest point i tried to explain was we work with partners to contain terrorist threats from groups like isis and al-qaeda. i actually agree with the president and others it doesn't make sense to send 100,000 troops into a country to try and fix it. what makes sense is to work with partners to try and contain the threat, to train and equip them. and the president had said at one point that we were there as policemen. he was wrong about them. we were there to train the kurds and help them fight the fight and they were good at it. they helped defeat isis. so they're a key partner.
and it's not a matter of us carrying the fight. it's a matter of us leveraging our partnerships to meet our national security interests. sorry. >> i'm a little confused what about what the policy is. i have heard the following that the president announced suddenly that erdogan was going in after a phone call, which we all read. we all read that message. it took everyone by surprise, and it was obviously a green light. he was giving him the go ahead to invasion. the president is saying if he did the tough way and not the soft way he would destroy the economy by himself. preparation of sanctions also that the fight doesn't matter, it doesn't matter to us, also that the assad reseem is protecting the kurds, also that the syrian regime really wants to fight isis and the russians want to fight isis and they have a lot of sand over there and they're fight ing each other and also the kurds are terrorists. >> i think you summed it up
quite well there. no, it doesn't make any sense. it steps over and contradicts and moves in a whole bunch of different directions. and that's what i was trying to narrow down and others in the room were trying to narrow down as well. what are we trying to do here? and this all started when the president tweeted i think it was in november or december of last year, we're pulling out of syria and pulling out of afghanistan, by the way. and this is why secretary mattis quit. he thought it was a horrible decision delivered in a horrible way. so the effort to reduce our forces in syria started a long time ago. and that sent the message to turkey that they would have free reign if they came in. so, now what are we trying to accomplish? do we have a fight? yes, we do because we're concerned about isis. we also i think have an obligation to help the kurds and the free democratic movement in syria that fought with us to try and protect them. where are we going to find allies in the future when we abandon ones that fought so bravely with us. >> congressman, that ship has sailed.
>> absolutely. >> the assad forces are in kobnai. it's done. >> chris, when they asked me about this meeting yesterday, well, it's kind of like the president burned the house down and now he wants to invite us over to talk about remodeling. you're right. it is done. but the president's position at this point is number one, there was nothing he could have done about it. turkey was going to do this anyway. as i said, i think i disagree for a number of reasons. number two, now they're going to sanction turkey to force turkey into a cease fire. at the same time he spent a lot of time in the meeting talking about how it didn't make sense to punish turkey because it would push turkey away from us. but if you're going to sanction them into oblivion, there's no consistency to the policy. there is no clear plan. there's a bunch of half-baked ideas that contradict themselves. and that is incredibly dangerous for our national security interests not just in syria, by the way. if you're looking at this and
thinking of partnering with the u.s., you've got to be deeply concerned about who you're partnering with. >> final question, the president distributed that letter which he i think the white house claims was postmarked three days after that phone call and actually sent the president of turkey. how did that letter strike you? >> well, you heard how it struck me when you first raised it and i couldn't help but chuckle as you raised the question. it is a breathtaking effort at diplomacy. let's just put it that way. i don't know what it was supposed to accomplish, exactly. but it's -- he passed out copies of it to all of us, and i am going to frame that because i will never see the likes of it again. i sincerely hope. it was -- it was a hack. i don't know what he was trying to accomplish in the writing, the way it's presented. nobody in the diplomatic world is going to take that type of
writing seriously. so if that was the best effort we could to convince erdogan not to go, it's no wonder he went. >> thank you so much for joining me. >> thanks, chris, i appreciate it. >> i'm joined now by a foreign policy analyst who specializes in legal affairs. michael, what do you make of this situation right now? >> it's utter chaos. i think what you're seeing here is the breakdown of the foreign policy process for making decisions and implementing them. it's been going on for years but we haven't had many crises and now you're seeing it. i used to write letters like that when i worked for president obama. a letter like that traditionally would be written with people experts on it, it would be chopped and edited all the way
up with the national security adviser signing off before it got to the president. and it's just one of many, many illustrations that that whole process is completely broken down and it has real consequences for our allies and america's reputation around the world. >> you've done a lot of reporting on the war and the region. what does the events of the last week as facilitated by president trump but also erdogan we have to say, what does it mean for the balance of power and what happens in the region now? >> well a nightmare scenario, assad won. he es mated tdecimated the kurd project and ran back to assad for protection, a man who slaughtered a half million syrian civilians, the guy that used chemical weapons against
his own people, it guy that butchered the syrians simply standing for more democracy, social justice and then we see putin that basically is the king maker, the deal maker of the middle east, the rise of isis on the other side, a force that was killed, butchered, decimated basically is revived and then turkey playing another role and dismissing the american -- i mean, american role in the middle east ends now, ends today with shame, betrayal, and genocide. >> michael, russia had its only i think foreign middle eastern base in syria, an assad syria, it was true before the war. it was the reason that putin went all in to defend assad and the reason i think in the balance it mattered to putin more than it mattered to us. quite clearly given that, does this actually mean anything extra, this sort of rapid withdrawal given the fact they'd
already come in and already essentially salvaged the assad government? >> i think it does. i think for two reasons. number one you're absolutely right, putin intervened to save the assad regime in 2015 and he did. and without that, that regime might not have survived. but remember we then intervened, operation inherent resolve back in 2014 to fight isis first in iraq and then in eastern syria. we were not at loggerheads with the russians back then. and for us to now retreat the way we're doing it, putin looks like he's the new kingman, he's the new guy that calls the shots. he's got the relationships with everybody in the middle east and we are pulling out and abandoning our ally. when president trump said i captured isis, he didn't capture isis. the kurds were the ones that fought isis. that's why we were there fighting them.
and when he says why do we care what happens 7,000 miles away i think he forgot that al-qaeda also is 7,000 miles away on september 11th and by pulling away and abandoning, we are making ourselves less safe and we're not going to have allies the next time around with had we try to fight groups like isis. >> you've written about american intervention in the middle east and how disastrous much of it has been in terms of the u.s. facilitating what's happening in yemen through the saudis and the war in iraq. to people that are watching this and thinking to themselves i see folks like liz cheney and lindsey graham and people proponents of constant military intervention in the region that has been disastrous and costly to the folks in the e are john first and foremost, to americans, to american lives, to american treasure and are saying there's always the argument to stay, what makes this different to those people -- to people that are thinking that way? >> there's two separate things, chris. first of all, when trump said he's ending the wars in the
middle east, this is a flat lie. he actually increased the troops since may by 14,000 by which 2,000 of them were sent recently to defend the dictators of saudi arabia. so the war in yemen is a disaster and catastrophic war led by saudi arabia and enabled and endorsed and helped by the trump administration. this is a different war. the iraq war was a war of choice where the united states led a regime change in iraq with motivation that we all were critical of. the syrian uprising, this is a different issue. the people of syria, the nation, the syrian people stood up in the streets in 2011, demanded democracy and dignity. the syrian people themselves the overwhelming majority don't want the assad regime. they were calling on the international community to defend them. this is -- if we would call that intervention, it's simply our responsibility to protect the
civilian exactly like kosovo. this is a comparison. >> final question for you ambassador. president said three things to me which struck me. he said the pkk which is the term for the militant kurdish group. that has carried out attacks in turkey but different than the forces fighting isis at least in name, but the ppkk were terrorists as bad as isis which literally a talking point of erdogan. he said the assad and syrian regime is determined to fight isis and that russia is determined to fight isis which is a talking point of the putin regime. did it strike you as strange that these three things came out of his mouth in almost secession? >> yes. chris, it's just so disappointing and sad to watch this because it means he's not getting any advice from his national security adviser or his generals. there are people on the staff in the white house that know the truth, and for some reason the president of the united states seems to be listening to russia today and not listening to his
own national security staff. that was embarrassing when he said that, and i call upon those people. that's why you're there. the job is national security adviser. please at least stop our president from saying things that are untrue. it embarrasses him and it embarrasses the united states of america. >> thank you both. >> thank you. >> next the impeachment inquiry continues at a furious pace. what we learn from today's witness, what we know about the key witness who is now flying in from u.k. to meet investigators in two minutes. everyone uses their phone differently.
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you're watching a very simple story become more complicated, but do not lose sight of the simple story. the president of the united states corruptly used his office to corrupt and occupy a foreign country to manufacture dirt on his political opponent, to meddle in the american elections. we knew that when we saw the notes of the call. the very first document publicly
released. everything we've learned since that makes this more complicated only because of the scope of the crime at the heart of it keeps growing. today we got testimony from michael mckinley. he's the person who's testifying to say basically the entire apparatus of the actual foreign policy of the united states as a country was side lined, politicized and threatened precisely because it was standing in the way of the rogue trump-giuliani foreign policy. nbc news reports mckinley testified he quit last week in part because, quote, what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives, adding i was disturbed by the implication foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on the political opponents. tomorrow trump's ambassador to the eu gordon sondland is expected to be deposed. other witnesses have described sondland as playing an essential role in trump's ukraine policy. and sondland you'll remember famously texted, quote, the
president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind. he's expected to testify he was only repeating what president trump himself told him. and bill taylor, remember he was the guy on the other end of that text who five hours prior had texted i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance to the help of a political campaign. that's the impeachable scandal. i think it's crazy. that man who wrote that, bill taylor wakes up every morn 'ing kiev and goes to job wheres we do not have an ambassador because the president recalled the last one because she wouldn't go along with his plan. that bill taylor, he took off from ukrainian today to return to washington, d.c. so he can tell congress in person what he witnessed. the process the state department officials are describing is part of the crime. it's the reason that you have this expanding cast of
characters, this weird world in which there are these career diplomats you have never heard of being sidelined and stiff armed. and the reason that's happening is pause they are the ones who won't go along with the corrupt abuse of power being cooked up by the president and his personal bag man, a scheme many of them viewed as an illegal operation. joining me one of the congress people that attended the deposition, michael mckinley, joaquin castro. >> because i'm on the intel committee i can't say exactly what mr. mckinley said but the other testimony we've heard and the documents we've seen is that there was essentially a shadow foreign policy apparatus that was doing the bidding for donald trump and for his cronies like rudy giuliani. and these people were the ones that were entrusted to carry out the mission of the president,
and the people at the state department were basically cast aside, their opinion didn't really matter. their advice was not taken. their counsel was not taken. the president entrusted instead his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, to do his bidding. and it looks like perhaps gordon sondland as well. remember gordon sondland was a political appointee and he was not someone who worked his way up through the ranks as a career diplomat and so i'm looking forward to hearing his testimony as well. >> the matter of impeaching a president pertains to language in the constitution, treason, high crimes, and misdemeanors, that's different from the statutes of violation of criminal code. given the testimony, do you think crimes were committed? that only applies to the president. do you think the law was trans gresed here? >> based on what i've seen and heard i think it's very possible. it's quite possible. in fact i would say at this point it's probable that laws
were broken. >> speaking of running afoul of the law, there's a subpoena to rudy giuliani who has defied the subpoena from your committee and other oversight committees and there's some reporting there's some divide among democrats what to do about it. what do you think should be done about the fact mr. giuliani has defied your subpoena? >> you're right. i mean, look all of us are very disappointed, dismayed, disturbed, all of it that rudy giuliani is not cooperating with the congress even though he's been subpoenaed. and so there is a split of opinion about what do we do on the subpoenas. do we go litigate them? do we hold back? i think all of us agree that this is another instance because rudy giuliani has been, i think, has consulted with the white house, we think it's an instance of obstruction in this case. and ultimately when articles of impeachment i think are brought forward you'll see all of these cases of obstruction put forward or these instances of obstruction put forward.
but i think that we've got to pursue every legal avenue possible to get him to comply. hopefully he'll decide to come forward on his own. as you've seen in the last week and a half or two weeks, there have been people who initially resisted coming forward who decided after all to come forward. i hope for rudy giuliani that will be the case as well. >> i know you can't speak to specific testimony, do you feel that the witnesses that you have heard from have been truthful and forthcoming? >> so far i think so. yeah, the career diplomats, the civil servants i think so far, yes. they've come fard and they feel a duty, i think to tell the truth. the folks that have been more political, i think they're their testimony is really open to skepticism. >> final question, republicans want to try to force a vote to formally rebuke the chair on your committee, adam schiff. what do you think of that?
>> that's just absolutely ridiculous. right now kevin mccarthy and the republican conference is doing everything they can to avoid talking about what is for them the elephant in the room and what is for americans increasingly an erratic and dangerous president. they don't want to talk about the fact that president trump has abused his power, has betrayed his oath of office and has betrayed the american people. so instead they're doing this sideshow going after adam schiff. i think it's ridiculous and i hope the american people see through it. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you very much. joining me now are two men with decades of experience. robert bennett, former personal defense attorney for president bill clinton during the paul jones case. mr. bennett, let me begin with you. as someone who represented a
president in his personal capacity during an impeachment event, how bad do the facts look for this president? >> i think they look very bad. i think on the obstruction, i mean you can be impeached for obstructing justice and obstructing a legitimate inquiry by congress. so i think the president himself has established the grounds for a charge of impeachment. >> walter, you worked at olc and you've been inside the government as it wrestled with the questions what is the law and how do we follow it? i can't help but notice that instances around this scheme, whether it's fiona hill and john bolton referring to the drug deal, others, folks in the dod who did legal analysis found
upholding the payments was possible unlawful, the criminal withdrawal to doj, there are red flags going off all over the system in the lead up to the system. what do you make of that? >> i make of it that those who were part of the scheme to corrupt our relationship with ukraine in order to advance a political agenda, to interfere with an election, i take it they're in deep trouble. and thank goodness there are career and even some political employees who will be willing to stand up to that and be voluntary witnesses. the claim by the white house counsel that a blanket refusal to cooperate with the congressional oversight is just simply preposterous. and i hope that some republicans will think about how they would feel if a president, say, elizabeth warren or whoever, came into office knowing that she should be subject to no congressional oversight because
she should just refuse to go along. >> robert, did you ever consider or discuss with president clinton at the time or your legal team the possibility of essentially a blanket refusal to cooperate in any way with the impeachment inquiry back then? >> i cannot discuss any conversations i had with the president. but i can say that i never had that, and i never heard that that was a possibility. that would have been a very bad idea politically. and don't forget we had the election coming up. >> that's right. >> and secondly, it would be very close if not already there a crime. so i think the answer to that is no with the understanding i
can't discuss -- >> right. >> -- conversations i had with the president. >> walter, what do you -- go ahead. >> we did -- i did have experience heading the office of legal counsel where we would assert some executive privilege over some aspect of some matters but we always engaged in a process of accommodation where you pressed to see what congress really needs for its oversight, they agree to narrow its request in some respects, and they agree to comply. i've never seen anything or imagined a complete blanket refusal to cooperate. it really turns upside down the constitutional order of things where you created a legislative branch and a president to execute the laws passed by congress. and yet you have this complete freedom from oversight being asserted by this president. >> robert, you served in this personal capacity for president clinton. and i wonder as you watch this
reporting on rudy giuliani and how intimately involved he is with various members of the civil service, running foreign policy, could you imagine a universe in which you had been dispatched in this role, or can you conceive of a role like this in which the president's personal attorney is essentially running point on a matter of foreign policy? >> i mean i -- to be honest with you i find it shocking. i mean -- and first of all he's not qualified to do this. he's a very smart lawyer, and i think he was a superb mayor of new york. but this is not within his area of expertise. secondly, the president of the united states should by relying on the professionals, the state department professionals.
not a lawyer who -- who he just happens to like or trust. so i am baffled. i have represented a lot of former secretaries of defense and so forth. and nobody has even remotely suggested notwithstanding how much confidence they had in me that i do any of these things that mr. giuliani is now doing. >> all right. >> chris, one quick point. we realize that rudy giuliani has the president's personal attorney has an ethical obligation to represent donald trump's interests when he is engaged in the ukraine matters. he does not have the obligation to the united states. that's what's terribly wrong about having him exercise that role. >> walter del in jr, thank you. and next things are rapidly
giuliani does not appear to be represented by any other counsel other than himself. and though i am not a lawyer it just seems to me that's not a great idea. last week giuliani's two associates lev parnas and igor fruman men he once referred to as his clients and those two men were arrested trying to leave the country at dulles airport in d.c. just a few hours after lunching with rudy giuliani at of course the trump international hotel in washington. then a series of news outlets reported perhaps not surprisingly that giuliani himself is now under criminal investigation by the office he used to run in the southern district of new york. that was followed by a spate of stories about giuliani appearing to lobby on the behalf of the
foreign priors of the turkish government multiple times directly from the president so often that according to "the washington post" quote one formal official described the subject of rudy giuliani -- all this despite the fact giuliani is not registered to lobby for foreign interests as the law requires and giuliani is also now the subject of a counter intelligence investigation. oh, yeah, also one of the other guys indicted in giuliani's associations on the campaign finance violations, david correia, he was also arrested today. and i should note he was traveling to the middle east and the was the company called amazingly fraud guarantee was the co-founder and just a reminder that was the company that paid giuliani half a million dollars for his work. so, yeah, i think rudy could probably use a lawyer. for more i'm joined by "the washington post" national
investigator and along with our colleagues has been doing great reporting and i want to talk about these two foreign policy issues that it appears giuliani was involved with. one of them pertains to a turkish man who's being prosecuted by the southern district of new york who he minute tans was his attorney. >> yes, this was extremely strange because even in 2017 when there were so many things going on in the early days of the trump administration in the southern district of new york federal prosecutors had a pretty interesting case involving a turkish gold trader who was accused of vast money laundering, bribery, turkish corruption scandal, an effort to bypass u.s. sanctions against iran. rudy giuliani and a cocounsel flew to turkey to meet with turkish president erdogan to discuss this case of a gold trader. erdogan desperately wanted this
case dismissed and wanted this traitor released. we would later learn at least one reason erdogan would want that to happen. the trader had politically damaging information about the turkish president. anyway, rudy giuliani was essentially pushing the president and others to help release this guy as part of a diplomatic agreement. prosecutors in new york were very suspicious about who exactly rudy giuliani was representing. was he representing the gold trader as he alleged in federal court, or was the fact he was pushing something to the top of erdogan's priority list really advocating for the leader of turkey? >> we should note that the reporting indicates there were possible multiple meetings where the president who was inviting rudy giuliani directly to argue for and lobby tillerson and others to intervene in the
criminal case, right, and get it stopped? >> well, there is one bizarre scene, chris, which i have to give credit to the great reporters i work with "the washington post" for figuring this piece out. there was an amazing scene where basically rudy giuliani was in the oval office and the president said, hey, you know, give rex your pitch, guys, and asks tillerson to listen to rudy giuliani explain how they could get these charges dropped. our reporting shows rex tillerson then the secretary of state was appalled and said he was not going to be involved in this. we don't drop charges essentially against people who are under criminal prosecution in federal court, and tillerson warned then chief of staff john kelly that this made him uncomfortable. because he thought that it was legal little inappropriate. >> once would be one thing. but mike flynn, one of the things he's probably going to do
prison time for and facing sentencing is being an unregistered foreign agent of turkey on the campaign. and on the day of election in 2016, the greatest op-ed out of nowhere michael flynn says the u.s. should deport a cleric who's living in the poconos back to turkey because turkey needs it. that turns out to be the other huge foreign policy policy of erdogan to deport this cleric he doesn't like and giuliani was also lobbying the president on that issue? >> yes, and, you know, it's amazing in 2019 we're finding out this through reporting that this is another sort of off-book policy that rudy giuliani was pushing. i think what's more worrisome about this one, chris, is that there is no client for extraditing except for the turkish president. there is no entity seeking this but erdogan, so who is rudy representing and who is he being paid by? >> great reporting.
man, that story. thank you very much. still to come, just how far reaching is the ukrainian scandal from the secretary of energy to the acting chief of staff? a look at the cast of characters who managed to get their hands on the ball ahead. $9.95 at my age? $9.95? no way. $9.95? that's impossible. hi, i'm jonathan,
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it's unclear if the president did this on purpose or not but he seems to have looped a very wide array of his officials in the white house into the ukraine scheme. with each day's new testimony we learn of more high ranking officials were involved. remember trump mentioned attorney general bill barr on
the phone call in july, talked to bill barr. secretary of state mike pompeo appears to have facilitated the policy along with the hand picked ambassador to the european union gordon sondland who's a trump inaugural donor. also his energy secretary rick perry was involved. that's one who managed to keep his name out of the headlines. and sondland and perry were two of the so-called three amigos running ukraine policy. but there's also trump's vice president mike pence who remember personally delivered the so-called corruption message to zelensky after the phone call meaning zelensky would know that was all about manufacturing dirt on biden. and also -- i'm not done yet, trump's current acting chief of staff mick mulvaney. it was mulvaney and sondland who were cooking up what they call aid drug deal. that's a lot of officials involved in the ukraine scheme. how involved was mulvaney. we'll talk about that and all the president's men next. hat an
lest anyone out there worry, we weren't going to get to the bottom of the president's corrupt abuse of power to coerce ukraine to manufacturing dirt on his political opponent, never fear, there's now a white house internal review. "the new york times" reporting it was not clear who green lit the review, but, "the acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney has encouraged it." so mulvaney who is, according to new "washington post" report directly implicated in the ukraine scheme, apparently approves this fact-finding review. leading some people inside the white house to fear it will essentially amount to a search for a scapegoat. joining me now to talk about the vast array of the president's men who are implicated in the scandal, michelle goldberg, columnist for "the new york times" and jill wine-banks, former watergate prosecutor. jill, i'll start with you. i don't know if it's intentional or not, it's remarkable how many people got pulled into this thing. you can imagine a world in which the president basically tries to run this with rudy giuliani as a kind of off-book operation, but he's got everyone including the vice president involved.
>> yes, but the same happened in watergate. you had a huge cast of characters. i mean, we indicted and convicted the attorney general -- >> right. >> -- the chief of staff, the chief domestic policy adviser, many people from the campaign. and when, by the way, you just mentioned this internal review. remember, one of the acts of the conspiracy was ordering dean to do an internal review, to get to the bottom of things and, of course, not only did dean know what the truth was, but it was clearly done as a whitewash. he was supposed to say there's nobody involved. that was the whole point of his review. and that could be what they're doing here, or it could be to look for a scapegoat because in this administration, being thrown under the bus and then run over back and forth and back and forth seems to be the way to go. so, it could be they're looking for someone to throw under the bus. >> mulvaney strikes me as being really precarious here. and the reason is is for this. you've got that quote via fiona
hill, the drug deal they're cooking up, and then there's reporting, mulvaney organized a meeting that stripped control of the country's relationship with ukraine for those who had the most expertise at the nsc and the state department, most significantly mulvaney at the direction of the president placed the hold on nearly $400 million aid to ukraine." you got the money and ukraine stuff, both arrows going into mick mulvaney. >> right. i'm not sure if any of this is criminal on his part, right, there's a lot of people who are obviously involved in a criminal conspiracy. i think it just speaks to the degradation and the caliber of people who are willing to be associated with this administration. like, do you remember when rex tillerson said trump was asking him to do things illegal, and he pushed back, you had a layer of people who were willing to be pushed back. as those people have been hollowed out, you're left with these lackeys morally compromised by definition. of course, when trump asks them to do something illegal, they're going to roll over and do it. >> it's a great point. it's not only lackey, morally
compromised, jill, it's a kind of incompetence. john bolton, i think, has a complicated moral record and has probably done some covert stuff in his day but is wise enough of a bureaucratic infighter to know to stay away from this and to alert the lawyers. >> yes. he has to be praised for that. and i'm waiting for other republicans to stand up to the president. but i do want to say that mulvaney could have been involved in crime because it's hard to believe that he didn't know that the reason that he was doing this covert shadow foreign policy was because the president was looking for something of personal value, of political value, that this wasn't to root out corruption in ukraine. it was to make up information that would hurt the democrats. and that is a criminal activity.
>> i think that that could be a hobbs act violation, could be so many things. >> this is a really important point, if we hadn't gone through mueller and if we were in other situation, there would probably be a special prosecutor appointed at this point. >> yes. >> there is real reason to think there should be one. >> yes. >> michelle? >> i think you're right, in some ways i think it's lucky that that's not happening, that would allow them to play the whole thing out like they did with mueller. >> the investigation, yes. >> instead, it's so clear this is impeachable in a way to go through a whole special prosecutor investigation would almost kind of cloud the issue. i think we're sort of lucky if we can say we're lucky in this kind of extremely perilous and debased situation, but we're lucky that at least the house now can just move very expeditiously. >> but do you think, i mean, i said this before about rudy giuliani, jill, like, mick mulvaney and rick perry and gordon -- they need to get lawyers. they're facing legal exposure right now. >> absolutely. and it appears that giuliani has fired the lawyer he hired. >> yes. >> and said i don't need him anymore. he needs a lawyer.
i would be more suspicious that jon sale, a former watergate prosecutor, said i see what's going on here and i'm out of this but he does need a lawyer. you know the old saying, a lawyer who represents himself as giuliani says he is, has a fool for a client. >> michelle wine-banks, michelle goldberg, thank you both for joining us. okay. final countdown of our final special live recording of "why is this happening? a reminder, it's happening monday october 21st in downtown los angeles. going to talk to adam mckay, director of "the big short," vice. and author of one of my favorite books who wrote "the american war." the great news is you can still get tickets. there are a few left. go to our website at msnbc.com/withpodtour. for a chance to win tickets you might want to check out our most recent "with pod" episode, plus this friday we'll be back in studio 6a here at 30 rock with a live studio audience. one of my guests is someone you haven't heard from in a while.
have you missed steve schmidt? he's back and will join me for his first interview on msnbc in the better part of a year. that's this friday, a special edition of "all in." be there. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight the blowup at the white house. the photo shows the speaker standing up to the president right before she walked out, saying trump had a meltdown, indicating the already isolated president is not well. for his part the president insulted and diminished the kurds who fought and died alongside americans. the same kurds who are now on the run and being killed by the turks because of trump's actions. and along the way he also managed to insult general james mattis. meantime, in congress the impeachment inquiry is moving fast. another insider spoke up today. another rudy associate was arrested today as the heat is now on trump's friend and lawyer.