Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: July 13, 2018 Guest: Sam Nunberg, Neera Tanden, Howard Dean, Pharoahe Monch, Young Paris, Tom Coleman; Val Demings; Evelyn Farkas
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: That`s all we have tonight and we will be back Monday with more MTP DAILY. But of course if it`s Sunday it`s "Meet the Press" on NBC preview on the big Putin summit.
THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now.
Good evening, Ari.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. And thank you. We will be watching on Sunday.
We begin with breaking news. Bob Mueller indicting Russians for hacking. For the first time, the biggest developments in this probe since Paul Manafort`s indictment.
This is Friday, July 13th, and the special counsel probe that Donald Trump has spent his presidency degrading in which house Republicans furiously blasted in that nearly ten-hour hearing yesterday in which currently hangs over Trump`s foreign tour and Putin summit, well, tonight there has been the most detailed indictment of Russian election meddling in American history.
There are implications here for the U.S. relationship with Russia, the security of the upcoming midterms and most importantly implications for potential further charges here in the United States.
Now tonight on THE BEAT we have special coverage of all of this including reaction former top aide to Hillary Clinton and a former Roger Stone associate Sam Nunberg.
But first, I bring you the facts tonight. Tonight`s indictment not aimed at a lawyer who did work for Trump associates like some past indictments, it is not aimed at unknown political operatives like George Papadopoulos and it certainly not at any one individual`s allegedly non-political crimes which is how some of Trump`s defenders try to distance themselves from Paul Manafort, no.
Tonight the who is quite clear and disturbing, Mueller aiming squarely at top Russian military intelligence officers. The what is a conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 elections. The charges are conspiracy to commit offense against the U.S., identity theft and money laundering among others.
So that means that right now we are know more about Bob Mueller`s strategy for pressing this case going forward than ever before. The political world talks about collusion but the key word is conspiracy. Mueller stating the object of this conspiracy was to hack U.S. campaign officials, steal documents and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 election.
How did they do it? I`m going to read to you now some key allegations from this indictment. Russian agents hacking over 300 email accounts, stealing emails and other documents and that includes 2.5 gigabytes after data. Now, Mueller dos say not that they simply stole and released this material but instead explains they released it in stages with specific strategies to impact the election. And that`s how this information was stolen and weaponized. Now, we have to also consider how everyone is looking at whether this would happen again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: We need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable and we need to keep moving forward to preserve our values, protect against future interference and defend America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That means defending America in the midterms presumably. If Watergate was a domestic burglary to win an election that then ultimately brought down a presidency, today Mueller is alleging a domestic burglary in cyberspace launched by a nuclear-powered adversary in this international conspiracy.
Is this worse than Watergate? It`s a question you probably heard before. Bob Mueller is beginning to answer that tonight. And he is pointing out this operation was certainly bigger than Watergate. It certainly lasted longer than the Watergate break in.
Now, whether it involves top American political officials remains an open question. So consider all that and add this. Tonight is the first time the United States has charged Russians for stealing information on American voters. That`s a whole other piece of this indictment alleging that they, the Russians were hacking a web site of a state board of elections ad stealing information, not about a hundred or a thousand voters, but about half a million of them -- names, addresses, parts of their Social Security numbers, dates of birth, I.D. numbers.
What states did that happen in? What happened to that information? This indictment doesn`t tell us that tonight but half a million voters is a lot. It could have an impact on a state like say Michigan that was decided ultimately by just 10,704 votes. Indictment also raises new questions about this moment in the 2016 campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, if you are listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Well, Bob Mueller puts that in this indictment and this may be one of the most disturbing things because I can report to you for the first time tonight that it was the same day, July 27th, 2016, that Trump said that and the Russians began quote "for the first time harking emails affiliated with the Clinton campaign."
We have a range of guests on our special coverage. And so we begin with Bill Kristol, editor at large of the "Weekly Standard." Former federal prosecutor John Flannery and here in New York, Evelyn Farkas, a Russia expert and diplomat.
John, what speaks to you in this indictment?
JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: The thing that speaks to me is what I expect we will see in the next indictment, the kind of one-two-three of the Mueller investigation, which is pinning the tail on the donkey being the orange man in the west wing.
We have two critical dates, there are others here but you may notice that on June 8th, these Russians set up a special web site, a Facebook page, and a twitter account, all of which was to disperse all the emails they had stolen from the DNC and the DCCC as of that date.
The next day they have a meeting in Trump tower and it was published as a meeting that was going give information to the Trump campaign to go forward against Hillary Clinton. Then we have later in June another request for information because they were afraid that the Bernie Sanders people would go with Hillary after the nomination battle in July. And so about a month later they had collected information and they did exactly that, they released it. And days after they released that information the quote that you just put on the screen is the one that Trump stated which is more, give us more and they did that evening according to this indictment.
MELBER: So you are suggesting - you are suggesting that this indictment tonight adds detail to the theory of the case that Donald Trump was not joking, was not being reckless, was not making a rhetorical point but was publicly actively trying to conspire with a foreign power in those remarks? Is that what you are saying?
FLANNERY: Absolutely. He was arrogantly and transparently taking an overt act in this conspiracy with Russia to get elected and exchange for whatever his deal was with Putin at their pry confirmed in a couple of days when why ask each other what to do behind closed doors. This has been a conspiracy. It is a collusion and explains why Trump gave the false statement about the meeting was June the 9th that was about adoptions of Russian children.
MELBER: Well, and you are bearing down on something that Bill Kristol and I have discussed before which is that Donald Trump is sophisticated about his defense here.
And Bill, John is quoting from page 13th of this indictment which says on June 8th these Russians launched D.C. leaks and they used it to release stolen emails. And he has pointed to the fact that it was the next day you had this Trump tower meeting and that Donald Trump we now know has been exposed for interfering in defense to the Trump tower meeting which he did not attend. And there has never been, Bill, a very good benign explanation for why the President personally involved himself to explain something that he would only have second hand information about if he is innocent, Bill.
BILL KRISTOL, FOUNDER/EDITOR-AT-LARGE, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, John could be right. I mean, that`s the more modest version of at least is that Mueller goes out of his way to put a couple dates in this indictment which he doesn`t need. Certainly, the July 27th date is put in, you know, It doesn`t add anything. It`s not required that he know that. And he knows that. But he wants us maybe to do go just research and discover that Trump that said what he said on July 27th which you played and mentioned and John mentioned.
But think about -- I think for me, what is striking about that is why does -- I mean, you guys are prosecutors, I`m not lawyers. But why does he do that? I think he is signaling an awful a lot of people out there we know everything. We have -- think of what he has to know to be able to say that. He has to have access to communications presumably among these Russians and between these Russians and people elsewhere, people running WikiLeaks and so forth. And also presumably communications between these Russians and others perhaps in the United States. And I think if you are on the fence about whether to flip, if you are on the fence about whether you think, gee, maybe I can get away with this. You look at this indictment and you think, you know what, maybe I better place a call here to the special prosecutor`s office or the southern district in New York or someone in the justice department and say, youth. You know, maybe I will complete.
So I think for Michael Cohen, for Paul Manafort even though he has already indicted but still he is in play in terms of someone who can flip, for many, many others, and many others we don`t probably know much about at this point, this is a signal that Mueller knows an awful lot. And assuming there is some collusion with American which is I think is pretty hard to doubt at this point, I think this is his way of signaling those Americans, you know, let`s play ball here.
MELBER: Let me go to Evelyn and then back to you, John.
EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, what strikes me, Ari, is that there`s no 400 pound guy in new jersey. There are 12 faces with names. And Mueller actually lays out the organization. He says these are the two guys in charge. Here are the people who did x, y, and z. Most of them were actually taking information out. And a couple of them were then sending the information into that, you know, the twitter sphere and the other part of it of course. So the other indictments that we received from him, those are the social media folks, the IRI, the international research agency in St. Petersburg so they took that data that was stolen.
So we are seeing the picture coming together very accurately. And the other thing I think I would absolutely agree with the point that it`s demonstrating how good our intelligence is. Because, you know, I have gotten in trouble coming on TV saying I know, I know. What I meant was in my gut, in my gut because I know we have good intelligence on Russia that what administration officials were saying was well informed and this is truth.
MELBER: And John, I want to put up on the screen some more of the important pieces of this that Mueller is putting out on the American side. He shows there was a person in regular contact with senior members of the campaign of Donald Trump. He shows the Russians requested -- had a request for stolen documents for a candidate for the U.S. Congress, wow. And that Russians were contacting U.S. reporters with an offer to provide stolen emails.
To Bill`s point as shall we say a logical journalistic analyst who also worked in a White House, Bill Kristol, and your view as a prosecutor, both of you know and Evelyn knows he doesn`t need to mention those things for these charges. What is he doing there with those American references?
FLANNERY: Well, I think what he has been doing is he has been doing what the Irish like to do, a one-two-three, a three act play. The first act was how the machinery was set up in the first place with all these bogus ways to contact people and to spew information out and that I thought was an indictment to shake the tree that would help identify people that may have help in the second phase.
And the second phase is precursor to the final chapter or the final act in this play. And it`s going to be to identify the people in the campaign in the Trump campaign right up I think to the obstruction activities of Mr. Trump. And this is going to be, when the curtain falls down, and I think, and that there is enough notice given on the target of the investigation, Mr. Trump and his associates, that that`s why we are getting such a persistent strong pushback.
Now, so the congressman is important because it shows we have another country --
FLANNERY: Well, we have another country --.
MELBER: I`m just saying congressional candidate?
FLANNERY: Candidate, yes. And the way it`s described in the indictment, he knows that these documents are stolen.
FLANNERY: So now, whether or not the facts, the evidence supports that, that is a very strong accusations. And this persons involve in a crime himself in which he knows that documents were intercepted in violation of American law, federal law.
MELBER: Right. And it seems to show, John that Bob Mueller is implying he is certainly implying, Bob Mueller, that he is willing to pursue that, aka, indict candidate who traffic in stolen material.
Now John and Evelyn are staying with me.
Bill, I want to get your view on one more thing before I let you go. Take a listen to how this statement from Donald Trump days ago sounds give than the DOJ confirmed today at the time he was making the statement he already knew that these Russian agents were going to be charged for this very serious crime. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling, I will be asking that question again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if he denies the --?
TRUMP: Well, he may. I mean, look, he may, you know. What am I going to do? He may deny it. I mean, it is one of those things. So all I can do is say, did you and don`t do it again. But he may deny. I mean, you will be the first to know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Bill, how does that look now?
KRISTOL: And this morning I think he said it was a rigged witch-hunt, the whole investigation, right So he has briefed to the 12 Russian senior officials and their government and their intelligence service are going to be indicted with all this evidence behind him and that he still calls it a witch-hunt. He is doubling down. He is not going to go gently into the good night here. And he is going to look at pardons and he is going to look at doing things at the justice department I think to derail this investigation if he feels really under threat.
MELBER: Bill Kristol, we have been following this together for sometime. I appreciate you joining our special coverage tonight.
I`m going to return to the other panelists. I want to bring in another voice. Mueller`s charges just come a day after the House Republicans were hammering a former investigator on this probe. My next guest, Florida congresswoman Val Demings questioned the entire motivation yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D), FLORIDA: I never thought as a law enforcement officer I had ever have to defend the department of justice from my Republican colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Florida congresswoman Val Demings is here along with a former Congress person from the other side, Missouri Republican Tom Coleman. He wrote earlier this year that it`s no longer a quote "fantasy" to raise the question of whether Donald Trump committed quote "treason."
Congresswoman Demings, put today`s indictment in the context of what House Republicans were doing yesterday.
DEMINGS: Well, first of all, Ari, thank you so much for having me on your show.
DEMINGS: Look, yesterday was absolutely painful. It just showed me the extent that my colleagues on the other side of the isle would go to to protect the President as opposed to pursuing the truth. I mean, I think that`s what we all want.
But today, today was really I think a sad day in American history. Twelve military operatives from Russia acting in their official capacity charged. And I think it sends a clear message that Vladimir Putin is very much aware of what was going on, the interference in our election, the effort to undermine our democracy, to sow discord. And we also know that the President every time he speaks of Putin, it`s almost from a position of weakness and a position of strength. I just want to see the end of this case and see where it takes us.
MELBER: Do you think yesterday`s attacks on a former member of this team in light of today`s charges and that Donald Trump was warned about them earlier smack of something inappropriate or a potential style of McCarthyism against a legitimate investigation?
DEMINGS: You know, what I can tell you as a former law enforcement officer I used to say where there`s smoke, there`s fire. But I just believe looking at the anger yesterday, the desperation yesterday to basically undermine agent Strzok, even though clearly his texts were inappropriate, he admitted that from the very beginning. But the efforts to totally undermine and discredit him.
What I think shocked to me more, Ari, was the effort to undermine the reputation, a -longstanding good reputation of the entire federal bureau of investigation. I believe it just shows the desperation of the White House and the desperation of my Republican colleagues at least on the judiciary and oversight committee to cover for him.
MELBER: Well, a former Republican colleague from the House, Congressman Coleman here, has spoken out earlier. I want to read for you Congressman, what the President`s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is saying about this, the other side of the table.
Quote "indictments are good news. the Russians are nailed. No Americans involved. Time for Mueller to end the pursuit of the President and say President Trump completely innocent."
Number one, your response to that. And number two, how does your past decision to raised the question of treason look in light of today`s indictment to you?
Thank you, Ari, for having me on the show.
TOM COLEMAN (R), FORMER MISSOURI CONGRESSMAN: Rudy Giuliani is -- I don`t know if he is a performance artist or a lawyer or friend of the President, but he doesn`t make sense. The fact of the matter is I would not go out if I were he and declare my innocence because I wasn`t charged in this indictment. There are going to be more indictments.
As John said earlier, he is setting the table for the next shoe to drop. There is two analogies that were put together. But the point of it is we have for the first time confirmation that what happened in this instance was state-sponsored cyber attacks.
COLEMAN: And that is different from what we heard before with the other 13 people that have been indicted. The actors are there. These people who are officials of the government. We used to call them KGB agents --.
MELBER: And on that sir, that government is led by Vladimir Putin who the President is about to meet with. In your view as the President`s preparations and public comments for that meeting make him look more or less guilty?
COLEMAN: I don`t think he is prepared. I have dealt with the former communist party in the KGB when I was a member of Congress and they know what they are doing. They are tough. They are in your face. He will fold like an accordion if they do that with him.
The problem is that Donald Trump has not condemned these hackings and these cyber attacks on our democracy. It`s always about him. How does it affect the image of him, his victory, the size of his victory. It`s never about our country. It has never about our democracy, it is about him. And I think he needs to condemn what went on, cancel the meeting. And if he doesn`t cancel the meeting, Ari, I think he is giving us reason to believe that he is not just falling into the hands of Putin, he may already be in the hands of Putin.
MELBER: And I`m running late on time although I`m fascinated to hear this especially from a former Republican Congress person like yourself.
Congresswoman Demings, do you agree that Trump should leave this meeting?
DEMINGS: I was totally shocked that the President`s press secretary said that he had no intentions to cancel the meeting. He should cancel the meeting. Not prepared before today`s announcement and certainly not prepared after.
MELBER: To the congresswoman and a former congressman, I thank you both.
Our special coverage continues live right now.
As promised, a former Roger Stone aide Sam Nunberg and back with me for context Evelyn Farkas.
Sam, people in politics say we knew there was hacking. But the man you used to work for, Donald Trump, and many people around him long and still doubt about who did it, how it happened, whether it mattered.
Do you think today`s indictment which Donald Trump was briefed on, should change his mind about undermining both the fact that the Russians did this and attacking the probe?
SAM NUNBERG, FOR ROGER STONE AIDE: Well, first of all, I think that this should change the mind of any Republican voter that doesn`t want to vote this midterm because Donald Trump will be impeached by a Democrat Congress if you look at this indictment. The fact that they would release this indictment before his meeting with Putin, too.
MELBER: You think this is a predicate for impeachment why?
NUNBERG: Well, Mueller is clearly setting up the narrative. The narrative, the -next indictments coming will be I assume Roger and maybe others. I mean, it`s been reported by CNBC. I was never asked about this that somebody was asked about a meeting Roger had with -- now his name escapes me on live TV, the one who worked for Manafort, right under.
MELBER: Rick Gates.
NUNBERG: Rick Gates. That he had a meeting with him. So who knows what thy have talked about with the emails. As I have said --.
MELBER: And Rick Gates, of course, has pled guilty.
NUNBERG: And he is cooperating.
MELBER: And he is cooperating.
You say today you think it`s more likely that Roger Stone would be indicted?
NUNBERG: Yes. I think Roger from the very beginning, as I said after I left the grand jury, Roger was -- it would be nice to say he was the subject. He was clearly a target. My question --
MELBER: That was clear to you in the way that you were being questioned?
NUNBERG: Yes. I said that to you before. It is 100 percent clear.
MELBER: You said at the time, though, that you felt that it was like they were trying to set up a quote "perjury trap" which has to do with statements Roger has made in a setting where perjury would matter, presumably testifying.
This doesn`t look like perjury, Sam. This looks like laying out the predicate for the fact that Roger Stone was talking to military agents who were claiming to be Guccifer. That they went in and pretended they were not Russian. They had a Romanian cover story. And that Roger backed that up, too. Do you think Roger may have knowingly committed a crime as he went down that road?
NUNBERG: No. Because I think -- well, in terms of cooperating with the Russians, I have this argument with him. I have talked about this publicly. I said I don`t know why you are associating yourself with these people so publicly. Our intelligence community has said the Russians did it. And he says that he didn`t believe the Russians hacked. So, I would say --.
MELBER: Do you think Roger is that stupid, I guess is the question?
NUNBERG: I think Roger is conspiratorial. Yes, I think Roger, Alex Jones and that whole --
MELBER: But that defense that you are sharing, and I appreciate you coming on the show and say --.
NUNBERG: This is all I know.
MELBER: I understand. You are explaining what you have learned.
MELBER: Let me finish. You are explaining your understanding of the situation. That theory of the case to defend Roger suggests that Roget Stone is stupid or a novice. You and I have both dealt with him. He strikes me as neither of those things.
NUNBERG: Roger is someone who does not trust the government sometimes. And as seen this information put up. I disagree with him on this. It was clear to me that Putin is not my friend. I think Putin is not an ally. He is an adversary. By the way, the President should confront Putin about this publicly in his press conference.
MELBER: Do you think that Donald Trump should do that? Do you think he will do that?
NUNBERG: I would hope so. I don`t know.
FARKAS: Well, you know, where I stand. I mean, if the President meets with Putin which I think it was a horrible idea, I thought it was a horrible idea before this, you know, but it`s still a horrible idea, even worse now unless he comes back with 26 Russians in handcuffs,; you know, because we need them extradited now. We have 26 Russians if my math is right.
MELBER: As a matter of diplomacy, does it look weak and soft to go give Putin this meeting after this has been exposed?
FARKAS: You are leading the witness. Yes. I mean --.
MELBER: I would -- Sam, would I lead a witness?
MELBER: Go ahead and then I will go back to Sam.
FARKAS: yes, you are leading the witness. I mean, right now, the Russian -- this Kremlin, this Russian government only understands firmness. If the President goes and meets with Putin, I mean, unless he, you know, takes his shoe off like Nikita Khrushchev, the former head of the Russian -- the soviet government and pounds it on the table publicly, he is not going to appear firm to Putin privately nor to the Russian people nor to the Russian government, the Russian military, et cetera, and the Russian will only stop their meddling, because remember, they are still meddling. They will only stop it today if our President is firm.
MELBER: Which, Evelyn Farkas was a Khrushchev (ph), we will bear you reference. Always a classic --.
NUNBERG: I just want to say very quickly.
NUNBERG: This shows why the special counsel does affect in general and specifically as President conducting foreign policy. And releasing this indictment today was selective. I don`t know why they had to do it. I love this indictment from the point of view of we are holding the Russians accountable. I hope these people never enter the United States. But this is our president of the United State and --.
MELBER: But there is nothing -- well, let me push you on that. There`s nothing new about the DOJ going after spies when they operate here. Preet Bharara who many of our viewers know under Obama indicted Russians and other people. It goes through. The President was briefed in advance. You are not alleging anything wrong with that process.
NUNBERG: I don`t think the President could have delayed this? What would have happened if the President in this White House says --?
MELBER: Why would you want to delay it? Why wouldn`t you want to be tough when the facts show interference in our election?
NUNBERG: I think if he would say, look. I have to meet with this guy. Why don`t we do it next Friday.
MELBER: Let me play for you the other part which is organization one is named in this indictment and it appears to be WikiLeaks and it appears to allege that WikiLeaks did more than release information which is old school WikiLeaks transparency, that they seem to be actively involved in trying to help your former candidate, the Trump campaign, with the timing. And then you have the fact that Donald Trump was very publicly boisterous about WikiLeaks during the campaign. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This just came out. this just came out. Wikileaks, I love WikiLeaks.
You see so much from these WikiLeaks. Wikileaks unveils horrible, horrible things about Hillary Clinton.
Boy, that WikiLeaks has done a job on her, hasn`t it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Do you think during the campaign Donald Trump or his top leadership team had an actual understanding of what`s alleged in here today regarding WikiLeaks and the Russians?
NUNBERG: You know, I cannot answer that because I do not communicate with them. So, if I had to guess, I would say is everybody on the Republican conservative and media side, I saw this and I thought it was hypocritical, wanting to believe Assange when he said it wasn`t the Russians.
NUNBERG: They wanted to.
MELBER: Right. And the benign interpretation of that is a lot of people shade a lot of things for their team. There is a benign interpretation. The question, though, given what we keep learning with the coordination is whether Donald Trump sounded so loving about WikiLeaks because he knew something.
Hang with me. Evelyn Farkas, thanks for your expertise.
I want to turn to another piece of this in our special coverage which is how today`s indictment carries national security implications. Mueller, not only indicted these 12 Russian agents, he indicted the veracity of Putin`s famous denials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You and the Russian government did -- never tried to influence the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election and there will be no evidence found?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Watch my lips. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: No. Well, today Mueller says yes tracing this hacking of our election all the way back to two buildings in Moscow housing Putin`s own intelligence officers. Mueller alleging a theory of the case that Russians did all sorts of things to hurt the Clinton campaign including installing malicious computer codes, sphere phishing, spoofing, deleting files and stealing Social Security numbers in America.
The Russian intelligence officers also cast a wide net. You can see here, they went after many others in the Democratic Party beyond Clinton over 300 people. And Mueller alleging these Russian officers recruited and deployed intermediaries to hide Putin`s footprints.
The idea was to trick you if you are watching as an American voter into thinking that that damaging information coming out about Clinton maybe came from more neutral sources. And that getting a leg up during the campaign as candidate Trump wholeheartedly embraced these leaks.
Russians also went another step further. I was discussing this with Sam Nunberg. Strategizing allegedly with Americans, timing the leaks of stolen material to maximize the damage.
Now former federal prosecutor John Flannery is back with me as part of our special coverage and Sam Nunberg, it is riding along for any thoughts you have.
John, walk us through what this means when you see the nature of the Russian operation and the idea that there was American expertise along for the ride.
FLANNERY: I think it is a graceful sign of betraying our country. And anybody who would participate in that deserves exposure to the most serious criminal punishment.
I`m fascinated by the continuing lie by Putin that we ask Trump to ask him do you really believe what you are saying. And if they are both in the same conspiracy as I suspect and believe, and many do, then they are both part of a public lie both are going to say that I didn`t do anything says Putin and Trump is going to say, well, that`s what he says so that`s the way it must be.
I think that becomes impossible in this environment. And I think that the law and the truth are ultimately going to bring down at least this fellow that we have in the White House presently. And the question is, you know, when you think about it, you know, you talk about the Russians, Putin and being compared to Khrushchev, we will bury you. If we don`t do something Trump will be bury us. He has already compromised the function of government. He has taken our allies and dissed them perhaps because they cooperated in the intelligence that made it possible. We are withdrawing from economic alliances that made our life-style what it is.
And you have to ask yourself, is he doing this for Putin or is this just bad and evil judgment for what`s best for Americans? The implications of this conspiracy are enormous and dangerous and Roger Stone is obviously not the only one who is involved in this. And there is a whole host of characters and we had no contacts with Russians and now we know there are 11 or 13 or however many specifically documented. So I think that we are in a place where we are really fighting to keep the republic.
As Benjamin Franklin once asked, you have a republic if you can keep it. This man is endangering it. He`s not a Republican he`s un-American and he is a criminal. And until we do something about it this nation will be at risk.
SAM NUNBERG, FORMER ADVISOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, I have a lot of criticisms of him personally but to say he`s a criminal and he`s not an American -- I think he cares about this country. He has a different view of the country and to talk about the economy is doing well. I`m not going to get into his accomplishments here but that`s certainly one perspective which once again shows that Donald Trump`s presidency is on the line in the midterms and we`re going to have to find out with Mueller has played a very good game here. He has -- look the prosecutors and this gentleman has said it. They set up narratives. He has a narrative here to impeach the President which the Democrats, if they control the house, will impeach him on. And if the Republicans control the House, we`re going to have to get into whether or not this is too circumstantial as a conspiracy. I have no doubt the Russians act. I think the President once again will be well served if he confronts Putin the same way Macron did and just says he -- you know, and looks at on and live and we could put this to rest.
MELBER: Well, the midterms aren`t that far away. You seem to think that this new indictment, that it goes further in the case that Democrats and some Republicans depending on their views might use to say if this goes to the top something has to be done to hold someone accountable otherwise you have potentially an election conspiracy that changes the outcome of who`s in control of the country. How could you not deal with that if it goes that far?
NUNBERG: Well, one Rod Rosenstein did say I believe in the press conference that this has not affect the election outcome.
MELBER: He did say that.
NUNBERG: He did say that. Number two, with that said, I can make the case that Trump has been very hard on Putin not publicly but look at what Putin has got.
MELBER: Just secretly, just secretly.
NUNBERG: Secretly, which is a mistake by him politically. Look at the sanctions. He inherited very tough sanctions during his transition and he put more sanctions on Putin. You know, he --
MELBER: I hear John Flannery grumbling.
NUNBERG: I`m sure he is.
MELBER: We get -- you know we get the whole range of views here. I am so over on time John, you have to go quickly.
FLANNERY: Well, I think that we`re so far past it with this President. He makes errors in every direction. And when as a president ever been treated like a baby floating overhead in a nation that`s our ally.
MELBER: Well, John, I will not call him a baby. I think it`s well documented here. I appreciate that but what I`m going to do is go onto my next guess where I`ve specially booked for a different perspective on this as well. I`m very grateful to John Flannery and Sam Nunberg for making time with us tonight. As we turn the page, Bob Mueller`s new indictment marches into the center of our polarized politics. Now, these charges they raise suspicions about how much the rupture -- the Russian operation shaped the race. And then you have these what-if questions that are intense for both sides aggrieved Clinton fans losing by the narrowest margins and the questions also wrinkle Trump fans who feel they were underestimated the whole campaign only to find their victory greeted by a delegitimizing story. Now, I say that because today Mueller`s boss showed his awareness of that divide. He`s urging non-partisanship which could be a warning to Trump allies who did potentially benefit from Russia`s crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: We confront foreign interference in American elections. It`s important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans. Our response must not depend on which side was victimized. The blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who committed election interference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: But one side was victimized and I`m now joined by a top Clinton official hack during that campaign, a man who chaired the party that was hacked. Today`s indictment showing that while my guest there miss Neera Tanden was fighting Trump, there was the second front in that war. Cyber- attacks plotting a leak "Anything Hillary related at the exact time that could overshadow the nominating convention." And take a look it sort of worked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- started and we already have our first major controversy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The e-mails which reopened a rift in the Democratic Party and as it tries to present a united front in Philadelphia.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Even with Wasserman Schultz has no longer taking the convention stage, we could see some signs of intense disunity here in the arena.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Disunity that everyone agrees was caused by those timed e-mail leaks. And then within days, Trump said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, if you`re listening I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: And look at the other side of your screen. The political world tonight processing this charged in the Mueller indictment that Trump said that and Russia began hacking Clinton staff e-mails for the first time the same day he made that request. I`m joined now by Neera Tanden, the top aide to Hillary Clinton who was hacked during this campaign. She`s the President-CEO of the Center for American Progress and former DNC Chair and presidential candidate Howard Dean. Neera, your response.
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT-CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: You know, I think that I`m really gratified that the Department of Justice actually investigated and found that the specific Russians who targeted Americans who stole from Americans in order to influence the election. The fact that we have an impartial enough Department of Justice and really Mueller investigation to actually find the truth is vital for our democracy. I think it`s frankly insane that the President of the United States is going to have a summit with Putin and after he`s -- after we have these facts in front of us, I would call on the President to not have a summit to actually be a President for being -- for all of Americans and act in the defense of our country and the very least say to Putin`s that your acts against America are intolerable because I do not trust that`s possible from a president who was aided and you know, we may still have evidence that he colluded directly for these results. I think the President needs to basically cancel the summit.
MELBER: Governor Dean, Neera raises the foreign policy implications. It is so remarkable to learn today that Donald Trump was briefed and knew that we were moving as a country further at indicting these Russian military agents for this election interference for what is called in the law quote a conspiracy against the United States farther than we`ve ever gone and that with that knowledge he went out and phrased Putin and said that would be his easiest meeting on this trip. You`re a person who I guess didn`t replace you immediately but someone who`s come after you to Chair the DNC said this about it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DNC: What do you ought to do is hand him over these indictments, demand the immediate prompt extradition of all the defendants involved and that`s what he should be doing. He is playing into the hands of Putin right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Your view governor?
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, DNC: I think that`s true. Look, Trump -- I`ve long said I think he`s crazy and I think he is. There`s -- this has been a disastrous foreign trip but it`s not going to get better when he meets with Vladimir Putin who has just had 12 of his people indicted. You know this nonsense about this is all some plot or whatever it is fake news or whatever Trump calls it, 33 indictments including guilty pleas from an impartial grand jury. I mean the American people who were presumably populating this grand jury think that there`s something to this. And we have not yet gotten to the nub of the question we now have established that it`s incredibly likely that the Russians did hack. Now we`ve got to find out if they did it in collusion with the Trump administration -- the Trump campaign and it looks like they may well have.
MELBER: Neera, this was something that your candidate mentioned at debates and you tried to get attraction for. How much stronger is the case now and do you think this is why you lost the election?
TANDEN: Hillary Clinton lost the election by seventy thousand votes across three states. The idea that wall to wall WikiLeaks coverage driven by Donald Trump and has 164 mentions of the -- of WikiLeaks in the last month of the campaign did not create 70,000 votes across those three states, this is -- none of us will know. The idea that you can -- anyone can say that it did not actually create the loss, we can`t say that and I think that is what we have to recognize which is the Russians did this for a purpose. It was to help elect Donald Trump and then he became -- he was elected at in a very close competitive election in which their work was used in the national media daily with a constant drip, drip, drip. And that is why I think this information is important. I think it`s really vital that we get to the bottom of whether there was direct engagement by Donald Trump himself. I will remind all our viewers of one simple fact which is the WikiLeaks dumps started within minutes of the actors roll video going live. The idea that there is no connection just seems to me we have to get to the bottom of that because I think at the end of the day whether Donald Trump knew about this before the election is the central question behind be in front of us. And over the last year, we`ve learned stronger and stronger and stronger connections.
MELBER: Well, it`s a central legal and democratic question in America and Bob Mueller`s moved further on it tonight that`s for sure. Neera and Howard thank you both. We`re fitting in our first break as part of our special coverage. Who is Mueller looking at next stay with me?
MELBER: Our special coverage continues now. I`m joined by our friend and NBC Contributor Howard Fineman who`s been talking with Roger Stone today. What have you learned Howard?
HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I`ve learned that Roger Stone is defiant. He`s playing for time. He`s issuing through me a couple of statements that go to denying the particulars that people may assume from the indictment today and also raising questions about how the federal prosecutors might actually prove this case against the Russians since it`s unlikely that the Russians will ever show up. To read you the second tweet from him, I said, I asked him -- that`s a text that is. I said, Roger when did you learn that Guccifer -- however you want to pronounce it -- was the Russians. He said today that is still an allegation and unproven at try -- at a trial. Do you expect the Russians to show up for trial? Will there be an inspection of the DNC servers to prove the government`s allegations? In other words, what he`s saying is if you come after me, I`m going to counter with demanding to see all of the DNC servers which is of course Republicans have wanted to do for a long time. And I will say this is also, he knows as does Paul Manafort and the two of them have known each other for and worked on and off together for about 35 years. They know that their chief protectors here ironically enough are Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. There are no two people in the United States more interested other than Bob Mueller in what is said over in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday than Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
MELBER: And briefly Howard, do you think Mueller is trying to use today`s indictment on the Stone front to scare other people into total cooperation?
FINEMAN: No question. No question. And Roger can be as defined as he wants, there are other people here. And the key question now is now that the witch hunt has found its coffin in Moscow, who knew what when and who communicated with them knowingly? You don`t have to know the identity of the person you`re in a conspiracy with if you`re in a conspiracy but you have to know about illegal behavior. That`s, of course, going to be the question. Everybody in Washington knew that the Russians were behind this. The notion that Roger Stone didn`t have a clue is ridiculous.
MELBER: Well, I appreciate that fact check, something we were exploring earlier with his former associate Sam Nunberg. A lot to get to. Howard Fineman, we appreciate you joining us with your reporting. Up next Rev. Al Sharpton`s reaction to this Mueller news and more straight ahead.
MELBER: We`ve got more reactions on those Mueller charges today and since this is THE BEAT, we might get into some other developments. I`m joined by MSNBC`s Rev Al Sharpton, Pharoahe Monch a Billboard top 100 artists who`s collaborated with Grammy Winner Macy Gray and is performing at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival this weekend and rapper Young Paris who`s on Jay-Z`s label ROC Nation. This is quite a panel if I could say so. Rev, when you look at this week`s news, what`s on your mind?
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: I look at what happened with the whole question of this Mueller indictment. I think that when you see 12 Russians indicted, they informed the President in advance and he still calls it a witch-hunt and is going to meet with the President of Russia. I mean, this -- other than if he`s going to say I want you to extradite the 12 Russians what would he even be doing in the room --
MELBER: What`s there to talk about?
SHARPTON: What`s there to talk about? So I think that we`re getting very close to all him really showing his true nature.
MELBER: What`s on your mind?
PHAROAHE MONCH, RAPPER: For me, I was watching the FBI hearings yesterday and that was crazy. The questions were all over the place. It was like who was on third, what`s on second and then the guy was like I`ve been instructed not to answer. And it was just crazy to me. And then the lady joins in at the end and then asks is the one guy, have you taken your medication? You know, so I was just watching that like what`s going on.
MELBER: Well, and that Republicans have finally found something they don`t like about part of the FBI for the for the first time.
SHARPTON: The first time in history and then when you think of how they are discrediting the FBI, discrediting prosecutions and investigations when we`ve done it on the movement side, we were on American unpatriotic and everything you can think of. Now you have odds Republicans doing this. It`s amazing to me and I think that you seeing the world look at this country saying what`s going on? I was watching the President in England today and I was there three weeks ago when a lot of the progressives were getting ready for the march. I mean it`s almost like we are the laughingstock of the world because of our inconsistency as a country and I think everybody is seeing that blatantly because of Donald Trump.
MELBER: Well, the thing I want to flag is looking at something we touched on earlier in the show. Mueller saying that you have these Russian military agents posing as a fake hacker so they`re trying to trick us here in America and working with the U.S. Congressional candidate for stolen documents. It says here the conspirators sent the candidate the stolen documents were laid into the candidates opponent. I mean, this is -- this is scary stuff and anyone who looks at this should care about what`s happening to our democracy not which side might benefit in the short run because if countries can do this what kind of democracy do we have.
SHARPTON: They had a false sign up saying they were Black Lives Matter. You had false sings up quoting for many of us that we`re dealing with the question of what happened in Ferguson. This is frightening and it sets all of us up and we all should feel vulnerable about.
MELBER: Yes. So this is not your normal summer Friday but Young Paris, I got to meet you. We do more than one topic on this show. The Rev. knows that. And when we talk about who`s falling back, I understand you have one that might give us a little lighter moment here on a big week.
YOUNG PARIS, RAPPER: (INAUDIBLE) Actually I just came off touring Africa and just getting off the plane. I got on my Instagram and all I`m seeing is this dance craze from Drake we need to do a song called My Feelings and there`s a kid in New York named Shiggy Show who created a dance. I don`t know if you guys maybe have some audio here and someone can play it. But the --
MELBER: This is the dance right here. How do you feel about it?
PARIS: So I don`t -- it`s so crazy to look at these things now because I feel like this -- because the internet and we have so much access to viral videos like every time we`re like things that take a week to go viral but now it`s so incredible to see like millions of viewers and celebrities and people impactfully attacking this song in such a quick time. It`s just --
MELBER: Well, yes, and the -- and the culture can spread so much more quickly. I saw Simon says your big hit has over ten million views. I imagine a lot of those have come since it came out.
MONCH: Yes, and then it goes away and it comes back and it`s a new bunch of kids rediscovering record all over again so it was just amazing in that way.
PARIS: Like these kids becoming new DJ`s so now when you got kids who do viral new videos it`s almost --
MELBER: Right. Everyone could share whatever they find. Well --
SHARPTON: A lot of kids didn`t know what Simon Says was until (INAUDIBLE)
MELBER: And a lot of people --
SHARPTON: I like still spend because (INAUDIBLE)
MELBER: To bring it all together, I don`t think people knew when you record that song that you were talking about Bob Mueller when you said control the game like Tomb Raider
MELBER: So now we know that you don`t know. I want to break, Young Paris, Pharoahe Monch, and Rev. Al Sharpton thanks for being a part of our panel. As always check out "POLITICS NATION" Sundays 8:00 a.m. We`ll be right back.
MELBER: It`s been quite a news day and I want to share one programming note on behalf of the "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW." At 9:00 p.m. tonight Richard Engel is broadcasting live from London. Congressman Adam Schiff joins and they`ve added me to the mix. I`ll be part of the special coverage. Make sure to check that out. That does it for our show. Thanks for watching. "HARDBALL" is up next.
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