MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace and her Monday political panel were floored by Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Monday morning, the former New York City Mayor had a trainwreck of an interview, that Wallace noted was supposed to be a "clean-up of a walk-back of a clean-up."
She cited this tweet from reporter Matthew Miller that summed up the gaffe-prone Trump team.
A penny for Emmet Flood's thoughts as he watches Rudy incriminate the president on live television, possibly with a… https://t.co/2SXfIDbVwu— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller)1532971365.0
Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said that he looked up "collusion" in the dictionary and it is used as a synonym of criminal conspiracy. That is the actual charge that special counsel Robert Mueller and the grand jury would hand down to those working with Russian hackers.
"There is a host of criminal charges that could come into play here if it's proven that there was so-called collusion," he continued. "What are those charges? Look, if it's proven that Russian money was flowing into the campaign, you've got election and campaign contribution violations. You have violations of the emoluments clause."
If there was money involved, he explained that would fall under charges of "bank fraud and money laundering and there is conspiracy and there is accessory after the fact depending on when they knew what was happening."
He noted that the key to the hacking scandal is if they can show campaign officials giving a green light to the Russians or encouraged the hacking into the DNC. That would fall under the same violations as cyber-crime, computer fraud and abuse charges the Russian hackers got.
The panel noted that it seems the only legal defense Trump has mounted is a PR defense. Public relations don't matter to Mueller, the panel noted.
NBC News foreign correspondent Keir Simmons later discussed with Wallace how desperate Trump seems to be to pal-around with the Russian oligarchs, whose wealth is hardly comparable to Trump's.
"It's not like in America where really, rich people have to disclose their donations," Wallace said. "There are no lines.
"I've seen them mixing together again, and again," Simmons said. "Look, Aras Agalarov, 'The Trump of Russia,' they call him, the guy looking at building a Trump Tower in Moscow, helped organize the Miss Universe competition. In my Instagram feed just in the past few days, take a look at this picture. We found a picture here. That's him standing next to Dmitry Peskov, it looks like they're on vacation together."
Peskov is President Vladimir Putin's spokesman. As Simmons noted, none if it is hidden, rather they are "hiding in plain sight."
Watch the full panel discussion below: