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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  May 14, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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amendments this week. fair warning, expect to see a lot of floor speeches about the takers needing to work harder while the makers enjoy share sweet tax cuts. that's it for tonight. rachel is back tomorrow. with lawrence o'donnell." >> it's so sad to see what's happened to the food stamp program, which when it was created was one of the real bipartisan triumphs of the congress, conservative senators like bob dole from agriculture states teaming up with liberal governors put that program together. >> and it goes directly into the cash registers of places like walmarts and super markets. proctor and gamble love it because they sell a lot of macaroni and cheese. it had broad support, but no longer. >> nothing is like it used to be. >> thank you, good night lawrence. >> tonight the president of the united states has said something that would command agreement to
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the resistance of the president of the united states. donald trump's most unforgiving critics agree with the spirit of the statement the president gave today even if they might choose different words. as with most trump statements, it need not be said that no president in history said anything like that. today donald trump actually said his white house staff, quote, are traitors and cowards. for any white house staffers for whom working for donald trump wasn't shameful enough today, they can now add to their shame that even donald trump thinks they are traitors and cowards in a tweet this afternoon, the president said the so-called leaks coming out of the white house are a massive overexaggeration put out by the fake news media in order to make us look as bad as possible. with that being said, leakers
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are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are! so the leaks from the trump white house are fake but donald trump thinks that leakers, white house leakers are traitors and cowards and he's trying to find out who they are. and while he is busy trying to find out who they are, 22 of those traitors and cowards teamed up to supply "the washington post" with its latest story based entirely on leaks the president is trying to stop. about a day in the life of the president under investigation. the president vents to associates about the fbi raids on his personal attorney michael cohen, as often as 20 times a day in the estimation of one confidant. and they frequently listen in silence, knowing little they say will soothe him. trump gripes that he needs
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better tv lawyers to defend him on cable news. he plots his battle plans with former new york mayor rudolph q. giuliani, his new legal consigliere. 20 times a day. the white house staff who the president now calls traitors and cowards also told "the washington post" quote they privately express worries that the probe may yet ensnare more figures in trump's orbit, including family members. there is worry about trump's eldest son and son-in-law and. last night john hileman delivered the moment last week when stormy daniels' lawyer, michael avenatti dramatically changed our understanding of what michael cohen was up to in trump world before the fbi raided his home, his office and his hotel room. >> you got a tweet written?
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>> two tweets. >> two tweets. >> this is the first tweet. after significant investigation, we have discovered that mr. trump's attorney, mr. cohen received approximately $500,000 from a company controlled by a russian oligarch with close ties to mr. putin, these moneys may have reimbursed the $130,000 payment. >> that's a big deal. give me the second tweet. >> mr. trump and mr. cohen have a lot of explaining to do. it was just sent. >> it was just sent. >> there it is. >> john hileman and michael avenatti will join us in a moment. michael avenatti's revelations about millions of dollars received by michael cohen for questionable consulting was all confirmed and then some by follow-up reports in newspapers, only that michael avenatti had understated the total amounts paid by some of those cooperations. today's wall street journal, he
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would tell prospective clients large corporations worried about their lack of connections to president donald trump's administration, that he didn't know who he was advising them but should fire them all. i have the best relationship with the president on the outside, and you need to hire me. mr. cohen told them, according to this person. michael cohen traded on his labelling of himself as the president's lawyer and leaned all the more heavily on companies that did not want to do business with him. mr. cohen repeatedly pitched uber, which said no, citing mr. cohen's ownership of new york taxi medallions as a potential conflict of interest with the ride hailing firm a person close to the company said. he modified his pitch in response to those objections, reminding the company he was the
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president's lawyer, this person said. michael avenatti has once again expanded the dimensions of the michael cohen story by tweeting yesterday video images captured in the lobby of trump tower during the transition on december 12, 2016. those images show michael cohen close to a bald man who appears to be amid rumahi and another shot that some -- that same day of michael cohen in the lobby of trump tower with michael flynn. in a follow-up tweet michael avenatti said, why was amed al-rumaihi meeting with michael cohen and michael flynn in december of 2016 and why did mr. al-rumaihi later brag about bribing administration officials according to a sworn declaration filed in court? joining us now with what we hope is the answer to his own
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question, michael avenatti the attorney for stormy daniels. also with us john heilman, national affairs analyst for nbc and msnbc, and joyce vance is with us, former federal prosecutor, a professor at the university of alabama school of law and an msnbc contributor. michael avenatti so do you have the answer to your question about what michael cohen was up to there in the lobby of trump tower? >> we have the answer, lawrence, but we're not going to disclose it tonight. let me say this, i tweeted this out moments ago. i think when the truth relating to this meeting comes out shortly, it's going to redefine the word ugly. when the truth comes out relating to what michael cohen was doing there that day in connection with these two individuals in this elevator at trump tower, we know that michael flynn was also there that day. and, you know, lawrence the problem is is that michael cohen
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was not a registered lobby yes, i am, not a registered foreign agent he had no formal role in connection with the transition, ultimately no formal role in the administration. i don't think he's taking these guys upstairs to pick up to-go dinners or anything of that nature. they had to be there for something. i think it's going to come out shortly as to why they were there, and i don't think it's going to be pretty. >> you mentioned an american lawsuit in which al-rumaihi is quoted about in effect bribing politicians in washington. is it through that lawsuit you expect the information to come out? >> i don't want to get into how i expect it to come out. but there is a declaration in that lawsuit that's bullet proof that details the statements of this individual relating to the fact he had successfully prescribed administration officials, namely michael flynn. and i don't think it ends there. we have a video and photographic
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evidence that shows that michael cohen was at the center of this. we know from what we released last week, to your point that's been confirmed, that michael cohen was selling access to the president of the united states. and let me also say, lawrence, i think the suggestion that all of this was going on with involvement by michael cohen, involvement by michael flynn and at the same time the president knew absolutely nothing about it is absurd. >> we all remember those days during the transition and trump tower and there were cameras set up all day and people moving in and out of there, sometimes dozens of people, including the like gs of kanye west, james comey had his day in the lobby. all sorts of people had their day there. is it possible that michael cohen is on that elevator at that time with al rumahi. >> no because if you look at the video, he walks in with them, it's clear as day he walks in with them and gets on the
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elevator with them. i don't think it's happenstance by any stretch of the imagination. >> john heil man, once again the guy beside you has expanded the dimensions of what we are aware of -- i was going to say what we know, but i'm not sure what we know as a result of the images. michael avenatti's promises in the past that there is more to come have generally proven to be the case. >> let me tell you about the story, it's going to take us into the weeds a little bit here, but it's interesting, i think. you may have red in the last couple weeks about a lawsuit that was filed by -- the lawsuit that mr. avenatti is referring to which is a lawsuit filed by two individuals, that run a lead called the big three, an old timers baseball league. they had some qatari investors, there have been various disputes
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between the league, those two guys, and the qataris, it's in the source of this lawsuit that the statements have been made -- someone who i have made since high school -- >> the world is not that small. the guy i was reading about in this lawsuit today you went to high school with? >> no. someone i knew in high school. i went to western university, who i lived with for two years at harvard, and continues to be someone i know extraordinarily well. he declares in the lawsuit that the reason that the qataris invested in big three is because jeff was a good friend of steve bannon and the qatari's were trying to use their investment in the league to get access to bannon and through bannon influence trump. it's a sworn declaration in this case where he says in his discussions with the qataris and mr. rumaihi he claims to have
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bribed michael flynn. he says this is a terrible idea, i don't want to be involved with this. he says, what are you talking about? michael flynn took our money. so what mr. avenatti has done here is connected a dot because this lawsuit and the allegations that the qataris, they claimed according to this they had bribed michael flynn, now we have michael flynn, michael cohen and the person who is said to have prescribed flynn in the elevator together. i don't know what the connection between michael cohen -- i know nothing about the cohen connection to this, if there is any cohen connection, over than the fact they rode in an elevator together. but the attempts to engage in what seems like an influence operation through this very strange medium, an old-timers basketball league, which a strange story. it involves a rapper like ice cube.
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one of the things michael avenatti has done is bring various threads together and create a garment, we don't know the shape of the garment, or i don't, but the garment is more visible. >> joyce vance, sernl certainly the special prosecutor is aware of this sworn statement in the lawsuit and the way -- what rumaihi is quoted as saying basically, is do you think mike flynn didn't take our money? that's the kind of statement made in a lawsuit like that that would attract the special prosecutor's attention. >> it would attract a lot of attention if they had not known about it before the statement was filed in connection with the lawsuit. we're seeing a lot of indication, though, that mueller was looking at a lot of different threads in this investigation back late last year that we're only just now learning that he was looking at
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back in that time period. so one rather suspects that he would have been onto this well before it became public knowledge as has been the case over and over again in this investigation and that's really what you would expect. you would expect prosecutors to know much more and be much further down the path than the public is aware they've been able to travel. >> joyce, let me ask you another legal question about what we heard michael cohen quoted as saying when he was approaching these companies to represent them. at a certain point on saying to them, you need me. you need to hire me. does that begin to edge up toward something that sounds threatening? >> lawrence, i think this is the real question in the cohen investigation. was he just a huxter was he self-promoting and trying to hustle business or really selling access to the president of the united states?
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that will likely have been the focus for mueller and his team trying to determine whether cohen was freelancing or whether he was actually selling access to the president. and there's an interesting little bit of circumstance swirling around this. if you set yourself up in a pay to play situation, you have to play me if you want to play with this administration, there has to be a threat that you can really carry out. so here we have a tweet that the president was tweeting out about american companies and there were financial repercussions for the companies when those tweets happened. it will be interesting to see how this all compares as cohen goes out and bids with people, tries to get them to hire him, was there twitter activity in any of these industries, did any of these companies believe from other circumstances that they really did have to hire cohen if they wanted to get contracts,
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get favorable treatment, have access, that will be what this investigation will be looking at. it's not unforseen, not unpredictable that will happen. that is the bread and butter of prosecutors doing corruption cases. >> there's another side of this legal coin. one side is you need to hire me in order to get benefits. the other side, which is the old mafia version of it, you need to hire me to prevent this president from doing serious damage to you. i will get this president not to do damage to you. >> i don't know this for a fact but based on the way i know michael cohen and the way he's conducted himself, there's little down in my mind probably both messages were delivered. let me say this, i seriously doubt at the end of this, there's going to be any doubt as to whether mr. trump knew what was going on here. because otherwise, michael cohen
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would have had to string these clients along, month in, month out, relating to what he was telling the president, communications with the president, at some point these clients that retained him had to ask him, did you run it by the president? what did the president say? when do we get to meet the president? when do we have lunch with the president? what's the president's position? that had to occur at some point in this process. unless michael cohen is lying to the clients paying him all this money, the president had to know that michael cohen was carrying the water for some of these folks. >> john, the chances of michael cohen lying to the clients also seem to have a high possibility, one of the "the washington journal" reports talk how unhappy michael cohen was about his lack of relationship with the president when donald trump was in the white house. >> one of the fundamental realties of michael cohen is if you go back to the period when candidate trump was thinking of running for president, in the
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earlier cycle, michael cohen was with him constantly, and there was no one that covered trump as i did who didn't expect michael cohen would be his campaign manager if he ran in 2012. when you got to 2016 he wasn't in the campaign, and donald trump didn't want to take him to washington. so some distance had happened. and one wonders whether he was making je jit mat statements. >> a quick question on timetable, when will we find out what happened on december 12, 2016, at trump tower? >> i think soon. >> soon is a week? soon is a month? >> soon is soon. >> soon is soon. michael avenatti soon is soon. i think that's on your business card. >> maybe on the other side of this break. >> maybe.
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michael avenatti, joyce vance thank you for your legal perspective. john hileman is going to stay with us. the disgrace of john kelly continues and deepens as president trump proves that john mccain was right in banning the president from his funeral. and later, what is mike pence up to? that's the question some trump staffers are asking each other. what? directv gives you more for your thing. your... quitting cable and never looking back thing. directv is rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable. switch to directv and now get a $100 reward card. more for your thing. that's our thing. call 1.800 directv.
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john kelly continues to find new depths of disgrace in his role as white house chief of staff. his vicious comments last week about immigrant families ripped apart by the trump government with children thrown into, quote, foster care or whatever, actually reflect john kelly's own thinking. that is something kelly would happily on pine about in the boston bar in the neighborhood he grew up. that cruelty comes straight from john kelly's own heart. that cruelty is not something he learned in the trump white house. the immigrant in his own ancestry who came here not speaking english fit perfectly john kelly's description of people who should not be allowed in this country. so he disgraced his own ancestors with those comments but he sounds like he means it when he says it. at the same time it is just
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impossible to imagine that john kelly shares white house staff er-kelly sadler's disdain for john mccain, when she said last week, quote, it doesn't matter he's dieing anyway. it's impossible to believe that john kelly does not respect john mccain, the decorated former prisoner of war in vietnam who comes from a family richer in military tradition than john kelly's own family. so john kelly's silence about kelly sadler's comments has to be the product of john kelly's own cowardly fear of the wrath of donald trump. any other white house chief of staff would have fired kelly sadlerimmediately upon learning of her comment.
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any chief of staff with -- any staffer would have quit when her comment became public. but not kelly sadler. she promised the senator's daughter last week that she would apologize publically and she has not done it. so it is very clear who is managing the white house response to the kelly sadlercomments about john mccain. here's the white house press briefing today. >> why not just apologize so america doesn't think that is an acceptable way of speaking inside this white house? >> i understand the focus on the issue but it's going to be dealt with, and has been dealt with internally. >> can you explain how it's been addressed internally. >> if i explain all that, it won't remain internal.
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>> i can explain it, you can explain it. anyone who's been watching donald trump can explain it. donald trump is obviously personally managing this controversy in the white house and he is forbidding kelly sadler from publically apologizing to john mccain and he is forbidding john kelly from firing kelly sadler and forbidding john kelly from standing with the american hero john mccain and publically condemning kelly sadler's comment. there will be leaks. we may have to wait for another michael wolff book but there will be leaks on how john kelly handled himself in the white house when the day came to stand silently with kelly sadler or stand honorably with john mccain.
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the white house conducted a meeting about the leak of what kelly sadler had to say and ax owe reports a visibly upset and furious press secretary sarah sanders told the group, i am sure this conversation is going to leek, too, and that's just disgusting. and, of course, i can read you that quote of what the white house press secretary said in that meeting because it was leaked by one or more of those people who donald trump calls traitors and cowards. joining our discussion now, john kline, a former chief of staff. and back with us is john hileman. john kline you have lived and worked in a white house. and all white houses are concerned about leaks but we have never seen anything like that. >> no. leaks are part of washington, and they happen in all administrations but this one is the worst.
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the problem is this, if the president wants to stop leaks of horrible, embarrassing information of his administration he ought to stop doing horrible and embarrassing things. the problem isn't that the stuff is leaking out, the fundamental problem is this stuff is having. and a member of the stay to say what kelly sadler said about john mccain, the issue isn't that it leaked, it's that she said it. >> by now it's fair to infer that president trump thinks about john mccain exactly the way kelly sadler does. >> we could have inferred that before given the history with john mccain. she said a horrible thing. everybody we know has said something notty, nasty, or disrespectful about somebody at some point and regretted it. if you just come out and apologize, everyone will understand that you could have
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said something obnoxious. she apologized privately to the mccain family, having apologized privately why won't she publically apologize. it has to go with donald trump. all it would have taken is 30 seconds for the woman to say, and the white house to stand by her and say i said something terrible. i'm sorry for that. and it will all be over. that then would raise the question, wait, your boss said that he started trashing john mccain when he first got in the race and isn't what you're saying consistent -- a worse investigation but a consistent version of what president trump thinks of john mccain and you have a different issue of troubles. >> different jobs have different standards of public conducts and different reactions when private conduct becomes public. there's no stricter standard that i'm aware of than the white house said.
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her defense is, it was a joke. that's her defense. that can work as a defense in comedy writing rooms, in hollywood, it can work in many settings, in many work places. what do you think any other white house, their reaction would be to a comment like this being made public? >> i agree with john hileman, everyone says things they regret in politics and public life. the key thing is to own up to them and apologies both privately and publically. i have doubts this was a joke, though. as john mentioned donald trump has said the most horrible things about john mccain, not just in this campaign but back to 2000 when donald trump started on this that john mccain wasn't a hero because he was captured during the vietnam war, the man who avoided service to his country during that war.
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i think the problem is a lack of respect for senator mccain. i disagree with john mccain on a lot of issues, but i don't see how anyone cannot respect the man, the hero he is, his service to our country and that lack of respect is evident in the white house. the last thing i'll say is john mccain has a lot of friends on capitol hill and in the u.s. senate in particular. and this attitude from the trump white house is going to cost them up on capitol hill if they want to try and get anything else done up there in the foreseeable future. >> john kelly said i remember when women were held sacred. apparently he does not remember when prisoners of war were sacred. >> you would think if john kelly had control over this white house and again, he's a military man, he must, on some level -- he must respect john mccain's sacrifice, respect john mccain, so he must either feel as though
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he's given up on trying to contain some of the excess in the white house or he feels cowed by president trump who he's afraid if he were to order the person who committed this sin to atone that somehow he would face the wrath of the president for allowing anybody in the white house to apologize for anything. so either one, either he's given up sor he's afraid of donald trump, neither is a good look. >> your reaction to the former marine general, working in the white house, being absolutely silent on this comment about john mccain. >> it's sad. there's no other way to describe it. john kelly had great service to the country, paid the highest sacrifice in the loss of his son, and a dedicated military man and someone with that kind of record not to have the authority or the will or whatever he's been deprived to say to kelly sadler, you march
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out there and apologize to senator mccain and his family is an unwinding of his moral authority, the authority you should have as white house chief of staff that donald trump has done that to him is a horrible thing and that john kelly has accepted it is an equally horrible thing. it's a disgrace to see. >> john kelly will continue to go to work tomorrow and work side by side with kelly sadler. coming up, some members of team trump are getting very worried about team pence.
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what happens when the leader of a party would rather play golf than lead a party, and doesn't know how to lead a party anyway? enter mike pence, the "new york times" reports republican officials now see mr. pence as seeking to exercise expansive control over a political party ostense shl helped by mr. trump tending to his own allies and interests even when the president's instincts lean other wise. mike pence knows that he is going to be running for president in 2024, either to follow the trump presidency or to unseat the democrat who will have defeated donald trump. and mike pence knows that unlike donald trump he cannot win on
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personality alone. according to the times while mr. trump remains an major powering personality, he is mostly uninterested in the mechanics of managing a political party. his team of advisers is richb with personal divisions and the white house has not yet crafted a strategy for the midterms. so mr. trump's running mate has stepped into the void. today the pence team tried to counter any suspicions of disunity by donald trump's first campaign manager, corey lewandowski is joining the effort as an adviser to the pence political action committee. joining us now jonathan allen a recorder for nbc news digital. and john hileman is still with us. jonathan allen you've been reporting what's going on in the pence camp and the worries the trump camp has.
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what's the situation tonight? >> as you noted in the intro, mike pence has emerged as a political force on his own. he has a web of groups, including this super pac that corey lewandowski has signed on to, one's a political action community, the other is a nonprofit, a charity, that he's using to go around the republicans to help republicans and also himself. a lot of the folks in trump world were not pleased with that. one source told me that the president asked corey lewandowski to go kind of keep an eye on -- to keep an eye on pence world. and another source i talked to about this, you know, basically said trump and pence are generally aligned, they get along personally, but this is trump making sure it's clear to everyone who's still boss. >> and politico is reporting on another set of friction, which is john mccain has decided he doesn't want donald trump at his
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funeral but he does want the vice president. so what does the vice president do? does he attend? if he does attend, does that irritate president trump? >> hard to imagine it won't irritate president trump. but in the end i think president trump will be happy to outsource that particular activity, that particular duty to pence because i think trump would not want to go to the funeral. you know how trump is, trump will be -- trump is focussed on slates and i'm sure it has annoyed him to have heard that he's not welcome at the funeral. it's also the case of trump being as narcissistic as he is, he would rather be playing golf that day. so he will console himself with the notion, i didn't want to go to that thing anyhow. >> this story coincides with the leaks and the president calling his own staff traitors for
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leaking and part of the concerns about leaking is what's going on with the pence operation and what might they be leaking? >> the irony of donald trump calling people cowards and traitors for leaking is pretty strong. this is a guy who's been talking to the press for the last 30 years, sometimes under his own name, sometimes john baron or what have you. it appears from the reporting, everyone in trump world leaks. at some level i think the pence operation has been a little more tightly held and there are a bunch of pence people marbled throughout the white house. it's not just nick ayers, you have mark short, his experience on capitol hill was as mike pence's staff director when he was the chairman of the republican study committee and the republican conference in the house. so these pence guys know how to
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play the game in washington pretty well in a way i think a lot of the other trump folks may not be as adept at. so as a result i think their leaks are a little more strategic. >> john, one of the white house leakers in chief, kellyanne conway, was on fox news earlier tonight and actually saying that she actually expects there to be some firings -- personnel changes as they put it, as a result of the leaking investigations that they're trying to run now. >> i would bet a reasonable amount of money that is an empty threat. it's one of those things where you're asked -- people know you're conducting leak investigations, what will be the consequences of these leak investigations, ms. conway? nothing. you can't say that. so you have to say there are going to be changes we're going to do something. i will say about mike pence this. if you think about the various things he's doing and the aggressiveness he's doing it, it does reflect his understanding
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he's playing a weak hand on some level. he's not the natural inheriter to donald trump's base or anybody's base at this point, he's looking at a situation where either donald trump is going to survive this first term, run for reelection or not, and either win or not. then he's looking at running in 2024. that's a long way down the road and the party is going to be radically different at the end of either one of those outcomes or trump is not going to finish out the first time, in which case pence will not be the inheriter, he'll be challenged by 25 republicans. many of them more beloved. so he has to do everything he's doing right now to put himself in a reasonable position to thrive let alone rise. >> on that, the most dramatic scenario we've considered, we have to take a break. thank you both for joining us, appreciate it. coming up, president trump
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did keep a campaign promise today.
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shown that the united states of america will do what's right, and so we have. >> and jared kushner was speaking, here's what was happening 50 miles away, violence erupted as thousands of palestinians protested at the fence. israeli troops used gun fire and tear gas. at least 58 people were killed and 2,700 wounded. at the white house, the press secretary placed all the violence on hamas. >> we believe that hamas is responsible for what's going on. >> no responsibility beyond that to the israeli authorities? kill at will? >> that i'm saying is we believe that hamas, as an organization, is engaged in action that's leading to these deaths. >> the united nations security council will hold a meeting on gaza tomorrow.
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mr. elliot, what's your wiwifi?ssword? wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. [ child offscreen ] hey! let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here, too. so sophie, i have an xfi password, and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. as we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution. [ applause ] >> joining us now, nicholas kristof, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the new york times." nick, you have been to israel and gaza many times. your reaction to today's events?
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>> i think first of all it's just kind of horrifying to watch a celebration at this new u.s. embassy at a time when 1,300 people are being shot 40 miles away in gaza. and i guess also it just strikes me that this is so unnecessary that -- and, you know, for 70 years the u.s. has aspired, not always succeeded, not always effectively, but we have aspired to be a good faith intermediary between israel and the palestinians. and by moving the embassy in this way and by today having the white house say -- not even call for restraint on israel a part just signals that we are no longer intermediaries. we're completely on the side of israel on this. and i guess i think also, you know, we're very much focused on gazans responding to the move of the american embassy, but let's also acknowledge that they are responding to a misery that has
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been created by a dozen years of an economic blockade that has systematically robbed people of economic opportunities, robbed people of hope, undermined the middle class, and obviously there are very genuine security issues that israel has to deal with and any country has to protect its border. but one would also like to see a little bit of restraint, a little bit of greater attempt to avoid unnecessary casualties. and, you know, instead what we've seen is journalists with press marketed on them being shot. my colleague, declan walsh, was at the border and saw a woman nearby, a 26-year-old woman who had a mental disability shot in the stomach, and i just find it kind of heartbreaking that at the moment this is going on, we
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are celebrating the opening of the embassy and not even calling for restraint. >> john brennan said today, deaths in gaza, result of utter disregard of trump and netanyahu for palestinian rights and homeland. by moving embassy to jerusalem, trump play politics, destroyed u.s. peace maker role, new generation of israelis, palestinians, need to isolate extremists to find path to peace. that last hopeful sentence seems like a distant dream. >> remember the trump administration talking about how it was going to bring peace. and instead what it has brought is a despair and hopelessness and undermined the leadership in these areas. and, look, you know, when the white house criticizes hamas, absolutely. hamas has been repressive. it has been an awful administrator of gaza. there's tremendous resentment against it.
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but we aren't responsible for hamas. we are arming israel. we're providing israel with aid. and when our ally then goes and shoots 1,300 people in one day, i mean this is like a war what was going on today. and then we don't even call for restraint. i -- and when we're celebrating, it just seems to tonally just repulsive and repugnant to me. >> nicholas kristof, who has real experience in the region, thank you very much for joining us tonight. tonight's last word is next. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say?
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tonight's last word is from last night's episode of john heilemann's show, the circus, on showtime. >> i stop predicting what happens in a world where donald trump's a factor. and the only similar sensation that we've ever felt to this were the final two years of the nixon presidency, which ended the way it ended. there's never been anything else that feels like that. but nixon was a rational man compared to trump, and therefore to a certain extent, predictable. this is completely unpredictable, and everyone who issues predictions in this thing is faking it. >> the circus gets tonight's last word. one of the writers of a new
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"washington post" story that reveals what it is like inside robert mueller's grand jury room will join brian in "the 11th hour" with brian williams, which starts now. tonight inside the russia investigation as robert mueller enters year two as special counsel. ashley parker of the "washington post" standing by with details of her story based on 22 sources. plus, five days and no white house apology to john mccain after mocking his fight with terminal cancer. instead, the president calls the leakers of the comment traitors and cowards. that's all in the west wing. but in the east wing, total secrecy. zero leaks as the first lady goes in for a medical procedure about which little is known. "the 11th hour" on a monday night begins now. another monday, and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york.

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