tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 15, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
president ritually and aggressively attacking the news. there will be a coordinated effort by hundreds of local newspapers tomorrow to speak out on that theme. not in one voice, but in a million different free voices from papers and editorial boards all over the country. subscribe to your local paper while you are at it. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. >> good evening, rachel. i am so sorry. i am so sorry that you did not get the transcript of today's court proceedings in time for your hour tonight. i have it right here. >> what? >> does it pain you that i have it in my hands? i shouldn't have -- >> i have the rage. >> yes. i've heard about that. i saw your exchange. >> it's the rath. it's the rage. this is really just jealousy. i'm turning green, not red. >> i got this ten minutes ago, okay? let me just give you this. let me just give you the last line, the last line spoken by the defense. >> okay. >> today to the jury.
the government has not met their burden beyond a reasonable doubt that mr. manafort knowingly and willfully filed false returns or knowingly or willfully failed to file f bars. he then went on to thank the jury. the last line, the last line from the prosecution. last words the jury has heard from one of the lawyers in the case before the judge took over with his instructions. ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the evidence in this case is what controls. it's the evidence that comes from that witness stand and it leads to only one conclusion, and that is that mr. manafort is guilty and guilty as charged. >> one of those sounds very perry mason and one of those doesn't. >> which? which one? >> the one that didn't say f
bar, which actually might be an fdc banned acronym. >> the evidence that comes from that witness stand where paul manafort never sat and where no witnesses appeared for the defense. everything you are supposed to take from this case comes from that witness stand. the defense gave you nothing. >> you know, everybody keeps telling us all the legal experts keep telling us it is not that weird that the defense didn't mount a defense. but the defense didn't mount a defense. and they do, no matter what happens here, have to be looking down the barrel at the next federal criminal trial for paul manafort that is due to start in just a few weeks just a few miles away in washington, d.c. the idea they might try not mounting a defense would set them up in d.c. to have to mount a defense. although, they would be coming at it from a place of weakness. i don't envy these guys.
>> it is a perfectly reasonable tactic, but there is no lawyer that will tell you that that tactic improves the statistical likelihood of a not guilty verdict. it reduces it rather dramatically. if you look at the cases where there is no defense presented. that makes it much less likely to get to the not guilty. but rachel, we will be covering this. many other things tonight. steve smith is here. we wants to talk about what happened to john brennan today. you know steve schmidt and i think you know he has something to say about this. >> credit to you, my friend, for having been a part of this story. you're in the middle of this one like you are in the middle of a lot of these. i am very much looking forward to your coverage tonight. >> you will be in the middle of the transcript. they will hand one to you, and that's what you are going to do instead of sleeping tonight.
>> if they don't have a copy of mine, i'm taking yours. >> you do. you do. thank you, rachel. i will not relent when the history of robert mueller's investigation of the president of the united states has written that every time rudy giuliani publically threatened robert mueller x publically demanded that the investigation, every time rudy giuliani did that robert mueller thought to himself, i will not relent. history will probably tell us that. that's what omarosa seems to be thinking now that the president is suing omarosa to try to shut her up. i will not relent. starting to sound like omarosa's motto this week. the president has never attacked anyone more viciously than he has attacked omarosa this week trying to get her to shut up. i won't repeat what he has called her. the whole world knows the words the president has chosen.
the president has never attacked anyone more viciously than he has attacked omarosa this week trying to get her to shut up. i won't repeat what he has called her. the whole world knows the words the president has chosen. disgusting language. it is trump at his most publically vile. but he does not seem to be scaring omarosa. she will be back on television tomorrow, possibly with more secret recordings. she seems to be thinking, i will not relent. that was the unifying feeling that was going through the minds of the millions and millions and millions of people in the united states and around the world who rose up in resistance to president trump the day after he was inaugurated. i will not relent. and if you criticize donald trump publically, he is going to do everything he possible can to crush you. so the one thing you need to know about yourself before you criticize donald trump is, i will not relent.
john brennan knew exactly who he was dealing with when he decided to publically start criticizing donald trump. john brennan knows more about donald trump than he wants him to. as cia director, john brennan was in the group of obama administration intelligence officials who briefed president-elect trump two weeks before his inauguration. that was the day james comey was left alone in the room to brief donald trump specifically on a dossier circling around washington, including an unsubstantiating account of a night donald trump spent in a moscow hotel in the company of moscow prostitutes. john brennan surely knew when he began sharply criticizing president trump this year that donald trump was going to strike back and hit john brennan as
hard as he could. he has known from the start what he would say when the day came that donald trump hit john brennan as hard as he could and that day was today. and john brennan immediately said i will not relent. the straw that broke the camel's back as rachel was just suggesting for donald trump was john brennan's first appearance on this program at this hour last night. here is the last thing that john brennan said publically before president trump stripped him of his security clearance today. >> first i think donald trump has badly sullied the reputation of the office of the presidency with his invective, with his constant disregard, i think, for human decency, as well as befriending of autocratic leaders around the world. i do think that america's
standing in the world has also been tarnished. but i think even more fundment tally what he is doing here in the united states is very polarizing and he is, i think, the most divisive president we've ever had in the oval office. he is feeding and fuelling hatred and animosity and misunderstandings among americans. so i am very concerned when i look at some of the tweets that are out there and commentary. we are just fighting with each other as a nation. >> and so today, a hastily scheduled white house press briefing began this way. >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> i'd like to begin by reading a statement from the president. as the head of the executive branch and commander in chief, i have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the
nation's classified information, including by controlling access to it. today in fulfilling that responsibility, i have decided to revoke the security clearance of john brennan, former director of the central intelligence agency. mr. brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration. >> john brennan learned of the president's action after friends alerted him to the white house press briefing announcement and his first response was on twitter. he said, this action is part of a broader effort by mr. trump to suppress freedom of speech. it should gravely worry all americans about the cost of speaking out. my principals are worth far more than clearances. i will not relent. john brennan's first interview was by phone with nicole wallace.
>> revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me. but i think i have tried to voice the concerns of millions of americans about mr. trump's failures in terms of fulfilling the responsibilities of that sacred and sol lum office of the presidency. and this is not going to deter me at all. i'm going to continue to speak out. but i am very worried about the message that it appears that mr. trump is trying to send to others, including those that currently hold security clearances within the government. i have seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and december pits and auto cats for many, many years during my cia and security career. i never ever thought i would see it here in the united states. >> leading off our discussion
now, steve schmidt and malcolm nance. they are both msnbc contributors. your reaction to what the president did today with john brennan's security clearance? >> well, it's an abuse of power. it is retribution by an autocratic president. john brennan is an american patriot. he has served america honorably, far more honorably than donald trump has. and what's true about this is that when you look at an administration where omarosa or jared kushner or ivanka trump have security clearances and john brennan does not, then you know something is askew and amiss. he has an enemy's list and he is clearly targeting the enemy's
list. have no doubt. if donald trump could send out secret police to handcuff and arrest john brennan, perhaps me, perhaps many others who speak out against this president, have no doubt he would likely do it. it is the abuse of power, but also the power that he has that he's unable to abuse but would if he could that we ought to be having a discussion about in this country. >> malcolm nance, what did the nation's intelligence service lose with this decision in terms of its ability to confer with a former cia director over matters that the cia director might have unique knowledge? >> well, it loses a body of knowledge. it loses corporate knowledge. i want to point something out about john brennan. i know john brennan. i have met him several times. john brennan is the man that killed osama bin laden at the order of president barack obama by integrating cia assets, producing the intelligence,
passing that intelligence on to our special mission war fighters and executing that mission. he has unique intelligence knowledge, which must be shared with his successors and his opinion which should be brought forth whenever this nation needs to defend itself. donald trump does not concern himself with the protection of this nation. he concerns himself with the protection of donald trump. and so he allows people -- as steve said, people like jared kushner who made contact with the cushions and asked for secure krip toe graphic communications to hide his back channel from the cia and the nsa, he should not be cleared. john brennan should be cleared. at this point donald trump has given more top secret information to the russians just through inadvertent disclosure than the clearance that john brennan has had. so this isn't enough.
>> let's listen to what john brennan told nicole wallace today about his service to both democratic and republican presidents and the way he thinks this is actually -- the way this feels for him today. let's listen to this. >> i was there for six presidents, three republicans and three democrats. and i don't think there was ever a time that any intelligence or law enforcement questioned whether the president of the united states was taking their information seriously. so this is i think a sad time. we will come out from it, under it. i am very confident in the resilience and the strength of this nation. mr. trump is not going to bring this country down. >> steve schmidt, john brennan, sad but confident. >> lawrence, i think that one of the things that we have to do as a country is to recognize how
abnormal all of this is and to talk seriously with each other about a president who is purposely divisive, who pits americans against each other, who incites the worst instincts and impulses and to look around the world and to ask a question: is the country in decline? when you look at the signs, it is hard to argue that we are not. and that there is a fundamental choice lying ahead for the american people in what i would argue is the most important election in american history coming in november and then the most important presidential election since 1964 which was a memorandum on whether we would continue to be a country or not. the next presidential election will mark a choice for this country about whether it goes down a path of decline or beginning an era of renewal. he is right that it is a resilient country. but our inheritance that was given to us by such sacrifice by
generation of american patriots is not entitlement. we are not guaranteed greatness in our future. when you have a president as reckless, as incompetent, as mean spirited as donald trump, when you see the brokenness in our politics, the pitting of american against american to the degree that we're seeing, it is not necessarily the case that everything is going to be okay. and i think there is a real lack of imagination in the country's mind about the damage that a president is incompetent, reckless, ignorant as this one could cause in the world. so i appreciate the director's optimism, but i'm someone who is deeply concerned, deeply worried about the trajectory that this vile president has the country on. >> let's listen to more about what john brennan told nicole wallace talking about the president and his nastiness that we've seen in the last couple of days. let's listen to this.
>> i must tell you that mr. trump's dishonesty, his lack of integrity is masking us, the terms that he uses, this is not what i think of an american president, nor of america. we're better than this. we have to be better than this. we have been a shining example to the world and mr. trump is letting this country down. >> malcolm nance, john brennan pleading that we are better than this. >> and we are better than that. i mean, we are absolutely better than this. what breaks my heart is that there are right now hundreds of intelligence watch standards around the world watching this program listening to these words thinking that their careers, their dedication working in the
dark, their self-lessness can just be tossed away because of a political whim. if it can happen to the highest person at the cia, it can happen to the average watch stander. it might be happening. this administration almost immediately employed political come sars early on. this administration is incompetent. and their incompetence shows their ruthlessness and their utter villainy to a certain extent. every time i come back here, i am reminded back to the declaration of independence which addressed this at one time with a prince with these characteristics is unfit to be the leader of a free people, and that's where we are. >> thank you for leading us off tonight. really appreciate it.
when we come back, why tomorrow is going to be without a doubt the single most agonizing day donald trump has experienced in the white house. and president trump knew he was in trouble this morning when fox and friends turned on him. we have the video. and we don't have a recording of donald trump saying the n word, but we have something else that he said in 1989 about being black. you really want to hear him say this. and at the end f our hour tonight, we will have a very special last word tonight. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even "vengeful vermin."
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oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's. agony, that's what donald trump is in for tomorrow, sheer agony. tomorrow is going to be donald trump's most agonizing day in the presidency because beginning at 9:30 a.m., six men and six women will start their jury deliberations in the case of the united states versus paul manafort. paul manafort's future will be on the line in that jury room and so will donald trump's. that's what they believe according to reporting tonight in the washington post in which rudy giuliani said the first verdict obtained by robert mueller could determine the future of the mueller investigation and the mueller investigators.
giuliani told the washington post, quote, they're empowered if they win and defeated if they lose. imagine donald trump's joy if a jury rejects robert mueller's first prosecution in court. and imagine donald trump's rage if a jury hits paul manafort with the word guilty. and imagine donald trump's personal agony tomorrow starting at 9:30 a.m. as he awaits that jury verdict. in final arguments today, the prosecution told the jury the star witness in this case is the documents, the documents that prove that paul manafort committed tax fraud and bank fraud, the documents that show $60 million in income with zero taxes paid on that income, the documents that show paul manafort lying about his assets and applications for bank loans, the documents that show paul manafort maintaining foreign bank accounts which he did not
reveal to the government as required by law, the documents that show paul manafort deliberately lying to his bookkeeper and his accountants. the defense tried to make the case all about rick gates, paul manafort's former assistant. the prosecution said when paul manafort was hiring rick gates to work for him he deliberately chose someone who would break the law along with paul manafort. the prosecution said about rick gates -- about paul manafort hiring rick gates, he didn't choose a boy scout. the prosecutors made no public comment today, but one of paul manafort's lawyers who did not call a single witness in defense of paul manafort said only this. >> mr. manafort was very happy with how things went today. his defense team got to address the jury, point out the shortcomings in the government's
case and explain that the government has not met their burden of proof. thank you. >> our legal team joining us now. jill wine-banks and harry lipman. jill wine-banks, your assessment of where this case stands tonight? >> i would say the case went in very well for the prosecution. the evidence especially in the form of documents was very strong. but so were the witnesses. yes, rick gates is a flawed person, but his testimony was corroborated by the documents. and i think it is believable. and he isn't the one who benefitted from all of the foreign accounts. the beneficiary was the man who's lavish lifestyle was funded by those accounts. his expenses were paid out of the foreign accounts he didn't acknowledge at all. so i think it went very well.
my only concern is some of the remarks that the judge made i think were very detrimental and some of it was taken care of by corrective instructions right before the jury went in. but it is of concern to me, and it only takes one juror for a hung jury. i don't think there is any chance that there will be an acquittal. but there is a possibility of a hung jury. >> harry lipman, 18 counts including these counts of failing to acknowledge the foreign bank accounts which seems to me as i have read the testimony about it, the most open and shut part of the case. there was no defense presented on that element at all. there wasn't anything in cross-examination of the witnesses that came in from the treasury to talk about that. and then that final sentence that the prosecutor said to the jury at the close of the case, the evidence in this case is what controls.
it's the evidence that comes from that witness stand. and it leads to only one conclusion, and that is that mr. manafort is guilty and guilty as charged. harry, that emphasis about the witness stand when the defense does not call a single witness to the witness stand is the kind of thing that lands with juries. >> you know, i think it does. as many lawyers expected manafort not to testify, understood the rules of the game that he couldn't afforded to, but i think one finds again and again when one interviews jurors, they want to hear from the accused. and they combined his sitting down with a really pretty weak, well, they haven't met their burden kind of closing argument, which is the last card in the deck as it were. as jill says, the witnesses are strong, but the documents which they will take back with them are particularly strong. there is really no reasonable doubt about manafort's having
lied up and down lied to inflate income when he needed it, lied to reduce it when he wanted to get away with taxes. as jill says, you can never know about a hold out, but it went in very well. one thing i would say, it is a very me tick you louse jury. i think you can expect them to work through the charges one at a time and that we will not have a verdict until maybe early next week. we wouldn't be worried about the holdout scenario until a little bit after that, i think. >> harry, with this kind of indictment and this kind of -- the number of counts, it would not be surprising for there to be a question or two from jury deliberation possibly tomorrow or the next day as they're thinking about this. >> i think that's really right, especially again given how sort of me tick you louse and
methodical they've been and everyone might then say, oh, my, look at them they're having doubts about one charge or another, especially those last four bank fraud charges. but i think it won't be that meaningful in the long run, even if he's convicted of say 14 of 18, his sentence is probably the same and i think it registered as a resounding victory for mueller. as long as there is not a hold out, as long as there is a result, if the jury decides to acquit on a couple charges, i think mueller nevertheless will be satisfied. >> thanks for joining us tonight. and when we come back, on the same day that rudy giuliani threatened robert mueller that he must close down his investigation by labor day, rudy giuliani then said that the president as actually made a decision already that will lengthen the mueller investigation by as much as a year. are you done yet?
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president trump's tv lawyer again threatened special prosecutor robert mueller's investigation saying we will just unload on him like a ton of bricks. i thought rudy giuliani already loaded all of his bricks. they are working on their legal research to fight all the way to the supreme court if robert mueller issues a subpoena to donald trump. we would move to quash the subpoena and we're pretty much finished with our memorandum opposing a subpoena. by we giuliani means mr. flood. he outlined three possible scenarios of what happens next. plan a is rework out the
questioning. plan b is redon't and they subpoena. plan c is they file the report and don't issue a subpoena. joining our discussion now, jason johnson, politics editor at the root.com and jill wine-banks is back with us. jason johnson, in the history of these kinds of investigations, presidents have always wanted to show they have nothing to hide. and that is part of why bill clinton ultimately ended up agreeing to testify rather than face a subpoena. but this president and rudy giuliani seem to have no problem communicating very clearly that he's got a lot to hide and a lot he doesn't want to talk about. >> they're acting incredibly guilty. and the other problem here, lawrence, is that they're pushing this issue.
the reason that you usually end up volunteering and clinton would sit down and talk to special prosecutors is you do not want to roll the dice with the federal and constitutional crisis that might come from trying to resist a subpoena. maybe you end up winning and you show presidential power is stronger than you thought and you can't be subpoenaed until you leave office. but if you lose, if it becomes apparent to your political adversaries, to the opposing party that a president can be subpoenaed while they are in office, it would destroy anything trump ever wants to do. they are playing chicken right now. it is not a good idea. he should probably just submit to the questions. >> and some incoherence from rudy giuliani. investigation must be over by september 1st. but if there is a subpoena, we will fight it, which is months and months and months if it goes all the way to the supreme court. >> well, he is making up the rule about september 1st, and he's not in a position to make
up that rule. they can go on until this investigation is completed. and of course the mueller team should do that. there is no reason to stop it. and there is a reason not to do something that would interfere with the midterms, which would be, for example, if he was going to return an indictment against the president or any other sitting person who's running for election in the midterms. that you wouldn't do in october or november, probably. but you could as soon as the election is over. so there is no reason to put an end to it. and giuliani just makes things up. he says things that are simply not true. >> otay john brennan said that he believes that not only must the investigation continue but it is obviously putting more and more pressure on donald trump and perhaps that's part of the behavior we're seeing donald trump manifest publically. let's listen to what john brennan said. >> it's critically important that bob mueller and his team be allowed to continue their work
unimpeded by mr. trump's or anyone else in the administration. it is important that rod rosenstein stays in charge of that investigation from a department of justice oversight perspective. but clearly i think mr. trump is getting more and more concerned, more and more desperate. i would say more and more frightened as there is closer and closer magnification of some of the things that those around him have been involved in. >> jason, john brennan knows a thing or two about donald trump and he thinks he's frightened. >> he's terrified. he will wait on pins and needles for tomorrow morning and find out what happened to paul manafort. he realizes that not only does that mean that one of his closest advisors is now going to be going to jail but also that
everybody else who will be caught in mueller's net will probably just turn on him. so the president is extremely concerned about these things. i don't think we can ever sort of underestimate the fact that he's looking at the polls. he's looking at the internal numbers. it looks like democrats may take the house. and if he thinks that manafort in this investigation is bad now, wait until the democrats in the house have oversight. we will be in trouble every single week. that's why he shouldn't be risking things with this subpoena right now because the democrats will give him no quarter if they take over the house. >> do you remain confident that robert mueller will prevail? >> i am very confident on that. just v. nixon said that no one is above the law, including the president and they allowed a subpoena for documents. there is no real difference between making the president turn over incriminating tapes and making the president
testify. yes, there is a time issue for him to do both of those. and probably a little more for testimony. but a man who can play as much golf as this president does has enough time to prepare to be interrogated in any kind of situation before a grand jury. so i'm very sure that he would lose that one and he would look really bad. i think he is trying to just divert his recent episodes and this release about, you know, that omarosa is lying and he's trying to divert attention so he's now taken away the security clearance for john brennan divert attention from omarosa. he is scared and he has every reason to be scared because the evidence and the pieces of the puzzle are really fitting together. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we come back, was donald trump outsmarted by omarosa? fox and friends thinks so. yes, fox and friends today said that omarosa outsmarted their hero donald trump.
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she's come out with a series of tapes, and in many ways seems to have outsmarted the president who has taken the bait and gone out and tweeted directly after it. >> imagine donald trump's panic this morning when his friends at fox and friends declared omarosa the winner in her battle against the president. was that the moment that convinced donald trump that he had to change the story of the day? is that why the president struck out at john brennan today and removed his security clearance today, something he could have done at any time? the question of the day at the white house press briefing today was going to be about the president using the n word. here is nbc just before the briefing started today. >> the other big question that we tried to get to in this briefing room yesterday is there in fact a tape in which president trump when he was a citizen used the n word. sara sanders saying that, look, she would refer us to the president's statement in which she denies it, but saying she
hasn't had a chance to ask him herself. >> but the briefing was not filled with questions about the president's racism because of the president's dramatic announcement about removing john brennan's security clearance. and so is that the end of it, or did donald trump simply get one day off from omarosa's accusations. omarosa is scheduled to be back on tv tomorrow. the story she has created has transcended omarosa and her book. when we come back after this break, listen to what donald trump said about being black in 1989. if you have moderate to severe
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like a month, tops. oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's. we do not have a recording of donald trump using the n word, but we do have this video from 43-year-old donald trump. in 1989. >> i have said on occasion, i would love to be a well educated black because i do believe they have an if i were to started tod would love to be educated because i do believe they would have an advantage today. >> joining us right now, franklin leonard, the film executive and founder of the "blacklist" and jason johnson is back with us. that was donald trump in 1989 says i would love to be a well educated black because i believe they do have an actual advantage today.
any hints of racism in that? >> look, i said for several years now that when you are accustom to privilege, equality feels like -- we are talking about the hence of the beginning of progress towards equality and 1989 and 2018 we hear the narrative from the white house and animated the entire white supremacist movement in this country. look, i am happy to be where i would imagine donald trump would consider a well-educated black. there is no evidence to backup that claim. being a well-educated black meaning a college graduate roughly equates of median income if you are white. this interview came late 1989
which was roughly contemporaneous of trump's comment. at the same time he would rather be a well-educated black and he's calling punishment for black men who were innocent of the crime and we know that now. >> professor jason johnson, i think he was talking about you and franklin leonard. listen to what john o'donnel who works for donald trump what he wrote in his book called "about donald trump," this is about donald trump's own attitude towards educated black men working in his business. there is a passage in the book where o'donnel writes, "black guys counting my money, i hate it. i think the guy is lazy and it is not his fault because
laziness is a trait in black." >> that's how a black accountant was treated. >> here is the thing of donald trump, it is not just that he's racist, it is that he's even more racist than people that we know are racist. he got sued by the nixon administration. nixon came up with the southern strategy. he picked jeff sessions to be attorney general, jeff sessions was too racist for republicans 30 years ago. well, in his explanation, well i have not said these words. at the end of the day we don't need a tape to know that donald trump is racist. i was in washington, d.c., i diplomat hear anybody says the "n" word but i am sure those guys are racist. the idea that he can hide behind this and makes a distinction of
educated or non educated black people are why. >> franklin knows him very well and said to me today that no doubt that donald trump pulls his move on john brennan today to change the subject from omarosa and make sure that the questions today were not about is there a recording of donald trump using the "n" word. >> of course, he did. this is time and time as we see something happens. they have it on file now and ready to go and undated and ready to release and i am sure we'll see it more time. >> it was dated july 26th, we actually see on the document that they have been sitting with this since july 26th, waiting for the day they needed to block something and franklin, it seems that omarosa was what they needed to block the most. >> this is typical of the
incompetence of the administration, on some levels that i feel happy because we can find out and the hiring of omarosa and the trails. >> franklin and jason, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we come back, a special last word, and that word is aretha. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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aretha franklin gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. >> tonight anything to change from omarosa's recording. a former cia director brennan and says they're reviewing others. plus, hours after threatening to unload like a ton of prediction, rudolph giuliani says he is almost finished his rebuttal on a potential subpoena fight and the trump legal team is ready to go to the supreme court. just hours away now in the case of paul manafort, the first big test of the mueller era as "the 11th hour" gets away. good evening once