Judge sets hearing as Trump scrambles. TRANSCRIPT: 5/3/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests:
Bill Kristol, John Flannery, Sam Seder, Christina Greer, Gregory Meek, Holly Otterbein
Transcript:

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST:  That`s all for tonight.  We`ll be back Monday with

more MEET THE PRESS DAILY.  And if it`s Sunday, it`s “MEET THE PRESS” on

your local NBC station.  Michael Bennett, John Kennedy, and our brand new

NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll.

 

But THE BEAT starts right now with Yasmin Vossoughian who`s in for Ari

tonight. 

 

Good evening, Yasmin.

 

YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chuck.  I`m going to be

watching Sunday.  That is for sure.  Have a good weekend.

 

TODD:  Good.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  We are covering a lot of stories tonight, everybody.  New

developments in the fight for Congress to get Donald Trump`s bank records. 

Plus, Michael Cohen`s last weekend of freedom before his three-year prison

sentence begins.

 

His longtime friend Donny Deutsch is here.  And deep from the vault, newly

discovered video of Bernie Sanders`s 1980s TV show and it is a must-see

Friday.

 

But we begin tonight with Democrats giving Trump`s Attorney General Bill

Barr a final ultimatum.  Turn over the Mueller report or they`re going to

court.  Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler telling Barr, he needs a response by

9:00 a.m. on Monday morning.  And if the department “persists” in its

baseless refusal to comply, guess what, they`re going to start contempt

proceedings.

 

Democrats want to know everything possible about Russia`s election

interference and if Trump tried to block that investigation.  And in the

middle of that fight, Donald Trump talked to Vladimir Putin today including

about, the Mueller report.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  Mr. President, did you address the election meddling issues that

came up in the Mueller report with Mr. Putin today?

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We discussed it.  He

actually sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it

started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse but he knew that. 

Because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.  So pretty much that`s

what it was.  It started –

 

KRISTEN WELKER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NBC:  Did you tell him not to

meddle, Mr. President?  Did you tell him not to meddle in the next

election?

 

TRUMP:  Excuse me.  I`m talking.  I am answering this question.  You are

very rude.

 

REPORTER:  Did you ask him not to meddle?

 

WELKER:  Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?

 

TRUMP:  We didn`t discuss that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  By the way, the Mueller report said Russians meddled in

sweeping and systemic fashion in our elections but Trump didn`t even bring

it up.  And on the next major fight in Congress, if Mueller should testify,

Trump didn`t even have anything to say on that.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

WELKER:  Mr. President, should Mueller testify?  Would you like to see him

testify?

 

TRUMP:  I don`t know.  That`s up to our attorney general who I think has

done a fantastic job.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  With me, Bill Kristol, longtime Conservative

journalist, now director of the group Defending Democracy Together and

former Federal Prosecutor John Flannery.

 

Bill, I`m going to start with you on this one.  We know Chief of Staff Nick

Mulvaney in the past has said, do not even bring up election meddling with

the president.

 

Now, we are hearing the president had a phone call with Russian President

Vladimir Putin and did not even bring up election meddling.  Although he

did say they agreed on the fact that there was no collusion and he laughed

about it.  How can we have trust in the system that we will be protected

come 2020?

 

BILL KRISTOL, DIRECTOR, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER:  I`m not sure we can. 

I hate to say that as an American.

 

As a candidate, Donald Trump behaved badly.  He didn`t stop the Russians

from trying to help him and so forth.  But he is president of the United

States.  If the president of the United States dealing with the president

of an adversary which has interfered, to say the least in our election,

which has interfered in Venezuela and until yesterday, I thought we were on

the side of the people of Venezuela seeking freedom, and now he has a

conversation with Putin and reports in a very smug way that they agree on

the Russia hoax, he seems to be saying that he even agrees that there was

no interference, that he disagrees with the intelligence community or with

the Mueller report.

 

And then on Venezuela which has gotten too little attention in my opinion,

he has totally undercut our foreign policy in a very important area where

people have gotten to the streets and been killed.  I mean that`s partly as

a result of their thinking that we were on their side.

 

And now it turns out everything is fine, we`re with Putin.  There is no

problem with Russian troops there.  And it is contrary to what Secretary

State said yesterday.

 

And so the degree to which I think your question gets to this, the degree

which isn`t just about gee, Trump contradicts himself a lot and gee, Trump

watches out for himself and he lies.  Trump is really damaging American

interests in the world when he says these kinds of things.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  John, this is about Natalia Veselnitskaya, this is about the

Internet Research Agency.  This is about Paul Manafort.  This is about

George Papadopoulos.  This is about General Flynn talking with Kislyak.

 

Is this setting a precedent for other future campaigns to say hey, you know

what, we can speak with foreign entities as long as we do not break the

law?

 

JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Well, first of all, I think he

broke the law.  But the second point is no, we are not setting a precedent. 

We have an autocratic president.

 

And I imagine the conversation today that we`re told wasn`t much, was more

like, “Comrade, you did a good job.  Barr is such a wonderful tool.  I

think that you`re coming along very nicely.”

 

And I think that that`s the way we should look at this.  This is not a

precedent by a legitimate president.  This is a man who is using Barr as

his tool, if you will, to engage in the most conflicted way of running the

Department of Injustice under his leadership by protecting himself and the

president from his own lies, on his behalf and Trump`s lies and misconduct

for himself.

 

Talk about a Constitutional crisis.  And the fact that he refuses to

cooperate with another branch of government leads us to only one place.  I

mean a major confrontation over what our Constitution means in terms of

separation of powers and expecting a lawful and constitutional and oath

faithful conduct by another branch of government.  Namely the chief

executive.  It is a scandal.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Bill, what is your theory here?  Because it is pretty head

scratching to a lot of individuals when you have every intelligence agency

saying that Russians meddled in our election.  when you have Bob Mueller

who did an investigation for two years and he says the Russians meddled in

our election.

 

And yet you have the president of the United States who stood up next to

Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and still would not necessarily admit that the

Russians meddled in our elections.  And they had a phone call just today

and whatnot.  What is your theory behind this?  Why is it that the

president refuses to do so?

 

KRISTOL:  Because he thinks it is in his interests and so far he`s kind of

gotten away with it.  I mean he hasn`t fully gotten away with it because

the public isn`t mostly on his side.

 

Still, I mean once he admits that they meddled, then the question is, well,

did the campaign resist the efforts to meddle or not quite?  Well, as

president, did you get serious about this?  As president, did you want the

truth to come to light?  And all the answer is no.

 

And, in fact, he, I think, pretty much obstructed justice the effort to

find out the truth which is the Mueller investigation.  So he decided he`s

just going to stonewall.  He stonewalled as much as he could with Mueller. 

He is stonewalling now with Congress.

 

And so I do think one has to sort of get more serious, frankly.  The

Democrats in the House have to get serious and say, impeachment is not so

popular.  Then maybe we can do it incrementally and we can have this

hearing here with Barr and we can embarrass them with a subpoena there. 

They need to get to the heart of it.

 

Don McGahn needs to testify.  People need to testify as to what happened. 

And the House has to make a serious judgment about the president`s conduct.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So let`s talk about who else may testify and that is Bob

Mueller possibly on May 15.  We`re now getting this deadline though that I

first want to talk about which is Monday morning.

 

And that deadline is against the Attorney General, John, for Monday morning

to basically give the Mueller report, the unredacted version of the Mueller

report.  What is the likelihood that he is going to abide by this deadline?

 

And does this deadline change the stakes?  Could they feasibly find and

will they feasibly find the attorney general in contempt of Congress if he

does not produce the unredacted version of the Mueller report by 9:00 a.m.?

 

FLANNERY:  An ethical and moral government would without question supply

something or have objections or negotiate a result.  But we have a crime

syndicate in the west wing.  And looking at the data points to this point,

I don`t think we`re going to see them producing anything.

 

I mean consider how humiliating and embarrassing it was.  And they even

called him a chicken for Barr`s failure to appear before the House

Judiciary Committee.

 

And the interesting thing is this is an assault that mirrors almost

perfectly what Richard Nixon did which constituted Article 3 of the

impeachment charges against him.  That is to resist and disregard the

oversight responsibility of the House seeking certain documents and

witnesses.  This is identical.

 

So it writes itself as an offense against the Constitution, the law, and

good behavior, and the cooperation of the separate departments.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And Bill, how important is it that Congress sees the

unredacted version of the Mueller report before Bob Mueller actually

testifies on possibly May 15?

 

KRISTOL:  I think at least some people in Congress certainly needs to see

it and they`re within their rights to ask for it obviously.  And there can

be negotiations about exactly how it`s presented and how careful they are

that it doesn`t – things don`t leak out.

 

But the whole thing is just really outrageous.  I`ve got to say.  It`s just

a matter of actual separation of powers.  Congress has an undoubted right

to oversee the executive branch.

 

I do think though, I`ve got to say, I think the House Democrats are hurting

themselves by being so terrified of saying the word impeachment.  They`re

so terrified to say we`re launching a series of inquiries.  We may not

impeach the president but we need to find out what happened.

 

Then people say, OK, it`s serious.  Then Don McGahn has to testify.  John

Dean testified in the Nixon case, right.

 

You can`t have someone senior with this issue and Mueller – when Bob

Mueller says McGahn told him this and the president says no, it didn`t

happen that way.  The House has to find that out.

 

How do you find out?  You interrogate Mr. McGahn and Mr. Mueller and

others, the president himself ultimately perhaps they can ask him if he

wants to make his case.

 

But I think if you don`t do it in the context of impeachment, people look

at it and say well, it is kind of what they are doing are harassing him,

they want the attorney general, they want the gas, they have this demand,

they have that demand.  They`re now in court.

 

It is a little unclear what the point of it is.  So I actually think this

is sort of a contrarian view, but the House Democrats would be better sort

of biting the bullet now and saying we are looking at the possibility of

impeachment and that`s why we need all this information.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  Bill Kristol –

 

FLANNERY:  I agree.  Yes.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  Bill Kristol, John Flannery, thank you guys both

so much.

 

FLANNERY:  Thank you.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I want to bring in now, Christina Greer, a political science

professor at Fordham University.  And Sam Seder, host of the “Majority

Report” radio show and an MSNBC contributor.

 

First, I want to get you guys` reaction to what Bill Kristol said, which is

that the Democrats are actually hurting themselves by not using the word

impeachment.  Go ahead, Sam.  What do you think?

 

SAM SEDER, HOST, THE MAJORITY REPORT:  Well, I mean I think he`s right.  I

think it`s also we need to – there is another word that was missing from

that entire conversation, it`s also the Republicans.

 

We haven`t heard a word from the Republican Party.  I mean not a word and

that is extraordinary.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Are you surprised though considering the last two years?

 

SEDER:  No, I`m not surprised, considering the last frankly 15 years.  But

you know, so I mean still, we still need to hold them to account.  I mean

the fact of the matter is that the lynchpin of this still remains Mitch

McConnell.

 

If the Republican Party stood up, if there was even like a small faction at

the Republican Party that would stand up for the assault.  We`re not just

talking norms here when you`re ignoring subpoenas, when you`re refusing to

testify.  We`re talking about the Democratic procedures of our government.

 

So I mean this is very problematic.  And let me just add one more quick

thing.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Yes.

 

SEDER:  Bill Kristol brought up Venezuela.  I have problems with Russia

interfering in our election for the same reason why I would have problems

with this country interfering with what`s going on in Venezuela.

 

And so if we`re going to bring up Venezuela in this context, the lesson

here is it is a very hard argument for us to make that we should not have

outside interference in the way that we choose our leaders.  And then at

the same time say, that`s a problem that we`re not interfering enough in

Venezuela.  But we`ve been doing that forever but it doesn`t make it right.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I want to go back to the point that you made, why aren`t we

hearing from the Republicans?  And we have heard from one Republican today

and that was Senator Lindsey Graham.

 

And he actually sent a letter to Bob Mueller saying that Bill Barr

testified that Mueller did not challenge his findings, that Mueller did not

challenge Barr`s findings.  But if in fact – on that phone call they had

together.  But if in fact, that was not the case, then tell us, come out

and let us know.  What do you make of this?

 

CHRISTINA GREER, PROFESSOR, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY:  So we know that Lindsey

Graham performs for an audience of one and that is the president.  And we

know that Bill Barr now performs for an audience of one.

 

This is why he wasn`t – that he refused to go in front of the House the

other day because he knows the president was disappointed with the way he

behaved and the way he was able to defend himself and the presidency when

he came before the Senate Judiciary.

 

There are a few things. I mean I`m agreeing with Bill Kristol.  So that`s

shocking to me right now.

 

But we have to remember, one, 1796.  George Washington warns us about this. 

He warns us about hyper-partisanship but he also warns us about foreign

interference.  And here we see it, right.

 

And in the separation of powers, we also know that in the Constitution,

Congress is listed before the executive branch.  So we have to understand

the importance of Congress.  And this is where Mitch McConnell comes in.

 

We – the reason why this is not the same as Nixon days is because we have

Republican Party back then that actually respected the country, the party,

and they were not willing to throw the country away just to save Richard

Nixon.

 

I do not feel as comfortable and as confident with the Republican Party

today.  We see, and I`ve said this time and time again, they behaved as

sycophants when it comes to this particular president.

 

And so whenever we talk about Donald Trump, we have to always remember, it

is Donald Trump and his party, right.  It is the elected officials in

Washington, D.C. who are in the Republican Party who are refusing to uphold

to Constitution and they`re upholding the wishes and the whims of Donald

Trump.

 

That is a fundamental difference now than in Nixon impeachment.  And I

think the reason why – or the impeachment proceedings.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Right.

 

GREER:  He was never impeached.  But I think the reason why the Democrats

initially were a little shy about impeaching the president because the

polling for Republicans when they impeached Bill Clinton in the late `90s

was that their numbers went down.  Their polling numbers went down and

their approval ratings went down.

 

And so I think initially, Democrats were a little nervous to do that. 

However, this isn`t the late 1990`s and Donald Trump is not Bill Clinton. 

Bill Clinton did some egregious acts but he was not treasonous.  He was not

a blatant criminal.  He was not cozying up with one of our greatest

adversaries, two of our greatest adversaries if you include North Korea.

 

So these are – we`re actually not dealing with apples and oranges or

apples and apples.  We`re dealing with apples and steak.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  It`s a big difference.

 

GREER:  And to constantly sort of say, like oh, well, voters don`t like

impeachment.  We`re not in the late 1990s anymore.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So as we have heard, in order to get to the bottom of this,

we`ve got to hear from that – the American public needs to hear from Don

McGahn.  They need to hear from Bob Mueller.  They need to hear testimony

from both of these individuals.

 

If we were to hear, Sam, from Bob Mueller, what is the strategy on behalf

of the House Democrats in their questioning?  Do they need to concentrate

on the content of the Mueller report, on those 10 instances in which there

could have been obstruction of justice?  Or do they need to concentrate as

well on whether or not Bill Barr mischaracterized Mueller`s findings?

 

SEDER:  Well, I mean I think both.  I mean because the fact is that I don`t

think you really need to hear from Bob Mueller any more than you already

have the 400 pages.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Really?  So you don`t think we need testimony from Bob

Mueller?

 

SEDER:  No.  Listen, I think it would be helpful because I think the idea

now is because the Democrats have been putting a little bit of water on the

idea of impeachment, I think that`s why you`ve seen the poll numbers go

down.

 

And I think bringing Bob Mueller there is going to bring the American

public`s attention to the instances when there was obstruction of justice. 

And even, you know, we talk about the broad notion of collusion.  Collusion

obviously is not the crime.

 

But I mean if you just read those first two chapters of that report, I

think from anyone`s perspective as to the way a campaign and a presidential

campaign, and really, any outside force.  I don`t care if it`s Boeing or

some other company or a foreign government or whatnot, the way that they

were working in concert, they were not necessarily saying here`s how you

hack, this is when you should release but there was I do something you

like, you do something I like, we both know that those things like each

other, and we continue to operate in that fashion.

 

I mean I think that`s enough for the American people to say, this is not

appropriate and impeachment is a political offense.  The argument needs to

be made.

 

I think Mueller showing up there and Don McGahn showing up there helps in

making that argument.  But you don`t need it from a substantial –

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Impeachment of who though at this point?

 

SEDER:  Wow.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  The attorney general or the president?

 

SEDER:  I mean I would start with the attorney general.  But I would make

it – I mean I would impeach both of them frankly.

 

GREER:  Well, I mean I agree.  I mean we need to do something.  Keep in

mind, Hillary Clinton as secretary of secretary warned us about all of

this.  Like we just need to always remember that.

 

She told us in 2016, all of this that was happening.  Because as secretary

of state, she knew the danger that Russia posed on the nation.  And so I

think that Bill Barr has written his script that he should be impeached,

right.  I think that Donald Trump has long ago written his speech that he

should be impeached.

 

And I understand the Democrats wanting to be strategic.  Because you know

you`re not going to move Donald Trump`s base.  That 30 percent that`s

hovering and they will stay on that Titanic as long as they want.  They`re

not moving.

 

The problem is there are some Republicans who should know better.  But for

whatever reason, they`re in a hyper-partisan space and refusing to see the

real danger.  If 2016 happened and Russia did meddle, it wouldn`t be a huge

deal if we didn`t have 2020 coming up and 2024.  I always think it`s a huge

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I just wonder if the big question here is, is this about

strategy going forward or is this about what is right and wrong and holding

people accountable for their actions?  We`ve got to go on that.

 

SEDER:  OK.

 

GREER:  OK.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  OK.

 

SEDER:  They`re not exclusive necessarily.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Right.  OK.

 

GREER:  That`s true.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And you got your word in.  Christina Greer, Sam Seder, thank

you guys both.

 

Coming up, everybody, the bank that saw Donald Trump`s tax returns.  Yes,

somebody saw them, now cooperating with investigators.

 

We`re going to talk to a congressman from the committee digging into

Trump`s finances.  Also, I`m going to talk to Michael Cohen`s friend Donny

Deutsche about Cohen`s final weekend freedom before he heads to prison.

 

And we`ll breakdown the questions everybody wants Bob Mueller to answer

when he finally stands for a scene like this one.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you would

give before this committee is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but

the truth?

 

ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR:  I do.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So we have all that.  Plus, some wild, yes, never before seen

clips from Bernie T.V.  That is Bernie Sanders, everybody. He had a T.V.

show when he was a mayor in Vermont.  We have clips that you have never

seen before and you`ll want to see now.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I like Coca-Cola.

 

BERNIE SANDERS:  Oh, Coca-Cola.  All right.  But who knows about cocaine? 

Anyone ever seen cocaine?

 

Well, let me start off by saying that`s an interesting hairdo.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you.

 

SANDERS:  Hi.  I`m Dan Rather.  This is “60 Minutes”.  We`re here in

Burlington, Vermont.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I`m Yasmin Vossoughian, in for Ari Melber. And you`re

watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Welcome back.  Donald Trump and his family scrambling to hide

financial records but it appears that he`s losing that fight.  New York`s

attorney general revealing this about her request for records.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  The Deutsche Bank says they are very cooperative.  Can you – is

that true?  Are they being very forward to give all the documents you

require from them?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let me just say that they were issued with a subpoena

and they are complying with the law.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  They are complying with the law.  Trump also fighting to

shield Congress from getting his bank records.  Democrats subpoenaed banks

for the records.  Deutsche Bank saying they had “reams of material to turn

over, including Trump`s tax returns.”  Yep, tax returns.  But Trump and his

family, they are suing the banks trying to stop them from actually

complying.

 

Joining me now is Congressman Gregory Meek who`s on the Financial Services

Committee that subpoenaed banks for Trump`s records.  Congressman, thanks

so much for joining us in this Friday evening, very much appreciate it.

 

REP. GREGORY MEEK (D-NY), FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE:  Thank you.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  The president just filed an injunction, moments ago, blocking

House subpoenas.  How is this going to impact your fight?

 

MEEK:  Oh, we`re going to – I think that Trump and his family has finally

have met their match.  We`re going to continue and I think that this is

what you heard from the attorney general, with Deutsche Bank, complying

with the subpoenas.  We expect them to comply to the subpoenas that we

issued from the Financial Services Committee and in Congress also.

 

Trump is suing other people.  That`s the way they`ve done business before. 

Him and his family have always tried to sue their way out of their

irresponsible and con games that they`ve played on people in the past. 

They`re not going to get away with it this time.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  How far are you willing to go?

 

MEEK:  Well, I think that we`re going to do our oversight responsibility. 

We`re going to go all the way.  We`re going to make sure that –

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  What does that mean?

 

MEEK:  That means we`re going to continue to focus on Deutsche Bank to get

the information that is necessary so that we can see what is there and

whether or not his fixer, Cohen, has said that he`s lied in those

documents.  And there`s other evidence that – I should say other testimony

from other individuals who say that there`s been some fraudulent things in

there.

 

And so we`re going to do what we`re supposed to do and we – what our

responsibility is.  And that`s to make sure that we get the information so

that we can conduct the proper oversight on the businesses of Donald Trump.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  “Bloomberg News” is reporting that Deutsche Bank have already

seen Trump`s taxes.  Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of Trump Organization,

allowed the bankers to see relevant parts of Trump`s tax returns and take

notes.

 

They were not though allowed to make copies of the documents.  So there are

individuals, according to “Bloomberg News”, at Deutsche Bank that have

actually seen these tax returns.  What is your reaction to that latest

report?

 

MEEK:  My reaction has been the Congress along with the Ways and Means

Committee, as we know, that our chair there has subpoenaed the IRS for

those records.  And what we have done on the committee, subpoenaed the

banks for those records.

 

And if it comes to it, we could also ask to come in and or subpoena

individuals with the bank who have seen the records to come testify.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is not off

the table when it comes to the president.  Your reaction.

 

MEEK:  My reaction is that what we`re trying to do is get all of the

information.  We`re trying to make sure.  That`s what part of our oversight

is so that we can make the right and most intelligible decision.

 

And I think that what we`re going after – and I heard your last segment

which I couldn`t agree with more, we need some of my Republican colleagues

to finally step up for the country because this is not – this is about for

the country`s sake.

 

So senators on the other side – because if we impeach and the Senate still

does what it seems to be doing now, that`s protecting the president, we

can`t get rid of him.  I want to make sure that we have the evidence.  We

put it on the table for the American people to see and I think that will

swing things.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So the big question here is, can Democrats walk and chew gum

at the same time?  Can you continue your investigations, looking into Trump

Organization, looking into the president`s financial records along with

looking ahead to 2020?

 

MEEK:  Absolutely.  I don`t see how that`s difficult at all.  We`ve always

been able to do our oversight.

 

But we are keeping our eyes on the prize which is our for people agenda. 

So when you talk about – and you saw just this week with Nancy Pelosi and

Chuck Schumer, we`re negotiating, because we want an infrastructure bill

done.

 

We`re still focused on trying to make sure that we preserve the health care

bill, the Affordable Care bill to make sure that pre-existing disease and

those individuals there are covered.  We also want to make sure – and

that`s why we passed HR-1 which we think is important for us.

 

So we are clearly doing that now.  We are doing our legislative work.  In

fact, if you talk to folks, they talk about how hard we`re working because

the committees are meeting all of the time dealing with substantive issues. 

We`ll definitely do that.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Congressman Meek, thank you so much.  Appreciate it.

 

All right.  Ahead, everybody, Donny Deutsch is here on Michael Cohen

heading to prison on Monday.  But first, the Mueller testimony.

 

I am going to talk to a prosecutor who worked with Bob Mueller and says he

won`t let Bill Barr get away with any deception.  We`ll be back in 30

seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Welcome back.  It might be Bill Barr`s worst nightmare.  Bob

Mueller is ready to break his silence and testify and he`s speaking

directly to the House Judiciary Committee about it.

 

There might be reasons Mueller is bypassing Barr`s DOJ on the talks.  Barr

trashed Mueller`s report, ripped his work, and slammed his professionalism.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BARR:  I think that if he felt that he shouldn`t go down the path of making

a traditional prosecutive decision, he shouldn`t have investigated it. 

That was the time to pull up.

 

The letter is a bit snitty.  And I think it was probably written by one of

his staff people.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So that testimony coming hours after we learned about

Mueller`s letter to Barr where he was concerned that Barr`s summary “did

not fully capture the context, the nature, and the substance of his work,

and this is important, conclusion.”

 

And on the White House side, lawyers attacking Mueller in the letter

calling the Mueller report a “law school paper” saying it only produced

political statements.

 

Glenn Kirschner over here already shaking his head.  Mueller has played

this entirely by the book but with new lines of attack from both Barr and

the White House could he say more under oath.

 

Might he decide to answer the ultimate question, did Trump commit the crime

of obstruction of justice.  Mueller`s longtime colleague former Federal

Prosecutor Glenn Kirschner worked directly with Mueller in the D.C. U.S.

Attorney`s Office.  Here is what Glenn told Ari one day before the Mueller

report dropped.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  I still have faith in Bob

Mueller, perhaps selfishly he taught me how to be a federal prosecutor in

Washington D.C.  I don`t think Bob Mueller will let injustice stand.  If

Barr continues down the road of deception, I do not believe Mueller will

let it stand.  When the time is right, he`ll stand up and he will tell the

American people the truth.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And he`s back here now former Federal Prosecutor Glenn

Kirschner.  Glenn, glad to talk to you.

 

KIRSCHNER:  Good to see you, Yasmin.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Thanks for joining us.  First I want to – how closely did

you work with Bob Mueller?  How well do you know him?

 

KIRSCHNER:  So I kind of feel like I worked with Bob Mueller before Bob

Mueller was Bob Mueller.  And you know, he was my direct supervisor as

chief of homicide in the D.C. U.S. Attorney`s Office.  He brought me to the

homicide section.  He taught me how to be a federal homicide prosecutor.

 

So what was nice was he was right next door and I would go in and out of

his office all day long because he was teaching me how to do it.  We`re

talking about tactical decisions, evidentiary decisions, plea offers, and I

learned from the man.  And you know, that`s why I`m sitting here shaking my

head and taking deep breaths when I hear Barr say things like well, you

know, Bob`s report was kind of snitty and it was probably written by a

staffer.

 

I mean anybody who knows Bob Mueller knows that that`s disrespectful, it`s

inaccurate, Bob doesn`t do snitty.  I mean Bob does serious, and measured,

and Bob reaches conclusions based on the facts, based on the evidence,

based on the law, sans political considerations.  That`s who Bob Mueller

is.

 

And I`ll tell you, he is really the king of circumspection and he`s the

consummate rule-follower.  And because of that, he did not – he was unable

to indict a sitting president, right.  And because of that, he wouldn`t say

even though I can`t indict him, guess what American people, guess what

Congress, he committed lots of offenses.

 

Why, because as he set out in volume two, it`s unfair.  If a man can`t have

his day in trial in court and if a man can`t defend himself and clear his

good name, then we prosecutors don`t stand up and announce to the world he

committed crimes, because he doesn`t have a vehicle to defend against it.

 

So he is the consummate rule-follower on the one hand.  But Yasmin, on the

other hand, he is completely driven by the truth and by doing what`s right. 

And right now – and I think the reason we saw that letter that he fired

back at Barr which said, listen, I`m going to – I`m going to read between

the lines.  Listen, sport, you mischaracterized my investigation and my

conclusions and as a result the American people I think are being confused. 

In fact, I think that was Barr`s goal was to confuse the American people.

 

So now – but there are these two Mueller`s, and I think they are at odds

with one another.  The rule-follower versus the guy who`s got to correct

the record.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So how do you think – how do you think Mueller is going to

play this in his testimony?  Will he be forthcoming?

 

KIRSCHNER:  Yes – well yes, he`ll be forthcoming.  But how much will he –

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  How far will he go?

 

KIRSCHNER:  Yes.  Because the question is does he have to bend or break the

rules of not indicting a sitting president or announcing that a sitting

president committed crimes in order to correct Barr`s mischaracterization.

 

Now, I`ve – you know, I am my own worst enemy because I also predicted

that Barr would be a good honest Institutionalist and would rise to the

challenge of being Attorney General in these most difficult times. 

Instead, we know he`s now a charter member of the law firm of Giuliani,

Sekulow, and Barr, the President`s law firm or maybe the President`s P.R.

firm.  So I was wrong about Barr.  He has proven that he is not an honest

A.G. –

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  But you don`t think you`re wrong about Mueller?

 

KIRSCHNER:  I don`t – I know I`m not wrong about the character, the man

Mueller is.  I`ll get in a foxhole and fight the enemy with Bob Mueller any

day of the week.  I think now that the White House has even challenged him

and said you should have made a prosecutorial decision.  Even Barr is now

complaining you should have made a prosecute – I think Mueller will say

OK, I don`t really have to bend the rules.  What I have to do is correct

the record.  And I have to address the mischaracterizations my Barr and I

think he`ll stand up and say the President committed obstruction of justice

offenses.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Do you think he`s going to say that?

 

KIRSCHNER:  Yes, I do.  I think he has to.  I think he has to.  And I think

he has said as much, Yasmin.  Because think about it.  Volume one said I

find insufficient evidence of conspiracy.  Volume two said, if I found

insufficient evidence of obstruction I would say so.  I cannot say so.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Then what, Glenn?  Then what?  If Bob Mueller stands up in

testimony in front of Congress and says he believes the President of the

United States of America committed obstruction of justice after

investigating him for two years, and he has 480 pages to prove it, then

what?

 

KIRSCHNER:  Then Congress issues every subpoena for every individual who

has evidence supporting what Bob Mueller concluded.  There should be

witnesses lined up outside of Congress`s door ready to testify.  And you

know what, if they fail to testify because the president is trying to

muzzle them, fine, move on to the next one.

 

We`ll deal with contempt, and criminal enforcement, and civil enforcement,

but next witness, next witness, next witness, line them up and start to

show the American people what in the world this President has been doing. 

That`s what I think America has been thirsty for so long.  Circumspection

is great but timidity is going to kill us.  We need to hear from the

witnesses.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, I think we can leave it there.  Glenn Kirschner,

thank you so much.  Good talking to you, Glenn.  Have a good weekend.  All

right, ahead everybody, it is a must see T.V. more than what we just heard

from Glenn.  Unearthed video of Bernie Sanders` 1980s T.V. show.  Wait

until you see this.

 

But first, Trump`s former lawyer is days away from going to prison.  His

long-time friend Donny Deutsch is here on what Cohen is vowing to tell on

the President.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP:  My loyalty to Mr. Trump has

cost me everything, my family`s happiness, friendships, my law license, my

company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation, and soon my freedom.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, in two days, Michael Cohen will be leaving his

family and heading to prison taking Donald Trump`s secrets with him.  And

he says he has even more to tell prosecutors.  Michael Cohen reports to

prison on Monday a three-year term after pleading guilty to campaign

finance violations and lying to Congress.

 

In a moment, I`m going to talk to Donny Deutsch, admin extraordinaire.  You

know him from “MORNING JOE,” he`s about to launch his own show as well on

MSNBC and he`s a friend of Michael Cohen.  Cohen is set to report to a

medium security prison in New York State.  The pain for his family on

display at court appearances, a stunning reversal of course for Cohen, a

man whose office was just three doors down from Donald Trump`s, but who now

calls Trump a racist and a con man, and who Trump calls a rat.

 

And with me now admin extraordinaire, a new show, Saturday night show,

“SATURDAY NIGHT POLITICS” everybody, Donny Deutsch.  Good to see you,

Donny.

 

DONNY DEUTSCH, MSNBC HOST:  Good to be here.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I`m excited for you on your show.

 

DEUTSCH:  Thank you.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I`m excited to watch it.  When was last time you spoke to

Michael Cohen?  How`s he doing?

 

DEUTSCH:  About two hours ago.  You know, there`s two pieces to it.  You

know, he was telling you the other night he was out with his daughter, and

you know, his daughter is saying to him, daddy, I`m going to miss kissing

your face every day, and he`s saying to his daughter I`m going to be the

same man.  I mean, it`s heartbreaking.

 

Whatever you feel about Michael Cohen, it`s heartbreaking.  And what`s so

gut-wrenching about it is and we`ll save this for another day, he`s going

to jail ostensibly for pretty much all of the crimes with the exception of

the tax charge, of things he did at the direction for the benefit of the

President and the President is unscathed.

 

There`s something wrong – Michael – yes, he – Michael broke the law. 

But the fact that he – who we broke the law for is still flying on Air

Force One, hopefully, they`ll be justice there.  So that`s frustrating.

 

The other thing that`s happening to him is he`s got 48 hours to go and the

committees are still pulling at him.  We want this, we want this, and he`s

trying to get his family in order.  He`s basically now like somebody who

would be going away on a vacation – it`s not a vacation, and you get

everything in order, and so he`s try put all the pieces together and just

as a friend my heart breaks for him.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  He and his lawyer Lanny Davis have said over and over again

that Michael Cohen has still more information that prosecutors would want

to get their hands on.  Do you know what they`re talking about?

 

DEUTSCH:  I do.  And look, the Southern District has a lot of you know, a

lot of stuff that Michael can`t talk about it.  That`s an ongoing

investigation.  As long as our new Attorney General doesn`t squash it with

his attitude towards the laws of this country.

 

So there`s a lot to come.  Michael kind of shut down as far as talking

about it.  You know, he made a decision.  He was actually supposed to come

to my show tomorrow night but his lawyers made a decision and I think was

the right decision that you know, really kind of clamped down on everything

at this point.

 

So he`s really focusing now on just getting his family in order.  You know,

he`s been the father in the family taking – you know, his wife is a full-

time mom.  She`s an amazing woman with kids and he kind of managed a lot

the family, and all of a sudden he`s going to be going.  And there`s a lot

of personal stuff that goes with that.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So you bring up your show.  You actually interviewed Steve

Madden for your new show.  And there`s a connection between Steve Madden

and Michael Cohen which we`re going to bring up in just a moment, but I

want to hear from Steve Madden first.

 

And he`s talking about the first night I believe that he spent in prison

after having this huge empire just come falling down.  So let`s watch.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DEUTSCH:  You were running this Empire, you also go in there.  Take me to

the first night.  Tell me what he`s going to be feeling when you –

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

STEVE MADDEN, AMERICAN DESIGNER:  You know, it`s very – it`s very scary. 

I mean, you just – you just can`t believe where you are and you`re forced

to face certain truths and try to find your character, you know.  It makes

me think, just because you are a character doesn`t mean you have character. 

And you know, that certainly applies here with Michael.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So Steve Madden actually met with Michael Cohen because Cohen

is headed to the same prison that Steve Madden –

 

DEUTSCH:  The same level prison.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  The same level prison that –

 

DEUTSCH:  Steve is an inspiration.  Steve came out, he`s built a billion-

dollar empire.  He`s stronger, better than ever.  So I wanted to get them

together.  Michael, obvious he`s going to the unknown.  I brought them

together at my home.  They`re two friends.  And he really helped Michael

lot.  This is what to expect.  This is what to you – what you`re going to

walking into.

 

And obviously, Steve said look, it`s certainly no place you want to be, but

he read, he worked out, he taught.  It`s not a day camp.  It`s not that. 

It`s horrible but Steve is very brave and comfortable talking about it and

it was – I was almost in tears watching those two guys go back and forth

about it.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  You also spoke with Mayor Pete for your Saturday night show,

Pete Buttigieg.  Let`s take a listen to that interview.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DEUTSCH:  Were you ever picked on as a kid and – because you`re going to

be going up against the bully, and whoever picked on you and what happened,

I`d love to hear that story and what you`d like to say to them now.

 

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I have no shortage

of batting practice when it comes to dealing with bullies.  It`s one of the

reasons that I`m not going to hesitate to get into the arena here with some

of the toughest and most morally challenged people that we`ve seen in a

long time in politics.

 

But one of the things I learned especially the first time, I remember this

– it must have been high school.  This kid just kind of hitting me from

behind in order to get a rise out of me.  And I just turned around looked

him in the eye.  And I`ve never seen somebody back off so quick.  And what

I realized is sometimes when somebody`s lashing out, when they`re – when

they`re hitting you like that, it`s not because of you, it`s because of

them.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And he has done exactly that in so many of his rallies that

he`s been out so far.  He hasn`t looked hecklers right in the eye.  And he

has been so forthcoming about his sexuality.  He`s talked about his

sexuality through his faith.  He is a veteran.  For so many people, he

checks off the list of what a president should be.

 

DEUTSCH:  The biggest challenge he`s going to have and we got into this –

because what`s gotten him here is this incredible DNA.  He`s just such a

stellar human being, a veteran, Harvard, and everything, but there`s this

nice guy thing to him, and he`s about to go into a ring with 20 people. 

And if he comes out of that ring, he`s going to go in with the ultimate

bully.

 

And how does he maintain that essence of that really good guy, that moral

character, but be able to throw the right punches, and that`s a fine

balance.  We talked strategic.  A lot of my show is lensing strategically

what`s going to happen between now and the election.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And how to get there.  Donny Deutsch, thank you so much.

 

DEUTSCH:  Thanks for having me.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Congratulations, Donny.

 

DEUTSCH:  Yes, 8:00 p.m. tomorrow.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I`m going to be watching.  He just said it.  Be sure check

out his new show “SATURDAY NIGHT POLITICS” SNP with Donny Deutsch tomorrow

8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSN – who does that music?

 

DEUTSCH:  I have no idea.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I like it.  That`s a rock in roll music.  It`s that your

music?  No, it`s your show music.

 

DEUTSCH:  I don`t know.  I guess it might be –

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  He`s also got Mayor Pete as we just mentioned.  All right,

coming up, everybody, the long lost footage of Bernie Sanders` cable access

T.V. show from the 1980s.  It has been found.  You go to see it, next.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  It is a dark and

dismal Saturday.

 

Well, let me start off by saying that`s an interesting hairdo. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Do you ever had an old photo you never thought would see the

light of day?  It turns out so did Bernie Sanders.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I like Coca-Cola.

 

SANDERS:  Oh, Coca-Cola.  All right, but who knows about cocaine?  Anyone

ever seen cocaine?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.

 

Well, let me start off by saying that`s an interesting hairdo. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you.

 

SANDERS:  Your name is?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Kelly.

 

SANDERS:  And this woman wields a major weapon.  Show the – show the

audience this knife of yours.  We won`t arrest you.  It`s OK.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bernie, have you ever been in a horse before?

 

SANDERS:  Yes.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.

 

SANDERS:  Does it look like I have not been – what are you doing here?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Just the hair.  So that was a cable-access T.V. show called

Bernie Speaks with the Community.  The show Sanders created back in the 80s

when he was mayor of Burlington Vermont.  These tapes, they unearthed –

they were unearthed after 30 years by Politico shedding light on Bernie

Sanders` early attempt to bypass mainstream media.

 

With me now is Holly Otterbein, the Politico reporter who discovered this

long-lost T.V. show.  Halle, good to talk to you this evening.  We have

been anticipating this segment quite some time because the footage is just

so fantastic.  How did you come across this in the first place?

 

HOLLY OTTERBEIN, REPORTER, POLITICO:  I had heard from a lot of different

people that he had this cable access show and there were actually some

episodes available online.  But then I reached out to the channel which is

still in existence today and asked them how we could get our hands on the

rest of the copies, and we actually got them digitized, and now they`re all

available online, so you`re welcome.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  We want – we want to take a look at some more of the

footage.  So let`s watch that.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SANDERS:  It is a dark and dismal Saturday.  And our hope had been to go

out on the streets and just chat with people and talk about some of our

hopes for the future.

 

OK, why don`t you start talking and we`ll see what`s going on.

 

I want to touch upon an issue that`s dear to my heart and that is the issue

of affordable health care.

 

Now, let me play roving reporter here.  Hello!

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi!

 

SANDERS:  Do you want to be on not candid camera?

 

Hi!

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi!

 

SANDERS:  I`m Dan Rather!  This 60 Minutes.  We`re here in Burlington,

Vermont.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  It`s funny too.  I mean, you have seen probably most of these

tapes, mostly all of the footage of course.  You know Bernie Sanders now on

the campaign trail, Bernie Sanders back in 2016 on the campaign trail. 

What are some of your biggest takeaways from that – from that time period?

 

OTTERBEIN:  One of the things that I noticed is that he is so relentless

about his message now.  He`s really distilled it into exactly what he wants

to say.  And so you don`t get a real sense of what his personality is like. 

You know, on the stump he rarely smiles for instance.

 

But in these episodes like his personality just leaks out.  And so for

instance, he has a sense of humor which he saw in some of those clips,

which really doesn`t come out on the campaign trail, doesn`t come out

nowadays.

 

He also talks at length about things like foreign policy which in 2016 of

course, you remember, he was criticized as being a sort of lightweight on

international affairs.  But here he was in the 1980s like obsessed with

foreign policy to a degree that almost seemed odd for a mayor.

 

So he – you know, he`s also good with kids.  He`s good with older people. 

So it just showed me a little bit more of who he was.  I think that`s

something that a lot of people aren`t able to see nowadays.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Yes, it`s interesting.  One of the things I notice just in

seeing some of those clips is that his personality does really seem to come

through, but you don`t necessarily see that when you see the Bernie Sanders

now on the campaign trail.  So I think it`s definitely an accurate

assessment on your part.  How do you think Sanders` relationship with the

media has changed?

 

OTTERBEIN:  I think that it`s actually been pretty steady over the years. 

He has for a long time which you see in the 1980s clips from this show has

had an analysis of media that basically corporate control, corporate

ownership warps the media.  And so he still has that today.

 

And when I talked to Vermont reporters including some who knew him back

then, they said that you know, he is sometimes standoffish with them. 

Sometimes he hasn`t spoken to them or doesn`t got interviews with them

after they`ve done critical stories.  And we see that you know, nowadays in

the national media, too.

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  It`s certainly an interesting reveal to say the least.  Thank

you for bringing those to us.  Holly Otterbein, thank you so much.  We`ll

be right back, everybody.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VOSSOUGHIAN:  That does it for me.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts

right now.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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