Axios reporter: Giuliani's job is 'to go on TV and attack' Mueller and investigation

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, including the Mueller investigation reaching the one-year mark.
9:44 | 05/20/18

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Transcript for Axios reporter: Giuliani's job is 'to go on TV and attack' Mueller and investigation
Joined by Ronan farrow. Just won a pulitzer prize for his work on the me too movement. Out with a new book, "War on peace, the end of diplomacy." Republican strategist Amanda carpenter. Author of "Gaslighting America." National political reporter, for axios, Jonathan swan. Matt schlapp. Chair of the conservative union. Donna Brazile. Old friend and contributor. So much to talk about this Sunday morning. I'm going to choose to come back with the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation. Jonathan, let me begin with you. I noticed something when Alan Dershowitz was here. He's independent but has been close to the president at times. It seems the white house strategy is all about discrediting Robert Mueller. The legal strategy has not changed. I mean, Emmett is a quiet, careful lawyer doing the same work. Inside the white house. Inside the white house. What's changed is the media strategy. Rudy Giuliani's job is not to do substantive, in the weeds legal work. His job is to go on TV and attack Robert Mueller. Attack the investigation. And what we're seeing is it's becoming a red and blue issue. Similar to the Clinton impeachment in the '90s. If that actually happens, we're seeing the the trend lines going in that direction, if that solidifies, that's fantastic for trump. And he knows that. Half a dozen tweets by the president this morning. Yes, George. But look. 17 indictments. Five convictions. This investigation has proven more results than previous investigations over a similar period of time. You go back to Whitewater. Watergate. Even the teapot dome in the 1820s under president Harding. We have learned more in one year than we have learned in previous investigations. We haven't gotten to the crux of what really happened in 2016. I hope the Republicans back off of what a call disparaging Mr. Mueller and his investigation so we can learn everything. Every little detail to prevent it from happening again. Ronan farrow, you reminded us it's not just the Mueller investigation right now. You havethe southern district of new York looking at Michael Cohen. Some financial records may be restricted now. Not in the public domain. That's right. What we know from the single suspicious activity report filed by the bank when they see anything that looks like fraud or money landering that's been made public, we know transactions seem to intersect with Mueller's investigation. We're looking at russian-originated transactions and foreign influence. There seem to be some with foreign entities with vested interest in the outcome of the last election. Amanda, are Republicans now consolidating around the trump point of view on this, as Jonathan suggested? Yes, the idea that this is is the biggest witch hunt since watergate has caught on. But, spoiler alert. There was a witch in watergate. It was the president. The revelations this week. There were absolutely no fire walls between the trump organization, the trump campaign, and the trump white house. Donald Trump has tried to draw a bright line between the trump organization and the campaign. But if he never did during the campaign and during his presidency, how can Robert Mueller? He can't. We know how wide-ranging this investigation is. Oh, yeah. Because you know why? There's no confines on it. That's one of the criticisms. As Alan it's just about collusion, I think the American people want to know that answer. I'll tell you, if they find evidence of collusion and big vast amounts of money coordinating with the trump campaign, that's a big problem. But what do we have? We have less than $1 million spent on Facebook and Google advertisements, half of which happened after the election. And I'll tell you the other thing. Look at the polls. If this is such a problem, I think the American people are fair. They were fair on Whitewater. When the investigation is not about the purpose of the investigation, sometimes they cry foul. Which is why Donald Trump's poll numbers are so much stronger the. The generic ballot for Republicans is just a four-point differential. And right track, wrong track. Just two years ago, a 30-point differential with Americans believing the country was on the wrong track. That's down to 13 points. Everything in the country demonstrates if it's not collusion, they don't want to hear about it. Some may see as ironic. The Republicans want to talk about the investigation more than the Democrats. The white house certainly. I think if you look at democratic leadership, it's very clear. Nancy Pelosi does not believe running on impeachment is the right strategy. A lot of democratic leaders believe it will energize the Republican base. The biggest worry in Washington among Republican leaders is that their base is too apathetic. If you use the impeachment rod, that will get them off the couch. If you're just talking about the politics of this, it's clear why Democrats are not making it the center piece. Of 2018. I think what we're seeing is the walls coming down between the separate investigations. People like Cohen and the president himself. The political resonance of the narrut corruption is only going to increase. We saw just in the past week, obviously, the financial disclosures from the president admitting he was repaying Cohen in some cases for some transactions. And that's going to lead to a question we saw during the 2016 presidential campaign. At what point does Robert Mueller have to put everything on hold as we head into the midterm elections, Donna? I would hope that by labor day, the investigation is able to enter its last phase. You have to follow the evidence. Senate chair Mr. Burr says things are wrapping up with the senate investigation. But look. My concern, George, is that the Russians tried to meddle in our election database. Finally, the department of homeland security is working with state and local governments to basically strengthen our electoral system. We have a lot of problems that needs to be addressed. While the president is spending his Sunday morning telling us THA witch hunt he's not spent enough time making sure that the American people will have some faith in their democratic government. We know what Russia has done. In the election. It's repugnant. We know they have done it in several elections. We need to do -- when we had the problem with iran-contra, Ronald Reagan said we'll have the tower commission. It was made up by three eminent people. They gave us answers. If it leads to criminal prosecution, great, it should. But we have to know what is happening. It's a cavalcade of other crimes. The American people are fair. That's not what this is about. It was about treason. If there's no treason, they're not going to hold him accountable. Fair enough. Robert Mueller is not done yet. He's a year in. One of the problems is, Donald Trump has a strong P.R. Machine giving his side of the story out. The department of justice and the investigators do not. What is the clear threat -- They shouldn't be. It's an unfair fight for regular people to keep track of stories, it's very difficult. The thing that it keeps returning to. There were repeated overtures by the Russians to members of the trump campaign offering stance. Trump campaign members opened the door for that. They seemed nald trump used the hacked material on the campaign trail. In those discussions, the Russians kept bringing up sanctions. Donald Trump was resistant to imposing sanctions. They don't have people out there explaining that clearly. That was unverified in 2016. This isn't just about the election itself. We're seeing revelation after revelation suggesting foreign entities interfered on various policy issues. For instance, we had the reporting in the last weeks from me and several other reporters there were efforts to suffer the Iran deal. Efforts to sabotage the reputations of people behind the Iran deal. Now we see our withdrawal from the Iran deals. We see our government bereft of diplomats. It's the subject of my book. I don't think it required George Nader, who, by the way, I was the first to report, to convince trump to get out of the Iran deal. The revelation in the last few days about Israeli social media manipulation. Similarly, we see an Israeli private investigations firm going after the personal reputations of the people behind the Iran deal. There are a new array of actors here that the American public didn't know about. Let's get to it. The American government and governments around this world interfere in elections. The American government interferes in elections. There's a whole new level of espionage that happens online. The American people need complete transparency in what the threats are against us. The American people need to know what its own intelligence agencies did in this campaign. People can say, it's spying, it's not spying. It's disgusting. I don't care whose campaign this was. Help me out here, we shouldn't be using the government in a presidential campaign. Shouldn't be using the agencies to try to pick a winner or loser. Mr. Strut, you talk about this earlier. Wish we weren't out of time right now. We are. You laid out a lot that requires some answers. We have a lot to pack in today. Thank you all very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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