tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC June 3, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
president doan, prime kern, prime minister modi, and president putin, thank you very much. special counsel robert mueller digs in and is now reportedly taking over the investigation into paul manafort. also, vladimir putin offers his theory on the hacking of our election. it sounds a bit like trump's. it's part of megyn kelly's exclusive interview with the russian president. and senator al franken remarks on what he thinks is the greater threat, putin or climate change. "the 11th hour" for a friday night begins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. day 134 of the trump administration. and tonight we are learning about new developments n. fbi's russia investigation, now under the control of special counsel robert mueller.
the associated press is reporting mueller, quote, has taken over a separate criminal probe involving former trump campaign manager paul manafort and may expand his inquiry to investigate the roles of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in the of fbi director james comey. and nbc news justice correspondent pete williams ha more on mueller adding he's quote already closely managing the investigation, receiving daily briefings, and weighing in on investigative tactics. meanwhile, in russia, today president vladimir putin offered a new explanation when faced with questions about his country's meddling in our country's election. while all of our intelligence agencies have found russia took part in our electoral process putin's equivocation is not all that far from donald trump's.
in effect, he's saying a lot of people could have done it. putin's comments came during a forum and a one on one interview in st. petersburg with our own megyn kelly. >> there is no specific evidence, no facts. just assumptions, allegations, and conclusions based on the allegations. nothing more. >> what the experts say is that this couldn't have been faked. that it's not one factor that it's 100 factors that pope to russia. the forensics, the digital id, the encryption keys, the specific piece of code that all them -- all of them ints point to russia and none of them point to anyone other than russia. >> what finger prints or hoove prints or horn prints? what are they talking about. your girl that is 3-year-old can perpetrate such an attack. >> you had said for months that russia had nothing to do with the interference of the american election. and then this week you floated the idea of patriotic hackers doing it. why the change? >> translator: well, i hadn't said anything. it's just that french journalist
asked me about those hackers. i told him the same thing i can tell. hackers can be anywhere. they can be in russia. in asia. even in america. latin america. they can be by the way in the united states. very skillfully and professionally shifted the blame, as we say, onto russia. can you imagine something like that? in the midst of a political battle? by some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information so, so they released it, citing russia. can you imagine something like that? i can. >> hackers in laltin america
could be out to frame russia. the complete interview with vladimir putin will air sunday night on the broadcast with the same name on nbc. let's bring in our starting panel. intelligence and national security reporter end kennedy lanian is with us. white house reporter for politico matt news balm is with us in new york. and washington clmist in for the boston globe, and this is germane, a proud daughter of pisburgh, pennlvania. we'll got moore on pittsburgh later on. welcome to you all. ken, i'm going to begin with you on the importance this "associated press" reporting. it mentioned the attorney general sessions, the deputy a.g. rosenstein. but more importantly, it mentions that mutualer is now, i guess, taking over the manafort investigation. does that become overarching? does he -- does he have the ability to say share with me what you have learned. you can shut your effort down, i've got it from here?
>> brian, with all due respect to my former colleagues at the associated press where i worked as the intelligence writer not too long ago i'm puzzled by this story because we at the msnbc nbc news investigative unit have been reporting for some time that the paul manafort case and the michael flynn case are a part of the whole russia investigation even though they don't seem on the surface to be directly related to russia collusion. it seemed only natural to us that mueller would be taking both of those things over. there may be a tech knick callity that he had to assume. the bottom line is mueller is overseeing a sprawling fbi investigation that includes criminal as sfekts and kousht intelligence aspects. as pete williams reported today he is taking a active role in managing it. pete has been trying for days to get mueller's people to explain how he is going to approach the investigation. he could be a caretaker, chairman of the board delegating a loof the decisions. turns out he is getting daily briefings, he is involved in the
details of the investigative tactics. he may sit in on witness enters. he is running it like a district attorney would run in the southern district of new york, which i find fascinating. >> tell me about the manafort investigation. perhaps people are being thrown off because a prong of it is being run out of the commonwealth of virginia, correct? >> i'm not -- i'm not completely sure about that. but i -- but there are aspects of these investigations that are in multiple districts across the country is our understanding. and we had been led to believe that it was -- they all fell under the umbrella of the investigation that has now fallen into mueller's lap. >> all right. ken. thank you. matt, is there any way of gauging if the white house is more worried today than they
were yesterday, more worried this week than last? >> this is kinds the nightmare scenario about special counsel is that these investigations tend to ma tas at that size and grow. an investigation like this, it's so broad to begin with. he's already looking at flynn, at manafort, at these different figures. and now we are hearing about sessions and rosenstein. and there's really no apparent limit to what mr. mutualer and his team can look into. that's what's so scary for republicans in the white house r republicans on capol hill is they don't know what direction this is gog to go in. the longer it goes on, the more people it touches e deeper this thing goes and the harder it is for them to talk about and certainly do anything else. >> and a big shoe drops next week unless there is some interruption in what we think is coming, that's the comey testimony on thursday? >> exactly right. that's sort of the big thing that all of washington, all of america is waiting for. james comey as we've seen before knows how to turn it on. he goes before the cameras and he can give bombshell testimony. we saw that when he discussed the famous incident during the bush administration when he rushed to the hospital to stop the attorney general from being forced to sign something. i think we are anticipating that kind of testimony this next
week, something that's all the spotlights on him. and we discussed it doesn't look like president trump is going to be able to block him from testifying. i know they said they are considering executive privilege. we deny know how that would work. >> we have two lawyers coming up for a whole segment to talk about that, talk about how that could be true or not. indira, we'll get to pittsburgh. first i want to talk sanctions. before that, i want to player mo of the megyn kelly interview. let's listen to this and react on other side. >> president putin, there are reports today in the american press that the trump administration took active steps to ease sanctions on russia almost immediately after trump took office. was this possibility ever discussed between the trump team
and your representatives prior to president trump being inaugurated. >> translator: that's just absurd what they are saying. i don't know where these people have come from that distribute this kind of information. what is an ambassador supposed to do? that's what he gets money for. he has to hold meetings, have discussions about the current state of affairs. seek agreement. what do you expect him to do? my answer is no, no agreements whatsoever -- we never ever get down to that, never had the time to start negotiations. >> indira we could make out a couple of niets in there. what's your reaction? >> even from what michael flynn said, each before he was removed from his position as national security adviser after what, three and a half short weeks it was, he essentially acknowledged
that he had spoken to sergey kislyak, the russian ambassador to washington, about the possibility of lifting sanctions. you know, his words were different but it was along the lines of we will take care of that. don't worry. you know, once we are in office, we will smooth over and ke care of these issues. what he was referring to of course was that that day the obama administration, the day when they had these many phone calls together when obama was still president, the obama administration was on that very day imposing sanctions on russia for its involvement in meddling in the 2016 campaign. so the idea was we are going to let that go. we now discovered this week that the trump administration was talking about giving back to russia those two facilities that were taken away, the use of which was taken away because they were being used as spy facilities. the tentacles of this go so far. as you were saying with ken earlier, or maybe it was matthew, that when a special counsel starts his investigation you never know where it's going to ends up. just has happened under the bill clinton administration, it all started with an investigation of whitewater, and it ended up with
monica lewinsky and the impeachment. no one could have possibly foreseen that it would have gone that way. i just between say that the tentacles of this russia thing go all over washington to capitol hill. just today, you know, we have news that devin nunes, who has been making such a huge deal as the republican chairman the house intel committee about unmasking, and parroting the trump administration view that no the real problem here is not russian interference, the real problem is unmasking by obama administration officials of american people who were on sbrel tapes. now it turns out his own committee were requesting unof course maing of people caught in conversations. it gets curiouser and curiouser as they say in "alice in wonderland". >> the president was outraged on twitter on that same subject kennedy lany, i want you to react to the next clip i want to play here. this is one of our colleagues
really showing how it's done today, pursuing a russian banker, a bank pretty much run by the russian government, keer simmons. granted the brits have an advantage because they automatically sound more polite. such was not the case today as he pursued the banker and tried to get an answer in st. peertsdsburg. >> you are the subject of intense scrutiny in america bought of your meeting with donald trump's son-in-law, jared kushner. >> no comments about it. conversation about bloch complain. know, but there is confusion over what contactually happened. >> slow down. >> were you talking about business or were you talking about politics. >> oh, it goes on from there into the hallway. ken, reaquapt our viewers with -- reacquaint us with the importance of that gentleman. >> that was a master class in journalism. i'm glad he did that. that man, mr. gorkov is a putin
crony it's been explained to us who pruns a russian state-owned bank that is under sanctions. that man had a meeting with jared kushner, the president's son-in-law in december. we are still trying to understand what the meeting was about about. the white house has one story, jared kushner was acting in his role as a diplomatic official. and another story is that it was a business meeting. this bank is under sanctions. americans are forbidden to do business with banks under sanctions. that was an attempt to get an answer to what that meeting was about. although unsuccessfully. >> can he read from those contemporaneous notes, former fbi director comey? no one doubts those are an accurate of what happens this the day of his life.
>> uh-huh. i think it will be hard for president trump to stop james comey. it's not like he is trying to stop the release of certain documents, not trying to stop a current federal employee from speaking about these things. he fired comey. he is a private citizen. as legal experts weighed in on this, it's hard to she how he stops comey, especially when we know from the people around comey he wants to get out there, wants to give his side of the story. as the memos show, he is ready for this. >> indira, i promised you a word of defense from your hometown, a great american city, pittsburgh pennsylvania, which faced really an existential threat to its economy and a downturn. they did what pittsburghers do and they gutted it out. how did it feel to have pittsburgh name checked twice alongside paris. >> i was shocked when i heard
the president say he was elected to represent the people of pittsburgh not paris and using pittsburgh as an excuse for pulling out of climate stalks did and the climate co. the reason this is so shock is pitturgh has completely turned around and reinvented its economy since the 1980s when it had stunning job losses from the collapse of the steel industry because of foreign competition. today, pittsburgh stands as a high-tech, a medicine, a knowledge economy, a city where it has 45,000 more jobs today than it had at the height of the steel industry, a place that has 7% higher per capita income than the national average. and so donald trump's idea of some imaginary halcion past where everyone was whistling on their way to work to these fabulous steel jobs that's just a fantasy. for example, coal jobs which donald trump is completely fixated on. there are 51,000 coal mining
jobs total left in all of america. that is fewer jobs than at whole foods and you don't see donald trump demanding more jobs in the arugula aisle. you know, this is really about politics and just you know what he thinks sounds good. paris and pittsburgh, they rhyme -- aliteration, whatever, but it's not real. united steelworkers' union president actually came out last night and slammed donald trump for that statement. he said we the steelworkers now work in green energy. we want to be in the climate deal. and the mayor of pittsburgh came out and said we actually didn't elect you, donald trump, 80% of pittsburgh voted for hillary clinton. i think they need to rework that slogan. but amazingly enough politico reported that he is planning to have a pittsburgh not paris rally in lafayette square across from the white house. so he seems not to have got ten memo. no one did their research on the true story of pittsburgh which is a rust belt reinvepgs into a green energy economy. he's not telling the real story of pittsburgh.
>> i had reason to believe you might have something to say on the topic. well said. and thank you as we thank our starting grid tonight. kennedy lany, matt news balm, and an deara much balman. >> next, this topic of executive privilege. when "the 11th hour" continues. hour." the future isn't silver suits and houses on mars,
and make cars appear out of thin air. find love anywhere. he's cute. and buy things from, well, everywhere. how? because our phones have evolved. so isn't it time our networks did too? introducing america's largest, most reliable 4g lte combined with the most wifi hotspots. it's a new kind of network. xfinity mobile. as we mentioned, the "new york times" has posted this, trump appears unlikely to hinder comey's testimony. to talk about all this, we have two attorneys of counsel for us tonight. joe wine banks is back with us, one of the special prosecutors during the watergate scandal. former general counsel to the united states army. and vie yawn wise is with us who helped turn over the decision of tom delay as well as other
courtroom achievements. tom, i want to start with you. can you give us the briefest explanation for folks who haven't heard the term since the watergate era, perhaps, or are new to it of executive privilege. and is it that everyone is saying president trump has lessened his own possible executive privilege claim because of what he has said and tweeted about comey? >> first of all, you should never ask a lawyer for a brief answer. >> i know. >> i will try. >> i could hear -- as it came out of my mouth i knew that was wrong. >> first, what executive privilege is. it is a legitimate privilege that a president has to protect political conversations, policy discussions with his top aides. he wants to get honest and open advice, so he needs to protect that. it does not -- and i stress, does not include any conversations about committing
crimes. so that if we've learned anything from history, and of course you have to know history to learn from it, you cannot protect a conversation that is an obstruction of justice. that's what the court said in watergate. that would apply here, too. so when the president, in addition to the fact that the allegation is that this is a conversation that was obstruction of justice and therefore not protected but when he reveals the conversation, when he says here's what happened at that conversation, then the person on other end of it has a right to defend him or herself and explain what the actual conversation was. so that, in a way, could be viewed as a waver. >> so donald trump has said n that public letter, thank you mr. comey for telling me three times i'm not the subject of investigation. he has tweeted comey better hope there aren't tapes of the conversation.
jill, that lessens his potential case? >> it does. frank lesion i think it's lessen by the fact that the allegation is that he asked mr. comey to stop investigating flynn. >> yeah. >> and that's an obstruction of justice. so it's not protected anyway. >> okay, brian, since a good lawyer is supposed to be able to argue that night is day, day is night, and sunny is cloudy, can you make the other case? make the case for president trump, if you would, that perhaps there's a way they can wiesel into an executive privilege claim? >> and you have used the operative word, brian, wiesel. it would take all of the wieseling that any bunch of wiesels could possibly come up with. this may be the one time when i'm at loss for words. i'm not sure what the over/under is on the president invoking executive privilege. i would definitely bet the under. look, anybody who has ever binge watched law and order recognizes that any privilege, pent tent priest, attorney/client,
patient/doctor realizes number it is a shield, it's not a sword. and number two the burden is on the individual seeking to advance that privilege. as jill aptly pointed out anything that's been made public in any way, shape, or form or that falls outside of that discrete privilege is fair game. and what's important in this situation is that you have got someone like james comey, who comes from an environment in the fbi and law enforcement, and the u.s. attorney's office, where everything imaginable is ultimately documented. if you have lunch with one of your u.s.a. buddies. if you sit down with with a snitch, regardless what it is. that is what's going to be problematic when the rubber mooets the road when he testifies next week. >> jill to brian's point as i keep saying on this broadcast he has the bearing kinds of if elliot necessary from the member
of the college of cardinals. it matters. personal matters. kinds of bearing and one's reputation matters when he stands and gets sworn in on thursday. >> it does. but he is not a totally credible person. he does have the problem that he revealed the investigation into the e-mails in the days before the election while withholding the information about the ongoing trump/russia investigation. so there is an issue that relates to that. but i do agree that once you have a contemporaneous memo which you are trained to do, it carries a lot of weight. it's not as good as a tape. so i hope when the president threatened about tapes that there are actually tapes. i would love to hear those. >> if you want to get technical, then he may have affected the last presidential election, fine i guess. brian, let's talk about attorney/client. if your client was donald trump, who we all know is going to be tempted to in effect live og the comey testimony on twitter,
how do you control your client and impress upon him the importance of silence? >> you know, that's one of life's unanswered questions. brian. when somebody comes around to be able to answer it i want them to call my cell phone when i get off the set in the b block. if i'm advising the president, and don mcgahn, who was tom delay's personal lawyer who is a bright guy -- certainly not his first rodeo, should be able to do what any good lawyer does, that's exercise client control. but we have a president, with all due respect, brian, who views normative behavior in some situations the same way that a housewife greets a dock rich at 2:00 in the morning. little empathy and less sympathy. in this situation every time our
president tweets or opens up his mouth he is making a bad situation worse. what we are seeing as we saw during an earlier block it's not just michael flynn and it's not just paul manafort. this is an ever-increasing cast of characters. it looks like once again every timing like in godfather one they said we need these things to clear the air. >> from cockroaches to weasels to the "godfather" reference. thank you for all of it. what happens late on a friday night at the end of a long week. jill wine banks, brian, thank you counselsors for joining us on the. after another break we'll come back with the question why won't the white house say where the president stands on climate change?
welcome back. before become president, donald trump was pretty clear about where he stood on climate change. the people at vox put together a list of 115 times trump posted on twitter about it. he has called it a hoax. and once famously blamed it on the chinese. but now, less than 24 hours after making that decision, with huge climate implications, no one in the white house would answer whether the president believed climate change was real. >> yes or no, does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat to the united states. >> you for example it's interesting about all the discussions we had through the last several weeks have been focused on one singular issue, is paris good or not for this country. >> i would like to go back to the first question that was asked that you didn't answer. does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax?
>> you know, i did answer the question because i said the discussions the president and i have had over the last several weeks have been focused on one key issue s paris good or bad for this country. >> you are the epa administrator, shouldn't you be able to tell the american people whether or not the president still believes the climate change is a hoax. where does he stand? >> i answed the question a couple of times. where does the president stand on climate change. does he believe it is a hoax. >> i have not had the opportunity to have that discussion. >> would it be possible to have that conversation with him and report back to us at the next briefing. >> if i can, i will lot you know. >> what a time for the white house press corps. we are blessed to have a quality white house press corps right now. let's welcome jemile smith, senior national koerpent for mtv news. notely an msnbc veteran back in the day. and sima rhetta, political writer for the los angeles times. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> sima, let's start with the politics of it.
well several people in the last 24 hours have said maybe he's just going to become a 40% president. >> he is clearly speaking to his base. this isn't really any surprise because at campaign rally after campaign rally last year he was very clear about what he felt about the paris agreement and that he planned to get out of it. i don't think anybody should be surprised he did this. i do find particularly his epa administrator's inability to answer the question whether he believes climate change is real. i find that inexplicable. >> jamie, what are the chance that 190 countries at donald trump's urging are going to come back, call it something different, decide something different? >> i would say that's a zero chance. frank lesion i think angela merckle and other european leaders made it clear this is not a renegotiatible agreement. new york, california, washington, they understand thofs going to happen. they believed his actual promise for one that he was going to keep. they were prepared for him to
make the wrong decision. >> jemile, the other thing you are reading is that it's -- everything is so retro about it, down to, but notably including, a return to coal mining and people keep asking, where are those jobs going to come from? coal-fired plants are coming off line. the momentum of the nation has been going in the other direction. >> yeah. unless they are going to fire the machines that are doing the mountain top removal or, you know, the people who are doing all the fracking that is competing and driving coal out of business. frankly, that's the target if you really want to save coal. it's not people who are trying to promote solar, promote air, promote different kinds of alternative energy. so he is actually shooting at the wrong target if in fact which i don't believe he he wants to actually make some progress in this regard. >> and sima, there is the visual that was also reported last night, ivanka trump was calling ceos as an end around, could you
please call my dad. rex tillerson who used to run exxon, now secretary of state, arguing we should stay in paris. there is a huge dichotomy with the president saying this is at's good for american businesses with a lot of businesses saying we were on the other side of this. >> there are compete factions inside the white house. but a couple of weeks ago people were talking about steve bannon losing influence. when the president made his announce men about paris steve was front and center and ivanka and jared kushner were nowhere to be seen. we know she felt strongly about this very issue. for liberals and democrats who hoped she would be a moderating force on her father this was not an example of success. >> jemile, there was reporting last night that banno was the last person the president met with on this. so you see this as -- it was said it was the nationalism resurgent yesterday.
>> yeah. i mean that certainly fits the pattern that we've been understanding for trump is that he pretty much believes whatever -- who -- the last person who speaks to him tells him. i think the idea here is to really getting away from asking whether or not the president believes climate change is real. it is real. we are not asking him if he believes in god or in a kick deity. we are not asking if he thinks the cavs are going to come back and win the nba finals. we are asking about something that has been prop to be a fact. let's treat it as such. >> then there is the governor in your state of california who says this will affect nothing we are going to keep going the way we've been going. thanks for making up our de facto california bureau on the on a friday night where it's less laid for you than it is for us out here. we appreciate your service nonetheless. jim hill smith, sima immediata thank you both very much. when we come back, much more to tell you about, including our conversation on the with al franken.
hour." we've been talking about the president's decision to leave the paris climate accord. and we are joined by a former climate change denier who has evolved interest something of a climate change activist. he is former republican congressman from the great state of south carolina, bob i think list. he was awarded the courage award in 2015 in fact for his environmental advocacy work. congressman, thanks for coming on. you were primaried out of congress in an election that gave the world trey gowdy among other things. what is the 60-second version of your journey from denier to activist and what you have to say to fellow republicans in congress these days? >> brian, you are right, it started with six years in congress, of me saying climate change was non-sense. didn't no anything about it except that al gore was for it
and if you represented the conservative district i represented then that was enough. i was running especially real estate, my son came to me in 2004 and he said dad i'll vote for you, but you have got to clean up your act on the environment. that plus a trip to the great barrier reef and an impact with an aussie climate scientist cause my to see the rmt of climate change and let's do something about it. >> a fellow republican of yours, and a friends of ours, and a frequent contributor, steve schmidt wrote this, i saw it on social media today, on twitter. for the first time in the post warld war two world, the u.s. president lacks the moral authority to lead the western alliance. that is a great danger. your reaction? >> i think that's true. i think that, sadly, donald trump has put us on the
sidelines, squatting over there with syria and nicaragua, afraid to enter the competition of ideas out on the field. it's really a very strange place for us to be as the leader of the free world. so it's a very awkward place, and an unfortunate turn of events here in the last 24 hours. >> so what can theeople who are like-minded, who agree with you, do about this? how should they think about this? should they hope and assume the world knows better? should they be buoyed by the fact that perhaps it's reversible by presidential election? >> well, i think what we need to do is at republican en.org we live to show there is a way to fix this problem by simply putting all the costs in and all the fuels, eliminating all the subsidies and if we do that through an effective carbon tax that's paired with a dollar for dollar reduction of other taxes and apply that on imports such
that china may challenge in the world trade organization but after they lose they would be placing the same price on carbon dioxide internal to china and then the rest of the world would follow suit. so american bold leadership could give us a worldwide price on carbon dioxide, which i think most economists would tell us is the most efficient way to do it. better than the clean power plan, better than a regulatory approach, better than capping trade. a very simple carbon tax that's paired with a reduction of other taxes or a dividend of the money back to the people. so it's an exciting opportunity to really move on to new energy once we fix the economics. >> congressman, thank you very much for coming on. we hope we can invite you back. as an earlier guest said we hope the president can schedule a visit to pittsburgh, pennsylvania, where he may learn a lot about the new economy and the new version of pittsburgh
weome back to "the 11t hour." senator al franken, democrat, represenng the great state of minnesota has just released a new book "al franken, giant of the senate", remembering his first career was in comedy. i sat down with him to talk. we started on the topic of russia. i asked him about the ongoing investigations. he said he believes eventually these investigation underway now will get to the bottom of it. but he finds the behavior of this white house right now notable. >> the trump team isn't acting like people have nothing to
hide. and that's too bad. but what the russians did, obviously, it was an attack on our country. and on our -- the fundamentals of our democracy. and we have to find out if the trump team cooperated in any way and if the president -- you know, what did the president know? and when did his son-in-law tell him. >> what do you see in the u.s. senate -- we have our own view. and we citizens often see our politics as fractured and broken. some days it seems beyond repair. what do you see, if anything, that makes you optimistic, say, about the u.s. senate? >> well, in the u.s. senate, you have to maintain collegial relationships with the other
nators. d that is part of what makes me optimistic. i see us do bipartisan legislation. there is a division now. i hate what's going on in terms of this health care bill in the senate, this process. we should be doing this in the regular process. we should be having hearings instead of 13 senators, republican senators behind closed doors. the bill out of the house is a disaster. it would hurt minnesotans. it would hurt the very people that trump said he was going to be helping. he said he wouldn't cut medicaid. it cuts medicaid by $880 billion. and they use that to $900 billion tax cut for people making over $250,000 a year. that's just wrong. and i am co-chair of the rural health caucus. because of this cut and my husband and i both work and we don't know what
we're going to do. this is wrong and it's cruel. >> there's a great part of your state called the iron range. >> yes. >> if you go into a stwraunt or a diner on a friday night, what do you think you would hear about donald trump? >> well, there are a lot of voters on the iron range who voted for me and voted for donald trump. >> yeah. >> and you know, a trade up there is a big issue. trump administration has been good on steel dumping. that's something that really affected the range. the obama administration was good on that as well. but loss to someone who's in the industry and knows the range actually in a very granular manner, so i'm glad that he's there for that.
there are also union folks there. >> yeah. >> and this administration is hostile to unions. i'm a member of three unions. all -- they are actor, s.a.g. and writers guild. they know that unions built the middle class and they're very >> and this administration is hostile to unions. >> and this administration is hostile to unions. i'm a member of three unions. >> and this administration is hostile to unions. all -- they are actor, s.a.g. and writers guild. they know that unions built the middle class and they're very pro union, too. it's a complex area politically. they're very -- there are skeptical environmentalists. they are very religious, although there's far more bars than churches. >> oh, well, it's long winters. >> it's the rage.
>> it's the range. >> yeah. >> what poses a greater threat to america -- and this may be an unfair construction. i don't know -- vladimir putin or climate change? >> i think climate change is a threat to the world, it's an existential threat. this decision on paris is the wrong decision. it's stupid. you know, you talk to anybody in the defense department. they know the quadrennial review, talk about, but this is the worst threat to our national security and because there are going to be hundreds of millions of k4r50i789 refugees if we don't do something about climate change. i write in my book, i don't want my kids -- my grandchildren saying to me, grandpa, you were a united states senator.
you knew climate change was happening, why didn't you do anything and also why are you still alive. because i'd be 116 at that point. >> i wasn't going say that. >> i would say it's all the n.i.h. funding that i got. >> and vladimir putin? >> vladimir putin poses a threat to our democracy and attacked our democracy. i think he's also a threat in eastern europe. he's not a good guy. >> senatorial franken during his visit to this studio. and how you can tell a book by its cover in this case. right back after this. ♪ ♪
while a shortened week by the holiday it's also been a long week. one more note from al franken's visit to our studios. i asked him to take us on a tour of the book cover and thus a tour of his mind. >> you went with a modest option for the cover. why? >> well, i -- you know, people say don't judge a book by its cover, but they do. and i felt that we needed a cover befitting a giant of the senate and it had to be an oil painting, but i didn't have time to sit for an oil painting and we took a photograph and had it painted. so there's a lot of important
elements here. you have the globe. >> right. i've noticed the whole world in your hands. >> because a giant of the senate has global responsibilities. the fireplace there, you see that? that puts a glow behind you. that -- that signifies being important enough to have an office with a fireplace. >> and-or warmth. >> and warmth. you get that feeling, too. very good. >> thank you. >> the gravitas of the whole thing. >> the whole thing says gravitas. >> we replaced my hand, kind of photo shopped it and put a beautiful hand in its place. and then the title, of course,
al franken, giant of the senate by al franken. >> yeah. >> point out i'm a number one new york times best-selling author and you have the perfect cover for the perfect book. and by the way, i tell the reader that the reader should judge for him or herself after reading the book whether i am, in fact, a giant of the senate. >> another nod to modesty on your part. >> that's the way i look at it, certainly. i sometimes in satire, you use irony. >> ah! i'm noting that. >> it's -- i was going to leave with you that. >> and no relation with the iron range? that's iron with a y at the end? >> exactly. >> ok. >> couldn't have said it better myself.
>> senatorial franken, thank you. appreciate it very much. >> thank you. >> and that is our broadcast for friday night. good night from new york. we look for you monday night. russia investigation widens. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. donald trump has vladimir putin colluding with him, at least in terms of their rhetoric. both men have denied the scandal over hacking is anything more than an excuse by the democrats for losing the election last year. and yet there are certain things we know as fact. during the campaign, donald trump praised putin and talked about trying to work more closely with him if elected. 17 u.s. intelligence agencies say putin's forces worked to get donald e