tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC April 4, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
national security adviser or any other context than, hey, you're in the middle of the mueller investigation, they'd just clear whoever it is through. i think the fact you're going sentencing. i think the john bolton situation is a real question. we'll see. >> and there's always the possibility of a pardon discussion in the white house for donald trump's first national security advisor, and would the current national security advisor be part of that discussion? >> yeah. >> the things to imagine. >> and who clears the security clearance? >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you, lawrence. >> in the mini series about
robert mueller's investigation there are going to be a lot of dramatic scenes in airports and different airports. it seems that robert mueller's fbi agents are doing a lot of their work in american airports. they secretly arrested george papadopoulos when he got off a plane at washington dulles airport. and tonight "new york times" is reporting that agents stopped joel zamel at washington
trump and seized his e electronics, according to a person familiar with the matter. and ted mallic was stopped at logan airport at boston when he returned from an international trip. they took his electronics and questioned him about roger stone and wikileaks. and george nader was stopped in january.
nader is emerging as a more and more complex figure with connections from the united arab emirates to russia. we have reporting on the extent of his connections with russia. he's a lebanese american businessman who used his russian connections to set up what has become to close followers of this drama.
mueller's investigators have been pushing about a meeting nay der attended in new york in early 2017 with jared kushner and steve bannon at the office of the hedge fund manager richard gerson. at the time of that meeting, they were close to the trump administration. and one question is whether there were illegal funds in the trump campaign. and "the washington journal" reported in an e-mail dated august 4, 2016, mr. stone wrote i dined with julian assange last night, according to a copy of the message reviewed by "the washington journal." on the same day roger stone sent that e-mail, august 4, 2016, he appeared on the right wing conspiracy show saying julian assange has proof of scandals at the clinton foundation. >> let's remember their defense in all of the clinton foundation scandals has been not that we didn't do it, it has been you have no proof. yes, but you have no proof. i think julian assange has that proof and i think he's going to furnish it to the american people. >> in that same appearance roger
stone said he spoke to donald trump the day before, which was exactly the same day he says he dined with julian assange. like the fbi did with george papadopoulos and nader, you have to confront them with outside evidence and hopefully get to some measure of the truth. so investigations are not complete by the time that hopefully we win the house, we may be in a position where we have to do the investigation all over again so the american people know who should be held to account. >> barbara mcquade roger stone has offered his defense about that e-mail saying he dined with julian assange. his defense is it was a joke. how does that joke play? >> if it's a joke, it's not particularly funny.
although it seems unlikely that he had dinner with julian assange, in light of the logistics of julian assange being in the embassy in london. but nonetheless it does seem to suggest he had contact with julian assange. they don't have to meet face-to-face to have contact. they can speak by telephone, some other communications device, by text, direct message or other means. so i don't know that it was literally true, but it seems coincidental he has this information, is publishing this information, and to not have spoken to julian assange. so i'm sure robert mueller is trying to get to the bottom of that, what kind of coordination there was between roger stone and wikileaks and as the congressman said with president trump himself. >> it turns out the tsr aren't the only agents these day. airports in the northeast from washington to boston are calling with fbi agents when russian oligarchs or anyone else robert mueller is interested in is getting off the plane. >> i think people don't realize it's a great place to approach these witnesses because when you come through customs, immigrations, fbi agents don't need a search warrant to seize your phone or get access to them. they're there without their attorneys, if these are people who are not american citizens they can be turned around and
put on a plane back out of the country. it's an aggressive step and a good way to catch the witnesses off guard. and you've seen it in a number of instances now. >> in your experience, talk about the advantages that you have with people at airports, even leaving aside the extra rights you have in dealing with them in the international zone of an airport. the very fact that while you know exactly what door they're going to walk out of it, it's a lot easier than say, staking out an office building. >> it reduces the risk to meet someone at the airport. number one you know when they're
going to land and arrive. so you don't have that element of surprise or the fear they're going to panic. >> use a weapon and it could be something dangerous. the other extent is these are not american citizens it could be the only opportunity to interview them or serve them with a subpoena. we can't serve people all around the world, only those in our borders for court process. so it eliminates that risk that they might leave tomorrow, later today if we don't have this opportunity to talk to them. so in addition to the strategic
advantages matt talked about you eliminate risks of physical danger and danger you might not catch up with them. >> congressman swalwell i know you were also a prosecutor, so we have a wealth of prosecutor knowledge here. i want to get your take on the manafort case today, this is a separate case where manafort is trying to sue to contain the scope of the mueller investigation claiming the scope has gone too far. they reached a point in the day where the judge said to mueller's lawyers, i don't understand what is left of your case. and i have to say, i've been in a lot of federal courtrooms, a
lot of other courtrooms, that's a rare comment from a judge. >> i worked as a county prosecutor in california but the tactics were similar to achieve our objects. i believe with paul manafort there is an overwhelming amount of efds that he had prior relationships in the business world and political world with ukrainians and people connected with russia. he sought to hide those from people in the u.s. government. ideally he would cooperate and assist us in knowing what donald
trump's knowledge was. but ultimately the best thing these witnesses can do at this point is come clean. bob mueller's team they're demonstrating they're going to find out. they'll get to the bottom of your bs story. whether it takes weeks or months to subpoena your outside records. they'll put you in that chair and confront you. if you lie to them you'll be
charged. if you cooperate things could go better for you. but that's a good message that bob mueller can send to the russians we're not going to tolerate this. >> the sheashells meeting, robert mueller is zeroing in on it as the place that it seems that the trump administration was trying to establish a back channel to the kremlin and that back channel is what robert mueller wants to open up. >> you're right. when this story first broke a year ago and other pieces broke earlier this year. it was one of those stories that everything looked fishy but it was hard to explain what was going on. the more we learned about it, the more fishy it was. you have nader, there representing the united air of emirates. and eric prince. a couple of things that don't make sense, why was the trump administration eager to set up a back channel with the russian government. they were going to be in the white house in a couple weeks. there's no reason to have a back
channel. and the second thing, why did everyone lie about this. we know erik prince didn't tell the truth about the nature of the meeting. if it wasn't on the up and up, we will be joined by the winner in another surprise election loss for republicans in a state that president trump won. and the trump trade war is only going to make things worse in that state and other agricultural states for republicans. and the president's national security advisor broke with the president today but he has less than a week left on the job.
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a category 4 goes up to 156 miles an hour. and a category 5 is anything and everything above 156 miles per hour. now, those are all deadly, destructive winds depending on how you get hit by them from category 3 to 5. category 5 for sure, 4 for sure. and that is how senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is now describing what republicans are facing in this year's election. he told his paper in his home state of kentucky. this is going to be a challenging election year. we know the wind is going to be in our face.
we don't know whether it's going to be a category 3, 4 or 5. so he just knows it's going to be deadly. and he doesn't know how deadly. the republican leader of the house of representatives is so afraid of how big the blue wave is going to be that paul ryan hasn't even announced that he will campaign for re-election for his own congressional seat in wisconsin, which last night was the scene of the latest demonstration of the power of the big, blue wave.
speaker of the house paul ryan is leading his republican members into their re-election campaigns without announcing whether he himself is going to run for re-election to his seat in wisconsin. this is late on the calendar for a speaker of the house to leave his members guessing of whether he is confident of his own election in his home district. and paul ryan has more to be afraid of today than yesterday after last night's victory by rebecca dalla. she will join us to tell us how she did it and it was not a squeaker. she beat her conservative
opponent by 12 points. last night republican governor of wisconsin scott walker tweeted tonight's results show we are at risk of a blue wave in wisconsin. then he had to throw in a little speech about the far left is driven by anger and hatred, we must counter it with optimism and organization. let's share our positive story with voters. they did share last night and lost. it's the first time a democrat won an open seat on the wisconsin supreme court in 23 years and what did paul ryan, the republican speaker of the house from wisconsin tell his troops today to bolster their confidence? absolutely nothing. not one word from wisconsin's own paul ryan about this major upset for republicans in wisconsin last night. joining our discussion now, john nickels, and ruth marcus. john, you're joining us from wisconsin tonight? >> i am joining you from madison, wisconsin. >> so tell us what happened in wisconsin. this is by the way the second time the republicans have seen an upset in an election in wisconsin and the second time that scott walker has warned republicans about a blue wave. >> sure. what happened last night was something quite remarkable.
as you noted in this officially nonpartisan race for state supreme court, you saw the candidate who was backed by unions and progressives, and essentially democrats beat the candidate who was backed by scott walker, the nra and a lot of business interests. it was a clearly defined race. the interesting thing in
wisconsin is over the last quarter century really, the republicans, the conservatives, have figured out how to win these races. they've gotten very, very good at winning not just open seat races but occasionally beating an incumbent who's more progressive. so for scott walker this was supposed to be an easy one. instead last night was devastating. it wasn't that she won by 12 points, as you pointed out, it was that she won in a campaign that he clearly established herself as a more progressive
thinker than her opponent and she took on the nra. she objected to her opponent's strong embrace of the nra. and she won -- we'll see how the final counting goes but she won roughly half the counties in the state. that mean she won rural counties. she won about two dozen counties that voted for trump.
>> what do you make of the speaker of the house being silent about a big election outcome in wisconsin. >> if you don't have anything useful to say to your troops, why say anything at all? look, it is always a risky moment for the party of the incumbent president in the off-year election. it's traditional to lose seats. when the president has the approval ratings of this
president, i know he tells us they're historically high and better than cheating obama or whatever he called him the other day, but come on, not true. it is not going to be based on history and based on current reality, it is not likely to be a very good year for paul ryan's troops. so what does he have to gain by saying anything about wisconsin's supreme court race? >> john nickels, is paul ryan being pressed by local media in
wisconsin on the question of is he going to run for re-election to his seat? >> yes. increasingly when he's available. one thing to understand about paul ryan is that he is increasingly out of the circuit. he does still do events in his district, no question of that, but they tend to be more closed. he doesn't do the traditional town hall meetings. once upon a time, paul ryan was one of the most accessible political figures in wisconsin. media had an easy time getting to him. people in his district saw him a lot. that's not true anymore. it's part of what's giving him political trouble in the state. but it's also a function of what he's going through. i think he's really wrestling with the position he's in. i expect he'll run for reelection, but he has not said it yet which is remarkable. >> ruth, i want to put up a map by your paper, "the washington post," of soy bean production in the united states. this is important because china fighting back against the trump tariffs says they're going to swung the electoral coll donal from wall st. to main st. hey guys, wanna play some pool? eh, i'm not really a pool guy. what's the hesitation? it's just complicated. step-by-step options trading support from td ameritrade ♪ most people come to la with big dreams. ♪ we came with big appetites. with expedia, you could book a flight, hotel, car, and activity all in one place. ♪
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special interests. we beat the nra. we beat the millions of dollars that were spent on this race flooding into our state. >> that was rebecca dallet, in her victory speech last night. and rebecca dallet joins us now from wisconsin, having been elected to a 10-year term on the wisconsin state supreme court. thank you very much for joining us on your first national interview about this.
i just want to get into the role the nra played in this campaign, and what was -- what were you saying about it and what was your opponent saying about it? >> well, thank you, lawrence, for having me. my opponent was endorsed by the nra. within 24 hours of the parkland shooting, and i believe that that caused a lot of national
attention to be drawn to this race. when we talk about the nra right now, and as a parent of three daughters in high school and college, we talk about families like mine being afraid of having their kids in school. and my opponent vowed to protect the firearm freedoms of the nra. they sent out mailers to that effect, and i think wisconsin was very concerned with that. >> as a political matter in wisconsin, what were the risks for you in taking on the nra? >> well, we have a situation in wisconsin for the last decade, the years that i've been a judge, where we've had special interest money pouring into these supreme court races. and money like -- groups like the nra and other business lobbies and other groups. and that money has been buying justice or a justice. we've then had supreme court justices, like the one i announced again, sitting on cases that involve that money and then ruling in fair of those groups that spent the money. wisconsin has seen that's not fair. and i think this win was a win for wisconsin and against special interests like the nra trying to buy our courts. >> you also had help from eric holder and pacs that he was organizing and s >> i of groups like eric holder's group. the different between me and my opponent, i made the statement and promise to my voters that any group that spends money on my race, i will not hear the cases involving those groups should they come in front of the court. and i think that's a big
difference of what means we're going to have fair and independent courts in the eyes of the voters. >> this is a ten-year term, so you'll be wielding influence on that court for a long-time to come. this is what makes it such an important race. at what point did you feel -- let me put it this way: did you know you were going to go over the top by 12 points? >> it's hard to know. i knew that going around the state my message really resonated with voters. and i travelled our state far and wide since june 1st. and my message was one of experience. i've worked in our courts for more than 23 years, standing up for victims in some of the toughest cases of rape and child abuse, both as a prosecutor and a judge, and i spoke out against the special interests that have really bought our courts or appeared to buy our courts for the last decade. the message resonated with voters and i was hopeful they would turn out, which they did in great numbers last night. >> what would you say to democrats who are concerned about standing up to the nra in some of their congressional
districts around the country? some of them want to but feel it might be too politically risky? >> i think we all need to talk about fairness and independence, especially in our courts. and when we have special interest money that is influencing and taking the place of the people, we all need to stand up to that. we've seen in this country, as we all know, this real interest on the part of our young people. and one of my daughters helped lead the walk out in her school. i participated in the march for our lives with my other daughter. we've seen the interest taken in safety and gun violence prevention. it's a national conversation that i think everyone needs to be a part of. >> wisconsin state supreme court justice-elect rebecca dallet, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> well, national security advisor h.r. mcmaster got a knock in on his boss, donald
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up plays or miss stuff because no one could see what you were talking about. television changed all that. but for donald trump it doesn't matter what you can see. >> nobody's been tougher on russia than i have. and you can -- i know you're nodding yes because everyone agrees, when they think about it. >> no. no one in that room was nodding yes. and no one in that room agreed with him. he was speaking to a roomful of reporters. and the president's national security advisor doesn't agree with him either. >> russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions. and we have failed to impose sufficient costs. the kremlin's confidence has grown as its agents conduct their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves and in one another. >> that was yesterday.
same day that donald trump said no one's been tougher on russia than donald trump. that was h.r. mcmaster's final speech as national security advisor. and he said exactly what he knows donald trump did not want him to say. he is not a member of the trump administration to publically say -- there's no member of the trump administration to say he's not done enough to stop russia. here's what the president's director of the nsa, michael rogers, said in february. >> i believe that president putin has clearly come to the conclusion there's little price to pay here and therefore i can continue this activity. clearly what we've done hasn't been enough. >> the white house press secretary was hit with tough question -- a tough question today.
does the president agree with his national security advisor that we failed to impose sufficient costs on russia? simple question, yes or no. a yes or no question with maybe an explanation after the yes or the no. but the trump press secretary decided that the way out of the corner that h.r. mcmaster painted her into was to simply lie about what h.r. mcmaster said and move on. >> is he agreeing with mcmaster that we have failed to impose sufficient costs on russia? >> what mcmaster said is we've been very tough on russia. he echoed the president's message that he said yesterday during the press conference with the leaders that no one has been tougher on russia than this president. >> joining our discussion richard clark, senior white house adviser to three presidents and an author. richard clark, what do you make of h.r. mcmaster saying very clearly the exact opposite of what the president was saying on the same day? >> lawrence, this is a remarkable speech and i actually
urge viewers to go on the white house website and read it. it's that important. apparently you can only tell the truth in the trump administration when you're running out the door. tillerson did a little bit of that, and now mcmaster is in saying definitively that the russians have done the nerve gas attack, the cyber attack in ukraine, the penetration of our electric power grid and saying definitively, quote, we have failed to impose sufficient costs, and therefore they will do more. it's a remarkable speech. it's a speech that a president of the united states should have given about what the russians have done and the entire pattern of russian aggression.
but there's been a strange silence from the president who should have given the speech. so mcmaster gave it on the way out. >> i want to listen to a little bit more of what mcmaster had to say. >> mr. putin may believe that he is winning in this new form of warfare, he may believe that his aggressive actions in the parks of salisbury, cyber space, in the air and high seas can under mine our confidence, our institutions and our values. perhaps he believes that our free nations are weak and will not respond. will not respond to his provocations. he is wrong. >> but is he wrong?
is putin wrong to think that the united states is weak in its response? >> putin's exactly correct in thinking we're weak in our response. the president has not turned ever to his national security advisor -- any of the ones he's had so far -- and said, come up with a plan to push back on the russians. to stop their aggression in europe and stop their aggression in cyber space. he's never ordered nsa to the fight them in cyber space. i don't think he's ever going to. one of the remarkable lines in
this speech by the president's national security advisor is, quote, even in the united states public officials have developed idealized views of this tyrannical regime. well, what public official do we think he's talking about, lawrence? >> what should we be doing in our cyber defense against russia? >> well, i think there are a number of things we can do, both offensive things and defensive things. i know there is a risk of doing offensive things that they will retaliate and we'll get involved in a tit for tat escalation process. but at some point you have to stand up to bully, even if you risk a fight. i think not having done that in the wake of repeated cyber attacks on our election, our power grid, our corporations, they're going to keep doing it. so i would find some target, perhaps the internet research institute that attacked our elections and i would attack them. i would wipe out their computer systems and find information online, perhaps about putin's vast wealth and reveal that publically in our own version of wikileaks. >> how much of that can the nsa do without a specific presidential order? >> it cannot do it without a presidential order. >> and there we are. richard clark, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. many labor unions observed this anniversary of martin luther king's death today
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that's where robert walker and eckel cole were hiding from the rain when the compressor malfunctioned and swallowed them into the belly of the truck 50 years ago. their bodies were crushed along with the garbage inside the truck. the horror and degradation of their deaths was unbearable for their co-workers, who all walked off the job and demanded the right to join a union. their protest slogan was simple. "i am a man." after speaking to a massive crowd on his first night in memphis, dr. king flew back and
forth to memphis for the next two weeks, squeezing in speeches and sermons in harlem and washington and even managing to sleep at home in atlanta three nights. the last time in his life that he spoke publicly was in memphis at the masonic temple the nice before he was assassinated. every martin luther king jr. speech had political content and most had the emotion and rhythm and religious content of a sermon. the last speech had all of that. it was classic dr. king. more than 40 minutes long. full of political argument and strategy, prayers and predictions, all delivered with no notes. dr. king very explicitly called for nonviolence above all else in memphis. he suggested that boycotts of some local banks and big companies like coca-cola might be necessary to get mayors to pay attention. he had death on his mind that night.
he told the story of how he almost died years earlier when he was stabbed at a book signing in new york city. he revealed that the airline pilot on his flight from atlanta that morning told him that the plane had been thoroughly searched for bombs and that the plane was guarded through the night because they knew dr. king was reserved on that flight. and then he said this. >> like anybody, i would like to live a long life, longevity has its place. but i'm not concerned about that now. i just want to do god's will. and he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. and i looked over and i've seen the promised land. i may not get there with you. but i want you do know tonight
that we as a people will get to the promised land! so i'm happy tonight, i'm not worried about anything. i'm not fearing any man. mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. >> the next day, on april 4th, 1968, dr. martin luther king jr. was hit by one assassin's bullet at 6:01 p.m. at 7:05 p.m., he was pronounced dead at st. joseph's hospital. he was 39 years old. the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. lived and died in his words, not fearing any man. on this 50th year commemoration of martin luther king jr.'s assassination, [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even "close claws." [driver] so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling] [passenger] what are you doing? [driver] i can't believe that worked. i dropped the keys. [burke] and we covered it. talk to farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ do ndo not misjudgenity quiet tranquility. with the power of 335 turbo-charged horses
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on this 50th year commemoration of martin luther king jr.'s assassination, looking back at it, tonight's "last word" goes to president barack obama and martin luther king jr.'s friend, congressman john lewis. >> dr. king was controversial. but he studied and thought and crafted what he had to say. and he knew when he spoke that he was expressing a truth as well as he could know it. >> i thank god that he lived. he taught us how to live. he taught us how to stand up. to be brave, courageous, and bold. and to never give up. >> martin luther king jr.'s friend, john lewis, gets tonight's "last word." up next, new reporting white house chief of staff john kelly warned epa director skon pruitt
the scandals had to end. that's on "the 11th hour with brian williams" and that starts now. tonight, the president may feel relief, but he's not off the hook in the russia investigation. as new questions emerge about him being a subject. and legal advice for donald trump is offered up this evening on fox news. plus what happens when robert mueller delivers his report? we'll ask a powerful member of the senate judiciary committee. the senate judiciary committee. and reality check. donald trump on day 440. learning that enacting policy as president is a lot harder than delivering an applause line on the stump. "the 11th hour" on a wednesday night begins now. ♪ good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm nicole wallace in for brian tonight. it's day 440 of the trump administration. the president is spending tonight in friendly territory
with one of his key allies on capitol hill, house majority leader kevin mccarthy. they attended a dinner with trump supporters hosted by the pro-trump super pac america first action. . the president made no public appearances today and the bombshell "washington post" report confirming that he has been told that he's a subject of robert mueller's investigation may have something to do with that. that report said the special prosecutor did not consider the president a criminal target at this point, but that does not mean that his status as a subject is permanent or that it's reason for relief. today the white house was asked about that report. >> what was his reaction to learning he is not a subject, or that he is not a target of the special counsel investigation, although he is a subject? >> there was no collusion between the president and russia, so nothing has changed. we know what we did and what we didn't do. so none of this comes as much of a surprise. >> "the washington post" says thla