tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC September 1, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
that does it for us tonight. you can catch me tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern for a.m. joy including our special hour on the state of flux that 800,000 immigrants are living in right now, waiting to hear whether the president is going to reverse the obama-era policy that allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children to stay legally. these are your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and we'll feature their stories collected by the folks at define american. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening. we keep using this number 800,000, but these people have parents. they have mothers, fathers, siblings, many of them younger siblings who are american citizens. >> yep. >> this is millions of people we're talking about. >> yes. >> who are just being put through agony this weekend, waiting to hear if this president of the united states is going to try to drive them out of the country on tuesday. >> yeah. just imagine trying to make basic decisions, going to school, going to work, just
trying to live your life. and you have no certainty whatsoever. it's insane. thank you, lawrence. >> i'll be watching the way you're covering it tomorrow, joy. thank you. >> thank you. have a good night. >> thank you. well, it turns out to the world's surprise that donald trump's golf weekends are not all golf and binge watching "the queen" on netflix to learn how to be presidential. sometimes instead of golf, the president stews. according to tonight's breaking news in "the new york times," the long bedminster weekend began late thursday, may 4th, when mr. trump arrived by helicopter joined by a trio of advisers, his daughter ivanka, his son-in-law, jared kushner, and steven miller. it rained during part of the weekend, forcing mr. trump to cancel golf with greg norman, the australian golfer. iran stead, mr. trump stewed indoors, worrying about mr. comey and the russia
investigation. mr. miller and mr. kushner both told the president that weekend they were in favor of firing mr. comey. mr. trump ordered mr. miller to draft a letter and dictated his unfettered thoughts. several people who saw mr. miller's multi-page draft described it as a screed. "the new york times" is reporting tonight that special prosecutor robert mueller has obtained a copy of that screed. according to "the new york times" sources, white house counsel don mcgahn managed to prevent the president from sending the screed to fbi director james comey. mcgahn believed that the trump and miller co-authored letter was problematic. mr. mcgahn and others on the white house staff were alarmed that the president made the decision on the unprecedented action of firing the fbi director after consulting only his daughter, his son-in-law,
and the 31-year-old steven miller, who has no legal training and, like the president's daughter and son-in-law, has absolutely no experience that would earn him a senior position in any white house other than the most out of control, most incompetent white house in history. mr. mcgahn identified several passages in the trump/miller letter that he wanted deleted. mr. mcgahn then arranged for the president to meet with attorney general jeff sessions and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to discuss firing james comey. during that meeting with the president, mr. rosenstein was given a copy of the trump/miller screed. mr. rosenstein agreed to write his own memo about why comey should be fired. that memo was released by the white house when comey was actually fired. there are several ways that the special prosecutor could have obtained the trump/miller
screed, but you don't have to think about it very long to realize that the most likely way and the easiest way is the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein simply gave mueller his copy of it, knowing that it is relevant to the special prosecutor's investigation. joining us now, david frum, senior editor for the atlantic. also with us, jed sugarman, professor of law atford ham university, and neera tanden. david frum, here is the confirmation that when the president made what is probably so far for him, anyway and his own future, the worst decision of his presidency, firing james comey. it was on the advice of the junior most people in the white house in terms of experience, who have the senior most positions apparently -- his daughter, his son-in-law, and steven miller. >> so the president has been given the lie twice today on this matter. the first is with this report,
he's been given the lie that the story -- that the firing did not originate as wad said at the time with the deputy attorney general general, who doesn't seem to have played a very heroic role here. the second lie the president gave himself when he tweeted earlier today how angry he was that james comey had been too soft on hillary clinton. remember, ostensibly the reason for the firing was to punish james comey for having been too tough on hillary clinton, nothing at all to do with trump or russia. the story has collapsed, and not that anybody is terribly surprised by that, but it is in ruins, and one of the things that when you look at an obstruction case you wonder about is not only did the person lie, but if there is a lie, what is behind the lie because obviously you lie to protect something you don't want people to know. if you had something krtabcredi to say, you wouldn't lie to conceal it. >> professor sugarman, we discovered the president had
meetings with a wider circle once he had made that decision, and it wasn't just white house counsel who saw the screed. others saw this. what happens to those people in the wider circle who were consulted about this, even those who were advising against the president doing it? >> that's the biggest question to address, and i think it's the biggest news of the night. there are lots of people we suspected before of participating in obstruction of justice. the biggest name tonight is vice president pence. so let me explain why this timeline puts him in legal jeopardy. so we know that this letter was drafted on one day, and then after steven miller came back with that draft, it was read in a room of people, including vice president pence. and when that letter was read, it had, quote, "the new york times" talks about a screed, and it identified all of these other connections to the russian probe for why trump had decided to fire jim comey. then after this letter is
edited, mike pence then tells the media that the comey firing was not connected to the russian probe, and he said it was due to rod rosenstein's recommendation. those are untrue. those statements are untrue, and it implicates mike pence now in a combination of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting obstruction of justice, and also a relatively less known felony call call called misprigs of a felony. when one has knowledge of a felony and if one conceals and does not make it known to the legal authorities, one can be guilty of misprision of a felony. let's keep in mind that the nixon articles of impeachment included a provision blaming nixon for misleading or false statements to the public. now, that's not a felony, but it was grounds for impeaching president nixon. it may be grounds for an
impeachment of vice president pence. >> and tonight's new word for me because i didn't go to law school is misprision. neera tanden, the trip wires for everyone involved in this case, there's just more of them than they realize. i imagine mike pence might be hearing his possible jeopardy for the first time if he's listening to the professor tonight. but all of these people now, all of these people who are named in these meetings about this, are all witnesses for the special prosecutor, including white house counsel because white house counsel does not have an attorney/client privilege with the president. the president is not his client. >> absolutely. you know, i mean i think if we really step back here and look at this, obviously there are lots of people in the white house who knew what was really going on, and they all basically lied to the public. but let's just say what's happened here. we have evidence that the
president fired director comey because of the russia investigation. everybody knew it was because of the russia investigation, and then a lot of people basically conspired to come up with another reason, which was the rosenstein memo. they all knew that wasn't the real reason. they had heard directly from the president the real reason was because of what he was doing with the russia investigation. the president wanted to stop that. that investigation of himself. and then they came up with an excuse for the public and an excuse for the media. and the fact that the white house counsel and other people around the president were perfectly comfortable with a lie to the public for the rationale of this firing says to me that they all pretty much knew that there was illegality here. this is how you act when there's something wrong. you come up with a cover. and this whole episode is a bunch of people coming up with a
cover. >> in the nixon white house, we had john dean among others crack and tell the truth about what he experienced in the nixon cover-up. let's listen to the first person in the trump white house who cracked and apparently told the truth about why james comey was fired. he actually told that truth to lester holt on video in the white house. let's listen to this witness. >> he made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. and in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> david frum, that will surely be an exhibit or being certainly
maintained as an exhibit at this point in the files of the special prosecutor. whether it's ever used in court is another matter. but there's donald trump basically turning in donald trump. >> well, to lift this out of the legalities into the politics a little bit, that incident that is so beautifully quoted there illustrates i think a problem that all of us have in responding to all of this appropriately, which is because donald trump lies all the time, because he's lost so much credibility, when his white house tells lies, people are not actually fooled. no one actually ever believed for even 30 seconds that this all happened because of rod rosenstein. no one ever believed that story. so we've lost the capacity to be offended and shocked if the story turns out not to be true. we don't feel like we were deceived and we don't have the anger against the lie that we should. the lie, however, remains a lie, and it remains hugely improper for a president to do even if the president had already by then so trashed his reputation that no one was ever fooled for a moment.
>> can i just say -- >> go ahead, neera. >> sorry. i mean the issue here is, of course none of us trust -- i mean i don't trust president trump in the things he says. but the issue here is that they all came up with an alternative story. they were at least for a period trying to explain this and to offer, you know, another explanation that wasn't illegal, that wouldn't have bought an obstruction of justice charge. the fact that don mcgahn recognized that the screed basically condemned the president tells us that his screed was an issue, that the special prosecutor should be obviously examining as obstruction of justice. >> professor sugarman, what are the prosecutors looking for in that screed that they now possess and may have possessed for quite a while? >> well, let me just note that for all of trump's lies, he has already confessed, as you just showed with lester holt, to the
basic -- i mean he told the truth to lester holt, that he fired jim comey because of the russia investigation. i mean that could be the nixon articles of impeachment right there. so we'll pause there and just note that and also keep in mind that he also said in his letter explaining the firing of jim comey, he says, while i appreciate you telling me on three separate times that i wasn't under investigation, i nevertheless am firing you, that's an amazing none sec witter confession. the first part this is what you're asking lawrence. what mueller is looking at is the rest of the screed there, which is president trump wanted jim comey to tell the public that trump was not under investigation and really what trump wanted was to stay not under investigation. that's why he fired jim comey. so that's pretty -- that's amazingly significant. i do also want to be clear
there's another news event today or yesterday that president trump's lawyers had met with robert mueller and tried to make the argument that because a president has the power to fire an fbi director, this can't be obstruction of justice. that basic argument is so wrong that it shows why there's so little that the trump lawyers have to argue. a president has the power to order a military strike. but if the president is ordering that military strike with the intent of, let's say, killing someone who slept with his wife, that's still murder. a president can pardon someone, but if the president pardons someone because he received a million dollar bribe, that's still a felony of bribery. just because the president has the power to do something, it doesn't mean that it excuses any exercise of that power because intent matters. >> professor jed sugarman and neera tanden, thank you for joining us tonight. david, please stick around. coming up, as we reported last night, special prosecutor
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i'm not really saying tax returns because as you know, they're under audit. you learn very little from a tax return. what you should do is go down to federal elections and take a look at the numbers. >> the irs' best agents are on the case as betsy woodruff of the daily beast reported to us here last night. special prosecutor robert mueller has now added special agents from the irs criminal investigation division to his team investigating president trump and his campaign associates, including his family. measured strictly in terms of money, irs auditors are the most valuable players in government. senior auditors working on the biggest cases are paid close to $150,000 per year, and on average, they each find and collect for the government $19 million per year in tax revenue that the government was never going to see if those irs auditors didn't find it. of course hating the irs is an article of faith in republican
politics and cutting the irs is a republican favorite and no republican is going to want to cut the irs budget more than donald trump now that the irs super agents from the criminal investigation division are working with special prosecutor robert mueller. joining us now, martin scheel, former branch chief of the irs criminal investigation division. he spent 30 years at the irs. mr. scheel, thank you very much for joining us tonight. tell me what this means to the investigation that robert mueller has your old team on the case. >> well, first of all, thank you so much for having me here, lawrence. it's a great compliment, and i appreciate the offer to be here. what it means in a nutshell is that the finest financial investigators in the world are now focusing on members of the trump organization and possibly
trump himself. you know, there's now a change of the focus of the original counterintelligence investigation. it's now morphed into a financial investigation. and, you know, certainly fbi has some tremendous people involved in doing their financial investigations, but irs criminal investigators focus only on doing financial investigations. they don't do much of anything else. you know, they do some things like, you know, identity fraud and computer forensics and things like this. but there are 2,200 agents focused on doing financial investigations, focusing on tax fraud, money laundering, and bank secrecy act violations. so this would be an indication that mr. mueller and his team think that there's a real good possibility that there may be some potential financial violations along the lines of
tax violations, money laundering, and currency violations. one thing i'd like to point out is that while many federal agencies have the authority to investigate money laundering, irs is the only agency that the has the authority to pursue criminal tax violations. so that's an important thing, and just to point out to the quality of cis investigations, since 1919 when the intelligence unit was established, which turned into ci around 1978, ci has had a success rate, a conviction rate of over 90% every single year since 1919. in fiscal year 2014, i believe the conviction rate was 93.4%. so when criminal investigation
comes after you, they're going to do a very thorough, comprehensive financial investigation. and if i was on the other end of that, i would be -- i would be pretty nervous. >> let's talk about one of the people who is on the other end of it, donald trump. and the documents he doesn't want any of us to ever see, his tax returns. is it a fair assumption that the special prosecutor has his tax returns now, and those agents are studying them? >> you know, that's a rebuttable presumption. i don't know to answer your question. certainly if irs is involved, it is much easier to obtain the tax returns from mr. trump -- >> how do they obtain them? is there any need for a court order? is it just automatic that any of these agents can obtain them? >> well, you know, special agents can apply -- can obtain them through the service center. but, you know, in special circumstances, certainly designated sensitive type areas like the president of the united
states, that's going to require authorization right up the ladder, you know. now, the point -- one important point here is if it was just fbi investigating mr. trump and they wanted to see mr. trump's tax returns, they would have to get a court order, an ex parte or what is called a 6-e. the u.s. attorney will get a judge to sign off on it. that years ago when i started, that used to be a simple one or two-paragraph form letter, but that 6-e has morphed into a search warrant affidavit where you have to establish almost probable cause to show the connection of the tax returns to your investigation and to the potential criminal violation. so it's certainly a lot easier to have irs involved to get the tax returns, but there are still internal hurdles that they have to jump over to get them. but it's a lot easier, much
easier. >> we're going to have to leave it there for tornanight. thank you for joining us tonight. i think we're going to need you more as this investigation continues. thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you for inviting me. coming up, millions of people are in the grip of fear this long weekend in america, not because of a natural disaster, but because of donald trump's threat to deport 800,000 young people who have grown up in this country and call it home. they will find out on tuesday if donald trump is going to do everything he can to ruin their lives as he has promised to do. and later, a special last word on this summer of trump. tion. where, in all of this, is the stuff that matters? the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this?
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the president has made this holiday weekend an agonizing three days for millions of people by threatening to deport 800,000 young people known as dreamers who came to this country as children and babies and who do not have citizenship in this country. the millions of relatives, mothers, fathers, younger siblings of these kids who were born in this country are terrified this weekend that the dreamers they're related to, their loved ones, will be deported. the white house let it be known today that the president will announce his decision on tuesday on whether to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, known as daca, created by president obama, that allows those 800,000 people who consider themselves americans to remain in this country. imagine the agony of living through this weekend with your
fate in the hands of the most uncaring president of the united states that we've ever had. those 800,000 young people have never seen such an uncaring person in the white house in their lifetimes. some republicans are worried both about the cruelty of the policy and the political price that their party might pay if the president does carry out his threat to deport all of the 800,000. arizona republican senator jeff flake tweeted today, congress needs to take immediate action to protect daca kids. utah republican senator orrin hatch, the senior most republican in the united states senate said in a statement, i've urged the president not to rescind daca, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent legislative solution. even speaker of the house paul ryan was able to find his voice this time to say the president
should not deport these kids. >> yeah, i mean i actually don't think he should do that, and i believe that this is something that congress has to fix. these are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don't know another home. so i really do believe there needs to be a legislative solution. that's one that we're working on, and i think we want to give people peace of mind. so i've had plenty of conversations with the white house about this issue. >> and here is what candidate donald trump said. >> the executive order gets rescinded. one good thing -- >> you'll rescind that one too? >> one good thing about -- >> you'll rescind daca? >> we have to make a whole new set of standards. and when people come in, they have to -- >> you're going to split up families? you're going to deport children? >> no no. we're going to keep the families together. but they have to go. >> what if they have no place to go? >> we will work with them.
they have to go. >> and here is what president trump said today. >> should dreamers be worried? >> we love the dreamers. we love everybody. thank you very much. >> joining us now, maria teresa kumar. also mary elena encap yea. maria teresa, we get mixed signals from the president. one is a very, very clear statement that he said during the campaign, which is all of them must go. all of them. and then we've gotten these signals, you can call them, like this thing he said today. we love the dreamers. we've heard that kind of signal from him before that possibly could give some people hope. how do you translate all of this? >> it's almost like judas' kiss. you don't want to be beloved by him. but in all seriousness, when we're talking about the dreamers, we're talking about 800,000 people that are in a
federal database that trusted the government, that came out of the shadows and are now doing right by the law. it's as if the government wants to rescind a government contract and say not anymore. and what we fear is that what he'll do is he will actually sunset, so individuals that are right now on daca, more than likely their status will sunset for the next year or two and new folks will not be able to come out of the shadows and do right by the law. but to put it in perspective, lawrence, you have roughly 60,000 young dreamers right now in the city of houston. if he were to rescind the daca act, we're talking about 10,000 kids a week that all of a sudden become undocumented overnight without an opportunity to continue contributing to their family or to their community. we have an average of these individuals that are not only contributing to the economy themselves, but they belong to close to 6 million american mixed status families. the reason daca people are fighting and fighting strong,
they've been able to demonstrate their patriotism, but fighting a country that they see as their future. and they believe better angels will find us to make sure we're doing right by them. >> let's take a look at how the country feels about this. this is an nbc news poll this week on the opinion on daca. do you support or oppose the daca policy? support, 64%. oppose, 30%. there aren't a lot of issues you can poll in this country, political issues that get 64% agreement in favor of it. >> no. i mean i think the great thing about this program, lawrence, is it's been in place for five years, and it's been a resounding success. the 800,000 young immigrants who are part of this program who have been able to thrive, who have been able to support themselves, their families, contribute to their communities, 75% of them are working in the top 25 fortune 500 countries.
97% of them are working or in school. they're contributing so much, and they finally are being recognized by this country and have had work authorization for the last five years, and donald trump is about to pull the rug underneath from them. it's torture. what you were saying at the beginning, this week has been so surreal. everything is changing from moment to moment. the fact that this president can't make one of the most easiest decisions that is politically in his favor to say, we're going to do the right think. it's not only constitutional. it's legal. it's moral, and it's good for our economy. this should be an easy decision for him. instead, he is giving in to his base, which we know has anti-immigrant fervor. >> and maria teresa, we're not talking about just 800,000 people affected by this. >> right. >> i mean you deport a college student. you deport a little league player, every one of those kids
has relatives here already. so you're crushing that whole family. you're crushing the friends of these kids, united states citizens' friends that could include a lot of these dreamers. this is millions and millions of people have a loved one, a best friend that they're worried about this weekend because of this president. >> well, in large part it's because he has never been -- he is not a president who is clear, and there's not a purpose. this is why it's an incredible opportunity for congress, the republican-led congress, to do the right thing, to do right by law, to make sure not only that there is a replacement, a permanent replacement, because this was an executive order by the obama administration because the republicans before had failed to act. now they have an opportunity to step up to the plate, show leadership, and actually provide a permanent solution so that these individuals don't have to worry about year by year whether or not you have a random person sitting at the white house that has their fate in their hands. and more importantly, they also
have an opportunity to clean the slate and say, these are the values that we hold dear as americans. most people don't realize that the reason that we have so many undocumented people in this country was because 40, 50 years ago we didn't have immigration laws that took this long, that we actually had a freer flow of immigrants. and there's a really interesting study done that we only need as many immigrants -- the basic laws of supply and demand, lawrence, that only the immigrants that we actually need will come. but because we have archaic, non-modernized immigration systems, we have these young people stuck in the shadows, and we are actually now having to reckon with not only who we are as the soul of our country, but also what is the country that we actually want a place for in the future? >> there's a flurry of tweets today by republican members of congress saying, i've got a bill ready to go. they want to legislate a fix to this. they want to take this -- they want to fix it -- many republicans want to fix this for these dreamers so that the president won't be able to touch
it. >> that's right. i think, lawrence, it's because of the polling that you showed. you know, we have all diverse parts of civil society coming out. we have business leaders, educators, faith communities, people across the country saying, we should not be doing this. we should not be deporting young immigrants who are contributing to our country, who are american except for that piece of paper that the government hasn't provided to them. so republicans see the writing on the wall. they know that if they allow this president to pull the rug out from under daca, to place these 800,000 young people at the threat of deportation or to actually deport them as some of them have been, republicans know that they need to do something. look, this was a temporary measure that president obama used his executive authority, the same executive authority that every presidential administration, republican and democrat since eisenhower has used for the last 50 years. this is constitutional, but it was temporary. so, yes, absolutely it's up to congress now, both democratic
and republican leadership need to step up, and republicans know that they will be held accountable if they allow this program to fail and if they allow these young immigrants to be placed in harm's way. >> thank you for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. maria teresa, please stick us for one more conversation. coming up, poorly informed and impulsive was john mccain's charitable way of describing donald trump in the op-ed piece that john mccain wrote for "the washington post" this week. that's next. that's my girl!
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with congress on the last weekend of its summer recess, senator john mccain has written an op-ed piece in "the washington post" that offers an old-fashioned sort of road map for how to govern. he writes, congress will return from recess next week facing continued gridlock as we lurch from one self-created crisis to another. congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed, and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct. we must, where we can, cooperate with him, but we are not his subordinates. we don't answer to him. we answer to the american people. we must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. david frum and maria teresa kumar are back with us for this part of the discussion.
david, senator mccain goes on to say, we should go back to what he called regular order. that's something he said a couple of times in his first speech back after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. on the snoenate floor, he was saying you need to go through regular order, which is the process that forces compromise between the parties. >> regular order, i think here, is also a metaphor for a larger sense of regularity. remember, last week the president went to john mccain's own state, threw down a gauntlet of power. the president is attempting to interfere in an internal republican primary in john mccain's own state. john mccain is the senior republican there. he would expect some consultation and respect, and he was shown none. this is a quarrel that goes back a long time, all the way back to president trump's preference of people who are not p.o.w.s. he likes the guys who don't get captured. i think you see here the beginning of john mccain emerging as a much more powerful
voice than he has been until now -- i'm sorry -- beginning with the health care vote, of course. >> that's right. >> yes. let's take a look at what david just referred to. president trump in arizona talking about john mccain in what was deliberately a very insulting way to this arizona crowd. >> obamacare is a disaster, and think -- think. we were just one vote away from victory after seven years of everybody proclaiming repeal and replace. one vote away. i will not mention any names. very presidential, isn't it? very presidential. >> maria teresa, john mccain clearly not afraid of donald trump and not afraid to hit back at him after that kind of speech. >> well, and what john mccain was able to do today in the
op-ed is to crystallize more importantly that congress itself is on equal footing with the president, that they have to stand up for the institutions that they serve for the people that they serve. what donald trump missed completely in that oration that he gave in arizona was the reason that the health care bill failed was not only because of those individuals that went and cast a vote against it, but more importantly the people, the american people, the voters that were showing up daily at the congressional offices, that were showing up in the district offices, that were marching in the streets, that were making phone calls and saying, let's be diligent. so when we are talking about saving the government, which is basically what john mccain was talking about, asking his fellow republicans and his democrats to say that we cannot forget that the reason that they are governing is for the american people, for the institution, and for this aspiration of a perfect democracy even if right now what we're facing in the white house is someone that is out of our traditional political sandbox, that they have to hold strong
and they have to make sure that they're holding that president accountable. it's also talking about for so long people have said that being a civil servant, an elected official was easy. we're finding that it is actually a skill, that we actually have to make sure we are electing people who are qualified, who understand the nuance and appreciate the constitution and the checks and balances of our government and who want to make sure that these institutions are strong long after whoever is elected is held in office. >> i don't want to leave this subject without noting that john mccain went out of his way in this op-ed piece -- it's almost two op-ed pieces. there's another section that's his reaction to charlottesville where he very specifically makes it clear that there weren't good people on both sides of that argument there, and there's one line where he says, most of us share heather higher's values, not the depravity of the man who took her life. you can tell that section of the piece is aimed directly at president trump and his equating of the two sides to the extent that he did. we're going to have to take a break here. thank you very much for joining
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the strangest month of all. here is a look at the hottest month yet in trump world, august 2017. >> are there any russians here tonight? any russians? >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury. >> i say very simply where is repeal and replace? mitch get to work and let's get it done. >> do you have any response to russian president. >> no i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down payroll. >> we have many options for venezuela. i'm not ruling out a military option. >> we condemn in the strongest possible determines this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence on many sides. >> i think there is blame on both sides. >> not all of those people were neonazis. believe me. >> was george washington a slave
owner. >> how about thompson jefrds because he was a slave owner are we taking down his statue. >> we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. >> i'm not finished fake news. >> i hit them with everything. i got the white supremacist. neonazi. i got them all in there let's see. kk. we have kkk. do the people in this room like sheriff joe? i'll make a prediction. i think he is going to be just fine. >> i stand by my pardon of sheriff joe. actually in the middle of a hurricane i assumed the ratings would be high are than normally. >> we won't say congratulations. we'll congratulate each other when it's finished >> what a crowd, a turnout. >> can i say missouri or should i say missouri. >> do you want to take one more do you want to take one more go ahead, pick go ahead. >> please. >> again you're going to give her the same one. >> no she is not the same lady. >> all right. go ahead. >> and so with one summer down in the trump presidency, we're
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sides. >> and that was judged by many to be the president's worst moment in the month of august. back with us, david frum. and david worth noting the gal up tracking poll today mass the president today at his highest disapproval level in the tracking poll yet 61% and at his low heest approval level yet in the tracking poll of 34%. so august has left him at the bottom of the poll. >> here is a way to take a longer term view on what's happening to this number. since the first of june the president has had one day where he was north of 40% in the gal up poll. zero days in august, zero days in july. back in the spring he would have a number of days, sometimes as many a third of the month where he was above 40. it is as you say it's a line. it bobs up and down but the trend is sinister for him.
august seems to have been really an epic where a big part of the country turned off the set and i don't think it's going back on. >> and when you see the today's daily tracking poll is an all-time low for him. this comes after his performance -- i guess that's the right word -- his performance in the aftermath of the hurricane. >> you also see a lot of signs of slowing economy. job creation numbers come. they are positive and everybody welcomes that but they're not growing as fast as they are the american economy is bumping to resistance. the number the president points to, the stock market the broader indexes standard and poors not looking good. upmarket republicans are getting nervous. and the prospects for the tax reform are the thing that so many republicans have been biting their tongue to get that doesn't look good because the differences between house and senate and white house are substantial. and without presidential
leadership to bring the different factions of the republicans together it's possible it could all fail the way health care reform failed. >> david, we showed a focus group, nbc focus group in pittsburgh, in pennsylvania, that had five -- five trump voters in it out of a dozen people. and those five trump voters were all disappointed. they all said disappointed. none of them offered anything in any positive descriptions of the president. the only neutral one was the word unique. but they said things like crazy, they said the kind of words that you hear from clinton supporters talking about trump at this point. >> they were supposed to be bulldozers in the ground. there were supposed to be things being built. there was supposed to be a tightening in the job market, especially for blue collar men. trp things were supposed to be more different from the way they were in the past. you know one of the things we all know how the trump story
went. remember for a lot of people for whom politics is they pay attention to some of the time donald trump was the character from the apprentice not only the great businessman but the man holding people to account who said you are fired. this is an administration that can't hold itself to account. >> david frum gets the last word. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> "the 11th hour" starts now. tonight, what robert mueller has his hands on. the special counsel now has the draft letter explaining why the president originally wanted to fire james comey. a letter written by revised before it went public. tonight the legal and political implications for donald trump and in white house. plus john mccain calls trump poorly informed and impulse oef and tells his colleagues we are not his subordinates. we don't answer to him. the 11th hour