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Trump silent on Russian interference. TRANSCRIPT: 08/02/2018. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

Guests: Carol Leonnig Philip Rucker

Show: 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS Date: August 2, 2018 Guest: Carol Leonnig Philip Rucker

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC ANCHOR: He claims he`s being hindered by the Russian hoax, which is absolutely nothing about Russian election meddling. Meanwhile, back at the White House, the President`s top intel and law enforcement officials show a united front and say what Trump won`t, that Russia poses a threat to our upcoming elections.

Also new tonight, Robert Mueller is looking to speak to another person with ties to that Trump Tower meeting. And Ivanka Trump, off message on her White House low point and a break from her dad on a popular Trump talking point. The 11th Hour on a Thursday night begins now.

Good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York. I`m Nicolle Wallace in for Brian tonight. He`ll be back tomorrow.

It is day 560 of the Trump administration. And President Trump just wrapped up a rally in Pennsylvania where he ramped up his attacks on the media. Just hours earlier, the President`s top national security officials delivered a forceful warning on Russian election interference, promising to protect the integrity of US elections. But there was no mention of Russian meddling at tonight`s rally. The President did bring up his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: In Helsinki, I had a great meeting with Putin. We discussed everything. I had a great meeting. I had a great meeting. We got along really well.

By the way, that`s a good thing. Not a bad thing. That`s a really good thing. Now, we`re being hindered by the Russian hoax. It`s a hoax, OK?

I`ll tell you what. Russia`s very unhappy that Trump won, that I can tell you. But I got along great with Putin. And everybody said, wow, that was a great -- that was great. A couple of hours later I started hearing these reports that, you know, they wanted me to walk up, here`s a podium here. They wanted me to walk up and go like this. They wanted me to go up and have a boxing match. I said, whatever happened to diplomacy?


WALLACE: He liked me. He really, really liked me. President Trump also said plenty of time to complain about the press.


TRUMP: Fake news. Despite only negative publicity, only negative stories from the fakers back there. Even these people back here, these horrible, horrendous people. Even these people back there say, look at it, it looks like the Academy Awards, there`s so many. You have to see this one. They can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.


WALLACE: Nice. As we mentioned, it was a whole different scene during today`s White House briefing where we`ve heard these clear warnings on Russian election interference from top administration officials.


KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and it has become clear that they are the target of our adversaries who seek, as the DNI just said, to sow discord and undermine our way of life.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat. It is real. It is continuing. And we`re doing everything we can to have a legitimate election that the American people can have trust in.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The reality is, it`s going to take all of us working together to hold the field, because this threat is not going away. As I have said consistently, Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day. This is a threat we need to take extremely seriously and to tackle and respond to with fierce determination and focus.


WALLACE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC News today that President Trump instructed his team to speak at today`s news conference. Asked when the President made the request, Sanders didn`t respond.

And it`s important to point out, just last Friday, the President met with his national security council on election security for less than one hour. After the meeting, the White House released a statement that said the administration would not tolerate foreign interference in elections. But it did not mention Russia by name.

Let`s bring in our lead-off panel for a Thursday night. Jeremy bash, former Chief of Staff at the CIA and the Pentagon and three Pulitzer Prize winners were with us tonight. Carol Leonnig, Investigative Reporter for the Washington Post, Philip Rucker, White House Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, and Matt Apuzzo Reporter for the New York Times.

Jeremy Bash, the analysis in the national security community seems to be that the men and women who were in the White House briefing room were speaking to US policy, were speaking for America against Russia, and that the President is sort of a rogue actor. What do you make of the fact that the President, even if he`s a rogue actor, was the person who was alone in a room with Vladimir Putin? Does it matter to Vladimir Putin if he can get Donald Trump in a room alone that his national security officials take a tougher line?

JEREMY BASH, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST NBC NEWS: Well, for Putin, the only guy that matters is the guy in the Oval Office. So your point is well- taken, Nicolle. I think, it was manifestly the right and the right message by the national security leaders to stand at the White House and warn against Russian interference in the upcoming election.

I think it was obviously an implicit rebuke of the President`s position that there`s nothing to worry about with respect to Russian interference. But in essence, what you have here is part of a broad pattern where the national security establishment is in effect ignoring the commander in chief. They`re basically saying, notwithstanding whatever he tweets, whatever he says, whatever he does. We`re going to keep our head down, do our job and protect the American people.

WALLACE: Matt Apuzzo, this performance today in the briefing room caps almost a year of awkward testimony. Christopher Wray testified to the fact that he had never been asked by the President to do anything from a law enforcement standpoint to protect this country. Admiral Rogers testified that on behalf of the NSA, he`s really not doing anything extra in the wake of 2016.

What do you make of sort of the impetus with which these folks have to go about doing their job without the go ahead or the green light from the commander in chief?

MATT APUZZO REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, I haven`t seen anything from the federal law enforcement or intelligence side that suggests that the intelligence community is sort of sitting on its hands, sort of just, well, if somebody told me we had to protect the country, I guess we would.

WALLACE: But I`m not talking about the basic functions of their government agencies. But certainly, when there have been, I mean, General Hayden, former CIA director, former NSA head, has called the 2016 attack a political 9/11.


WALLACE: Certainly, there is nothing happening in the government, in the executive branch, that mirrors the steps that the national security apparatus took after 9/11.

APUZZO: Well, I`ll do you one better. Even if everybody is on the same page and even if everybody is, you know, at the highest level of alert going into the election, there`s only sort of so much you can prepare for. As an example, during the Obama administration, the FBI, the CIA, everybody was on alert for Russian interference.

And when they saw the hacking that was happening, they looked at it and said, you know, we know this game. This is -- they`re going to seize the material and they`re going to use it for intelligence purposes. It was only when they saw, you know, when they weaponized the hacked material and started publishing it through WikiLeaks did they say, "Oh, my god, we didn`t see this coming."

So the question --

WALLACE: Another failure of imagination.

APUZZO: Exactly. So I think that, you know, one of the things to be asking now is, sure, you`re preparing. But do you really even see what`s going to be coming down the pike? Just because if they decided to play again doesn`t mean they`re going to -- the Russians are going to go to the same playbook.

WALLACE: Philip Rucker, color may skeptical that this performance was anything other than a shiny object to distract from the fact that yesterday, the President and people close to him had a moment of concern that he may have obstructed justice or done something that looked a lot like it in plain sight.


WALLACE: By asking -- I know, it feels like dog years. It feels like seven years ago. By asking -- ordering or they`re quibbling about with what the definition of the word "should" is, I think. You got Rudy`s latest talking point.

But was this performance today something long in the works that they were asked to submit their remarks? Or was this something to change the topic from the mess that the President created yesterday with his early morning tweet about getting Sessions to end the witch-hunt?

RUCKER: I think it came about rather quickly, but I don`t think it was purely a move to distract from the news yesterday. I think this has been building for some time. We saw Dan Coats a week or two ago raise some alarm in that interview with Andrea Mitchell out in Aspen. We`ve seen the intelligence --

WALLACE: Alarm is a good way to put it. Let me show you his answer about Helsinki. Let`s watch that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the run-up to the Helsinki Summit, US officials, ambassadors to NATO, ambassadors to Russia said that the President would raise the issue of malign activity with President Putin. But he didn`t discuss that, at least, at the press conference.

You`re saying today that the President has directed you to make the issue of election meddling a priority. How do you explain the disconnect between what you are saying, his advisers, and what the President has said about this issue?

COATS: I`m not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened in Helsinki.


WALLACE: Why not?

RUCKER: That is amazing. I mean, this is the problem, right? It was only Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in that room with their translators. That was by design, because Trump didn`t want there to be any note-takers. He didn`t want there to be any paper trail or official governmental record of what was discussed, what was agreed to, what Trump said, what Putin said

And so now, you have US government officials not sure what happened in that meeting, there`s yet to be a public briefing by the administration. But what we have in Moscow is the Kremlin doling out details from those conversations characterizing it as Trump making verbal agreements with Putin in ways that favor Russia, and we`re not getting similar information from the United States. It`s now been two and a half weeks.

WALLACE: Carol Leonnig, do you get the sense that anyone in the White House is making the President eat some spinach, if you will, and ramp up the rhetoric and the language from the White House that shows some window into the President or his White House recognizing that Russia is a threat and that pretending that it isn`t is bad politics for this White House?

CAROL LEONNIG, POLITICAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: I think it`s clear that while some may try to give him some spinach, he`s not eating it. You know, take, for example, the tweets. After watching a lot of cable news television about the Paul Manafort trial, the President tweeted something that would only add to a normal prosecutor`s view that he is making threatening or urging statements about shutting down a criminal probe.

He`s making those tweets during an ongoing criminal trial which is pretty interesting and sensational as well. And there was nobody that was going to stop him. When I asked his lawyers that morning what are you suggesting to him, that he should not do this? They essentially said, you know, that`s not really our role here. The President does what he wants to do. This is his megaphone. No one`s going to take it away from him.

WALLACE: Does that line up with what you guys understand to be the current state of the interview in these questions?

APUZZO: Yes, for sure. I mean, you can see that if you take the White House posture at the beginning of the Mueller investigation, it was very much, we want to do everything we can to avoid a subpoena fight. That`s not where the President wants to be.

I think you`ve heard Giuliani say publicly now that we`re not really concerned about an indictment. We think this is ultimately a political question. So they`re fighting a political fight. If they can take this sort of complicated story and make it, there`s a witch-hunt, Bob Mueller is out to get the President, him and his team of Democrats. And now he wants to infringe on the power of the President, if he can make those talking points stick, then, you know, he can maybe win some support among Republicans.

WALLACE: And to avoid impeachment. We`re not talking about the legal setting.

APUZZO: Yes, this has nothing to do with it. This is nothing to do with indictment. This is all about impeachment. This is all about staying in office and keeping your poll numbers up.

WALLACE: Jeremy Bash, I think that gave the President the solace that you would think it would, that if he`s safe from any sort of legal proceeding and all he has to do is malign the special counsel to the point where all the Republicans in the House won`t vote to impeach and the senators won`t vote to convict him. He wouldn`t be acting like such a loon.

I mean, what do you make of his comments tonight, his railing on the media and the conduct that he displayed in that tweet yesterday?

BASH: Well, this is part of a larger pattern here, Nicolle, where the President fundamentally doesn`t want to succumb to the rule of law. I think fundamentally, he believes in the rule of man or a man. He believes in himself. And he does not believe he should be subject to questioning by the special counsel or anyone investigating his conduct or the conduct around him.

And I think it`s obviously sets a tremendous negative precedence for the office of the presidency. It basically signals to the rest of the body politic that the President does not want to conform to the law. He wants his law enforcement officials to extinguish any scrutiny of his own conduct and his own actions.

WALLACE: Carol Leonnig, your colleagues, Ashley Parker and David Nakamura, have written up the rally tonight. Some of the most overheated rhetoric we`ve seen from this President on the media. What do you make of sort of the confluence of the attacks on the media going up to ten, sort of blowing out the speakers, the attacks on Mueller being turned out to the same volume, all while Mueller seems to be closing in.

I`m going to about that more after the break. But really on the president`s approach to the media as the investigation seems to be closing in on people in his orbit.

LEONNIG: So the White House and particularly the President are gearing or girding for whatever report and findings of Robert Mueller that come out. And they believe they`ll come out before the start of September.

So I agree with what Jeremy said. There`s a big effort to discredit that work, to call it a hoax, to call it a witch-hunt. But part of discrediting that work is to also discredit reporters who are reporting on it and learning about witnesses that have been subpoenaed and discovering new episodes contacts between Russians and the Trump campaign, and learning new things that Trump said about getting rid of Sessions.

All of these reports in the paper are things that he is telling people over and over again, don`t believe what you see, don`t believe what you read, don`t believe what you hear. Look over here, that stuff`s not true. It`s part of the whole package of saying, I`m not a bad guy. There was no collusion, being friends with Putin is great, and whatever you hear later about Bob Mueller from these reporters, it`s not really true.

WALLACE: And the dirty underbelly of this is when people are reporting, and I love that Carol met on the spot, but people are reporting on is often testimony from the people that the President sees every morning when he sashays over from the residents to the West Wing and sits down across his White House counsel, or I guess Hope Hicks is not gone. But I think just about 80 percent of the White House staff has been before Robert Mueller`s investigators.

RUCKER: That`s correct. And the reports are accurate and real. And part of what you have going on here is the President is a former television producer. He can`t stand turning on cable news and seeing producers, real producers, making different judgments than he would make.

If it were his choice, this entire show would be about the remains coming back from Hawaii and Vice President Pence greeting them and how wonderful the optics were in Helsinki with Putin and how big his crowd was tonight in Pennsylvania. And the GDP numbers from last week. But there are other issues on the agenda that he wishes he could just erase.

WALLACE: And I bet you (inaudible) that show that you just produced was on an hour summer tonight. Everyone is sticking around. We`re going to squeeze in a quick break.

On the other side, why Robert Mueller wants to talk to a Russian pop star who recently made a music video with a Donald Trump impersonator. And later, Ivanka speaks but is anyone outside the Trump base still listening? What the first daughter had to say about one of her father`s most polarizing policies. We`ll ask an Ivanka expert if the President`s daughter will pay a price for her silence. The 11th Hour is just getting started on a Thursday night.


WALLACE: Rudy Giuliani tells NBC News tonight that Trump`s legal team plans to respond within days, possibly by Monday or Tuesday, to Robert Mueller`s latest interview offer. Kelly O`Donnell reports that Guiliani says the legal team`s message to Robert Mueller is, quote, "You can question him about collusion and not post-presidency."

Giuliani also says if Mueller issued a subpoena, Trump`s lawyers could win the fight to protect him from having to testify about matters related to his time in office like Jim Comey`s firing. Giuliani as the legal team remains opposed through an interview but says this about Trump. "He wants to clear himself because he didn`t do anything."

Tonight, POLITICO reports Giuliani says the legal team will make a decision within a week to ten days. The President isn`t the only person that Mueller wants to speak with. NBC News also reporting he`s requested an interview with Emin -- let`s see if I can do this. I haven`t studied Russian, Agalarov. The Russian pop star who helped set up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and several Russians including an attorney linked to the Kremlin.

In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Community, Donald Trump Jr. said he didn`t recall speaking to the Russian pop star about the meeting. But in an interview with Vice News earlier this year, Agalarov said, did confirm their conversation.


EMIN AGALAROV, RUSSIAN POP STAR: I said, listen, there are some people that want to meet you. They obviously want something that could potentially help them resolve things that you could be interested in or maybe not. If you can spare five minutes of your time, I`ll be grateful. If not, not problem. Obviously Don Jr. being Don Jr., of course, I`ll if he`s asking. I set that meeting up, I know what that meeting was about. It was about nothing.


WALLACE: For all the Russians speakers on Twitter, I can say (inaudible). Jeremy Bash, thought me. Also tonight, one of Mueller`s grand juries will get to hear testimony from a long time aide to long time Trump Political Adviser Roger Stone. A federal judge tossed out a challenge from Andrew Miller who tried to block subpoenas from the special counsel. Miller worked with Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign. Two other known Stone associates have also been called to testify.

Still with us, Jeremy Bash, my Russian tutor, Carol Leonnig, Matt Apuzzo and Philip Rucker. Jeremy, talk about the significance of these Russians now being subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, what is he trying to do? What is he trying to prove, and what will he do next in your opinion?

BASH: Well, the Agalarov family, the father-son combination have had long standing ties to Trump Organization. They were actually the main contacts of Michael Cohen and Felix Sater in the Trump Organization when they attempted to build the Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential election in 2016. It actually began to really take shape in late 2015 and early 2016.

And they were of course the ones that went back to the Trump family and said the Russian government is supporting you campaign. We would like to send a Russian government delegation to Trump Tower to talk about the way we`re supporting the campaign in June 2016.

And so, they are really integral to the ties between the Trump family, the Trump organization, and the Russian government. In fact, they were to go between. Just because you are a cheesy pop star doesn`t mean that you`re also not a cutout for Russian intelligence.

WALLACE: And, Matt Apuzzo, this Trump Tower meeting has long been a flash point in questions about obstruction, largely because of what both your papers reported about the cover story, the lie that was told about what that meeting was about. It wasn`t about Russian adoption. They were (inaudible) on Hillary Clinton.

It now seems to be a flash point for questions about a conspiracy to collude or coordinate with American adversary.

APUZZO: Yes, it`s where the two story lines come together. It`s the question of was there collusion and, you know, Jeremy said, hey, this is part of the Russian government`s effort to help Donald Trump get elected, and there is the Trump campaign response was, "I love it." So there`s that.

And then, there`s the question of well, when reporter started to ask questions about this, were you straight with them. And were you trying to conceal the truth from the American public. And in tamping down reporters` questions, were you kind of also trying to throw off investigators who also might be interested in this investigation. So it`s where the two come together.

WALLACE: I loved Rudy Giuliani`s explanation of who was in this meeting this week, because he hit his head the way I hit my head when I`m trying to remember something. I think we have that? Let`s watch. Do we have that? OK.


RUDY GIULIANI, DONALD TRUMP`S LAWYER: Lanny Davis said there that there was a meeting two days before the meeting took place with Donald Jr., Jared, Manafort, and two others, Gates, and one more person.

CAMEROTA: And that`s a real meeting? You`re saying that that --

GIULIANI: That`s actually a real meeting on another provable subject in which (inaudible) --


WALLACE: Is you colleagues, lose the thread of where Rudy is going with this, but it`s an interesting list of names he trots os out. Rick gates, Donald Trump Jr., Jared, Paul Manafort. Gates is a cooperating witness in the Mueller probe, Manafort is on trial this week. What do you think they`re telegraphing in naming who was in that meeting? Do you think there`s some concern that the other participants may be in trouble?

RUCKER: There is definitely concern about Donald Trump Jr. And I was talking to a Trump advisor yesterday who said, the President is increasingly worried about his son`s exposure in all of this, as Mueller focuses on the Trump Tower meeting, not because he thinks he did anything knowingly wrong but because he understands how easy it would be to have violated the law.

WALLACE: To stumble into collusion? I`ve worked on a lot of campaigns. A lot of us worried about a lot of things, like bad (inaudible) or, you know, I don`t know, working too much. But lying to the New York Times -- we do not worry about stumbling into collusion. That`s not a normal thing to worry about on campaigns.

RUCKER: Well, he knows his son. And he`s worried that his son could have., you know, somehow done something illegal unintentionally and there could be dire consequences, and it has him nervous and agitated.

WALLACE: Cleary agitative. Carol Leonnig, the story from Trump allies has for many, many, many, many, many months gone like this. The President is too incompetent to have colluded with Russia. I think they`ve even said this on the record and on TV. They couldn`t collude with headquarters in the plane.

But obstruction, you know, maybe, it was a mom and pop operation. They now seem equally agitated, Philip Rucker`s word, and concerned about the potential that something could look like conspiracy to collude with an American adversary.

LEONNIG: Right. We`re getting down to the, you know, brass tax. The time is coming that we`re going to hear some information about whether or not there were contacts with the Trump campaign that the Trump campaign knew about. The Russian -- the subject line of the e-mail, part of the Russian effort to help you, Don Jr. and your dad`s campaign, did they know about this, did they willingly accept any help?

We know about a zillion different contacts now between the Trump campaign, from the junior to the most senior, and Russian nationals or Russian operatives. That it`s sort of this worry throughout all of this period what`s going to come out.

And I would like to recommend that everybody remember that Michael Flynn played a key role in all of this. He cooperated early on in this probe. We haven`t heard anything from Michael Flynn. But he gave information to Bob Mueller. And we don`t know what that is.

But I`ll remind you again that in December, right before the inauguration, Michael Flynn is the person calling Sergey Kislyak and it`s been reported that they were talking about sanctions. Why? Why is that? And will that come to be important later on about the Russian effort that Don Jr. was willing to bring in home the Russian effort to help your dad?

WALLACE: Jeremy Bash, Carol Leonnig chooses her words carefully. She`s telling us to remember Mike Flynn. Where do you think Mike Flynn fits into all the revelations in the last couple of weeks from the Washington Post and the New York Times reporting on this precious story?

And from Rudy`s own comments there about this Trump Tower meeting. He called it a real meeting. He listen the participants. Do you think they know that someone like Mike Flynn or Rick Gates has told the special counsel something that they`re really worried about?

BASH: I think carol is definitely on to something. It`s hard to -- a little bit hard to know exactly what evidence Mike Flynn has about that discussion. But clearly, he got instructions, he got instructions from his ultimate boss that hey, when Russians come collecting on their return on their investment, we have to pay up. It`s going to be time for us to pay back the favor. And that`s exactly what happened.

I just want to make clear that, there`s no question in anybody`s mind whether or not the Trump campaign knew that the Russian government was attacking our election process.

That was the whole predicated meeting. It was set up that way in the e- mail. It had already been previewed to them by Papadopoulos. There were people who came to the Trump campaign and said this is happening. And it was overtly discussed in the meeting.

Nobody kicked them out of the office, no one called the FBI, nobody one said, hey, wait a second. We`re not doing that. This is illegal, inappropriate. They welcomed it.

Now, there are some mythology out there that because they didn`t start colluding right there at the table and it wasn`t back and forth, that somehow that`s not conspiracy or collusion. But of course, 165 times Donald Trump referenced the WikiLeaks and the hacked e-mails in the last month of the campaign. He clearly made it a central aspect of his final closing argument in the 2016 campaign.

WALLACE: He sure did. And we know from "The Times" reporting that the special counsel is looking at all his public statements and tweets.

Jeremy Bash, Carol Leonnig, Philip Rucker, Matt Apuzzo, thank you so much for spending some time with us tonight.

Coming up, the latest on the Paul Manafort case, including testimony from a witness who knows an awful a lot about Manafort`s money. The 11th Hour back after this.


WALLACE: The special counsel team got to the core of its case against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort today. Prosecutors have been laying out the millions upon millions of dollars in foreign funds that Manafort spent on his lavish lifestyle. But late today, they started to zero in on how Manafort hid his accounts overseas and how he allegedly defrauded the government.

Manafort`s former bookkeeper told the court he had trouble paying his bills while working for the Trump campaign for free. And for the first time, the prosecution showed that Manafort submitted false financial statements to obtain a home loan.

With us for more, Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Michigan. She was in the courtroom for today`s proceedings.

Barbara, what stood out for you and give us the same note that you gave us privately about what we`re not paying enough attention to.

BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: You know, one of the things that I think is concerns me a little bit is that the judge, in an effort to move things along quickly, which, you know, most people do appreciate, and out of concern that some of the evidence of Paul Manafort`s lavish lifestyle might cause resentment among the jury is limiting the amount of evidence that the prosecution is being allowed to present in court.

And it concerns me that the jury may have difficulty understanding the significance of some of the things that are coming in. You know, there`s a lot of documents here. Today, we had the bookkeeper testifying about a lot of documents. And the judge does not allow the prosecution to publish the documents to the jury so that they can see it in real time. He says they can read those things later. And same thing with photographs of some of the lavish luxury items that Paul Manafort bought, you know, things like luxury cars and custom suits and real estate and things like that.

And the problem is that if the rulings result in an acquittal recall, the government has no recourse. The government does not get to appeal an acquittal because of the double jeopardy clause in the constitution. So that`s one thing that I see underlying the case, but nonetheless, they`re persisting and the evidence is coming in and it is very strong to demonstrate the tax counts as well as the bank fraud.

WALLACE: One thing I`ve heard you say since the trial was underway and really at the time that the indictments were unsealed, is that this is a paper case. So much damning evidence was included in what we already have seen. What is the importance of the bookkeeper`s testimony to understanding the alleged corruption with which Manafort went about hiding money and violating these laws?

MCQUADE: You know, the bookkeeper`s testimony, you know, may have been a little bit tedious, it lasted a couple of hours, it was about a lot of sort of dry financial transactions, but it was really important.

One, she was able to tie income from Paul Manafort to these shell companies that he had offshore with these bank accounts in Cyprus, really important part of the case. She talked about the forgiveness of a loan for $1.5 million that should be treated as income. I think we`ll going to learn later that`s undeclared income.

She also talked about how in 2016 and 2017, Paul Manafort became essentially broke after living this incredibly lavish lifestyle and having millions and millions of dollars, suddenly he`s broke because his business in Ukraine dried up, which provides motivation for the bank frauds. And she also testified about some fraudulent documents that were used to obtain loans during this time when he was desperate for cash.

One piece of it that`s not going to come out in this case but that is really intriguing and could come out in the later trial in the fall is, it`s during this time that Paul Manafort is broke and desperate for cash, that he goes to work for the Trump campaign for free. And so that raises I think some interesting questions about what his motive might have been there.

WALLACE: It sure does. Barbara McQuade, we`re so lucky to have you navigating for the non-lawyers among us. Thank you so much for spending some time with us.

Coming up, the president`s adviser and daughter finally speaks up about some of the more controversial issues dividing the country. That`s when "The 11th Hour" continues.


WALLACE: We haven`t heard a lot lately from Ivanka Trump, first daughter and assistant to the president. But that changed today during an interview with Axios. She was asked about the administration`s zero tolerance immigration policy.


IVANKA TRUMP, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that. And I am very vehemently against family separation, and the separation of parents and children.


WALLACE: Really? Well, until today, Ivanka had been publicly silent as the government took more than 2,500 children away from their migrant mothers and fathers. The president ended the separations in June, reportedly after some pressure from his daughter and others. But tonight, hundreds of those families are still torn apart.

With us for more, Emily Jane Fox, senior reporter for "Vanity Fair." Her recent book is "Born Trump: Inside America`s First Family." And in D.C. tonight, Annie Karni, White House reporter for Politico.

I`m sorry, her low point was what? I mean the low point for the children, the babies, the infants in baby jails, was being yanked out of their mothers` and fathers` arms, but the low point for Ivanka Trump was, what, reading about it?

EMILY JANE FOX, VANITY FAIR SENIOR REPORTER: Was the press scrutiny that she got around being silent around this thing. That struck --

WALLACE: Actually it was this picture -- maybe the low point was the scrutiny she got on Twitter for posting this picture. Was that the low point?

FOX: Why else talk about it in the past tense? This is something that still going on. There are hundreds of children who were still separated from their families. And so to speak about the low point having already happened when this is still ongoing just signals that perhaps what was the low point was when she was getting hammered and hammered for not speaking up and not saying a single thing.

And even when she did speak up today, it`s six weeks later, all she said was exactly what her father has said, maybe not in as nice terms. But she was basically repeating his talking points and the talking points that the first lady said at the time six weeks ago. And so it took her all of this time to say something and what she said is exactly what the rest of her family members said six weeks ago.

WALLACE: Annie Karni, she actually did less than the rest of the people around Trump. Melania Trump went to the border and met with and visited with people who were trying to help some of these children. So this is an occasion where Ivanka Trump actually did a lot less.

And I guess what doesn`t add up is the low point for something she was a part of, she works there. She has the most senior rank in the White House. On the White House staff, there`s nobody higher than an assistant to the president. So she is either a totally impotent, ineffectual assistant to the president who suffered a low point I guess by watching what her father did that she had no ability to influence or she feels bad -- I just don`t understand what she`s trying to say.

ANNIE KARNI, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It`s the same problem with Ivanka and the family members serving as senior officials that has been plaguing her since day one when she joined the administration. Either -- you`re right. Either she`s an ineffectual adviser who feels vehemently and has no power to influence her father, or she`s, you know, doing PR and damage control for herself when she says now that she`s vehemently opposed because, as you said, she didn`t actually visit the southern border as Melania Trump did. Neither of those are particularly great options for her and I don`t see a third way to interpret this.

And also we saw -- she made some other comments tonight that I think we`re going to talk about later in the show, but she has the ability, not often use, to disagree with her father and know she won`t get fired. That`s something that other staffers don`t enjoy. And so that -- we see that she has that leeway if she wants it. She just doesn`t choose to use that a lot.

WALLACE: All right. You got ahead of me and you did part of my job for me at 11:45. I appreciate. You`re going to stay right where you are and we`re going to talk about those comments that you just referenced, your comments about the press. She says they`re not, we`re not, the enemy of the people, even as the president and his press secretary take the war against the media to new lows. "The 11th Hour" back after this.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fake news refused to call it. Fake news. Whatever happened to fair press? Whatever happened to honest reporting? They don`t report it. They only make up stories. So here was the story by the fake news. The president was 15 minutes late. They can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.


WALLACE: That from the guy who according to "The Washington Post" has told more than 4,000 lies. That was President Trump who spent much of tonight`s rally in Pennsylvania taking shots at the media.

Hours earlier, his daughter Ivanka have been asked about something else her father often says about the media, that we`re the enemy of the people.


MIKE ALLEN, AXIOS: We have a number of our colleagues here in the press. Do you think that we`re the enemy of the people?

I. TRUMP: Sorry?

ALLEN: Do you think the media is the enemy of the people?

I. TRUMP: No, I do not. I have certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate. So I`ve, you know, had some -- I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they are sort of feel targeted. But no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.


WALLACE: That response prompted her father to take to Twitter this afternoon with a clarification of his daughter`s comments. He wrote, "They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the fake news which is a large percentage of the media that is the enemy of the people."

The question also came up during this afternoon`s White House briefing. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked repeatedly whether she believes the media is the enemy of the people. Sanders told reporters she`s there, "To speak on behalf of the president." And that, "He`s made his comments clear."

Emily Jane Fox and Annie Karni are back with me.

So I`m trying to just keep straight whose enemy we are. And so Ivanka does not think we`re the enemy of the people but Sarah Sanders seems to think that is an accurate description of free press. Why does Ivanka works so hard. You saw this evidence from "The New York Times" piece last weekend by Maggie Haberman and her colleagues from "The New York Times." They were able to detail on the story that there was a list of people that Ivanka and her folks wanted "The New York times" to talk to. I think Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was one of five names that they gave her.

So I guess you can`t consider the media the enemy of the people when you`re handing them a list of people to call about how great you are.

FOX: This is something that I encountered when I was writing my book about the first family and Ivanka in particular. They understand that there is a way to manipulate the narrative if you`re working with people who are willing to be playing that game. And so when you have someone ask a pointed question today, an up or down, is the media the enemy of the people, this is someone who is so media savvy, who I think is 37 years old who will spend the rest of her life either in politics or in business, and she needs the media on her side

So for her to say no, the media is not the enemy of the people, was just a savvy business decision, whether or not she believe it. And of course, she couched it and basically defending her father saying that without saying I`m defending my father, by saying, well, I can understand how certain people feel targeted and they feel that way.

But she`s been getting a little bit of credit today for coming out and disagreeing with her father, although I don`t really feel like she disagreed. But I don`t know that we should be giving credit to someone for just not being a lunatic, for something that so obvious,

WALLACE: We here do not give points for not being a lunatic.


FOX: -- conspiracy theory about people in the media. This is not a big disagreement for Ivanka Trump and her father. In fact, her father came out afterwards and basically clarified her statement. It`s the same way that he calls her honey and baby and says that, you know, in relayed conversations with her that she calls him daddy. It`s another way for him to demean her. But they have this good cop/bad cop demeanor and I think we saw that playing out today.

WALLACE: Annie Karni, it was a startling sort of correction or clarification of his daughter`s comments. Do you have any reporting that suggests that he was displeased with her not towing the family line that Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a non-family staffer had to two today in her briefing?

KARNI: Well, I don`t think so. But he has expressed frustration with Ivanka in the past. He has expressed frustration in the past with Ivanka and Jared even being in the White House, saying, you know, this was a bad idea. They should go back to New York.

But the Sarah moment I found instructive too, about the limits of what she can do there. She -- the president has -- was mad at how she dealt with the White House correspondents dinner, wanted her to walk out, wanted her to personalize it. We saw her personalize the situation when she talked about the red hen.

And I saw her -- I mean this is another class of audience of one performance in the briefing room and she absolutely would not have gotten a correct. She was correct when she said this, if she had made the exact same statement that Ivanka did. And again, I think it just underscores and highlights the strangeness of having family members serving side by side, serving the administration with regular staffers and the limitations on one and not the other. I think the whole split screen between the two of them was very awkward internally today.

WALLACE: It was. It was as much as you, you know, to see women in the public space, in any field, in politics or anywhere else, it`s heartening. These were not women that appeared to be, I don`t know, speaking their mind or standing up for anything that would distinguish them.

I want to ask you about this moment in the intersection of the White House and the media, because I don`t want to romanticize anything about the Bush years or the White House in which I served, but I think it`s just a goalpost for what was normal and what was normal was tension with the media. What was not normal is what went down in that briefing room today.

FOX: And the rally this evening. There is no point in this administration history where the media has been spoken to or treated as though they are respected members of -- and protected members of a fourth estate here, a fourth branch of government. And today, I just feel like every single day the relationship further deteriorates and we`re going to a place where I don`t know where we can come back from this.

WALLACE: And, Annie, it`s the right word. I mean it is the job of the White House when they travel with the American press corps or the White House corps to protect them when you go to other countries and to advocate for their access and to advocate for them to be in pool sprays. Is there any concern that the White House is on a path to stop that tradition?

KARNI: I don`t know about safety but I think that the incident that happened in England on Trump`s recent foreign trip where he wouldn`t call on CNN`s Jim Acosta and created that scene. To do that on foreign soil is different from doing it here, setting an example on the world stage. I was on that trip, and the reaction from the British press was jaws on floors, to see him treat the media that way abroad.

So I do think that these norms are being shattered and that it`s going in a bad direction in terms of the relationship and how they`re treating us every day.

WALLACE: We stand with our friends in the British press with our jaws on the floor. Emily Jane Fox and Annie Karni, thank you so much for staying up. There`s more "11th Hour." Don`t go anywhere, that`s just ahead. We`ll be right back.


WALLACE: That`s our broadcast for tonight. You can catch me every day at 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here in this very studio. And Brian will be back here at this time tomorrow night. Thank you for being with us and good night from NBC News headquarters in New York.


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