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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 15, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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house-connected kushner family, we're now hearing that the owner of the miami marlins is up for a nice new ambassadorship. want to be ambassador to france? think the kushner family might possibly get a better deal on the baseball team deal if they throw in the ambassador to france to go along with the negotiations? just asking. just wondering. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word. ari melber sitting in for lawrence tonight. good evening. >> good evening. >> for lawrence o'donnell. doubling down tonight on a war with the intelligence community. he has accused them of being unamerican and breaking the law with leaks, but he continues to defend his ousted national security adviser. and calling the first victory of
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the resistance against president trump. >> general flynn is a wonderful man. the hills are alive with the sound of crazy >> i think he has been treated very, very unfairly by the media. >> but the president was the one who fired him. >> as i call it, the fake immediate where in many places. >> he blames the press for telling him the truth. this is crazy. >> things are being leaked. it's criminal action. criminal act. >> so if they're real leaks, it's not fake news. he can't do both. >> this is a matter of seriousness and gravity. and we should treat it as such. >> we had donald trump during the 2016 campaign praising and embracing the russian interference. >> wiki leebs. i love wikileaks. >> we certainly need to investigate whether there was some kind of coordination. >> very serious. >> the case where it's not the cover-up, it's the crime.
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>> democrats are asking what president trump knew. what did he know? it's historic. it's the first time anyone has ever accused donald trump of knowing too much. >> good evening. as a matter of both known facts and historical precedent, the storm surrounding president trump's white house tonight is profoundly unusual. the national security adviser is out after less than a month on the job. trump officials say he lost their trust for misleading them about his dealings with the kremlin. translation. the white house is insisting the problem is what the national security adviser said about his dealings with the kremlin, not what he actually did. now keep in mind that whatever he did and we don't have all the facts yet, it was enough to trigger the very unusual step of the fbi interviewing him when he first got on the job. meanwhile, the president is saying he has nothing but love for the man he just sent packing.
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>> general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he has been treated very, very unfairly by the media. as i call it, the fake media in many cases. people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the democrats had under hillary clinton. i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally -- i stress that -- illegally leaked. very, very unfair. >> you notice the only person who is talking about hillary clinton anymore is president trump. now he is upset about government leaks to "the new york times," which of course accurately reported that a handful of trump's former aides or policy advisers according to the fbi had contact with senior russian intelligence officials during the presidential election that is a story what the fbi says that is a useful piece of information.
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on the other side, we want to tell you, those aides do deny the fbi's statements or these government source statements that they had the contacts. telling the times he did not knowingly have contact with russian intelligence. i spoke to roger stone this morning, and he told me that that "new york times" story is categorically false, and that unlike flynn, he has not heard from the fbi. even with those denials to that part of the story, however, there is certainly a bipartisan push for more answers. we can tell you tonight the leaders of the judiciary committee, this is from both parties, the letter you're looking at, pressing the fbi for what they want now, actual transcripts of flynn's calls with russia. and flynn is only a piece of a much broader puzzle. some republicans calling for a congressional probe. >> obviously, these allegations which patiently are credible because they're carried by the most credible media. it needs to be investigated. >> the president is better served by congress looking at this, looking at it quickly as
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possible, but taking all the time necessary. >> i think now coming before us and testifying if that can be done would be a very appropriate thing for to have happen. >> congress certainly has an oversight rule here. but if there are potential crimes, which by the way is the only legal justification for the fbi to be involved in the first place, then the ultimate question will be whether the trump justice department has the independence to follow the facts wherever they may lead or whether it already has an inherent conflict when investigating itself. on that point, we can tell you a group of 11 democratic senators now say the only solution is for attorney general sessions to appoint an independent special counsel who can handle the case that is what the george w. bush administration did when facing criminal inquiries about the leaking of cia agent valerie plame's identity. they appointed the special investigator who could handle without interference. chuck schumer says that is what the rules require now.
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>> jeff sessions was chairman of the national security advisory committee alongside general michael flynn. he was a senior adviser in the trump campaign. those facts and the department of justice's own rules disqualify attorney general a sessions from running this investigation. attorney general session must recuse himself immediately. any investigation headed, directed by, or influenced by the attorney general will be jaundiced from the very start. >> joining me now is david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and msnbc analyst. and kern eichenwald. investigative reporter at "newsweek." the white house has said that flynn basically misled them, that it was a type of cover-up. but you've written and reported
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that it's worse than a cover-up. what do you mean by that? >> well, in washington we say it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. actually, in this case, the big issue is the crime, if it's not a crime, but the event. what happened. we can talk about what michael flynn did after the election in his conversations with the russian ambassador about the sanctions, about the russian hacking, whether that was proper or not. but what we've seen come out in the last couple of days, and what kirk and i have reported for a couple of months before the election is that trump associations, campaign associates, business associates are said to have had contact with russian officials before the election. even michael flynn now, the russian ambassador said he was talking to michael flynn before the election. so this means that when the putin regime was trying to attack american democracy and rig the election to help donald trump, people associated with
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donald trump were talking to representative of that government. we need to know who said what to whom and whether they gave any encouragement to the putin operation to attack u.s. democracy. >> david, you've been on this story, including from before the election day. kurt, you've also mentioned done a lot of reporting, recently looking at some of the foreign sources. what can you tell us? >> well, sort of one of the shock moments here is that we are now the subject, we the united states, are the subject of some intelligence operations being conducted by our allies in europe. they are trying to figure out what's going on in the trump administration. they have been intercepting conversations between members of the trump campaign and russians since at least august when they first caught wind that there was some sort of improper connection. you have one western european
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intelligence service that is conducting surveillance and intercepting conversations. and you have the intelligence service of a baltic state that is running an intelligence operation out of concern that donald trump is going to embolden putin's aspirations and put their own sovereignty at risk. >> but that's to some degree arguably policy, and there is plenty of espionage and surveillance going on globally. are you finding, are your sources relaying anything untoward between what was then the trump campaign and russia? >> well, there is certainly the very strong indication that there were improper things going on. that there were things going on. you don't have an ally basically spying on an american presidential campaign if they don't have any concerns.
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and they're deeply concerned. one of the things i'm finding fascinating here is for lack of a better description, how easily i'm being able to obtain this information now. >> because maybe they want it out. let my bring in evan as a former cia official. your thoughts. >> well, look. i would say what we have happening here is a realignment of u.s. relations, u.s. alliances as a result of donald trump's positioning. now, ari, you just pointed out that hey, this is just policy, and there is nothing egregious or wrong about a new president having new policies. that's exactly right. we can debate about whether these policies are good or bad. but there is something different about this situation. that is that donald trump may be compromised. and that what's motivating him to advance policy positions and policy goals that most policy -- most foreign policy experts and national security experts think are extraordinarily damaging to our interests and to the
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interests of our allies. we've got to understand what is motivating donald trump. and that's why this new information coming from "the new york times" and elsewhere is so important. and it's why it's so important for us to learn more. >> and david corn, look again what chuck schumer says in this ballpark to evan's point there is real concern that the administration transmission may try to cover up e-mails to russia that could shine a light on these connections. senator schumer as you know is pretty careful in his wording and was a judiciary committee guy long before he happened to be democratic leader. what that statement says he is concerned about obstruction of justice, which is a felony. >> of course. and anybody in charge of an investigation would be concerned about that. that would be the first thing you want to do is to sort of secure documents and witnesses. we have the house and senate intelligence committees behind closed door, beginning these investigations.
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i'm told they're off to a pretty slow start. that doesn't mean it won't pick up steam and do what's possible. but at the same time, these investigations are controlled by republicans who have an interest in the republican president not getting into too much trouble. which is why you hear calls for an independent commission. this investigation doesn't have to be too difficult to ascertain what trump associates, maybe not just campaign people, but other associates were talking to russia before the election with russian officials and some might be caught by intercepts. you can start interviewing people. it really doesn't matter if roger stone tells you, ari melber, that he hasn't been contacted yet by the fbi because the fbi often doesn't contact people who are under investigation. ditto with paul manafort. but there is a way to do this if the republicans are serious. but thing is a big question about that. >> well, yeah.
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you raise a very important point. hold on one point. i want to bring in evan here. you raise an important point. i want to be here and i'm reporting the deniefls these individuals. having said that, if you are further up the chain in a potential investigation, or you are potentially a person of interest or a person of investigation, you may get one of the last introduce, certainly not the first. >> that's true. >> and i am saying as a general observation, not a statement one way or the other about individuals. but just to say, as i often say, evan, there are things we know and things we don't know yet. >> we know the fbi has been looking into this. we know they've been doing it for several months now. we really have no idea how far and wide or extensive that investigation is and whether it's a criminal investigation or a counter intelligence investigation. >> right. >> which are two very different things. >> right. and hold on, i'm sorry, kurt. i keep telling you to hold. hold one more second. we have a call on the line. it's evan mcmullin. the story to ask you about, the story breaking in the last ten minutes. we just printed this. white house review of intelligence. the kind of headline that could be encouraging if you thought it was about dealing with any of
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this. but james risen and matthew rosenberg say actually brand-new the white house is looking at putting the business person in charge of some sort of review layering over the intelligence. and they're already getting pushback from dan coates saying this might undermine him, this broad review before he even get confirmed. >> absolutely. and this isn't the first time we've heard this. weeks or months ago, donald trump in lashing out against the intelligence community after some other information was revealed said that he was going restructure the intelligence community after inauguration. the concern is that donald trump in whatever review he does will actually be trying to silence the intelligence community, especially when it comes to information that is damaging to him. >> you think this is a political bullying? >> i think it seems like it definitely could be. it seems like it could be. we don't know. we have to see it. i think i'm in not calling it, that i'm giving the president
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extraordinary benefit of the doubt. >> yes. >> but it's hard to ignore the motive here, which is the intelligence community through leaks, as donald trump is pointing out, is exposing a major vulnerability, as david corn has reported. there is no way for donald trump to explain this away. >> kurt? >> now one of the things that's very important here is, you know, there is no possibility for a cover-up. this is not a circumstance like watergate where everybody can sit in a private room and discuss things and not know that's it on tape. because it's already on tape. it's already in recordings. and our allies have it. our allies have been intercepting documents. our allies have been intercepting e-mails. they have been recording telephone conversations. >> well, kurt, you're putting your finger on the biggest question here. henry hissinger famously used to say, the illegal we do now, the unconstitutional we do later. and then he said after they
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started roaring things in the white house, he said i don't say that anymore because of the recordings. a joke about how he knew he was being recorded. how did general flynn not know that contacts with the russians would be recorded? there would be a transcript. can you explain that, kurt? >> because he is an idiot! it's sort of like what else can i say? >> that's the technical term, yes. >> there is not a lot of explanations for how someone could not know that 90% of the western world would be listening in on your conversation to the russian ambassador. >> including the russian ambassador. he knew too. >> right. which goes to why they were concerned about blackmail. i'm being told from the control room we're out of time. this is fascinating. i want to continue. we have a lot more in the show on oit. evan and kurt, thank you very much for joining. coming up, what donald trump said and did not say today about michael flynn shows how he is using the press to build a wall around his own world view. i've got a breakdown on that. and first tonight, labor advocates declaring victory as andrew posner withdraws formally as donald trump's labor secretary.
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the emerging movement to stop donald trump is declaring victory tonight as andrew puzder is withdrawing as trump's labor secretary nominee. a big piece of news that is next. with this level of engineering... it's a performance machine. with this degree of intelligence...'s a supercomputer. with this grade of protection...'s a fortress. and with this standard of luxury...
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andrew puzder tweeted this. i am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of labor. i'm honored to have been considered and i'm grateful to all who supported me. mitch mcconnell told the white house earlier today puzder didn't have the votes to be in the ballpark of getting through the senate. republican resistance growing after the emergence of a 1990 video of his ex-wife that was accusing him of abuse as well as revelations that he had employed an undocumented immigrant for whom he paid no taxes. joining me now gloria erin ryan as well as david corn. erin, was this a surprise? what does it mean that this is the person who went down? >> to me it seems sort of like the republicans have run out of political capital in their bank account. they exhausted a lot of it in confirming some of trump's other nominees. but in this case there was really no justifying confirming this specific guy. not only was he somebody who
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habitually broke the rules that he was supposed to be in a position to enforce, he also was somebody that was tied to domestic violence, which is really not very good optics for the republican party at this moment. >> more than optics. >> more than optics. it's actual morality. >> and david, on that point, senator elizabeth warren was speaking about this and about the oprah episode that emerged. take a listen. >> i watched the episode in which she appeared, as i believe every senator should. i found it extraordinarily troubling. alongside his company's poor record of treatment of female employees, his highly explicit and sexualized ads, and his snide comments about sex discrimination, there is ample evidence that mr. puzder is a terrible choice. >> david? >> well, first, it's good that
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they let her speak. that's progress for the republicans. i salute them for that. and senator warren there also left out what was some of the initial and fundamental reasons to oppose this nominee. he was secretary of labor, was going to be, yet he is against raising the minimum wage for workers. his restaurant chains have an atrocious record of dealing with overtime. he doesn't want to pay overtime. he has said, you know, i wish i could get rid of workers and just put in robots because they don't file discrimination cases and they're never late and you don't have to worry about them. so this is a guy who is clearly, clearly not really on the side of the little guy or the workers out there. yet he was supposed to be in charge of the labor department. >> right. >> so put that -- that's all before his own personal violations of morality, if not the law. so i mean he should have been dead as a nominee from the moment this began. >> right. >> and it took all this.
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>> just to add that, the fact that he was somebody who is pro automation. when automation is something that over the next ten years is going to threaten tens of thousands if not more american jobs. and he was somebody that was supposed to be the secretary of labor actually endangerering americans' ability to work. >> you know, the interesting thing, ari, is usually when republicans come into the white house and they appoint a secretary of labor, they usually appoint someone who doesn't seem to care about the position, the job, the issues. but in this instance, donald trump did find someone who cared a lot. he just cared about it from the management position, not from the labor position. >> right. he might have been better for, i don't know, office of management and budget. probably not. david corn and erin gloria ryan, thank you both for joining and for that perspective. coming up, the chaos in the trump white house causing unbelievable turmoil in the words of a top general. that's straight ahead.
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well, i thank you all. >> are you ah wear -- >> thank you -- >> this nonsense -- the russian contacts -- >> paradise. that is how donald trump reacted today to those questions from report owners the controversy feeding a perception of chaos or worse, frankly, in the administration. we'll show you some other contacts. the head of u.s. special operations command with a
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serious assessment of the trump administration saying our government continues to be inunbelievable turmoil. i hope they sort it out soon, because we are a nation at war. joining me now is charlie sykes, editor-in-chief and msnbc contributor and my good friend jamil smith, who is the senior national correspondent at mtv news, which apparently is still a thing. >> still a thing. >> still a thing. charlie, what are we to make of this? >> that quote, that's where i think people, now we have to officially be concerned when you have active members of the military generals expressing this concern. i'm always looking for historical precedence, what's a parallel. can anyone site any time in recent american history where you had a general serving in the military express that kind of concern about his own government? >> right there. is a term that gets thrown around a lot. it gets thrown around in grade school. it gets thrown around in relationships. it gets thrown around in politics. it's constructive criticism. and a lot of people don't look at criticism as very
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constructive. and they get in the habit in a battle mode of everyone is designed to hurt me anyway and take me anyway. i think the point you're getting at, charlie, and jamil speaks to it here is a general who isn't rooting for a particular politician, wants this administration to succeed in the broadest sense and has found that the official channels and private communication isn't enough. this is a cry for help. >> here is the thing is that all that talk, all that bluster works when you're on the campaign trail. it gets people fired up. it gets people going to the polls. it gets people putting signs in their yard. but when you have to actually govern and you don't know what you're doing, that is an incredible problem. and it's not just -- they may not have hit trump supporters yet. it may hit them in the pocketbook. it may hit them when they realize their water is dirty by polluters who have been given more freedom to do that. right now the generals, these folks are realizing that the gravity of this crisis.
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>> and they can't even, charlie, communicate as to what the plans. listen to steve king trying to explain as a loyal republican what the deal with flynn was given that the white house had multiple explanations of the same alleged fact. >> i read flynn's letter of resignation. that would be the technical fact that he did resign, and he said why in that letter. kellyanne conway said that it was flynn's decision. i know that sean spicer said was that it was he was fired. there is conflicting stories out here. this story that is going on right now is just -- that part's over. >> yeah, this is part of the problem. chaos is not a great governing philosophy. could we also put to rest finally the notion that they're playing some four dimensional chess? >> oh, charlie, you're just being distracted away from the real thing. >> we're always being distracted away from the real thing. this is, by the way, the question that i am encountering across the board. members of congress want to get things done. they meet with the people in the white house.
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the first question they ask is who is in charge? who is making decisions? and no one knows the answer to that. >> how do you stay on message if the message was flynn was fire and flynn wasn't fired? >> exactly. the story makes no sense that there was a breakdown in trust to the president fires him. he comes out of the press conference today and blames the fake news media for all of this. if in fact this really was because he lied about this, you know, to the vice president, why did they keep the vice president out of this. also, if in fact he didn't do anything wrong, which we're constantly hearing. of course it was completely legitimate for him to talk about sanctions. then why did he feel it necessary to lie to mike pence, if there is nothing there? >> i mean, go figure. also, the blaming of the media is such a cowardly act. if you're going to blame, say, a "washington post" report that sally yates, acting attorney general at the time warned them that flynn was susceptible to russian blackmail, then why is that not more alarming to you the fact than the fact that it was reported? and that's the thing.
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these are the questions that we would love to be able to ask the president if he would call on us at some of these press events. >> i'm so glad you mentioned that. because who he is calling on is another part of the strategy that is important. charlie sykes, thanks for joining us. jamil stays. in the next segment donald trump talks about he knows how to build a wall. what about the white house walling off reality with the media strategy and what can be done about it. that's next. we've done well in life,
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so we sent that sample i doff to ancestry. i was from ethnically. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at the strangest part of president trump's comments about his departing national security adviser michael flynn was his use of the passive voice. today trump says flynn has been treated terribly, as if words printed in newspapers are the key issue. they are not. the major treatment flynn received was being relieved of his job with record breaking speed. and donald trump, a man who literally became a celebrity by ending every chaotic week on his reality show with the termination, donald trump is now
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unable to even say the words "you're fired" let alone explain his rationale. there are some clues as to why trump seems out of character. his team never dealt with flynn's russia problem. they denied it existed. and that left trump claiming he was this the dark. >> what do you make of reports that general flynn had conversations with the russians about sanctions before you sworn in? >> i don't know about it. i haven't seen it. what report is that? >> there are a number. >> "washington post" reporting that he talked to the ambassador of russia before your were inaugurated about sanctions. >> i haven't seen that. i'll look at that. >> i haven't seen it. what report is that? okay. if the president ends that kind of exchange by saying he will look at something, the white house press corps will then ask about it again. it's called a follow-up. it's how it works. but trump's team was in denial than too, and they're trying to create, this is important, an alternative press corps to join them in their denial.
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so during the president's next press availability we monitored all this. the white house shut out the national press corps by only taking questions from the local affiliate and the conservative website the daily caller which asked this -- >> what do you see as the most important national security matters facing us? >> good question. to be fair, good question. now before anyone complains that the other reporters were obviously falling done on their jobs in the game, note that a national reporter, abc's jonathan karl did try to press trump on flynn. >> thank you very much. [ inaudible ] >> he just ignored it. and as the old saying goes, like potus like veep. here was a similar scene monday. >> can you tell us about your relationship with the national security adviser? >> do you still have confidence in him? did he lie to you?
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do you have confidence in mr. flynn? >> it's not over. the white house was using a similar approach at a press conference today, limiting questions to the christian broadcasting network and conservative website "the new york times" has called out this strategy. this is even before flynn stepped down, reporting by ducking those independent reporter, trump did not address mr. flynn's status for days after the post reported that he had discussed american sanctions against russia with moscow's ambassador to washington. so trump managed this denial for days. and the president obviously can ignore shouted questions in front of everyone as often as he wants. but what exactly is the goal of this total level of denial? the pressure on flynn only built and built. the softball questions didn't change the subject for long. and while trump complains reporters were mean, reporters will keep on observing what is happening. they're just observers. there is only one man at the
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smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. any comment on the report there's was contact between your senior veries and suspected russian operatives? during your presidential campaign? >> joining me ana marie cox and jamil smith back with us. ana, what do you make of this approach to press denial? >> well, i mean, i think in my ideal world, i can say two can play in that game. i'd stop sending people to the white house if i was -- or make it a more concerted effort. the one thing we know trump hates is being ignored. >> that would be a victory then.
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then they would have daily calls and only those questions. >> right. would that be a victory? if they're not going to call on the times anyway, if they're not going to call on the more traditional journalists anyway, why are they there? wouldn't it be better to deprive him of oxygen? that's what is happening, right? in general he is going to lie to us. like why -- >> let me push you on that. >> go ahead. >> i'm not fake tv arguing with you. i'm really arguing there is a certain amount of coverage the leader of the free world is going to get, whether people are in the room or not. >> right. >> "the new york times" is going to write about what the president says whether they have a reporter in the room or not. the idea is having people in the room at least puts the question to the president. he ignores it and the world at least can see the type of questions he is ignoring. you can't literally make him talk. >> i mean, i think that's what is going to happen. and i'm not opposed to that. but i guess i'm trying to think outside the box. we have a president that is very ch not in the box. we are through the looking glass th what kinds of things this
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guy gets away with and what kinds of things he tries to get away with. and part of me feels we might try taking rather radical steps. i'm not sure if traditional journalism is going to work in terms of keeping tabs on this guy. i think in general, maybe the thing -- the scoops that are coming out of the white house are not coming out of, you know, people being on the ground in the room with donald trump. they're coming out of people who are knocking on doors and making phone calls without donald trump in the room. so those are the stories we still need to have. i just don't how much -- i don't know how useful donald trump. on many different levels i'm not sure how useful he is. >> jamil, ana is urging us to think outside the bun. >> and i agree with her. i think what i would do is employee jay rosen's idea, the nyu journalism professor. send in the interns. send the interns to the press briefings. send interns to these staged events with world leaders. send the interns into the oval office when he takes these questions and ignores them.
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they can ask those same questions. you give them the same questions. they can ask them. meanwhile, the white house correspondents can be out, outside of the white house doing journalism, doing investigation, because frankly, there is just so much fodder for doing that. >> go ahead, ana. >> yeah, i would actually add that you can also send more than interns in. this is something i've written about before which you can send beat reporters. when you have a the auto executives there, send -- lots of places don't have labor reporters anymore. but you would send your labor reporter. when you have something about the acau, send your health care reporter. at least the shouted questions may have specificity to them. and they're not always about the scandal of the day. because that's another issue the white house press corps sometimes doesn't do a great job at is they only pursue whatever chum is in the water. and really, there are lots of
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different stories going on here, lots of different threads to pay attention. to and the shouting of questions about whatever is happening in the front pages that day can make us forget about that other stuff. >> what do you think with regard to the entire flynn debate, ana, that the material that came out, even if it might have been elicit lee, and we all use leaks to report, the underlying material is not really in much factual doubt, that he had these contact with the russians. the transcripts tend to show that. and yet it's an attack on the press as if mentioning the facts is somehow mean to him. >> rite. it's pretty much an admission that flynn got fired because people found out about what he was doing, right? not because of what he did. it's just an outright admission of that. clearly by trump's statement, he would rather have general flynn in his office today, which is frightening. and also, you got to wonder if he is going to pull a corey lewandowski in this particular case and flynn is going to continue consulting trump.
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like trump apparently trusts flynn on all kinds of matters, including whether or not a good strong dollar is a good thing or a bad thing. i imagine he is going to continue to call flynn. and flynn will be consulting the president without even having the margial oversight of being an official part of the white house. again -- >> go ahead. >> go ahead. >> jamil, that raises the question of what kind of e-mail he would use. [ laughter ] >> well, we already know that the president is still using his unsecured phone, according to "the new york times" to i guess keep tabs on friends and i guess send his tweets. the emphasis on cybersecurity during the campaign is just laughable. now. >> because of the mar-a-lago dinner party? >> because the man does not seem to care about any of these secrets getting out, except when they're damaging to him. >> right. and the lack of security there shows a terrible double standard. you have to be careful with national security when you text and e-mail.
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as miley cyrus said, if you mean it, i'll believe it. if you text it, i'll delete it. jamil smith, thank you for being here. ana stays. trump officials insisting the president's power is beyond questioning in the courts. we have new reports that they're writing a new order that could dial down parts of the travel ban. this as trump's lawyers argue next week that border agents can shoot mexican citizens without any court oversight. it's a case you may not have heard about yet. but that is about to change. want powerful relief.
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we do have a programing note for you. i hope you will join me this sunday night. i'll be anchoring two hours of special sunday primetime live coverage. that's from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. eastern, including a new segment answering your questions from e-mail. you can write m at ari see you then. with hydrogenated oil...
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to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned. >> a broad view of executive power, to say the least. it's not just the travel ban. lawyers in the administration are about to argue the u.s. not only has the power to discriminate based on national origin, but the border agents may sometimes shoot and kill mexican nationals with impunity. you may not have heard about this yet, but it is an important story. the justice department waging a broad defense of the u.s. border patrol officer who shot and killed a mexican citizen across the border in 2010. that citizen was unarmed. he was also 15 years old. his name was sergio hernandez guerica. he was in mexico when an agent shot him from about 60 feet away. it was captured on this cell phone video that was obtained originally by univision. his parents say the shooting violated his constitutional rights while the administration basically argues he doesn't have any.
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this case hits the supreme court next week. the justices will hear arguments with potentially wide implications like the claim that some people are not entitled to constitutional rights so they get no protection even if the u.s. government mistreats them or kills them that is how guerica's parents put it, arguing it would already turn the troubled border area into a unique zone where agents can kill with impunity. trump's agents argue it's a national power for the executive. lately pushed hard by trump. but this isn't a normal time. and i don't think this will shape up to be a normal case. we're going to be hearing a lot about how the president's national security powers should not be questioned. joining me now is david lee pold, an immigration attorney, former president of the immigration lawyers association and back with us is ana marie
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cox. david, looking at both this case and the wider debate, this is an administration that is taking executive power very seriously. >> you know, you look at this case with this 15-year-old boy that was murdered in what they call this constitutional free zone between the united states and mexico, the border. and in my mind, that's a metaphor for what trump is doing to the entire united states. he is taking a wrecking ball to the statue of liberty. we've seen people detained at airports. we've seen people raided over the last week. and tonight we understand a woman, undocumented woman was arrested after she got a protective order in court. undocumented men arrested after they walked out of a homeless shelter for hypothermia. this is a disaster of the donald trump administration. >> on the politician here, trump's folks say he ran on immigration. hean on being tough. he made it very clear. and these are the kind of positions that as i mentioned,
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both parties have held. presidents tend to want more, not less power. and that foreigners shouldn't have new or extra rights. >> that is something that presidents on both sides have argued. and it's also something that many americans find antithetical to the idea of being an american. we call them constitutional rights. but a lot of people understand them to be human rights, enshrined in the constitution. and the idea of due process is one that i think americans take pretty seriously. and that's one of the ones that was violated in the travel ban. i think this is also an area where you're going to see that trump's support did come from not just red america, it came from the red parts of red states where we have lots of blue islands. cities like minneapolis, which is a sanctuary city, cities like houston. cities like dallas. there are cities where these raids are taking place. austin, i'm naming texas cities obviously for a reason. and these are cities where the
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immigrants are an important part of the economy, an important part of the social fabric. and, you know, it's actually just today i actually happened to be sitting down for lunch and overheard this party next to me talking about a friend of theirs whose husband was undocumented and was now being deported. and i don't think people realize like this -- the affect that this is going to have not just on the immediate families, but in our, you know, fairly cosmopolitan, diverse cities. start to pull on the threads and whole communities are going to unravel and it's not going to be just black and brown people affected. it's going to be the whole city. >> david, final thought. >> look, what ana is pointing out is absolutely correct. and what we have here tonight is a president who has no regard for the rule of law. he has no regardor the constitution. and he has sent out this ugly deportation force.
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and, you know, to cities, ana points out, houston, points out austin. these are places by the way that have stood up to donald trump. so this deportation force is not just about immigration. this is about politics. and this is about politics in a show of force. and it's very dangerous. and we need to stand up to it. >> right. and the other big question you both alluded to is what does the u.s. government want to do and what rights are owed to people who may be noncitizens there is precedent that some of them have rights. this case is going to look at this in what is obviously a very regrettable circumstance. very interesting. we're going to be watching the court. david lee and ana marie cox. you can find me sunday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern for our special sunday primetime coverage. right now keep it locked because "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. >> tonight, president trump blaming the media for the fall of michael flynn and that was before another trump nominee went down. one state, two state, red state
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blue state. a couple of stunners from the president alongside the israel prime minister. and he accused the president of turning the election into a freak show. tonight what could be a -- >> good evening once again from our head quarters in new york. in the course of a few minutes earlier today, president trump called the media fake, changed the story his press secretary laid out just yesterday on why his national security adviser was fired. changed the narrative of decades of u.s. policy toward israel, and answered a question about the rise of anti semitism in the u.s. by talking about his electoral college victory. more an all of it in a moment. also today another personnel


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