tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC November 2, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
in june 2016, i mentioned in passing that i happened to be planning to give a speech at a university in moscow. now, a source familiar with the conversation says page told the house intelligence committee in closed testimony today that he shook jeff sessions' hand, told him he was on the trump team and he told him that he was heading to russia. according to the source, sessions did not respond and moved on to the next person but this is yet another instance in which jeff sessions appears to have been told about contacts between the trump campaign and russia, contact that is he inequivocally and without condition denied under oath. we'll see you tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. i rearranged my schedule to make sure to be here tomorrow night live to host the show because -- >> great. >> because, of course, tomorrow night was going to be when the white house revealed the clovis
white house revealed the clovis nomination was withdrawn. >> yeah. >> i will still be here tomorrow night. >> good. >> i will definitely be here tomorrow night. so viewers of the hour of television of course knew this on tuesday. america found out today that, of course, sam clovis will not be having a confirmation hearing to answer questions about the dealings with the special prosecutor. >> the sam clovis story, something about the fact he is a talk radio show host from iowa and makes you think that like maybe this is kind of low level story. he's still a current administration official. he spoke to the grand jury without notifying the white house. he started to speak with mueller's investigators without telling the white house. we have no idea of an immunity
agreement with the discussions and brought carter page and george papadopoulos on the trump campaign and oversaw this national security group that involved them that's now posing such difficulty for the attorney general. i mean, sam clovis is listed in the reports of contacting russian hackers to get hillary clinton's e-mails. he turns up again and again and again with all the russ related stories. i think his confirmation hearing next week could have been the most illuminating russia discussion we have had under oath since the beginning of this administration but now, now that won't happen. >> and it was a hearing that was supposed to be about the science of agriculture. >> yes. >> but it was -- ah. the hearing that will never be. >> that's right. thank you. >> thank you. >> appreciate it, man. >> thank you. in march, senator al franken on this program said that he then believed that jeff sessions under oath answered about trump campaign contacts and jeff sessions contacts with russians during his confirmation hearing was perjury.
perjury. today, thanks to revelations by the special prosecutor, senator franken says jeff sessions now has even more problems. >> i have a lot of questions for the attorney general. >> i have not seen anything that would indicate a collusion with russians. >> now it turns out that he was in meeting with a lower level trump campaign aide said, yeah, i'd like to arrange a meeting with vladimir putin and donald trump. >> sessions spoke vehemently against the idea asking others not to suggest it again tie suggestion i was aware of collusion with the russian government is an appalling and detestable lie. >> if she did say shut it down, kid, he remembered contacts with russians. >> contactually. >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. >> he has contradicted himself so many times. >> every single person around this administration when asked a direct question about contacts with russians on this issue has lied about it and the lies unraveled.
>> and that's why we're working to give the american people a giant tax cut for christmas. >> this is a shell game. a ponzi scheme. >> the $2 trillion giveaway to giant corporations. >> all right. don't, don't. >> it is yours. it is yours. >> we are now at the stage of the russia investigation story when the leaks of weeks ago are the proven facts of today. paul manafort made his second appearance in federal court today, probably the second of many appearances in federal court. he was there to request the loosening of the conditions of the bail which the judge refused to do. in make it is case why he is trusted not flee the country, paul manafort's attorney said he was warned by the special prosecutor in august to expect to be indicted.
now, remember when that was a leak? and unsourced leak that could easily have come from the federal investigators or even more likely the defense lawyers representing manafort or others in this case? it was just a leak. that manafort was told he was going to be indicted. proven a fact today. today that leak is a fact, a fact presented in open court. we have another new and important fact today and many more will surely follow. jeff sessions was not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when he testified under oath to the senate you dish their committee about contacts with russians. when you testify under oath, the trip wires are everywhere. perjury trip wires. and the only real way to be absolutely certain that you will not trip into perjury is to tell the truth, the whole truth and absolutely nothing but the truth.
and you can say things under oath that turn out not to be accurate. and are also not perjury because it's not testimony about an important fact or a material fact or it's a minor error or maybe it was your best memory at the time and now turned out not to be true. understandable mistake. if not a completely honest mistake. understandable mistake. that stuff's not perjury. senator al franken put the first trip wire in front of jeff sessions during his confirmation hearing in january when he asked him about contacts with russians and jeff sessions said this. >> if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. >> i'm not aware of any of those
activities. anyone communicating with the russian government. two months after that answer, jeff sessions wrote a letter to the judiciary committee changing his answer to include meetings that he himself had with the russian ambassador who is, of course, the russian government. and reaction to that in march senator al franken on this program said that it appeared that jeff sessions committed perjury and the special prosecutor's court filings accompanying the guilty plea in the case on monday, the special prosecutor specifies that papadopoulos who was a foreign policy advise tore the trump campaign discussed making contacts with russians in a meeting where jeff sessions reportedly discussed that idea and objected to that idea strenuously. here's a picture of of that meeting that included jeff sessions, george papadopoulos and candidate trump. who would have heard what george papadopoulos had to say.
then senator jeff sessions and then candidate donald trump participated in a discussion in that photograph, they were participating in a discussion about contacts with russians involving the campaign. and jeff sessions when asked about that has never admitted that in his senate testimony. >> did you ever overhear a conversation between you and anybody on the campaign who talked about meeting with the russians? >> i have not seen anything that would indicate a collusion with russians to impact the campaign. >> notice he did not answer the question that he was asked. he was not asked if he saw collusion with russians during the campaign. he was simply asked, did you
hear, overhear any, any conversation about meeting with russians during the campaign? simple as that. hear what senator franken had to say about the latest revelations about jeff sessions story today. >> he has contradicted himself so many times in the last -- since january that it really is hard to believe that he's been telling the truth at any one -- at any one point. >> now let's consider what president trump said about his campaign's contacts with russians in february of this year. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course of the election? >> i told you general flynn obviously was dealing so that's one person but he was dealinging as he should have been. >> during the election? >> no, no. not that i know of. >> george papadopoulos appears to be on a collision course with the president of what the president heard him say and heard his campaign therefore discuss in that room in that photograph that we just saw about contacts with russians.
on march 31st, 2016. j.d. gordon, a campaign adviser who attended that meeting told united states papadopoulos went right into the pitch right away. he said he had a friend in london, the russian ambassador, to help set up a meeting with putin. president trump listened with interest. mr. sessions -- no one should talk about it because it might leak. tonight, nbc news has confirmed this former trump campaign adviser carter page testified to the house intelligence committee today that in june 2016 page informed jeff sessions that he was taking a trip to russia. and that trip was reportedly unrelated to the campaign. joining us now, ron klain, former chief of staff, also former chief counsel to the senate judiciary committee and with us, max boots at the counsel of foreign relations and a former adviser and matt miller, former spokesman for attorney general holder and msnbc contributor. max, first to you.
you have been a foreign policy adviser on republican presidential campaigns. what's your reaction to the description we have of the discussion going on in that meeting in 2016 that we have just looked at the photograph of? >> i mean, i have never heard of anything like that. if you look at the volume of trump contacts, with the hostile foreign power like russ, i'm not aware of anything like that that's occurred on any campaign i worked on. certainly nobody doing outreach to putin on the romney campaign or the mccain campaign. this would have been unthinkable.
this is so far beyond the boundary of when's acceptable in american politics an trump crossed that boundary, just erased it time and again. >> ron, you used to be counsel to the senate judiciary committee and now under oath testimony involving the attorney general. >> yeah. >> is now being questioned as to whether perjury is involved. >> yeah. that's right. and senator pat leahy, the longest serving member of that committee, said tonight that jeff sessions should come back and testify under oath. it would be his fourth try to get a story straight. you almost think that his slogan must be if at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again. because he's changed his story three times. twice under oath. confirmation hearing. when he then changed his story. had to recuse himself. and then again in the summer when he testified and so there's never been anything like this before of an attorney general coming before the judiciary committee and just lying and lying and lying.
>> and, matt miller, in your experience working with the attorney general in the justice department, it would seem to be, especially under oath testimony that who in the administration would take under oath testimony more seriously than the attorney general? and when treading in an area where you're asked, have you had contacts with the russian government, and you don't remember or don't report that you had contact with the ambassador, it -- i find that as stunning as senator franken did the first time around. >> it's impossible to believe. look. you're right. he is the nation's chief law enforcement officer. he leads the department that prosecutes people every week for failing to tell the truth in court, to fbi agents. it matter that is he is honest, especially under oath. look. the problem here is it's mott just that he came up as ron said and lied the first time.
i think some people who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe the first time he went up, didn't remember correctly, confused by the question. but there can be no doubt anymore he's intentionally misleading this committee. when you come up two weeks ago with the questions swirling about russia and the fact he's under attack for not telling the truth and you mislead the committee again about something that you -- it doesn't pass the smell test that he doesn't remember when it came up in a meeting and he said to the people in the room, no one talk about this anymore. i'm afraid it's going to leak. that is a kind of thing you remember. and that he had to have remembered it coming up to congress and didn't tell the truth. >> let's all keep matt's description of that in mind as we listen to what jeff sessions says next. this is from june. this is a sitting attorney general. this is not someone trying to get through a confirmation hearing. he is the attorney general of the united states. it is june. he's being asked about any trump campaign contacts of any kind with russians and this is an extraordinary answer given the information we have today. let's listen to this. >> i have never met with or had any conversation with any
russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the united states. further, i have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the trump campaign. >> now, max, he did have knowledge of conversations of papadopoulos connected to the trump campaign. what he will rely on in there in terms of denying this is perjury is to say the part of his sentence before that where he says any contact concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the united states. he's leaning on that to say, i was only talking about interference. i wasn't talking about any -- all forms of contact. >> well, he is welcome to try the word games with special counsel mueller and see what it gets him but, you know, what's striking to me, lawrence, is that we're seeing evidence that on its face seems to suggest that the attorney general of the united states has perjured himself before congress but the amazing thing is jeff sessions
is actually more than donald trump and recused himself and trump hit the roof when he was out of the line of authority and allowing the special counsel to be appointed and trump thinks that's a crazy, unwanted action and tells you where trump's head is. donald trump doesn't admit that any lines exist. >> ron, is the special prosecutor going to have to put jeff sessions under oath? >> 100%. both for this and for his role in the firing of jim comey. and the possible obstruction of justice that represents. the fake story that he played a part in concocting to explain comey's firing and also because of the repeated change of stories about the russian matter itself. we still also don't know what he knew about donald trump jr.'s and jared kushner's and paul manafort's meeting at trump tower with russians who came to talk about interfering in the
campaign. so what we know already is highly troubling and there's still a lot we don't know and bob mueller will have to have get to the bottom of this. >> i want to look at new "the washington post"/abc news poll on the special investigator's investigation and taken in a country where government just government itself and government servants are not popular but here we see robert mueller has a 58% approval rating for his handling of the russia probe. 58%. there is no one in government now with an approval rating of that size. disapproval of only 28%. which means that not even all trump voters disapprove of the way he is handling this investigation.
and, matt miller, what does a poll like that -- what affect would that have on the terrain of this investigation and any contemplation by the president of possibly getting rid of robert mueller? >> well, you would hope it would give him pause. i think that poll is a heartening piece of information we have recently seen because he is under sustained attack. for months now. and they have -- it is clear what they're trying to do. undermine the investigation. so people don't believe it when he brings charges an enso if at the end of this he finds any criminality by the president himself, that there's a certain part of the population that is unwilling to accept those charges and it seems so far at least with most of the population that campaign is not working. it is crucially important to the rule of law in this country that he be allowed to continue that investigation and that these attacks on him ultimately fail.
>> the fox news campaign against robert muler is not a success when you look at the poll numbers. max, matt, thank you both for much for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, donald trump calls his tax cut bill a big, beautiful, christmas present for his family. well, no. he didn't specifically mention it's for his family. and later, why president trump's tweets about the suspect in the terrorism case here in new york where eight people were killed are a very, very bad legal idea. why presidents never, ever, ever comment on pending criminal cases unless the president is donald trump. most americans would be able to file taxes on a single sheet of paper. coaching means making tough choices.
what do you think about that, kevin? you still there? is it going to be a paper and a half? >> this card? >> oh wow. thank you. postcards. great job. thank you very much. i didn't know i was going to be given a prompt. >> my only copy. >> don't lose it. >> it's yours. it's yours. >> no, no one's going to file their tax return on those postcards. they won't be making more of those at the irs. today, the trump republican tax cut bill was released to the public and it is already in some trouble in the house and the senate among republicans.
five house republicans immediately opposed the bill today. bob corker issued a statement indicating he is not ready to support the bill as written and senator jeff flake said this. >> if we're going to do cuts, cuts, cuts, we have got to do wholesale reform. we cannot simply rely on rosy economic assumptions. rosy growth rates to fill in the gap. >> the bill reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to four. it doubles the standard deduction but as expected it has the most benefits for corporations and the well think. it permanently cuts the corporate tax rate to 20%. repeals the alternative minimum tax and ends the estate tax after six years. donald trump described the plan as a christmas present. >> we're working to give the american people a giant tax cut for christmas.
we are giving them a big, beautiful christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut. >> joining us now, david k. johnson, journalist who founded d.c. report.org and josh barro. david, joining us from australia. i want to go to you first. might be little delay in the communication here but so the president describes this as a christmas present. what is ivanka going to find opening the christmas present and what kind of christmas present has the president given himself? >> well, ivanka's going to get a big, nice package from tiffany's, so big she may have to get a truck to haul it. whereas her maid is going to get a little cracker jack ring. and donald is going to do very well without the estate tax and admitted in a signed statement he is not worth anywhere near $10 billion.
more like $1.4 and may be exaggerated with no state tax and save 40% of that much money when he runs out of time. this is an astonishing bill, lawrence, that the republicans in secret, no democrats, no public, no hearings, have come up with and it is a christmas present not just to donald but to people and places like general electric and other big profitable corporations which will be paying a lower tax rate than entrepreneurs. this is the republicans turning away from and even going to war on small business owners like me and lining up with wall street and the predators who are supposed to have been drained from the swamp. >> josh, what is in this bill that fits the expectation or what we imagine the expectation to be of the average trump voter who's not a rich person? >> not very much, i think. the bill cuts taxes about $1.5 trillion. a trillion for businesses. 200 billion is the estate tax repeal.
only 300 billion is individual tax cuts, about $100 a person a year over ten years and not -- >> just go over that again. personal taxation, 300 billion. all the rest of it on the business side. >> business or estate tax. there are those rate cuts and get rid of deductions including the personal exemption and people don't think about. $4,000 to take off your tax bill income every year for yourself, $4,000 for your spouse and dependent and some families -- >> exemption is better than a deduction. >> yes. >> leaving you another kind of deduction. >> yes. the average family sees a tax cut, some families see an increase. not that big of a tax change on average for sort of middle income people. the tax changes for corporations and for well think people with interest in businesses or the corporate tax cut or a small business tax cut for any kind of noncorporate business including the trump businesses, most of which are --
>> noncorporate forms. >> the national federation of independent business representing small businesses, conservative -- >> alove tax cuts. >> they said today they cannot support the bill in the current form because most small businesses won't benefit at all. the incomes are too low and caps at 25%, a lot -- most owners are taxed less than 25% or a professional service business, an account and is excluded from this and saying reserved for people like the trumps and doesn't get a the large swath of small business owners in the u.s. and aimed so much at the top. >> yeah. and david, as you know, having covered tax legislation in the past and the big crusades on it, the nfie, that small business group, most responsive to them in terms of lobbying response are republican members of the house of representatives. they feel very closely connected the those people and so, when we
see already some resistance to this, especially possibly more resistance coming from california, new jersey, states like new york, from republican members of the house because this limits severely the deductibility of state and local taxes, is it possible, is it possible that this might not pass? >> it's possible. and it's also possible that we might see the republicans decide to do something that would be risky but that's no pass parts of this, particularly the corporation side of it. what are known as c-corp.s and not so much the side of individuals. the individuals as josh pointed out get crumbs. small -- but the notion that small business owners, the kind of people the nfib can muscle up and call the congressmen in the large numbers paying a 25% rate while the 3,000 companies that own most of the business assets in america pay a 20% rate.
>> yeah. >> is just -- i'm sorry. this is the republicans have turned against main street and decided to make their bed with wall street. >> and let's be very clear, josh. even though the corporate rate, rate, is 30%, nobody pays it. they reduce the tax below that and with a corporate rate of 20, they won't pay that either. they're going to be paying something dramatically less than the nominal rate. the deduction packages pull that down. >> that's true. interesting aspect is there are eliminations of corporate tax breaks in here. there's a tax break for domestic manufacturing. that goes away. there's a limitation on how much interest businesses can deduct so i think you will see an interesting thing here because some -- >> notice that real estate businesses were allowed to maintain.
>> yes. >> that deduction for interest. >> right. and so, i think, you know, a lot of the way i think it's landing in the corporate sector is some industries do well with this and others lose a lot and say, hey, taking the rate down and we'll come ahead. others complain about the bill like the nfib complaint of small businesses and already at the cap of how much to cut and starting to give giveaways they have to push the rates up and so if they can't do a corporate tax cut to 20 but going to 25 or 28, companies look at this and saying, hey, i will come out behind getting rid of this tax break i care about, getting rid of the r&d corporate of orphan drugs and some say it's not worth it and something to cause the coalition for this fall apart. >> you have identified what i think is first thing that's likely to move, the corporate going up from 20 to maybe 25 to help pay for some of this. there's so much more detail in this that we're not going to be able to get to tonight and plenty of time as the tax crusade goes on. david and josh, thank you for joining us.
appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, why a reckless tweeting president has now made it more difficult to prosecute the man accused of killing eight people in a terrorist attack in new york city this week. this is tim barckholtz. that's me! this is something he is researching at exxonmobil: using fuel cells to capture carbon emissions at power plants. this is the potential. reducing co2 emissions by up to 90%... while also producing more power. this could be big. energy lives here. whstuff happens. old shut down cold symptoms fast with maximum strength alka seltzer plus liquid gels.
the president apparently has backed off of his idea of sending the suspect in the new york city terrorism attack this week to guantanamo. but the president is now calling for the death penalty in the case. nyc terrorist was happy as he asked to hang isis flag in his hospital room. he killed eight people, badly injured 12. should get death penalty! there is also something appropriate about keeping him in
one of the -- keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. should move fast. death penalty! today "the new york times" explained to the president why those tweets are a very, very bad idea. presidents are typically advised never to weigh in publicly on pending criminal cases. such comments can be used by defense lawyers to argue that their compliants cannot get a fair trial and they advocate the ultimate punishment before a judge has heard a shred of evidence at trial. joining us now, harry lipman, former u.s. attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general. he's now professor of constitutional law at us la and ron klain is back with us. professor lipman, presidents avoid this very easily avoid this whenever asked say we cannot comment on a pending criminal case. what can go wrong when the president does something like this? >> quite a lot. yeah. they do avoid it generally. there's been a way stray comments that presidents have made and normally retrablgted it but nothing like this sort of mad dog rant that you heard at
the top of the show. two big problems here. the first is the possible tainting of the jury pool and here, of course, that's nationwide. trump's announcement is not in a local market. it is all over the country. and then the second is that the department of justice is going to have to make a decision whether to seek the death penalty and if they go into court having done it by their normal process there will be the argument for the defendant you just did this because you're pushed to do it by your chief executive donald trump. something exactly like that's been happening in the bough bergdahl case and this week the judge said i have to consider it as mitigation evidence because maybe the comments calling him a dirty traitor pushed them to seek a stricter penalty. >> yeah. i want to go back to the example that a lot of us remember. this is the only one that i remember of a president mistakenly commenting on a pending criminal case.
this is richard nixon in august of 1970 and in an impromptu press conference he found himself stumbling in to the case of charles manson. let's listen to this. >> i noted, for example, the coverage of the charles manson case when i was in los angeles. front page every day in the papers that usually got a couple of minutes on the evening news. here's a man who was guilty directly or indirectly of eight murders without reason. >> president nixon then immediately issued a statement saying the last thing i would do is prejudice the legal rights of any person in any circumstances.
he went on to say to set the record straight i do not know and did not intend to speculate as to whether the tate defendants are guilty in fact or not. all of the facts in the case have not yet been presented. the defendants should be presumed to be innocent at this stage of their trial. ron klain, richard nixon was a smart lawyer stepping into that mistake on his own and correcting it as fast as he could because he understood what was at stake. >> yeah. so once again trump is following the nixon example and not even living up to the nixon example and feels like a recurring theme, lawrence.
this is a serious problem. as harry alluded to, there is a problem of prejudice of jury pool and bigger problem with regard to the federal government to seek the death penalty because the justice department has to explain how that decision was made, has to show it's free from politics and a special federal statute that requires a federal judge in a death penalty case to assure that the death penalty isn't applied to bias on the basis of religion or national origin and trump talking about the isis flag, terrorism, all these things as part of his tweet is going to really make that finding much harder. it's going to make it harder. if you believe in the death penalty, the tweet makes it hard tore get the death penalty in the case. >> professor lit hahn, the concept of prejudicial pretrial pub lis if i is a novel idea with traction in the 1960s. the first case of proceedings i'm an aware of 1950s in the brinks rob ration in boston and saturation nationally and the lawyers tried to get a change of venue. they didn't get anywhere. f. lee bailey, a boston lawyer,
some years later used it successful pleading of prejudicial pretrial publicity. but the remedy has always simply been change of venue. how do you change a venue when it's the president of the united states making a comment like this to the entire united states? >> right. beats me. i think it will beat a normal judge, too. you're exactly right about the f. lee bailey and the shepard case in 1966. a very sort of early trial of the century where the dr. shepard accused of bludgeoning his pregnant wife and there was a whole series, the press had a field day portraying him as a devil. and even the supreme court in upholding his claim had a kind of dimestore feel they said. murder, mystery, sex, society and suspense all combine to enflame the public interest here. and they did say when the -- even legitimate first amendment
coverage can sometimes prejudice a defendant's right to a fair trial and they said that there there had to be a new trial but as you put it what can be done? the whole jury pool here is the ones that would have heard trump's tweet which is to say the entire country. >> profession ar harry litman, thank you both for joining us tonight. thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up, back when it was different. back when the president of the united states would never, never comment on a pending criminal case, even if it was a case of assassination.
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the year donald trump graduated from high school in 1968 bobby kennedy was running for president. on the night that he won the california primary, bobby kennedy was assassinated by sir can sir can a palestinian immigrant born in jerusalem who moved to the united states with his family at the age of 12. it was the first act of terrorism in the united states inspired by the conflict in the middle east. sirhan sirhan later said he killed robert kennedy because he supported israel and the arab israeli war of 1967. the president of the united states lyndon johnson did not immediately announce changes in immigration policy because bobby kennedy assassin was an immigrant. the president of the united states did not say that sirhan sirhan deserved the death penalty as donald trump did today after a terrorist killed eight people in new york city this week.
president johnson said nothing that could have influenced or interfered with any jury that might have to hear the murder case against sirhan sirhan. when sirhan sirhan was found guilty and the judge was considering a sentence, bobby kennedy's younger brother senator ted kennedy who endured the assassinations of two older brothers wrote this letter to the judge asking to spare sirhan's life. my brother was a man of love and sentiment and compassion. he would not have wanted his death to be a cause for the taking of another life. moreover, he was a young man totally committed to life and living.
he stood against injustice, poverty and discrimination for those evils less in life and grew to despise war for war denies the sacredness of life and he had a special 'next for children for they held the promise of life. if the kind of man my brother was is pertinent, we believe it should be weighed in the balance on the side of compassion, mercy and god's gift of life itself. like the kennedy brothers, donald trump grew up the son of a rich man but that might be the only thing that donald trump has in common with bobby kennediment we'll ask chris matthews why donald trump seems to have learned nothing from bobby kennedy's approach to politics. chris has written a new e it's , but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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biography of bobby kennedy. the man who needs no introduction is joining us tonight. chris matthews, the author of the new biography on bobby kennedy "bobby kennedy: a raging spirit" is the title of chris's new book. and chris, i read this book, and i think of 1968, this campaign, which is what this picture is -- that's from the presidential campaign. donald trump graduates from college when this guy's running for president. he graduates from college at one of the most interesting times in our lives. there are many political influences out there for him to pick up at that time. and i look at him today, and i wonder, you know, what -- were his eyes open at all in that time? >> no, i think he went to sheer business school. just business. i don't think he took the amenities, history, philosophy, no, none of that. he was interested in a buck, nas where he was in terms of his education, and yet -- you and i -- you're younger than me, i don't know anybody that wasn't for mccarthy or kennedy.
the one for humphrey, how did you miss the boat? didn't you get the memo? supposed to be against the war. it was the most exciting time of my life politically. there was a zest in the air. i was at chapel hill, everybody was thinking about the war and you go to these anti-war meetings, they were fantastic. they were exciting. everybody was thinking with the photographers and people would yell, no patrons. people used the word fascist and casual conversation about the people running the country and running the war at the time. >> as a kid, watching jfk become president, all of my focus is in elementary school was just on this new president and the new picture of the president that goes on our wall. i payed no attention to bobby kennedy until the funeral of his brother. until i see him at thes funeral of the president, that's the first time that -- when do you first up an individual focus on bobby kennedy when you're watching the world unfold in those days? >> i have to tell you, it was gradual.
it was spending time in africa and the piece core and having -- i was a gene mccarthy until when ifls literally praying for bobby to win. the guy's a little younger than me. they were in love with the guy. then i met the kennedy guys when i got back. here's an interesting thing, i was a capital policeman, like harry reid was and mike -- >> at the u.s. capitol in washington, d.c. >> and i worked in the daytime for senator moss and i would hang out with the cops. the capitol engineer, and he was a brilliant guy. and he just -- he's the guy that fixed everything that was broken. and he started telling me about the senators. and civil rights. so i thought this was interesting and the more i read jack newfield and something like that.
he cared about cops and fireman and firefighters and waitresses, he said they're my people. look at the back of that book, they're the ones that cried and saluted him when he died. then at the same time, nobody was more connected through the black community like he was. i mean, they were saying, i don't have the republic for him. they learned it at church. and i started to meet guys -- you know some of these characters. paul corbin. and he loved him. and frank manning wits and i got to know wayne owens. the heart became with the police and the kids were terrible too, some of them. the cops were -- police riot, these people. horrible scene. giving up. tear gas.
suppose bobby had walked into that convention hall. suppose he'd been there and brought the crusade of opposing the war into that hall. i think things would have erupted. which don't know which side -- guys like jim, philly, the bronx guys, but i think he would have shaken it up. he said i'm going to chase the tail all across this country. >> right. >> but new york primary would have been a challenge too. >> nixon won by less than 1% of the vote against humphrey, this guy. my money's on he would have -- >> i don't know if he got to the point -- nixon's watching bobby announce, and he's out of oregon and he's sitting there in the room and he turns the tv off and he's like they're watching the tv, blank, and he's saying like spooky, forces will be aroused, we cannot imagine.
this is not going anywhere good. he was spooked. >> an amazing book, chris matthews, thank you very much. great to have you here. >> you have something coming in a couple weeks. >> we're not talking about this tonight. >> right now. >> number one on amazon. >> right. number one. >> boy, i got a lot of catching up to do. chris, thank you very much. >> lawrence, you're great. >> tonight's last word is next. coin slot! no? uhhh... 10 seconds. a stick! a walking stick! eiffel tower, mount kilimanjaro! (ding) time! sorry, it's a tandem bicycle. what? what?! as long as sloths are slow, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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according to report the republican tax bill the cut, cut, cut act, which is a terrible name, but it is a lot terrible name, but it is a lot shorter than calling it the if i cut your taxes will you forget about my treason act? >> seth meyers gets tonight's last word. the 11th hour starts now. tonight new scrutiny for the attorney general and his russia testimony after news jeff sessions rejected the offer by george papadopoulos to set up a meeting between donald trump and vladimir putin. plus developments today involving jared kushner, paul manafort, rick gates and carter page. and new polling shows nearly half of americans believe president trump likely committed a crime in connection with russian meddle z. the