tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC November 14, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
while voting last week? what happened to the owner of the teeth that have been found such that he or she is not missing these teeth even a week later? how long will it take to find that person? and which will happen first? dentures will get claimed in portland? we do still have three undecided delegate races in virginia from last week's election. but there is this one dental appliance that's waiting there the portland city clerk's office. all i can think is that somebody brought those in to the voting booth, had to pop them out in order to think hard enough to make good decisions in voting, and then was -- just hasn't had another really hard decision to make since. if we hear, you will hear, first thing. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's "the last word." joy reid in for lawrence tonight. >> rachel maddow, listen, i am a forgettable soul. i forget my keys. i can't find half my stuff.
have i lost my wallet. how can you forget your teeth? >> i know, i know. if you popped your teeth out, you would remember them, right? even if i don't didn't remember them right then, you would remember them at breakfast. >> maybe they had scrambled eggs and they didn't feel it. but at some point you might want some bacon. >> the rules of fiber actually prove that you would some time in the next week require your teeth. so it's possible that somebody had them in their pocket, or maybe they were a dental prosthetic technician who was bringing work home. >> maybe they were somebody else's teeth and they were holding them for the person. so they're not personally missing them because they're not they're teeth. >> a tooth mugger. >> stolen teeth! >> it's stolen teeth. and the victim is not aware. i don't know. >> but there had to be a police report because somebody is missing those teeth. >> i know. i know. i'm telling you, it's now global news. >> this is actually a bigger mystery than russiagate at this
point. >> exactly! we're quite clear the trump campaign colluded with russia. but these freakin' teeth. >> i'm on it. >> thanks, rachel. bye. i don't get it. i thought we had the best forgetfulness story. rachel clearly did. roy moore, somebody else who doesn't remember things. he doesn't remember any of the things he is accused of. and jeff sessions can't remember anything about russia. but people are trying really, really hard to jog both of their memories. >> if there was a book about jeff session and his contacts regarding russia, we would be in the third revised edition. >> i will not accept and reject accusations that i have ever lied. that is a lie. >> jeff sessions has made it a lot easier for a prosecutor. he has lied three times. >> i don't recall that. >> the american people are becoming desensitized to the concept of truth. >> i don't recall it. >> the party of bible waving and bible thumping, including steve bannon is getting religion a
little late in this church service. >> i'm the only one that can unite democrats and republicans. because i seem to be opposed by both. >> he cares about the values and the people he claims to care about, then he should step aside. >> roy moore should step aside. the women who come forward are entirely credible. he is obviously not fit to be in the united states senate. >> cool story, bro. you still schill for a sexual predator. donald trump has been accused by 17 different women. >> well, this has been an interesting couple of weeks for men from alabama who have been experiencing some pretty significant memory problems. roy moore, the former chief justice of the alabama supreme court who is now running for the united states senate says he doesn't remember the five women who have now accused him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
but roy moore's memory apparently isn't so bad that he doesn't remember that he never, ever acted inappropriately with any of them, whoever they may be. other alabamans are having memory problems as well there is brett talley, the 36-year-old alabama blogger donald trump wants to give a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, who forgot to disclose that his wife worked as a lawyer for the trump white house. and then there is the man whose w.h.o. roy moore is running for. jefferson session. today in front of the house judiciary committee, attorney general session's year-long memory lapse about his communications with russians continued to bewilder legislators. >> in your testimony today you have stated i don't recall at least 20 times. is that fair to say? >> i have no idea. >> you criticized hillary clinton for telling fbi investigators i can't remember approximately 35 times. you also stated during that lou dobbs interview that the intentional failure to remember can cute perjury.
do you still believe that the intentional failure to remember can cute a criminal act? >> if it's an act to deceive, yes. >> so sessions has forgotten and remembered so many times, you have to go all the way back to january to try to make sense of what he said today. at his confirmation hearing, sessions made this statement to senator al franken. >> 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 have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign. and i did not have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> senator patrick leahy followed up with questions the following week, asking in a letter have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the russian government about the 2016 election either before or after election day?
no, senator sessions replied. he did not elaborate. well, turns out that wasn't true. it's since been reported that session met with russian ambassador sergey kislyak at least twice including a meeting during the republican convention in july of 2016. and meeting in his senate office in september of that year. fast forward to last month when during his testimony in front of a senate judiciary committee, jefferson sessions was pressed by senator franken about that discrepancy. on the question of surrogate, communicating with russian, sessions again denied any knowledge of those contacts. >> you don't believe that surrogates from the trump campaign had communications with the russians? is that what you're saying? >> i did not. and i'm not aware of anyone else that did. and i don't believe it happened. >> not surprisingly, that was also revealed to be untrue. just 12 days later, on october 30th, a charging document was unsealed showing that a campaign
adviser named george papadopoulos had engaged in ongoing conversations with people linked to the russian government with the aid of setting up meeting between president trump and vladimir putin. what's more, papadopoulos mentioned the efforts during a march 31, 2016 meeting that included both trump, and wait for it, jefferson session. today attorney general sessions revised his testimony again. appearing before the house judiciary committee, he addressed the discrepancy between his denial of surrogate contacts with russia and the papadopoulos revelation. >> i do now recall that the march 2016 meeting at the trump hotel that mr. papadopoulos attended, but i have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting. after reading his account and to the best of my recollection, i believe that i wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the russian
government or any other foreign government for that matter. but i did not recall this event which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago. >> so jeff sessions didn't remember a meeting where he discussed russian communications. but now that his memory has been refreshed, not only duds he remember the meeting, but he also specifically remembers the substance of the meeting, and that he pushed back on suggestions of trump meeting with vladimir putin. congressman jerry nadler asked for more details about this march 2016 meeting. but all of the sudden, just like that, the attorney general's memory went all foggy again. >> did anyone else at that meeting, including then candidate trump react in any way to what mr. papadopoulos had presented? >> i can't recall. >> okay. so your testimony is neither donald trump nor anyone else at the meeting expressed any interest in meeting the russian president or had any concerns about communications between the campaign and the russians?
>> i can't recall it. >> now, remember, all of jeff sessions' testimony before congress has been under oath. his confirmation hearing was under oath. the senate judiciary hearing last month was under oath. today's house committee testimony also under oath. congressman eric swalwell of california pushed the attorney general to explain why his statements had changed so many times throughout the hearings when he could be under penalty of perjury for not telling the truth in his clearly contradictory statements. >> you stated in your opening statement that my story has never changed. but mr. attorney general, it's changed three times. >> the exchange i had with senator franken, i think you can understand where when i answered the question, i felt like i was answering it properly. >> but you would agree today should it be answered differently if it was asked in the same form today, considering your recollection that you just gave us?
>> i believe that -- when i was -- you're asking me today explicitly did you meet with any other russians, i am prepared to say i did. i met with the ambassador in my office with at least two of my staff, senior respected patriots, colonels, retired in the army. and nothing improper occurred at all. >> joining us now is paul butler, a law professor at georgetown prosecutor. former prosecutor and msnbc contributor kyle cheney. and eric swalwell from california who is a member of the house judiciary committee and questioned jeff sessions today. congressman swalwell, i'm going to go to you first. it does seem that jeff sessions has a very tricky memory. he can't remember the details of any of his meetings that involve russians. but he does remember in those meetings he doesn't encourage anyone from the campaign to talk with russians or vladimir putin. did you believe him today to be
honest with you? >> i still don't believe he has been forthcoming, joy. and if past is prologue, today's "i don't recalls" will be next month's hearing's i do now recall that seems to be the trend here with attorney general sessions. what's interesting is only after the papadopoulos guilty plea came forward does general sessions acknowledge the one part of the exchange with papadopoulos that he claims makes him looks good, that he told papadopoulos not to have those contacts with russia. also interestingly, joy, he acknowledged that carter page told him he was going to russia. he said i can't dispute that occurred. but he has no idea why he didn't tell carter page not to go. i asked him, well, within three months you have papadopoulos and carter page both on your national security team. both are invoking russia. at that point, did you think that you had a russia problem on your hands?
and do you think maybe you should have told someone else on the campaign team or the fbi? >> and let's actually play what his answer was. because that exchange you're talking about, we do have a clip of that. let's just play that now. >> with respect to carter page, he told you as you just acknowledged that he was going to russia. he was also on the national security team. and that is the second person within about three months now that is bringing up russian contacts. and you did not tell him to not go to russia. that correct? >> no, i didn't tell him not to go to russia. >> and you didn't tell anyone else on the campaign? >> i didn't recall him saying that. an i supposed to stop him from taking a flip. >> you know, congressman, there he is making light of what is the central question in this scandal, whether or not members of the trump campaign team were having meaningful contacts with russian operatives and with members of the russian government.
he seemed to be laughing that off. did you get the sense that the attorney general understands the seriousness of the situation that he finds himself in? >> i don't believe he understands it. he also didn't express any -- he didn't give us any assurances that they're doing anything to stop russia in the next interference campaign that they want to run in. and finally, joy, i also am deeply concerned that if this was only jeff sessions who failed to recall contacts with the russians, maybe there might be innocent explanations. but he is the ninth individual in this trump campaign team who has failed to recall interaction was the russians, and only because of press reporting or investigations has had to minimally acknowledge them. >> kyle cheney, i want to play a little more. i know you sat through testimony today. i want to play a little more. this is jefferson sessions, the attorney general of the united states being questioned by california congressman ted lieu. >> you did have communications with the russians last year, isn't that right? just yes or no. >> i had a meeting with the russian ambassador, yes. >> great.
that is exactly the opposite answer you gave under oath the u.s. senate. so again, either you're lying to the u.s. senate or lying to the u.s. house of representatives. >> well, i hope the congressman knows, and i hope all of you know that my answer to that question i did not meet with the russians was explicitly responding to the shocking suggestion that i as a surrogate was meeting on a continuing basis with russian officials. and the implication was to impact the campaign in some sort of nefarious way. >> just from your recollection in terms of the reporting, kyle, was in fact the question that was asked of sessions when he was a united states senator to do with whether or not he was having on a continuing basis contacts with russian officials or whether he just plain met with russian officials? >> the question was clearly about whether he had met with russian officials during the course of the campaign. so it was not -- clearly not qualified quite like that, quite like he claimed in his answer.
>> and so today did you get the sense that jeff session, the attorney general of the united states, because we saw him being flippant in some of the answers, is that sort of the way it went throughout the day? did he seem to be taking it seriously? >> that was actually within of the questions was his stamina and endurance for a hearing like this. you have 41 members of the judiciary committee, democrats in particular really peppering him hard on these questions, trying to push on some of those points about what was his recollection, why can't he recall all of these very specific points in which he seemed to sort of shift his testimony over the previous few months. and so that was sort of -- you saw him get a little chippier as the hearing went on and get a little frustrated i think at the lines of questioning. >> absolutely. and jeff sessions is of course an attorney. he used to be the chief attorney in alabama. and paul butler, as a prosecutor, if you have a person in january saying i did not have meetings with russians, and then fast forward to november, say i did, and qualify it by saying, well, the tenor of the question that was asked me in january is something that offended me.
it was an offensive line of questioning. and that's why gave a completely contradictory answer. would that be enough to keep them out of a charge of perjury? >> you know, it sounds like he is being cagey. it sounds like he is being evasive. it also sounds like he is being lawyerly in the sense he is saying i didn't recall. but a senator sessions said about hillary clinton intentional failure to recall is a crime. that's right. it's false statements. it's perjury if it's under oath. and so when the attorney general says, you know, i vaguely remember reaching out, the russians reaching out, hearing about that, but i absolutely remember i pushed back against that, we get it. he's trying to play congress. he is trying to play the american people. the hope for our democracy and the rule of law is that special counsel mueller will not be played. >> in your opinion, in terms of your legal opinion, do you think that the ingredients for perjury are there? i mean, you have completely
contradictory testimony. both sides of the testimony were under oath what session said in january, what he is saying now, what he said to the house versus what he said to the senate. are those the ingredients for the legal definition of perjury? >> yeah, so, again, it's intentionally trying to misrepresent. so the standard is what's going on in his mind. do we believe that he actually is just the most forgetful person in washington history with a very loose understanding of what the truth, or is he intentionally covering up the truth? that's when prosecutors look for a pattern. because the congressman is right. it's not just session. it's all of these trump campaign operatives when they're asked about russia conveniently forgetting. so it's michael flynn. it's carter page. it's george papadopoulos. it's trump jr. and prosecutors look for patterns. they'll start to wonder can all these people really be that forgetful, or is this a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
>> and, you know, that brings me back to you, congressman. then what is the remedy? this is the attorney general of the united states. if in fact congress believed that he has perjured himself before either the house or the senate, then what happens after that? what is the remedy here? >> it's really a decision for bob mueller and his team. and i'll leave it to them. i just -- joy, i think it's now on congress to do something about the multitude of contacts that the trump team had with russia that they failed to disclose and the amount of evidence that they were working and that they were willing and eager to receive information from the russians. we're not helpless in congress. and we showed today that when we push forward with evidence, that we can make progress and expose failures to disclose in the past. that's our job in congress. and if the curiosity exists on the other side of the aisle, i'm confident that we can restore some checks and balances in our government. >> any concern that if jeff sessions were in let's say a
theoretical world were pushed to resign, that that would open the door to firing bob mueller? that is one of the concerns that people are expressing about the idea that he might eventually at some point have to step down. >> we can't allow a discredited attorney general continue to preside and have his name on top of every charging document in the united states. if he is discredited, he should resign. and it's on the senate to confirm somebody who gives assurances that they would not fire bob mueller. i just don't accept that we keep him in place to protect mueller. i think the senate has to show some courage themselves. >> all right, congressman eric swalwell, kyle butler, and paul cheney, thank you. >> my pleasure. coming up, roy moore disappointed every republican that hoped and indeed parade he would quit the race. but more republicans are now belatedly quitting him. that's next. and later, senators openly question the mental stability of the president of the united states today in a senate committee hearing about the use of nuclear weapons. let that sink in. we'll discuss next.
and that's all the press want to talk about. but i want to talk about the issues. i want to talk about where this country is going. and if we don't come back to god, we're not going anywhere. >> roy moore is not quitting that was moore at the god save america revival conference in jackson, alabama tonight where he shed was being harassed by the media over the sexual misconduct allegations against him. this afternoon, the rnc cut off funding for moore's campaign and canceled its field operations for moore. but inexplicably, more than a week after allegations that normally would have ended a political career, some republicans are still agonizing over what to do about roy moore. here is alabama republican congressman mo brooks today. >> do you believe -- >> i believe . >> he is literally running away. that's after five women accused moore of committing sexual misconduct against them about 40
years ago when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers, as young as 14. and after more than a dozen people told the new yorker they heard that moore was banned from an alabama mall because he repeatedly badgered teenaged girls. roy moore has called the abuse allegations absolutely false. and here is fox news's sean hannity just moments ago. >> for me, the judge has 24 hours. you must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies that i just showed. you must remove any doubt. if you can't do this, then judge moore needs to get out of this race. >> ah, change of heart. joining us now is elise jordan. she is a republican strategist and a contributor to time.com. she is also an msnbc political analyst. and also joining us is cornell belcher, president of research and strategies and also an msnbc political analyst. elise, i'm going to start with you first. now the bail. it's taken republicans over a week to figure out how they felt about roy moore after five women accused him of sexual misconduct. suddenly several seem to be catching on this might not be
such a good thing. what has caused this belated change of heart? >> it's amazing how we always want to give these men accused of grave sexual misconduct the benefit of the doubt. it's funny how the women who are brave enough to come forward, breitbart might send people to alabama to harass the women who told their stories. people immediately want to say what is wrong with their story. but we always come up with a reason to give the men a little bit more time to explain. >> yeah. you've had sean hannity who came out swinging and really in defense of roy moore and then came out swinging again when people said he was excusing sexual misconduct. and then you had jeanine pirro, very much on the side of roy moore, and steve bannon. i'm quoting the late andrew breitbart's new guy running his operations. steve bannon. this was steve bannon on
breitbart radio just this past weekend. this is not long ago. and he was coming out and talking about the accusations against roy moore. here he is. >> this is about destroying roy moore. you know why they want to destroy roy moore? they want to destroy anybody that will step up and speak if your behalf. you know what our response is? bring it. bring it. you have not seen anything yet. you think we're going to back down one inch? you are dead wrong, folks. paul singer, write this down. and you and these republican scumbag, and that's what you, are you operatives. and here is the good news, folks. we know your names. and more importantly, folks, we know your clients. >> yeah, we're not going the back down one inch. and elise, you know what happened today? somebody close to steve bannon leaked to the daily beast he is having a change of heart maybe about roy moore and leaked out an equally tough guy statement, i'll put him in a grave myself if he determines that moore was lying to him.
numerous accusations, a source told the daily beast. >> bannon had better look the first go-around he was with a conduct accused of grave sexual misconduct, donald trump. but by that point, so many people really disliked donald trump that it wasn't necessarily unsurprising, the "access hollywood" video. roy moore was supposed to be the pinnacle of piousness, a good christian servant. and he is showing the chip in the arm they're hey, maybe this has all been one big facade. his holier than thou attitude covering up very grave since. >> and i'm not going back down one inch. tough guy steve bannon claiming he was going to fight to the finish for roy moore. fight to the -- oh, let me get a statement out and try to get one of my close friends to tell the daily beast i'm backing down one inch. it could be because you now have the cook political report saying this rice in alabama no is less a toss-up?
is that really what's behind the sudden bail? >> well, it is interesting. and all this is going on, joy. but i want us to really realize that you're still talking about a state that in any other place you wouldn't be turning it to a toss-up. you would be turning it to a lean democrat. a state that is geographically you're not talking about a lot of swing voters. a state that is 18 points more white and evangelical than the nation as a whole. you're talking about a state that is 20 some points more rural than the nation as a whole. you're talking about a state that is less college educated than voters overall. so when you look at the demographics there in alabama, particularly the white evangelicals, well, remember this, right? the same white evangelicals were among trump's strongest supporters, even after the allegations that had happened. so given all this, you're still going to see probably a very close race there in alabama. but for me, i think there is two pictures here. there is the alabama sort of small picture where quite frankly, i think moore is in trouble, toss-up.
but he still coo win. this but there is also the big picture. politico put out a poll today showing 60% of americans think the women's allegations thankfully are credible, and that moore should drop out. for republicans, and i think mitch mcconnell gets this, for republicans, there is the small war in alabama. but there is a bigger picture. and i point back to the 22 point democratic advantage with women in virginia last time around. i mean, spread that nationally for republicans. it becomes real problematic. >> do you believe that poll, the poll that came out recently showing it being a roy moore up 49, doug jones, 43? that's a new poll. there have been some polls that showed it the other way around. do you believe that doug jones has a realistic chance? >> have i not seen the internals of the poll. most of the polls show a toss-up where the democrat getting 35%, 36%, 37% of the white vote. i think barack obama last time around got 16%, 17% of the white vote and hillary clinton did even worse. so he is being a lot more competitive.
but i also think for you to win in alabama, a democrat to win in alabama, we do have to see some of what we saw last time around. virginia was a lot more democratic this time around than it was when mcauliffe won. >> sure. >> i think the turnout difference between democrats and republicans will go a long way in deciding who wins. >> elise, i'll give you the last word on this. one of the key questions asked really since the hillary clinton campaign will white republican women ever cross the aisle? it generally does not happen. do you see this being one instance where white republican women in alabama switch sides? >> i think doug jones is playing it well by trying to keep it an alabama race, trying to show how roy moore will embarrass the men and women of alabama. i think he is doing a good job of keeping it local and not letting it become some referendum on the democratic
party. whether that's going to make a huge difference, who knows. but i do know that roy moore is never that popular in his general elections, and he only eked out his last one by about three points. i think that doug jones has a good chance. >> we will see. elise jordan, cornell belcher, thank you very much. coming up next, a third of evangelical voters in alabama say that they are more likely to vote for roy moore after learning about the sexual abuse allegations against him. bishop william barber will help us make sense of that, next. one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like wet grocery bags. getting a bad haircut. overcrowded trains. turnstiles that don't turn. and spilling coffee on themselves. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv. and for a limited time get a $100 reward card.
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really? really? really? see zero in a whole new way. get zero down, zero deposit, zero first month's payment, and zero due at signing on select volkswagen models. now with the people first warranty. if you take a stand, you're going to come under persecution. it's nice in churches to talk about your persecution i guess
in some churches. but i'm going to tell you, it's part of it. it says that's your reward. that's your reward. bless ready you when men shall revile you and persecute and say all men of evil are against you. rejoice for great is your reward in heaven. >> wow. that was roy moore tonight speaking to a group of his core supporters at a god save america revival conference in jackson, alabama. the religious right is at the core of roy moore's base. in a recent poll, 55% of alabama evangelical voters say they support roy moore. just 34% say they support democrat doug jones. and since the allegations against moore came out, 37% of alabama self-described evangelicals say they more likely to vote for him. 28% say they are less likely. and 34% say their opinion on moore hasn't changed.
one of moore's supporters defended him tonight. >> reporters say allegations, accusations. i told him a while ago that's exactly what they are. all i can look and see a man that for 20 years has stood for right. and if i said that about them, they'd be on the defense. i thank god for a man that stands for truth. >> joining us now is bishop william barber, president and senior lecture for repairs of the breach. always great to see you in person, bishop barber. when i heard -- when i hear roy moore saying if you take a stand, you'll come under persian constitution and blessed are you when mel men revile and persecute and say all manner of evil against you and falsify my name. i hope he is not talk about himself and is actually talking about jesus. >> that is such a misinterpretation of the text. it is heretical. this is not christianity. an extreme form of religionism. that text actually refers to the prophets who stood up for poor,
who stood up for the least of these. who stood against power, who stood against those who hurt children. and they were persecuted for that, as was jesus. if you step back and look at alabama, alabama denied medicaid expansion. alabama is the 12th lowest per pupil spending in education. it is one of the poorest states in the union. it rates 47th in income. has the sixth highest child poverty. and most of these are white. nothing roy moore has ever done has sought to deal with those issues. instead, what has he done? he has supported segregation laws. he supported the lies about birtherism. he violated his oath of office. and now, joy, he wants to be given the power to go to the senate so he can block people from having health care. that's not christian. so that he can write laws against muslims, gay people, and work on a tax reform that will hurt the poor and the working poor.
this so such a form of heresy that it is troubling. and it's troubling to see themselves who call themselves white evangelicals be engaged in supporting this. >> when reporters will go down and ask people why they support roy moore, they'll generally talk about his christian beliefs. and that is roy moore a little bit more of him tonight. and this is an issue that i do hear a lot. when you hear back from people who are white evangelical christians about why they are such staunch republicans. and here he is. >> by 1962, the united states supreme court took prayer out of the school. bible reading followed in abington versus schempp. >> they started to create new rights in 1965. i wonder what new rights they were talking about. >> notice the code word, '60s, civil rights. civil rights act of '64. white religionists who were segregations were against civil rights of '64. they were against the voting rights act of '65. they were against dr. king. he says they took prayer out of the school. but we have segregation in the
school. so this is so crazy. it's so heretical. it's so wrong. this has nothing to do with christian policies. this is about a form of greed, not a form of grace. it's about lies and racism and not redemption and love there is no scriptural basis. this is not christian. this is why the church is making a bad mistake. those who claimed they represent christ to support this kind of foolishness. even before the claims. >> yeah. >> i'm saying he wasn't supporting christian policies before. now the claim and the accusation, the true accusations about what he has done to these young girls. this is not christianity. it is a strange form of religionism.
and, joy, somebody said today we ought to stay out of alabama. let me tell you, when has the civil rights movement stayed out of alabama? no. we need to be calling everybody, white, black, brown, state, gay, christian and muslim and jew to be engaging in alabama and calling everybody we know to get out the vote. this is very troubling. and there is going to have to be a reckoning with these people who have hijacked the christian faith. if he just said these are my republican values, then okay. but when you try this claim that what he is supporting and what the people supporting him are also christian values, they are contrary. there is no scriptural basis that you can find for this policies he is promoting. >> bishop william barber, thank you. it's always a pleasure to speak to you. thank you very much. coming up for the first time in decades, the senate wants to know how easy it is for the president to launch a nuclear attack. seriously. that's next. we are concerned that the president of the united states is so unstable, is so volatile,
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president's authority to launch nuclear weapons because donald trump is president and several senators are frankly concerned about his mental stability. senator bob corker, the chairman of the committee, and man who has called the trump white house an adult day-care center said this to reporters today. >> is this hearing a rebuke on president trump? >> not in any way, no. we, you know, are going to a series of hearings that we start and we have some momentum around developing something that we might be able to build consensus around. we're doing this. we're going to be doing one just on the north korea issue itself and some of the issues that come into play. >> but in a new book, the dangerous case of donald trump, dr. henry j. freedman writes a paranoid hypersensitive grandiose ill informed leader such as donald trump who has surrounded himself with a cabinet and set of advisers who are either unable to bring him out of his paranoid suspicions and instances or worse, identify with his positions, represents a multidimensional threat to our country and the world, unquote. the president probably didn't calm anyone's nerves when he tweeted this.
noko -- that's north korea -- has interpreted america's past restraint as weakness. this would be a fatal miscalculation. do not underestimate us. in all caps, do not try us. behavior like that is why bob corker held that hearing today on the president's authority to use nuclear weapons. tony schwartz contributed to the book "the dangerous case of donald trump." he knows trump as well as anyone, having written "the art of the deal" with trump. he joins after the break. i would like to be able to . you know what, i'm not buying this. you gotta come a little harder dawg. you gotta figure it out. eh, i don't know. shaky on the walk, carriage was off. randy jackson judging a dog show. i don't know dawg. surprising. what's not surprising? how much money lisa saved by switching to geico. wow!
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tell my constituents and the american people we have a system in place that prevents an impulsive and irrational decision to use nuclear weapons. unfortunately i cannot make that assurance today. >> joining us now is tony swartz, co-author of "the art of the deal." tony, the subject of had hearing today was whether or not the president should have the unfettered access that he does under the constitution to launch nuclear war. this is bob corker talking about trump potentially risking world war iii with the way he behaves. >> he doesn't realize that we
could be heading towards world war iii with the kind of comments he's making. >> do you feel like donald trump doesn't realize he could start world war iii or he doesn't care? >> i actually think it kind of -- it excites him. it's a horrible thing to have to think but i think, you know, domination is his thing and as far back as 15 months ago, i said to the "new yorker" that i was deeply concerned that if he got elected, he would potentially get irritated by kim jong un and set off the nuclear codes or punch them in and people laughed, said what are you talking about? now it's a very, very real possibility. >> yeah, this is donald trump talking about north korea and threatening fire and fury against them. take a listen. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> and, first of all, american presidents don't typically talk like that.
this is senator ben harden today at the hearing responding to those comments. >> quoting the president, north korea best not make any more threats to the united states, they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. or the president's comments, "we'll have no choice but to totally destroy north korea." now, many interpret that to mean that the president is actively considering the use of nuclear weapons in order to deal with the threat of north korea. that is frightening. >> based on the man you know, is donald trump when he says things like fire and fury, is he imitating sort of an autocrat or does he actually mean it? >> it looks like he was reading it but it's very evident he deeply would like to be a dictator, and the idea that senator cardin says people have interpreted it to mean he might mean nuclear war, no.
he has said it five days from sunday and that is the case. this is lance dodis. he says "mr. trump's sociopathic characteristics are undeniable, they create a profound danger for america's democracy and safety. over time these characteristics will only become worse either become mr. trump will succeed in gaining more power and more grandiosity with less grasp on reality." when i hear that, i think about the russiagate investigation and him getting boxed in more and more and more and lashing out. do you share the doctor's concerns? >> i do. if i could go back to rename "the art of the deal," i would rename it "the sociopath." a sociopath is a person who doesn't have a conscience, who doesn't have ordinary emotions beyond anger, rage and so on. so the idea of destroying an entire country, millions of people, doesn't fire up his sense of guilt and the feeling of being appalled.
again, i think he finds that kind of exciting. and it's some blend of, you know, a very young child's idea of fighting with guns or fighting with nuclear weapons and a very dimented older person potentially putting us at great peril. >> you write in the book beneath his bluff exterior, i always sensed a hurt and incredibly vulnerable little boy that just wants to be loved. what about the unconstructed man or boy in donald trump? >> then we're seeing it everywhere, joy, across 25, 30 men who have now been accused of sexual harassment in pretty persuasive ways. i think men are imprisoned by
this need to seem tough and invulnerable and to compete and dominate and they end up doing pretty terrible -- pretty terrible things in the name of masculinity and in the name of being men. i think we're seeing a reckoning here. it's interesting to see the dichotomy between this extreme kind of man represented by harvey weinstein or a donald trump, probably make harvey weinstein cringe to think he's now in the same game as donald trump, and on the other hand these women who are coming forward in a courageous way and i think a growing number of men who are supporting them. you know, men are running from the feeling of vulnerability, weakness and the possibility that they'll lose.
you know, trump how he always explains things in terms of win and lose. why win and lose? because lose is the equivalent of death. if you're going to be faced with death, you sure are going to be obsessed with winning. >> tony schwartz who really knows donald trump very well. thank you for being with us. up next, a prediction about donald trump. when you have a cold
it all starts with a wish. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down and a complementary first months payment. on "the late show" with stephen colbert, former vice president joe biden said this about the president. >> what do you think this has changed the presidency? how will this influence future presidencies?
>> i think god willing it will go down as the single exception in american history. >> well, that's the show. you can catch me saturday and sunday. "the 11th hour with brian williams" is next. well, that's. i'm joy reid, ask you can catch me saturday and saturday on a.m. joy. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight attorney general jeff sessions in the hot seat and now says he remembers the meeting with george papadopoulos and donald trump, largely because there's a photo of him at the meeting. plus roy moore speaks out amid the scandal that has rocked alabama and the republican party. and president trump back in the white house tonight after promising a statement upon his return. all of it getting under wade on a tuesday night.