tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC June 5, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
he knew young men would die in great numbers and he knew a slaughter on those beaches was a distinct responsibility. he wrote if the landings failed if any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone. 11 months later, the war in europe was over, less than nine years later, dwight eisenhower was elected president of the united states. and so that is our broadcast on a monday night. thank you for being here with us, and good night from new york. >> rachel is still under the weather, but she did tell us she's itching to get back into this chair and hopes to be back very soon. we've got a big show for you, including a story that broke late this afternoon involving the leak of a top secret document. we'll have more on that in just a bit. but first, let me take you back to july of 1974. just one month before president
richard nixon resigned from office. the white house was in turmoil, the nixon administration was reeling from the months-long watergate scandal. he was on his way out the door. nixon's defense secretary was worried about what might happen if the president decided to subvert the constitution to stay in power even as everything around him was falling apart. by using the power of the presidency to call up the military, or god forbid if he tried to authorize the use of nuclear weapons without consulting anyone first. the story as told to a wire years earlier was that nixon's defense secretary overwhelmed by the possibility tried to prevent anything like that from happening by going behind his back to the chairman of the i didn't want to be chiefs of staff. if essence, the defense secretary asked the chairman of the joint chiefs for a commitment that neither he nor any of the other chiefs would respond to an order from the
white house calling for the use of military force without immediately informing the defense secretary. nixon's defense secretary asked the chairman of the join chief of staff, quote, don't take any emergency type action without consulting me. the joint chiefs of staff were uncomfortable with this request. they reportedly all looked down at their nails and sat in shock. they could not believe what they were hearing. the consensus in the room was he the secretary of defense was becoming unglued. there was debate whether the secretary of defense was overstepping his role, an opportunity o take advantage of a president in a weak understand weakened state. but president nixon's defense secretary was adamant. quote, first protect the country, and then the department of defense. it's that kind of sentiment that country first before my job sentiment that nowadays would probably come as a relief to many especially after a weekend in which the president made a number of surprisingly bizarre
decisions. related to our country's standing in the international community. for example, his knee-jerk response to the terrorist attack in london was to denigrate the mayor of london, misquoting the mayor's for calm and heightened police presence and calling his words a pathetic excuse. his response to the attack was to stoke fear in order to revive the old travel ban. this comes a few days after he shocked some of his own aids to break with the international community on the matter of climate change, pulling the united states out of an worldwide climate policy accord and putting us in the lone company of nick ra ga and syria. we're already dealing with the consequences of that decision from around the world and even within our own country. sources tell cnn tonight the acting ambassador to china has resigned from his post over his decision to withdraw from the
paris accord. as long as trump continues to delay filling those ambassadorships around the world he really can't afford to lose these career diplomats and keeping their seats warm in the meantime. this is all unfolding after his major trip abroad where he hurt our standing with the international community in ways that have yet to be measured. and also by refusing to reaffirm our commitment to nato's article 5 which states an attack on one dmun nato is an attack on all countries in nato. despite his campaign rhetoric, trump had been expected to reaffirm that commitment to nato. now we know he took not only the international community by surprise when he decided not to, but that his own top national security officials were surprised as well. according to "politico" today, quote, national security mcmaster, james mattis, and secretary of state rex tillerson all supported trump in reaffirming that commitment and had worked in the weeks leading up to the trip to make sure it
was included in the speech, according to five sources familiar with the episode. one source telling "politico" there was a fully coordinated other speech everybody else worked on and it wasn't the one trump gave. another source adding trump's top national security team, quote, didn't know that section had been removed. it was only upon delivery. it doesn't help two of the people who did tried to persuade trump to reaffirm that commitment, right now they're in australia helping clean up the diplomatic mess trump began when he and the australian prime minister got into it during that testy phone call during the inauguration. this is not just about a reluctance to play well with others, there's direct hostility from the president himself. on twitter, on the phone n person and in direct opposition to the advice but his advisers. what are we supposed take away from all of this? joining me is laura kennedy, a former career diplomat with four decades of experience who worked with democratic and
republicans throughout the years. an ambassador kennedy is the former ambassador to turkmenistan and secretary of state for european and asian affairs. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to start by asking you to do a damage assessment for us just on the last part of what i talked about which is our standing, the united states, in the international community. how much damage do you think that donald trump has done through that trip not reaffirming article 5 and his general attitude towards our allies so far. >> well, the failure to not only to reiterate our article 5 commitments to allies that stood with us september 11th who have given lives of their soldiers is shocking. the credibility of our senior officials, secretary of defense, national security advisor, secretary of state were
directly undermined by the fact they thought this commitment would be in his speech, and it wasn't. so how do they perform their role and have our allies and partners and indeed opponents if predictability and credibility is undermined this way. >> when our allies around the world talked to the united states, the secretary of state in this case, if they're not seen as close enough to the president to be influential over him, what's the real world consequence of that? >> i think incoherence which is very, very damaging. we do live in an extremely difficult and challenging world. so our commitments have to mean something if we will be able to maintain what was our strengths a worldwide network of partners and allies. president trump says he wants to defeat isis. i agree.
how do you do that if you don't have the network of partners and allies, not just militarily, but for law enforcement, sharing of information, intelligence sharing, and it is doing i think real damage when he deliberately insults and pushes away one of our greatest resources, our allies around the world. >> i'm interested in getting your take on donald trump's response to the attacks in england. they had three terrorist attacks in recent weeks. the most recent case donald trump went on twitter and went on a tirade against the london mayor. what does that kind of thing do to our relationships with our allies or is that just sort of a news cycle that doesn't affect policy? >> it is just inexplicable to me. the british have suffered these recent attacks. they are our friends and allies. and to say anything other than we're with you, we grieve with you, we stand with you is just
betraying our own values as well as one of our closest allies. inexplicable and damaging. >> is there a sense in which maybe in europe and allies, in a way, could that make europe stronger and the eu more independent and take more responsibility for their own affairs? >> certainly they will step up, what they have to do, but they will lose and we will lose if we are not able to maintain a great strength which is cooperation. we desperately need that to deal with isis and nonproliferation as we did successfully with the iran deal. we now have north korea, pan environmental creases crises we
face. we have to have our friends and allies to works with. >> or climate change. laura kennedy, thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> certainly feels like we're in uncharted territory, but is that really the case? what can we learn from past administrations and what can it tell us about where we're headed? joining us is michael beschloss. nbc news presidential historian. great to talk to you. always a treaty to talk to you. >> same here, joy. >> we started with this story of richard nixon at this moment when he's deteriorating and you have his defense secretary and his cabinet step in and go to the joint chiefs and say if he gives an order that seems odd or using the military, come to us first. we know that's unprecedented. do you see in the administration you're looking at now, do you see anyone in the administration that seems like they could play the role of intervening to put the president back on course if he were to go off course? >> this is what's so shocking of that story of susan glasser's
in "politico" about the fact that donald trump didn't give the speech that his advisers thought he was going to give. during watergate, henry kissenger and al haig felt they were keeping things steady although as you rightly say, nixon was drinking to some extent. he was not in a great mental state. and kissinger later said, al haig saved the country and i saved the world. with donald trump, you and i have both heard people say donald trump may be unpredictable and mercurial may be in a scary way in national security but it's got this great national security staff, tillerson and mcmaster and mattis and that staff is not too helpful if they can't manage to get the guy to give a speech endorsing article 5 that they all expected him to give. >> i think back to the george w. bush administration when it was
seen that perhaps the president was waking up to the fact that the iraqi invasion, he had been sold information that wasn't accurate and his presidency felt shaky, he brought in jim baker who was able to bring in in their mind to right the ship. you think of david gergen. coming in in a clinton administration. is there a figure in and around the administration now or maybe in republican politics that could play that kind of a role with someone like donald trump? >> no. i don't think there is one at this point because tillerson and mattis and mcmaster, these are three very tough guys, and if they cannot manage to keep him on track, i don't know who else can. this is also in the context of the tweets where president trump is complaining about the action by his justice department on the travel ban, the justice department works for him, so this suggests a president who is
really straining at the edge of his leash and out of control to some extent. this is very unnerving especially in national security. >> is there anything in u.s. history that sort of equates to the situation we have? rex tillerson, the secretary of state who's cloistered with two aides, doesn't talk to a lot of people, the son-in-law who's embroiled in his own controversies, we have all these figures around the president who themselves seem isolated from good advice. >> i hate to say it, but this is dangerous. national security is serious. this is to some extent amateur hour. you've got a president who's not able to have a staff who is able to keep him on track at least by what we've seen during the last week, and that can be dangerous. at the same time, even just as recently as february, the president's aides, steve miller went on the shows and said the president's powers and national security are very considerable and will not be questioned. that's not the kind of thing that makes us calm. >> lastly, there's been a lot of
talk about reince priebus and his lack of influence. typically to chiefs of staff are they drawn from a pool of people who are dependent on the president or that independents to be able to tell the president hard truths? is he unusual? >> he is. you're absolutely right. you want a chief of staff with the stature to be able to say to the president here's something you're not going to want to hear, and if you're angry at me and fire me, that's fine. jim baker had that under ronald reagan. al haig had that during the last year under richard nixon. ed independent stature of his own and kept nixon from doing dangerous things. if you go by this incident with article 5 and they flurry to flurry to give that speech, it's hard to see this staff is doing that with donald trump. >> not good news. michael beschloss, presidential historian. thanks as always. always great talking to you. >> i wish i could have been a little bit more calm tonight, joy. >> it's okay.
we like you to keep it real. thank you very much. >> thank you. doing my best. >> indeed. up next, a report on that top secret nsa document that was leaked te press and the news tonight that the allegg leaker has been arrested. plus, the president got a rather interesting job offer today, and i'll explain. stay with us. it's the phillips' lady! anyone ever have occasional constipation,diarrhea, gas or bloating? she does. she does. help defend against those digestive issues. take phillips' colon health probiotic caps daily with three types of good bacteria. 400 likes? wow!
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add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount for months u.s. intelligence officials have been very clear on one key pointed related to russian efforts to interfere in our election. no results were ever compromised. >> they did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort. >> we have no evidence that vote tallies were altered in any way. >> that's correct. >> you have no intelligence or evidence that suggests any votes were changed? >> i have nothing generated by the national security, sir. >> director comey, do you have evidence that any votes for changed in the states i mentioned to emeril rogers.
no. >> this afternoon the news site published the following story. top secret nsa report details russian hacking effort days before 2016 election. the five-page report says the russian hacking may have penetrated more than previously understood. intercept says it obtained the document with parts redacted through an anonymous source. the intelligence agency conclusion that russian military intelligence known as the g.r.u. executed a cyber attack against u.s. election software vendors in august of 2016. they used data gathered from that attack to send spear fishing e-mails to over 1100 election officials just days before the election. the targeted companies believed to be florida based vr systems which makes electronic voting senior used in california, illinois, indiana, west virginia, virginia, north carolina, florida, and new york. to be clear, nowhere in the
report does the nsa indicate any actual voting machines or vote tallies were compromised. rather than selling the actual machines used to count the votes, vr systems sells the software which is used to determine who is eligible to vote. one u.s. intelligence official contacted by the intercept conceded that the russian operation outlined by the nsa targeting voter registration software could have disrupted voting in the locations where the products were being used. it is unknown what potential data could have been accessed and makes no conclusion about what effect the attack had on the outcome of the election but it does conclude that russian military intelligence, the g.r.u. was behind the attack. as we mentioned, the document was leaked to the intercept anonymously. nearly an hour after it was published this afternoon, the department of justice announced% it had arrested and charged a federal government contractor with leaking the document, the first criminal charge in a
leaked prosecution during the trump administration. reality lee winner was charged with removing classified material from a government facility and distributing it to a news out let. the fbi says when they approached her at her home saturday, she admitted to printing out a copy of the drjts removing it from her place of work and mailing it to the intercept. joining us is it nbc news national security reporter did ken delaney. the big question asked by democrats in the campaign and pointedly by republicans in defense of donald trump was whether or not russian hacking actually flipped votes, changed votes in machines. that's not what this report is talking about, right? >> that's right, joy. i think you laid it out really well. there's nothing in this report, nothing we know that suggests any votes were changed. but what i find really interesting about this report is that it shows that the russian
hacking went on right up until the election well after the obama administration warned the russians to stop doing this, to cut it out. there's been reports of high level warnings from john brennan to his counterparts in the russian intelligence agency and the u.s. was mobilized and aware en on election day.e going to and so it's not really clear from this report whether it was an attempt to make those things happen, but it's clear that the russians were into some systems that were close to the voter registration files. what folks i've talked to say could have happened but didn't thankfully is they may have been able to change voter identity en masse. so that you could have had situations where people were showing up to the polls and every third voter found their registration didn't match and they weren't allowed to vote. that would have caused mass chaos and disruption. there's so many questions here, we just don't know. it's an example of classified
information the u.s. possessed and hasn't released to the public yet. >> i think that's the point, ken. what will make people nervous is you have a situation where there was significantly reduced voting in certain states where fewer than expected voters came out. we know about this one attempt to do spear fishing attacks that as you said, could delete people off the voting rolls. meaning you show up to vote and you're not on the rolls and it's not as a result of a mistake or voter suppression, it's literally the result of a spear fishing attack. is there any reporting on whether or not the nsa believes that was more widespread and this is the one they caught? >> the report we have says they don't and they said as much in public. this is one small intelligence analysis report. it's an interesting report. i'm glad we're seeing it. but it doesn't contain any of the raw intelligence. anyone looking for proof that the russians carried out this hack are not going to find it in this report.
this report expresses conclusions this report suppress conclusions from the nsa. it is interesting they say definitively it was the g.r.u. but no, to your larger point, nsa director mike rogers has testified before congress he's not aware of any larger effort that would have caused disruption to the actual election. >> you make a good point because what we've been talking about in terms of the russian attacks is sort of using freelance hackers, using hacker collectives, using wikileaks and other third parties. is this the first report that links directly back to the g.r.u. or adding to the ed this attack on our election came right from the top? >> previous u.s. intelligence reports that have been made public mentioned the g.r.u. but this one is more definitive. that would be based not only on computer forensics, that's based on intelligence and human
intelligence, tracking this thing back to particular russian officials. >> let's talk about this arrest. do you have reporting on how they were able to zero in on the person who was arrested, ms. winner? >> this is a really remarkable part of the story. you know, they did it through basic forensics. she appeared to be rather careless. she e-mailed with the news site and then she printed out this document according to the affidavit, though she did not have a need to see it. and they can track all that within their systems. we're taing about a 25-year-old contractor here. the reason she was of interest to the nsa was she was a former air force linguist fluent in pashto and the car dari, the languages of afghanistan. it's another example how the nsa has a problem with leakers. you never used to see this thing happen at the nsa. once you got clearance it was a
club, a trusted circle. they're seeing a lot of it now. >> one thinks of contractor edward snowden. as one of those. nbc's ken delaney. thank you very much. >> good to be with you, joy. >> we're all awaiting testimony from former fbi director james comey this week. but there's another hearing that could also shed light on the russia investigation, and it's one that's worth keeping an eye on. can we at least analyze customer traffic?
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office building. it houses half of the senate and their staffs. and also the occasional taxidermy. the moose was trucked into the heart building last year to new hampshire senator's office. as was this friendly looking bear. see? i think he's waving. the poor staffers crammed them into the elevators and parked them in the waiting room for an event with their constituents. tada! understandably, they turned a lot of heads it's usually people in suits going about their business, and also stuffed bears. but compared to what's happening this week, that was tame. this thursday, fired fbi director james comey is set to give public testimony before the senate intelligence committee. it's why they expected he will be asked about thinks conversations with president donald trump including those allegations that trump asked him
to drop the investigation into former national security adviser, michael flynn. there were questions whether or not the white house would try to block him from testifying invoking executive privilege. arguing the president has a right to confidentiality in his conversations with mr. comey. today the trump administration put those questions to rest. the white house said the president will not block him from testifying. white house spokeswoman sarah huckabee sanders said even though the president's right to executive privilege is well- established, the administration wants a swift examination of the facts. so that means mr. comey ask free to speak his mind. you can pretty much already smell the popcorn cooking in microwaves across the country. for what's expected to be the most watched political event since the election. there's something else happening this week worth staking pin in. rosy rosy is also expected to testify before the senate intelligence committee in a hearing scheduled for wednesday.
it's not about russia, but you can bet democrats on that panel will ask him about it anyway. they could grill him on his role in comey's firing. recall that he wrote that memo that was used to justify it and what he knows about trump's alleged interference in the russia investigation. it's a pretty big deal. rod rosenstein spoke on the record late friday night sending an early warning through press that he and the attorney general sessions might get tied up in the investigation that's now charging full steam ahead. he told the ap since the special council reports to him he would recuse himself if he becomes part of the investigation. which is strange. why would he say on the record to the press he might be next in the cross hairs of the russia investigation? what game is rod rosenstein playing? and what does it have to do with the ticking time bomb when james comey takes the stand. joining us is it matthew miller.
former chief spokesperson for the justice department. thank you for being here i'll let you answer that question. what do you think rod rosenstein is up to going on the record? >> yeah, it's a great question because this is his first interview with the press since he was sworn into office. and for him to come out and publicly figure himself as a possible subject of this investigation in his first interview is a strange thing to do. i suspect what he was doing was trying to take some heat off himself and finding an excuse to not answer questions about one one of the underlying scandals at doj. the big question is going to be what did the president say to him about the russia investigation? what kind of pressure did they put on him? there's a secondary potential scandal too which is what did jeff sessions and rod rosenstein know when they signed off on james comey's firing, and if they knew he was being fired because he was fired and they went along with it, their positions are really untenable at doj.
it would be the biggest scandal in the department's history. so what i think you see rosenstein doing is sending this public signal that will probably see him do at the hearing on wednesday and come up and say, look, i know you have questions whether i knew about this whether comey briefed me on his concerns, whether i saw his memos, whether the president said anything to me. but because of this ongoing investigation, i'm just not able to answer. and that would be a dodge that really i think gets around congress's legitimate right to know his role in this story. >> i guess that is because obviously he was the author of this memo. does it matter if when he wrote up this memo, and he'd only been in office for a short time as acting as deputy attorney general, did he need to have known the firing was because of russia-gate? or just that the president wanted a pretext to fire james comey, and he told them write
auto memo, give them a pretext? are both of those two things scandalous? >> one is much worse than the other obviously. if he knew it was over russia, then that is much worse. that is a major scandal because it shows the deputy attorney general, one of the people to protect the doj's independents is helping the president trample on it. if they knew president wanted to fire him, that's a bit less of a scandal, but it's hard to believe even if he didn't have direct evidence, even if he wasn't aware of the conversations, it's hard to believe that he went and had this meeting. remember, he and sessions both met with the president the day before they fired james comey. it's hard to believe the president said after long, careful consideration i'm unhappy with the way director comey handled the clinton e-mail case and i'm going to fire him and then he wrote that memo. it's hard to see he didn't know what was going on. >> let's talk about james comey. >> what do you expect to hear from james comey. do you think there will be anything new that comes out of his testimony? >> obviously he's going to come
in we suspect and talk about his conversations with the president. several of those conversations we know about already. but it's been reported he kept memos about other conversations that we don't know the details of yet. and i suspect james comey whatever you think about him he's shown a propensity to love the spotlight in the past, i think he might be saving his biggest revelation for this hearing. we may see some new bombs, even worse than the ones we've already seen, and if not, just adding more details, something we saw in the sally yates hearing. we knew a lot of what she planned to say but when she fleshed out the details and told exactly the things she had warned the white house about, if we see him add details about his conversations with the president, it could be explosive. by the way, remember the president said point-blank he didn't pressure comey to fire mike flynn. if james comey comes in, raises
his hand in the air, swears under oath and says that's not true, that's a difficult position for the president obviously because it means he lied to the american people: >> might be a good time to buy stock in popcorn companies. matthew miller, former chief spokesperson for the justice department. thank you so much. appreciate your time. coming up, did the administration's case for the trump travel ban get a lot more difficult for them to argue within the last hour? stay with us. when i look
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while we're all waiting for james comey to testify on thursday before the senate intelligence committee, there's something else to watch right now that is going on inside that committee. it concerns the senate report on torture committed by americans which was retched and written under the old democratic majority. in late 2014 democrats voted to release the unclassified 500-page redacted summary. that you see here. it talks about the u.s. use of torture after 9/11. the democratic senate also sent copies of the full, nearly 7,000-page report to several government agencies. ever since republicans got control of the senate the head of the senate intelligence committee, richard burr has been asking the agencies to return those copies to agreements he wants them out of the executive branch back in congressional hands. now that we have a republican president, the agencies have started to comply. they've been sending their copies back to congress. senator burr tells "the new york times" the
committee will, quote, enact necessary measures to protect the sensitive sources contained in the report. in the midst of everything else going on in washington, this story is also worth keeping an eye on. watch this space. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order
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the nation's airports. several judges blocked the orders within 48 hours. once the administration realized it was going to face a court fight they rolled out a new strategy. they said the travel ban was in fact not a ban. even though the president and members of his administration has been calling it's a ban right up until that moment. now in the face of these court rulings it was no longer a ban. sean spicer engaged in acrobatic contortions to adapt to the new language, his potassiums that week launched melissa mccarthy's impression on "saturday night live." >> it's not a ban. >> i'm sorry? >> it's not a ban. the travel ban is not a ban, which makes it not a ban. >> the the president tweeted, and i quote, if the ban were announced with a one-week notice -- >> yeah, exactly. you just said that. he's quoting you. it's your words. he's using your words when you use the words and he uses them back, it's circular using of the word, and that's from you. [ laughter ]
>> that's pretty much how it went. the administration drafted a whole new executive order to replace the one that kept getting blocked. the new one band travel from six countries instead of seven, but the courts were unmoved from a hawaii judge's ruling in march, quote, by the government's reading the executive order could not have been religiously motivated because the six countries represent only a small fraction of the world's muslim majority nations. the logic of the government's contentions is palpable. the notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. it is a discriminatory purpose that matters no matter how inefficient the execution. ouch. the trump administration has stuck with it. as recently as a week ago, john kelly was saying it's not a travel ban. it's a travel pause. in the not just a pr move.
this is not just a pr move by the trump administration. the judges who blocked the ban have all said the context matters, that all things donald trump and his campaign and this administration have said from his call for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states on down, all those statements made it clear the executive order really is a muslim ban. and so to have a credible case in court, the administration las to change that context. they have to show that they didn't intend for it to be a ban. it may be a little too late. but they were doing it. they were staying more or less on message for the last couple months, until now. here was donald trump, president, on twitter this morning, quote, people and the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want. but i'm calling it what we need and what it is, a travel ban. and then, the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the supreme court. and now just a few minutes ago,
this, that's right, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people. you know the "the rachel maddow show" doesn't really cover trump's tweets very much, but these tweets may have legal consequences. here's how the lawyer fighting the ban responded. neal katyal tweeted it's kind of odd. to have the defendant in our case acting as our cocounsel. we don't need the help, but we'll take it. he wondered whether he shouldn't just turn the lectern over to trump to make the case for us. a week ago when trump was returning from his trip abroad there were plans to have lawyers vet all the president's tweets before he sent them out. guess that didn't work. even as the president makes it harder to defend the muslim ban, the supreme court and even some republicans are starting to wonder why the administration is still pursuing the ban at all. it was only supposed to last 90 days the administration wanted to use that time to put new
extreme vetting procedures into place. republican senator roy blunt and mark warner on the intelligence committee pointed out this weekend on the shows that the white house has had much longer than 90 days to come up with the procedures. so at this point what's the point of having a ban at all? joining us is neal katyal who argued against the travel ban on behalf the state of hawaii before the 9th circuit. thank you for joining us. thanks for being here. >> thanks, joy. >> let's talk about why does it matter whether or not donald trump up until within the hour keeps tweeting it's a travel ban. why does that help your case? >> i think we need to be sanguineb. there's no gloating on our team for what the president said today. we have to first keep in mind the extraordinary thing that's happened. the president of the united states the accused of violating our sacred text, the first
amendment, no establishment of religion. those have been upheld saying president trump, you violated the constitution. and now these tweets essentially gut what his lawyers were saying in trying to defend him. and so it's really undercut the rationale for the ban and the whole legal defense. and it's a real problem. >> isn't it the case in the rulings that have all gone in your favor, they've said it's unfair to take the president's campaign rhetoric into account when you're trying to decide what he's doing as president. do these tweets now that he's actually president essentially negate that argument by the dissenters. >> there's a handful of judges that favor donald trump. but what they've said is campaign statements like the ones he made likes, quote, i'm calling far total and complete
shutdown of muslims entering the united states. i think islam hates us, we can't allow people who hate us to come in to the country. that's the old trump, the new trump is different they say. but the tweets really i think gut that kind of argument, and make it very clear that, you know, the president has sunk his own ship. >> the white house is down to fewer and fewer people they're sending out to speak for him. kellyanne conway and sba. her argument that you really can't listen to what the president says on twitter because it's not relevant. >> that's an extraordinary statement for anyone at the white house to make, don't trust the president and what he says in tweets. that's bizarre to me. i defer to her husband who tweeted today and said that the president's tweets are really undermining the case in the courts including the u.s.
supreme court. i'm not going to predict the outcome at all. that's something for the courts to decide. but i do think it's an extraordinary thing that's happened today. >> argument too that's been made by gore cais that you can't call ate muslim travel ban because the ban does not include the world's most pop list muslim countries such as egypt. if you don't ban all the muslim from all the muslim countries that you can't say it's a muslim ban. >> that's a terrible, terrible argument. if i'm an employer and i have ten african-american employees and i fire one and say i'm firing you because you're african-american, i don't think it's a defense to say, well, the other nine weren't fired so it can't be on the basis of race. it's ludicrous. it gutted the justice department's rationale. he said the old ban is just like the new ban. it's the exact same policy.
>> would part of the the argument be also this is temporary. we just need 90 days of this travel ban in order to get ourselves together to do extreme vetting. does the 90 days become another argument? >> totally. the justice department said we need 90 days for extreme vetting and so on. one tweet said, in any event we are vetting people coming in to the united states in order to keep our country safe. the courts are slow. the very thing he wanted to do he's admitting in his tweet which is thoroughly business zblafrmt the last lines of that tweet are, the courts are slow and political. this president, it's so sad. every time he loses he attacks the judge, called them a so-called judge, calls them political. i can't think of something more
corrosive to our democracy than the idea a fundamental check and balance that madison and hamilton and jefferson laced into the constitution, this idea about judges being independent to protect limited government is something a president could attack in this way. i mean, it is truly sad with an exclammation point. >> the entity he's attacking is his own justice department. he's attacking an organization which reports to him and which could make any arguments he wanted. >> i used to hold for president obama one of the top positions in litigating positions and acting solicitor general. i think it's a fundamental thing courts are going to have to look at because the the justice department is defending this on the idea that there's a presumption of regularity that you should presume what the president does is correct. and here is what jack goldsmith, a very conservative harvard professor said today after the tweets, quote, trump's actions
take us so far beyond normal it's hard to have any faith in the executive branch. in the last month alone he has told lies, fired comey, related a russia probe and reattacked courts. given the president's instability, it's not just courts that have reason to relax the presumption of irregularity. the ill informed president infects the legal soundness of everything he does. last line, as best i can tell, no president's action have ever so adversely affected trust in his administration including nixon during watergate. that is conservative law professor jack goldsmith of harvard law school. >> wow. neal katyal, wow, really appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> thank you. great to be here. still ahead tonight, the mayor of london made a very pointed request tonight. and that's next.
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we have an update to a story we were talking about earlier in the show. tonight london mayor sadiq khan is calling on the british government to cancel a planned state visit to the uk by u.s. president donald trump. this comes after trump's swift criticism of the mayor following this weekend's terrorist attack in london. which left seven dead and dozens injured. following that horrific attack, the president was quick to denigrate london's mayor, mr. khan. at one point, misquoting his appeal for calm amid a heightened police presence. the mayor's office pointed out that mistake. but trump responded by calling the mayor's statement a, quote, pathetic excuse.
appearing on a british news channel tonight, mayor khan said the u.s. president should no longer be welcome in the country. he said, quote, i don't think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the usa in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for. when you have a special relationship, it is no different from when you've got a close mate. you stand with them in times of adversity, but you call them out when they're wrong there are many things about which donald trump is wrong. a reminder, this is one of our closest allies. we're now living in very different times that does it for >> don't rush out of the building. i'm not feeling well. i have a cold and a sore throat. and i don't know how long the voice is going to last. what are we going to do? >> i'm just letting you know you're not allowed to be sick. >> i'm not allowed to be sick. just one of us at a time. that is correct. >> stay right there. >> i'm going to try. thanks.