President issues new version of Trump Tower meeting. TRANSCRIPT: 8/13/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests: Richard Blumenthal, Michelle Goldberg, Tara Dowdell, Ken Vogel, Jess McIntosh, Maya Riley, Tom Perriello

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 13, 2018 Guest: Richard Blumenthal, Michelle Goldberg, Tara Dowdell, Ken Vogel, Jess McIntosh, Maya Riley, Tom Perriello

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- country in America today. We need to face continue by hiding or even by covering our eyes but looking upward to our values. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The President says I never said to Flynn anything about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never said to Comey.

GIULIANI: I never said to Comey anything about Flynn.

VELSHI: The President and his team now changing their stories.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a son who`s a great young man. He`s a fine person. He took a meeting with a lawyer from Russia.

VELSHI: As the Mueller investigation closes in.

TRUMP: Nothing happened from the meeting, zero happen for the meeting.

VELSHI: Then day 10 of the Manafort trial.

TRUMP: Where`s Paul?

VELSHI: The prosecution rests. So what happens next? And --

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Lordy, I hope there are tapes.

VELSHI: The secret recordings by one of the President`s best people.

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on? I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving? What happened?

VELSHI: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. As the special council closes in, the President and his lawyers appear to be changing their stories about how some of the key events under scrutiny in the Mueller probe turned out. One of those events is the meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and senior Trump campaign aides and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Just last week, the President tweeted, "this was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics and it went nowhere."

But in a new statement about his son to the Washington Post, the President takes a noticeably more careful position. "Don has received notoriety for a brief meeting that many politicians would have taken but most importantly add to the best of my knowledge, nothing happened after the meeting concluded." To the best of my knowledge, it`s a far cry from no collusion. More like if collusion did happen I wasn`t a part of it. The President for some reason is now hedging his denial of any Trump Tower meeting follow-up.

Meanwhile, his lead attorney Rudy Giuliani is now changing his story about what the President said to then FBI Director James Comey regarding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Giuliani now says the whole encounter never took place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: Did it? There was no conversation about Michael Flynn. The President didn`t find out that Comey believed it was until about I think it was February when it supposedly took place. The memo came out in May.

JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN: But Mr. Mayor, you said -- you told ABC news last month that the President told Comey "can you give him a break." Now you`re saying that they never had --

GIULIANI: No, no, no, I never told ABC that. That`s crazy. I never said that. What I said was that is what Comey is saying, Trump said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I never said that. That`s crazy. OK, let`s check the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s saying that the President was asking, directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go.

GIULIANI: He didn`t direct him to do that. What he said to him was can you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comey says he took it as direction.

GIULIANI: Well that`s OK. I mean, taking it that way -- I mean by that time, he had been fired.

As a prosecutor, I was told that many times can he gives a man a break either by his lawyers by his relatives, by friends. You take that into consideration but you know, that doesn`t determine not going forward with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Giuliani`s explanation that he was describing what Comey thought the President had said simply doesn`t hold up. You can`t help but wonder why the President and his lawyer are changing their stories now and whether it has anything to do with their negotiations with the special counsel over a Presidential interview. While the President continues to call Mueller`s investigation of hoax and a witch-hunt, the probe was validated by a fourth federal judge today, this one nominated by the President himself. D.C. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich just rejected a constitutional challenge to Mueller`s appointment brought by the Russian company charged with carrying out a massive influence operation during the 2016 campaign.

Similar challenges have been brought by Paul Manafort in both jurisdictions where he`s being tried and by a longtime aide to Roger Stone named Andrew Miller who`s been called to appear before Mueller`s grand jury. All those challenges have been thrown out. For more on that ruling and on the President and his lawyers changing stories, I`m joined by MSNBC Political Analyst Phil Rucker, White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. Phil, good to see you. What was your reaction to getting the new statement from the President about the Trump Tower meeting that nothing happened "to the best of my knowledge?"

PHIL RUCKER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, those words "to the best of my knowledge" are really important, Ali. I was surprised to see that. That`s not the kind of language we`re used to seeing from the President. Perhaps the statement was lawyered and it was in response to a request that my colleague Ashley Parker and I made to Sarah Sanders first to interview the President. He wasn`t available for an interview but she offered to get a statement from him which he provided.

Look, it`s important because he seems to be creating some wiggle room for his son. We know from our reporting that there`s anxiety in the President`s inner circle including by the President himself who has fretted two associates and friends that he`s worried about Don Junior, worried that there could be some legal jeopardy legal exposure there and there`s a feeling in the orbit that something could potentially happen in the next few weeks. We just don`t know what that might be but this may be the president trying to protect himself, distance himself from anything that may be afoot with his son.

VELSHI: All right, so there`s the issue of the Trump Tower meeting which we know Mueller has a good deal of information of because he was able to get everybody`s phone records and conversation records and he`s piecing that together. And then there`s the issue about what happened to Michael Flynn and what the conversation was with James Comey and it goes to why the President fired James Comey. Earlier today, I had a conversation with Omarosa Manigault Newman about the Lester Holt interview. Here`s what she told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I want to talk about the Lester Holt interview where you said that the team prepared him well then he went into the interview and he said what a lot of people believe to be the truth that he fired Jim Comey over Russia. So was he being prepped to lie?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER AIDE, WHITE HOUSE: He was being prepped by Hope Hicks in the comms team to say that the deal -- he come up with this memo so that they could justify the firing of Comey.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWMAN: That was -- that was definitely Hope Hicks, Press Secretary kind of thing but I was really, really surprised that he would implicate himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Phil, I don`t know what to make of that because there are a number of things in that book that seemed to be offhand comments and then we heard tapes in the last two days to back them up. So this becomes interesting to the Special Counsel or anyone else to say does Omarosa know that the President was being coached to lie in that interview with Lester Holt and in the end when he told Lester it was about Russia was that the truth or was that a lie?

RUCKER: Yes -- well, I don`t know about her you know, what she experienced or what she may have witnessed firsthand at the time or she was even in the room for those discussions in advance that Lester Holt interview but her account seems to make sense because the administration had put forward a narrative of events where the President was just simply reacting to the recommendation of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to fire Comey for his work on the job. But clearly, there was more to it than that and Trump himself had acknowledged that he fired Comey over Russia and that that was sort of just a series of explanations that were created by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to execute this decision. But we know that the White House was preparing talking points and had really been trying to spin it a different way than the President ended up saying.

VELSHI: Phil, good to see you as always. Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

RUCKER: Thank you.

VELSHI: All right, for more reaction to the Trump teams shifting stories I`m joined by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator, good to see you. You like Rudy Giuliani were a prosecutor?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: I was a Federal Prosecutor for four and a half years, a U.S. Attorney in Connecticut and then I was the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut for 20 years.

VELSHI: So you to evaluate were Giuliani statement that he was often told to give the guy a break and it would be people the friends and family of whoever it was he was -- he was prosecuting, it`s a little bit different with the Present the United States especially as it relates to something that the President may or may not have been involved in.

BLUMENTHAL: Totally different because the President of the United States is Jim Comey`s boss and it`s also totally different because of the circumstances which is a private setting without lawyers there, without any witnesses and obviously it`s part of a pattern of seeking to in effect squelch or stop the investigation the involving the possibility of colluding between the Trump campaign and the Russians and also obstruction of justice both under investigation by Jim Comey.

VELSHI: So if Giuliani we`re trying to make a point to George Stephanopoulos, the argument would have been I`ve been told a lot of times by my boss to give someone a break, right? That`s what the analogy is not that it`s somebody`s friends or family saying, hey could you go easy on my brother or my friend. This is a story of somebody in a -- in a position of authority asking a prosecutor to give somebody break and someone who might have been implicated in the story themselves. That`s key to this.

BLUMENTHAL: There really is no analogy here. This is such breaking of norms and potentially breaking of laws that it`s the reason for these shifting stories, changing claims. They can`t get their stories straight because the consciousness of guilt is there. I think there is mounting evidence of obstruction of justice here and it`s not only that conversation with Comey, not only Comey`s firing but also what Donald Trump said to the Russian Foreign Minister right after he fired Comey he was so relieved because the Russian investigation was over.

VELSHI: Right. Now to this statement that Donald Trump gave to the Washington Post about the "to the best of his knowledge nothing happened after that meeting," as Phil Rucker said that`s not language we`re typically used to hearing from the President of the United States. He doesn`t hedge anything.

BLUMENTHAL: He never hedges and what`s different about this statement is it is, in fact, a statement, not a tweet coming from I presume the President`s lawyers not really himself. And it shows very dramatically that the President is worried about his son. I sat through the session with Donald Trump Jr. when he came before the Judiciary Committee where I sit and he is in deep legal trouble for what he said then, his denial of certain knowledge about the Russians coming to him and offering dirt and his saying I love it and also what he told the President and when he told the President. And I think that Donald Trump Senior is very conscious of not only the legal quicksand for his son but also for himself.

VELSHI: Well how do you see this unfolding then because the bottom line is the President was fairly quick after the knowledge of that meeting became public to go out there and draft a statement which is now under scrutiny as well for saying nothing happened, it was about adoptions. We now know it is trickled out but we now know that it was somebody working for the Russian government who was trying to overturn the Magnitsky Act and wanted this campaign support in doing so.

BLUMENTHAL: Natalia Veselnitskaya who came to that Trump Tower meeting on June 9th, 2016 was an emissary, in fact, an agent of the Russian government. Donald Trump Jr. was told that he would be meeting with a referent emissary or agent. So the idea that this was just the normal opposition research --

VELSHI: Right.

BLUMENTHAL: -- is totally untrue. Also, that statement that the President wrote for his son is not only under scrutiny, it is under serious challenge. It is completely false, and more evidence of his own consciousness of guilt. But the point here is that we Juliana is trying to set a deadline. He says September 1. Good prosecutors never set deadlines for an investigation. Rudy Giuliani knows it as well as anyone. And I think where it all goes is unfolding additional indictments whether it`s before the midterm elections or afterward.

VELSHI: Well, according to Donald Trump in a tweet today about Peter Strzok who has been fired from the FBI, he -- the President tweets, "Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI. Finally, the list of bad players in the FBI and DOJ gets longer and longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the witch-hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total hoax. No collusion, no obstruction. I just fight back." There`s a lot in there but the President has started saying, well, even if there -- even if there was something that went on, even if there was collusion, collusion is not a crime but this effort to undermine the investigation seems to be coming -- be becoming more desperate for the President.

BLUMENTHAL: It`s not only more desperate but more incredible. I think the more the American public sees of these shifting stories and changing claims, the more they see of Rudy Giuliani he trying to offend it I think the less credible it will be. And on Peter Strzok, remember, the I.G. Inspector General of the Department of Justice found conclusively there was no impact on the Special Counsel`s investigation from anything that Peter Strzok believed, anything he did that was improper. He recommended a suspension for 60 days and a demotion. The Department of Justice today went way further, but the most important point here is no effect on the investigation to anything he may have done improperly.

VELSHI: Senator, always good to see you. Thank you for joining us tonight, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. To help understand what the President and his lawyers are up to and how it could affect the President`s potential legal jeopardy I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor and former Federal Prosecutor Joyce Vance. Joyce, good to see you as always. Thank you for joining us.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me.

VELSHI: I have to continue the conversation I was having with the Senator. Does Rudy Giuliani hurt his ability to properly represent the President by giving all these interviews? It`s just so easy when he says something for us to find the tape of something else he says and we`ve come to expect it from the President but from his lead lawyer?

VANCE: You know, it`s become so easy but it`s not even a sporting adventure anymore. The problem here is something that we all know to be true. People who are being honest don`t have to keep changing their story. You only have to keep changing your story if you`re lying. And so sadly I think in many regards because this is someone who we all loved as America`s mayor, we`re watching him diminish his reputation. It`s painful to watch, it`s difficult to watch. One wonders if he himself might not end up with some exposure.

And certainly, the President will be accountable at least in a criminal forum only for whatever testimony he would actually give himself. But if what we`re looking forward to here is impeachment proceedings and Giuliani is simply trying on strategy after strategy to see which one works it`s a painful exercise in telling things that aren`t true.

VELSHI: The White House Counsel Bob Bauer issued this statement. He said after a year and a half was saying no collusion, now he -- he, meaning Trump -- now he`s saying to the best of my knowledge nothing happened afterwards. Bauer said, the bottom line on all this, Bauer concluded, is that Trump almost certainly knows more than he has publicly admitted to or acknowledged and Mueller probably already knows it.

This is -- this is the point that I think the Senator was just making that there`s a consciousness of guilt. There`s a consciousness of responsibility and the President now seems to be angling around this. what do you make of this as a prosecutor?

VANCE: This is a very carefully lawyered statement and it looks like the kind of statement you would expect someone to make when they`re very nervous about criminal liability. I think it`s correct that Robert Mueller and his investigators know a lot that`s not public knowledge. And whether that`s knowledge that tends to make any one of a number of potential defendants looked more like they committed a crime or perhaps exculpatory evidence that tends to show that they didn`t have the necessary state of knowledge.

One thing that we all know is that there`s been extraordinary sensitivity about this meeting in Trump Tower. The President jumped so quickly on coming up with an excuse and it`s amazing how most of the problems that they`ve had in this regard have been because they`ve released damaging information. Trump Jr. releasing this series of emails that made it very clear that this was contact that was an expectation that they would get something of value for the campaign from what turned out to be Russian agents.

So there`s all sorts of swirling mystery around this meeting in terms of what level proof there is of intent to join a conspiracy. But it looks very strongly like there is an agreement to have a meeting at which something that would potentially be valuable that the campaign was offered and they took a significant step towards achieving that agreement holding the meeting. This is the heart of the crime of conspiracy. You don`t have to complete your objective, you just have to meet or you have to make an agreement and take a significant step in furtherance of that agreement and intend to do both of those and it looks like it`s problematic

VELSHI: So it may not be relevant -- what the President said to the Washington Post may not be all that relevant, "to the best of my knowledge I don`t know but nothing happens after that meeting."

VANCE: It`s a really a problematic idea because it doesn`t do anything to negate conspiracy. And of course, we have seen that something happened after that meeting. The President went on national television and asked Russia to release Hillary Clinton`s e-mails so it looks like one of those best lawyering efforts after the fact. It doesn`t really have a lot of helpful impact.

VELSHI: Joyce, always good to talk to you. Thank you for being with us, Joyce Vance.

VANCE: Thanks.

VELSHI: All right, coming up next. The former White House aide armed with secret recordings including one of a private phone call with the President. The story of the Omarosa tapes in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Do you have more recordings?

NEWMAN: Oh, absolutely.

VELSHI: Are you planning on releasing them?

NEWMAN: I don`t know. I`m going to watch to see they`ve been threatening legal action, they`re trying to figure out how to stop me. I`m expecting that they`re going to retaliate and so I`m just going to stand back and wait.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: That was part of my conversation earlier today with former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in which she said she absolutely has more recordings. Then just an hour ago while talking to my colleague Chris Matthews, she took things a step further.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I asked you before a couple hours ago, Omarosa, if you have any other recordings. You wouldn`t share them here. Do you got some.

NEWMAN: Oh I have plenty.

MATTHEWS: Anything Mueller would like to see?

NEWMAN: If he -- if he -- if his office calls again, anything they want, I`ll share.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: And now once again the President is in the position of having to deal with the release of secret audio recordings made by one of his employees. In a span of 24 hours, Omarosa Manigault Newman has released a recording of Donald Trump`s Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her in the White House Situation Room. And today we have hurt audio of a conversation that the former apprentice contestant says she had with Donald Trump one day after she was fired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on. I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving. What happened?

NEWMAN: General Kelly -- General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.

TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it, nobody. You know, they run a big operation but I didn`t know it. I didn`t know that. God damn it. I don`t love you leaving at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: NBC News does not know what was said before or after that exchange you just heard. Trump hit back today in a series of tweets calling Omarosa lowlife and not smart and claiming that Kelly wanted to terminate her almost immediately but Trump relented "because she only said great things about me until she got fired." Joining me now Tara Dowdell, Democratic Strategist and also like Omarosa, a former Contestant on The Apprentice and Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times who has a piece out titled today titled "Welcome to the Resistance Omarosa. Thank you for joining us both of you.

Michelle, you wrote something today that many of us who saw advanced copies of the book were thinking. Some of it seems fantastical and unbelievable, and then we heard tapes, and then we heard you know, we heard a tape and then we heard another tape, and a couple of things that she`s written about have turned out to be true.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Right and those two scenes in particular, right? She starts -- she opens with the scene of her being fired by John Kelly in this very dramatic menacing way in the Situation Room. And on the page, it seems really thuggish and you think you know this sounds kind of melodramatic. Is he really threatening to destroy her reputation? But it is word-for-word on the tape what she writes on the page.

And then at the end when she talks about Trump calling her up and saying how he didn`t know anything about this and he`s so upset about it and again you kind of think did that really happened? Yes, it really did happen. And so that doesn`t tell us that everything else in the book really happened but she hints a lot in the book. Well, she`ll say like I got a follow-up text about this or she`ll sort of try to tell if I feel -- I felt like where she might have received it.

VELSHI: She was careful. She`s got receipts and we don`t know exactly what they are. How should we evaluate who Omarosa is because for a long time she`s been a character that a lot of people --

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Character?

VELSHI: She plays a character. She knows what her character is. She`s someone a lot of people haven`t taken seriously but she certainly known the President for a long time.

DOWDELL: That`s exactly right. Omarosa has known the President and not just knowing him, has had a long-standing financial and friendship personal relationship with him. He has funded a reality show that she was on separate and apart from The Apprentice. He was the executive producer for that show. I shouldn`t say funding, he was the executive producer of that show. He helped to get that show greenlit to even air. I know that he`s done work with when she`s had different companies. I know from her telling me this that he`s been a client of hers. And so I think for people to discount the closeness of their relationship I think is problematic and I think people want to do that to try to dismiss what she`s saying.

I mean, whether she`s credible or not, the fact of the matter is much of what I`ve -- the excerpts that I`ve seen in from the book line up perfectly with Trump`s rhetoric, with Trump`s behavior and with -- and with Trump`s personality.

VELSHI: Michelle, what surprised you? Are there any revelations in there that that struck you as particularly interesting?

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, there`s some gossip, right? Just sort of hints that Trump was sleeping with the woman who gave the invocation in his inauguration and there`s how their little gossipy things. I think what surprised me the most was that you -- I had the sense that she really felt a sense of -- and again she`s a (INAUDIBLE) person, she might not have a lot of credibility. You`ve still got a sense that she felt shame about what she had done, right? That the fact that she kind of comes from Democratic circles, from African-American political circles, the fact that she had lost so many friends and that so many people were disgusted with her on some level hurt her. And there`s parts of the book where it almost seems like she`s trying to explain herself to them.

VELSHI: Tara, she didn`t -- she didn`t really do as much. When I asked her why she stuck around as long as she did, she said she was trying to get a better place at the table for African-Americans in the White House. It`s not clear that that bore any fruit.

DOWDELL: Well, I don`t think that`s why she stuck around. Look, at the end of the day Trump reflects -- the people who work for Trump reflect Trump. Omarosa, the whole cast of characters, he wanted a reality show presidency and that`s what he`s gotten. The cast of characters around him are as shameless as he is, as deceitful as he is and in many ways as corrupt as he is. So the notion that she was there for these noble reasons, she was there for the same reason all the other people are there, power, connections, and to set themselves up for something bigger later.

VELSHI: Michelle, the conversation that she writes about in the book that she`s now released a recording off getting fired by Kelly, it`s a very long tape. She only released a little bit of it. Let`s play just a bit of this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Can I ask you a couple of questions? Does the President knew about -- is the President aware of this thing?

JOHN KELLY, CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: Don`t -- let`s not go down that road. This is non-negotiable discussion.

NEWMAN: I don`t want to negotiate, I never talked -- had the chance to talk with you General Kelly, so this is my departure. I`d like to have at least an opportunity to understand it.

KELLY: We can -- we can talk another time.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELSHI: So she says he never offered to talk another time and that Kelly said to him the staff works for me, not for the President. She`s hinting that there wasn`t a valid reason for her being fired. I don`t know if in the White House you need a valid reason to be fired.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, part of the thing that`s so difficult I think in talking about her is that like of course, she`s a you know, ridiculous, dishonest figure who has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office but certainly no more so than any of the other people who surround Trump. So you know, one of the excuses for her firing was that she abused the car service, which might be a legitimate excuse in a normal administration.

VELSHI: But this is not a normal --

GOLDBERG: But this is an administration where people abuse --

VELSHI: Right. If we went outside right now and said that that`s what she got fired for, everybody would look at us like you get fired in the administration for that?

GOLDBERG: Right.

DOWDELL: This is an administration where people abuse things, abuse women.

GOLDBERG: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWDELL: Remember, Trump did not want to fire Scott Pruitt, his EPA administrator after a litany of corruption. I mean, it was just a basket full of corruption.

VELSHI: So this isn`t believable that car services are what --

DOWDELL: Exactly. And he didn`t want to fire Rob Porter who has two ex- wives alleging that he abused them with photographic evidence as such and police reports of such. He didn`t want to get rid of them. I find it interesting how quickly he threw Omarosa on the bus and hit with that not smart again which seems to be his favorite insult for African-Americans.

VELSHI: I was going to say, he seems to pull that out a lot with African- Americans. It seems to be his go-to.

DOWDELL: And what`s interesting about it is right now Omarosa is outsmarting him because he didn`t know that he was being recorded by Omarosa so not sure that she`s the one that`s not smart.

VELSHI: We -- I asked her if she thought he was taping he conversations too and she thinks he was taping everything like everybody in this White House is taping everybody.

GOLDBERG: I mean, and you know there`s a poem that Donald Trump might have heard sometimes called The Snake right? About like these people, they know what they`re getting with each other. This is like a den of vipers.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, well, we`ll see what is yet to come out. I think the book doesn`t officially come out until tomorrow.

GOLDBERG: Until tomorrow, yes.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, Tara thanks very much. Joyce -- Michelle, good to see you. Sorry, I`m puzzled by this things, stories, remarkable. All right, still ahead, day ten of the Paul Manafort trial. The prosecution has rested and the whole thing could be wrapped up by the end of this week. We`ll have that story for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- country in America today. We need to face continue by hiding or even by covering our eyes but looking upward to our values. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The President says I never said to Flynn anything about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never said to Comey.

GIULIANI: I never said to Comey anything about Flynn.

VELSHI: The President and his team now changing their stories.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a son who`s a great young man. He`s a fine person. He took a meeting with a lawyer from Russia.

VELSHI: As the Mueller investigation closes in.

TRUMP: Nothing happened from the meeting, zero happen for the meeting.

VELSHI: Then day 10 of the Manafort trial.

TRUMP: Where`s Paul?

VELSHI: The prosecution rests. So what happens next? And --

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Lordy, I hope there are tapes.

VELSHI: The secret recordings by one of the President`s best people.

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on? I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving? What happened?

VELSHI: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. As the special council closes in, the President and his lawyers appear to be changing their stories about how some of the key events under scrutiny in the Mueller probe turned out. One of those events is the meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and senior Trump campaign aides and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Just last week, the President tweeted, "this was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics and it went nowhere."

But in a new statement about his son to the Washington Post, the President takes a noticeably more careful position. "Don has received notoriety for a brief meeting that many politicians would have taken but most importantly add to the best of my knowledge, nothing happened after the meeting concluded." To the best of my knowledge, it`s a far cry from no collusion. More like if collusion did happen I wasn`t a part of it. The President for some reason is now hedging his denial of any Trump Tower meeting follow-up.

Meanwhile, his lead attorney Rudy Giuliani is now changing his story about what the President said to then FBI Director James Comey regarding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Giuliani now says the whole encounter never took place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: Did it? There was no conversation about Michael Flynn. The President didn`t find out that Comey believed it was until about I think it was February when it supposedly took place. The memo came out in May.

JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN: But Mr. Mayor, you said -- you told ABC news last month that the President told Comey "can you give him a break." Now you`re saying that they never had --

GIULIANI: No, no, no, I never told ABC that. That`s crazy. I never said that. What I said was that is what Comey is saying, Trump said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I never said that. That`s crazy. OK, let`s check the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s saying that the President was asking, directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go.

GIULIANI: He didn`t direct him to do that. What he said to him was can you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comey says he took it as direction.

GIULIANI: Well that`s OK. I mean, taking it that way -- I mean by that time, he had been fired.

As a prosecutor, I was told that many times can he gives a man a break either by his lawyers by his relatives, by friends. You take that into consideration but you know, that doesn`t determine not going forward with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Giuliani`s explanation that he was describing what Comey thought the President had said simply doesn`t hold up. You can`t help but wonder why the President and his lawyer are changing their stories now and whether it has anything to do with their negotiations with the special counsel over a Presidential interview. While the President continues to call Mueller`s investigation of hoax and a witch-hunt, the probe was validated by a fourth federal judge today, this one nominated by the President himself. D.C. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich just rejected a constitutional challenge to Mueller`s appointment brought by the Russian company charged with carrying out a massive influence operation during the 2016 campaign.

Similar challenges have been brought by Paul Manafort in both jurisdictions where he`s being tried and by a longtime aide to Roger Stone named Andrew Miller who`s been called to appear before Mueller`s grand jury. All those challenges have been thrown out. For more on that ruling and on the President and his lawyers changing stories, I`m joined by MSNBC Political Analyst Phil Rucker, White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. Phil, good to see you. What was your reaction to getting the new statement from the President about the Trump Tower meeting that nothing happened "to the best of my knowledge?"

PHIL RUCKER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, those words "to the best of my knowledge" are really important, Ali. I was surprised to see that. That`s not the kind of language we`re used to seeing from the President. Perhaps the statement was lawyered and it was in response to a request that my colleague Ashley Parker and I made to Sarah Sanders first to interview the President. He wasn`t available for an interview but she offered to get a statement from him which he provided.

Look, it`s important because he seems to be creating some wiggle room for his son. We know from our reporting that there`s anxiety in the President`s inner circle including by the President himself who has fretted two associates and friends that he`s worried about Don Junior, worried that there could be some legal jeopardy legal exposure there and there`s a feeling in the orbit that something could potentially happen in the next few weeks. We just don`t know what that might be but this may be the president trying to protect himself, distance himself from anything that may be afoot with his son.

VELSHI: All right, so there`s the issue of the Trump Tower meeting which we know Mueller has a good deal of information of because he was able to get everybody`s phone records and conversation records and he`s piecing that together. And then there`s the issue about what happened to Michael Flynn and what the conversation was with James Comey and it goes to why the President fired James Comey. Earlier today, I had a conversation with Omarosa Manigault Newman about the Lester Holt interview. Here`s what she told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I want to talk about the Lester Holt interview where you said that the team prepared him well then he went into the interview and he said what a lot of people believe to be the truth that he fired Jim Comey over Russia. So was he being prepped to lie?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER AIDE, WHITE HOUSE: He was being prepped by Hope Hicks in the comms team to say that the deal -- he come up with this memo so that they could justify the firing of Comey.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWMAN: That was -- that was definitely Hope Hicks, Press Secretary kind of thing but I was really, really surprised that he would implicate himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Phil, I don`t know what to make of that because there are a number of things in that book that seemed to be offhand comments and then we heard tapes in the last two days to back them up. So this becomes interesting to the Special Counsel or anyone else to say does Omarosa know that the President was being coached to lie in that interview with Lester Holt and in the end when he told Lester it was about Russia was that the truth or was that a lie?

RUCKER: Yes -- well, I don`t know about her you know, what she experienced or what she may have witnessed firsthand at the time or she was even in the room for those discussions in advance that Lester Holt interview but her account seems to make sense because the administration had put forward a narrative of events where the President was just simply reacting to the recommendation of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to fire Comey for his work on the job. But clearly, there was more to it than that and Trump himself had acknowledged that he fired Comey over Russia and that that was sort of just a series of explanations that were created by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to execute this decision. But we know that the White House was preparing talking points and had really been trying to spin it a different way than the President ended up saying.

VELSHI: Phil, good to see you as always. Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

RUCKER: Thank you.

VELSHI: All right, for more reaction to the Trump teams shifting stories I`m joined by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator, good to see you. You like Rudy Giuliani were a prosecutor?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: I was a Federal Prosecutor for four and a half years, a U.S. Attorney in Connecticut and then I was the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut for 20 years.

VELSHI: So you to evaluate were Giuliani statement that he was often told to give the guy a break and it would be people the friends and family of whoever it was he was -- he was prosecuting, it`s a little bit different with the Present the United States especially as it relates to something that the President may or may not have been involved in.

BLUMENTHAL: Totally different because the President of the United States is Jim Comey`s boss and it`s also totally different because of the circumstances which is a private setting without lawyers there, without any witnesses and obviously it`s part of a pattern of seeking to in effect squelch or stop the investigation the involving the possibility of colluding between the Trump campaign and the Russians and also obstruction of justice both under investigation by Jim Comey.

VELSHI: So if Giuliani we`re trying to make a point to George Stephanopoulos, the argument would have been I`ve been told a lot of times by my boss to give someone a break, right? That`s what the analogy is not that it`s somebody`s friends or family saying, hey could you go easy on my brother or my friend. This is a story of somebody in a -- in a position of authority asking a prosecutor to give somebody break and someone who might have been implicated in the story themselves. That`s key to this.

BLUMENTHAL: There really is no analogy here. This is such breaking of norms and potentially breaking of laws that it`s the reason for these shifting stories, changing claims. They can`t get their stories straight because the consciousness of guilt is there. I think there is mounting evidence of obstruction of justice here and it`s not only that conversation with Comey, not only Comey`s firing but also what Donald Trump said to the Russian Foreign Minister right after he fired Comey he was so relieved because the Russian investigation was over.

VELSHI: Right. Now to this statement that Donald Trump gave to the Washington Post about the "to the best of his knowledge nothing happened after that meeting," as Phil Rucker said that`s not language we`re typically used to hearing from the President of the United States. He doesn`t hedge anything.

BLUMENTHAL: He never hedges and what`s different about this statement is it is, in fact, a statement, not a tweet coming from I presume the President`s lawyers not really himself. And it shows very dramatically that the President is worried about his son. I sat through the session with Donald Trump Jr. when he came before the Judiciary Committee where I sit and he is in deep legal trouble for what he said then, his denial of certain knowledge about the Russians coming to him and offering dirt and his saying I love it and also what he told the President and when he told the President. And I think that Donald Trump Senior is very conscious of not only the legal quicksand for his son but also for himself.

VELSHI: Well how do you see this unfolding then because the bottom line is the President was fairly quick after the knowledge of that meeting became public to go out there and draft a statement which is now under scrutiny as well for saying nothing happened, it was about adoptions. We now know it is trickled out but we now know that it was somebody working for the Russian government who was trying to overturn the Magnitsky Act and wanted this campaign support in doing so.

BLUMENTHAL: Natalia Veselnitskaya who came to that Trump Tower meeting on June 9th, 2016 was an emissary, in fact, an agent of the Russian government. Donald Trump Jr. was told that he would be meeting with a referent emissary or agent. So the idea that this was just the normal opposition research --

VELSHI: Right.

BLUMENTHAL: -- is totally untrue. Also, that statement that the President wrote for his son is not only under scrutiny, it is under serious challenge. It is completely false, and more evidence of his own consciousness of guilt. But the point here is that we Juliana is trying to set a deadline. He says September 1. Good prosecutors never set deadlines for an investigation. Rudy Giuliani knows it as well as anyone. And I think where it all goes is unfolding additional indictments whether it`s before the midterm elections or afterward.

VELSHI: Well, according to Donald Trump in a tweet today about Peter Strzok who has been fired from the FBI, he -- the President tweets, "Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI. Finally, the list of bad players in the FBI and DOJ gets longer and longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the witch-hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total hoax. No collusion, no obstruction. I just fight back." There`s a lot in there but the President has started saying, well, even if there -- even if there was something that went on, even if there was collusion, collusion is not a crime but this effort to undermine the investigation seems to be coming -- be becoming more desperate for the President.

BLUMENTHAL: It`s not only more desperate but more incredible. I think the more the American public sees of these shifting stories and changing claims, the more they see of Rudy Giuliani he trying to offend it I think the less credible it will be. And on Peter Strzok, remember, the I.G. Inspector General of the Department of Justice found conclusively there was no impact on the Special Counsel`s investigation from anything that Peter Strzok believed, anything he did that was improper. He recommended a suspension for 60 days and a demotion. The Department of Justice today went way further, but the most important point here is no effect on the investigation to anything he may have done improperly.

VELSHI: Senator, always good to see you. Thank you for joining us tonight, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. To help understand what the President and his lawyers are up to and how it could affect the President`s potential legal jeopardy I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor and former Federal Prosecutor Joyce Vance. Joyce, good to see you as always. Thank you for joining us.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me.

VELSHI: I have to continue the conversation I was having with the Senator. Does Rudy Giuliani hurt his ability to properly represent the President by giving all these interviews? It`s just so easy when he says something for us to find the tape of something else he says and we`ve come to expect it from the President but from his lead lawyer?

VANCE: You know, it`s become so easy but it`s not even a sporting adventure anymore. The problem here is something that we all know to be true. People who are being honest don`t have to keep changing their story. You only have to keep changing your story if you`re lying. And so sadly I think in many regards because this is someone who we all loved as America`s mayor, we`re watching him diminish his reputation. It`s painful to watch, it`s difficult to watch. One wonders if he himself might not end up with some exposure.

And certainly, the President will be accountable at least in a criminal forum only for whatever testimony he would actually give himself. But if what we`re looking forward to here is impeachment proceedings and Giuliani is simply trying on strategy after strategy to see which one works it`s a painful exercise in telling things that aren`t true.

VELSHI: The White House Counsel Bob Bauer issued this statement. He said after a year and a half was saying no collusion, now he -- he, meaning Trump -- now he`s saying to the best of my knowledge nothing happened afterwards. Bauer said, the bottom line on all this, Bauer concluded, is that Trump almost certainly knows more than he has publicly admitted to or acknowledged and Mueller probably already knows it.

This is -- this is the point that I think the Senator was just making that there`s a consciousness of guilt. There`s a consciousness of responsibility and the President now seems to be angling around this. what do you make of this as a prosecutor?

VANCE: This is a very carefully lawyered statement and it looks like the kind of statement you would expect someone to make when they`re very nervous about criminal liability. I think it`s correct that Robert Mueller and his investigators know a lot that`s not public knowledge. And whether that`s knowledge that tends to make any one of a number of potential defendants looked more like they committed a crime or perhaps exculpatory evidence that tends to show that they didn`t have the necessary state of knowledge.

One thing that we all know is that there`s been extraordinary sensitivity about this meeting in Trump Tower. The President jumped so quickly on coming up with an excuse and it`s amazing how most of the problems that they`ve had in this regard have been because they`ve released damaging information. Trump Jr. releasing this series of emails that made it very clear that this was contact that was an expectation that they would get something of value for the campaign from what turned out to be Russian agents.

So there`s all sorts of swirling mystery around this meeting in terms of what level proof there is of intent to join a conspiracy. But it looks very strongly like there is an agreement to have a meeting at which something that would potentially be valuable that the campaign was offered and they took a significant step towards achieving that agreement holding the meeting. This is the heart of the crime of conspiracy. You don`t have to complete your objective, you just have to meet or you have to make an agreement and take a significant step in furtherance of that agreement and intend to do both of those and it looks like it`s problematic

VELSHI: So it may not be relevant -- what the President said to the Washington Post may not be all that relevant, "to the best of my knowledge I don`t know but nothing happens after that meeting."

VANCE: It`s a really a problematic idea because it doesn`t do anything to negate conspiracy. And of course, we have seen that something happened after that meeting. The President went on national television and asked Russia to release Hillary Clinton`s e-mails so it looks like one of those best lawyering efforts after the fact. It doesn`t really have a lot of helpful impact.

VELSHI: Joyce, always good to talk to you. Thank you for being with us, Joyce Vance.

VANCE: Thanks.

VELSHI: All right, coming up next. The former White House aide armed with secret recordings including one of a private phone call with the President. The story of the Omarosa tapes in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Do you have more recordings?

NEWMAN: Oh, absolutely.

VELSHI: Are you planning on releasing them?

NEWMAN: I don`t know. I`m going to watch to see they`ve been threatening legal action, they`re trying to figure out how to stop me. I`m expecting that they`re going to retaliate and so I`m just going to stand back and wait.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: That was part of my conversation earlier today with former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in which she said she absolutely has more recordings. Then just an hour ago while talking to my colleague Chris Matthews, she took things a step further.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I asked you before a couple hours ago, Omarosa, if you have any other recordings. You wouldn`t share them here. Do you got some.

NEWMAN: Oh I have plenty.

MATTHEWS: Anything Mueller would like to see?

NEWMAN: If he -- if he -- if his office calls again, anything they want, I`ll share.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: And now once again the President is in the position of having to deal with the release of secret audio recordings made by one of his employees. In a span of 24 hours, Omarosa Manigault Newman has released a recording of Donald Trump`s Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her in the White House Situation Room. And today we have hurt audio of a conversation that the former apprentice contestant says she had with Donald Trump one day after she was fired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on. I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving. What happened?

NEWMAN: General Kelly -- General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.

TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it, nobody. You know, they run a big operation but I didn`t know it. I didn`t know that. God damn it. I don`t love you leaving at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: NBC News does not know what was said before or after that exchange you just heard. Trump hit back today in a series of tweets calling Omarosa lowlife and not smart and claiming that Kelly wanted to terminate her almost immediately but Trump relented "because she only said great things about me until she got fired." Joining me now Tara Dowdell, Democratic Strategist and also like Omarosa, a former Contestant on The Apprentice and Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times who has a piece out titled today titled "Welcome to the Resistance Omarosa. Thank you for joining us both of you.

Michelle, you wrote something today that many of us who saw advanced copies of the book were thinking. Some of it seems fantastical and unbelievable, and then we heard tapes, and then we heard you know, we heard a tape and then we heard another tape, and a couple of things that she`s written about have turned out to be true.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Right and those two scenes in particular, right? She starts -- she opens with the scene of her being fired by John Kelly in this very dramatic menacing way in the Situation Room. And on the page, it seems really thuggish and you think you know this sounds kind of melodramatic. Is he really threatening to destroy her reputation? But it is word-for-word on the tape what she writes on the page.

And then at the end when she talks about Trump calling her up and saying how he didn`t know anything about this and he`s so upset about it and again you kind of think did that really happened? Yes, it really did happen. And so that doesn`t tell us that everything else in the book really happened but she hints a lot in the book. Well, she`ll say like I got a follow-up text about this or she`ll sort of try to tell if I feel -- I felt like where she might have received it.

VELSHI: She was careful. She`s got receipts and we don`t know exactly what they are. How should we evaluate who Omarosa is because for a long time she`s been a character that a lot of people --

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Character?

VELSHI: She plays a character. She knows what her character is. She`s someone a lot of people haven`t taken seriously but she certainly known the President for a long time.

DOWDELL: That`s exactly right. Omarosa has known the President and not just knowing him, has had a long-standing financial and friendship personal relationship with him. He has funded a reality show that she was on separate and apart from The Apprentice. He was the executive producer for that show. I shouldn`t say funding, he was the executive producer of that show. He helped to get that show greenlit to even air. I know that he`s done work with when she`s had different companies. I know from her telling me this that he`s been a client of hers. And so I think for people to discount the closeness of their relationship I think is problematic and I think people want to do that to try to dismiss what she`s saying.

I mean, whether she`s credible or not, the fact of the matter is much of what I`ve -- the excerpts that I`ve seen in from the book line up perfectly with Trump`s rhetoric, with Trump`s behavior and with -- and with Trump`s personality.

VELSHI: Michelle, what surprised you? Are there any revelations in there that that struck you as particularly interesting?

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, there`s some gossip, right? Just sort of hints that Trump was sleeping with the woman who gave the invocation in his inauguration and there`s how their little gossipy things. I think what surprised me the most was that you -- I had the sense that she really felt a sense of -- and again she`s a (INAUDIBLE) person, she might not have a lot of credibility. You`ve still got a sense that she felt shame about what she had done, right? That the fact that she kind of comes from Democratic circles, from African-American political circles, the fact that she had lost so many friends and that so many people were disgusted with her on some level hurt her. And there`s parts of the book where it almost seems like she`s trying to explain herself to them.

VELSHI: Tara, she didn`t -- she didn`t really do as much. When I asked her why she stuck around as long as she did, she said she was trying to get a better place at the table for African-Americans in the White House. It`s not clear that that bore any fruit.

DOWDELL: Well, I don`t think that`s why she stuck around. Look, at the end of the day Trump reflects -- the people who work for Trump reflect Trump. Omarosa, the whole cast of characters, he wanted a reality show presidency and that`s what he`s gotten. The cast of characters around him are as shameless as he is, as deceitful as he is and in many ways as corrupt as he is. So the notion that she was there for these noble reasons, she was there for the same reason all the other people are there, power, connections, and to set themselves up for something bigger later.

VELSHI: Michelle, the conversation that she writes about in the book that she`s now released a recording off getting fired by Kelly, it`s a very long tape. She only released a little bit of it. Let`s play just a bit of this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Can I ask you a couple of questions? Does the President knew about -- is the President aware of this thing?

JOHN KELLY, CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: Don`t -- let`s not go down that road. This is non-negotiable discussion.

NEWMAN: I don`t want to negotiate, I never talked -- had the chance to talk with you General Kelly, so this is my departure. I`d like to have at least an opportunity to understand it.

KELLY: We can -- we can talk another time.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELSHI: So she says he never offered to talk another time and that Kelly said to him the staff works for me, not for the President. She`s hinting that there wasn`t a valid reason for her being fired. I don`t know if in the White House you need a valid reason to be fired.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, part of the thing that`s so difficult I think in talking about her is that like of course, she`s a you know, ridiculous, dishonest figure who has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office but certainly no more so than any of the other people who surround Trump. So you know, one of the excuses for her firing was that she abused the car service, which might be a legitimate excuse in a normal administration.

VELSHI: But this is not a normal --

GOLDBERG: But this is an administration where people abuse --

VELSHI: Right. If we went outside right now and said that that`s what she got fired for, everybody would look at us like you get fired in the administration for that?

GOLDBERG: Right.

DOWDELL: This is an administration where people abuse things, abuse women.

GOLDBERG: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWDELL: Remember, Trump did not want to fire Scott Pruitt, his EPA administrator after a litany of corruption. I mean, it was just a basket full of corruption.

VELSHI: So this isn`t believable that car services are what --

DOWDELL: Exactly. And he didn`t want to fire Rob Porter who has two ex- wives alleging that he abused them with photographic evidence as such and police reports of such. He didn`t want to get rid of them. I find it interesting how quickly he threw Omarosa on the bus and hit with that not smart again which seems to be his favorite insult for African-Americans.

VELSHI: I was going to say, he seems to pull that out a lot with African- Americans. It seems to be his go-to.

DOWDELL: And what`s interesting about it is right now Omarosa is outsmarting him because he didn`t know that he was being recorded by Omarosa so not sure that she`s the one that`s not smart.

VELSHI: We -- I asked her if she thought he was taping he conversations too and she thinks he was taping everything like everybody in this White House is taping everybody.

GOLDBERG: I mean, and you know there`s a poem that Donald Trump might have heard sometimes called The Snake right? About like these people, they know what they`re getting with each other. This is like a den of vipers.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, well, we`ll see what is yet to come out. I think the book doesn`t officially come out until tomorrow.

GOLDBERG: Until tomorrow, yes.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, Tara thanks very much. Joyce -- Michelle, good to see you. Sorry, I`m puzzled by this things, stories, remarkable. All right, still ahead, day ten of the Paul Manafort trial. The prosecution has rested and the whole thing could be wrapped up by the end of this week. We`ll have that story for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- country in America today. We need to face continue by hiding or even by covering our eyes but looking upward to our values. That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The President says I never said to Flynn anything about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never said to Comey.

GIULIANI: I never said to Comey anything about Flynn.

VELSHI: The President and his team now changing their stories.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a son who`s a great young man. He`s a fine person. He took a meeting with a lawyer from Russia.

VELSHI: As the Mueller investigation closes in.

TRUMP: Nothing happened from the meeting, zero happen for the meeting.

VELSHI: Then day 10 of the Manafort trial.

TRUMP: Where`s Paul?

VELSHI: The prosecution rests. So what happens next? And --

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Lordy, I hope there are tapes.

VELSHI: The secret recordings by one of the President`s best people.

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on? I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving? What happened?

VELSHI: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Good evening from New York I`m Ali Velshi in for Chris Hayes. As the special council closes in, the President and his lawyers appear to be changing their stories about how some of the key events under scrutiny in the Mueller probe turned out. One of those events is the meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and senior Trump campaign aides and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Just last week, the President tweeted, "this was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics and it went nowhere."

But in a new statement about his son to the Washington Post, the President takes a noticeably more careful position. "Don has received notoriety for a brief meeting that many politicians would have taken but most importantly add to the best of my knowledge, nothing happened after the meeting concluded." To the best of my knowledge, it`s a far cry from no collusion. More like if collusion did happen I wasn`t a part of it. The President for some reason is now hedging his denial of any Trump Tower meeting follow-up.

Meanwhile, his lead attorney Rudy Giuliani is now changing his story about what the President said to then FBI Director James Comey regarding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Giuliani now says the whole encounter never took place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: Did it? There was no conversation about Michael Flynn. The President didn`t find out that Comey believed it was until about I think it was February when it supposedly took place. The memo came out in May.

JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN: But Mr. Mayor, you said -- you told ABC news last month that the President told Comey "can you give him a break." Now you`re saying that they never had --

GIULIANI: No, no, no, I never told ABC that. That`s crazy. I never said that. What I said was that is what Comey is saying, Trump said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I never said that. That`s crazy. OK, let`s check the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s saying that the President was asking, directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go.

GIULIANI: He didn`t direct him to do that. What he said to him was can you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comey says he took it as direction.

GIULIANI: Well that`s OK. I mean, taking it that way -- I mean by that time, he had been fired.

As a prosecutor, I was told that many times can he gives a man a break either by his lawyers by his relatives, by friends. You take that into consideration but you know, that doesn`t determine not going forward with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Giuliani`s explanation that he was describing what Comey thought the President had said simply doesn`t hold up. You can`t help but wonder why the President and his lawyer are changing their stories now and whether it has anything to do with their negotiations with the special counsel over a Presidential interview. While the President continues to call Mueller`s investigation of hoax and a witch-hunt, the probe was validated by a fourth federal judge today, this one nominated by the President himself. D.C. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich just rejected a constitutional challenge to Mueller`s appointment brought by the Russian company charged with carrying out a massive influence operation during the 2016 campaign.

Similar challenges have been brought by Paul Manafort in both jurisdictions where he`s being tried and by a longtime aide to Roger Stone named Andrew Miller who`s been called to appear before Mueller`s grand jury. All those challenges have been thrown out. For more on that ruling and on the President and his lawyers changing stories, I`m joined by MSNBC Political Analyst Phil Rucker, White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. Phil, good to see you. What was your reaction to getting the new statement from the President about the Trump Tower meeting that nothing happened "to the best of my knowledge?"

PHIL RUCKER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, those words "to the best of my knowledge" are really important, Ali. I was surprised to see that. That`s not the kind of language we`re used to seeing from the President. Perhaps the statement was lawyered and it was in response to a request that my colleague Ashley Parker and I made to Sarah Sanders first to interview the President. He wasn`t available for an interview but she offered to get a statement from him which he provided.

Look, it`s important because he seems to be creating some wiggle room for his son. We know from our reporting that there`s anxiety in the President`s inner circle including by the President himself who has fretted two associates and friends that he`s worried about Don Junior, worried that there could be some legal jeopardy legal exposure there and there`s a feeling in the orbit that something could potentially happen in the next few weeks. We just don`t know what that might be but this may be the president trying to protect himself, distance himself from anything that may be afoot with his son.

VELSHI: All right, so there`s the issue of the Trump Tower meeting which we know Mueller has a good deal of information of because he was able to get everybody`s phone records and conversation records and he`s piecing that together. And then there`s the issue about what happened to Michael Flynn and what the conversation was with James Comey and it goes to why the President fired James Comey. Earlier today, I had a conversation with Omarosa Manigault Newman about the Lester Holt interview. Here`s what she told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: I want to talk about the Lester Holt interview where you said that the team prepared him well then he went into the interview and he said what a lot of people believe to be the truth that he fired Jim Comey over Russia. So was he being prepped to lie?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER AIDE, WHITE HOUSE: He was being prepped by Hope Hicks in the comms team to say that the deal -- he come up with this memo so that they could justify the firing of Comey.

(CROSSTALK)

NEWMAN: That was -- that was definitely Hope Hicks, Press Secretary kind of thing but I was really, really surprised that he would implicate himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Phil, I don`t know what to make of that because there are a number of things in that book that seemed to be offhand comments and then we heard tapes in the last two days to back them up. So this becomes interesting to the Special Counsel or anyone else to say does Omarosa know that the President was being coached to lie in that interview with Lester Holt and in the end when he told Lester it was about Russia was that the truth or was that a lie?

RUCKER: Yes -- well, I don`t know about her you know, what she experienced or what she may have witnessed firsthand at the time or she was even in the room for those discussions in advance that Lester Holt interview but her account seems to make sense because the administration had put forward a narrative of events where the President was just simply reacting to the recommendation of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to fire Comey for his work on the job. But clearly, there was more to it than that and Trump himself had acknowledged that he fired Comey over Russia and that that was sort of just a series of explanations that were created by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to execute this decision. But we know that the White House was preparing talking points and had really been trying to spin it a different way than the President ended up saying.

VELSHI: Phil, good to see you as always. Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

RUCKER: Thank you.

VELSHI: All right, for more reaction to the Trump teams shifting stories I`m joined by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator, good to see you. You like Rudy Giuliani were a prosecutor?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: I was a Federal Prosecutor for four and a half years, a U.S. Attorney in Connecticut and then I was the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut for 20 years.

VELSHI: So you to evaluate were Giuliani statement that he was often told to give the guy a break and it would be people the friends and family of whoever it was he was -- he was prosecuting, it`s a little bit different with the Present the United States especially as it relates to something that the President may or may not have been involved in.

BLUMENTHAL: Totally different because the President of the United States is Jim Comey`s boss and it`s also totally different because of the circumstances which is a private setting without lawyers there, without any witnesses and obviously it`s part of a pattern of seeking to in effect squelch or stop the investigation the involving the possibility of colluding between the Trump campaign and the Russians and also obstruction of justice both under investigation by Jim Comey.

VELSHI: So if Giuliani we`re trying to make a point to George Stephanopoulos, the argument would have been I`ve been told a lot of times by my boss to give someone a break, right? That`s what the analogy is not that it`s somebody`s friends or family saying, hey could you go easy on my brother or my friend. This is a story of somebody in a -- in a position of authority asking a prosecutor to give somebody break and someone who might have been implicated in the story themselves. That`s key to this.

BLUMENTHAL: There really is no analogy here. This is such breaking of norms and potentially breaking of laws that it`s the reason for these shifting stories, changing claims. They can`t get their stories straight because the consciousness of guilt is there. I think there is mounting evidence of obstruction of justice here and it`s not only that conversation with Comey, not only Comey`s firing but also what Donald Trump said to the Russian Foreign Minister right after he fired Comey he was so relieved because the Russian investigation was over.

VELSHI: Right. Now to this statement that Donald Trump gave to the Washington Post about the "to the best of his knowledge nothing happened after that meeting," as Phil Rucker said that`s not language we`re typically used to hearing from the President of the United States. He doesn`t hedge anything.

BLUMENTHAL: He never hedges and what`s different about this statement is it is, in fact, a statement, not a tweet coming from I presume the President`s lawyers not really himself. And it shows very dramatically that the President is worried about his son. I sat through the session with Donald Trump Jr. when he came before the Judiciary Committee where I sit and he is in deep legal trouble for what he said then, his denial of certain knowledge about the Russians coming to him and offering dirt and his saying I love it and also what he told the President and when he told the President. And I think that Donald Trump Senior is very conscious of not only the legal quicksand for his son but also for himself.

VELSHI: Well how do you see this unfolding then because the bottom line is the President was fairly quick after the knowledge of that meeting became public to go out there and draft a statement which is now under scrutiny as well for saying nothing happened, it was about adoptions. We now know it is trickled out but we now know that it was somebody working for the Russian government who was trying to overturn the Magnitsky Act and wanted this campaign support in doing so.

BLUMENTHAL: Natalia Veselnitskaya who came to that Trump Tower meeting on June 9th, 2016 was an emissary, in fact, an agent of the Russian government. Donald Trump Jr. was told that he would be meeting with a referent emissary or agent. So the idea that this was just the normal opposition research --

VELSHI: Right.

BLUMENTHAL: -- is totally untrue. Also, that statement that the President wrote for his son is not only under scrutiny, it is under serious challenge. It is completely false, and more evidence of his own consciousness of guilt. But the point here is that we Juliana is trying to set a deadline. He says September 1. Good prosecutors never set deadlines for an investigation. Rudy Giuliani knows it as well as anyone. And I think where it all goes is unfolding additional indictments whether it`s before the midterm elections or afterward.

VELSHI: Well, according to Donald Trump in a tweet today about Peter Strzok who has been fired from the FBI, he -- the President tweets, "Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI. Finally, the list of bad players in the FBI and DOJ gets longer and longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the witch-hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total hoax. No collusion, no obstruction. I just fight back." There`s a lot in there but the President has started saying, well, even if there -- even if there was something that went on, even if there was collusion, collusion is not a crime but this effort to undermine the investigation seems to be coming -- be becoming more desperate for the President.

BLUMENTHAL: It`s not only more desperate but more incredible. I think the more the American public sees of these shifting stories and changing claims, the more they see of Rudy Giuliani he trying to offend it I think the less credible it will be. And on Peter Strzok, remember, the I.G. Inspector General of the Department of Justice found conclusively there was no impact on the Special Counsel`s investigation from anything that Peter Strzok believed, anything he did that was improper. He recommended a suspension for 60 days and a demotion. The Department of Justice today went way further, but the most important point here is no effect on the investigation to anything he may have done improperly.

VELSHI: Senator, always good to see you. Thank you for joining us tonight, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. To help understand what the President and his lawyers are up to and how it could affect the President`s potential legal jeopardy I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor and former Federal Prosecutor Joyce Vance. Joyce, good to see you as always. Thank you for joining us.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me.

VELSHI: I have to continue the conversation I was having with the Senator. Does Rudy Giuliani hurt his ability to properly represent the President by giving all these interviews? It`s just so easy when he says something for us to find the tape of something else he says and we`ve come to expect it from the President but from his lead lawyer?

VANCE: You know, it`s become so easy but it`s not even a sporting adventure anymore. The problem here is something that we all know to be true. People who are being honest don`t have to keep changing their story. You only have to keep changing your story if you`re lying. And so sadly I think in many regards because this is someone who we all loved as America`s mayor, we`re watching him diminish his reputation. It`s painful to watch, it`s difficult to watch. One wonders if he himself might not end up with some exposure.

And certainly, the President will be accountable at least in a criminal forum only for whatever testimony he would actually give himself. But if what we`re looking forward to here is impeachment proceedings and Giuliani is simply trying on strategy after strategy to see which one works it`s a painful exercise in telling things that aren`t true.

VELSHI: The White House Counsel Bob Bauer issued this statement. He said after a year and a half was saying no collusion, now he -- he, meaning Trump -- now he`s saying to the best of my knowledge nothing happened afterwards. Bauer said, the bottom line on all this, Bauer concluded, is that Trump almost certainly knows more than he has publicly admitted to or acknowledged and Mueller probably already knows it.

This is -- this is the point that I think the Senator was just making that there`s a consciousness of guilt. There`s a consciousness of responsibility and the President now seems to be angling around this. what do you make of this as a prosecutor?

VANCE: This is a very carefully lawyered statement and it looks like the kind of statement you would expect someone to make when they`re very nervous about criminal liability. I think it`s correct that Robert Mueller and his investigators know a lot that`s not public knowledge. And whether that`s knowledge that tends to make any one of a number of potential defendants looked more like they committed a crime or perhaps exculpatory evidence that tends to show that they didn`t have the necessary state of knowledge.

One thing that we all know is that there`s been extraordinary sensitivity about this meeting in Trump Tower. The President jumped so quickly on coming up with an excuse and it`s amazing how most of the problems that they`ve had in this regard have been because they`ve released damaging information. Trump Jr. releasing this series of emails that made it very clear that this was contact that was an expectation that they would get something of value for the campaign from what turned out to be Russian agents.

So there`s all sorts of swirling mystery around this meeting in terms of what level proof there is of intent to join a conspiracy. But it looks very strongly like there is an agreement to have a meeting at which something that would potentially be valuable that the campaign was offered and they took a significant step towards achieving that agreement holding the meeting. This is the heart of the crime of conspiracy. You don`t have to complete your objective, you just have to meet or you have to make an agreement and take a significant step in furtherance of that agreement and intend to do both of those and it looks like it`s problematic

VELSHI: So it may not be relevant -- what the President said to the Washington Post may not be all that relevant, "to the best of my knowledge I don`t know but nothing happens after that meeting."

VANCE: It`s a really a problematic idea because it doesn`t do anything to negate conspiracy. And of course, we have seen that something happened after that meeting. The President went on national television and asked Russia to release Hillary Clinton`s e-mails so it looks like one of those best lawyering efforts after the fact. It doesn`t really have a lot of helpful impact.

VELSHI: Joyce, always good to talk to you. Thank you for being with us, Joyce Vance.

VANCE: Thanks.

VELSHI: All right, coming up next. The former White House aide armed with secret recordings including one of a private phone call with the President. The story of the Omarosa tapes in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Do you have more recordings?

NEWMAN: Oh, absolutely.

VELSHI: Are you planning on releasing them?

NEWMAN: I don`t know. I`m going to watch to see they`ve been threatening legal action, they`re trying to figure out how to stop me. I`m expecting that they`re going to retaliate and so I`m just going to stand back and wait.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: That was part of my conversation earlier today with former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in which she said she absolutely has more recordings. Then just an hour ago while talking to my colleague Chris Matthews, she took things a step further.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: I asked you before a couple hours ago, Omarosa, if you have any other recordings. You wouldn`t share them here. Do you got some.

NEWMAN: Oh I have plenty.

MATTHEWS: Anything Mueller would like to see?

NEWMAN: If he -- if he -- if his office calls again, anything they want, I`ll share.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: And now once again the President is in the position of having to deal with the release of secret audio recordings made by one of his employees. In a span of 24 hours, Omarosa Manigault Newman has released a recording of Donald Trump`s Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her in the White House Situation Room. And today we have hurt audio of a conversation that the former apprentice contestant says she had with Donald Trump one day after she was fired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Omarosa, what`s going on. I just saw in the news that you`re thinking about leaving. What happened?

NEWMAN: General Kelly -- General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.

TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it, nobody. You know, they run a big operation but I didn`t know it. I didn`t know that. God damn it. I don`t love you leaving at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: NBC News does not know what was said before or after that exchange you just heard. Trump hit back today in a series of tweets calling Omarosa lowlife and not smart and claiming that Kelly wanted to terminate her almost immediately but Trump relented "because she only said great things about me until she got fired." Joining me now Tara Dowdell, Democratic Strategist and also like Omarosa, a former Contestant on The Apprentice and Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times who has a piece out titled today titled "Welcome to the Resistance Omarosa. Thank you for joining us both of you.

Michelle, you wrote something today that many of us who saw advanced copies of the book were thinking. Some of it seems fantastical and unbelievable, and then we heard tapes, and then we heard you know, we heard a tape and then we heard another tape, and a couple of things that she`s written about have turned out to be true.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Right and those two scenes in particular, right? She starts -- she opens with the scene of her being fired by John Kelly in this very dramatic menacing way in the Situation Room. And on the page, it seems really thuggish and you think you know this sounds kind of melodramatic. Is he really threatening to destroy her reputation? But it is word-for-word on the tape what she writes on the page.

And then at the end when she talks about Trump calling her up and saying how he didn`t know anything about this and he`s so upset about it and again you kind of think did that really happened? Yes, it really did happen. And so that doesn`t tell us that everything else in the book really happened but she hints a lot in the book. Well, she`ll say like I got a follow-up text about this or she`ll sort of try to tell if I feel -- I felt like where she might have received it.

VELSHI: She was careful. She`s got receipts and we don`t know exactly what they are. How should we evaluate who Omarosa is because for a long time she`s been a character that a lot of people --

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Character?

VELSHI: She plays a character. She knows what her character is. She`s someone a lot of people haven`t taken seriously but she certainly known the President for a long time.

DOWDELL: That`s exactly right. Omarosa has known the President and not just knowing him, has had a long-standing financial and friendship personal relationship with him. He has funded a reality show that she was on separate and apart from The Apprentice. He was the executive producer for that show. I shouldn`t say funding, he was the executive producer of that show. He helped to get that show greenlit to even air. I know that he`s done work with when she`s had different companies. I know from her telling me this that he`s been a client of hers. And so I think for people to discount the closeness of their relationship I think is problematic and I think people want to do that to try to dismiss what she`s saying.

I mean, whether she`s credible or not, the fact of the matter is much of what I`ve -- the excerpts that I`ve seen in from the book line up perfectly with Trump`s rhetoric, with Trump`s behavior and with -- and with Trump`s personality.

VELSHI: Michelle, what surprised you? Are there any revelations in there that that struck you as particularly interesting?

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, there`s some gossip, right? Just sort of hints that Trump was sleeping with the woman who gave the invocation in his inauguration and there`s how their little gossipy things. I think what surprised me the most was that you -- I had the sense that she really felt a sense of -- and again she`s a (INAUDIBLE) person, she might not have a lot of credibility. You`ve still got a sense that she felt shame about what she had done, right? That the fact that she kind of comes from Democratic circles, from African-American political circles, the fact that she had lost so many friends and that so many people were disgusted with her on some level hurt her. And there`s parts of the book where it almost seems like she`s trying to explain herself to them.

VELSHI: Tara, she didn`t -- she didn`t really do as much. When I asked her why she stuck around as long as she did, she said she was trying to get a better place at the table for African-Americans in the White House. It`s not clear that that bore any fruit.

DOWDELL: Well, I don`t think that`s why she stuck around. Look, at the end of the day Trump reflects -- the people who work for Trump reflect Trump. Omarosa, the whole cast of characters, he wanted a reality show presidency and that`s what he`s gotten. The cast of characters around him are as shameless as he is, as deceitful as he is and in many ways as corrupt as he is. So the notion that she was there for these noble reasons, she was there for the same reason all the other people are there, power, connections, and to set themselves up for something bigger later.

VELSHI: Michelle, the conversation that she writes about in the book that she`s now released a recording off getting fired by Kelly, it`s a very long tape. She only released a little bit of it. Let`s play just a bit of this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NEWMAN: Can I ask you a couple of questions? Does the President knew about -- is the President aware of this thing?

JOHN KELLY, CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: Don`t -- let`s not go down that road. This is non-negotiable discussion.

NEWMAN: I don`t want to negotiate, I never talked -- had the chance to talk with you General Kelly, so this is my departure. I`d like to have at least an opportunity to understand it.

KELLY: We can -- we can talk another time.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELSHI: So she says he never offered to talk another time and that Kelly said to him the staff works for me, not for the President. She`s hinting that there wasn`t a valid reason for her being fired. I don`t know if in the White House you need a valid reason to be fired.

GOLDBERG: Well, you know, part of the thing that`s so difficult I think in talking about her is that like of course, she`s a you know, ridiculous, dishonest figure who has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office but certainly no more so than any of the other people who surround Trump. So you know, one of the excuses for her firing was that she abused the car service, which might be a legitimate excuse in a normal administration.

VELSHI: But this is not a normal --

GOLDBERG: But this is an administration where people abuse --

VELSHI: Right. If we went outside right now and said that that`s what she got fired for, everybody would look at us like you get fired in the administration for that?

GOLDBERG: Right.

DOWDELL: This is an administration where people abuse things, abuse women.

GOLDBERG: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

DOWDELL: Remember, Trump did not want to fire Scott Pruitt, his EPA administrator after a litany of corruption. I mean, it was just a basket full of corruption.

VELSHI: So this isn`t believable that car services are what --

DOWDELL: Exactly. And he didn`t want to fire Rob Porter who has two ex- wives alleging that he abused them with photographic evidence as such and police reports of such. He didn`t want to get rid of them. I find it interesting how quickly he threw Omarosa on the bus and hit with that not smart again which seems to be his favorite insult for African-Americans.

VELSHI: I was going to say, he seems to pull that out a lot with African- Americans. It seems to be his go-to.

DOWDELL: And what`s interesting about it is right now Omarosa is outsmarting him because he didn`t know that he was being recorded by Omarosa so not sure that she`s the one that`s not smart.

VELSHI: We -- I asked her if she thought he was taping he conversations too and she thinks he was taping everything like everybody in this White House is taping everybody.

GOLDBERG: I mean, and you know there`s a poem that Donald Trump might have heard sometimes called The Snake right? About like these people, they know what they`re getting with each other. This is like a den of vipers.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, well, we`ll see what is yet to come out. I think the book doesn`t officially come out until tomorrow.

GOLDBERG: Until tomorrow, yes.

VELSHI: Yes. All right, Tara thanks very much. Joyce -- Michelle, good to see you. Sorry, I`m puzzled by this things, stories, remarkable. All right, still ahead, day ten of the Paul Manafort trial. The prosecution has rested and the whole thing could be wrapped up by the end of this week. We`ll have that story for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: After 27 witnesses and a virtual truckload of evidence, the prosecution rested its case today on day 10 of the trial of Paul Manafort. The man who was, according to the prosecution, desperate and cash-strapped by the time he joined the Trump campaign.

Today, during a discussion before the judge over whether the prosecution would be allowed to recall a prior witness, one of the defense attorneys complained, quote, "they`ve already thrown the kitchen sink at him. Now they`re throwing the plumbing and pipes." If the defense calls any of its own witnesses, that testimony is expected to be relatively brief.

So closing arguments in the case, two hours for each side, could come as early as tomorrow. Then, this case against Manafort, encompassing 18 counts of bank fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy, will go to the jury.

Joining me now, New York Times political reporter Ken Vogel, co-author of a comprehensive piece on the rise and fall of Paul Manafort.

And if one has lost focus on this story, do you want to know what this is all about, Ken, the story is excellent. After 10 days, the prosecution has rested. In your opinion, how successfully have they presented the evidence as part of a narrative of Manafort as a greedy, desperate man?

KEN VOGEL, NEW YORK TIMES: They`ve been extremely effective, Ali. And you put a good frame on it. This is not about Russia. This is not about collusion. This is not about Trump`s campaign. This isn`t even about unregistered foreign lobbying, though there will be a trial on that last point coming up next month in the D.C. circuit unless Manafort strikes some kind of deal. This is strictly about bank fraud and tax fraud that was precipitated, the prosecution says, by Manafort`s desperate financial straits.

And they really laid out in painstaking evidence just how he went from making $60 million from these Ukrainian oligarchs and the pro-Russian political party that they backed, to being bankrupt and in debt less than two years later and resorting to all manner of bank fraud and tax fraud to try to continue living this lavish lifestyle to which he had become accustomed.

VELSHI: And this hinges on the idea that he had become accustomed to this lifestyle. The money had completely stopped. Whether he wanted to give it up or just couldn`t give it up is almost secondary, he needed something that was going to end up having a payday and he felt that the association with Trump and the Trump campaign, he could somehow squeeze money out of that.

VOGEL: Yeah. That`s exactly right.

And what`s so interesting, Ali, is that even as he was pushed off the campaign because of allegations related to his work in Ukraine and the way that he was paid in Ukraine some of the same things that we`re now seeing in this case, he was seen as toxic. And so it wasn`t as easy as it might have otherwise been for him. In fact, it was a lot harder than it would have otherwise been for him to cash in on that connection to Donald Trump, this man who he had just helped elect president.

That said, he still tried. And our reporting showed that he actually won some contracts. He won a contract with the Kurdistan regional government or some backers of it, to push this independence referendum. This is last year. This is as Mueller`s team is closing in. And he also tried to work with the China development bank, an investment arm of it, to try to broker some infrastructure investment deals.

So he clearly had something in his mind as to how he was going to sort of re-up his political bona fides and use that to make some money and he proceeded to try to implement that plan even as it was becoming apparent to the rest of us, hey, this guy`s about to be in a world of legal hurt and now he is.

VELSHI: And he was interviewed, he and Rick Gates, were both interviewed by the FBI in 2014 having to do with Ukraine money that had been embezzled from the Ukrainian government. They were not thought of as suspects, but you`d think that might have been a clue, that, hey, the FBI smells a rat somewhere around some of the work that we`ve been involved in for a while.

VOGEL: Yeah, it might have been a clue he had some legal troubles. And I don`t think he was ever -- I think he was clear-eyed enough to know that he might potentially have some of those, but also should have been something you would think that a presidential campaign, particularly one that at that point was a competive one poised to win the nomination, would have sniffed out in its vetting process.

No, not only did they miss that, but they also missed the fact that he was in these huge financial hole, and additionally they missed the fact that he had ties to some of these really bad hombres, as Donald Trump might put it, in Ukraine and in other places in the former Soviet Union.

VELSHI: All right, Ken, always good to see you. Thanks very much for joining me.

Ken Vogel of The New York Times.

VOGEL: Thank you.

VELSHI: All right, still ahead, one year after Charlottesville, a look at where Republicans stand on race in the age of Trump.

Plus, tonight Trump`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, GOP Congressman Chris Collins reversed himself this weekend, announcing that actually he will not seek re-election after federal prosecutors accused him of committing insider trading while at the White House picnic. Collins denies any wrongdoing.

Collins was the first member of congress to endorse Donald Trump for president and now an arguably even bigger Trump fan has entered the race to replace him. Many people first met him back in 2010 when he ran for New York governor, debating both this guy, the rent is too damn high guy, and the Manhattan madam, Kristin Davis, among many, many others.

But now he wants to leverage his relationship with Trump for a seat in congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want the 27th district to benefit from my access, my relationship with the president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: The return of Buffalo, New York`s own mini-Trump, Carl Paladino, is Thing 2 in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: So Carl Paladino has jumped into the race to replace fellow Republican Chris Collins in congress after Collins announced he won`t run for re-election while facing insider trading charges.

Paladino was the New York co-chair of Donald Trump`s presidential campaign despite a history of scandal. When he was running for governor in 2010, a trove of Paladino`s emails featured racism, bestiality, and pornography. One video Paladino sent around entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal" showed an African tribesman dancing.

And it somehow gets worse. Asked his hopes for 2017, Paladino said he wanted Barack Obama to die of mad cow disease and that Michelle Obama should return to a cave in Zimbabwe, among other awful things. Back when he was running for governor in 2010, Paladino got into a memorable confrontation with a New York Post reporter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALADINO: You send another goon to my daughter`s house and I`ll take you out, buddy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to take me out?

PALADINO: Yeah.

UNIDENIFIED MALE: How are you going to do that?

PALADINO: Watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, are you threatening me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Paladino was crushed in that governor`s race, losing to Andrew Cuomo by 30 points. In his concession speech, he made a promise that despite all the scandal that is now coming true in the era of Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALADINO: Make no mistake, you have not heard the last of Carl Paladino.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: Hundreds of of white nationalists were expected to turn out in Washington, D.C. this weekend one year after the deadly rally in Charlottesville, but only about two dozen actually showed up. A small group that was vastly outnumbered by the hundreds of people who showed up carrying signs and chanting "Nazis Go Home" and forcefully condemning white supremacy, something Donald Trump apparently couldn`t bring himself to do.

Reprising his "both sides" comment last year when he tweeted on Saturday, "the riots on Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to all americans."

What does it mean for the GOP when its leader can`t denounce white supremacy? We`ll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the most prominent, high level adviser to the president on the West Wing staff right now?

CONWAY: African-American?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

CONWAY: I would say that, well, first of all, you`re totally not covering the fact that our secretary of Housing and Urban Development and world renowned...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m asking you about the White House staff. I`m asking you about the people the president is with every day.

CONWAY: That`s important that he`s -- well, the president works with Secretary Carson every day. He`s trying to break the back on...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who there is in the White House staff right now?

CONWAY: And we have Jeron who has done a fabulous job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Jeron (ph). White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway struggled to come one one African-American in the West Wing and the person she named, Jeron, who now know is Jeron Smith, isn`t in the West Wing at all.

Here to talk about just what is going on with the GOP, I`m joined by Jess McIntosh, executive editor of Share Blue media, civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, and former Virginia congressman Tom Perriello, the founder and director of progressive PAC New Virginia Way.

Anybody here know Jeron?

Jeron Smith is an employee at the White House.

Jess, this is -- that`s one part of the problem, right, that we can`t name a senior White House staffer who is African-American. There`s another part of the problem is that there are avowed racists and Neo Nazis and white supremacists running under the Republican banner for the mid-term elections.

JESS MCINTOSH, SHARE BLUE: Yes, I would say that both of those and many, many other problems are symptoms of the same problem, which is that the president seems to be a white supremacist and he ran his campaign that way. He surrounded himself with staff that way. He has governed that way.

It is so shocking thing to say that it sounds like hyperbole, it sounds like something that we should question, but he has literally given us no evidence to the contrary at this point. So, that is you are not seeing black Americans in any meaningful positions in the White House. That is why you are seeing Nazis openly marching in the streets where they used to feel at east a little modicum of shame about that kind of belief, that`s why you`re seeing Nazis on the ballot running as Republicans, a truly terrifying -- and that`s also why you`re seeing hate crimes double, being perpetrated by white supremacists.

Like, this isn`t just about politics, this is about what`s happening in the culture of America right now that Donald Trump is emboldening and supporting and encouraging.

VELSHI: What is -- what do we take away from this, Maya? We have kids who are watching elections in which there isn`t this shame that we at least thought you had to employ to run for public office.

But you reminded me in the break that it wasn`t that long ago that it`s not a thing to be ashamed about that being a white supremacist got you elected in parts of this country.

MAYA RILEY, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Many parts of the country being a white supremacist would gain you votes.

So, I think the reality here is twofold. I absolutely agree with Jess that to have legitimized race baiting, racial stereotypes, religious stereotypes in the context of Islamophobia, attack on Mexicans just by virtue of their national origin, calling them criminals and rapists, that we have a president who has both identified as factual things are not fact-based, about entire groups of people and then made that something that galvanized folks that already existed.

I think what is incredibly important to recognize is that the number of hate groups has been increasingly rapidly in the United States since 1999. We`ve literally doubled in the number of hate groups since 1999.

What we`ve seen since 2010 is an expansion groups that focus on Islamophobia and anti-immigrant hatred, and that I think is really very, very close to the rhetoric that Donald Trump has had. He clearly has a long history of being racist against black people, let`s be frankl.y

He had in the 1970s, he was literally sued for housing discrimination. This is a man who went after Barack Obama, challenging whether he was in fact born in the United States, where even my fourth grader at the time said, mom, even I know Hawaii is a state.

And this is the kind of thing that I think has -- is Donald Trump the cause or is he the symptom? I think it`s both. I think he`s both symptom and cause.

VELSHI: So, Tom, what happens -- and how do Republicans deal with this? Do they ignore it? Do Republicans who are not racists and white supremacists have to go out of their way to distance themselves from it? What comes of this? This can`t possibly be the future of the Republican Party that they have got people running under the banner who are white supremacists a racists.

TOM PERRIELLO, NEW VIRGINIA WAY FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR: It seems like the only strategy the`ve come up with so far is retiring. You see, actually, very little pushback within the party, which makes sense when you see the party in Virginia nominating an overt Neo-Confederate in Cory Stewart.

The astounding thing is not just how consistently Trump stands up for and defends white supremacy, it`s that there is really nothing else that he stands for. He has taken out every other major pillar of conservative thought. They`re not a party of fiscal responsibility. They`re not a party of family values. They`re not a strong on national defense party or even a free market party, so really they`ve become a party of identity politics and white grievance. Even the tax plan has not been popular even with their own base.

We saw in Virginia last year when Ed Gillespie tried to pivot to a more moderate platform in the summer he lost his base, and after the tragedy in Charlottesville actually switched into running one of the most nativist and racist campaigns I`ve seen in my lifetime, and this was from the supposedly Chamber of Commerce ended the party.

So, it`s really the most consistent through line in what we see from Donald trump.

HAYES: So, Jess, are the -- is the group of people who like low taxes and who want the second amendment untouched, and who want abortion banned, is allof that, is Donald Trump delivering enough for all of them that they`ll put up with the fact that there are some racists on the ballot?

MCINTOSH: I think at this point you can`t be for a few things and not white supremacy and still support the president and this administration.

VELSHI: So, put another way, if someone says, hey, you guys in the media are being unfair or you don`t cut him a break, is the response not to say, you get that he has been distanced himself from these groups.

MCINTOSH: I think that`s exactly right. I think we have to call what it it is at this point.

And it is a strategy that the Republican Party has been employing since the Civil Rights movement, since the Southern Strategy. They have been cleaving the free markets, low taxes version of the Republican Party from this very xenophobic base and pandering to those people in order to make sure that they stay in power then gerrymandered districts to make sure that those people would be the ones who elected them.

Well, what happens then is that that group becomes in charge of the Republican Party, not the other group anymore. And the master of the Republican Party, the big dollar donors, the corporate special interests, decided to go along with that.

So now what`s happened is that they are fully in charge and they have elected a president who is of that.

VELSHI: Maya, something else that came out today, or in the last couple of days, with Omarosa is the response that Donald Trump has had, which unfortunately is becoming a little bit familiar. Let`s just listen to this quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Calling me a low life, saying that I`m not intelligent. This is what he does when it comes to African-Americans.

MATTHEWS: Maxine Waters, he did the same thing to her, low IQ. He gets very specific about it.

NEWMAN: Absolutely. Particularly with African-Americans. He thinks that we`re all stupid.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he believes that?

NEWMAN: I think so

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Do you think he believes that?

WILEY: I think he said it. He`s been explicit.

VELSHI: All right. Thanks to all three of you. Jess McIntosh, Maya Wiley, Tom Perriello, that`s it for All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END

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