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In William Barr Trump Finds Tool Against Political Enemies, Investigators

Thanks to at home for joining us this our very happy to have you with us happy fourth of July weekend and I don’t know if it’s the rolling out the tanks on the National Mall thing or what but for this fourth of July I have found myself a little bit stuck on a thing that we have never had before in this country that we do have now from this president it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country because you’d be in jail because you’d be in jail part of the way this president ran for office was by promising that he would jail his political opponents and in response to that threat consternation was expressed by his political opponents and by the sort of commentariat but on the right among Trump supporters the reaction was basically positive I mean I think there was a thrill at first at how how transgressive that was threatening that he would put Hillary Clinton in jail threatening that all of his political opponents would be in jail but that ultimately it just became a regular thing he said it just became part of the scenery it became part of his presidency I mean it started through the campaign at his rallies it continued through the RNC right thousands of the Republican Party faithful at the Republican National Convention or even supposedly normal Republicans like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie led thousands of Republicans yelling lock her up I mean now that Trump is president they still chant lock her up or lock him up at Trump events depending on which political enemy which adversary the president is talking about at that moment and so happy fourth of July this is a thing we have never had before in our country and now as the Democratic Party tries to figure out who they’re gonna nominate to try to beat Trump and get him out of the Oval Office next year I’ve been thinking about this threat to lock up his opponents thing in part because of what’s about to happen right smack dab in the middle of the crucial first two Democratic presidential debates of the campaign the first Democratic primary debate was last week second one is at the end of this month another two-day debate over the last two days in July and at the halfway point between those first two debates Robert Mahler is going to testify publicly before Congress about his investigation his investigation into Russia interfering in our election to

help Trump win the investigation into the Trump campaigns involvement or complicity in that and the findings detailed in mulish report about president Trump’s efforts to obstruct those inquiries and to obstruct justice that’s going to be July 17th talk about the event of the summer and I think we can expect Robert Miller’s testimony and his report won’t just provide material for the Democratic candidates to talk about in their next debate at the end of July I think this may also just be instructive in terms of what the eventual Democratic nominee is going to be up against when he or she goes up against Donald Trump one-on-one because there is no reason to think that this lock her up lock him up thing from Donald Trump and his supporters there’s no reason to think that this is a passing fancy and honestly we now know it’s not just a slogan I mean as much as it is tempting to look at the lock her up chance and and the constant tweets from the president about Hillary Clinton’s supposed in crimes I mean that’s literally how he announced his reelection campaign railing at a rally against Hillary Clinton for her supposed crimes and so that’s why he’s running for re-election in 2020 I mean if you were someone who was inclined to dismiss all that as Donald Trump you know letting off steam or trolling people or riling up the base well one of the things that ended up getting documented extensively in molars report is that this stuff hasn’t just been stuffed Donald Trump has been saying for effect in fact once he became president Trump indeed tried to get to the US Justice Department to go after his political enemies the president calling the Attorney General at home to tell him to quote direct the Department of Justice to

investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton the president meeting privately with the Attorney General and telling him quote that the Justice Department was not investigating individuals and events the president thought the department should be investigating like Hillary Clinton’s emails the president pulling the Attorney General aside in the Oval Office right after Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI the president again telling the Attorney General he needed to open an investigation of Hillary Clinton president telling the Attorney General quote you’d be a hero this wasn’t just stuff he said for effect Trump in multiple instances documented by Muller in his report Trump wanted his Justice Department to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton and he repeatedly told them to do it and he repeatedly expressed frustration and anger when that didn’t happen because he expected it to happen and and we know why he was frustrated too because as the Moller report makes clear President Trump viewed the Attorney General and the Justice Department as his own lawyers as his own personal law enforcement apparatus confronted with obstacles to that goal like rules prohibiting him from talking to the Attorney General about specific investigations confronted with the Attorney General jeff Sessions being recused from anything related to the 2016 campaign the Moller report says the president complained to his aides about those barriers to what he wanted to do by saying quote I don’t have a lawyer meaning that he wanted the Attorney General to function as his own lawyer quote the president then brought up attorneys General Robert Kennedy and Eric Holder and said that they had protected their presidents the

president also pushed back on Justice Department cotton on the Justice Department contacts policy and said words to the effect of you’re telling me that Bobby and Jack didn’t talk about investigations or Obama didn’t tell Eric Holder who to investigate Steve Bannon recalled that the president was as mad as Bannon had ever seen him and that he screamed about how weak Jeff sessions was quote sessions recalled that the president pulled him aside to speak to him alone and suggested that sessions should Unruh cues from the Russia investigation the president contrasted sessions with attorneys General Holder and Kennedy who he said had developed a strategy to help their presidents where sessions had not quote according to notes written by sessions as chief of staff Jody hunt the president said quote the Attorney General is supposed to be the most important appointment Kennedy appointed his brother Obama appointed Holder I appointed you and you refused yourself you left me on an island I can’t do anything I mean in a nutshell this is what the entire obstruction section of Muller’s report boils down to right in volume 1 we get the plot about Russia attacking our election to help Trump win we get the evidence that the Trump campaign welcome to Russia has helped in that election the FBI opening an investigation into the Russia attack including the question of whether there was any coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign then in volume 2 it’s the other plot it’s the plot of Trump as president right once Trump became president him doing everything he could to try to stymie the investigation into what Russia did and the involvement is of his campaign in it including repeatedly trying to get his attorney general not to just stop the investigation but to redirect Justice Department attentions away from Trump and toward Trump’s political enemies I mean the president’s campaign chairman was literally perp-walked to the start of his next trial on the day of the first democratic debate the president’s deputy campaign chair and his national security adviser are currently convicted and awaiting federal sentencing his longtime personal lawyer is in prison already for among other things crimes that prosecutors say the president directed him to commit and it is a fascinating thing in itself that the various

Democratic candidates are not making that a central part of their competition for the Democratic nomination to run against him but whether or not they’re making an issue an issue the president is running on this stuff the president is making this an issue in his campaign not just because of the fact that he’s the subject of all of this scandal and controversy he’s trying to run specifically on what’s happened in the wake of the Russia scandal by trying to turn it inside-out to try to turn it to his own advantage I mean the the loudest complaint of the pro-trump conservative media machine now and for the past two years Donald Trump’s loudest complaints since becoming president a complaint he continues to lodge on Twitter most days even now is that the Russia investigation wasn’t real and the Russia investigation was a coup against him and the real Russia scandal isn’t being investigated by which he means specifically that he didn’t have the kind of attorney general who would investigate the people he wanted investigated he didn’t have an attorney general who would turn the power of the Justice Department against his political enemies and of course against the people who investigated Donald Trump and what it was that Russia did to help him he didn’t have that with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General but now the president says he does happen he does have that and that’s what he wanted all along which is what he was promising those Brayan crowds since the campaign I would say if I had one do-over it would be I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General that would be my one that in your mind yeah that was the the big bill Barger Roy Cohn he should have never I think he’s a very talented version I’m a mother you’ve always said I was my Roy column is that your Roy Co no bar is a very equally tough he’s a fine man he’s a fine man the job he’s done is incredible he loves the Department of Justice he saw what was happening he has done a spectacular job now he’s in the process of doing something and I stay away from it I really I stay away from it but I think he feels that’s what’s happened in this country was a very bad thing and very bad for a country bill Barr he saw what was happening in the Justice Department he feels it was a very bad thing for our country and now he’s in the process of doing something about it what was the thing happening in the Justice Department that was so bad for our country I mean if Trump’s two qualifications for a good Attorney General are one protect the

president and to go after the president’s enemies well certainly we have seen Attorney General Bill Barre do a bang-up job on number one right absolving the president of obstruction of justice immediately upon receiving the special counsels report which absolutely did not absolve the president of obstruction of justice keeping that actual report under wraps for weeks while he publicly described its contents in a way that did not reflect its real content for weeks he selectively quoted from it to paint a picture of it as an exoneration of the president which is not what it was so part one protecting the president bang-up job bill Barlow has also been getting to work on part two launching the kinds of investigations that Trump has wanted for so long the kind that are promised on the idea that maybe the investigators of Russia’s interference in our election those investigators are the real bad guys because why should that have ever been looked into in the first place news just broke today that you have a special team looking into why the FBI open an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections I wonder if you couldn’t share with this committee who’s on that team why you felt a need to form that kind of a team and what you intend to be the scope of their investigation yeah I as I said in my confirmation hearing I am gonna be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed again at the the Trump campaign during 2016 I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal it’s a big deal so you’re not you’re not suggesting though that spine occurred I don’t well I guess you could I think there was a spying did occur yes I think spying did occur Oh finally finally an attorney general who’s giving Donald Trump some material he can work with you could feel the Glee and the president’s Twitter feed in the days and weeks following that testimony from William Barr you know all caps they spied on my campaign my campaign from was conclusively spied on nothing like this has ever happened in American politics treason treason exclamation point month after finally allowing a

redacted version of the mullah report to become public Trump’s newly installed Attorney General Bill Barr assigned the US Attorney in Connecticut man named John Durham to in fact investigate the origins of the Russia investigation to investigate the investigation Barre began giving soft-focus casual in front of a roaring fireplace interviews describing his concerns that people in law enforcement intelligence might have been out to get the Trump campaign and that’s the only reason anybody looked into what Russia was doing and then President Trump announced that he was handing Bill Barr the authority to declassify any information he wants to about the origins of the Russia investigation he can go through all of the intelligence community’s files and he can release anything he wants which I’m sure will be totally fine because it’s not like bill bars known for selectively releasing information from investigations to make President Trump look good and as the contours of bars investigation have started to come into focus over the past month it looks like he is training his sights on the central underlying premise of the entire Russia scandal and the entire Muller investigation that Russia and Putin attacked the 2016 election to help Trump win the Oval Office and that the the reason that needs to be investigated is because you know the FBI and the intelligence community recognizing that and investigating that while it was happening was somehow the wrong thing to do they should have just let that go from the New York Times quote mr.

Barr has been interested in how the CIA drew its conclusions about Russia’s election sabotage particularly the judgment that mr. Putin ordered that operatives help mr. Trump by discrediting his opponent Hillary Clinton according to current and former American officials quote mr. Barr wants to know more about the CIA sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign and this headline for The Wall Street Journal quote William VAR looking into u.s. finding that Russia wanted Trump to win intelligence officials express concern that Attorney General will challenge 2017 assessment quote mister bars review of US intelligence gathering we’ll look in particular at whether there were disagreements among intelligence analysts who produce the findings the review is also likely to look into whether the findings were motivated by political opposition to mr. Trump quote US intelligence officials have privately expressed concern that the

Justice Department plans to read team or challenge the finding of Russian interference on Trump’s behalf from CBS News quote a mix of concern confusion and defiance has spread through elements of the intelligence community in particular current and former intelligence officials are questioning the purpose and propriety of scrutinizing the analytical judgments that led a group of agencies to conclude that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to boost candidate Trump’s electability according to former CIA deputy director Michael Morell quote any analyst asked to submit to an interview with Durham’s investigators will want to have their own personal attorney at their side imagine that needing an attorney to explain an analytic judgment conducted while you are working for US intelligence agency well this will be watched closely inside the intelligence community and the prospect that Justice Department prosecutors may ask questions about how an analyst came to a conclusion could well lead analysts to damar so in other words if you’re a US intelligence analyst and you are looking at evidence of foreign interference in an American election foreign interference in American democracy and your analysis is bringing you to the conclusion that a foreign power is trying to insert a certain candidate into the White House to serve the purposes of that foreign power are you sure you want to put that down in writing because that candidate might become president and send the Justice Department to interrogate you might send Justice Department prosecutors after you because the president doesn’t like the way your intelligence analysis made him look or more immediately if you’re an intelligence analyst and you find yourself coming to the conclusion that a foreign power is currently helping the sitting president maybe you ought to think twice about what you’re gonna do with that conclusion to where you might put that conclusion who you might tell about it what you might say about it or do you instead just let it ride right nice little intelligence community you got there shame if anything were to happen to it so yes president Trump now says he finally has the Attorney General he always wanted just as the 2020 campaign gets fully underway lock her up lock her up and as Muller prepares to testify about

his investigation for the first time right between the two Democratic debates but there’s one other element at play here one other factor that Trump in his Attorney General don’t control and that is that people who were in some of this country’s key intelligence and key law enforcement positions during the 2016 campaign when the investigation was launched into the Russian attack on the election and the Trump campaigns possible complicity in it those human beings are alive and well and capable despite all the threats and intimidation they are capable of speaking out publicly about what they in fact saw and what they did and what they analyzed as its importance why that investigation was both in both important and proper why that investigation in other words still needs to be protected many of those people have been driven out of their jobs publicly attacked by the President and his supporters and particularly by conservative media put under investigation themselves one of those top officials who oversaw the counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign has only recently begun telling his story our interview with him is just ahead and stay with us hey there I’m Chris Hayes from MSNBC thanks for watching MSNBC on YouTube if you want to keep up to date with the videos we’re putting out you can click subscribe just below me or click over on this list to see lots of other great videos

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