tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 10, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
transactions. we've got a special report tomorrow night's show on the reason that turn in the investigation may be of serious and special concern to the president himself. that's tomorrow night right here. now it's time for "the last good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. that leaves me wondering is it possible to do a segment on what the president is not concerned about in the investigation? is there an angle they could go at that wouldn't worry him? >> um, i imagine it would be something reputational. >> yes, exactly. thank you, rachel. well, one of the president's spokesman told fox news that president trump, quote, will no longer put up with appeasement of north korea. he said that yesterday, and then today the president of the united states officially and formally made appeasement the openly stated policy of the trump white house with russia. it has been impossible for the entirety of donald trump's
political career to get him to say something negative, anything negative about russia or vladimir putin. trump's strange admiration and total deference to putin has turned into a behavior pattern that now makes the president look either guilty or crazy or both because there is now an ongoing investigation of donald trump and his family and his campaign associates, possible collusion with russia during the campaign. you would think that a sane and rational politician would go out of his way to show his independence from russia, his willingness to challenge putin. but for going on two years now, we've gotten the opposite. experienced foreign policy veterans accustomed to dealing -- knew that the day would come when president trump was forced to confront russia and vladimir putin.
former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfaul has said as much on this program many times. 11-days ago, that moment finally came when vladimir putin ordered the expulsion of 755 americans working in the united states embassy in moscow. here was the moment that we all thought when the president would finally, finally have to break with putin, finally have to stand up to putin, finally have to condemn something that vladimir putin has done in the strongest possible terms, and the president of the united states, for the first time in the history of the american presidency, was absolutely silent about the expulsion of americans from an american embassy by a foreign country. silent. no president. no american politician at any level has ever been weaker in the face of such a challenge as donald trump was the day he said absolutely nothing when vladimir
putin expelled americans from our embassy in moscow. president trump doubled the enormity of his weakness and the weight of his shame the next day by continuing to say nothing for another day. and so it went for 11 days. the president of the united states chose a posture once again in relation to russia and vladimir putin that makes him look guilty of collusion with russia and vladimir putin. it doesn't mean that he is guilty, but it does -- it does make him look guilty. if he is not guilty, the explanations are equally troubling. is the president mentally ill? a former republican senator from new hampshire believes that the president is mentally ill, and that former republican senator is now petitioning the congress
to do something about that. he will join us later. finally today, today, the president was finally exposed to a question by a reporter about the expulsion of those 755 americans working in the embassy in moscow. and the answer we heard, the answer that the world heard, the answer that north korea heard was something unimaginable before the president of the united states spoke those words. when you hear the president's answer in a moment, think about what you're witnessing, what you're hearing. it is an historic moment in the american presidency, an historic low in the american presidency. it is a level of weakness never before exhibited in the american presidency. and it is pure appeasement. every word of it. that much is beyond dispute. that is in the text of the words of what you're about to hear. appeasement is the surrendering to or acceptance of acts of
aggression. it became the one word that every politician wanted to avoid being accused of after neville chamberlain and others were found guilty in the court of public opinion of appeasement during the rise of adolf hitler. it is, in many ways, the most loaded term, therefore, in our politics. the president's spokesman accused every prior president of the united states of the modern era of being guilty of appeasement of north korea. of course, none of them are guilty of appeasement of north korea. they all struggled with the same challenge that donald trump is struggling with now -- how to contain north korea. to accuse any of them of appeasement of north korea is a vicious and wild and unconscionable lie. this, this is appeasement. >> mr. president, do you have any response to the russian
president expelling 755 workers from our embassy? >> no. i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down on payroll. and as far as i'm concerned, i'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. there's no real reason for them to go back. so i greatly appreciate the fact that they've been able to cut our payroll for the united states. we'll save a lot of money. >> the important question to consider is what is going on in the darkness of the mind of donald trump that makes him say that. is it because he is guilty? is it because he is in failing mental health? are we watching the beginnings of dementia? if you were looking for one statement by this president that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he is unfit to serve as president of the united states, it would be this.
you wouldn't need to look for any more. you could find many more, but you wouldn't need them. this statement proves that donald trump is incapable of representing and defending the interests of the united states. but he is capable of defending and representing the interests of russia and vladimir putin, and he did that today, exactly that. vladimir putin insults donald trump on the international stage by expelling 755 people working under donald trump's jurisdiction and orders in the american embassy in moscow, and donald trump gets down on both knees in front of the world today and thanks vladimir putin. kim jong-un is judging donald trump tonight. what kim jong-un is seeing is that donald trump has been pushed around by vladimir putin in a way that no other american president ever could be, and so nothing donald trump says about fire and fury speaks as clearly to north korea as donald trump does when he publicly bows to vladimir putin.
thanks vladimir putin for expelling americans. donald trump actually thinks that vladimir putin fired those people, or does he? we don't know. we don't know what he thinks. we just know what he said, and what he said is that he thinks vladimir putin actually cut the federal payroll by 755 workers. all of those people are still on the federal payroll whether donald trump knows it or not. they're not going to work in moscow anymore, but they're on the federal payroll. vladimir putin does not control the federal payroll. he didn't save the american government any money. and so we either have a president who is so breathtakingly ignorant and unfit to be president that he doesn't actually know that that did not save us any money, or we have a president who tells that
lie to america so that he can find a way to say thank you to the man who has become his public master on the world stage. we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if president barack obama had said those words, that this republican house of representatives would be writing articles of impeachment against president obama on the same day if he said those words. there's absolutely no doubt about that. this is the proof that nothing will change in the trump relationship to russia and vladimir putin. the single strangest relationship we have ever seen in the american presidency. there is nothing vladimir putin can do that won't get a thank you from donald trump. the reason for that might be corruption. we don't know. it might be collusion. we don't know. it might be a tragic loss of mental capacity through degenerative brain disease.
we don't know. what we do know is that it is not presidential. and we also know that it is but one moment, but one moment in a day like all other days of the trump presidency that is filled with the cascading madness and chaos that the trump presidency has become. here is the president giving his reaction to the fbi's raid on the home of his former campaign chairman. and remember, now, no other president in history has ever had a campaign chairman whose home was raided by the fbi. >> to do that early in the morning, whether or not it was appropriate, you'd have to ask them. i've always found paul manafort to be a very decent man, and he's like a lot of other people, probably makes consultant fees from all over the place.
who knows. i don't know. but i thought that was a very -- it was pretty tough stuff. >> mr. president -- >> to wake him up. perhaps his family was there. i think that's pretty tough stuff. >> a spokesman for paul manafort has been denying that paul manafort has become a cooperating witness for the fbi and the special prosecutor. but since that raid, that may have changed depending on what was found in the raid. president trump's lawyers have surely told the president that if the fbi found a smoking gun of sorts in that raid, that paul manafort might be strongly tempted to tell the fbi everything he knows to save himself from a prison sentence. bloomberg is reporting that special prosecutor robert mueller has issued subpoenas to banks doing business around the world, quote, for account information and records of transactions involving manafort and some of his companies. politico is reporting that paul manafort is switching legal teams to a washington firm that specializes in complicated financial crimes.
paul manafort's lawyers have no doubt mentioned to paul manafort that the maximum penalty for federal tax evasion is five years in prison. president trump's criminal lawyer, john dowd, has expressed his outrage over the fbi raid of paul manafort's apartment in virginia. in an e-mail to a "wall street journal" reporter, attorney dowd called the raid a, quote, gross abuse of the judicial process by the special counsel's office. and then, and then donald trump's lawyer said something that his client, donald trump, surely would not approve of. donald trump's criminal lawyer said this about the fbi raid of paul manafort's home. quote, these methods are normally found and employed in russia, not america. donald trump's criminal lawyer, tougher on russia than donald trump because no one in the united states and possibly the world is weaker on russia than
donald trump. joining us now, nick akerman, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and former assistant special watergate prosecutor, and michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia and an msnbc contributor. ambassador mcfaul, i have to just go to you and your reaction when you heard what the president said today finally, 11 days after the fact, about the expulsion of 755 americans from the embassy where you used to work. >> well, lawrence, you said it very eloquently in your introductory. i agree with the sentiment. i agree with the facts that you stated, and i just think americans need to understand just how radical a statement this is and how weak a statement it is. first of all, these are american patriots.
these are women and men who signed up to serve the united states of america. they do it all over the world, and they do it in very difficult circumstances, working in russia today. they are there to defend america's national interest. no different from our military. no different from our intelligence officers. and by the way, our military and intelligence are also there. they're part of that team. they're part of that 755. so if you think we're better off by having 60% less people doing that in the defense of america's national interest, it just means that the president does not understand what diplomatic missions do. and it's not just the state department. i want to emphasize that. it's two dozen agencies of the u.s. government defending our interests every day. >> ambassador, could you explain to the president how vladimir putin actually doesn't control the federal payroll, and, no, we didn't save any money, that
those people are all still on the federal payroll, most of them career government employees. >> well, you know, he used that phrase "he let them go." that was so bizarre to me. we sign an oath. when i was the ambassador, i signed an oath to the united states of america. as the ambassador, you serve directly the president of the united states. so the syntax was just bizarre as you said. he didn't let them go. he put an ultimatum, and instead of pushing back on it, donald trump -- president trump just accepted it. i mean imagine in the business world if president trump, then donald trump, the businessman, allowed his chief competitors to say, hey, i want you to cut your staff by 60%. that's going to give me an advantage. and then you just say, okay, i'll go ahead with that. that's the equivalent in his world, and it's just unacceptable. it's not in the national interest.
and above all else, as you earlier said, it makes president trump look weak in the eyes of the russians. and you don't have to have a phd in russian studies to understand this. all you need is to read the prime minister's twitter feed, prime minister medvedev. he said exactly that three days ago. it doesn't make him look strong. it makes him look weak. that's not good for our russia policy, and i don't think it's good for our policy around the world. >> nick akerman, first of all thanks for getting control of that ipad that's decided to join the conversation in the middle of what i had to say. and, bernie, thank you for that save. bernie rushed in and grabbed it. these ipads have a mind of their own. there are so many ways to process what we heard the president say today. imagine you're working in the special prosecutor's office and you're investigating this president's relationship to russia. you see this answer today about what's your reaction to the expulsion of 755 from an embassy, and you know what every
president before him, what their reaction has been to the expulsion of even one person from an embassy. you see this. as a prosecutor, as an investigator of the russian relationship, what do you think when you see that? >> well, i think it even goes beyond consciousness of guilt. we have plenty of evidence of consciousness of guilt on this president's part. he asked director comey to stop the investigation relating to russia and into flynn. then he fires comey. he writes up the statement for donald junior that basically exculpates him, paints a very nice line surgically around any kind of guilt. probably also wrote up the statement for jared kushner which dovetails nicely with the donald junior statement. so there's plenty of consciousness of guilt. what i find most concerning here is that he's acting like somebody who is in the pocket of vladimir putin. i mean he's acting as though putin has got something on him and that he's being blackmailed. i mean this is not just consciousness of guilt.
i think it goes beyond that. i think he's either a puppet of vladimir putin, or he's just downright crazy. it's one or the other. but this has gone on for such a long period of time. all throughout the election, all throughout the first eight months of his presidency, he has yet to say one word about vladimir putin that is in any way critical. >> you've got an investigation that is essentially about, at one level, is this president in the pocket of vladimir putin. and of course as ambassador mcfaul and others have told us, this was coming. there would be these moments coming when you would be at a confrontation point with vladimir putin, and we'll see what happens. and every time we come to one these confrontation points -- and this one being the most extreme so far, the expulsion of the diplomats -- we see a
behavior that is unimaginable and speaks to being in the pocket of vladimir putin. >> i mean look at some of the other evidence that we have. after he fires comey, what does he do? he talks to the russian ambassador, invites him into the oval office, and then denigrates director comey and calls him a nut case. he goes to the g20 -- >> and says things are going to be better now. >> i've got this russian thing off my back. then he goes to the g20, and what does he do? does he cozy up to our allies, the most important people that really relate to america's national security interests, the people that are supposed to warn us if there's going to be a terrorist attack, to give us intel? no. he winds up spending time with vladimir putin without anybody there taking notes. he does it on his own without even somebody else present from the united states. i mean all of this has to make you wonder. >> ambassador mcfaul, before we get in a quick break here, we struggle so many times, so many
nights in the last six months to find the words to express a level of astonishment or a level of outrage or a level of shock at something that donald trump has done. and i thought of you all day today after i heard that answer of what you must be going through in trying to process the moment and find the words to tell the world about this one, to try to get america to understand what this one means. and i just want to give you one more minute before our break here because there's -- as i said in the opening, there's this cascade of stuff from trump world every day. but this one, to me, is something very special, the likes of which we've never seen in the history of the country. >> well, like you said earlier, lawrence, this does not help american national interest. let's just be clear about that. this is -- there's no way you can explain this as advancing america's national interest. first and foremost, our security
interest. that is the job of the president of the united states. that is the job of the commander in chief. and first and foremost, this makes no sense on that score. but, second, just on a personal level, i worked in moscow. i worked in the embassy when we were at full capacity. people were working five, six, sometimes seven days a week in defense of this great nation of ours. there's an american flag in every single office in that embassy. and yet this is what their leading does to them. instead of standing with them, he undermines them, and it's a bad signal for our people in russia. it's a bad signal for all americans who are serving this country right now. >> ambassador michael mcfaul and nick akerman, thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, more on the russia investigation and the democrats could not believe their luck today when president trump continued to attack mitch mcconnell.
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"trump nation." also jim vand heist, co-founder of politico. tim, who are these people who come out of the hearings and say there's no collusion, there's no collusion? i haven't heard any. >> i think they're dancing around in the president's head. >> but having studied trump and talked to him, as much as you have been around him, i imagine that's familiar behavior to you when you see him say things like that? >> we've talked about this before. i think the president has a very cinematic sense of himself, and he constantly has this screenplay going on in his mind of the reality that he sees around him, not the reality that actually exists. and he will change facts, change scenarios to comport with his desire to conform with how the world works. and we have seen this in the way he rolls for years. >> jim, so many elements here moving around the paul manafort part of the story now. we're discovering through various reports that it was paul manafort, in fact, who revealed
to investigators the existence of the donald trump jr. meeting at trump tower with russians that paul manafort also attended, jared kushner attended, and so that apparently has created some real -- some possibly what seems like additional negative feeling toward manafort from within trump world. >> yeah. i mean out of all the cast of characters in this russia drama, i would not want to be paul manafort. i mean the dealings that he had with ukraine, with the oligarchs, with other countries, the shady payments he's gotten over the past decade, now the fact that they came and did an early morning raid because a judge had obviously felt that he was going to hide important data, important information if they didn't do it that way. he's in a heck of a lot of trouble. the question is does he know anything about other people inside the white house, namely the president, and their dealings with russia? the president, from day one, has said whatever. he didn't work that much with the campaign, and if one of my satellites gets in trouble because of business dealings, that's their issue, not mine.
>> tim, at bloomberg, you're reporting that the special counsel has also reached out to other business associates, including manafort's son-in-law and a ukrainian oligarch according to one of the people. those efforts were characterized as an apparent attempt to gain information that could be used to squeeze manafort or force him to be more helpful to prosecutors, and that has to be what donald trump is worried about here more than anything. so we're watching this fascinating moment where today, donald trump tries to say sympathetic things about manafort and the raid. yesterday we see donald trump's friend, the "national enquirer," attack paul manafort, which they would never have done without donald trump saying, yeah, that's okay. attack paul manafort. what's going on with trump and manafort?
>> well, i think he clearly sees manafort as the weak antelope that the lions are going to pull down as they try to move forward to the front of the herd. at the front of the herd is the president. i think a lot of what manafort has done, i have thought from the beginning that it's very loosely connected to where they might be going to with trump. failing to register as a foreign agent. i think that's a loose thing that brought a lot of danger. i think they clearly suspect that manafort's been laundering money either through cypress or through his son-in-law with real estate transactions on the west coast. so they see manafort as vulnerable. whether that actually gets back to anything financial with trump feels very unclear to me. but they're going to do what they can to pull manafort to get him to flip. so they're on their way to trying to get other information there clearly. >> jim, so you see -- it's possible that in the "national enquirer" story yesterday and other things that are being kind of whispered out of trump world, that trump world believes there will probably -- or there may come a day when they will have to be publicly condemning of paul manafort's credibility if paul manafort is going to become, say, the john dean of
this investigation. >> listen, donald trump is loyal to one person, and that is himself. so if it fits his needs, he'll throw him aside as quickly as he would embrace him today. when you talk to people in the white house, though, i'd say from day one they've been a heck of a lot more worried about michael flynn than they are about manafort. flynn was with him a lot longer, was in the room in virtually every meeting that he had, was intimately involved in all of his foreign policy rhetoric, foreign policy decisions. i will say flynn has been noticeably different in how he's handled this whole thing. he's been very quiet, obviously been listening to his lawyers in a way that a lot of other people involved in this probe have not. so the other thing you need to know about this probe is that everyone keeps saying, well, mueller is doing this because of this. it really is a black box over there. best i can tell, there's nobody in that 15, 16 lawyers that are
working for him who are routinely talking to the press. they're going to methodically go from the outer ring and squeeze in like any good prosecutor should. donald trump knows that, and he knows that as he squeezes in, they're going to get people, potentially a lot of people. and they're going to get closer to his family. once they get closer to his family, they get very close to him. that's why he gets so outraged by this probe. i don't think he thinks there was any collusion, and i think tim is right that he creates his own reality, so who knows what happened. i think what worries him, and we've seen it in his rhetoric, is that once you dig into someone's financial dealings in the past, which prosecutors have to do so set context for this investigation, he was in real estate. he dealt with casinos. he debt with foreign nations. there's no way that there aren't things there that he doesn't want people to see, including his tax returns. and that's what makes this white house nervous. >> we have to get a break in here. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, the worst thing that mitch mcconnell could possibly do to president trump is actually follow president trump's advice.
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now that the summer of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the summer of audi sales event. once again today, disciplined democrats in congress maintained their strategic silence in order to make sure that everyone could hear the republican president attacking the republican majority leader of the senate. there is nothing for donald trump to win in his attacks against mitch mcconnell, and there is nothing for mitch mcconnell to win in any kind of fight against donald trump. all the winning in this situation is going to the democrats, who benefit from this unprecedented public split
between a republican president and a republican senate majority leader. here is the president once again blaming mitch mcconnell for the failure of the republicans' attempt to repeal obamacare. >> all i hear is repeal and replace. then i get there, and i said, where's the bill? i want to sign it. first day. and they don't have it. i said, mitch, get to work, and let's get it done. they should have had this last one done. they lost by one vote. for a thing like that to happen is a disgrace, and frankly it shouldn't have happened. that i can tell you. it shouldn't have happened. >> would senator mcconnell consider stepping down as majority leader? >> i tell you what. if he doesn't get repeal and replace done and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question. i'm very disappointed in mitch. but if he gets these bills passed, i'll be very happy with him. >> joining us now, jennifer rubin, opinion writer at "the
washington post," and donald trump's biographer tim o'brien is still with us. jennifer, i'm sure that trump voters are now smarter than donald trump about what it takes to pass a bill. there's the president today after more than six months in office saying he expected the republicans in the congress, including mitch mcconnell, to pass a bill on the first day of his presidency, and he was very disappointed when he didn't have that to sign on the first day. >> yeah. he didn't get a pony either. you know, this is the problem with dealing with someone who does not function in the rational world, refuses to learn his job, refuses to learn how government works. so at this point you're right. this is like watching the iran/iraq war in the old days in the 1980s. the democrats are just sitting back and, you know, popping popcorn because this is only going to help them. the last thing trump needs is a bunch of republican senators who ultimately would hold his fate in their hands, if we ever got
that far in an impeachment proceeding because the trial occurs in the senate. all he needs to do is aggravate those people, who, by the way have been holding the line in a very distasteful way on his behalf. you haven't seen an emoluments investigation. you haven't seen a conflict of interest investigation. you haven't seen them toeing the line on nepotism in the white house. there are lots of things they could do to make his life miserable, and he still needs to get what he wants out of them. so picking a fight with mitch mcconnell, who then gets support from fellow members of the senate and his caucus, it's just mind-boggling how he thinks that's going to benefit him. likewise, mcconnell, you know, kind of provoked trump earlier this week by making a statement to a rotary club back in kentucky that the president had set too high expectations, and he was new at this. well, that's waving a red flag in front of this president. he's never going to let an insult go unresponded to. so i'm not sure what they think they're accomplishing other than
helping the democrats. >> and, tim, the president hasn't learned the lesson that the one way we know you can cross a line with senate republicans is attack a senate republican, which we saw in the case of jeff sessions, where he started attacking jeff sessions and immediately they rose up. so we have a couple of tweets today worth noting. jeff flake, who has written a book about his now separation from trumpism, jeff flake said senate majority leader does a tough job well. he has my support. then this one is even more important here. this is orrin hatch. senator orrin match saying the senate majority leader has been the best leader we've had in my time in the senate, through very tough challenges. i fully support him. i can't believe that orrin hatch believes mitch mcconnell is better than bob dole, but he's saying it today. orrin hatch is the chair of the
senate finance committee where your tax cut bill has to go. orrin hatch and mitch mcconnell are the two people you need to get your tax bill through the united states senate. >> and mitch mcconnell is the king maker in every other committee in the senate that is also senate intelligence, that could play a very key role in unaerngting trump's relationship with the russians. trump has no leverage over mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell is a wiley senate parliamentarian, and i don't know where trump thinks he'll ultimately cause change in mcconnell's life if he doesn't repeal obamacare for him. this is vintage trump. in the late 80s, he got into this very famous brawl with ed koch because ed koch wouldn't zone a huge piece of property for him. so trump went after him in the press, and they had this incredibly great new york battle.
but the cost to trump was that he never got the property zoned, and he went into battle at the expense of his business interests. he's going into battle with mitch mcconnell at the expense of both his political interest and possibly his legal interests. >> so there's trump with the mayor of new york, going into a battle with someone who has more power than he does in that arena. and, jennifer, this is just institutional. the senate majority leader has more power over the outcome of legislation than a president ever does. i know the news media concentrates on presidential energy in washington and directing legislation, but if the senate majority leader is the place where you can kill or make a bill. >> absolutely. you think about judges. who does he think he has to go to? he's way behind on appointments and executive branch appointments. where does he have to go to? he has to go to mitch mcconnell. so again and again he's going to have to come back to the senate, have to ask them to work with him to try to get what he wants through.
but you have to wonder at this point whether he's sort of almost given up and fighting for the sake of fighting because that's what he thinks his base wants to see. he fights with everyone except vladimir putin. it doesn't matter if he needs that person. it doesn't matter if he ultimately will suffer politically. i think he just feels like he has to fight anybody and everyone and that somehow the base is going to see him as fighting for them. so he attacks the press. he attacks mitch mcconnell. one day it's the democrats. and this is just his shtick now. and i think in some sense he's given up on trying to govern. goodness knows he wasn't very good at that. so now we just have this floor show of constant animosity, constant excuse monger,ing. >> and chuck schumer cannot believe his luck. thank you both for joining us tonight. a republican senator warned
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hampshire congressional delegation to take action to have donald trump removed from the presidency under the 25th amendment because donald trump is unfit to serve as president. in his letter to his state delegation, former senator gordon humphrey writes, president trump's threat to rain down fire and fury on north korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire. it's crazy. donald trump is impaired by a seriously sick psyche. his sick mind and reckless conduct could consume the lives of millions. the threat of nuclear war is steeply on the rise. donald trump should be relieved of the powers of the presidency at the earliest date. former republican senator gordon humphrey joins us next. they will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power. the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> joining us now is senator gordon humphrey, a former not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade.
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what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. >> joining us now is senator gordon humphrey, a former republican united states senator from new hampshire. he is now a registered independent. he registered as an independent the day after donald trump won the presidential election. thank you for joining us tonight, and what is your approach to the 25th amendment you believe that the president should be removed for the 25th amendment? there's a procedure that enables the cabinet and the vice
president to do that, but the 25th amendment allows congress a role in this too. >> yes. good evening, lawrence. that's right. you know as well to discuss the 25th amendment. i find that most americans are not familiar with it, at least not the article 4 of the 25th amendment. which empowers the cabinet or alternatively, a body created by congress to determine whether the president is physically and/or mentally fit to discharge the powers and exercise the authority of the office, and i think the time has come. i truly believe president trump is laboring under a sick psyche, that he is mentally impaired. these outrageous statements of this week, these incendiary statements that have brought us for the first time in 50 years, seemingly to the brink of nuclear warfare. they are intolerable, and add to the evidence that the president is mentally unstable. not fit to discharge the office that he holds. least of all, the office of commander in chief. >> i want to listen once again tonight to this piece of video of the president's reaction to vladimir putin expelling 755 diplomats from the american embassy in moscow, and you as a republican senator who served with president ronald reagan. after we listen to this, i want to get your reaction to whether this is evidence of the president being unfit, and what president reagan would have said in the same circumstance.
let's listen to this one more time. >> do you have any response to the russian president expelling 755 workers from our embassy? >> i want to listen once again tonight to this piece of video of the president's reaction to vladimir putin expelling 755 diplomats from the american embassy in moscow, and you as a republican senator who served with president ronald reagan. after we listen to this, i want to get your reaction to whether this is evidence of the president being unfit, and what president reagan would have said in the same circumstance. let's listen to this one more time. >> do you have any response to the russian president expelling 755 workers from our embassy? >> no. i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as i'm concerned, i'm very thankful he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. there's no real reason for them to go back, so i greatly appreciate the fact they have been able to cut our payroll for the united states. it will save a lot of money. >> senator humphrey, your reaction to that? >> i'm tempted to snicker, but, you know, it's another example of unpresidential conduct.
no president normal, healthy, sane, fully sane president would say such a thing. the president is factually incorrect. the expulsion of this personnel from our embassy does not lead to their termination. there will be no cost savings at all, and furthermore, it's a major degradation to our diplomatic and most importantly, our intelligence operation in that country. if it was an attempt at a joke, it was in very bad taste. this president -- there's something really wrong with this president, but what he said about the expulsion of our diplomats is the least of it. his eyeball to eyeball confrontation with this crack pot kim jong-un over in north korea is frightening. you know, could lead to a miscalculation, and the irony is that diplomacy was working. it was only a week or so ago that the united nations security council unanimously passed a package of sanctions against
north korea that will deprive that country of$1 billion of its export income. that's a third of its export income. that's a major blow to an impoverished company and a political regime that runs the place. and so diplomacy was working and china and russia supported us in that effort. when was the last time that happened? and it indicates there was at least further potential to get china to do some really meaningful things to turn down the heat on this crisis, and trump has blown that with this imtemperate statement and rash conduct. that's a major blow to an impoverished company and a political regime that runs the place. and so diplomacy was working and china and russia supported us in that effort. when was the last time that happened? and it indicates there was at least further potential to get
china to do some really meaningful things to turn down the heat on this crisis, and trump has blown that with this imtemperate statement and rash conduct. he is dangerous, and he could get millions of people killed if he is not restrained. >> senator gordon humphrey, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you for the invitation. >> tonight's last word is next. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker.
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today, president trump tweeted, quote, there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world. yeah. trump would have tweeted more, but then ivanka came in with his juice box. >> conan o'brien gets the last word because after spending another day on the nuclear brink, we need to find a reason to smile.
that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. smile. that's tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. coming up tonight, this afternoon's donald trump show from bedminster, new jersey. live, unfiltered, uncontrolled and for a while there, an unlimited number of topics. the president continues to amp up the language against north korea, and now saying his apocalyptic fire and fury language might not have been tough enough. he thanked vladimir putin for expelling diplomats from the american embassy in russia and said to check back with him on whether mitch mcconnell, the top republican, should stay or go. "the 11th hour" begins now. we have made it to thursday.