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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  May 23, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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george papadopoulos and jared jared kushner. and did russia actually affect the outcome of our election? one of the nation's foremost intel chiefs made that very claim tonight. as "the 11th hour" gets under way on this wednesday evening. good evening. from our nbc headquarters here in new york. day 489 of the trump administration. hours from a critical briefing about classified documents brokered by the white house amid the president's latest efforts to undercut and discredit the russia investigation while also attacking federal law enforcement. more on that meeting in a moment. because we want you to hear how the president is now branding what he alleges was an attempt by federal law enforcement, our own team, to infiltrate and illegally conduct surveillance on his 2016 campaign. all evidence thus far to the contrary.
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>> a lot of bad things have happened. we now call it spygate. you're calling it spygate. >> originally, two republican house members were slated to join the fbi and the national intelligence directors along with an official from doj on thursday to review top secret material about an fbi source used to gather information about possible contacts between the trump campaign, let's not forget, and russia. no democrats were invited. democrats minded that. well, tonight, we're hearing from the justice department there will be two meetings. one with republicans, nunes and gowdy, along with white house chief of staff, john kelly, deputy attorney general rosenstein and the fbi and intel chiefs. that will be followed by a second meeting involving the so-called gang of eight, which includes the top leaders of both parties on intelligence matters that come before congress. we're also told speaker ryan will not be at that briefing due to a previous commitment. here is what adam schiff,
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leadi leading democrat on the partisan and contentious house intel committee told our own rachel maddow tonight. >> i was informed by one of our intelligence agencies tonight that the meeting or briefing tomorrow would be a bipartisan briefing at the gang of eight level, and that would be it. that is the right procedure. if there's any information that could compromise a source or sources and methods. so that's the practice that has been around for decades and they need to follow it. >> the material to be reviewed is part of the fbi's early investigation and became special counsel mueller's inquiry officially. the ap describes the president's story line about the use of an fbi informant this way, and we quote, trump has told confidants in recent days that the revelation of an informant was potential evidence that the upper echelon of federal law enforcement has conspired against him, according to three people familiar with his recent conversations. but not authorized to discuss them publicly.
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trump told one ally this week that he wanted to brand the informant a spy, believing the more nefarious term would resonate more in the media and with the public. well, this morning the president fired off a series of messages as ammunition in his war on the russia investigation, starting with this one. quote, look at how things have turned around on the criminal deep state. they go after capital p phony collusion with russia, a made capital s scam, and end up getting caught in a major spy scandal, the likes of which this country may never have seen before. what goes around comes around. then later, he elaborated on that in response to questions from the media, including our own colleague halley jackson. >> what proof do you have that the campaign was spied on? >> all you have to do is look at the dasbasics and you'll see. it looks like a very serious event.
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but we'll find out. when they look at the documents, i think people are going to see a lot of bad things happened. i hope it's not so, because if it is, there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. they're going to all be in the room tomorrow. we're going to see what happens. what i want is i want total transparency. wait. you have to have transparency. even they probably want transparency, because this issue supersedes the party. this supersedes republicans and democrats. even the democrats, i really believe, on this issue, it supersedes. i think they want transparency, too. >> from there, this afternoon on this network, former cia and nsa director michael hayden told our colleague nicole wallace why he's concerned about the president's attacks. >> i see a pattern in the behavior of the president. he never argues the facts. he tries to invalidate the fact bearer, the truth giver. what we're seeing here, i think, is a broadly political move to
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undercut, pre-emptively, what he fears will be the findings of the mueller investigation. >> former fbi director james comey also spoke out today about the president's allegations saying, quote, facts matter. the fbi's use of confidential human sources, the actual term, is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. attacks on the fbi and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. how will republicans explain this to their grandchildren? he goes on. dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything. based on information from media sources that will say anything. americans must break out of that bubble and seek truth. the president had this message back to james comey. >> i think james comey has got a lot of problems. if you look at what he did, if you look at all of the lies, the tremendous lies. what i'm doing is a service to this country.
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and i did a great service to this country by firing james comey and -- excuse me. a lot of people have said it. and you go into the fbi and a lot of those great people working in the fbi, they will tell you, i did a great service to our country by firing james comey. >> by the way, what you just saw there proved too much for one of our on-air colleagues today and we'll have his comments for you at the end of our broadcast tonight. but you'll want to see it. now, amid all of that, donald trump lawyer, rudy giuliani continued his now daily back and forth over whether his client will sit down with robert mueller. yesterday giuliani told "the washington journal" he was against such an interview. today, he told "the washington post" trump should talk to the mueller's team and a decision would be made within the next couple of weeks. he added, i guess i would rather do the interview. it gets it over with, it makes my client happy. giuliani also spoke to nbc news today saying that trump's legal team would like to narrow the
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scope as much as possible and the length of the interview is under discussion. he also said a previously mentioned september 1st deadline could be pushed back. on that, let's bring in our leadoff panel on a wednesday night. jill colvin, white house reporter for the associated press, phillip rucker, white house bureau chief and a pu pulitzer prize winner, and john heilman, co-author of game change and double down and the circus on showtime. let's back up to the fact that democrats are being included in one of these sessions tomorrow after kind of noticing they were excluded before. as a practical matter, won't that mean democrats coming before cameras tomorrow to say this wasn't a spy ring. this wasn't a spy, this was a human informant. >> very possibly, brian. the development of adding that second meeting to include democrats and the full gang of eight is really a victory for the norms of this process.
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that's how these briefings ordinarily are conducted. although house intelligence chairman, devin nunes, had objected to sharing in his briefing with any democrats on the hill. so there was a real push by senator schumer and other democrats to be included in that meeting and they are going to be. and it means that they're going to be able to be a part of the public battle in the hours after those meetings to define what this information is exactly. remember, we don't know exactly what these documents are going to show. we know they're going to detail the activities, the intelligence that was gathered by the secret fbi source at the end of the campaign and the beginning of the russia investigation. but how much detail it gets into, specifically what that source provided, how that source did his or her work and the connection inside the trump campaign is unclear at this point. we know what trump is going to brand it as, and that's spygate,
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as a spying effort -- as an illegal spying effort. but we'll have to see how the democrats counter that. >> and jill, it was interesting to learn from the president that we in the press are all calling it spygate now. having said that, you were part of the traveling white house today, traveling with the president to events in new york. what was the mood you were able to pick up? >> the president seemed to be in a pretty good mood today. you saw him this morning taking questions on the white house lawn before he departed for an event that's very much kind of speaking to his base and his core interests, talking about illegal immigration and about the ms-13 gang. what was interesting today was during the round table discussion in long island today, rod rosenstein, who is somebody who has received a lot of pushback, a lot of criticism from the president, the man who is overseeing the russia investigation was actually in that room, and the president went over as he came in, he gave rosenstein a big hand shake, thanked him several times during the event.
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you really felt none of the hostility that you've seen him discussing with confidants and him discussing on twitter. "the washington post" quoted today giuliani saying the president feels better now. he feels in some way his twitter campaign has been somewhat effective. he's been telling allies, as you mentioned earlier, that this informant, this branding of a spy in the campaign is something that is an effective tool for him to use to try to discredit the investigation. >> and now to our friend, the unencumbered john heilman. john, your job tonight is to no normalize us. people have come home, they've turned on the television, hopefully pe er -- preferably this network and they've heard the president using a term spygate. telling us in the media, we're all using the term spygate.
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slash that means someone used it on "fox & friends" this morning. what happened here? this wasn't a thing days ago. now it's a "gate." >> some little man in donald trump's head has said it. you know in a period of time, he said about elizabeth warren, they call her pocahontas. the only one that call herd that was donald trump. they went back and traced the history of the fbis, that they've done the history of the fbi investigation into hillary clinton, some many months ago. now they did the history of the counterintelligence investigation of donald trump, which we did not know in real time. an important fact about that investigation. they went back and did that last week. and in that piece of reporting, they revealed that there was an informant who had spoken to three people in the trump campaign, on the outer peripheries of the trump campaign including carter page, george papadopoulos. they had conversations. that was something, as soon as it came out, the information to of an informant, the president seized on it. >> the informant worried that the russians were weedling their way into our election. >> a counterintelligence investigation conducted by the fbi, knowing now what we know is true, that has been proven
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beyond all doubt, that has been affirmed by donald trump's own intelligence community. all of the appointees of his community came out and said the russians interfered to help donald trump win. that is beyond dispute. the fbi had an early inkling in that and was trying to figure out in real time what that consisted of and was trying to stop it. this is what this informant was supposed to be a part of. it was the most discreet thing they should have done. they could have gone and shouted from the roof tops, knocked down doors, but instead, they conducted a relatively low key form of observation and tried to find out what was happening. president trump continues to make the argument that there was a conspiracy launched by the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, namely by the obama administration to stop him to be president. and yet all of the information about hillary clinton's transgressions and her alleged transgressions and minor
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transgressions, all of that was public by election day. >> there was a press conference about her. >> many press conferences and many details that were given to congressional committees, many things done, including jim comey coming out ten days before the election and saying he's reopening the case. all of that was public. and on election day, no one in america knew the fbi was investigating donald trump. if they were trying to stop donald trump from being president, you would have thought they might have leaked it. but they didn't leak it. including the existence of this informant. that's where we are right now. we are through the looking glass and into this orwellian place where donald trump goes out on the white house lawn and talks about how he's doing this all in the interest of transparency. and yet initially, this was to be an exposure of a confidential informant to only devin nunes and trey gowdy, two house republicans, rather than what is now, thank god, has now transpired, which is the gang of eight as custom, because congress pushed back.
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but it is a crazy situation. i agree 100% with michael hayden, and i've been saying it for weeks. the president now has an arsenal that includes these words he drills in a repetitive way into the skulls of the body politic. no collusion, witch hunt, hoax. spygate is now going to take its place among those words. and we are going to hear it over and over and over again to try to build up a reservoir, a political bow work so that when whatever happens in the robert mueller investigation, when the results come out and when the michael cohen situation resolves itself and we know everything that the prosecutors know, donald trump will be able to say to the public, none of it matters. it's all a conspiracy. and hope to god he has enough people to believe him that that will carry him through of what the prosecutors find. >> we're going to release a director's cut of what you just performed on dvd at stores now. hey, phillip, more evidence today that the spirit animal of the district of columbia is crickets, crickets from
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republicans obviously, but also a bunch of democrats. it's one thing to learn the speaker of the house just can't go to these meetings tomorrow because he has a thing. it's another to hear so little from democrats. what do you think is at work? >> i don't know, brian, quite what's at work. i think they're trying to grapple with what was going on here with this informant. what these documents are going to show, and what the end game is beyond the political calculation that trump is making. what may be the consequences for those at the department of justice and at the fbi and what is the president, and more importantly perhaps his allies in the congress going to be pressing for in the days and weeks to come. and one thing i think is worth pointing out for everybody. you played that clip where the president said i want transparency. he only wants transparency when it helps him. this is a president who's the first in modern time not to release his tax returns. the white house does not provide regular visitor logs. they're not transparent in those ways. they're only trying to be
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transparent in ways to expose something that president trump thinks can help him politically. >> a valuable point. and jill, who is in the president's circle on a matter like this? especially depending on who comes to the microphones tomorrow and says to the president, hey, pump the brakes on spygate. >> we'll have to see. i think one notable change, this is a meeting that has now changed three different times. we were supposed to not have the democrats involved, then the gang of eight were going to be briefed after the memorial day weekend. now we find out they're going to be briefed tomorrow. another addition is the fact that john kelly is going to be in the room for both of those meetings. we've been told earlier this week by sarah huckabee sanders he was not going to be present. his role was solely to be coordinating the meeting then sort of turning it over to the justice department and to intelligence officials. so that means there will be a member of the trump white house who is in the room for both of these meetings who is able to
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play broker or answer questions or come back and potentially, you know, talk about this meeting with the president. it's unclear at this point whether the president actually knows what is in these documents, has any details on who this informant is. but it will be interesting to see the extent to which john kelly, who we know is somebody who has really been on the outs with the president, his power has very much been curtailed, whether he might be using this to his advantage. >> john, 30 seconds or less. the president is going on "fox & friends" tomorrow morning. what could go wrong? >> you know, it will be something that we will want to watch. i'm sure it will be enjoyable in every way. i just want to say, you're going to talk about it later, but it's so important and so rare where we've seen the congress, who should be the referees in all of this, the leadership standing up and saying hold on a second, this is not okay. and in this case, it looks like senate republicans, as well as democrats obviously were complaining.
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and it seems to at least in this one moment have changed the trajectory this thing was on and put it in a better place, a more normal place and more in line with tradition and what should be good policy. >> maybe not full-on profiles in courage. >> no. no. i'm not say profiles in courage. i'm just saying hey, they stood up a little bit and did their jobs and acted like normal leadership would normally act. for just a little moment. might not change anything in a long run, but at least for one day they're acting like they should. >> great conversation to start us off on a wednesday night. jill colvin, phillip rucker and john heilman, thank you. coming up, nearly a year and a half after the president was sworn into office, his son-in-law jared kushner finally gets his permanent security clearance. at the same time, we learned that kushner had a long second session with the mueller team. and later, it may be baseball season, but tonight we'll talk about football for
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just a bit. after the nfl releases its new policy on the national anthem. don't tell us politics could be involved. "the 11th hour" getting started on a wednesday night. or discover magic when you hit the open road. with the free audible app, your stories go wherever you do. and for just $14.95 a month you get a credit, good for any audiobook. if you don't like it exchange it any time. no questions asked. you can also roll your credits to the next month if you don't use them. so take audible with you this summer... on the road... on the trail... or to the beach. start a 30-day trial and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime, and your books are yours to keep forever. no matter where you go this summer make it better with audible. text summer17 to 500500 to start listening today.
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we're tracking a number of important developments in the mueller investigation that can shed light on where the inquiry stands right now as best we can tell. we learned today this man, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner met with the mueller team for a second time in april. nbc news reports the sitdown lasted over six hours, covered a wide range of topics including the firing of james comey. wall street journal reported last year that kushner pushed for comey's firing in discussions with the president and top advisers.
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earlier today, kushner's attorney, abbe lowell provided more detail about this interview on cnn. >> i'll tell you the topics. they were appropriate topics that bob mueller and his team are looking at. they are what happened in the campaign that might suggest there were some outside influences, primarily what i call the allegations of russia collusion. issues of contacts with people, particularly foreigners during the transition, and the topics of post inauguration, what is lumped into the category of obstruction. >> a warning that this is what lawyers always say. but lowell went on to say that kushner has fully cooperated with the investigation. and matt apuzzo of the new york times was the first to report today that jared kushner has been granted a permanent security clearance after working on an interim clearance for over a year. also today former trump campaign chairman, paul manafort was back in federal court in washington d.c. his lawyers argued evidence
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obtained last year should be oppressed because the search warrants were unlawful. he's pled not guilty to money laundering and bank fraud in washington and in the commonwealth of virginia. his virginia trial set to begin 48 days from now. meanwhile, mueller's team asked a judge to begin the sentencing process for former trump campaign adviser george papadopoulos today who pleaded guilty in october to lying to the fbi. this is notable, joyce vance former u.s. attorney, wrote on twitter today, quote, this likely means mueller won't use papadopoulos as a trial witness. whether that's because he won't be indicting anything he could be useful for or because the case is tight without him, and/or because there is an issue with putting papadopoulos on the witness stand isn't clear yet. however, here to talk about it, the aforementioned matt apouzzo journalist with the "new york times," and daniel goldman, former assistant u.s. attorney
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under preet braha from the southern district of new york. first talk about mr. kushner. i may be asking for too much here. was the detail about the security clearance provided to you in a way that one hoped would be exculpatory toward mr. kushner? >> well, absolutely, right? i mean, i think exculpatory in the sense of many people around jared kushner have been waiting for over a year for this moment. they have been saying as this fbi background check dragged on and on and on, they said again and again and again, this is the normal process. let the process play out. he's got a lot of financial deals that were complicated. foreign contacts that are extensive. the fbi needs time to review them. this will all work out. and a great number of people in that world were quite happy today when it finally did work out. so no question that this was discussed in washington in
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kushner circles with some amount of relief and happiness. >> now counselor, it is my understanding, and i guess people are saying this on social media tonight, that the ultimate decision to award a hard pass security clearance rests with the white house after due diligence is done. so that's a way it may not be exculpatory. talk about that. also talk about how the borough of brooklyn and the eastern district of new york may figure into jared kushner's future before we're all done. >> well, on the topic of the security clearance, the fbi has a slew of staff members who do the security clearances. and they look for a variety of things, including outstanding loans. for someone in jared kushner's position in particular, they're very conscious of whether he's at risk of being blackmailed by any foreign entities, given his position at the white house. >> eng tangle -- entanglements?
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>> absolutely. so the fact that he got some degree of clearance from the fbi indicates that he's not at risk of being blackmailed. the other part of the story here on jared kushner is the revelation today that he sat for six more hours of interviews, which from the perspective of a former prosecutor looking at that, that is an indication that he is trending more towards being a witness than a subject or target in the common parlance that we've all come to understand. because you would not expect, bob mueller, if he's interested in charging him, to not indicate that to his lawyer in some fashion, or at least not reveal it during the course of the questioning. >> and what is the eastern district about? >> so last fall, there was some reporting that deutsche bank had received a subpoena for records related to kushner and his companies. so we're reading tea leaves
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here, but the fact that abbe lowell is saying that bob mueller focussed solely on the mandate of collusion and obstruction doesn't necessarily mean that no one is focusing on jared kushner's finances. and similar to the michael cohen case which was referred to the southern district of new york, it's possible -- and we don't know yet -- it's possible the brooklyn u.s. attorney's office, the eastern district of new york, may have an investigation into kushner outside of bob mueller's mandate. >> i thought it was important we at least put that on the menu of possibilities. >> hey matt, in the day to day journalism, we almost forget that paul manafort is out there as a whale in this case. you made eye contact with him today. apparently you were in court for today's proceeding. what else did you pick up about him? >> well, i picked up that, as you said in the lead-in, brian, the manafort team was arguing to
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have a number of pieces of evidence thrown out, arguing the warrant when they searched his house and the warrant when they searched the storage locker, were overly broad or they didn't have the authority to conduct the search. my read having sat through that argument is the judge was not entirely having it. she didn't rule, but met the manafort team's arguments with a lot of skepticism. this is a case that appears bound for trial, which is interesting because of the theory of this is, yeah, mueller needs to put pleasure on manafort to see what he's got on president trump. we haven't seen some of the hallmarks of that. we didn't see the sort of early dangle, the head of indictment from doj asking well, what kind of cooperation might he be able to offer? and we haven't seen any signs that they are negotiations that would try to head off this trial. so, you know, the train has left
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the station and this appears headed for trial. >> a great writer and a great lawyer in a story that requires both on a nightly basis around here. matt apuzzo, daniel godman, gentlemen, thank you both very much. coming up for us, trump may call the russia investigation a witch hunt and he may call what's under way now a search for a spy ring. we'll run all of this by a life-long intelligence officer when we come back. olay ultra moisture body wash
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a lot of bad things have happened. we now call it spygate. you're calling it spygate. >> president trump has seized on this new branding effort to discredit the russia investigation. he declared on twitter today, quote, spygate could be one of the biggest political scandals in history. based on what we know to be his tv viewing habits and his late night chats with a certain fox news host, there is no shortage of source material or validation for their most prominent viewer. >> these type of tactics, spying on an opposition party in an election year, are you kidding me? >> the new report that may indicate that the obama administration did, in fact, spy on the trump campaign. >> and then the news came out about the spy. >> this was a spying on the campaign of the opposing party. >> they knew what they were doing and they were engaged in an active ongoing politically motivated spying operation. >> put the fix in to save hillary's campaign.
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then they quickly started spying on the trump campaign. >> let's talk about this with a man who has engaged in spying. malcolm nance. a veteran of naval security, 35 years experience working in intel and also happens to be the author of "the plot to hack america -- how putin, cyberspies and wikileaks tried to steal the 2016 election." so malcolm, how and where does it strike you when you hear all of that? when you hear our president call this spygate? >> i find it very ironic that he would actually choose that term, despite the nod that we need to give out to the patriots. by using the term spygate, it appears that he's carrying out a massive projection. by trying to take this innocuous use of an informant by the fbi, which is very common, and
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conflate it into the exact scandal that is surrounding his campaign. in fact, i think we ought to take the term back. i think we should use the term spygate. spygate technically describes the russian spies that were possibly in conspiracy with members of the trump campaign in order to steal an election and subvert american democracy. that's the real spygate. >> that's why i want to play you the following. this is james clapper, appearing on pbs today. this is the former director of national intelligence and the allegation he makes now about 2016. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> since i left the government as a private citizen, it's what i would call my informed opinion that given the massive effort the russians made and the number of citizens that they touched, and the variety and the multidimensional aspects of what they did to influence opinion
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and affect the election. and given the fact that it turned onless than 80000 votes in three states, to me it just exceeds logic and creduilty that they didn't affect the election and it's my belief that they actually turned it. >> they actually turned it. that right there is ball game, the one that trump doesn't want to see or hear, because that speaks to the greater fear of illegitimacy of the election. >> and i think he's terrified of the idea that the possibility that illegitimacy, the belief that he is an illegitimate president with evidence coming out against it, will catch fire and that is why he is making every effort to subvert the investigatory processes of the united states law enforcement. this is -- you know, someone asked me the other day, how would you explain this to the american public what donald trump is doing? well, let me give you a pop culture reference.
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it's sort of like when penguin becomes the mayor of gotham city. the problem is that robert mueller is batman. and he is mortally terrified that what's going to happen is law enforcement and justice will do their job. every one of them is republicans. so he lies. he calls every one of them a democrat. listen, you know, i think that by doing this, by going this route of projecting and lying and then calling this spygate, he seems to fail to realize that in 1780, benedict arnold didn't realize his name would become infamous throughout all of history. i think donald trump might want to reflect on that. >> i know a closing quote when i hear one. and with that, it's time to thank malcolm nance. appreciate you coming on tonight, sir. always a pleasure. and coming up for us, trump and his supporters continue their onslaught to discredit
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robert mueller. but is it actually working? will it matter when the final mueller report comes out, in whatever form? that's when we continue. tails. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat. because we now instantly... over 200 booking sites find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. don't sweat your booking. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices. i'm alex trebek, here to tell you about the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85, and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three p's. what are the three p's? the three p's of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 54.
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mueller is more powerful than all 96 u.s. attorneys. mueller was also never nominated, never confirmed by the u.s. senate. and because robert mueller's appointment is unconstitutional, that renders everything he has done since may 17, 2017 null and void. >> well, that's a new argument. from time to time, given the tenor of the conversation, we call in our next guest for a reality check on where politics stand on any given night. for that, we welcome back mike murphy, republican strategist, long time adviser to candidates like mitt romney, jeb bush, john mccain, and a host of others. thank you, sir, for being here with us in new york. >> well, thank you. i am glad to learn that robert mueller runs the world, because as a decorated republican marine, i can live with that. >> there you go. platoon commander in vietnam.
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i heard someone say last night, a lot of these members of congress went to harvard, to name one educational institution. it was said on television, they know better. for the president to float all this out, this huge shiny object, he needs a lot of help. and he's getting it. >> particularly on the house side. i think one of the interesting sub texts of today was the republican senators were not joining the clown shoe parade over in the house to put a rubber stamp on whatever the fantasy of the day is to move the news cycle and to build some sort of smoke defense for later if real stuff happens. so you're starting to see a little crack. you've got to watch who's wearing what hat. but the senate repubs and democrats are not on this bandwagon. and the gang of eight breaking their way into this thing, that's a big deal. >> so what happens after tomorrow to continue the military metaphor? does the president lose his air cover if people come out to the microphones and say we saw an
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evidence, this was an academic in the uk who thought trump's guys were too cozy with russia? >> when in doubt, the truth can punture this stuff. if the gang of eight comes back with a shrug and gets back to a real bipartisan investigation, it takes a lot of energy out of the card trick to change the subject. there's an old saying in southern politics, the guilty dog barks the loudest. and i think that's the cul-de-sac the president is heading down to with these theatrics. the roswell aliens may show up next. while that can drive a news cycle for the day, hard to sustain it against real facts. >> i want to show you senator jeff flake from arizona. important that our audience, as you watch this, remember, he's about to leave town. he's leaving the senate. so that's how a fellow republican can talk the way he spoke about president trump today at graduation ceremonies
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for harvard law school. >> our presidency has been debased by a figure who seemingly has a bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the constitution works. and our article 1 branch of government, the congress, that's me, is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the white house daily. >> he's got one foot out of town. he's the only republican on the senate who sounds remotely like that. here's the question for you, if you strapped up republicans in the senate and house to a lie detector, how many agree with that? >> i think you would have a majority. >> really? >> yeah, but they're afraid of their primary voters. and timing is everything in politics. one thing i like to say is there's always a lot of noise, but the mark to market event is election day. that's when power shifts. the day after the election, if we lose our house majority, we lose real power, if the republican machine is now an existential cliff, then things
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start to change publicly. >> we've had these two endless wars, but what we're also learning is they're producing spectacular candidates for office, two of them won on the democratic side last night. what's your feel going into the midterms if they were held tomorrow? >> i think the democrats would win the house and the republicans would narrowly hold the senate. we have a lot of election left, but the forces to kind of punish the president for his behavior are building. intensity, turnout, i think this is like that that are almost outlier levels if we look at the special election. when i predicted the president
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i'm april kennedy and i'm an arborist with pg&e in the sierras. since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners, when
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somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. he's fired. he's fired. >> that was president trump last fall, and today, the trump presidency seemed to reach right into the world of pro football. at least among the owners of those teams. prediction? this is going to get bigger, in what some view as an unabashed win for donald trump, nfl owners voted to put a new policy in place regarding the national anthem. this goes back to colin kaepernick, who first took a knee during the 2016 season to protest police violence and racism. as you're no doubt aware, a slew of other players and some coaches and some owners later joined in. nfl commissioner roger goodell laid down the new law today, quote, this season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. personnel who chose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the
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anthem has been performed. the decision met with decidedly mixed reactions. vice president mike pence, who, as a pr stunt, remember this, left an nfl game over the kneeling controversy last season. he linked to this story on twitter with the hash tag winning and an american flag emoji. the nfl player's association responded in a statement, quote, the nfl chose to not consult the union in the development of this new policy, our union will review the new policy, in quotes, and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement. new york jets chairman christopher johnson is running the team while his brother, woody, serves as president trump's ambassador to the court of st. james in the uk. he told "newsday" after the decision, quote, if somebody on the jets takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. i never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players.
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long-time new york sports radio show host mike francesa wrote, om -- on twitter today, quote, once again, the nfl shows no backbone, no courage, no conviction. this once great league has become a disgrace. and former nsa and cia director general michael hayden, yes, mike hayden, who served 39 years in the military, spoke with nicolle wallace today about the president and the quarterback. >> i'm actually surprised i'm saying this, but if you make me chose those two positions, i'm surprising myself. i'm going with the quarterback. >> meanwhile, the quarterback, colin kaepernick, continues his quest to rejoin an nfl team and has filed a grievance, saying the nfl owners colluded to keep him out of the league. another break, and coming up, so powerful words from one of our on-air colleagues from earlier tonight, based on
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something troubling he saw and heard from the president earlier today. we'll have that for you, as it happened, when we continue.
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but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪ the first survivor of ais out there.sease and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you. visit to join the fight.
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last thing before we go here tonight. if you're like me and you've got some, shall we say, mileage on you, then you remember the news casts of yore, before there were entire news networks on cable, following the news of the day,
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there would often be commentary, and that same kind of thing took place earlier tonight on this network. at the end of his broadcast tonight, chris matthews felt he could no longer go without saying what he did, about what he saw and heard from the president today. and so, we thought our viewers might appreciate hearing it, as well. so, here now, chris matthews' comments at the end of tonight's edition of "hard ball". >> watching him on the white house lawn today, i wasn't sure how far donald trump would go in destroying this country's most precious assets in order to protect himself from justice. today, we heard and saw it. listen to him today, listen to him, standing there with the white house behind him, saying what he knows to be on the same level of conspiratorial nonsense as his birther b.s. listen to this man, the president of the united states, continue to trash the very institutions that have made this a special country. a country of, by and for the people. a government of, by and for the people.
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a history of open and reasonable and generally respectful political debate. a free press. it's clear especially today with his out of right field talk of some sort of political spy ring, his personal assaults on a former fbi director, trump is proving his readiness to destroy any faith in government integrity in order to save some reasonable doubt among some about his. it's been clear from his entrance into the political arena that trump is willing to state what he knows is not the truth in order to advance himself. does anyone believe that donald trump ever believed that barack obama's mother, a white woman in kansas, went over to africa to deliver a child, name that child barack obama in order to lie about his birth 35 years later when he became constitutionally qualified for the american presidency? no. he didn't believe that. but he did believe that selling that conspiracy would get him headed to the white house, which it is to this country's shame, it did. does anyone believe that donald
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trump, now that he's in the white house, wants the country to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? on this matter of real national security, donald trump cannot stand the truth. >> chris matthews supplying the last word for our broadcast on this wednesday night. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. tonight on "all in". >> i'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to mr. trump. >> another michael cohen stunner. >> keeping jobs in america, putting america selling american foreign policy to the highest bidder. then. >> a lot of bad things have happened into new polling shows the trump attack on the rule you have law is working. and new concerns democrats are losing the political fight over the russia scandal. plus, my interviews with the first black woman nominated to be her state's candidate for governor.
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>> we are writing the next chapter of georgia's future. >> and the woman trying to defeat democratic governor of new york. >> this is my party too, and i wasn't going to be scared out of the room. >> when "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. almost every day, we see new evidence that members of the president's inner circle has been willing to auction off


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