Warren calls for Trump’s impeachment. TRANSCRIPT: 4/19/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Just to recap something that happened on our
air this hour, Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator
Elizabeth Warren tonight becoming the first 2020 presidential candidate and
she`s a leading candidate to call for impeachment proceedings to begin in
the House specifically on the basis of the evidence produced in the Mueller
report about the president and obstruction of justice.
Elizabeth Warren is not the kind of candidate who would build a campaign
around this. This is not the way that she has been campaigning thus far,
she says. She told me here on the air that she came to that revelation
after herself reading all the way through the report and finding the
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again on Monday. Now, it`s
time for “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O`Donnell.
Good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel. I was riveted to
that interview. You took Elizabeth Warren through every question that we`re
all wondering about, how did she come to this position, which she had
already tweeted, I think, earlier today.
MADDOW: This afternoon.
O`DONNELL: She got out there right away. And then that hypothetical you
gave her, Rachel, about if you could see into the future and actually know
that this process of impeachment would be actually politically harmful for
MADDOW: That it wouldn`t result in him being removed, that the Senate
wouldn`t go with it.
O`DONNELL: Wouldn`t result in him being removed actually, yes. Not to get
in the political harm thing but wouldn`t – in other words, a Clinton
version of impeachment. Is it worth doing? And her answer to that was so
MADDOW: Yes. Solidly yes. It`s the right thing to do because it`s the
right thing to do. You to worry – let the chips fall where they may. It`s
interesting to – we know – you and I cover these guys and we know all
these candidates, not only for how they`re running, but for how they have
campaigned throughout their career and the kinds of people that they are.
I would not have expected that Elizabeth Warren would be the one who would
be coming out and saying impeachment is the right thing to do here. It`s so
distant from the kind of campaign that she`s running and the kind of issues
she likes to talk about.
But she made a case here. She`s just moved by the evidence. And you`ve got
to stand up and say this is wrong. It`s a – it will be interesting to see
if others follow.
O`DONNELL: Yeah. I mean, basically, yes, she turned every page of that
report and you just don`t see this as the same way you saw it before you
started reading it. That`s true for all of us who have been reading it.
MADDOW: I felt that way myself.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. I really appreciate it.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, at the end of this hour tonight, we`re going
to show you something that many of you might already know about, and that
is that Sarah Sanders was caught lying in the Mueller report. She`s
actually in the Mueller report where she is exposed as a liar in the
Mueller report. Lying in the press briefing room, something you`ve already
known that she does and does pretty much every time she shows up there.
But there`s something about what she actually said to the Mueller
investigators that has been mostly overlooked and possibly entirely
overlooked in the glee generally that`s out there in the news media about
Sarah Sanders having to admit to the Mueller investigators that she wasn`t
telling the truth, something she does every day.
Here`s the thing. In admitting to the Mueller investigators that she lied,
she actually lied about her lie. And we will show you that. We will show
you the proof of her lying about her lie on video at the end of this hour.
It`s one of the minor points of the Mueller report and so we`re going to
save it till the end of the hour.
You really want to see this. There`s a detail in this that has not been
explored by the people who have been pointing it out today. We will get to
that at the end of the hour. There is so much more to cover before that.
Attorney General William Barr today insulted Congress after insulting
America`s Intelligence yesterday by telling us that President Trump fully
cooperated with the Mueller investigation an hour and a half before we
began reading the hundreds of pages of ways in which President Trump did
not cooperate with the investigation, refused to speak to the
investigators, and repeatedly fired the special prosecutor.
The Mueller report shows clearly that President Trump fired Robert Mueller
more than once. And the only reason Robert Mueller kept working on the case
is that the person Donald Trump ordered to fire Robert Mueller didn`t do
it. But in Donald Trump`s mind, he definitely fired Robert Mueller.
The Mueller report volume two, page 85. On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the
president called McGahn and directed him to have the special counsel
removed. McGahn was at home and the president was at Camp David. In
interviews with this office, McGahn recalled that the president called him
at home twice and on both occasions directed him to call Rosenstein and say
that Mueller had conflicts that precluded him from serving as special
On the first call, McGahn recalled that the president said something like,
“you got to do this. You got to call Rod.” McGahn said he told the
president that he would see what he could do. McGahn was perturbed by the
call and did not intend to act on the request.
When the president called McGahn a second time to follow up on the order to
call the Department of Justice, McGahn recalled that the president was more
direct, saying something like, “Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has
conflicts and can`t be the special counsel.” McGahn recalled the president
telling him “Mueller has to go” and “Call me back when you do it.”
McGahn understood the president to be saying that the special counsel had
to be removed by Rosenstein. To end the conversation with the president,
McGahn left the president with the impression that McGahn would call
Rosenstein. McGahn recalled that had already said no to the president`s
request and he was worn down, so he just wanted to get off the phone.
And so Donald Trump fired Robert Mueller. And Robert Mueller stayed on the
job. William Barr knew that that passage was in the Mueller report when he
told us yesterday that Donald Trump cooperated fully with the Mueller
investigation. Today it was Congress` turn to be directly insulted by
Democratic congressional leaders immediately turned down William Barr`s
offer to them that they alone be able to see some of the redacted material
in the Mueller report. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which
has jurisdiction over impeachment, immediately and correctly according to
all congressional precedent refused.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): I`ve been invited to read the less redacted
version of the report on condition that we take no notes and tell nobody
about what we read. What`s the point of that? Congress is a collective
body. And if I read something and I can`t tell the other committee members
about it or the other members of Congress, it`s useless.
That`s – frankly, it`s insulting the Congress. We will work to have an
accommodation with the attorney general, but in terms of seeing the rest of
the report and the underlying documents. But it cannot be under such
restrictions that we cannot function.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Let me ask you –
NADLER: And that`s why we need the subpoena.
O`DONNELL: And after that, Chairman Nadler subpoenaed the full unredacted
Mueller report. The Justice Department reacted to the subpoena, saying,
“Congressman Nadler`s subpoena is premature and unnecessary.”
Everything the attorney general has done with the Mueller report has been
designed to delay Congress`s ability to deal with the Mueller report. The
attorney general used the first month of the Mueller report`s life to
complete the redaction process while making multiple public statements that
completely mischaracterize the Mueller report as being favorable to the
Then the attorney general released the redacted report on the eve of
Passover knowing that Congress was out of town for two weeks on the Easter
recess. That means William Barr could not be scheduled to testify to the
House and Senate about the Mueller report until the first week of May.
And now it is very likely that William Barr will fight the House Judiciary
Committee`s subpoena for the full report in court and that means it could
take several months or even the rest of the Trump presidency for the
Judiciary Committee to obtain the full unredacted report through that
The attorney general knew that his positive spin of the Mueller report had
an expiration date. He always knew that his positive spin on the Mueller
report would not survive the first hour of people actually reading even the
redacted version of the Mueller report. But now the attorney general knows
the only Trump protecting tactic that he has left is delay.
But some members of Congress have already read enough of the Mueller
report. Presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, said this tonight
with Rachel Maddow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: If you could see into the future and that`s how it would go, the
House says yes, Senate says no, would you still think that it was the right
thing to do for the country and that it was a worthy use of resources and
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I would. I think
that each person has to stand up and be counted in a democracy. I think
that`s why we`re elected to the House and to the Senate. And there are
times when it`s beyond politics, when it is a point of principle to stand
up and say no president can do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Senator Warren earlier today had issued a statement, a tweet
actually saying that she favored impeachment of the president and appeared
with Rachel tonight to explain her position, favouring impeachment of the
president. Two other presidential candidates supported impeachment today.
JULIAN CASTRO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it would be perfectly
reasonable for Congress to open up those proceedings. It`s clear that Bob
Mueller in his report left that in the hands of Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Should the House pursue impeachment?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: I`ll leave that to the House.
That`s for Congress to work out. I`m pretty sure he deserves to be
impeached. But Congress will have to figure out procedurally what to do.
O`DONNELL: The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over impeachment
and the chairman is already planning a series of investigative hearings,
which he`s not ready over to call impeachment hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADLER (voice-over): We will have major hearings and Barr and Mueller are
just the first. We will call a lot of other people. We`ll see who they are.
And we will get to the bottom of this and we will educate the country as to
what went on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, two Democratic members of
the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that has jurisdiction over
impeachment, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Congressman
Lou Correa of California. Thank you both for joining us tonight.
We`ve been speaking to members of your committee all week because I saw
basically what was going to happen to you, that this was going to be handed
in effect to your committee and the pressure was going to be on about how
to address the impeachment question.
And Congresswoman Dean, I`d like to get your reaction to what you heard
Elizabeth Warren saying tonight.
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, it`s certainly – it certainly is taking
the temperature of where we are in this country and the gravity of this
moment, and the gravity of the terrible things that are revealed in the
redacted report. Imagine what we haven`t seen in that which is redacted.
And it reminds me of one line that Mueller says in this report very, very
clearly. No man in this country is so high that he is above the law. That
is the place where we are in this country. There`s tremendous evidence of
obstruction of justice by this president. And I think Robert Mueller very
carefully said that while he will respect, I suppose, the decision by the
Department of Justice not to prosecute a president in office, criminal
investigation can go forward.
That`s what the House Judiciary will do, take a look at – talk to Attorney
General Barr who has proven himself not to be an independent voice, and we
will also talk to Mr. Mueller, whom I`m very much looking forward to
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Dean, is there really any point to a hearing with
Attorney General Barr?
DEAN: Absolutely. I think it`s critical that we fully reveal the conflict
that Mr. Barr is under. He began his tenure by offering the president a
false notion that he was exonerated and had that message tweeted out and
talked out throughout the country over the course of the last month.
He mischaracterized this report gravely and he knew it. He came to legal
conclusions that are faulty. I think he needs to be held accountable. He is
the highest law enforcement officer of our country, supposed to be
independent of this president.
And, of course, he`s done nothing but be dependent upon this president and
try to hold up the president or cover over distract and distort what
actually has been investigated and uncovered in this critical report.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Correa, you heard Elizabeth Warren an hour earlier
tonight with Rachel Maddow say that she started reading the report
yesterday. By the time she finished it, she decided – late last night, she
decided that the president should be impeached, that your committee should
be begin impeachment hearings. Is that your view?
REP. LOU CORREA (D-CA): Well, what I – my view is when I go out into my
district, I find people very confused and they ask me, “Congressman Correa,
what is going on? We don`t know what to believe or who to believe.” One day
the president says exoneration and just this morning he said that the
Mueller report was, my words, a bunch of lies.
Separation of powers, it`s our responsibility and Congress and Judiciary to
tell people to do the oversight to let people know what exactly is going on
in our government. Let`s clear up all this confusion. We start with the
facts. Mueller report has a lot of redactions. I`m very happy that Chairman
Nadler is calling for full complete disclosure of that report.
I want to see Mr. Mueller come in. I want to see Mr. Barr come in. I want
to see the people that are relevant in this investigation to talk publicly
in front of our committee. You know why? Because the American public
deserves to have the truth. And I want to make sure this investigation by
the Judiciary is held in public. That`s our first step.
Find out what is really going on in our government. You know why? Because
this country is deeply divided. People don`t know who to believe. We want
to do – the only thing we want to do in Judiciary is tell people the
And then based on our investigation, we`ll ask the question, is impeachment
relevant? Is it necessary? Is it, you know, the thing to do at this point?
But first, we have to investigate each and every fact out there to make
sure that the public knows what is going on.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Correa, has Chairman Nadler given you committee
members any sense of a timetable of when you will get to the impeachment
question, meaning will you have a hearing with Attorney General Barr, a
hearing with Robert Mueller, perhaps a few more hearings, and is there a
point at the calendar, is there a number of hearings after which Chairman
Nadler will convene the committee to the discuss the question of have they
reached the impeachment threshold?
CORREA: I think Chairman Nadler like all of us want to get to that
question. However, given that it`s every time he issues a subpoena, he gets
push back. I think it`s going to be a challenge and it`s going to be a very
long time before we will get all the data, all the information, all the
facts in front of us, all the facts in front of the American public to ask
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Dean, I want to ask you the same question that
Rachel asked Elizabeth Warren which is that if the House Judiciary
Committee were to vote articles of impeachment and if the Democrats and the
House of Representatives were to vote in favor of impeachment and send that
to the Senate, would it be worth it even if the Senate did not then vote to
convict and remove the president?
DEAN: Well, absolutely. Time is always right to do the right thing. It
reminds me of where we are in this new Congress. We have passed really
important laws, really important bills around gun violence. And some people
say to me, “Why are you so happy about that? The Senate is not going to do
anything with it. Why are you even bothering?” We have a job to do.
So investigate this president, we must. Oversight, we must. Pass important
legislation that might save lives, we must. And then put it on the Senate.
We cannot sit on our hands because the Senate is sitting on theirs.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Correa, your constituents – I think the picture
you painted of your constituents and their confusion makes perfect sense
and you cleaned up what the president said today. He actually used
profanity in his tweets in this extraordinary situation.
We`re here on television. We cannot actually quote what the president of
the United States has said, according to the conventions of this kind of
television. And how much would you say what the president has to say about
this is part of the confusion of your constituents?
CORREA: I think that`s center. The president seems to move in different
directions every other day. I think that`s what confusing people not only
in my district but throughout this country. You asked earlier how fast
should we get to this question. We need to ask this question as quickly as
possible, as quickly as we can get the evidence in front of us to make the
But remember also a bigger question in front of us as well which is a
foreign government meddling in our democratic elections in this country.
And this can happen again in a year. In one year, in about a year, we`re
going to be voting again. And what is the message are we going to send to
Russia, to China, to Iran, to North Korea about meddling in our elections?
This is an important question because this is confidence in our democracy.
This is what we`re talking about. And we need to make sure that we get to
that question as well. We need to look at those facts, the evidence behind
Russian meddling in the 2016 election and moving forward as well.
O`DONNELL: Robert Mueller`s case against the president –
DEAN: Lawrence –
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, congresswoman. Go ahead.
DEAN: I wanted to echo something that my colleague, Lou, has just talked
about, which is what are our constituents saying and feeling. I was at our
local barber shop today talking to friends and constituents there. I have
to say there is such confusion. But you know what? As a result of beginning
to see the parameters of this report and the grave details of it, three
people in a row said to me, “Please, get at the truth. Get at the truth.
Our democracy is at stake. You have a job to do.”
So, they are not being fooled by an attorney general who tries to paper
over or redact over the very wrongdoing and the obstruction of justice by
this president and the administration. They`re getting some clarity on it,
even though the president would not like them to.
O`DONNELL: And you are both members –
CORREA: Madeleine, you`re absolutely right. You`re absolutely right,
Madeleine. We need to get to the truth in front of the public. That`s why
the Judiciary Committee, our investigations, and our hearings are so
O`DONNELL: That`s where we`re going to have to leave it for this segment.
Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Congressman Lou Correa, members of the all-
important House Judiciary Committee. You too now along with your colleagues
have the responsibility to consider the issue of impeachment. Thank you
very much for joining us tonight. Please come back in the future. We really
DEAN: Thanks, Lawrence.
CORREA: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. When we come back, much of the focus has been on the
obstruction of justice portion of the Mueller report. That is only half of
the Mueller report. Part one, volume one of the Mueller report tells the
story of the Russian attack on our election and Trump contacts with Russia,
Trump family contacts with Russia, Trump campaign contacts with Russia. How
much in that portion of the Mueller report is possible fuel for
O`DONNELL: Most of the discussion of impeachment in the last 24 hours has
concentrated on volume two of the Mueller report about the president`s
obstruction of justice. But there is more than enough in volume one of the
Mueller report to produce articles of impeachment. This is in volume one of
the Mueller report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, if you`re listening,
I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: As it turns out, Russia was listening. And according to the
Mueller report, within approximately five hours of Trump`s statement, GRU
officers targeted for the first time Clinton`s personal office. Then as
president, Donald Trump has repeatedly lied to the world about the Russian
attack on our election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: President Putin really feels and he feels strongly that he did not
meddle in our election.
They said they think it`s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it`s
not Russia. I will say this. I don`t see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That man took an oath to defend the constitution against all
enemies, foreign and domestic. And he has not lived up to that oath for one
day of his presidency.
Joining us now is Jonathan Alter, columnist for the Daily Beast. Jonathan
has reported on every presidential race since 1980. Also with us is Richard
Stengel, former undersecretary of state in the Obama administration. Both
are MSNBC political analysts.
Rick, I want to start with you on volume one of the Mueller report, which
has so much about the Russian contacts with the Trump campaign that we
didn`t know before. The obstruction of justice part, I think, is the part
that most people are able to grasp most easily as possible fuel for
impeachment, but there is a lot in volume one.
RICK STENGEL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE UNDER
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yes. Mueller says there are basically three ways
that Russia tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign. One through messaging,
one through the GRU, hacking the DNC and leaking of those e-mails to the
Trump campaign, and one through all the contacts including the Trump Tower
meeting and the meetings about Moscow.
I have to say having gone through the indictments that Mueller did already
of the 13 Russians of the IRA and the GRU, there`s a lot there that
actually wasn`t in the final report. In fact, I was quite surprised that it
didn`t turn out to be more connections. In fact, the reason they didn`t
really collude in the sense that we thought they were was basically because
of incompetence on both sides.
I mean, the Russians were the “C” team, the Trump people are the “D” team,
and they couldn`t really figure it out together. The messaging part which
was fascinating is the Russians never came clean. Remember they pretended
to be Americans. They talked to Trump campaign officials about producing
rallies and messaging.
They were retweeted by people like Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr.,
but they never came out from behind their masks. They never revealed that
they were Russians. For the most part, the Trump people didn`t seem to
realize they were.
O`DONNELL: And Jonathan, they seem to have done quite enough using Paul
Manafort`s detailed polling information of where they needed help in which
Electoral College states in the Midwest.
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST, COLUMNIST FOR THE DAILY BEAST:
Paul Manafort was colluding with the Russians.
ALTER: No full stop, if you`re giving them polling information and
information about where to target their efforts. It`s important to
understand that Mueller never said they didn`t collude. He actually has a
paragraph about collusion, saying this isn`t – this term is not relevant
to our inquiry. We`re interested in whether there was a criminal
Collusion is not a legal term. Volume one is full of collusion. It`s all
collusion. When Trump says there was no collusion, that is flatly untrue.
Mueller found it was not a criminal conspiracy, which is a different thing.
But I actually disagree with you a little, Rick, on the coordination.
I thought there was a lot of sort of tacit effective fairly competent. It
took them five hours. After the Trump clip that you showed on October 7th
when Trump was on the ropes for the “Access Hollywood” –
ALTER: – business, it took them one hour before they got the stolen e-
mails. WikiLeaks was working –
ALTER: – with the Russians. WikiLeaks and the Russians are basically the
same thing. That`s what we`re learning. We hope – I think there`s some
hope that with Assange now being, you know, brought to justice, maybe we
can learn more about the WikiLeaks Russian connections.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Elizabeth Warren had to say tonight about
her decision to support impeachment today after reading the Mueller report
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: This is about a point of principle. The report is absolutely clear
that a foreign government attacked our electoral system to help Donald
Trump. He welcomed that help. And then when it was investigated by our own
federal authorities, Donald Trump took multiple steps to try to obstruct
You know, this is one of those moments when I get it, that there are people
who think politically no, it`s going to be too hard to do this. This isn`t
about politics. This isn`t even specifically about Donald Trump himself.
It is about what a president of the United States should be able to do and
what the role of Congress is in saying no, a president does not get to come
in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this
country or an investigation about his own wrongdoing.
Equal justice under law. No one is above the law and that includes the
president of the United States. It is the constitutional responsibility of
Congress to follow through on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In your careers as journalists, you`ve both covered a lot of
presidential campaigns. We`ve never seen one where one of the campaign
issues is should my opponent the president of the United States, be
O`DONNELL: Go ahead.
STENGEL: I mean, full stop, it`s the greatest scandal in American history.
Whether Trump and Russia colluded or not, Russia attacked the American
system. The President of the United States` principal job is defend America
against foreign attacks. Not only did he not defend us, not only did he
not criticize us, he is leaving the country open to continued attacks by
Russia which are happening right now even while we speak.
O`DONNELL: He in effect joined the other side on this attack.
ALTER: There`s no smoking gun? There`s a smoking artillery range. I
mean, everything in this report indicates an impeachable offense. And I
think that she is right not only on a matter of principle. I think she is
right politically, as well. And that the conventional wisdom that somehow
there`s going to being this backlash against Democrats if they connect the
dots and the Senate trial I just think is wrong.
You know, these reports are hard for the American people to have absorb.
They`re busy. They need to see the movie not just read the book. And
somebody has to put on a show which is what a trial is even if the
Republicans vote against it. I think it will be hard for the Republicans
to defend having defended Donald Trump at a Senate trial.
O`DONNELL: At the same time, Rick, attorney general is doing everything he
can doing to delay the way Jerry Nadler and the committee would like to
proceed and what he knows he is doing is he is delaying the possibility of
STENGEL: Well, and I would say the same thing in a sense about the
attorney general as I was saying about the President. The attorney
general`s job to be the attorney general for all the people. He is being
the defense lawyer for Donald Trump. And in fact, what he said just before
in his preview was not subjectively wrong, it was objectively false and
untrue. So I think he is betraying the American people in the same way.
O`DONNELL: Rick Stengel, Jonathan Alter, thank you both for joining us
When we come back, there are still some mysteries inside the Mueller report
including a dozen criminal referrals that we did not know about until we
read that report yesterday. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: At the end of the Mueller report, there is an indication that
more indictments are coming. In appendix D it says quote “during the
course of the investigation, the office periodically identified evidence of
potential criminal activity that was outside the scope of the special
counsel`s jurisdiction, established by the acting attorney general. After
consultation with the office of the deputy attorney general, the office
referred that evidence to appropriate law enforcement authorities
principally other components of the department of justice and the FBI.
Those referrals listed alphabetically by subject are summarized below.”
And then what is below is redacted. The report lists 14 referrals by
Robert Mueller to other offices. Only two of those referrals were publicly
known before the release of the report. The other 12 referrals are
redacted in the report under the category of preventing harm to an ongoing
matter. The Mueller report says that in deciding whether or not to
prosecute individuals the office quote “considered whether the individuals
were subject to effective prosecution in another jurisdiction.”
So tonight, Congress is wondering about how many of those cases involved
Donald Trump and how many of those cases might involve more impeachable
offenses by Donald Trump. We`ll consider that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (R-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I think
what we need to do is really take some time to let settle in the
seriousness of what Mueller has set out in this almost a dozen acts or
courses of conduct that could amount to obstruction of justice and
determine what the right course is. We certainly need to continue the
investigative work to determine are there other ways this President is
compromised or are there other offenses that rise to the level of removal
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Adam Klasfeld, the reporter for
“Courthouse News” who has been covering the release of the Mueller report
and Lisa Graves, a former deputy assistant attorney general and a former
staff member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Thank you both for joining us on this Friday night.
Adam, let me start with you. The speculation there has been some
speculation about what are these 12 redacted referrals that we had no
knowledge of before we read the Mueller report. This is exactly the kind
of thing you have been studying.
ADAM KLASFELD, REPORTER, COURTHOUSE NEWS: Right. And - well, thank you
for having me, Lawrence. One thing that you mentioned a little bit earlier
was that this list is alphabetical. And there are two public names, one of
those public names is Michael Cohen and the other public name is Gregory
Craig. And between them there are two redactions. There are two other
And here`s where I believe some of the biggest bombshells in the Mueller
report come in the footnotes. And one footnote happens with a person named
Robert Costello who was a back channel to Rudy Giuliani described in the
Now, he was described in the Mueller report as being the one who told Cohen
sleep well tonight. You have friends in high places. And that was right
after the raid. If you look at the footnote after that quotation, that
it`s cited to a redacted footnote and it says harm to ongoing matter. Now,
make of that what you will but it says that whatever that email
communicated is something that is ongoing. And that`s being looked into.
O`DONNELL: And the implications of that email were that the President
would take care of Michael Cohen possibly pardon somehow he would take care
of him. And again, it goes to the obstruction of justice issue.
KLASFELD: what the report went into. That`s what they – the report
explicitly states that Michael Cohen had believed that this was if he stays
in line, if he stays on message, that he will be taken care of. He has
friends in high places.
O`DONNELL: Lisa Graves we have some breaking news at this hour from Don
McGahn actually from his lawyer. Don McGahn was attacked by Rudy Giuliani
in some of Rudy Giuliani`s public comments because Don McGahn may be the
single most devastating witness against Donald Trump in the Mueller report.
Don McGahn, White House counsel taking notes in virtually all of his
conversations with the President. Don McGahn was given the orders to fire
the special prosecutor. He wouldn`t do it. Don McGahn is possibly as I
said the most important source in the Mueller report. So of course, Rudy
Giuliani starred attacking him.
And tonight, Don McGahn`s lawyer William Burck has issued a statement
saying it`s a mystery why Rudy Giuliani feels the needed to re-litigate the
attorney general and deputy attorney general have concluded were not
obstruction but they are accurately described in the report. Don
nevertheless appreciates that the President gave him the opportunity to be
as White House counsel and assist him with his signature accomplishments.
And so here we have now the first public crack in the McGahn wall.
LISA GRAVES, FORMER STAFF MEMBER, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, what
you see there is him trying to have it both ways in a way. I actually
think Don McGahn came out of the report looking very cooperative, very
concerned about the President`s lawlessness. And now you have a statement
of him basically suggesting he stands by the idea that there was no
obstruction. I think that`s false.
But also what you see in that statement by Don McGahn is that in fact, a
lot of these Republicans are hanging their hat on the fact that this
President has stacked the U.S. Supreme Court that that`s sort of the
rationale behind standing behind him. I think that`s one of the things Don
McGahn is alluding to in his statement.
O`DONNELL: And Adam, also for McGahn, he is the one in the report who says
that the President was always trying to get him to do crazy crap. He had
to clean that up for TV. And so McGahn`s characterizations of the
President are absolutely devastating.
KLASFELD: And that`s why we saw the President go this morning tweeting
about note takers.
KLASFELD: He was very irate about note takers. And one of those note
takers according to the report is Don McGahn.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And Lisa, the President says to Don McGahn at a certain
point, you know, I never had a lawyer who took notes. McGahn says to him
well now you have a real one. And it happen to turns out Michael Cohen did
a lot more than take notes. We have heard the recording, at least one
recording of Michael Cohen`s conversations with Donald Trump.
GRAVES: That`s right. It`s astonishing really what Donald Trump`s
perceptions of lawyers is. He is obviously shape by one of the most
corrupt lawyers of the 20th century. His lawyer Roy Cohn who was
ultimately disbarred. That`s his hero. In essence that`s who he is trying
to make attorney general Barr into. And Barr seems to be willing to play
the role of Donald Trump`s Roy Cohn. But fortunately for us, Don McGahn
was not and ultimately Michael Cohen was not willing to play that role to
the end of the theater of Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: Lisa Graves, Adam Klasfeld, thank you both for joining us
tonight. Really appreciate it.
KLASFELD: Thank you.
GRAVES: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, the Mueller report`s revelation about
Sarah Sanders having to admit to them finally she had to admit to someone
that she lied.
O`DONNELL: “The Washington Post” is reporting that the President is livid
tonight about the people who work for him or used to work for him who
decided not to lie for him to Robert Mueller`s investigators.
Sarah Sanders is not one of those people. Sarah Sanders did lie to Robert
Mueller`s team. When Sarah Sanders spoke to the special prosecutor`s team,
she didn`t tell them the truth, even when she was explaining why she lied
about the FBI in a White House press briefing she actually lied to them
about why she lied. You have probably already heard today that she was
caught lying and exposed as a liar in the Mueller report, but there`s more
She actually lied to the Mueller investigation about her lie. We will show
you the video proof of that next.
O`DONNELL: It is not news that Sarah Sanders is a pathological liar who
works for a pathological liar. That is why as a general rule I do not use
video of Sarah Sanders speaking at White House press briefings. I don`t
let this program become a delivery system for Trumpian propaganda, which is
the only thing that Sarah Sanders traffics in whenever she speaks, wherever
Many Mueller report readers have been just delighted to find that when
Sarah Sanders was in effect under oath speaking to Robert Mueller`s
investigators, she was forced to admit that she lied. But that`s not
exactly what happened.
Remember, Sarah Sanders is not just a liar, she is a pathological liar. So
when she was admitting to the Mueller investigators that she didn`t tell
the truth, she actually lied to them and they knew it. They knew that many
of the Trump people they interviewed lied to them. In fact, the Mueller
report specifies that quote “several individuals lied to the office of the
special counsel, which is a crime, and they decided that not all of those
lies were worth prosecuting.”
The Mueller report says quote “the office charged some of those lies as
violations of the federal false-statements statute.”
Sarah Sanders is one of the liars the Mueller team decided not to charge
under the federal false-statements statute. Page 72 of volume two of the
Mueller report catches Sarah Sanders in the kinds of lies that she tells
Sarah Sanders spoke to the President about his decision to fire Comey and
then spoke to reporters in a televised press conference. Sanders told
reporters that the President, the department of justice and bipartisan
members of Congress had lost confidence in Comey. And, most importantly,
the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.
Accordingly, the President accepted the recommendation of his attorney
general to remove James Comey from his position.
In response to questions from reporters, Sanders said that Rosenstein
decided on his own to review Comey`s performance and that Rosenstein
decided on his own to come to the President on Monday, May 8th, to express
his concerns about Comey.
She was lying about all of that. Rosenstein did nothing on his own
involving the firing of James Comey. He wrote a memo that the President
ordered him to write.
The report continues, when a reporter indicated that the vast majority of
FBI agents supported Comey, Sanders said, look, we have heard from
countless members of the FBI that say very different things.
The Mueller team was composed of prosecutors and FBI agents. And so they
were very curious about why Sarah Sanders lied in her press briefing about
the rank and file of the FBI losing confidence in their director.
According to the report, she told them that her statement that rank and
file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made in the
heat of the moment, it was not founded on anything.
In the heat of the moment. She also told them that it was quote “a slip of
the tongue.” A slip of the tongue in the heat of the moment. OK. Let`s
see how hot that moment was when her tongue slipped.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And secretary Devos
is in Daytona Beach, Florida, to deliver the commencement address at
Bethune Cookman University.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: No, no, no. That`s not a mistake. That`s what I meant to show
you because that`s what she was talking about right before she made her
statement about the FBI losing confidence in James Comey. She was reading
a prepared statement about Trump administration news before she took any
questions from anyone. There was no heat in the moment. There was no slip
of the tongue. She was reading. She was reading words that she and the
team of liars in the White House press office wrote in the cool comfort of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: There`s also another nugget of big news as you guys may have been
paying attention in regard to the termination of the former FBI director
Comey. The President over the last several months lost confidence in
director Comey. The DOJ lost confidence in director Comey. Bipartisan
members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in director
Comey. And, most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost
confidence in their director.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: She was reading. It wasn`t a slip of the tongue in the heat of
the moment. That was a lie that she wrote and then very calmly and
deliberately read to the news media and to the country. The rank and file
of the FBI had lost confidence in their director. And then when she was
forced under oath to admit that statement wasn`t true, she actually lied
about her lie. To people who knew she was lying about her lie, that, that
is truly pathological lying.
That`s tonight`s LAST WORD.
“THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS” starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the