tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC June 9, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
so that's about wrapping it up for us tonight. and it wraps up this week which i think will forever be known in the history of this scandal as comey week. i do want to say, though, i want to put something on your radar for the beginning of next week. one of the big bombshells, the big revelations, the big surprises that came out of comey's testimony were some sort of damning and ominous things that james comey said under oath about the current attorney general of the united states, jeff sessions. as of right now jeff sessions is due to testify tuesday morning, once in the house and once in the senate. jeff sessions has a history of backing out of public open testimony right before he has to do it. but right now as of tonight he is still on the calendar for tuesday morning. so plan you're sick days accordingly. i'll see you again on monday morning. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> rachel, you're out of sick days for the year. >> i know.
>> it has been an astounding week. it's hard to beeve th here we are friday already. there was so much anticipation going into thursday. and then we got the surprises in the wednesday hearing. >> yeah. and stuff continues to happen. >> right. >> even as of tonight, we've got this question as to whether or not james comey's friend, this columbia law school professor is going to hand over that memo. we've got the judiciary committee on the senate side apparently gearing up to really pursue this obstruction of justice inquiry. dianne feinstein sending a list of witnesses she wants to talk to. all of this stuff could potentially evolve over the weekend as well as heading towards that sessions testimony tuesday morning. >> not to mention the 100% guarantee from the president that he will testify under oath about his -- he said 100%, rachel. come on. >> so yeah. the question to him was kind of garbled. it was one of those things that
the nouns got swapped around or whatever. and the president in his answer that was also kind of garbles. you know, everything dent always come out right. life is lived live and things don't always come out as if they're scripted. i couldn't help looking a the transcript of that today. couldn't help wondering if they'll use the garbled nature of the question and the president's garble di goodbye answer to get around the fact that he basically affirmatively said he would do it. >> they'll find a way if they can. rachel, you have earned your weekend. >> thank you. >> rest. >> thanks, rachel. well, the president made his 100% guarantee today. 100% promise to his voters, to the country. he will absolutely testify under oath. so what do you think the chances are of him ever actually testifying under oath? >> would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of -- >> 100%. >> 100%?
>> yeah. >> well, you can really take that to the bank, can't you? >> there cannot be a criminal defense lawyer in america that would have recommended that their client make that kind of a pledge right there. >> my sense is there is no grown-up in the white house that can stare at him, look him in the eye and tell him when he is screwing up. >> james comey confirmed a lot of what i said. and some of the things he said just aren't true. >> i hardly know the man. i'm not going to say i want you to pledge of allegiance. >> okay, wait. let's say a pledge. >> who would do that? kirks i have a pledge? a swearing. raise your right hand. >> who would ask a man to pledge of allegiance? >> you can't expect a man to respect the office of president any more than the occupant of the job does. >> this guy can't say anything, almost anything without lying. he has devalued the presidency.
>> the president is uneducatab e uneducatable. he cannot learn. he apparently stopped learning as soon as his father stopped teaching him the real estate business. someone in the white house might have tried to teach the president the good news and the bad news about having a special prosecutor appointed to investigate his connections to russia and to invesgate possible obstruction of justice by the trump admistrati, and of course by the president himself. the bad news is the special prosecutor is investigating you. the good news is every question that anyone asks from that point forward about the widening scandal that required the appointment of a special prosecutor can be answered simply by saying "i can't comment on anything related in any way to an ongoing investigation. next question." a president gets to do that. with every question anyone asks once a special prosecutor has been appointed. and the news media has to accept that answer. they have always accepted that answer.
i mean, they keep asking the questions, but they accept the answer. and then they move on to questions about your tax proposal or your health care bill. but because the president is unedgecable and because the law firms in washington refuse to defend him and he is stuck with the most incompetent lawyer who has ever defended a president in trouble, today the president said this -- >> would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version -- >> 100%. >> there is the president making a public commitment to the country, to his voters that no good lawyer would allow him to do. when the time comes that the president is asked to deliver testimony under oath about what he said alone in a room with james comey, he will do everything he can to avoid giving that testimony under oath. he will break that 100% promise. he willlaim executive
privilege. he will fight it in court. and what we don't know is what he will do if he is ordered by the supreme court to give that testimony under oath. the president still might refuse to give that testimony. he might defy a supreme court order because the president is not a constitutionalist. the president is not a man of the law. the president is donald trump. the president does not know that the supreme court can give him orders, him personally. as the supreme court did with president nixon. the supreme court ordered president nixon to turn over evidence that ended his presidency. donald trump was paying no attention to that because it happened during that period of his life where he was concerned, according to previous testimony, given to howard stern, with nothing other than how much sex
he could have with how many women. he told howard stern that the risk of venereal disease during those years was, quote, my personal vietnam. vietnam of course being the war that he was avoiding during those years because of a note he obtained from a doctor saying that his feet were just no good for anything other than marching around golf course for the rest of his life. and if president trump defies a direct order by the supreme court, we will have arrived at a constitutional crisis. that could only be resolved through the impeachment process, that would then have to be initiatived in a house of representatives that is currently led by the most spineless speaker that has ever been confronted with an investigation of a president. the president had more to say today about james comey's testimony yesterday. >> i hope -- this is the
president speaking. i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. now those are his exact words, that correct? >> correct. >> i didn't say that. >> in fact, he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. >> there would be nothing wrong if i did say it, according to everybody i read today, but i did not say that. >> no president is known to have regularly recorded conversations in the white house since richard nixon was forced to resign his presidency because of the criminal conduct revealed on the tape recordings of his white house conversations. recording white house conversations turned out to be the single worst idea any president ever had about how to run his white house. it is a uniquely painful issue in the history of the presidency. the secret tape recordings of president nixon's conversations are an ugly scar on the presidency. every president since nixon has known that, except the
unedgecable president. and so president trump thinks the notion of secretly recording his conversations in the white house is something he can public throw around. when james comey's version o his nversation with the president first became public, the president tweeted james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. james comey testified yesterday that that tweet, that very tweet from the president convinced thame he needed to make his conversations with the president fully public as soon as possible. it was one of the many impulsive trump tweets that have cause in order harm than the president is capable of anticipating, because, you know, childish minds are at their very weakest when it comes to anticipating predictable result of their impulsive reactions. >> do tapes exist of your conversations with him? >> well, i'll tell you than maybe some time in the very near future. >> you seem to be hinting that
there are recordings of those conversations. >> i'm not hinting anything. i'll tell you about it over a very short period of time. okay. do you have a question here? >> when will you tell us about the recordings? >> a fairly short period of time. >> tomorrow? are there tape, sir? >> you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer. >> no, mr. president, a majority of americans are very disappointed that the anti-democratic defects of the electoral college gave the presidency to man who won three million fewer votes than the woman who won the most votes. and that that president shows no comprehension or even awareness of america's ugly history of secretly recorded presidential conversations. this afternoon, the intelligence committee revealed that it has sent two evidence requests. first, the committee wrote to former federal bureau of investigation director james comey to request any notes or memoranda in his possession memorializing discussions comey
had with president trump. second, the committee wrote a letter to white house council don mcgahn requesting that he inform the committee whether any white house recordings or memoranda of comey's conversations with president trump now exist or have in the past. that of course suggests the possible that those recordings existed and have been destroyed. the committee is demanding an answer by june 23rd. that deadline implies that the committee will subpoena that same information if it is not provided voluntarily by the white house. it is a virtual certainty that the special prosecutor has already subpoenaed or will soon subpoena any white house recordings or memoranda of james comey's conversations with the president. those subpoenas will come as a surprise to no one in the white house except the man who says he spent the nixon years in his own personal vietnam.
joining us now are nick akerman, former assistant dat for new york. he is now a partner at dorsey & whether it any. peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and an msnbc political analyst. and david frum, senior editor for the atlantic. the tapes, let's pretend for a moment they exist. they will be subpoenaed? >> i have no doubt that they will be subpoenaed. they absolutely should be. i would be surprised if mr. mueller hasn't done that already. >> and if this president tries to fight it in court, we have a case law here that indicates he will lose. >> u.s. v nixon, right on the money, couldn't be more on point. end of case. >> but he can try to chase the case to an appellate level possibly. but there will come a day when the there would be if he tries
to fight this in court where there will be a judicial order ordering the president to turn this over. and my point here is this president is unpredictable in that moment. we have a president who we don't know what he will do in the face of an order. >> well, considering all he has done already in obstructing the investigation of the fbi, i wouldn't put it past him if he just took those tapes and burned them or put a magnet to them. i mean, he is the type of person who would do that in a second without any thought about the consequences or the fact that he is committing a serious federal felony. he has already done that. it would just be a continuation of what he has already been doing to this point. >> david frum, my betting is on the side that there are no tapes. and one of the reasons i place that bet is that president trump is now saying that james comey is lying about our conversation. if he knew there were tapes, i'm not se he would be making
e claims because the tapes surely would not back him up. >> i want to make first a mathematical side. you have the 100% on the screen. when president trump went to the cia and gave that notorious speech about his big popular vote win, he told the cia he backed them one thousand percent. so there are a lot of percents. 100 isn't all of them. a thousand maybe isn't all of them there are a lot more percents than you're allowed to allow for. if he is only giving 100, that may be a very small down payment. when we think about taping, remember, we are living in the iphone era. so the tape is a metaphor for a recording. as you say, it seems incredibly unlikely that there is a recording. this conversation with comey took place not in the west wing, but in the main white house. so either somebody had an iphone on the table or in a pocket and used a recording device. it's hard to imagine the president himself being able to do that. or else somebody has worked with the permanent white house staff to install microphones or
listening devices in the woodwork of the historic executive mansion. that also doesn't seem very likely. >> peter baker, shouting broke out today about the tapes when the president gave the nonanswer to a very simple yes or no question that he knows the answer to. can we expect this to be the question that the white house press corps will continue to be aiming in that direction as listening as it remains unanswered? >> well, it's hard to imagine not asking the question again and again. he said very soon. you can imagine the next time he takes questions if he hasn't revealed anything at this point he'll be aed we,t's been pretty soon, sir. when are r you going to let us know. of course, in the past he has said he is going to reveal things or do things in the near future that ended up not ever happening. it wouldn't be the first time that ever happened. this has greater consequence. you're right. it does seem like a simple yes or no questions. if you didn't have tapes then
the answer is no. if you do have tapes, maybe you decide maybe i'll tell you something in the near future because they want to do something with the tapes. they want to negotiate with the special counsel. they want to review them that. >> want to transcribe them, they want to whatever. so i tend to agree with you, there is probably not likely to be tapes. it struck me when he first mentioned this he was sort of trolling james comey as a sort of you don't know. but we don't know. and that's a position he kind of likes keeping people in for the moment. >> peter, any hint from anyone work agent the white house about whoa what the president is actually thinking about this tapes game that he is playing, or is the white house staff completefully the dark about whatever it is he is thinking? >> i think most are confused as we are. we asked sarah huckabee sanders yesterday, the deputy white house press secretary about this. and she said sure, i'll go look under the couches for them. they dent know for sure themselves. and there is a history of donald trump as a businessman being
said anyway to record conversations that he made. so nobody can be 100% sure. as you say, there is a lot of reasons to think that it seems unlikely, as david was saying. the various purple muermutation this would come about seem very far-fetched ball. lot of things have seemed far fetched in the last 140 days. i guess i don't rule anything out. >> let's listen to donald trump's talking points about he recited today about why he thinks the comey hearing went so well for the president. and i say talking points, because don't expect sentences here. >> no collusion, no obstruction. he is a leaker. but we want to get back to running our great country. we were very, very happy. and frankly, james comey confirmed a lot of what i said. and some of the things he said just weren't true. >> nick akerman, your reaction
to that. >> i don't even know where to start in that statement. first of all, no obstruction? he basically, comey, came out in put in the first leg of the obstruction case which is that meeting in the oval office. that is one of the four legs of the obstruction case that we have that include the two national security people who say that trump called them and them to help stop that investigation, as well as the firing of mr. comey. the fact is we now have under oath the first part of that. and it's pretty well spelled out. >> let me ask you about one element of this which people are stressing. the fact that the president asked everyone to leave the room, including, including the fbi director' boss, the attorney general leave the room. and jim comey testifies that people seem reluctant to leave the room, that jeff sessions hung around, hoping he was going to be able to stay in the room. and that others tried to do that. but the president was insistent they all had to leave the room how. incriminating is that in the
obstruction of justice investigation? >> extremely incriminating. it all goes to his corrupt intent, which is defined by law as his intent to stop the fbi investigation. it doesn't have to do with bribery. i doesn't have to do with what we normally would think of as corruption. it's the idea that he specifically intended to have that fbi investigation stopped in its tracks. >> david frum, i want to get your reaction to that. because you're someone who has worked in the white house. and you know the liturgy of these kinds of moments when it happens, when the room is clear order why that would be done. what was your reaction to that part of it? >> look, the reason you clear a room is because you're about to talk about something that is sensitive, and there are people who do not have the clearance or the need to know that particular thing. at those moments of drama, you can imagine many things, dmirks international, where the president wants to talk to people at very high levels of security and other people who are there are asked to leave. and everyone -- there is no reluctance then you. understand this isn't for my ears.
i don't think i've heard of any incidents in any presidency since the nixon days where a president asked people to leave in order to do something like this. one other thing the president said in that same clip you played where he accused jim comey of having said things weren't true. jim comey was under oath. if they're not true, that's perjury. that's not the first time this man as president has accused people o important crimes. he has accused obama of crimes and rice as crimes. i know we are hardened and habituated when the president says crazy things. he is the head of state and he is accusing important people of serious crimes that must mean something. >> we're going to have to break there it. nick akerman, david frum, peter baker, thank you all for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, how much support does donald trump really have? we will show you both republicans who defended donald trump. that's coming up.
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if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. when a robber held a gun to somebody's head and said i hope you will give me your wallet, the word hope was not the most operative word at that moment. >> here is what all of the president's republican defenders in washington had to say today.
did i say all? i meant both. >> the president was vindicated. comey confirmed that the president was never under an investigation. three times he told the president that. and i guess i think it's understandable to me why the president would be a little bit put out with comey and say to comey good grief, if you're telling me i'm notnder investigation, why don't you tell the american people? because this cloud of an inigation is really damaging. and i think that's sort of an honest appraisal and an honest reaction by the president. >> i think what happened the last 24, 48 hours cleared a lot of things up and confirmed what president trump has been saying all along, that he wasn't under investigation. and i think when this -- after what we saw, it looks good for the president. and frankly, not so good for former fbi director james comey. >> that's it. that's all the defenders. now don't confuse defending the president with quibbling about james comey and other things. a few other republicans like
susan collins tried to help the president with excuses about how ignorant he is. but even susan collins said this. >> it is totally wrong, i'll go beyond inappropriate, it is wrong for the president of the united states to tell or imply to an fbi director that an investigation should not go forward. >> a few other republicans criticized james comey, but they did not, they did not affirmatively defend the president. one republican called james comey the leaker in chief. but that republican did not say that he did not believe james comey. even rand paul's defense of the president was based on believing james comey. and so james comey's credibility remained intact today in washington. 100% intact. joining us now, david cay johnston, the pulitzer prize winning journalist and a trump
biographer who founded dcreport.org, a nonprofit news organization that covers the trump administration. and also with us ana marie cox, senior political correspondent for mtv news and host of the podcast with friends like these. ana marie, james comey's credibility was not the thing that republicans went after today when they were trying in their small ways to help the president. but the striking thing was how few republicans were trying in such small ways to help the president. >> you, the cloud is starting to stink a bit. it's starting to disturb some of the republicans in congress. i also think that it's just what we're seeing here is a continuation of playing politics when the question is really a matter of the law. and that's the sort of weird kind of responses you're seeing on the hill. you're seeing this as though
it's a battle that should be won in the court of public opinion, and not like there is an actual legal case to be made. which they seem to have forgotten about when as you point out, they confirm what comey is saying. they stand for his credibility. all of those senators in that hearing laid it on pretty thick, actually, when they were complimenting comey. so they seem to think that the game here is to kind of spin. but it's not spinning there is a law against obstruction of justice. andim comey laid out as you pointed out before, as the people pointed out before, a very strong case for sort of the first part of that legal action. i'm happy with him pretending that that's not going on. i think that's not going to serve them well moving forward. >> yeah. and david, the president in his way seems to pretend that everything ana just talked about, that there is actual legal forces in play here, that they aren't real that he can just stand up there at the
microphone today and say whatever he wants. you've studied him. you have spoken to him. you know him better than certainly any of us could ever know him. you've seen him, his behavior and litigation before. what do we know about his litigation history that can tell us how he is handling this? and how much experience does he have in criminal litigation with him as the subject of a criminal investigation? >> well, you know, you heard the speaker today suggest that trump doesn't understand what's going on here. trump beat four federal grand jury investigations in his youth. four. and during the campaign, what did he continually harangue hillary clinton about? the meeting her husband had with the attorney general. and kept saying that was pure evidence of corruption. that the mere existence of a one-on-one meeting between loretta lynch as attorney general ads and bill clinn meant that hillary clion should not be allowed to runor office.
donald trump is all bluster and bluffing and threats. and you've already seen that his new york lawyer is not very good. he doesn't spell things correctly. he gets facts out of order. he has no sophistication to deal with this, which is not going to serve trump well. one other thing i think is important here. when you played rand paul, i don't think he listened carefully. my piece at d.c. report today is how comey actually made it quite clear that only technically was the president not the subject of a formal fbi counterintelligence case, because they haven't yet opened a file with his name on it. he even used the word "technically." >> yes. and it was very, very clear that the president is the subject of an investigation now. >> yes. >> and that investigation, of course, being obstruction of justice that comey was testifying about yesterday. bob inglis, a former republican member of the house of south
carolina tweeted today to speaker ryan, saying you know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a d. and ana marie, there is no question about that. >> that's right. actually, i have to give a shout out to bob inglis. he is a great guy. he is also a conservative climate activist, believe it or not. he is someone we should be paying attention to as an ally on a lot of different fronts. he is definitely right about this. there is a level of hypocrisy here that is almost literally stomach-turning. i was talking to a relative of mine today about this. and she was why are we wasting our time on this. and benghazi. did we forget about all those investigations? no, it's disgusting. and we need to just let -- this is what i keep telling myself. the wheels of justice are turning. these investigations are happening. this is not going to be a matter, as i said, of a public opinion. this is going to be a matter of law.
and whether or not paul ryan likes it, that's going to be proceeding. they can spin, they can dance. but the -- as someone put it to me earlier this week, the duck of the fbi may be floating on the surface, but it's paddling fast underneath. and it will be getting somewhere. >> we're going to have to take a break here. david cay johnston, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> ana marie, we're going to need you a little later. coming up, the man who was with michael flynn on the day he was fired. ing more important to me than my vacation. so when i need to book a hotel room, i want someone that makes it easy to find what i want. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. now i can start relaxing even before the vacation begins. your vacation is very important. that's why booking.com makes finding the right hotel for the right price easy. visit booking.com now to find out why we're booking.yeah! you know new pantene.r tangles the minute you wash it? the first shampoo with active pro-v nutrient blends
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we're joined now by thomas rick, contributing editor at foreign policy magazine and author of the new book "churchill & orwell: the fight for freedom." you are also the author of a piece toward the end of last year asking did i help create a monster, and you were with that monster on the day that he was fired in the white house. tell us about your history with michael flynn and how you helped bring m thkif attention at actually pushed him up the ladder. >> let me be clear. i don't think general flynn is actually a monster. i think he is a rather naive guy, not really educated in the ways of washington, and not what we think of as an intelligence operative. he was in military intelligence. and that tends to be things like how many tanks does the other side have, what is the weather going to be tomorrow.
it is not doing dead drops at post office boxes in the woods in the middle of the night. a few years ago i helped a piece that he wrote, actually a young officer wrote and he endorsed. it was very good piece about how to revive military intelligence in afghanistan. and i helped get that published. and i think that made general flynn more prominent in washington, and he rose up and became head of the defense intelligence agency. at that point i think was clearly over his head, was resented by the rank and file of the dia. and interestingly, also by his superiors at the pentagon who ended up pushing him out of that position. at that point i think flynn went a little bit around the bend, very angry, i think, very upset, and really acted unprofessionally during the campaign. i don't like seeing retired generals of either party speak at conventions. but especially when general flynn got up there and joined at
the republican convention in the "lock her up" chants. i thought that was well over the line of where a retired general should be behaving in american potics. >> and you were in the white house with him on the day he was fired? >> i was at the defense intelligence agency. i associated with new america, a think tank in washington. we have a project on the future of war that looks at how you might help the u.s. military move from the industrial era where it is now into the information era where the world is now. and as part of that, they asked us to come over and talk to some of their officers about the work we're doing. and later we were invited to sit down with general flynn and his leadership of the defense intelligence agency whi. while we were there at the table, the conference room table, he was called out of the room and got a notice basically come over to the pentagon so we can kick you out of office. >> that was during the obama administration?
>> yes. late obama. and general flynn now has the distinction of being the only person to have been fired by both president obama and president trump. >> a distinction he wasn't looking for. in your book, chur"churchill & orwell", what does it tell us about leadership in the world today? >> it has a lot to say today because we're in kind of a tumultuous unsettled political time like the 1930s. what we saw with churchill and/orwell is they were people of principle who they were willing to stand up and put facts above opinion and even willing to criticize their own side. the retired congressman from south carolina you were just talking about is striking to me, because that's exactly what'm looking for these days, people who are willing to stand up and say no, my side is wrong on this. let's stand with principles. let's make facts more important than opinion. >> and could you imagine what
they would think if they were watching events in america today? >> i think they'd be very upset. and i think that general mattis, the secretary of defense captured accurately the other day when he quoted winston churchill saying you can always count on the americans to do the right thing after they have done everything else. i kind of find myself oddly optimistic right now because we're seeing the american system work. we're seeing checks and balances. and check is not just an empty legal team. a check is like a hockey check. it's when a judge says to the president, no, you can't do that. and i think president trump is kind of shocked to find there is a system here he doesn't understand. he never had the curiosity to learn about, and now he is supposed to be on top of this system, but the system is actually hedging him in at every step. and he seems to be increasingly panicky. i found myself wondering all day today, we're all talking about
comey and obstruction of justice. but underneath that there is this investigation, as ana marie cox said, the duck that is swimming along. you've got to wonder what's out there that has trump so scared. what is it that he knows that he can't tell the american people about russia, about his financial dealings, about things that he has done in the past. i think we need probably to see his income taxes before we do anything else. >> it's going to be a long road to get to that. thomas ricks, thank you very much for joining us tonight. reallyppreciate it. >> you're welcome. coming up, when the president says 100%, how many percent does he really mean? the answer is usually zero. ♪
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i'm about to pop a cap of "mmm fresh" in that washer with unstopables in-wash scent boosters by downy. and if you want, pour a little more, because this scent lasts for 12 weeks, which is longer than any relationship i've ever been in. right, freshness for weeks! unstopables by downy. for a fresh too feisty to quit. do tapes exist of you conversations with him? >> well, i'll tell youbout that maybe some time in the very near future. >> i'll tell you that maybe. did that sound like a promise to you, that he is going to answer
questions about the tapes? you know, he is not very good with promises. here are a few promises he never delivered on. >> he may not have been born in this country. and i'll tell you what, three weeks ago i thought he was born in this country. right now i have real doubts. have i people that have been studying it, and they cannot believe what they're finding. >> you have people in hawaii? >> absolutely. and they cannot believe what they're finding. >> what exactly is going on with president obama's birth certificate. what did you find? >> at a certain point in time i will be revealing some interesting things. >> you ugot anything? >> on the day you declare, how many years tax returns will you release? >> i actually have not even thought of that. but i would certainly show tax returns if it is necessary. i will say this. you will see piles and piles and piles of paper stacked many feet into the air. i have no objection to certainly showing tax returns. >> oh, and by the way, they said my wife melania might have come in illegally. can you believe that one?
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this is humira at work. the president surely knows whether he taped me. and if he did, my feelings aren't hurt. release all the tapes. i'm good with it. >> joining us now, ana marie cox, mtv news senior political correspondent and host of the broadcast "with friends like these." and also joining us joan walsh, national affairs correspondent for the nation and an msnbc political analyst. so joan, the gauntlet has been thrown. president trump is accusing jim comey of the federal crime of perjury. >> yes. >> yesterday. and one of the things he says he perjured himself about, of course, of course trump didn't ask for his loyalty. >> this is my favorite part of this whole stream of consciousness thing he did today, lawrence, because he really was making it up as he went along. i don't know him. why uld i ask for his loyalty? why wod i ask him to pledge his allegiance to me. what he never said is the simple
truth. he is independent. he doesn't work for me. i would never ask for that. i know that's not the place of the president to say something like that to the fbi director. so as he is just grabbing lines out of the air, he doesn't grab the simple one which grab the s one, which should be the truth but of course it isn't. >> yeah, anna, his lying defense is based on the wrong reasons. >> right. presumably, he does ask for loyalty pledges from people he knows. i mean, custom is also kind of weird if you think about it. you would actually ask to the loyalty pledge before you get to know someone. right? anyway. sorry. to delve too far into the logical reasoning of trumpist is madness. and he is, he is desperately grabbing for stuff. and he's, you know, exasser baiting this thing that we are very familiar with but the gop seems unwilling to grapple with, which is that he's not even -- he's not following a plan here. right? like this isn't a legal strategy.
he's just the guy who's gotten away with stuff for his entire life. and he thinks he is going to be able to continue to get away with it. he thinks power is the only thing he needs, he doesn't need rules, only needs power, he is just going to continue to abuse it as long as he has it. for some reason the gop has lined up and let him -- and offered their support in him abusing this power over and over and over. they are going to learn e hard way. eventually anyone who works with donald trump gets screwed. they are going to get screwed too, it is a just a matter of time. >> joan, as we come to the ends of this momentous week, there is so much to comment on. by the way, both of you feel free to pull anything out of the whole week. but i am actually struck by how small and -- and how few republicans have stepped forward to in any way defend donald trump. more stepped forward to say there are things about james comey i don't like. >> right. >> but even they did is not say
i don't believe james kemme. >> they start from the premise that comey is telling the truth even if they criticize him. even if they suggest -- i think one of the strangest things, too, kemme should have been the one to instruct the president in how these things work. paul ryan is going to say well he's just new at this. how can we expect him to know our laws and our system of government. they are continually enabling him. i was watching you with tom ricks. i love tom ricks. and i was excited when he said he was on the missic. he made good point about checks and balances but the most important check or balance is congress. as long as you have people like paul ryan in charge who are willing to say he's just new at this, give him a chance when we are learning about obstruction of justice at minimum the system isn't working lawrence, it's just not. >> i guess it's a question of how patient are we, with the workings of the checks and
balances. >> how slow is that duck going to be to quote are the last segment i was on. i want to actually say something about what joan said, and you pointed out, which is that they are more willing to attack comey than they are to defend trump. other people pointed this out over the past week, which is the treatment of comey -- he's being treated like the way a target of a sexual predator would be treated both in the way that trump approached him and in the way he was questioned and the way he is being attacked of one of those ways the underlying narrative is that the behavior of the predator doesn't married, it's the character of the person that was attacked at question here. yes, he may have done something wrong, but did you see what he was wearing? comey may have worn a blue suit and tried to blend into the drapes but he was wearing that white shirt like a husbahussy, know. you heard people say today -- on
this network earlier i heard someone day, marcia blackburn saying that he seemed emotional, comey seemed emotional and she was worried about his lack of strength. and of course you have all kinds of people coming out of the woodwork to say that comey should have been the one to tell donald it was wrong, which is something that you also hear in the same kind of situations with the sexual predator. and you know, if he was so worried about it, you know, why did he -- [ audio problems ] -- weird way because comey is 6'8" and guy, ha, ha. this is abuse of power. i've been saying it all week. an abuse of power is always obscene. there is always something obscene when someone with power bends a person with less power to their will. we need to recognize that. the way we are talking about it now is perfect. i hope we can maintain some outrage about this, because it is obscene.
it is obscene the way that trump is behaving right now. >> joan a quick last word. >> he knows no boundaries. he has always gotten his way. power is power. power is all he knows. there was something very humiliating in the way comey was acting yesterday like he was feeling bad about not doing more. it was terrible to see. >> thank you fwoetd for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. the last word is next. hey julie, i know today's critical, but i really... ...need a sick day.
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ask your doctor about cialis. we want to get back to running our great country, jobs, trade deficits, we want them to disappear fast. north korea, big problem. middle east, a big problem. so that's what i am focused on. that's what i have been focused on. >> if you are old enough, you have seen that once before. in 1973. >> any suggestion that this president's ever going to slow down while he's president or is ever going the leave this office until he continues to do the job and finishes the job he was elected to do -- anyone who suggests that, that's just plain poppycock. we are a going to stay on this joble until we get the job done. >> what we were elected to do, we are going to do.
and let others wallow in watergate. we're going to do our job. >> a year later, richard nixon resigned the presidency. that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, a stunning few minutes of news in president trump's press conference. he says no collusion, no obstruction, and calls james comey a leaker. he claims he's 100% willing to testify under oath. plus are there or aren't there recordings of the trump/comey conversations. the president says the answer might disappoint but we'll all learn it soon. just another friday night as "the 11th hour" gets underway. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. this was day 141 of the still young trump administration. and a defiant president back on twitter th