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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 15, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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"birmingham news." he has stuck with his absolute denial of wrongdoing. and alabama republicans are sticking with him. this does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." the great ari melber is sitting in for lawrence o'donnell. good evening. >> good evening. with alabama, where do you see this going now? >> i -- i hate making predictions because i'm terrible at them. if you made me make a prediction, i would say that roy moore is going to compete in that senate race and win. >> right. >> and then serve in the united states senate until he's dead. but that said, i never make predictions so i would never be -- so, you know, reckless as to actually say that on tv which is why i'm glad we're rehearsing this now. >> i like the rehearsals. i learn from you every time i get to talk to you, rachel. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i'm in for lawrence o'donnell tonight and as we were
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discussing, this is an incredibly busy hour alone in the roy moore story. there are brand new accusations that are breaking here late in the evening on the east coast against the alabama republican senate candidate who remains as rachel just mentioned the senate candidate for the gop. roy moore. the new message tonight, defiant. he said dear mitch mcconnell, bring it on. we're also learning that the last chance to force moore out came and went. this reporting that, again, i was just discussing with rachel. the republican steering committee basically the only entity with the power to effectively cancel the party nomination there. declined to do so. roy moore releasing this letter going further than before saying, quote, i adamantly deny the allegations of corfman and nelson. i did not date underage girls and taken steps to begin a civil action for defamation. related to those allegations. and the statement, of course, comes just a couple of hours shy of this so-called 24-hour
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deadline that fox news host sean hannity gave moore last night. moore not the only one speaking out, though. before that self-declared deadline. this is other part of the story tonight. new women who are going on the record against roy moore accusing him of some of the same types of behavior and patterns that the earlier accounts also allege. gena richardson saying she was working at saers, moore asked for her phone number. she says given that request, she didn't give it to him and then get this. she alleges a few days later tri zitting in class at the high school and was summoned to the principal's office over the intercom in the classroom. and she was told she had a phone call. i said, hello. richardson recalled and a male voice said, gena, this is roy moore. i was like, what? she recounted. he said, what are you doing? i said, i'm in trig class and
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said she did go out with him and that the date ended, quote, in a dark parking lot behind sears giving her what she called an unwanted and forceful kiss that left her scared. i never wanted to see him again richardson tells "the washington post." another woman, tina johnson, telling another major alabama publication al.com saying she was 28 years old and went to roy moore's law office, signing over custody of her 12-year-old son to her mother, 1991. roy moore married at the time and johnson says in this appointment, again, in the law office, she alleges that he flirted with her, called her pretty and getting up to leave, quote, she said, moore came up behind her and at that point she recalls that he grabbed her buttocks. he didn't pinch it. he grabbed it. told "the washington post." she recounts she didn't say anything at the time. when asked why she and the other accusers did not come forward sooner, part of the story we have been covering, this was
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tina johnson's response, new tonight. it's because somebody asked. if anybody had asked, we would have told it. no one asked. no one asked. people are asking now. that's a big part of this story. now, as always, we are obligated to tell you all sides of this story. this is what the moore campaign is telling "the post" about this tonight. quote, if you are a liberal and hate judge moore, apparently he groped you. if you're conservative and loved judge moore, you know these allegations are political farce. this afternoon, one of moore's lawyers also sought to discredit one of the accusers beverly young nelson who alleged in that press conference that roy moore sexually assaulted her at the age of 16. this lawyer late today was questioning her credibility as well as the authenticity of the yearbook message she alleges roy moore wrote to her. >> release the yearbook to
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determine if it genuine or a fraud. >> now, that was a request for one piece of evidence here. this yearbook. but we have to tell you that press conference did not even include from that lawyer denials of the other accusers at the time in this fast-moving story. five then and by our account four more accusers alleging a misconduct. despite roy moore's defiance about not backing down, national republicans in d.c. continue to try to distance themselves from the situation, including his senior alabama senator republican richard shelby. now, he's saying he won't vote for moore and he'll instead write in the name of what he calls a distinguished republican voting in 27 days from now. also a new poll leaked, this is from a republican source, this is the national republican senatorial committee, and that poll from those republicans, whatever firm practiced it has democrat doug jones up in the
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race now by 12 points. nrsc polled support of roy moore and isn't sharing the rest of the poll with us or the firm that conducted it. it raises questions of the agenda of releasing those numbers bad for roy moore. where does that all -- all of this leave the nation's top republican? >> thank you all. >> should roy moore resign, mr. president? do you believe his accusers? do you believe the accusers of roy moore, mr. president? should he resign? >> joining me is joyce vance, former attorney for district of alabama and professor at university of alabama school of law. david frum, a former bush white house aide and shelby holiday covering politics for "the wall street journal." we have news coming in because sean hannity spoken out about this. but first, before we go to that and inserted himself in the story, joyce, i want to go to you on the facts, the ethics and
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allegations as they stand. your view of what we are learning tonight. >> so each additional piece of information i think just drives an additional nail into judge moore's coffin. something i look for as these women come forward is whether they told someone else about an alleged incident close in time. and tonight in "the washington post" story we have ms. richardson who tells her friend who she works with in the mall about moore's forceful kiss, what she describes as a forceful, unwanted kiss. at the same time it happens, the friend helps her avoid moore from that point on. these are the kind of details that really bring into focus the authenticity and the truthfulness of the women that come forward. >> you are noting that in the alternative theory of the case, the denial of moore read tonight this is just political people setting him up, that the contemporaneous validation of other women talking to other
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people say it's an elaborate conspiracy. not just an ax to grind but loop in other people who want to join in and make some sort of fake story from years ago? >> exactly that. and then there's an additional woman who's quoeted in the new story, she identifies herself as a democrat. worked behind a counter and moore kept asking her out and he was persistent and it made her uncomfortable. what i take away from that piece of "the washington post" article is if this woman, a democrat, really for political reasons had it in for moore, she would have made up a worst story he made me uncomfortable. again, i think we have the guarantees of truthfulness in what information these women are talking about at this point in time. >> yeah. david, i wontder if you speak to that point that joyce raises of allegations of what would be sex crimes here, allegations of
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unwanted contact and contact with people below the legal age to consent in alabama but there are other allegation that is according to these women are not necessarily sex crimes, are simply allegations that go to the overwhelming circumstantial evidence in addition that this was a pattern of behavior for former judge moore. >> it's a pattern of behavior. one of the gal igss interestingly took place after judge moore's marriage. there's been i think a failure to reckon with just how deep and wide a pattern this is. these -- the very first story we heard about ms. corfman, i mean, judge moore had this very deft ability to separate a young girl from her mother, reassure the mother. he was good at it. that suggests a long pattern and practice. and, of course, that doesn't stop with the mere fact that a man gets married. it doesn't stop with the fact that a man is on the highest court in his state dispensing justice including criminal sanctions to other people. i think one of the thing this
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is's so disturbing of this case, not just the nature of the job roy moore is now seeking but the nature of the job he had in alabama as that state's highest law enforcement -- sorry. highest official of justice. >> you mention that. let's read from some of that because it's getting new scrutiny, the record as a judge here. chief justice of alabama supreme court. twice argued against the rape shield law basically saying it should not shield people alleged victims of sexual assault, cases between 2013 and 2016, moore dissenting from what was the majority opinion by the way of fairly conservative justices siding instead with the alleged offender it is try to dig up negative information about the alleged victims. that's part of the record, shelby. there's a lot to know about ex-judge moor before you even get into the allegations of personal conduct. >> right. >> then there's what we were discussing the odd way that sean hannity inserted himself
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initially as some sort of arbitor or referee of politics and may ring true as seen as a member of the political class and then he seems to be backing off that in a self promoted role tonight. take a listen and then for your response, sean hannity tonight. >> i am very confident that when everything comes out, they will make the best decision for their state. shouldn't be decided by me, people on television, mitch mcconnell, washington, talk show hosts, news people. >> shelby? >> that's a perfectly fair point. i'll say that i watched most of sean's show tonight just to see what his response would be. he set a 24-hour time limit for judge roy moore. you know, despite what he just said there, he spent much of the show saying we believe the women. he talked about bill clinton's accusers. he brought in other political topics. you could say they were using women as pawns but the theme is
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we believe the women and everybody else should believe the women, too. it doesn't sound like sean hand pi's on roy moore's side and talked about his 16-year-old daughter and sickened by the idea of older men approaching younger women. i think it points to the fact not only has the news story tonight helped establish the pattern that was already established in previous stories, but it also shifted the narrative from the signature issue. roy moore's campaign held an event the to talk about the yearbook signature and forms signed and now back to these allegation that is establish a pattern that bothers voters, bothers conservative media. it clearly bothers a lot of republicans in the senate. i mean, roy moore never had mitch mcconnell and lost endorsements and lost richard shelby's point. doesn't seem to be much about the party or political beliefs. it's all about roy moore and he's given no sign that he's willing to step down or withdraw. >> well, david, let's get your
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response. shelby raises an important point. we might be seeing the ceiling of the bannon fake news everyone else is lying defense and there's effort in the press conference today to make it about the yearbook and hand writing analysis and a neutral ar or the. it was like a lot of side show and want to play for you for your response to this and the lawyer for roy moore who also try dodd go to another dog whistle with our own anchors ali velshi and stephanie rule. take a look at this. >> why would he need permission from the girls' mothers if they weren't underage. >> sure. that's a good question. cull rally speaking, there's differences. ali's background, wow. that's awe smof a diverse background. really cool to read through that. >> what's ali's background have to do with dating a 14-year-old. >> i'm not finished with the context of it. >> please answer.
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when's ali velshi's background have to do with dating 14-year-old girls. >> sure. in other countries, there's an arrangement through parents for what we would -- >> he's from canada. >> so -- >> he's from canada. >> i understand that. and ali's also spent time in other countries. >> so have i. >> not a bad thing. >> i don't know where you're going with this right now. >> david, respond to any and all of the above. >> this is why you should always pay your legal bills because if you don't you don't get quality help. but i have to dissent from the idea that this is -- this story is a roy moore story. lurking in the background of course is the problem the president of the united states is very credibly alleged to have done not things with -- not to have laid hands on minors in the way that roy moore alleged to have done. to have barged in on them and engaged in sexual activities with the -- to voyeuristically,
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the privacy of the contestants. that's always true and if there's a number of credible accusations that prove something where, you know, overwhelm denial, everyone's thinking this is about the president. one more thing, if we get to the point where roy moore is elected and the senate does act to remove him, that drama of removal also puts thoughts in people's head. if removal from the senate is a response to credible accusations of sexual abuse, why is the president left in place by that same senate? donald trump knows that the people around him knows that and why it resonates more than a local story. >> i have been immersed in some of this story. joyce, i haven't heard anyone put it quite as directly as david just did. >> but that's exactly where this story goes.
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you know, in 2016, donald trump asked americans to hire him to be president and they said, yes. now with the very similar set of accusations to the ones that emerged on the "access hollywood" tape we can talk about whether underage girls are involved and the precise nature of the allegations but roy moore is asking the people of alabama to hire him. and if the people of alabama hold the line, what that might portend for donald trump is frightening for republicans and party establishment. >> legal experts say it sounds appealing that republicans in the senate say if judge roy moore wins the election we'll expel him and trickier thing to do coming to that because to overturn the will of voter who is knew the allegations before they cast their ballots who knowingly elected this man given all of his controversial past, you know, as you referred to earlier, ari, he was a controversial candidate in the
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primaries and voters knew that and they continued to vote for him. overturning the will of the voters would set a very tremendous precedent for the u.s. senate. >> right. it's not as easy as some washington republicans are trying to present it now and maybe why they're searching so desperately for an escape hatch to not have the problem you just laid out and the problem that david laid out. david, stay with me. shelby and joyce, thank you both. >> thanks. >> thank you. coming up next, there's a hit to the republican tax plan. republican senator saying he's already against it. the votes later this week and the man that compiled that dossier on prmp's campaign links to russia telling a reporter he now believes based on what he's learned that most of it is not only true but provable. when you have a cold
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if roy moore does lose one of the safest republican senate seats in the country, down there in alabama, it would back in washington cut into what is a narrow gop senate majority. now, republicans right now are working on a tax cut bill. they want to rush through before that could even happen. tomorrow, the house will vote on a tax bill. the senate making plan to do so right after thanksgiving. president trump obviously geared up about this. tonight he tweets, why are democrats fighting massive tax cuts for the middle class and business, jobs? the reason, obstruction and delay. at least one republican senator opposing the bill in the current form, though. here's ron johnson. >> it wouldn't vote for this
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senate version. bottom line. there's a real problem here in terms of the equitable treatment. we maintain the competitive balance and position of pastors. we didn't do that. >> whatever your feelings on those past through entities, politics are republicans are concerned. susan collins saying she is not convinced. democrats oppose the senate tax cut bill because, well, it's become a health care bill. this new version repeals, would repeal, the obamacare individual mandate. >> the republicans apparently couldn't get through lunch without hatching another plot to go after americans' health care. it was decided that permanent corporate tax cuts should be paid for in part by kicking 13 million americans off their health care and raising premiums for millions more. this is not just another garden
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variety attack on the affordable care act. this is repeal of that law! >> ron widen spitting fire there. joined by bartlett a ten author of a new book "the truth matters." also ron klain, chief of staff to vice presidents joe biden and al gore and a former aide to president obama. bruce bartlett, you know the math. you have proven to be a pretty fair minded arbitor of what the republicans are up to. is it accurate to say this really is another shot at obamacare through different means? >> oh, i don't think there's any doubt about that. the action today is ample proof of that. i think it's very important for people to understand that the budget that the republicans adopted a few weeks ago to permit them to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion also
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contains $4 trillion of cuts in social security and medicare. so, it's -- people need to understand that a big part of what's paying for this tax cut are future spending cuts that they have not yet named. and i would also point out that yesterday the congressional budget office pointed out that because of existing law called pay-go automatic spending cuts will take place the minute this legislation takes effect and $25 billion will be cut out of medicare in fiscal 2018. and for many years to come and that's already in law. >> yeah. i mean, that's a great point. ron clain, you know, sometimes there's so much noise from the way that the trump administration runs. roy moore is a big and important story. but this is here a big news story tonight. near the top of our show because what congress could do tomorrow has huge ramifications for
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people's lives in the country as you know. take a listen to how he -- between orrin hatch and clair mccaskill and orrin hatch doesn't seem to want to admit what they're doing and might be a sign he doesn't think it's defensible or politically palatable. take a listen. >> there are no cuts to medicaid in this bill. >> i beg your pardon. this is cbo score, mr. chairman. i'm reading the cbo score. 79 billion in reduced medicaid subdies. >> there are no cuts. >> beg your pardon. that's where the money's coming from. where do you think the $300 billion is coming from? a fairy dropping tonight senate? >> what? >> the money you're spending is coming out of medicaid and subsidies to people who make less than 50,000. >> ron? >> yeah. i mean, there is no fairy. senator mccaskill is right about that. it does seem like the bill is made by a cartoon villain.
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they had to as bruce said cut social security, medicare. senator mccaskill said medicaid and when that wasn't enough to pay for a huge giveaway to corporations and super well think, they said today, hey, how about this? 13 million people off of health insurance. hard to imagine a more venal and hard hearted measure to pay for a tax cut that gary coen spoke to ceos saying how many of you create jobs with a trillion dollars and very few hands went up in the room. it's going to inflict a lot of pain on a lot of people to give money to corporations and rich people. >> and, bruce bartlett, it is hard to understand why you'd go back to obamacare when that is the thing that bedevilled the first several months of the republican leadership when they had the votes, they had enough republican votes and couldn't do
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it. here's paul ryan explaining that. >> we passed our repeal the individual mandate back in may. but we never had the votes in senate. we didn't want to make tax reform harder than it already is. >> this is just the political question of, bruce, what are they doing? >> so much of what they're doing makes no sense. this is the most irresponsible tax legislation in the history of the united states. i mean, they didn't -- they're ramming this thing through so rapidly, the people who are sponsoring it don't even know when's in it. >> do you think senator hatch is confused? do you think he didn't know? >> i think he's willfully ignorant. he doesn't want to know because he can't defend the indefensible. and practically everything about this legislation's indefensible. a good part of it is that there's simply no need for it. the economy is doing just fine. all you have to do is read
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donald trump's twitter feed where he tells us every day about how great the economy is doing. how great the stock market is doing. there's absolutely no justification for this legislation and i think it's sad that democrats have not made it their position to just say no to this legislation. and instead work around trying to make it a little bit more fair for the middle class. i think that's a losing game. >> yeah. i don't know that you have to read donald trump's twitter feed. it can be a really stressful. there's a lot of all caps. there's a lot of ellipses that we have to run from one tweet to the next. just for the viewers. you don't have to read it. it's a choice. it's a choice you have to made with the social media consumption. ron, before we go, the other thing that's weird and not what i think anyone would have predicted last year, rachel said it's hard to make predictions and best off avoiding them. i don't think anyone in health care policy or politics might
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have predicted that the obamacare numbers in this climate are actually up over where they were under obama. enrollments to the marketplace, 46% higher in this early stretch of november from the same period last year. 1.4 million signed up since november 1st. ron, good news for obamacare. what do you make of it? >> what i make of it, ari, one political party spends a year not creating jobs, not fixing the economy, not building roads or bridges but focused on trying to take away people's health care, people notice and say i better sign up before it goes away and i think ironically the efforts to kill obamacare have been the best ad for obamacare we could ever see. i spent four years working in the obama administration. we tried every way possible to make it popular and finally popular this year with republicans dedicated a year to try to make it go away and i think that's the boomerang effect of the ham handed effort here to take away health care
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and give rich people tax cuts. >> i think you are saying donald trump is good at something. is that what you're trying to say? >> very well put. i appreciate that. thank you. >> i want you on record for that and your friends in the obama white house appreciate it. bruce and ron, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thanks, ari. coming up, a turn of the spy as i mentioned earlier who gathered the leads on the trump dossier and he is going public apparently and turns out most of the allegations of the links of trump and russia are accurate. we'll explain. that's next. looking for balance in your digestive system?
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welcome back. christopher steele is that that former british intelligence officer who compiled the explosive dossier alleging all sorts of links between the trump campaign and the kremlin. now he's told a journalist with "the guardian" he believes it turns out the leads he was working on are 70% to 90% accurate. steele saying his reports based on all of the sources he cultivated for a listening time over three decades of intelligence work will be vindicated because, of course, special counsel bob mueller is digging into all of this and this is a new interview where the top democrat in the russia probe congressman schiff says something similar. quote, the factor is how much of it you can corroborate and how much is true. a lot of that turned out to be true. did they confirm the story line as the questions of criminal law remain open? that's part of what i asked schiff today on "the beef." here's the answer. >> the overall conclusion he was
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reaching that the russians endeavoring to help the trump campaign and influence our outcome here is bourn out by the intelligence agencies and he may have been on to that even before our own intelligence agencies were. but i think people need to recognize one other very critical fact and that is we have a deep interest in what aspects of the dossier are accurate but this is a very spaul part of a big investigation. and i think there's an effort by the gop to say, well, the whole information hangs on this one thread of evidence and that's not true at all. >> joining me now is malcolm nance, a msnbc counter terror and analyst and back with me is david frum. malcolm, walk us through this. folks might say if you wrote something shouldn't 100% of it be accurate? 70% to 90% is high. this is raw intel, right? >> that's right. what christopher steele did was
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he created what we call rumor intelligence. this is what diplomats and spies would collect working people who are not actually agents for them. you know, you go to dinner parties and things like that. christopher steele's ma'am ran dumb, the dossier which i read very early on is a great example of this. however, i think now he's right. i think he is 70% to 90% accurate. things that i read in that dossier that i would never have imagined would be confirmed like, for example, that, you know, prostitutes were offered to donald trump, now we're finding out from house testimony and senate testimony that that is at least 50% true. i would say his estimate of 50% to 90% which is called high confidence is pretty much on par. and if it is, then it's going to be a lot more interesting because there are far more dangerous things in that dossier than the salacious rumors we
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heard about at having women in hotel rooms. they assert that there was espionage. >> right. >> and other activities in there. >> break it down an then go to you and david. you mentioned the allegation regarding women in the moscow trip by donald trump, that is one that is split according to at least the public accounts because his bodyguard on the one hand confirmed that offer was made which we now know is more than anyone thought as you say when the dossier first leaked but to be clear the bodyguard denied the rest of that allegation. right, malcolm? >> yeah. he did deny the rest of the allegation except there was one big caveat. that he left donald trump alone in a hotel room and then went to bed for the rest of the night at 10:00 p.m. i mean, there's a lot of things that are in there. more importantly, the russians can use this information. they could have used this even if it wasn't true by creating a circumstance to where the
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parameters of it were true and that would be enough to blackmail donald trump. we don't know but the point is cris her steele came up with that a year and a half ago and none of us wanted to believe it. and now we're finding out parts of it were bourn out which means we need to dig into and the house and the senate and certainly the mueller investigation need to find out precisely whether all the rest of it's true. >> david, when you look at how donald trump processes all this and we know according to james comey's testimony he had a negative reaction briefed on the existence of the dossier not according to the intel leaders an attempt to verify it. they wanted to warn him it existed. you know, on the one hand trump didn't seem to have an understanding of how and why that works and basically misinterpreted it because he publicly said he thought it was a threat on him like comey was trying to bully him but on the other hand donald trump if he had a private insecurity and doubts and did find up being president. how do you square the fact on
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the one hand he thinks, this isn't fair to me. this dossier is out to get me. on the other hand he's the president and thinks he must be doing something right even if that's wrong? >> trump is understanding the dossier through the prism of fox news and "wall street journal" editorial page and try to build a completely false case that the story of trump and russia rests on the validity of this dossier but not because of the dossier a federal court, a secret federal court, issued a series of warrants allowing the fbi to surveil paul manafort. not because of the dossier. they didn't know about the dossier when that happened. not because of the dossier we believe that the russia hacked commissions. that's internal forensic evidence and think that donald trump and his family in contact with wikileaks. we have their direct messages. so, the dossier is important because of its -- you know, it
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contains information that may or may not be true and the briefings about the existence of the dossier that set in motion a lot of donald trump's wild activities after he was elected. but the evidence that donald trump had improper connections and the campaign had improper connections with russia and wikileaks rests on other pillars much sturdier than the dossier. >> malcolm, the other possibility one theory of the case would be that donald trump as a subject of this investigation, excuse me, as someone whose conduct is under investigation by bob mueller may have looked over a document and thought was secret and nobody knew about. >> i think you're absolutely right on that point. to tell you the truth, i think that the dossier is far more dangerous to the white house than most people now know. certainly since we're starting to find large parts of it corroborated. you have to understand that this investigation started as a national counterintelligence
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investigation in early 2016. that means u.s. intelligence had found information that american citizens were working in conspiracy with russian intelligence. the dossier was coming out in parallel to that at an unclassified level. and as a matter of fact, when the fbi agents who were handling steele, they found it was like almost radioactive later on in the year because they didn't know that there was all this intelligence that was being collected on the exact same subject. when we fuse that together, we call that multi-source analysis or fusion analysis and that's what gives you that big intelligence picture that then becomes evidence. that stuff is dynamite now because it corroborates classified intelligence and classified intelligence also verifies what steele says. it's going to be fascinating hearing from him. >> he is -- you know, what did mccain say?
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the shoes to drop. he's a big shoe if he ever drops. >> big shoe. >> malcolm and david, thank you both. >> thank you. we have a programming note here. tomorrow night on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" the author will be here to interview christopher steele and broke some of the stories. i will be watching. i hope you will be. should be interesting. up next, president's biographer says president trump wants to be a dictator. is he behaving like one? that's ahead. let's explore. every day, on every street, in every town, across america.
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hillary clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the presidency of the united states. the investigations into her crimes will go on for a long, long time. the rank and file special agents at the fbi won't let her get away with these terrible crimes. >> those were the days, huh? donald trump called for it during his presidential campaign and some people said that's political rhetoric. then he became president of the united states, got fewer votes than her and since taking office he's continued to make these kind of calls. relatively unheard of in modern
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american government. take this tweet just from an earlier one this month. everybody's asking by the justice department and fbi isn't looking into all the dishonesty going on with crooked hillary and the demonstrates. now the department of justice says officially it's considering pursuing an investigation against trump's political opponent confirming in a new letter this week to republicans that senior federal prosecutors are going to explore whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate a wide range of issues related to hillary clinton including this trumped up discussion about the sale of uranium-1 to russia, a decision as you may have heard she did not exercise independent authority over and then attorney general jeff sessions was asked about this appointment idea. >> what's it going to take to get a special counsel? >> it would take a factual basis meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel sigh that -- >> you can have your idea but
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sometime we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meet it is standard -- >> well said. let me ask you this. >> special counsel. >> that's a little taste of what this political pressure on what should be a nonpartisan doj looks like. this is not a drill. this right now, this week with the doj getting on board those tweets is now a test of our constitutional democracy. and to look at that test my next guest says this is how despots can take root in a democratic society if they're not stopped. new book is "despots apprentice" and we'll talk right after this.
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based on the man you know, is donald trump when he says things like fire and fury, is he imitating something like ana crat, what he thinks an autocrat would be or does he mean it? >> it's very obvious he's deeply like to be a dictator. >> it is out today and you just got in from london today. so thank you for being here tonight. >> my pleasure. >> what is your thesis? >> well, that donald trump is aspiring to be mimic despots. he's not a despot, but he's behaving like one. he's attacking the press and
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he's harsher on the press than he is actual despots committing atrocities. he's violating ethics rules, making a mockery of democratic ethics and he's filled the white house with cronies and family members. these are not things you see the united states. and they're violating the soft guardrails of democracy. and it's poisoning insystem. and that's why i think we need to see these red flags for what they are, which is what i'm used to seeing in other countries where i've done field research and lived in authoritarian regimes. these are ways trump is mimicking. >> what do you say about he doesn't seem to have an end game? >> one thing i noticed about
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despots they don't have to pea -- very often the despots around the world are bumbling idiots. >> but they often have ideologies. >> if we're talking about the truly awful autocrats in world history, there are a lot of despots around the world who have similar traits of donald trump in terms of a cultive personality, narsism, and they don't have a strategic engame. they're impulsive. erred wn in turky is much more strategic, but he's behaving in ways with he intervenes in investigations, corruption investigations, fires prosecutors and attacks the
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press. >> here was hillary clinton today talking about dictatorship. >> if they send a signal we're going to be like some dictatorship, some authoritarian regime where political opponents are going to be unfarely and fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system. >> hillary clinton is right about this. and i've seen politicization of rule of law, and it's ugly. it destroys the system. it makes everybody distrust the government. ask i think americans falsely believe this could never happen here. we have the all the warnings signs. and they're not just things that have cropped up. we saw these warning sign two years go, in democratic debates when trump said you'll see when i become president. and now we're seeing it go down
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that right despite the fact there's no evidence -- and jeff sessions has said there's no evidence for a special counsel and still calls for one. >> all you could say about it is he said he's do it, most voters chose somebody besides him, but we have a funny system where the person who comes in second becomes president sometimes, and we're living in that era. thanks for telling us about your book. out today. coming up, something always new again. utual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! i wish my insurance company had that... wait! hold it... hold it boys... there's supposed to be three of you... where's your brother? where's your brother? hey, where's charlie? charlie?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you. liberty stands with you™ liberty mutual insurance. i tabut with my back paines,
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president trump's chief economic advisor gary cohen continues to push an economic plan for big cuts to corporate taxes. and he says it balances out because corperates will spend the money to pay. but then this happened. >> if the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase investment, your company's capital investment, just a show of hands if the tax reform goes through? okay. >> why aren't the other hands up? >> as a former goldman banker in the old days cohn would have been in the audience with no hand up. they don't usually wait around for tax plans and then make their moves. in fact we looked. a leading study says there's quote, little evidence corporate tax cuts boost economic activity, which is why even republicans have called it cohn
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trump stimulus argue voodoo versus science. >> does anyone know what president trump called this back in 1980s? anyone? something d-o-o economics, voodoo economics. >> anyone? you can also find me every night 6:00 p.m. eastern, on the beat. she's withdrawing her support for roy moore, and we have a special report on the russia probe. stay tuned right now. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight more women go public with accusations against judge roy moore as moore and his alabama forces dig in and he himself taunts mitch mcconnell tonight saying bring it on. plus donald trump goes on live tv to give himself high marks for his 12-day asia trip. though his experience today will more than likely be remembered for something else

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