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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  November 3, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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colbert's show to discuss my new book which would be published next week. playing with fire. available in stores on tuesday shlg you can preorder this weekend. that is tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" starts now.preo weekend. that is tonight as last word. the 11th hour starts now. tonight, new details on george papadopoulos and the role he played as a trump adviser. and a breaking report on carter page and what he told the trump campaign about his trip to russia. plus, a year after beating hillary clinton, donald trump calls on the justice department and the fbi to look into his former opponent and the democratic party. and we're live in hawaii as the president heads on a high stakes asia trip with the threat of north korea looming. the 11th hour begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm ali velshi in for brian
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williams. day 288 of the trump administration brings us new information on the russia probe relating to two campaign advisers. one described as the coffee boy and another dubbed a hanger on. we start with carter page, who met with the white house intelligence committee yesterday. "the new york times" reports tonight carter page, a foreign policy adviser to the trump presidential campaign, met russian government officials during a july 2016 trip he took to moscow, according to testimony he gave on thursday to the house intelligence committee. shortly after that trip mr. page sent an e-mail to at least one trump campaign aide describing insights he had after conversations with government officials, legislators and business executives during his time in moscow. according to one person familiar with the contents of the message. the e-mail was read aloud during the closed door testimony. in march page talked to msnbc's chris hayes about his trip, saying some people said hello to
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him there. >> you went to russia in the summer of 2016. >> yes. >> you gave a speech there. you were there for three days. the speech was one day. what did you do in russia? >> had some meetings with skarls and professors and students there. there were some people that showed up to my graduation speech and, you know, i said hello to some people, but no material discussions. you know, really international relations skol ars. >> did you speak to any russian intelligence officials. >> not that i'm aware of. >> well, we also have a new report from nbc news about george papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi and is cooperating with robert mueller's campaign. nbc news reports that papadopoulos repeatedly represented the trump campaign, like here in july during the republican national convention where he spoke on a foreign policy panel hosted by the american jewish committee.
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he's sitting on the left of your screen, along with two members of congress, senator bob corker, who is making the statement at the podium, or here, for instance, in a september interview with the russian enter fax news agency. we'll show you that in a second where he's described -- here it is, where he's described as one of u.s. presidential candidate donald trump's foreign political advisers since march of 2016. or even after the election, as nbc reports, he met with israeli leaders during the inauguration in january as a foreign policy adviser for the newly sworn in president. today as the president was leaving for hawaii, reporters asked him about this march 2016 meeting, the one where he is seated at the table with papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi and is cooperating with robert mueller's investigation. a source tells nbc it was at this meeting that papadopoulos offered to use his russian contacts to try and set up a
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meeting between trump and vladimir putin. here is what the president said today about that meeting. >> mr. president, do you remember george papadopoulos during that march meeting? >> i don't remember much about that meeting. it was a very unimportant meeting. toopts a long time -- don't remember much about it. >> as this white house faces the daily deluge about robert mueller's investigation, the president decided today to criticize his own justice department and call on it to investigate his former political rival, hillary clinton. he wrote on twitter, everyone is asking why the justice department and fbi isn't looking into all of the dishonesty going on with crooked hillary and the dems. new donna b book says she paid for and stole the dem primary. what about deleted e-mails, uranium, podesta, the server, plus, plus. people are angry. at some point the justice department and the fbi must do what is right and proper. the american public deserves it.
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talking to reporters later in the day he had he was disappointed with the justice department. >> all i can tell you is this. there was no collusion. there was no nothing. it's a disgrace, frankly, that they continue. you want to look at hillary clinton -- i'm really not involved with the justice department. i'd like to let it run itself, but honestly, they should be looking at the democrats. they should be looking at podesta and all of that dishonesty. they should be looking at a lot of things and a lot of people are disappointed in the justice department, including me. >> okay. to summarize where we are. 288 days into his term with an investigation hanging over his presidency and without a big legislative victory to his name, the president spent today going after hillary clinton and the justice department. let's go to our lead-off panel tonight. philip rucker, matthew nus balm and from hob lieu lieu, nub news
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correspondent kelly o'donnell. kelly, let's start with you. you're there. the president there at the beginning of his 11-day trip to asia. what are you expecting to happen? >> well, to give you a bit of the trip diary, the approximated is right now headed to pearl harbor, where elplace a wreath at the "uss arizona," pay his respects. the first lady, of course, is traveling with him. the president spoeng briefly with reporters earlier and talked about the fact that he had never been to pearl harbor, had read about it, studied about it as he describes so he was very much looking forward to this part of his trip. it is standard for a president when travel to asia to stop in hawaii for at a minimum a fuel stop but here he has expanded is a bit for a time to pay respects at pearl harbor and also to meet with the pacific japan. all of those countries are in
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the region where there are concerns and some are different players in the strategy around north korea. so this is an important trip for the president. it's a notably long trip, and one small surprise that's already taken place. these things are often set in stone or at least glue weeks ahead of time. the president telling reporters on air force one that he intends to extend the trip a bit, spending more time in manila where there's one of the summits that he's attending, so that's unusual for a president to call an audible and say i want to stay longer. certainly he can do that, but it's not the typical thing we find. so there will be a lot of pressure on the president to deal with matters related to trade and north korea. his home, i'm sure, would be to leave some of this russia drama at home. that, of course, is always hard to do when these questions persist. >> but he's got a lot of work there with our allies in the philippines and vietnam and south korea and japan and of course putting pressure on china to do what it needs to do with north korea.
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phil, let me start with you, carter page, i have to tell you, phil, it becomes harder and harder with each day to ask what the question is other than what is going on with carter page? >> well, he's all over the place in terms of being very accessible to reporters, including this network. and, you know, it's important to remember carter page's background. he's not new to russia. he actually lived in russia for a few years a decade before joining the trump campaign and worked in finance there. he has a network of, you know, friends and people that he knows, acquaintances in the country that he brought with him to the trump campaign when he became an adviser. he was want a major adviser on the campaign, but he was an adviser nonetheless. and i think mueller's team and obviously the congressional investigators are going to be looking very carefully at what exactly he wrote in that e-mail back to trump campaign colleagues and more details about that trip and who exactly he encountered.
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>> matthew, he talked so much to the media. he spent hours in that hearing without a lawyer. and the strange thing about it is he talks a lot and his story often changes. so you saw what he said to chris hayes about scoreless and i met people -- he said he didn't meet russian officials or intelligence officers and then it turns out that he parm did meet some russian officials. what do you make of what this is and where it's going? and i point out that like george papadopoulos, like they said about manafort at some point, they all talk about how carter page was a volunteer who was peripheral to the campaign. but all of these peripheral volunteers to the campaign seem to have some ties to russia. >> right. and they keep trying to discount him. and i think they'll continue to do that. but it is bizarre how often he's out there talking to the press and the way his story changes. and it changes in one direction, which is, oh, there were meetings with raurp officials that were not previously disclosed. and what's important to remember is he is not a unique phenomenon
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in this case. done junior, jeff sessions, jared kushner all these people have come out and said, oh, there were meetings that i had that weren't previously disclosed. and bun instance, okay, maybe that makes a little sense. but when this keeps happening over and over again, i think it raises serious red flags. >> phil, what kind of red flags is it raising in washington circles that, you know, the president is right is, the indictment against manafort and rick gates did not indicate any collusion with russia. but honestly, everywhere they turn, everywhere the mueller investigation seems to go or the house intel committee seems to go, they find someone who suddenly had contact with russia who had said previously that they didn't. >> that's exactly right. and we should also remember that the mueller investigation, the indictments that came down on monday, that is not the end of this investigation. this thing is going to go on for some time likely. we've not heard yet what's going to be happening, for example, to general flynn, who was the national security adviser for those opening weeks of the
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administration and was very influence alat the president's side unlike papadopoulos or carter pagement and there are a number of other -- the steps that mueller is going to be taking here in the weeks to come, he's going to be interviewing some senior white house officials when the president and the entourage return home from this asia tripment and so there's more information that i think these investigators are working to uncover, and we as sort of lay people in the media don't really know what's around the corner. >> kelly o'donnell, when the president took his first trip, when he went to the middle east, there were all sorts of questions about how much of the problem he leaves behind. he certainly has much more control over the press when he's trawling. he can choose to have far less interaction with the likes of you if he wants to. but he's got two issues. in addition to the one that he has to deal with while there, the diplomatic, the trade and the military issues, he's got this tax policy that he's just dropped which typically a president has some role in pushing. it doesn't look like he's going
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to be doing that for the next 11 gaze. but he's got the russia investigation. what do you expect to happen? is he just going to shut down questions on that and everybody will pick it up again when he gets back? >> well, he hinted a different way on air force one tonight. and you played some clips where the president was speaking on camera to the reporters on the south lawn before he left on this trip. but while he was in flight about an hour into the flight he came back to the small press area in the back of air force one and talked for just a couple of minutes to reporters. and he indicated that he would be very visible and accessible to reporters. lots of opportunities to at least talk with the press over this trip, which will last the better part of two weeks. and so will that be a chance for the president to try to stay on point? we certainly saw during the issue related -- during the saudi arabia trip and jerusalem, there was the question about the president having perhaps shared too much with the russians in the oval office. he spoke approximate that standing next to been net an
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yeah hugh when we were on that trip back in mayment so i think the president doesn't always have the strict boundaries that are saying things about only the trip when it's happening when there's such prominent foreign policy issues to be dealt with. so i wouldn't be surprised if some of these things come up in a very trump-like fashion where he references it in some way. certainly reporters will ask about these things, but there's also the obligation to cover the events in front of us, and those will be significant when he's meeting with counterparts in asia and these prominent countries who play such an important role to try to assist the united states on north korea. i will expect we will hear something about this over the next two weeks, but there will be a lot of other things that draw our attention. and if i could just add one thing about these two figures, carter page, and papadopoulos. remember when there were 17 candidates and a figure like george -- like jeb bush, rather, he had been able to amass some of the brightest talent, for
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example, in all of these advisory councils and so forth. so many of the sitting governors and senators had their teams and so donald trump was often reaching into less well-known figures in these sort of advisory or expertise roles and then you get characters like a carter page or a george papadopoulos who have not come through the normal channels we would typically see. >> right. >> in foreign policy as it interacts with politics. so that's one of the factors that, geez, a year later is still sort of casting echoes into all of this. >> it was puzzling when it happened. i think it was in a "washington post" editorial meeting, phil, if i'm not wrong. >> that's correct. yeah. >> where he was asked about, you know, the fact that he didn't have a foreign policy team and he started dropping names. names that no one had heard of before. but it had become common place for the trump administration to do that. just started naming people and journalists would start to look them up. and in the case of george papadopoulos, it was very hard to find much of a record of him anyway. it was an interesting time. good point, kelly.
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phil, i want to point out something that you wrote about tonight about donald trump's renewed criticism of the department of justice. it becomes a per evenal situation. the justice department typically enjoys a measure of independence. government lawyers have long sought to enforce a clear line preventing white house officials from influencing specific investigations or prosecutions to ensure that their work is not politicized. for some reason donald trump is back on this kick again. it's an attack on the department of justice, and it seems to sort of be a side attack on jeff sessions, his attorney general. >> that's right. and you showed some of those tweets earlier today. there were actually even more tweets than just that. and what trump is doing is playing this out in the open for us all to see, pressuring his democratic of justice, which is a pretty extraordinary breach of the boundaries here within the
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executive branch that are set in place really to avoid this kind of thing from happening, to avoid the justice department and the criminal process from becoming too politicized. but the president has for months now felt very strongly about the justice department. he's been angry, he's been frustrated with jeff sessions. he's felt like the attorney general has not been tough enough in trying to prosecute hillary clinton. in fact, the hillary clinton is not trying to prosecute hillary clinton right now, which is part of the problem in the president's mind. but he also feels like sessions has not helped insulate the president enough from the mueller investigation, the russia probe that we've been talking about. and it's created a lot of bad blood between these two and we see it from time to time spill out in the open as it has in these last 24, 48 hours. >> i just want to touchback on george papadopoulos for a moment. here is a sampling of how the trump administration has described george papadopoulos over the last few days. let's listen. >> george was a low level volunteer who might have attended a meeting of the
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foreign policy advisory team. >> he was a volunteer with the campaign, served on one of the committees. >> i've never heard of papadopoulos. he never showed up at trump tower. the guy was -- he was the coffee boy. >> can you just explain what george papadopoulos's role with the campaign was? >> it was extremely limit. it was a volunteer position, and again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign in that regard. >> that's what you call an over coordinated response. it started with donald trump tweet that called him a low level volunteer and then everybody who was asked about it suddenly had the same remarkable clear recollection of a guy who was the coffee boy, low level, and yet we're seeing as we dig up and with each passing day we'll dig up more stuff where papadopoulos was there representing himself as part of the campaign. this brings back memories of water dpat, the third rate burglary that every wanted to put off as a third rate burglary. >> right. they very much got their talking points in order on this as you indicated. and for an administration that
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has had so much trouble with message discipline, with sticking to infrastructure week or tax week, they sure got their message down on this one. >> sure. >> but you're right, this idea that he was just some low level volunteer, it's almost comical when you go back and look at the things that they said about paul manafort, for example. >> also called him a volunteer. >> sean spicer famousel said he had a short role for a short amount of time. he ran the whole campaign through a critical stretch. so when you get reports like this that showed that papadopoulos was holding events with congress men at the republican national convention and that even after the election he was representing himself in meetings with foreign officials as -- >> a representative of the election or the president. >> that's right. i think that really casts doubt on this talking point the white house is pushing, and this is when their lack of credibility, i think, is so damaging. >> all right. thank you to you, matthew nus balm, philip rucker and kelly o'donnell. coming up next, as the president
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gets ready for his asia trip, he says don't worry about state department vacancies, because he's the only one that matters. he really said that. and later the former chief ethics lawyer for george w. bush on his theory on who may end up taking the fall in the russia investigation. the 11th hour is just getting started on a friday night. time to slay! heals, heals, heals! yes! youuuu! no, i have a long time girlfriend. mom! i need my macaroni!!! you know what's easy? building your website with godaddy. pick a domain name. choose a design. you can build a website in under an hour. yeah! whoo! yes! get your domain today and get a free trial of gocentral. build a better website in under an hour.
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. people that they want -- don't forget, i'm a business person. i tell my people you don't need to fill slots. don't fill them. but we have some people that i'm not happy with their -- >> assistant secretary of state, you're not getting rid of that
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position. >> the only one that matters is me. when it comes to, that's what the policy is going to be. you've seen that strongly. >> a little humility on a friday night. that was the president of the united states on the eve of his first visit to asia, attaching down on criticism that he still haflkt filled dediplomatic positions. donald trump is looking to shift the conversation from indictments and the russia investigation to problems abroad. he embarked on a 12-day trip today. right now he's paying a visit to pearl harbor and touring the "uss arizona" before departing on a five country tour of asia. that's his first as president. the trip is going to take him to japan, south korea, china, vietnam and the philippines. he's going to come face-to-face with world leaders to talk trade, the economy and of course north korea and military action. the visit could also bring him face-to-face with russian president vladimir putin, who is going to attend an economic summit in vietnam. joining me now, retired four-star general, u.s. army
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general bare mccaffrey. nie era hawk, and gordon chang is a columnist for "the daily beast." welcome to all of you on a friday night. thank you for being with us. let me just start with you. the president's comment that the only one who matters is me may or may not make sense but certainly there's a real reason why we have diplomatic channels and a state department and an entire organization that is built around the sofl power of the united states. when the president says what he does, it fundamentally challenges that assumption. >> it has two impacts. the first is that the president cannot be everywhere at all times leading policy directly. so it has direct impact. we don't have people on the ground who understand the very deep histories of these countries and the personal dynamics that are required to move a conversation toward and
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to get a deal done. the second aspect, when he says it's only about him he undermines the people that are left and. we see his tweets repeatedly undermine secretary tillerson as they're working to the advantage of the united states. he's also his own worst enemy. >> general mccaffrey, your work in the military and our conversations as they related to potential conflicts, including north korea, have a deep understanding of the relationship that the military and the state department play together. they are often two sides of the same sword. >> well, no question. and by the way, you ought to add to that the cia, the department of treasury and a lot of issues department of justice department. so, look, this is a team effort. the armed forces alone are 2.1 million men and women deployed globally in the active guard and reserves.
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so the thought that the only one that counts is the head of state, head of government is laughable on its face. >> the president has work to do, however, on a military front when he gets to particularly our allies in japan and south korea. what do they want to hear from the president right now? >> i personally believe there's a great deal of skepticism in most of the international community, both our adversary and our friends. i think a lot of them are going to wait this president out. they don't believe he can deliver domesticly on policy choices. they think he's too volatile and quick sotd to stay a stable course of action. so i think particularly in the issues that concerns me, which is north korea, the key to that is the extent to which south korea, japan, australia and the united states can act in some unified way and leverage china's influence on the north koreans.
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i don't think any of them are willing to risk their future to president trump. >> gordon chang, let's talk about chinese influence on the north koreans. most of us believe that china is the best hope to dealing with the north korean problem right now. the chinese think things out over long periods of time and have long plans. donald trump is going to have to go in there and he's going in there with a lot of ceos and a lot of business people with something in hand and going to be having to ask the chinese for something very specific in return the how do you think that conversation goes is this. >> i think this is going to be a very difficult conversation because president trump is going to point out that xi jinping just came off of the 19th communist party congress. he consolidated his position and i'm pretty sure our president is going to say to their president, lk, you no longer have any excuse not to help us on nok. the united states has a lot of tools which we can use. we're using them. we've started to push china in better directions. so i think this will be a very
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difficult conversation. and not just on north korea, but also on trade where there are some irreconcilable differences between chinese behavior has become so much more predatory under xi jinping, the current rural. >> but ultimately can donald trump return, goreden on, from this trip in 12 days with something that looks like progressor even success with respect to north korea? >> i don't think that he can just because the issues are so complicated. the most important thing to remember about trump's north korea policy, and it's been a consistent policy, that has been to try to cut off the flows of capital and money to north korea. and he's been successful up to now, but he needs to be much more successful in the future. we are starting to see that lower level in pyongyang are not getting their rations of the that's an indication that america's strangulation policy is actually starting to work and that could very well be the beginnings of a diplomatic
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solution when kim jong-un realizes that he has no choice but to disarm. we're not there yet, of course, but maybe within nine months, a year or so trump's policy on cutting off the money might actually put kim jong-un in a very different position than he is today. >> okay. all three of you, please stick with me. we've got much more ahead. the 11th hour comes back right after this kwuk break.
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accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth.
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if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. north korea is a threat to the entire world, so all nations
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of the world must do more to counter that threat. that is happening, but the president recognizes that we're running out of time and will ask all nations to do more. we're out of time because approaches in the past have not delivered, have not delivered on halting and then reversing north korea's very dangerous nuclear and missile programs. >> national security adviser h.r. mcmaster ahead of the president's trip. nieier, let me start with you. this is a big trip. it's a long trip. it's now 12 days and historically big trips like this have been good for presidents because it puts foreign policy at the fore. it sore of helps out when domestic policies aren't going well. but usually that means deals and announcements on a regular basement it doesn't feel like the groundwork has been done in this deal to result in that kind of floushish and fan fair. >> the structure of this trip is
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going to be interesting to see. particularly with him going to japan and south korea first which should be trips to shore up relationships on our allies, to announce some new relationships, by harl trade relationships. that is not what we have here. partly because we doopt have the diplomats on the ground. they're taking him golfing to get on the good side of this president, a nice golf trip, but they're second to china in trade deficit. the import of cars is a huge problem. this all goes to trump's manufacturing base. same thing in south korea. we have steel challenges with steel mills here in the united states being shut down because of the glut of steel from south korea. these are issues that go directly to trump's promises on the campaign to help manufacturing and american businesses, but he does not have the depth of expertise or support with him to be able to move that past. but, after he seize the allies he's going to china. they're going to wine and dine him for several days. he has six meetings with
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president xi himself. >> they've got some kind of love hate thing going on. >> potentially china will walk awith with two very important things because trump will be so bedaz he would by the pom and circumstance the same way he was in saudi arabia. it's going to be a similar type of trip. they're going to walk away without having any type of responsibility for intellectual property theft. notice there are no tech companies on the trip with donald trump to hold china accountable for that. and he may also walk awe with promise lg china access to building high-speed rail in the united states. again, these are all problems for american jobs and trump seems to be taking a much more conciliatory tone to china now at the risk of american jobs than what he said during the campaign. >> kwaul comm, they want to sell their trips into everybody's phones. gordon, this is a point you always make that china often wins in its relationships and its trade deals with the united states. they've got a bunch of these ceos going along on this trip,
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but the president does seem to get bedaz he would by this sort of thing. and if there's anybody that can show him a good time, it's the chinese. >> certainly. they've been doing this not just for decades but for centuries. this is something that chinese emporer's going back mill ena have been very successful at. one of the things is that i think they can actually appeal to his vens of vanity, but there's some structural issues here. trump has made it very clear that china is no longer at the top of his foreign policy agenda. for decades american presidents looked at china and its integration into the international system as the highest priority. donald trump doesn't think that way. he has a korea policy. he doesn't have a dhien policy and how he treats china is entirely dependent on what he thinks they're doing with north korea. i think the chinese will try to bedazzle him, but i'm not sure they're going to be successful in the long run. >> we have two solid allies in the region, south korea and japan. when we fly those planes near or close to the demilitarized zone
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it is often with he is courts of japanese or south korean aircraft. that is a strong -- those are both strong military relationships and important to whatever happens next. but in both cases the president has done things that could undermine some of our relationships. he constantly talks to the south koreans as renegotiating relationships. there are some tensions on the trade level. from a military perspective what does the president need to do with japan and south korea? >> well, i don't think he's going to find that either one of those nations, nor the australians, are willing to publicly state that they're headed in the direction of a binary decision, basically. do we accept north korean nuclear capacity to strike the ns or do we use some kind of preemptive military action? none of them are going to sign up for that option for rather obvious reasons. there would be an immediate,
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high intensety ground and air war in the korean peninsula, so they're not going to go in that direction. so i think the problem that i have with all this is there doesn't seem to be an adequate diplomatic policy to get the chinese, who by the way will be ill-served by a major war in the region. never mind one that might go nuclear and might involve strikes against u.s. military forces in japan or on u.s. national territory like qualm and hawaii. so i think that at the end of the day the only glimmer of hope that we have is that the chinese will understand their unilateral interests are best served by putting strong leverage against north korea. i think the other thing we have to take into account here is the probability that kim jong-un when being ridiculed and demeaned in public at the u.n. general assembly, little rocket man and this kind of thing and
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essentially threatened with nuclear attack, fire and fury against north korea, that he's likely to do something provocative that both his father and his grandfather got away with. i think if there's a major provocation in this region on the coming year, we're going to end up at war with north korea. >> weesh just keeping an eye on as we see on the left of your screen the president's boat has docked at the "uss arizona," and he is proceeding to the memorial for the "uss arizona" right now. we're going to keep an eye on this. he'll be laying a wreath very shortly. you were nodding when the general was talking. >> well, certainly. the challenge with the china vanity project is china has been brilliant in making north korea an issue for the united states and not accepting chinese responsibility for what they are doing in the region. >> gordon chang, is china as worried about this as everybody else is? is it really that bad for china
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if north korea does press that nuclear button? >> well, the north korean nuclear weapons program and their ballistic missile program has been aided by the chinese. so, for instance, the launchers that the north koreans use to bring their mobile missiles to the launch sites, those are chinese. you know, we see that perhaps north korea's most advanced missiles are variants of china's. so, you know, beijing has been weapon onizing the north koreans. but you've got to remember, donald trump just on that interview aired yesterday said that japan is a warrior nation. this is a reversal of american policy because as the chinese are using north korea is a probation, i think trump is thinking of using the japan -- not only exceedingly dangerous but certainly going to be fascinating to watch the interplay of these four nations. >> a number of people have said to the point that the general just made that a conventional artillery war on the korean
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peninsula is going to be devastating. that is not something to be taken likely. the fact that there may not be nuclear weaponry at play may be more devastating than you think. let's just look at the picture. the president to lay a wreath at the arizona memorial. let's listen in.
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a moment of remarkable solemn anyty, the president of the united states visiting the memorial at the "uss arizona" in pearl harbor, something he has never done before, something he has said he has always wanted to do. it is a moment of solemn anyty on what is often simply a fuel stop on the way to asia, but the president has made it more than that. he's visiting with pacific demand. general barry mccaffrey, that is a moment in which the president may gain some understanding of the point you just made, the
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seriousness of any conflict on the korean peninsula, not just nuclear war with north korea. >> sure. you know, all these senior military people basically don't want a fight. they'd like to see a way out through diplomacy, through economic leverage. and certainly the arizona memorial, where essentially during that short japanese attack on pearl harbor and associated army air corps and army basis, we lost some 3,000 people. as you go to the arizona memorial, which you've probably done yourself, you can still see the fuel oil leaking out from the entumd sailors. so it's a moment of special solemn anyty and a good lesson for all of us involved in national security. >> it is a remarkable lesson and when one is steaming toward war, the memorials of war often serve us very well in reminding us that we must dog we can to avoid it. thank you. coming up, the president says
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he's disappointed in the justice department as he urges them to look into hillary clinton and the democratic party. the 11th hour is back after this. it's time for the sleep number semi-annual sale on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort, your sleep number setting. and snoring? does your bed do that? right now during our semi-annual sale, our queen c4 mattress with adjustable comfort on both sides is only $1499. save $300. ends soon. visit for a store near you.
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building your website with godaddy. get your domain today and get a free trial of gocentral. build a better website in under an hour. i'm really not involved with the justice department. i'd like to let it run itself. but honestly, they should be looking at the democrats. they should be looking at podesta and all of that dishonesty. they should be looking at a lot of things. and a lot of people are disappointed in the justice department, including me. >> the president there, as we've been talking, taking aim at his own administration. joining me now is richard parpt, the chief white house ethics lawyer under president george w. bush and pulitzer prize winning author and historian john meech um. good to see you both. john, will et me start with you. what do you make of this, the president turning on his own administration. it's actually not new to us in
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this administration that the president takes on his justice department and his attorney general. how are we supposed to contextual eyes this sort of dispute? >> well, i think the president is basically arguing with himself as he's done for more than a year now. he is on a fairly insofar as it is coheernt, a coherent campaign to undermine and delegitimize anything that might cause him some political harm. we've seen it with the media. we've seen it and we're seeing it now with the justice department. it's highly unusual. i can't really say how unusual it is, for a president of the united states to suggest publicly that the justice department should be looking at someone else. it's almost as though he's forgotten to some extent that he is the president. and when a president says you've got to look at something, it just means something different than if you're a reality tv show who is going on howard stern and popping off about the news.
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>> richard, i think he tweeted yesterday that you are seeing jeff sessions being set up to be the fall guy. >> well, yes. jeff sessions recused from the russia investigation, and they would like nothing more than an excuse to fire jeff sessions. and then turn around and put someone else in there as the acting attorney general and fire robert mueller. that would cause a constitutional crisis if they tried it. and this authoritarian rhetoric we had today is really shocking. he's made a big issue out of this flap between the hillary campaign and the bernie sanders campaign. it may be embarrassing with the dnc, but there's nothing criminal about it. he's running around and saying the justice department ought to be going after the democrats. that's not what we do in this
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country. we do not go and prosecute our political opponents and put our political opponents to jail. and he has threatened that numerous times. this is authoritarian rhetoric of a place like you would hear at nazi germany. we do not tolerate that in the united states. i think if he's going to talk that way, congress is going to have to think about taking action. it's way, way off the rails. and he's also derailed the prosecution of this terrorist suspect up in new york by calling for the death penalty and all sorts of things. i mean, he's really got to focus on his job and let the prosecutors do their job. let robert mueller do his job. and stop tweeting about this stuff all the time. >> john, give us a hierarchy of issues here. the president for a long time including the campaign talked about hillary clinton going to jail of the it used to be because of benghazi and e-mails. now it's because of these uranium one and i encourtroom our viewers to go to whatever fact checking site you want and
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read up. it's a complicated issue. then he wants robert mueller out of the way and possibly investigated, possibly in connection to this uranium one, but all sorts of other reasons are going on now and spr i theory sites. and finally, as richard suggests in some way making jeff sessions the fall guy. he didn't seem to have it in him to fire jeff sessions, though it looked to everybody like he was going to some months ago and it turns out that jeff sessions did at some point offer his resignation and the president didn't accept it. in this hierarchy of getting people out of the way whom you don't like or creating a distraction by doing so, what actually happens? >> well, i think richard is exactly right on this in that a president's words are different than a candidacy words. and i don't think the president has made the shift from october of -- early november of last year to early november of this year. we're all prisoners to some
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extent of our own experience. his the greatest exhilarating experience of his life happened when he defeated hillary clinton. so under the stress and the strain of the presidency itself, what's he doing? he's returning to refight this battle, a balttle that he knew e won. and so i think psychologically on a human emotional level that's what he's doing. and in terms of the hierarchy, the question is we have a president who is fighting an emotionally comfortable battle against an opponent who, by the way, is no longer his opponent, the democratic nominee nor 2016. and not using the energy of the office, the capacity of the office to traes the real challenges that face the people who put him there in deal with the equality of opportunity and in dealing with these foreign policy challenges. >> richard painter, do you see this going in a direction where the president either gets rid of sessions or successfully creates
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an investigation around robert mueller? >> well, there's nothing to investigate around robert mueller, but that's ridiculous. this uranium one thing congress had years to look into, and that's been gone over many, many times. this is all just a bunch of nonsense being generated not just out of the mouth of president trump but the right wing conspiracy theorists over at "breitbart news," the white supremacist crowd that steve bannon has around him, sebastian gorka and those types. sebastian gorka the other day said hillary clinton ought to be executed. this is the type of storm troopers as they say in nazi germany. these people do not represent the type of political discourse that we find acceptable in the united states. and it's really unfortunate. they're encouraging the president to talk this way and to tweet this way rather than act presidential. and it's going to be critically important if he wants to save his presidency.
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he starts acting like a president and stop talking like a dictator because we're not going to tolerate that in this country. >> thank you very much for joung us on this friday night. coming up, eight years after deserting his post in aeflg, bowe bergdahl spared from jail time. we're back after this. 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- home improvement, college tuition, even finally getting out of credit card debt. come to to shop and compare home equity loans right now. because at lendingtree, when banks compete, you win.
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11:57 pm're done! and now business is booming. harriet, it's a double stitch not a cross stitch! build a better website - in under an hour. free to try. no credit card required. gocentral from godaddy. a decision came down today in the case of sergeant bowe bergdahl who walked away from his afghanistan post in 2009 before being captured and tore cheddar by the taliban for five years. bergdahl pled guilty last month to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and today a judge sentenced him to be dishonorably discharged and leave -- have his rank reduced
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to private. but he was spared jail time. the president responded on twitter, writing the decision on sergeant bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our country and to our military. trump had frequently brought up bergdahl's name to fire up campaign crowds, calling him a traitor and saying he should be executed. ironically, the judge said earlier this week that trump's decision to involve himself actually kept bergdahl from receiving worst punishment. general barry mccaffrey is back with us. general, how are we supposed to process these sorts of things? when you see somebody in the media having done something wrong, how are we supposed to think about it? >> well, look, first of all, the key part of this sentence was dishonorable discharge. so private bergdahl cannot benefit from his egregious behavior in the face of the enemy, abandoning his come rads in arms. the fact that he doesn't serve jail time i think is probably a
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good outcome for the armed forces and bergdahl. you know, he got hammered for five years by the taliban. the president's comments, look, if there was a serving military officer in a chain of command who made those sorts of comments, we would summarily sack him. so this is shameful behavior by our commander in chief. >> because we are not meant to presuppose the outcome of a trial, whether it's a military trial or a civilian trial. >> look, the uniformed code of military justice is a body of law passed by congress. it's not the president or the pentagon's law. it's a congressional law. it's a federal court system. it works really effectively most of the time, and it did, i think, in this case. so to have the commander in chief intervening and shaming his own system is unprecedented. i know of no cases in history where this kind of behavior has been seen. >> general mccaffrey, good to
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see you as always. thank you so much for joining us a second time tonight. this is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being with us and good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. tonight on "all in" -- >> all i can tell you is this, there was no collusion. you want to look at hillary clinton. >> the president calls for the investigation of his political opponents. >> i am not supposed to be involved with the justice department, and i'm very frustrated by it. >> tonight, the evidence that president donald trump is committing obstruction of justice in plain sight, and tom steyer on his call for impeachment. then -- >> there's no hesitation. one of the great memories of all time. >> one of the great memories suddenly forgets about russia. >> i don't remember much about that meeting. it was a very unimportant meeting. >> the latest on the mueller investigation as manafort gets a trial date. and joy reid on where president trump stands after week one of thinct


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