Show: 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS Date: July 13, 2018 Guest: Matt Apuzzo, Mieke Eoyang, Jeremy Bash, Nelson Cunningham, Josh Gerstein, Malcolm Nance, Mimi Rocah, Glenn Kirschner
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: The breaking news tonight in the Mueller investigation, 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking the Democrats and the Clinton campaign. The stunning evidence the Russians deeply infiltrated our political system.
From the White House, zero criticism of the Russians, no condemnation of what they did. In fact, the President`s private meeting with Putin is still on for Monday.
And a wild day in London. The President apologized to the Prime Minister for undercutting her in a recorded interview he now says is fake. And this is why the President wasn`t allowed in central London today. Too many people in the streets protesting against him as THE 11TH HOUR gets under way on a Friday night.
Well, good evening, once again, from our NBC News headquarters here in New York. Day 540 of the Trump administration and an explosive development as we`ve been covering all day on the Russia investigation with the President just two days away now from his summit and private time with Vladimir Putin.
Let`s put it this way, if you wonder if we were really hacked by the Russians, if you question the lengths they went to to affect our election or if you wonder what the special counsel has been up to all this time, read the indictment that came out today. Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian military officers with a sustained wide-ranging cyber attack on this country`s democratic process. The indictment alleges the Russian agents conspired to interfere with our 2016 election by hacking the DNC, the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein explained how the alleged conspiracy unfolded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The defendants worked for two units of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff known as the GRU. The conspirators created fictitious online personas, including D.C. leaks and Guccifer 2.0. And they used those personas to release information, including thousands of stolen e-mails and other documents beginning in June 2016.
They conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. There`s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Further on that point, Rosenstein added no Americans were charged in the indictment and said it does not allege that election results were altered. He also said the investigation continues.
We learn today Rosenstein briefed the President, told him this was coming before the President left on his overseas trip. Tonight, the President`s planned Monday meeting with Putin remains on the schedule.
Here is the President on the topic of election interference in London this morning. And remember he knew about this coming indictment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will absolutely bring that up. I don`t think you`ll have any, "Gee, I did it, I did it. You got me." There won`t be a Perry Mason here. And I call it the rigged witch hunt.
I think it really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia and a very chance of a relationship with President Putin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you tell Putin to stay out of U.S. election?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Today`s indictment from Mueller has a number of stunning revelations within it. It says "On or about June 8, 2016, the conspirators launched the public website DCleaks.com which they used to release stolen e-mails. That`s just one day before that infamous Trump Tower meeting on June 9.
Another notable revelation. "On or about July 27, 2016, the Russian conspirators attempted after hours to spear fish for the first time e-mail accounts at a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton`s personal office. That day is important because this happened on that day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any qualms about asking a foreign government, Russia, China, anybody to interfere, to hack into the system of anybody in this country?
TRUMP: Well, they probably have them. I`d like to have them released.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does that not give you pause?
TRUMP: No, it gives me no pause. If they have them, they have them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Another part of the indictment refers to the time when the DNC convention was getting underway. It says an unnamed organization believed to be Wikileaks messaged the Russians, saying "If you have anything Hillary related, we want it in the next two days." The indictment and also says the Russian intel officers posing as the hacker Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person in regular contact with the Trump campaign, asking "Did you find anything interesting in the docs I posted?" That person is not named but is widely believed to be Roger Stone, a longtime Trump campaign Adviser.
He was asked about this indictment earlier tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I certainly acknowledge that I was in touch with Trump campaign officials, and I have testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that I certainly had a 24-word exchange with the persona Guccifer 2.0 over Twitter. I think I probably am the person referred to.
The reason I`m not charged in this indictment is because I received nothing from the defendants. I passed nothing on from the defendants. There`s no evidence of collusion or conspiracy or coordination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: And the following is interesting for what it doesn`t say. The White House responded to this indictment with a statement that reads in part, "Today`s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result."
Again, notably here no criticism or condemnation of Russia.
With that let`s bring in our lead-off panel on a busy Friday night. Jeremy Bash, Former Chief of Staff at CIA and the Pentagon, Former Chief Counsel to House Intelligence Committee. Mieke Eoyang, an Attorney and Former Staffer for the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committee. And Matt Apuzzo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Reporter for "The New York Times."
And matt, I`d like to begin with you because you`ve been on this story from the very start. Having said that, how significant was today in your view?
MATT APUZZO, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think it was really significant and here`s why, Brian. I think, you know, flashback to January of 2017 when the intelligence communities put forward their report that really said for the first time, we think Russia did it. This essentially adds all the details, the why, the who, the when and, you know, obviously we`ve been dealing with for the past 18 months.
The President of the United States on-again, off-again saying, "I believe the report. I believe the report. I don`t believe the report. I believe Putin when he says he didn`t do the hacking."
And here`s Bob Mueller rejoined to that, he says, "Let me tell you, here are the names of the Russian intelligence officers. Here are the dates they started. Here are the positions they held. Here are the physical addresses they were in. Here are the e-mail addresses they used. Here`s how they routed their communications through servers in malacia."
It`s really, really detailed information, and I think it really spells out the government`s case in full for why they are so confident that the Russian government was behind these hacks. And again, I mean, it bears repeating these hacks are front and center key issues in the 2016 election.
WILLIAMS: So Mieke, what does the timing of today say to you? Does it say that this prong of the Mueller effort is over and will be moving on? Does it say on the Friday before a Helsinki summit on Monday that this is a warning shot to Donald Trump?
MIEKE EOYANG, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE STAFFER: So I think that we are seeing here a very important break in this wall. This is not the end. This is the beginning of the middle. This is not something that people are going to say, "OK, we`ve done this part and now we`re moving onto other things."
The timing on this with Helsinki, you now, really changes the narrative for the President and this summit, which everyone thinks is a terrible idea. And what wave seen in this summit is something that Trump has tried to do over and over again, which is establish a secret channel, a private channel to Putin. We see them trying to do this during the campaign. We see them trying to have this conversation now in this summit where there are no other witnesses present. You wonder why he would do this if, in fact, he is not at all connected to the allegations and the indictment today.
WILLIAMS: So, Jeremy, a two-part question for you. How would a rational actor President respond to this? How scared would you be, part one. Part two, what did you learn from this document today you didn`t learn before?
JEREMY BASH, FORMER CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, I think any other president would walk into the summit on Monday and actually serve this indictment on the Russian President because after all it was the Russian government`s intelligence officers that are named here. And 12 of them by name. Of course, bringing the Mueller tally to 32 individuals indicted, 5 have been convict. And Bob Mueller I think is letting the facts speak for themselves.
And to your second question, what facts did I learn? First of all, I think it`s very relevant as you noted in the setup, Brian, that the day before the Trump Tower meeting -- and remember that meeting was setup as a Russian government delegation that was supportive of Donald Trump`s candidacy going to meet with the senior high command of the campaign in the campaign headquarters. There`s no getting around that. That the day before was the day that, in fact, the Russian intelligence agency setup DCleaks and other ways to weaponized the information they have stolen.
And then second, on the very same day that Donald Trump said, "Please try to hack Hillary Clinton`s personal servers in addition to whatever you`re doing with respect to the DNC," that night after hours for the first time the intelligence agency actually tried to engage in a spear fishing attack on Hillary Clinton`s personal server. And when Katy Tur from NBC actually asked the President in that video clip, he said they probably already have them indicating, I think, to the entire world that he knew full well what had been briefed on his team on June 9th at the Trump Tower that in fact the Russian intelligence agencies had engaged in this hacking operation.
WILLIAMS: Matt Apuzzo, there have been 191 separate charges filed thus far in the Mueller effort. You know, we`re coming off yesterday`s event, Peter Strzok before the joint House Committees. It was made apparent yesterday throughout the proceedings this hearing yesterday happened in the middle of an ongoing criminal investigation. Mieke just said this feels like the beginning of the middle. What does it feel like to you?
APUZZO: Well, it certainly feels like interesting timing that this document comes out now after the testimony of Pete Strzok, the FBI agent who led this investigation at the beginning. And obviously Strzok is on the hot seat because he expressed some pretty strong anti-Trump sentiment in his private text messages. But what Pete Strzok was saying on the Hill yesterday was, "Look, we had every reason to investigate this."
You know, the Republican allies on Capitol Hill of the President who want to say this is just a kind of a liberal witch hunt, Pete Strzok is saying, "Look, we were seeing really, really frightening stuff and we had every reason to investigate." And now you take this document, this indictment and you can see all of the things that the FBI was seeing during the election. And then you overlay that with the statements that the President was making. You overlay it with the Trump Tower meeting. You overlay it with George Papadopoulos meeting with intelligence connected people who tell them in advance Russia has Hillary Clinton e-mails. When you put this all together it`s pretty clear why the FBI decided it needed to investigate this stuff.
WILLIAMS: Mieke, if you were representing Roger Stone, what would your advice to him be? It`s a polite way of asking how scared should Roger Stone be right now?
EOYANG: I think that he should be thinking about cutting a deal with special counsel at this point. It`s very clear that, a, he needs to stop talking to media because he`s in some serious trouble here. I mean, he may claim that just being in contact with these folks is not enough, but we only have some small collection of the communications that he`s had with them, and we know that we were talking about stolen e-mails. We`re talking about things that were gotten through criminal activity. So he`s trying to push that out there is a real question about his legal jeopardy.
WILLIAMS: And, Jeremy, about the Mueller effort, what are your unanswered questions? And you must view this at a time where we had gone a long time since we`d last heard from the Mueller effort, this is further proof they`re doing a very thorough job.
BASH: They are, Brian. I think the biggest question hanging out there with respect to the activities during the campaign is there direct evidence -- is there direct evidence that Donald Trump, the candidate, knew about the Trump Tower meeting and about the Russian government`s efforts?
There`s circumstantial evidence. There`s circumstantial evidence in this indictment released today. But the question is there direct evidence? And if so, does acknowledge and sort of acquiescence and kind of a thumbs up and I love it, does that constitute sort of enough of an encouragement or conspiracy to utilize that information? After all Donald Trump referenced this information 164 times in the last month of the campaign. Does that in the public mind`s eye constitute enough of a conspiracy?
I don`t think we should use word collusion because, Brian, I don`t think there`s any evidence that, you know, Trump and Putin were talking about this during the campaign. It really revolves around this Russian government effort, the Trump Tower meeting, and the effort to utilizing that information to weaponize it to help Donald Trump.
WILLIAMS: Well, we realize it`s another unusual Friday night. We further realize some of you have come off vacation to spend time with us. So with that, our thanks to Jeremy Bash, Mieke Eoyang, Matt Apuzzo. We greatly appreciate it.
And coming up for us as we approach our first break, ignoring demands from Democrats. As we said, the White House moving forward with Monday`s summit with Vladimir Putin, including private time with just the two men and their translators. The President promises to bring up the hacking and ask Putin if he did it.
And later, to end a tumultuous week, President Trump keeps the Queen waiting for tea. Tens of thousands of her subjects meantime were in the streets protesting the visit. We`ll be back with more right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not I`m with our agencies. I believe that President Putin really feels and he feels strongly that he did not meddle in our election. What he believes is what he believes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: President Trump`s assessment following his last meeting with Vladimir Putin. Special counsel Robert Mueller`s new indictment comes at a critical time. Three days before Trump`s scheduled to have his own private sit down with Putin. The White House says there`s no plan to cancel that meeting despite a growing number of Democrats in Congress demanding that he do just that.
In the days before Rosenstein`s announcement today, which again the President knew was coming, Trump repeatedly tried to discredit this investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have NATO, I have the U.K., which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?
He`s a competitor. He`s been nice to me the times I`ve met him, I`ve been nice to him. He`s a competitor. Somebody was saying is he an enemy? He`s not my enemy.
Anything you do, it`s always going to be, "Oh, Russia. He loves Russia." I love the United States, but I love getting along with Russia, and China, and other countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Well, let`s talk about it. With us tonight Nelson Cunningham Former Federal Prosecutor who was also a White House Special Advisor to President Clinton. And Josh Gerstein, Senior White House Reporter for Politico. Gentlemen, welcome.
And, Nelson, I`d like to begin with you. Is Robert Mueller the American who is most interested in what goes on at this meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with Trump, Putin and just the interpreters? And part two of my question, a serious question, can justice be obstructed inside that room at that summit?
NELSON CUNNINGHAM, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Wow. Those are two great questions. What we`re seeing this week, I think, is the work of two duty bound prosecutors, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, who see that their President is about to go for a historic summit meeting with Vladimir Putin. At the same time Mueller knows he`s sitting on clear evidence that there was indeed Russian involvement in the hacking of the DNC. And he has -- he feels the need to tell that story.
So he tells the story in a way that a prosecutor can tell a story. Prosecutors can tell stories through indictment. They can tell stories through court filings or they can tell stories through trials.
This was a 29-page indictment. Extraordinarily long for an indictment. It`s what we call a speaking indictment that lays out in great detail all these crimes. And it`s pretty clear to me that Mueller did that so he could get this story on the record. He could go to Rod Rosenstein, allow him to put it on the record before the President went in.
The last thing you`d want is for the President of the United States to go into a meeting with Vladimir Putin not knowing the evidence that his own government had obtained about Russian efforts to interfere with the election. I think they did him a service.
WILLIAMS: And what about what has said and not said in that meeting, Nelson?
CUNNINGHAM: Well, President Trump has a habit of speaking to Vladimir Putin without Americans and without American interpreters with him. He`s done that a couple of times already.
So we don`t know that we`ll ever know exactly what is said in that room. But if the President believes that Russia could in fact in some fashion, shape, or influence the investigation against him, I don`t know that he wouldn`t raise it with Putin.
WILLIAMS: Josh, do you know of another President in our country in the modern era who would go through with such a meeting? Or let me take Jeremy Bash`s example. Wouldn`t most Presidents go in and slap down this document on the table and say you need to answer for this?
JOSH GERSTEIN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: Yes. I mean, I think that`s certainly the case under almost any conceivable scenario. But also under any conceivable scenario there wouldn`t be live accusations that the President himself was somehow mixed up right in the center of this entire effort. And so that`s obviously what`s causing the problem for him is to in some way admit that this went on is to admit that there`s at least some possible capability on his own part, which is why we see the wavering statements that you showed earlier where he seems very reluctant often times, the President does, to acknowledge that this Russian effort actually happened, as if he`s not satisfied, that he`s just denying the collusion as inefficient insolation from the obviously very sustained effort that the Russians allegedly made here.
WILLIAMS: You know, Nelson, we`re still getting whiffs from the Republicans in the House that they might want to launch this impeach Rosenstein movement. You`ve touched on this. Does this inoculate him? And what if the President had said to him, "Why don`t you hold off on this? Thanks for the briefing, but hold off on this indictment until I`m back?"
CUNNINGHAM: You know, that is a fascinating question because that goes right to the intersection of the President`s ability to run the foreign policy of the United States. And if this were a criminal case where the President was not involved, say it was a high level extradition of a foreign leader or of a former foreign leader, you could easily see a President saying, "Please don`t drop the news of that until I have the meeting with my counterpart because I don`t want it to spoil that meeting." That would be an appropriate use of a President`s discretion in my experience having worked in a White House on foreign affairs.
It would not be a useful use of his discretion when he himself is involved. It`s the President`s own involvement that makes it so astonishing and so unique. And now he`s sitting down with Vladimir Putin, the very man who our intelligence community says ordered this interference in our election. Remarkable.
WILLIAMS: Josh, I have to say that in past occasions when it`s been just the President and a finite number of Russians in the room it is through the Russian media that we have had the first read out, that we have learned sometimes unintentionally what happened in the room. Is there a chance that that is the case on Monday, whatever the White House tries to either lay out or not lay out after this meet something.
GERSTEIN: Yes. We could get a far more candid assessment perhaps from the Russians than we do from our own White House. But it`s going to be virtually unverifiable. I mean with so few people in the room I`m not entirely sure how we`re going to be able to litigate these contesting versions of the truth when they`re presented side by side unless, of course, it turns out that the White House and the Russians are in complete alignment on what took place, which is also a possibility I wouldn`t rule out under the circumstances.
WILLIAMS: Gentlemen, terrific discussion tonight. Weighty topics to be sure. Our thanks to Nelson Cunningham, our thanks to Josh Gerstein. Really appreciate it.
Coming up spear fishing, malware, aliases. The most detailed allegation yet of how Russians have been and likely still are electronically attacking this country when we continue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She`s saying Russia, Russia, Russia but I don`t know -- maybe it was. I mean it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don`t know who broke into DNC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Well, so much for the 400-pounder argument. The indictment today details exactly how members of Russia`s GRU military intelligence agency allegedly interfered in the 2016 election using a "technique" known as spear fishing to steal victim`s passwords or otherwise gain access to their computers. The conspirators targeted over 300 individuals affiliated with the Clinton campaign, DCCC and DNC. They, "Altered the appearance of the sender e-mail address in order to make it look like the e-mail was a security notification from Google, a technique known as spoofing, instructing the user to change his or her password by clicking the embedded link."
At an event an hour after this indictment was announced, the director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats warned of the Russian risk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Focusing on the potential impact of these actions on our midterm elections misses the more important point. These actions are persistent, they`re pervasive and they are meant to undermine America`s democracy on a daily basis regardless of whether it is election time or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Put another way, we are under ongoing attack. And let`s talk about it with our next guest, Malcolm Nance, author of "The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West." Malcolm happens to be a veteran of Navy Intelligence Special Ops, Homeland Security, with 35 years in the field of counterterrorism and intelligence.
Malcolm, I have to say parts of this indictment today read like sections of your book. And in reading Mueller`s work, are you periodically reassured when you see the depths they`ve gone to and the detail they write about that they are headed towards true north?
MALCOLM NANCE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TERROR ASYMMETRICS PROJECT: Absolutely right about that. And let me tell you, if you -- if someone hasn`t read this indictment, go read this indictment. This is what a real classified top secret document looks like, when it`s in the hands of the Justice Department and has been declassified and presented to the public. It is a highly detailed intelligence product that plays no games about who the individuals are and how they did these attacks on the United States.
WILLIAMS: Can you see this president being that tough with Putin? Jeremy Bash at the top of the broadcast said any other president would be expected to walk in and slap this document down on the desk and say answer for this.
NANCE: Well, no, I don`t expect this president to do anything of that like because, you know, as you know he seems to be beholden to Vladimir Putin in some way, shape or form. How that is really left up to the special counsel will determine that. Any other president -- Jeremy is absolutely right. He would have -- I like that idea. He would have served the Russian president with these indictments, would have demanded the 12 Russian intelligence officers or better yet would have canceled this conference and would have ratcheted up the tensions to their appropriate level.
The United States was attacked. The United States remains under attack, and now we have a president who`s ready to give Russia whatever they want. And he just doesn`t believe what he sees before his own eyes.
WILLIAMS: Are you surprised that we engage in a time worn procedure of naming and shaming in this document? Is there any pay back for that, because we name a lot of Russians?
NANCE: No. There`s -- this is the bad point about this, there`s going to be no consequences for these Russian intelligence officers. They, in fact, the last group of Russians that we caught here, including Anna Chapman, the illegals who were spies leaving in the United States in deep cover, they were promoted -- they were heroes in Russia. She actually is Putin`s favorite spy.
I think these guys will be reassigned within the cybersecurity world. And to a certain extent, they`ll have a level of notoriety. But for us, they can`t travel anywhere else in the world. They have warrants now out there that will be put out for their arrest. But what this shows is we have the ability to reach down and touch the individuals within Russian military intelligence and actually point out who we know did these acts. That shows a brilliance in U.S. counter cyber intelligence, activities in human intelligence, the way that we gathered this information.
WILLIAMS: Very impressive piece of work in this document today. We`ll end on that. Malcolm, always a pleasure. Thank you. Have a good weekend. Appreciate you being on the broadcast with us tonight.
Coming up, it`s Robert Mueller`s most significant move yet. But what to expect next from the special counsel and this investigation into Russian meddling. We`ll ask two of our experts when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I want to caution you, the people who speculate about federal investigations usually do not know all of the relevant facts. We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings. We complete our investigations and we evaluate all of the relevant evidence before we reach any conclusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Well, that was designed to get our attention and it did. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein today warning about the perils of speculating about ongoing investigations. Still, today`s indictment may tell us a lot about the overall status and progress of this investigation thus far, and we are free to talk about that here tonight.
We`re going to do that with Mimi Roco, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, now a distinguished fellow in criminal justice at Pace University of Law School. Also with us tonight, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, he worked under Robert Mueller at the U.S. Attorneys` Office in D.C. when Mueller was Chief of Homicide in a different era. And Glen was just a starting prosecutor.
Welcome to you both. Mimi, I have to ask what does today`s document tell you about where we are in this thing and where Mueller is and where he`s going?
MIMI ROCAH, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Well, Brian, I think this was Mueller`s way of rounding out the framework for this whole Russian collusion election conspiracy that we`ve been talking about. The first Russian indictment, you know, was about the social media influence. Everyone has been sort of expecting this part to come about the hacking.
But I think what it does is it tells us in such great detail, you know, and shows the meticulousness and again the detail of Mueller`s work. And what -- so now we have the framework, and now what`s left to come is were there U.S. citizens involved in helping this? And I really think this indictment just screams out that there are and that more indictments are coming. And I do believe -- it`s dangerous to make predictions, but I really do believe, you know, if you read between the lines here what we`re going to be looking at next is indictments of U.S. citizens.
WILLIAMS: Glen, do you buy that general flow that first the Russians, then the Americans that this document is a bit of a turning point and a bit of a portion of this case that`s now on the record, it`s stamped away and we move on?
GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I do, Brian. And I agree with Mimi. When we as federal prosecutors investigate the really large cases, for example, Rico cases, racketeer influence and corrupt organization cases, it is entirely usual that there are multiple indictments returned over time. Often prosecutors will batch together defendants who have something in common or offenses that are all part of a common scheme or plan.
So I would say this is Bob Mueller and his team actually following a textbook investigation in the larger cases. And again, I agree with Mimi that this indictment virtually screams that, folks, the next thing that`s coming is indictments of anybody who in America who are Americans and participated in this scheme with Russia to undermine our election.
WILLIAMS: So Mimi, one thing you and I talk about a lot on this broadcast is the chance and the timing of this potential Mueller-Trump sit down. Did anything about that in your view change with this document today?
ROCAH: Well, yes, because now we know a very important fact. We always -- everyone always had taken notice of Trump`s speech back during the campaign where he said, Russia, if you`re listening, you know, everyone would appreciate it if you released Hillary Clinton`s e-mails. And we now know from this indictment a very important fact that, you know, it was really highlighted in the indictment, which is that on that day is when the Russians really began to go after the Hillary Clinton campaign e-mails.
Is that just a coincidence or did Trump know something when he made that call to the Russians? And that fact right there really standing alone, if you put aside everything else could be the difference between Trump being part of this conspiracy or not. And so I think Mueller has every right and -- to ask Trump about that. And the fact that Trump will not sit down and talk about that I think speaks volumes about his concern and likely his guilt.
WILLIAMS: Glenn, how nervous should Roger Stone be tonight? And let me ask you to further predict when you think the next is we will hear from Mueller. What portion of this will it be?
KIRSCHNER: I suggest Roger Stone should be quite nervous. And, you know, when he ends up in a court of law Roger Stone will certainly have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But, boy, when we read this document that was handed down today in the court of public opinion, Roger Stone sure looks like he has some explaining to do.
And I do think that he is very likely going to be rolled into the next indictment that Bob Mueller hands down. Brian, with respect to the timing the one thing that I will say confidently without claiming to be able to look into the mind of Robert Mueller or his team is that Bob Mueller will be keenly interested in not impacting the midterm elections by timing the release of either a report to Congress or an additional indictment too close to the midterm elections.
We`ve seen the kind of problems that were created when former Director Comey made that ill advised announcement so close in time to the presidential elections. So the only thing that I think we can be confident of is that Bob Mueller will avoid that same mistake.
WILLIAMS: Our thanks to our two guests. I won`t name names but one of whom took time from her vacation to join us. Mimi Rocah and Glenn Kirschner, thank you both very much. Have a good weekend. Thanks for being with us late on a Friday night.
And coming up for us, protests, a royal tea, even a rare Trump apology. It was a very busy day in London before the indictments were thrown into the story line when "The 11th Hour" continues.
WILLIAMS: Welcome back. The pictures of the protests in London today against the president of the United States are stunning. Looking at these, it`s easy to understand why the Secret Service would not allow the president to stay or even spend time in Central London. Some of the scenes, some of the signs, some of the costumes look like the protests in this country the day after the inauguration. The crowds in Trafalgar Square alone appear to have reached a quarter million people at their height.
Tonight on Fox News, Sean Hannity called the protests, "angry, liberal, socialist free loaders." After insulting American allies at the NATO meeting, Trump insulted the British prime minister and backed her main rival. And then when the story came out on the paper, he apologized to the prime minister but then denied the newspaper interview he gave. He called it fake news even though we can hear the audio recording of what he said in that interview.
Aside from insults and appearances, the potential lasting damage from the trip already happened at NATO headquarters in Brussels. And it got this bad. NBC News reported today after the president`s departure, "U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale damage operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region."
Even the president`s date for tea with the queen was not without controversy. He was late by about 15 minutes. Video recorded the very punctual 92-year-old queen checking her watch prior to the president`s arrival.
It`s a lot to catch up on and luckily our friend, the author and presidential historian Michael Beschloss is willing to join us from Washington late on a Frida night to do that.
Michael, hard to know where to begin --
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: For sure.
WILLIAMS: -- with the departure of so many norms. What do you think was the most damaging? The damage to the allies at NATO or undercutting his British host, the prime minister, kind of embedding a newspaper interview that they knew was going to come out during their meal where he backs her opponent and does enough damage to apologize today?
BESCHLOSS: I think you`re asking me to choose between vulgarity and obscenity, Brian. Things that we never thought that we would live to see with a modern president. NATO which every president form Harry Truman in 1949 on has been proud to try to strengthen and proud of our relationship. This president takes a wrecking ball, tries to provoke other NATO leaders in public. Says it`s really for Europeans and not for us.
I never thought I`d ever see that. I never thought I would see a president insulting a British prime minister on a visit to London. Compare that to all those other presidents who have been to London and cherished this as our most special relationship.
And, Brian, I think just in terms of, you know, being shocked, did you ever think that you would live to see a scene where a president it seems deliberately went out of his way to insult the queen and the queen at the age of 92? I never thought I would live to see that and it`s just appalling.
WILLIAMS: Yes, that was a new one on me, too. Michael, I have to ask you about the summit coming up Monday. Do you just toss all previous rules and playbooks out the window? Is it a mismatch of wits and also, were you surprised today that the White House statement contained not a word of criticism for what so many military professionals said all day was proof we`re under ongoing electronic attack?
BESCHLOSS: I don`t get it. And for someone as self-interested and politically interested in helping his position as Donald Trump, you know, the selfish position would have been to do something to show that he didn`t deserve to be under suspicion as being too close to Putin. So what is it that is terrifying him to never criticize Putin even for this egregious attack on our democracy? Is this money? Is he afraid of some danger to his life?
I mean, God knows. I mean there is something that`s primal going on here. And you combine that with the talk about there summit on Monday with this talk of a first meeting which is just Trump and Putin and maybe even just one interpreter and there`s some talk that this may be a very long private meeting that goes on and on. We haven`t seen anything like that in the whole history of summittory between American and Soviet or Russian leaders.
WILLIAMS: I also have to ask you about something darker because it`s part of a trend we`ve seen here and in Europe. Buried in the interview with the Rupert Murdoch owned "Sun" newspaper, the president talked about immigration in Europe killing their culture. Now, this is a page out of white nationalism.
BESCHLOSS: It sure is.
WILLIAMS: This is an argument that we`ve heard on and off for decades. The timing of it, however, it`s like a prairie fire in Europe right now.
BESCHLOSS: It`s exactly right. And if you and I let`s say two or three years ago were talking about even before Donald Trump was a factor, what is Vladimir Putin`s wish list, you know, break off our cherished relationships, damage them with Canada and Great Britain, try to damage NATO. Generate problems in Europe, try to jeopardize the position of Angela Merkel in Germany, generate this kind of, you know, dissonance between us and the liberals, classical liberals of Europe. It`s all happening.
And Donald Trump has never explained to Americans why it`s happening. Every other president when he, you know, undertakes a policy that it`s a departure from what other presidents have done, they feel the responsibility to give a speech of some length or more than one speech to the American people saying, you know, you may not understand why I`m doing this but let me take awhile to explain logically why it`s happening. We have no idea why this is happening.
WILLIAMS: Michael Beschloss, it`s always a pleasure. Some terrifying stuff these days, but it some day we`ll go back to talk about U.S. history. How is that?
BESCHLOSS: Yes. I look forward a lot. Thank you, Brian. Have a great weekend.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, Michael. Have a good weekend.
BESCHLOSS: You too.
WILLIAMS: And coming up for us, believe it or not, this is a week that started with a Supreme Court nomination. Remember that? We`ll look back at quite an extraordinary week of headlines when we come back.
WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go here tonight, a reminder of the week that was. Think way back just four nights ago and what seems like a much simpler time. We devoted the bulk of this broadcast to one Brett Kavanaugh, the federal judge, the president`s Supreme Court nominee. And in just the day since, much of the debate around Kavanaugh has centered around freedom of choice, Roe versus Wade.
Wednesday, the "L.A. Times" was the first to report the details of a 2017 seen speech in which Kavanaugh, "Lauded former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist for having dissented in Roe versus Wade and for rejecting the notion of a wall of separation between church and state."
On the financial front, it was also revealed this week Kavanaugh went into serious credit card debt due in large part to the purchase of Washington Nationals baseball tickets.
And overlooked story this week, the release of an internal FEMA report that found the agency was simply not ready to respond to last year`s hurricane season, a fact that hit Americans in Puerto Rico the hardest. There also remains that crisis on our southern border, a crisis of the administration`s own making. And the migrant families that still remain separated.
Tonight, the latest numbers as we have them as reported by "The New York Times." Administration officials told reporters that the government had reunited 57 of the 103 migrant children under the age of 5, complying with a judicial order. The other 46 were deemed ineligible for a variety of reasons. Some of their parents have been accused of crimes. One parent had a communicable disease. And a dozen cases the parents had been deported already without their children making their reunification more challenging.
Just some of what took place in just the space of this past week. And that is our broadcast on a Friday night, and for this week. Thank you so very much for being here with us. Good night from NBC News headquarters here in New York.
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