Chao corruption shocking even for scandal-plagued Trump cabinet


The legal matters show. We at nine eastern on MSNBC in fifteen days. So two weeks from tomorrow, the democratic presidential candidates are finally going to square off, or octagon off, actually, they're I guess they're going to double deca gone off in the first twenty twenty presidential debate a deca gun is a ten sided figure, so a double deca gun as I think what we've got here. I mean, we now know the basics of what these two ten sided debates are gonna look like on the democratic side starting two weeks from tomorrow. Now, NBC MSNBC, and Telemundo, are the hosts of the first democratic debate that doubleheader double header. It'll be ten candidates. The first night, ten different candidates, the second night, just today. They announced the moderators for those first debates and the basic logistics. So where's it going to be the debate is going to be in Miami, one, is it going? To be it's Wednesday and Thursday, the twenty sixth and twenty seventh of June. So fifteen days from now, both nights of the debate will be two hours from nine pm to eleven pm eastern now, who is going to be participating. Well, there's two sides of that. And it's complicated in terms of the moderators of the debate Lester Holt from NBC, nightly news, we'll be there for both hours both nights from nine to eleven pm, Lester will be sort of the fulcrum host for the whole thing for the first hour of the debate from nine to ten Lester will be joined by savannah, Guthrie from NBC news and by Jose Diaz, Balart from Telemundo. And then for the second hour of the debate from ten pm to eleven pm savannah and Jose will swap out and Chuck Todd from meet the press, and I will swap in as moderators for the second hour so that patterns going to hold both on the first night of the debate and on the second night at the debate, again, Lester, there, throughout savannah, Jose, their moderating for the first hour. Chuck in mean moderating. For the second hour. So that's who in terms of hosting, and moderating now who is going to be on the stage, much harder question, thankfully, that is for the DNC the Democratic Party to figure out. You may have noticed. There are a couple dozen declared candidates for the democratic presidential nomination this year, but there's only going to be twenty slots for that. I obey ten slots, the first night, ten slots, the second night now over the next few days. The DNC is going to announce which twenty of the democratic candidates are going to make the stage for that I to night debate the DNC criteria for people making the debate was announced a few months ago back in February. They announced back then that to make the debate candidates can follow one of two pounds, the first path is pulling so you can qualify the front of it. If you get one percent or more in three polls, the polls have to either be national polls or polls from one of the four early states. So from Iowa New Hampshire, South Carolina, Carolina, or Nevada. But that's only one track if you can't make that polling threshold again one percent in three polls. There is a second path set by the DNC, which is a fundraising path. You can also qualify for the debate, even if you don't qualify on polling you can qualify, if you're able to get donations from sixty five thousand different donors, and all of those donations can't all come from the same part of the country, you need at least two hundred unique donors per state in at least twenty states so you can see how the Democrats are, are trying to set these thresholds, basically measure strength. One way is to show, your strength is to is to turn up in the polls, another way to show strength is to show your appeal to a very broad swath of democratic donors. So they set those two paths. Now again, it is the DNC that's that criteria. And it is the DNC's responsibility to check whether candidates, meet either or both of those criteria. And of course, it will be the DNC's responsibility to figure out what to do if they have more than twenty candidates who meet those criteria. They've already announced stricter standards to get into some of the later to Bates. But for this first contest they set the threshold requirements back in February, and it is totally possible that more than twenty of the democratic candidates are going to meet either or both thresholds to qualify to get into the debate. But the DNC is being firm that there will still only be twenty slots. So if the happens if they've got more technically qualified candidates than they do slots on stage. The DNC says they are not going to add more podiums more more Podesta to the stage, the DNC will instead winnow out the, the lowest polling and lowest fundraising performers among the. Dates until they winnow it down to around twenty. At which point some small version of hell will break out, presumably in the democratic contest. But now that they've made the announcement about the basic logistics, and about the moderators. Here's a couple of things I can let you know, first of all the announcement of, of who's in, and who's out the announcement of which twenty democratic candidates are going to make that first to night debate that is going to happen on Thursday night. So the DNC is going to make their announcement about who the twenty candidates in our who are in the debate the day after tomorrow, Thursday night. And then we expect that shortly thereafter, we will get the announcement of, which of those candidates are going to be on the first night at the debate, and which of them are going to be on the second night at the debate, that's particularly interesting, if there's like a particular matchup that you were hoping to see right? Well, which ten candidates will be on stage together. We don't know yet that announcement will happen sometime after they pick the twenty candidates who are in the debate on Thursday night that announcement about. Who's on which night of the debate could be that announcement could come as early as Friday. We don't know but, but we shall see. And one last thing to keep in mind about this debate as we are closing in on it. I mentioned that the first debate starts fifteen days for mil well in the original criteria set by the DNC for how democratic candidates can qualify to get into this. I tonight night debate what the DNC said was that candidates could qualify for that debate. Based on polling specifically in polls publicly released between January first of this year and fourteen days prior to the to the date of the debate. So that's the that's the window of time in which you can qualify on the basis of your polling from the start of this year until fourteen days before the debate while tomorrow is fourteen days prior to the date of the debate, which means tomorrow is the drop dead date for any candidate who's on the bubble right now in terms of qualifying by polling tomorrow is the last chance for any poll to be published for any candidate who's trying to hit his or her numbers in a national poll any poll from anyone. The early states. Tomorrow. Polling wise, is the last chance. And we know there is at least one new poll coming out tomorrow from one of those early states, which we think will be qualifying poll. It's, it's a pull out of Nevada. It's conducted by Monmouth that poll is due to be published tomorrow, and that means that will be potential last chance lifeline for any candidate who has not yet. Hit one percent in three different polls that Monmouth Nevada poll coming out tomorrow might be the last chance. So good luck everybody. Let the gnashing of teeth begin. Let the twin deca gun battles take shape. There is a new national head to head general election poll that's out today from Quinnipiac. When I say a head to head general election poll. This is polling that pits. President Trump against six of the different democratic hopefuls in hypothetical one on one general election matchups. This is super interesting. This has to be driving the White House crazy in this new Quinnipiac poll, which, again is a nationwide survey. They put Trump up against six different Democrats in this nationwide poll Trump loses to Senator Cory Booker by five points. Trump loses to Indiana. Mayor Pete Buddha. Judge by five points. Trump loses to Senator Elizabeth Warren by seven points. Trump loses to Senator Kamala Harris by eight points. Trump loses to Senator Bernie Sanders by nine points and he loses to former vice president, Joe Biden by a whopping thirteen points nationwide. And those head to head national matchup polling numbers are as this headline in the Washington Post suggests brutal for President Trump and those head to head polling numbers arrive at the same time that the New York Times has just written article just published an article in which they obliquely reference, what they described as a quote, devastating. Seventeen state poll conducted by Trump's campaign pollster now we don't have access to that polling its internal polling created just for use by his campaign. But if Trump's own pollster just today, seventeen state poll that produced devastating results in terms of Trump's campaign prospects. Well. Well, you can see why the president and the White House might be feeling a little bit wobbly about how the reelection prospects look right now. And how the Democrats are looking to try to run against him. The president today told reporters at the White House that it's the phony witch hunt. In his words, that is the only thing that's hurting him in the polls. Maybe that's true. I mean, not not that it's phony witch-hunt, but maybe it's true that the ongoing scandal surrounding the White House and the president's campaign in his business. Maybe it's possible that, that is what's hurting his prospects for reelection. We've got news. For example, coming up just tonight about the president's eldest, son, having to come in and testify again, tomorrow before congress after members of congress loudly expressed concern that he may have lied to them under oath. The last time he was there. So the existential scandal surrounding this presidency are still circling and in some ways, they are still exceleron thing that Don jR story a head tonight. But honestly. Two and a half years into this, right? This far into the Trump era in Republican politics. If we have learned anything we should have learned that this president's ability to shock and to generate scandal is really limitless. It's not like there's just that one thing trailing around behind him and everything else is fine. I mean just right now, for example, he appears to be cooking up a whole new cabinet scandal. That might be worse than any of his other previous cabinet scandals. And by now he's pretty good at cabinet scandals, just because he's had so many of them in such a short time. This latest one though it has a hook on the end of it. That could prove to be an actual problem for the president and for his administration. But also for Republicans in the United States Senate, which is a constituency. The president really can't afford to get into much trouble right now. I mean when it comes to the president's top appointees, and his cabinet officials. This has been the long slow simmering ongoing scandal of his time in office. I mean, his top appointees, his cabinet officials. These are the most powerful people in the federal government. These are people appointed by the president to run huge agencies with billions of dollars millions of personnel under their control and under their command, but two and a half years into this presidency. I mean, this administration right now doesn't even have full-time fully-fledged confirmed. People running any of this stuff. There's an acting Commissioner of the food, and Drug administration acting administrator of the FAA acting, head of the small business administration acting director of US, citizenship, and immigration and acting, head of immigration and customs enforcement, the acting ambassador to the United Nations, and acting FEMA director, the acting secretary of the air force acting homeland security secretary, there's an acting Defense Secretary for months nail. And we know that, that, that part of the reason the upper echelons of the Trump administration have have been so filled with holes in what is now a persistent way. We know that part of the reason is because senior people get flung off from this administration into the author so quickly and so regularly, I think people don't even bother to change their address or forward their mail. When they get Trump administration jobs in Washington. It's I mean it's obvious just even if you only look at the top tier of the roster. In terms of who Trump has tried to put in place to run the federal government. It's obvious that there's something wrong when it comes to Trump's cabinet and his senior appointees, I mean, them failing and falling out, and resigning in disgrace, and leaving and scandal. And in some cases them getting arrested it started less than a month in, when the first Trump national security advisor had to go Mike Flynn and then the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, and then the White House chief of staff. Priebus, and then the White House communications director, Anthony, Scaramucci. And then the senior White House adviser Steve Bannon, who had been the last manager of his campaign, and then the health secretary Tom Price, had to resign and a huge corruption scandal, and then the White House staff secretary when we all learned the dark reasons why he couldn't get a security clearance. He had to go and then the chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, and then the secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and then another White House communications director hope picks, and then another national security adviser HR McMaster. And then the homeland security advisor Tom Bossert, and then the VA secretary, and then the ridiculous nominee who was supposed to replace the VA secretary. And then the head of the EPA has to resign and another gigantic corruption scandal, and then the attorney general has to go, and then the interior secretary has to go in yet another gigantic corruption scandal. And then another White House communications director, the guy from Fox News he has to go to, and then the Defense Secretary James Mattis, resigns in protest, and then the homeland security secretary gets fired as well. I mean, in check your watch who knows. Might be more just tonight. And I know I might have missed about thirty of them riffing those ones off the top of my head. And so we have seen this incredible rollercoaster of scandal, and disgrace and criminal trouble for all of these high ranking federal appointees and nominees from President Trump. But now as his reelection effort sort of needs to kick into gear, and as Democrats get ready to start their campaigns against him, now there's a problem in a specific corner of Trump's cabinet that that may be bigger than the others both in terms of its substance. And in terms of its implications for the president's most important allies on Capitol Hill, because President Trump's transportation secretary, Elaine Chao is married to the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, and there is now a snowballing series of corruption allegations around Elaine shell and how she has been running the transportation department under Trump. It started a couple of weeks ago when the Wall Street Journal reported that Elaine Chao had been directed by ethics officials that she needed to divest from a company that was directly related to her work at the transportation department ethics officials told her listen, if you're going to be secretary of transportation, you need to divest from this particular company. In which you hold a whole bunch of stock. She was directed to do that. She said she would but she did not divest from the company, she was told to do it officially she signed off an ethics agreements saying, she would do it. She said she would do it. And she didn't instead, she sat on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in that company in that company happens to be in the words of the Wall Street Journal, the country's largest supplier of the crushed stone sand and gravel used in a road paving and building. I mean, she's literally, the federal official in charge of road, paving and road building for the country. She's the secretary of transportation, and she's decided to secretly keep her stock her tons of stock in the country's biggest asphalt company. That makes roads. I mean, really that's the one thing we can all make you should. I mean you know how it's become a joke that the Trump White House, keeps proclaiming infrastructure week, and then never doing anything about it. American public media was first to report that every time the Trump administration. Does that every time they, they tout their infrastructure plans, which they never actually do, but every time they talk them up one thing that really does happen is the stock price of that asphalt company jumps up the one that Elaine Chao hold stock in and so she gets a little richer, every time she talks about it, because she didn't divest from that company, even though she was told to she agreed to, and she said, she did she didn't. I mean that alone is about the size and shape of the corruption scandal that led to the resignation of Trump's health secretary, Tom Price. But but that's just one of them for Elaine Chao last week. The New York Times reported that when Elaine Chao plant her first visit to China as Trump's labor secretary her office cold ahead to the us embassy in Beijing. Because she wanted to arrange meetings for her family members with members of the Chinese government while she was visiting. Her family runs a big shipping company that does a lot of business in China. She wanted to arrange meetings, four Hurrell actives with Chinese government officials, and she wanted the US government to do that for her. The official who had just departed as jeopardy chief of mission at the US embassy at Beijing. When Elaine Chao sent over those requests of the embassy. He called that requests from Chow, quote, alarmingly inappropriate. And in fact, people were alarmed that request while Elaine Chao office was flagged by the embassy back to State Department headquarters in Washington, it was flagged to ethics officials in both the State Department and the transportation department after ethics officials in both of those departments were flagged to what child was trying to do with her. Family members eventually, Elaine Chao called off that trip Elaine Chao father and sister have served on the board of China state shipbuilding, which is exactly what you think it is. It's China state shipbuilding. While she as US transportation secretary has tried to cut grants and funding for US shipbuilding. Here at home. Her family's company has taken hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from banks controlled by the Chinese government. While Elaine Chao has brought her father who runs that company to in his words talk business with President Trump. Elaine Chao herself as transportation secretary has attended at least one celebration of a deal made between her family's company, an another firm that has lots of mass transit contracts in the United States and think about that for a second. I mean, that would be a really terrible. Look, if she was the kind of high ranking federal government official who had anything to say about mass transit funding in the United States. She's the transportation secretary. So in that case we've got a firm with huge mass transit contracts. Right. So that means we've got a firm in a position to benefit from mass transit decisions by her, and that firm chooses to do a hugely remember it of deal with her family's company. And then she as a federal official shows up in person to celebrate and bless and applaud that deal. I mean, that would be something right? That would be Elaine. Chao President Trump's transportation secretary and that was a leading up to the story. We covered last night from politico dot com in which we learn that Elaine Chao has also designated a special liaison inside the transportation department specifically to help her husband. Her husband is the top Republican in the Senate. Mitch McConnell political reports, and nobody involved denies that Elaine Chao as secretary of transportation, she has set up a unique process just for him inside the Labor Department to make sure that a special intermediary is always on hand to facilitate federally funded transportation department projects that her husband wants steered to his home state. While he runs for re-election bragging about all the federal dollars. He's been able to steer to his home state, according to politico, so far, this little special, arrangement inside the transportation department has paid off for McConnell to the tune of at least seventy eight million dollars in federally funded projects, so far. It's funny new other Senator has a special liaison in the transportation department to make sure their projects their chosen projects that might help their reelection efforts gets special. Attention. Nobody else has that. And so, and so, and so here come the democratic presidential debates. I mean, in any other year in modern American history. This much scandal around one serving cabinet official would be the theme song and the proposal force behind an entire presidential campaign to oust an incumbent president who had overseen something this rank. I mean as all of these stories have snowballed about Elaine Chao just for the past two weeks. I mean her department is denying that there's any impropriety whatsoever. But literally, this is the transportation secretary of the United States secretly profiting off her job by investing in the country's biggest road-building company while she's transportation secretary also using taxpayer resources to try to hook up her family's company in China and maintaining a whole parallel project approval system, specifically to benefit her husband who runs the US Senate, and who oversaw her confirmation there, and who has been given millions of dollars himself by her family. Why do they have millions of dollars because they run that company that she has used her office to promote? I mean. This is be- movie stuff. But I mean, this is that amalgamate just those two weeks stories about Elaine Chao is so much worse on the surface than what Tom Price resigned for than what Ryan Zinke resigned for than what Scott Pruitt resigned for. I mean, this is being movie stuff. But it is it is our B-movie. This is our small now. Oh. Nothing else. It does signify that this would be great time for there to be the start of national election. Joining us now is Chris Liu who knows how presidential cabinets work from his time up close as the secretary of the Obama cabinet. He also served as deputy labor secretary in the Obama administration mister Lou it's nice to have you with us. Thanks for being here, always. So I tried to put this in context. Against the fact that we know there have been a lot of scandals in the Trump cabinet. There have been a lot of resignations. There's been a lot of turnovers right now there's a lot of acting secretaries because they don't want to try to put people through the confirmation process still though, even against that backdrop. I feel like this last two weeks of reporting about transportation secretary Elaine Chao. It's something, it's sort of a magnitude that is greater, yeah. So let's, let's remember the tone, ultimately gets from the top. We've got a president who himself has mixed his own personal business. And government business. We've got it cresent who has said it's okay to reward your political supporters and punish your opponents. I mean, he goes to threatens to take money away from California and Puerto Rico, and yet he says, Alabama gets a plus treatment when they have a disaster. So this idea that they're cabinet should be putting their thumb in the scale to help either favorite projects or districts or states is not unusual. It's part of the ethos of how they do their business, but. More broadly on the cabinet scandals. Let's take a look at the central premise of what this president said he said, I could run government better as a businessman. I would hire the best people and this is a smooth running machine and everything that we've not only just seen over the last couple of weeks. But really the last couple of years disproves, all of the central tenants about how he runs his government in terms of accountability here, obviously talking about the tone being set from the top, and the general standards and expectations that exist for these high ranking officials in this presidency in this administration specifically. The congress has enough to go along with that, if they don't want to presumably, these cabinet officials could be impeached on their own terms, whether or not the administration was ever going to feel enough. Shame to force them out, or whether or not the Justice department was ever going to investigate any of these things, if there was potential criminal behavior. Yeah. I mean, look, it is hard to keep track in the swirl of daily scandals. What Madison doesn't matter. You know, you've got the house oversight committee that might hold Wilbur Ross who you haven't even mentioned in contempt for turning not turning over documents. But let's not forget, he lied to congress. He was asked specifically about the origin of the citizenship question in the census. And he said, I came from the department of Justice, we now know it did not come from the department of Justice, that would be a major scandal in any administration that a cabinet member had lied to congress, and that's sort of like a tier two in terms of scandal right now. But yes, ultimately, congress should be holding these folks accountable, congress ought to be in. House Democrats ought to be holding oversight hearings. But as importantly, they should be using the power of the purse to try to punish these cabinet members and you can do a lot of things in terms of carteling cabinet member travel or front office spending or cutting their stuff. Now, obviously you have to get these things through the Senate. But that's another powerful tool at the disposal of House, Democrats. And I'm glad they brought up the issue of the contempt proceedings in the house, as you mentioned Wilbur Ross and William bar. The attorney general are both going to face contempt vote in the oversight committee, because of a number of things and other elements of scandal around this question of adding a citizenship question to the census, but we've already seen with other committees and with other scandals. And with regard to the Muller report, we've seen committees pushed the issue of potential contempt of congress against William bar in ways that seems to have been productive both the intelligence committee and the judiciary committee were able to essentially get concessions. Get access to materials that the Justice department was otherwise denying them by pushing of contempt vote against bar right up until the point where they were ready to do it. And then bar sort of cry uncle at the last minute, and it hinders stuff over. I wonder if those contempt proceedings. Traditionally been used this way or if this is traditionally if you see that is an appropriate way to sort of get these cabinet officials into compliance and to get them to do things that they need to do so that congress on oversee them. You look traditionally being held in contempt of congress is not something that any cabinet member or Public Citizen certainly wants to be doing and so hopefully with the recent concessions that have come out of the Justice department, there are some in some cooler heads, prevail that indicated, you know what even if we don't want to comply even of the president tells us this is not his posture. This is not a good thing for the Justice department or Bill bar. And let's not forget, I mean, even when Republicans controlled the house of representatives, a sufficient amount of pressure was put so that Tom Price, and Scott, Pruitt, and Ryan Zinke, eventually resigned in part because of the really dogged reporting that report is did just, I mean, the crazy things that we learned about Scott Pruitt, and the mattress and the fifty dollar room that we've all since forgotten about. So look the. Press pressure, the public pressure, and ultimately congressional oversight can hold some of these folks accountable, but it really is kind of like a game of Wackle these days or so many of these things that pop up and given the swirl of news about Trump. It's hard to keep track of all of this agreed agreed on every on every point, Chris Liu former cabinet secretary in the Obama administration, sir, thanks for being here. I really appreciate you. All right. Much more to get to tonight. Stay with us. Hi, it's Katy Tur. Wanna keep up with MSNBC while you're on the go subscribe to the MSN BC daily newsletter. You'll get the best of what you've missed during this unprecedented era of news, text MSNBC to six eight six six to subscribe. The democrat controlled house passed resolutions, four three zero today, along party lines resolution, four thirty streamlines the process for enforcing subpoenas by congress, and for taking people to court when they defy those subpoenas, that means congress will at least theoretically have more leverage now against former White House counsel, Don Mcgann and William bar who are both defying subpoenas related to the molar investigation as well as other current. And former White House officials who choose to tell congress know when they get that legally binding subpoena in the mail importantly, today's resolution against which did pass the house. It also allows the judiciary committee and their chairman Jerry Nadler to go straight to court and ask a federal judge to approve the released to congress of grand jury material, which has been redacted from the mullahs report. A lot of what is redacted from the mullahs report is grand jury material. A federal judge must issue in order for that stuff to be used outside the grand jury. And shown to anyone the committee has been asking attorney general William bar to go along with them on making a request for that material to a federal judge. William bar has refused after this vote today, they will no longer have to wait on bar, and the Justice department to try to make that sort of request together. Instead, they'll be able to go ahead with that request to a federal judge themselves. We will move as quickly as possible to go to court against Don, Mcgann the president's former council and then he subsquent witnesses who disobey a committee subpoena. We are going to move quickly to court for access to grand jury material in the mullahs report. We have other subpoenas outstanding including for hope Hicks, and any Donaldson. And if they don't show up when they're supposed to they will be the targets of court enforcement judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler, saying tonight that as you heard him say, they're going to move as quickly as possible to enforce their subpoenas in court, including and in addition, they will be going to move too quickly to ask for the grand jury material to release to them from the mullahs report. Again, that resolution passed today on a party line vote. It clears the way for all of that in terms of what's going to happen in short order tomorrow. All eyes will be on the house intelligence committee tomorrow morning. They're going to hold their first open herring on Muller's findings. It's a hearing. Titled lessons from the Miller report counterintelligence implications of volume one volume one of the mullahs report, of course, is about Russia's attack on our election and Russian contacts between the Kremlin, and the Trump campaign, and Trump's orbit, so that should be a very interesting hearing tomorrow. That's the second open hearing that the Democrats have held on Muller's findings thus far, one earlier this week in the judiciary committee, and they'll want tomorrow. And Intel, we also got word today about something else that's going to happen tomorrow, on the other side of Capitol Hill, this will be in the Senate intelligence committee. This one has the potential to set off some fireworks because. Eight involves the president's family, and we know from experience, that when the president's adult children are involved. It tends to be a super sensitive subject for everyone involved, especially for dad, the president, but not just for him that story's coming up. Stay with us. Who were the family members that you briefed on the Trump Tower Moscow project Don Trump junior and Yvonne ca Trump. Okay now with these in the regular course of business onto the president or family request briefings, this isn't a regular course of business call. There's a question on the number of briefings. Do you recall? How many they might have been? I'm sorry, sir. Do you recall? How many of these briefings might have been approximately ten proximity ten briefings on that issue right before Michael Cohen? President's longtime personal lawyer went to prison for among other things lying to congress. He went back to congress for a final round of testimony before the house oversight committee. He said that, although he had lied to congress previously, he now needed to correct the record. He wanted to answer the committee's questions truthfully. He wanted to lay all his cards on the table and in that final sworn testimony. Michael Cohen, basically, alleged, among other things that the president's eldest, son, Donald Trump junior had not been truthful in his own previous sworn testimony to congress. Now, this wasn't a total shock when Michael Cohen made that allegation. After Don jR had testified behind closed doors in the house. Congressional Democrats had openly charged that they believe Don jR lied to them in that sworn testimony, Don jR had also testified to the Senate behind closed doors. He had testified to the Senate Judiciary committee that one for bizarre series of reasons that committee ended up releasing the transcript of his closed door testimony. And so because we've got that transcript we can see verbatim. What Don jR told them when he was giving that sworn testimony? Well, remember what Michael Cohen told congress right before he went to prison? Is that he briefed on junior and Yvonna on the Trump Tower real estate project in Moscow approximately ten times? Well, Don jR was asked about that. Same matter when he was giving sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary committee in September twenty seventeen. Here's how that went quoting from the transcript question that you have any involvement in this potential deal in Moscow, Don jR, answer, quote, like I said, I was peripherally aware. Of it. But most of my knowledge has been gained since as it relates to hearing about it over the last few weeks, I was only peripherally aware of it that does not necessarily jibe with being briefed ten times on the matter. Well tomorrow, the Senate intelligence committee is going to get Donald Trump junior back for more testimony. That's a Republican controlled committee. They subpoenaed, Don jR back in may after he failed to show up for two voluntary interviews with the committee. But now it looks like he has agreed to return to Capitol Hill for yet another closed door interview with members of that committee that will happen tomorrow this time. Of course, it's happening with the president's longtime, personal lawyer in jail in part for lying to congress on these specific matters. Are there real stakes here for the president, son? Is there potential serious legal liability here for the president, son? If so, how does that reverberate not just for him? But for his pops, hold that thought. Who were the family members that you briefed on the Trump Tower Moscow project Don Trump junior and Yvonne ca Trump. Okay now with these in the regular course of business onto the president or family request briefings. This isn't a regular course of business direct call. There's a question on the number of briefings. Do you recall how many they might have been? I'm sorry, sir. Do you recall? How many of these briefings might have been? Approximately ten maybe Michael Cohen was still not telling the truth to congress when he testified that way earlier this year. But if he was telling the truth there, and he briefed Donald Trump junior, ten times on the Trump Tower Moscow project. Well, then Donald Trump junior may not have been telling the truth when he testified to congress that he was only peripheral peripherally aware of that secret Russian real estate deal tomorrow. The Senate intelligence committee will interview Donald Trump junior again amid lots of claims by democratic members of congress that Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump junior I should say. Appears to have not been truthful in his earlier testimony, how high are the stakes here for him. And what could the implications be more broadly? Joining us now is Carol Lennick Pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter at the Washington Post, who's on this story for the post now, Carol, thanks very much for being here. It's really good to have you here. I'm glad to be here. Rachel, thanks. I almost called you Lennick that was odd. I'll call you mad out. Okay. It'll sound like we're in a team. Let me ask about sort of that, last question that I posed the potential stakes here for Donald Trump junior. We know that he rejected a couple of requests and attempts by the intelligence committee to get him into testify voluntarily, they did alternately issue a subpoena. Then there was negotiations that setup. Tomorrow's testimony one are the stakes here for him. Is this a potentially risky situation? I think anytime you're standing before a congressional committee under oath every single witness, as vice by their lawyers is on pins and needles to make sure that they don't make a misstep and catch themselves in a false statement. Whether you raise your right hand or you don't you're essentially giving testimony to congress, and it's a serious risk. If you misstate or, or intentionally lie in this case, Don jR, Donald Trump junior, forgive me is, is trying to head off a long extensive interview a deja vu. If you will. That was like his last interview before the Senate nine hours of testimony. He didn't want that he resisted that he kept trying to negotiate with his attorneys to have less time. Why should they have to answer all these questions again? It all it just increases that jeopardy. And now he's actually succeeded in, in whittling down. Topics to a much smaller number and is hoping to be done. I'm hearing in, in the early part of the day now that the mullahs report has are these three. Dr version, the Miller report has been made public are there substantial areas of incongruence between what molar found what Muller described in his report, and what we know Trump testified to at least before a different committee has his previous testimony to the Senate Judiciary committee. The transcript of that was made available. So we do know the kinds of thing he testified to that the to that other committee are there areas of incongruence in terms of factual assertions between Muller and what Trump has testified to before. Well, yes, there are depending on how you kinda gild the lily, depending on how you interpret, for example, you've highlighted one of them, which is this idea of having a, a peripheral awareness, that's not technically wrong, even if he did get briefings from time to time and wasn't really checked in and wasn't really listening to our readers ears. We're like peripheral awareness, ten briefings that doesn't compute. The other the other element that, that creates a discrepancy for Donald Trump junior is something, Michael Cohen also said, which is he alleged that he was in Trump Tower in Donald Trump's office when he was candidate and in came Donald Trump junior to tell his dad in sort of a sort of Che, whisper, that meeting is tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens and it was a day or two before the Trump Tower meeting that the president has insisted he knew nothing about, and Don jR has insisted he didn't tell an alert his father to the I guess I'm going to foreshadow your next question Rachel and just say that, you know, the risk here is alternately, even if both of those are in conflict is a minimal risk in the view. I believe of Donald Trump junior. Michael Cohen has pled guilty to lying multiple ways. So. So is he the best witness to allege that he knows what what he told John junior and it's different than what Don jR told congress? Right. If there is a he said, he said, conflict here, probably nobody's in trouble if there is a, he said, versus the provable truth here, then he may, then this may go additional steps, Carolina, investigative reporter with the Washington Post. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. You can call me anything you want, anytime you want. I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having, we'll be right back. Stay with us. Refi for was a firefighter in New York City on nine eleven. He responded that day survived. He spent eight months, working the pile searching for the remains of the civilians who died in the attack and for the remains of his fellow firefighters by two thousand nine eight years after the disaster Pfeiffer, hit developed, what started to be called the nine eleven cough, then he was diagnosed with cancer stage, four kidney cancer that despite his worsening health following year. He helped fight for the passage of the nine eleven health and compensation act which is a Bill to get healthcare benefits for survivors of the attacks and compensation for them as well. So that they and their families that have resources, they need to fight the cancer and other chronic illnesses, that have plagued the heroes who responded on nine eleven took a lot of foot-dragging, but ultimately congress passed that Bill. But they only passed it into law for five years. So five years down the line in two thousand fifteen Ray Pfeiffer, and his fellow nine eleven first responders had to be back on Capitol Hill, even though that Bill was popular. Congress still refused for months to take it up for a vote instead of meeting with Pfeiffer and his colleagues members of congress, according to Ray kept giving him their business cards. He memorably said he took those business cards and he threw them in the garbage because in his pocket, were the prayer cards from all the funerals he'd gone to funerals for his friends and the members of his battalion who died on nine eleven ultimately, the healthcare portion of that nine eleven Bill was fully funded through twenty ninety, but the compensation part of it wasn't. And it's now literally running out of money ahead of its expiration date in twenty twenty. Well this time Ray fi for isn't there to continue as advocacy. He died in twenty seven teen at the age of fifty nine. And so now it's up to the other nine eleven advocates to go to Capitol Hill nail again to try to fight for that second part of the funding so that first responders who were battling nine eleven cancers and chronic illnesses can focus on that instead of also having to grapple with the associating crushing financial distress. The great race. Pfeiffer would come down here his body riddled with cancer and pain where he couldn't walk and the dish respect shown to him and to the other lobbyists on this Bill. Is utterly unacceptable. You know, I used to get I, I would be so angry at the latest injustice that's done to these men and women. And, you know, another business card thrown our way as a way of, of shooing us away. Like children trick or treating rather than the heroes that they are. And will always be. Ray would say calm down. Johnny calm down. I got all the cards I need, and he would tap his pocket. Where he kept the prayer cards. Three hundred and forty-three firefighters. The official f the N Y response time the nine eleven was five seconds. Five seconds. Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity. So one thing to running out of. This should be flipped is hearing should be flipped these men and women should be up on that stage and congress should be down here answering their questions. As to why this is so damn hard and takes so damn long. And why no matter what they get some always pulled back and they got to come back. Thank God for people like right? Fight for thank God for all of these people who will not let it happen. Responded in five seconds. They did their jobs. Courage, grace. Acidy humility. Eighteen years later do yours. Thank you. Daily show host Jon Stewart today testifying alongside nine eleven first responders in their widows and surviving family members, they all pleaded with congress to restore funding for the victim's compensation fund in this time to make it permanent to make sure there's enough money to help victims for as long as they need it. So they don't have to keep coming back and doing this. We are told that they absolutely have the votes in the house to pass this without delay. The judiciary committee is expected to vote on it tomorrow. The Bill is also fairly popular in the Senate, and so- Mitch McConnell, could pass it right away. If he wants to this issue has always been a no brainer. There's never been substantial opposition to it. There's just been not carrying enough to get it done with any alacrity every time it's like pulling teeth just song sharing that does the first tonight we will see you again tomorrow. The witch meadow show on MSNBC. Hey, it's Chris Hayes from MSNBC. Every day I come to the. The office and we make television show in every day, I think, to myself, there's so much more. I want to talk about. And so this is our podcast. It's called why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see out every day. They're driven by big ideas. Each week I sit down with a person uniquely suited to explain why this is happening episodes of why is this happening every Tuesday? Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts.

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