tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 27, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PST
is cooperation the next step? and a closer look at robert mueller. what you may not know about the man running the investigation that looms over this presidency. "the 11th hour" on a back-to-work monday night begins now. >> good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 312 of the trump administration and the president back at the white house with a lot to get done before the year ends and for that matter before the end of the week. he hopes to sign a tax bill and
avoid a government shutdown, but hanging over all of it is robert mueller's russia investigation and the latest pressure point mueller seems to be trying to exploit. nbc news confirmed over this past holiday weekend former national security adviser mike flynn's legal team has cut ties with trump's. this is widely considered by experts as the first sign that flynn may be cooperating with mueller's prosecutors. now abc news has some new reporting on flynn. we must add abc does not cite its sources and nbc news has not independently verified the story. they report this, however, "the lawyer for president donald trump's former national security adviser michael t. flynn met monday morning with members of special counsel robert mueller's team. the latest indication that both sides are discussing a possible plea deal." today also marked a deadline for trump's son-in-law and senior adviser in the west wing, jared kushner, to turn over documents requested by the senate judiciary committee. the committee says they did not
expect to get them today while adding kushner's attorney abbe lowell is cooperating. while they work on those documents, "washington post" took an in-depth look at kushner's work in the white house. the headline from our friend ashley parker reads "the shrinking profile of jared kushner." it says in the body of the piece, "his once sprawling white house portfolio, which came with walk-in privileges to the oval office, has been diminished to its original scope under chief of staff john f. kelly, and he has notably receded from public view." to start off our leadoff panel, for a monday night, robert costa, national political reporter for the "washington post" and moderator of "washington week" on pbs. kimberly atkins, chief washington reporter for the "boston herald," who is also an attorney by trade. and jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon, as well as former counsel to the house intelligence committee. welcome to you all.
jeremy, what have you learned about mike flynn in all of the reporting over the weekend? and remind everybody watching as we come off our post-thanksgiving get back to work kind of attitude why he is so potentially valuable to robert mueller. >> well, brian, mike flynn was the foreign policy adviser that no candidate would take during the presidential elections of 2016 until trump picked him up because, of course, trump was the candidate that no foreign policy expert would advise. and so they were sort of two misfit toys that found each other and mike flynn also had had a long history of basically going to russia, he had that famous trip in 2015 in which he attended the russia today's ten-year anniversary gala, sat next to vladimir putin, was paid $40,000 for that appearance and that speech did not clear that with the appropriate executive branch officials.
and then basically worked during the campaign. he had two jobs. he was a foreign policy adviser to trump and was at the center of all of the russia policy development for the campaign. he was also a lobbyist for the government of turkey. that lobbying is now under federal criminal scrutiny by bob muler. he has a lot of information about the way the trump campaign developed its policies on russia, policies that nobody can explain but for potential leverage that russia appears to have over the current president of the united states. >> robert costa, the president sure threw off a number of timed distractions over the past few days but what must be the mood inside the west wing? >> inside mar-a-lago, his winter retreat in florida where the president spent the weekend, i'm told by several sources close to him that he was fuming about media coverage, that he's not getting enough credit for the economic turn the country has taken in some respects. he's continuing to push senators on capitol hill here to vote for the tax plan that's going to
likely come up to a vote in the senate in the next few days. but when it comes to russia, he's being advised by ty cobb and other attorneys that this is going to play out perhaps in his favor. there's an optimistic view in the president's legal circle. the "post" has reported many times in the last few weeks. that continues to be his view. but let's remember, his patience is thin when it comes to this, and some of his confidants wonder just how long he'll continue to share the confidence of his own lawyers. >> kim, what a dicey period this must be for a president, any president, to know that former associates are perhaps flipping on him. the president needs distance from people like retired general flynn, but they were once very tight on the campaign trail. >> they were tight on the campaign trail, and michael flynn was a white house official. this is a white house official now who is seemingly cooperating
with the bob mueller investigation. that's a huge change. that's very different than anything we've seen so far with campaign officials likes paul manafort. so this has got to be very uncomfortable for a president who really detests anything having to do with russia or this russian investigation. so to know that somebody who has that insight in the white house that jeremy was talking about it now talking and who faces his own legal peril, just a lot of things that he could be up for potential indictments for if he is willing to offer up information in exchange for cutting some sort of deal, that's got to make people in the white house very uncomfortable. >> and in one of the many aspects of the story that reminds people of a mob movie, part of his motivation may be to save his own son from peril. jeremy, i want to read you and remind our audience about this quote. this is james comey testifying before the senate intelligence committee in june after he was fired.
he submitted a statement for the record. he wrote about the conversation he had with the president, saying in part, "trump then said i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." jeremy, boy, that quote appears in a whole new light, doesn't it? >> it really does. let's remember what happened here. in december of 2016, mike flynn, who was then advising the trump transition, talked to the russians and said don't worry about these sanctions being imposed on you by the outgoing obama administration for interfering in the elaboration because we're coming into office in a couple of days and we'll take care of you. and everybody waited for putin to respond to the sanctions and he didn't. that was an indication he did get that secret signal from flynn. when flynn was caught on a wire tap it appears, possibly a fisa intercept, saying those things, undercutting american security, the fbi interviewed flynn, he lied about it.
the fbi told the acting attorney general at the time. she warned the national white house counsel and said your national security adviser could be blackmailed. it was that investigation briefed to the president by the white house counsel and the president then turned on the fbi director and said i hope you can see your way clear to dropping this thing on mike flynn. and when comey didn't comply the president fired him. >> robert costa, in the military flying business, they have what are called countermeasures, when they think they're going to get hit by an incoming missile, they release what they call chaff, and it's really pieces of often heated, shiny metal. and it is designed to drive an incoming missile crazy and confuse it. there are obvious parallels to twitter and the communications strategy, which is part of my question of this president. he was scattershot, a lot of targets over the past few days. do you think it was normal or do you think that in the number of targets, in the number of topics over the number of days it was somehow strategic should?
>> i can't be inside of the president's head but i think the eruptions on twitter are revealing about the president's isolation when it comes to this issue. he has a small legal team who, as i say, are trying to get him to be in a confident state of mind. though of course many people around president trump are skittish about how this is all playing out. this also comes as republicans on capitol hill maintain that the congressional committees looking into russian interference should continue. they're not clamoring for this investigation toned, whether it's bob mueller or the committees themselves. it's president trump alone at times on twitter frustrated about how this is all playing out, trying to be his own defense man. this comes months after there was talk of a more aggressive white house strategy, more aggressive republican strategy, but that never panned out. >> and then, kimberly, this happened. late today in the oval office the president was honoring decorated military veterans of
world war ii, more than that the venerated code talkers from the navajo nation, and this happened. >> you're very, very special people. you were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. they call her pocahontas. but you know what? i like you. because you are special. >> kimberly, what did you make of that moment? >> you know, look, president trump jabbing at elizabeth warren or her jabbing back is as normal a part of washington as could possibly be at this point. but there's a big difference between political trash talking and uttering a racial slur at an event meant to honor war heroes who helped win world wars i and ii, especially with the backdrop of president andrew jackson,
whose legacy includes one of the most brutal crusades against native americans in the history of this country. if the president doesn't understand how offensive that is, then he should. there are very few things that really -- you know, i'm pretty unflappable. there are very few things i take personally in covering washington as a reporter, but today it really stung. i mean, as a person of color who has been on the receiving end of racial slurs, to see the president go to that length and to not draw a line between using that in a partisan attack really was bad, not just optically, it was bad for america. it's a sad day today. >> robert, i heard people talking about this president's inability to simply preside over, take part in an elegant event and leave it at that. this president who has to have enemies and more than that has to have nicknames for those enemies, a kind of a special subset in his mind. >> it was a moving event to watch.
and you look at those gentlemen's caps, survivor of iwo jima, these were men who joined the marines as teen-agers, trying to help their country. served not just in world war ii, some served in the korean war. what was on the president's mind? a possible 2012 contender, a foe, a foil in senator elizabeth warren. regardless of your politics, whether you're a reporter or not, this was a moment the president seemed to miss the moment. it was about those heroes. >> robert costa, kimberly atkins, jeremy bash, our thanks for starting us off on a monday night. coming up, the one man who gets to determine how much longer the russia cloud hangs over the trump white house. a revealing new look at special counsel robert mueller. the author of it will be here with us. and next, alabama voters pick their next senator two weeks from tomorrow. can we expect any high wattage surrogates on the trail in alabama? that and so much more as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday night.
we've seen false and negative attacks both by the republicans and now the democrat establishment. these allegations are completely false. they're malicious. specifically i do not know any of these women nor have i ever engaged in sexual misconduct with any woman. >> there was of course, republican alabama senate candidate roy moore appearing on the campaign tonight for the first time in over a week. he's been keeping a low profile
since nine women accused him of sexual misconduct. most republicans in congress have disavowed moore due to the allegations but president trump has not. now it does not look like he'll make a trip to alabama to offer a formal endorsement. the white house saying today he doesn't have time in his schedule. "washington post" analysis offered this possible explanation. "while trump has certainly bet something on moore, visiting the state would be going all in, and at this particular juncture that would be a very risky bet." moore has denied all the allegations, maintains as you heard him say there, they are politically motivated. meanwhile, a sitting senator facing sexual harassment allegations returned to work today. minnesota democrat al franken had this to say to his colleagues and constituents on the hill this afternoon. >> this has been a shock and it's been extremely humbling. i am embarrassed.
i feel ashamed. what i'm going to do is i'm going to start my job, i'm going to go back to work, i'm going to work as hard as i can for the people of minnesota and i'm going to start that right now. thank you all. thank you. >> and on the house side of the capitol, michigan democratic congressman john conyers, the seniormost member of the house, has stepped down from his leadership position on the judiciary committee. he has acknowledged he settled a sexual harassment complaint from a former staff member, but he denies that he did anything wrong. meanwhile, the house democratic leader nancy pelosi is taking a lot of heat for the way she defended conyers yesterday on "meet the press." >> so define zero tolerance. you said there's now zero tolerance. john conyers, what does that mean for him? in or out? >> let's say we are strengthened by due process. just because someone is accused
and was it one accusation or two -- i think there has to be -- john conyers is an icon in our country. >> tonight we welcome to the broadcast jeanne cummings, political editor for the "wall street journal." and back with us again, jonathan lemire, white house reporter for the associated press. welcome to you both. jonathan, let's try to stay in order if we can. roy moore. trump wants this to be a non-dorsement. it sounded to a lot of people as an endorsement. he went to campaign for big luther and as you and i recall loaded his remarks with caveats in case of a loss. sounds like he really does not want to go all in in alabama. >> yeah, the white house eventually came to the conclusion that there's more risk than reward here for the president. first of all, of course, these accusations against moore evoke those against president trump. he of course like moore denies that anything has happened, denies the claims of these women who have come forward who said he has sexually harassed or even
asauled them. moreover, they recognize that this is a risky political bet. moore still has a chance to win this. public polling we've seen so far perhaps not super reliable suggests it is a close race. there is some belief that white house internal polls have him down a little further. but this is still a tossup race. there is stilt a few weeks to go. that could happen. that said, it is a risky association of course for this president to go all in for roy moore. it's not just sexual harassment. it's about underage girls. the idea of pedophilia. that is a very tough association. this is a risky position to take to go all in for moore. so the president you might recall right before thanksgiving didn't rule out the idea that he might go down to alabama to actually campaign for moore. the white house now says he won't. what we probably will see going forward, which trump started over the weekend, is not a pro roy moore case, not saying this is my guy, but rather just to say we can't have a democrat in that seat.
it's more of an anti-doug jones case. you need to vote for moore, even if he doesn't use his name because my agenda is at risk. don't vote for the other guy. >> need all the votes they can get in the senate. hey, jeanne, do you believe any of the numbers coming out of alabama? i know today was the end of voter registration. do you think this race is still evolving, still on the move? >> i do think it's on the move. we should recognize that this is a very tough race for a democrat to try to win. trump won alabama by like 37 points. it's a red state and a deeply red state. so it is a very tough race. there may not be enough democratic votes for them to win the seat. now, that said, this is -- roy moore didn't change the topic today when he finally came out. he tried to reframe it as me against them, the establishment
is attacking me. that's been a card he has played for years. but in his last statewide race, he only won by 52% to 48%. so the democrat was very competitive with him in his last statewide race and none of these allegations had been raised and the stakes weren't nearly quite so high. and the democrats could not have nominated a more perfect candidate, especially since we're talking about alabama than doug jones, who has a good law and order background and his ads have been exceptionally good, where he has alabamans unique to his race, he has republicans endorsing him in his ads. he has ads about honor and bringing civility back to washington. they're very good ads. so he is a formidable candidate in a very tough state. >> jonathan, let's jump ahead to
john conyers and more specifically nancy pelosi. i noticed last night on vox a very tough piece went up about pelosi saying, "nancy pelosi is that woman." they're talking about what she said to chuck todd. were you at some level surprised she didn't have a better answer standing by in the chamber for a subject she knew was going to come up? >> if she did have a better answer, she certainly didn't deliver it. so whether that's staff's fault or her own, that's certainly unclear. she certainly botched this. this is the democrats seemingly ceding some high ground on this issue. roy moore is a slightly different case. the idea is underage girls. but this is a moment now. we are seeing women all across the country i step forward with tales of harassment, tales of abuse, tales of assault. and the democrats have been publicly at least sort of championing of this movement, the me too movement, come forward, come forward. but yet we're seeing this.
when you know, it's a member of their own party, a neb of their own team, the answer felt like a nod to tribal mds, well, this is really bad, but he's one of us so i don't want to judge too quickly. i don't know that that plays well. certainly the fwloeback was instant and fierce not just on social media but you're hearing some from women's groups. certainly the answer bothered some other democrats. then combine that with al franken and it does seem like this is a party that's not quite sure how it wants to handle the issues in its own home even as it still wants to point to republicans who have been accused of the same things including of course the president. >> jeanne, finally, maggie haberman of the "new york times" have said to her three people have told her the president decided somehow his remarks on the butts, the "access hollywood" clup were not authentic. "access hollywood" issued a statement tonight saying, no,
it's real. we remind everybody the president apologized for it. is this the president deciding on an alternate reality as his truth? >> well, i suppose that's what he's attempting to do based on what he has told some of his allies and the reporting in "the new york times." it seems so improbable given that he admitted that he said those things when that tape first came out and as you all have shown, the footage of him apologizing for having said those. the one thing that struck me is that he somehow has taken this moment and elevated his own problems on this topic. and why the white house and why the president would do that makes no sense to me at all. i felt like the republicans were starting to drive the conversation towards former president clinton and that was a way for them to try to distance themselves or at least give them
some kind of shield. and for this now to come back to president trump is not a good turn i think for the republican party. >> not the first puzzling event of this administration nor will it be the last. >> i suppose. >> jeanne cummings, jonathan lemire. our thanks to both of you for being with us tonight. coming up, with the clock on 2017 ticking down fast, can the gop get a legislative win on tax reform or for that matter any major policy proposal? more when "the 11th hour" continues.
i think the tax bill is going very well. if we win, i think we'll probably have a bipartisan bill meaning a number of people are going to come over, but i'm not so interested in that. we're really interested just in getting it passed. >> a bipartisan bill. mark that down. the president and this white house are confronting the stark realities of governing right about now. this is a critical week as they try to turn the piece of legislation into an achievement by this president before the end of the year. so far no clear indication of what will be the president's top priorities for next year. we'll get to that in a moment. let's start with the tax bill. key senate republicans met with the president at the white house today to talk about it.
they hope to bring it up for a vote later this week. republicans who, reminder, control the senate 52-48, can afford to lose only two members if they hope to pass the bill along party lines. here is what one of the two senators who plan to vote against the current bill said about a vote later this week. >> is the timeline of getting a vote on that this week still realistic? >> that is pretty optimistic. there's a lot of detail to work out on this. but this is the process. you're watching the sausage being made. >> the president will go to the capitol for some arm twisting tomorrow. there's another issue confronting the trump white house, a battle over who is running the consumer financial protection bureau tasked with watching over banks and wall streets. leandra english was named acting director by the former director richard cordray, who stepped down last week. but then president trump appointed office of management and budget director mick mulvaney to be the acting director instead. mulvaney, who once called the agency a joke, showed up for work today. this is what he said about the
agency. >> anybody who thinks that a trump administration cfpb would be the same as an obama administration cfpb is simply being naive. elections have consequences. wants me to fix it. wants me to get it back to the point where it can protect people without trampling on capitalism. >> ms. english is suing president trump over the mulvaney appointment. a judge will decide who gets the job ultimately. and with all of this going on, there's the possibility of a government shutdown next month because funding will run out on december 8th, and we're always so good about this. house and senate leaders will head to the white house tomorrow, likely to try to strike a deal. here to talk about all of it, some of it or part of it, a veteran of the reagan and bush administrations, editor at large of "the weekly standard," bill kristol is here. and jeremy peters. gentlemen, welcome to you both. bill, i want a straight-up
prediction. taxes, by the end of week or at all by the end of 2017? >> i think not by the end of the week. the consensus is yes to the question but i'm more doubtful. 50-50. it's not a very compelling bill. they cobbled together a lot of things. there are a lot of pressure points i could imagine people going after. the strongest case they have for the bill is you have to pass something, you cannot go home after this whole year and say to the voters the republican congress and the republican president produced nothing. it's not a very good substantive argument for a public policy to say you have to do something, but it has a certain political force. the counterargument, which i think is incidentally pretty compelling-s beware of what you wish for. this could be a pyrrhic victory. a few months from now you could look up, the economy may not have much of a boost, people discover a certain number of their taxes are higher, they discover various inequities in
the bill and the voters take it out on them. i actually think they are putting too much weight on the argument they have to do something. but they are putting weight on it now and if it passes that would be why. >> jeremy, same question, if you can. >> i just don't think there's any way this gets done in a simple fashion. today james langford, the senator from oklahoma, said he has reservations about the bill. this is how it works. there are a hundred ways for individuals to gum up the process and that's exactly what they're doing with this bill. but if you look at it just from the republican side of the aisle, which is really all they're relying on at this point because they rightfully don't expect any democrats to vote for this, it offends people of all sensibilities on the conservative spectrum. you have the fact that it will explode the deficit, that this is not a fiscally responsible
bill. on the other hand, you have the fact that it's just not a populist appeal. there's no way that this is in any way consistent with trump's campaign promises that he's going to stick it to the establishment, that he is going to make wall street pay its fair share. there's really not a lot of consensus in the party other than this would be politically disastrous for us not to do. >> bill kristol, i want to read you this from politico and get your reaction. "there is very little in the pipeline and no obvious next item on the agenda after tax reform except maybe a return to health care, said yuval levin, the editor of national affairs, a leading conservative policy journal, who works closely with republicans on capitol hill. combine that with a president who doesn't think in terms of policy and you've got no clear next step."
is that possibly true? and do they not have a white board? >> is it true, i think. on the other hand, i think they're obsessed with doing something very big. you and i can sit here and there are five things that could be done. whether it's the opioid crisis -- >> infrastructure. >> yeah. it could be done in a piecemeal way. they'd be better off, not that they asked my advice, going for bite-sized pieces. the country is in good shape. the economy is growing pretty well. 2% or 3% or something like that. it's not obvious that we need a huge macroeconomic package. there are a lot of problems in the country that could be dealt with in a one-by-one basis. if you went back to normal legislation with committees reporting up bills, having hearings, having experts testify. some of them could be bipartisan. back to the opioid crisis, i think 6 240u people died this year, more than the entire
vietnam war will die in one year. and they can't get together a bipartisan bill, thengz that need to be done in terms of treatment and law enforcement and going after the gangs. there's a host of things. it would not be hard to get a bipartisan bill on this and it's not happening because they're paralyzed because they've got to do something huge. >> jeremy, is there a sense of urgency on the hill? and what are republicans going to get from this president to run on? how is he going to help them? >> they need something that -- what republicans need is for voters to feel as if their economic plight has improved, that the trump campaign promises of higher wages, better jobs and a more secure america that's looking out for its own interests has come to fruition. and so far president trump has not delivered on any of those. he's also failed to deliver on a major expectation of the grass
roots conservative voters, which is to repeal obamacare and i don't see any way that happens. it's certainly not going to happen in this tax bill despite the fact republicans in the senate have slipped it in. don't expect that to go anywhere. in the house. i think what you're looking at at the end of the year is kind of a worst case scenario possibility from the perspective of a lot of conservatives, a lot of pro-trump republicans, oh, although bill might object to my calling them conservatives. but a lot of republicans who identify with trump who are looking at congress passing a major spending bill without real entitlement reforms, a fix to daca, which would be a major sin in the eyes of a lot of pro-trump republicans, no repeal of blake and a tax cut that doesn't deliver on all of the promises that trump has made. so, yes, there's a real possibility that when congress
adjourns at the end of the year there's very little to show for it. >> we can't always be responsible for content or outlook, but we thank both of these gentlemen for stopping by. my, what a dire time by one way of looking at it. bill kristol, jeremy peters, we'll of course invite you again and keep at it. coming up, why the president chose to stand where he did and say what he did while honoring navajo code talkers from the second world war. we'll talk about it with steve schmidt right after this. re ulcerative colitis or crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen
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we have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. they call her pocahontas. >> that was the president today in the oval office. and with us tonight to talk about what happened, steve schmidt, political veteran of the bush white house and mccain presidential campaign, well known to our viewers as an msnbc political analyst.
steve, at events like this the president is our surrogate. he has our proxy. guys like brian and steve may never get the chance to thank those gentlemen for what they did. so we rely on our president in public at an event like that to do so. that's why i think it got to so many people, what he said, the nature of his remarks. if you don't mind, remind people why it was important visually that this thing took place while andy jackson looked on, given all the paintings in that building. and second, the role of the navajo code talkers among their fellow veterans in the second world war. >> of course andrew jackson, the president who was the architect of the trail of tears, virulently cruel to the native american population in the united states at that time. and who these men are behind the president of the united states
today, they're united states marines. they are part of the approximately 450 navajo code talkers who served in the marine corps in all six united states marine divisions in the pacific, including the marine parachute and raider regiments. they zrufd on guadalcanal, pealu, the marianas islands. they were there for some of the toughest fighting in the pacific theater. their heroism, their skill saved countless lives. these men are american heroes. when you see world war ii veterans, united states marines wearing that many combat ribbons, it's a rare sight, and it's testament to all of those men's great duration under enemy fire, in harm's way in combat. so these are american heroes. and again tonight you saw the president fail in the execution
of some of the most basic duties of the office of the president of the united states. another moment of degradation to that majestic office and another moment of personal disgrace in my view as commander in chief and president of the united states. failing in his most minimal duties as the american head of state. >> what's the danger in your view of the president as we saw over the weekend declaring a network, in this case cnn international, to be fake and telling a global audience the same thing? and perhaps deciding to give a trophy to the network of his choosing that's been reporting, giving out the most fake news? >> well, he all but declared fox news to be american state tv. extraordinary. secondly, with regard to cnn international, with people who live in autocratic countries,
who live behind a veil of totalitarianism, cnn international, they thirst for that news coverage because it's a truth to them. it speaks to what's happening in the world and all of its cruelty, its injustice but also the magnanimity, the hope that comes from the notion of free people. and so what he did is he endangered certainly cnn journalists, all journalists operating in dangerous areas, in autocratic areas, and it's another assault in spirit on the concept of a free press, on the spirit of the first amendment. and you have a president in his utterly bizarre claims that the "access hollywood" tape never happened. these are not normal behaviors. and i think it bears repeating all the time. how far out of the norma range we are. these are the behaviors of an autocrat, not a democratically elected president of the united
states. it's disturbing to say the least. >> steve schmidt, that's why we asked to speak with you again tonight and why we will again in the future. great thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you, brian. >> coming up, as we continue, you've heard a lot about robert mueller since he took over the russia investigation over six months ago. when we move along, we'll talk to the author who says there are a few things you should all know about the veteran prosecutor. back with that right after this.
as president trump looks to congress to pass the first significant legislation of his presidency before the end of this year, special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation continues to loom over all of it and may have an inordinate say in the white house agenda for next year. the "los angeles times" writes that while mueller has been praised by both democrats and republicans, "at 73, mueller has a record that shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course." with us for more is the author
of that piece. david willman won the pulitzer for investigative reporting back in '01 for his work on the pharmaceutical industry. he also wrote the book about the anthrax attacks on this building, we might add, and elsewhere in the post-9/11 era. it is called "the mirage man." thank you very much for being with us and especially for the democrats who now view bob mueller as the most important man in this democracy because as they see it he's the man who could save this democracy, what in your view do they need to know about bob mueller? >> i would suggest they might want to pay attention to the man's record. it's a very long and distinguished public record. bob mueller has chosen public service really throughout the arc of his career over profiteering in the private sector. and no one can ever take that away from bob mueller. there's never been an allegation that goes against his integrity. what we tried to do in the
in-depth profile we published in the "los angeles times" was to focus on special counsel mueller's experience, his judgment, and his tendencies. aspects of his career, specific cases that shed light on what he may do with the enormous discretion that he now holds over really the trump presidency. >> you write about his linear methods. i guess the non-pejorative is to say he is methodical. >> he is certainly methodical. i guess the case in point referencing his linear approach was evidenced in his management of the anthrax case. that is the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks. the director personally managed that case from headquarters and drove it as long and as hard as he could toward the near
indictment of steven hatfill, a man who was ultimately exonerated, had no involvement with the crimes. that process really misdirected the investigation for nearly five years. >> i would urge people to seek and read the piece. i especially urge them to make it to the last two paragraphs because they are critical to the understanding of all that goes before. this may call for a judgment on your part, but for people who are right now counting on robert mueller, could anyone better have been chosen that you know of in the private sector or in public life? >> well, brian, i'm not going to speculate about who would be better or not as qualified as bob mueller, not as able as bob mueller. but i think as our piece concluded, there is no doubting bob mueller's resolve to do what
he considers to be the right thing. the more difficult unknowns here are how he is going to apply his discretion. which potential targets are going to get immunity from prosecution and under what terms. who will ultimately be prosecuted? to what extent will special counsel mueller use his discretion to bring charges perhaps on those matters that are not directly yet defined within his original mandate but yet he clearly is authorized to go after those if he deems it appropriate. >> we urge folks to go to the website of the "l.a. times." people can read the washington-based reporting of the recipient of the pulitzer prize. david willman, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. coming up, the happy news tonight from cross the atlantic. but first, a quick note. we are very happy to announce a new way to catch up on "the 11th hour." if you can't be with us live, if you can't access a dvr or the msnbc app on your phone, can't
last thing before we go tonight is this. and we're hoping you'll forgive us this brief break from the mueller investigation into the trump presidency, to bring you a thoroughly modern love story from the uk, where prince harry, fifth in line to the british throne, is engaged to meghan markle of los angeles, california. we call this a thoroughly modern love story because this young couple are a stark reminder of how times have changed just in our lifetime. perhaps you can imagine not all that long ago the idea of the prince of wales marrying a biracial divorced american woman
might have been scandalous. but here we are in 2017. the world seemed to react today with simple and genuine happiness at two young people beaming at one another. the handsome young military veteran whom we know as diana's youngest son. and the beautiful actress from california. meghan markle grew up in hollywood and graduated from northwestern. she's an actress with both a web business and a design business. they met last summer on a blind date. she admits she didn't know all that much about him. he admits he had never seen "suits," the tv show she stars in. one thing led to another. now she's expected to be named the duchess of sussex. members of the royal family. sussex. duchess of sussex. don't try that too many times. members of the royal family are said to be thrilled at the news, and the world got to see the ring today. set with two companion diamonds that once belonged to princess diana. a spring wedding is planned.
and now we'll go back to covering the trump presidency starting tomorrow evening. that's our broadcast for this post-thanksgiving monday night as we start a new week. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. right now. >> tonight on "all in" -- >> lock her up. that's right. >> is michael flynn cutting a deal? >> general flynn is a wonderful man. >> tonight as flynn's lawyers meet with the special prosecutor, the mounting evidence that president trump's former national security adviser could be cooperating with robert mueller. >> it's something the white house should be very concerned about. plus -- >> why it is appropriate for the president to use a racial slur in any context? >> the white house defends the president's racial slur during an event honoring native americans. >> they call her pocahantas. >> then why two different people today claim they're running the consumer protection bureau.