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Redacted Mueller expected on Thursday. TRANSCRIPT: 4/15/19. The 11th Hour w/ Brian Williams.

Guests: Katie Benner, Matthew Miller, Jaimie Nawaday

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR:  -- After the mourning for what the world loss today, we will rebuild, the world will contribute to the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral.

And the new Notre Dame Cathedral will be a new chapter in our never ending story of civilization.  That`s "Tonight`s Last Word."  "The 11th Hour" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, THE 11TH HOUR, HOST:  Robert Mueller was seen going to work today on this day when we learned when we`ll finally be able to see the result of his 22 months of work.  The White House plan to counter it is now clear and soon all eyes will return to Donald Trump.  Former CIA Director John Brennan is here with us tonight on what to expect.

Also the most helpless feeling in the world shared by everyone around the world as we watch one of the most famous places on earth, a holy place get consumed by fire.  Tonight an update on what`s been lost and what`s been saved at Notre Dame in Paris as "The 11th Hour" gets under way on a Monday night.

On this Monday night good evening once again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York, this was day 816 of the Trump administration.  And we now know in just three days we will get to see the written result of 22 months of work by that man, Robert Mueller, along with his team.  As for his part he was seen entering work today.

The Justice Department says it expects to make a redacted version of Mueller`s report available to Congress and by extension the public Thursday morning, which just happens to be, of course, Holy Thursday on the Catholic calendar and the day before the start of passover, just as so many Americans begin a long holiday weekend and Congress notably remains on recess.

The report will follow by three weeks, that letter by Attorney General Barr that said Mueller found no indication that anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.  Barr also said Mueller withheld judgment, took a pass in other words on whether Trump tried to obstruct justice during the inquiry.

Days ago Barr told Congress he does believe the Trump campaign was spied upon in 2016.  "The Washington Post" puts it this way, "The House Judiciary Committee is poised to issue a subpoena for the report`s redacted portion."  Bloomberg news writes, the reports released, "maybe the start of a legal clash with subpoenas from committees in the Democratic controlled House that could go all the way to the Supreme Court."

Tonight Trump attorney, Jay Sekulow, is revealing some of the legal team`s plans to respond to Mueller.  He tells our colleague Hallie Jackson the team met today to nail down plans to respond to the report.  He says the lawyers will probably each be responsible for tackling a section of it and that they are still deciding on whether to issue a counter report.

Now, another member of the President`s legal team, Rudy Giuliani, has been saying all along he`s got a counter report ready to go.  "The New York Times" has more on how Trump plans to respond, and we quote, "Trump`s plan of attack aides said is to act as if the report itself is extraneous to Mr. Barr`s brief letter and that he is purposely escalating his language, people who know him said, expressly to enliven his base of supporters and to enrage his political rivals."

We saw some of that excalation from Trump this morning.  And we quote, "Mueller and the A.G. based on Mueller findings and great intelligence have already ruled no collusion, no obstruction."  That`s his characterization, of course, of the findings.  "Investigate the investigators."  Then there`s this, "They spied on my campaign.  We will never forget."

And this is what Trump has been saying in public over and over these past three weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You`re accusing the people who launched the investigation into your campaign of treasonous act.  How high up do you think it went?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I think it went very high up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you think it reached the West Wing of the Obama White House?

TRUMP:  I don`t want to say that, but I think you know the answer.

The deep state to overturn the results of the 2016 election have failed.

This was a hoax, a witch hunt.

People did things that were very, very bad for our country and very, very illegal.

This was an attempted coup.  This was an attempted take down of a president.

There was absolutely spying into my campaign.  This is dirty politics.  And this is actually treason.

WILLIAMS:  As we`ll get into here tonight Trump`s legal jeopardy may not end with the close of Mueller`s investigation, of course.  "The New York Times" reports tonight the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees have issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and several other banks seeking information about the President`s finances and the lender`s business dealings with Russians.

Deutsche Bank has been in the news because they loaned Trump over $2 Billion in all.  He had more than $300 million in outstanding loans from Deutsche Bank by the time he took office.

Earlier former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal talked about what investigators could be looking for here.


NEAL KATYAL, FORMER U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL:  I think they`re looking for two things, one is evidence of any potential crimes evert committed, not just by Trump but by the organization, by people around hi.  And second, broader than that governance issues and whether judgment was -- a good judgment was exercised.


WILLIAMS:  In addition to all of that, attorneys for Trump have sent a second letter to the Treasury Department protesting the House Ways and Means Committee`s request for his tax returns.  This comes after the committee`s deadline was pushed back to next Tuesday.  Those same attorneys are warning of possible legal action if Trump`s accountants hand over any of his financial records to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.  The lawyers called both committees inquiries politically motivated efforts to go after this President.

And with that here on our lead off discussion on a Monday night, Matthew Miller, former chief spokesman at the Justice Department.  Katie Benner, Justice Department for -- Justice Reporter of the "New York Times".  And we welcome to the broadcast, Jaimie Nawaday, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Good evening and welcome to all of you.

Katie, I`d like to begin with you.  Do you find the timing notable, the news, after all that we learned today that it`s coming on Thursday, by this broadcast Thursday night we`ll know what`s in it, probably still be pouring over it.  Do you find the timing notable?

KATIE BENNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES JUSTICE DEPT. REPORTER:  Well, I mean this is what Bill Barr has promised, he said mid-month.  But, of course, he`s also very cognizant how much attention has been paid to this report and it is not a bad idea to role out the findings before a holiday weekend in order to sort of stop the 24 constant flood of news that would have happened if he released it earlier.

Keep in mind also he needs to deal with the White House reaction to report that while the top line findings might be in some ways good for Trump you do not spend 400 pages to say good things about someone and nothing bad.  So of course there are going to be things he has to deal with when it comes to having conversations with his boss.  And I do think that a long holiday weekend is the best time to do that.

WILLIAMS:  Your newspaper was the one that reported there was misgiving on the report of the Mueller team about how their work product had been interpreted publicly.  Have you anything further on that now that we know a member of the Mueller team has been at the table, we`re led to believe, helping to go over these redactions?

BENNER:  I think that you`re always going to find on a team there are people who have different opinions and are more or less happy with the way that things had turned out.  But I think practically speaking that concern, you can see how it`s already played out.  The report is not yet out.

In the intervening three weeks, President Trump has had time to declare total exoneration and also spin the findings, a report that no one has even seen.  So he has been able to use this time wisely.

Also Bill Barr who was an incredibly savvy guy, he has used this time, the lull before the report comes out, to make statements that also have created sort of a connection between the Justice Department and the White House in terms of spying.  The Justice Department and White House for two years did not get along.  A president, who only criticized the attorney General, only criticized the Justice Department.  And now Barr has made comments that I think his boss is very happy to hear about this idea that there might have been unlawful surveillance in 2016 and he wants to get to the bottom of it.

WILLIAMS:  Matt Miller, you`re the calms (ph) here at the table, Holy Thursday, eve of Good Friday, eve of the start of Passover, coincidental?

MATTHEW MILLER, FMR. JUSTICE DEPT. CHIEF SPOKESMAN:  That`s where you want to bury something.  If you`re looking to take news and release it in a way that most ensures that American public, you know, to the extent they`re not going to see because they`re going to see this report.  It`s going to go on for days.  But if you want to try to bury it, you do it before holiday weekend.

That said, there is, you know, that`s the most nefarious explanation possible.  There`s a less nefarious explanation, which is we were hearing last week that the report would come out maybe Monday or Tuesday.  I can tell you the Justice Department never gets things out on a Monday or Tuesday.  It always comes out at the end of the week.

And if you`re sitting in the Justice Department today and you know you`re going to get it out at the end of week, you can`t put it out on Good Friday so you have to get it out Thursday.  And there`s a benefit to saying publicly today that you`re going to get it out Thursday and that sets a deadline for everyone in the building.  That building runs on deadline, and by setting a deadline they have to stick to, you ensure that it`s met.

WILLIAMS:  Joyce said at Justice there`s always one more pair of eyes that just to be safe wants to see.

MILLER:  There`s always one more lawyer who wants to run it against one more statute, who wants to run it against one more precedent and maybe wants to make one further edit.  That goes forever and ever unless you put a deadline to stop it.

WILLIAMS:  Counselor, I`m curious, what would the President`s lawyers know what to write in a rebuttal?  And we`ve been assured by him there is no obstruction, no collusion?

JAIMIE NAWADAY, FMR. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTY. SOUTHERN DISTRICT ON NY:  Well, I think a few things.  One is that they want to divide up the report and they want to see what else is out there.  So they want to highlight the good news, but the good news is already out there.  The bad news is what we expect to be coming in the following weeks and months.

And so the challenge is going to be to stay disciplined.  Because when you know there are additional investigations out there, there could be additional charges, you want your client to stay humble and stay quiet, and that`s obviously going to be a big challenge here.  So they want to highlight --

WILLIAMS:  Did you say humble and quiet?

NAWADAY:  Yes, I did.

WILLIAMS:  OK, just being sure.

NAWADAY:  And -- so they probably want each to focus on pockets of investigations, whether it`s investigations in the Southern District of New York or the New York attorney general, the other investigations that we know are continuing to proceed.

And so of course the challenge for Trump is going to be not to declare victory too soon.  And of course he`s already done that, declared total exoneration, and then we can expect there`s another shoe that will drop.  And you don`t want your client as a defense attorney to get out in front of the facts and then be embarrassed and that`s going to be the ongoing challenge here.

WILLIAMS:  OK, Katie, so this is a little bit a story from inside newspaper row but it affects everybody.  Our colleagues at "The Washington Post" asked for the documents in the Manafort case to be unsealed.  In response they got this from the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. "The Manafort case has been transferred from the special counsel`s office, Mueller, to the U.S. attorney`s office.  The redactions are intended to protect ongoing investigations that are being handled by various attorneys in various offices.  It is unknown how long some of these investigations may remain ongoing."

Katie, what does that tell you?

BENNER:  Absolutely.  So it tells us two things.  One, I think we`re going to see this with the report as well, with the Mueller report.  There are things in the response from the U.S. Attorney`s Office in D.C.  What they`re essentially saying is, "we`ve redacted things we`re allowed to redact and we need to in order to protect investigations."  That`s going to be an argument we`ll see made with the Mueller report.

There`ll be things that we, the public, cannot see because Bob Mueller and his team and the Justice Department will say, "We want to protect ongoing investigations elsewhere.  What will be different, though, and what -- excuse me, Bill Barr has already said he`s willing to do is to negotiate with different committee members in Congress who can make some claim that they have an equity, they have a reason to see information that shouldn`t be shown to the general public whether it`s law enforcement sensitive information or even classified information.  And the committees can negotiate with the Justice Department to see that, which they also did, you know, in the first years of the Trump administration when Republican congressmen and Congressional leaders were asking the Justice Department for information related to everything from the special counsel`s office, to, you know, roots of different investigations, the Hillary Clinton investigation.  They also made cut deals to show them sensitive information.  So there`ll be a split between what we the public sees and what Congress eventually negotiates to see.

WILLIAMS:  And Jaimie, this speaks to the point you just made to all else out there.  The other peril this President faces.  And this tells us that there`s still enough boiling that even in this case, they can`t let us see the supporting documents.

NAWADAY:  Absolutely.  Because you have to protect the privacy of uncharged third parties and you have to protect the confidentiality of all of these ongoing investigations.  So those redactions are completely appropriate.  We will see the full report obviously eventually, but I don`t think we`ll see a tremendous number of redactions.  I think people are obviously clamoring to see the full report and want total transparency here.  But the ongoing investigations have to be protected.

WILLIAMS:  You spent seven years in the beautiful confines of the Southern District of New York, which people can see portrayed on billions if they want to see just how luxurious a building it is.  With that in mind as you look at the landscape, what do you think poses the greatest peril of the known challenges out there legally?

NAWADAY:  I think the greatest challenge in terms of the investigations probably does come from the Southern District of New York.  Those investigations had been reported on quite a bit.  It is known as a prestigious and hard charging office, a very independent office.  It hasn`t been politicized, at least so far, the way Mueller`s investigation has been politicized.  And so it`s really not going to be subject to the same attacks that Mueller team has been subject to.

And they will follow through and follow the evidence where it leads.  And I think that from what we know so far that poses the greatest threat.

WILLIAMS:  The name is so misleading.  There`s nothing southern about it, really, when you think about it except that it`s the Justice Department`s office in Manhattan.  Very much fenced through and through.

Matt, I need a bold prediction from you.  Come Monday night`s broadcast when some of us will be sitting here post-Easter Sunday, do you think we will still be hashing through the findings of what we know to be the redacted Mueller report?  Will it have that much power and impact?

MILLER:  I do.  I think we will.  I think the obstruction of justice section of the report is likely to be almost completely unredacted.  We don`t know if any witnesses in that part of the investigation is going to the grand jury, so it wouldn`t be redacted for that reason.  It doesn`t relate to an ongoing investigation, it wouldn`t be classified information, so I think we`ll see just about everything there is in that piece of the report.

And I suspect the findings because they relate just to the President`s behavior.  They don`t relate to aides around him, they don`t relate to people that worked in the campaign.  They`re about his actions and we know that they will include some actions that have not yet been previously reported.  That`s what Bill Barr said in his letter and I suspect they will be quite striking and will give us -- give the American public and the committees in Congress quite a lot to think about.

WILLIAMS:  Our thanks to the big three for starting us off on a Monday night. Matthew Miller, Katie Benner, and Jaimie Nawaday, thank you all.

And coming up, we`ll speak to a former director of the CIA about what will and won`t be made public in this forthcoming report Thursday morning.

And later, as we said the very latest on the tragic fire that tore up history as it tore through the historic cathedral of Notre Dame, we`re live in Paris as the president of France is promising to rebuild.  He got some big assistance in that effort tonight.  "The 11th Hour" is just getting under way on a Monday evening.



LESLEY STAHL, CBS ANCHOR:  Do you think that the Attorney General is covering anything up?

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  I have no idea.  I have no idea.  He may be whitewashing but I don`t know if he`s covering anything up.  There`s no sense having that discussion.  All we need to do is see the Mueller report.


WILLIAMS:  As we mentioned members of Congress and the public will get to see the redacted or edited version of the report on Thursday.  And a letter to Congress back in March 29th it was, Barr offered of preview of what we might expect and we quote, "The Special Counsel`s report is nearly 400 pages long inclusive of tables and appendices and sets forth the Special Counsel`s findings, his analysis, and the reasons for his conclusions."

Quoting the same letter Barr also told lawmakers he`s redacting grand jury material, information that could compromise intelligence sources, ongoing investigation and material that could violate the privacy of people not charged.

Here with us in the studio tonight former CIA Director John Brennan also happens to be our Senior National Security and Intelligence analyst.  Thank you for coming in.


WILLIAMS:  What do you want to learn in this thing aside from the politics about Russia`s role in reaching into our democracy, about Putin`s aim, something you know a lot about already?  What do you want to see us do a result of what we learn?

BRENNAN:  Well, I want to find out what it is that Bob Mueller spent nearly two years with his team uncovering.  And the few short snippets of sentences that were in William Barr`s memo I think, you know, cover a whole lot of issues that we really need to have a better sense of.

And I`m hoping that Congress is going to get more information than the American public is.  The Congressional committee of jurisdiction in particularly certainly deserves to see a lot of that underlying information that may be redacted from the public.  And so I`m looking forward to seeing how much is actually going to be covered in black in this document.

WILLIAMS:  Do you worry about leaks?  What if one of the ambitious members of one of the committees in question calls or sends over a document to a friend of theirs in the news media that ends up exposing sources and methods of your beloved former co workers oversees?

BRENNAN:  Well, I think the Intelligence Committee certainly have a very good track record of protecting sources and methods.  And I`m hoping that any redactions of sources and methods information is going to protect those sources and methods and is going to allow the substance to come out.  I think that`s critically important to find out what Mueller and his team actually did find so you can protect that sources and method information.

I was involved in a lot of redactions and if I`m going to see pages just full of black or paragraphs upon paragraphs full of black, they are not taking an approach hat tries to be as transparent as possible.  They`re trying to cover it up.  So, 400 pages, I`m sure there`s a lot of information that will in fact be redacted, but it should be partial sentences or maybe sentences but not full pages of things because I`m confident Bob Mueller and his team recognize just how important it is to get as much information out as possible.

And I`m hoping although I`ve been disappointed so far with what William Barr has done, I`m hoping that he is really going to be as impartial as possible and not represent Donald Trump as Donald Trump`s lawyer but actually represent the Department of Justice and the American people so that finally we can have some closure as far as what this investigation did uncover.

WILLIAMS:  Let me show you the consequence, maybe not intended, but the consequence of what Barr has done.  Join me in watching this.  This is how the President interrupted Barr`s letter.


TRUMP:  I have not seen the Mueller report.  I have not read the Mueller report.  I won.  No collusion, no obstruction.  I won.

As far as I`m concerned I don`t care about the Mueller report, I`ve been totally exonerated.

I`m not concerned about anything because, frankly, there was no collusion and there was no obstruction.  And we never did anything wrong.  The people that did something wrong were the other side.  The dirty cops and a lot of the problems that were caused.


WILLIAMS:  After the President came out and characterized it that way as no one needs to remind you, you were basically hung in effigy especially by some on the air at Fox News.  As having been wrong, as having failed and having been riding this hobby (ph) horse for years, how do you think Thursday will change that view?

BRENNAN:  Well, I think my point that I`ve made including in print was to say that it`s obvious that collusion was taking place between some members of the Trump campaign and Russians.  The big question is whether or not that collusion did reach the level of criminal conspiracy.  I take Bob Mueller`s and his team`s word that they were not able to establish the evidentiary standard and basis to charge somebody with criminal conspiracy.  That doesn`t mean that there wasn`t a lot of unethical, unprincipled, and unpatriotic things taking place.

And I do think it`s important to have that see the light of day.  So I am waiting to see as much of that report as possible.  And then on the obstruction of justice issue, I mean we know very, very little about that.  And it should be no surprise to anybody that Mr. Trump would continue to misrepresent and mischaracterize what was said there.

That report, even Barr`s memo, never said there was no collusion.  Collusion was not a word used there.  It was just conspiracy or coordination.  So collusion, I think, I will still say that took place.  And Barr`s memo referenced Mueller`s report by saying this did not exonerate Mr. Trump.  But Mr. Trump has his own set of, you know, reality, and he will continue to, I think, cast things in a way that is most positive to him and to delude and to mislead the American people.  That`s why it`s so important for this information to come out so we can see it in black and white what Bob Mueller and his team actually found evidence of or not.

WILLIAMS:  As the former head of our spies, how do you feel seeing the word spies tossed about including by the Attorney General?

BRENNAN:  Well, when he talked about spying on the campaign there was no spying as far as I`m concerned by anybody.  What was done was a very necessary investigation that was predicated with information that would have been derelict if the FBI and CIA did not try to pull the threads to find out what the Russians were doing.

And when the Russians threads touched U.S. persons including those involved in the campaign, the FBI had a solemn obligation to find out who might have been working with the Russians.  So I take great umbrage when Attorney General Barr says that they were spying.

Was there an investigation going on, absolutely?  And does he want to take a look at what was the basis for the FISA warrants?  Yes, he can do that.  But to just so cavalierly throw out the term spying when he knows that that is going to be a dog whistle for so many individual that were out there, I think he was not as careful certainly as he should have been.

WILLIAMS:  Former Director Brennan, thank you very much for stopping by.  We always appreciate it.

As Mayor Pete makes the media rounds including this studio, coming off his Sunday announcement, when we come back it`s not just Democrats challenging this President anymore.  That when we continue.



PETER BUTTIGIEG (D), SOUTH BEND MAYOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Took me plenty of time to come out to myself.  So, I did not the way you did or the way my husband did figure out at such an early age.  I probably shouldn`t.  I mean there certainly plenty of indications by the time I was 15 or so that I could point out but yes, I was gay.  There`s really the deployment that put me over the top.  I realized that you only get to be one person.  You don`t know how long you have on this earth and by the time I came back I realized like I got to do something.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Really interesting conversation with Rachel in this very studio tonight. Pete Buttigieg officially joined the 2020 race on Sunday in the town of South Bend where he`s been the mayor for the last seven years.  He has generated rather sudden national attention.  And it`s reflected in the polls.

The latest national polling out by Emerson College shows Buttigieg polling in third behind two men pretty much everyone has already heard of.  Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden still hanging onto the top spots, though.  Sanders has now overtaken the former vice president and a reminder, Biden is not in the race.  There`s that.

Here with us tonight is John Heilemann, our MSNBC national affairs analyst.  He`s also coauthor of "Game Change" and cohost of "The Circus" on Showtime.

Before I ask you the handicap, the chances of Pete Buttigieg, I want to show you a moment that happened here in New York tonight.  He is approached on this dark and sad and awful night for all the people in France by a French reporter.  Here we go.


BUTTIGIEG:  (Speaking in Foreign Language)



WILLIAMS:  I know he`s not running for president of France.

HEILEMANN:  Also I don`t speak.

WILLIAMS:  That`s impressive.

HEILEMANN:  I speak no French.  So I have idea what on the merits --

WILLIAMS:  The longest years of my life were high school French.

HEILEMANN:  So I don`t know if he had substantively a good answer or politically a good answer.  Impressive the man speaks multiple languages, fluently and if you believe the theory of opposites that we trade, you know, you go from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and George W. Bush to Barack Obama, Barack Obama to Donald Trump.

WILLIAMS:  Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

HEILEMANN:  If you believe the theory of opposites the guy who`s the opposite of Donald Trump is a guy fluent in multiple languages and can take on a French reporter like that.

WILLIAMS:  That`s the opposite.

HEILEMANN:  Donald Trump did not, let`s put it that way, barely can do English.

WILLIAMS:  What do you make of his chances?  I know it`s early yet and it`s crowded and --

HEILEMANN:  And we don`t know even know who the field is, right?  We`re still waiting on big time people like Terry McAuliffe, Michael Bennett, the governor of Montana.  We`re waiting on Joe Biden still.  So, we don`t even know who the field is.

He has had, you know, the only so far in the race, Mayor Pete, that is, he`s had the only genuine authentic, organic unexpected moment so far.  If things are going to get harder for him now, he`s going to start now expectations are he`s a first year candidate.  You put up those polling numbers.  Let`s point out that Congressman O`Rourke and Senator Harris and Senator Warren are all with the margin of error.  They are all basically the same place in that second tier polling.

But in terms of consciousness, national consciousness the impression he`s making.  He`s now a first year kid.  He`s got the hot hand which means that he`s going to start getting opposition research against him, he`s going to start getting hard questions from reporters and he`s got the base to perform in against a bunch of people who done a lot more national combat than he has.  Does it mean he can`t be the nominee?  Of course it doesn`t, you know.  Right now it looks pretty good.  He`s on a roll.  But it`s early.  There`s a lot of yards between now and Iowa caucuses.

WILLIAMS:  Bernie Sanders today released his tax returns and there were two political headlines today while we were concentrating on a fire in Paris, Bill Weld got into the race against Donald Trump as a Republican.  As someone snarkly pointed out he hasn`t won on election since the late `90s.


WILLIAMS:  And Bernie released his tax returns and look who`s a member of the 1 percent?

HEILEMANN:  Yes, I mean look the two of -- one I think of not so great consequences of these two stories, Governor Weld, a man I liked greatly was a kind of a Republican who -- the race you`re talking about was when he won the Massachusetts governorship in a race that would became the governor of Massachusetts.  He ran for the Senate against John Kerry in the 1990s also.

He was the kind of Republican who could win in Massachusetts.  That kind of Republican has no place in today`s Republican Party.

WILLIAMS:  Or Mitt Romney.

HEILEMANN:  Yes, right, or Mitt Romney.  He doesn`t have a place.  The Republican Party is not the Republican Party of Massachusetts in the mid- 1990s.  He`s a nestable (ph) guy and you never as a sitting president want to have a primary opponent.  It just forces you to be to run in races you don`t want to run, to spend money you don`t want to spend, to have to deal with this gnat that`s kind of flying around and distracting you.  And we all know Donald Trump does not like mosquitos or gnats.

Bernie Sanders, you know, look, no one`s going to hold against him as he points out, he wrote a couple of books.  They were very successful, he made some money.  Is it awkward for him having spent 2016 railing against millionaire and billionaires and now turning out to be a millionaire, it`s awkward.  But there`s an easy answer out of it which is the say I think I should have my taxes raised.  I think, you know, I am member now of the millionaire class.  And I should have my power constrained, and I think that`s what he`s going to say.  And I don`t think there`s anybody who right now as a giant fan of Bernie Sanders and there`s a substantial number of them.  The Democratic Party is going to be turned off of him by the fact he had a couple of -- he had some success on the book circuit.

WILLIAMS:  We talk about the strength of Trump`s space and therefore to it, you know, what`s the world I`m looking to?  Sticktoitiveness.

HEILEMANN:  Yes, durability.  I mean, look.


HEILEMANN:  He is the only guy right now Bernie Sanders sitting here today who we know, absent a comet hitting him metaphorically, I hope, absent that who can -- who`s going to have the money to compete in 50 states, who can go all the way to June, he`s going to have the donor base to carry him forward and has, you know, party that`s moving to the left, has a piece of real estate that he has a really firm grip on right now.  Maybe someone can take it away from him, some people are going to try.  But right now the clearest, most -- cleanly demarked de marked territory he owns it and he`s got a money machine that guarantees him run all the way til June.  That`s the guy who`s formidable and he`s going to be formidable for a long time to come.

WILLIAMS:  Thank you for spending party your Monday night with us.  As always --

HEILEMANN:  Happy to be here.

WILLIAMS:  -- John Heilemann, our guest here in the studio.

Coming up an update from Paris where the world sadness was focused for much of this day.


WILLIAMS:  Daybreak arrives in Paris about an hour from now.  So many Parisians don`t want to see what night has shielded from their view.  Yes, Paris has lost a church, a parish has lost its gathering place.  More importantly the Catholic Church has lost a holy place at the start of holy week and civilization has lost one of its centers.

What we watched burning today was architecture of global importance, an icon containing icons and treasures in a building that survived in no particular order crusades, reformation, revolution and two world wars.

The helplessness came in watching timbers that date back to the 12th century burn as if soaked in gasoline.  A still photo shows the first signs of smoke, but even then the damage was rolling its way through.  There is no piece of fire apparatus in the world that is built tall enough for this task.  And the sheer weight and impact of any airborne water drop no matter what anyone tells you could have caused catastrophic collapse and could have pushed the fire elsewhere in the cathedral.

Then there`s the scaffolding.  While the cause is not yet known, just the presence of a construction protect exponentially heightens the chance of an accident.

Tonight the mayor of Paris sent out this picture showing some of the items saved from the fire not seen though reported to have survived are the two most important to catholic believers, the crown of thorns and a portion of the cross from the crucifixion.

  As life in Paris came to a mournful standstill today hymns broke out on city streets.

With us tonight from Paris is our own correspondent Matt Bradley, and here with me in New York is Elaine Sciolino, veteran journalist and former Paris bureau chief for the New York Times.  She also happens to be the author of the fourth coming book about the river that surrounds the island where Notre Dame sits, "The Seine: The River That Made Paris."

Good evening and welcome to both of you. Matt, I`d love to begin with you to ask you what it has been like in these overnight hours in a city defined by its streets, by cafe society, by its love of life.

MATT BRADLEY, MSNBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT:  Well, you know, Brian, as you mentioned, you know, Parisians don`t want to see what night has been shielding from them.  But I also think that when dawn arrives and you said it`s just going to be an hour from now, they`re going to be looking at what is left here.  And really there`s quite a lot.

You know, the edifice behind me as you can see, so much of this building still stands.  The structural integrity of this building is still intact.  So many of the relics that as you said are so important to so many catholic believers, they`re still intact

  And, you know, as a catholic yourself I think you remember how these buildings they mean so much more than just the structure and the architecture.  They actually bring life and historically have brought life to the religion for those believers and the people who come and worship there.

And I think so much of that is still there.  You know, 60 percent of the roof of this building was destroyed in the fire.  That massive spire that rises about a football field`s height above the ground, that was destroyed.  But everything else, the beautiful rose windows, the stained glass windows, so much of that remains.

And President Macron, he announced that he`s going to be launching a major fund-raising effort to try to rebuild this cathedral. And I think there`s actually just so much left that so many of the Parisians can look forward to seeing rebuilt and seeing put forward into building not a new church but a restored church.

WILLIAMS:  Hey, Matt Bradley with morning approaching after a long night`s work, thank you very much for giving us the situation there in Paris.  We appreciate it.

Elaine, what`s lost with the loss of Notre Dame?

ELAINE SCIOLINO, THE NEW YORK TIMES FMR. PARIS BUEAU CHIEF:  Well, let me be a bit radical in saying Notre Dame is not lost, that this as your colleague said is a survivor and a surviving edifice and a surviving church.  Much of it remains intact.  The stones are intact and the most dramatic image that we saw playing over and over was the top link of the spire.

And what many of your viewers may not know is that spire was put up in the mid-19th century by Viollet-le-Duc and many people didn`t like what he did with that spire.  It was corroded.  It`s wood beams were starting to fall apart, and it may be a blessing in disguise that the shape of this building which has been basically very degraded in recent decades is now before the world`s -- the world view, and we can see that how dramatic a renovation is needed.

WILLIAMS:  Again, looking at the scenes of this fire it is -- it`s hard to take it all in, it`s hard to realize that the torrents of water coming out of that sanctuary down every staircase contain paint from the 12th century that has burned off these walls.

Tell you what, Elaine has agreed to stay with us.  We`ll fit in a quick break here.  When we come back we`ll talk about the process of rebuilding something that stood for eight centuries.



TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK:  For the French, my god, for the world, Notre Dame Cathedral represents what`s most noble, what`s most uplifting, what`s most inspirational about the human project.  And to see that reduced to ashes, my, oh, my.


WILLIAMS:  That was Cardinal Dolan of New York.  No more than 500 yards from where we`re sitting right now.  And indeed New Yorkers look up at St. Pats Catherdal differently today.  And tonight, this fire at Notre Dame Cathedral triggered an outpouring of emotion, for this building that has remitted Paris for over 800 years.

13 million people a year visit this, that`s twice the number that go to the Eiffel Tower.  The first stone was laid in 1163 by Pope Alexander III.  It was the place where Napoleon was crowned emperor 1804.  It holds countless irreplaceable artifacts and is an icon way beyond its role in the Catholic Church.

50,000 people a day visit during this week, during holy week in normal times. Tonight French President Emmanuel Macron promised it will be rebuilt.  And Elaine Sciolino remains with us.

Elaine, I have to say that I just saw tonight, Francois-Henri Pinault who happens to be married to Salma Hayek, but more importantly for the purposes of this story, is billionaire who runs brands like Gucci and Yves Saint- Laurent, has pledged over $100 million.  That`s a huge help.

SCIOLINO:  Well, and he didn`t pledge it before this tragedy.  And I will predict that there will be an outpouring, not only of love and attention to rebuilding Notre Dame, but a lot of money, which is needed.  This was part of $180 million renovation. Already we`ve got $100 million of it from the Pinault family.  Which is extraordinary.

WILLIAMS:  Let`s talk about this church as a museum.  You can`t take an architecture course without learning the story of Notre Dame.  You can`t take a history course, certainly art history, without learning the story of Notre Dame.  Not just the structure, but sadly, some things we just know were lost in this fire.

SCIOLINO:  You`re absolutely right.  Notre Dame has an importance way beyond the fact that it`s a church.  It`s in our DNA.  Anybody who has seen Paris, even people who have never visited Paris will know Notre Dame.  It`s in our films.  "An American in Paris".  You`ve got Gene Kelly dancing with Leslie Caron along the Seine River and there pops up Notre Dame.

Woody Allen when he did "Midnight In Paris" the opening five minutes scenes in the beginning of the firm, there`s Notre Dame.  "Charade" with Cary Grant and Audi Hepburn, they`re walking along the Seine and suddenly there appears Notre Dame.  It`s part of our film culture.  It`s part of our literary culture with Victor Hugo`s 1831 novel.  It`s part of music.  There`s a whole opera by Puccini that is set on a barge right in front of Notre Dame.  So you`re right, it`s part of our culture.  It`s part of our humanity.

WILLIAMS:  And you`ve gone and written a book about the river Seine.

SCIOLINO:  Well, and the island on which Notre Dame was built is the beating heart of Paris.  It`s the absolute foundation of Paris.  And people who`ve been to Notre Dame they have gone to the crypt underneath the cathedral and seen the Gallo Roman Ruins and the walls and the baths of ancient France.

WILLIAMS:  Thank you so much on this night of all nights for joining us.  We appreciate it.

SCIOLINO:  Thank you for inviting me.

WILLIAMS:  Coming up, here`s to the winners in our shared field of endeavor, that story when we come back.


WILLIAMS:  Last thing before we go tonight.  The Pulitzer prizes were awarded today and the prestigious prize for journalism in the public service went to the South Florida Sun Sentinel for its coverage of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school.

The Pulitzer for breaking news went to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for another gun massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue.  "The New York Times" won for explanatory journalism on Donald Trump`s finances, while the staff of "The Wall Street Journal" won for national reporting, their reporting on the president and the hush-money payments.  A stunning play called "Fairview" won best drama.  David Blight`s biography of Frederick Douglass won for nonfiction.  Must be why we`ve been hearing such good things about Frederick Douglass lately.  And for lovers of fiction, the prize went to "The Overstory" by Richard Powers.

Needless to say our congratulations to the winners, the runners up, all those writing good words and taking good photos everywhere.

And with that, that is our broadcast on a Monday evening as we start a new week.  Thank you so much for being here with us and good night from NBC News headquarters here in New York.



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