Day 830: Trump is suing banks to keep them from complying with House subpoenas the NYT reports
Tonight, according to that ongoing tally by the Washington Post. President Trump hits the ten thousand Marco false statements while in office so far his workday today dominated by Twitter. Phya standoff between the attorney general and Democrats can buy one democrat in particular. Speaking of Joe, Biden, he kicked it off in front of his first presidential rally as twenty twenty candidate accusing Trump directly of using the power of office and rod Rosenstein, hangs up the man who gave us the Muller investigation. The man who spoke of wearing a wire around the president potentially has tonight caused more questions about his motivation by ending his resignation letter with the phrase that pays America. First. As the eleventh hour gets underway on a Monday night. As we start a new week. Good evening. Once again from our NBC news headquarters here in New York day, eight thirty of the Trump administration, and this may be a big shiny distraction. We don't know yet. But of all things tonight. The attorney general is objecting to being questioned by a lawyer at a house hearing later this week he wants to be questioned only by members of the House Judiciary committee Bill bar has threatened to cancel his scheduled appearance at the committee's Thursday hearing scheduled testify before the Senate Judiciary committee on Wednesday, then the house Thursday, so far the committee chairman in the house, Jerry Nadler, democrat of New York is not backing down. It's not up to the Torney general to tell the committee had to conduct his business, or we will decide what the most effective way of asking questions, aren't we? That's our decision is we've told them we expect them to show up on Thursday. And we're going to conduct the inquiries. We've said we would if he doesn't show up on Thursday. We'll have to go to subpoena. The Justice department told NBC news tonight, quote, the attorney general agreed to appear before congress therefore members of congress should be the ones doing the questioning tonight. The New York Times reports Nadler plans to have the full judiciary committee vote Wednesday on whether to have counsel question bar, the committee's top Republican says he doubts the Democrats motives. I think the Democrats are actually wanting this both ways they want appear to be an oversight here, and they wanted to appear to do just good investigation. But really what they're trying to do by adding staff into the equation or adding this extra hour is they're trying to make it look impeachment. Here is about tarnishing the president. That's all I won't try to there's really nothing new here. You may recall the Senate Judiciary committee Republicans used a similar format to question. Christine Blasi four during the Cavanaugh hearings. They brought in and outside lawyer from Arizona committee, lawyers were also famously used during Watergate and Iran-Contra hearings. Former acting solicitor general Neal konczal says that precedent could weaken bars argument, I think he is legally obligated, and we have cabinet secretary after cabinet secretary that testified in all of these circumstances committee staff led these, and so I think if Nadler goes to court he will undoubtedly win. Meanwhile, rod Rosenstein is done just today. He announced may eleventh will be his last day at the Justice department in his resignation letter Rosenstein praise the president who so often criticized him who wants re tweeted an image, depicting, Rosenstein and others jailed for treason, the president who derisively referred to Rosenstein as mister peepers. But also apparently well tonight, according to Rosenstein, farewell letter, and we quote, I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations. And for the goals you set in your inaugural address, patriotism unity, safety, education and prosperity because nation exists to serve its citizens. He also wrote the, quote, our elections are more secure, and our citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts and for good measure and to keep people guessing about his ultimate motives, he then ends the letter to Donald Trump with the words America for. I but about that last point we made tonight, the Washington Post reports there's a disconnect between an intelligence community trying to do their job and prepare for Russian interference, which we know is coming in our twenty twenty elections and a White House that appears to be downplaying the risk. One of the authors of the post report will be here to talk about it in just a moment. Tomorrow, Trump will be face to face with democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer at a White House meeting on wait for it infrastructure. The president spent much of today attacking the Democrats newest official twenty twenty candidate Joe Biden, the Washington Post reports Trump's social media posts have helped him surpassed that magic ten thousand Mark in the papers count of ongoing false and misleading claims from the president the safter noon during his first rally as a candidate for his part, Joe Biden of Pennsylvania referred to Trump's credibility. Everybody knows who don't Trump is. We Democrats we independence who had the same view have to choose hope over fear unity over division. Maybe most importantly truth over lies. Which brings us to our leadoff discussion on a Monday night, three of the very best. Ashley Parker Pulitzer prize winning White House reporter for the Washington Post. Robert Costa, national political reporter also with the post and for good measure moderator of Washington week on PBS and Peter Baker the ageless chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. Good evening, folks. And welcome all of you, Peter you get to go first because of a story in your paper tonight that was just handed us before we came on the air broad strokes of it is the president. And his eldest children have filed federal lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent those companies from cooperating with subpoenas and coming forth with his financial records. People may ask we know about Deutsche Bank. Why Capital One Capital One is where he has his personal checking account giving new meaning I guess to what's in your wallet. What do you know about this story that can fill in the? Blanks. Yeah. Look, the president has openly said he's going to resist all subpoenas from congress from that House Democrats at the very least, and he's been taking this on multiple fronts last week. He's filed lawsuits like this to prevent his own accountants from responding to congressional subpoenas. Because in fact, he doesn't control those institutions he doesn't decide for them whether they should comply with subpoenas by congress, and those are reluctant, of course, to get on the bad side of congressional subpoena that has legal implications, and it has other implications as well. So he's trying to force the strong, arm and effect. You know, the the issues he's done business with to stick with him as opposed to congress. It's hard to see how a judge rules on that. We haven't seen this kind of thing very often in the past. But the argument that they've made is this is just political well Congress's political, and it seems to me it's hard to to to see a judge saying he's going to step in or she's going to step into political process. And declare something is political that therefore, it's legitimate. But it was the New York Times interview with this president Peter where he used answer the question in the affirmative would it be a red line if they tiptoed into your finances? Correct. The that's right. We were there. I was there for that interview. In fact, in in the middle of two thousand seventeen and the question was if it was all about Roger molar course at the time. Now, we're talking about congress in effect the same kind of scenario in which what happens if investigators go beyond the Russia, collusion, brief what happens if they go beyond the immediate mandate Muller was given to look at what happened in the twenty sixteen election, and he said that wouldn't fat cross a red line, and you kind of see it here. But he's he's acquired much broader red line when it comes to the House Democrats, he saying he won't answer questions or allow people to answer questions or provide documents even on things he already gave or we're already testified to we Robert Muller. He saying that we gave at the office in effect. They if Muller already investigated, why should these House Democrats repeat that effort, it's all political and partisan? I think. He's got an audience of supporters, at least, we're very receptive to that argument. So Ashley Parker you look at tomorrow's White House schedule, and it looks for all the world like a normal White House. He is having a last year's NASCAR champion to the White House. As presidents often. Do they're having an event on infrastructure, which has become kind of a gag line on broadcast like this one except for that. Ashley is there. Any other discernible focus of this administration beyond what we see from the president himself in the story line on social media. Not really I mean, the president. The thing about Twitter is Twitter as a real time sort of insight into what the president is thinking at any given moment. And so yes, the joke is always the infrastructure week goes off the rails. I think there's reason to believe that Chuck in Nancy will be going over there to actually push an infrastructure plan in. It'll be interesting to see what the president does. Of course, we can sort of look at his Twitter feed and see what's top of mind. So there's a world in which he sort of sets aside, all of the combativeness it's going on with House, Democrats and Senate, Democrats, frankly and says, look, this is one of these partisan areas where we could make a deal, and there's another equally if not more likely world in which those topics on social media, his preoccupation with vice president Biden his frustration over immigration, his frustration and also alleged vindication for the Muller probe are what he potentially calls news cameras in and talks to these Democrats about and so everything on social. Media sort of colors what he's thinking in where we should imagine that conversation. Tomorrow will go Bob Costas take on any of it. Take on all of it. And where we right at the top of the broadcast to question this bar disagreement with Democrats could be giant distraction could have every intention of participating in the hearing. Let's come back to that. And come back to the Deutsche Bank story of big development tonight because you have to step back and think about the chess match that's going on between the White House and House Democrats House, Democrats know that secretary Mnuchin is over there at the treasury department in essence defending the president's tax returns from Ritchie Neil, the chairman of the ways and means committee. So how do they go after the president's finances and try to find out more knowing that Robert Mueller did not reveal if anything much at all in his report about the president's finances. They go to the banks, and they're they're trying to pressure Deutsche Bank and others to cooperate in the banks tonight in their statements don't seem to be backing off of working with congress because they want to have that relate. Ship with Capitol Hill. And so this is the president pushing back trying to protect his own financial information. The congress believes they need to learn more about where the president's finances are around the world where he has different ownership stakes, and they're going to continue to try to paint that picture and Maxine Waters, the chair financial services and Adam Schiff chair of intelligence they came out with a very strong statement tonight saying they're not going to back down and Ashley Parker world civilians here, but we all seem to believe that Congress's power in this area is just south of unfettered. Yes. And that is sort of what the president is challenging them on. He is sort of since he took office. He is chipping away all of these checks and balances we traditionally think of how government works, and so he is sort of in a way calling their bluff and saying, you know, you can subpoena us, and we're going to fight that I believe, and again, I'm not a lawyer that maybe very hard to win that in court, but the truth is he can delay, and he can postpone, and he can make it incredibly difficult and some of these things may end up in the courts and not be adjudicated until potentially after the twenty twenty election in. So he's also creating a situation where the Democrats are going to say, look, the president is again abusing his power. He is again trying to obstruct Justice and that then creates a real dilemma for the Democrats some of whom really don't have the appetite to call for impeachment and others who say, wait a minute. It may not be politically the best thing for us to do. But when you see a president abusing his. Power this way, we have no choice but to act so he's kind of pushing the Democrats into a pretty delicate and difficult situation for them to navigate and Peter that sets up a question to you on optics. How does it look that a sitting president and his adult children who are kind of half way running the company while he's otherwise preoccupied are suing to keep papers private because they may speak to something fundamental if they choose the right or wrong, classically trained, constitutional lawyer, turn federal judge in this thing that lawyer him or her could blow this out the back door of the courtroom, just based on a simple articles of the constitution constitutional argument. Yeah. I'm not a lawyer either just to be clear, although I have heard today, for instance, from a conservative lawyer friend who explained that his argument for why this is abusive power by the House Democrats. The idea is that congress should have more. Purpose in in looking after these kinds of records, and since they have not actually declared explicitly that they're having an impeachment inquiry. They can't sorta have one sub Rosa and act as if they were I don't know that argument sell in court again, I'm not a lawyer. But I think you're right into its optics. We do have this once again is dual reality people who are suspicious of Donald Trump are going to look at a move like this and say, well, what is he hiding? What is he trying to do stonewalling a legitimate request by congress people on his side are probably going to be susceptible or receptive to the argument that he's making these people won't let go they had two years of Muller Muller. Didn't find anything, according to the way, the president's portraying anyway, and therefore it's just partisan attempts to bring him down. So I think that people are locked into these positions right now. And it'd be interesting to see what might shake people out of them. But for the moment, I think it will be looked at through that kind of lends. All right, Robert now, take us forward to later this week. How do I put this gently Peter, and I are old enough to remember? Ever guy named Fred Thompson to the state of Tennessee who really became a figure in Washington as Republican counsel during Watergate for his questioning on behalf of his half of the committee during those televised hearings it lead to a prosperous career in the Senate run or two for the presidency and toward the end of his life reverse mortgage commercials. But this is done it's done all the time. The AG can't argue with a straight face that staff don't participate in or in some cases, lead questioning on hill hearings. Your memory is spot on history has shown Brian that staff and committee lawyers often ask questions of this is part of an administration, including the attorney general who when you talk to top House, Democrats, they say, they don't feel like there's any sort of cooperation of coming from the department of Justice from the Trump side from the political appointees, and they're very frustrated, but the attorney. Any general? He has taken a hard line so far his dealings with congress. Everything is done on attorney general bars time line whenever congress makes it demand. Whether it's chairman Nadler, chairman shift, it is appears to be pushed back by the attorney general, and you can bet when you talk to the Democrats on Capitol Hill. They're very appalled by this behavior by the attorney general yet, they haven't come up with the solution, Brian and how to actually get make sure their lawyers their own prosecutors of sorts politically are going to be on those front lines because the attorney general continues to threaten to not show up. Ashley parker. Let's channel our mutual friend. Chris Matthews and play a little hardball politics here. And that's Joe Biden, it was kind of clear today watching the Biden event two guys who share a generation Joe Biden went right at Donald Trump in two ways, he said in effect the road to the White House goes right through here. He mentioned western Pennsylvania went on to include the whole, state wise. Really? And then he also took a poll the crowd. How many of you benefited from the tax Bill? I didn't think so no one did. Because as he pointed out it was for the top one percent. We're starting to see even though were eight months before the first primary in a field of twenty. We are starting to see why Trump seems to completely preoccupied on social media about just one democrat. We sure are mean, we're seeing Biden strategy here, which is to try to sort of leapfrog over all of his other democratic competitors by pretending they don't exist and just go into a general election fight with the president. And we're seeing a president who is kind of happily taking the bait as talk into campaign adviser the other day who said look, it sort of makes sense. They view the president views the campaign largely views Biden right now is the biggest threat and also the president as we know as a large consumer of cable news' Biden is leading the new cycles and the president cares. A lot about polls and Biden as top a lot of the democratic poll. So Trump sees that and he wants to take Biden down and engage him. I will note very briefly that this goes counter to the campaign strategy, generally, which is to try to not name, these Democrats, and sort of paint them all with this broad lefty socialist brush, so you have a campaign trying to have whoever emerges be damaged with the mantle of socialism. And you have the president who has kind of eagerly spoiling for a fight with Joe Biden, three of the biggest names from the bylines that we've been closely covering these past few years. Ashley Parker, Robert Costa, Peter Baker are thanks for starting off our broadcast and coming up for us tonight. The controversial word that was repeated by the dutiful attorney general before we even saw the Muller report come out what the special counsel himself had to say about that word inside his document. And later since the Russians are already here. How prepared? Are we for their next attack into our next presidential election, especially knowing our president called their last mission? A host the eleventh hour is just getting started on Monday night. Hi, it's Katy Tur want to keep up with MSNBC while you're on the go subscribe to the MSNBC daily newsletter. You'll get the best of what you've missed or in this unprecedented. Era of news, text MSNBC, two six six eight six six to subscribe. The special counsel found no evidence that any American including anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in this illegal scheme. Put another way the special counsel found no collusion by any Americans in IRAs illegal activities. There was no evidence of the Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government's hacking. No underlying collusion with Russia. Has he said from the beginning? There was in fact, no collusion. Well, anyone forget where they were when they first heard that that was Torney general Bill bar repeating that phrase that pays for the White House up the street. He will decide later this week whether or not to appear before the House Judiciary committee on Thursday in our series of reports on this. Broadcast that we're calling uncovered because we're diving into parts of the Muller report that haven't yet received wide media coverage tonight, we're going to look at what the report says at long last about collusion Muller's report says they considered conspiracy law not the concept of collusion to determine whether or not a crime was committed. The report reads, and we quote collusion is not a specific offence or theory of liability found in the United States code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law English. Translation, it's not a thing. For those reasons. The offices focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. The report also offers this summary about contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government quote. Although the investigation staff. Published that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and work to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities lot to talk about to pros here with us to talk about it. Shannon, petty peace White House correspondent for Bloomberg. And Barbara mcquade veteran federal prosecutor former US attorney for the eastern district of Michigan, Barbara, I'm good like to start with you. Because I think all of our now of counsel former US attorneys said the same thing when bar was nominated. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. I think at the end of the day, he's an 'institutionalised yet now in the glaring light of day or the dark of night hearing him us. No. Delusion that many times knowing that he's about to introduce a document that intentionally says collusion's not thing. It's jarring is not. It is Brian. And I can remember where I was when I was watching him utter those words, and I actually found it pretty heartbreaking that William bar would use the word collusion. And it was especially heartbreaking to then read in the Muller report. That Muller went out of his way to say, let's not talk about collusion. That's just a distraction. That's not a legal term. We talk in terms of conspiracy. And the reason it was heartbreaking is that William bar was deliberately using a Trump talking point he sounded more like a defense attorney and more like a politician than an attorney general and for people like me who spent the career in the Justice department who talk about following the evidence where it leads playing it straight looking at facts in law to hear him use. Those political words was really painful, I wanna run to asterisks by you because you're the lawyer in this conversation. Neither asterisk to be clear appears in the Muller report, we have placed them there because they speak to questions. I have for you the. Investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign. Now, I've put an asterisk there because couldn't that speak to well who are we defining who was actually with the Trump campaign. The next one is conspired or coordinated with the Russian government. Well, what about go betweens? What about middle men and women are those both possible places where a good lawyer like yourself could find room to run around in. I do think it's a possibility. I think that that Robert Muller was looking at this broadly enough that if there had been somebody who was an associate of the Trump campaign who is not officially a member of it would have been captured within that net. Now that being said, we know that there are proximity. Twelve matters that were redacted that Robert Mueller has referred to others. Those are things that he did not find within his narrow scope of investigation that he has handed off to other investigators to look into so yes, I think that. Is a possibility and a fair reading of that sentence to to to suggest that Robert Muller constrained, his investigation to that universe. That sound social media users might have heard today was Shannon, petty piece winning Twitter with what I'm going to put on the screen right now. Shannon wrote about the president's agenda today starting at six forty nine as you see condolences to the shooting victims. And then I'll let you read the Bill of particulars his attacks against those people and entities that took up the rest of his morning, Shannon, in one way just kind of an average morning in the life of the president and his cellphone. Well at one point. I remember early on the administration one of the aides telling me that they intentionally told the president not to tweet after nine o'clock. I was not going, right? We can see that's kind of been through out the window and one of my colleagues at the White House noted today that the the marine who has outside of the Oval Office the west wing when the presidents in the Oval Office. Was not out there as eleven thirty today. So he was up in the residence would have been executive time. A lot of these tweets correlated with things that were on TV. The firefighters union endorsement, you know, Biden first rally, so you could tell there was probably likely TV watching going on during those morning hours. And yeah, it was just a full morning airing of grievances by the president on Twitter, really without any regard at this point to try and make it seem like he's in meetings or he's doing some sort of official business. It's very clear what's going on. And about the conversation. I just had here with a top flight. A lawyer your fellow guest of the speaks to your knowledge now of Donald Trump and has space. Well, we ever see a time when this enters the public conversation enough. The fact that collusion's not a thing. The fact that Muller made a point of saying that will there ever be a time where people here, no obstruction? No, collusion and say even his base. Yeah. No. We know that we know. That's not. True. Well, I mean, the president is an expert Brander and part of branding is saying the same thing over and over and over and over again, you know, so these these phrases get stuck in our head. He said no collusion more than two hundred times over the past two years. So that is the brand that is the phrase that's in everyone's mind, and even before this report came once we had bars letter before the report came out, the strategy among his allies and advisors was that no matter what Miller had to say they were going to make it a binary choice of no collusion that this investigation was about collusion, and they found no collusion, regardless of what else could have been in there and even at one point his advisors. We're saying that well, this is a phony investigation because collusion's not even against the law. They even brought up this point that Muller made. But still they continued with this pitch a Barbara. I you to listen to sixteen seconds of Sally Yates and on the other side. I'm gonna ask you if you agree. You know, I've been a prosecutor for nearly thirty years, and I can tell you I've personally prosecuted obstruction cases on far far less evidence than this. And yes, I believe if he were not the president of the United States, he would likely be indicted on obstruction. You're both former feds Barbara, do you concur with your fellow former fed I do the elements of obstruction are an obstructive at some connection to an official proceeding and a corrupt intent and there about ten episodes in that report of obstruction of Justice, some Robert Muller, find substantial evidence for some less, so but there's about three episodes in there with substantial evidence for each and every element of the offense. The asking Mcgann to fire Mueller asking Mcgann to lie about that. And asking Corey Lewandowski to get Jeff Sessions to narrow the scope of the investigation to only future elections for those three. I am confident that if anyone else were charged with that offense or had that evidence against them. They would be. Charged with obstruction of Justice are great thanks tonight to two of our favorites. Shannon, petty piece Barbara mcquade. Thank you, both so much for helping us with our conversation. And then coming up for us new reporting on the president's curious behavior when it comes to protecting our nation from Russia's involvement in our next election, one of the journalists reporting on this story will be with us right after this. This. Next segment is critical more now on this report that the White House has downplayed the threat of more Russian election meddling, even as security officials work on another side of the government to prevent future attacks to harden our defenses, this affects all of us. This is a Cording to the Washington Post quote for more than two years. Trump has recoiled when aids broached Russia's 2016 theft and dissemination of democratic emails, and it's manipulation of social media in an effort to sway the election. The report goes on to say during discussions in the Oval Office, Trump has regularly conflicted the threat of foreign interference with attacks on the legitimacy of his election. It is a claim repeated often by Trump and members of his administration. I want them to be sure that Russia or anybody else that it if it did happen if there was any and everybody also agrees, by the way, it didn't change the election. It's very clear that Russia meddled in the election. It's also very clear that it didn't have an impact on the election entire nonsense about the electors trying to use Russian hacking issue to change the election results is really unfortunate. I think that actually under minds democracy more than any other conversation that we're having right now, you look at Russia did find some Facebook ads to try to so descend to do it. And it's a terrible thing. But I think the investigations and all of the speculation that's happened for last two years has had a much harsher impact their democracy that a couple of Facebook as a couple of Facebook ads set the senior adviser to the president. Then there's this reminder from the Muller report, quote, the Russian government interfered in the twenty sixteen presidential election in sweeping and systemic fashion. Well, let that hang out there. As we bring our guests one of the reporters on this byline, whether Shane Harris intelligence and national security reporter for the Washington Post and for good measure Frank Figliuzzi is back with us. He is notably. The former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence gentlemen. Welcome Shane take have out. This any angle you wish let's start with how prepared or unprepared is our government. We just heard the FBI director last week call it the big event talking about the next election. How prepared are unprepared? Our way speaking to the citizens now about the Russians who are already in our system their ability to hack our next election. Well, I think the good news is that if you look at the intelligence community, the FBI the homeland security department, there is a lot of progress being made they're very aware of the threat and they're leaning into it. They're doing what they can what they're obligated to do under the law and unfortunately, communicating with social media companies we saw so much pervasive. Manipulation of social media. And the government is trying to warn companies where they should be looking out for those kinds of threats to hear back from them. We don't have though at this point is a president who is engaged at this as a policy issue of utmost importance, which many of his advisors believe it is he is out there talking publicly. Downplaying it recoiling it as you pointed out in private meetings as well. And when you don't have a commander in chief engage from the top the entire whole of government doesn't really work as a coordinated entity. I mean, imagine if after the nine eleven attacks, George W Bush had come out publicly and said, I'm not so sure al-qaeda and Osama bin Laden, we're responsible for attacking New York and Washington with airplanes, and then quietly the rest of the government was going around trying to stop terrorists. You get a sense of what a disconnect that would be. There's something analogous going on here to where the government is working very furiously. I think behind the scenes, but you have a president who really is not engaged on that. And kind of thinks that the entire enterprise is premise. On a hoax and Frank. That's the disconnect you've been coming on this broadcast to talk about. I saw the president before rallying is is now talking about Pershing the scum from the F. B I words, we've never remotely associated with one of our presidents in the past. And I have this reading for you Frank from the Rosenstein letter the new equivalent of. But how did you enjoy the play? Mrs Lincoln, our nation is safer. Our elections are more secure. And here's the fun part. Our citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts. And schemes so Frank you get it by dint of the coverage we've been giving it we've got a big heads up all the American people coming into twenty twenty. Well, he's right about one thing in the letter. The American public is indeed more informed about the threat to our electoral process and the security of it and in part, by the way, Brian because you continue to cover the story. That's got to be told and the American people have to demand answers. There's another reason why the president has got to come out and publicly denounce what Russia did with our elections. And I get the fact that if he does so he's fearful that people will think that he got help and the electoral vote was changed and he's not a legitimate president. I get that. But here's the counter intelligence reason behind why got to come out and denounce this other nations are watching they're watching his non-response and just as we heard Michael Cohen and others talk about kind of that mob boss, signaling that occurs without any real words being exchanged. And yet, you know, what to do you get that green light by not responding and denouncing and punishing Russia for what they did in the election. He's. Telling other nations, essentially, I'm okay with this. You help me out. I'll be okay. And let me assure you foreign intelligence services salivate over the possibility that they could co opt in American president by merely making him think that they helped win his reelection. That's why he's gotta come out and denounce this or we're going to look back at this time and wonder how we gave up our our electoral process in this country. Yeah, we're going to have a lot of questions to answer for. Hey, shane. I know the deny is hanging on. I know the new CI director is over in Langley keeping her head down and doing her job as she has done all her career at the White House level. You've got Mulvaney and Bolton. So some of the guardrails are gone who are the institutionalists closest to this president. Maybe there are none who are intent on getting the hard work done of hardening our defenses, well, actually, the outgoing now ex homeland security secretary cures to Nielsen is someone. Gave a lot of credit for for trying to do the work of working with state and local governments particularly letting them know how to protect their systems and what to watch out for. But you it's interesting you mentioned John Bolton the national security advisor. Our sources told us that she blamed him for not elevating this issue of election security, high enough on the president's agenda and really trying to force him to buckle down on it. And was persuaded not to bring it up in meetings with the president for fear that he would simply disregard it or it would it would anger him whenever she did try broach it he would steer the conversation towards immigration so within the White House really that quarter. But people who are around the president. And really the president takes advice, we know from himself. He doesn't really listen to a core group around him at that level on security issues. The way other presidents have you're not really seeing people who are trying to get him to focus on this and elevated to the top of the of the issue set, and at least try and make it something and his. Mind that is as equal as immigration or border security, which are things that we know. He cares. A lot about and a Frank. You get the last word. Let me take you. One more step. Forget Vlad Putin who may have already won. But let's talk about the thing that intelligence folks off duty say to me is what you guys aren't covering is how kaleidoscopically China has drilled down in to American society and Intel and our public facing structures. About the signal. You just discussed Frank what this might say too bad operators around the world. What about a foreign power like that? China presents a pervasive and persistent threat from from a cyber perspective and intelligence professionals cyber professionals know that whether you're talking about corporate intrusion or intrusions into government agencies. They have done it. They've been there. They've done that. They've sent us the signal they've said Hello in an IT signature kind of way, and they present a pervasive threat. So if they decide to unleash their force and their sophistication, we'll be looking at this and just change the country's name from Russia to China. And by the way, you can change it to Iran or North Korea depending on their mood and their relationship with this president. That's why the president needs to come out. And next time they may decide to back the other party. And that's why congress needs to come out and say, this is a nonpartisan issue. We're going to tackle this. And here's how putting the fear of God in viewers for well. Over two years there at this hour on this broadcast with great thanks to Frank fake, Lucy to share. In Harris, gentlemen. Thank you. Both really interesting. If not a little scary conversation coming up twenty dams and the race Donald Trump. These days only has eyes for one Bill Kristol's here to talk about politics with us. Donald Trump was only president is the only president who's decided not to represent the whole country. The president has his base. We need a president who works for all Americans. We can afford this. You can do. It is clear candidate Joe Biden is not afraid of President Donald Trump, and it's not going to be unnoticed earlier today. In fact, Trump tweeted several times about sleepy Joe. The democrat White House insiders say the president fears the most Trump even took on union leaders after Biden secured the endorsement of the international association of firefighters. Here's how Biden responded to all those different attacks. Today's rally. By the way, I make no apologies. I have a union, man. We'll be telling you. Maybe. Thank you. And here with us here in New York to talk about a Bill Kristol veteran of the Reagan and Bush, administrations director of defending democracy together. There's a concept and editor at large of the bulwark and before I let you say your first word. Here's how good we are going to show you something that's going to air tomorrow morning on good Morning, America. This is Joe Biden on what we used to call. Reagan democrats. What would you say to the Trump voter the Trump supporter who looks at the economy and sees very strong numbers here in Pennsylvania where the unemployment is at a record low of three point nine percent. While what I'd say is did you get any benefits from the tax cut? Have you really your wages really gone up think he deserved to your employers, treat you with any more respect and dignity than it did before? What's the story? Ask these folks they're not getting their fair share. So the question Bill is this is going after the they were Democrats before they were Reagan Democrats. Before they became Trump Republicans some of them when western Pennsylvania state Trump wants very badly to win. Again. Do you think this really resonates? They can't tell I mean, I think Joe Biden has the most these easiest reach to non committed Democrats independence tomato Republicans onto kind of return to normalcy campaign. Whether people wanna go back, though, historically that rarely happens on American politics. Former vice presidents get the nomination, Walter Mondale. They tend not to win the elections. Virgin Dixons, the exception sixty at the Democrats tend to win general elections Clinton Obama John candidate Jimmy Carter. Forty five. Fifty years old is interesting. They combined both being young forward-looking time for change. Frontier. You know, all that kind of thing with being pretty moderate. Yeah. And I seems to me I mean who knows maybe maybe Biden I like Joe Biden personally respect him. But I feel those to be more. That younger forward-looking democrat who could also reach out though to independence Republic. Some Republicans might be a better shot against the era of Trump. It just doesn't feel like people would want to go back to someone who was certainly seems to Joe by into nineteen Seventy-three. Yeah. That's a long time as someone pointed out this week a career in public life longer than John Kennedy was on the earth for when I ask you about this letter. Rod Rosenstein has farewell. It ends. With two words just circled America. First you, and I are not old enough, thankfully, but we've read enough history books to know that when Lindbergh and his pals use that phrase, it put fear in the hearts of at least one American generation the phrases tossed around now regularly. But this does it not is this not an example of what this era has done to people. Yeah. It's really shocking. I mean, rod Rosenstein, a career Justice department attorney. I mean, fine if he wants to. You doesn't need to criticize the president his letter of resignation. You can even talk about how he thinks. He's accomplishment. Good things, but ending with the sort of partisan, you know, political slogan, the president as of the last sort of explanation in his letter, it really is something from another country doesn't want that. When you read that you feel that I made it should be it should be in another language, frankly, where you sort of end with the salute to the leader, you know, as opposed to it's been an honor to serve you and to serve this country. Thank you, Mr. press, you know. And now, it's it's it is actually demoralizing see that. And finally, there's something I noticed about the Biden rally in Pennsylvania today on the edge of the crowd wouldn't was over one man and the rope line where people bring things to get signed had a large copy of the picture of everyone assembled in the situation room the night they killed bin Laden there. It is it was held aloft. He's got a sharpie and post it, and he's asking for Biden signature on it. And that got me thinking of another picture that came out today. And that's Mr.. Daddy of ISIS. The president has declared victory over that group. We don't get to see this guy. But every couple of years. It was interesting. I think the caption, by the way could be I used to use just for terrorists. But now, I'm letting my natural gray grow back in. Is this guy? I'm sure represents something of a threat. What if today's news in fact, had been that he had acted somewhere on the planet is that not what we should war game for as we get more and more distracted by day to day politics, you know, talking to various people foreign policy recently. And I think the degree to which they are genuinely alarmed about the state of the world they're pleased that we've avoided too obvious as to so far, but we're not focused on them. The defense department does not have a red secretary of defense. The White House decision making process and national security is kind of a shambles. Yeah, we're strong country. And maybe we can just kind of make it through with this kind of governance. But I I mean, I hope we don't pay price for it. But I would worry that. We would we'll we'll over the next year and a half. And I do think four more years. I think the Democrats need to make this point. Maybe you voted for Trump. You know, you wanted to disrupt things I understand that four more years of this. Are you confident that that will be fine? I think there are plenty of people who have been mild Trump with Luxton Trump supporters. Maybe if you voted for Trump, people were tempted by aspects of Trump Trumpism who would shy away from the notion that we can confidently to set four more years of this administration. Crystal are strange times as he chronicles them last thing before we go here tonight. We wanna pause and remember to men who blaze their own trail in very different ways. And at very different ends of the same long, ongoing struggle federal judge Damon Keith died yesterday, and you need to know who he was born the grandson of. Slaves and the son of an auto worker, he remained a proud Detroit are all his life. He was equally proud graduate of Howard University law school where he was taught by the great Thurgood Marshall. It was Lyndon Johnson who put Damon Keith on the federal bench just three years after the Civil Rights Act. It was Jimmy Carter who elevated him to the circuit court of appeals judge Keith was simply one of the most important federal judges of the last hundred years while his legacy lives on forever, and housing and immigration cases. His most famous ruling led eventually to the release of the Watergate tapes after he found the transcripts must be released. If wires had been tapped without a warrant, Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell sued judge Keith, but the supreme court had his back unanimously knocked that down years later, the judge stood up to Bush forty three on illegal deportations after nine eleven any one judge Keith always help the next generation up one of his former law clerks. Jennifer Granholm went on to become governor of his own state. Judge Keith presided as a senior federal jurist until just recently. And this man who served in World War Two in a segregated army. This man who wrote on segregated trains as a student who said he was reminded of his own blackness each and every day, he was so proud of the fact that he never held anyone in contempt of court in his courtroom because of his lifelong vow to show kindness. Always and fairness and stay positive. Federal judge Damon Keith was ninety six and then just today, we learned of the death of John singleton in his time and in his own way. He shed more light on inner city life than a dozen federal judges could his breakthrough film boys in the hood showed us south central the part of LA that so far below the Hollywood sign it was invisible to every other director before him. He was nominated for an Oscar for best director first African American ever in that category. And by the way, he was twenty four at the time. Not even a year out of USC film school that started a life in directing for film and TV the body of work. He now leaves behind John singleton died of complications following a stroke. He was just fifty one years old. And that is our broadcast on this Monday night as we start a new week. Thank you so much for being here with us and good night from NBC news headquarters here in New York. New meet the press the Chuck Todd cast, it's an insider's take on politics, the twenty twenty election in more candid conversations with some of my favorite reporters about things we usually discuss off camera. 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