Day 831: Dems call for Atty. General Barr to resign as rift with Mueller is revealed
The breaking news covering tonight. The latest blockbuster reporting from the Washington Post and New York Times Robert Muller is indeed unhappy with how Trump's attorney general characterized his report and said as much in a letter and over the phone the timing of tonight stories is interesting because Bill bar is hours away from appearing before Senate Judiciary. And this may explain why he's been fighting the demands of House Democrats will preview tomorrow morning's testimony here tonight. We'll also look at what it all means for individual one Bill bars boss as the eleventh hour gets underway on a consequential Tuesday night. Well, good evening. Once again from our NBC news headquarters here in New York day, eight thirty one of the Trump administration and tonight, Robert Muller has supplied our new bombshell and this pertains to our attorney general Bill bar in plain English. It's sure seemed to a lot of people these past few weeks that Trump's new attorney general may have shaded the truth of the Muller report from the get-go may have cherry pick the facts in it. He certainly tailored his words to please, his boss, and he certainly seemed to give Donald Trump air cover plenty of it to say as Trump did loudly and proudly and incorrectly that he'd been totally vindicated. No collusion. No, obstruction and tonight. Now, we learn Robert Muller had some of those same concerns as well. Both the major newspapers relentlessly covering this story are on the. Board tonight with different versions of the same. Big story Muller was bothered by what he saw and heard enough to write a letter to bar objecting to how his twenty two months worth of work was being portrayed. The two men later spoke on the phone, and yet all the while the attorney general continued to verbally carry the president's water, the story first broke tonight in the Washington Post, notably. This comes out on the eve of bars appearance before Senate Judiciary tomorrow, the post reports Muller laid out his concerns in a letter to bar March twenty seven it was about bars four page now famous summary for congress that have been released just three days prior the post has quotes from Muller's letter. This was Muller to bar, and we quote, the summary letter the department of Justice sent to congress and released to the public late in the afternoon, March twenty four did not fully capture the context nature. And substance of this offices work and conclusions. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the department of Justice appointed the special counsel to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations Muller. Didn't stop there. According to the post, quote, the letter from Muller to bar made a key request that bar release the four hundred forty eight page reports introductions and executive summaries and made some initial suggested suggested reductions for doing so Washington Post continues here a day after the letter was sent bar and Muller spoke by phone for about fifteen minutes. Muller said he was concerned that news coverage of the obstruction investigation was misguided and creating public misunderstandings when bar pressed him, whether he thought bars letter was inaccurate Muller said he did not. Muller's main worry was that the public was not getting an accurate understanding of the obstruction investigation. The New York Times version of the story. Reads in part, quote, a rift between the men appeared to develop in the intervening months as the special counsel wrapped up his inquiry. Mr. bar and senior Justice department officials were frustrated with how Mr. Muller ended his investigation and crafted his report, they expressed irritation that Mr. Muller fell short of his assignment by declining to make a decision about whether Mr. Trump broke the law that left Mr. bar clear, Mr. Trump without the special counsels. Backing tonight House Judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler, democrat of New York is requesting the Justice department give his committee a copy of Muller's letter by no later than ten AM tomorrow morning earlier, just this evening house, Intel chairman, Adam Schiff and Senate Judiciary member Amy klobuchar had this to say about the attorney general. I don't think the kind of the country can have confidence in its top law enforcement official. It's hard to see how he can justify to himself continued service in that position is attorney general it's gone way out on a limb here to the point where he is not allowing the the report the foreigner forty eight page report speak for itself. And that's why we will continue to demand we hear from director Muller as well as the other witnesses well that brings us to our leadoff discussion on this Tuesday night. And there is one of the bylines on this breaking news tonight, Matt's Petoskey national security reporter for the Washington Post, notably. He also contributed to the Washington Post. Addition of the Muller report that's already in bookstores Chuck Rosenberg back with former US attorney, former senior F B I official who served as counselor to Robert Muller for a time. Notably. He is the host of our newest podcast. The oath was Chuck Rosenberg. First two episodes are now. Available featuring interviews with none other than James Komi and Pri Pera also back with us. Former US attorney Joyce Vance who spent twenty five years as a federal prosecutor and Philip Rucker Pulitzer prize winning White House bureau chief for the Washington Post. Good evening and welcome to you, all Matt. Take us through your reporting. The tension is so clarifying. Now, this explains a lot it also I'll say this and not you tells us that those around Muller are not above apparently, dropping something like this on the eve of the hearing. But what what if anything surprised you in the course of your reporting. Well, look, we knew that molars report was not sort of completely represented by bars four page letter that just said, you know, short shorthand would be no collusion and shrug on obstruction. We knew that Muller's report was way different than that. 'cause we can all read Muller's report. But now, we know that that Bob Muller when he saw Bill bar offer that kind of overview or summary, even though bar doesn't like to call it a summer anymore that he was really upset so upset that he memorialize in a letter in the days after he saw. Aw, Bill bars kind of own missive his displeasure with this. He said that this was like threatening public confidence in the special counsel investigation. That's a weighty thing to say, particularly weighty thing to say for somebody who you know, is a by the book guy a chain of command guy for him to object. How his boss was characterizing his work and put that down in paper. So that one day it could come out as it has today is is really remarkable. We knew that there was some displeasure about about that letter the bar letter from some members of the special counsel team. We in the New York Times had reported that before today, we didn't know that is that Robert Muller was willing to kind of sign his name to a very forceful voicing of this displeasure in a letter. And that to me, it was probably the most surprising thing about tonight spectacularly well. Put Matt before I bring in the two former feds we have in our studio here in New York. Let's listen to. This exchange from the bar hearing on the hill. Did Muller's support your conclusion, I don't know whether Bob Muller supported my conclusion. So as a result of that exchange. Chuck Rosenberg Senator van Holland who was on the other end of that is tonight calling for the resignation of the attorney general, it appears the attorney general did no Muller's opinion at that time. Matt stole my phrase. I was going to say Muller's three rules of operating our chain of command chairman of command chain of command. What did it take for him to write a letter like this in your view that if you had a fourth rule would probably be chain of command. It's really remarkable. Here. Here's why Brian and Joyce. We're talking about this just before the show. We're part of the same team the same family in the department of Justice. And so before you go to paper before you write a letter memorializing your views. You wanna try everything possible to make your point to win your argument to steer the policy in whatever direction, we don't like to write to one another. And so the notion of Muller not just writing but writing to his boss and contradicting him doing it in a forceful way is really something. You don't see very often. And that phrase, you feds us, most of us think memorializing means sending flowers memorialize ING is intentionally putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard to memorialize a moment or a conversation. Well, it is. And I think Chuck is absolutely right. It's not a step Muller would've taken lightly. None of us would have taken lightly being so directly confrontational and biblical boss and Muller is in essence saying here. There is you Mr. attorney general have diminished the public's confidence in DOJ's, integrity and DOJ's value to the public is its integrity. So he obviously felt very strongly Jewish. What about benefit of the doubt? We've had a number of former feds on this broadcast going back to the naming of Bill bar saying, I believe he's an 'institutionalised. I believe the good guys win and Bill bars world at the end of the day, then came things like his use of the word spying, then came his insertion of no collusion at that news conference knowing he was about to reveal a report to the public that specifically said collusion is not a thing in our world. What what about that benefit of the doubt? Now. So you know, I was in the camp that had difficulty giving it to him from the get go after reading the nineteen page memo that somehow found its way into the White House prejudging the obstruction issue, but but. I think any good faith that he deserved for many of us because of his prior service has long since of outbreak. Well before tonight, and this is just very much the nail in the coffin. So many people on the hill are now calling for his resignation, and when you think about it, whether this is technically perjury or not that's something that'll be debated. But this notion that the attorney general could be disingenuous in such important mamber matter in portraying it to the public I think is impossible to stomach drug. Shame question. So I started in a slightly different camp than Joyce high believed. He was a principled 'institutionalised. I said that that was certainly his reputation in our department. But there are things that have shaken my view, and you alluded to them, and I don't know quite what to make that you hear these discordant notes. Right. It just doesn't make sense. But the only view I can have now really is the one that Joyce just articulated. So well is undermined confidence in the mullahs report. And then by extension in the department itself. And that is deeply unfortunate. Phil rucker. I note that Rudy Giuliani is making the rounds. Phone calls with reporters, he already told reporter from CNN tonight that Muller should stop. I believe the quote was whining and complaining that won't go over. Well, among the remaining institutionalist's in Washington how what's the reaction likely to be from the president? Well, one thing Brian. With regard to the comment that Rudy Giuliani has been making about Muller whining and complaining Muller actually has not winder complained and it's actually worked to his detriment throughout this two year investigation that he's not said anything publicly he's let his work speak through the indictments and through the narrative that he has built in his four hundred forty eight page report. But you do not see him on Twitter. You do not see him at news conferences, speaking about any of this. And in fact, you do see President Trump repeatedly every day complaining and whining about the investigation. So setting that aside, I think the president's going to be upset that this letter came to light. But I think he's going to have it's going to going to reaffirm his belief that Bill bar is the attorney general he's been looking for he complained when he had Jeff Sessions, the attorney general that he wasn't tough enough defending the president that he wasn't a ROY Cohn who is the president's sort of former personal attorney and men. Tor who actually was disbarred because of his unethical conduct. But Trump now will see him Bill bar somebody who's willing to to bend the norms and to really shape public narrative and to focus on headlines and focus on public relations, which is what Trump cares most intimately about to try to make the boss look met. We had been told as part of the kind of DOJ folklore that these men Muller and bar had perhaps been guests at the weddings of each other's children that they'd had a close social relationship over several decades. So it was with surprise that people initially learned any hint of tension between the two men among your sources at DOJ. I'm imagining now that's become memorialized. And now, it's less surprising to people. They absolutely are. Or at least were friends. I think Bill Barr testified. I forget if it would. Confirmation hearing or another hearing that they were friends they were friends before the special counsel investigation, and they would be friends long after that. I think their wives or friends to they come from the same generation at the Justice department when Bill bar was the attorney general before Robert Muller was the chief of the criminal division there. We'll see if that friendship kind of stands the test of this intense political fire that's burning around them and this subject the Muller investigation and Bill bars handling of it is clearly a sticking point. I point out too that press conference that you sort of just reference where five times Bill Barr says some integration of no collusion that came after he knew about molars displeasure with the way that Bill bar was characterizing his works. So I don't think we've heard the last about the tension between these two men over the special counsel investigation is the fact that their friends that is the definition of going out on a limb for viewer number one over at the white. White House is repeated use of no collusion. Joyce. If you were Senator Vance of Alabama on the zero committee. What would your first question be? What would you want answered from Bill bar tomorrow morning? When our coverage begins will, you know, one thing that prosecutors don't like to do is ask witnesses open ended questions or questions that they don't know the answer to I understand that congress may be has a little bit more of a fact-finding mission here. But I think the important questions with bar who is very smart and very capable of dodging questions is to simply confirm the facts. So that he is Hynde down. It will be very important. I think moving forward out of this sort of mini crisis that we've seen tonight to have our commit to what happened when it happened when he spoke to molar what what he learned from Muller, and what he knew when he made these statements in his prior testimony drug won't be go a little darker. Have we just witnessed a successful campaign to sit on this report long enough to maybe advanced spin? It's details early on enough to cloud the actual findings and blunt the impact of the mullahs report. Well, it did. And it did right? I mean, the narrative was defined when Mr. bar came out and said that there was no collusion and is exonerated. And we don't believe that the evidence establishes that obstructed Justice and in order to unwind that narrative people would have to read a four hundred and forty eight page report, right carefully. And that's a hard thing to do. And so even a head start of five minutes. Bryant accomplishes that goal that. In fact, was his goal. I still have this. Hope it wasn't nefarious. But as I mentioned earlier, I think that has really faded Phil Rucker, let me play for you. What is being said? As of the nine PM hour eastern time on network across the street from us here in New York City. No collusion. No obstruction no conspiracy. But the radical left the media mob desperately breathlessly continue to pursue a fraudulent hoax. And if that doesn't work. Well, we see what their plan B is. You've got people like Nadler and shift and they wanna get on Trump. Now, the going after some type of of conspiracy theory financial crime. Phil Rucker in the military. They called they call it close air support that is what close air support looks like. And I guess we'll see more of that. But that was the summation of the reporting tonight of your newspaper in the New York Times. Brian that came from one of the president's friends, and informal advisers, Sean Hannity, and I imagine we're going to hear that same line that same narrative coming from a number of other hosts on FOX, you know, look, they're trying to speak to the president's base and air joining the president in creating sort of their own reality about this report. They're not looking at the four hundred forty eight page report, which does detail extensively ten examples of that were reviewed for obstruction of Justice, and instead pointing to no collusion. No obstruction, which is what Bill bar the attorney general said in that four-page letter that is now we learn thanks to max good reporting was seriously questioned by by the special counsel. And so look, I think the president's gonna continue to spin this the way he has. And he's going to get a lot of air cover on FOX and elsewhere, the conservative media as well as frankly by. Republicans in congress, and in the Senate who were probably going to hear from the judiciary committee tomorrow, including possibly chairman Lindsey Graham, I really can't think our front four enough for adding door understanding on a big night Matt's up hausky, Chuck Rosenberg. Joyce Vance to Phil Rucker. Thank you all for coming on and coming up. Our next guest has broken news tonight that Robert Muller wants to testify, but bars DOJ is getting in the way will that still hold plus tomorrow's bar testimony may become one of those mandatory live TV viewing moments. We'll get a preview of that. And later as bar and Muller battle it out. A look at a fringe player watch closely VR US government for real good reasons who plays a key role in the Miller report. We're just getting started on a busy Tuesday night. Hi, it's Katy Tur wanna keep up with MSNBC while you're on the go subscribe to the NBC 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. Reports have emerged recently general that members of the special counsels team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March twenty four th letter that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the reports findings do you know what they're referencing with that. No, I don't and of course, right there. According to tonight's breaking news. The attorney general did know about Robert Muller's frustration over time as the New York Times pointed out Bill bars assessment of Muller's investigation seem to change they pointed this exchange with bar during his confirmation hearing back in January. Do you believe Mr. Muller would be involved in a witch hunt against anybody? I don't I don't believe Mr. Muller would would be involved in a witch hunt. Well, those comments now stand in sharp contrast to what bar would go on to say this month. You believe that the in this case in that mode. Direct Muller undertook was a witch hunt or a legal as Minnesota by the president. As I said. During my confirmation. It really depends on where you're sitting. If you are somebody who is being falsely accused of something, you would tend to view the investigation, and you're sitting you would not be alone for asking what's going on here. And with us for more to people who know thing too because they've seen a thing or to this area. Sam Stein politics editor for the Daily Beast and Katie Benner Justice department reporter for the New York Times. So Sam talk about your reporting tonight. What is or was Muller prepared to say? What was Justice trying to do to him? If anything to prevent him from testifying so are reporting a little bit limited on that first front what we know is that Muller had given indications to people on the hill that he was ready to testify about his report. We don't know if it was going to be public testimony private testimony or the length contours of what kind of hearing it could be but the indications were given. And then subsequently what we were reporting. Tim is that the department of Justice has dragged its feet on scheduling such a hearing our testimony, citing the fact that special counsel Robert Muller continues to be an employee of the Justice department. And so there is a mounting sense of frustration on the hill that the star witness the little author of the mother report can't be brought up yet to answer questions even as. There is mounting misinformation. Confusion with what is actually portrayed in his report and how he Mr. mole related and related to attorney general bar second question. Sam can anyone prevent Robert fill in the blank Muller home. Marine combat captain and the Vietnam war from testifying before congress. So that is a good question. I'm not a lawyer. And also, Mr. mother will not remain a employee of the Justice department for ever. So the likelihood that he will testify before congress is exceedingly high. It's just a question of how much tension will there be between the administration in when it happens in what he's allowed to say. And whether or not he ends up just taking matters into his own hands. But I believe that tonight's episode in which it was strategically. I believe let out there that he was dissatisfied with Bill bar summary of his findings really reflects a sense of frustration. Not just from Democrats, but from people on Muller's team that he has had to watched other people talk about what he's produced and been silent himself. And then you get the sense that that will soon change Katie I'm going to play an exchange with bar at the hearing about the letter he wrote, and then I'm going to ask you when we come back. What makes it notable here? It is. The letter of the twenty fourth. Mr. mothers team did not play a role in drafting that document, although we offered him the opportunity to review it before we sent it out, and he declined that. So Katie why is that notable knowing what we know tonight. Sure, it becomes part of a pattern for Bill Barr of not lying per se. But orienting extraordinarily important details such that the public is misled and narrative hardens, so when he said that the Muller team didn't want to see the draft of the four page letter in that in large part that was to make people feel confident than Bob Muller had confidence in him that they trusted his judgment. And that there were no objections to that four page letter. What we discover tonight, thanks to reporting. As in fact, there were objections to the letter, and he knew that at the time that he gave the testimony and yet just mid that inconvenient. Fact, we've seen it happen again. And again, even in his response to the reporting about this letter and Muller's discontent. Bob Muller said the. Words, the content the nature of the characterization is off and bars responses, but he didn't technically say that I was looking like he didn't technically say that I was inaccurate. So he's relying on a very very narrow point in order to try to ignore the larger issue and we've seen this again. And again, soon what people are reacting to impart his confirmation hearing the portrait he painted for himself was a guy who had really been looking forward to go to Florida or wherever enjoying retirement. He mentioned his AG introduced his family. The portrait being painted tonight is of a cagey inside bare knuckle, political operator and pro-trump attorney general who is playing an audience of one despite having the United States as a client one is tomorrow's hearing going to be like you think three of those Democrats are candidates for president. It's going to be messy. It's going to be emotional. People are going to be upset with what is a consistent misrepresentation of information that he had soul or near sole possession of and highly sensitive public information that point too. And so yeah, I expect it to be very contentious. And I do expect Bill bar to mount a defense. That is essentially quibbling with words saying I didn't miss. I didn't misrepresenting thing. It was none. None of this was inaccurate. It's just they were worried about the public or trail that seems to be the defense that his team has for shattered tonight. But yeah, Brian, you're absolutely right. One of the re keeping mind the context of the confirmation hearing was deep concern over the interim appointment amount Whitaker the possibility that a true Trump ally. Someone who's a sycophant will be put in this position. And basically end the probe and Bill barg. It's put out there. Presented as someone who actually could land the plane to borrow a phrase and do so admirably, and what we've found out is that every step along the way he has made a choice that has been highly controversial if not downright misleading and he's going to have to answer for that tomorrow. So Katie how do we now think about Thursday democratic controlled house of representatives judiciary committee? Everyone's acting like staff have never asked questions before. Of course. It's been a tradition. Ask Fred Thompson. Sam dash who made their bones at the Watergate hearings as staff counsel. So do you think I guess this calls for an opinion, we will see bar before House Judiciary on Thursday share? I love to address that question. I mean, Jerry Nadler's gambit was we're going to force bar to do something that could also set a precedent. So we can continue to use house counsel in questions going forward around the Mola report. Now now there can do that. And he can fight it and he can subpoena bar embarking not show up on Thursday. But in doing so chairman Nadler would lose an extraordinary opportunity to press bar in the moment when he is at a disadvantage when public opinion is turning against him and would Nadler what have a rhetorical advantage. So to lose the opportunity could be huge. And so does not really want to make the calculation and going to subpoena and fight this. And then maybe asking questions about this matter weeks or months from now when people aren't paying attention or don't care. I think there is a chance that he could see now they're changed course. And I think that he could use the breaking news tonight and say, you know, what the situation has changed. It is essential that we get him before the committee right now in a timely fashion. And in addition to what Sam. Was saying about how messy it's going to be. We also need to step back and take a look at what bar represented, not just in terms of integrity and restoration integrity that apartment he represents a sort of a turning point in the course of the presidency. We have a president President Trump who is changing what it means to be present in the United States he's busting through norms. And right now, it looks like he has an attorney general is inclined to help him do that. And that you know, it's out as the case we could be in for a very long two years and the office of the presidency itself could be completely transformed by the time. We get to twenty twenty. Wow. Well, there's a reason people look for and read these two by lines are thanks to these two very thoughtful journalists Sam Stein and Katie Benner. Thank you both for coming on again on this consequential Tuesday night coming up for us. Donald Trump wants named him as a top foreign policy adviser to the campaign that man still wants to meet Donald Trump. We go deep inside the Muller report with new reporting from. Our series called uncovered when we come back. Carter page HD that man Carter page PHD is back in the news. Need a Kumar of politico reports that even after getting caught up in this whole Russia investigation Carter page is still eager to meet President Trump. And we quote after hearing that Trump reached out last week to another former campaign adviser, Michael computer, following the conclusion of special counsel, Robert Muller's investigation page said he had not heard from Trump said he would like to talk to him in a series of reports were calling uncovered where we dig into parts of the mullahs report that haven't yet received wide media coverage tonight, we cover Trump campaign advisor Carter page. The Muller report says page had previously lived in and worked in Russia and had been approached by Russian intelligence officer several years before he volunteered for the Trump campaign. The report. Reads quote, during his time with the campaign page, advocated pro Russia, foreign policy positions and traveled to Moscow in his personal capacity. Russian intelligence officials had formed relationships with page in oh eight and twenty thirteen and Russian officials may have focused on page in twenty sixteen because of his affiliation with the campaign. However, the investigation did not establish that page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the twenty sixteen presidential election back with us tonight. The aforementioned Anita Kumar one of our regulars White House correspondent and associate editor for politico, and we have talked Chuck Rosenberg into sticking around Anita. I had to write down some of this to remember to ask you, how is it that Carter page Donald Trump? Haven't met is Carter page out of jeopardy. If you ask him, and what might he? You want from the sitting president? Well, if you ask him he is out of jeopardy he feels vindicated much like President Trump. He was recently on Capitol Hill sort of doing victory lap. It's very interesting that he says he has not met Donald Trump. He has said this before and he said this also to me just in the last couple of days. This is a man who worked for the campaign. He worked in Trump Tower in New York, he also had a business venture where he says the building was attached to Trump Tower by an atrium. So but in all that time he and President Trump never met at all. Of course, the president also worked in Trump Tower. This was surprising. But he has said it before and he says he's looking forward to the day that he can meet the president after he gets out of out of office trick Rosenberg's so much of this refers to your former beat here's a guy, swimming and Russians as is his right. He lived in Russia as was his right? It gives our government collide. Skopje reasons to light him up and watch what he's doing you have detailed how difficult it is of the reporting to the country to get a Fiso report. Let me ask you about that. And in your view, should he be walking around thinking he's out of jeopardy. The man has nothing to celebrate. The report seven pages of it are dedicated to him. That's never a good thing, by the way. Right. You don't wanna be mentioned in that report? All it found is you are ticketed was that there was not evidence to establish that he had coordinated or conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the twenty sixteen election didn't say anything else other than detail new seven pages series of contacts with Russian intelligence officers. Dating back to at least two thousand eight there were four five warrants. I three or four five warrants of foreign intelligence surveillance act warrants issued by the FIS a court to surveilled him, according to reporting that means and this is really important Brian. It was probable cause to believe as authorized by federal judge that Carter page was an agent of a foreign power which farm power Russia. That's not a good thing. And that is not an exoneration. And there's nothing for him. To celebrate. You've told me that FIS an applications are as thick as your wrist. That's right. And they go through a very careful process between lawyers. Department of Justice in the FBI and between agents before they're certified by the director of the FBI before they're signed off by the attorney general of the United States before they're appointed. I'm sorry before they are presented to a federal court judge for authorisation. And so the process has caricatured by certain people is so deeply unfair to that process. It's excruciatingly careful, and when I worked for Bob Muller, one of my jobs was to review a FIS award or every FIS warrant each morning before he certified. Anita. Trump got his attorney general who was willing to call this spying? How can Carter page perhaps still be of help to the boss Donald Trump? Oh, I think he will. Because as we've seen President Trump is campaigning on this mall report. Now, saying obviously, saying he's vindicated, but more importantly, saying this was all it shouldn't have happened in the first place. Right. He shouldn't have been investigated. There were surveillance going on alluding to this right? That it was all illegal shouldn't have been done unwarranted. Whatever word you want to use. And so he's going to be campaigning on this literally for his reelection. He's talking about it. He's trying to get public opinion on his side to sort of go with what he's been saying the last two years, which is there's so many people in this country. Democrats the media mainstream media that are against him the deep state this kind of. Goes into that. And he's using this as a way to say, I was right all these people are against me, and I have one and I'm going to be okay. And so just look what I've come up against. And so he's going to be talking about this your Valence, as you know, he's asked for the attorney general to go and investigate the situation. And how this happened trick Rosenberg just casually mentioned that for a time. He was the one who brought finds a cases to Bob Muller. It's more evidence of the fact that Chuck is among our most learned and experienced guests on this broadcast and at this network. And now you have a podcast of your own. I want to know what your goals are have a long plane flight coming up, and I will be current by the weekend. Thank you. First of all forgiving me chance to talk about the goal. Brian was to talk to fascinating people friends and colleagues of mine over the years about their lives in the department of Justice and the FBI and bring viewers in. And so they can sit with me and ask the questions would've wanted to ask and get the answers. They would've wanted to hear. We talk about hard to things we talk about dilemmas and problems and how we try to resolve them how it's more art than science how fallible than that. We make mistakes. But what we try to get it. Right. And we call it the oath because we take an oath not to a particular person or party or president of the constitution of the United States. And my guess as I did have all taken that of so far pre Perot and James Komi. And those are just the first two episodes veteran journalist, Anita Kumar veteran fed and brand new podcast Chuck Rosenberg our thanks for joining us again on the broadcast tonight and coming up his modest book received giant attention because of its twenty simple rules to avoid tyranny tonight. We will ask the author how Trump is doing where those rules are concern. Turned when we come back. Was just an ounce. There was no collusion with Russia. The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. It was no collusion with Russia. It was no obstruction. And none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration. That was our president today. The attorney general release that four page summary letter. That's what lead Muller to write about the public confusion. That was being let loose affective that moment, of course, as we've been reporting. The report did not declare total exoneration. Our next guest writes in his book on tyranny, and we quote you submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear. And what is actually the case? And so we welcome back to the broadcast. Timothy Snyder Yale University. Professor professor Snyder was actually a Marshall scholar educated. In the Ivy league an Oxford, specializing in Europe on the holocaust. He happens to be the author of two books of note in this area. The first we just mentioned on tyranny twenty lessons from the twentieth century the second the road too. Unfreedom Russia Europe America and professor from the distance of Austria, you've been listening to our broadcast tonight. Just the news we're covering tonight. How do you believe it fits into the thesis? Well, unfortunately, it fits extremely well the foundation of Russian foreign policy towards us and towards everyone is to try to get rid of factuality as such to turn everyone into people have opinions to turn politics into a matter of spectacle. We are now in the middle of that we have a president and the turn general who are lying about an underlying reality. The underlying reality is that Russia in two thousand sixteen carry out a comprehensive campaign as shown in the report and elsewhere to get Mr. Trump elected that is the underlying factual reality. What we are seeing is an attempt to turn underlying facts, not just into spin but into fiction. This isn't just a problem because the facts are so important. It's a problem because facts themselves are the basis for rule of law state. And so your your coverage tonight about a crisis in department of Justice. Is a crisis about a crisis in the rule of law. It's about the kind of country that the United States will be. I I saw you in an interview with Bill Maher that stopped me in my tracks. And that very night you talked about as one of your points. The importance of listening for dangerous words with that in mind. Listen to this from our president, we'll discuss on the other side. They tried for a coup didn't work out. So well, and I didn't need a gun for that one. They were really cool that sorted long before Muller. This was a coup. This was at attempted overthrow of the United States. Government just was a coup. This wasn't stealing information from an office in the Watergate apartments, this is it attempted coup. Professor, no one needs remind you that that word while powerful as also a term of art in geopolitics, how does that fit in your list of rules? Well, by by saying by using that word coup by suggesting that the other side has already carried out a coup or tried to carry out a coup. Mr. Trump is doing is saying that I would be within my rights. If I also did something extraordinary. So he's trying to move politics from something normal into a place, where states have exception Khuda talent. So on would be would be thinkable. And of course, he's already blamed the other side. Although in fact, what has happened is that he himself as the Miller report says has been the beneficiary of very strange intervention in American politics by foreign power normalization comes through repetition. Does it not? And is that what we're seeing with no obstruction? No collusion. Total. Vindication. Yeah. That's right out of the middle of the authoritarian playbook. It's everything we know from George Orwell and all these smart commentators of twentieth century to talibanism, you repeat something which you know, is simple, and which you know, is wrong over and over again in the hope that as if he had a machete, you could clear out all of the underbrush of the facts. The underbrush of the facts indicate that there was a campaign in two thousand sixteen to elect Mr. Trump that it came from Russia that Mr. Trump and his campaign knew about it that they supported it. They expected it to help him. Those are the facts repeating these things over and over again as an attempt to make people feel comfortable in a reality. Which should make us highly uncomfortable, the need to speak to you was urgent. And we appreciate the fact that you are with us at five fifty four in the morning in Vienna. Austria, professor comeback anytime. It's a pleasure to have you as always. Again, the professors latest book is the road to unfreedom Russia Europe America prior to that the book is on tyranny. Our thanks when we come back. We'll explain how it is that three Democrats running for president are going to encounter this president's attorney general tomorrow. As mister Jefferson listens. The last thing before we go tonight as a quick reminder of what we're going to witness tomorrow, we will all be back in this studio. Tomorrow morning for our live coverage of what in normal times would be a perfectly ordinary Senate committee hearing, but nothing about tomorrow nothing about our times is normal attorney general Bill bar is going to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee tomorrow. Here's a reminder. Here are the players I the Democrats on the left there. But also, the Republicans we last saw this group during bars confirmation, we we saw them during the Cavanaugh confirmation note among the Democrats, they include three presidential candidates Clova shar Booker and Harris now, we know that Muller objected to how bar sold his report his work of twenty two months now that it's. Clear bar has been choosing his words to please his boss. No collusion. Tomorrow. Just became very important. We're going to treat it as such all be here with Nicole Wallace. And assorted former feds, including Chuck Rosenberg Joyce, Vance who were here with us tonight. And we begin all that right after morning, Joe, we will cover everything as it happens throughout the day. And of course, we'll see you right back here at the same time tomorrow evening for now that is our broadcast for this Tuesday night. Thank you. So very much for being here with us. Good night from NBC news headquarters here in New York. Hi, it's Lawrence O'Donnell. If you love MSNBC where your heart on your sleeve, you can gear up with t shirts. Hoodies hats and more from the last word and all of your favorite MSNBC shows you can shop now at MSNBC store dot com.