Trump campaign takes legal action on Omarosa. TRANSCRIPT: 8/14/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: August 14, 2018
Guest: Betsy Woodruff, Maya Gay, Rick Wilson, Bernie Sanders
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He said in in receiving that Nobel Prize that
we will overcome the very threat that then face our existence out of
nuclear annihilation. He said we will not only survive but prevail. Let`s
hope that faith as we battle this new challenge of the spirit, this
challenge that comes at us from just blocks from here from the very house
of our presidents. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
“ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I am going to expose
the corruption that went on in the campaign and in the White House. I`m
going to continue to blow the whistle on all of this.
VELSHI: More allegations from the ever-unreliable Omarosa and a desperate
reaction from Trump world.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can`t guarantee
VELSHI: Tonight, separating out the truth when everyone appears to be
SANDERS: Every administration prior to the Trump administration has had
NDAs particularly specific for anyone that had a security clearance.
VELSHI: Then day 11 of the Manafort trial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will have a good day in court tonight. Mr. Manafort
will have a good day.
VELSHI: And the defense doesn`t call a single witness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Manafort just rested his case.
VELSHI: And it`s election night in America. Bernie Sanders is here live
on set. ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes.
There`s really no one to root for in the escalating family feud between the
President of the United States and his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman
whose new tell-all book is out today and it`s a he-said-she-said between no
liars and self-promoters.
But today Omarosa made an explosive new allegation about the President, one
that gets to the heart of the Mueller investigation and whether the Trump
campaign colluded with Russia to disrupt the 2016 election. Omarosa claims
that then-candidate Trump had advanced knowledge of the hacked Clinton
related e-mails that were released by WikiLeaks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: You were instructed according to your book to bring
up the e-mails at every point you could at the end of the 2016 –
NEWMAN: That`s correct.
TUR: Hillary Clinton`s e-mail.
NEWMAN: Yes, that was our talker.
TUR: Did Donald Trump know about those e-mails before they came out?
TUR: He knew about them.
TUR: He knew what was coming out before WikiLeaks released them.
TUR: You`re saying Donald Trump had a back-channel?
NEWMAN: I didn`t say that, you did but I will say that –
TUR: How did he know about it?
NEWMAN: I am going to expose the corruption that went on in the campaign
and in the White House. I`m going to continue to blow the whistle on all
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Omarosa told MSNBC that she`s been interviewed by the Special
Counsel but she declined to say whether she`s appeared before the grand
jury. Like her former boss and many of the people around him, she is not a
reliable narrator. There`s good reason to be skeptical of this latest
claim but Omarosa has been able to corroborate previous claims with secret
audio recordings both of the Chief of Staff John Kelly and of the President
Last night, another former Trump staffer Katrina Pierson denied ever having
discussed a rumored trip – tape from The Apprentice of the President
saying the N-word something Omarosa writes about in her book.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Katrina, cursed said he said it. Did that happen?
KATRINA PIERSON, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, DONALD TRUMP 2016 PRESIDENTIAL
CAMPAIGN: No, Ed. That did not happen. It sounds like she`s writing a
script for a movie. You know I`ve already been out there talking about
this. That is absolutely not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Absolutely not true but yet again Omarosa brought receipts airing
audio conversation with Pierson and other campaign aides about Trump this
morning on CBS News.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LYNNE PATTON, EVENT PLANNER: I said, well, can you think of any time that
this might have happened and he said no.
NEWMAN: Well that`s not true. So –
PIERSON: He goes, how do you think I should handle it and I told him
exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what
scenario you are talking about? And he said, well, why don`t you just go
ahead and put it to bed.
PATTON: He said it, he`s embarrassed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELSHI: He said it, he`s embarrassed. That`s according to Katrina
Pierson. In a statement today she explained that that conversation was
“was one of the many times that I would placate Omarosa to move the
discussion along because I was wary of her obsession over this alleged
tape. And here`s the kicker asked directly today if there could be a
recording of the President uttering a racial slur, the White House would
not rule it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the
American people will never hear Donald Trump utter the N-word on a
recording on any context.
SANDERS: I can`t guarantee anything but I can tell you that the President
addressed this question directly. I can tell you that I`ve never heard it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to be clear, you can`t guarantee it.
SANDERS: Look, I haven`t been in every single room. I can tell you the
President has addressed this directly. He`s arrested directly to the
American people and I can tell you what the focus in the part of the
President is and that`s on helping all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: All right, now the President is going to war against Omarosa
insulting her on Twitter “when you give a crazed crying lowlife a break and
give her a job at the White House I guess it just didn`t work out. Good
work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog.” The Trump campaign has
reportedly retained the same lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his
successful lawsuit against Gawker Media. And today they filed arbitration
proceedings against Omarosa for violating a 2016 nondisclosure agreement.
You`ll hear it referred to as an NDA.
For more on the battle between the Trump White House and one of its own,
I`m joined by Betsy Woodruff Politics Reporter for The Daily Beast and NBC
News White House Correspondent Jeff Bennett. Betsy let`s start with you.
It is very clear that Omarosa whatever in evidence she had has gotten under
the President`s skin.
BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICS REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Without a doubt that`s
certainly not something that`s up for debate. And she`s also caused the
week to essentially be spoiled for White House staffers. Part of the
reason so many folks in the White House quite close to the President are
seeing this week sort of crumble underneath them is because Omarosa was in
a lot of rooms.
She attended a lot of meetings and people in the White House tell us that
even though she didn`t have a particularly large policy portfolio and even
though she doesn`t have much of a record of accomplishment to roll out as
to her time in the White House, in fact, many of her colleagues criticized
her while she was there for not being a particularly productive member of
the staff, she did manage to place herself in the room for a host of
meetings and as well as having conversations throughout the day with plenty
of her colleagues and people just don`t know how much of that she taped.
It`s just – it`s a – it`s the big question mark, it`s the open question
and that`s why there`s so much (INAUDIBLE) in the White House over the
VELSHI: Well, she may actually have been one of the most productive people
were out because every meeting she went to she apparently taped. Jeff,
Politico has headline says people are terrified or “that people are
terrified, Trump staffers live in fear of Omarosa`s next tape. I mean,
this is three times in a row where she has made an allegation. The White
House or someone around the Trump orbit has denied it she`s come with a
JEFF BENNETT, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Ali.
Look, President Trump is clearly consumed by this. He`s been tweeting
about Omarosa at least ten times in just the last 24 hours. But White
House staffers at least some of them describe the kind of psychological
warfare that former Hillary Clinton campaign staffers described in July
2016 when day after day WikiLeaks was trickling out e-mails belonging – to
the hacked e-mails belonging to a Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
So there is an interesting parallel here.
I will tell you though that some senior White House staffers say that they
feel relatively safe for thinking that Omarosa wasn`t able to record those
conversations because she wasn`t included in those sort of smaller high-
level meetings, Ali.
VELSHI: Betsy, Matthew – Matt Yglesias from Vox tweeted out “perhaps I`m
naive but my guess is a lot of Americans have a pretty naive and narrow
view of what racism out – amounts to and video Trump using taboo slurs
would, in fact, change some minds about him.” I don`t know if that`s true.
Is the issue now whether or not the President actually ever used the n-word
which Sarah Huckabee Sanders was not able to categorically deny today, but
is that really the issue? The President sort of stuck in the mid 30
percent approval rating despite everything we already know about him.
WOODRUFF: It`s hard to talk about what hypothetically what type of
response this hypothetical situation would generate. What we do know is
that the President has a long history of comments and actions as it relates
to racial issues in the United States that many, many people find to be
deeply troubling. And this goes all the way back to the 70s when he was
sued for allegedly discriminating against African-Americans when it came to
renting out apartments in the buildings that he controlled.
Moving forward, you have Trump going after the Central Park Five. Five
young men who were accused of being involved in a brutal assault in Central
Park despite the fact that they were exonerated DNA evidence, for years
after that fact Trump`s stayed – was pushing the line at these men were
actually guilty despite DNA exoneration.
Fast forward to his time in the White House, of course, we have him using
an obscenity to refer to sub-Saharan African countries suggesting
immigrants from African countries cause problems for the United States but
immigrants from Scandinavian countries should be welcomed. You don`t have
to – you don`t have to you know, think too hard to figure out what he`s
getting at when he makes comments and statements like that.
So when it comes to this question of what kind of impact would it tape with
the N-word on it have on the President`s reputation on Americans perception
of the president, look I hate to say but I think a lot of this has already
VELSHI: Yes, I think you might be right. ABC News, Jeff, is reporting
that there were several former aides to President Donald Trump who received
payments of roughly $15,000 per month from campaign or party account. So
this concept of paying people money to not talk and it`s not clear whether
they`re paid to do any work or not seems to – seems to be out there.
BENNETT: It does. And look this came up today in the White House press
briefing. We know that Donald Trump has a long history of using non-
disclosure agreements both in his business life and now in his political
life, really paying people in some instances to keep silence and to keep
his secrets private. But to the issue of the use of NDA`s in the White
House, we heard Sarah Sanders today suggest that its standard practice and
has been done throughout previous administrations.
As soon as she said that, as the White House briefing was wrapping up,
there were reporters in the room who screamed that Sarah that`s not true.
BENNETT: And as we called former officials with previous administrations,
we learned that that is, in fact, the case. We talked to Chris Lu the
former cabinet secretary for President Obama. We heard from Ari Fleischer
who worked in the George W Bush administration. We heard from Joe Lockhart
who worked in the Clinton administration. All three of those men said that
NDA`s have never been used in the White House. That there are protections
of course for highly classified, sensitive information, sure, but that all
falls under a security clearance. It has no – NDA`s have no use in in the
White House. NDA`s are used for preserving personal secrets, not state
VELSHI: All right, thanks to both of you. Betsy Woodruff and Jeff
Bennett, thanks to both of you. For more on these NDAs, these non-
disclosure agreements and what else Omarosa might reveal I`m joined by
MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah, a former Federal Prosecutor and MSNBC
political Analyst Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root. Welcome to
both you. Mimi, let`s just talk about these NDAs. Is there anything that
governs who`s allowed to ask for one or get one back or is it just as the
two parties is to an agreement decide?
MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think in this case we`re not
talking about just anybody, right? We`re talking about the government
putting an NDA in place with government employees and that`s what`s so
controversial and why Sarah Sanders claimed that every administration has
done this just can`t be right. You know, there`s First Amendment concerns
when you`re talking – I mean this isn`t really Donald Trump a party to
these NDAs, this is the White House, the government.
And whenever you have government action trying to limit the speech of
public employees but even private employees you have – there`s a whole
First Amendment analysis here and that`s why I think a lot of people are
saying these are likely unenforceable. And so I don`t – the move to sue
to enforce this NDA I can`t believe that they really think they`re going to
win that claim so there must be some other purpose in filing that suit.
VELSHI: So Jason, get inside Omarosa`s head for a second, I know that`s
asking a lot, but in her world she knows she`s been dripping little bits of
evidence out there, she has successfully now three times in a row said
something in her book that has been countered elsewhere and then she has
indicated that she has recording. She told me she`s got plenty more
recordings and she knows the White House is coming for her. She knows the
Trump campaign is coming for her and they do appear to be fearful of what
she knows so they`re trying to muzzle her. They might be able to get some
sort of a temporary restraining order to do that but where do you see this
going well this go?
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as far as it works for
Omarosa and selling the book. That`s the first thing. And Ali, I`ve been
saying this all along. Regardless of how people feel about Omarosa, she is
a very, very smart woman. She has been doing this for years. Can you name
anyone else in the history of reality television who`s had a 15-year career
except maybe Congressman Duffy and the Miz was a wrestler. I mean she
knows how to keep herself in the public sphere.
But on top of that, has been mentored by Donald Trump for years. She knew
legally what she was going to be capable of doing. You notice that they`re
suing for arbitration which means they can keep it quiet in a room with
judges and mediators. They don`t want to go to trial with her. Discovery
would blow up in their faces. That would give an opportunity to reveal
more information. So clearly the White House is concerned and given the
number of people and how long she was there and how close she was the
President of the United States, Omarosa knows that she is completely
inoculated legally on anything they want to do.
VELSHI: So Mimi, NDAs are often signed by parties. If I`ve got some sort
of secret, I want to maybe have you as an investor in my business and I
don`t want you going around and telling other people what I`m up to. And
we know that there are – there`s classified information that you can`t
disclose but what Omarosa said to Katy Tur is kind of remarkable, that Katy
asked her if he knew about the Hillary Clinton e-mails and she said yeah he
ROCAH: Right. It is remarkable. It`s explosive if true and that`s the
big question. As you and other people have said, you know, there`s good
reason to be skeptical of her, of Omarosa.
ROCAH: On the other hand, look, if she has a recording of some form that
corroborates that, that would be hugely important. Even if she doesn`t
have a recording, if – we don`t know exactly in what form the questioning
has already taken place of her by Mueller but they may want to talk to her
VELSHI: Right, she`s already said she`s talked to that investigation once
but if she says anything on T.V. that they don`t already know they`re going
ROCAH: They would want to talk to her again. But they`re never going to
take just her word for it. I mean, they wouldn`t do that with any witness,
let alone this witness who everyone has reason to be skeptical of. But
they`re going to ask her you know, and I didn`t see the full interview but
I don`t believe she was asked well, how do you know he knew? I mean,
that`s the first important question.
Now, I will say this though. That claim that Trump knew ahead of time
about the hacked e-mails, it doesn`t sound crazy –
VELSHI: No, because he went out and talked about it.
ROCAH: Right. What we – what else do we know about the investigation
about the facts that have come out about what happened. So in that sense
you kind of think, this could be true.
VELSHI: Right, I mean, if she can get the investigators closer to the how,
Jason, that becomes interesting. But you just mentioned she`s inoculated.
She`s really inoculated if she has any real dirt on him. I mean, honestly
I`m not sure that the dirt about the fact that the President may have used
the n-word is needle moving, but if she gives Mueller something he can use,
JOHNSON: Well, yes. And Ali, that`s the difference. There`s things that
are going to be useful to selling the book and there`s things that she`s
probably planned out – I mean look she was 520 steps. She was Batman on
this. She was 520 steps ahead of the Trump administration. She knew when
she – her book was coming out they didn`t necessarily know. And I think
this is important for us all to understand. There`s a political element to
all of this and there`s a legal and sort of an American democracy element
For all the people out there that want to poopoo this and oh this is just
drama, no, no, no. What we`re hearing about at its core is a close adviser
of the President of the United States who regularly recorded people and is
now revealing it for profit. That speaks to the lack of vetting, that
speaks to the lack of organization, his administration, it speaks to the
overall lack of trust. And the fact that we have this kind of thing
happening already a year and a half into this administration, it speaks
volumes about what we might see down the road. And I`ll be honest Mueller
probably knows almost everything that Omarosa has on his tapes but he knows
that having a witness like that in the investigation if they got in trouble
for the Steele dossier imagine if he brought Omarosa up as a witness.
VELSHI: All right, thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. Mimi
Rocah and Jason Johnson, great to have you here. After the break, the
first trial of the Robert Mueller era is coming to a close and fast. Find
out why Paul Manafort`s defense attorneys rested their case today without
calling any witnesses in two minutes.
KEVIN DOWNING, LAWYER OF PAUL MANAFORT: Mr. Manafort just rested his case
and he did so because he and his legal team believed that the government
has not met its burden of proof. Thanks, everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Today on day 11 of the trial of Paul Manafort, the jury was called
into the courtroom after the noontime break for the sole purpose of hearing
Paul Manafort`s lead defense attorney say they would not be calling any
witnesses and were resting their case. Keep in mind, that was the defense
in the first case being tried by the Office of Special Counsel Robert
Mueller, the first of two cases against Paul Manafort, President Trump`s
former campaign manager. With 27 witnesses in 367 exhibits, the
prosecution appeared to put on a solid case and now the jury will hear
closing arguments tomorrow before deliberating Paul Manafort`s fate.
For what happened in the court today outside the jury`s purview and what we
can expect tomorrow I`m joined by MSNBC or NBC National News Security and
Justice Reporter Julia Ainsley and MSNBC Legal Analyst Daniel Goldman,
former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Welcome to both of you. Julia, was there any discernible reaction when the
lawyer – when Manafort`s lawyer rested his case without calling any
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: I mean, I think the
biggest reaction is among us in the media alley. It was more of something
that we wanted to see if they had anything to put up. But in some ways it
wasn`t that surprising because all through this case the defense has had a
strategy of – in their cross-examination of taking little chips away from
the prosecution whether that be on bank fraud, tax evasion, or the foreign
They in each case they wouldn`t want to just cast a little bit of doubt.
Is this definitely Mr. Manafort`s signature? Did he really get that loan
because he defrauded the bank or was the head of the bank really at fault
because he wanted a favor? That was their strategy particularly with Rick
Gates who was probably the most notable witness in this entire case and the
prosecution, of course, knew he was going to be a little dangerous that`s
why they put him in the middle and didn`t hold him to the end and they
attacked for Gate`s character going after this secret life, this affair,
possibly multiple fair said he had.
So they really used that strategy all along and I think and of course, Dan
can get into this as well but that they didn`t want to have any kind of
defense that would just be a few character witnesses to try to say oh
Manafort is a good guy because they couldn`t get far enough. Their best
defense is to say that the offense didn`t go far enough.
VELSHI: That`s interesting. Daniel, let`s talk about this for a second.
What are the options? There can be a mistrial, there could be a hung jury,
there can be I guess an acquittal. This seems like a risky strategy on the
part of the defense, what do you make of it?
DANIEL GOLDMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there are two times that a
defense attorney or a defense team does not call any witnesses for their
case. One is where they really do feel like they – the government just
doesn`t have the evidence and the other is where they really have no case
of their own and they have no affirmative defense. We`re in the latter
situation here. The government has really buttoned up their case with a
lot of documents, a lot of e-mails, a lot of Records and they`ve buttressed
it with the witnesses like Rick Gates.
On the flip side there`s really not much of a case for Paul Manafort to
affirmatively make. And so, rather as Julia said then put on a few sort of
technical witnesses to try to pick away and a little bit on the margins,
they made the decision which I think is a wise one not to put any witnesses
on. That the jury is told that the defense does not have to put on a case
and in this situation the defense is much better off to say and to argue
that they – the government hasn`t met its burden, this case is all about
Rick Gates and you saw what a liar he is, you cannot convict my client
based on Rick Gates` testimony and that`s what you would have to do.
I`m not sure it`s an argument that`s going to win but I think it`s the best
that they have to work with right here.
VELSHI: Julia, there are two other things going on here. There`s some
discussion about something that may have to do with a jury. There`s –
there was some kind of an issue about that and then there`s a judge who has
on several occasions taken issue with the prosecution and really kind of
gotten into it with some of the lawyers. Tell me what these two stories
AINSLEY: So at the second, Ali, I`ll take that first because there was
pretty awkward Paul`s in the courtroom today during what should have just
been a routine conference. The prosecution said that they wanted to
include something in the jury instructions it would tell the jury more
explicitly that the judges intermissions, his interjections and his
questioning of the witnesses shouldn`t be considered when the jury is
deliberating and the judge of course thought that he already explained that
in the instructions and didn`t understand why the prosecution needed to go
He said do you really think that that I interjected too much and there was
a long pause and they said yes because there were times like with the
questioning of Rick Gates where he said obviously Manafort didn`t pay
attention to every dollar and cent because you embezzled hundreds of
thousands of dollars from him. That is really putting his finger on the
scale and I think the prosecution wants to be very careful that the jury
doesn`t read too much into the judge who`s supposed to be the independent
voice of the jury in all of this.
And then on the jury of course, Daniel and I were both outside the
courtroom today waiting two hours during the sealed conference and we saw
jurors go in one by one to meet with the judge. He can talk a lot about
what that might mean based on his experience but from where we sit and the
press, it looks like there`s at least been a conversation under seal
through motions started by the defense and then responded to by the
government that could be over this issue of a juror. The judge over and
over again has been saying please don`t talk to anyone on the outside.
Don`t talk amongst yourselves. Come in with an independent mind and with a
– with a case like this it is so saturated in the media and we know this
judge is not under – the jury is not under sequester. We see him in the
elevators. That`s really hard to do, you`re right.
VELSHI: Daniel, I got less than a minute but just tell me about this Judge
Ellis. He is somebody who – I don`t know if it mellowed out during the
course of the trial, but in the beginning he just seemed to be butting
heads with the prosecution right off the top and he seemed to echo Donald
Trump`s view that this is not really got anything to do with the Mueller
investigation or Russian interference in the 2016 election that the
prosecution might be or the investigation might be overreaching.
GOLDMAN: He has mellowed out this week and I think that he realizes he
went a little too far by interjecting as much as he did during the
questioning. He`s not wrong to limit the prosecution to the charges in
this case which do not involve Trump and Russia for the most part
notwithstanding the fact that Paul Manafort was the Trump campaign manager
during the time that he was committing the bank fraud at least. But he
really did overstep his bounds by interjecting at the questioning and
that`s to be distinguished from a judge given prosecutors a hard time which
always happens and he`s always trying to move things along not always but
many judges really try to move things along, keep the prosecution moving
and that`s often to the prosecutors benefit even if they don`t think it at
But when he is interjecting during the cross-examination of a cooperating
witness and questioning that witness` credibility that is absolutely
inappropriate and that was the one issue that the prosecutors took issue
with today during that jury charge. They wanted a little bit more from the
judge and he seemed amenable to it because I think he probably realizes in
retrospect he went too far.
VELSHI: All right, tomorrow will be an interesting day to see those
closing arguments. Thanks to both of you here. Great coverage and
analysis of this, Julia Ainsley and Daniel Goldman. Coming up, with the
progressive message for taking back the House, Senator Bernie Sanders on
tonight`s primaries and what Democrats need to do to regain power and hold
drop Donald Trump accountable. The senator joins me right after this.
VELSHI: Election night in America once again as primary voters in
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont where polls have closed and
we can now report that Senator Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic
primary for the state of Vermont, which presumably is not breaking news for
my next guest, the independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
Congratulations on your victory.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Thank you very much.
VELSHI: It was a nail biter. I think you got 94 percent of the vote.
SANDERS: Something like that.
VELSHI: So you – this is one of those instances where you won the
Democratic primary, but you don`t run as a Democrat.
SANDERS: I have a long and kind of unusual relationship with the people of
the state of Vermont. Back in 1981, I defeated a Democrat and a Republican
to become mayor of Burlington, defeated Democrats and Republicans. To make
a long story short, I always run as an independent, and that`s what I will
do. And I think people of Vermont understand that.
We have a very good relationship with the Democratic Party. I suspect that
this coming campaign will be putting more money into the Democratic Party
than anybody else. We`re supporting a whole lot of good Democratic
candidates, but I will run as an independent.
VELSHI: So you will decline the Democratic nomination?
VELSHI: And I understand that you have got a good relationship with the
voters of Vermont. But now you have got a profile nationally where a lot
of Democrats are saying, hey, this is not a good time for Bernie Sanders to
be separate and apart from the Democratic Party.
SANDERS: I am not separate and apart. I`m part of the Democratic
The truth of the matter is, and I think Democrats and Republicans have got
to understand this, there are more people now who are independents than
Democrats and Republicans. I don`t want to break the bad news to anybody.
Two party system is not held in wide esteem in this country.
And I think as an independnet what I can do, and am doing, is bringing a
whole lot of working people and young people who are not crazy about the
Democratic Party into the Democratic Party, because clearly that is the far
better alternative than the Republican Party.
And what we`re also trying to do is reform the Democratic Party, make it a
party of working people, making it a party of young people. And I`m very
proud of the successes that we`ve had in recent years in pushing a
progressive agenda – health care for all, raising the minimum wage to 15
bucks an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition free,
demanding the wealthy start paying
their fair share of taxes.
Those ideas, Ali, which two years ago seem to be radical ideas are now kind
of mainstream ideas supported by a pretty strong majority of the American
VELSHI: So take a look at this tweet today from Nate Silver at
FiveThirtyEight. In races where insurgent progressive Democrats are
running against party-backed nominees – and we`re going to get in trouble
for all the words we used here, but the establishment Democrat is winning
89 percent of the time.
We can get into a debate about what that means, but…
SANDERS: It doesn`t mean anything is what we can talk about.
Next question is how much money did the establishment Democrats have
compared to the insurgents?
Look, we are winning, I believe, the ideological struggle, do you agree?
OK. In other words, ideas that were seen as radical are now seeming
mainstream. Are we going to win every election? Of course not. A lot of
really great candidates who have lost, but the truth of the matter is, if
you look at races from the school board, state legislature, city council,
members of congress, we are winning some really good races.
VELSHI: In this instance, in this time that we are now with Donald Trump
as president, with remarkable destruction, not creative destruction, just
destruction, is the winning of the longer term battle of mainstreaming some
of your ideas in the Democratic Party better or more important than the
SANDERS: Donald Trump has got to be defeated and I intend to do everything
that I can, with every other progressive in America, in making sure that
You will recall, though, that four years ago in the midterm elections, we
had the lowest voter turnout in the modern history of the United States of
America. Two-thirds of the American people didn`t vote.
VELSHI: It`s in the low 30s.
So, our job right now – and I think we are succeeding – is get people
excited about the political process, getting people to run for office,
getting people to vote. If we can have a large voter turnout, and if we
have candidates who stand for working families, I think the Democrats are
going to do just fine.
VELSHI: The complaints of many working Americans, or formerly working
Americans, who supported you was not dissimilar to a lot of those who
support Donald Trump. The distrust of the political system, of Wall
Street, of the banks, of trade agreements that have left them out while
corporations make record product – profits and countries has record GDP
growth are many of the same
How do Democrats get those voters back?
SANDERS: You talk to the issue that impact ordinary Americans and we
demand that the media, by the way, talk to those issues as well. I know
you are familiar with this issue. You`re Canadian, yeah? Why is it that
the United States of America is the only major country on Earth not
to guarantee health care to all people, and yet we`re spending twice as
much per capita and our health care outcomes are worse. Let`s talk about
VELSHI: So you push the idea of Medicare for all, which is a similar
system to what I grew up
under. Is that the winning strategy for Democrats.
SANDERS: I think it is part of it. It`s not just one thing. Raising the
minimum wage to a living wage, dealing with income and wealth inequality.
How do you think the American people feel, whether they are working people,
middle class, upper middle class, you`ve got three people in this country
owning more wealth than the bottom 50 percent. You`ve got one guy, Jeff
Bezos, whose wealth increases every single day by $250 million, but doesn`t
pay his workers, many of his workers, enough money to keep them off food
stamps and Medicaid. Do you think that`s an issue that would resonate?
VELSHI: Practically speaking, why does Donald Trump still have that base
of support in many cases of people who do not benefit from his policies?
SANDERS: Well, I think we have got to do a heck of a lot better in getting
through to some of those people. Look, I am not going to deny for a second
that some of those supporters are racist, sexist, homophobes, xenophobes,
that`s true. I don`t believe that is the majority.
I`ve been all over Trump country. And I think what Trump was able to do
was pick up on the failures of the Democratic Party that did not talk about
the fact that hard working decent people saw their jobs going to Mexico or
China, or people cannot afford to send their kids to college or afford
child care or afford housing that they desperately need.
So I think the future of the Democratic Party has got to be the focus on
the needs of working families to demand that we have a government that
represents all of us.
You talk to Republicans and ask them how they feel about Citizen United.
Do they think it`s a good idea that billionaires, like the Koch Brothers,
can literally buy elections, spending hundreds of millions of dollars?
VELSHI: So at this point, the Democrats have got to get out there with a
message. And we`re 84 days from the midterms. YOu`ve been crossing the
country campaigning for people. At some point it`ll start to emerge as to
what should the party represent in the next election. Who will the leaders
be? There are a number of Democratic Socialist candidates who have run.
There are a lot of progressive who have run. There are a lot of
progressive Democrats who are running. And there are, again back to this
Nate Silver tweet, whether…
SANDERS: That is – that is a troublesome tweet, because I can`t predict -
- I could back 100 percent of the victors.
VELSHI: Let`s just put that up for a second. I just want to see it. The
fact is, is the number troublesome to you? Because 89 percent of what he
is calling establishment Democrats are winning these primaries.
SANDERS: And probably half of them ran without any opposition. I mean, it
doesn`t mean anything unto itself, because the truth is that all over this
country we are seeing working people and young people, often for the very
first time, getting involve in politics.
VELSHI: So, it`s some of these rural more conservative constituencies, you
think it is good to get in there with a consistent message of a progressive
message, not to out flank a conservative candidate? Because the ones who
have been winning in some of these special elections are people who…
SANDERS: Really? That was Alexandria`s situation here in New York. I
don`t know that was…
VELSHI: And you have drawn the clearest example of the exception to that
SANDERS: Well, Rashida`s victory or John Federman`s (ph) victory in
VELSHI: But you get the point, right, there are some.
SANDERS: Look, you know, people are going run their own campaigns based on
district. All that I can say is that I think it is not only good policy,
it is good politics to talk about
issues relevance to working people.
In all of the polling, you ask people do they want Medicare for All? Yeah.
Do they think that the rich and large corporations should should the paying
their fair share of taxes. Yeah, they do.
Should we make public college and universities tuition free? Hey, that`s a
Should we deal with climate change and transform our energy system? Yeah,
let`s do it because we`re seeing what climate change is doing right now all
over the world.
VELSHI: And yet we have move in the opposite direction on all four of
SANDERS: We sure have.
VELSHI: We`ve gone the wrong way. Congratulations on your victory. Look
forward to talking to you more.
VELSHI: Senator Bernie Sanders.
Still ahead, the president making drastic attempts to distract from the
Mueller investigation, but is it working? We`ll talk about that on the
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
VELSHI: Thing One tonight, as we have chronicled here in Thing One, Thing
Two before, when you think of Donald Trump, the words geography wiz aren`t
the first words that pop into your head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And I`m greatly honored to host this lunch to be joined by the
leaders of Cote d`Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Nambia, Tanzania.
China. Belgium is a beautiful city.
We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico. We love Puerto Rico.
Heroin overdoses are surging and meth overdoses in Nevada.
And it`s great to be back in Missouri.
You cherish Utah`s gleaming rivers.
And bless the United States. That you very much. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: That is just the record we have on tape.
A new political report gives us a picture of what it`s like to be in a
diplomatic briefing with the president. In one case, Trump, while studying
a briefer`s map of south Asia ahead of a 2017 meeting with India`s prime
minister, mispronounced Nepal as Nipple and laughingly referred to Bhutan
And then there are the president`s trouble with time zones. That is Thing
Two in 60 seconds.
VELSHI: As we mentioned, geography is not Donald Trump`s forte. And as
Politico reports this week, he`s also a little wobbly on time zones.
Sources say the president often wanted to call Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe in the middle of the afternoon Washington time, which of course
is the middle of the night in Tokyo.
The issue came up on a constant basis, according to one diplomatic source,
and staffers resorted to telling the president, quote, the time is messed
up. One official defended Trump saying he is the president of the United
States, he`s not stopping to add up time differences.
And Politico notes other president`s, especially Bill Clinton, were known
to call foreign leaders at odd hours.
But the current president`s trouble with time zones may actually have an
unexpected benefit. It turns out to be a convenient excuse for his
performance with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not a very forceful presentation from President
Trump with Putin standing right next to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know. I will give the benefit, maybe jet lag
and time differences, but holy tamale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: We have new data today suggesting that Donald Trump`s relentless
attacks on the Mueller investigation are not working nearly as well as the
president might hope.
Take a look at these numbers from CNN. 58 percent of Americans say
Russia`s role in the 2016 election is a serious matter that should be fully
investigated. Just 37 percent say the investigation is an effort to
discredit Trump`s presidency. Nearly as many, 56 percent, say Trump has
personally interfered with the investigation versus 38 percent who say he
And then there is this, only 37 percent of Americans believe that what
Trump has said publicly
about the investigation is true. 56 percent of Americans say his comments
are false. In other words, that the president has been lying about the
So, with all that said, is the president actually losing the PR war with
Robert Mueller? We will debate that question next.
VELSHI: The president spent a lot of time trying to discredit the Robert
Mueller investigation, but new polling suggests it`s not working with
Joining me now to discuss the state of the president`s messaging on Russia,
Mara Gay, editorial board member at The New York Times; Rick Wilson,
Republican strategist and author of the new
book “Everything Trump Touches Dies.”
Welcome to both of you. Thank you both for being here.
So, Mara, what`s your view on this? We showed all those poll numbers about
the number of people who believe Trump and who don`t believe Trump, but the
numbers seem to make sense given what we think Donald Trump`s approval
ratings are. So, one can say it`s not working for Donald Trump or one can
say how is it that 35, 36, 37 percent of people still believe him?
MARA GAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES: That`s really the million dollar question.
I think the answer is essentially – this is just a theory that I have,
that there is a portion of the population that is viewing facts through a
very tribal basis. And so they are not coming at things for the first
time, they`re essentially viewing it through the prism of who gave me this
information? So, if you implicitly trust Donald Trump and you`re in that
VELSHI: Or distrust the media.
GAY: Or distrut – well, and I think there is a lot of overlap there, then
that`s what you are seeing. You are essentially saying, well, I believe
whatever he says, meaning the president.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There is a tribal silo now on the
right that consists of Fox News and talk radio and a certain cluster of
right wing and post conservative blogs and social media where they
basically say Donald Trump`s word is law. He could literally walk out
tomorrow and say we are living on Mars and the sky is red and they, well,
of course we are living on Mars. And so that desire to isolate themselves
into a self-reinforcing bubble, this hermetic bubble around them is very
VELSHI: Well, you bring up something, let`s just play something where
Donald Trump basically said believe just me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Just stick with us. Don`t believe the crap you see from these
people, the fake news.
And just remember, what you are seeing and what you`re reading is not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Why does that work?
GAY: So, I actually – I have been thinking a lot about this. And I think
if you bring it back to
the beginning, we have to remember that this is a president who started
running for office many years ago with what, with a claim that Barack
Obama, the country`s first black president, was not born in the United
VELSHI: As a Kenyan-born Muslim myself, he wasn`t at any of the meetings.
GAY: There you go. I don`t think he would believe you.
But, no, but the point there to take it a step further, is that if you are
living in a world in which you have trouble believing or accepting the fact
that there is a black president, OK, then you essentially have to accept
Donald Trump`s reality instead.
And so if you are willing to believe that lie as kind of an original sin,
then of course I think…
VELSHI: This is just an extension of…
GAY: …this is just everything…
VLESHI: And by the way, there`s – I mean, various polling indicates 22,
23 percent of people believe that story about Barack Obama, so it`s not
that much of a leap to get there, but it is a leap. No one else who has
ever run for the Republican nomination, or successfully, got it, was able
to get this group of people, this band of extremists, conspiracy theorists,
you know, how does the Republican Party fix this?
WILSON: Well, look, the Republican Party has a real choice to make in the
post-Trump era, and there will be a post-Trump era. They have to decide if
they`re going to be the party of wackadoodle conspiracy theories like Q
Anon and these ridiculous – the Anime boys and the alt-right boys, and the
Charlottesville scumbags, you know, citronella ISIS I call it. Or they can
get back and rediscover the hard work of being a conservative party that
believes in limited government and the constitution and the rule of law and
all those things that, you know, are very out of fashion right now in the
Trump authoritarian party, but still reflect the Burkian conservatism that
should inform in my humble opinion where a Republican and conservative
party and the movement should go.
VELSHI: Mara, what does the media do? Because there is some real valid
criticism, right. There are reasons people have moved away from it. Some
of it is entirely conspiracy nonesense. Some of it is the ability to
promulgate and spread this nonesense on the internet. But does the
mainstream media do anything to try and fix the level of distrust that`s
GAY: That`s a really great question. I mean, it`s really important
actually that we don`t essentially become stenographers and say, oh, well
Donald Trump says the sky is green, but some people say the sky is blue.
And I think that, you know, not all facts are relative. And I think that
they become relative if you look at Russia if you look at the way Vladimir
Putin rules the country, it`s a lot of creating chaos that there is no
truth. And that`s why Donald Trump is attacking the media so that he can
say, oh, well, you know, there is no truth, it`s whatever I say.
And so I think it`s really important that we just stick to the facts as
much as possible.
But also I think the way that Americans consume news, even though it`s
changing, there has to be some responsibility on – you know, in schools,
frankly. And then with the media as well in terms of…
VELSHI: How to consume.
GAY: How to consume, but also what is the difference between news and
opinion? What is the difference between entertainment and hard news? You
know, Americans don`t know how to read newspapers.
VELSHI: Rick, I`m going to have to hold it, because I`m just looking at
the clock there and we are awful close. I do not want to invoke the wrath
of Rachel Maddow. But thank you to both of you. What a great
conversation. We really do need a lot more time for it.
Mara Gay is an editorial board member with The New York Times, Rick Wilson
is a republican
strategist and he author of “Everything Trump Touches Dies.”
That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
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