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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  July 21, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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i recall it's an audience it's a good one. we'll see what happens. you guys can let me know of course at ari melber if you have thoughts. i hope you have a great weekend the breaking news tonight about attorney general jeff sessions and the russian ambassador. it's a new "washington post" story. quoting intelligence intercepts. plus sean spicer's out anthony scaramucci is in. can a new york banker change a communication strategy that's sometimes only as good as donald trump's cell phone. as jared kushner prepares to answer questions on the hill we're learning more about his finances, what he didn't disclose before. as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a friday night. ♪ ♪ and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. the friday night edition, day
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183 of the trump administration, a year to the day since donald trump accepted the republican party's nomination. exactly six months to the day since our introduction to sean spicer. when he was ordered to berate the news media in the briefing room how we reported the crowd size. at the inauguration. tonight the long suffering and often parodied sean spicer is gone. and we'll talk about his tenure and his replacement later on. but first to the friday night breaking news centering on jeff sessions. this one comes from the "washington post." the headline tonight, sessions discussed trump campaign related matters with russian ambassador. u.s. intelligence sbs show. -- ambassador show. russia's ambassador to washington told his superiors in moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters,
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including policy issues important to moscow, with jeff sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general. according to current and former u.s. officials. this goes on. quote, one u.s. official said that sessions has provided misleading statements that are contradicted by other evidence. a former official said the intelligence indicates that sessions and the russian ambassador sergei kislyak had substantive discussions on matters including trump's positions on russia related issues and prospect for u.s. russia relations in, say, a trump administration. the article and several national security experts tonight do caution russian and other diplomats have been known to share false or misleading information to brag or try to confuse our intelligence community. but "the post" adds that kislyak, for one, has had a reputation for accuracy for the most part in these matters. it's impossible to ignore the timing of this story. it comes days after trump told "the new york times" that he does not think sessions should
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have recused himself from the russia investigation. trump said, if he is -- if he had known that he wouldn't have picked sessions for the job. as for sessions, here is what he has said about talking to the russians about the campaign. >> i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign. and i did not have communications with the russians. >> let me be clear. i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. >> i don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way. it was in no way some sort of coordinating of an effort doing anything improper. >> the justice department released a statement saying in part, the attorney general stands by his testimony from just last month before the senate intelligence committee when he specifically dressed this, and said that he never met with or had any conversations with any russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of
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interference with any campaign or election. some people have noted there is room in that statement. and joining our lead panel tonight, white house reporter for "the wall street journal," eli stokols is back with us. shannon pettypiece is back with us. and white house correspondent peter baker, of course, one of the trio of journalist who is took part in the interview of president trump we mentioned. peter, that earns you first-question status tonight. "the post" piece uses the word "tenuous" to talk about sessions' hold on his job. we know how he is regarded or not by the president. because of your interview. i'm a little bit interested in why this, why tonight. this is a hit on jeff sessions. and if you don't want to discuss it in specificity you don't need to. but can you remember other times when something was leaked that
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maybe hurt the greater good and continued a bad narrative for the white house but targeted at one individual. >> oh, sure that's been part and parcel of the last few months. plenty of these stories that can come out about steve bannon on the one side or jared kushner on the other side. i don't know personally where it all comes from. it's suspected by the white -- by people in the white house and the great body politic in washington that some of those are the result of internal feuds or internal power struggles. i can't say that's the case in this instance. but you're right in the timing coming two days after the president's comments is pretty striking. and it looks like what the president was saying to us in the interview was not like a new thought. it wasn't something that had just come up. he mentioned it apparently a few days earlier at a dinner with senators. clearly it's gnawing at him on his mind, even though the recusal took place months ago. he has been holding a grudge against the attorney general ever since.
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>> as you pointed out he blames everything that followed for the recusal -- because of the recusal of the attorney general. >> that's exactly right. because jeff sessions recused himself from the investigation his deputy attorney general rod rosenstein was in charge when james comey was fired by the president as fbi director and then it came out that he had had this conversation or at least says he had this conversation with the president about whether to stop the investigation into mike flynn, that's when rod rosenstein as the acting attorney general in this instance decided he had to appoint a special counsel, robert mueller. from the sessions recusal and the president's view comes the investigation that he now faces from a -- a special counsel now looking at all sorts of things the president doesn't want to look at. >> eli stokols, what we haven't done is talk about the story in chief, the body of the story. very serious, if true. secondarily kind of confirms the
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russia obsession early on in the campaign. and the third area here is if this is indeed a hit. >> well, right and the irony if it is or even if it isn't is that what -- trump was mad about was he recused himself in the first place. this story even if it weakens sessions' position or stature atop the justice department, this story basically lays bear anew the reasons why we had to recuse himself, because of these conversations and because of the constant amnesia and forgetting that we've seen from sessions, from kushner, from all these people who can't remember their interactions with russian officials until they're reported by the media. and this is the case. you know sessions did speak about specifically -- he answer -- answered that question. but what his answer was we just heard was i didn't have any conversations about entertains -- interference in the campaign. that's not what is at issue.
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what is at issue here is did he speak with kislyak about, as the reports based on this information that the post has tonight, did he speak with kislyak about a potential trump administration's positions on issues related to russia? that's a question i don't think sessions actually answered specifically on the record. >> shannon, how serious this -- is this during a serious week for jeff sessions? and i have a follow-up. is there anyone in the white house with the stomach for a confirmation fight over a new attorney general right about now? >> losing jeff sessions as attorney general would be such an enormous political distraction so politically toxic. if he is fired it would -- some people in congress are saying it would not be survivable politically. but trump is also now sort of backed in a corner where he has undermined him. he has taken away a lot of credible he has. -- credibility that he has. how do you go in every day as the attorney general, the head of law enforcement of in country with the president saying well i wish he wasn't there.
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damaging leaks in the media. who knows what else is going to come out there? so at the same time sessions is sort of in a corner where he might not have much of a choice but to actually step down. and i almost feel like i'm starting to have seen this movie before with michael flynn, not a complete parallel, but where there was damaging information after piece after piece on flynn came out. and finally flynn was essentially forced to put in his letter of resignation. so i mean maybe this is the last and things will die down. but i feel the storm clouds gathering around jeff sessions here. and then we're at a point where either we need another attorney general to go through a tough senate confirmation fight, or the president has to fire him. or he is going to resign. and neither of the situations is good at all. they're going to be enormous political distractions from any other piece of agenda and business they were trying to get taken care of. >> not to beat a dead russian but let's continue on one of the options shannon gave us.
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if sessions is dismissed, that is weirdly a tacit confirmation of the underlying story and the underlying campaign russia preoccupation out of nowhere. >> yeah, although he'd be dismissed for the opposite reason, as eli pointed out. as you said in the opening which is important to remind us again this information, the assertion comes from the russian ambassador is telling his home office, as intercepted by american intelligence agencies. we don't know, we don't have a transcript as far as we know publicly at this point of the conversation itself. we don't know from anybody in the room other than the russian ambassador, what was said. so take that everything with a grain of salt. having said that it -- there is only -- there are only so many rocks you can put in a rucksack before it becomes too difficult to move forward. whether this president would push out the attorney general, who can say?
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one thing we've learned in six months, anything is possible in this administration. who would have thought he would have fired the acting attorney general that he had inherited just one week into office? who would have thought he would have fired the fbi director? again we talk about well he don't want to go through a tough confirmation. that was certainly the case and it would depend on who was selected. but look at chris ray. we would have thought, gosh, whoever he puts up for james comey's job thea the fbi is going to go through a pretty tough confirmation. the senate is not going to go along with it. he got advanced by the senate judiciary committee unanimously. so we don't know for sure. this president has shown he is willing to do things other presidents would have considered to be unthinkable. >> we have some other personnel matters in the news tonight. eli, your paper, in particular, is out in front with reporting on jared kushner. we've heard about a lot of forms and disclosures. which is this and what new have we learned. >> this is a form when kushner took the job in the white house
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had to disclose all the financial assets to disclose potential conflicts of interest. and what came out today is that he amended it. we just talked about the sort of amnesia we see over and over again from folks in the white house. well, kushner according to his staff inadvertently overlooked about 70 or so things, financial commitments and investments and things in holdings that he hadn't put on his form. we're talking about millions of dollars of personal wealth here. trying to sort of clear the deck of any potential conflicts and make sure i think you saw the way they put this out. they're trying to manage it and be more transparent. why did it take six months to disclose all of these things? and how do you forget that, that large -- i mean, that is a lot of money and a lot of holdings to just inadvertently forget. it seems like it fits a pattern of folks joining the administration and thinking after years in the business world we can just kind of fudge it. we can just kind of skirt the rules a little bit and it will be fine. and they're finding out that in public service, public life it's
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public. people are going to find these things out. and it doesn't make them look very good. >> shannon, i watched you guys at the 4:00 at nicolle wallace. it was like you needed catchers' mitts, so many pieces of administration falling. you write about another one that hasn't gotten much attention. the legal team is undergoing big changes. the donald trump's legal team a a lawyer we came to know and wrote profiles of is kind of fading into the background. >> yeah, marc kasowitz, the president's personal lawyer, someone very loyal, a confidant, a friend of the president's, set to lead this legal team outside the white house that was be responding to all the inquiries around the mueller investigation, the congressional investigation. he has had some controversies. he's a very colorful person. >> good euphemism. >> he is being moved to the
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side. and john dowd, a seasoned washington lawyer, he is not a real estate lawyer, not a transactional lawyer. a very seasoned lawyer now taking the lead. and then mark coralo, the crisis communicator who had been on, had a -- someone trump had a lot of respect for, was going to handle the outside communication to take the pressure off the folks inside the white house, he on thursday announced he was resigning. a person close to him says it was becoming too chaotic, he didn't feel like he was in the know, left out of the loop, and he didn't need this essentially. and moved on. >> peter baker, in addition to being a long-term washington journalist you are of all of us here the only former moscow bureau chief. i have to ask you a closing question. what do you think they make of all of this? they see and hear people like you and me and all of us in our coverage. >> yeah, look this is the kind of thing that would never happen in russia.
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the state controls the media there. if the narrative that is put out to the public is pretty tightly controlled for the most part. there is no freedom than in the soviet days. -- there is more freedom than in the soviet days. they have you know access to the internet. nef access sometimes to foreign news sources. they look at this as you know a joke about american democracy. that they have caused great disruption here. they have managed to you know stir the pot and get us fighting with each other and investigating the president. from that point of view they look at this as a win. now if the other point of view, if the goal of meddling last year was to create a political environment in which the sanctions put on them under the obama administration have been lifted, that's been a failure. because right now, even if president trump wanted to do that, it's politicalally impossible. the senate voted 97-0 to pass legislation mandating the sanctions against russia. the house presumably will follow suit perhaps. especially if the president tried to go the other way. in some ways they've had a win-loss in that. >> this is where somebody like
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me always says, the senate seldom agrees on anything. what a terrific end to our initial panel here tonight. peter baker our thanks. eli stokols. shannon pettypiece thank you as well. coming up after the break, the legal questions all the stories raise now with three of the best legal minds in the business when "the 11th hour" continues. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back to the 11th hour" with tonight's big news focusing on attorney general jeff sessions. we want to welcome in three attorneys, richard painter is back with us. chief ethics lawyer to former president george w. bush. these days he is teaching law at
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the university of minnesota. carrie cordero, former senior associate general counsel for the dni, director of national intelligence now at georgetown law. and brian weiss returns to the broadcast. criminal defense attorney who among other cases helped overturn the campaign finance convictions of former house majority leader tom delay. and by my math kari you were the one of the three most recently a fed. with that framing you get the first question. and that is what do you make of this jeff sessions story tonight with the reminder that he may have been a republican senator from alabama, what seems like ten minutes ago, this is the attorney general of the united states we're talking about. >> it is. and he has a few different issues raised by the article that came out tonight. first of all, he has some legal exposure. folks in congress are going to be going back and looking at every word that he spoke in his confirmation hearing and in a subsequent hearing and comparing that to what they read in the
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news tonight. and he probably is going to get more letters and questions and perhaps be requested to come back to congress and clarify things that he said. so he has some legal exposure there. he also has issues with respect to maintaining the independence of the justice department. we are really seeing an effort by this white house and by this president to basically lay on justice. and influence an investigation, shut down the special counsel investigation if they can. and so he really has a challenge if he does end up staying in his position to find a way to insulate the department of justice from political interference by the white house. >> brian weiss, traditionally the justice department has at its disposal -- forgive me -- broad powers and the ability to remind the white house who is boss at times. >> you know we talk about the
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separation of powers, brian, and the executive versus legislative and judicial. this is one of the times when bob mueller, the special counsel and the full might of the justice department really are the toughest kids on the block. and you make a great point. this situation doesn't involve vinny on a car phone from ft. lee. this is the attorney general of the united states, someone who is the highest ranking law enforcement officer, period. and to suggest as we are today, that they may be dusting off the hot seat for him because of perjury or any other related crimes, really is mind-boggling. who would have thought only on day 183, we would be having this discussions in addition to discussions about things like presidential pardons. viewers might think they stumbled in the season finale of "house of cards" season 5. >> i'm glad you raised presidential pardons because richard painter wrote about it in an op-ed.
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for "the washington post". the headline speaks for the entire piece, no, trump can't pardon himself, the constitution tells us so. here is a quote from the body of the piece. the pardon provision of the constitution is there to enable the president to act essentially in the role of a judge of another person's criminal case. and to intervene on behalf of the defendant when the president determines what would be equitable. number one, as a lay person, i look at the president's ability to pardon himself if it were absolute it would allow murder and any kind of terrible criminal behavior. and number two, do innocent people start asking about pardon powers? >> i would think that innocent people would not be thinking about who could pardon them. and we are in an extraordinary situation here. i got to say first with respect to the attorney general, i mean either he has been lying about
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his relationship with the russians and what he talked with the russians about, flat out lying, or he is being framed by somebody who is leaking this information, false information to "the washington post," in order to get him fired. we know the president wants to replace a lot of the top management in the justice department in order to derail the mueller investigation. and so i'm very, very worried about this situation. i wrote that op-ed before this development. because president trump apparently had already contacted a number of people looking into the question of pardons and whether he could pardon himself. the questions are being asked in the white house. and the answer is categorically no. there is not an example i can find in human history where a person has been able to pardon themselves. and the president for this is the royal pardon. i've not found a situation where a king has been able to pardon
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himself and then avoid prosecution by subsequent kings. many deposed kings have gone to the chopping block and would have avoided that if they would have been able to pardon themselves. even the pope says to confession to another priest, propose frances did so quite recently in public. not a single example of a self-pardon anywhere that i can find. the concept makes absolutely no sense. the office of legal counsel advised in the nixon administration years that you could not do that. the president could not do that. so that's off the table. he should look into other options. you know maybe -- i don't know, go join mr. snowden over in moscow or something but the self-pardon idea is not going to work. >> carrie, also in the legal realm this week, the report that the trump white house is doing
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opposition research, playing defense against mueller's team. by all accounts, if you lined up all the jerseys of the attorneys mueller is hiring, they would all be on an all-star team in their particular branch of what is, in effect, white collar crime. do you think robert mueller and his co-counsel are pressurable in that way? >> no, i don't. former director mueller has put together a really exceptional team of lawyers. again, this is just another aspect of the president and this white house trying to influence and potentially obstruct this investigation by releasing publicly whatever is this information that they supposedly are conducting some kind of opposition research or looking into potential conflicts of the lawyers who are on that special counsel. i view this as just another part of the pattern of this white house of trying to obstruct the investigation that's being conducted. the difficulty is -- or sort of the irony is that every time the
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president has done something like this, it backfires. he hired an attorney general he thought was going to be favorable to him, and then that person recused. he tried to lay on the fbi director and that resulted in the fbi director writing memos that took care the conversations. he fired the fbi director and that led to bob mueller. every time they take a step to obstruct the investigation because he wants it shut down it ends up backfiring. and i think this effort to discredit the special counsel staff is going do end up the exact same way. >> brian, how much of the sum total of mistakes made thus far by the administration can be chalked up to ignorance? ignorance of how washington works? ignorance of the law? ignorance of all matters integrity-related and even ignorance that the world contains people like robert mueller, who see this as a
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calling and cherish their integrity? >> well, i'm going to check probably number d, all of the above. look, brian, you make a great point. i caught a repeat of a movie i hadn't seen in a long time. "all the president's men." and there's this great scene where woodard and deep throat were in the parking garage and hal holbrook tells redford, you gotta understand something about these guys in the white house. they're just not all that bright. i think history repeats itself first as farce and then as tragedy or maybe it's the other way around. but you're right, these guys are amateurs. and we've said it before. you gotta act like you've been there before and for some reason, they don't. you got to ask yourself in terms of the jeff sessions story. who benefitted? this may be a situation they're setting jeff sessions up to fail.
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and it seems to me that donald trump has an exit visa with his name on it, and we all know that it's in the piano in rick's cafe. >> a different branch of the language, but i've been told we have to go to a break. can't help but thinking that your names would make great-looking letterhead. our thanks to the three attorneys thank you all for joining us on a friday night. after another break coming up, he lasted six months and a day. what ended the run of sean spicer as white house press secretary when "the 11th hour" continues.
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my name is valerie decker and i'm a troubleman for pg&e. i am a first responder to emergencies 24 hours a day, everyday of the year. my children and my family are on my mind when i'm working all the time. my neighbors are here, my friends and family live here, so it's important for me to respond as quickly as possible and get the power back on. it's an amazing feeling turning those lights back on. be informed about outages in your area.
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sign up for outage alerts at pge.com/outagealerts. together, we're building a better california. i just think it was in the best interests of our communications department of our press organization to not have too many cooks in the kitchen. the team here that works so hard, so tirelessly to advance the president's agenda needs clear leadership. and i thauld it would be a bit confusing having additional people at the top. >> interesting right there. sean spicer speaking for the first time since his sudden resignation as white house press secretary earlier today. late tonight, president trump wrote on twitter, quote, sean spicer is a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the fake news media. but his future is bright. spicer stepped down following president trump's decision to name new york investment banker anthony scaramucci as the new
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communications director. it was a choice spicer strongly disagreed with. eli stokols of "the wall street journal" and shanny petty piece of bloomberg have been kind enough to stick around. because there is a lot to talk about. a lot of history here in just six months. eli, take us back to the first day in the briefing room. a kind of stunned national audience looked on because it was a day of moment. we had had the inauguration. and then these marches filling the streets of cities and towns from anchorage to new york to london. >> right, when sean spicer called reporters into the briefing room after the inauguration and lectured them, got really agitated, pointed to pictures and said that the media was intentionally misreporting crowd size to dampen the enthusiam for this president. it was a signal on the first day about the sort of -- the loose relationship that this administration, in president was
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-- this president was going to have with truth and how far they would go to create this alt reality. sean spicer began setting his own credibility on fire that day. he was put in a difficult position. but he chose to go out there, and sort of continue to take the heat, to be a heat shield if he could be. and his effectiveness diminished in that regard over the next six months. but really despite what he said this evening on fox news about wanting to publicly saying we want a fresh start he was really hurt by this. because he did take so many slings and arrows for the president. his loyalty to the president is supposed to reward loyalty. sean felt he was loyal and wasn't repaid. at the end of the day this was the thing he couldn't bear. >> shannon, before we talk about reasons for the exit, let's talk about the journey and where we've been. a sampler of sean spicer. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. both in person and around the globe. >> the president himself called it a ban. >> i understand.
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>> is he confused or -- >> i'm not confused. i think the words being used to described it are derived from the media. you don't get to shout questions. you raise hands like big boys and girls. the president's speedy trials sweets for himself. >> the tweet speaks for itself. you've got russia if the president puts russian salad dress on his salad tonight that's a connection. every person briefed on the situation with respect to the situation with russia republican, democrat, obama, appointee, career. have all come to the same conclusion. at some point, april, you're going to have to take no for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion. >> sean! >> sean. sean. come on, sean. >> sean wait a minute. >> what about the putin poll. >> sean. >> where did sean go? >> shannon, the life and times of sean spicer.
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>> you forgot. >> called concentration camps holocaust centers. a naval reservist, a well-known chewing gum enthusiast, a lot of personal quirks, an interesting guy. >> there was a tense relationship on display between sean and the media. but people had worked with him for years and years in d.c. he really had a reputation as a nice guy, a fair guy. i will say, there were a lot of really good interactions reporters had with sean outside of his combative setting in the briefing room that a lot of the public saw sometimes. and among trump's base they loved him. i was at a trump rally -- i don't know maybe two three months in. sean was mobbed by people in the audience. i thought it was a jonas brother in the crowd. people were getting their picture with sean saying great job, sean. he was seen as the president's
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defender out there. he was very popular among trump's base. so for all the tenseness in the media and ridicule, he did have his supporters out there. >> eli, he did i know tell sean hannity tonight he thought "snl" had gone too far in the depictions of him. but sean spicer now he is working through august and take off for a while. enter mr. scaramucci. about him, quite a bit is known. born into a middle class circumstance on long island. entirely self-made. found his way to toughs. found his way to harvard law school and found his way to a fortune, starting off at goldman sachs. he mastered the money business. personal worth, north of a billion dollars. there's a lot there for trump to like. and a resume no one would flinch at as head of the counsel of economic advisers. but he is the communications
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director. >> trump didn't come with a resume or a pedigree for president. >> good reminder. >> it's like looking into a mirror. this is the white house when he looks at scaramucci see as rich -- sees a rich guy, a new yorker, somebody who is self-made, as he believes he is as well. and he sees somebody who has a facility with the media. donald trump and anthony scaramucci both made their names and fortunes by excelling in the media space. and you saw today with the way scaramucci came out and kind of easily -- had an ease to him and an easy tone and demeanor. the questions are going to be tough for him. it's not an easy job, but when donald trump did that long press conference several months ago, i remember this moment when he was lecturing, saying, you're going to say i was ranting and raving, but really i'm talking to you. he spoke to the press about their tone. donald trump understands tone, he understands communicating. one of the things that sean spicer couldn't do is get the tone right, when he was admonishing the press, when he was flat-out misleading and
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lying to the press, he was angry, agitated, never seemed comfortable. scaramucci you could see it see it today. he understands tone. if even if he says things like if the president says it it's at least a little bit true process. if he says things about media bias, he says it with a smile and easy way about him. that's something that will go -- won't take him all the way, but it will go a long way. >> he has a good personality. he got off on a good step but this isn't going to be all puppies and roses relationship with the press and the white house. he is a big personality. there are a lot of big personalities and a lot of alliances in that white house. and someone who is not a fan of his described it to me as throwing gasoline on a tanker fire. this is going to be disruptive, having him in there and i think it's going to generate a lot of drama. >> we went from puppies and roses to gasoline on a tanker fire. >> after a break we'll come back if you missed some of his greatest hits today in the briefing room, guess what we
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have on the other side.
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welcome back to "the 11th hour." about the new man in charge of comm shop at the white house. the communications director as of today, anthony scaramucci of new york. as you will get to know, as you get to know him over the weeks and months to come, first of all, his indicanickname mooch. a nickname he has participated in, and a number of new yorkers and washingtonians know him by. and second, his general effusiveness and his loyalty to the boss that was already on display today. >> i think there's been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. i think we're doing an amazing job. i was in the oval office earlier today, we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity.
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i think he has some of the best political instincts in the world. the people i grew up with they so identify with the president and so we're going to get that message out. i love the president and obviously love the country. sean decided he thought it would be better to go. his attitude is if anthony is coming in let me clear the slate for anthony. i appreciate that about sean and love him for it. i love the president and loyal to the president. and i love the mission that the president has. >> eli, the pope has given speeches with fewer love references than he did today. and it was pointed out anything more intimate than the audience of one he was speaking to, they would have had to be on face time. >> that's the introduction. >> that's the geography. >> in a man i've seen throw footballs through tires. trump is sitting back there going yeah, that's right. trump loved that. how that is relevant to anybody else, i don't know. but i think you know it's going to serve him well in the sense
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that everybody who goes to that podium, they are performing for that audience of one, first and foremost. you know, i think that this is just -- i mean, he is a character. but as shannon said, he is not, you know, well liked or endeared himself to other members of the staff. so it's going to be an experiment in the white house having him in this position. a lot of people watched him today and said he is the commungzs director. -- communications director. but is that really the job he wants or will do? a lot of people in the administration have a title and it doesn't actually describe what they're really doing what their role really is in the white house. >> shannon, i pointed out some key things. number one, the job was kind of vacant. number two, in job if done correctly as nicole wallace did for 43, is really a planning and astray strategic jobs. >> behind the scenes thinking messaging, working with the press staff, trying to figure out how are we going to appropriately direct certain people to certain tasks.
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that's not the job that anthony is going to be in according to people i've talked to. he is going to be doing tv appearance -- tv appearances -- he won't necessarily be at the podium. they say that's going to be left for sarah huckabee sanders, who is now the press secretary. he seems very comfortable there. so i wouldn't be surprised if that changes. but he is going to be out there sort of as the surrogate and the face of the white house. he is not going to be doing big picture communications strategy. because he doesn't know communications strategy. he doesn't know washington. he doesn't know how a white house operates. so it's going to be a different role than we're used to. >> there is a learning curve. our great thanks to two of the best covering the white house. friends both, eli stokols and shannon petty piece, thank you both for coming on. another break for us. when we come back, sergey lavrov, the russian foreign minister, what was he saying today? what was he trying to say today about the president of the united states?
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russian foreign minister
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sergey lavrov spoke exclusively to our own correspondent, keir simmons, poking fun at the amount of times president trump interacted with vladimir putin at the recent g20 summit. >> we know about president putin and president trump meeting three times at the g20. they met obviously for the bilateral, at dinner -- >> maybe they went to the toilet together, that was a fourth time. >> they met and are shaking hands. that's my question, did they meet other times in the hallways? >> when your brought to kindergarten, do you mix with the people waiting in the same room to start going to the classroom? >> no, not at kindergarten. >> but there was also a room where they get together before an event starts. they cannot arrive all at the same time in the bus. so they might have met even much more than just three times. >> with us in new york tonight because there's only one guy you
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want to talk about this with, malcolm nance, 35-year veteran. including naval intelligence, special ops and homeland security. also the author of the timely book "the plot to hack america, how putin's spies and wikileaks tried to steal the 2016 election." the book that preceded most of this conversation. what's going on there. what did we just witness there? >> i think we witnessed two parts of sergey lavrov's game. one, actual frustration that these questions are coming up in the middle of his discussion. the second part is, you know, russia has this strategy. we have a series of responses to their strategy. and so for the news media to constantly harp on did he meet him, did he meet him, did he meet him, for loavrov, their objectives were met. they got three solid hours of discussion. so anything else, the joke about going to the bathroom, you know, the joke about the children at the kindergarten, it's almost
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like he's shining, but you can see how frustrated he was. like i said, they got what they wanted. >> some of these days, you wake up, the president says what he says on the phone today. the white house appeared to be in a bit of disarray for a time. any given day there's a branch of our government in a lot of scrutiny. do you ever think to yourself, the neighbors are watching, overseas governments are watching this, and what image must we be portraying? >> i think it's pretty clear the image we're portraying. however, what 75% of this country believes and the rest of the world believes, there's pretty hard-core 25 to 36% that don't believe any reality outside of their own is true, that donald trump is a strong leader, he's viewed with great love and easkz by everyone else in the world. look at macron holding his hand. and trump projects that himself. and they don't care about the rest of reality. now, for those of us who have to
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live in the real world, we understand that our economic well-being depends on our interaction with our foreign allies. but when he goes to the g20, and it comes out that it's the g-19 plus 1, and that's how the rest of the world was describing it, an abdication of american power, since world war ii, we created american power in globalism since world war ii. we're abdicating that to russia. >> residential compounds where russians are living in this country, by the way, very handsome homes both of them. russians were living and working there. we followed them. we surveilled them. they were thrown out at the end of the obama administration. why is there talk about them being allowed back and how much damage could they have done there while we were watching them all the while? >> these were rest and recreation facilities. for the russians. and we have similar facilities
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overseas. but we know and have known for decades, these were intelligence collection facilities. however, the obama administration determined they had done too far. -- had gone too far. these places were used as communications nodes for the hacking. they may have been relay, and they also may have been monitoring u.s. reactions, not just the news media, but also u.s. military government intelligence. they can't break our codes, but they can see the levels of activity when we get upset. so all those things, the obama administration said we're putting an end to that. we're going to kick out the 36 intelligence collectors that you have in there, but for the trump administration to give that back, that's a concession that any other president, it would be grounds for much more harsh action than just, you know, a pat on the back. >> we'll have you back. this is why i wanted to talk to you tonight. malcolm nance, thank you as always. final break for us. we are back with a look at what happened a year ago tonight almost to this moment and look at what it all led to when "the 11th hour" continues.
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last thing before we go on a friday night, a year ago tonight at almost exactly this time, the balloons dropped at the republican national convention in cleveland and then candidate trump accepted the republican nomination for president. it's been a whirlwind six months, and look at what came out of it. as math new noose balm of politico pointed out today, press secretary sean spicer resigning today makes six high level officials in six months in office. national security adviser, deputy national security adviser, deputy chief of staff, communications director, vice president's chief of staff, and then there are the still unfilled jobs in the
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administration. administration according to "the washington post" tally, there are 357 >> good evening from new york. a bad week for attorney general jeff sessions just got a lot worse. the "washington post" breaking the news that u.s. spy agencies intercepted conversations in which russia's former ambassador to washington, sergei kislyak told supporters in moscow that did he in fact discuss campaign related matters with sessions including policy issues important to moscow when the two men during a presidential campaign. and that's according to what kislyak told

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