With Meghna Chakrabarti
The latest fallout from the release of the redacted Mueller report. We get the scoop.
Yamiche Alcindor, PBS NewsHour White House correspondent. (@Yamiche)
On what Russia might be thinking watching the fallout from the report
Nichols: "I think Putin is, his answer is 'mission accomplished.' There is no right answer. At this point, no matter what we do, in a sense Putin's already gotten what he wanted, which is maximum chaos. I mean, in some ways, an impeachment would almost be the cherry on the sundae. It would paralyze the U.S. government. It would fail, obviously, because of the intransigence of the Republicans in the Senate.
"I think there are two things that Putin wouldn't want to hear. One is that the Democrats are going to have massive investigations that would expose his operations and reveal a lot of Russian secrets. And, also — and this would require directive from the commander in chief, so this isn't going to happen either — also some kind of indication that we were going to take the fight right back to the Russians and make them pay some kind of price for this. But solving this as a political problem in America, no matter how we go about it, other than I would say through the electoral process, is going to be something Putin's probably going to be happy to see. Because, again, the more partisanship, the more stress and paralysis in the system, the happier he is."
"Pretty much everything at this point is a net win for the Russians unfortunately."Tom Nichols
On what impeachment proceedings might mean for Russia
Nichols: "The public isn't going to read this report. But congressman have to, and if it leads them to the conclusion that the president has committed some really seriously impeachable offenses, then that's the functioning of the system. But if you ask me, how does it look for Moscow, that's a different question, especially because the outcome of an impeachment is preordained. When you say 'wherever it leads' — we have to be realistic about this. It's only going to lead one place. It's going to lead to a brutal trial that will end in acquittal because the Republicans are the Republicans, and there is not going to be any swaying. And I think that, again, I want to go back to that point about the framing of this: The framing of this was really successful by the Trump administration — not just by the reporters, but also by people like Rudy Giuliani, who sounded like they were talking crazy for two years, when in fact what they were doing was putting as much of the craziness out in public, up front, to get people used to it. So, yes, Congress may well have a duty to do this. But the Russians are going to enjoy it anyway, no matter how we go down that road."
On what this might mean for future election security
Nichols: "The Russians and others will keep trying to attack our elections. And the only thing that they're going to hear that's really going to get them concerned is, 'We see this, we're going to respond to it and we're going to do things that, not only are going to harden us against your attacks, but we're going to do some things in return that you're not going to like.' And that requires a decision by the national leadership to do it. And right now we just don't have that. So, pretty much everything at this point is a net win for the Russians unfortunately."
From The Reading List
NBC News: "House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler won't rule out impeachment for Trump" — "House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Sunday did not rule out the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump over allegations detailed in the Mueller report, arguing Congress has to see the full unredacted report.
"Nadler, D-N.Y., said in an interview on Sunday’s 'Meet The Press' that Congress will 'have to hear from' both Attorney General William Barr and special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as obtain the unredacted report before coming to a conclusion on impeachment.
"Nadler oversees the committee with jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings.
"'Some of this would be impeachable,' Nadler said of the accusations detailed in the report, which was released Thursday. 'Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable.' "
NPR: "The Tell-All Book That Could Trump Them All: The Mueller Report" — "The latest book-length tell-all on life inside President Trump's White House has appeared, and it's just as unsparing about dysfunction and deception as all those earlier versions by journalists, gossip mavens and former staffers. Maybe more so.
"The difference is that the president likes this one.
"Or at least he says he likes it. And it's probably not because of the catchy title (Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election), or any previous works by the author, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
"More likely it's the ending of the story that the president likes, or what he takes to be the ending."
This article was originally published on April 21, 2019.
This segment aired on April 22, 2019.