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investigations scrutinizing nra’s russia connections. transcript: 1/31/19, the rachel maddow show.

by:Kenwei      2019-09-18
MSNBC host rachel maddow: There are a lot of nights at this point and I won\'t be here for another 30 seconds if you come to me now.
Chris Hayes, MSNBC host: I just jumped up.
I just jumped and you showed up on the screen. We did it.
Think of me as your human safety net, my friend.
I was there all the time. Not usually. All right.
Thank you, my friend.
Thank you for joining us this hour at home.
It\'s a pleasure to have you with us.
So, the great Kansas is a red state and it\'s been a long time.
In 2016 presidential election, Kansas backed Donald Trump\'s victory over Hillary Clinton by a score of 20 and 21.
Just a blowout.
But two years after the outbreak of the 2018 general election in November, voters in Kansas elected a Democrat as governor.
Her name is Laura Kelly.
On the same night that Laura Kelly was elected governor of Kansas, current congressman Kevin Yude from Kansas also lost a Democratic seat.
His seat was lost to a Native American gay Democratic woman named Sharice Davids.
On all glass ceilings, Sharice Davids broke the glass ceiling in order to get Kevin Yoder to sit down, which is also a bit like a guerrilla, I want to know that there is a Democrat in the Kansas delegation, but this is the case with ShariceDavids.
It did not stop on election night.
Since the night of the November midterm elections, working members of the Kansas state legislature conversion party have declined slightly.
Since the election night, four different members of the Kansas State Council have abandoned the Republican Party and announced that they are Democrats ever since.
And, you know, I mean, still no one would argue that Kansas should be called a blue state, even if all state lawmakers have defected in Kansas since election night, both the State Council and the Senate are still bright red.
But with Sharice Davids serving as the current Republican congressional seat, Laura Kelly served as governor, and the four members of the State Council moved from the Republican to the Democratic Party, Kansas is still red, but its edges begin to show a faint purple color.
This is another thing that just happened in Kansas.
Before this year\'s midterm elections, our show actually spent quite a bit of time in Kansas.
Especially in a famous historical town called Dodge City. Gunsmoke-tastic. (
Start Video Editing)
Male: Jacqueline (ph)
You left Dodge with Buell and the rest of you. (END VIDEO CLIP)
You came out of Dodge.
\"Gun Smoke\" famous Dodge City.
Dodge City is located in southwest Kansas.
They still celebrate the atmosphere of the old \"gunfight.
There is a gunman wax museum there.
Coincidence of the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame.
The couple are awkward, but, you know, they all pay the rent.
Today, the industrial base of Dodge City is meat packaging, which attracts many Hispanic workers and their families.
Dodge City, Kansas is now a minority-majority town, mostly Hispanic.
The reason we spent time there before last year\'s mid-term election was because the Republican elected officials of Red State kansasas made some amazing decisions when they voted in Dodge City, the state\'s largest minority community.
Last summer, Democrat Laura Kelly ran for governor of Kansas and the Republican she competed with was Chris cobach.
He is known nationwide as a national celebrity, in part because he is the head of President Trump\'s bogus, now disbanded voter fraud commission.
Chris cobach has also given himself a national name in recent years to try to sell other states outside Kansas whose policies aim to make it difficult for as many Democratic voters as possible to vote, count.
But when he ran for governor of Kansas in November, he was also Kansas\'s secretary of state, the state\'s top election official, and under his leadership the city of Dodge was decided, the largest minority town in the state, they decided to give up one of their polling places, one of their polling places.
About 13,000-
Registered voters in DodgeCity.
Before the past elections, they were already in a bad state in terms of getting votes.
For the 13,000 voters, before the last election, there were precise polling places in all parts of Dodge City.
But in the mid-term elections, in the November elections, Chris kobachy will be among the best in the mid-term elections as the Republican Governor\'s Committee, and Republican officials in Kansas think there are too many polling stations in Dodge City, so this polling station will be closed.
They said it was because the building would make it inaccessible to a polling station in Dodge City, so they shut down a polling station in the whole town and instead opened up another road outside of the city.
So we sent a staff member over.
We sent a show producer to Dodge to see if there\'s any observable reality here, right?
If there is any rhyme or reason for this statement by Republican voters in the state, they decide that 13,000 voters in Dodge City, mainly Hispanic, should be given zero places to vote in their town.
When we arrived at Dodge, the first thing we learned was that the new voting place they opened outside of the city was difficult to get in touch with acar.
It is impossible to arrive without one.
The second thing we learned by visiting Dodge City is that the superficial reason for closing a polling station in town, the so-called building of the traditional polling station, does not seem to directly affect anything that enters the polling station.
Many other events were held at the location where the polling station was located.
There is no mass destruction to justify what they are trying to escape.
When we got to know that county election officials had sent notices to new voters in the city of Dodge with their new out-of-town wrong address to limit voting places, the whole thing seemed more suspicious.
The situation seems to be worse than when ACLU of kansas wrote to local election officials, county officials-who moved the polling station out of town and sent the wrong address for the polling station.
ACLU wrote to the county election officer and asked her to help promote a voter help hotline containing information about the correct voting place.
Senior county election officer forwarded email
ACLU\'s mail.
She forwarded it to Chris cobach from the Office of the Republican secretary of state, adding her own title to the help ACLU asked for, and she added it to the email
Mail is her own review and I quoted LOL-this is the email I received from ALCU LOL.
Of course, in this case, it means no, I won\'t give you any help in promoting the real address.
After all this, ACLU filed a lawsuit.
They think it is illegal to happen in the DodgeCity.
First, it denied the rights of Hispanic voters in that town.
One of the plaintiffs in the case was an impressive young man named Alejandro Rangel.
Lopez, 18, graduated from a local high school.
He told us that last year he was 18 th birthday and was very excited to be able to vote for the first time, but he really wanted to be able to vote in the town where he lived, so he thought it was worth fighting. (
Start Video Editing)
Alejandro Lanher-
Lopez, a high school student in Dodge City: My family is an immigrant.
My friend is an immigrant.
This community is made up of immigrants, many of whom are undocumented or DACA recipients or dreamers.
They don\'t have the right to vote, and they don\'t have any other rights that citizens like me have.
It is very important, as my parents instilled, that those who have the opportunity to vote exercise their right to vote and do everything possible to make it easier to vote, or let their voices hear questions that are important to them. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Finally, Alejandro did not vote within the city of Dodge City in the 2018 election.
Despite the lawsuit, a judge ruled that it was too close to the planned polling station to make any changes before the mid-term election in novinbo.
So everyone who wants to vote in DodgeCity has to find a way to get to this place outside the city.
But now, tonight, we can tell you that next time there\'s electionin Dodge City, it\'s going to be this year\'s election in August for the next election in Dodge City, in fact, people will be allowed to vote within the city because the lawsuit is valid.
All the pressure, all the struggles, led to a final concession by the Republican county election Secretary.
They have now announced, well, they will announce and open two new polling stations within the city of Dodge City, and they will be ready for this year\'s primary.
Alejandro and LULAC are the union of joint citizens of Latin America and the ACLU who voluntarily bring a motion to dismiss their proceedings because they get what they want, so, you know, they didn\'t get it in time for the mid-term exam, but they got it.
Sometimes you win when you fight.
Sometimes when you fight in an environment that seems absolutely unforgivable and impossible, sometimes the environment changes and it makes you win.
I mean, Democrat Laura Kelly is one of the places to run for governor on the way to win the State Council.
One of the places in Shecampaigned is Dodge City.
What is she running for there?
Improve the chances for voters to vote.
Now, the chance for voters in Dodge City to get a vote has increased, and she is in charge of the state government, where Chris cobach is out of work.
But, again, the basic fact of Dodge City is-next time, you will no longer leave town to vote as before.
I mean, there are a few more things to see here.
The case is dismissed without prejudice, which means that if the plaintiffs start to believe that they need to do so to control the county and hold the state accountable, then the case can be brought back to life very quickly, right?
Ensure that Hispanic voters are treated equally in the town of Kansas.
It can come back.
Deny without prejudice what it means.
If you think about it, it\'s still a bit crazy for 13,000 voters that Dodge City has only two planned polling stations.
But, I mean, there are at least two more polling stations than their polling stations, which is zero.
So the battle is not permanently over, but they do win what they want, and for Alejandro and ACLU and the voters of that town, the victory is a victory and they will not give up.
It does show you that things change even where they seem to never change. Things change.
Kansas voted for Trump by 20 points.
Two years later, they voted for Laura Kelly to become the Democratic governor of the state.
The same night that Laura Kelly became the Democratic governor of Kansas, the Democratic Party won control of the Washington House.
Over the past few days, we \'ve begun to see what this will mean, from how your federal government works, how Congress works, how it spends its time, what it\'s doing.
The first bill that Democrats have proposed and presided over the hearing is what they call H. R. 1.
This is a comprehensive bill on voting power and anti-corruption.
Corruption measures.
It is a piece of legislation that has reached all the highs in terms of small \"D\" democratic reforms.
It will stop the partisan division of congressional constituencies.
So instead of having the State Council set up constituencies that will maximize the benefit of their own political parties, it\'s doing independent, non-partisan rezoning in each state, so you don\'t need all these guaranteed Republican seats, there is no need for secure Democratic seats.
This would make Election Day a federal holiday, so no one skipped the vote because they couldn\'t ask for leave.
It will guarantee early voting days for every federal election in every state of the country.
Now, some states vote early, and some do not vote early.
It will set up voter registration nationwide and if you do not want to register you have the opportunity to opt out, but everyone else has already registered.
It will prevent states from removing registered voters from their list of voters, as Chris Bach has advocated nationwide.
This will expose the president and the Supreme Court to the same moral and-
Corruption is the same as everyone else in the government. Imaginethat.
This will force dark money groups and super PACs to have to disclose their donors so we don\'t have more anonymous money pouring into the campaign.
When Democrats first brought this legislation up, you always pick something to do H. R. 1, right?
This is our top priority.
This is what we want to know when we take the mallet.
When Democrats first brought this legislation forward, I don\'t think Republicans were worried or thinking too much at first, but when Democrats are H. R.
This week, Republican witnesses were frightened and it was hard for Republican lawmakers to wake up.
Many of the contents of this bill, in particular
I think Republicans are starting to take the threat and potential appeal of this bill more seriously.
This is a House bill, but in response to this House bill, Senator Mitchell McConnell stood on the floor of the Senate, calling it a power grab.
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii applauds him, and yes, voting is a power grab for citizens.
One of the other elements of H. R.
This has never caused controversy, not to mention the recent partisan issues as it was a few years ago, a provision requiring the vice presidential candidates and presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns to the public, otherwise they will not be allowed to run.
The Donald Trump presidential candidate is the first time since Nixon that he or she has not disclosed his or her tax returns, not to mention that the current president has not disclosed his or her tax returns.
But, although this is very different from the bipartisan precedent and the continuing issue of his tax returns that he does not want to disclose, the Republicans absolutely decided not to care, at least, when they unified control of Congress during the first two years of Trump\'s presidency, they decided not to do anything about it.
Today, we understand that things will change under the new Democratic leadership of Congress.
Next Thursday, the subcommittee, led by Congressman John Lewis, will hold its first hearing on the candidate\'s tax return in various ways.
This is the first tax cut since Donald Trump became the first major party candidate to refuse to release him.
The hearing will be referred to as \"legislative proposals and tax laws related to the presidential and vice-presidential tax returns \".
\"Again, this is in the context of the proposed Democratic legislation that requires all vice presidents and presidential candidates to disclose this information if they want to run.
The hearing will begin a week at 2: 00 today.
They live in streamit.
In the days since the negotiations ended, Democrats have held hearings in Congress to discuss the issue of pharmaceutical companies raising prescription drug prices.
You may remember showing that health care and health care costs are the biggest incentive for Americans to vote in this year\'s election.
When the voters were elected to the Democratic Party with a historic advantage, they gave 40 Republican seats to the Democratic Party.
Democrats know that.
They know that anger, fear and worry about medical expenses are a big reason why voters pick them and get them on stage.
So the first full day of hearings under Democratic leadership-and Congress under Democratic leadership included radical hearings on pharmaceutical companies raising drug prices.
The Democratic Party also held hearings to hear the president\'s extraordinary but clear and unreasonable decision to send thousands of ofU. S.
The army arrived at the border just before the midterm elections.
Is this a presidential stunt? This was designed to have a political impact, for no other substantive reason?
Worth asking at least.
The Democratic Party has begun.
Next Wednesday, the first eight-year climate change hearing will be held.
In fact, there will be two members of the energy committee and one member of the Natural Resources Committee.
Now, at the heart of these committees are Democrat Raul grejarrava and Frank Palon, both of whom are Democrats.
Neither of them thinks climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and can easily be proved by the persistence of winter.
Next week will be the first in eight years and there will also be a hearing on gun violence.
Consider this question.
For eight years-eight years, there has been no hearing on gun violence.
This means that through Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado, and the yard shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando, the Pulse nightclub shootings, and the fact that Las Vegas and Texas are there, 27 people were shot dead, Pittsburgh synagogue and parklands, Florida, through all this-these are just above my head.
These are just some of them, right?
No hearings were held in the house.
They did not respond.
They have no concern about anything related to all these shootings in the country.
In fact, they considered holding a hearing on violence on 2017, and they were close, but the hearing was canceled due to professional baseball shooting.
On 2016, after 50 deaths at the pulse nightclub in Orlando, 53 more were shot dead and injured, while Congressman John Lewis was in a sit-in.
Speak to Congress.
They sat for 25 hours late at night and asked Republicans to allow some sort of vote on some kind of gun reform, some sort of response, or anything.
The Republican Party did not respond. Nothing. Not a hearing.
For eight years, there was no chance of even talking about it.
Well, the Democratic Party will host a gunfight hearing next week.
It will be on the Judicial Council.
California Congressman Ted Liu is a member of the committee.
He said online that when the hearing was announced, the American people gave control of the House to Democrats.
What does this mean?
No more stupid to hear Hillary\'s emailmails.
Instead, the House Judiciary will hold hearings on gun violence next Wednesday.
We will pass the background check bill next Thursday.
All of these hearings will be held in the house and they will most likely pass a lot of them.
Nancy Pelosi is very good at managing her caucus so that when things happen it involves the floor because they know who will vote for it and they will take things to the floor, because they want it to pass and then they pass it.
Now, when they pass things in the House, where do these things go?
What will the pressure from Congress change?
They can get people\'s attention through the hearing, what will this change?
Will the new policy be introduced?
I know they can pass the bill in the house.
Does that mean they can pass the new law?
The Senate is here.
The White House is there.
I mean, I don\'t know, but suddenly, the prospect of what they\'re already doing makes Congress more important than it has been for a long time.
Democrats and some observers who don\'t want to be voted have hinted that even if you look at something in the big H of the Democratic PartyR.
Bill 1, some counter
Corruption measures in the bill, if broken out alone, some of them may be too hard for Republicans to resist.
Some of them may have enough support from the Republican Party.
They could become law. We`ll see.
There are real signs that things can actually change on foreign policy-related issues, perhaps in the short term, and even Republicans in these countries seem willing to break with the president from time to time.
A number of Republican senators had a cross-vote with the Democratic Party to try to prevent the Trump administration from lifting Russian sanctions against olgedrapska, but the number of Republican cross-votes was not enough to stop the government.
They need more votes, but they get double digits.
In the House, more than 100 Republicans, along with Democrats, are trying to stop the Trump administration.
Senate Republicans today support Legislative condemnation of the presidents of Syria and Afghanistan.
The president tweeted something that looked like he was ordering the president of the United States. S.
Withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan
It\'s really just his Twitter feed and it\'s not clear what he wants to do or what he\'s actually doing, but Senate Republicans said today, they are at least willing to blame him on such issues.
Whether you think about whether Syria and Afghanistan should have more American troops and how long it will last, this dynamic will be fascinating.
I mean, Congress, even Republicans.
On the side of the Senate that controls Congress, they may stand up on such issues, express their views, and withdraw some power on such issues, which will be a huge thing.
I mean, the issue of war power and the issue of authorizing the use of military power is growing during the presidency.
For every President since Vietnam, this is increasingly ruthless --way swing of U. S.
Consolidate military forces during the presidency-decision-
Power and authority over the United StatesS.
The administration is consolidating its military forces.
I read a book called \"drifting\" in 2012. \"without pointing out, the thing that could turn this trend around would be to elect a president who is widely viewed on a bipartisan basis as clearly unfit to use this concentration when it comes to the United States. S.
But here we are.
Now that President aTrump has put the clock in another direction, Congress may now want to assert that, as the Constitution says, in fact, war and the use of force are things that Congress should decide, not just the president.
We will see.
What is the possible field, if you fight for it, what field you might achieve, and that is what the US is changing at the moment.
I mean, ask Dodge City, Kansas, and their two new polling places, their Democratic governors, their crimson legislature, and they get bluer every day, whenever a new lawmaker jumps out of the Republican Party and declares himself a Democrat.
We will see.
Things are constantly changing.
Some of the things that people have been fighting for seem to be hopeless careers, and suddenly, it will be the cause of winning this year.
We are at such a turning point.
But in national politics, we don\'t have to wait and see where changes have taken place, on the question of who is authorized to let things happen and say how things will end, there is already a breakthrough, and that is in the area of oversight, and last night we broke the news story about the Democrat who was just authorized to pick up the mallet.
Republicans procrastinate as much as possible, but he is now finally allowed to start his work.
He will be one of the most powerful people in Washington and one of the most powerful Democrats in the United States, and he will join our livenext. (
Business break)
Congrats to the United States, we finally have a committee, a complete committee.
It\'s not entirely clear why it took so long, but Republicans finally appointed Republican members yesterday who will attend a meeting of the House Intelligence Committee.
They waited two weeks.
In these two weeks, all they did was change the guy and leave the rest of them who were on that committee before, so no one knows why it took them so long but they came anyway.
The important thing about those nominated for the intelligence committee is that these Republicans are now in place, and now the members know and are in good condition, and now, the committee can finally start work under the leadership of the New Democratic Party chairman and Congressman Adam Shiff.
Now, Congressman HIFF said that the first business of this newly formed committee will involve interview records of more than 50 witnesses who gave evidence in secret during the commission\'s Russian investigation.
Congressman HIFF said that under his leadership, the first thing Intel has to do is to hand over the official copies of these transcripts to special counsel Robert Miller and his prosecutor.
Of course, Miller has made it clear that he will be charged with lying to Congress.
Just ask Michael Cohen or Roger Stone.
Adam Shiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, is joining us now. Mr.
Thank you very much, chairman, for making time for us tonight.
Thank you very much for being here. REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA)
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee: it\'s good to be with you.
MADDOW: So, can you explain to us the importance of these transcripts? These transcripts are transcripts of witness testimony that occurred after your committee.
What is the importance of these transcripts and the fact that they are now being communicated to special counsel?
HIFF: Well, there are a few reasons that are important.
This is important because special counsel will need to obtain these transcripts if they want to file charges of perjury.
They need to be able to compare the testimony with the facts they are aware of, otherwise they cannot use those transcripts in court proceedings.
From Bob Miller\'s report to Congress or the attorney general, it may also be important that he is able to use the facts that we can find as part of his analysis and his report
So, that\'s what we \'ve been looking forward to doing, and frankly, we wanted to do it a long time ago.
But now that we have appointed the last Republican, we can finally begin.
MADDOW: are you upset that it took so long, are you worried that there might be such a long delay in getting your Republican colleagues to sit down?
Shiff: I do worry because they obviously don\'t make a change to the Commission.
They just added a member, and one of the named members will leave the committee.
It doesn\'t take weeks or even weeks.
Even so, they have enough time to prepare.
So it looks like it\'s trying to delay the investigation.
I think it\'s a pointless effort, but if it\'s a sign of the future, they intend to play the role of a scratch person or continue the role they \'ve played over the last two years, for example, as an extension of Giuliani\'s defense team, it would be very regrettable.
Anyway, we will move on.
But if they are willing to work with us, I would rather move forward on a bipartisan basis.
MADDOW: on the issue of witness testimony, it\'s interesting here that the Republican majority in the last Congress basically declared the end of the Russian investigation.
They released a report that I think could be simply summarized as \"no collusion\" and said it was done.
You and your Democratic colleagues accused you of not conducting the investigation.
Obviously, under your leadership, the survey will be reorganized in an important way.
Nevertheless, these 50 witnesses have come to your committee.
As you said, there is a problem with the transcript and communication to the special counsel.
Can I ask if your committee has the ability or has considered or indeed filed any criminal case with the Department of Justice concerning witnesses that you believe lie to you in their testimony?
Shiv: We don\'t have a transfer of criminal cases.
What we really want to do is provide the special counsel with evidence for him to judge who he believes is in violation of the law, especially when it comes to false testimony from our committee.
I\'ll tell you, though, that in terms of the report you mentioned about nine months ago from the Republican People\'s Congress, it\'s basically a report that says we believe every denial we hear in the committee.
So we believe everything Michael Cohen says.
I fully believe everything Roger Stone said.
We don\'t need to go any further.
We don\'t need documents.
We don\'t need records.
We have to calculate everything we hear at par value.
You can\'t do a credible investigation like this.
For example, we want to look at the problem of using NRA as a potential reverse channel, people like Maria boutina, but, you know, their point of view is that there is nothing to see here.
Obviously, there\'s something to see here.
This is the asset Russia is trying to infiltrate NRA.
Therefore, we are determined to find out the truth about this issue.
Rachel, they\'re a lot of witnesses too, and they just came in and simply said we wouldn\'t answer the questions.
Steve Bannon declined to answer questions from all categories. Don Jr.
Amongothers refuses to answer questions from all categories, and if you ask witnesses to choose the questions they want to answer, you cannot investigate.
Members of Congress, CNN and ABC reported tonight that on the Senate side, investigators have been given-it\'s a vague language and I don\'t want to try to be more specific than what they say in the report.
This is not the report from MSNBC, and NBC has not confirmed this.
But they claim that Senate investigators have received some information about Donald Trump Jr.
Before 2016 Trump Tower meetings during the campaign, he called the blocked number several times.
You have suggested that this is one of the things that is important to your committee to find out if these blocked figures indicate this-this may indicateTrump Jr.
In fact, he is calling his father and may be talking to candidate Donald Trump about the Trump Tower meeting with all the Russians.
What do you think about this new report, and what do you think about the importance of the whole event now?
Hef: Well, the problem is we can\'t confirm the report because the Republicans won\'t let us get the record.
This is such an obvious step of investigation, an obvious step of investigation, and now we are in progress and we will take this step very early.
That\'s who Xiao Tang is.
I was talking about that meeting at Trump Tower.
These conversations can be conducted over the phone or by Don Jr.
Walk in the hall and talk to Dad.
But knowing that the president is involved in all this is key, and if we look at what we already know, we already know that the president and his son mislead the country at a meeting held during the campaign.
They even denied that they had happened.
Then, when they met a meeting like the one at Trump Tower, they misled the country again.
It is reported that the president and his son made up a false statement saying that the meeting was about adoption, which was not to be a big blow to Hillary Clinton, nor did it ask the Russian government to try to help Trump run, which, in fact, was clearly the purpose of that meeting.
So we need to figure this out.
Why all the lies? Why thecover-up?
What else is happening here?
I think one of the key parts is to find out the role of the President in all this.
MADDOW: member Adam Shiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee-Sir, I know your life will be very, very busy.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us tonight. You bet. Thank you.
We have a lot to do tonight. Stay with us. (
Business break)
MADDOW: now that Democrats control half of Congress, they\'re going to hold their first hearing on gun violence in the United States in eight years, and what\'s likely to shake a bit is the National Rifle Association, member Adam Shiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, just mentioned this.
Of course, NRA is a legendary organization.
In terms of political power, money, and lobbying power, it\'s like a classic modern American case study.
But it turns out that if you shake NRA\'s tree these days, it will fall on you.
Tim Burr, whatever happens to the NRA now, it\'s not what it used to be.
I mean, in the last few years, their financial situation has obviously collapsed.
They set up a network of nra TV, which is a very high network. profile thing.
Apparently it\'s an internal explosion.
It is reported that they even took the free coffee machine for the employees and tried to save some money at the headquarters.
Their spending in the last election was completely reversed from past history.
In all previous elections, the NRA absolutely dominated spending on anyone who donated money on gun reform and gun rights.
This year, on the other side of their problem, they have outspent people.
But, quoting this sentence, the NRA seeks a distance from Russia as the investigation heats up.
This is from the New York Times this week.
On 2015, NRA\'s profile donors, supporters and board members traveled to Russia, where they visited a gun factory in Moscow, attended ballets and met with members of Putin\'s inner circle.
But now, NRA is trying to distance itself from a Russian woman who helped arrange Maria Butina\'s plot to infiltrate the group\'s revolution.
NRA\'s lawyer told The Times this week that NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre opposed the trip.
His lawyer said he banned NRA staff from going to Russia.
On this trip, NRA President a said, Oh, I am also considered a candidate for a trip to Russia, just like Wayne.
Yes, we all know it\'s a good idea.
\"The Times\" notice quite dry, quote Sir
Lapierre\' spower is within the organization and, despite his opposition, it is not clear how such a trip will proceed.
You can understand why theNRA now wants to deny 2015 trips to Moscow.
The public account of why they are traveling is always strange enough.
I mean, the narrative about this trip is that the NRA people went to Moscow to establish contact with the Russian organization for gun rights, which mysteriously received the blessing of the Putin party.
Now, in reality, on Earth, there is no movement of gun rights in Russia, and of course it is not controlled by big powers, right?
None of them will be led by senior leaders.
Senior members of Putin\'s party, such as those who hosted the NRA delegation in Russia.
So the cover story didn\'t make sense at first.
Now, of course, we can be sure that this trip is an intelligence operation in Russia, because the woman who runs the so-called gun rights organization has promised to act as a secret agent of the Russian government in the United States, using gun rights as an excuse, penetrate conservative American circles through NRA.
Maria boutina pleaded guilty.
She is now working with the federal prosecutor.
The court\'s documents appear to indicate that she testified at least many times before a grand jury. Ms.
It is reported that boutina\'s American boyfriend is basically her nameless conspirator in her indictment, and he is also within the eyes of the prosecutor and has received a target letter from the prosecutor.
Congress, the FBI and special adviser Robert Miller conducted an investigation into Dela\'s relationship with Russia.
This is one thing, you know, it might explain this little monster
If all these innocent NRA people want to visit the Russian gun factory and travel with this beautiful Russian lady, if they are all deceived by the Russian intelligence service, they don\'t know what this is all about.
But the more we learn, the more things we just learned today show us that in fact they have no chance of being cheated at all, the more we know about what\'s going on in this relationship, the more we know about what happened to America\'s great gun rights organization and the Russian government, the weirder it is than they have admitted before.
We\'re going to tell this story next. Stay with us. (
Business break)
MADDOW: in 2015, an American Republican activist named PaulErickson wrote an electronic article.
Mailed to members of the NRA delegation traveling to Moscow.
Paul Eriksson is Mary boutina\'s boyfriend.
She is a Russian citizen and has now pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate American politics and Republicans in economic service under the pretext of the gun rights movement, becoming half of the Russian government.
She played a key role in organizing the NRA Moscow trip in 2015.
Her boyfriend Eriksson sent an email.
Just before the departure of the trip, mail it to the members of the delegation.
The Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff quoted his email
Post in a new article just published today by beast.
Eriksson wrote in the email that the former NRA president who led the delegation to Moscow is seeking a private interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He said that the Russian official who organized the trip, Maria boutina\'s handlers in the Russian government, have proven the possibility of such an interview, so the NRA delegation really needs to leave their Russian hosts
Quotation, high risk.
Eriksson seems to have also clarified in this email
The Mail said the trip to Fort Moscow was more than just a cyber campaign on gun rights.
He wrote this letter to the members of the NRA delegation to Moscow, citing a sentence we discussed during lunch in Iowa, which Russia believes
High-level engagement with the NRA could be the best way to give a neutral introduction to the next US president.
This simple and friendly trip will have great diplomatic consequences for the future of the United States. S.
Bilateral relations between Russia and the world.
From that e-
Paul Eriksson has a common understanding with at least one member of the NRA delegation, that is, what Russia wants from this trip, to bring these people to Moscow, it\'s American politics. when they set out to travel, they seemed to be on board too.
Well, now the leadership of the nra is like, oh, we certainly didn\'t agree.
We tried to stop it.
We don\'t think people should do that.
The NRA tried to stay away from this trip that took place in Moscow for 20 years, which seems to have happened in a bit of a collapse of the NRA.
We do not fully understand the importance of what may happen that they are so worried about.
But, obviously, after the fact that they are denied at least believing that this is a big deal, you can see from their own actions and their own mistakes now.
It makes you want to know what they know, and what these journalists know and worry about the story, but it is clear that you can see from their actions that after a long time of denying the facts, they believe at least this is a big deal.
I mean, it makes you want to know what they know and the fact that these journalists have been digging into the story and constantly providing new details.
Now joining us is the reporter who broke the story, The Daily Beast political reporter Betsy Woodruff.
Bessie, nice to meet you.
Thank you for being with us tonight.
The Daily Beast, a political journalist: of course.
So, I think two things happen at the same time.
Nra seems to be a bit crashing and seems to be a bit crashing.
They seem to be panicking about what happened between them and Russia.
Do you understand that this is their concern about the trip to Moscow in 2015?
Is it about the arrest and cooperation agreement of Maria boutina?
What do you know about them?
What I can tell you is that, ironically, the Trump administration period is a surprisingly challenging time window for the NRA.
Historically, NRA was the most successful.
When the Democratic Party comes to power, it gets the most members and the most money, because the NRA can push the claim that the Democratic president will steal your gun and use regulatory power
Many times when Democrats become presidents, or when they expand their political power, we see conservative Americans who may buy some of these theories, rush to buy ammunition, rushed support out of fear, their right to have any weapons is online.
So when Trump became president, it was surprising that although the group had allies at the top of the US government, many of their grassroots supporters, at least that\'s what I think in the US gun rights group, and I \'ve become a little complacent and have reduced investment in supporting the NRA, just because as long as Trump is in office, they wouldn\'t worry about someone trying to take their guns.
And, Bessie, this Paul Eriksson.
On 2015, you received an email about all these oscow trips to NRA honchos, which seems to make the trip to Moscow a very important thing for NRA, which is significant
Why do you think the NRA is now redefining how this trip happened and claiming that in fact all of their leadership is very opposed and they don\'t want this to happen?
WOODRUFF: there\'s no doubt that part of the reason they re-built it is because they want things to get worse.
We have reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee has received an email.
Emails from nra are related to their trip to Moscow, and as part of the committee\'s efforts to investigate Russia\'s influence on American politics, Senator Ron Kumar has been helping to do the same
So inside the NRA it is expected that in the end everything will be made public in one way or another, these senior investigators will show Americans how Russians are trying to take advantage of the broader view of NRA\'s influence on American politics.
So my feeling is that people in the gun rights community and the NRA are definitely worried about it and are trying to get out of trouble ahead of time and start shaping the story.
That\'s part of the reason for this email.
The Mail is so important because it shows what the NRA is saying now, not the way they are trying to look at their position in American politics, but what Paul Eriksson is saying, who is a long-
Time NRA insiders and members of the American human rights community were very influential when he was having private conversations.
A detail of this email
I found that the very high profile email was Paul Eriksson, who was not the most reliable narrator in the world, but David Keane, then former president of the NRA, alan Cole, who was president of NRA at the time, was absolutely furious, his last
Minutes to travel are canceled.
According to toErickson, it is clear that I contacted Keene and cps and I did not get any objections from Erickson regarding the claim made by them.
According to Eriksson, what he said in this email was David Keane, the group\'s predecessor.
The president is considering ending his friendship with Alan Cole, the group\'s current president, because Keane is very concerned about this trip to Moscow and has been successful as a result.
We know Keane wants some face-to-face time with Putin on this trip.
An important detail is that part of the trip was funded by a group backed by Russian oligarchs.
We know that the trip is very successful, the trip is very successful, and the mood is very high. MADDOW: Yes.
So now, for the NRA, trying to say, oh, this trip, it\'s nothing, we probably shouldn\'t have done that, we knew at the time that it was a bad idea, it\'s interesting to see this evolving story.
\"The Beast of the day\" political reporter Bessie Woodruff-great work, Bessie.
Nice to meet you. Thank you.
Thank you, Rachel.
We will be back soon. Stay with us. (
Business break)
MADDOW: today, in the mysterious case before the Federal Court of D, some new crumbs were discardedC.
From last year
This is a very interesting case, partly because we don\'t know anything about it.
We know it involves Robert Mueller and special counsel.
We know that the federal court system is dealing with this matter quickly.
But we don\'t know what\'s going on.
It involves a company.
We don\'t know which one.
A company wholly owned by a foreign country.
We don\'t know which country it is.
It looks like the mystery company has been battling Miller\'s summons.
We think we now know that a federal judge fined $50,000 a day for refusing to comply with the Miller summons.
Well, later last night, when the court opened the edited version of the case for this case, we got some more crumbs in this case.
From this point on, we can now see that a few weeks ago, ystery corporation filed a motion for the court to decide that its primary order was, the company is contemptuous of not responding to these allegations by quoting this sentence, and the order is \"unenforceable\" and is also the blank property isimmune in the execution or attachment.
We think that means because this mystery company doesn\'t pay them $50,000 a day for not complying with the summons, and we think the Justice Department, the special counsel, may have the right to go and get that money in other ways, for example, by seizing the property of the mysterious company here in the United States.
So this part is the mystery company telling the judge, hey, don\'t let Miller take our stuff.
The property we edit is immune by execution or attachment.
On January 24, we can now see that the judge rejected this request and basically told the office of the special counsel that he was very welcome to go to this mysterious company to confiscate things.
We can see that since the judge gave the green light to catch their stuff, the mystery company has not tried to start the brakes.
They did not appeal.
So, from this case file, Mueller and the Justice Department still have the blessing of the judge to take into account the 50 days that the company apparently did not pay.
Now, we still don\'t know who the company is or which country owns them.
But they clearly own property or assets in the United States. S.
It seems like a fair game for the Justice Department because they have to catch the $50,000 fine every day.
It means to you that if someone sees a federal law enforcement judge cut off the gold door handle from someone completely foreign --
Companies owned in the US, please capture this for ussendittorachel. com.
We \'d love to know.
That\'s for us.
See you tomorrow.
It\'s time for \"The last word of Lawrence O\'Donnell.
Good evening, Lawrence.
This is a report card in a hurry.
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