Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: September 13, 2017 Guest: Mark Warner
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You are very kind and also a very good pitch man.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, "ALL IN": It`s true, though. I mean, that`s what I`m most -- I`m excited for you to interview her, but I think the thing I`m most excited about is these usually are done in these sort of settings where it`s not like -- it just doesn`t have the freason (ph) of live television, which -- is a really a totally different thing. So, I`m psyched that that`s the way this is happening.
MADDOW: Thank you. Well, it`s true because it`s unedited. It`s true because it`s live and in the moment.
HAYES: You`re watching it.
MADDOW: And because she`s going to be here right on set. I couldn`t be more nervous.
MADDOW: Thank you, my friend. Thanks, Chris.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. That interview with Hillary Clinton will be live at this hour tomorrow night.
You know, when presidents and prime ministers and kings and queens and members of various royal families come to visit to the United States, there is a modern tradition, there`s modern diplomatic protocol that anybody in that kind of a foreign leadership role notifies the U.S. government if they are coming to the U.S.
So, any sort of world leader, any sort of significant member of a royal family, if any of them are going to be present on U.S. soil, the United States government expects to know about it in advance for security reasons if nothing else. And it`s a pretty closely held protocol. That is the way it works.
Well, this past December, December 2016, that protocol was broken because a very senior member of the Emirati royal family, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, he came to the United States in December in secret. He did not notify the Obama administration. He did not notify the U.S. government that he was coming and that`s weird.
That said, it`s not like he didn`t get noticed. He`s pretty high-profile international figure. And U.S. intelligence agencies picked up the fact that he was here. And his visit and their surveillance of his visit presumably was way more intriguing to the intelligence community than it might normally have been under normal circumstances, specifically because he tried to sneak in, right?
You see somebody doing something like that`s a routine thing that they let you know they`re going to do in advance and you pay attention, but you don`t really pay that much attention. You find somebody sneaking in and trying to do something without telling the government that he`s here, they`re going to focus on that.
So, this guy didn`t tell the Obama administration that he was coming. The intelligence community picked up that he was here and what they picked up when they monitored his undeclared visit was that the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates came to New York City and he came to Trump Tower for a meeting. In December 2016, undisclosed to the U.S. government, the Emirati crown prince met at Trump Tower with these guys, with Mike Flynn, soon to be national security adviser, Steve Bannon, soon to be White House senior strategist, and Jared Kushner, America`s own crown prince.
CNN reports today that when Obama national security adviser Susan Rice unmasked the names of these three Americans, these three Trump advisers in an intelligence intercept, it was because she was looking at an intelligence intercept trying to figure out what the Emirati crown prince was doing in the United States on this visit that he explicitly did not declare with the U.S. government.
And that`s exactly the kind of circumstances under which national security officials would unmask a U.S. name on an intelligence intercept, right? If you need to do that in order to figure out what some foreign surveillance target was up to in this country.
Well, in this case it turns out what he was up to was a secret meeting at Trump Tower with Flynn and Bannon and Kushner.
That meeting at Trump Tower was on December 11th. And then the Emirati guy turned up again. A month later, the same Emirati crown prince turned up in the Seychelles islands for a meeting that was later reported out by "The Washington Post." This time in January, it was the Emirati crown prince organizing the meeting. But the people having the meeting were Erik Prince, major Trump donor, the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and incidentally the brother of education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
So, it`s Erik Prince and that stealthy crown prince who had secretly been meeting with Flynn and Bannon and Kushner at Trump Tower the month before. He went to the Seychelles to set up Erik Prince in a meeting with a Russian guy, with a representative of Vladimir Putin`s office.
As "The Washington Post" reported, the secret meeting in the Seychelles between Trump`s representative, Erik Prince, and Putin`s representative, it was set up by the Emirati crown prince and it was designed basically to set up a secret back channel for communication between the Putin camp and the Trump camp.
Now, Erik Prince, Betsy DeVos` brother, he denies that that`s what that meeting was about. He has admitted, yes, he was in the Seychelles. Yes, it was a meeting set up by the Emirati crown prince. Yes, maybe he met the Putin guy, but he says it was nothing. Or if it was anything, it was just business.
And just business is becoming kind of a theme of the day today. And, you know, there`s a whole bunch of news going on right now.
Just this hour, we`ve got Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee who`s here tonight for the interview. We`ve got Katy Tur here tonight. We`ve got news from the Virgin Islands where these ad hoc evacuations continue to be under way seven days after Hurricane Irma hit.
We`ve got news from Florida today where a second nursing home was evacuated late today after eight elderly people died at one facility in Hollywood, Florida, despite the fact that this was literally across the street from a hospital that was open and didn`t lose power during the storm.
Halfway around the world in Belarus, Russia is starting what`s happened to be the largest Russian military exercise/demonstration since the Cold War. There are significant fears as to whether or not this thing that Russia is doing really is just an exercise or whether this might be designed to mask the start of some other Russian military operation, which is what they did at the start of the Ukraine invasion in 2014.
So, there`s lots going on right now. Lots worth keeping an eye on. A bunch of that we`re going to be discussing this hour.
But today, just a ton of news broke on the Trump Russia investigation. And in particular on the business side, on the business and financial ties that seem to form this sticky web that is catching all the bugs here. Apart from the CNN news that Susan Rice appears to have unmasked American names from that Trump Tower meeting in December for a totally legit reason related to a secret meeting held by a foreign leader without notice to the U.S. government, apart from that news from CNN today, it was NBC News that reported today that Mike Flynn`s son, Mike Flynn Jr. is himself subject of an investigation by the former FBI Director Robert Mueller in his query into links between the Trump campaign and the Russian attack on our election last year.
Mike Flynn`s son is not an intelligence professional. His background, reportedly he`s got an associates degree in golf course management. But family business is family business, and his dad was certainly an intelligence professional, and Mike Flynn Jr. was reportedly employed by his dad at his dad`s consulting company. He served as his dad`s chief of staff and he reportedly accompanied his dad on his father`s trip to Russia in 2015, where he attended the gala anniversary party for Russia Today, the Russia state-run media company, and where his dad famously had dinner with Vladimir Putin and then he led a standing ovation for Putin when Putin was introduced at the event.
Mike Flynn Jr. also appears to have been involved in the effort by a Republican donor to contact Russian government hackers to try to obtain information on Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Shane Harris at "The Wall Street Journal" obtained an e-mail that that Republican activist and donor Peter Smith sent out to try to get outside experts on board with his effort to reach Russian government hackers to get them to further their attacks on Hillary Clinton.
In that e-mail, quote, Peter Smith offered to make introductions to Mr. Flynn`s son, Michael J. Flynn, who worked as chief of staff in his father`s company. Mr. Smith`s email mentioned the son among a small number of other people he said were helping in his effort.
Quote: In phone conversations, Peter Smith told a computer expert he was in direct contact with that Mr. Flynn and his son, the expert said an anti- Clinton research document prepared by Mr. Smith`s group identified the younger Mr. Flynn as someone who would be associated with the effort.
So, Mike Flynn`s son, Mike Flynn Jr., his alleged role in that effort to collude with Russian hackers with the campaign that was exposed by "The Wall Street Journal" in June. Now, today, NBC cites four current and former government officials that he`s the subject of Robert Mueller`s inquiry, as of course is Michael Flynn Sr.
And today, things got much worse in the reporting about him. Back in June, Jeff Stein, who is really well sourced on intelligence issues, Jeff Stein reported for "Newsweek" back in June that one of the business dealings that Mike Flynn Sr. never disclosed when he got to Washington was a Russian partnership he was pitching to build 16, count them, 16 nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, which needs a lot of things, but nuclear power probably isn`t one of them.
Jeff Stein published this piece in June about Mike Flynn`s involvement in that businessman and about Flynn taking a trip to the Middle East to meet with people and to promote this Saudi Russian financed nuclear deal. Because Mike Flynn never disclosed anything about this on his security clearance applications or on his White House financial disclosures, that sparked the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, and the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, to write to Flynn`s reported business partners in that deal to try to get more information about this would-be gigantic Russian business deal that Flynn was involved in that he never disclosed.
Well, today that blew up. It all started with that reporting in June about Flynn`s involvement in that deal, but today is the day it blew up. And you can see the chronology unfold here, right? So, in June, there`s this news week story about the Russian nuclear deal and Mike Flynn. In June, right after that, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings write to the businesspeople Flynn was working on this deal with and they asked for information about it.
Those folks respond to that letter they send to Congress the requested information about this would-be Russian deal and Mike Flynn`s involvement and Mike Flynn`s trip to the Middle East to promote it. And now this morning, this morning, Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel make the whole thing public.
Quote: We are writing today to thank you for your responses and to request additional information. First, your responses provide multiple independent confirmations that General Flynn traveled to the Middle East to meet with foreign government officials and foreign business associates in June 2015 to promote this U.S.-Russian nuclear power project. Based on your responses, it appears that General Flynn violated federal law by omitting this trip and these foreign contacts from his security clearance, renewal application in 2016 and concealing them from security clearance investigators who interviewed him as part of his background check process.
Since these violations carry criminal penalties of up to five years in prison, we`re providing your responses to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Thanks for the info on this guy you were in business with. What you told us means he`s going to prison.
The congressmen then asked for further documentation about Mike Flynn`s communications with foreign governments and foreigners about this business deal. They asked these business associates of Flynn to prepare to come in and testify to Congress on these matters.
But then they raised this one very provocative question. This trip to the Middle East to promote this plan, these payments that Flynn got to be involved in this potential deal, was this just 2015? Did this thing actually end then or did it keep going on? Is it still going on? Did Flynn still have a hand in on this Russian nuclear deal during the campaign? Maybe even while he feels in the White House?
Here is how they put it in the letter: Your responses suggest that you and other officials at your companies may have discussed this matter with Trump administration officials during and after Mike Flynn`s tenure at the White House. Quote: The American people deserve to know whether General Flynn was secretly promoting the private interests of these businesses while he was a campaign adviser, a transition official or President Trump`s national security adviser.
So, big new alarming question here, right, in terms of national security, in terms of foreign influence on our own government, and in terms of corruption and conflict of interest. Was the Trump national security adviser, Mike Flynn, secretly pursuing or trying to advance a gigantic Russian business deal? Or was he being paid to promote one while he was working in the White House as national security adviser?
So, that letter raising that provocative question, that letter from Cummings and Engel, that was in my e-mail inbox at 7:30 this morning. By 3:00 this afternoon, the answer had arrived in "The Wall Street Journal". See the headline: Flynn promoted nuclear plant project while in the White House.
This prospect raised by these congressmen this morning is answered and confirmed by "The Wall Street Journal" this afternoon. "The Journal" describes the Russian nuclear deal as potentially being worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Once he was national security adviser in the Trump White House, "The Journal" reports that Mike Flynn did direct National Security Council staff to meet with the companies involved in the Russian nuclear project.
"The Journal" cites former national security adviser staffers as being basically horrified by what Flynn was doing, describing what he did as, quote, outside normal channels and, quote, not the way things were supposed to go and, quote, highly abnormal. According to "The Journal", the ethics advisers on the National Security Council actually told Flynn to remove himself from this project but quote, the activity continued.
So, if you`re keeping track at home, the man who Donald Trump installed as the top national security official in the White House did not disclose thousands of dollars he was paid by a Russian air cargo company that was tied to the Russian government in the summer of 2015. He did not disclose thousands of dollars he was paid by a Russian software company tied to the Russian intelligence services in the fall of 2015. He did not disclose thousands of dollars and a free trip to Moscow for him and his son that were provided to him in the winter of 2015 by a Russian state-run media company. Nor did he obtain permission from the U.S. military to take that trip to Moscow to take that money from the Russian government or to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, all of which he was supposed to do, he was warned he was supposed to do it and he didn`t do it anyway.
He then did not disclose that entities linked to the Turkish government were paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars to represent the Turkish government`s interests during the campaign. He then did not disclose his contacts with Russian government officials during the presidential transition. He specifically did not disclose that his contacts with Russian government officials during the campaign and during the transition included him talking about Russian sanctions with them.
And now we know he didn`t disclose his paid involvement and his paid foreign travel to promote a gigantic Russian nuclear business deal in the Middle East in 2015 during the transition and even during his short-lived time as national security adviser. And now, the special counsel would also like a word with his son, please, as well.
At the national security blog "Just Security" today, they did a Q and A with somebody that used to work in the Office of Legal Counsel at the White House on this last point, on this last point that was disclosed today by these two Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Oversight Committee. They asked about basically how big a legal deal it is that Flynn didn`t disclose this Russian nuclear deal and the trip that he took to promote it.
Quote: question, if Flynn did indeed take this Middle East trip about the Russian nuclear deal and he failed to disclose it on his security clearance form, is that significant? Answer, an undisclosed effort to help broker a deal for Russian entities is a huge revelation in the context of the Russia investigations. It could be significant legally as it relates to FARA, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, false statements or Espionage Act investigations. The legal significance for each would turn on the nature of Flynn`s role in the deal and his mental state about his failure to disclose.
Follow-up question, at this point, is it safe to say that Flynn has some serious criminal liability? Answer, Mike Flynn is in significant legal jeopardy of criminal prosecution.
So, there is one report tonight that Mike Flynn is again resisting a subpoena to testify to congressional investigators. I`m not sure whether or not is that single report is true, but we can ask Senator Mark Warner about it in just a minute since reportedly that`s a matter concerning his committee.
But there`s also news tonight about that second item on the list. One of those Russian linked companies that paid Mike Flynn, that he initially didn`t think to mention when it came to his financial disclosures, Kaspersky Labs is just one of at least three different Russian entities that started shoveling money Mike Flynn`s way once Donald Trump started running for president, all payments that Mike Flynn initially didn`t disclose.
Well, today, the Department of Homeland Security banned all U.S. federal agencies from using that company`s software, because of concerns about Kaspersky having links to Russian intelligence and the possible use of Kaspersky`s software to help Russia spy around the world.
And whether or not that decision today to ban the use of Kaspersky software by all federal agencies, whether or not that has any relationship to the Russian attack on our election last year, Kaspersky is now just one of a number of tech companies that find itself at the center of these investigations.
Within the past week, Facebook has just started to admit that they took Russian money for ads tied to fake accounts that tried to influence Americans during the election last year. Now, we know those efforts included trying to gin up anti-immigrant protests in real life on U.S. soil. Now, that Facebook is admitting to those things, there are increasingly urgent questions about whether or not Facebook is going to allow investigators to figure out if it was -- if it was basically part of the crime scene for what the Russians did last year and for the crucial question of whether or not the Trump campaign participated in it.
But there`s one last hard thing that got reported today, and if you`ve been keeping a close eye on the Mueller investigation as the best hope for finding out what happened last year and for bringing charges against anyone involved, then I think this may be worrying. It`s about the Mueller investigation appearing to be stymied, appearing to be blocked in terms of their access to potentially critical witnesses.
We have been worrying about this for the Mueller investigation for a while. We got some good concrete reporting today about how those worries are coming to fruition. That story is ahead with Senator Mark Warner with the Senate Intelligence Committee. We`ve got lots going on tonight.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I`m disappointed that when Facebook came and presented to the Senate Intel staff, they didn`t lay out this incident.
REPORTER: You said Facebook didn`t originally disclose this piece of information --
WARNER: Just knowing, I don`t -- let me recheck this, but I do not believe that in the presentation they made to their staff that -- our staff that they disclosed this item.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Representatives from the company Facebook met with the Senate Intelligence Committee staff last week. As of yesterday, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, said that as far as he`s aware, Facebook didn`t disclose to his committee this new information that`s now been reported by "The Daily Beast", that in addition to buying ads on Facebook to try to influence the election, Russian operatives also used Facebook to try to organize in-person protests across the United States during the 2016 campaign.
Joining us now for the interview is Senator Mark Warner. He`s vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Senator Warner, really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much for being here.
WARNER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: So, let me ask you first. I have a few questions about this Facebook issue.
MADDOW: Did Facebook disclose to your committee the fact that in addition to Russia funding ads related to the election, they also used Facebook to try to organize real events? Did they disclose that they`ve confirmed that when they met with your committee?
WARNER: No, they did not. Facebook -- we had made a request. They sent a team in. And remember, we`re talking about Facebook where -- which over half of Americans use every day. We made these inquiries back last winter saying that we had heard and we thought that Facebook was both being manipulated by some of the Russians, that there were fake accounts, they were using this to, in effect, geo-target ads at certain communities to try to depress vote in the election.
And Facebook`s initial reaction was, oh, that`s crazy, there`s nothing there. Well, we now come to find, again, Facebook that half the Americans use to get their news from every day, that everything we said and more was true. They came in, made a presentation, said there was $100,000 plus of paid advertising. There were 3,000-plus ads purchased.
And in that presentation, they showed the staff, certain of those ads, but they didn`t allow the staff to keep any of that material. And I went back. I figured you`d ask this question, and to my knowledge, they made no reference to this effort to try to bring about protesters to an anti- Muslim, anti-immigrant rally.
It`s why I think that we`re still at the tip of the iceberg. The fact is, I don`t think Facebook has put the resources, the time, and I think there`s a lot more. They`ve discovered one of the troll farms that came out of St. Petersburg. My understanding is they didn`t even go back and check all those accounts to see if they had put out other ads.
We know from past reporting that there are a number of these troll and other efforts, Internet-based efforts that came out of other countries in Eastern Europe that Russia was known to organize. We`ve not had any evidence that they investigated those efforts as well. So, I think there`s a lot more questions. I believe I have more questions coming out of their staff interview than got answered. But clearly, there`s a lot more questions that need to be asked and answered.
MADDOW: And in terms of their willingness to answer those questions and your ability to compel them to, I was interested to see Facebook`s response to "Bloomberg News" today. "Bloomberg" was reporting on this controversy over whether or not Facebook is essentially part of the crime scene here, needs to be available to investigators.
And what Facebook told "Bloomberg" today was that they weren`t going to share any more details about how their platform was used during the campaign, quote, for operational and security reasons.
And I don`t know what that means. They`re also citing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as saying some of the information that you guys want access to may be protected by that Privacy Act. Given the way they`re sort of being resistant so far, do you feel like you and your committee have the ability to compel them to give you access to that data if they`re not inclined as a company to do it?
WARNER: Well, Facebook is a company that`s a remarkable American success story. Lots and lots of people rely on Facebook, not only for news, but for other information and communication. A lot of that is based on trust.
I would think that Facebook would want to cooperate with us. They`ve indicated in other releases that they would cooperate. I acknowledge that this is an area where it`s kind of the Wild, Wild West, and there may be need for additional rules.
But let`s go through two or three facts that we do know. One, clearly, there were Russians paying for ads on Facebook, and we`ll see if the same is the case with Twitter when they come in and talk to us. And to me, that appears to be inappropriate. We have prohibitions against somebody putting a foreign-based TV ad on MSNBC. I believe those same rules should apply on social media sites.
We also know as well that there is this inability to kind of look at the content. There may be some ad that runs on your show that I dislike or disregard, but as an American citizen, I`ve got a right to look at that content. What I think Facebook is saying we have no right as Americans to look at the content that`s being used to affect our political dialogue.
And third, you know, the question of the number of these fake accounts, they said they`ve identified I believe 470 fake accounts that might have been tied to Russia with this one troll farm. To me, I look and think back and say, well, Facebook didn`t take this seriously in our election. But by the time the French elections came in the spring, Facebook themselves reported they took down 50,000 accounts, 50,000 in France and 470 in America. To me, I believe that the Russian effort to interfere in our elections both using Facebook and Twitter but also attacking 21 states electoral systems, hacking into both political parties, releasing information only against one, to me, it seems that the Russian intervention in the American election was extensive, coordinated and frankly unprecedented.
I`ve got to believe if they took that much on, there`s probably more if -- to be discovered if they took down 50,000 sites in France. I would think they`d see equivalent numbers in the American elections, but that`s why they need to be a little more transparent and come forward.
MADDOW: And the transparency obviously applies not to just them policing their own platform and understanding what`s going on in being transparent about it, but also helping investigators piece together what may have happened there.
WARNER: Right. Facebook needs our trust as we go through this. They don`t have any of the same rules that apply to broadcasting stations, but as more and more Americans and folks around the world rely upon them, I think it does raise a host of new questions about who is going to curate the information, what kind of validity do we feel like the information that`s coming over.
Sometimes, the ads are only a piece. If you`ve got a series of false accounts liking certain groups or certain pages, that may drive those groups higher on the algorithms that would then appear on your Facebook newsfeed. So, a lot more questions to ask. And again, my hope that they would work with us because this increasingly is going to be the way people communicate in the political world.
MADDOW: Senator Warner, I have one more matter that I want to ask you about, which is something that I don`t think anybody else is worried about, but I am. And it`s bugging me. It`s about the progress of various investigations --
WARNER: The programs that I -- there`s a lot of stuff to be worried about.
MADDOW: Oh, good. Well, I have one big worry to ask you about. Do you mind just sticking around with us for just one more second?
MADDOW: All right. Senator Warner will be back with us in just a moment. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Last week, Manu Raju, who`s a really great reporter at CNN, he had this scoop. The headline was intensifying Russia probes could pit Capitol Hill against Robert Mueller.
That scoop last week was a big deal because it documented for I think the first time a known conflict between Congress and the special counsel, Robert Mueller. The conflict was about former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.
In late July, you`ll remember that the FBI raided Manafort`s house in Virginia. That raid came less than 24 hours after Manafort had done an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Now, what did Manafort say to that committee that day? What did he testify about which now seems especially interesting if him showing up for that testimony was what sparked the surprise raid on Manafort`s house that night after he testified?
Well, we don`t know what Manafort said in that testimony. And maybe that`s not that weird because it was behind closed doors. What does seem a little weird is that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, doesn`t know what Manafort said either.
Thanks to that CNN report last week, we know that Mueller`s office asked for the transcript of Manafort`s interview with the committee and didn`t get it. Whatever Manafort gave to Congress, Mueller has no idea which strategically may be important if Mueller`s strategy is to lean on Paul Manafort to try to flip him to then use his testimony against the White House. That only works if he knows what Manafort`s testimony is before the White House gets it from friendly congressman or senator on the Republican side.
Well, now today, Manu Raju at CNN further reports that the same thing has happened with the Senate testimony from Donald Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr. spoke to staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Robert Mueller`s office reportedly wants the transcript of that interview, but the committee at least thus far won`t give it to Mueller.
Two instances now Senate committees interviewing key witnesses apparently before Robert Mueller does and his special counsel part of the investigation, but then the committee`s have refused to give Mueller transcripts of what those witnesses said once he asked.
I don`t mean to be blunt here and I don`t know how all these deconfliction things work, but are these congressional investigations now blocking what Robert Mueller was trying to do? We knew there was going to be conflict. Is what`s happening on Capitol Hill investigating the Russia matter, is it blocking what the special counsel is trying to do?
Joining us now once again is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner.
Senator Warner, what is wrong with my worry about this matter?
WARNER: Well, I can`t speak to what happened with Donald Trump Jr. and the Judiciary Committee. We expect to have Donald Trump Jr. at some point in the future. We want to actually do it in an appropriate way. We want to try to talk to as many other people in the room as possible first before we bring in Mr. Trump Jr.
In terms of Manu`s report on Paul Manafort, I believe it is a little bit of a stretch. I think we will work through this. I think we want -- I can tell you, I want Mr. Mueller to have all the tools he needs to pursue his investigation, which could end up being a criminal investigation. Ours is a counterintelligence investigation.
In terms of the case of Mr. Manafort, Mr. Manafort changed lawyers during this time period, and I believe that will -- that issue will ultimately be resolved in terms of everybody getting the appropriate documents and information they need.
There will be -- you know, we do have different goals. And I want Mr. Mueller to be successful, but I also think we have and we`re one of the last bipartisan investigations going in this process. We have an obligation back to all the Senate as well as the American people to see how Russia intervened in our elections, was there collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians? And our standard of evidence is actually different than what Mr. Mueller may adhere to.
But this question of conflict, I know Manu and he`s a great reporter, but in terms of how the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special prosecutors getting along, I think we will work through all those issues.
MADDOW: But to be clear, about what you mentioned there about Mr. Manafort changing lawyers in the middle of this process, are you saying that whether or not Mueller gets the transcript of that interview will depend on what Manafort`s lawyer decides in that matter? Isn`t the transcript the property of your committee to do with it what you want?
WARNER: Well, Rachel, we are going through these witnesses. We`d much rather try to go through these witnesses on a voluntary basis rather than using subpoenas because we want to try to get as much information as we can.
We -- I can assure you, from the committee`s standpoint, we`re going to want to have Mr. Manafort back and have a chance for we as senators to question him as well. And we expect that to happen and, again, I can assure you on the macro level in that long list of what you`ve gone through just tonight in your program on the things to be concerned about, there were many other things earlier in the show that you listed. I`m not sure I would keep -- be awake all night on this issue. I think we are going to continue to work through deconfliction with special prosecutor Mueller. We`ve had a very good working relationship with him.
MADDOW: Senator Mark Warner, top Democrat, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee -- I know you do not do a ton of interviews, sir. I really appreciate you being here with us tonight and I hope you come back. Thanks for helping us understand.
WARNER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Appreciate it.
All right. We`ve got much more to come tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This week, there were two intriguing developments about Russian propaganda outlets that were both reported out by Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News. On Monday, it was the news that Sputnik, the Russia government funded news agency, Sputnik is now under investigation by the FBI. An investigation into whether Sputnik is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
And yesterday came the news about Russia Today, RT, the U.S. affiliate of Russia Today being notified by the Justice Department that they must register as a foreign agent. That is disseminating propaganda in the United States.
So, both Sputnik and RT starting to feel some heat in this country this week, ten months after they were named by the intelligence -- or eight months after they were named by the intelligence community for their role in the Russian attack last year on the U.S. election.
But if you`re looking for something in this field of study to keep you up at night, consider this person. Her name is Yulia Latynina. This is her announcing on Twitter on the right side of your screen there that she and her family were fleeing Russia, fearing for her life.
I don`t speak or read Russian but the little part in blue there at the end of her tweet, I am told reputably that what that says is #Putin. So, this is her announcing that she`s leaving Russia in fear for her life #Putin. Unsettled even when translated.
That news from her came 24 hours after she was awarded the Freedom of the Press Prize by the Russian Journalism Union, which is a prize named after Anna Politkovskaya, a famous Russian journalist who was killed, shot down in the lobby of her apartment building in Moscow in 2006.
Anna Politkovskaya, for whom that award is named, she wrote for "Novaya Gazeta", which is an independent newspaper in Russia. This woman, Yulia Latynina, also writes a column for "Novaya Gazeta", the independent Russian news organization that employed Anna Politkovskaya. She`s been one of the Kremlin`s most outspoken critics.
But now, after winning this award for freedom of the press, she`s now fleeing the country. Yulia Latynina says that she has endured a frightening string of attacks earlier this month. Her car mysteriously caught fire in what she believes is an assassination attempt. In July, her home was gassed.
Last year when she was on her way to work, she was doused with a bucket of feces. Her parents have already fled Russia in fear for their lives. Now so has she.
The Russian newspaper, "Novaya Gazeta", says that Yulia Latynina did not say that she was going. They also said that she is, quote, unlikely to return anytime soon.
Yulia Latynina claims that she was being followed. For a time, she had police protection, but after her car was set on fire, she said she was too scared and she left town. She left her home country.
She was very clear about the larger issue about with a why she was leaving. The forces that incubated those attacks, "Moscow Times" reports that Yulia Latynina believed, quote, the harassment resulted from an atmosphere of hostility toward opposition politicians and journalists actively encouraged by the Russian authorities.
That`s what life is like for journalists in Russia. You become one of the most known columnists in the country. You write things critical of the Kremlin. You win a freedom of the press award named for another acclaimed journalist who was shot dead in her apartment building and ultimately, you end up having to leave the country.
When those kinds of threats, that kind of hostility is aimed at journalists around the world, we tend to take it seriously as a matter of press freedom. We tend to hold ourselves up as a place that is a beacon for press freedom despite threats to it around the world. And so, when we start playing with that as a country, that`s playing with fire basically for the whole world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re not reporting it. Katy, you`re not reporting it, Katy. But there`s something happening, Katy. There`s something happening, Katy.
She`s back there, little Katy. She`s back there. What a lie it was -- no. What a lie -- Katy Tur.
Third-rate reporter. Remember that. Third rate. Third rate.
KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Does that not give you pause?
TRUMP: No, it gives me no pause if --
TUR: To have a foreign government able to --
TRUMP: You know what gives me more pause, that a American in our government, crooked Hillary Clinton, here is what gives me --
TRUMP: -- I know you want to save her.
TUR: The Pew Research which is independent.
TRUMP: Don`t be naive, you`re a very naive person.
TUR: The Pew Research says that for immigrants on the whole create --
TRUMP: Come on, try getting it out. Try getting it out.
TUR: I`ll get it out.
TRUMP: I mean, I don`t know if you`re going to put it this on television, but you don`t even know what you`re talking about. Trying getting it out. Go ahead.
Katy has not looked up once at me. The level of hatred is incredible. When these people --
TUR: I`m tweeting what you`re saying.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: All presidents, all presidential candidates have had hostile relationships with the press from time to time. This current president has a totally different reaction to the press and a totally different take on press freedom than any president that has ever gone before him. And the person who most personifies his hostility, condescension and aggression toward the press is NBC correspondent Katy Tur, who has now written a book about it and she`s here next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUDIENCE: CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Little bit of a glimpse of a day in the life of what it meant to cover the Trump campaign this past election. Katy Tur spent more than 500 days covering the Trump campaign. Her new book about it is called "Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History."
Katy, my friend, congratulations. Well done.
TUR: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: This story to me is a great behind-the-scenes look about what it takes to have been a campaign correspondent, but the thing that I found is most scary and most prescient and worrying about it, the thing I come back to is when you talk about people at Trump campaign rallies, screaming at you saying terrible things of Hillary Clinton, being violent or talking in terms that are very uncivil for American politics and you described them as people who wouldn`t behave that way in normal life. There`s something about being in a Trump environment gave people sort of permission to behave in a way they wouldn`t normally behave.
TUR: I can`t imagine anyone walking around screaming assassinate that "B" about anyone in this country in their regular lives, I can`t imagine being called a C-word in my regular life just walking down the street or any of the other names that I was called, any of the other names that other reporters were called and believe me, it wasn`t just me. It was all of us.
Collectively, in this pen, there was something -- you`re right, about the Trump rallies that allowed them to unleash, allowed them to become that version of themselves. That`s because the candidate on the stage could say whatever he wanted. And face no repercussions for it.
And he never backed down. And they felt like they could do that. They could unleash their anger.
And in many ways, Donald Trump was directing that anger at the press. Here, look. I brought with me this little group of the elite, the establishment, those who are keeping life not good for you.
MADDOW: Jeer them.
TUR: Jeer them. Here they are. I brought them here. They`re in a cage, they`re in a pen. You can yell at them.
MADDOW: And so, if the traditional means of enforcing political norms and the norms of civil discourse in this country is people are ashamed because they`re chastened breaking them, in this case, it worked backwards.
MADDOW: How do you solve that? How do you salvage civil discourse? How do you salvage the norms of political discourse in that context?
TUR: There`s an argument to say we went way too far with political correctness, that people couldn`t tell a joke, patriotism was mistaken for racism. And that`s a lot of who supported Donald Trump. They just felt like they were being boxed in and they couldn`t be themselves anymore, any version of themselves.
And maybe this is the overcorrection backwards and we are going to find some happy medium again. I mean, you go back. Just look at shows you would watch 10 years ago. Popular shows on broadcast TV, some of the jokes they make in the shows, I can`t imagine seeing on a show today.
We really did correct a lot and people did feel it and they were angry about it. And they felt like Donald Trump was helping them release all of that frustration.
MADDOW: Katy, you talk about having done this as sort of an outsider, not being a political journalist, not somebody who did the campaign thing before this, not being an asset covering such a strange campaign this way, I wonder now that you have been through that experience, now that you spent those 500-plus days on the trail and that it gave you some -- it gave you some insight into what works and doesn`t and you were able to predict that Trump was going to win and a lot of people thought he wasn`t to.
Does it make you want to do more of this kind of reporting?
MADDOW: Or do you want to regain your naivety?
TUR: No. I -- in some ways, I think it was extraordinarily as you said valuable to be naivety going into this. But I think what`s so valuable coming out of it was the interactions I had, even the ugly interactions with Donald Trump supporters.
MADDOW: That`s the most important thing in this book I think.
MADDOW: You`re talking to people supporting him, even when they were screaming at you.
TUR: Even when they were screaming, because you learn so much about why they voted for Donald Trump. And why they felt like he was the only option. And many of them felt like he was the only option.
People saw what he was. They weren`t blind. They weren`t deaf. Some were maybe putting their fingers in the ears and refusing to believe it, but they saw who he was.
They just feel and felt back then that Washington was so broken, so corrupt, so not out for them that somebody needed to come and throw a bomb into it. And when the Trump administration says that, justification for pretty much everything, they do have a point because Donald Trump supporters were not Republicans or Democrats or independents. They were Donald Trump supporters.
MADDOW: As a country, though, one of our values, one of our stated values in our Constitution and one of the things we hold up in terms of ourselves as a beacon to the world is freedom of the press and politicians and presidents and presidential candidates have always had combat with members of the press.
It`s different with Trump because he doesn`t even pay lip service to the ideal that goes behind the idea of our First Amendment. What`s the strategy for salvaging our respect for freedom of the press and the safety of doing journalism in this country when he`s profited so much off of the sort of two minutes of hate against journalists that he brought to the campaign and then to those events that is you covered?
TUR: You do your job. If you`re a journalist, you do your job every single day. And you do not back down.
You`re a journalist in Russia, you do your job every single day. And you do not back down until you absolutely have to flee the country. Like the woman you were just speaking of. But that`s how you maintain a freedom of the press.
MADDOW: Just by behaving as one.
TUR: By behaving one. Ultimately, I don`t think -- John McCain can come up and say this is terrible, the president shouldn`t do it. Mitch McConnell can get up and say, it`s terrible. The president shouldn`t do it.
Name your person. No one person is going to come out and finally wake everybody in this country up and say, oh, yes, it`s not OK to do this. Ultimately, it is the American people who are going to have to decide for themselves that they`ve had enough with this angry, violent rhetoric and they want to reinstitute some sort of balance because you have to remember something. Without journalists, it`s just propaganda.
MADDOW: Katy Tur`s new book is called "Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History." I have read a lot of campaign books. This one I think is important because of the way that you were able to put the people who were there who were trying to get such a rise out of you at the center of the empathy in your narrative.
And I learned a lot. And you`re great. Thank you. Congratulations.
TUR: Thank you. Appreciate it.
MADDOW: All right. That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Right here tomorrow in this studio sitting where Katy Tur is right now will be Hillary Clinton. She will be here for a live interview that I`m very excited about.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence.
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