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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 24, 2018 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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security bill and the white house apparently killed it. you'd think the recent attempt at hackings of their fellow lawmakers might focus on this as a concern, but apparently not if the president tells them not to do it. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back on monday and i will see you on my shows at 11:00 and 3:00 eastern. it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. lawrence, it is a pleasure to speak to you live. we so rarely get the chance. >> thank you very much for allowing rachel to have a well deserved friday night off for a change. >> have a good evening, sir. >> thank you, alex. this was donald trump's worst week as president and no doubt the worst week of his life. the second worst thing a businessman or a politician can hear is, your accountant has immunity. the worst thing is you are under arrest, and that is usually the next thing that happens to you when your accountant gets
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immunity, and that's what we discovered today about donald trump, his accountant has immunity. donald trump's father's accountant and then donald trump's accountant and now has the title of chief financial officer of the trump organization. he knows more about donald trump than all of donald trump's wives combined. and his children. allen weissle berg knows about every dollar of donald trump's income and he knows what donald trump has done with those dollars. he knows what has happened to every dollar that has come into any one of the many trump businesses. he knows exactly how much federal tax and state tax those businesses have paid, how much federal tax and state tax donald trump has paid and how much taxation those companies have illegally failed to pay, if any. and now we know at the end of
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trump's worst week that allen weissle berg has immunity from prosecution in exchange for telling the truth about donald trump and his businesses and who knows what else. it was already trump's worst week before we discovered the president's accountant has immunity. donald trump has had many bad weeks as president beginning with the first, when he was greeted with the most massive worldwide inauguration protest we have ever seen. but this was the week that changed everything because this was not just the week when the president's men were being found guilty in federal court and pleading guilty in another federal court and grabbing immunity deals in exchange for telling the fbi everything they know about donald trump. this was much more importantly impeachment week. this was the week when everyone began talking about impeachment. when i say everyone, i mean
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everyone from me to fox news and donald trump. >> if the democrats take back power, do you believe they will try to impeach you? >> well, you know, i guess it says something like high crimes. i don't know you can impeach somebody who has done a great job. i'll tell you what, if i ever got impeached, i think the market would crash, i think everybody would be very poor because without this thinking you would see -- you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe in reverse. >> the week began with political tv's strongest character saying this in defense of the president of the united states. >> truth is truth. i don't mean to go like -- >> no, it isn't truth. truth isn't truth. >> when rudy giuliani and donald trump, the ghostbusters of political commentary say things like that, the world worries. the world worries that the minority of american voters who
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made donald trump president are out there nodding their heads and chanting truth isn't truth. but they're not, not all of them. the propaganda isn't working, and we discovered that in an extraordinary interview that one enthusiastic trump supporter gave to fox news after she voted guilty on all 18 counts against paul manafort. paula duncan said she voted for donald trump and she would still vote for donald trump again after being firmly convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by robert mueller's team of prosecutors that donald trump's campaign chairman was guilty of everything they charged him with. she explained that paul manafort got a hung jury on some of the counts only because there was one juror who refused to vote guilty on the undecided counts the vote was 11 guilties, one not guilty. on every one of them.
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that's how close paul manafort came to being convicted on all 18 counts. the way that trump supporter paula duncan wanted him to be convicted. and tonight paula duncan is the most important voice standing between president trump and a pardon for paul manafort. >> how would you feel if the president pardoned paul manafort? >> i feel it would be a grave mistake for president trump to pardon paul manafort. >> why? >> justice was done. the evidence was there. and that's where it should stop. >> donald trump has to listen to that. a trump voter, a strong trump supporter still, who is ready to vote for donald trump again is telling the president of the united states not to pardon paul manafort because she studied the evidence in the manafort case and decided paul manafort was guilty of everything,
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everything. forget what rudy giuliani says to the president about pardoning paul manafort. what paula duncan says is much, much more powerful. the paula duncans of this country are now donald trump's worst political nightmare. paula duncan was supposed to think it was all a witch hunt, that paul manafort didn't do anything wrong, that truth isn't truth. but the brainwashing didn't work. donald trump and rudy giuliani pumped all of those messages into the propaganda fog that was supposed to make trump supporters unable to see the truth. it didn't work. paula duncan took an oath to put aside any sympathies or biases that she might have and evaluate the evidence placed before her and that is exactly what she did. and so donald trump has to worry tonight how many paula duncans are there in his loyal base. of all those people who say that
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after all of this they would still vote for donald trump again, how many of them will change their minds if they are presented with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that donald trump committed crimes. the paula duncans out there have the future of donald trump's presidency in their hands now. because if some of them, if half of them turn against donald trump, if they are presented with proof that he committed crimes, then donald trump will be impeached and he will be removed from office even if republicans still control the senate because that would mean that enough republican voters turned against donald trump that 16 or 17 republican votes to convict the president in the senate would be possible. impeachment is a quasi legal, quasi political process. if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the president committed crimes, then the legal elements of impeachment would be satisfied. but the votes on impeachment
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would still be a political calculations. if the democrats win the house of representatives, then the impeachment process will surely begin, with the united states senate serving as the jury in the trial. removing an impeached president from office requires 67 votes in the united states senate. when senators cast those votes in bill clinton's impeachment trial, they all checked the polling on impeachment in their states, every one of them. tonight the polls have very bad news for the president. 60% agree with trump supporter paula duncan that the president should not pardon paul manafort. 62% say the president should not pardon michael cohen. 66% think it should be legally permissible for sitting presidents to be formally charged with a crime. and here is the most figrighteng
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response in this poll today, which included this question: should congress begin impeachment proceedings to remove president trump from office? right now, tonight, it is a tie. 42-42. and there is only one direction that that poll question is going to go. the more we hear from michael cohen and from all of the friends and business associates of donald trump who now have immunity, the more ready the country will be for impeachment. in his column today in the rupert murdoch owned post, rich lowry said, if it wasn't obvious before, it should be now. president trump is in an impeachment fight. that won't happen unless democrats take the house and do so with a healthy margin in the fall. but michael cohen's statement that he committed campaign finance violations at the behest of trump makes it that much more likely democrats will impeach him once they have the power and
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votes to do it. so long as he has the vast majority of his party with him, he has a break against a removal vote in the senate. that's from a conservative republican writer on the editorial page of rupert murdoch's newspaper today, the friday of trump's worst week. impeachment week. so long as he has the vast majority of his party with him, he has a brake against a removal vote in the senate. and that's true. and that's why it's all up to paula duncan and trump supports like paula duncan. if donald trump loses paula duncan and supports like her, he will lose his presidency. when paula duncan voted guilty on all 18 counts against paul manafort and came out and publically said she opposes a pardon for paul manafort, donald trump discovered he can't shoot someone on fifth avenue and get away with it with all of his
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supporters because trump supporters like paula duncan still know truth is truth. leading off our discussion now, david k. johnson and harry lipman. and david, you have been studying donald trump, the trump businesses, you have spoken to donald trump before he became a political candidate about his businesses. tell us what it means that the president -- the president's accountant has immunity. >> oh, this is very, very troubling. and apparently his deal is not a full deal. it is immunity to get his testimony. but every check goes through allen weissle berg. he is totally loyal. he uses the phrase yes, mr. trump 1,000% that he agrees with him on things. now that he is forced to testify, he will be able to tell
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about the many, many crimes, i'm absolutely certain donald has committed. and his immunity is only federal. that mean ifs the manhattan district attorney and the new york attorney general pursue criminal cases against the trump organization and the trump children, as i think they should, his testimony can be used against him as well. >> and harry, you have been in these situations where you're working on a prous cushion, an investigation, and at some point you get the accountant an your side, what does that open up? >> maybe everything and at least in the case of allen weissle berg. as david says, he's more than an accountant here. he's more than the number krun cher. he has been not just with trump. he's been with his father. he's sort of robert duvall to al pacino here. he was with the old man in the '80s, with trump in the '90s
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when he almost went bankrupt. he nows how things are done and he knows all kinds of sketchy details. so this is huge, i would say. and the immunity, i mean, they would not be providing him immunity given his prominence and the possibility that he would have criminal exposure unless it were really important for the overall investigation and for bigger fish. and you can imagine who those bigger fish might be. >> let's listen to what one trump campaigner said during the presidential campaign about what it means if you are given immunity. >> when you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime. >> harry, did michael flynn have that reasonably correct? >> yeah. i mean, so here is how it works. they call him in to talk and he says, i'm not going to talk.
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i'm going to take the fifth amendment. go ahead and prosecute me. and they have -- they could either prosecute him. and by the way, you can be sure there is a whole kind of case file in a safe somewhere that they can still use against him if it happened, if they need it. or they can give him immunity. what that means is they can say to him, you talk to us, we will not prosecute you for anything having to do with the evidence you provide or any derived evidence from it. but now you have no more fifth amendment right because you are not going to incriminate yourself. we have promised you that you won't. now you have to be an open book. and, yes, you normally -- he would be asking for it because he fears criminal liability and in this case they would have been giving to him notwithstanding that they probably could make a criminal case against him because of the value he has to other targets. >> david, in the information that the prosecutors provided on
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the day michael cohen pleaded guilty, which was all the way back to tuesday of this week, it seems like longer than that, they describe allen weissle berg very clearly committing a crime in those documents because he is the one who orders that the money be paid, the reimbursement money be paid to michael cohen, the money for stormy daniels, the $130,000 that michael cohen laid out for stormy daniels. weissle berg orders it paid to michael cohen and paid in an amount that michael cohen will be restored a full $130,000 after he pays income taxes on the reimbursement money. so that ended up being $420,000 because they threw it in $60,000 bonus. he says to put this down as legal expenses in the
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bookkeeping, and that means they took it as a tax deduction on federal returns and on state returns, and it wasn't legal expenses. >> no. and i'm sure that there are many, many examples like that where they have taken personal expenses, inappropriate expenses and used them on the tax returns. and as a general rule, given the way donald operates, weissle berg may do minor things on his own, but anything sensitive like this, he's going to deal directly with instruction from donald or a discussion with donald. which means not only do you have a tax crime -- many tax crimes, but you are going to have a conspiracy between the two of them. we have very tough conspiracy laws. potentially article 460, which is racketeering could even apply because the law, although intended for mafia families, read literally can apply to any organization like the trump
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organization whose purpose is criminal activity. >> and harry, i'm sure you know -- >> and a quick point, lawrence, if i could. it is just that there is a general -- you may have heard a general difficulty under new york law they're trying to change it with double jeopardy. it specifically does not apply to tax violations. so, in fact, they would be able to bring them in both a state and federal venue. i'm sorry. >> yeah. that's a good point. but i think the audience can understand that very clearly. everyone in the audience files both a federal tax return and a state tax return, and they are two completely different documents. and so if you do something wrong on each of those documents, those are two completely different crimes. and harry, i just wanted to go to you on this point of when we heard the allen weissle berg's name on the audio recording that lanny davis released publically on behalf of michael cohen, you had to know then that allen
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weissle berg was looking for an immunity deal or was next in line for the fbi to talk to. >> definitely. so while he has tried to suggest through counsel that maybe he didn't know about this, you're exactly right. cohen comes to trump and he says, i'm going to set this up through allen weissle berg. so we know he's there at the inception as david points out. that's the potential for conspiracy liability. yeah, and again, like many of trump's associates who have been with him forever, he's a man in his 70s. a criminal conviction on taxes might be equivalent to a life sentence. the pressure is enormous on both the federal and state side. he really -- in order to talk, he needed immunity, and they gave it to him. >> david and harry, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks. and coming up, during donald trump's worst week, he continued to attack his own attorney
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general, who happens to be the only attorney general of the united states who has voted to impeach a president of the united states. we will hear jeff sessions' standard for impeaching a president in his own words. and later, what's in the pecker safe? two people who worked for david pecker at the national evven wil join us and the things he was hiding for donald trump's children. ♪ i don't care where we go ♪ and i don't care what we do ♪ just take me with you there are roadside attractions. and then there's our world-famous on-road attraction. the 2018 glc. lease the glc300 for just $459 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
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during trump's worst week, the president has repeatedly attacked his own attorney general jeff sessions because the president believes if he had an attorney general like rudy giuliani, there would be in investigation of the president and there would be no talk of impeachment this week and the president is right. jeff sessions happens to be the only attorney general of the united states who has voted to impeach a president. at the end of the week that began with rudy giuliani saying truth isn't truth, it is worth taking a look back at the standard jeff sessions used when he decided to vote to impeach bill clinton for less than what donald trump was accused of this week. >> i believe there is such a
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thing as truth. i believe there is right and wrong. i believe our universe is ordered in that way. and when we lie, people are hurt. it always so and it always will be so and that's i think the thing that's most troubling about this entire affair. >> joining us now, jonathan alter, columnist for "the daily beast" and harry lipman is back with us. put this week in historical perspective for us, both the history of the trump presidency and what we know about presidencies that have turned that corner as this one did this week into the discussion of impeachment. >> well, we don't know that this is definitely an inflection point. that's something that you have to have some historical context and perspective to know, is this a saturday night massacre
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moment, to use a watergate analogy. is it the moment when john dean testified against nixon before the senate watergate committee or when alexander butterfield revealed the tapes? it will be a while before we know that. but what we do know is that the horse is out of the barn. it is much, much harder to mix a metaphor for donald trump to get that toothpaste back in the tube now. in other words, for him to pardon paul manafort or for him to fire bob mueller is not going to end this investigation. you now have state and local authorities who can bring a case, and they can test even whether they can indict a president in the supreme court. the supreme court has never ruled on that. this could end with manhattan d.a. indicting the president and then having that tested in the supreme court. there is a lot of different ways for this to go. what we do know is that it is
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not going to be ended precipitously by donald trump unless the republicans hold the house of representatives, in which case he will be emboldened in such a way we will be living in an aauthoritarian state and getting away with whatever crimes he committed. >> we are seeing republican senators who used to run to jeff sessions' defense abandon him. lindsey graham saying of course the president deserves an attorney general that he has faith in. i think we all know what that would mean. let's listen to what senator bob corker said about this. he actually said it to "politico." he said it is apparent that after the midterms he will make a change and choose someone to do what he wants done. if you were in the special prosecutors office on that staff reading that assessment about what's going to happen after the midterms, how would you -- how
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would it affect your investigation? >> yeah. first of all, i found that stunning on the week, as you say, that was the sort of, you know, dawn of impeachment week and so many people it felt like overall the dam was kind of breaking. you had several senators, especially lindsey graham who had been supportive of jeff sessions wink and nod and say, trump, you can fire him. i do think -- mueller is a straight shooter who does it by the book. but they have been aware of this for a while, and i think there have been contingency plans in place, including what's turned out to be a sort of trbrilliant maneuv maneuver, the provision of the cohen says to the usdny, which trump would be powerless to try to arrest. but i think he really telegraphed that after the midterms he can sack sessions. once he's done that, by the way,
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even without a confirmed nominee, because that will be a bloody confirmation battle, he probably could somebody in under the vacancy's act who could be a boot on bob mueller's neck or even rosenstein. >> here is why what is protecting the rule of law is all of the people watching tonight and how much work they do on behalf of democrats in their states to flip those districts because if the democrats take the house, even if there is an interim attorney general who does the president's bidding, that person's life can be made a bloody hell through the subpoena power of the house of representatives. he won't be able to move a fraction of an inch to do anything to impede the mueller investigation without the house judiciary committee, you know, subpoenaing him to testify every day, if necessary. so this is all about elections having consequences.
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and all of this will play out just fine for the constitution if the democrats take the house. if they don't and it is not a sure thing by any means, if they don't, we're living in a world of hurt. >> and harry, i want to go back to your point about the special prosecutor referring the michael cohen case out of the special prosecutor's office to the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. and when that happened, the head of that office, the u.s. attorney himself, recused himself because he was appointed by president trump. so it is now being run by the professionals in that office who are beyond the reach of president trump. and i just want you to go back and double underline something that we raised at the time, when we saw that happen, we thought, this could be a move mueller is making for, among other reasons, to make sure the audit -- the investigation survives anything
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that might happen to him. something will survive in another jurisdiction. and this week when we saw what happened, when we saw what michael cohen confessed to, when we heard michael cohen's description of the crimes he committed with the president of the united states, now we can understand, i think, more than ever before in this week, in trump's worst week the enormity and importance of that decision to move that case, the case that might bring down the president out to a courtroom in new york. >> so true. and, in fact, the three biggest kinds of crimes that mueller's investigating and has uncovered, which would be the collusion with the getting of dirt on hillary and the hacking and also now the campaign finance, cohen now figures centrally in all of them. this is what i mean by the dam breaking. there was just a sense this week to me, lawrence, that it wasn't
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simply mueller pursuing this lonely path as the one person telling the truth in town. it just feels like there are brush fires that are breaking out everywhere and putting pressure on trump from many corners, including civilly, right, if trump organization is in big trouble, that puts a world of hurt on him. if his children are in trouble, that puts a world of hurt on him. there are things other than the indictment of a president. >> there are five legal fronts closing in on the president that i can count. one is the mueller investigation. the other is the investigation in the southern district of new york involving michael cohen. both of those federal criminal investigations. a third is the new york state attorney general's investigation. a fourth now is the district attorney in new york city, all criminal investigations. and then there is the never to be forgotten michael avanatti
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civil lawsuit in which michael avanatti might get the president under oath before anyone else does. it is without question trump's worst week. thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. thank you. when we come back, donald trump and the "national enquirer" have a long relationship that helped donald trump for a very long time covering up stories about donald trump. but all those secrets that the nation"national enquirer" has k a safe for donald trump might now be coming back to haunt him. two people who worked at the nation"national enquirer" and kl about david pecker's safe will join us next. (vo) love. i got it. i gotcha baby. (vo) it's being there when you're needed most. he's the one. (vo love is knowing... it was meant to be. and love always keeps you safe. (vo) love is why we built a car you can trust for a long time. the all-new subaru impreza sedan and five-door.
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in trump's worst week, the most fascinating new evidence that was reported was whatever was in david pecker's safe. david pecker, the pboss of the "national enquirer" has a safe full of material on donald trump that he was hiding and would make sure was never published by the "national enquirer" or anyone else. one report indicates that that safe was emptied after donald trump won the presidential election and it is not clear tonight what david pecker did with the contents of his safe that he was hiding for his friend, donald trump. joining our discussion now is president of bridge strategic communications and a former american media inc executive and a former senior executive.
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and what can you tell us about the way this protection of donald trump worked at the "national enquirer"? >> well, i haven't been at the nation"national enquirer" in a . but i can speak from my experience that not a lot of things have changed. david pecker protects his friends. and jerry could probably speak to this better than i can. there was unmentioned stories that needed to go in the trash can. but this is a way that the even quirer operates under pecker for a while. one of the benefits of being the owner of the company, you can publish what you want. and so that's how you collect friends who want those favors and they take care of each other. that's kind of what the situation that happened with trump. >> did the protection extend to donald trump's children and
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jared kushner, people in donald trump's family? >> yes, lawrence. the entire trump-kushner clan have been protected, you know, for years by david pecker at american media. >> and in what ways? i mean, when did jared kushner or the kushners become of interest to the "national enquirer" so that there would be something to protect? >> well, i mean, donald trump has always been a high profile businessman and has, you know, been presidential timber for many years. so by virtue of that, he and his family, besides their individual accomplishments are also under the scrutiny of the american public. >> stthere is a report indicati that the safe was emptied after donald trump won the
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presidential election. what is your best guess about what happened to the contents of that safe? >> the only person that really knows that would probably be david pecker. but i find interest anything this day of technology that they're putting stuff on paper in a safe when there is no need to do that anymore. it is just asking for trouble. so i just found that amazing. >> and jerry george, there is also reports that some of the people that work at the "national enquirer" made their own audio recordings in the normal course of their work. so it may be there could be audio recordings there of michael cohen's phone calls to the "national enquirer" where michael cohen was engaged in these coverups that were described in federal court this week. >> i'm sure that's possible, that people were recorded without being aware of it. but also, you know, it's part of a reporter's job many times to
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tape record an interview and inform the subject that they're being recorded. >> were you surprised that david pecker basically turned on donald trump and obtained an immunity agreement? >> no, i'm not at all. because at the end of the day what is more important to david pecker is david pecker. friendship loyalty go by the wayside. he's a businessman and this is hurting his business. he will take care of what he's always done, take care of himself. at the end of the day, the guy is a survivor, always lands on his feet and it's probably going to happen this time as well. >> and jerry george, as this goes on, what is it that you -- what do you imagine donald trump is thinking tonight? because donald trump is the other person who knows what david pecker has, what was in that safe. and so donald trump knows what he's hoping won't emerge from that pile in the safe and i guess you would tell the president that if -- if david pecker knows it, he's going to
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tell it to the fbi. >> well, i think david pecker has always relished the image of this maverick ceo that had the goods on, you know, important people. and his friendship with president trump goes back probably 20 years. but i agree with stu, when push comes to shove, david pecker will look after himself first and i think the friendship will go by the roadside. >> based on the reporting, it looks like push has come to shove. >> thank you, lawrence. >> and when we come back, where did donald trump learn his ethics? this is an insurance commercial.
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in the middle of trump's worst week, the president said this: >> i know all about flipping. for 30, 40 years i have been watching flippers. everything is wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and then they flip on whoever the next one is or how high you can go. it almost ought to be outlawed. >> the only people that have been watching flippers for 30, 40 years are mob guys and fbi agents. he said it almost should be
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outlawed. that is the mafia view of flipping. okay. who said this: never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. donald trump or -- >> look at me. never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut. >> at the beginning of trump's worst week, he did write a tweet calling john dean a rat because the president -- because john dean decided to tell the truth under oath about president richard nixon. no one in government called john dean a rat then. everyone in government thought john dean was doing the right thing for the country by telling the truth. not donald trump. donald trump seems to have learned his ethics from his father, who was arrested at a ku klux klan rally and later charged by the federal government with civil rights violations in his real estate business and donald trump
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apparently is a believer in the morality of the mafia. >> yes, always, godfather. >> that is the scene james comey describes in the white house when the president sat him down alone and asked for his loyalty and when donald trump didn't get james comey's loyalty, he killed james comey's career at the fbi. if you are a very old man from utah, say, somewhere like that and everything you know about new york city comes from gangster movies, you might think every guy in new york is like the godfather. orrin hatch is 84 years old. he has spent the last 42 of his life representing utah in the united states senate. and so he has led a very shelters life as a mormon bishop and as a united states senator. he seems to know as much about new york city as he knows about
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mars. this week orrin hatch said most people realize that donald trump comes from a different world. he comes from new york city. he comes from a slam, bang, different world. it is amazing he is as good as he is. and with those words, no one has ever delivered a nastier insult to the nine million americans living in new york city, many of whom can trace their families back to the dutch founders of new york city who were very busy building this country long before anyone other than the native tribes knew that the place now called utah even existed. they're not all like donald trump in new york city. nicholas cristoff will join us
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how strange is it for you to sit here and compare the president to a mob boss? >> very strange. and i don't do it lightly. that leadership culture constantly comes back to me when i think about my experience with the trump administration. >> joining us now, nicholas kristof, pulitzer prize winning
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columnist for "the new york times." you have james comey and others sounding off about the president sounding like a mob boss. and you senator orrin hatch who voted to remove bill clinton from the presidency, saying it's amazing that donald trump is as good as he is. >> i think we need to get orrin hatch some cement overshoes or send him a horse's head and let him know how new york is these days. i flinched at that, but i also flinch at the idea that president -- that, you know, today this kind of vocabulary is coming not from "the sopranos" or "the godfather," but from the white house. and that is deeply troubling that this kind of ethic that, you know, when he says flipping should be almost outlawed, you know, that's what you expect -- it's not what you expect from
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the person who supposedly leads the government of laws or when the president compliments a convicted felon, paul manafort, for not breaking. again, that's all about the mob ethic. that's not what we expect from a president of the united states. >> and it turns out the trump mob had its own newspaper, as it were, or publication, the national enquirer. and i want to play some comments donald trump made during the presidential campaign where he was accusing ted cruz's father has having been involved in the assassination of president kennedy and he actually got "the enquirer" to do stories about ted cruz's father being involved in jfk's assassination. let's listen to this now, knowing what we now know about the president's relationship with david peculiar ker, who wa running "the national enquirer".
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>> there was a picture on the front page of "the national enquirerer," which does have credibility. on the front page there was a picture of him and crazy lee harvey oswald having breakfast. this was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects, should be very respected. i mean, if that was "the new york times," they would have gotten pulitzer prizes for their reporting. i've always said, why didn't "the national enquirer" get the pulitzer prize? >> wry didn't "the national enquirer" get the pulitzer prize? >> "the national enquirer" has never really been a real member of the media, but then to cite it as credible when, clearly in retrospect, its role was not to report, to uncover the truth, to -- but simply to be a political arm of the trump
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campaign. and in some cases, not to gather information on behalf of the public, but to gather information so that it could not be released, to benefit a particular candidate in ways that violate campaign laws. so, you know, in retrospect, i think that we in media, frankly, dropped the ball to a considerable extent in the 2016 election cycle, but i don't even include "the national enquirer" of that lump of the media. that's not who we are. >> we are going to be learning a lot more about what was in "the national enquirer's" safe, i'm sure, as this story proceeds. nick kristof, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. ♪ i don't care where we go ♪ and i don't care what we do ♪ just take me with you there are roadside attractions.
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time for tonight's "last word" on trump's worst week. >> it is being reported today by white house insiders that president trump feels like, this is a quote, that the walls are closing in. yeah. yeah. yeah, when they heard this, mexico stepped up and offered to help pay for those walls. anything they can do. >> in an interview, president trump said, if he were impeached, if he were impeached, everyone would be very poor. yeah. after hearing this, mike pence said, not me, i'd get a promotion.
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>> conan o'brien's version of mike pence gets tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. >> tonight the walls close in on donald trump and the trump organization as the long-time keeper of the books is offered immunity. just the latest blow to this white house and this president after a week of bad news with one reporter saying for the first time he's hearing real fear and concern in the voices of trump allies. and the man who's fought for his country, fought for his presidency and fought for his life, john mccain has decided to allow fate and nature's way to decide his remaining days on earth. the 11th hour on a friday night begins right now. ♪ good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters in new york. day 582 in the trump administration and there's been a new

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