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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 14, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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he was visited by the president at the hospital tonight. we will have complete coverage of that story in just a moment. but first about the president. but first about the president. on this day, 146 of the trump administration, the president's 71st birthday, "the washington post" is reporting tonight president donald trump is under investigation by the special counsel robert mueller. the story came out in the form of a scorching headline tonight, quote, special counsel is investigating trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say." you will recall in the early days after james comey was fired as fbi head, the white house made sure everyone knew the president was not under investigation. >> the president makes very clear in his letter the fact that mr. comey on at least three occasions that he is not under investigation. >> as you know very clearly, as has been stated repeatedly and
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the president has been told, he's not under investigation. >> did you ask am i under investigation? >> i actually asked him, yes. i said, if it's possible, will you let me know, am i under investigation? he said, you not under investigation. i know that i'm not under investigation, me, personally. i'm not talking about campaigns, i'm not talking about anything else. i'm not under investigation. >> then last week when the president's personal attorney responded to james comey's testimony, note the use of the past tense in what he said. >> mr. comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told president trump privately. that is that the president was not under investigation as part of any probe into russian interference. had >> this "washington post" report explains the possible shift there. quote, trump had received
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private assurances from then-fbi director james comey starting in january that he was not personally under investigation. officials say that changed shortly after comey's firing. "the post" also notes three people, current director of national intelligence, dan coats, current head of the nsa, mike rogers and richard ledget, a former deputy to mike rogers have agreed to talk to mueller's team as early as next week. a spokesman for the president's personal attorney provided this reaction, quote, the fbi leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcuable and illegal. two things to note. one, it's not a denial of the story in chief and two, the post does not say that their sources, and there are five, are inside the fbi. let us at this point bring in tonight's starting panel. white house bureau chief for the "washington post," phillip
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rucker, white house reporter for the associated press jonathan le mere and two attorneys are with us tonight. a 25-year veteran federal prosecutor, joyce vance, who spent almost eight years as a u.s. attorney, among the first five u.s. attorneys appointed by president obama. and jeremy bash is back with us, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon. former chief counsel to the house intelligence committee. phillip, i'll begin with you largely because of the work again tonight of your newspaper on this eventful, emotional day. your paper prints this game changer story and i'm guessing you find the president's personal attorney's reaction notable as well. >> and you hit the nail on the head when you said the white house and actually not the white house, the legal team, the president's legal team is not actually denying the details of this story. rather there's an attack on the leaks, and i received in the last hour a very detailed list of talking points that have been produced by the
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republican national committee in consultation, presumably with the white house, to try to discredit the story and there's no denial of the facts as reported in "the washington post." rather it says this information should not be coming public. what we see happening behind the scenes with this investigation, which is top secret, being led by robert mueller is that he's expanding it and escalating quickly. they're interviewing senior intelligence officials as early as this week. they're reaching out to other people who are in the government and outside the government to help provide explanation, contact information about what the president may or may not have done by way of obstructing justice. justice. >> two-parter for you. what's the seismic level of this development for you? and also to you. you were the first to pick up contemporaneously the past-tense usage that day by the president's personal attorney. >> this is not entirely surprising but it is jarring to
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see in black and white that the president of the united states is under criminal investigation for obstructing justice to alter the course of the 2016 election. if you cram all that into one sentence, you see the enormity of this issue. as you referenced, i was struck when marc kasowitz took great pains to say that the president was not under investigation. it's possible that by the time of the comey hearing they knew that, in fact, the president was a target of this investigation. >> counselor, it's so good to have you on the broadcast tonight. you've been on the side of your law all your life, thankfully. but can you tell our audience some notion of what it's like, what happens to your life when you are are the subject of a federal investigation. >> it's not really the most pleasant incident you'll ever go through. right. what we're looking at early on
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in an investigation is the awareness by a subject or a target that they have the full focus of the federal government being brought down on them. that happens in a lot of different ways. here it's happening by stories being written in "the washington post" and "the times." but we suspect there is awareness by mr. trump's legal team, if not by himself that this target status had evolved since events that led to the firing of jim comey. >> it's safe to say an office like mueller's will have sweeping powers and they can make a life unpleasant, even the life of the president of the united states. >> but i think it's important to say that that's unlikely to be bob mueller's intent. just like it's unlikely that leaks in this case came from the fbi. much more likely that they came from other witnesses or people involved in the case. mueller will be looking to cut square corners and run a clean investigation. he'll look at the facts. he'll create a timeline.
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he'll do all of the investigation necessary and the appropriate sequence and that's going to definitely make life unpleasant for the targets of the investigation. >> jonathan, there were plenty of warnings, as they say, that this coming. >> there were. the white house has of course been bracing for this since we entertained the possibility that director comey was fired. they have in recent days tried to talk the president out of firing the special counsel. this is a white house that keeps trying to turn the page. last week it was memorably infrastructure week. this week we're supposed be talking about apprenticeships and work force. they can't get ahead of this story and around this story. and for more than a week he has continued to hint that there could be tapes of this recording. with the fbi director that would, theoretically prove whether he did in fact ask him to drop the investigation.
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if these tapes exist, wouldn't now be a good final to produce them? >> phillip, there were warnings this was coming legally, but i want to take you back to a different time. there were warnings during the campaign that we would be in for endless investigations. those warnings, however, were from trump about his opponent. let's watch the following. we'll talk about it on the other end. >> the fbi, after discovering new e-mails, is re-opening their investigation into hillary clinton. if hillary clinton were to be elected, it would create an unprecedented and protracted constitutional crisis. hillary's likely to be under investigation for many years, probably concluding in a criminal trial. her current scandals and controversies will continue throughout her presidency and we
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will make it -- honestly, look, it's going to be virtually impossible for her to govern. >> and, phillip, what did i call this, day 146 of this still brand-new administration. this administration with so many -- by the way, the part of this that upsets the standing army in washington. so many vacancies in these cabinet departments throughout the government yet. >> and even at this white house there's a vacancy for the communications director right now. that seems like a critical job when you're dealing with this kind of investigation. look, it's important to point out there's not yet any accusation of wrongdoing, any guilt on the president's part, but when you look back to the discussion we had a year ago in the campaign about the e-mails, the private e-mail server almost seems quaint to what we may potentially be dealing with in this russia probe. >> jeremy, i want to ask you
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about something that "the new york times" is out with tonight and we have this quote to put on the screen. former senior official said mr. mueller's investigation was looking at money laundering by trump associates. jeremy, talk about this front. the suspicion is that any cooperation with russian officials would most likely have been done in exchange for some kind of -- yep, we missed that one line. that there would have been an effort to hide the payoffs most likely by routing them through offshore banking centers. what would this mean? >> that got my attention too, brian. i think it goes back to the question of whether there are these long-standing financial ties between the trump organization and oligarchs in vladimir putin's circle. and whether or not over the years, that money has been a point of leverage and leverage is a term we're going to hear over and over again. what leverage did russia have over the campaign. what leverage does russia have
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today over u.s. foreign policy? that is the national security threat that we're facing. >> joyce, just tonight we're hearing these nsa officials, the dni, they're all said to be willing to come in as early as this week. the word methodical was kind of invented to go with robert mueller. are you surprised at the speed of this? >> i'm not surprised at the speed. he's putting together all of the witnesses he needs to talk to on this rapidly emerging allegation of obstruction. it will be important to know whether that has vitality or not. he has to investigate, senators have asked him to look into this. but i think he needs to determine in his mind whether obstruction will be a part of this investigation or whether he'll pass it by. >> jonathan, we're going to talk about the story that commanded our attention earlier today. you wrote about the president's appearance today. the sad duty now his, comma, trump calls for unity after shooting.
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what he did today was the business of the presidency. they will attempt tomorrow to talk about another topic, one would guess. but this story tonight to your earlier point just becomes part of a relentless drum beat. >> and obviously it was not intentional this morning. but there was, after the shooting, they put the president out there. a very standard presidential statement. >> formal -- >> his tweet was very respectful. they canceled the day's events, the briefing. he read his two-minute statement, could have been one read by perhaps his predecessor who had to go through this ritual so many times, comforting the nation with the exception that there was no call for gun control today. tomorrow these will be the headlines again. of course, the injured congressman will still dominate people's thoughts in washington but this investigation, the
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storm cloud that the president himself keeps calling it is just intensifying over the white house and showing no signs of abbating. >> phillip, i want to show your front page tonight because it mirrors what all of us are doing and it mirrors how our attention is torn in two ways. almost bifurcated front page. congressman shot in virginia. it's a local story for the hometown paper. but there you have it on the left, a headline you don't see every day. trump's actions now a focus of mueller inquiry. and, phillip, if you can back up to the first point you made, you saw the gop talking points. you said what exactly are we going to be hearing from members of the administration and surrogates? >> i think there's going to be an effort to create a lot of noise, frankly, that discredits rather the reporting here to talk about leaks, illegal leaks, point fingers about who's talking and giving information of the media without dealing with the substance which
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is what the reporting shows that this is getting very serious, the president's frustration and one thing we haven't talked about much, and it came up earlier in the week. the president has been thinking about trying to fire, to order the firing of mueller as the special counsel and its investigation is something that a number of outlets including my own reporting has shown and i think this is going to continue to gnaw at him and i wouldn't be surprised if at some point maybe over the weekend, maybe next week, maybe who knows when we're going to to see some sort of venting by the president on this issue. >> oh, boy. something to look forward to. i want to thank our starting panel tonight on this. again, a night where our attention has been torn in two different directions. fhi lvment i. rucker, joyce vance, mr. lemire.
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we'll take our first break. up next this other breaking story this evening. the shooting in alexandria, virginia that left the third ranking republican in congress in critical condition tonight. that's when "the 11th hour" continues after this. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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we can all agree that we are blessed to be americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good. >> president trump again e, formal sting in the white house urging unity this morning after a gunn
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opened fire of all places at a baseball practice for the traditional charity game scheduled against the democrats tomorrow evening. tonight the president visited majority whip steve scalise in the hospital. because of his condition, he was not able to see him. but they visited with the congressman's wife at the hospital. scalise married father of two, a new orleans native is in critical condition tonight. the president said this on twitter, representative steve scalise, one of the truly great people is in very tough shape. but he's a real fighter. pray for steve. scalise took a rifle wound to the hip. it traveled across his pelvis and that one round caused massive internal injuries, including broken bones, damage to internal organs and severe bleeding. doctors already operated on him once. they say he will need further surgery. scalise and other republican members of congress on the team were at various positions when
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the gunman approached on the baseball diamond. he asked a bystander, perhaps more than one, if the players were democrats or republicans. he then opened fire. back at the capitol, later in the morning those republican members of congress on the team, many of them still wearing their uniform, their hats, their cleats walked us through the sequence of events. [ gunfire] >> hey, is that guy okay out there? has that guy been shot? is he okay? anybody talking to him? >> i heard a loud bang that felt like a construction site dropped a large piece of metal and the next thing i heard was run, he's got a gun. >> once i figured out i could see him pretty clearly, albeit, it was less than a second or two, i realized he could see me. >> i got bloodied up a little bit when i jumped in the dugout.
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we were on the field hoping not to get hit but realized as the bullets kept flying that if somebody were to see us, we were still easy targets. >> steve scalise, one of the members, majority whip in the house was hit in the hip and dragged himself off of the infield into the field and he was down the whole time. >> nobody got out to scalise until the threat of gunshots ended because it was a wide open killing field with him spraying the field. >> when we heard an all clear that the shooter was down, i ran out to steve to put pressure on the wound. >> scalise's security detail and capitol hill police immediately began to return fire. >> i truly believe if the capitol hill police had not been there, most people would have been killed. >> let's bring in two reporters who have been covering this story all day.
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msnbc senior national correspondent chris januaryings at the field and "usa today" politics reporter, heidi -- she lives in the neighborhood of the shooting and, chris, we'll start with you. i saw pictures of what appeared to be fbi cadettes walking very slowly scouring the grass, looking for rounds. they have to account for all the rounds and shell casings. and it struck me that same grass will tomorrow night host this game where we hope for a safe evening and a huge turnout. >> well, the game tomorrow will be played at the nationals park, brian, and this is going to remain a crime scene. where i am is surrounded by yellow tape, and i did see them doing what they call grid search, looking for evidence of what was clearly an absolutely harrowing maybe five to ten minutes as this was all
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unfolding and those injuries we learned tonight were much more severe than many people have been led to believe. members of congress said he had been talking and conscious on the way to the hospital. but he clearly went into shock. he's going to need more surgeries. very, very seriously injured. jeff lake describes scalise dragging himself 10 to 15 yards across the field. leaving a trail of blood, trying to get away from the shooter who seemed to be firing indiscriminately and people diving into that first base line area because he was on the third base. i spoke with one person today who was coming out of the adjacent ymca, and she said she started running and she, like members of congress that we talked to today, couldn't tell what was fired from the gunman, what was friendly fire. she thought at one point actually there were so many rounds going off that maybe he
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was following her, chasing her, firing at her. that turned out not to be true. it was only later when she saw his picture she realized he was the man that she saw every morning for the last four or five weeks or so when she went to the morning workout at the ymca. there are bullet holes in the windows there tonight, and they have found some of the bullets the fbi was looking for in the pool of the "y." >> heidi, we should point out something we've been reporting all day long. it's because scalise is in the leadership that he qualifies for a security detail. capitol hill police officers, those two armed police officers may be the reason we are not talking about a massacre of republican members of congress on that field today and this, of course, happens in your neighborhood, a terrific suburban neighborhood outside washington d.c., a place that really could be any street usa. >> that's right. when i heard the news this
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morning, brian, i immediately, without hesitation went there. why? because i knew when i heard that this was members of congress and the location where this was that most likely this would have been some kind of a targeted shooting because we don't have this kind of violence in our neighborhood. there's not this type of gang or drug violence. the strip is right next to a middle school. it is a neighborhood that is densely populated with bungalows and family community centers right down the street. there's a promenade there and trendy boutiques and restaurants and the street there right in front is where all of the children march on halloween in their costumes. so this, to me, i knew there was something very specific and potentially targeted about this when i came to the scene. they were just cordening it off. but there were a number of eye witnesses there that described being sheltered in place at the
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"y" but being able to witness what was going on, seeing the shooter hunkered behind wooden bleachers, engaged in shootout with police but chillingly, one of the witnesses said i never saw the man reload, which means he came there armed with a fully loaded semiautomatic weapon, as well as a pistol, possibly with the intention of inflicting maximum damage. >> and quick question for both of you, beginning with chris. first of all, of course, it makes sense that it's going to be on the pro field tomorrow night. my mistake. under huge security, one can imagine, and we should put in a word of praise for the first responders who happened to be terrific in that part of northern virginia. but thanks to them being nearby, three-minute response time. helicopters at the ready. this did not turn out any worse. >> i mean, when you heard rand paul say killing field, he was
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not the only person who was here who said that a mass kerr was avoided. i mean this was a situation that could have been so horrific and you saw those capitol police officers. we heard the stories of them coming forward, moving towards a bullet. that is real heroism and then the quick response by the local police who came out and that included those first responders. in the meantime, there were members of congress, brian, who went to tend to the wound and using a belt as a tourniquet, using their hands to stop the bleeding of steve scalise. so a lot of people here who moved into action and heidi told me earlier she had to talk to her daughter about what had happened here and joe barton, one of the members of congress was here with his 10-year-old son and he got very emotional later in the day. you come to a baseball field. there's a playground right here in this park, brian, and you think of all the children who day in and day out expect to come here and have a good time. >> and, heidi, while we direct people to your column on the
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subject today, our members of congress can't all have security details and they don't all want them, but it's something to think about, especially the placement of their district offices inside more secure buildings, federal buildings if need be but this had been on the people's minds. >> there were tensioned that flared based on my reporting today inside that security meeting with all the lawmakers in the house about what had happened. the conversation also turned to whether there is adequate security for members of congress. some members of congress specifically raising the issue that they didn't have the funds to even have their offices in a secure location, in secure federal buildings and this is potentially a real problem. what i also found out based on my reporting, prior to this incident lawmakers had been raising concerns. you heard nancy pelosi intermate on the floor today saying in recent years we've
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been more concerned for our safety. cedric richmond approached speaker ryan, the head of the congressional black caucus said he was concerned for the safety of his members. so this is a bipartisan concern right now about safety of members of congress. >> our thanks tonight after a long and emotional day to chris januaryings, heidi przybyla. we apreciate your reporting and we want to bring into the conversation in new york former nypd commissioner and a senior law enforcement and counterterrorism analyst. well, commissioner, you have a dead gunman, you have a trail that he left on social media, but where else does the investigation go and why does it matter what you learn about him now? i note that the fbi put out a posting rer on him tonight even though he's deceased, hoping people come forward with details. >> well, there's multiple components to any of these investigations that in the state of digital communications certainly trying to get into what other computers or devices he may have had. was he truly alone?
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was he a lone wolf, if you will? was he part of a conspiracy or plot. just the instrument, they want to understand fully all of that. they will want to understand that he was down for several months. what was he doing while he was there? did anybody notice him, were there signs that were missed, possibly. was there any interaction with law enforcement? down there while he was there. there's so many elements in the rollback investigation to go forward. some of the video you showed, the forensic search, literally they will attempt to recover every piece of the ballistic evidence that's on that field in that ymca and just reconstruct what actually happened there. >> unbelievably we had already asked you to come on tonight before this happened to talk about something you talk about a lot and that's vaguely the category of situational awareness in our new world. whether you're in piccadilly circus in london or times square in new york or now we learn a ball field in alexandria, virginia.
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you are always telling people be aware. be aware of where you are. the classic nypd slogan, if you see something, say something. >> that's the world we live in and i've said it many times on this show and other shows, the idea that we cannot live in fear, we just could not survive if we were constantly in fear but we're living in a world where there needs to be heightened sense of awareness. i know in my own life in the sense that i'll go to a movie theater and as i'm waiting for the show to start, i'm watching people more carefully than i might have in the past. i was on the train today coming down from boston. the flights as usual coming to laguardia are a mess so i took the train down. but as i'm standing there, watching everybody getting on that train and it's maybe the fact of all the years i spent in law enforcement. but a few years ago i would not have been that aware but my life has changed in the sense of
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just day-to-day. >> and it's like everything else. if this can happen on a ballfield in alexandria, virginia. >> ups office in san francisco or another mass killing within the last four or five days, another disgruntled employee situation. the reality is it can happen anywhere at anytime. >> bill bratton, thank you, as always. coming up the congressman whose district includes that ballfield in alexandria. we'll talk to him when "the 11th hour" continues.
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welcome back to our broadcast tonight. i want to bring into the conversation this evening, congressman don buyer, a democrat that represents northern virginia, including the park in alexandria where the shooting took place. congressman, thank you for staying up with us and coming on tonight. >> absolutely. >> i'm curious how it felt to be the member of congress on whose home turf this happened today in this day where we saw this burst of bipartisanship, almost the most we've seen since 9/11. i have to ask the cliched question, why does it take this to see the reaching across the aisle that we saw today? >> you know, brian, i think actually there's a lot more reaching across the aisle than people realize. but today really brought it out because you saw an awful lot of democrats sitting with republicans and vice versa and
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that nancy pelosi ten hoyer did with the caucus was gather them in prayer for all of the folks at the republican baseball practice. >> there's 535 of you guys and by that i mean men and women in the u.s. house and senate. as i mentioned earlier not all of you can have security details. not all of you want security details. but i'm curious as to your own thoughts. town hall meetings these days can get a little hot and visits to your home district can get a little hot. have you been at all concerned about the subject? >> i have not for myself. i think at this particular stage in politics, the republicans are having a much harder time on town hall meetings, just as democrats did in 2010 when obamacare was first passing and i think that there will be specific times, either when there are many members of congress are gathering or when a specific member feels
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threatened by an unhinged person in their district or when extra protection is necessary, but we're at the people's house and supposed to be out there and i think enjoy meeting people very directly, pumping our own gas, shopping for our own groceries, picking up our own dry cleaning and having security would interfere with all of that, not to mention would be very expensive. >> where were you when you heard this was going on and could you believe it was the field across from the ymca there? >> it was very hard. i had actually come down early into washington, d.c., into the capitol and i got a panicked crying phone call from my wife who had all these text messages and she imagined the worse. it was discouraging and embarrassing to have a wonderful rockwellesque community like del ray community in alexandria.
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that is one of the nicest communities in america filled with young families and children and baby carriages. heidi mentioned it's got one of the best halloween parades in america. so an accident of history that's where this unhinged shooter from illinois ended up targeting our poor republican colleagues. >> we're so sorry for the attention this brought to your district. as you mentioned, a lovely part of the world. a beautiful neighborhood there where the peace was shattered today. again after a long day, thank you, congressman don bier, democrat from virginia for coming on with us tonight. another break when we come back. we'll look at the heated up rhetoric and how it might have played a role in the life of this gunman now deceased.
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leading national politicians that are so angry they have to use vulgarity. >> with respect though, even if everything you're saying is true, to talk about it in those kind of terms of left and right right now in the wake of it, does that make sense? does it make it work? >> you want to know the truth? >> well, but do you rise above it and say -- >> no. >> interesting exchange on fox news earlier today. newt gingrich speaking hours after this morning's shooting in suburban virginia where members of congress were practicing their ball game for tomorrow night's charity baseball game. the suspect reportedly asked one member whether the team practicing were democrats or republicans. a headline in "the washington post" reads the gop baseball shooting is the 154th mass shooting this year. that's according to stats from nonprofit group gun violence archive. and you can see how the number of mass shootings have been consistently rising over the past four years. with us tonight, brian levin who oversees the study for hate and extremism at cal state
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in san bernardino. he is a criminal justice professor and happens to be a former new york city police officer. what do you make of this particular guy? >> well, what i think is interesting is that these folks are sociopaths, first, okay. so let's look at what happened in begg and france. these people were sociopathic criminals and then they found an ideology that explained why their lives didn't go as they like. that being said, there's a convenient net that catches these people and we're seeing a wildfire that has jumped the fire lines from one side of the ideological spectrum to the other. i thought it might be a little bit disingenuous of mr. gingrich to suggest that this is something indigenous to the left. it isn't. we saw folks who were white supremacists and neo-nazis
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feel emboldened at trump rallies, even manhandling and assaulting people at these rallies. the fire line jumped to the left and he's cricizing. i think perhaps there should be introspection before criticism. what we're seeing is on the hard left now people who have opt out -- and this is important. it crosses the ideological spectrum. the portland stabber was someone who was a sanders supporter for a time and what it tells us is people are fed up with institutions, elites and the establishment, and that goes across the ideological spectrum. faith in the institutions and processes of government and community, which previously held us together, whether it's government, the media, the financial markets or even academia are now suspect and we've had a splintering of society and a tribalism. in california alone we've seen 21 violent political
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public confrontations resulting in well over 100 arrests and numerous injuries just since december 2015. >> so, let's say for the purpose of the conversation, the fringe, far let, far right, equally dangerous in their own way. and we should add because it's germane and it's what so many people watching are thinking, this is what happens when you combine untreated mental illness let's call it with access to firearms. >> all of the above. but, you know, i wouldn't say the hard left is as dangerous as jihadists or the extreme far right but they have now coalesced and galvanized and what we've seen them go from markers we look at in the world of extremism. demonization, justification of urgent violence because they believe the system is rigged. recruitment on social media and then organizing for violence. so we're now seeing the hard left going from these
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choreographed social media dancers with their enemies on the far right to actually organizing for violence on its own and that's a scary thing. we have the most diversified threat matrix that we've had for decades. in the early '70s, we saw hundreds and hundreds of bombings just in 1971 and '72 alone and that went from about 1969 to 1985 and we may very well be at this time of political dissension where there is not trust in these institutions to a spreading across the ideological spectrum. >> i was just going to say, it's a scary line of work you're in. but thank you very much for lending your knowledge with us tonight on the broadcast after this long and awful day. thank you. brian levin, cal state. coming up after one more break, what 97 senators came to agree upon today on capitol hill. when "the 11th hour" continues.
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welcome back to "the 11th hour." we told you we had a lot of news to corps tonight. before the "washington post" reported tonight that the president is now under investigation by bob mueller for possible obstruction of justice, the biggest russia news of the day came out of the u.s. senate. the senate voted overwhelmingly today to limit the president's power on scaling back sanctions on moscow. it's a bit of a double negative but the vote is, as you might have guessed, in response to moscow's hacks on our election. the vote was 97-2 with republicans rand paul of kentucky and mike lee of utah voting against it both with their reasons. plus, our own kasie hunt confirming tonight that the director of national intelligence dan coats will testify behind closed doors tomorrow to the senate intel committee.
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back with us reporter jonathan lemire. is this to be viewed any other way than a blow to donald trump? >> it is striking that this is perhaps the first time we have seen any sort of republicans in congress trying to restrain a little bit of what president trump can do. they are saying -- it's not just that they voted for the sanctions but are trying to limit what the president can do to ease them. some of the members of the senate talked about how they felt the white house had been pushing to reverse this and they didn't want this to happen. we don't know what will happen in the house. if they'll eventually get behind it. we have rex tillerson when asked about it and has been rather noncommittal. >> a lot of people have been on the sidelines wondering when courage will break out among especially certain republicans. >> that's true. i mean, this is obviously there has been very little outside of the little chastising of i wish you wouldn't tweet so much. there has been few public
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rebukes from paul ryan or mitch mcconnell to the president. this is a moment where we are seeing at least most republican senators try to handcuff him a little bit. >> back up to the top of our broadcast, when we say mueller is investigating the president personally now for obstruction of justice, remind the good folks what the limits on mueller are. what if he finds evidence to prove that? what happens? >> right. mueller is not going to necessarily put mike pence in office. that's not how it works. the department of justice is loathe, said they're loathe to indict a sitting president on charges. instead, they will gather, they will conduct their investigation and do interviews and gather evidence and turn it over to congress and say it is up to the house and the senate to discuss. impeachment/removal. >> that's when it gets interesting. >> yes, it does. >> jonathan lemire who covers the white house and it turns out a lot of other topics for the associated press, we always love having you here in new york. thank you for stopping by.
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we will take our final break. when we come back, an update on the story that was just breaking as we went on the air here last night. we are back with that right after this.
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the last thing before we go here tonight is an update on the story that was just unfolding as we went off the air last night with these incredibly sad and incredibly dramatic pictures.
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this is a tragedy and it's going to turn out one that is largely preventable. a 24-story apartment building in west london went up in flames overnight and there are fatalities to report. the death toll stands at 12 thus far. it is very likely to grow given the number of those still missing. so much of the building remains way too unstable to allow for a search as of yet. the number of injured alone stands at 78 thus far. many of those who lived in the high-rise claim it had no central fire alarm or sprinkler system. the fire exploded and it grew exponentially in minutes climbing through the interior of the building and along the exterior of the building. the front page of "the guardian" newspaper says simply the warnings were ignored. there were still patches of active fire as of this afternoon and the possibility of collapse still exists.
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londoners have given generously. they now have more than enough offers for accommodations for those burned out. clothing and other supplies started coming in last night and a relief fund has been set up. all right. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes, and we've got absolutely massive breaking news tonight. "the washington post" reporting that special counsel robert mueller is now investigating the president of the united states for possible obstruction of justice. if true, this report would confirm what was only suggested last week in ttimony by d fbi director james comey. this story breaking in just the last hour or so comes on the heels of an absolutely wrenching day in washington after a gunman targeted republican lawmakers this morning in what appears to have been one of the most brazen

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