Day 924: On Mueller's warning on Russia & 2020, Trump says, "You don't really believe this?"


Tonight the president dismisses the warning from Muller that Russia's interfering in our elections and so he says he didn't raise it while on the phone with Putin. We'll go live to Louisville tonight as the Senate majority leader who has to win reelection back home in Kentucky to keep his job title is right now angrily trying to shake off his new nickname Amo Moscow Mitch and for the Democrats after last night's friendly fire debate where even Obama was under attack impeachment talk is still rowing and their hopes are rising in Texas of all places with a big name retirement making news tonight all of it as the eleventh hour gets underway on a Thursday Thursday evening good evening once again from our N._B._C. News headquarters here in New York. This was day nine nine twenty four of this trump administration and it was something the president said this afternoon that got our attention late today. This was in response to a question gene about the ongoing Russian attack on our election system the warning that was just repeated by Robert Muller just a few days ago. I don't really believe this. You believe this okay okay bye. We didn't talk about that. I spoke with President Putin of Russia yesterday. They're having massive fires in the in their forests have tremendous. I've never seen anything like it is very big. I just offered our assistance because we're very good at putting out forest fires frankly well. I watched Muller. I'm not sure Muller knows what's going on. You want to know the truth but all I do know he said no collusion with us no collusion and ultimately no obstruction auction because it led to no obstruction by a very smart group of people including our attorney general so <hes> no collusion no obstruction as far as muller's dollars performance you would have to say it was maybe not so good about that first response by the president. You don't really believe that never never before has our country felt more vulnerable to attack in real time in this case because we've been told were under an ongoing attack in real real time while at the same time that view is not shared by the head of our government who took the oath about preserving and protecting our way of life his view now how famously extends to his enforcer in the Senate who has now been tagged with the nickname Moscow Mitch born in this very studio for not even allowing election hardening legislation to be brought up for a vote before the Senate. Don't take our word for it. It was just last week. The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that concluded Russia targeted election systems in all of our fifty states then this past weekend we learned that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will step down later this month trump famously on publicly sided with Putin overcoats while he was alongside alongside the Russian leader there in Helsinki and for good measure here is how Robert Muller summed up the ongoing attack from Russia. Is this in your investigation do think that this was a single attempt by the Russians to get involved in our election or did you find evidence to suggest they'll try to do this again or attempt come to they're doing it as we sit here and they expect to do it. <hes> during the next campaign it was right after that testimony from muller that McConnell blocked the election security legislation in the Senate earlier this week he defended the move in the face of attacks from Democrats and the news media will have much more more on that later on meanwhile after fending off attacks from Democrats in last night's debate for debate former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to reporters today. Hey about Donald Trump's very narrow pass to victory back in two thousand sixteen. If I get the nomination I will win Michigan. I promise you that I will win Pennsylvania. I Will Win Ohio. I will win these states that he got seventy. Two extra thousand votes talk to give himself an election look folks. It's not the resist great migration to him. It didn't occur we're talking about seventy two two thousand five hundred votes in three states changed otherwise Hillary Clinton President with a margin over three million votes and on the upside this moment almost got not by US tonight a seemingly monumental update from the president at his rally on our national health. This is from Cincinnati tonight tonight. The things were doing in our country today. There's never been anything like it. We will be ending the AIDS epidemic hammock shortly in America and curing childhood cancer very shortly so we've got that going for us and here for our leadoff discussion on a Thursday night Philip Rucker Pulitzer Prize winning White House Bureau chief for The Washington Post Former U._S.. Attorney Joyce Vance who spent twenty five years as a federal the prosecutor and Philip Mudd former deputy director for both the CIA counterterrorist center and the F._B._I.'s National Security Branch. She also happens to be the author other of the new book that we'll be talking about later in this hour it is called black site the CIA in the post nine eleven world good evening and welcome to all of you Mr Stor Rucker. I'd like to start with you. You don't really believe that was kind of a toss off answer by the president to a subject that defines finds who we are and what we've become now so much so that in the legal realm unjust social media last night in the public domain the box went to work with a messaging trying to foment racial division just in the hours after the democratic debate yea Brian this is not some sort of partisan point of view. This is fact according to our intelligence agencies according to all of our intelligence agencies. It's not just special council former special counsel Robert Muller who testified to it but the president's own handpicked intelligence chiefs including Dan Coats to former or soon to be former summer director of national intelligence who had been warning for several years now that Russia is continuing to try to interfere in our election. We'll try to do so again in twenty twenty me and that other countries may follow suit. This is a profound serious threat to American democracy but it's also one that the president does not take seriously we've seen it time and again where he has denied that Russia denied the intelligence that Russia has tried to interfere in the election and it's all rooted in his own feelings about his own election his insecurity that by admitting that Russia did this interference campaign it would somehow de-legitimize trump's electoral victory so that's been a sort sort of blinders for the president enjoys fans something that speaks to your line of work just before we came on the air our friend Ken Vogel at The New York Times tweeted out this new new court filing Rick Gates is still cooperating with prosecutors and is a potential witness in the trials of Greg Craig for lying about Ukrainian and work Roger Stone for lying about wikileaks and Paul Manafort for loan related fraud in New York Joyce. What does this mean? What's the takeaway here other? Even the fact that legal jeopardy continues Rick Gates seems to have been one of the most successful cooperators the molar investigation instigation produced. I don't think that there's anything very surprising here Brian. We knew that he would cooperate. The beginning work on a pre sentence. report is is relatively routine. It has to happen before a defendant can be sentenced. He has to have access to it sufficiently in advance to review it and make any any objections he might WanNa make I think the biggest piece of information we get out of this filing is that apparently gates's cooperation is coming to an end. He won't for for instance apparently be a witness in anything to do with the inaugural investigation. That's widely believed to be underway or any other federal cases and now phil the mud by way of welcoming you here. This is where your life's work intersects with the news today when you hear the president say you don't really they believe that do you what happens inside you internally and part B. What's the reality it's it makes me hurt? I spent twenty five years doing this. The president has three responsibilities here number one. Somebody's got to confront the Russians. That's that sits in the Oval Office. Clearly presents not going to do that number to the boring part of this. This is if you want to confront this. Somebody's gotTa bring a hammer down on the bureaucracy homeland security f._B._I.. C._I._A.. They don't work together extremely well unless somebody the Oval Office says guys women. Sit Down and let me tell you what to do in the last part. The part where clearly missing is somebody's got to tell the American people especially when the margins of victory in these states are so small law. Here's what to watch out for. There's only one spokesperson for America. That's the president he's telling people. Don't worry about it. How are your colleagues in the business dealing with this kind of talk? I think when you're in the business you look at the leadership that you have most most colleagues I have don't meet with the president in that. Leadership has to represent the truth in the CIA. I know the director I guarantee you. She's sitting there saying we've got a mission objective that mission objective objective doesn't change regardless of Democrat Republican. It doesn't change regardless of whether the president tweets so it's demoralizing as someone who spends a career in the service for the president to attack attack you. He's attacked me personally but at the same time the mission is so compelling if you're sitting there looking at the Russians trying to come after an election system regardless of what the president and says you're going to be motivated Joyce Vance among a muller's legacies I guess it it must be said he warned at the start art and at the finish of his nine minute press statement he warned in print for all to see and he warned as recently as the the questioning with will heard who's in the news tonight in a way we'll get to later in this hour about the ongoing attack so his Legacy Must Austin include the fact that he was loud and he was clear on just this topic. This always seemed to As you pointed out reiterated it in that nine minutes statement and again I thought that that was the most forceful part of his testimony. I guess it was only last week where where he wanted to make certain that people knew that not only had there been attacks and that was the conclusion of all seventeen of the agencies in the intelligence community Russia had attacked our election molar wanted to make sure that people knew it was still ongoing and that it would be a threat in twenty twenty so shame on the president for trying the set aside for his own political purposes Phil Rucker. Let's talk about the president's nominee to be director of national intelligence. A man Dan who during the Muller hearing we all said in real time was seemingly auditioning for the job on live cable television television. It is said that his nomination is in trouble. It is further said for Republicans who don't want to cross the president they could maybe find good would reason in his resume to go against this guy. Tell our viewers what you know yet Bryan so there's increasing doubt about his nomination because of if the investigation going on into his background by so many news organizations and my colleagues at the Washington Post Shane Harrison Greg Miller have a piece out tonight that says you know his top qualification for this job is his role on the House intelligence committee but he has effectively been a wall in that role he has that's not gone on any of these overseas trips to look at the American spy capabilities overseas he breezes in and out of meetings. He doesn't spend a lot of time. I'm in the classified reading room. <hes> becoming familiar with documents he also doesn't pay a lot of visits to the U._S.. Intelligence agencies that he would be directing deny. He's not really known at the CIA. He's not really known that these other agencies and the collective feeling within the intelligence community when he was nominated what's who this is according to their reporting Phil Mudd. I'm imagining the learning curve to be Director of national intelligence is steep. I also want to point point out. There is a deputy under deny coats stood up ready to go ready to serve day one. She didn't get the nod yeah. I think there's a couple couple things you need to think about. We're talking about experience. Clearly this individuals light on experience. I suppose you can learn on the job at some of the people who've been in that job bring tons of experience. They didn't have to learn the question I would ask is not as much about experiences is about judgment look at what the president said today raising questions about Russian interference going into an election and cycle and then you have presumably someone who's going over. There proven to be a cheerleader for the president. Is he going to say this new nominee. Is he going to say to the intelligence can be I'll speak for you. I'll defend you or is he going to go in front of a committee and say I know the Intel guys are concerned about Russia but I think the president's right I'd be worried about judgment about whether he'll reflect facts or presidential politics what must be the reaction in a place like Russia to a day like today that we have just witnessed in this this country just from the standpoint of cost benefit analysis. They've spent nothing and they've burrowed firmly into our society and politics politic look cheap covert action. You could do it remotely overseas obviously intruding and computers the cost the Russians have had has been relatively modest and I think one of the reasons that the the special counsel was warning about this is not just today the future. Let me give you a quick scenario. You're running for Congress for the third fourth term and you benny heavy proponent of sanctions against Russia. The Russians hate you. I'm creating. This is a scenario. I can see a scenario where the Russians start to steal information not just to affect global or national national politics but about you personally financial information information from your emails just to seed it into facebook or twitter. I'm worried about the future and how refined these operations nations get from overseas to attack politicians. Individually we just seen chapter one Brian Oh boy that's a heavy subject. That's why we've asked filled a stick around. He'll be joining us the back half of the hour for now to Philip mudd to Philip Rucker to Joyce Vance our thanks for starting off our conversation tonight coming up pressure on the Mitch McConnell building as the Democrats see a new opportunity to push him out of the halls of Congress or dream about it. They certainly have given him a new nickname and later another missile launch from North Korea to which the President says in response no problem as we call it around here a Thursday night the eleventh hour just getting underway Moscow Pitch Moscow Mitch that being Mitch McConnell of Moscow Kentucky Moscow Mitch Blocks Two bills Moscow Mitch Moscow Mitch Rich keeps killing any bill that would protect American democracy but I wanNA talk about Moscow Mitch Moscow Mitch he is aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin's ongoing attempts to subvert American Democracy Moscow Mitch won't even and let the Senate take a vote on it drives on American that just this past Friday left such a mark that it's now possible to say this this if indeed the U._S. Senate passes bipartisan legislation to protect and harden our defenses against the Russians it may be thanks to former Florida Republican congressman and current M._S._N._B._C. Morning Joe Host Joe Scarborough Senate Majority Leader Mitch which McConnell is not happy to be heading back to Kentucky with a new nickname not this one McConnell is running for his seventh term of course he has to be reelected elected in Kentucky. I if he wants to stay majority leader yet he has blocked the legislation that the critics say would stop the kind of in for interference fronts Russia carried out in twenty sixteen hence the Moscow Mitch Nickname. It even got some airtime in last night's democratic debate. If Mitch McConnell is the one that lets them off the hook. We're going to be able to ensure they in peace in their house or but his friend Mitch McConnell Moscow geared toward him off the Hook The New York Times reports Mitch McConnell is quote incensed by the name and even more miffed that he has been called a Russian asset for wants Democrats seem to beginning to a man who has embraced his portrayal as Darth vader and the grim reaper overseeing a Senate graveyard for legislation that he opposes the Kentucky Democratic Nick Party is now capitalizing on this dispute selling items including but not limited to this t shirt with the words just say Nyet Tomasco Mitch this this week the majority leader publicly defended himself against those who questioned his allegiance in a speech on the Senate floor. I was called unpatriotic UNAMERICAN and essentially treasonous I was accused of aiding and abetting the very mad ob- singled out as an adversary adversary and oppose for nearly twenty years a lot of Putin welcome to Modern Day McCarthy is with us to talk about all of it tonight Philip Bailey daily political writer for the Louisville Courier Journal and Anita Kumar White House correspondent and associate editor of politico very glad to have you both Philip a special. Thanks for you for joining us from there. I don't know much but I know the good people of Kentucky. Don't love love Russia with that in mind. How much has this nickname in your view and in your reporting Philip Taken hold will look Senator Mitch McConnell loves a political fight? He brags about how he has six hundred cartoons mocking him in his Senate office. When Don blankenship the failed the West Virginia Senate candidate referred to some cocaine <hes> being on a shipping port he embraced that with cocaine Mitch t shirts so he has a pretty tough skin but the confidence of Senator McConnell that I've spoken with former aides current aids all tell me this has gotten to him a little bit here and that's because Brian other than perhaps his fight against campaign finance reform and free speech what cinema Cada holds really dear to him is sort of pro democratic views across the world but also his hawkish views when it comes to the alliance between the United States and Europe against Russia? He actually believes that that's a key point of his philosophical standpoint so I think this the issue has in this tagline of Moscow has gotten to senator McConnell in a way that previous criticisms had not Anita. I want to read you something. This is from Greg Miller's book the apprentice in which he describes a briefing that then C._I._A.. Director John Brennan gave McConnell. This is about Russian interference before the two thousand sixteen election action as Brennan moves through his talking points. The Kentucky senator expressed no alarm about what Russia might be doing in the U._S.. Election and instead dad accused the CIA director of playing politics. You're trying to screw the Republican candidate McConnell said Anita what could be a a motive here of being the blocker between us the American people the integrity of our elections and a piece of legislation designed designed to help that effort well people who have reported on this a little bit more have said that it could be a couple of different things in one of those things is that he doesn't want to get involved in state issue state elections that he never has wanted to do that but but as you've hinted there others have speculated or talk to people who've said that perhaps he is he is seeing something here that he doesn't want to give Democrats the upper hand that he sees somehow that Democrats could be using using this as more than an issue as we're talking about it but could be using it as an issue around the country so you know he's thinking of it as a partisan thing perhaps apps and doesn't want to get involved in that doesn't want to do that but as you have started to see just in the last day he is starting to hint that perhaps apps they will take something up Philip. Let's emphasize. One more thing has value to the president. He approved a another thirteen judges just before before this recess the count is up now to over one hundred forty in some areas of the federal bench. President trump has appointed a record number during his time in office so that in mind Philip when Democrats dream about beating this guy in Bright Red Kentucky. What do you tell them well? Don't really work out. Cinema always been unpopular when you look at poll numbers but he's often told me the only poll that matters is the one on election day aiming McGrath for a student a retired Marine fighter pilot certainly had some stumbles out of the race initially now. You're seeing different. Democrats Clean State Representative Charles Booker Kentucky Farmer mcbrayer Hoyer who entered the race Kentucky Sports Radio Host Matt Jones is thinking about it. They're all sort of thinking about it but at the end of the day cinema McConnell has an argument I think is very potent what he's Eh different meetings in Kentucky Brian now when he's at the national level when he's in Kentucky Too often tell Kentucky inns look when you look at the president and the four top leaders in Congress all all of them are from New York or California except me so not just representing Kentucky. I'm representing Middle America. It's a different kind of rural identity politics that senator McConnell place quite effectively so most of us here in Kentucky Still Have Mitch McConnell as the favourite however the Kentucky Democratic Party has noted they've raised about one hundred and thirty five one thousand dollars off those t shirts that you mentioned within twenty four hours and they're also seeing a lot of engagement from their party base here which could be an early indicator of that importance for that Race Fort Kentucky Democrats so there's a lot of energy around the race. I think if anything McConnell maybe worried about that being the early narrative which may explain why he's already going up with radio attack Ed's against a Mcgrath and State Democrats and Senate Democrats. Anita Republicans just aren't going to like this tonight I note Leningrad Lindsey has started started up toward Senator Graham because of his performance in committee today that will probably get under his skin back home in South Carolina <hes> but Anita and I don't mean to call for a judgment on your part what about the calculus what are the chances of what I laid out at the top of this segment being true that this could at the end of the day at the end of the recess actually result because of the trouble this causes actually result in the Senate taking up and finding sixty votes in favor of bipartisan election hardening legislation well as you just indicated they've left for or their recess so a lot of it depends on what they're hearing back in the states back home. I mean you've mentioned senator. Graham depends on sort of the reception. They get what people are really talking talking about so often. We talk about things here that are here in Washington that they're not hearing back home but if the Democrats are going to use this and it's resonating in in their states in their districts. I think that you might see that might see that happen when they come back and I think it really just depends on how the Democrats are GonNa look at this issue. Is this something they really want to push on and what these Republicans think this will do for them next year. Will it really hurt them. In their their own elections <hes> both senator McConnell and the rest of the elections that he's got to deal with obviously we're talking about his own election but remember he's looking at all sorts of other elections around the countries so as president trump those are things that they want to look at and <hes> you know the presidential election matter senator McConnell's election matter but so do their fellow Republicans election so I think it will really depend on what we see over the next few weeks when they're at home to our viewers. Both of these journalists do a great job but also have great jobs. Anita gets to cover for politics in Washington. These days Philip gets to cover politics in the home of the Senate majority leader to both of you good luck in your work we I hope to have you both back on the broadcast. Thanks for making our broadcast. This Thursday night and coming up trump weighs in on what we covered here last night on on the eleventh hour continues I was watching the so-called debate eight last night and I also watched the night before that was long long television Asian and the Democrats spent more time attacking Barack Obama then they did attacking me practically in this morning. That's all the fake news was talking about presents. I've got a couple of points. They're all bizarre debate last night. As a national audience watched the Democrats eat their young attacking each other attacking the last Democratic president while passing up opportunities to attack the incumbent president who was taking a victory lap on tonight in Cincinnati near the the end of the debate. They were asked about Robert Muller's testimony last week in the issue of impeachment. I believe that we in the United States Congress. Bush should start impeachment proceedings immediately. We all watched the his testimony. I read the report there are ten clear incidents of obstruction version of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I've seen people go to prison for far less. Ten different instances that Robert Mueller has pointed out where this president doesn't either obstructed justice or attempted to obstruct justice and I believe that they should go forward with impeachment proceedings in the days following the Muller testimony at least two two dozen more Democrats have now called for impeachment proceedings of some sort to get underway according to the N._B._C. News count almost half of all House Democrats Democrats now one hundred seventeen support impeachment inquiry or vote against the president here with us tonight to talk about it. Tessa Berenson White House correspondent for Time Time Magazine and David Jolly just happens to be a former Republican member of Congress from the Great State of Florida has since left the house and his political party but he belongs out of the house tonight it because he's here with us in New York and Congressman. I'll begin with you number. One was last night proof that we don't have party-boss anymore because a party boss would probably say to all the coms directors so you're clear y'all have to attack trump right and by the way you should go home and run for Senate you should go home and run for Senate and you should go home and run for Senate is that what's part of what we saw last night yeah but I don't know that that is that uncommon an off year race when a party's he's out of power the Democrats are fighting for who they are right now I I had a very contrarian take to the last two nights. I think the first night was more concerning running for the Democrats because it exposed a lack of unanimity on ideology you know the first night was all about I'd Gulf the two lanes right the the Warn Elizabeth Warren Bernie Sanders Progressive Lane and then you had the moderate really trying to make their case and and so you left that night saying well who are the Democrats compared to last last night. I know if you're a Democrat you're worried that people it was the circular firing squad demonization of hours of I can tell you what I saw as persuadable voter and I think you're you're persuadable and maybe dim leaning voters saw I saw a lot of candidates last night that are ready to go toe to toe with Donald Trump. They can take some licks they can stay on the stage. They can deliver some licks they had opposition research on each other but they kept it all within the bounds of a typical debate. The cauldron only gets hotter from here. You have have to be tested like they were last night. I think we saw a lot of strength last night. I Know Democrats are saying hey stop beating up on your own but if you're somebody who may be an eighteen voted for Democrats Pratt and wants to reason to vote for Democrats again in twenty you saw a lot of strength on that stage last night Tessa. We're glad to have you back on the broadcast. What was the after action reporting coming from the various camps that you picked up today so you know I agree with a lot of what was just said and I think one thing that was interesting in terms of how the candidates appeared whether they could go toe to toe with trump you know it looked at the beginning of the week like we could see a situation where a lot of the debates would be dominated by talk of Love Trump's tweets about Baltimore and chairman comings and that actually really is not what we saw on one hand as we were just talking about you know you could see that as eating their own but on the other I think this is something that Democrats are going to have to wrestle with as they head towards the general election is how to come up against trump? Do you argue with him on his level. Roland get pulled into the the tweet storms and the inflammatory comments or do you keep at this stage advancing affirmative vision for how you would govern as president and for the most part they did criticize trump but for the most part they stayed away from his rhetoric and his inflammatory tweets at this point I think wary of making a mistake that Hillary Clinton did with her famous deplorables comment which of course came back to haunt her David Jolly in the studio last night. Claire mccaskill was among our guests and she in in <hes> in rare honesty for someone after a democratic debate especially a prominent Democrat admitted she had to mute the the debate at times. I WANNA play for you congresswoman Debbie Dingle who is from Michigan so I don't WanNa be negative. I love all all twenty of these candidates. Many of them are my friends but I was disappointed. In these two days of debate I think we had too much practicing of lines to take take jabs at people and not enough talking about issues that matter to work in men and women. You know you're in Michigan. Trade is a big issue. I quite frankly strongly. We believe that it's an issue that helped get president trump elected David. Is there a risk that the majority of the twenty over two nights have forgotten cotton or never learned how to talk to an America where the Ford F. One fifty is the best selling vehicle in our country and not the Tesla yeah there. There's there's a mistake I suppose and Debbie Dingle saw at that way Claire mccaskill saw it that way I didn't in fact I would point to Senator Kamala Harris in a moment of about thirty seconds where she she took the entire president's message on the economy deconstructed and re delivered it to those who are losing jobs in the AG industry and in the the automotive industry. I think we saw pieces of that last night again. I I like in this too. I was at this table on election night and the day after and twenty eighteen in all my democratic friends were lamenting. It was such a terrible time and maybe it was because they were expecting so much greater but I said to them. Hey you just won the house house. This is exciting. What I saw over the last two nights where twenty candidates who each person is a better person than donald trump both in their moral moral character and their command of public policy? We will naturally see this field winnow. We will see ten people in Houston. Not Twenty we also are seeing each of them. Rise to the moment. This is a process by by which each of them become presidential. I think we saw more of that. Last night I understand others didn't but I would just try to reassure my democratic friends. I think this was a good week for them. Sa Something to play for you because In come up and then tonight before the president's rally in Cincinnati the vice president brought up the issue. The Democrats haven't discussed <music> over two nights here it is oh we don't have it. I'm sorry it it was about federal judges all right. Tell us why you think that was not a part of the president's agenda so judge federal judges and appointing confirming conservative judges to the bench has become a huge legacy project for president trump and what I think is really interesting about it is exit polls from Two Thousand Sixteen showed that twenty one percent of voters said it was the most important issue too that when they cast their vote and those voters strongly favored trump so multiple people close to President President trump have told me that they really credit his promise to nominate conservative judges as being one of the key factors that put him over the edge and made him win in two thousand sixteen eighteen now the right has historically been more energized by this issue than the left better funded better organized but because it has become such a huge success for president president trump in conservative circles. He's already nominated to Supreme Court justices almost one hundred and fifty federal judges elsewhere in the country. I was surprised is that Democrats. Never mentioned it and I think it is a risk for them if they don't tackle this issue head on given how potentially decisive it was in two thousand sixteen yeah they did not use it as a rallying cry. Last two nights are thanks to our guests terrific conversation over just what it is. We have witnessed this week. Tesla Berenson David Jolly we greatly appreciate having both of you on coming up. He has been on the front lines of counter-terrorism since right after the attacks of nine eleven author and Intel veteran Phil Mudd back with us when we continue this is an uneasy time for the nation's intelligence gathering community the director of National Intelligence Dan Coats leaving in two weeks seeks the president's been critical of coats for that matter has been critical of U._S.. Intelligence gathering agencies. There's already controversy over who might at that job job next. Phil Mudd is back with us as we said he's the former deputy director of the counterterrorist center and the F._B._i.. National Security branch for good measure in his new book black site the CIA in the post nine eleven world Phil Mudd describes the many changes that agency faces and we quote after a half century of chasing the traditional targets of the post World War Two the agency now hunted an adversary that had no government sponsor no clear lines of control organization chart no well-defined capital or geographical center a hazy chain of command and equally fuzzy linkages linkages to affiliated groups across the Globe Phil. I don't think it will give too much away to tell the audience you begin with a fire in an elevator shaft laughed at Ya and Langley tiny event in the scope of things but that suffices for a kind of wake-up up call that was the wakeup call before nine eleven nine eleven arrives you warn the readers to remember kind of you had to be there you had to be in the moment that gets us to black sites describe what they are two of viewership of lay people and did they suit their purpose. Did they go overboard for a short period of time they did look at black site that black sites starting in in two thousand and two you have a simple question you take shakedown and Al Qaeda prisoner you have to you have to come up with a conclusion. You're going to take them home to the United States and prosecute a meter even if you don't have enough information to to bring him to trial. What are you going to do so the quickly agile organization quickly says we didn't have sort of a game plan for the post nine eleven world? We're going to create our own secret prisons overseas in our own interrogation program there are problems with the interrogation process especially early on as the book lays out the program assured that is the interrogation program matured but a simple proposition early on if you have a prisoner and you can't leave him in his home country. You can't bring it back the United States for trial. What are you GonNa do with them? That led to black sites. Tell tell us why every intelligence and interrogation professional knows the name Goal Rochman go Rochman was an an individual who was taken into custody in Afghanistan that was before the formal black site program began a sort of a prison in Afghanistan that held individuals Joel's managed by the C._I._A.. Go Rock Mon was put in a cell one night change of the floor and died of hypothermia. That was a wakeup call for the CIA. The is traditionally an intelligence agents gathering organization. They're involved hot in the fight for against Al Qaeda in the days and months and years after nine eleven all of a sudden you have a dead prisoner on your hands by accident but still still a dead prisoner. It led the step back and say we gotTA figure out how to professionalize detention program explained to the audience why late in your book the question comes up. What would your mother say? I talked to maybe thirty five or forty forty former colleagues. I wanted to take the reader back in time whether they like what we did or not say you should at least understand what was going on and look at it through the Lens. We looked at it through. One of the questions that I had was if you have to answer readers questions about whether this is right or wrong. I'm one of the elements that question is what are the ethics. The ethics are everything from U._S.. Law Down to what would your mom say and I thought that was a pretty good litmus test. What is your short good answer on what you've learned? We're both in the business of cable television. These days where we're talk is cheap and plentiful. What's the difference between those in on the cheap seats and those who are in the game every day? If you sat I sat at the briefing table every day most most of that time with director Tenet's and then four and a half years doing threat briefings with Robert Muller who became the special counsel. I think what the public doesn't recognize as they might see one tenth of one percent of what we would call the threat stream some kid in Atlanta or New York or Los Angeles who wants to blow something up but the volume of threat that is below that one tenth of one percent they see as this is early on it was deafening. I mean there's so much stuff. We couldn't keep track. I think we're in managing it better today but just the volume the day-to-day volume of businesses overwhelming. I'm a huge fan. I hate thank you work for the company. This is the book it is called. Black site the CIA in the post nine eleven world. Just I went on sale this week coming up for us. The president shrugs off North Korea's latest missile launch saying those missiles weren't part of the deal when we continue in the short range missiles. We never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We'll see what happens are sure sure because <hes> these as a short range missiles we never discussed that we discussed nuclear what we talked about as nuclear those are short range missiles sure and a lot of other countries tests that kind of missile also the president's unconcerned by North Korea's most recent missile launch but let's repeat for emphasis. The North has launched two more missiles the U._S. military reconfirming. They showed off too short range missiles early Wednesday morning Thursday here in the U._S.. This is the third launch in eight days. North Korean officials say Hey Kim Jong UN himself oversaw this launch according to experts the rocket launcher system could enhance the North's ability to strike South Korea area including American military basis there of course Kim is apparently not happy the U._S. and South Korea are resuming those joint military exercises later this month. The missile launches may not trouble our president but they deeply worry our friends the Japanese and they violate the U._N.. When Security resolution coming up after another break the political world is wondering what's going on in Texas why there's more no reason to wonder tonight? There is last thing before we go tonight. It's officially time to ask what is going on in Texas. The news from there tonight is big. Republican congressman will heard is retiring. This is meaningful for a number of reasons starting with who he is and where he's from remember will heard who's questioning of Muller drew out that answer about how the Russians are hacking into our democracy right now as we speak something our our own president doesn't happen to believe will her like our guest tonight. Phil mudd is a C._I._A.. Veteran he was the only house Republican who survived reelection after his district went for Hillary and not trump his district by the way is huge the largest in Texas largely Hispanic eight hundred miles of border with Mexico which as you know has been in the news of late heard is the sixth house Republican to announce retirement in just the last two weeks he's the third house Republican from Texas to bow out in what is already being called the Texas and while most say they you want to spend more time with their families and for most that's true. It's also true that most would opt to stay in Congress if the math were better now house republicans. It's are losing their only black member. Two of their thirteen. Women members have decided not to run again. Texas Republicans have been whispering about seismic political change change in that state especially in suburban areas as twenty twenty rolls around and these retirements will be seen as a huge opportunity for Democrats but only GIF Democrats can get out of their own way flood the zone run good candidates with a big assist from demographics that are changing on the fly and that is our broadcast for this Thursday night. Thank you so much for being here with us good night from our N._B._C. News headquarters here in New York. Hey It's Chris Hayes from M._S._N._B._C.. Every day. I come to the office and we make television. Show an everyday I think to myself there's are so much more. I want to talk

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