tv Deadline White House MSNBC March 14, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
one is that larry kudlow does not see eye to eye with the president on trade, and the other issue is that he does believe these tax cuts are working, will not result in the deficits everybody thinks they will and are going to grow the economy by numbers no other economists are forecasting. i'll leave you with that. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. mission not quite accomplished. one of the congressional committees investigating donald trump's ties to russia was onto something. the house intel committee which abruptly halted its probe into russian collusion, even though it still had unanswered questions about money laundering collusion and obstruction of justice. the democratic members of the house intel committee releasing a 21-page status report citing unfinished business about major threads of the investigation, including whether president trump sought to obstruct the
fbi's investigation into mike flynn by pressuring fbi director comey to drop the investigation by repeatedly requesting his loyalty, and by firing him. the testimony of key witnesses, republicans refuse to interview, folks like george papadopoulos, mike flynn, paul manafort and rick gates who have all been known to be in contact with the russians during the presidential campaign. and more information about potentially damning findings like this one. quote, as the committee has learned, candidate trump's private business was actively negotiating a business deal in moscow with a sanctioned russian bank during the election period. with us to further our understanding of these leads and what happens to them, now that the committee's work has been halted, democratic congressman eric swalwell, house committee member, natasha bertrand, senior writer for atlantic, robert mcquade, attorney and msnbc contributor, and kiersten
following the russian connections overseas. she joins us from our london bureau. congressman, let me start with you and ask you about these leads and about the decision to release this 21-page status report you called it. who follows up on what seemed like leads worthy of being followed up on? >> nicolle, it's supposed to be the united states congress and leaders in our country on both sides of the aisle. now, we have limited ability. we do not have the subpoena power as democrats, but we will continue to try and bring in witnesses who will cooperate and provide us information and then tell the american people what happened, who was responsible, how we were vulnerable and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. one of those alarming leads we told the public yesterday was as the election was underway, donald trump and his business were engaged with a russian sanctioned -- with a sanctioned bank in russia. now, we know donald trump's ties to russia began over money years
ago, and that over the years russia has invested in donald trump and donald trump has invested in russia. what we did not find out, because the republicans were unwilling to subpoena the records, was whether these ties converged and went from business to political at the time donald trump was running for president. the american people deserve to know what the russians have exactly on donald trump. >> well, and it would seem to me that the republicans on your committee, even if they don't take your word for it, might take steve bannon's word for it who reportedly said to "fire and fury" author michael wolff, that the money laundering went right through manafort to jared and that was how andrew weissmann of the mueller investigation was ultimately going to get donald trump. it was not a partisan issue. i wonder if you will go so far as to say the republican members on your committee were engaged in trying to cover up the truth of this transaction in coming out. >> they were, nicolle. that is exactly what they did. they made claims all along there was no collusion, but we saw
strong evidence of collusion. they just chose to ignore it and some of them worked very hard to bury it. the buzzfeed had a story just a couple days ago about felix sader and that he had worked in the past to help the fbi and cia to provide information on osama bin lauden and also on the north koreans. now, i can't confirm or deny whether that's true or not, if that story is accurate, felix saider, remember, is the first person to offer to connect donald trump to vladimir putin in october 2015 saying let's get these two guys together and we can elect donald trump president if we get a trump tower deal in moscow. we saw that throughout the campaign, efforts to connect donald trump and vladimir putin, the previewing of hillary clinton's e-mails and then an invitation by the candidate himself for the russians to hack the e-mails. and once the hacking occurred, the candidate's own mouth amplified what they found in the e-mails and then his television and radio and social media
communications perpetuated what was found. so, he invited it, they offered it, and they emboldened the russians to do more by his own acts throughout the campaign. >> and that is the case for collusion, which your committee said it found no evidence of. >> and that the russians had no preference. now, we expected them to say no collusion. what we did not expect was that they would go so far to say there was no preference for the russians, which i think -- >> trey gowdy has walked that back. tray gowdy, a republican member, he has said that it is clear that vladimir putin sought to harm hillary clinton as a candidate and had she prevailed as president. are you finding some softening among republican members on the question of collusion? >> i'd like to see all of them back away from that. and that's because the american people saw the preference for donald trump in the social media ads that were out there.
the fact that only hillary and the democratic campaign was hacked. so, the fact that they would assert that i think shows that the republicans, if they're willing to say there was no preference for donald trump by the russians, they would have been willing to say that the sun doesn't set in the west if they thought it helped the president. >> and they have a dissenter in trey gowdy. let me ask you about the sanctioned russian bank. you can't talk about the testimony before the committee and the evidence you have, but is the kind of evidence you have tying this activity to a sanctioned russian bank, is it tangible and is it something you believe is in the hands of bob mueller's investigators? >> i hope it's in their hands. and, nicolle, it shows a pattern of behavior by donald trump, the people in his family and the people on his campaign, that they were so willing to conduct financial transactions with russians, even sanctioned russians, at the same time that they were seeking the presidency and at the same time that the russians were interfering in our elections. some may argue that is just bad
judgment. what the american people deserve to know and the only way you can do it is through subpoena power is whether this amounted to a working, knowing partnership with the russians. either way, whether it was witting or unwitting, the end result is just as destructive because because the president has drawn us closer to a foreign enemy that is not our friend. >> let me bring in barbara ma mcquade of all of they'd open threads of an investigation in the house intel committee. truly remarkable the republicans would shut it down without tying up the loose ends, if for nothing else, the optics of leaving these questions unanswered. do you see this as anything other than a move to cover up for the president? we just heard from the congressman that it was exactly that. what possible explanation exists for not following these threads of an investigation? >> i can't think of one. you used a very appropriate word
when you said abrupt, that it just ended when there are all these other issues still hanging out there, all of these other witnesses who haven't been interviewed. i can't think of another reason. i don't want to speculate as to what the reason is, but i can't understand why you would stop an investigation before you have at least chased those things down to the end. it may be you find no conclusion in the end, but you at least want to complete the interviews of the witnesses outstanding, review the documents and out standling issues. i cannot think of a legitimate explanation why they are stopping it at this point. >> barbara, looking at the way bob mueller's investigators have conducted themselves, the no knock search of manafort's house, the me titiculous chargi documents of papadopoulos, mike flynn, rick gates, the dutch lawyer charged from skadden. wha what is your sense of how up in his business dealings when it
comes to donald trump's business contacts with any businesses or russian funded deals in moscow? >> i'm sure he is scouring those contacts. i know at one point president trump said that robert mueller would be crossing a red line if he were to look into his personal finances or his company's finances, and i completely disagree with that. i don't see how any responsible prosecutor investigates a case like this without doing a very thorough review of all financial transactions because to find financial connections with russia could explain motivations, contacts, biases, leverage that russians might have had over the president during the campaign or even in the presidency. so, it would be critically important for robert mueller to really scrutinize all of those transactions very carefully. >> skiier sten, i want to bring you in because we never talk about the russia investigation without talking about the president's posture vis-a-vis russia. and we have some russians behaving very badly in the u.k. and you've been on the story for days. and we have the president taking a sharply different note than
his now deposed secretary of state. and a few minutes ago from his representative at the u.n. let's watch that together and talk about it on the other side. >> the united states believes that russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the united kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent. this is a defining moment. time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance. now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. the credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold russia accountable. >> now, just for a point of contrast, l contrast let me read you the white house call out of theresa may. president trump agreed with prime minister may that the government of the russian federation must provide unambiguous answers regarding
how this chemical weapon developed in russia came to be used in the u.k.. the two leaders agreed on the need for consequence for those who use these heinous weapons. this sounded to me a whole lot like the president's articulation of vladimir putin's excuse about russian meddling. he said this and i believe that. this is not the sort of harsh word he had for gang members. these are not the harsh wordser he had for jeff sessions when he's mad at jeff sessions for not staying on and shepherding the russia investigation. now his deposed secretary of state when he engages in talks as a diplomat regarding north korea. how does this read in the u.k.? >> that comment from nikki haley, i want to just say finally, finally we heard a message like that from the united states. and that -- this is why, you know, it is so important. what the british are saying here
is that this is a russian attack on the united kingdom because it put u.k. citizens not just a former russian spy in danger with a nerve agent that is banned in war because it is so dangerous. you know, i was listening to republican swalwell, representative swalwell earlier and him talking about what do the russians have on donald trump. now, no comment on that, but it puts into context the issue that we are facing because you've got to remember, the u.k. is the u.s.'s closest ally in the world. if the russians are behind this attack, it is an attack by proxy, if you like, on the united states. and the only response that makes any sense from the u.s. is condemnation, the kind of condemnation that we heard from nikki haley. let me read you more of what she said. she said, if we don't take immediate concrete measures to
address this now, chemical weapons could be used, she said, here in new york. >> and let me just stay on this with you, keir, because i traveled with george bush the year that the g20 was held in scotland, and they were gathered there. all the leaders were gathered there for what they call london's 9/11. i think it was july 7 attacks on the buses and trains. to see these two leaders, whatever you think of them, tony blair and george bush, neither man addressed the world, neither man addressed their countries without first sitting together with their national security advisors and the point being an attack on london was an attack on all of us. how far away are we from that? >> well, this was an attempted assassination of a former russian spy who was accused of working for british
intelligence. remember that british intelligence is part of an -- a group called the five eyes, a combination of different intelligence organizations including u.s. intelligence. so, effectively, what the russians have done, if the british are right and they seem absolutely convinced, is they have targeted a former russian spy who was working to inform the west, including america. and again, it comes back to this fundamental issue. it looks as if potentially either the kremlin thought they could get away with this, that they w they wouldn't be caught, if you like, or they didn't care. and if they didn't care, if america and the u.k. don't take tough enough action, then the question is what do the russians do next? it's a pretty frightening one. >> i don't want to put you on
the spot, but i detect that you have an answer to what you think the british think. do you think the british government now is concerned that perhaps in the american president that they have right now, they have someone who might not care? >> the problem is, you know, it's a bit more profound than that. the british gofrvernment is ver weak right now. they are trying to manage brexit. they are divided from europe through that and they are looking at the white house and worrying, deeply worrying about what is happening to their ally at a time when they need their closest ally the most. and that really, i think, paints a picture of how dangerous all of this is for the western alliance, if you like. and if the russians are responsible for what happened here, then the kind of tensions
and picking of those alliances, what must go with what. >> natasha bertrand, have you heard any reporting that bob mueller's indictment of 13 russian nationals for their meddling in our elections or interfering, those indictments made veer the effect of those meddling was to help donald trump. are you hearing any threads in the investigation that robert mueller is conducting that would lead to more indictments of russians? because i've heard a theory among some republicans who are without a country, without a party who feel gutted by what kiersten has just described. this gutting of the relationship, of the special relationship between the u.s. and the u.k. you can call it whatever you want, but it's gutted when it takes the president three days to say what his deposed secretary of state said the first day. when you leave questions out there about whether that contributed to his firing, i've heard that even republicans who have been willing to give donald trump the benefit of the doubt
on economic questions think that maybe bob mueller's willingness to indict and prosecute russians might be one of the only national security sort of guardrails that we have right now. >> yeah, i mean, it's definitely one way that he could potentially fight back against what the russians are doing. you know, there are some questions about whether or not he's going to indict russians for their role in hacking into the dnc and potentially some americans obviously in that as well. but i think that we also have to look at what the british can do and how they could act even stronger against what russia is doing, not just by expelling 23 russian diplomats, but by actually starting to crackdown on the amount of russian money that's flowing into the u.k. without really asking a lot of questions, this is really -- london has become kind of the de facto capital of the post-soviet mafia state. this has really begun to -- it's
really gone, you know, largely unquestioned by the british government just because there's so much money flowing in. and the real way experts say that i speak to, the real way to kind of challenge putin's, you know, his role in the u.k. and kind of the reach that he has in that country is to start to crackdown on all of the money that is going in. and the entire apparatus that's been built around it in order to kind of protect these wealthy russian businessmen who have, you know, dozens of p.r. people, high-powered lawyers in london, kind of protecting them and providing this protective shield. so, i'd say the british are responding to this with a bip l diplomatic solution when cracking down on the money might be another aspect. >> congressman, i'd just ask you to speak to -- i don't want to put you on the spot, but that seems to be the theme of the day. i spoke to your colleague on the
committee yesterday about just how impotent congress looks when they can't do their job of being a check on the executive branch. so, we started by talking about the investigation, the russian collusion. i want to end by asking you about the president's posture vis-a-vis russia. is there more that you can do in congress? i mean, where are the giants of capitol hill, the voices who, when the russians harassed and encroach upon their neighbors stand up and say, today we are all georgians? where are all those voices? and if you're russia, you must feel pretty darn good about your standing in the world today. >> the american people have always looked toward the presidency for standing up against our adversaries and those who attack us. without leadership from the president or acknowledgment of who our enemies are it's on congress. that's why it is so disappointing that paul ryan has authorized and has given the
green light to devin nunes and the committee to conduct itself this way. but i think the american people are going to have the last word. i think you saw the beginning of that last night in pennsylvania. they want a check on an out of control presidency that is threatening our national security, that isn't working to benefit families in this country, and isn't even doing its basic duty of pardoning the ballot box. they'll have the last word this november. >> congressman eric swalwell, thank you for spending time with us. natasha mcquade, skiier sten as well. when we come back, one of the central figures in the investigation into potential obstruction of justice by the president, he's on the chopping block. we'll be joined by the reporter who broke that news. the first date is set in the hearing in the lawsuit stormy daniels filed against president trump and his attorney. the response? deafening silence, the kind they tried to buy from daniels. we'll speak to daniels' attorney
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85 days ago, the president of the united states fired off this threat to a career fbi official. quote, fbi director andrew mccabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits 90 days to go. we'll get into the pettiness of that in a minute. with five days left to go, this from "the new york times" this afternoon. andrew mccabe, a symbol of trump's fbi ire, faces possible firing. the times reporting, quote, attorney general jeff sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former fbi director
andrew mccabe just days before he is scheduled to retire on sunday. people briefed on the matter said, though no decision has been made, people inside the justice department expect him to be fired before friday, a decision that would jeopardize his pension as a 21-year fbi veteran. let's bring in our panel. joining us at the table, jonathan lemire, associated press white house contributor. doug, former senior advisor for the dnc and from "the new york times," one of the reporter sidelined on the story we just brought to you. let me start with you. it looked like the fix was in 90 days ago and here we're five days left to go. the trump-run justice department has a choice to make. >> right, this was all set in motion by an inspector general's report that has not yet been released. our understanding is this all centers around disclosure to the "wall street journal" in october
of 2016 where mccabe was the deputy director authorized the public affairs office and an fbi lawyer to interact with a reporter to basically, you know, they would say set the record straight on the behind the scenes machineations of the hillary clinton foundation. the clinton foundation investigation. as you know, nicolle, these are absolutely the kinds of conversations that happen all the time in washington. and this report really focuses on whether mccabe was forthcoming in the inspector general about that conversation and a finding of a lack of candor as it's referred to can be fatal inside the fbi. so, he's been recommended for termination. that then goes to jeff sessions who will have an opportunity to review that and review whatever mccabe and his lawyers put forward in their defense and decide whether to fire him. i mean, his last day is
essentially friday. he's eligible for retirement, has put in for retirement starting sunday. >> let me read from your article. the article you just talked about was a negative one for the clinton campaign. the article damaged hillary clinton. not mr. trump. it was published just days before the election after the fbi reopened its investigation into mrs. clinton's e-mail practices. the article, including the fbi disclosures, made it clear that some agents saw evidence of wrongdoing by the clinton foundation worth investigating. so, donald trump put the fix in for andy mccabe and what turned up in the i.g. report is he helped shape the story, which is a term of art inside government when we talk to people like you, matt apuzapuzzo. >> mccabe has become -- and many
republicans who have this idea that he was at the center of this sort of secret society, it's been called the deep state -- >> a secret society that sinks hillary clinton's campaign? i understand that they're enraged about the justice department, but they are also uninformed about the justice department. andy mccabe is the guy that authorized the fbi public affairs office to talk to people like you about how his agents who revere him, as far as i understand, had deep suspicions about the clinton foundation. that seems like the kind of guy donald trump should want to promote. >> well, i mean, the problem is that mccabe's wife ran unsuccessfully -- >> as a democrat. >> for the virginia state senate as a democrat, even though mccabe has identified himself as a lifelong republican voter. so, as a conspiracy theory, you have to thread a lot of needles here. in the end, you know, in the next two days, we're going to learn the fate of a 21-year fbi
veteran. and normally this might be a pretty pro forma thing given the recommendation from the office of professional responsibility inside the fbi. but as usual, the president has complicated things by weighing in. as the tweet you mentioned, and sort of goading mccabe, but we know privately he teased mccabe and said -- i mean, nbc broke the story first saying, your wife's a loser because she lost that election. so, a lot of this is now wrapped up in every decision that happens on mccabe's fate. he's a potential witness in the russia investigation. he was there at the beginning of the russia investigation. so, it's all wrapped up in one, you know, one big tangle that's going to have to get sorted out in the next two days. >> jonathan lemire, should an a.g. who is recused from the russia investigation have the prerogative to fire one of the central witnesses in the russia investigation? >> jeff sessions certainly is
with mccabe more than a central figure. >> andy mccabe corroborates a lot of james comey's testimony. should he be in a position to fire him? >> he should not. the president has put immense pressure on jeff sessions on this issue. he wants mccabe fired. >> but he's leaving friday. >> that's right. but firing now would perhaps deprive him of that pension, i believe as the article makes a good point. and i think one could argue this is perhaps the president's way of getting a little vengeance, revenge for the alleged ties to the clintons, alleged ties, his wife's ties to mcauliffe who governor of virginia has ties to both clintons. the president himself said he holds sessions so responsible for this russia probe, for recusing himself in the first place, this is perhaps a way he's dangling whether he said it or not, to get back in his good graces by following through here and firing mccabe.
>> i don't know how to ask this, so i'll ask you the best i can. is the president this much of a bleep hole? >> i think it's been established. i don't know that's breaking news. it is important to remember this recommendation comes from career justice department employees through the inspector general's office. >> i'm not talking about the recommendation. i'm talking about the timing. >> we don't know what the details are about his lack of candor which is a firing offense -- >> of course it is, and he's leaving. i don't think that's being dee batd. >> this will obviously, look, petty, vindictive and designed to discredit the investigation. donald trump is not going to tweet in all caps all about this. there's no question that jeff sessions is going to feel that kind of pressure. but i guess i would like to know more about what the inspector general found. this is going to be messy, but it gives the president just enough pretext to go ahead and
do this. >> and you think someone leaking something that respected badly on hillary clinton is a home run in trump's world? >> that's the whole insane thing. i worked on the 2016 campaign. if you remember, there is only one person hurt by information leaking out about the fbi investigation, and that was hillary clinton. there was an investigation into trump collusion with russia in july of 2016. you never heard anything about that. in fact, it was denied. so, there was only one candidate who was hurt due to actions of fbi officials, and that was hillary clinton. so, this whole idea that there is this deep state conspiracy among the justice department and fbi to take down druonald trump- it's all -- >> i agree with that. >> last word. >> again, what is exactly he charged with? i think we can have a clear
opinion about this. no one -- >> i'm not disputing anything. the question is donald trump -- the report found what it found. i'm not hearing anybody dispute that. my question is he was leaving on sunday. this is about firing him and depriving him of his pension. matt apuzzo, thank you, we live for it. when we come back, the story donald trump is so desperate for you not to hear about he may keep firing people to bump it from the headlines. we won't be deterred. stormy daniels' attorney joins us after the break. fire fighting is a very dangerous profession.
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i rely on them, the firefighters in this department rely on them, and so we have to practice safety everyday. utilizing pg&e's talent and expertise in that area trains our firefighters on the gas or electric aspect of a fire and when we have an emergency situation we are going to be much more skilled and prepared to mitigate that emergency for all concerned. the things we do every single day that puts ourselves in harm's way, and to have a partner that is so skilled at what they do is indispensable, and i couldn't ask for a better partner. the deadline has come and gone and now a hearing is set. earlier this week stormy daniels offered to return the $130,000 in hush money she received for her alleged affair with president trump in order to tell her story, but neither the president nor his attorney michael cohen responded by the
deadline yesterday. now a hearing for the lawsuit to dissolve stormy's agreement has been set for july 12. stormy daniels' attorney joins us. thank you so much for being here. this seems like the story that donald trump is doing everything, including declaring -- to keep out of the headlines. what is he so afraid of? >> i don't know what he's afraid of, but it looks like we're going to find out here shortly. >> do you believe that the interview that your client taped with 60 minutes will air this weekend? >> i don't know. i think you'll have to ask cbs. i know that they are in the process of running the facts to ground and making sure that they are accurate and that they are doing everything from a journalistic standpoint that has to be done. in my experience in dealing with them over the years, they don't take anything for granted and i think that is especially true and a story of this magnitude where there is this much interest, they know they're
going to face a high degree of execute any. i think they're crossing every t not once, but twice, and dotting every i not once, but twice. >> does that include looking at texts or photos or videos your client has? >> i can't comment on that. >> did you sit in on the interview that your client conducted with 60 minutes? >> yes. >> and did she share with them any information stuff that could corroborate -- cbs said what you just said, there is a lot of journalism left to do. did they talk about that being one of the ways to achieve what you just described? >> i'm going to be really careful in describing what happened during the interview, but what i will say is this. i'm highly confident that when the american people have a chance to see what she has to say, hear what she has to say and judge her credibility on their own, that they are going to conclude that this woman is telling the truth and that she's being open and honest. >> what is your understanding of the current white house position? because they came out and denied the affair, but then they came out and declared victory in an arbitration. what is your current
understanding of the white house's position? >> well, they declared victory in an arbitration that was, you know, really a bogus arbitration for a number of different reasons. i don't know that they have formally denied the affair. what i do know is, nicolle, that they have refused to answer some very, very basic questions and it's the same questions that we've been asking now for over a week. did president trump know about the agreement? did he sign the agreement? did he know about the payment and did he do anything to facilitate the payment? you don't need 140 characters on twitter to answer those questions. this is a president who has not been shy when it's come to denying other allegations. how many times have we heard him deny collusion with russia? a couple hundred, and yet -- >> he goes in and denies things we report we know to be true. but i want to follow-up on something. has he threatened you and your client? have you been receiving threats from his lawyers or his representatives for being out and telling your story over the last several weeks? >> well, his attorney, michael
cohen, told the washington post i think in pretty clear terms that it was their intent to come after my client and me for damages associated with her telling the truth. and our position, nicolle, is very simple. if the position of mr. cohen and the president is going to be that they're going to pursue my client for millions of dollars in damages when she speaks the truth pursuant to the agreement that we claim is not valid, if it's their position that we're going to have a sitting president of the united states that is going to bring civil litigation against a u.s. citizen who is trying to exercise her first amendment right in an effort to punish her, our position is very simple. bring it. >> and that's it? >> bring it. >> so that means you know that your client is telling the truth >> if i didn't believe my client wasn't telling the truth, i wouldn't be sitting here right now. >> let me go back to something else, you know where the money
came from. nbc news has reported that michael cohen, who i have described as a lawyer that reminds me of the guy in my cousin vinny , used his trump.org e-mail. you have some leads obviously about where the money came from. what is your operating theory about where the money, the $130,000 your client offered to give back, where do you think it came from? >> we believe that ultimately those funds will be able to be traced in one form or another to the president or his organization or another surrogate operating on his behalf. i've said this before. i'm going to say it again. we have run out of superlatives to describe the story, the fiction that has been floated to the american people relating to this payment. i've called it preposterous, ludicrous, outrageous, unbelievable, ridiculous, the liz gun on a-- list goes on and. it is absurd, i'll use that one,
to his attorney to claim without knowledge of the president negotiated a detailed agreement with a signature line for his client mr. trump, undertook all this effort. this wasn't done a croft 30 or 45 minutes. this is hours of work, hours of communication back and forth. it is absurd to suggest he did all of that. that the president knew nothing about it. that he then undertook efforts to make $130,000 payment, which he borrowed from his credit line on his home and he never sought reimbursement, he just did that out of the goodness of his heart. it's just not believable. and we're going to get dot bottto the bottom of it. we're not going home, we're not packing up, we're not going to be intimidated. we're going to get answers to these questions. >> so a hearing has been set. what does that allow you to take discovery? are you seeking to take discovery of the president? >> in light of the fact that the offer was rejected and frankly i think it should have been seriously considered and accepted, it wasn't. we are now going to enter the discovery stage in this case and
we are going to begin a diligent well thought out smart measured approach to discovery in this case that is aimed at getting to the bottom of what happened here. >> so, will you seek the president for deposition? >> we're not going to layout our strategy, but that wouldn't be a big stretch. >> the president sits for a deposition and lies. do you see any parallels to presidential sex scandal of the past? we spend so much time on this table talking about the russia investigation, but it is the theory of a lot of people in the political analysis line of work that it could be an event like that that represents the most legal peril to the president, just from a legal perspective. what do you think the president's risk is for sitting down for a deposition with you? >> well, i think it's really important that as his story develops -- and i've said this before, i'm going to say it again -- i think it is important we don't get over the tips of our skis. i'm a trial lawyer and they
teach you when you try a case you stay within your evidence and don't get over the tips of your skis because that's when you get hurt. i think all of us need to take a step back and remember that. we're going to deal with facts and not supposition. we're going to see how things develop. i'm not going to assume that the president of the united states if placed under oath is going to lie or perjure himself. i'm going to actually assume he's going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. now, in the event that he does not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, that is not going to be something for us to take care of. that is going to be something for the special prosecutor and others to deal with. >> do you believe everything your client told in touch magazine is the truth and nothing but the truth? is that account accurate? i'm not asking you to account for every word of it, but is that an accurate characterization of the relationship, sexual and emotional that they had together? >> i think generally that is true. but i have not reviewed the in touch story. >> i'm not asking you to corroborate. i'm just saying that they
connected the golf tournament, she knew him enough to know he has a phobia of sharks. that doesn't describe anything that has gone awry. it doesn't seem like she is someone he had a sexual relationship that is vindictive while anything happened. is that an accurate description of their interaction? >> i think when the american people have a chance to observe this interview, which obviously is videotaped, it is not just words. it's not just audio. it's certainly not words on a page. i think it is important when you're judging someone's credibility that you observe them and their interactions or their reaction ands their facial features, et cetera. i think it is going to be especially powerful for the american people to hear from her now in her own words what happened and when it happened and what her view is. >> you said -- is there a sex tape? you said it's not just words, not just her interview. what else is there? >> when i'm talking about judging the credibility of an individual. >> of stormy daniels? >> correct. i'm not going to answer -- >> is there a sex tape? >> i'm not going to answer that.
>> is there a sex tape? >> there might be could be, who knows. >> let me ask you one more question. why does he come to her ten years after their affair? what is her understanding of the timing of when she was offered $130,000 from michael cohen to be quiet? >> i don't think it's a coincidence. you're talking about the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign and i believe that they were legitimately concerned about the story that she might come forward and tell and some of the facts associated with that. and here is what i will say. to the extent that the white house has any intentions oncoming out and having a bill clinton-esque moment when the president is standing at the podium where he denies any involvement with this woman of an intimate nature, i can think of few things that would make me happier than to see that. >> because you can disprove that? >> 100%. >> 100% with videos and texts and images? >> i applaud your efforts. no comment.
>> you are very good. i want to ask you one last question. they're wrapping in my ear. i have one more. you are now in the line of work of defending women who have had sexual relationships with the president that he'd like to keep quiet. have more women come to you? >> yes. >> how many? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> dozens? >> not a dozen. >> not a dozen, more than five? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> somewhere between five and a dozen women. we look forward to making you a regular here. >> thank you. >> is there a limited trumpism last night? will they heed the voters in trump country? >> the number right now, lawrence, 1132. >> steve kornacki has a piece of paper in his mouth and he's playing with a cloth. steve, do you have anything? >> we do. i hate to interrupt i would never do it except for this. we have the absentee ballot
count from allegheny. >> i keep wondering if you're looking for my attention. pen, pen, okay. >> let's go to math class here. let's say you have to get 1625 out of 2600. connor land leads by 579 votes district wide. we have an apparent winner in the pennsylvania special election. we've been preparing for this day.
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about last night, charlie sykes, are the voters getting a trump hangover? from porn stars to russia to just the personal conduct in office that seems to be off. >> that exchange was really quite riveting. and -- >> he is mazing. >> and the stormy daniels story won't go away. who would imagine that donald trump's achilles heel might be a
porn star and payoff money and that storm has legs and it will test whether or not the tolerance of the conservative base and the trump voters. what you saw last night was the fact that even -- look, with an economy that is strong, a stock market that is strong, unemployment that is low, with the steel tariffs that republicans cannot rwin a district that donald trump won by 20 points. if that does not send chills through the republican party, i don't know what -- and here is their dilemma. if you are a republican running for office, you can't win without the trump base. but you apparently can't win with -- with tieing yourself to donald trump. with those suburban votes. so what you are seeing is a dynamic that is totally driven by donald trump. paul ryan is trying to convince fellow republicans we'll run on the economy and the tax cuts. no, they are running on donald trump. >> paul ryan at least declared it a wake-up call, describing what happened last night. the white house spin is down
right laughable. >> they blame the mustache. >> there is that -- back to porn, i guess. but a little bit -- they suggested that the republican candidate was running about five points down until the president had his rally. >> oh, right. >> and then they said it was a virtual tie. which is still a defeat. my wife's family is from westmoreland county and that is trump country and not only did he win handily but covering in that campaign we were in the neck of pennsylvania all of the time -- and that is an indicator when you could feel then enthusiasm that made you think, he might win this state which would be a democrat in the blue column for a long time. and but this is something that i know the white house is rattled by. despite public bluster and i think republicans are anxious and nervously looking at the number. >> and what about the rest of the political crew. >> i don't think they will be fired but they should be renting and not owning right now. they are -- >> a lot of that. >> this is a white house that is in a period of turmoil, a period of a lot of change.
i think we have seen tillerson this week and there is going to be more soon and the political staff are people looking around going are we going to catch this. so the problem that republicans have is that there are about a hundred plus districts for favorable to democrats in pennsylvania '18 and democrats have done a good job of recruiting candidates in all of the districts. they have 40-plus veterans running. they have people who worked in the national security -- in national security. they've got small business -- they have a slew of candidates who are very strong and who fit the districts that they are running. and conor lamb was able to raise money -- and run on second amendment and pro choice but personally pro life and talked about wages and he talked about jobs, and he talked about health care. and all of that resonated well. even facing $10 million of ads run by the nrcc and other
outside groups trying to tie him to nancy pelosi and make him into the boogie man. it did not work because his profile was too strong. >> let me ask you if the issue of guns have changed. we had thousands of students walking out all over the country. we were on the air when the tragedy was ongoing and i heard law enforcement officials saying something has to change in the gun debate before we even knew the scale and the scope taf tragedy there in parkland. do you think the gun issue is changing? >> it is changing. otherwise you wouldn't see that bill being signed in florida last week. >> a republican governor -- >> by a republican governor. that is a significant defeat for the nra. and these walkouts are probably one of the strongest cultural challenges the nra has faced in a long timeme a long time, and on the other hand we're talking about a congressional race in pennsylvania where the democrat was elected against gun control legislation. >> he supported some pieces. >> some of the background. but he went out of his way to add where you are shooting your
gun. so until the dynamic changes in the electoral level, because there are still democrats in the house and senate who have opposed the assault weapons ban, you are not really go fog -- going to see a lot of movement. no question that what happened in florida and the marches today have the potential to change the issue. >> these are powerful images that we saw today. >> these are powerful kid. >> and powerful images and it was across the country and blue states and red and not just the kids impacted in florida are saying this is an issue they won't let go away and i think march planned for later this month is expected to be far bigger than this. this is something -- the president has sort of gone back to the nra on this gun control issues but i think there are people in congress who were made nervous by this. >> we have to sneak in our last break but we'll be right back.
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some day before i diely tell you what charlie sykes said during last break. for now my thanks. now that does it for our hour, i'm nicolle wallace, "mtp daily" starts right now. hi chuck. >> hi, nicole. it feels -- like a slow -- >> a sex tape. what was weird. >> that is a good question on any given day i won't answer that question. if it is wednesday, republicans, the call is coming from inside your house. >> tonight, could the democrats keystone state win by the cornerstone to a midterm takeover. >> this is not a aberration, this is a trend. >> plus republican rewrite. how the party is trying to flip the script on this devastati