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Giuliani admits Trump repaid Cohen for Stormy. TRANSCRIPT: 05/03/2018. The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Paul Ryan, Renato Mariotti, Paul Butler, Philip Rucker

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: May 3, 2018 Guest: Paul Ryan, Renato Mariotti, Paul Butler, Philip Rucker

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: Hey, good evening, Chuck. I think a lot of people would agree with you on Ichiro as well.

All right. Thanks for that, Chuck. I`m Ayman Moheyldin in for Ari Melber.

We begin tonight with Rudy Giuliani`s bombshell revelation, admitting Donald Trump repaid the Stormy Daniels` money.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S LAWYER: That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I`m giving you a fact now that you don`t know. It`s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. So they funneled it through a law firm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Funneled through a law firm and the President repaid it. Oh, I didn`t know he did.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no campaign finance law?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President reimbursed that over a period of several months.


MOHYELDIN: So many questions in that particular statement from Giuliani. Though now questions over whether Trump broke federal law by failing to disclose that loan as a campaign contribution. At this hour, I`m going to talk to the head of a watchdog group behind a lawsuit targeting Trump over this exact issue.

Giuliani who recently joined Trump`s legal team, claiming it was a personal reimbursement from Trump to a lawyer who handled all sorts of dealings for the President. He also gave more details about that repayment, telling "the Washington Post" that quote "it took place over a period of time, probably all paid back by the end of 2017. That is probably a few other situations that might have been considered campaign expenses."

Well, Giuliani also saying Trump had no knowledge of the payment to Stormy Daniels until very recently.


GIULIANI: He didn`t know the details of this until we knew the details of it, which was a couple weeks ago. Maybe not even a couple, maybe ten days ago.


MOHYELDIN: All right. So that`s the Giuliani argument, the Stormy Daniels story was a possible embarrassment on a personal level with potential to affect Trump and his family and therefore not related to the campaign.

But then there was this morning. Giuliani seemed to indicate, no, there were, in fact, campaign considerations at play.


GIULIANI: Imagine if that came out on October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton. Cohen made it go away. He did his job.


MOHYELDIN: So you heard his job. Kind of a switch of the story.

Joining me now, Natasha Bertrand, staff writer for "the Atlantic," former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti and former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance.

Great to have all three of you with us. Let`s beginning with Giuliani`s claims that Trump only learned about the payment ten days ago. Stormy Daniels` lawyer as you can imagine on the air today on MSNBC, pushing back on that specific claim. Take a listen.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS` LAWYER: Mr. Giuliani`s claims that the President only learned about this in the last ten days, that`s not believable. You mean to tell me the President has had his head in the sand and knew nothing about this until about ten days ago? The likelihood of us ultimately having a chance to depose the President went up exponentially.


MOHYELDIN: All right. So we know Renato, that the chances of the President not knowing about this as Michael Avenatti was saying, really slim to none. This is a man who consumes a lot of cable news. This story dominated cable news for a very long cycle when it first came out. What will this mean legally for the Stormy Daniels case?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s certainly going to be harder for Trump to argue that he doesn`t need to be deposed, you know. Originally, his position was, I knew nothing about this. I knew nothing about the deal whatsoever. I knew nothing about the payment. So why are you trying to bring me into this lawsuit? I have nothing to do with it.

That`s plausible if he really was somebody who was totally unrelated to the suit. But now he is saying, of course, I was part of this payment. I reimbursed the payments. I knew about this. Well, suddenly, you know, he actually has something to do with the facts of this lawsuit, which frankly, that was just common sense from day one. I do agree that from the beginning, you had to wonder about the President`s story.

MOHYELDIN: And let me juxtapose these statements for you, Natasha. This is what Michael Cohen told "The New York Times" on February 13th.

I used my personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Miss Clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.

So how again does that statement fit or pose a problem for the revelations that Giuliani made last night that, in fact, the President now knew about the payment, even if it was as recent as ten days ago, and in fact, that it was reimbursed and that it was repaid.

NATASHA BERTRAND, REPORTER, THE ATLANTIC: Right. And that was lawyer speak, essentially coming from Michael Cohen. I mean, he was very, very careful to say that it was neither the Trump organization, neither the Trump campaign that reimbursed him for those funds.

And I was one of probably dozens of reporters who in the immediate aftermath of that statement went directly to Michael Cohen and said, OK, but did the President himself pay you back? And of course we never got an answer to that. That was something that he was very, very clearly trying to avoid. Because if it did come out that Trump was made aware of this payment and that he did, you know, tell Cohen to solve this problem for him and said, don`t worry, I will pay you back, then of course, that would speak to Trump potentially being implicated in campaign finance violation, trying to bury something before the election.

And Rudy Giuliani has really done no favors for the President. I mean, just his statement last night and this morning about how this, if it had come out in the final debate with Hillary Clinton, that it would have been really damaging. I mean, that right there speaks to the extent to which the Trump campaign was clearly worried about this having been revealed before the election.

So that also indicates that perhaps there was some awareness on the part of Trump or the people around him at least, that if this came out, it was going to be really, really bad and they had to do should go about it.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. Certainly it suggests that there was a consideration from a political and a campaign perspective. And as we mentioned, Michael Cohen obviously talking about it, Giuliani talking about. But here`s the President in his own words. Because he is also publicly denied that he knew about the payment or where the money Cohen used actually came from. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Michael is my attorney and you will have to ask Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

TRUMP: No, I don`t know.


MOHYELDIN: So Nance, from a law enforcement perspective, would the President`s statement, Rudy Giuliani`s statement and Michael Cohen`s statement create some conflicting statements? What do they do when they see three different people with answers that don`t necessarily add up?

NANCE MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, they do what Robert Mueller`s going to do, which is, he is going to try to get them to make these statements in an official capacity, and then tear them apart and make his case. Whatever the outcome of that`s going to be.

But there is a factor here that I think a lot of people are missing because we are really getting into the weeds about this one said statement a, statement b, statement c. This is a form of psychological warfare being carried out for the Republican Party, for Donald Trump, and that 37 to 40 percent of people who voted for them. And I don`t think they care at all about what anybody else thinks.

You know, Giuliani started framing this last night as just some guy who`s a good guy, who has friends, who are taking care of him. And they are going -- and they didn`t even have to inform the guy, but his key point was, it`s all legal. It had nothing to do with campaign finance and federal election laws. And they are going to keep hammering that, no matter what`s said here. And they need to keep hammering that, because I really think to a certain extent, they think that they are sort of above the law. And that being said, they can get that 40 percent angry and mad and discount anything Robert Mueller does from this point forward.

MOHYELDIN: Let me -- this tweet caught my attention earlier today. Because this was a President Trump tweeting out about the Michael Cohen payment, the received payments. I think this is probably one of the most if not the most legally worded tweet I have ever seen come out of the President. I have seen some people say there`s no way he wrote that himself with all the grammar and punctuation. But let me read it.

It says, not from the campaign, having nothing to do with the campaign from which he entered into through reimbursement, a private contract, money from the campaign or campaign contributions, played no role in this transaction.

And you can read the rest of it, but all of that in the context of the payment that was made to Michael Cohen.

So Renato, does it matter where the reimbursement came from if the intent, as we heard from Rudy Giuliani earlier today was to somehow shield the President from the fall-out of this news in the campaign run-up?

MARIOTTI: No, it really doesn`t matter. And I have to say, I originally thought, when I first heard Giuliani on the Hannity show, I thought, OK, he is trying to take some of the heat off Cohen. Maybe they are trying to prevent Cohen from flipping, but his statements became more ham-handed over time. And you know, the fact that he essentially admitted this morning on FOX News, on "FOX & friends," that this was related to that, you know, trying to make sure this didn`t come out before the last debate.

So you know, this is essentially, the way he is describing it, an in-kind contribution -- excuse me -- a personal contribution by Trump to his own campaign and he is funneling it through Cohen, in order presumably to avoid reporting it as a campaign finance contribution to his campaign. So he has got the problem either way. And it`s really just creating more of a problem.

MOHYELDIN: There are those, Natasha, who may be watching this and saying, what has transpired in the past 24 hours was somewhat unexpected, you know, the way it`s created upheaval in terms of the legal response that we are seeing.

But Rudy Giuliani is new to the legal team. In fact, he told Bob Costa, that he did this with the President`s blessing, so to speak, this revelation that he had made the payment. What is the mind-set about this legal strategy going forward? Is there a clear one that has now emerged after what we`ve seen in the past 24 hours?

MARIOTTI: Honestly, what I have seen is nothing resembling a coherent legal strategy. What I keep seeing is just a lot of mud being thrown up against the wall to see what sticks. It`s really hard to see a legal team that is working together in a coordinated way here. This was not a carefully crafted statement by Giuliani. It was not handled in a way they think was helpful. Frankly, it brought attention to a case that has been put on hold by the judge. A very stupid legal move.

MOHYELDIN: Thanks, Renato.

Natasha, I`m going to give you a chance as well to respond to respond to that same question. Go ahead.

BERTRAND: No. I was going to say that I have no doubt that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump are talking about these things privately and not looping in the rest of the White House and perhaps this legal strategy that is taking place. I mean, their peers, their friends, they are on the same page about a number of things, including disdain right now for the justice department. But it seems like what the strategy is now is that they are going to say that it was Trump`s personal money that was used to pay back Michael Cohen, so that the heat is taken off the idea that it was taken out of campaign funds. And then that way, it will maybe make it seem more legitimate.

They have also started to say that a reason why this money was paid back was in order to save the marriage, was in order to keep Melania Trump happy and keep the marriage from failing. So this is a whole new strategy. They are making it much more personal and they want to stay away from the political side, because of course they know that`s what`s most dangerous.

MOHYELDIN: Yes. It would be interesting to see how all this plays out, at least legally speaking.

Renato, Malcolm, Natasha, all of you guys, stick around for more. We got lot more to talk about in this hour.

Still ahead, more on the Trump/Stormy Daniels revelations. We are going to hear from the head of a watchdog group saying Trump`s campaign finance problems just, as you can imagine, just got a whole lot worse.

Plus, a new reason why Trump fired James Comey. It could be a big deal in the obstruction probe as well.


GIULIANI: He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn`t a target of the investigation.


MOHYELDIN: Believe it or not, there`s more to that interview. Giuliani`s bizarre comments about the Trump family calling Jared Kushner a disposable man.


GIULIANI: Jared is a fine man, you know that. But men are, you know, disposable. But a fine woman, like Ivanka, come on.


MOHYELDIN: All right. Is this a clue to the new Trump legal strategy if there is one?

I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MOHYELDIN: All right. We are back with breaking news coverage. Rudy Giuliani revealing President Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for that $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. In a moment, I will talk to the head of the watchdog group who says it creates brand-new exposure for Trump when it comes to campaign finance laws. Giuliani, of course, says the opposite. That the pay-off wasn`t a campaign violation, but a routine expense for Trump`s lawyer.


GIULIANI: The question there was, the only possible violation there would be, was it a campaign finance violation? Which usually would result in a fine, by the way, not this big storm troopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking down his office. That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds, or whatever funds, doesn`t matter. And the President reimbursed that over the period of several months.


MOHYELDIN: All right. So with now, Paul Ryan, vice President of policy and litigation of the watch dog group, Common Cause. His organization first brought a complaint to the Stormy Daniels payout and alleged campaign finance violations.

Back with us is Natasha Bertrand. Great to have you with us.

Paul, let me begin with you. I want to first get your reactions to Giuliani`s comments that this was not a violation of campaign finance law, something that the President routinely expected from his fixer Michael Cohen to do.

PAUL RYAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND LITIGATION, COMMON CAUSE: That certainly tells me that Rudy Giuliani doesn`t understand campaign finance law and how it works. That`s bad news for President Trump that his lawyer is going on national television offering up evidence of a crime having been committed by the President, a criminal violation of campaign finance law, and then displaying his lack of knowledge about how the law applies to his client`s conduct.

MOHYELDIN: Let me read for you specifically, Paul, the bit from the FEC, talking about disclosing loans. It says in quote "if any person, including a relative or friend of the candidate gives or loans the candidate money for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office, the funds are considered a contribution."

So from that specific definition, would this be covered as something that would be or should have been disclosed?

RYAN: It most certainly should have been disclosed, for a couple of reason reasons. Number one, it was a payment for the purpose of influence an election. That makes an expenditure under campaign finance law. The Trump campaign was required to disclose that.

Michael Cohen also made an illegally large in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, the minute he tapped into his home equity line of credit for $130,000 that he used to pay Stormy Daniels. And I think there are additional reporting violations related to the ongoing failure of the committee to report this, if you want to call it a loan, call it a loan. If you want to call it a contribution, that works too. Loan is within the federal definition of contribution. So ongoing violations, reporting violations related to the failure to report by the committee and the incremental repayments by Donald Trump to Michael Cohen.

MOHYELDIN: So very quickly, Paul, with the statement that Giuliani made this morning on FOX News, saying that, you know, can you imagine if this would have come out in October 15th in the heat of the election weeks before the voting day -- could that statement alone be considered, you know, evidence to back up your point that this was an in-kind contribution or loan or whatever you want to call it, in the heat of an election?

RYAN: I certainly consider it strong evidence of the obvious, that this payment was all about the election. Look, Stormy Daniels has said in legal papers filed in court in California that this was all about the election. There are a lot of other -- the timing matters. The fact that Stormy Daniels was threatening to talk to the press, national media right before the election, the timing of the "Access Hollywood" tapes a couple weeks prior to this. There`s a lot of evidence that this payment was about the election.

MOHYELDIN: So Natasha, to that point, if Trump did in fact just find out the details of this situation about ten days ago or so, does that time frame, that window of the past ten days give him a justifiable cover that he did not know about any of these payments or how that payment was made or what it was for, et cetera?

RYAN: For starters, I don`t believe --

MOHYELDIN: Sorry that question was to Natasha. Give me a second. Go ahead, Natasha.

BERTRAND: I was going to say, I don`t think so. I mean, especially knowing what Trump and Cohen`s relationship was like. Cohen is Trump`s fixer, yes. But the relationship between them was very, very close. Cohen worked with Trump for over a decade. It would have been very, very odd if Cohen hadn`t alerted the President, then candidate Trump, to the fact that he was going to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 to remain quiet about an affair that they allegedly had a decade ago.

I mean, this not -- this would be totally out of character for Michael Cohen to do. And of course this also speaks to whether or not what Michael Cohen did was legal or ethical. I mean, keeping -- if what they are saying is true, that he kept this entire thing from the President. I mean, could Cohen be disbarred for that? Legal experts I have spoken to have said, yes, he could.

MOHYELDIN: And honestly, that`s a perfect segue. And Natasha, it`s like as if you were reading the questions we prepared. And this what I want to get to, which is this. How in the world could a guy who works with Trump, Michael Cohen, his fixer, not talk to him about a payment like this? In fact, this is what Giuliani said about the arrangement between Cohen and Trump. Listen.


GIULIANI: He didn`t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this, like I take care of things like this for my clients. I don`t burden them with every single thing that comes along. These are busy people.


MOHYELDIN: So does this suggest, Natasha, that, in fact, Michael Cohen was quote "arranging other payments on behalf of President Trump?"

BERTRAND: So this was a really interesting comment. And I think another slip-up by Rudy Giuliani. Nothing was disclosed. Cohen was not disclosed as, you know, a -- someone who was giving loans or making donations to the campaign. So if he was making other payments that could be considered campaign donations, and again, it wasn`t disclosed. And this just increases the jeopardy here.

I mean, it was just -- it`s very, very odd that Rudy Giuliani would come out and say that, yes, the Stormy Daniels payment was one and there may have been others that were related to this. I mean, it is out of character for Michael Cohen to have done this. He was Trump`s fixer after all. But it also raises questions that perhaps Mueller will want to know about, which is, you know, as part of the Russia investigation which is well, what else did Michael Cohen pay to cover up during the election?

MOHYELDIN: It`s a valid point. Natasha Bertrand and Paul Ryan, thank you both for joining us.

Ahead, Judy Giuliani`s other bombshell from that interview on the real reason Trump fired Comey. Will Mueller be looking at Trump`s Lester Holt interview for possible answers?

Also, Rudy echoes Trump`s assault on the justice system. Wait until you hear what deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein is bluntly saying about Trump-friendly members of Congress, the Republicans. And we go inside Mueller`s interview room, that chilling comments from former Trump aide who went face-to-face with Mueller and why collusion is on the table.

And this.


GIULIANI: I think if they do, do Ivanka, which I doubt they will, the whole country will turn, which they will. They are going after his daughter?


MOHYELDIN: What does it mean for Ivanka Trump? And why does Giuliani say that Jared Kushner is, quote, "disposable?"


MOHYELDIN: So now to Rudy Giuliani`s other bombshell, believe it or not, from that very same interview, the real reason Trump fired Comey.


GIULIANI: He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn`t a target of the investigation. Lester Holt asked him, why would you do it? He said, I did it because I felt I had to explain to the American people their President was not the target of the investigation.


MOHYELDIN: OK. So you heard Giuliani reference the interview with Lester Holt and I`m trying to paraphrase what Trump said to Lester Holt. That`s not what Trump said to Lester Holt. This is what he said.


TRUMP: Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.


MOHYELDIN: So it`s about Russia, according to Trump. So Trump`s lawyer, though, Rudy Giuliani, has a new reason for the Trump firing. But Bob Mueller wants to hear directly from Trump about it. In fact, the decision to terminate Comey is one of the questions, "The New York Times" reported on, and all of this coming as we are getting a rare look inside Mueller`s process. Here`s former Trump aide Michael Caputo on his interview.


MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP AIDE: The Mueller team knew more about what I did in 2016 than I knew myself. And I think they know more about the Trump campaign than anyone that ever worked there. They are clearly focused on trying to identify some Russian collusion.

I would say the Mueller team is spear fishing. I think they believe they know where they are going. They are not asking a wide range of questions. They know exactly what they are looking for and they have emails backing it up. And I don`t think that they ask any questions they don`t already know the answer to.


GIULIANI: All right. So back with me, Renato Mariotti and Malcolm Nance.

So glad to have both of you back with me.

Renato, let me begin with you. I want to get reaction from both of you. But first, your thoughts, your reaction to that inside look into Mueller`s interview about what they are going after and the information they may already know.

MARIOTTI: Sure. I watched that entire interview. And one thing he talked about was that compared to the congressional investigations which were sort of all over the place, that the Mueller investigation was really very focused. They were very -- they were pinpointing on specific areas, trying to prove specific instances of collusion, and that`s very much how white collar, you know, investigations operate. How complex investigations like this one operate.

You know, prosecutors aren`t trying to prove everything under the sun. They are not trying to have some grant conspiracy. What they are doing, they have a lot of knowledge like he talked about on the clip you just aired. They gather lots of knowledge. And then they try to do is identify specific areas that they can charge specific crimes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And they do everything they can to zero in on those crimes. And that`s exactly what we have seen so far in the Manafort indictment, for example, a limited conspiracy regarding, you know, money laundering and tax evasion and then very specific crimes about not reporting bank accounts and acting as a foreign agent and so on.

MOHYELDIN: So, of course, you guys can imagine that a discrepancy this wide was certainly going to be brought up today in the press conference at the White House during the briefing with Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She was obviously asked about Trump firing Comey. Listen to her response.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: There are a number of reasons that James Comey was fired. But the bottom line is, he doesn`t have to justify his decision. The President has the authority to fire and hire. Certainly, James Comey was fired for lying, leaking, and politicizing the FBI.


MOHYELDIN: So I want to get both of your responses to this. Malcolm, let`s start with you. He doesn`t have to justify it. From your perspective, is that legally true?

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, you know, I`m not a lawyer, but I`ve taken the oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. No man in this nation is above the law. Donald Trump is not above the law. Everything he does, he is accountable to the people of the United States. So, yes, he does have to justify it. And if he doesn`t justify it, we`re going to start seeing results as to, you know, in the Mueller investigation as to how he`s going to have to, you know, claim that he has some special privilege that no other President in the United States has had. That being said, I really think that, again, this is some sort of narrative framing that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump have sat down over a bowl of pasta doing a bad version of Goodfellas and they`ve just decided they are going to reframe the history of this for their constituency. And I really think they feel their populist backers will just discount the Mueller investigation.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, I mean, it may be for their constituents, but there will be a legal reckoning about it at some point, at least, according to the Mueller investigation. Let me get your thoughts, Renato, on this. Does he have to legally justify it, or is he -- does he have the power to do what he did?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think even Trump`s supporters and his legal team would concede there are certain instances in which the president could fire somebody for an unlawful reason. For example, if he fired somebody because they -- because he received a bribe, or if he fired somebody because of their religion or their race or something like that, obviously there would be -- those firings would be unlawful. And similarly, if you fire somebody because you want to stop the investigation of yourself and your friends, that`s also unlawful. So Mueller`s properly inquiring as to that, and I think you know, this effort, you know, you played the dueling clips earlier, the effort now by Rudy Giuliani to try to come up with an explanation for the firing, I think, is actually an effort by him to try to come up with something that explains the firing that is -- that is -- that sort of takes into account what Trump said to Lester Holt and what Comey said. I mean, if you`re not going to say that those conversations with Comey didn`t happen, you`re going to have to come up with some explanation, and it doesn`t quite fit, obviously, as you saw the clips back to back. It doesn`t quite fit with what Trump told Lester Holt. But at least it`s sort of, if you squint at it, it sort of having to do with Russia. He`s trying to say, hey, I was innocent and wanted the word out that I wasn`t under investigation.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, by trying to fit round peg in a square hole though, at least by listening to it sometimes. I want to talk about collusion for a moment because Trump has been a lot more aggressive lately talking about collusion. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no collusion. There has been no collusion. They won`t find any collusion. It doesn`t exist.

There`s been absolutely no collusion. There`s been no collusion between us and the Russians.

Russian collusion, give me a break.

It`s a witch-hunt. That`s all it is. There was no collusion with Russia.


MOHYELDIN: So in that sound bite that we played earlier with the former aide, Trump`s former aide, he said Mueller is, in fact, looking at collusion. Malcolm, what do you make of the revelation that in fact, collusion is still very much on the table in terms of the Mueller probe?

NANCE: Really, to be honest, when I heard Donald Trump say that, and when I hear him constantly hammering on the word collusion, in all caps in his tweets, I feel sorry for him because I don`t know whether it is stuck in his mind and he has really believed this reality he`s crafted for himself. Because the problem is, it`s not collusion, it`s conspiracy against the United States that is going to end up being the principal, actual crime that will have been carried out if these members had coordinated, cooperated, communicated or colluded with a foreign intelligence agency or foreign power.

MOHYELDIN: Malcolm Nance with a twitter analysis there, I like it of the President`s psychology on it. All right, Malcolm Nance, Renato Mariotti, great to have both of you with us this evening. Thanks for your insights guys. Ahead, Rudy Giuliani saying Ivanka Trump is off limits to Mueller while Jared Kushner is, "disposable." Wait until you hear why. Plus, new fears among top DOJ officials that Republican lawmakers are actually spilling investigation secrets back to the White House. We`re going to be back in 90 seconds.


MOHYELDIN: Welcome back, everyone. Any moment now, the men overseeing the Russia probe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, about to take the stage in Washington, D.C. amid clashes with some GOP lawmakers. This morning, the New York Times is reporting that Rosenstein suspects some Republicans in Congress are actually abusing their oversight authority to gain intelligence about the Mueller investigation, to share it with the White House. In other words, here`s what he`s saying. He fears Republicans may be leaking DOJ investigation secrets back to the Trump White House. This report dropping days after a right-wing faction in the House of Representatives drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein -- Rosenstein, excuse me, who called it extortion. And as Rudy Giuliani during his Fox News interview attacked the FBI agents who raided Michael Cohen`s office, he called them storm troopers.


RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER, DONALD TRUMP: A settlement payment which is a regular thing for lawyers to do, which usually would result in a fine, by the way, not this big storm troopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking down his office.


MOHYELDIN: All right, so fired FBI Director James Comey responded on Twitter to that, saying, "I know the New York FBI, there are no storm troopers there. Our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them, rather than comparing them to Nazis. Joining me now is Matt Miller, former Chief Spokesman for the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration, and Paul Butler, a former Federal Prosecutor. Great to have you both of you guys with us. Matt, let me begin with you. Giuliani comparing FBI agents to storm troopers, your reaction to that.

MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE & SECURITY ANALYST: It is such an appalling thing for -- really for anyone to say, but especially for someone who -- two things -- one, is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. His office oversaw those same FBI agents who conducted this or executed this search warrant on Michael Cohen`s office. Second, he wasn`t appearing in any kind of personal capacity or as a surrogate for the President. Last night, he was appearing as the President`s personal representative, his attorney, speaking on behalf of the President of the United States. The man who supervises the FBI -- the FBI, part of the executive branch, ultimately works for the President of the United States. And for him to come out and attack FBI agents who put their lives on the line across the country every day, fighting violent crime, fighting terrorism, trying to keep the American people safe and to compare them to Nazis is just so beneath him, so beneath someone that`s a representative for the President. It`s a shocking thing to say. And I think more shocking -- you know, we can hear anything from the White House about this today. This is a moment that the President who as I said leads the FBI. The FBI ultimately reports to the President. That was -- this is a moment for the President to come out or the White House to come out and say, you know what, that statement was over the line. We disagree with it. We think the FBI does fine work.

MOHYELDIN: Paul, I want to take you and get your response, but I just want to pick up on Matt`s point. You have the official lawyer of the President of the United States and no reaction from members of Congress, Republican Members of Congress, no reaction from the White House, to FBI agents being referred to as storm troopers.

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, can you really be surprised? Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump are two peas in a pod. If Donald Trump were a lawyer, he`d be Rudy Giuliani. They have no apparent strategy. They create chaos wherever they go, and they sell out people when it`s expedient, just like yesterday Giuliani sold out the President`s son-in- law. The thing that really galls me about the storm trooper`s comment, is that when Mayor Giuliani ran the city of New York, there were so many concerns with how the police treated communities of color, especially black and Latino men. And there Giuliani was all for police power, do what you need to do. So it`s one thing when it applies to young men of color, it`s another thing when it applies to the President`s rich, white friends.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, that`s a very appropriate comparison there from Paul. I appreciate that. Matt, let me ask you your reaction to this, which was the reported concerns by -- allegedly by Rod Rosenstein, as reported by the New York Times that the Department of Justice -- that the GOP lawmakers are actually gathering information through their legitimate oversight responsibilities, and then sharing those secrets with the Trump administration to perhaps shape their legal strategy.

MILLER: Yes, I`m glad Rod`s finally figured that out. I think it`s been clear for some time, that`s the goal of this kind of group of really far right-wing, you know, apologists for the President in the house, led by people like Devin Nunes and Mark Meadows. It`s been clear going back a year from the time when Devin Nunes started the masking controversy and it turned out he wasn`t executing oversight. He had been at the White House and been put up to it by someone on the President`s staff. It`s been clear that all of these document requests from the Carter Page FISA application to a number of other document request that still remains secret but that Nunes and others got access to, to their attempts most recently to get the jurisdiction memo that shows what exactly Bob Mueller is investigating, it`s been pretty clear that they`re not -- they`re not exercising legitimate oversight purpose, they`re trying to interfere with the investigation. And I think the Deputy Attorney General is right. They`re not just trying to publicly interfere with it, but they probably are funneling information back to the White House which is a gross, gross abuse of power on their part.

MOHYELDIN: There was another comment that Rod Rosenstein made this week. This one was actually on the record, and he reacted to GOP lawmakers threatening him with impeachment. Take a listen to this, Paul.

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: There have been people who have been making threats, privately and publicly, against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted.


MOHYELDIN: So Paul, how rare is it to hear a senior member of the Department of Justice use that kind of language. What does that tell you about what he is feeling in terms of the pressure and the heat coming on from members of Congress that he thinks, and his words were extortion?

BUTLER: It`s extraordinary. I mean, I know Rod Rosenstein, and he`s a mild-mannered guy. So for him to go there means that he`s not taking this stuff anymore including from the President. So you know, the president Himself has been very critical of Rosenstein, but Rod understands that he serves at the President`s will, and so if the President wants him out, he goes. With Congress, though, on the other hand, threatening impeachment, well, there`s a standard for that, high crime and misdemeanor. What has Rosenstein done to deserve that? The only thing he`s done is to maintain that the Department of Justice represents the interests of the United States of America and not Donald Trump. That apparently with this Congress is enough to get him impeached.

MOHYELDIN: Well, I think a lot of people scratching their heads thinking, you know, separation of powers between the legislative and executive branch, not seeing it much this week. All right, Matt Miller, thank you very much. Paul, I`ll ask you to stick around for us a little bit longer. The other issue Rudy Giuliani brought up in that interview, his belief that Trump`s daughter Ivanka, who is a Senior Adviser to the president in an official capacity is somehow off limits to the Special Counsel.


GIULIANI: If they -- if they do do Ivanka, which I doubt they will because the whole country will turn on them. They`re going after his daughter. Ivanka Trump? I would -- I think I would get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance if they go after Ivanka.


MOHYELDIN: And then Giuliani goes on to explain why Ivanka Trump is off limits and Trump`s son-in-law Jared Kushner is fair game. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about his son-in-law? They talked about him.

GIULIANI: I guess Jared is a fine man. You know that. But men are, you know, disposable. But a fine woman like Ivanka, come on.


MOHYELDIN: I think some would argue that is a misogynistic, perhaps even sexist comment. I want to bring in Philip Rucker from the Washington Post, Paul Butler still joins the conversation. Phil, let me first start with you, if I may. What do you make of the idea that a Senior Adviser to the President, regardless of the fact that it is his daughter, should be off- limits to the Special Counsel?

PHILIP RUCKER, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, Ivanka Trump is the President`s daughter, but she`s chosen to take a job at the White House. She works on the White House staff. She`s a Senior Adviser, as you just put it. And so, she should be sort of fair game in this investigation just like any other staff member at the White House. And I don`t think the Mueller team would view her any differently than other staff members at the White House. To our knowledge, she`s not been called in for an interview yet. That doesn`t mean she may not -- at some point, it doesn`t mean that you know, Mueller`s not looking at her role in all of this. She was actually in position at some key moments in the investigation into potential obstruction of justice by the President. She was around the President at the time when she made his decision to fire Comey as the FBI Director. She was on board that Air Force One flight where the President came up with that statement for his son, Don Junior, to issue regarding the Trump Tower Meeting with the Russian lawyers so she`s a key player in some aspects of this.

MOHYELDIN: Paul, what`s your take on that, from the statement that we played Giuliani and that he referred to her as a fine woman?

BUTLER: You know, again, it`s hard to understand that there`s any real strategy to what Giuliani is doing. One reading might be, he`s offering Jared Kushner`s head upon a platter to Mueller, as long as he leaves the President`s daughter alone. Now, they both have exposure as Phil mentioned, in terms of obstruction of justice, Ivanka was there when they ginned up that false narrative on Air Force One about what happened with the meeting with the Russian lawyers. She was around when the President was deciding to fire the FBI Director Comey. Now, Jared, on the other hand, has a whole lot more exposure. So if it`s true -- if it`s true, if it`s only going to be one, it`s probably going to be Jared. But again, that`s not how investigators think.

MOHYELDIN: So what are we to make of Giuliani saying that people, even his son-in-law, are, "disposable to Donald Trump? Phil?

RUCKER: Yes, that was a pretty interesting statement and I can tell you it caught a lot of officials at the White House off guard. They were surprised that Giuliani would characterize the President`s son-in-law and a Senior Adviser at the White House as disposable but it`s the phrase he used. Perhaps he meant it ingest, but he said it nonetheless. And it`s interesting, Kushner has been, early on in the presidency as so powerful and made a lot of decisions inside that White House. In the last couple months, he`s been off the radar. He`s focused on Middle East peace, of course, 5but he`s not been central in a lot of the decisions that the President is making. We don`t see him publicly very often. He`s kept a much dimmer profile than he had in the early period of the administration.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, it will be interesting to hear if and when Jared Kushner responds to his father-in-law`s lawyer saying that he is disposable. Philip Rucker, Paul Butler, great to have both of you.

RUCKER: Thank you.

MOHYELDIN: Next, new developments in the Michael Cohen investigation.


MOHYELDIN: Welcome back everyone. We`re back with NBC News reporting that the feds are monitoring Michael Cohen`s phones. This is part of the investigation into possible criminal activity by Donald Trump`s long-time personal lawyer. This monitoring was signed off on before the FBI raided Cohen`s office, his hotel room and home back in early April. I want to bring in NBC`s Julia Ainsley who`s been covering this story for us throughout the day. Julia, what type of information are the feds getting here with this tactic?

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So Ayman, what the feds are using here in New York is called a pin register. That is something that they`re able to get through an affidavit, that they take to a court and a judge allows them to monitor call logs. That would be like if I called you Ayman, they would be able to see the time and that I called you but they wouldn`t be able to hear our conversation. And they`re also as we know through public court filings, able to follow his e-mails and text messages for that same kind of metadata. And this is significant because it shows that the prosecutors, in this case, are able to pass that legal bar. Not only were they able to raid his apartment and his hotel and his offices like they were in early April, even weeks before that, they were meeting a legal bar in order to monitor these type of things. And it`s the kind of thing that you wouldn`t get from a judge unless you`re able to show that there was some kind of criminal activity, ongoing criminal activity that needed to be followed and that this person had been uncooperative. Usually, the first thing you would do is try to especially lawyer to lawyer get a lawyer to cooperate with you or subpoena them. And then -- yes go ahead.

MOHYELDIN: So, I wanted to jump in on that point because that`s a really important point. And that is, presumably just knowing who the person is calling even if you`re not listening in on the calls themselves or reading messages themselves is pretty significant. What other types of surveillance have the feds been using in this investigation? What does that tell you about the nature of the investigation itself that they are going after this information now?

AINSLEY: Right. It`s interesting. I mean, if you think about it, a lot of the work that Michael Cohen has done particularly for Donald Trump has really been more like a fixer more than a lawyer. He`s someone who negotiated and paid that payment to Stormy Daniels right before the election for $130,000. Those kinds of interactions and he`s done that for other clients, as well. We understand that he represented Sean Hannity. Those kind of interactions can really be monitored when you`re looking at a call log and seeing who he might be interacting with.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Julia Ainsley live for us in Washington, D.C. thank you for that. A sign of the times, the Trump brand, the Trump name and a big ruling from a judge here in New York. That`s next.


MOHYELDIN: Another sign of the polarization in the Trump era. You`re looking at Trump place right here in New York City. For 19 years, this 46- story condo building on the upper west side has had the Trump name on it. Yes, the name in big bronze letters. Just after Trump took office, the condo board took an informal poll of residents. 63 percent wanted to remove the Trump name. They went to a judge for a ruling on it. In fact, the Trump Organization and lawyers fought back saying the license agreement states that the Trump name was required. Well, today a New York judge disagreed saying the condo board can remove the Trump name officially. Since Trump took office, we have seen Trump`s hotels in Panama City remove his name, his posh New York City hotel and Soho take away the name Trump as well, and his hotel in Toronto remove the giant lettering from the top of that skyscraper. Eric Trump says he will fight vehemently to protect the legacy of a true visionary but Trump branded buildings in New York are selling for about 6.6 percent less than the Manhattan average last year. I`m not a real estate expert but my advice to Eric would probably be don`t. So maybe it`s better for businesses to keep the Trump name off. That does it for me. Ari will be back here tomorrow night. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts right now.