tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC July 14, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
for us to walk away from all of this. thank you for joining us tonight. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight it wasn't just that russian lawyer at that meeting inside trump tower. after insisting all the details were out comes word there was another russian in the meeting with the president's son. it's just the latest version of the story about the meeting where the russians were welcomed into campaign. and now tonight the president has another new lawyer. tonight while donald trump will always have paris, another trip has been overshadowed by blockbuster news from home as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. and good evening once again from our nbc news headquartering here in new york. day 176 the still young trump administration. they passed the six month mark next week just after donald trump left for france on wednesday night we shared with
you if you'll recall a politico" reported that said quote top west wing aides are exasperated by the risk that more damaging news has yet to emerge. and about that more damaging news that had yet not i merged it came out this morning prior to the president's return from france. nbc news was the first to report that also in that meeting with don jr. and the russian lawyer in trump tower last june, a man who was formerlily a member of a soviet counterintelligence unit we now know his name rinat akmetshin, a russian american who now works as a lobbyist. some u.s. officials believe he still has ongoing ties with russian intelligence. something we should point out he has denied. discussing the meeting with the associated press, akmetshin said i never thought this would be such a big deal to be honest. you'll remember the original explanation for this meeting was
adoption policy under u.s. sanctions. one american investors who worked on that policy told business insider" this when he found out who was also in the room. and we quote. in the world of russian intelligence there is no such thing as a former intelligence officer. so in my opinion you had a member of putin's secret police directly meeting with the son of the future next president of the united states asking to change u.s. sanctions policy, crucial to putin. and in light of today's headlines it is worth remembering that the president and his aides this week applauded donald trump jr. for his transparency. and on tuesday after release his emails about this meeting don jr. said, not once but twice, this is everything. >> i have a quick statement that i'll read from the president. my son is a high quality person. and i applaud his transparency. >> more than happy to cooperate with everyone.
i just want the truth out there that's part of why i released the all stuff today. >> but this isn't. >> they're trying to drag pout the story they want to drip a little bit today a little bit then i'm more than happy to be transparent and more than happy to cooperate with everyone. >> as far as you know as far as this incident is concerned this is all of it. >> this is everything. this is everything. >> can you explain to us why there is this playing of amnesia that affects all these people associated with the campaign and one country and one country only? >> every single day we do our very best to give you the most accurate information that we have. and we continue to do that every single day and have oh offered to be as transparent as possible with all committees and anyone looking into this matter. >> how refreshing to have somebody take responsibility, be transparent and earnest, admit that maybe oefld have done things different. >> most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. zero happened from the meeting.
monthly i think the press made a big deal over something that really a lot of people would do. >> well let's bring in tonight's starting panel ken delaney is with us or nbc national intelligence and national security reporter who broke that exclusive report this morning. indira boston globe columnist and the charn of journalism ethics at pointer. rick stengel. former public affairs department and former managing eder to of "time" magazine gp i'll start with you mr. delaney maybe nothing happened of consequence of the meeting but the drip, drip, drip nature of it sure looks like it's not nothing. >> that's absolutely right, brian. that's really an interesting point. even if you take the innocent explanation that it really was a nothing burger, the kind of things this lawyer and lobby ettist were talking to the trump campaign about were of no
consequence, the way the trump folks handled it is just so deeply suspicious, the story changed like three times and then even when don jr. went on fox news said eye i've told you everything today we learn he didn't tell us everything. and the person that -- whose presence was not disclosed happens to be a kind of a political fixer who has represented russian interests in some way as suspicious character maybe not as quote i don't think he is a agent of putin's secret police. but he is certainly a guy kind of operating in the shadows in washington, has represented causes that are near and deer to the putin government and somebody whose presence at the meeting is going to interest bob plural and house and senate investigators. to not disclose that you have to wonder as a political matter what the trump folks are thinking. >> and ken, this may not be answerable, may not be known. you may know and be unable to say just nod your head. is there going to be anymore from this one meeting?
of course there were others. >> well, brian, at the end of the today we sort of concluded here at nbc news we still don't fully under how many people were in the meeting. there is talk of a translateser being there whose name has been out we haven't confirmed. there is potentially another person in the meeting. there are things to be learned about this meeting still which is incredible, brian. because you know there's been so many chances for the trump administration to set the record straight and disclose everything. >> indira, while i ask for your forgiveness for the new fewer than 15 pronounceiations i've used tor your is your flame you have been a journalist all your life. i have to ask this about the trade. we don't know what we know because of government agencies being transparent and coming forward. it was another good week, a amid daily bash fake news it was a good week for a free and robust press. >> absolutely. when donald trump says, oh i applaud my son for his
transparency. let's be honest there is no way at a donald trump jr. would have released the e-mails had "the new york times" not been on the phone with him saying we've got your emails and we're about to release them. that's the only reason he put them out there in order to try to get ahead of the story which was going to be out there anyway. in answer to the question token which is is there more come? absolutely there is more coming. everyone talks about is there another shoe to drop. there are more shoes in than in immelinda marko's closet. we're talking about how many people in the meeting the latest reporting showing six, might have been seven, each person suffering from all the russo the amnesia wit a second no there was one else np no there was someone else. there was at translateser this person. i means it incredible to me that donald trump jr. things the worst thing about that meeting was that nothing came out of it. it's not that eactually accepted
the meeting i understand instead of calling up the fbi and saying somebody said that the russian government is trying to win the election. help i'm here to report a crime. instead of saying that he said i love it and went ahead with the meeting what he thinks is bad is that nothing good came out of according to him really we have to ask ourselves the question. >> and indira you are so right. that line nothing came of it has been the response from the president all through the surrogates. and we have no proof of that yet. we don't know thats to be true or false. my old friend rick stengel, you are a master of optics, back when you ran "time" magazine, the cover that means so much to donald trump, you knew the power of a single optic every woke and then you went to work for the state department where the job was optics for in country. having said that, the optics in week don't look good. >> the optics look just god awful. and in fact they have violated
every rule of crisis dmungss that you can possibly have. rule one is get it all out as soon as possible. and what they're doing which is aiding the people in the media is having it come out in tiny little drop lets. and what that does is perpetuate the story. it's a very unprofessional operation process. the enact we talk about not even knowing how many people in the meeting do you have a meeting here at nbc where nobody doesn't have a record? it's kind of astonishing? i mean i don't he know how they ran the trump observation they can't run the wlous like this for much longer. >> ken we've got in russian lawyer who is so russian there has to be a translateser to understand her for the americans in the meeting. we have the former intel guy, at least former that we know of. let us not forget the two sergeys in the oval office. let us not forget the possible invite for putin to come to the
white house having already come to our the presidential election. when people ask you, what is it with russia, knowing that we're still halfway down the road, what's your answer thus far? >> well, donald trump wab was the most pro russian presidential candidate to run in modern history. republican or democrat. that was before all this stuff. now this meeting to me brian was a bit of a game changer. because for months republicans and trump allies have been saying where is let evidence of collusion there is a lot of smoke you say but where is the actual evidence? now we have of an email from rob goldstone on behalf of agalarovs whose father is a direct tie to putin. offering direct help to the trump campaign and donald trump accepts and takes the meeting. that's not proof but that's evidence of crucial and it seems like it has changed the game a little bit in terms of where in investigation is headed because it raises the question of what other meetings were accepted?
what other communications happened along these lines. >> indira, a two-parter for you. can it be said this white house is a single issue white house, consumed by all things russia and secondly, was this particularly bad for credibility this week because you had the president tweeting about his son's transparency. you had the president giving definitive statements about what a nothing the meeting had been? >> well i mean again back to the whole question of the trump team calling to this call this a nothing burger. to the rest of america we would consider in a double whommer given the country indigesten and heart failure with a lot of hidden additives we don't know everything that was in there the secret sauce. what troubles me about the meeting is the quality we're hearing every person in the meeting seems to have a different version of what happened or didn't happen were they talking about adoption, were they talking about sanctions? did anything happen? were documents passed? was there stuff about the dnc?
what happened in this meeting? and you know the latest former soviet intel officers in the meeting he says something different than the russian lawyer. everyone has a different take. to the first question about whether this has become a single issue white house, i would say so for anybody concerned about ethics and laws and democratic norms in this country, yes, of course the white house says differently they say everything is mooting sailing, everything is going along as always. and the protective placement's base is happy with them as they always have been. but i thought it was very interesting kenneth cruz tweeted out today an article from news day that ran i think it was eight days before president nixon resigned a front page story saying president fixen a base is still with hif love him eight days later he had to resign having your base love you doesn't necessarily guarantee that you know you're going to always be in power if you've broken the law or you've broken the democratic norms of our country. >> i'll speak for the two guy
was gray hair in new york we remember the tais and there was a lot of that going around. ken i have my spectacles on to read from you a "washington post" op-ed. i wanted to see if in sounds familiar a former cia intelligence officer writing today everything we know about the meeting from whom it involved to how it was set up, how it unfolded is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a russian influence operation to look like. it bears all the hallmarks of a progressionly planned carefully orchestrated intelligence soft pitch and that's a an interesting term of arten the trump campaign's willingness to take the meeting and more important failure to report the episode to u.s. authorities may have been exactly the green light russia was looking for to launch a more aggressive phase of intervention in the u.s. election. i hear another former intelligence officer today talk about that soft pitch. they want to make sure you don't report it and untroubled by the
meeting. that green lights to them you're kind of a willing target. you're someone they can do business with in the future. >> you've got it perfectly, brian. it's so interesting, nearly every current and former intelligence officer you toek l speak to about in seems to have the same view. it's the one you just articulated. and what they say is it doesn't matter with whether this lawyer and lobbyist were dupes, were willing participants had a different story or you know -- the point is that the overture came in -- an offer of help from the russian government pan came through the agalarovs who had a business relationship with the trump family they were build being trump tower in moscow they were together on the miss university pageant in moscow. the overture came in through a known person. and the trump organization showed it was willing to take the meeting. what happened after that the intelligence officers say is irrelevant because the signal was sent if in fantastic this was a dangle by russian intelligence, the signal was sent that the trump campaign was willing to play. and so then the question becomes
well what else happened? what other overtures were made. >> rick stengel david gearingen who served four presidents said tonight it's the most incompetent cover-up he has ever seen. to your earlier point about malpractice in at least media management, does this now mean they will always be reactive? there is no -- there is no getting the upper hand? they don't look institutionally willing or able to get the upper hand. >> so i'm going to come back to that, brian. because at the state department i dealt with russian disinformation and russian active measures they call it. i want to add one thing to what the intelligence officer said. is that sometimes the russians do a the the faint. maybe they wanted us to think they're tampering in this election. they have a term of art in the russian military called the gray zone. the gray zone is about the fact that nothing seems clear at all.
that is what they look like. they like grows frozen conflicts they like things unclear np that's what they're doing now. to get to the first question, yes they're completely on the back foot and will be probably forever. while the investigation is going on until that is consummated i mean they're going to be asking question about this and you have a president by all accounts is absolutely obsessed with this. and may be watching right now about it. >> our great thanks to our starting panel. last day of the week but our first segment on a friday night token, indira, rick thaupg soefrp. coming up after the first break, the legal team that keeps growing to deal with the russia response, when our broadcast continues. what if we pull customer insights from the data in real time? wait, our data center and our clouds can't connect? michael, can we get this data to...? look at me...look at me... look at me... you used to be the "yes" guy. what happened to that guy? legacy technology can handcuff any company.
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did you ever meet with any other person from russia that you know. >> i don't even know i've probably met with people from russia not the context of actual formalized meeting or anything like. why would i. >> that was donald trump jr. earlier this week. now we know he did in fact meet with additional people from russia as did white house senior adviser and son-in-law to the president jared kushner and former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. so what are the legal ramifications of this changing story? and that's where the ris of questions starts. with us tonight carrie cord row former senior associate general counsel for the dni be the director of national intelligence. these days professor at georgetown. brian weiss with us a criminal defense attorney who helped overturn the campaign finance convictions of former house
majority leader tom delay. welcome to you both counselor. i'm start wg the president's new hire went out and got another lawyer under the category of you can't make this up, sports fans will recognize the name. ty cob a modern day distant relative of the baseball star. ty could be hired to oversee the white house and media response to the investigations. tom energies officials want someone to enforce dplin? the white house regarding russia matters. that includes the president who frequently events frustrations about the investigations upon twitter. two people familiar with the plan said. so carrie, in real life, the old ty cob was known for vieding into base and drawing blood. don't make my search for a metaphor here. but is this kind of discipline, the discipline people have been
how willing for is the roll of a personal lawyer. >> certainly when there is outside investigations at this point we're up to four investigations if you count the three congressional investigations and the special counsel former fifb director bob mueller investigations. clearly there is jeopardy for the president and for many individuals in the white house. and there has been a complete lack of discipline with respect to lawyers all over town wondering you know how come the president's lawyers can't control his various tweeting and public statements that are the confusing and are related to the ongoing investigation. so certainly it makes sense to those in the legal community why there would be another attempt to bring in a lawyer who can bring some order and discipline to whatever is their legal and media strategy. >> brian we know about the feds, that they hate being lied to. in fact it's a crime. but you just never lie to the
feds. how do they feel about a slow drip? look you got to understand that it doesn't do anybody any good, whether it's the president or don jr., to hire a lawyer if you're not going to listen to them. and brian i think the only way that ty cob can do team donald trump any good is if he gets out his great grand dad's louisville slugger and threaten everybody with it. s once it coincidence the third time it's nechl action. every time his story changes handing bob mueller and team mueller a ticket to did you say off the hot seat for him. i want everybody to be quiet take a tv time out go to commercial break if you're not licensing to the new attorney be what are you spending your money for brey zbloon about mr. mueller, we've asked in from time to time. retires say in his mind and it's a very closed shop around bob
mueller, very professional outfit. he has been at this before. he's got like a 16-month two-year time frame in mind with either an oral or written report at the end or both. what is the mechanism if he comes across or is simply inundated on one particular bit of wrong doing, that is a clear and present danger that he needs to share with others? how does that happen? >> you know that's a great question. because actually what the special counsel framework right now, it's a little bit uncareer what his actual deliverable will be in terms of any type of report. so certainly with respect to the investigation he will be come up with potential criminal violations. and we can go through the laundry list of the types of things they might be looking, whether election fraud campaign finance, sfrouks, false statements. and so that's the legal piece. if he has a criminal case to bring then he will write that up in terms of a recommendation for prosecution and those particular
matters will go towards criminal prosecution. but there is a separate question that's different from the legal issues which is the political question. and that's with respect to what does congress do if the outcome of his report and if he does have a mechanism to communicate that to congress. if the investigation reveals there was some type of cooperation with the russian government and the trump campaign regarding the election. and that's a political question that at some point and we don't know exactly when that point is that congress will have to take up. >> brian let's say you've had it with all the private sector law money and i hire you for mueller's job and i make you an aggressive federal prosecutor. if you're looking to nick somebody, aren't the security forms as far as you need to go now? there is talk about ivanka's security form in the media because you are asked among other things what about all of
your spouse's contacts? has she gone back and retroactively changed her answers or were they correct from the get go. >> you're right. the security form if yous i think could be a ticket to buying a lot of people in this case you know five to do in danbury, interstate 84. what's important is every time a story changes, every time you change your security clearance, that is anybody who ever binge watched law and order goes is consciousness of guilt that's the circumstantial evidence from a judge or jury could conclude that you had the intent to violate the law. look the c word at issue isn't cooperation or collusion. it's conspiracy. if that's the toughest kid on the playground. and if mueller can show there was an act and intent, an agreement to violate the raw, either to commit a lawful act by lawful moen or unlawful act by lawful means, that is what will get somebody jammed up for conspiracy.
and that's what i think the security clearance form embroel owe and the ever changing story, again my understanding is it's going to get a lot worse before better. i think carrie is absolutery right there is a lot more bob mueller knows than we know pat 11:00 on a friday night brey zbloon speaking of 11:00 on a friday night, two excellent attorneys agreeing to join us for a terrific conversation. carrie cord row, brian weiss thank you both so much. another break for us and up next president trump and his fellow republicans can't escape the russia questions. it's a political angle and it's a formidable one our panel talks about it next. steve was born to move. over the course of 9 days he walks 26.2 miles, that's a marathon. because he chooses to walk whenever he can. and he does it with support from dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort to keep him feeling more energized.
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and this word collusion is all over the place. i mean everybody cluds in this city, right. i don't think democrats could find russia on a map until they found out -- or concluded that it could somehow be used to -- to beat up donald trump. if i meet with -- whether it's a -- a citizen or a noncitizen and they give me information or an idea or talk about policy, there is nothing wrong with that. the ongoing effort to normalize russia and more specifically normalize the meeting that took place in trump tower. those were republican members of congress responding to questions about in russia investigation. and that meeting involving donald trump jr. and then some,
a russian lawyer, a list of others that grew today. thanks to our own ken delaney. all that having been said joining us tonight to talk about it bloomberg white house correspondent shannon is back with us. latest report tonight and asking her about it the second role at trump jr. meeting and raises questions new to the broadcast politics i had for for the root jason johnson is with us and long-term libertiarian radio talk show motivate. jason you get to go first. we saw just that relatively small sampling of gop members of congress. but we know they represent a larger group. we also know that the russian obsession is not shared by the trump base. so are there republicans you are watching who will be important if they turn a little bit if something comes along that maybe makes them angry at all of this even if it's just we're not
getting anything passed? >> yeah, brian, i think most of those things are likely to happen. number one, the republicans in the house and senate right now they're still just really trying to get an agenda through. they'll tolerate this until they think it's going to have serious electoral consequences. i do think this if we're perfectly candid i think oolts of the leaks are coming from people within the administration. they're likely coming from republicans. this isn't some mysterious conspiracy deep state. these are very likely loyalist republicans who sold their souls to be part of the administration. they're disappointed in donald trump and that's how the information is getting out. i think the leaks themselves and the fact that we found out about in meeting is an indicator that some republicans have already turned on this administration. >> and shannon, some of your reporting today that i found very interesting and important. you doubled back with the clinton campaign because they've been named throughout in this story. but not dwelled on. so tell the good folks in our audience what you found out.
>> the question i had was, so if this lawyer and this lobbyist -- let's say they were going around to the trump campaign trying to to say hey listen if you're elected there is this important magnitsky act and adoption program we want you know about it we'd love your support doing lob dwring work like any other lobbiest if they've been doing this did you go to the clinton campaign and talk to them about it? so my colleagues and i margaret went through a number of of clinton sources and we found that no the clinton l clinton campaign was able to definitively they were terp not contacted by the two individuals at the trump tower meeting they did not meet with them they do not know the people they have no connection. so at least with these two there was no effort being made to also try and reach out to the clinton campaign and sway the clinton campaign in some way to come out against in act or to do any sort
of kwid pro quo if if hillary clinton was to become president. >> jim, which way of welcoming to you the broadcast before i come to you i want to play something. i know you've seen and heard this. and members of our audience may not have. there was a moment- -- a genuine moments on fox news shep smith was talking to chris wall street two of the straight news guys talking about the meeting in trump tower with don jr. as new details broke during the conversation. it was notable if you witnessed it. here it is we'll talk about it on the other side. >> fox news can now confirm new, more donald trump jr. jared kushner paul manafort, the lawyer from russia, the interpreter, the new guy we found out about today. and a mystery person. john roberts confirms there was an 8th person in the meeting we don't know there may have been more but there was an 8th. jared kushner filled out his
form i think it's an f 86 saying who he met with and what he had done very important stuff. you can go to prison for messing it up you know intentionally. he went become and added 100 names and places. none of these people made it. we're still not clean on this, chris. it's -- if there is nothing there -- and that's what they tell us they tell us there is nothing to this and nothing came to it's a nothing burger wasn't memorable wasn't anything so i didn't even remember it with the russian interpreter in the room at trump tower. if all that of why all the lie sns why -- why is it lie after lie after lie? if you clean -- come on clean you know my grandmother used to say when first we practice oh a tangled web we we've when first we bra to deceive .the deception chris is mind boggling and there are still people out there who believe we're making it up and one day they're going to realize we're not and look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all the lies.
>> in the context of cable news i must say eric wifrple of the washlt pz thought that was a cronkite moment what did you playbook of it jim and what can we draw from. >> when you've got shep smith quote attention his grandmother his perplexed a lot of people are perplexed. there are a lot of things that i think donald trump and the administration could be talking about that are positives and unfortunately they have now found themselves in the situation where this is all they are talking about. and whether there is anything there or not, whether tell us this is a nothing burger or something burger as i heard it described earlier a double whommer with cheese, they have made this look awfully skittish and weird. just get out there. i did crisis communications as part of my career. and this is something i would never ever tell anybody to do. and that is change your story. several times. it just doesn't look good. it's almost like we don't know
that an arson actually happened. there is alleged arson but they're basically saying i was holding a match at the time of alleged arson. it really is just mind boggling that one so successful in life as donald trump has been in a lot of areas you have to admit that -- is not being very successful at this. >> well it's a good place as any to put a pause in the conversation we'll be back with jim and jason and shannon. on the other side we'll talk about what was to be a major signature initiative. health care. that and then some when we come right back.
>> that was president trump in his weekly video address sounding confident that senate republicans will secure enough votes to pass their health care bill. they've lost two. they're at 50 they can't afraid another loss. outside of a few remarks and a couple of twitter post-s, the president however hasn't done much else to drum up public support or sway reluctant members of his own party. shannon, jason and jim are back with us. jason here is the question. is the gop better off if the president owns it or stays away from it? >> i think they'd be better off if the president owns it. to be perfectly honest with you brian, donald trump for all of the problems associated with him -- he is the best sales person for this plan. he has to be out in front of it. he needs to do a sit-down and explain this bill. i've said all along it's like
jing an you can't pull out pieces without the whole thing falling apart the only way they're lift going out of the 12 to 17% approval rating is if donald trump can explain it. i don't think he can. because i don't think he knows that much about policy. so it's left to severe senators who aren't nearly as ineffective selling things. >> vannen shake the other i'd i realize this calls for judgment on your part. are the democrats better off if they get in there and say folks this is our chance to do something great. or if they don't own it at all and just continue to watch this. >> i don't think the democrats have much to gain by working with the president, by working with republicans on this unless two things happen. they drop the repeal obamacare language and stop making this about obama and partisanship and start making this about health care and if they lay off the medicaid expansion. i think increasingly i've been hearing people say this from the beginning, maybe we should set
the medicaid part aside and say, republicans can say we'll back to medicate reform later. let's look at stabilizing the individual private marketplace exchanges. that's where a lot of the concerns is with the states in process the insurers pulling out that's a small piece of the affordable care act of obamacare. maybe we just focus on that and don't touch medicaid and we can say we'll deal with that later. but that's causing the mutiny among most of the democrats that's causing the mutiny among the republican governors. so i -- that's where i see the path forward. but it was interesting to see the president's remarks we're so close. he told reporters just a few days ago on affairs 1 that the only thing more difficult than health care is negotiating peace between the israelis and palestinians. so he knows this is a tough sell. a tough road ahead. and they've really got to find a path. >> i caught that remark. and jim, if we went on the streets of any city or town in
your state, i am guessing thoughts questions and concerns about health care outnumber the same about russia, about 10 to 1. because this is a real human issue causing genuine anxiety. >> well especially arizona. every single one of our counties next year will only have one insurer available on the obamacare exchanges. we're going to see probably 25% increase in premiums after 116% increase last year the largest of any state. people want to see something done. the problem is your colleague chuck todd and i were talking this morning on my show. he pointed out the senate health care bill really as rand paul had explained to me a couple days before that really is obamacare in a lot of ways. i mean it keeps a lot of the regulations keeps a lot of the taxes. and it kind of sets it up so that when the democrats are back in pou as we all know they will be at some point another they
can reinsert everything that is taken out if even if it may fall apart a jing an game as professor johnson actually suggested. here in arizona this is something that people really want to talk about because they feel like obamacare is just circling the bowl at this point and it just can't sustain itself. >> interesting note to end on and that will have to do it with our tlangs though swranen pettypiece and jason johnson and jim sharp. we'll do it again thank you for joining us ton. wle we come back an update on the president's priority, the plan to defeat ices, a report card when we continue. hundreds of dollars on youmy car insurance. saved me huh. i should take a closer look at geico... (dog panting) geico has a 97% customer satisfaction rating! and fast and friendly claims service. speaking of service? oooo, just out. it was in. out. in!
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only a dignity memorial professional can celebrate a life like no other. find out how at sanfranciscodignity.com. welcome back to the 11th hour." the pentagon confirmed today the leader of islamic state ace affiliate in afghanistan was indeed killed in an air strike earlier this week. this as iraqi forces declared
victory over isis in mosul after a 9-month long fight backed by u.s. forces. take a look at what's left of iraq's second largest city. thecity. the u.n. estimating the cost of basic infrastructure repairs -- that's plumbing, roads, safe buildings, $1 billion. it starts there. with us tonight, retired four-star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey, our msnbc military analyst and decorate the combat veteran in vietnam. former u.s. drug czar with experience in military and government throughout the world. general, we wanted to have you on to get a status update, to get kind of a fact check on the status of isis. and as you know, it's tougher to blot out an idea than it is just a fighting force. >> yeah, i think it's quite right. on the other hand, brian, i'm personally amazed at how effectively the war operations in both iraq and syria have
gone. this is remarkable. very small u.s. military footprint. 5,000 to 7,000 people in iraq and maybe 500-plus m syria. and they've actually started to deprive isis of the caliphate, which will have a pretty substantial impact. now, mosul, this tragic situation -- by the way, the iraqi army got run out of there, two divisions' worth, by maybe 800 isis fighters. so the situation in iraq is clearly not stable. they'll never be a unitary state in iraq or syria or lebanon or afghanistan. so we're just presiding over these terrible internal conflicts that are primarily ethnic and religious as you know. >> because i try to follow issues that are important to all of you who have worn stars on your shoulder, did you find it
notable that neither mattis nor mcmaster was in on the trump talks with putin? >> simply astonishing. you know, i doubt that that's ever happened before. first of all, you want a note taker in there that can independently back-brief the senior officials of government who weren't present. but in addition, you know, the whole notion of not having h.r. mcmaster or secretary tillerson or mattis present at all these significant meetings is shocking. i think, again, it goes back to this notion that mr. trump does not appear to trust his own government, his own officials. this attempt to set up a private communications channel through the russian embassy simply is mind-boggling. i've never heard of anything like that. >> finally as a guy who's walked around with a lot of our
nation's military secrets in your head or on your person, i want to hear you out on security clearances, people like jared kushner, people like ivanka, people we know to be under investigation and people whose stories about the past have migrated. is there a danger to you? >> i think this is way beyond security clearances. by the way, mechanically the president can do anything he wants. he can, you know, classify, declassify, give people security clearances, whatever. having said that, brian, if an assistant secretary of defense was in contact, and on the face of it colluding with a hostile power of the united states, they'd be out in the street that day. so it's not security clearance so much. it's an indication that we're having difficulty trusting white house officials. >> general barry mccaffrey, please come back, sir and talk to us some other night.
we appreciate being able to call on you. our last break coming up, and it was just one meeting. there were many others. it was just one e-mail chain for that matter. there are many others. but it was a show-stopper in the russian story. we'll look at how it played out this weekend in slow motion. four seconds on the clock, down by one. championship on the line. erin "the sharpshooter" shanahan fakes left. she's outside of the key, she shoots...
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last thing before we go here tonight, every day this week we learn more about that meeting, trump tower, june 9, 2016. here is how the story progressed one day at a time. just for our recollection here, in donald trump jr.'s first statement, we were made to believe the primary purpose of the meeting with the russian lawyer was about the adoption of russian children. on monday, we learned there was more. don junior enthusiastically took the meeting believing he would gain derogatory information about hillary clinton. on tuesday, don junior himself tweeted the e-mail chain that set up the meeting. the subject line, almost comically direct, russia, clinton, private and confidential. that's when we learned the wloel thing had been forwarded to paul manafort and jared kushner, who attended. on wednesday, the president left for paris. he also defended his son, tweeting, he was open, transparent, and innocent. this is the greatest witch hunt in political history. sad. on air force one en route, he
calls his son a good boy. then yesterday the president continues to defend don junior saying in a press conference with the newly elected french president, who by the way is the same age as don junior, that most people would have taken that same meeting. and as we've been reporting tonight, so much for transparency. we've learned of the presence of a russian-american lobbyist in that same meeting, a man with prior ties to the soviet intelligence apparatus along with another russian who was there to translate. the question is who knows what we'll be covering by this time on monday night. but for now, that is our broadcast for tonight and for this week. thank you for being here with us. have a good weekend. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. i'm sorry. you may have been expecting to see richard engel right now.
if so, i am sorry that i am not him. i am nowhere near as accomplished nor as compelling nor as handsome as he is. but the good news is even though i'm not richard engel, richard engel is on msnbc tonight. i am taking over his hour but i am not taking over for him altogether. richard engel on assignment is going to be here on msnbc live at the end of this hour starting at 10:00 p.m. eastern. i know a little bit about what richard is going to be reporting on tonight. it is freaking compelling stuff. so you should definitely plan to stick around for that. that's going to be right after my hour. i'm here 9:00 eastern tonight. richard engel is at 10:00 eastern tonight. then after richard engel, brian williams is going to be here at 11:00 eastern. so settle in. we've got a big night ahead. i also want to tell you that tonight, this hour, we've got somebody here for the interview that i am very, very happy to have landed