CHUCK TODD: All right. Very quickly I want to pivot quickly to the Mueller investigation. It seems as if, again, this week more House Republicans making the case that the process they believe is rigged, that the process is rigged. And even this morning the lawyer, everything is questioning the process that Mueller is using. The only thing I keep looking at here though as far as the president is concerned is they don’t have any exculpatory facts to push back against Mueller. So they’re pushing back on the process. Effective enough though for the politics of this?
HELENE COOPER: I don’t think so. One thing you didn’t add is also President Trump saying that he’s not ready to talk about pardoning Michael Flynn yet which is another thing that adds to sort of the layers of the attacks on this Mueller investigation. It feels a lot like gaslighting right now. And I don’t know that this is actually going to help. I don’t think it helped. It seems enormously transparent what’s been happening. And Robert Mueller just comes to the table with so much innate credibility behind him that I don’t see how this can fly.
CHUCK TODD: I don’t know. This groundwork looks like it’s softened up on the right here a little bit, George.
GEORGE WILL: It is astonishing that a man of Mueller’s experience, probity and intelligence would not be more careful than he was in hiring these people who had records that were vulnerable to this. Those of us who have argued for decades that independent councils are a bad idea because it represents a failure of confidence in existing institutions and because a lawyer with one case tends to become Ahab looking for his white whale are rather enjoying this.
AL CARDENAS: Well, here’s the thing, all of that is true. What is inescapable is the fact that there have been charges against Paul Manafort. No one argues that they seem right. There’s been two members of the administration who’ve pled guilty already with competent council.And so when they say, “Well, this thing’s taking too long.” Well, what are you talking about? The last person who pled guilty pled guilty a month ago. And so in spite of what one may see it seems like their product, meaning the indictments or pleading guilty, have been on point. And nobody’s argued those. So the arguing about closing this up while these charges are taking places to me is reckless. And the last part is, boy, we’re undermining the basic institutions of our country.