Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 3, 2017 Guest: Michael Caputo, Margie Omero, Ted Lieu, Barbara McQuade, Tom Steyer, Michael Isikoff, Natasha Bertrand
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I can tell you is this, there was no collusion. You want to look at Hillary Clinton.
HAYES: The President calls for the investigation of his political opponents.
TRUMP: I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department, and I`m very frustrated by it.
HAYES: Tonight, the evidence that President Donald Trump is committing obstruction of justice in plain sight, and Tom Steyer on his call for impeachment. Then --
TRUMP: There`s no hesitation. One of the great memories of all time.
HAYES: One of the great memories suddenly forgets about Russia.
TRUMP: I don`t remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting.
HAYES: The latest on the Mueller investigation as Manafort gets a trial date. And Joy Reid on where President Trump stands after week one of the indictment era.
TRUMP: I`m the only one that matters.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. If the country found out the President of the United States had secretly called up his Attorney General and ordered him to begin an investigation through the Justice Department of Hillary Clinton, such a brazen abuse of power would immediately provoke calls for impeachment. That is exactly what the President has done over the past24 hours, only he`s been doing it out in the open instead of on the phone. Days after his former Campaign Chairman, another senior aide were indicted by the Special Counsel, a onetime campaign adviser pled guilty to lying to the FBI, that`s been cooperating to the investigators days after the unsealed court filings raised new questions about what the President knew of his campaign`s Russia contacts.
The President now seems to be feeling the pressure intensely and he has been calling on the United States Justice Department to prosecute his political opponents over a couple Fox News scandals involving her uranium deal and the financing of the DNC. This is real collusion and dishonesty, major violation of campaign finance laws and money laundering. Where is our Justice Department? It`s not, by the way. Everybody is asking why the Justice Department and FBI isn`t looking into all the dishonesty going on with crooked Hillary and the Dems, people are angry. At some point, the Justice Department and the FBI must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it.
Using his preferred racist slur to refer to Elizabeth Warren, Senior Senator from Massachusetts, the President wrote, "Pocahontas just stated the Democrats, led by the legendary crooked Hillary, rigged the primaries. Let`s go FBI and Justice Department." Departing the White House this morning on a 12-day trip to Asia, the President was asked if he might fire his Attorney General.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you fire Jeff Sessions if the Justice Department doesn`t take action?
TRUMP: I don`t know. I`m really not involved with the Justice Department. I`d like to let it run itself. But honestly they should be looking at the Democrats, they should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things. And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.
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HAYES: This wouldn`t be the first time the President has implied that Sessions` position depends on his commitment to protecting the White House and pursuing its political agenda. After Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, the President reportedly blast him for "disloyalty," later telling New York Times he never would have hired Sessions if he`d known the outcome.
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TRUMP: How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have you recused himself before the job, I would have said thanks, Jeff, but I can`t -- you know, I`m not going to take you. It`s extremely unfair, and that`s a mild word, to the President.
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HAYES: The President`s public instructions to the Justice Department arguably fit the textbook definition for obstruction of justice, which includes, "any threatening letter or communication that influences, obstructs, impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice. And crucially he knows he is not supposed to do what he`s doing, not supposed to get involved, admitting as much in a radio interview yesterday.
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TRUMP: You know, the saddest thing is that because I`m the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I`m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I`m not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I`m very frustrated by it. I look at what`s happening with the Justice Department. Why aren`t they going after Hillary Clinton with her e-mails and with her -- the dossier.
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HAYES: If we haven`t yet heard widespread calls for impeachment, it`s because this President`s disregard for the rule of law for democratic norms, his authoritarian impulses, there are largely baked in in the country`s perception, even among political insiders. It was just a couple of days ago, for example, that he called the American Criminal Justice System a joke and a laughing stock. And on top of that, all indications are that the President is already under investigation for obstruction of justice for his firing of former FBI Director James Comey in the midst of the Russia investigation. And much of the evidence for that has long been public. Not only did Comey testified under oath about what he described as repeated attempts by the President to exert his influence, but the President himself told NBC`s Lester Holt he was thinking about the Russia probe when he fired Comey.
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TRUMP: Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it`s an excuse.
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HAYES: Congressman Ted Lieu is a Democrat from California, member of the House Judiciary Committee. And Congressman, the President has now been publicly calling for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate his political opponent. What is your reaction to that?
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thank you, Chris, for your question. Fundamental to American democracy is the rule of law. That means people need to believe that when law enforcement opens an investigation or prosecutes someone, that`s based on the evidence and not on political ideology. And that`s what makes the President`s comments so dangerous. He believes it`s OK to use the incredible coercive power of the federal government to go after political enemies. That is wrong and it`s also, by the way, obstruction of justice.
HAYES: OK. So the argument on the other side is that these are the whalings of a fundamentally impotent individual. That where he actually directly ordering the Department of Justice to do this, that would be one thing, but he`s just kind of whining about it on Twitter the way that anyone watching Fox News might. And so -- and therefore, it`s less of a threat and doesn`t cross the line. What do you make of that argument?
LIEU: I suppose if this was Donald Trump, the real estate developer, doing things on Twitter, it would be different. But he`s the president of the United States. And if he, in fact, is under investigation, we don`t know if he is, but if he is, then he has now either endeavored to influence or directly tried to influence the investigation because of all these comments he`s making, trying to distract or threaten or make Attorney General Sessions do something different or the Department of Justice do something different. This is obstruction of justice right out plain for everyone able to see.
HAYES: You know, there are two other recent instances of him essentially you know, injecting himself into judicial proceedings. One is the tweet that he had about the alleged murderer who pledged to ISIS here in New York City, should get the death penalty. Lots of worry that that could corrupt that case, make it more difficult for the prosecutors. And then just today, Bowe Bergdahl, of course, who deserted his post was handed down a sentence in which he will get no time and part of the citation, part of the issue in the trial was that the President had exerted undue command influence by pinning on the case.
LIEU: Chris, that`s an excellent point. I was a former Prosecutor in the U.S. Air Force, I was a JAG and command influence is one of the greatest problems the military has faced. When you have commanders -- and Donald Trump is the Commander in Chief -- trying to influence proceedings, and it makes it hard then for military juries, to judges to try to be objective and do the right thing. Keep in mind, the President also has no idea what the facts were in this case. He didn`t watch this court-martial, he did not watch the trial or see the medicating circumstances. So, I don`t know how you opine on it without even knowing the actual facts.
HAYES: I think -- I mean, I want to go back to this idea of obstruction of justice, because what he`s doing is obstruction of justice in plain sight. You`re on the House Judiciary Committee, is that an impeachable offense?
LIEU: Yes, for two reasons. One is it`s a violation of federal statue, but he also has a duty on the Constitution to faithfully execute the laws and he`s not doing that when he says he wants the Department of Justice to go after his political enemies. One of the things about America is we`ve got the peaceful transfer of power. When someone wins the election, or political party wins the election, the losers don`t fear they`re going to be thrown in jail or prison. We can`t have that happen because democracy depends on knowing that the rule of law is going to be administered fairly.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Ted Lieu, great to have you.
LIEU: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now, Barbara McQuade, a former Federal Prosecutor. You know, as someone who worked for the Department of Justice and is familiar with the norms and regulations about the independence of that, what is your reaction to watching the President explicitly call for the Department of Justice to open up investigations of his political opponents?
BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN: If it were anyone else it would be shocking but it`s at least disappointing to hear these words coming from the President of the United States. I believe that the career prosecutors at the Justice Department are professional enough to tune out the noise and continue to focus and do their important work. But I think it undermines public confidence in the legitimacy of the Justice Department and the independence of the Justice Department when you have the President making these kinds of statements.
HAYES: Well, and we should also be clear, I mean, he has fired Comey. He is essentially dangling Jeff Sessions` job over him. I mean the defense, which you`re saying, which I think -- and what the Congressman said, both of which I take to heart, which is that it`s not having an effect, right, on the other -- on the other -- on the other end, he`s not pushing and they`re doing what -- his bidding. But there`s no guarantee that holds up, is there?
MCQUADE: No, and I don`t know that it matters. I still trust the integrity of the career prosecutors to do the right thing regardless of whatever it is the President is saying. But I do think that this becomes additional evidence in any obstruction of justice investigation that Robert Mueller is conducting. Anyone of these statements alone may not constitute obstruction of justice, but it`s going to be the pattern of activity that Robert Mueller looks at when he makes an ultimate decision about whether obstruction occurred.
HAYES: I want to read Bob Corker`s statement. He was the -- if I`m not mistaken, the lone Republican I think, out with a statement on this today, certainly the lone Republican Senator. "Like me, most Americans hope our justice system is independent and free of political interference. President Trump`s pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries a calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate and not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people`s confidence in our institutions." Would you hope there would have been more statements like that?
MCQUADE: I would. I would hope everyone in America who respects the rule of law would be speaking out against this kind of statement.
MCQUADE: And you know, early on you could say maybe President Trump didn`t get it. He`s used to being a real estate executive who says what`s on his mind, but again and again, he has heard that this is not appropriate for a sitting President and it is also compromising real cases. I mean, we`ve already seen that it influenced the judge`s decision in the Bowe Bergdahl case. I worry that it could have an adverse impact on the new terror case that was just filed in New York.
HAYES: There`s a question here also about the obstruction investigation, and I want to go back to something you just said a moment ago, about this could be evidence in that. There`s really a question about how broadly evidence for obstruction could be construed. In some ways, it`s unchartered territory because only the President can obstruct justice in a particular way that the President can do it, right, in a way that civilians or other folks can`t. But you think this kind of actions and statements could all be part of that case were it to be made by the Special Counsel?
MCQUADE: I do. You know, I don`t know that any one of these statements standing alone would be sufficient to bring a case of obstruction of justice but it`s enough to attempt to influence the outcome of an investigation. And if that`s what he`s doing with these series of tweets and public statements, then I think that could be part of the totality of circumstances that Robert Mueller looks at, along with firing of Jim Comey and some of these other things, asking him to let it go. So when you look at all of those things together, is that enough for obstruction of justice? And I think, every day he speaks and tweets, he makes the case stronger.
HAYES: All right, Barbara McQuade, thank you.
MCQUADE: Thanks very much, Chris.
HAYES: California Businessman Tom Steyer is putting some of his billions into an ad campaign calling for the President to be impeached along with the petition for impeachment. He now has almost a million and a half signatures. Tom, I guess I knew your position before what the President has done over the last 24, 36 hours. What is your response to the calls to go after Hillary Clinton in the context of your calls for impeachment?
TOM STEYER, AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN: Well, Chris, I think this is an example of the disrespect for the rule of law that has characterized both the campaign and this Presidency, and it is an example of the lawlessness that we have seen and which is the reason that we feel that it is appropriate now to call for the impeachment of this President. We think this is not -- I was listening to the previous segment, and I think that to be surprised or shocked or disappointed by this behavior means that you haven`t been paying attention for the last year and a half. The fact of the matter is this behavior is absolutely unacceptable, but it is absolutely consistent with what we`ve seen from this President, as President, and as a campaigner.
HAYES: How do you -- it`s funny you said that because I`ve been trying to think about transporting myself out of the current day and think about another President doing this. And of course, it`s almost inconceivable. I mean, if another president in my lifetime had done this, it would be an earth-shaking political cataclysm that would precipitate a crisis that would fall like dominoes and there`d be-- it would be the only thing anyone talked about. And here it`s kind of like, well, he`s tweeting again. I mean, how do you overcome that in the public perception?
STEYER: Well, Chris, what we`ve done is we`ve asked -- we`ve tried to provide a venue for the American people to directly raise their voice. That`s why we`ve called for impeachment, that`s why we`ve given people a chance to sign up on our Web site, to add their name and their voice. And in fact we`re over a million and a half, we`re at a million six now, which is way more than we expected. So we know the American people agree with us that this pattern of lawlessness has got to stop.
HAYES: You know, you were running these ads on Fox News. I think that`s probably where the President saw them, at one tweeting wacky and totally unhinged Tom Steyer who has been fighting me and my make America great again agenda from beginning, never wins elections. Have you ever stood for election?
STEYER: Not since school, Chris.
STEYER: But let me say this. Fox News subsequent to that refused to fulfill their contract with us, which was to continue to run our ad.
HAYES: They canceled the contract midway through after the tweet.
STEYER: Yes. So we don`t know why, we don`t know whether it was a request from the White House, but what we did --do know is that they are censuring the voice of a 1.6 million Americans who have an opinion that they either scared of or scared to air.
HAYES: So they pulled the ad. After the tweet, they pulled the ad, they`re no longer running it on their air?
STEYER: Correct. In violation of the contract that we have with them.
HAYES: I want to ask you about -- you`re beginning to see signs over the legislative branch to go after Tom -- to go after Robert Mueller. Politico has this headline about conservatives introduce a measure demanding Mueller`s resignation. So, while you`re out there with ad about impeachment, while Ted Lieu is saying this is obstruction of justice in plain sight, while the President is pressuring both the courts and the Justice Department, you have member -- Republican members of the House trying to go after Mueller. What do you make of that?
STEYER: Well, I think that what`s going on here is not -- is politics. And let me say this. It`s not me calling for the impeachment of this President, it`s over a million and a half American citizens calling for the impeachment of this President. What the Republicans are obviously doing with Mueller is to prepare the way for more obstruction of justice because they know that this administration cannot withstand an airing of their behavior. But let me say, that behavior has been taking place in plain sight and Americans can see it. What we`re doing is lowering the standards for behavior and saying what was previously as you said completely unacceptable and lawless is now something that`s excused as mildly vulgar and impolite. It`s not vulgar and impolite, it`s lawless.
HAYES: All right, Tom Steyer, thanks for your time tonight.
STEYER: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, more on the calls for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to step down. Paul Manafort`s trial date is set and what the President says he remembers about the meeting he attended with George Papadopoulos in two minutes.
HAYES: When it comes to moments that might be key in the Russia investigation, President Trump may or may not remember.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you remember George Papadopoulos during that March meeting?
TRUMP: I don`t remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting, took place a long time -- don`t remember much about it.
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HAYES: See what he did there? He doesn`t remember much, but he does remember just enough to declare it was a very unimportant meeting. That March 2016 meeting was the one in which Trump Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos proposed a possibility of arranging a meeting between then- candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. And for someone who the Trump administration wants us to believe was a forgettable low-level advisor, he kept turning up. In a September 2016 interview Interfax on the subject of Russian relations, Papadopoulos said Trump if elected President will restore the trust. The AJC, the American Jewish Committee used Trump Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos as a panelist in its Republican National Convention Program sitting alongside -- get this -- Senator Bob Corker, delivering remarks. There`s Papadopoulos on the far left with Republican Congressman from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who were also on the panel.
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GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, FORMER TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Apart from personal experience, especially on Iran, before I started working for the Trump campaign, I was based exclusively in London for the last seven or eight months. And during my time in London, I had an opportunity to meet with European energy companies and other commercial enterprises there in France, Italy, and the U.K.
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HAYES: You can almost see the thought bubbles of who is this dude among the assembled political leaders there. Just days before the election, a British publication wrote "George Papadopoulos, one of the business tycoon`s foreign advisers said he had very productive talks with representatives of the foreign office in Britain." Two days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the Jerusalem Post described a meeting between Papadopoulos and regional leaders that it occurred in Washington, look at that, clearly referring to Papadopoulos as a Trump advisor. This is after inauguration.
Meanwhile today, in the case of Trump`s Former Campaign Chair, Paul Manafort, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson proposed a May 7th trial date. The 12-count indictment against Manafort includes conspiracy against the United States. Michael Isikoff is the Chief Investigative Correspondent for Yahoo! News, Natasha Bertrand is a Political Correspondent for Business Insider and they join me now. And Natasha, you know, it seems plausible that Papadopoulos was not particularly high ranking but also the revelation today that you know, when the American Jewish Committee is contacted, why do you have that guy there? They say because the Trump Campaign sent him, seems to mean something, right?
NATASHA BERTRAND, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, BUSINESS INSIDER: Right. I`ll just start by saying I asked a former Trump campaign official about this. He`s just a low-level volunteer talking point. And he said, well, reporters should really feel free to push back on that narrative because pretty much everyone on the campaign was a volunteer because Trump didn`t want to pay anyone. So this whole idea that he was just a volunteer, hey, Manafort was a volunteer too so he could have had very, very large responsibilities, he could have had a very prominent role in the campaign and not been paid for it.
HAYES: Right. Michael, what do you make of his role and what we`re learning about him?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO! NEWS: Well, look, he clearly got around but -- and I was a little surprised at how long he stayed --
HAYES: Me too.
ISIKOFF: -- on the campaign. We know that in March, you know, Trump first mentions his name to the Washington Post because he was under pressure to get -- to come up with some foreign policy advisers because he didn`t have a foreign policy team so he hastily -- they hastily put together these names. And Papadopoulos is one, Carter Page is another. Not especially distinguished foreign policy-wise men or women. But look, the key here that`s significant is let`s go back to that March meeting where he proposes this to set up something between Trump and Putin and he says this in Trump`s presence. Papadopoulos has cut a deal with Mueller. He, no doubt, has been questioned very closely on how the President responded to that proposal. We`ve had accounts that Sessions shot it down, others were skeptical.
What did President Trump say when Papadopoulos in his presence says, I`ve been meeting with Russians who can set up a meeting between you and President Putin. And I think that is really the biggest question that hangs over the Papadopoulos case right now. We know -- we know Mueller`s people have been questioning the people in that room. Sam Clovis, who was Papadopoulos` campaign supervisor, was before the Grand Jury a week ago and had to resign -- pull back from his nomination to be at USDA this week as a result of these disclosures. But Mueller has some answers about what Trump`s response is, and I think that`s very critical.
BERTRAND: I would just say I think that the March 31st meeting is extremely important, but I think the key to all of this is looking at it from what happened after Papadopoulos was informed by this Russia-linked professor that Russian -- that the Russians had these thousands and thousands of e-mails that they said came from Hillary Clinton`s campaign. When he essentially learned that the Russians had dirt and that they wanted to give it to the Trump campaign, after that you saw a consistent effort by Papadopoulos to reach out to high-level members of the Trump campaign. Apparently not J.D. Gordon and Jeff Sessions because they had already shot him down but to people like Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, to essentially pitch this Trump/Russia meeting. Why did he want -- why did he want the President or the President`s close advisers to meet with Putin`s people so badly? It`s because perhaps he knew that there was something that they wanted to get.
HAYES: I want to play an interview the President gave I think just yesterday. And to look at his denial now of collusion with Russia which struck me as slightly different than what he said before. Take a listen to this.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you would ever consider trying to have Mueller removed or have you pledged to just stay out of that?
TRUMP: Well, I hope he`s treating everything fairly, and if he is, I`m going to be very happy because when you talk about innocent, I am truly not involved at any form of collusion with Russia, believe me. That`s the last thing I can think of to be involved in.
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HAYES: Michael, I am truly not involved in any form of collusion with Russia. It`s a little different than of course my campaign did not collude with Russia. I am truly not involved. And I think that distinction matters because it doesn`t appear to me -- I think of Iran contra and the way that defense ended up moving which was from the facts being established about the conspiracy to whether the President knew about it, you can imagine a similar kind of development along those lines here.
ISIKOFF: Yes, look, I mean, Mueller`s case this week against Papadopoulos on its face is about one member of his campaign who was colluding with the Russians, who was in contact with them, who was trying to set up meetings with them. So I think the President may have been counseled just to bow to reality here and put it on himself rather than his campaign. But, you know, look, at the end of the day, we don`t know. I mean, you know, we just have to deal with the evidence that we`ve got --
HAYES: Yes -- no, agreed.
ISIKOFF: -- in front of us. And you know, right now I come back to that meeting. Yes, he proposed this to the then-candidate Donald Trump himself and while others shot it down, he continued, so what did Donald Trump say to him after that proposal?
HAYES: That`s the big question. What did Donald Trump say there and was he ever informed about the Trump Tower meeting? Like the real questions, the outstanding ones which Mueller will have access to because he will talk to people involved is, did Trump ever know about this -- did the President ever know about this and what did he do? Did he say yes, let`s go, let`s do it?
BERTRAND: Right. And you know, there`s still skepticism surrounding where he was during that Trump Tower meeting. People really don`t know, they haven`t pinned that down, and during that meeting, that March 31st meeting, the foreign policy -- you know, rendezvous, he apparently was intrigued by Papadopoulos` offer to set up this meeting. So he really didn`t shoot it down. He seemed like his interest had been piqued and you know, from there that`s really going to be Mueller`s probe is.
HAYES: The last thing I`ll say here is that this was a very flat campaign organization which I keep coming back. There was not a lot of layers between a guy like George Papadopoulos and the candidate and that may come back to bite him in the end. Michael Isikoff and Natasha Bertrand, thank you.
BERTRAND: Thanks, Chris.
ISIKOFF: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, what other revelations are yet to come and what else has the Trump administration forgotten? A former Trump campaign advisor joins me to talk about that ahead.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A yes or no answer on one of these questions involving Russia. Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?
TRUMP: Well, I told you General Flynn obviously was dealing, so that`s one person, but he was dealing, as he should have been.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the election?
TRUMP: No, nobody that I know of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re not aware of any contacts during the course of the election?
TRUMP: Look, look, how many times do I have to answer this question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just say yes or no on it?
TRUMP: Russia is a ruse. I know you have to get up and ask a question that`s so important. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Since that February declaration by the President, we have since learned significantly more about his campaign`s entanglements with Russia. For example, we learned that his son, Donald Trump Jr. set up a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer promising government provided dirt on Hillary Clinton, a meeting whose attendees included Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
And of course, we learned on Monday, thanks to the Mueller investigation, that former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has now pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about contacts with Russians, and that Donald Trump`s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, had a widespread web of alleged financial entanglements with Russian-aligned interests and is now facing charges of money laundering, conspiracy against the United States and more.
But there`s still a lot we don`t know. And one man who might be able to shed more light, former Donald Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo. He joins me next.
HAYES: Last year as the election was heating up, the Trump campaign found itself under pressure to upgrade its threadbare operation and take on a more serious tone. The meeting on March 31, including Donald Trump, then Senator Jeff Sessions and little known campaign adviser George Padopoulos as part of that effort. It`s a crucial juncture for the campaign moving out of the primaries and in towards the Republican National Convention and the general election.
One man who was part of the campaign at the same time, Michael Caputo, former adviser to the campaign, and he`s with me now.
Michael, I wanted to follow up on Papadopoulos because you said, I thought humorously, you said he was a coffee boy earlier today. And since again they have got more reporting suggesting that he did stick around after that March meeting.
I want to play you a little tape of him at this event at the RNC with Bob Corker and Ted Yoho and Tom Marino. Take a listen.
We don`t have that.
So my question to you is if he is in fact hanging around longer than -- he`s not exactly a coffee boy, right?
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, no, he might have gotten some tea as well.
But you know, honestly and frankly, this guy seems like he was like gum on the bottom of the shoe with this campaign, because his name keeps popping up and his face keeps popping up in these unusual places, kind of like the Zelig of 2016, this guy.
You know, he never should have been on that foreign policy advisory board. He had no credentials to do it. And if he was so important, why didn`t he get an appointment to the transition team? Why isn`t he serving in the State Department right now? We`re assigning way too much importance to this guy.
HAYES: Right, but there`s lots of people that played important roles during the campaign who didn`t end up in the administration. I mean, Paul Manafort is a great example, Corey Lewandowski, who I know you famously feuded with, right. There are people playing key roles in the campaign who don`t end up in the administration. That can`t be the thing that determines whether they played important roles in the campaign or not.
CAPUTO: Right, but you can`t have it both ways. We`re also hearing a lot of complaints that Donald Trump is not getting the best and brightest, especially into his State Department and national security apparatus. If you had a pulse and some foreign policy acumen, I think you`d be in the administration`s appointment -- among the administration`s appointments right now.
The fact of the matter is this guy was at Ben Carson`s campaign for like five or six weeks. The way he got into that campaign was very similar, with an inflated resume and a LinkedIn message.
But here`s the thing. OK, I am willing to believe charitably this guy was low on the totem poll, but he was also emailing Sam Clovis, who was just up for an administration position until it was yanked in response to what happened. He was emailing Sam Clovis saying I`ve got a person who says essentially there`s are Russian agent who can give me dirt on Hillary Clinton through Vladimir Putin`s niece and Sam Clovis, who I think you would agree ranks higher, is like awesome, let`s do it. That suggests the campaign was into this idea.
HAYES: Well, Sam Clovis actually brought Padopoulos and Carter Page into that advisory board to begin with, and so I would imagine that they would have been emailing back and forth. And you know, Clovis has said that he was trying to just be nice in his response. I know that he`s since left his role -- I mean, pulled himself out of consideration for an agriculture job.
Actually, I think that the fact that he was brought in at all by Clovis or anyone was a mistake. And certainly responding in any way to this kid suggesting meetings with Russians --
HAYES: He`s 29 years old.
CAPUTO: Right. It`s just wrong, right.
HAYES: So I guess here`s the thing, right. So in isolation, it`s like Carter Page, he was a weird guy and he went to Moscow and he didn`t approve it. And George Papadopoulos is a low level guy and he didn`t make it in the administration. And Sam Clovis probably shouldn`t have gotten in and he was just -- he was just flattering him. And that Paul Manafort was only in the campaign a little bit, even if he was alive financially with a lot of Kremlin-backed interests.
And the meeting in Trump tower between John Jr. and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner when they were promised dirt from a Russian lawyer on behalf of the government was a kind of one-time fluke event. And the meetings with Kislyak were fluke events. And the mis-rembering of them. And then Flynn talking to the Russians and also lying about that, all of that stuff was a set of individual flukey circumstances.
You understand when those are concatenated together, it does start to look a little bad?
CAPUTO: It certainly does, especially when you`re wearing a tin foil hat. I get that. You know, this whole thing about the Trump/Russia collusion, you know, began during the campaign when they first --
HAYES: But what is factually inaccurate there? Is it not the case that there was an email to Don Jr. saying the Russian government is backing your father and we would like to provide you with dirt on Hillary Clinton and he said I would love that.
CAPUTO: Right. I understand. That was a mistake to have that meeting.
HAYES: That happened, right?
CAPUTO: Listen, actually I understand, Chris, that the string of those statements --
HAYES: You just said I have a tin foil hat. What I`m asking you is, is that a representation of a factual thing --
CAPUTO: No, no. I`m not saying you have a tin foil hat. Please don`t take it that way. That`s not what I meant. I`m saying that there`s a large group of people out there who are wearing tin foil hats who think Donald Trump himself actually speaks Russian after the sun goes down. And I think those --
HAYES: Let`s say the facts that are entered in evidence as of now, which do not prove that Donald Trump had some secret handshake deal with Vladimir Putin to hackinto Hillary Clinton`s servers, but when put together, do you understand why people view that as somewhat incriminating?
CAPUTO: I definitely do, Chris. And I said especially if you`re inclined to think that way.
But also we have -- what we here is also evidence if we all step back and take a look at it that clearly the Russians were trying to get into this campaign.
HAYES: 100 percent, yes.
CAPUTO: And I said that as far back as July of 2016. Russia was targeting both campaigns. And it`s something we needed to deal in 2016 and we need to deal with it now.
HAYES: Well, I`m glad you said that because the desire to infiltrate seems clear. The question is was that possible. And the final thing I`ll say here is that the argument that there was a bunch of amateurs running around and it wasn`t that well run an operation doesn`t necessarily mitigate against the idea that they would be successful in penetrating it, right?
CAPUTO: Right, it doesn`t.
HAYES: The Russians wanted to get in and there`s all these weirdos hanging around. Who knows if they were successful?
Michael Caputo, I appreciate your time.
CAPUTO: Thank you very much.
HAYES: All right. Still to come, Joy Reid on how the president is faring after his first week in the indictment era. And New York`s not new season, Hotam. That`s Thing One, Thing Two, next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it is no secret the Trump administration has installed the upper echelons of government people who deny the role humans play in climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there`s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.
TRUMP: Nobody really knows. I`ve -- look, I`m somebody that gets it. And nobody really knows.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you yourself believe in climate change?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe there is scientists on both sides that are accurate.
RICK PERRY, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: You know, what`s wrong with being a skeptic?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For some reason or another this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say whether or not the president believes that human activity is contributing to the warm of the climate?
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I honestly haven`t asked him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But in addition to political appointees, there are still career scientists who work in the federal government. And they have spent the last four years writing a report on this very subject. And you`ll never guess what they have to say about this very topic. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Two days ago, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said this about the impact humans have on climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: We spend so much time on this issue of about, you know, who`s fault is it exactly, how much, and, you know, I still think the science is out on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to the National Climate Report released by the federal government that Rick Perry is part of today, that science is not still out on that. Hundreds of scientific experts from 13 federal agencies and academia conclude, I`m quoting them here, there is no convincing alternative explanation other than humans and greenhouse gas emissions being the dominant cause for climate change. As to why this administration, which has publicly denied that conclusion agreed to sign off on those findings, the New York Times reports there was little appetite for a knockdown fight over climate change on this, among Mr. Trump`s top advisers, who are intensity focused on passing a tax reform bill, an effort they think could determine the fate of his presidency.
And how did the head of the Environmental Protection Agency respond? According to Politico`s Emily Holden, "I asked EPA what Scott Pruitt thinks of the final government report showing man-made climate change is real. They declined to comment.
HAYES: If you somehow time traveled from another era in American political life to witness this week in the Trump administration, you would be a fool not to think that the events that unfolded since Monday were enough to end Donald Trump`s presidency -- indictments of his former campaign chair Paul Manafort for, quote, conspiracy against the United States. Campaign staffer and Manafort associate Rick Gates, news that ex-foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos already pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller`s Russia investigation.
But we who are in this timeline, and who follow Donald Trump for a living, know better than to write a political obituary for the man because there have been really it seems like countless times when Donald Trump looked completely done, unfit, ineffective, when the lying was too reckless to ignore, when headlines across the country announced it was Trump`s worst week.
And still as Donald Trump begins his 11th month in office, it seems like nothing can dissolve us, or him, of his presidency.
So, how should we view this week in particular? Joy Reid joins me next to discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Today`s announcement has nothing to do with the president, has nothing to do with the president`s campaign, or campaign activity. The real collusion scandal, as we`ve said several times before, has everything to do with the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, and Russia. There`s clear evidence of the Clinton campaign colluding with Russians intelligence the spread disinformation and smear the president to influence the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When in doubt, turn the attention to Hillary Clinton, something the White House and their allies have done time and time again because it`s effective, I mean at least among their base.
A month ago, get this, 41 percent of Trump voters thought Russia wanted Clinton to win the election, which would be weird to think that given how it all played out. And now that same survey conducted after the news that Mueller indictments coming out, finds that 56 percent of Trump voters think Russia Clinton to win.
Margie Omero (ph), a Democratic pollster, and Joy Reid, MSNBC`s host of AM Joy talked to me know about whether Trump supporters care about what happened this week.
And before -- well, there`s the sort of connection, right. So there`s two questions, one is what`s happening among the Trump base. And it`s been fascinating to watch the Trump TV network sort of turn this around, as the pressure has ratcheted up.
You can see them spinning this countertale, which looks like it`s fairly effective for the people who are in that bubble.
JOY REID, MSNBC: I call it Earth two, right. So on Earth one, Donald Trump is in trouble because of Russia ties during his campaign. On Earth two, none of that is true, that`s all just a hoax, and Hillary Clinton is the one with ties to Russia and everything true about Trump is really true about Clinton.
They`re so thorough in this narrative and so disciplined about it and it`s so consistent across conservative media, which studies have shown people with a conservative bend are more likely to only consume a small number of conservative media. So in their bubble, in their universe, Earth two is the real Earth.
HAYES: The way I describe it when I watch what`s happening on the Trump TV network is that it`s like it is to reality what a really good Broadway set or theater set is to like an actual house. It`s got this air of uncanny. You`re like that looks just like an actual news program. There`s something slightly off -- exactly. There`s like little windows, right. It`s like there`s something is slightly off about it.
But it seems convincing.
Margie, what is -- you know, I looked at some of the polling about this more broadly, right. So, there`s the sort of Trump voters. But then there`s a polling, there`s this question about does this penetrate outside the bubble? Does anyone know who Robert Mueller is? Does anyone know who Paul Manafort is?
You had a huge news event on Monday, which is indictment of a former campaign manager. What is your sense what the polling says and public opinion about how much that`s gotten out?
MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: So, there are a lot of different pieces to this obviously. So, there`s the first piece, which is level of awareness and how important it is relative to other things that people are focusing on. There is for sure a level of awareness of what`s going on here, it`s just not going to be the same moment by moment drama that folks who follow this for a living are going to capture.
And that we should all expect that and know that and acknowledge that.
That said, if we want to look at the data and find where there is some bipartisan agreement, it is not looking on the outcome, not thinking about whether or not Russia interference affected the outcome, because that`s where people get very partisan, but instead looking at the investigation. Should we have an investigation? Is it important to have an investigation? Is Mueller doing a good job?
On those metrics, there`s actually -- according to the Post/ABC poll that came out a couple days ago, there`s actually a little bit more partisan agreement in some of those other questions.
And then the other thing I would just note is that in this current day, we have Republicans and we have Trump voters. So among Republicans overall, there are quite a few Republicans, about a third of Republicans feel that Mueller is doing a good job. There are Republicans that feel the investigation should continue. There are quite a few Republicans who feel that it`s quite likely that Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos did something wrong. And that`s among Republicans.
Now, hard core Trump voters may feel a little differently. And again it also depends on what kind of question you`re asking.
HAYES: You know, one of the the polling would seem to indicate that more Americans think the president committed a crime than approve of the job he`s doing in office, which is a sort -- which is a pretty remarkable place to find ourselves in.
REID: No, absolutely, and a not, you know, insignificant percentage think he should be impeached. And, you know, Margie talked about outcome, but the outcome actually matters. I think that what a lot of Democrat`s temptation is, because Democrats are, generally conciliatory by nature, want to say OK, let`s divorce it from the outcome, let`s just talk about how bad it is that Russia interfered period, have an independent investigation and just talk about the broad issue of interference.
But here`s the problem, what if Russia actually did impact the outcome? That means the fundamental legitimacy of the president of the United States is questionable. Every decision he makes, every judge he appoints could inherently be illegitimate. And I think that`s the actually a fundamental question Americans shouldn`t be afraid of.
And, look, psychologically it`s very difficult to be told that perhaps your vote was somehow influenced by outsiders, that there was something wrong with the candidate that you voted for.
HAYES: Yes. You`re stressing me out even talking about it right now.
REID: But I think that`s part of the immaturity of sort of the political system in the United States that we`re all trying not to deal with the facts of the outcome perhaps actually being influenced by Russia.
HAYES: OK, but I think. Let me argue from the other side of that, which is that if you talk about -- Margie -- if you talk about legitimacy, first of all there`s that idea that you get people`s partisan backs up, but also that you`re starting to pull on a string of like, people are so distrustful anyway. Legitimacy is so sort of tenuous at this moment, that you feel like you`re going to pull apart something more profound in terms of any faith in the political system writ-large.
OMERO: Right, right.
I mean, this is really about, like, hey, this is serious. We don`t -- let`s do an investigation. Let`s see what happens. Imagine if you had a Trump administration really saying, you know, we are as worried about this as everybody else, and that would really change the tone of how this works. I think one of the things we`re seeing with all this is the role of leadership, how powerful when Trump says this is something to worry about or not worry about, there`s a sizable group of people who go with him.
HAYES: To your point, the reason they`re not saying --
REID: It`s incriminating.
HAYES: Right. It`s incriminating, but also to your point, the reason they`re not saying we`re worried about it is because they fear their own legitimacy, like the person that -- the Joy Reid point is felt most profoundly by the person in the White House.
REID: That`s correct.
HAYES: -- than anyone else about the legitimacy. Absolutely.
Thanks to Margie Omero and Joy Reid.
Joy Reid, of course, you can find here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow and Sunday for some A.M. Joy. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
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