Big Question: In Mueller investigation, what does the President know?
But what exactly did Trump? No. When did he know it how involved was he we don't know yet? And his political future rests on the answers to those questions. Adam Davidson with what we know about the Muller investigation, so far Adam rights are called swamp chronicles, and you can find it at New Yorker dot com. I have with me today. Susan Glasser, and Jeff Toobin both staff writers for the New Yorker who've been covering this story in one way or another for years now almost seems like decades and Susan when you listen to Adam run us through the facts, where do you come down on the crucial question of the president of the United States is involvement. Here what is the likely outcome where that's concerned? You know, I was struck by a couple of things in in Adam's. Excellent report first of all. I think it's important to keep in mind, what did Vladimir Putin and Russia want from Donald Trump and want from the United States throughout this period. And because I think that starts to answer in a very specific way. Why there was a Russian intelligence operation. According to all the US intelligence agencies to manipulate an effect, the twenty sixteen election, not simply to cause chaos as some people have reported on Donald Trump's behalf. They wanted something very specific sanctions relief. Russia took over Crimea in two thousand fourteen invaded its neighbour, Ukraine. That's a conflict that continues today as a result of that. There are these fairly stringent sanctions on Russia. And I believe that was what they talked about it, the Trump Tower meeting, and I think the record is very likely to show that Trump was privately as well as publicly receptive to the idea that he was receiving some support from the Russians in an exchange was willing to consider lifting. These sanctions Susan there's been a lot of concern that William bar, the president's nominee for attorney general will not in the end even release Muller's findings or it might have to go. Through the attorney general, and he'll issue some kind of a version or summary of it. What do you expect us to actually get when the Muller investigation is over? What what will we receive? Will it be leaked in? Will. We find out everything we want to. It's not at all clear is the answer because we have not had a situation that exactly mirrors this one. There's no set law or template that applies to this. But I think most people believe that there's really no way to fully cover this up at this point. And that the the information one way or the other is going to come out, and I think that is a reasonable expectation. Jeff, you agree. Mostly I, you know. I've been burned so many times say well, Donald Trump can't possibly do acts does acts. So the idea that the Trump administration would use concepts like classified information executive privilege the existence of pending investigations to limit the disclosure in Muller's report is not out of the question to me. And even though it's true that even some Republicans as well as virtually all Democrats have said, they think ballers report should be made public. You know, more or less in its entirety. If Barr says, no, what are they going to do about it too lenient remedy minority? Latian that's put forth by Chuck Grassley. Who's not exactly a man of the left and Richard Blumenthal? Who's a democrat? Obviously that requires the final report. He submitted to congress and the public now that may not pass. But it gives you some sense of the inclination to at the very least leak it. Well, there could also be a supreme court fight over which would really put us in echoes of Watergate territory and arguably it was Nixon's. Fight over the release of the tapes. And when it finally got to the supreme court in involved all three branches of government. That was really, you know, the beginning of the end game for him. Now, the president's numbers all kinds of numbers have been eroding eroding. They're all his negatives are much higher than his his positives. His cO even his core basis is kind of gotten to thirty percent level. That's no way to win election and the election campaign has begun assuming he gets past these investigations in the house, assuming he gets past the mullahs report he'll be damaged in many ways. We're already seeing candidates come out on the democratic side. And we even hear about the possibility of a Republican challenging the president in his own party. What are Donald Trump's election prospects? Well, first of all, I think you're right to spotlight the possibility of Republican challenge, even if it's not successful recent history suggests this is the the the one fairly sure fire way in which incumbent presidents lose reelection is when they are weakened from within their own party. Obviously that was the story of Jimmy Carter in one thousand nine hundred eighty beaten up by Ted Kennedy, even though Kennedy didn't win and goes on to lose to Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush had the Pat Buchanan insurgency from within his party, it becomes a one term president or you could have an LBJ lake scenario in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight where the president chose not to run again while facing increasing discord and division from within his own party. I think both of those are real scenarios Jeff same question. Well, I I just, you know, given my credentials as someone who was disastrously totally wrong about the two thousand sixteen election. I wasn't alone. But I was. I think reports of Donald Trump's political death have been greatly exaggerated. I think his poll numbers while somewhat weaker. I think the real story is how little they've changed. Not how much they've changed a me strongly agree with that the day he took office after election election in which you'll recall he won his popularity was roughly forty percent it's been as high as forty five it's been down to forty thirty five. But I mean, it's really, you know, depending on which Paul it really hasn't changed that much. And that's you know, it was enough to win as for the Democrats. I mean, I suppose the good news is there's no one candidate who was his target who he can, you know, start Channing lock him or her up. The bad news is there's no candidate. So the idea that Donald Trump is going to. To lose to some miscellaneous person whose identity we have no idea about who it is. I just think, you know, most presidents get reelected. Is is the drama of the possibility of Muller getting fired by Trump? Now overdue think yes, I really think the odds of him being dismissed are essentially zero now release of the report that's a different story and we've discussed the complexity there, but Muller is going to be allowed to finish this investigation. I have no