tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC October 5, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT
secretary didn't call the president a moron, despite nbc news reporting the contrary. the president says he has full confidence in rex tillerson. and the chilling words today from an important senator. what he had to say about our president as "the 11th hour" gets under way. and good evening once again from our nbc headquarters here in new york. day 258 of the trump administration, and on this day without irony and for the first time without memory, the state's department spokeswoman reported the secretary of state had a good phone call with the president of the united states. more on that story, that complicated relationship in a bit. today also brought some clarity on the status of the russia investigation on capitol hill. the two senators leaving the intel committee came forward
with a status report today. some numbers at around the nine month mark. they have interviewed 100 people, reviewed almost 100,000 pages of documents, held open hearings. there are 25 more interviews scheduled before the end of this month. senator richard bur, the republican from north carolina and mike warner the republican from virginia say they have a clearer picture of what happened. >> it is taking
a long time, but getting it right and getting all the facts is what we owe the american people. >> the issue of collusion is still open, that we continue to investigate both intelligence and witnesses. and that we're not in a position where we will come to any kind of temporary finding on that until we've completed the process. i'm not going to set an artificial deadline but i think mark and i would agree we've got to make our facts as it relates to russia's involvement in our election public prior to the
become evident that 21 state's electoral systems were not all penetrated, but there was at least -- there was at least trying to open the door in these 21 states. >> there is also this tonight, a word of caution aimed at those who may be expecting too much from the mueller investigation. this word of caution comes from sally yates, former number 2 at justice who you recall was fired for not enforcing the travel ban. quoted by the wall street journal, she says mueller's going to determine whether there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt felonies committed, crimes committed that can be used for prosecution or impeachment. mr. mueller is not going to answer the question of whether anything bad happened here, she said. which brings us to our lead off panel here on a wednesday night.
jeremy bash back with us, also the former counsel to house intel. and michael crowley is back with us, kimberley atkins is back us, chief washington reporter for the boston herald. and germane to tonight's discussion, a lawyer by training. councilman bash, you get to go first. your take away from that interesting session on the hill. >> first, brian, i think they made clear investigating the ties between the russia investigation and not an -- they're also looking at business ties between the organization and the russian federation. and i thought very significantly they said they had all but concluded with regard to the republican platform during the
convention in 2016, that everybody had the same story. that they were directed by somebody to make the platform more pro-russian. >> michael, take on collusion specifically. and as a subset, in what other world would a president of the united states not be an a soapbox daily telling us we have to arm ourselves and our electoral process against russian attack? >> on that second point, i think more people should be concerned more is not being done to prevent a repeat of what cleary happened in 2016. and i think that's one of the headlines from his press conference today, an affirmation russia did interfere. it's coming into clear view as we learn more about what russia
did potentially on facebook, google, twitter. the interference quite positively could have affected the outcome. i think we have to take it seriously indeed. i think it becomes all the more plausible over time. and as you say, where is the highest level attention to this question? this is a dire national security issue that goes to the fundamental pillars of our democracy. and donald trump just doesn't take it seriously. as far as he's concerned it's still fake news. >> kimberley because all good lawyers can argue both sides, let's say you are watching this from 1600 pennsylvania avenue, what was the good news from the trump team in this event today? >> well, i think there were little bits of news that perhaps they can take away. i think overall the folks at the white house are still not happy because there is still this ongoing probe, which seems to be
just getting into the collusion question. and that regz is going to go on. but one of the things that senator burr and warner said today is that they are essentially setting aside the investigation into the the firing of james comey, that they were going to leave that to other agents to look into. and for the most part while it's not closed, that part has sort of wound to an end. remember that's the reason we got the probe, at least the bob mueller probe that's ongoing. but when it comes to the senate intel committee, they've moved beyond that. >> and jeremy bash, how about a bit of a viewers guide to what's coming, specifically visa vi the yates quote, what's going to come out of the hill versus what's going to come out of the mueller investigation? more importantly, what's not coming out from the mueller investigation? >> yeah, i think this a critical point that former acting general sally yates noted in that piece, brian. he may bring in some indictments for some players, but at the end of the day he's probably going to issue a report. the report will go to congress,
and congress will make a decision. a political decision, a constitutional decision whether to impeach and ultimately convict the president. so fundamentally this is going to be going back to the congress thathat ultimate question. >> viewers will remember talk of the dossier that came out a few months back along with its unsavory details. it is still out there for those who want to read it. it was mentioned today on the hill. we'll show you that and talk about it in a moment. >> to the dossier, unfortunately the committee has hit a wall. we have on several occasions made attempts to contact mr. steel, to meet with mr. steel, to include personally the vice-chairman and myself as two
individuals making that connection. those offers have gone unaccepted. the committee cannot really decide the credibility of the dossier without understanding things like who paid for it, who were your sources and subsources? >> michael, what should be make of that? >> well, steele is a former british intelligence agent who many current and former intelligence officials have vouched for, saying this is credible guy. he compiled a report on trump and his possible connections to the kremlin. people should remember when they're looking at the dossier, which is available online much to the consternation of donald trump, a lot of that is raw intelligence. the u.s. intelligence committee gets information, analyzes it and decides what is or not true. but the cosyea itself was not reporting to be the definitive final word. that said as you go back and look many assertions in the
dossier are consistent with assertions that have come out in this investigation. it's not clear why steele is quite so elusive, and it would be great if he would meet with investigators and he would fully disclose his sources and methods. you've to keep in mind to some degree, assuming what he was doing was credible and legitimate work, it's very dangerous. he purported to be getting information from really inside the kremlin. so there is that sensitivity. but everything around the dossier is extremely strange. and of course the most sensational allegations, which are hard to describe even on
television, those have not been borne out at all. if you go back and look at some of the more basic assertions such as the idea the russians offered information on the trump campaign, some of those things have been borne out. so i think we can't dismiss the dossier out of hand. and i think eventually we will hear from steele. >> she seemed to note the fact this was not a dismissal of the dossier out of hand. and not quoting directly, confirmation that people think it's a thing. >> yes, they could. they couldn't really rule on it one way or another, which kind of leaves it hanging out there. i'm sure that's something the white house is very upset about as well. the white house and donald trump allies have been dismissing this
dossier outright. and because -- and it is a problem. it does as michael said, alleges some of the closest links of potential collusion, if that is ultimately found. and i think they really wanted that to be dismissed. this wasn't good news for them either. >> mr. bash another viewers guide from you, please. the name michael cohen was invoked today. we're going to be hearing and seeing a lot more about him. remind folks his role. and if you will, remind folks his level of potential exposure here. >> general council of the trump administration, long-term advisor of donald trump, and potential man to build a skyscraper in moskow during the presidential campaign. just weeks before the iowa caucuses, this guy was working deals in moskow to have that building built. it's another point of leverage the russian federation had over the entire trump apparatus. >> i do think indictments could be coming soon. paul manafort's apartment in virginia was raided several weeks ago now. some legal experts say a raid like that would be followed very quickly by indictments. >> that was a big deal. >> that was a big deal.
and a manafort indictment is, of course, significant not only because the charges against manafort would be striking but the possibility that manafort would try to bargain his way out of that predict, potentially flip on donald trump if he knows anything about the president or anyone within the campaign. similarly we could be seeing charges brought against him. those are likely to be the next big shoes to drop. and i would be waiting for that. and by the way, the amazing, astounding development somewhere down the road is that robert mueller is probably going to want to talk there donald trump. and we're not there yet. he's going to want to talk to senior white house staffers. but you're going to start to see that trajectory. there's going to be that amazing meeting between mueller and -- >> our thanks tonight to jeremy bash, to michael crowley,
kimberley atkins. thank you all for returning to the broadcast. our first break this evening. and coming up, what made the secretary of state, it is reported, consider resigning from his job? and what is the chance of a another vacancy in the trump cabinet this early on? the "the 11th hour," the wednesday edition is just getting started. most american homeowners would be shocked if they knew just how rich they were. the average american home value has increased $40,000 over the last 5 years. but many don't know you can access that money without refinancing or selling your home. with a home equity loan, you can pull cash out of your house for anything you need-
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mr. president, any response to rex tillerson's comments? >> yeah, i'm very honored by his comments. it was fake news, a totally phony story. it was made up. it was made up by nbc. they just made it up. thank you all. total confidence in this. i have total confidence. thank you very much, everybody. >> president trump there talking about something that originated in this building wherein a an explosive nbc news report that says among other things secretary of state rex tillson wanted to quit this summer and further he called the president a moron. quote, tensions came to a head around the time president donald trump delivered a politicized speech in late july to boy scouts of america, an organization he once led.
during the meeting pence gave tillerson a pep talk but also had a message. the secretary needed to figure out how to move forward within trump's policy framework. the moron comments came following a july meeting about afghanistan policy at the pentagon. politico is on the board adding to that reporting tonight. ", the ornl report sent trump ninety-two a fury this morning. and white house official said and tillerson moved with corporate efficiency to tamp it down. the original report sent trump into tillerson in a rare public statement pledged loyalty but did not deny the comments. >> he's smart, demands results wherever he goes. there's never been a consideration in my mind to leave. i serve at the appointment of
the president and i'm here as long as the president feels i can be useful to achieving his objectives. >> can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a headline, and if not where are the reports -- >> i'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. >> chief correspondent andrea michael is with us from our d.c. bureau tonight. we also welcome back our washington bureau chief for "the new york times." two veterans of our business and trade. andrea, about every other day there's a panel discussion on c-span about the era of the louse and the friction it's sometimes caused between president and their secretaries
of state. but in your time and in your knowledge has there ever been a briefing where the spokeswoman of the secretary state denied he called the president a moron. >> we have sources that worked on this and said it did not happen. she says she discussed it with the secretary. he did not deny it himself, but he later told her it did not happen. >> i don't know if you have any eagle scouts in your life -- >> i do actually. my son. >> then you know. they are eagle scouts for life. they wear it proudly as they should. so as we watch these comments delivered by the president at the boy scout jamboree, imagine the eagle scout now secretary of state former ceo watching this. >> do you remember that famous night on television, november
8th where they said these dishonest people, where they said there is no path to victory for donald trump. they forgot about the forgotten people. by the way, they're not forgetting about the fraughten people anymore. by the way, just a question. did president obama ever come to a jamboree? and by the way under the trump administration you'll be saying merry christmas again when you go shopping, believe me. merry christmas. >> well, elizabeth, how do you think it was viewed? >> by mr. tillerson? >> mm-hmm. >> not well at all. this was as we reported at the time, many presidents do go to
the jamboree, but no president has ever used that jamboree to make a political speech like president trump did. and the boy scouts were extremely unhappy with it. boy scouts leagues were unhappy and so was mr. tillerson. >> this was senator corker, republican of tennessee, chairman of senate foreign relations and interestingly a guy who has said i'm out, i'm not going to run for re-election. so politics can't be hung over his head unlike so many of his senate colleagues. this is what he said today about his circle -- it was men he mentioned -- around president trump. >> i think secretary tillerson, secretary mattis and chief of
staff kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos. look, i see what's happening here. i deal with people throughout the administration, and he from my perspective is an incredibly frustrating place. as i watch -- okay, and i can watch very closely on many occasions, he ends up not being supportive in the way i would hope a secretary of statewide be supportive. and that's just from my vantage point. >> andrea, that was a jaw dropper to me today because this is senator for a reputation as a workhorse not a show horse, not bombastic, not hyperbolic. but this is the second time he has sounded a real warning. >> and what's really interesting about this, he sees them as he was describing them basically if you could shorthand it, as the grown ups. standing between preventing chaos from taking over national security policy.
but the fact is they haven't been able to prevent it, that john kelly hasn't been able to stop the tweets, the tweet on sunday morning that was so dissent. just hours after tillerson landed at 3:27 a.m. on a sunday morning on a flight from beijing, to have the president in two tweets disgreeing with what secretary just described, this back channel which could lead to talks with north korea. he said they were probing. he didn't say they were talking already. but he was slammed by his own president. and that so under cuts him that people like burns and in elizabeth's paper, david sanger and baker and secretary burns as well as richard hoss saying he needs to resign. corker has been very critical of the budget. they unanimously rejected the
budget and added $11 million back to the budget. and that's one of the things tillerson has been criticized for, the way he embraced the budget from the white house and believed he could cut the facts from the state department without really understanding the state department. so corker's really trying to be an honest broker here, and it's very difficult for him. >> it's an established fact we've never seen the state department so diminished in terms of the vacancies. it depth chart is an unbelievable thing just domestically, and then you look at the ambassadorships overseas. we've never seen the secretary of state diminished, and what do you think happens here? where do you think this goes? >> the assumption is this is not going to last. by the end of the year secretary tillerson will already be gone. there's already talk nikki haley, the ambassador to the u.n. will succeed him.
this is not a sustainable situation right now where you have the president of the united states under cutting the secretary of state not just in the ways we mentioned, but don't forget last summer when secretary tillerson he wanted to try to open negotiations between qatar and then in less than a hour the president saying qatar would be financing terrorism. and then time after time hearing that in one-on-one meetings with the president, mr. tillerson makes it quite clear he does not prove of what trump is saying. he slouches, he listens to trump. he's told associates he's astonished how little trump knows about foreign policy. and when trump says something, then tillerson will say something like that's your deal, which further infuriates the president.
so this is not sustainable. >> and elizabeth, i get a smaller state department is fitting with the destruction of a smaller state. but after to while to say nothing of a leader in the world, aren't they going to need to fill in those slots? >> yes, there are major negotiations where they are not sending people, we have countries where ambassadors are not in place. again, this is unheard of to have the top floor of the state department so unoccupied. tillerson has complained he can't get people he wants confirmed. but he has not really moved in a big way on most of them. >> all right, elizabeth, andrea, thank you both for coming on. andrea thank you for your reporting all day in addition as a member of our team.
our souls are stricken with grief for every american who lost a husband or a wife, a mother or a father, a son or a daughter. we know that your sorrow feels endless. we stand together to help you carry your pain. you are not alone. we will never leave your side. >> that right there was one of the necessary set pieces of the job of president. president trump today with a very somber assignment following the worst mass shooting in modern american history. speaking in front of las vegas first responders, president honored a police officer killed in the shooting and recognized the heroism of those who risked their lives to save others. today's prepared remarks, a contrast from the president's trip to hurricane ravaged puerto rico just a day earlier when his interaction with residents and local leaders garnered a slew of negative headlines and coverage. the visit will be forever remembered by the visual so many found so disrespectful, throwing rolls of paper towels into the crowd in san juan. let's talk about it. welcome to you all. jonathan, you went there with nicole at 4:00 p.m. on a day like this, after an event like that, people in our jobs ask each other did th their lives to save others. today's prepared remarks, a contrast from the president's trip to hurricane ravaged puerto rico just a day earlier when his
interaction with residents and local leaders garnered a slew of negative headlines and coverage. the visit will be forever remembered by the visual so many found so disrespectful, throwing rolls of paper towels into the crowd in san juan. let's talk about it. welcome to you all. jonathan, you went there with nicole at 4:00 p.m. on a day like this, after an event like that, people in our jobs ask each other did the president do what he had to do? and you say. >> today he did. yesterday, not so much. some of what got us to that result happened before today. the white house just handled this crisis different than puerto rico. they were slow to respond. it took days for the devastation, the images of
puerto rico to really filter through the white house. the president sees things on tv and even then his first instinct is to attack the mayor. he did the right things on monday. he over saw the moment of silence, read from prepared remarks much like he did today, and he seemed in control. in control and also let's remember in his comfort zone. he has deep ties to las vegas. he has a hotel there. >> it looms off the strip. >> it's just off the strip, that's right, in giant gold letters. he has no such connection to puerto rico. you also saw him today praise law enforcement. that's something he always reflexively does. these are people he does hold in high regard. and we did not see that in that respect, nearly that respect in puerto rico. instead we saw him toss paper towels into the crowd.
>> eugene, after victim blaming puerto rico, after getting in a scrap as jonathan says with elected officials there, what do you think his problem is with puerto rico full of american taxpayers who volunteer for service in our military at disproportionately high levels? >> you know, we're talking about empathy, right? and he showed empathy today. he clearly put himself in the shoes of the people of las vegas. he felt their pain. he didn't seem to feel the pain of the people of puerto rico. is it because it's an island in the middle of the sea as he keeps reminding us, or it's a territory not a state, it's a place he's not that familiar with, people who speak a different language in addition
to english and don't look like him? you know, there are a lot of reasons why that might be the case, but it seemed to be the case for why he sent such a jarringly inappropriate tone in puerto rico. but totally appropriate tone in las vegas. >> so vivian, we learn more today about this now dead psychopath who shot and killed all these people, the coverage is so achingly sad prch for some of us we can hardly look at it. we fast forward to this national tragedy, and now the first glimmer of a conversation certainly debate started right up over gun control. and this is where the president finds himself next. >> that's right. and really, you know, there's so much discussion today over was he somber, did he react differently than his reaction to puerto rico? but reel unfortunately out of a lot of tragedies comes opportunity for political change. we saw this debate after sandy hook, after charleston, with
president obama trying to push some new gun legislation or stricter gun laws in the country. and now it's a little bit more of a sensitive issue with the republicans. but there is an opportunity for president trump to go to lawmakers and say let's work together on this. maybe not to restrict, you know, any second amendment rights because that is such a contention issue, but at least start with these bump stocks, really restrict the type of weapons and modifications people can make to weapons, which is something we saw with the las vegas situation. and have some legislation passed and use this tragedy to bring people together and bring about a positive difference. >> the panel will stay with us. we're going to get vivian a complementary new microphone. we're going to take a break. our conversation will continue right after this. we are back with our panel. one of our top stories tonight building a website in under an hour is easy with gocentral...
we are back with our panel. one of our top stories tonight the nbc news reporting rex tillerson's rocky relationship with the president. as "the washington post" writes tonight, "trump, has been piqued by rumors of disloyalty that have filtered up to him from the foggy bottom. trump has chafed at what he sees employee. and as tillerson has traveled the globe, trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the united states. he was a blankety blank stupid moron, he hated it when you
called him a moron. old old j.b. sallen jr didn't get out much, but i thought of you today. >> with seems to be. but tillerson said or didn't say or didn't deny saying, this image of the vice president going to a man who occupied the office -- instructing him on essentially how to suck up to the president of the united states. because that's the way you stay on the team, that's the way you stay in the administration. that's way you get anything done by the sort of flattering and the sort of -- >> and then the videotape
appearance for an audience of one. somebody on social media said it looked like a hostage tape. >> this isn't something we're used to seeing. >> will this define the rest of and do you agree with the view expressed by elizabeth and others we're talking the end of 2017? >> it certainly seems that way. it seems foolish to say rex tillerson as part -- today was sort of extraordinary. for the secretary of state had to go up there as you said to deliver a message of an audience of one who at that point was 30,000 feet flying to las vegas. when we talk about empathy that trump mostly hit the right notes today. but what'shy tweeted about, fake news and the rex tillerson story and trying to suggest it never happened. there's a suggestion these two
men have never fully clicked, they didn't have a relationship before the transition. the president has been bothered by the number of contradictions. tillerson felt like he undermined him, the president felt he had to correct him in public if he wants. tillerson, he might make it into early next year, but i don't think he's going to be around a long time. >> vivian, having had the view from overseas not everyone gets, what must it be like from field offices around the world seeing this from the secretary of state? >> it's extraordinary, and it sort of emphasizes this notion that our foreign allies and countries around the world do not have a partner in the united states, that they don't really know who to go to. already we have so many seats in the state department that are
unfilled because of budget cuts. and rex tillerson has generally played an offhand role. you have our dip mats around the world who are utterly flabbergasted by what they're seeing. they have this situation where they have a secretary of state who has been very reclusive, very hands off on the day to day dealings and then you have a president contradicting so much of the work they do, even praising the russians for kicking out some ouf our diplomats and a series of events since this administration. it lot of mixed messages and just really a lot of allies not knowing who to turn to at this point in time. >> a thank to all three of our friends. appreciate it tonight. up next our friend charlie psyches explains how the right lost its mind.
>> don't be rude. >> can you give us a question? >> don't be rude. >> i'm not -- i'm not going -- >> can you say -- >> you are fake news. it was fake news. it was a totally phony story. >> common refrain from donald trump and now as president we saw the campaign trail going after the institutions of american society, judges, elected leaders, a free press. it's an atmosphere new to
america and us americans. it has staggered the democratic party to be sure while it has also staggered what we used to think of as the republican party. especially the once proud modern conservative movement that dates back to buckley and goldwater and their like. as the dust was settling around all of us our friend charlie sykes started writing and the result is his new book, "how the right losts its mind." notice that hat, anything about that hat look familiar? the work of a longtime conservative radio host and frequent guest on this broadcast, we welcome charlie back. >> thank you. >> good luck with, first of all. it's interesting reading. it is triage, i think, of what just happened, but it happened in slow motion, and it also required a lot of people to acquiesce. >> yes, and it was a painful book for me to write.
i had to step back and say, okay, how did -- what just happened? how did this happen? how did a movement i thought i understood how was it taken over by donald trump? how did it acquisce in this? how did we move into this post factual era and that's what i tried to break down, you know, the betrayal of many of the thought leaders. not all of the thought leaders but conservative media and i was part of it and had to ask tough questions about what role did we play? what role did we play from being an alternative voice to an alternative reality silo moving into this era in which apparently the right had lost its immunity to fake news. >> and now the nra is back in the news, big time. and the republican party is going to have an interesting time with gun control. >> you know, one of the themes
of the book and i think the last two years has been the way the republican party and the conservative movement have outsourced their thought leadership to the loud -- the drunk at the end of the bar, the loudest voice at the end of the bar and that is certainly true when it comes to gun control. i think most gun owners are responsible, are safety oriented, want common sense solutions, but what's happened is the most extreme, most angry voices have been the ones that increasingly dominate and shape the direction of the conservative movement. >> already today we have news that could be another chapter. how are you going to roll with it, keep updating the book? it's moving too fast. >> you're talking about rex tillerson and, you know, here's the reality that people understood and, you know, we went through this in realtime, recognized that donald trump was unfit to be president. that he did not have the temperament or character or judgment to be president and this was remarkable for me as
being part of the conservative movement, to watch as people who understood this, you know, as the year went on, rationalized to themselves or rolled over or, you know, told themselves, okay, you know, this is a binary choice, we'll go along with it. may be a textbook example of racism, may be the last person you want around the nuclear codes but at least he's not hillary clinton. and that was an extraordinary moment for news. i really thought i understood what the conservative movement was about and when i went back to write the book i had to ask myself, so, was this a hostile takeover? was this a black swan event, a completely freak event or was the dysfunction a pre-existing condition? and that's what i tried to explore here. there's something deeply wrong in our culture and deeply wrong in our politics that donald trump would rise to the top and that at least one major political party is unable to stand up to him. >> it goes into religion, it goes into media as it must.
asking all our friends to buy a great book by one of our great friends, "how the right losts its mind," written by a man who miraculously has kept his throughout this crazy political season, our friend charlie sykes, thank you, sir, very much for coming on. coming up a bit of good news for puerto rico tonight when "the 11th hour" comes back. hi, i'm the internet!
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have been delivered to the port of san juan but for a number of reasons haven't been delivered to those with the most need. one of the reasons mentioned a shortage of truck drivers. and considering there's no way to contact them and considering many of them are huddled in the dark with their families and what's left of their homes, sure, you could call it a shortage of truck drivers, well, that's where the teamsters come in. they are truck drivers and today a number of them boarded a united flight from newark to san juan to go drive trucks and deliver supplies. also on the flight around 300 nurses and members of other trade unions volunteers all along with 35,000 pounds of food and water and relief supplies on a triple 7. after dropping off all of them and all of that tonight, that aircraft will come back to the mainland full of evacuees. that is our broadcast for
tonight. thank you so much for being here with us. good night. from nbc news headquarters in new york. new details in the las vegas massacre. girlfriend of the gunman says she has no idea he was planning a mass murder. reports of escalating tension between rex tillerson and trump. firing back after sources told nbc news he was ready to resign this summer. later after interviewing more than 100 witnesses, the senate intelligence committee says it sunt ruling out that the trump campaign colluded with russ russia. good morning, everyone. it