GEOFF BENNETT, MSNBC HOST: Un-meet the press. "The Beat" starts right now. Ayman Mohyeldin in for Ari. Ayman, good to see you brother.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: Good to see you my friend have a great weekend. It has been a busy one for all of us here. Thanks Jeff, I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Ari and we are covering a lot of stories.
On this holiday Friday night Donald Trump lashing out over impeachment again as we begin to see hints of his strategy for coping with the Senate trial. Plus a conservative lawyer says Rudy Giuliani must be called to testify in Trump`s trial. And then a Trump promise crumbles. One of Trump`s own aides admits they are failing on the border wall. We will get to all of it.
We want to begin tonight with the president of the United States adrift as he confronts the biggest crisis of his presidency, a looming impeachment trial in the Senate. Today, Trump attacking Speaker Pelosi on what else but Twitter, accusing her of running unfair hearings, claiming that the Senate trial will be rigged, and arguing there was no factual basis for impeachment and that he`ll be exonerated.
The President`s own words asking a foreign country for dirt on the Bidens with a basis of this impeachment. And right now we don`t have any details on how the Senate trial will look even though Mitch McConnell is coming under fire from a fellow Republican Senator for promising to coordinate with the White House every step of the way. But other Republicans say they don`t want to hear the case at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): The Senator is entitled to her opinion and Senator McConnell was entitled to his. We all see the world from our own bell tower. I will share with you my opinion of what`s going on. It`s all very odd. 9 out of 10 Senators secretly don`t want to hear this case. And the 10th is lying. Now, many of them are not going to say that publicly, but that`s how they feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: And another Trump ally today pushes back on one of the most fundamental parts of any trial, witness testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the public at this point deserves to hear from Mick Mulvaney and from Ambassador Bolton about what really happened? Do you want to hear what those two people know about this whole incident or does it not interest you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky so I don`t need somebody`s thoughts and feelings and assumptions on that phone call. So if we have the primary source document the transcript, why do we need all these other individuals to talk about their perception of the call?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: Maybe for starters because he doesn`t have the transcript. The White House actually said it is not a transcript of the phone call. Our panel tonight, Maya Wiley, Former Counsel to the Mayor of New York City, Francesca Chambers White House Correspondent for McClatchy and Former Watergate Special Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks. It is great to have all three of you with us.
Let me begin with you and start off by asking you just reaction to what your kind of seeing play out here between what Senator Lisa Murkowski said and what Senator John Kennedy said about the competing prospective on what kind of trial they want to see?
MAYA WILEY, FORMER CIVIL PROSECUTOR SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: Well, I think this is about whether or not you want the American people to hear the facts or not. It`s a much more powerful thing to hear witnesses tell the story out loud to see their faces, to see their faces to see their demeanour, to see how they respond to questions?
That`s a very powerful way of having a trial, and it`s the way it happens in our judicial system every single day. This is really a political partisan fight about whether or not it`s going to really demonstrate what the evidence is to the American people or hide the evidence because, remember, some of what Chuck Schumer has asked for and what Nancy Pelosi has said really goes back to people who have first-hand knowledge who were kept from Congress because of Donald Trump`s obstruction. It was obstruction.
We`ve seen no previous President assert this even in the breaking news a week after Schumer asked for witnesses. One of the witnesses he asked for turns out had an email exchange 90 minutes after that July 25th phone call saying President wants to freeze this aid to Ukraine, and don`t tell anybody.
I mean, that`s exactly the kind of thing that they`ve kept from Congress and they`ve kept, more importantly, from the American people. And that is what this fight is really about. It`s us.
MOHYELDIN: Francesca, let`s talk about defendant Donald Trump and the state of mind he is. As someone who covers the White House day in and day out. He`s obviously on vacation but tweeting up a storm. I believe by one count today Maybe 35 tweets or re-tweets a lot of them targeted at Nancy Pelosi about impeachment. What kind of state of mind do you think he is in right now?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, MCCLATCHY WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, when the President is down at Mar-a-Lago, he`s often surrounded by his close friends who usually agree with him on many of the things he`s saying. So, he`s in sort of an echo chamber where he`s putting things out there and they`re saying I absolutely agree with you 100 percent.
And what we`re seeing him doing on Twitter is testing out different messages strategies against Nancy Pelosi. They`ve referred to whether or not this is urgent, an urgent threat to national security. He said maybe it`s illegitimate in the first place she can`t impeach me because no Republicans voted for it.
So he`s testing out various messages that I think will play out as he returns to Washington, D.C. as Congress returns to Washington D.C. One thing the White House is going to have to figure out is how to respond to these Senators like Lisa Murkowski because you don`t want to take too heavy of a hand and have her more upset with you.
She`s made it clear that she`s not really okay with that kind of outrage either from the White House or between Mitch McConnell and probably wouldn`t be okay with him reaching out to her. But what do you do about them to shore up people like her and their support.
MOHYELDIN: Jill, what do you think that a President state of mind is these days the way he is been tweeting and lashing out at Nancy Pelosi and about the impeachment process?
JILL WINE-BANKS, FORMER ASSISTANT WATERGATE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: I think it`s pretty clear that he`s distraught and disturbed, that he sees the facts that are coming out, and he doesn`t like it. But he`s acting in a juvenile way attacking Nancy Pelosi in the lowest kind of way that he possibly could. It`s really sad that they are at this point.
And I think going back to what Maya said it`s so important for a fair trial to be held for Americans to be able to hear and for Senators who want to vote on the evidence, who want to actually act as a juror should and as their oath requires them. They can`t do that unless they hear the witnesses. And you cannot exonerate the President. You can`t even remotely claim that he`s exonerated unless you allow him the full evidence.
And then you have a full defense. He can call whoever he wants to say the opposite. But unless he lets people come in who actually have relevant first-hand knowledge, this is not something that is irrelevant and has been pointed out there is no transcript of the call. And what we`ve heard I would interpret one way and I`m sure the Fox News interprets it completely different.
So, you do need some explanation and you need the timeline. That`s what`s so important, the fact those 90 minutes after the call the money was held up by order of the President. That`s an important fact. If you don`t let the OMB witness testify, you can`t get that in the record in the trial. The trial is a time for a fair rendition of facts on both sides, and you can`t judge without that.
Let`s get down to the facts. It`s important to do that. And there`s no reason to start a trial if you already know that the defense is actually the Republican Party in the Senate and that they have no intention of listening to the truth.
MOHYELDIN: Let me play it for you guy these two Republican groups that are running this ad in Maine. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy Giuliani. You did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Of course I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mick Mulvaney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just described as a quid pro quo.
MICK MULVANEY: There`s going to be political influence in foreign policy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pompeo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rudy Giuliani delivered Ukraine files to Mike Pompeo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And John Bolton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lawyer for John Bolton says it is fine has new information on these meeting with the Ukraine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call Senator Collins and tell her these witnesses must testify.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: So, that was an ad run by rule of law Republicans. Maya, do you think these types of ads, especially when they`re being targeted in a state like Maine going after Senator Susan Collins who may be somewhat vulnerable in the 2020 election cycle, do you think that could have an impact on her and other Senators on the fence?
WILEY: Well, it`s possible because what`s really happening in the Senate is Senators are looking at their constituencies. They`re not looking at the facts or the evidence. They`re looking at the people. The question is are the people concerned?
So, to the extent that these ads are demonstrating that there are witnesses that Congress has not heard from, that we have not heard from, and that there are real reasons, real grounded reasons why we need to understand all that happened here, I think it could be persuasive to some who don`t necessarily know because they`re not following it day in/day out like many of us are. All of the details that paint the picture that make all this so troubling and impeachable.
MOHYELDIN: Let me get your take on this from a Democratic perspective which is are the Democrats right now doing enough either behind closed doors from your reporting, from what you`re hearing in D.C., to try to reach across the aisle to put some type of pressure on the Lisa Murkowski`s of the world or are they letting the GOP sort this out a little bit on their own? I haven`t heard a lot of public statements by Democratic Senators praising either Lisa Murkowski or criticizing those who have been silent beyond the Lindsey Grahams and Mitch McConnell who are way out there on the right.
CHAMBERS: The main reason for that is because D.C. is very, very quiet right now.
CHAMBERS: Exactly have been--
MOHYELDIN: But some of them in their home states are out and about for the holidays may be.
CHAMBERS: I believe that`s where that interview took place--
MOHYELDIN: Yes, exactly and Mitch McConnell as well last week had a press conference with--
CHAMBERS: Talking to Schumer.
CHAMBERS: But law makers themselves are not walking the halls of Congress right now where reporters are going up to them asking them what do you think about what Lisa Murkowski said. I do believe that we`ll see many of that when they return and many of them in the Senate will be pressed, not just her anyone who might be seen as being on the fence but also Democrats on their views on this. I think you`ll hear a lot more about that.
MOHYELDIN: The Joe Manson and whatever.
CHAMBERS: Right. But also again Donald Trump is also not in D.C. right now. The White House is quiet too. He is down there--
MOHYELDIN: So you expecting that type of campaign or that type of attack to ramp up in the New Year as this thing gets going as the impeachment process get going?
CHAMBERS: As it keeps going in the Senate there will certainly be - there will be advertising from various groups of course, especially aimed at those Senators who were in the area where it could go one way or the other.
MOHYELDIN: Jill, let me get your thoughts on something we were discussing briefly last night about witnesses. And obviously there`s a big push here to get witnesses. I was talking to Nick Ackerman about it. He said he would call President Trump as the first witness in this process. I`m curious to get your thoughts. If you could call witnesses, how would you go about and who would you go about calling first to build your case?
WINE-BANKS: I think that I would go with the people who I expected to actually tell the truth. And that would not be President Trump. I would not expect him to be honest. So, I would go with someone like Duffey and find out about the timeline. And then I would talk to the witnesses who he also dealt with, anybody he names.
I would call Mulvaney who`s on tape saying what he said. Yes, there`s a quid pro quo. I would call Giuliani who may or may not tell the truth but who is on tape saying yes, I did that with the Ukrainians. I would call Pompeo. I would call Perry. They were all directly involved in this.
And so we need to hear from all of them. And then I would give the President a chance after the record is really established so that he`s in a box because the facts are already out there. But yes, he should testify. I think the Republicans, if they don`t call him, how can they say that they`ve exonerated him?
It`s - it`s - the witnesses --as Maya said earlier, it is a question of seeing their demeanor and judging their credibility. That`s what juries do every day. And you can`t do that by having, for example, when we had Mueller come in to testify, you didn`t see the witnesses. And that`s been held up. There are so many lawsuits right now. For example, Don McGahn, if he`s forced to testify, then--
MOHYELDIN: Yes, that can be a game changer.
WINE-BANKS: --all of this nonsense about absolute immunity falls away. I would wait for that decision, the tax decision I would wait for the grand jury 6E material release which I believe will happen.
MOHYELDIN: So I was going to say so what you`re saying is 2020 can be a decisive year in so many ways with all these various legal processes? Jill Wine-Banks, always a pleasure. Francesca Chambers, thank you very much as. Maya I`m going to ask you to stick around for us a little bit more. We`ve got a lot more to talk about as we just mentioned there.
Will Democrats call Rudy Giuliani to testify in Trump`s impeachment trial? Well at least one conservative lawyer says it could happen and it could sink Donald Trump. Plus the road to Trump`s historic impeachment and what to expect in the weeks ahead. And Mexico is definitely not paying for that wall now another stunning admission on Trump`s signature campaign promise.
Plus something special at the very end of the show you do not want to miss that. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin and you`re watching "The Beat" on MSNBC.
MOHYEDLIN: Welcome back everyone. Will the Democrats demand that Rudy Giuliani testify in Trump`s impeachment trial? Senator Schumer is asking for Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and few others, may be Mike Pompeo the Secretary of State but Giuliani surprisingly is not on that list.
Well, today a conservative lawyer says that Democrats must call him in, arguing their case demands it and the public certainly deserves it, saying he is the main first-hand witness orchestrating the execution of the quid pro quo policy. Phillip Rotner argues that Giuliani would have to testify if he is subpoenaed.
"While the attorney claim privilege might shield lawyers from testifying about certain conversations with their clients it doesn`t shield them from testifying full stop". Neither the attorney/client privilege nor anything else would shield Giuliani from testifying about his conversations with Gordon Sondland, John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney or any other U.S or even Ukrainian government official he has spoken to. So, he would have to go under oath about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON SONDLAND, AMBASSADOR: Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes. I followed the directions of the President. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt. Mr. Giuliani`s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky. Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYEDLIN: The attorney adds that Giuliani`s conversations with Trump would not be fully protected either. With me now Former NSA General Counsel Robert Deitz and Maya is back with us. Let me get both of your perspectives on this. Robert, let me begin with you. Do you think this is a good idea to call Rudy Giuliani or to subpoena him to testify in any impeachment process?
ROBERT DEITZ, FORMER NSA GENERAL COUNSEL: Yes, I do. I think it`s a great idea. Mr. Giuliani has been sort of center stage on so much of the activity and we`ve heard actually very little directly from him aside from the occasional press conference. So yes, I think it would be very forceful. It puts Republicans, I think, in a bind. So, I would think from a Democratic perspective it would be tactically useful.
MOHYELDIN: Let me just flip the script on that and play devil`s advocate for a second. The argument goes that if you bring Rudy Giuliani he`s going to also want to then have to discuss or want to discuss Hunter Biden, Burisma and try to make that to center stage because that is what he`s out there investigating, the various conspiracy theories out there. Do you open a bit of a Pandora`s box, if the Democrats want to keep this focus by bringing in Rudy Giuliani you`re also probably going to have to touch some of these other things and perhaps have those individuals hauled up in front of the Senate.
DEITZ: Yes, possibly. Bear in mind that a trial is overseen by the Chief Justice of the United States, so he would make rulings on relevance and other evidentiary issues by the way including attorney/client privilege. So, there`s a bit of a gamble. It seems to me that Mr. Giuliani is really in the pivot of everything that happened - virtually everything that happened with respect to Ukraine.
MOHYELDIN: Maya, your take on it. Do you think Rudy Giuliani should be called to testify?
WILEY: So, I think he is a clear and critical fact witness. And there are so many public statements by him. There are actually numerous. Start in May 2019 even before we knew what we were going to learn in July about that July call. So, one of the things that that says to me are two things. One should we need him to testify? No, because he`s already testified to the public in essence.
But I also agree that because he`s such a central fact witness and because you can essentially cross examine him because of all his public statements, it`s much harder for him to lie given how often he has doubled down on, of course I did it, of course I was digging up dirt on the Bidens. I was doing it as a defense attorney in my capacity as Donald Trump`s Defense Attorney meaning for his personal interests, not those of the country.
Maybe the country - at one point he says maybe the country will benefit too making it clear that it`s not about us. So, I think for all of those reasons, there`s a lot more advantage to having him than to not having him. I think to your point, I think that is a concern for Democrats.
I think that the record is much stronger often than it comes out in how much evidence there is that there was no wrong doing on the part of the Bidens. Was it good? No. Does it look good? No. Was there anything that anyone has ever considered unlawful that Joe Biden did or from what we can tell that Hunter Biden did? No. So, they should probably be a little bit more forceful in defending, you know, those points.
MOHYELDIN: One of the questions I think a lot of people have is the nature of the relationship that Donald Trump has with Rudy Giuliani. You brought up the issue of potential attorney/client privilege. But my question to you is we don`t know much about the relationship.
So, to what extent does attorney/client privilege apply when you have somebody who does not - your lawyer does not represent you in any legal proceedings. I don`t believe Rudy Giuliani has appeared in any court on behalf of the President so far.
We don`t believe from any of our reporting that he has been paid by the President for these investigations although he`s out soliciting money from Ukrainian oligarchs. So, that`s a whole other issue. So, what extent does attorney/client privilege apply for someone who as far as we know is more of an investigator than an actual attorney for the President?
WILEY: Let`s separate out two things. People have attorney/client privilege with the attorneys whether they pay them or not. We have a system in this country where sometimes people get free legal assistance. The fact that you are poor and you can`t pay for it doesn`t mean you lose the privilege any more than if you`re rich and you don`t pay for it you lose the privilege.
The privilege goes to whether you`re giving legal advice. Now that doesn`t mean that all the conversations between Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani are protected by attorney/client privilege because the point becomes, one, you don`t get protection if you`re conspiring together to defraud the United States. That`s called a felony. It`s a conspiracy.
And if you are in a conspiracy with your attorney to violate the law, there`s a crime fraud exception that says well you don`t get to protect those conversations. But the other issue here - so, it doesn`t matter if there`s an investigation or not. It does matter what the communications are about.
Donald Trump himself has publicly said, yes, I wanted the dirt on Joe Biden, so there`s a lot that you could ask that would not necessarily violate attorney/client privilege or where the privilege would not apply.
MOHYELDIN: Robert, where do you see this going over the next couple of days? Are we going to get bogged down into some politics? Are we going to see this play out in the courts with the Don McGahn before it even gets tie trial phase in the Senate?
DEITZ: Gee, do you think it could actually become political? Yes, I think it is. But at this stage, what`s happening is posturing. Remember, Mitch McConnell has not put out any sort of draft rules of how he thinks this ought to play out? Until we get that, we`re not going to get a very clear picture of how things could happen?
If I could just add a gloss by the way to what Maya said about the attorney/client privilege, you also lose it when you`ve disclosed information to third parties. Here you`ve got both the President and Giuliani out there all the time talking about what they`re up to. You can`t - and the expression is the attorney/client privilege is a shield, it`s not a sword.
So, I suspect that there would be clear rulings, at least some instances in which the presiding judge, the Chief Justice would say you lost that privilege.
MOHYELDIN: All right, fair enough that`s a good point. Robert Deitz thanks for clarifying that. Maya Wiley, thank you so much as always.
The road to Trump`s historic impeachment and new trial questions we`re back in just 30 seconds.
MOHYELDIN: Donald Trump is about to go on trial for alleged crimes. What will happen with the witnesses and how long will the trial actually be? Who will the managers be? Those are some of the open questions. But here`s how we got to Trump`s historic impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I`m announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are under fire from all sides for this whistleblower complaint.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They would start investigation into the Bidens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump busted for making good on his infamous claim he would take foreign help in 2020.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Impeachment is imperative.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President committed crimes in office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you say impeach?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, that is a thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The case for bribery is straightforward, and everyone knows bribery is impeachable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that`s why we held up the money. We do that all the time with foreign policy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear you just described is a quid pro quo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me what rule, law, or statute has been violated by the President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to point to statutes that are not required.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think for a citizen to set off alarms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because that`s shady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s pretty damning evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damning slum dung evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incredibly damning admission that you can`t trust the President not to commit crimes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery.
PELOSI: It`s perfectly wrong. It`s bribery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A week unlike any other in the Trump era. Nine different Trump Administration insiders who are joined 12 other witnesses who have now provided over 30 hours of testimony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there a quid pro quo?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the most important shift in all the testimony to date. Sondland moves over suddenly saying yes, this was bribery.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was being involved in a domestic political errand and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone was in the loop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine today of all places. He says he`s meeting with prosecutors which are also potential witnesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To paraphrase biggie smalls, he`s going, back, back, Kyiv.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a crime scene in process and that gives us urgency to act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Speaker Pelosi and Bob Mueller couldn`t pull off, Rudy Giuliani is pulling off, getting Donald Trump impeached.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House will do what many thought it was on its way to do, impeach President Trump starting now.
PELOSI: I`m asking our Chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. This lawless President has taken advantage of the public trust.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a constitution that provides for a quick remedy to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got President Trump who is basically out Nixon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An extraordinary breach of the powers of the presidency.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a vote that actually changes everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: All right, joining me now is Politico`s Natasha Bertrand. Natasha, great to have you with us on this Friday evening. Tell me what you`re hearing about where things go next from here. I know we`re all in a holding pattern, but walk us through technically what may be the next steps in all this?
NATASHA BERTRAND, POLITICO NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we`re not hearing much, Ayman. Obviously they`re out on their break right now, so when they come back from the recess we`ll probably be hearing a bit more, especially with Lisa Murkowski making those comments.
Senators will probably be under pressure by reporters to weigh in on her claim that she found it disturbing that Mitch McConnell said that he was going to be working hand in glove with the White House. But right now the process really, we don`t know what`s going to happen because Mitch McConnell is really fighting a two-front battle here, one against Nancy Pelosi in term of how the Senate trial is going to be set up?
And one against the President as well because Mitch McConnell has said he doesn`t want witnesses the President has said he does. He wants people like Hunter Biden, the whistleblower, et cetera, to essentially create an alternative reality where the bad guys and the people on trial are actually going to be the Democrats and the Bidens rather than the President who was just impeached by the House of Representatives.
So, with regard to the impeachment managers, we don`t even know yet because Nancy Pelosi has said that she doesn`t even want to go there until she figures out whether there`s going to be a fair trial and Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer so far have not come to any kind of agreement that we know of. We still have to wait a bit longer to see how this is going to play out.
MOHYELDIN: So there`s no doubt that obviously we are in the middle of the holiday break that has prolonged things or make things feel a little bit more dragged out and may be they necessarily are. What is Speaker Pelosi`s strategy here? Is there any risk, do you get a sense there could be a risk if she holds on to the articles and not officially transmit them over to the senate once Congress is back in session?
BERTRAND: Yes, this is obviously a constitutional gray area. It really doesn`t say much about when exactly the articles need to be transmitted to the Senate or how long the House can delay transferring those articles. But the Senate`s rules are pretty clear in that they cannot launch a trial unless those rules are changed without getting those articles from the House.
So, Nancy Pelosi`s strategy here I think is really to kind of exploit that gray area and build tension and keep the pressure on Mitch McConnell so that all eyes are really on him and creating a fair trial and making sure that certain documents and witnesses that Democrats want are potentially going to be presented so that Democrats aren`t walking into an ambush and not able to present their case before the Senate, before the American people after having gone through the entire impeachment process.
But there could obviously be some risk there depending on how long she delays it. I don`t think it`s going to be too long. She knows that it`s going to lose momentum. But at the same time, the President is clearly very frustrated. And that`s also part of her strategy here is to kind of make him sweat because right now it`s not Nancy Pelosi keeping impeachment in the news.
It`s the President with his constant tweeting. So, I think she`s just kind of letting him sweat it out, waiting to see what McConnell does, and when everyone comes back in January we`ll probably hear a lot more.
MOHYELDIN: All right, Natasha Bertrand lives for us in Washington D.C. Always a pleasure thanks Natasha.
BERTRAND: Thanks Ayman.
MOHYELDIN: Ahead a Trump official makes a stunning admission about the border wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re going to build the wall. We`re going to build a big, beautiful wall. I will have the most gorgeous wall you`ve ever seen. An impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. They`ll name it the Trump wall. That wall will go up so fast your head will spin. We`re going to build a wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: All right. So, the keyword there - I don`t know if you picked it up - it`s going, it`s going to be beautiful, it`s going to be tall, it`s going to be powerful well, a bombshell admission from the Trump Administration, a failure on Trump`s signature campaign promise. Trump`s border commissioner saying it is hard to say if that promise will be met by 2021.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many miles of wall have been constructed, not wall that`s replacing old wall, but new wall has been built to this point?
MARK MORGAN, CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ACTING COMMISSIONER: So, 78 miles of new wall has been built.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many miles of wall now exist where there was no wall whatsoever?
MORGAN: So again my response to that is every mile of wall that`s being built is new mile of wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many miles new where nothing new existed?
MORGAN: Right now the 78 miles that have been built have been built where there was an existing form of barrier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOYEHLDIN: Today "The Los Angeles Times" editorial board mocking Trump for "Still pushing his crazy border wall plan" With me now NBC News Reporter, Julie Ainsley a Republican Strategist Susan Del Percio great to have you both with us. Julia, let me begin with you first of all. Realistically speaking you cover obviously Homeland Security, you cover immigration for us.
So, this has been a signature issue for President Trump. But realistically, was this all a promise really that could never be kept? I mean as this thing started going on in his presidency, was it ever expected to be smooth sailing for the President to try to get the money and build this wall?
JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS: Well, it`s strange Ayman because past Presidents have been successful at this. Under George W. Bush there were about 350 miles of border wall constructed. But in the areas that the Bush Administration left out, there was a reason in a lot of cases.
Sometimes it was because there was a river there. The Rio Grande provides a very natural barrier between the United States and Mexico. Other areas it was because of interstate commerce, things needed to stay open. Also, a big part of this is that in Texas, the majority of the land where they`re now looking to build this wall is privately owned.
So, the Trump Administration is running into road blocks where they have to enter into court negotiations about whether or not they can seize the land and pay later. That`s the strategy they have now and it`s one that Jared Kushner has been assigned to carrying out as he is now kind of the unofficial border wall are, if you will, by his father-in-law to carry this out.
Another issue though is the contracts. My colleague and I reported on the fact there`s now an inspector general investigation into a company known as Fischer Sand and Gravel that recently got a $400 million contract to build 35 miles of wall on the southern border, and it turns out they might not be able to carry that through.
That`s what the inspector general is looking at. And they may have been chosen because of outside influence. The President repeatedly touted that company.
MOYEHLDIN: The swamp is being drained, huh. Susan?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Getting swampier.
MOYEHLDIN: I was going to say. How do you think Trump voters will react to him not delivering on his signature promise? Obviously they`ve already forgotten they forgot he promised Mexico would pay for the wall. Not happening. Now they seem to think that the wall is being built even if Americans are paying for it.
PERCIO: It`s important to remember if you go back to 2016 Ayman, a lot of those people at the rallies, when they were saying build the wall they were interviewed afterwards; they didn`t think it was actually going to happen. They liked the rhetoric behind it. They liked what it represented.
So, with Trump`s base this isn`t going to be a problem and Trump never wanted to stick to the truth or facts. He`s just going to keep saying I`m building a wall. It`s going great.
MOYEHLDIN: Should Democrats use that in 2020 against him, that you promised this and it didn`t happen among the other hundred things he said he would do that he hasn`t done.
PERCIO: I don`t think they need to do that. I think that`s baked into the equation. I think if you look at health care as an issue and other kitchen table issues that would be more advantageous. You can say all Donald Trump cares about is this stupid wall. Meanwhile he shut down the government, hasn`t gotten healthcare done and list all the things. So if you want to use it as a bogey man scenario that would work. His supporters never thought the wall would be built.
MOYEHLDIN: Julia, what is the Trump Administration plan here to try and break through the some of the road blocks you`ve mentioned and others as well there are out there?
AINSLEY: Well, it`s tricky another road block I should mention as the fact that some of this funding that the administration wanted to use from a defense budget has been held up in court where they said that they can`t dip into that pot of money.
If you can think about almost a year ago when the President said he would reopen the government without congressional funding for the wall it was because he wanted to argue it was a national emergency and now that courts are saying actually it doesn`t count as a national emergency.
That`s one road block they have to go through. Could they still use the money to buy land but not erect the wall yet? These are things that are being discussed. They also have to look in large part at how long they`re willing to spend in court.
Right now I think what we can`t quite understand is why there`s this very specific promise by the President and by people at DHS to say that they`re going to build almost 500 miles of new wall where no other wall exists by the end of next year when so far none of that has happened over the three years of the Trump Presidency. There are just more obstacles being raised in the process.
MOYEHLDIN: Certainly it`s an interesting point. I want to play with you something that Ari heard from a Trump aide who made the argument that Mexico is actually paying for the wall, believe it or not. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico is paying a lot for our southern security, and that--
ARI MELBER, CNN HOST: With the wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would call it a virtual wall.
MELBER: That`s your closing argument? They`re paying for a virtual wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell does that even mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means he`s living in a virtual reality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No seriously what does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re making stuff up. I don`t know how else to put it? They`re talking about having--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: May be Julia knows really quickly. I`m not trying to be sarcastic here, but what does he mean, Julia?
AINSLEY: If he`s talking about it in one way, it`s quite cruel. What Mexico is doing is harboring 60,000 asylum seekers who are trying to come into the United States to have their day of court and make their claim and instead Mexico is keeping these people in terrible conditions in tent conditions. There are accounts of rape and assault. If that counts as Mexico paying for our border security, that`s a pretty sad state of affairs.
MOHYELDIN: I guess he`s implying that Mexico is not letting them cross and by doing so that is the wall in itself, that Mexico is holding on to these migrants. As Julia said perhaps that is one interpretation, as one disturbing one if it is. Julia Ainsley, Susan Del Percio I thank you both very much. Next Susan just mentioned the top issue of health care. We have a special guest on that next.
MOHYELDIN: We are in a sprint to Iowa and Democrats are at odds over health care, specifically Medicare for all. Today conservative Columnist and Trump critic George Will had a warning for Democrats saying a Trump victory in 2020 could be because of Democrats` "Ignorance and arrogance" when it comes to health care. How is this issue playing out with Americans and what exactly is Medicare for all? Who actually pays for it? A new MSNBC special entitled "Red White And Who" takes a look at that. The debate over health cares and tackles the complex Medicare for all issue head on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is Medicare for all? There`s no exact definition because it doesn`t exist yet. The basic idea is that the two proposals in Congress are that the government runs one national health care program and everybody`s on it. Private insurance companies are pretty much put out of business and doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists bill Uncle Sam.
Co-pays, premiums, and deductibles would mostly disappear. Nothing in life is free. The government needs money to pay for all that care which means side effects could include a pay roll tax, and income tax a progressive income tax - extremely wealthy and imposing fees on financial institutions oh, and the government may finally be able to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: A brilliant little parodies there our pharmaceutical labels I guess in the health care that come with it. Francesca Fiorentini who made that documentary Canadian joins us. She is the host of "Red White And Who" Fascinating look at the Medicare debate in this country.
Let me start of by asking you what is it that you learned from going out there and speaking to people across the country about it. Where is the country now on this topic?
FRANCESCA FIORENTINI, HOST, "RED, WHITE AND WHO?": I mean, I think just responding to pundits and people like George will, I think we all need to kind of do what I did and/or watch the show on Sunday and listen to American`s health care is one of those topics that voters care so much about and yet we`re always told how they think.
We never actually talk to them. And so what I learned from talking to them is for example Medicare right now its health care for those 65 and older, super popular. It`s been popular. So people I spoke with rodeo cowboys I spoke with in Texas, uninsured all their lives, Republican voters, it`s the best thing that ever happened to them was turning 65 and so they could get treatment for Leukaemia, whereas before they couldn`t afford the meds month to month and it was incredibly expensive.
And these were voters who would never be for cuts which Republicans have had on the chopping block for a long time. And the other thing I learned is voters for Medicaid, which is health care for low income, children, the disabled and in 14 states right now Republican legislators are holding back on Medicaid expansion, which would give millions of Americans health care.
Honestly Americans aren`t playing this game theory around health care. Americans are going bankrupt. Americans are losing their jobs and losing their health care. Americans are getting sick and then like okay which billing system corresponds with my insurance versus my husband`s. They`re wading through it and they feel very alone.
MOHYELDIN: You had a chance to talk to Bernie Sanders. This is obviously a signature issue for him. Let me play you a little bit of that exchange and I`ll get your comments afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORENTINI: How much does Medicare for all cost? How many Iraq wars?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is a great question.
FIORENTINI: Like 1 1/2?
SANDERS: That`s a hard apples to oranges to me. But here is the most important point people say Medicare for all is expensive, but if we maintain the status quo, you don`t bring in the cost deficiencies that Medicare for all will, there are estimates out there we`ll be spending $50 trillion over the next ten years for health care. So we`re already spending far more than any other country per person on health care.
(END VIDDEO CLIP)
MOHEYLDIN: He has stayed pretty consistent about this throughout his career, certainly in the last couple of years since he got into these types of presidential politics and trying to make it a national issue but how has he been so consistence? How has that consistency rather worked out for him?
FIORENTINI: I mean, I think he`s played the long game, if you will. The guy has been this way his entire political career, and now we`re seeing that he`s helped turn the tide when it comes to health care, and I think the American people are starting to imagine what an overhaul could look like.
And in fact from the Americans that I spoke with, it could look even simpler than what they`ve got going on right now, which is so entrechat, so complex.
MOHEYLDIN: With the Affordable Care Act you mean?
FIORENTINI: With the Affordable Care Act not knowing your goal, your bronze and your silver and your titanium, I don`t know you know like what is this what can I afford? And then also like I was saying most Americans get their health care through their work. What if you lose your job? Your health care is only as stable as your job is stable.
MOHEYLDIN: Yes, it certainly taking a big chunk. One thing a lot of people can agree on is that current system is definitely not working. Francesca Fiorentini thank you so much for this. Congratulations we`ll be watching it. You can definitely catch that special "Red White And Who" this Sunday at 9:00 pm eastern right here on MSNBC. You do not want to miss that. When we`re back, we have a surprise for you. You don`t want to miss that either.
MOHEYLDIN: All right, it`s Friday so you know what that means here on "The Beat." It is time to fall back. Here`s the best of fall back Friday this year. And now it`s time to fallback. Who needs to fall back?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pumpkin spice latte?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The major record labels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Season 2 of any show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People polluting the ocean with plastic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you were going to take a Selfie right before you enter the black hole.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A really big investigation--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the segment called again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first sitting U.S. Senator jump into the fray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know I do comedy, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have good internet, social and dental hygiene. You are always flossing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a joke?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is ending toxic masculinity right here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get some respect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To both our chef, our comedian, our journalist and MSNBC moms out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put some respect on my name as it were.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who said that Ari?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean I`m not just history; I`m here with a rapper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rapper and hip hop--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six members of the legendary woo tang clan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to taste this. Delicious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just have an incredible knowledge over the rappers and rap language and rap culture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s something Criege and I share.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s such striking - but different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s all of my felt on risk that I didn`t have any blame.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s killing a lot of bills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is different, Pete, than killing bars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALEE: You get that right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s a musical term, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, guys but I`m just sick of old white dudes. Like go away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a novelist you bring a lot of statistics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m also a Jew. Shalom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Birdman also famously said and this is fitting are we finished or are we done?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s so profound.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHEYLDIN: All right, that does it for me. I`m going to see you here tonight at 10:00 pm eastern filling in for Lawrence O`Donnell on the "Last Word." "Hardball" is next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END