IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Cohen says Trump is threatening his family. TRANSCRIPT: 1/23/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Stephen Lynch; Cornell Belcher; Francesca Chambers; Michael Caputo; Sam Nunberg; Jerome Corsi; Carter Page


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST:  That`s all we got tonight.  We`ll be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY.

"THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now.  And Ari, I`m just giving it to you because I`ve got to get me some popcorn.  You got a show.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST:  Go do it.  Grab your popcorn.  We`re excited.  Thank you, Chuck.

Tonight looks to be different.  I wish you a good evening.  Now, I mentioned on last night`s show that we are doing, as Chuck just said, something on the Mueller probe tonight that we`ve never done before.

We don`t think anyone has done it.  We`re going to interview four witnesses from the Russia probe live together.  You can see them seated ready to come on.  These are three former Donald Trump aides and one target in the Mueller probe who`s back in the news this week.

I`m going to ask them about their interviews with the Mueller team, their contacts with the Russians, the big Michael Cohen news breaking tonight that they have been following.  I just discussed it with some of them.  We`re going to try to be thorough and fair and to let these newsworthy witnesses share what they saw and did and experienced.  And they will be able to interact with each other on live television as well.

So that is a big part of our show tonight.  In a few moments, you`ll hear from them.  Of course, there`s other news breaking as well that we`re going to hit first which is former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen now accusing Donald Trump of actively threatening his family.

Trump`s former so-called fixer scrapping his planned public testimony next month over these threats.  A source telling NBC that the threats are real and Cohen`s wife and father now feel "directly targeted".  This story tonight is simple and big.  The former lawyer for the president of the United States alleges the president has committed a crime of witness intimidation while serving as president.  You can let that sink in.

And now let me report for you the other piece of this.  The response to that allegation from Trump defenders also simple.  They note two of these men are in a big public fight.  One of them is a confessed criminal.  The other never been charged with anything.

Now, Cohen was to deliver this potentially blockbuster testimony.  I`m sure you`ve heard about it.  This was going to be next month.  His legal adviser had warned that Cohen might be the next John Dean as far as Trump is concerned.  That adviser, Lanny Davis, also made news on this show recently when the president`s attacks on Cohen were turning up the heat.


LANNY DAVIS, MICHAEL COHEN`S LEGAL ADVISER:  There is genuine fear and it has caused Michael Cohen to consider whether he should go forward or not and he`s not yet made a final decision.

MELBER:  Consider.  I mean he was announcing that he was going to do it and you and I spoke to that effect.  Are you saying tonight the testimony may be off?

DAVIS:  I would just say the exact words that he`s considering whether to go forward in light of the concerns about his family.  My guess is that he won`t let a bully silence him.  But I can tell you that he is still considering whether to do this or not.


MELBER:  To do it or not.  That appearance made headlines of its own.  Tonight, some are asking, well, is Cohen being silenced?  Democratic leaders today are blasting Trump, literally comparing him to a mafia boss alleging "textbook mob tactics".  No one knows what Cohen would have revealed.

Sources though predicted he would talk about what it`s like to work for a "Madman", saying things that would "give you chills".  Trump publicly called on investigators to go after Cohen`s father-in-law which looked like potential witness intimidation in plain sight.


JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN:  So it`s OK to go after the father-in-law?

GUILIANI:  Now, of course, it is if the father-in-law is a criminal.

TAPPER:  I`m questioning whether it`s appropriate for the president to single out a private citizen whose son-in-law --

GIULIANI:  It is to defend --


GIULIANI:  He`s not a private citizen.  He`s a private citizen lying about him trying to get him impeached and I`m defending him.

TAPPER:  I`m talking about the father-in-law.

GIULIANI:  The father-in-law, we happen to know.  And just go read the Southern District report.  The man was involved in criminal activity with Michael Cohen and Michael Cohen is withholding it.


MELBER:  Giuliani or Michael Cohen interprets the president`s statements.  The new power, they say, "tonight, not appearing before Congress was never an option for Cohen."  And leaders on that committee, they are looking at this and they`re saying they could move to subpoena Cohen.

That very member that I showed you up on the screen there, Congressman Stephen Lynch, joins me now along Cornell Belcher, Democratic strategist, and "The Daily Mail`s" Francesca Chambers at the White House.

Congressman, what is the significance of this news and can you confirm whether or not a subpoena is on the way?

REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  Well, as Chairman Schiff and Chairman Cummings indicated not testifying is not an option, I think the general consensus of members of the committee right now is that if Mr. Cohen is not willing to come and testify voluntarily, then a subpoena should issue.

I think I feel that way personally.  However, I would wish that this testimony be public.  And there were some that are some that (0:00:10) security concerns that have been raised, it might be possible to interview him privately, in confidence.

MELBER:  Congressman, do you have reason to believe one way or another that Congress is going to make him give some testimony before the date in March when he`s supposed to report to prison?

LYNCH:  That`s our goal.  I mean obviously, doing so before his incarceration date is important, I think, especially for the optics of the situation.  I think also if he feels threatened, the sooner to get him into committee and have him on the record would be very, very important, I think to get him involved in this case.

MELBER:  Let me play for your -- yes, sir.    Let me play for you your Chairman on this critical committee that had the scheduled testimony looming.  Here is what Congressman Cummings says.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:  We have not decided exactly how we will proceed from here.  But I guarantee you, as sure as night becomes day and day becomes night, that we will hear from Mr. Cohen, period.


MELBER:  When you look at that and this pressure then, what do you say to a witness in Mr. Cohen who now publicly alleges the president of the United States is trying to silence him and threaten him out of talking?

LYNCH:  Well, nobody knows Donald Trump better than Michael Cohen.  And it says a lot that he is fearful for his family`s safety and he is fearful for his own.

So you know, I would say to Mr. Cohen, we will protect your safety.  This is the United States.   We will protect your safety.  Come before Congress.  Testify truthfully.

MELBER:  What do you say to his father-in-law who we just showed, the lawyer for the president of the United States Rudy Giuliani alleging some kind of potential legal exposure for him?

LYNCH:  Well, that amounts to witness intimidation in my opinion.  He`s trying to, again, shift the focus from Mr. Cohen`s testimony to the father- in-law on an extraneous case.  That has nothing to do with what happened between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump regarding the Moscow Tower.

So that`s what we want to find -- we know that Michael Cohen`s testimony is contrary to what President Trump said over and over publicly.  And so we want to get that on the record.

MELBER:  Stay with me, Congressman.  Francesca Chambers reporting for us from the White House.  Is the view there that as bad as this looks, it still would be better than having Mr. Cohen have that John Dean testimony moment?

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY MAIL:  Well, the president says that he has nothing to worry about, right, if he just goes up there and tells the truth.  But what exactly, as you mentioned, Ari, is the truth at this point.

Rudy Giuliani has made numerous statements that are conflicting.  First, he said the president may have discussed that Moscow Trump Tower through the election, then we heard him say it was up to the election day, then he`s walked that back repeatedly.  And so at this point, what exactly is the truth that we`re looking for Michael Cohen to tell?

MELBER:  Cornell, what do you think of all this?

CORNELL BELCHER, PRESIDENT, BRILLIANT CORNERS RESEARCH:  I think if you`re sitting in middle America, you clutch the pearls, right, Ari?  I mean this is -- we`re not a banana republic.  And if you think about that moderate middle swath of voters in this country, some of them who went along early on with Trump, thought he was, you know, anti-establishment.  But this little thuggish behavior, it doesn`t play well in middle America.

And we`re seeing it in his polling numbers now.  I think this only sort of doubles down on him losing middle America and losing more of modern America.

MELBER:  Let me press you on that.  And as someone who ran the numbers for Obama, you know your way around winning some of these races.  But does the problem for Trump mean that it looks bad because as you say it`s this intimidation, that Congressman says it may be a crime, other people say that, and it`s just that?

Or does it open up a larger set of questions in the minds of undecided Americans about, gosh, is he actually worried about what Michael Cohen would say about other stuff, meaning is it bad because it`s "thuggish" as members of Congress are saying, or is it bad because it suggests that Cohen knows something bigger than all of this, that looks worse than all of this, Russian-related or not.

BELCHER:  See, I think that`s an argument that we can sort of -- pundits can put together.  But for middle America, Ari, they are not that deep into all the details of this.  The president of the United States acting like Michael Corleone here is something that they get this really, right.

And look, I`m not a lawyer but I`ve watched enough of the Godfather to understand that this is witness tampering when the president of the United States is threatening members of your family.

MELBER:  And so Congressman, let`s go to that because we don`t want to just treat that as an aside.  That would seem to be the core allegations you and your colleagues are making.  Let`s get into it.  I`m going to put it on the screen.  I know you know it before everyone.

Including Cornell, my viewers in middle America, from the mail I read, they are all over it.  They`re in deep, underground, footnotes, the whole thing.  But Congressman, let me put it up here.  Whoever uses intimidation, threats or attempts to do so to influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person is up for that felony.

If you allege that or you think that is provable, is that a high crime by the president in office?  Are we there yet?  Because now we`re not talking about the campaign or Trump Org.  We`re talking about your party alleging - - some in your party alleging that this is crimes being committed in the White House.

LYNCH:  Well, there are several statutes.  And arguably there are two, 1512b which would reach to felony level.  Then there`s a lesser obstruction charge, that would be 1505 that would probably not rise to the level.  So it really depends on how we measure the facts.  Some of Cohen`s testimony might be helpful in that regard.  So arguably, yes, but we`re not certain yet.

MELBER:  Francesca, is there anything else coming out of the White House other than the basic attacks on Cohen and the impugning of him as they`ve tried to point out and I mentioned this in my lead.  They say, well, look, but you`re dealing with someone who`s going to prison and who`s confessed to a crime.

CHAMBERS:  They have also categorically denied all the charges that he made.  I asked Sarah Sanders about the claim that he tried to rig polls for the president, and she said that`s, again, categorically false.  But they are really relying on Rudy Giuliani to do most of the talking here on behalf of the president and the president of the United States himself and he addressed reporters on this matter today.

And that`s when he said that Michael Cohen just needs to tell the trust but he believes that Michael Cohen is afraid of the truth.

MELBER:  Francesca Chambers at the White House, Congressman Stephen Lynch at the people`s House, and Cornell Belcher with the numbers and the cross tags, my thanks to each of you for your expertise.  A big story.

Up next, as promised, our live panel, witnesses from Bob Mueller`s Russia probe.  They`re right here at 30 Rock together for the first time.  Carter Page, Michael Caputo, Sam Nunberg, and Jerome Corsi.  I`m going to speak to all of them together live.

And later, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump squaring off in Washington.  The State of the Union hangs in the balance.

I`m Ari Melber.  And you`re watching a special edition of THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER:  Welcome back.  We are now going to do something we`ve never done before.  For all the discussion about the Mueller probe.  It`s rare to hear firsthand what`s happening inside the Mueller probe because this office doesn`t leak, accounts from the lawyers and witnesses involved are rare or are offered on background in anonymous bits and pieces to reporters.

But tonight, four key witnesses in the Russia probe are here in one place for one live interview for the first time together.  Each person at this table that you see is linked to President Trump and is directly involved in Bob Mueller`s Russia probe.  Each has given some sort of testimony to the feds.

One of these four men was explicitly warned that Mueller could indict him.  Jerome Corsi is the only person in this probe to publicly release Mueller`s written warning that he could be indicted on the felony of lying to investigators.

One of these four men face the risk of imprisonment for another reason.  Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg openly declaring that he would defy a Mueller subpoena to face the for grand jury and then Nunberg did, of course, comply.

One of these four men worked on behalf of Russian interests for years and he`s opened about that.  Former Trump aide Michael Caputo lobbied for a foreign power on behalf of a Russian energy conglomerate during the campaign.  He publicly declared the WikiLeaks hack was a provocation from the Russians, breaking with the denials of Trump and most of his other aides on the record.

And the last of these four men is a former Trump Adviser, Carter Page, who not only talked about informally advising the Kremlin but interacting with people identified by the U.S. as Russian spies in 2013 and traveled to Russia during the Trump campaign in 2016.

And the FBI sought and gained approval to put Page under surveillance in October 2016 providing potential evidence to what is now the Mueller probe and also teeing up the now famous debates over the so-called Nunes memo, interference in the Russia probe, and the FBI`s independence.

With me now for the first time together, let`s get into it.  Witnesses Jerome Corsi, Sam Nunberg, Michael Caputo, and Carter Page.  We`re going to explore your role in the probe.  But I want to begin with Michael Cohen.  And thanks to each of you for being here.  I appreciate it.




MELBER:  Michael Caputo, let me start with you.  Do you think Michael Cohen does fear the president is threatening him and should he testify?

CAPUTO:  I don`t think he fears the president as much as he fears Mueller.  I think he`s doing whatever Mueller tells him to do.  I think this drama unfolds the way that Mueller wants it to.

And Michael Cohen I think will do and say whatever it takes to cut his sentence down.  I think Michael Cohen is an inveterate liar and it`s been proven so.  He`s been found guilty of lying.  I think he`ll continue to lie and say whatever he needs to, to cut his sentence down as far as possible.

MELBER:  Do you think Cohen should testify, Sam?

SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP AIDE:  I think what`s interesting, Ari, is that the way a lot of this is being covered, this is a bad day for Democrats or for the chairman of the Oversight Committee.  Republicans are looking forward to him testifying.

Because while you may have questions and Cohen may say certain things that are problematic for the president, there are going to be people on the other side just attacking him and attacking his credibility and going over every single thing he did to portray what they view as betraying the president.

MELBER:  Do you think as the Democratic chairs are alleging that when Donald Trump attacks Michael Cohen`s family, that is so-called "mob tactics".

CORSI:  Well, quite frankly, Ari, I didn`t -- I haven`t given a lot of thought to Michael Cohen.  I`m much more concerned about myself.

MELBER:  I understand that.  What about you, Carter?

PAGE:  Well, the key word in that statement today was a threat.  And actually, when I met with the House Intel Committee, I told them about many death threats that stemmed directly from the March 20, 2017 meeting between the House Intel, particularly Congressman Schiff, and his discussions with Comey where they were talking about the dodgy dossier.  And so I felt that firsthand.  So, to me threat is --

MELBER:  When you were in the FBI interview, were you ever asked about Michael Cohen?

PAGE:  I can`t remember specifics but I told them about the death threats in this interview.

MELBER:  I think everybody is.

CAPUTO:  Well, I was asked about Michael Cohen a couple of different questions.  I think everybody is, right.

NUNBERG:  Extensively and essentially in the grand jury.

CORSI:  I don`t recall anything about Michael Cohen.

MELBER:  So that would be a newer -- you`re the one who`s not a former Trump aide so it would be less likely.

CORSI:  That`s right.  They may have asked me how I knew Michael Cohen, what relationship I had with him, but it always had been very casual and I had known Michael Cohen for years as part of the Trump Organization but never really any detail or deep depth with Michael Cohen.

MELBER:  So before we move on, yes or no, do you think in your opinion that he should step up and speak to Congress before he goes to jail?

CORSI:  I really don`t have any opinion on it.

NUNBERG:  I think he should.

CAPUTO:  I really couldn`t care less.  I`d like him to go to jail as soon as possible and stay there a long time.

PAGE:  The more openness, the better.

MELBER:  I want to start now as we get into the probe with you all on some yes or no questions.  Real quick so we understand who we`re talking to.  Did you speak to the FBI or Mueller`s prosecutors?


CORSI:  Yes.


PAGE:  As leaked to "The Washington Post" and "New York Times," yes, I can confirm their statements.

MELBER:  Have you been inside Mueller`s grand jury?

PAGE:  They said that and I will not deny that, yes.




MELBER:  Do you think this probe is a witch hunt?

CORSI:  Yes.

NUNBERG:  Yes and no.

MELBER:  Classic number, yes and no.

CAPUTO:  Yes, I do.

MELBER:  Yes, you do.

PAGE:  The Comey steps and the FBI steps against me was a witch hunt as I wrote to him in September 2016.

MELBER:  Do you think any of the indictments or guilty outcomes thus far are legitimate?  You have people like you`re criticizing Cohen who comes out of SDNY, or Manafort, or Flynn, any legitimate or all legitimate?

CORSI:  Well, I don`t know anything about Manafort`s taxes so I can`t comment on that so I don`t know.

NUNBERG:  I think they are legitimate.

CAPUTO:  I think they are legitimate but I do believe that Michael Cohen pled guilty to something that is not a crime.

PAGE:  I don`t know.  And I only base things on facts and so let`s wait and see.  I`m just waiting for the facts of what they did illegally against myself.

MELBER:  Do you expect -- and you`re on this list and I don`t say that lightly, do you expect more indictments coming out of this probe?

CORSI:  More indictments?  I don`t know.  Again, I don`t know.

NUNBERG:  I would say probably but I would have no direct knowledge.

CAPUTO:  I don`t think so.

MELBER:  You think we`re at the end?

CAPUTO:  I think we`re at the end.

PAGE:  Based on Chairman Graham`s discussions with the attorney general nominee, it sounds like they are starting some new investigations and there potentially could be some indictments.  So we shall see.

MELBER:  Some of you will talk with this, some of you won`t.  But so we understand because you have an experience most people don`t.  What was it like when the FBI brought you in?  What was the tone?  What was the professionalism?  Starting with you, Dr. Corsi.

CORSI:  Well, I wrote a book "Silent No More."  And I think that the entire experience was abusive.  I went in to cooperate.  I brought in, proffered all my computers, my cell phones, my e-mail accounts and I expected this to be a cooperative process.  The gotcha games and the memory games started from day one.

MELBER:  And you felt they were very adversarial about what you said.

CORSI:  Very adversarial and abusive.


NUNBERG:  I thought that the questioning in my voluntary for the first 90 minutes was aggressive but I understood why they did it.  What I did not feel was fair was giving me such a small window to comply with the document production.

MELBER:  You felt that was hardball?  That`s what made you fell pressed?

NUNBERG:  Correct.

CAPUTO:  I compared it to a proctology appointment.  And mine was shorter than I thought it would.  Thank goodness.

PAGE:  You know, March 2017 when I had those discussions with the FBI.  I was extremely open.  What was interesting about those conversations, they pushed back.  and they would actually say to me, well, you know, our bosses are actually asking us about these allegations.

MELBER:  That`s why we have to look into it.

PAGE:  I think they actually boots on the ground, the actual FBI agents, they saw something a little bit shady about this dodgy dossier.

MELBER:  You think and you`re -- and people -- a lot of people don`t believe you when you talk --

CAPUTO:  Carter.

MELBER:  -- because of the way you`ve denied and then come back around on Russia.  But you`re saying it`s your genuine belief that the FBI agents questioning you disagreed with the direction of the investigation they were getting from their superiors?

PAGE:  That was my gut sense.  Again, I don`t like to speculate on things when I don`t know for sure but --

MELBER:  And you agree with that, Michael?

CAPUTO:  I believe rank and file FBI, yes.  The three FBI agents who were in the room with me were kind of just the facts, ma`am.  It looked like an episode of Dragnet.  They were just taking notes and doing their job.

NUNBERG:  I think that`s a tactic they use to build a rapport.

MELBER:  They build the rapport, the good cop.

NUNBERG:  Right.

MELBER:  I mean if you`ve seen one of these movies, you`ll know about good cop, bad cop.

PAGE:  That`s what I think they did.

CAPUTO:  What movie?

CORSI:  My whole investigation blew up because I don`t have a contact with Julian Assange.  I think the last 20 hours as I detailed in the Silent No More were very abusive and I think we`re out of order.

MELBER:  Who did they ask most about?

CORSI:  Well, they asked mostly about Roger Stone.


NUNBERG:  Roger and Michael.

CAPUTO:  Roger Stone.

PAGE:  Dodgy dossier allegations.  All that information that came out --

MELBER:  Who?  But who is that?

PAGE:  Those 35 pages, a lot of those specific details.

MELBER:  But the question is, were they asking you about foreign contacts, oligarchs?  Who did they ask you about?

PAGE:  Everything sort of revolved around those 35 pages in the skill memorandums which were totally false as it relates to me.

MELBER:  Well, those relate to you going to Russia and you allegedly holding meetings.

PAGE:  That was not -- well, all of those allegations specifically were with two people I`ve never met in my entire life.

MELBER:  So their focus with you was contact with foreigners?

PAGE:  Yes.

MELBER:  Yes.  And with you two, it was contacts with the president`s lawyer who`s now going to jail, former lawyer, and Mr. Stone.

CAPUTO:  Right. Also for me also foreign contacts.  I guess I mean if you set me up against everybody in Trump Tower during the campaign, I probably had more contact with Russians than all of them combined.

My Ukrainian mother-in-law is with us in Buffalo, New York right now.  We speak Russian in our house.  I lived in Russia for seven years.  I worked for the Kremlin.  I expected a few questions about Russia.

MELBER:  How do you explain with that background and that linkage, you spent less time in there.  You were the one with the campaign saying what later was proven by investigators what WikiLeaks linked back to Russia and all these other people are in the soup deeper?

CAPUTO:  I don`t know how to explain that except for perhaps I was more of a marginal aide.  Sam was in early and was very important in the run-up to the formal campaign.  I think you were in the jackpot because they were illegally wiretapping and advising you.

MELBER:  This is the time we see Dr. Corsi there spending a lot of time, number 11.  Michael according to what we have, 3, Carter Page according to public accounts, 10.  So you come through very good, Michael if this is the end of the road for you.

CAPUTO:  I think so but at the same time, I think they told me when we went in there not to make dinner plans and we went in at noon.  We were out at 3:30.  So I think they were disappointed in the answers I gave and also disappointed that I told them that an FBI informant approached me and I sent him to Roger Stone.  An FBI informant that still is out there on an FBI visa, an informant visa dining out in Miami Beach tonight.

MELBER:  I want to get into that.  But while we`re on Stone, you now publicly are saying you won`t stand for the way Roger Stone is treating you.  We can put up the tweet.  But, basically, you allege that Roger Stone and Infowars are being untruthful about you.  Why?

CORSI:  And defamatory.

MELBER:  Defamatory.

CORSI:  I mean they are both on this whole idea that I had hush money.  This started really with "Washington Post" I guess last Friday, circulating, saying coming from the Mueller prosecutors that I was being paid hush money by Dr. Jones, the father of Alex Jones.

The termination letter is available.  I published it this morning.  It was severance pay.  It was not hush money.  They`re also alleging, "Washington Post" was saying that I was being paid by the NRA, paid by Russia and that contributed to Infowars as well.  My paychecks had nothing to do with Russia.  I`ve had no contacts with Russia.

MELBER:  Well, you`re here saying Roger Stone should cut it out and you`re saying he`s defaming you.

CAPUTO:  He`s not saying any of that.

CORSI:  I`m saying --

CAPUTO: That`s not Roger saying any of that.

CORSI:  Well, I`m saying that Roger in his broadcast has been defamatory and I want it stopped.

CAPUTO:  I think Roger says the same thing about you.  I mean I`ve known Roger 30 years, Dr. Corsi.  And I`m not buying this George Washington act on this.

A lot of the things you say about Roger I think are steering him toward a perjury charge.  I also think that it`s really hurting his reputation.  I really believe the things you said about WikiLeaks, don`t add up.

The things you say about Roger`s asking you for a memo to back up a tweet, none of this adds up.  And I think Roger has got all the proof, e-mails, text, metadata to prove it.  And eventually, it will be proven.

NUNBERG:  That`s fine.  The fact of the matter is the reason us three are essentially in there is because of Stone.  One --

CAPUTO:  I get that.  I get that but I don`t--

NUNBERG:  Number two, Roger --

MELBER:  Let Sam finish.

NUNBERG: Number two, Roger is not Donald Trump, OK?  He`s not going to get away with witness tampering.  He should shut up.

When he goes around and lies and says that he was -- I was the only person he told as a joke that he met with Julian Assange.  Give me a break.  Give me a break.  That was wrong.

With that said, my testimony -- and this is the irony that whatever Roger wants to attack me, my testimony contradicts Jerome Corsi`s testimony.  I defend -- my testimony what I recall from Roger`s infamous or famous tweet with Podesta`s was that we were taught that was -- that it lines up with Podesta`s work in Ukraine.  It had nothing to do with e-mails.

MELBER:  That`s a cover story or potentially true defense depending on your view of why Roger Stone seemed to know about things that proved to be true.  That`s one defense.  You offered another but you`re saying your view is that Dr. Corsi here at the table is the -- is the informational aggressor and is actually setting up Roger?

CAPUTO:  I`m sorry, Dr. Corsi.  That`s what I believe.  And I believe you`re being pushed into it by Mueller, you know.  And I I don`t agree with what you`re saying about Roger.  I believe that Roger has got the evidence to prove that what you`re saying is false.  But what you just said about you know the pay from Infowars and all that, that all stuff came out of Mueller, not out of Roger.  And I think you`re putting your old friend in danger.

NUNBERG:  He put us all in danger, by the way, Mike.

MELBER:  Dr. Corsi, respond.

CORSI:  Well, I think -- I think Roger has been defamatory.  I think the things that have been said in the broadcasts are very much offended by and I`m not going to argue with Roger word for word or you know, issued by issue.  Roger is entitled to his own perception, what he perceived.  And I can tell you what I perceived, I can`t tell you what Roger was thinking.

MELBER:  But something is out.

CAPUTO:  How do we get to the bottom of that though?  I mean, I`m not asking you Dr. Corsi.  How do we get to the bottom of that of tit for tat if Roger isn`t indicted?  How do we get to the bottom of what Jerry is saying versus what Roger is saying?  How do we get to the bottom of that?

MELBER:  Well, I think that`s part of what we`re doing, part of what we`re doing tonight.  You have changed your tune a little bit because the last time we were here, you didn`t say Stone was defaming you.  You just wanted to stay out of it.  Let me -- for that, I want to play that and then get your response.  This was you last time.  Take a look.


CORSI:  I`m not going to get involved a dispute or debate with Roger Stone.  He wants to say those things, so be it.  It`s up to him to do it and if he wants to disparage me so be it.  I`m not going to respond and I don`t intend to engage in that kind of discussion with Roger.


MELBER:  And now you are in that discussion.  I just showed it, you`re accusing him of defaming you.

CORSI:  Yes.  And it`s changed because Roger has intensified his attacks.  Since I was here last time and since I`m here tonight, Roger has upped his intensity of attacks on me and so is Alex Jones and I`m not going to put up with it.

MELBER:  We`re not going to stay on this forever, but when you talk about Alex Jones this way, you`re saying he`s also defaming you rights?

CORSI:  Yes, he is too.

MELBER:  But you worked for Infowars.

CORSI:  Yes, I did.

MELBER:  You were and we could put it on the screen Washington Bureau Chief for Infowars.

CORSI:  That was my title and there`s a lot that never got funded that I had set up by -- Alex Jones never funded it.

MELBER:  Well, it`s more than a title, sir.  This is you touting press credentials.  You also wrote -- and we`ll put it up, all sorts of articles including about these issues in the FBI and Assange and he`s, of course, attacked you.  We`ve got that as well.  The bottom line here being, your beefing with -- it`s like you`re beefing with your own record label.

CORSI:  Well, I tell you what --

MELBER:  You are Infowars.  You`re their bureau chief.  You tell us it`s all going to be fine because you`re not going to get into it.  Now you`re back here and it`s all his fault.  And before we move on, I want to give you the benefit of that, and then Caputo, and then some other questions. 

CORSI:  Well, Ari, look, I`ve just -- I just expanded my lawsuit to include Washington Post and Jeff Bezos.  Now, next week I`ll be talking with my lawyers to see if I`m going to file suit against WikiLeaks and Roger Stone.

MELBER:  But I`m not -- respectfully, I`m not asking you about your ability to file litigation against a range of people.  I`m asking you, sir --

CORSI:  Right.

MELBER:  -- why you go from saying I`m Infowars, I`m literally their bureau chief, I won`t get into it with Roger and now suddenly Infowars and Roger are the enemy because these are the things that are at issue in the Mueller probe which you`re being accused by him of potentially felonious lies.  Go ahead, sir.

CORSI:  Your question is they`ve upped their attacks on me they`ve gotten much more vicious and that`s -- I`m not -- when I was here last time, I was willing to tolerate a lot of what Roger was saying.  And Rogers been all over the board.  I`m not wanting to get into a debate with him.  I still don`t.  But if they continue what I consider to be defamation, we`re going to take action.

MELBER:  Mr. Caputo.

CAPUTO:  I believe that this is what Mueller does.  He drives a wedge between old friends.  He destroys relationships in the hopes event that they`ll turn against each other and eventually turn evidence against the President of the United States.  I know I would never do that.  I know Roger would never do that.  I believe none of us would do that and I got to tell you this is -- we got -- I think we got to change the way the Special Counsel operates in the future.

MELBER:  Well, on that point, that goes to say I`m going to let you in but I want to play for you, Sam.  You talking initially when you were talking about defying Mueller about Roger Stone as your mentor.  You both have also changed your tune, Mr. Caputo, suggesting that`s law enforcement problem.  A lot of other people think it means somebody is lying.  And if they`re lying in the investigation, that`s a felony.  Here you were initially saying Roger is a friend and you would defend him.  Take a look.


NUNBERG:  I`m not going to answer something so why does this?  This is so ridiculous.  I`m not going to go in to a grand jury for them to set up a case against Roger, whatever case it is which could be ridiculous.

MELBER:  You keep saying you don`t think there`ll be a consequence.  What if the consequence for that is going to jail, Sam.

NUNBERG:  They`re not going to send me to jail.  You know what, Mr. Mueller, if he wants to send me to jail, he could send me to jail and then I`ll laugh.  Rogers my mentor.  I e-mail, Ari, with Roger 15 times a day, OK.  They`re trying to set up a perjury case against Roger Stone and I`m not going to have that.  Rogers my mentor, Roger is like family to me.


MELBER:  But you did go in there and is he still like family to you.

NUNBERG:  After I went in he sets up a story that I`m the only one that he told that he -- that he met with Assange.  It`s like similar to the fictional employee he had in 1986 -- in 1996, excuse me.

MELBER:  You`re saying he was lying about you and try to pin something, would use as defense.

NUNBERG:  And pin something. And base -- and basically look, in the background, Roger, like in the Trump circle, fine.  If you hear that he`s bad-mouthing, you know, I mean, it`s par for the course within you know, within that environment.  To do what he did publicly after the strain that he put me through, I didn`t ask him to e-mail me and tell me that he had met with Julian Assange.

CAPUTO:  You don`t think it was Julian --

MELBER:  We can put up -- and I don`t do it -- again, this is part of my job.  I don`t do it to make it harder for you but this is what he`s saying about you.

NUNBERG:  Well, and I mean, that -- so it shows you Roger is a character in that way too.  Listen, he emailed me.  I didn`t ask him to tell me about his fairytales about Julian Assange.  I didn`t ask him.  I had warned him not to do that.

MELBER:  Do you think he helped the campaign collude?

NUNBERG:  Do I think he helped the camp -- I think Roger wishes he colluded.  I don`t -- I think Roger conspired against himself.

MELBER:  You think he`s a -- you think Roger Stone is a want to be colluder. 

NUNBERG:  I think that -- I think that they were ingratiate -- trying to ingratiate themselves and make themselves on the outskirts try --

MELBER:  This is what I`m going to do I promised I would keep it moving.  I`m going to take what is a very short 30-second break.  Carter Page has been less involved.  We`re going to get you more involved.  You`re the only person here that the FBI has said deals with Russian spies.  That doesn`t apply to any of the other three.  We`re going to get into that and a lot more when we`re back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER:  We are back with four witnesses together from the Russia probe.  Jerome Corsi, Sam Nunberg, Michael Caputo, and Carter Page for a very special freewheeling discussion.  We`ve talked about a lot.  I want to turn to you.  And I say this as a factual not as impugning you, but you are the person who was under surveillance.  You were the person the FBI says deals with Russian spies.  You were the person who said in writing you`re an informal adviser to the Kremlin.

Before we get into the details, knowing what you know now, you advise Donald Trump, you wanted him to win.  Do you think that you have been a distraction from his agenda in its presidency?  Would you do anything different knowing what you know now?

PAGE:  If I knew how dishonest people would be behaving behind the scenes in terms of what started this whole process with the spy gate and dodgy dossier which was you know, a multi-million dollar project by the Democrats, I definitely would have done some you know, I would have been more careful.  Let`s put it that way.  But you know --

MELBER:  Would you still have gone -- would you still have gone to Russia.

PAGE:  It`s a free country and you know, I had a visa there so there`s no - -

MELBER:  I`m not saying you broke the law by going to Russia.  Remember the question.  Do you think that you would do that differently now?  I mean, I know Mr. Caputo is looking to you who`s a -- who`s a communications adviser to Donald Trump and he thinks you should do differently and he also has been to Russia.

PAGE:  Well, I think what`s sad about it is you know, these -- even these the last ten minutes or so, the back-and-forth, I mean there has been some very serious wrongdoing amongst the Democrats and some of their close advisers and all these little you know, minor points that we`re talking about in terms of he-said she-said or -- I mean these this is minuscule compared to the real scandal which I think is just starting to break.

MELBER:  What about -- and I`m going to read here from in 2013.  You met with people that were quote charged with being undeclared officers in Russia`s foreign intelligence service.  Knowing that now, would you still want to deal with those people?

PAGE:  They were a couple of diplomats.  Actually one junior 20-something diplomat in New York but I had a couple of brief conversation.

MELBER:  Right.  And that -- and that --

PAGE:  That`s really nothing.

MELBER:  You think it was nothing and at the time that`s what was known.  But what I`m asking and I know people watching, some people watching her wondering is OK, that was then, this is now.  Now that you know that they were both diplomats and according United States and your guy won, the president won, right?  They are according to the United States, Russian intelligence.  Would you still want to do the meetings with them?

PAGE:  Well, listen, we sit here in New York City tonight, the home of the United Nations.  There are diplomats from around the world.  Anyone who spends time in New York meets tons of diplomats.  This is one of --

MELBER:  That`s a defense and I`m going to go one more time with you and then I`m going to have to tell the audience he`s not answering the question.  But I`d rather you did answer it.  That`s a defense for why you did it then.  It makes sense if you thought they were diplomat.  I`m asking now that you know.

PAGE:  You don`t know.  You talk --

MELBER:  Now that you know though, would you take a meeting again like that with someone that was identified by the U.S. as Russian Intel.

PAGE:  To have they were not identified at the time.

MELBER:  But if known, if known.

PAGE:  Obviously, if I knew they you know, were doing some things behind the scenes, I never would have met with them, but I didn`t know that, you know.

MELBER:  Right.  Mr. Caputo?

CAPUTO:  I`ll tell you, you have to be careful of everybody you meet.  I`m getting on a plane tonight to Miami Beach where 300,000 Russian expats live and an FBI informant came to me there in late May 2016.  I had no idea he was working for the FBI.  You don`t know who anybody is.  And I`ll tell you, at the end of the day, the end of all of this, the thing I regret the most was getting involved in the 2016 campaign.  Because I don`t -- I didn`t know then what I know now.

And what I know now is that Hillary Clinton was so certain she was going to win that she was absolutely embarrassed by losing that they created this false Russian, this bogus Russian collusion narrative.  And it is consumed my family.  It`s consumed all four of us completely.  We have small disagreements across the board, but I think every single one of us will tell you that this has been an incredibly horrific experience.  The death threats, the terrible things that have gone with my children, and if somebody invited me on a presidential campaign now, I tell them sure if you legally indemnify me.

MELBER:  What`s the biggest cost -- in your view, what`s the biggest cost you paid?

CAPUTO:  My family, my children.

MELBER:  The impact, the stress?

CAPUTO:  The -- I mean, lost two years of my life.  I told Jerry earlier, I`m 57-year-old years old, I`ll never get that time back.  And Jerry is like I`m a lot older than you.  I mean we don`t get this time back.

MELBER:  You`re view?

NUNBERG:  My -- look, my view is we have to look at this soberly and if there`s more Democrats doing this, I would want that there would be a special counsel because of Donald Trump posting the Russians less than 24 hours after he fired Comey.  I don`t understand why he did that and it made sense to me that we should have -- at that point --

MELBER:  He reportedly said he did it so he could assure them that the heat was relieved by him firing Comey in the Russia probe.  That`s what he reportedly said.

NUNBERG:  And with that said --

MELBER:  Which is a very guilty explanation.

NUNBERG:  My -- and you know, it`s funny when I was talking to Jerome outside, we were talking about Aaron Zelinsky who we flow dealt with.

MELBER:  A Mueller prosecutor.

NUNBERG:  A Mueller prosecutor and we just have like such different views of him you know,  in terms of --

MELBER:  Go ahead.

NUNBERG:  Well, you go.

CORSI:  Well, I think -- I think Zelinsky is basically was a thug.  He basically -- his old techniques, yawning, acting up, asking rapid-fire questions, I mean I went in to cooperate.  I did not expect to be treated like a criminal.  For the beginning, they were treating me like a criminal.  The first day even threatening to put me in prison for the rest of my life for memory mistakes.  They allow me to amend my testimony over and over again.

MELBER:  And you think what -- someone called the bad cop routine or hardball you thought was unfairly adversarial in trying to break you?

CORSI:  Yes, and including the whole group.  Jeannie Rhee was the same.  Jeannie Rhee disparaged my religion which I do not appreciate even today.  I had no contact with Julian Assange.  This was the only real breakup in the discussion I had.

MELBER:  But surely you`re not suggesting that it is malpractice or illegal for Jeannie Rhee to as you put it, allegedly talk about your religion.  I mean, you`ve done that --

CORSI:  It`s unfair --

MELBER:  -- with the past president quite a bit.  That`s sort of what you`re known.

CORSI:  There`s -- no, that`s not -- that`s not fair on your part, Ari.  The point is --

MELBER:  You`re known as the founder of Birtherism.  We`re not getting deep into it.  I`m just saying you and Jeannie Rhee, are you being judged by the same standard?

CORSI:  Show me the original 1961 birth certificate material from Hawaii.

MELBER:  As they -- as they in the news business, we don`t have time for that.

CORSI:  Oh, yes.  We don`t have time for that.


MELBER:  Go ahead.

NUNBERG:  I was just saying is the other day -- the other day I was thinking Zelinsky, my voluntary, asked me so many times about Trump Tower Moscow.  It got to a point where when he brought it up again like within an hour, you know, I`m talking multiple times --

MELBER:  This is in what month?

NUNBERG:  In my voluntary in February of last year.

MELBER:  And in February, what kind of questions were they asking about Trump Tower Moscow?

NUNBERG:  What do you know about --- what do you know about Trump Tower Moscow, you never heard anything about Trump Tower Moscow.  Well, was anything talked about with Russian business with you know, vis-a-vis Trump or anything like that.  And I was irritated about things like that.  I would tell you in my experience what they`ve asked me, they had reasons to ask me.

MELBER:  They had a foundation and a reason and that`s the job they`re doing.

NUNBERG:  That`s the job --

MELBER:  Mr. Caputo.

CAPUTO:  I had a different experience with Aaron Zelinsky.  I think it`s like three different people.  I think --

MELBER:  So we had a negative view, we had a more legitimate view, and your view is?

CAPUTO:  I`m right in the middle.  Because I think Aaron was probably just getting wound up when he let it -- let me go.  But you know, he wasn`t a wasn`t person.  I don`t expect that to be the case in an interview with the special counsel.  But at the same time, I`ve been -- you know, I raised money in a GoFundMe and I paid the legal fees of a lot of different people who have been in front of the Special Counsel a lot.

Four different people who`ve been in front of the Special Counsel, one person, in particular, is Andrew Miller who is challenging Miller versus United States the actual appointment of Robert Mueller.  And he spent -- and he`s his attorney spent time in front of Aaron Zelinsky, and they had a terribly negative time with him, a very -- it sounded a lot more like Dr. Corsi`s experience than mine and even --

NUNBERG:  Someone tried to really scream at me was because I announced on their show the week before that was going to a voluntary interview.

CAPUTO:  He got angry with me because I told him I was going to talk to the media.

MELBER:  The Mueller investigators were asking you to do what instead?

CAPUTO:  Don`t talk to -- don`t talk to the media and the stakeout downstairs.  I misunderstood him to think that -- to say that I should never talk to the media again.  I said, so I have no First Amendment, right?  They -- we broke.  My attorney went out and talked to them.  My attorney explained to me that Mr. Zelinsky and the FBI agents really didn`t want anybody to talk in front of the media downstairs because the backdrop could show where they`re located.

NUNBERG:  Look, I think -- because of my upbringing, I just think I had a better -- a better tool to be questioned by somebody like him.

CAPUTO:  Well, you`re an attorney.

NUNBERG:  One, I`m an attorney, two, we have you know, we`re both similar - - I think we went to achieve those things like that and it reminded me more of rapid-fire -- I`m being honest with like a rabbi and (INAUDIBLE)

MELBER:  I don`t know how Dr. Corsi is going to feel you mentioning --

CORSI:  Yes, that`s what I`m saying.

MELBER:  That`s the only joke on my --

CORSI:  Oh, come on, Ari.

MELBER:  No, it`s a joke.  It`s the only joke I`ve told so far, OK.


MELBER:  I`m not -- it`s just a joke.

CORSI:  All right, well --

MELBER:  You know, sometimes --

CORSI:  I don`t like cheap shots.

MELBER:  I know, but it`s a joke because of the content.

CORSI:  We`re moving past it.

MELBER:  Thank you.  This is you know, we don`t usually do this.  So this is extra moving parts.  What did you think ultimately as someone who was surveilled and then the Nunez memo famously comes out, and it doesn`t really help you, it just says that you were surveilled for all these reasons which doesn`t mean -- and I`ve said this on there when you`re not here and I`ll say it to your face -- it doesn`t mean that you legally did anything wrong, it only means, right, that there was the low standard of probable cause or in the foreign power context even lower to look in to it.  And then what you got out of the Congress was a thing that`s explained why.  And the reasons why I sounded like reasons to surveil someone.

PAGE:  Which is based on part of the information which is actually in those documents.  And I think that`s why so many people are upset and want to see further those hundred plus pages of redactions.  You know, people want to know what`s underneath that.  And the people that have seen it are pretty - -

MELBER:  But more -- there`s been more information about your Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act more than any other publicly released in history, and that`s still not enough.  I want to -- for your view, and again, that`s why you`re here to confront it.  Let me play for you some of what we saw in the reaction to when that all came out.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  The Nunes memo is out and it does indeed contain a stunning revelation.  The revelation is precisely the opposite of what they wanted to reveal.

KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER:  The memo is pretty much a bust.  I was hoping to learn something about the Mueller investigation.  I learned nothing from this memo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is zero.  This is comical.  I was thinking there`s going to be something here, some element here that`s really going to cause people to take a second.  Look, this is not even pertinent.  I mean, I don`t get it.


MELBER:  The last one there, of course, from Fox News.  It didn`t help your case and this is a question I`ve always wanted to ask you, your first time on the beat I`m going to ask you.  Why didn`t you make the argument?  You see, if I were your attorney and I`m not, you could make the argument that you have been surveilled and fly-specked and looked at more than most people and you never been accused or charged of wrongdoing.

Your good or is the Mueller prosecutors like to say, your Gucci.  I mean, it`s good.  Why not make that argument?  Why are you constantly attacking a process which seems to have worked that has court oversight when you haven`t been accused of any wrongdoing?  Tell us, Carter Page.

PAGE:  Well, it`s interesting the first person you showed in that clip was Chris Hayes who someone I`ve spent hours with.  And just going back to the various investigations, the back-and-forth I had with him was probably one of the best training possible in terms of getting beaten over the head plenty of times.

But actually, in fairness to the Special Counsel, I think there is actually -- if you look at some of the wrongdoing that was happening surrounding that FISA warrant versus the professionalism of the Special Counsel operation, I think light years ahead.  You know, there`s a long --

MELBER:  Let me make sure we understand what you`re saying and I`ll get you -- give you the mic back.  You`re saying that the Mueller folks you felt were generally professional, legitimate, but your concern was with that original way that you were surveilled which is before he came into that office.

PAGE:  Absolutely.  And actually, I`ve never talked about this on T.V. before.  I`ve discussed it with a few journalists.  But in May of 2017, I sent a long series of e-mails to Mr. Mueller and to Rod Rosenstein one month before my final FISA warrant, kind of laying out all the facts or you know, what a ridiculous situation this was.  Relatively speaking, you know, as we know Mr. Rosenstein signed that final what warrant just a month later and you know, I think you know, all is well, that ends well --

MELBER:  What are you what are you suggesting?

PAGE:  Well, you know, there`s -- again, you know, let`s see what`s in there.  You know, I think a little sunshine would provide a lot more clarity but --

MELBER:  Yes, sir.

CAPUTO:  We`ve all been through the wringer.  I think Dr. Corsi is still going through it.  Sam had some stress, I`ve had some stress, but I think his country has failed him.  I think the United States of America failed Carter Page.  And I think it failed him long before Mueller was even brought into office.  I think that this whole thing started before crossfire hurricane.  I think they were spying on the Trump campaign, Carter, others, and I think the truth may never come out because I just don`t see it being investigated.

MELBER:  Well, I`m going to fit in one more break, and we`re going to come back to final thoughts.  I have to say as you say that, you get to say that.  That`s why you`re all here.  That involves a theory of a conspiracy where the Trump Justice Department and Trump`s appointee Rod Rosenstein who signed off on Comey`s firing as well as Bob Mueller, a lifelong Republican 12 years FBI anti-terror, all these people suddenly come in and decide to do this secret conspiracy against what is mostly their own party which is one of the problems with that theory.

But what I`m going to do is fit in a break --

CAPUTO:  That`s not the theory.

MELBER:  Well, I`m going to fit in a break.  We`ll have a final thoughts including where given your experience, where you think this ends, and what you think the prosecutors think about collusion when we come back, final thoughts.  Stay with us. 


MELBER:  We are back with final thoughts in our one of a kind interview on the Russia probe.  I am joined by Carter Page, Michael Caputo, Sam Nunberg, and Dr. Jerome Corsi.  In final thoughts, I`m going to do some lightning round, quick question and then each of you get a quick final thought.  Number one, in any of your interviews, where you asked about anyone else at this table?

CORSI:  Not in any detail that I recall, no.


CAPUTO:  All three but not in detail.

MELBER:  All three you`re asked about.  And what do they want to know about Dr. Corsi?

CAPUTO:  They wanted to know if I knew him, if I had interacted with him, and my answer to both were I know I`m from years ago.  I didn`t interact with him --

MELBER:  And what did they want to know about a Carter?

CAPUTO:  They want to know if I ever interacted with Carter.  I told him no.  I didn`t.  I hadn`t met him.  I met him today for the first time.

NUNBERG:  That`s what`s really upset me about my subpoena -- very quickly - - they put his name on there.  I`ve never met Carter Page.  I never spoke to him.

MELBER:  Which spokes to then what they`re testing.  Did they want to know whether Carter Page you know, was making a lot of big decisions on the campaign?

CAPUTO:  No.  They just ask me Carter Page, yes or no.  No, next name.

MELBER:  Have you been asked about anyone else at the table?

PAGE:  I was asked dozens and dozens of names in the various investigations, congressional and otherwise.

MELBER:  Any of them?

PAGE:  I`m sure I must have been.  You know, I lost track of so many names.

CAPUTO:  They go through tick, tick, tick down there, what`s the name.

MELBER:  Most people including powerful people in Washington and journalists don`t get to talk to Mueller`s prosecutors and investigative team.  You did to more than one of them.  You heard the way they think and question up to a point.  Based on that, as we close up here today, I`m curious what you think their view whether you agree with it or not, what is their view or prosecutorial theory?  Do you think they`re moving towards conspiracy by the Trump campaign and Donald Trump or something less than that as we hear reports they may be wrapping up?  Your view of what they`re doing.

CORSI:  Well, I didn`t take the mind-reading course at Harvard.  I should have.  I don`t know what they`re doing.  I know I did nothing wrong, and the plea deal they gave me wanted me to plead guilty to was the first day`s testimony they allowed me to amend.

MELBER:  So you suspect that they take an aggressive or used unfair view on this --

CORSI:  Aggressive, I think it was completely unfair and I`ve done nothing wrong.

MELBER:  Do you think they`re going towards a view of potential election conspiracy?

NUNBERG:  I think that they have a highly circumstantial case unless they have something that shocks the conscience, but I think that has it.  But they`re really going to go for is pay-for-play.  They`ve asked me about so many business interests including --

MELBER:  People around the President or including the President?

NUNBERG:  Including the President.

CAPUTO:  In May of 2018 they believe that there was still -- and they still believed in Russian collusion.  It was very obvious to me.  A lot of the questions they asked me showed it very clearly and you have to read about it in my book.

MELBER:  We`ll be to do that.  Your view from talking to them was their theory was collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia or including the candidate Donald Trump?

CAPUTO:  I don`t believe that at the time they believe that Donald Trump was involved.  I believe right now they still think it was some kind of --

NUNBERG:  Well, no, they do, because they asked me immediately how often did Trump talk to Stone.

MELBER:  Your view was their questions had a theory where Roger Stone was a linchpin and he might be giving Donald Trump the information to make him an active part of the conspiracy?  It was that they were probing.

NUNBERG:  One of the first questions they do.

MELBER:  Caputo, yes?

CAPUTO:  Yes.  I don`t know that they were trying to connect Roger to the President with me but it was very clear that they thought there was something going on with Russia and the campaign.

MELBER:  20 seconds.  Carter?

PAGE:  It was a beautiful moment on Friday night when they put out that statement about the false BuzzFeed article and the President the next day was saying, you know, very appreciative.  I mean, I think, when it`s all said and done, our country will come back together and we`ll be able to move on.

MELBER:  A fitting -- a fitting hope.  We heard a lot tonight including your view about the questions of Trump Tower, Roger Stone as a linchpin, your disagreements with Mr. Stone, your views about critiques of the -- of the entire operation, and you rethinking some of your Russia contacts.  I want to say, from me personally, I appreciate all of you coming to the table and taking the questions for this discussion.

PAGE:  Thank you, Ari.

NUNBERG:  Thank you.

MELBER:  Thanks to each of you.  That is THE BEAT.  I`ll be back tomorrow on 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  Don`t go anywhere.