Day 861: Attacking Mueller, Trump admits Russia helped elect him before taking it back
Tonight. The president admits Russia helped him get elected before taking it back. He wonders how the courts will allow his impeachment not realizing. It's not up to them a defensive day at the White House. This day after Muller broke his silence. Meanwhile fifty one members of congress now support impeachment. The pressure on Pelosi is growing, but no party consensus on, whether it's the path desalination or to ruin and the central warning from Robert Muller. The systematic attack were under from Russia, did the administration make any moves to make sure our next election is clean, our guest tonight will spell out the clear and present danger. The eleventh hour on a Thursday evening starts right now. Well, good evening, once again, from our NBC news headquarters here in New York day eight sixty one of the Trump administration and on this day after Robert Muller broke his silence. Not surprisingly, the president attacked Robert Muller and all those who have worked for him. The president started his day with this rather. Surprising quote, Russia Russia, Russia. That's all you heard at the beginning of this witch hunt hoax, and now Russia has disappeared because I have nothing to do with Russia, helping me to get elected interesting wording there, let's give him that quickly walked back by the president on the south lawn in a pre departure flurry of misinformation. Now Russia, did not help me get elected, you know, who got elected, you know, who got elected. I got elected Russia didn't help me at all Russia. If anything, I think helped the other side, the USA fisted cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. He said, essentially, you're innocent, I'm innocent of all charges, and, you know, the thing that nobody brings up there was no crime, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime. We would have said, so there was no judge because he had no information under long standing department policy. A president president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option. We could consider so not long after Trump made his comments, his steadfastly loyal attorney general Bill bar. Heh. Held the line again today and was critical of Robert Muller in an interview tape for CBS news. Specifically, he questioned Muller's choice what Muller saw as his obligation not to make a decision on obstruction. I personally felt he could have reached the decision. The opinion says you can indict a president while he's in office, but he could have reached a decision as to, whether it was criminal activity. But he had his reasons for not doing it which he explained when he didn't make a decision. The deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein, and I felt it was necessary for us as the heads of, of the department to reach that decision. Trump has also renewed his allegations that the former special counsel was a biased investigator describing him as the quote, highly conflicted, Robert Muller, Trump later elaborated on that retelling the false story that Muller quote came to the Oval Office, along with other potential candidates, seeking to be named the director of the FBI. He had already been in that position for twelve years, I told him. No, the next day he was named special counsel, a total conflict of interest. Trump wasn't finished. He later tried to drive that point. At home as the cameras were rolling. I think he's a total conflicted versus I think, bowler is a Jew, never Trumper. He's somebody that dislikes Donald Trump be somebody that didn't get a job that requested that he wanted very badly. And then he was appointed. However, there's this. The Muller report includes testimony from White House advisor, Steve Bannon saying that he quote recalled telling the president that the purported conflicts were ridiculous. And that none could come close to justifying precluding Muller from serving as special counsel to report goes on, although the White House thought about beseeching Muller to become director, again he did not come in looking for the job Muller made it clear yesterday. He wants his report for to speak for him. And he does not wanna testify in person before congress. A lot of Democrats nonetheless are pressing for him to appear. And according to the Daily Beast, they're now being joined by some in Trump's inner circle. A number of whom have been eager to declare Muller's case closed Sam Stein, who joins us in just a moment report. Some of Trump's close advisors want. Muller to be quote, subjected to conservative lawmakers questions about the conduct and outcome of his investigation. Meanwhile, according to NBC news, fifty House, Democrats, and one Republican are now in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry into the president today. Trump was asked about that. I don't see how they can because they're possibly allowed, although I can't imagine the courts allow again I've never gotten into it. I never thought that would even be possible to be using that word to me. It's a dirty word the word impeach. It's dirty filthy. Disgusting word and it had nothing to do with me, there, you have it and here with us for our leadoff discussion on a Thursday night. Former US attorney Joyce fans who spent twenty five years out of as a federal prosecutor AB, Stoddard, columnist and associate editor at real clear, politics and the aforementioned Sam Stein, politics, editor for the Daily Beast. Sam you get to go first because your name was invoked where do we stand tonight, after a day of some epic falsehoods on the south lawn? It's a good question with respect to mother testifying. I believe that we are getting to a place where basically a good majority of each side of the political aisle now are pining for him to come to the hill to answer more questions Muller of car said that he wanted the report to speak for it self and has resisted privately entreaties for him to come to the hill in part because he's worried about being political circus, but today when my colleague and I went asking around to some of the members of the legal team for President Trump. They had done at one eighty apart. You now of course, President Trump had said publicly he didn't want Muller to test on the hill. The standing line from the White House was that the case was closed, and it was time to move on. But we talked with Rudy Giuliani today among other people, John Dowd. The president's former lawyer both of them now want Muller to be dragged up to the hill. The possibility of subpoena was mentioned, and they want it because they believe that conservative lawmakers on the hill. Can ask him. Pointed questions about the origins of his pro by the composition of his team, and they can do so effectively to muddy the waters after what was seen pretty universally as a very difficult critical press statement that mother gave on Wednesday. So it's dynamic situation but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw grand sauce, more support from all they're coming to the hill, testified eventually a couple of things here. Just a backup, SAM's point here is a bit of Mr. Hannity from tonight. Robert muller. I am telling you is scared to death to testify. Why? Because he'd have to answer real tough questions from people like congressman Jim Jordan congressman Mark meadows. Congressman Devin newness, so AB Stoddard, that is the state of play tonight as we come on the air, and then there is the matter of Mr. bar. I'm going to play for you another bit of the interview in Alaska with CBS news. This is about how bar response to the current criticism. We live in a hyper partisan age where people no longer really pay attention substance of what said, but as to who says it, and what side they're on what it's political ramifications are going to make the decisions based on the law on the facts. I think it just goes with the territory of being attorney general in a hyper partisan period of time. So a b you heard the man that goes with the territory nothing to see here would be another take away from that. And yet. We had a former fed on this broadcast last night, who was appointed by bar to her seat who called him straight up a liar. This. A whole tore that, that Bill bar has done from. As soon as he was confirmed as attorney general, from the presentation of the summary of the motor report to the press conference preceding the release of the redacted Muller report to his Fox News interview to his CVS interview has revealed that he is intentionally I thought it was interesting. The words chose he's had people are looking at political ramifications and not substance. He's intentionally, not giving us substance on why he believes the investigators have to be investigated. But he's intentionally using provocative language to produce a political ramification that, pleases, the president and cast aspersions on the investigators including Mr. Muller with whom he went on the air with CBS precisely to contradict the day following Muller's public statement, he has talking about spying. He is talking about people may have not committed treason, in the legal sense. Maybe they thought they were doing the right thing. He has. Four. He's collected a set of facts cast doubt on this process that, that Muller said, yesterday was, was done in a fair way with integrity. He is absolutely playing a political game. He is not protecting the department of Justice. He's not protecting Bob Muller. He's not backing him up. And I think it's standing to see him on a press tour that continued from Alaska because of Bob Muller, surprise statement. He wanted to get on top of the day after and contradict him and say, I think he could have made a call an obstruction when he knows what the special counsel said yesterday was the entire frame of the oil, see guidelines is you don't you don't taint a president with a charge, or even just there's no fairness when he can't defend himself, the entire criminal Justice system is separate is only remedied in the congress and that we can't even begin that, that Muller, basically said, I could never have said I do think he's guilty. Obstruction. But maybe we won't charge him or I mean what bar said today, he knows better, and he absolutely intentionally. Just contradicted, Bob Muller. I thought it was staggering Joyce, Vance as someone who's devoted your adult life to the law, as someone who teaches law to law students. Currently, can you remind our viewers as as ever you wish how far out of plumb for the job of attorney general this looks? It's I think very difficult to convey how far out of whack this is just because we've walked down this path one step at a time, and the norms have receded to such a great distance that I think it's difficult for us to remember what it looked like when an attorney general was loyal to the people who worked for them and back them up. Instead, this attorney general has accused his people of spying and refused to back them up, when attorney general would have never violated the clear notion that an attorney general doesn't stand up at the podium and the Justice department and lie about the content of a special counsel's report, which is what this attorney general did giving the president. His headline, no collision no obstruction. When in fact that is not what the molar report found. So I fear that the damage that's being done to the Justice department which, of course, can operate to keep our community safe, only because people. Believe in its integrity that, that damage will be long term. It will be sustained, and there will be a long road bat for the Justice department when this is over. But 'cause in large part of what this attorney general has done sham. You've heard it in the last two answers and say, nothing of people who knew bar back when and we're excited about his appointment and are rather amazed today at how pliant and loyal he has proved to be to one client, I imagined. The folks on the Trump team are very happy at his selection. Well, it's difficult to remember it wasn't that long. It was difficult to remember that when a bar was nominated. There was a massive sense of relief among the legal establishment, and even among some Democrats on Capitol Hill at the time Matt Whitaker, who had been sessions chief of staff was in that acting role and there was an assumption that he was going to be a sycophant for Trump and do his bidding. And it turns out that every fear applied to Whitaker's tenure has been actually realized by Bill Barr, who was considered 'institutionalised, but has become a perhaps Trump's best defender in the administration. And I remember shortly after bark went out and summarize the Muller. Are we began asking people in and around the president, how they felt about the job he was doing they were ecstatic ecstatic at the interference that he was running on the president's behalf? They had assumed that this was going to be the role that Jeff Sessions had played, but Jeff Sessions, actually took a far more different approach, if I'm more hands off person than Bill bar has and the question I guess going forward is. Is there any remedy to this? Remember bar was supposed to be called. We're supposed to go in front of the House Judiciary committee, but he declined to do. So on the basis that they were going to have lawyers of the committee, asked the question at the time that was a big deal. But because we live in this sort of hyper, new cycle, that story seems like it was the ends ago. And so I don't know if there's a remedy that House Democrats can summon to push back against what bars actually doing right now enjoys back over to you for a question. I saw you ask at least rhetorically on social media yesterday that people will be left with for a good long time. What if Muller had spoken, I. There's no reason that the comments we heard from, from special counsel Muller yesterday could not have been the American people's first introduction to what was after all the special counsel's report. So I think we're left with this really plaguing question of why we heard Bill bars and accurate comments. I think at this point we have all decided what the answer to that question is, and we should all be troubled by the fact that Muller's comments, which we heard yesterday were fair. They were accurate and we were kept from hearing them for two months, and he'd be this is an outgrowth of a discussion. We had on the broadcast last night that the Muller report was perhaps written and produced for an attention span that no longer exists in this country. This a hell of a piece of writing in the current Atlantic Muller is a man this by Ken white Muller is a man out of time. This is the age of alternatively, factual tweets and sound by. Nights. He's a by the book throwback who expects Americans to read and absorb carefully worded four hundred page report has he met us his high standard. Sometimes manifest as touching naive too harsh fair. Well, it's hard to be harshest because he's an honest man of integrity who might be from another time, but was expecting us in sort of moment of national emergency to invest the time and the four hundred pages. Yeah. And so what I saw in his public comments yesterday was the realization, I think he was driven there by several reasons. I think he wanted to contradict bar, which follows his initial two letters saying that attorney general created confusion about the context of his report the contents. I think he wanted to say to the American people. You haven't read this report, and this row, this concerted attack by the Russians is really, really dangerous and it will happen again. That's why he started. Comments with that unfinished repeating the same line about how it deserves the attention of American. I hope more Americans will read this, but perhaps his expectations were too high that many people would read it. I think they took Bill bars word and his assessment, and thought they could go on with their lives. So I'm last word. Yeah. I mean I almost feel like it's understating. Bob Muller could have summarized his point in a twenty two hundred eighty character tweet. And even if he did that Trump would have just contradicted. I mean look what happened this morning. Donald Trump admitted that Russia helped him get elected in a tweet. He did it twice because he wanted to correct a separate part of the tweet, but he repeated it and then minutes later, he was in front of the cameras denying that he ever said such a thing. So we live in this weird to stop in reality that I don't think can accommodate a Mullah report, regardless of the length, that's in and just to point, you know, it is it's true that Muller emphasized, the Russian interference part, I and I think, for good reason, which is at diabetes, perhaps, the most excess dential threat in the coming election. And I'm just struck by the fact that once seemed so out of out of the room possibility the idea that a presidential candidate would willingly accept a foreign pals powers interference has now become for swath of the country, basically accepted. It's not just Trump's tweet this morning, but. Over the past week Rudy Giuliani. The top lawyer for the president has been openly courting help from Ukraine to take down Joe Biden, and so we are living in a post Muller world in more ways than one, I guess, let's leave shall we detailed accounts for our grandchildren about this era when everything mattered. And yet, nothing mattered at the same time on that philosophical note, or thanks to three very smart people for starting off tonight to Joyce, Vance. Two AB Stoddard to Sam Stein. Thank you, all and coming up for us following the special counsel swansong the democratic drumbeat now toward impeachment proceedings growing louder. Some believe it's a path to salvation others. Believe it's the path to ruin for the party and later that warning from mother. We've been talking about multiple systematic efforts by the Russians to attack us did anyone act on that today to experts in the field are standing by for us as the eleventh hour is just getting started on this. It's Thursday night. Hi, it's Katy Tur want to 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 or in this unprecedented era of news, text MSNBC, two six six eight six six to subscribe. There was no crime high crime and not with or, or is high crimes and misdemeanors. There was no high crime, and there was no misdemeanor. So how do you beat space on that? So we're good. The impeachment debate among Democrats is heating up nonetheless, following Robert Muller's public remarks yesterday so far, at least fifty one members of the house now favor starting and impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The number includes one, Republican, Justin Amash of Michigan. Nearly a dozen members of the House Judiciary committee, notably. The New York Times reports today supporters of the inquiry argue, they are not necessarily seeking to remove Trump from office, quote opening investigation. They say could increase democratic chances of winning court orders to require compliance with how subpoenas but others are wary saying it would be. Politically risky impeachment implies an effort to remove the president from office. And Mr. Trump is primed to try to exploit any such effort politically. We're happy that with us back. Again, are Anita Kumar White House, correspondent and associate editor over at politico and here in the studio. Jeremy Peters political reporter for the New York Times. Good evening to you. Both Jeremy I'd like to begin by showing you a voter who was interviewed in the pretty much rock, ribbed, conservative congressional district of Mr. mosh out in Michigan. She was interviewed about the Muller report. I must have price to hear. There was anything negative in the Mola report at all about President Trump. I hadn't heard that before and I mainly listened to conservative news, and I hadn't heard anything negative about that report and President Trump had been exonerated Germany. That woman would be an American, she lives in America, and she has a good many Americans just like her. So if the standard for the Democrats is an overwhelming national agreement that this needs to happen, how far do you reckon? We are from that, right? I would also add not only in American, but she's probably voter too, so. Oh, yeah. Hi. I mean, this is cares enough to be at her local town hall. Exactly these there is nothing like this has ever happened in American politics, American political history before, Brian. And by that. I mean we have not had a major national trauma like an impeach. Proceeding unfold in this new media culture, where you have this twin phenomena of a president who is singularly able to drive and shift the narrative of the news cycle. Unlike anyone who has ever held the office before and a news media apparatus that is loyal to him that will defend whatever he does, and that, really, I think changes the equation in terms of how Americans look at an impeachment, whether they see it as valid even. And I often think, to myself as a thought exercise of just illustrate just how much things have changed. What would have happened? If the meantime, massacre occurred while Donald Trump is president and Sean Hannity was on the air at FOX, how would Americans have processed that would they have thought that it really even happened. And I think that those are the stakes that's what you need to think about going into something like. Like a national trauma, that the impeachment would be while I'm old enough to remember that story and Lieutenant Kelly and. The scars at left Anita. Is there any way a reporter like yourself can find out rationally in that west wing? How great a fear of impeachment. Really does exist. I don't know. It is a tough thing to say, because, you know, they do we've talked about this before the president and his aides, and more importantly, his campaign really do push that they see this as a political win for them. I know that sounds kind of kind of absurd. Right. But they're banking on the fact that there aren't the numbers. There are literally not enough Republicans. I mean you, you mentioned there's one lone Republican out there and look at the reception he's gotten in the last week or so since he came out and called for impeachment. I mean, not just the Trump President Trump's allies, but just Republicans, they are mocking him and saying that there's no one else that's going to be like him. Right. He's probably going to get primary. He may not even be an office coming up here. So it's just a it's they are banking on this that they that the Democrats don't have the votes. And so at the moment. Feel okay about it now that could change. It was very interesting to hear what Robert Muller said yesterday. But of course, the talking points from the White House and the campaign were still. It's still nothing. Right. There's still nothing there when clearly things had changed on that note of both of our guests have agreed to stay with us. We're gonna fit in a break. And when we come back, we'll look at what the twenty twenty candidates are saying about what the president today called that dirty filthy, disgusting word that. No president is above the law. This president must be held accountable act now or lose our democracy forever. That is the choice before us. I think the right thing right now is to hold this president accountable for his actions. It's the point of each one of us who sworn oath to the constitution saying that is not permissible for president of the United be crazy. Not to do it to be quite honest. We have to go out and try and get the facts and increasing number, as you just saw the twenty twenty democratic candidates. And there are about twenty twenty of the Democrats now supporting impeachment in the wake of Robert Muller's remarks on the Russia investigation by our own NBC news count, ten of the twenty three candidates are now on board more have publicly expressed their leaning in that direction. We're GATT back with our guests for our double jeopardy round. And neither Kumar. And Jeremy Peters and Nita. This has a slight edge to it. But let me proffer the following. What is the real cost to a Booker or Beto or Hickenlooper or Jila brand to come out for impeachment? I could argue it'll be the cheapest thing they do all week. What's the consequence to them, right? I mean you're exactly right. Obviously, though, the Democratic Party is split, the country is split on this clearly leaders in the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi to name one don't don't want to do this right now. So I mean they could lose support. But you're right. Those are the ones that are polling so low, they have to do something. I don't know that it could hurt them at this point. Right. They're just trying to get noticed at this point and they're hearing from their base. They're hearing from people when they're out there. People are talking to them pushing them, and you've got to say that Robert Muller's were. Or yesterday, weather, he meant them or not. Really did open the door. I mean you saw several of them say that just listening to what he said. He said there was another remedy in your in your court, the ball's in your court now congress. I mean he didn't really say that. But he but he kinda did and Jeremy for you. I have a reading from I read from NBC news today. This is very interesting if you wanted to taste of what the twenty twenty democratic presidential race might look like if congress goes down the impeachment rabbit hole. You got it yesterday. After Muller statement, the twenty twenty field took second or third stage impeachment. Most likely would relegate the democratic race to the back burner and freeze the contest till afterward. I'm tempted to ask you, if that would make the Democrats focus plainly on electability, and we all know what most Democrats answer. Well, this is a problem Brian that I hear a lot of Democrats talking about private. The democratic candidates for president are not breaking through with voters right now. Now it's early. So there oxygen, there's limited auction, but guess who is sucking up two thirds of that oxygen on most days, and that's an issue. It's of course galvanizing for the left because there, then reminded how much they want to remove him from office. But in a situation like an impeachment, I think Donald Trump's ability to reframe the narrative to shift look what he did with the mullahs report, for example, before any of us had read it. We had the, the four page statement describing what was in it. What did he come out? And do he said, I'm innocent exonerated of star. No collusion. No section one hundred percent exonerated that wasn't true. Actually, it said this report does not exonerate you. But you know what it set him up for the to, to have the advantage in the court of American public opinion, and his approval rating actually went up after that. So I don't think that we can assume an Impe. Would do the Democrats any good whatsoever. So often by doing their jobs, good reporters, leave us only with more questions as has been the case tonight with Anita Kumar and Jeremy Peters, we thank you, both for coming back on the broadcast, and coming up for us, what the response to Russia's continued disinformation threat could and should look like in this country. We'll talk to two leading experts. I will close by reiterating, the central allegation of our indictments that there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American, and of course in our modern age. It didn't get the attention today of every American as it deserves our NBC news political team highlights. Some of the consequences of Russian interference writing quote it produced Hillary versus Bernie, chaos entering the democratic convention in Philadelphia. It helped launch scores of stories, looking into internal Clinton communications from John Podesta's hacked emails, and it aided part of Donald Trump's closing message with him, mentioning the word WikiLeaks, some one hundred forty times in the final month of the general election race decided by fewer than eighty thousand votes in three states, the lack of urgency and attention to that. Interference remains in many ways, the real scandal before departing White House for Colorado this morning. The president was asked what's being done to stop future election interference. He said, of course that Obama did nothing to combat interference in two thousand sixteen. Then he added this. We are doing a lot and withdrawing to do pay per balances a backup system as much as possible. Because going to good old fashioned paper in this modern age is the best way to do. So there you have it in here with us to talk about it tonight. Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia. His recent book is titled from Cold War, too hot piece in American mbassador in Putin's Russia. And Malcolm Nance veteran of native naval intelligence special operations homeland security thirty five years working in the field. He's also the author of the plot to destroy democracy how Putin and his spies are undermining America and dismantling the west both timely books making these leading experts to talk to Mr. embassador, I'd like to begin with you. You heard Robert Muller yesterday. What ran through your mind as you did? Just the way you set it up, Brian. I mean, the other parts of what's legal and not you've you've been talking about, but he began any ended with the fact that Russia attacked us in two thousand sixteen. They violated our sovereignty in a multiple pronged attack, designed to influence, the course of that presidential election and so far, despite what the president just said that, now we've done next to nothing to prevent that in twenty twenty and I think, moving forward, we have to continue to remind your viewers and the American people to put pressure on the Trump administration and the US congress to enact the legislation that would protect that vote and Malcolm when most people here that I think they throw up their hands. They don't know what to do, though. They're justifiably scared about the intrusion into our lives, and the tinkering with our election process. What is the danger to you? And add to that is that the president doesn't only share the urgency. He doesn't share the problem. Well, he certainly doesn't share the problem because he fundamentally does not believe that anything happened in two thousand sixteen because he is tied Russian interference to his own legitimacy, and that's valid for him because there are some questions, which do crop up Robert Muller, made it eminently clear that this attack on the United States, which, which we saw three years ago is most likely going to happen again. So that being said the forces in the United States who could do something about it department homeland security, national security, agency, state, and local law enforcement organizations with some cyber capability. They're left on their own, because there is no force of leadership from the President, Mr Basseterre. We have been led to believe through reporting, especially a piece in the New York Times that the last secretary of homeland. And security secretary Nielsen was waived away was told not to mention Russian interference to the president of the United States. You know, more about the potential than the rest of us, but we've certainly been led to believe that on top of social media on top of our elections. They also have a thorough reach into things like our power grids, and we'll of our American life that they can turn and control almost by Wim. Tremendous cyber capabilities. That's right. And you just widen the aperture of other things, we need to be worried about in addition to our campaigns in our elections. But I think we have to stop waiting for the administration to do it. In fact, Brian, there's four things. Very concrete acts that the US congress could pass the deterrent which ties new sanctions. If there's interference, the pave act, which provides for those paper, ballots that the president just talked about the fire act just introduced a couple of weeks ago, which allowed not just allows, but makes all campaigns have to report on foreign activity that they have, and then the honest ads act. So therefore acts fire paved deter and honest add Zack they're all drafted. There's a there to me, it's just a no brainer. Those acts need to be passed now before the twenty twenty election, Malcolm, give us a consumer's guide at the end of this broadcast. You and I go home. We're just a guy with a foam, where scrolling through whatever we scroll through social media, whatever our favorites are tell us how folks would their phone at home at night are affected by the Russian reach into just take social media. Is it visible to us? Is it invisible to us? What would we notice? What would we not know we're being hit with with Russian interference? Well, it's extremely visible in the Muller reported self made clear that the Russia's reach into the, the mindset really of the United States public, they reached one hundred twenty nine million voters through their disinformation warfare campaign, which was then amplified by the platform that it was on, which is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. So you don't initially know whether you're reading something that's true or false for example. Hillary Clinton, stumbles and has a brain disorder that was a piece of property propaganda, which was fashioned by an American citizen, but then was amplified through this enormous cyber megaphone that the Russians had put in place team Trump had put in place and it became a real story. The biggest problem is to a certain extent us the news media. We are the medium in which false stories grow. And so once the media starts learning to police. Itself and not jump out, you know, after every rabbit that pops up out of a hole, and chases it then and we clear that with, with third party organizations or through our own research, and we realize when we are being taken for a ride with real information that may just be have a false basis. And maybe just a vehicle for the news media to be to be a megaphone for more distraction and Mike McFaul if you're watching and a flat scream in as flat screen TV in the basement of the Kremlin, are you interested when Donald Trump comes out on the south lawn prior to boarding Marine One and goes after the chief prosecutor in this case, the special counsel, Robert Muller? Your loving it. This is what they wanted. They wanted to disown division in America. They wanted this polarization this weakness that we see now abroad. And they think that this has been a very good thing in terms of us fighting against each other. That means we're not talking about the Russian threat. That's exactly what they had anticipated and that's the what they, they have received so far. We've got to start pushing back on that gentlemen, we knew by inviting you on this would be the sobering segment of the evening you lived up to expect -tations. Michael McFaul, Malcolm Nance. Thank you, both, as always for coming on our broadcast tonight, another break for us and coming up Trump calls it a well, meaning gesture others are calling it a disgrace. The latest on a stunning order issued by the White House. At least an official inside the White House that in the process shamed. Once again, a great American name. Fair to the sailors of the John McCain that there were banned from urine you, because they don't know what happened. I wasn't involved I would not have done that I was very angry John McCain, because he kills healthcare. I was not a big fan of John McCain in any way, shape or form to me. John McCain, I wasn't a fan but I would never do thing like that. Now somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him. Okay. And they will. Well, meaning I will say. Here's something to think about John. Mccain's mother Roberta McCain is one hundred seven years old. She can hear this. She is aware of the president's attacks on her son. She's an admiral's widow and an admiral's daughter-in-law, and the mother of a POW the three generations of McCain's in the US navy for whom the USS John McCain was named the Wall Street Journal was first to report on emails exchange between the White House on the navy ahead of Trump's trip to Japan, a copy of the Email obtained by CNBC reads, quote, USS John McCain needs to be out of sight, according to the journal to comply, a tarp was hung over the ship's name, a head of the president's trip and sailors were directed to remove any coverings from the ship that bore its name, you can see the tarp question in a photo taken, during during Trump's trip, sailors from the McCain were also apparently bar. From the president's event, Senator McCain's death change nothing about how the president talks about him. It all stems from McCain's thumbs down vote that up held ObamaCare and coverage of pre existing conditions his daughter. Megan McCain responded to Trump's attacks on the view today. I will say the president's actions have consequences. And when you repeatedly are attacking my father and war, heroes, it creates a culture in the military where people are clearly fearful to show, you know, my father's name in one way or another. It's impossible to go through the grief process when my father who's been dead ten months is constantly in the news cycle, because the president is so obsessed with the fact that he's never going to be a great man. Like he was as for who might have been responsible for this. The top democrat on the Senate Armed Services committee has called for an investigation along with notably Republican Martha mcsally, who happens to be a US air force. Combat veteran also happens to sit on that committee and Phil John McCain seat in the Senate after his death another break for us and coming up we don't get to report this often. But someone last seen in the Oval Office is. Reportedly now in a prison camp. The story coming up when we come back. Last thing before we go tonight is a reminder of who were dealing with in North Korea. The Reuters news agency is reporting that the north has executed Kim Hak shoal its special envoy to the US because Kim Jong UN apparently blames his foreign ministry for the collapse of the summit with Trump three months ago. But wait, there's more. They cite a South Korean newspaper report that Kim Young chill a senior official who had been US secretary of state. Mike Pompeo's counterpart in the run up to the summit. He is also said to have been subjected to forced labor and ideological education that can leave a Mark, you may remember him. He's the guy who had been in the Oval Office. He delivered the giant letter to a grinning, president of the United States. They say the North Korean leader is believed to be carrying out a massive purge to divert attention. Away from internal turmoil and discontent, according to the newspaper, they say, at least one other negotiator and an interpreter have been sent to prison, camps, and don't buy stock in Kim Jong UN sister, either, she is apparently lying low in quotes, since the summit, and just as a reminder of how this North Korean regime talks. I wanna read from you a come for you a commentary from a North Korean paper would the reminder that all North Korean media is state run. So imagine you're reading this. If you're Kim Jong UN's sister, knowing he already executed your own ankle. And we quote, acting like one is revering the leader in front of others, but dreaming of something else. When one turns around is an anti party anti revolutionary act that has thrown away the moral fidelity toward the leader and such people will not avoid the stern judgement of the revolution. Interesting times. These are in North Korea. That is. Our broadcasts for this Thursday night. Thank you so much for being here with us and good night. From our NBC news headquarters here in New York. Yoyo. Chris Simms here. Download my podcasts. Chris Simms unbuttoned. We talk about everything football. It's available on all platforms that you get your podcast. And if you wanna look at us, and check it out and person YouTube dot com slash NBC sports.