tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 7, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
day. >> tonight the war room is out and live tweet something in new reporting on the protective placement's go it alone strategy as we learn more than about election was. plus, my exclusive interview with the attorney for alleged nsa leaker reality winner. are senate republicans planning a trumpcare sneak attack of their own? and the troubling new report that alleges donald trump shifted kids' cancer charity money into his business when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. with just 38 hours to go until former fbi director james comey appears before the senate intelligence committee, details are coming from multiple news outlets about what we may hear
tomorrow and on thursday, including this report tonight from "the new york times" with the headline "james comey told attorney general sessions, don't leave me alone with trump." the president is preparing to go it alone on what could be the most consequential day of his presidency. all the tv networks are airing that hearing live starting thursday at 10:00 a.m., and the whole country will be watching as the fbi director the president fired speaks publicly for the first time about being dismissed abruptly last month and about the president's alleged efforts to interfere in that russia investigation. the president was asked about comey's testimony today during a meeting with congressional leaders. >> i want to thank everybody very much for being here, and let's get to work. we're going to get it work and get it done. thank you all very much. >> mr. president, what message do you have to jim comey ahead of his testimony? >> i wish him luck. >> i wish him luck. just recently the trump administration launched efforts to push back on comey and the russia probe, moving to set up a so-called war room at the white house to handle rapid response. but now just hours before comey's big moment, a source
close to the white house tells nbc news there's no war room, zero. according to axios, top republicans say the white house has been unable to lure some of the legal and rapid response talent they had been counting on. without the internal infrastructure in place to rebut comey's testimony, that duty will fall instead to the president's outside counsel, attorney marc kasowitz. and of course to the president himself. according to "the washington post's" robert costa, the president may use his favorite medium to react in realtime. i'm told by two white house sources that president trump does not plan to put down twitter on thursday. may live tweet if he feels the need to respond. you recall his apparent threats in the days after the firing. james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. asked today when the plans, the white house says he has a quote, busy day. that includes a speech midday to the faith and freedom coalition,
a friendly crowd that could embolden the respond more candidly. that instinct to act out as only increased the president's isolation. allies including republican lawmakers have been expressing their discomfort with the president's social media response to the terror attack in london, tweeting about his travel ban and attacking the city's mayor repeatedly. meanwhile, yahoo news reports that four top law firms have turned down requests to represent the president in the russia investigation. a consistent theme, sources said, was the concern about whether the president would accept the advice of his lawyers and refrain from public statements and tweets that have consistently undercut his position. quote, the concerns were the guy won't pay, and he won't listen. the president seemingly eager to blame anyone but himself for the predicament he finds himself in, "the new york times" reports
he's now zeroed in on his own attorney general, jeff sessions. according to the times, the president has intermittently fumed for months offer sessions' decision to recuse himself, believing it was that recusal that led to the appointment of a special counsel. according to nbc news, sessions may have even offered at one point to resign. asked about sessions today, the white house refused to say the president stands by his attorney general. >> how would you describe the president's level of confidence in the attorney general, jeff sessions? >> i have not had a discussion with him about that. >> the last time you said that, there was a development. >> i'm answering a question, which is i have not had that discussion with him. >> so you can't say his confidence in his attorney general? >> i said i have not had a discussion with him on the question. i don't -- if i hadn't had a discussion with him about a subject, i tend not to speak about it. >> even as the president grows more frustrated and isolated amidst the burgeoning russia crisis, he might not be without allies in that hearing room. tonight he's dining at the white house with two republican members of the senate intelligence committee, men who will be asking comey the
questions on thursday. senators tom cotton and marco rubio. i'm joined now by robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post," and bob, i think you've been doing some reporting on all the stuff we've been hearing on sessions. maybe we start with that. what have you learned? >> what i've learned tonight is that the president has been frustrated ever since earlier this year when the attorney general decided to recuse himself from the russia probe inside of the federal government. the president believes that decision by sessions ultimately led to bob mueller being appointed special counsel and putting the administration in the situation it's presented with today. this is a strained relationship that goes back to the campaign. sessions has been an ideological guide for the president, but trump -- well, sessions has offered to step away if the president was so angry, but the president has refused that.
>> we've seen reports of that. you're confirming that sessions has even gotten to the point of offering to step down, and the president dismissed that. but you're confirming that's the case? >> here's how i was told it by two people close to the white house. sessions had a conversation with the president where frustrations were expressed, particularly from the president's side. sessions said he was trying to do his job. when he stepped away and recused himself in the russia investigation and said if the president desired, he'd be willing to step away, but it was more out of respect to the
president, a friend of sessions told me, than anything else. and that has since passed, but the frustrations continue. >> well, that is interesting and in some ways it dovetails a little bit with the picture we've learned from those close to comey. i mean what it sounds to me like is this is a preside whooes not like the notion of the department of justice, the fbi acting independently on this particular topic, which is the russia investigation. >> there are these ongoing probes that really befuddle the white house. they see the investigations on capitol hill, mueller, what the fbi has been doing for months, and they really believe it's going to come to a head on thursday with comey's testimony. there's been talk of having the president even use twitter to directly engage with comey in whatever he ends up saying. there's been talk of a war room even at the white house, but that has been scuttled. >> yeah, there's -- there's this other reporting saying the war room may be on hold. trump forces mobilizing for rapid response on a thursday effort led in part by trump camp's glassner. you're reporting about the sort of rapid response on twitter. i guess my question is what advise is the president being given about how to deal with this testimony on thursday? >> the president wants to be his own messenger. we were talking to newt gingrich. we have a story coming out soon. they say the president is defiant. he wants to punch back any kind of attempt to frame trump as out of bounds by former director comey. so this is going to be a brawl perhaps from the presidential
side. >> all right. robert costa, thank you as always. >> thank you. >> joining me, amy jeffress, former counselor to then attorney general eric holder. i want to talk first about this "new york times" story that just crossed in which it's reported that after the president had basically urged comey to stop the investigation of flynn, he then went to sessions and said, don't leave me alone with trump. what do you make of that as someone who has been a lawyer to the attorney general? >> well, assuming that report is accurate, i understand why director comey would have felt that way if he was put in situations where he thought that he was being asked questions that were inappropriate or asked questions that were awkward. then i can understand he would have wanted not to be alone in those situations but to be
accompanied by the attorney general or someone else. >> is it traditionally part of the attorney general's job that he vouchsafes the independence of the doj as an entity from the white house? >> actually it is and it has been on occasions in the past. the department of justice has, i think, a different role in the administration than other agencies because of the need for independence, especially with respect to ongoing investigations. >> to the point on this recusal question, i mean ultimately the decision by the attorney general was a sort of monumental decision.
it's led us to where we are right now in many respects. that decision to recuse, do you think it was the proper and appropriate decision by jeff sessions? >> i do think that that was the right decision given the controversy over his testimony about his own contacts. >> but he did have a choice, i guess, ultimately, right? there is no one that can tell an attorney general to investigate, though i imagine there's internal doj procedure. >> yes, there are. there are very good ethics lawyers who advise the attorney general and others about their ethical obligations, and there are bar rules that all attorneys are subject to.
so those ethics attorneys probably did give him advice, and he may have made his decision based on their advice. >> it seems to me a broader theme here is sort of the president versus the lawyers, right? that even someone like jeff sessions, who is obviously ideologically committed to the president's agenda, an early supporter of his vision, he is a lawyer. he's working in the department of justice, and the sort of protocols of the law seem kind of wholly anathema to the president of the united states. >> you also have the white house counsel, which is really the president's institutional lawyer. the attorney general is not so much the president's institutional lawyer as the attorney general is the head of the department of justice, which is supposed to be independent. the white house counsel also has obligations not just to the president personally but to the white house institutionally. so that's also not a completely -- you know, not a personal counsel like the president has now gone out and hired. but that would be a role more like what you're describing. >> right. can you imagine, though -- i mean i guess the question here is all of this is being navigated by the parties in this drama. this is the president of the united states, the attorney general jeff sessions, who is an ally, an early campaign supporter, and james comey, formerly now, rod rosenstein, who is the deputy. they are -- all of these people except for the president are lawyers, and they're people
steeped in the law and steeped in essentially functioning along these sort of procedures of norms and also guidelines. the president doesn't seemo function along those lines. >> no, and with respect to particularly to the dety attorney general, rod rosenstein and director comey, they have both spent, i think in rod rosenstein a case, all of his career and in director comey's case, nearly all of his career at the department of justice. so they will personally have a lot of loyalty to the department, and they will want to ensure its independence in situations like this. >> amy jeffress, thank you for making some time tonight. appreciate it. joining me now republican strategist steve schmidt and mckay coppins. a very interesting piece. what trump really fears. the president faces an open-ended investigation that may uncover their excesses. the reporting tonight about his frustration with sessions recusing himself dovetails to my theory of things which is whatever happened vis-a-vis russia the president is not particularly excited about bob mueller digging through his records and those of his associates in an open-ended way. that has to be scary to him.
>> absolutely. in fact, i'm told by sources close to the president that that is one of the growing fears inside the trump white house, that, you know, trump has always -- even before he entered politics, kind of surrounded himself with a certain type of character, people who frankly are a lot like donald trump. they're hard-charging. they're brass, brazen, and he often kind of infuses his team with an eat what you kill ethos where he encourages them to compete for his respect and attention. and a couple sources told me -- now, i want to be clear they have not accused directly people in trump's orbit of doing anything that hasn't been
reported already. but what they say is it would not surprise them if some of these people crossed lines or did kind of unsavory things in an effort to get trump's attention and respect, even if he didn't know about it. and i think there's a fear that, you know, trump doesn't know what's out there. >> right. >> he knows some of what's out there, but there could be other skeletons that come out that he's not even aware of. that's one of the big fears in the white house right now. >> it's not just the president. he said it's insane that the
congressional republicans are abetting a kind of cover-up or what appears to be a cover-up, without knowing what the underlying crime may be, right? they have committed to sort of backing him and covering for him and are on the hook for whatever is underneath there, and they don't themselves know. >> let's look at the politics of it. we have a special election in the georgia 6 seat. >> yep. >> mitt romney got 67% of the vote. donald trump, 49% to hillary clinton's 48%. it could be that the democratic candidate wins in this affluent suburban, republican,
college-educated, you know, demographic type district. there are three times in the last 118 years where the incumbent president's parties picked up seats in the first midterm. there's a 24-seat majority. 23 seats are districts that hillary clinton carried. the president's approval numbers are now mired in the mid-30s before james comey's testimony. in the middle of this spasm of erratic behavior on the part of the president in this miasma of incompetence that we see at the policy-making level, the national security level. so republicans, if they're not panicking about their majority in the house of representatives, they should be. and the investment of we're going to stand with donald trump without knowing the facts and abet a cover-up really a sin of omission rather than commission. it's just extraordinarily politically malfeasance. >> you have cotton and rubio dining with the president tonight. it strikes me that again, the president is very good at -- we've seen the handshake. he's very good at pulling people in. it just strikes me as dangerous for them to go to that dinner tonight knowing what's happening on thursday and to anyone in the orbit who is getting sucked into appearing to bend over to cover up what may or may not be there in the case seems politically dangerous. >> we live in an era of trust collapsing in every institution. you think about tom cotton, early 40s, combat veteran, harvard-educated attorney, brilliant. now, is he going to throw his political career on the flames at the exact moment where he has the opportunity to demonstrate a capacity for national leadership? and i don't think that any of these senators, democrats or republican, should go into investigative hearings with politicized, pre-cooked outcomes. they should follow the evidence to get to facts for the american
people. that is what their duty requires. >> and mckay, so far we've not seen the jumping off point, and i have to remind people this is very early. we're four or five months into this administration. things in politics sometimes take a long time. but you do wonder, you know, how republicans are preparing themselves for thursday and how they're going to play that -- you know, if comey comes out and basically says, yeah, the president tried to get me to stop investigating his campaign. >> yeah, look, i think that the senators -- you mentioned rubio and cotton. i think republican senators on that committee are going to -- they're going to be aware that this is nationally televised. it's going to be wall to wall coverage. the country is watching them. i tend to think that republicans are going to try to walk the line. i don't think they're going -- for the most part, i don't know for sure. i would be surprised if they tried to come to his defense in a brazenly partisan way. i also would be surprised if they, you know, go off script and start really grilling him. i think they're going to try to show some kind of level of detachment, some kind of level of objectivity but without going too far. and i think probably the trump administration is going to tolerate that without trying to visit them with any kind of retribution. the question is, you know, part of this is they don't know what comey is going to say necessarily. so a lot of this is probably going to depend on what actually comes out in the hearing.
so we'll all be finding out along with them. >> steve schmidt and mckay coppins, thanks to you both. up next, the russian election cyber attacks were much broader than had been reported. so says the top democrat on senate intel. tonight, new evidence to support the claim in the wake of last night's leaked nsa report after this two-minute break. first kid you ready? by their second kid, every mom is an expert, and more likely... ...to choose luvs than first time moms. luvs with nightlock plus absorbs wetness faster than huggies... ...snug & dry, for outstanding overnight protection at... ...a fraction of the cost live, learn, and get luvs.
all right. we got some breaking news as we seem to every night from "the washington post." this on dan coats. who's the director of national intelligence, former senator of indiana. he's one of the individuals that in previous reporting has been identified as a person the president reached out to to attempt to get coats to intervene to shut down the fbi's investigation particularly into michael flynn, his former new details tonight on this. on mar2nd, less th a week after being confirmed by the senate, dni daniel coats attended a briefing at the white house. i'm quoting "the washington post" here, together with officials from several government agencies. as the briefing was wrapping up,
trump asked everyone to leave the room except for coats and cia director mike pompeo. the president then started complaining about the fbi investigation and comey's handling it. this reporting indicates this is something that dan coats himself relayed to associates. it would seem to confirm prior reporting that the president had specifically asked various intelligence officials to quash the investigation into michael flynn. two days earlier, comey had confirmed in a congressional hearing the bureau was probing whether trump's campaign coordinated with russia during the 2016 race. let me just highlight one other detail here. again, this is just posted. the detail here of a post-meeting, everyone leave the room but for cia director mike pompeo and dan coats is identical to the m.o. that is in
the reporting about when the president asked comey himself to let flynn go, to take it easy on him. that was also after a meeting in which he told everyone to go. reportedly jeff sessions wanted to stay behind. the president told him to leave and then reportedly said this to james comey. so similar sort of pattern of behavior, it would appear, from the reportg if the report's accurate. joining me now, congressman ted lieu of california, a member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, i know this report has just broken, but it does line up with some of the information we've had from reports about the president seeking various channels by which to stop the fbi investigation of flynn. your response? >> thank you, chris. as a former prosecutor, there is a concept known as consciousness of guilt, an action that a person takes that an innocent person would not. and why would the president ask people to leave the room? because he knows what he's about to do is illegal. this is obstruction of justice, endeavoring to influence an investigation. we've seen so much evidence of this, and we're going to see comey talk about it as well on thursday.
>> so you think this is, as a former prosecutor and there's been debate about what the actual statute and the criminal threshold is, the consciousness of the party involved. but you think this is another -- this is an example of something that you think is on its face obstruction of justice by the president of the united states? >> yes. and the most damning evidence are the president's own actions and words. no dispute he fired comey. no dispute that he told the russians that he did it to relieve the pressure on him. the white house does not dispute that account. that is obstruction of justice. i don't know why peep tiptoe around it. it is obstruction of justice. the statute is very broad. you just have to endeavor to influence, impede or obstruct, and the president has already done that. >> do you trust that this congress will take that seriously if that basic set of facts are reconfirmed in open hearing on thursday? >> i don't, but i do trust robert mueller. and i am very pleased a special counselor has been appointed. the appointment letter gives him vast jurisdiction not just to investigate trump/russia collusion but anything arising
from that, and obstruction of justice would be a crime arising from that investigation. >> do you have confidence in the people around the president? i mean one of the things that's striking to me is reporting the president is apparently mad at jeff sessions because he recused himself. it would appear, and again he we don't know, that dan coats and mike pompeo did not act on the request of the president to try to interfere in an active fbi investigation. that there's a sense of the basic norms of the people at least around him in these positions holding at this point at least based on what we know. >> we're not even talking about norms. we're just talking about the basic rule of law. there is an incredible
disrespect for the rule of law by this administration. we've got the president committing obstruction of justice. you've got the attorney general lying before congress. that's perjury. you've got jared kushner omitting deliberately information on his security clearance form. that's making a false official statement, also a felony. so we are seeing something that we haven't seen before, which is not just breaking norms. it's people breaking the law. >> and what is the sort of -- what's the accountability for that if that's the case? let me just say that sessions
intercept that russian military intelligence executed a cyber attack on at least one u.s. voting software supplier and sent spearfishing e-mails to more than 100 local officials just days before last november's presidential electn. that is according to an nsa report and their attribution. the federal government has arrested the person they say is responsible for the leak of that nsa report, nsa contractor reality winner, an air force veteran. now, today at least three florida counties are reporting they got malicious e-mails days before the election but did not open them. and mark warner, senator of virginia, the ranking democrat
on the senate intelligence committee also saying today that the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far. he said he was pushing intelligence agencies to declassify the names and number of states hit. joining me now, claire finkelstein, a law professor at university of pennsylvania. professor, you studied asymmetric warfare. you're quoted talking about the scope of this as a revelation, that the ten tackles of this operation beyond just campaign e-mails that were leaked, which again was a pretty intense incursion. how should we think about what
kind of scale this is in terms of the international implications? >> i think this is a very significant revelation because what we're talking about is not just cyber interference or even hacking of e-mails. this is potentially on a very different scale. i assume this is the first of a number of reports that we're going to hear about or that mueller knows about and that will come out eventually.
but what we do know because of this report and a few others like it is that the russians did want to influence the outcome of the election by hacking into our voting software, in this case registration software. but we know that that was there intent. >> i just want to be clear here because there's been a lot of confusion about this. there's no evidence whatsoever that any vote tallies or voting machines were compromised, that the election outcome in terms of the vote totals. the software we're talking about are electoral registration systems and vendors for that. you have mike quigley today from illinois indicating he believes illinois may have been compromised. but i also thought about the reports we had of the white house that they didn't know just what the russians were planning in the run-up to this thing even as they were attributing the attacks on podesta and the dnc to them. you wonder about what their calculation was of the chaos russia might have been able to pull off if indeed these reports are curate. >> that's right. this is a whole new scope. we're used to the covert operations. they did it. we did it. the old sort of cold war rules that obtained. the fake news was a new variant on this. but now we have an expansion of the potential scope of russian interference. this started to become apparent particularly in the french elections with the attempt to interfere in the macron campaign. and now we see what's really coming out here, and i think that it moves us potentially from cyber interference to cyber attacks. and that has a whole different
status. >> yeah, i should note that there's been some reporting in france indicating that there's been no definitive finding of the origins of the macron attack that was initially reported. i just want to be clear about what we know. >> fair enough. >> part of the issue here -- i only say that because part of the issue of course is attribution. i mean this has been the thing that hangs over all of this. you know, attribution is difficult. attributions coming from something like the nsa or someone else even in this report that was leaked, it's hard to make the public case. and that sort of bedevils the international response as well, it would seem to me. >> and we know that from our own experience, stuxnet. we engage in our own cyber interference and th s difficult i but more coming in. we will see what evolves over the next several months. but we certainly do understand what the russian intent is here. >> all right. claire finkelstein, thank you. ahead, could we see a new trumpcare bill in the next month? senator sherrod brown on what his republican colleagues are up to and what he says is the active sabotage of obamacare, coming up.
learned the last statewide insurer in the great state of ohio is leaving. so they don't have any insurers. that means another 20 counties in the state of ohio will have no health care plan. if congress doesn't act to save americans from this democrat-inflicted catastrophe, next year is only going to get worse. it's going to get a lot worse. >> in the meeting today with republican lawmakers at the white house, which included speaker paul ryan and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, the president insinuated that the affordable care act is collapsing in on itself. to make his point, he cited as you just heard, anthem's decision to pull out entirely from the individual market, not all of it, just the individual market in ohio. the president failed to fully explain why the nation's second largest health insurer is doing so.
according to their own statement, anthem is pulling out partly because -- and i quote here -- the individual market remains volatile, and the lack of certainty of funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies. in other words, anthem can't be sure the president and the republican led congress will continue paying reimbursements to insurers to help offset the cost of obamacare funding that donald trump has threatened to cut off on multiple occasions, which is why ohio democrat sherrod brown says he knows exactly who's to blame for his state's predicament. >> this is exactly what happens when trump and the congressional republicans continue to play games on repealing the affordable care act. the trump move on whether he's going to follow the law and fund and continue the subsidies for health insurance, and anthem finally said, we got to two choices. we either raise premiums dramatically or pull out. this is 70,000 people. they can play their political games. a bunch of politicians with government subsidized insurance
can play their political games, but this affects 70,000 lives in my state. people getting cancer treatment, people getting opioid addiction, and it matters to these families. i ask people to weigh in at sherrodbrown.com. sign my petition to say to the trump administration, quit playing games with people's health care. it's just simply wrong. >> let's say hillary clinton was the president of the united states. there was a senate majority, and let's say that anthem is doing this, you say, because of the sort of playing hamlet with these subsidies. but there's other places where they have had real pullouts in those markets. what should democrats be doing to fix the problem? >> well, you start first of all, if you roll back to january, when the administration did its executive order, when they stopped the marketing to people to sign up for health insurance, so we know hundreds of thousands -- i mean the statistics show hundreds of thousands of people did not sign up that would have otherwise. and we focus on first stabilizing the insurance markets. there are things we can do there
so that insurance premiums don't spike and insurance companies don't pull out. and then you u both carr and stick to get more young people, young healthy people in those plans. they're dog ne of that because they want to sabotage this. they hate the affordable care act. they can't figure out how you repeal it, so they're sabotaging it, and they're doing it in the most insidious kind of way. >> your republican colleagues, a lot of them have been on the record saying i don't know if we're going to pass something on health care. it's going to be tough. then today there was some sense that mitch mcconnell is going to get something scored by the cbo and have a vote before july 4th, and that will be that. what do you make of that? >> well, i think mcconnell doesn't know what to do. how you get ted cruz and susan collins in the same place to cobble together 50 votes is -- sounds pretty remote to me, but mcconnell -- >> i want to stop you there because there's two theories on the divisions there. one is they're down playing expectations so they can do what the house gop did, which is essentially spring something on
everyone. and the other is that the divisions are real. you're saying it's the former. the divisions are real? >> i think the divisions are real, but i also think the way they're going about it is just like they did it in the house where they meet behind closed doors week after week. they make deals. they try to buy off members. the speaker and the president, now it's the majority leader and the president trying to buy enough votes. then they spring it on the american public. is it going to be the same as in the house where people -- almost nobody read the bill? if they did, it was too
complicated and too long to really understand it. they didn't do a cbo score and they moved on it. it looks to be the same construct. maybe they'll do the cbo score so they can at least check that box, but it's not going to be debated. you remember when we passed the affordable care act, we accepted 150 republican amendments in the help committee, senator kennedy's committee that i sat on. we did weeks and weeks, months of hearings and discussions. people had a chance to thoroughly understand it. then we moved. this is the exact opposite of this, and they're going to jam the american public.
and in my state as i said before to you, chris, 200,000 people right now in ohio are getting opioid treatment, and they are getting it because they have insurance from the affordable care act. a bunch of elected officials with government insurance are going to take that away from those families. really? >> i guess the question is how do you stop it because i think it appears their announced intention is to do that. >> well, i think you stop it because i've heard john kasich, my republican governor, admonish his colleagues, and i'm hearing a lot of concern from republican senators thath're going to have -- that they are concerned maybe in a humanitarn wa maybe in a political way, i don't know, are concerned about taking away insurance from that many people. at the same time, the same cbo report said the average 60-year-old in ohio will see her insurance premiums go up $1,600. do they want to live with that too with this kind of immoral action by taking insurance away from people? i don't know. >> all right. we are going to find out. senator sherrod brown of ohio, i appreciate i presid tha starts will you be ready when the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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thing 1 tonight, president trump's curious relationship with time. bloom berg news writes today that in trump's white house, everything is coming in, quote, two weeks. and, yeah, we've noticed that. >> we're going to be announcing something, i would say, over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax. >> we'll be reporting back sometime over the next to weeks as to nafta and what we're going to do about it. >> i'll be making a big decision on the paris accord over the
next two weeks. >> whether or not any of those things actually happened in two weeks varies. he decided on paris a month later, on nafta a week later, on the tax bill, well, the white house produced a one-page summary 11 weeks later. other times, nothing ever happens. >> oh, and by the way, they said my wife melania might have come in illegally. let me tell you one thing, she has got it so documented. she's going to have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks. >> that was 43 weeks ago or 21 1/2 couples of weeks. melania trump still hasn't held that news conference, but here at "all in," we've noticed another unit of measurement the president uses constantly, especially when "two weeks" is too precise. that's thing 2, and it's coming in the next short period of time.
measurement he prefers above all others. >> big announcements are going to be made over the next short period of time. >> we're not going to go back to what we were doing for the last long period of time. >> they've gone through hell over the last long period of time. >> over fairly short period of time. >> over the past long period of time. >> a lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time. >> a lot of things have happened over the short period of time. >> long period of time. >> they gave me a stand ovation for a long period of time. >> fairly short period of time. >> long period of years. >> it's really a much longer period of time than people would understand.
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president trump's son eric is one of the leaders of the trump organization. the family business. and he also has run a yearly charity golf tournament through the non-profit eric trump foundation. and that golf tournament is at the trump national golf club in west chester county new york and it's to benefit children's cancer research. now the tournament has laudably raised millions for the cause thanks to eric trump's claim that nearly all the money contributed goes directly to st. jude's children's research hospital and that is possible, he long maintained because there's virtually no overhead. entertainment and drinks were donated, as was crucially the use of the golf club itself which happens to be owned by eric's father, the president of the united states. at least that was eric trump's story.
but as "forbes" reports, it isn't true. now i should note here that for the first four years of the tournament, things looked good from 2007 to 2010. annual costs were only about $50,000 per year. in 2011, costs shot up to $142,000. and with the exception of 2012, they kept growing. by 2015, costs for the tournament were all the way up to $322,000. so what happened? well, the former membership and marketing director at the trump golf club told "forbes" that when donald trump found out about the tournament's finances, he flipped. he was like, we're donating all of this stuff? there's no paper trail? no credit? and he went nuts. he got billed. via the charity tournament, the trump organization, the family for-profit business, received more than $1.2 million that has
no documented recipients past the trump org. additionally, the donald j. trump foundation used the eric trump foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the trump organization. and while donors to the eric trump foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids, more than $500,000 was redonated to other charities, many of which were connected to trump family members or interests. joining me now, olivia nuzzi, washington correspondent for "new york magazine" and daily beast columnist david k. johnson. let me start with you, as an expert on tax law. i imagine there's possibly an explanation for this that could be provided by the foundation, but on its face, this looks to violate the law? >> yes. this is what's known as self-dealing. good as it is that the eric trump foundation provided this money to st. jude, they would have gotten about 15% more, but
for the money that went to the trump organization and we don't know if it went beyond there. and it went to other charities that seem to have business ties and help develop business for the trump organization. and i'm floored that one year the costs were over $300,000. i have been involved as a trustee of a charity, and board member of a charity with a number of entities where i've had to oversee or examine the finances, and i just can't understand how you can spend $300,000 on the costs of a golf tournament. >> and to be clear, that's money that's being paid to the golf club, which is the trump org -- >> right. >> and also, one more thing, david. i want to continue on this because the "forbes" reporting suggests when there's a change in the board, originally it's eric trump and his friends and the costs are low.
then it becomes trump organization members on the non-profit foundation board who appear to be kind of representing both interests simultaneously. >> right. the board members had a majority of the board had clear conflicts of interest in what was going on which "forbes" lays out quite well here. there's a reason we have what are called public charities. the idea of a public charity is that no individual or family is in control, and, therefore, we ease up on the restrictions on them. when you clearly have someone in control you have a private foundation with tougher rules because we know people and the trumps in particular, tend to put their hand in the charity cookie jar. >> so that's one place where you see money flowing in. and this is before he became president. olivia, this is the saudis spent $270,000 at the trump hotel in a lobbying against the 9/11 bill which is about whether they'd have financial exposure through civil litigation. you've been reporting a lot from that hotel which has become
essentially this kind of like favor trading mecca in trump's d.c. >> i was there, i think the night that donald trump fired james comey. and rudy giuliani was there. he smelled like a cigar, and he was there very late at night when the bar was closing. and he was just hanging out. i've seen lots of people who are close to the president or associated with the president hanging out there. it is a place clearly where people are trying to trade favors and trying to exert influence over the trump administration. and any claims to the contrary seem completely absurd. i'd also point to the earlier story about eric trump's foundation. there's a great irony in donald trump saying that people need to get paid when he is someone who
is known historically for stiffing contractors who have worked on projects for him. >> and the idea that he basically -- the sort of between the lines image you get from that "forbes" piece say recognition like, we can extract some money out of this. you also have the brothers running the trump organization who are walled off in some completely impossible to tell way from the actual president. doing a lot of publicity. and now floating a budget friendly america idea hotel chain which again seems like frankly profiting off their father being president. >> it just seems like there is something not right about it. even if it would be technically legal, and i can't speak to that.
it just seems like there's something not right about it. you have to ask, is the trump family -- are they trying to make america better, are they working for the country or for themselves and for their own brand? i think increasingly, it looks like the latter. >> i should note the plan here essentially, trump branded hotels in the areas the president did well on. manifestly a conflict, we continue to be in the terrain the president asserts. the president cannot have a conflict of interest. >> trump inc. and the white house seem to be the same thing. i'm not the least bit surprised the trumps don't see any bright lines or any lines at all between their financial interests and duty to country. it's simply not how the trumps think. fiduciary duty, a duty of loyalty say one-way street in the trump organization. you have to give absolute loyalty to trump. he owes no loyalty to anyone else and the evidence is showing increasingly, not even to his bosses, the american voters. >> olivia nuzzi and david k. johnson. >> breaking tonight, two bombshell reports on trump and the russia investigation. the "new york times" reporting james comey told the attorney general not to leave him alone
with the president. the "washington post" revealing donald trump asked his director of national intelligence to intervene in comey's investigation. and a grim assessment of a fuming, seething, infuriated, and defiant president trump. that and much more from the reporters breaking the news font as "the 11th hour" gets underway. well, good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. and we have a lot of news that has just broken tonight. it's one of those nights when it's tough to know quite where to begin. but the stories are these. attorney general jeff sessions reportedly offered to resign after it became clear that in the president's mind at least so many of the problems the administration currently has were sessions' fault. there's a "new york times" report just out tonight that says james comey told attorney general sessions that he, comey, didn't want to be left alone with donald trump. and just tonight, a stor