tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 29, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
throw up roadblocks to buy themselves time that they say is so crucial. instead last night chuck schumer cut a huge deal with mitch mcconnell in which the democrats agreed to waive through 15 trump judicial nominees. the remaining eight will get expedited votes next week, no taking any time. there have been a number of arguments today as to whether or not senator schumer is playing a three dimensional chess here and he got an amazing concession from the republicans that nobody can see yet. but if democrats were hoping to make republicans fight for every nominee in order to put the spotlight on judicial nominations and their importance, they just did the opposite. 15 times over five days before supreme court hearings.
that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> if you are looking to me for some senate insight as to why chuck schumer did that, i'm sorry. he's going to have to come on your show or my show and explain it. >> there is 15 nominees free for nothing. we don't want to take up any time. we want to make sure there is nothing on the calendar, nothing taking up anybody's time so that we can therefore ask for a delay for brett kavanaugh. >> taking up time and running out the clock is the major tool that the minority in the senate has used for generations now. >> only tool, yes. >> so don't ask me. rachel, i loved your coverage of andrew gillu m's win last night in florida. he is going to injoin us here i this hour and tell us how he did it and tell us what he think it is strategy is for going all the
way. but we will also cover impeachment and last week really became the week where everyone was talking about impeachment. the president was talking about impeachment, if i ever got impeached, as he said on fox news. now we know tonight that that's what they're talking about inside the white house. >> talking about bringing on whole new squadrons of lawyers. >> and of course the president being very jealous of jared kushner's lawyer, a real lawyer who has actually been involved in impeachment proceedings in the past. wishes he now had abbie low well instead of the former mayor of new york who -- okay. i won't even finish that line. >> i forget he's supposed to be his lawyer. >> thank you, rachel. we have breaking news tonight about the president and
impeachment. trump recently has consulted his personal attorneys about the likelihood of impeachment proceedings. the washington post reporting from inside the white house is based on interviews with 26 white house officials, presidential advisers and lawyers and strategists close to the administration, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. now let's just remember that john kelly was brought in to be the white house chief of staff who would stop the leaking and tonight we have 26 leakers. 26 in trump world who are talking to the washington post about impeachment. rudy giuliani told the washington post and allowed them to use his name on this quote, we have talked a lot about impeachment at different times. because this is the trump white house, the impeachment discussion is not happening in a rational and professional way. of course it isn't. the post reports, quote, although trump sometimes talks
about impeachment with his advisers, in other moments he gets mad that the i-word as he calls it is raised. according to his associates. according to his leakers. no one in the trump white house believes that they have the right lawyers to handle an impeachment defense. the white house counsel's office is down to 25 lawyers now. that is ten less than the white house had last year. and less than half the number of lawyers in the white house counsel's office in the clinton white house during the last impeachment battle. president trump made service in the white house counsel's office even more undesirable today by adding a new twist to his practice of firing people on twitter, which he did to his first secretary of state and his first white house chief of staff. both you will recall discovered on twitter that they were fired effective immediately. today white house counsel don
mcgahn discovered that he is fired effective some time this fall. discovered that on twitter. today trump's tweet firing of don mcgahn comes 11 days after "the new york times" broke the story that don mcgahn spent 30 hours being interviewed as a cooperative witness in robert muellers investigation. that was especially troubling to trump. within hours of today's tweet fires of don mcgahn, the washington post and new york times had full reports from leakers inside the trump white house about exactly how and why today's tweet firing occurred. according to "the new york times," mr. mcgahn, who had been a frequent target of ivanka trump and jared kushner believed the story was planted by his critics to force the president's
hand and hasten the time line of his departure. and of course don mcgahn had no idea today's tweet firing was coming. he was not aware that trump planned to send the tweet before it posted, according to a person close to mcgahn. mcgahn who has told many friends that he has wearily even dndure legal battles. his reaction was of course it happened this way, one person said. the president's tweet firing of don mcgahn said this, he will be leaving his position in the fall shortly after the confirmation hopefully of judge brett kavanaugh to the united states supreme court. i have worked with don for a long time and truly appreciate his service! the washington post reports that
donald trump and donald mcgahn have had spectacular fights. mcgahn especially during the beginning of trump's term contacted the president about contacting justice department officials. the two men would have spectacular fights, according to a person who witnessed some of them and leaked to the press about them. in today's breaking news report of the discussions of impeachment in the trump white house, the washington post reports mcgahn and other aids have invoked the prospect of impeachment to convince the president not to take actions or behave in ways they believe would hurt him. robert mueller probably already knows exactly when and why don mcgahn has had to use the threat of impeachment to convince donald trump not to do something. don mcgahn's cooperation is crucial to the special prosecutor's investigation.
he was involved in all of president trump's suspicious activities and decisions, including the president's firing of national security adviser michael flynn for lying to the fbi, james comey after the president asked james comey to back off the investigation of michael flynn. the president's attempted firing of jeff session and the president's attempted firing of special prosecutor robert mueller. the attempted firings were both strongly opposed by don mcgahn, according to multiple reports. for each of those incidents mcgahn is an important witness in robert mueller's investigation of obstruction of justice. 11 days ago mr. mcgahn gave to mr. mueller's investigators, people said, a sense of the president's mindset. joining us now jill wine-banks, former assistant watergate special prosecutors, ron klane
and a former senior aid to president obama. and mimi rocca, an msnbc contributor. jill, i want to go on this issue with the white house counsel. we're seeing that the president is getting rid of his white house counsel at a time when the white house counsel's office is already dramatically understaffed, especially when you consider they are now consciously wrapping up for an impeachment battle. how does this compare to the way president nixon was represented both in the white house counsel's office at the time of your investigation and with private attorneys? >> he had very good private attorneys, and he had a full staff in the white house counsel's office. he fired john dean after the investigation was well under way in the house. but before the watergate
prosecutor was appointed. so he got fired in april, john dean. and then cox was appointed in may. but he replaced the person, and there was a full staff. and so there was no problem with that. but his timing here seems to be something that mcgahn maybe is thinking was a setup that some of his enemies, his mcgahn's enemies leaked a story and that that's what led to trump calling the bluff and saying, okay, you have been talking about resigning in the fall. now you resigned. i'm telling you you are out in the fall. so it sounds like he was pushed out in that way, even though he intended to leave. >> ron, there is a report also within that washington post story tonight about the president being very jealous of jared kushner's lawyer, abbie lowell. he is maybe the single most experienced or one of certainly
the most experienced lawyers in washington for handling a situation like this. he actually represented the democrats' position in the house of representatives in the impeachment action against president clinton. he was in effect defending president clinton within the house of representatives. and of course jared kushner had no trouble going out and hiring the most professional, most competent lawyer available in washington. donald trump is now looking at abbie lowell wishing he had her. he is quoted in the washington post as saying, another leaker, another trump adviser said trump remark this year, i need a lawyer like abbie. ron, he certainly does. >> well, he does. i mean, he needs to stop hiring his lawyers out of the ranks of fox news commentators, which is not really a good source for quality legal remitatipresentat. the latest episode of white
house apprentice is ending like every other episode ended so far. he fired an incompetent member of the staff for all the wrong reasons. he should have fired michael flynn a long time ago. he should have fired don mcgahn any number of times for being the chief ethics officer in the white house with the worst record in history. but instead he fired don mcgahn for the one firing offense in the trump white house. don mcgahn told the truth. he told the truth to robert mueller. and of course that's the one thing you can't do in the trump white house. you can't be honest, and don mcgahn is out. here they are in the middle of an attempt to confirm a supreme court justice. don mcgahn is the key player in that, and the president decides
to publically fire him on twitter today. >> right. but he made a point on twitter of saying not until after that supreme court justice is confirmed because that's going to be -- that's mcgahn's legacy from trump's point of view. that's why so many people stay with trump, right, that they put up with all this nonsense we're talking about because they're going to get him from their point of view the supreme court justice they want. it is going to make the confirmations which were already going to be interesting, to say the least, more interesting. but, you know, he's not going to let the game go until that happens. >> and, jill, we have a report about in this same report that talks about the president wishing he had abbie lowell as his personal defense lawyer, criminal defense lawyer, he has such a terrible eye for legal talent and legal capabilities. "the new york times" is reporting in a separate report
that he actually asked rob porter at a certain point to replace don mcgahn. the president asked rob porter and then the staff secretary several times last year if he would be willing to take over for mr. mcgahn, an idea supported by several of his aids and his children. but mr. porter told the president he did not believe he was qualified for the role. felt it was the wrong fit for him. he has since left the white house amid accusations of spousal abuse. and, jill, rob porter never really worked as an attorney. no one has ever had a discussion in the history of the white house with a potentially less qualified white house counsel than rob porter. >> there is no question about it. and what it shows, again, is the president as a ceo is really bad because hiring good people is one of the most important things a ceo can do.
and for a man who promised us the best, he has certainly not delivered on that. we're in a bigger swamp than we've ever been in. and mcgahn, despite all the problems and ron is correct, he should have done things differently in the very beginning and he's been at the center of a lot of the problems that mueller is now looking into. but he did at least stop firing by the president of mueller and he didn't succeed but tried to stop him from firing comey. so he has done some things. he shouldn't have approached sessions about not recusing because that was clearly legally and politically required. but he has stopped the firing of mueller. so the next person who is hired as white house counsel and i can't even imagine what lawyer will take that job given the circumstances will have to face that issue of whether or not to fire. and remember that the person who
fired special prosecutor cox ended up not being appointed to the supreme court or being not confirmed because in large part he had fired cox. >> and ron, in the president's tweet just parenthetically he refers to trying to get a supreme court justice confirmed as if that's not as important as firing his white house counsel. that's the important thing. and what does this do to the point man trying to run the confirmation process? this is a job you have had. >> yeah. >> in other administrations, democratic administrations. the point man gets publically humiliated by the president on twitter today. yet, he has to try to keep the supreme court confirmation process going. >> yeah. i don't know what it's like to be fired on twitter because that's never happened to me, but i doubt it is a big moral booster. i doubt this really sends john mcgahn back to work tomorrow for
attacking this problem. i think that mcgahn is focussed on getting brett kavanaugh confirmed. it is why a lot of trump allies stick with him. so i do think mcgahn will work hard to get brett kavanaugh confirmed. he is a controversial nominee. i think, you know, trump is an unpopular president and there are a lot of issues about it. hundreds of thousands of pages, he'd be the first modern supreme court nominee where an extensive part of his record will be denied to the senate for its review. that's going to be a significant one in the confirmation process. >> mimi, don mcgahn reportedly
used the threat of impeachment to talk the out of doing certain things. that surely has to be a very specific angle of inquiry by robert mueller of don mcgahn. what were those things that the president was trying to do where you had to say the word impeachment to stop him? >> that's exactly right. what was the underlying conduct? what does the scolding tell you about how bad the behavior was they were doing. you don't spend 30 hours with robert mueller just to talk about sports. so my guess is they were really getting into the details of that behavior. i'm sure a lot of it had to do with trump's -- we know about many of them and there may be some we still don't know about consistent, you know, deliberate efforts to make this investigation either go away or get offtrack. and that has just been the story from day one. and that seems like mcbegagahn
clearly made a lot of mistakes, but he has tried to let this investigation stay on track. so it sounds like he's told mueller the truth about trump's, again, persistent effort to make this go away. and that is obstruction. >> thank you for starting us off this evening. and coming up, paul manafort doesn't want to go to trial in washington, d.c., because he doesn't like who lives in washington, d.c. he wants the trial moved to a place dominated by trump voters. but before we get to that, we will be joined by the big winner in last night's primary elections, the surprise victory by andrew gillum. he went from third place in the polls to making history as florida's first african-american nominee for governor in a major party. andrew gillum is our next guest. . even "vengeful vermin."
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desantis. today ron said this about his opponent. >> he is an articulate spokesman for those far left views and he is a charismatic candidate. none of that was my cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there. we have to make hard we continue florida going in a good direction. let's build off the success we've had of governor scott. >> joining us now, mayor andrew gillum. mayor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me, lawrence. i hope you're well. >> i am. i want to get your reaction to what we just heard congress desantis say about you. >> the congressman clearly plans
on campaigning out of the trump manual. i think people in this state are so sick of those kinds of politics of division, racialized politics, which i think, you know, trump tried to capitalize on in his election. i think people have learned their lesson. in this state we're going to send them a message on november 6th when they elect me governor of the state of florida, coincidentally the first black governor of this state. >> were you personally offended by those comments? are those comments an example of his racialized politics? >> well, i tell you, i try not to take too much of what these folks say seriously when they caricature themselves. they're an embarrassment to themselves. i think that desantis can be better than this. i know our state is better than this. it is up to the voters to make
sure we send a clear and convincing message that rationalized politics and politics of division are not who we are. it is not even what the voters want to talk about. they want to know how to get access to affordable health care, a job that pays them a wage that allows them to live on, an education system that can educate their kids and pay teachers who they're worth. this stuff is simply off the rocker. but i guess when you don't have anything positive to put out there and you don't have a vision for the future of this state, you would result to trumpian politics. >> everyone has noticed that bernie sanders endorsed your candidacy and you were grateful to him for that. but you endorsed hillary clinton for president in the 2016 campaign and so it seems in your own experience you personally have bridged one of the two most
clearly identifiable camps in the democratic party. >> yeah. i mean, that's exactly how we look at it. today i had a great conversation this morning with senator sanders. i got a call this morning also from secretary clinton. we had a great conversation as well. i think what our campaign demonstrated is that we have the ability to pull should you believe that it exists the bernie sanders wing as well as the hillary clinton wing of the democratic party together. the truth is that we're going to need all of the constituencies of our party to win back this state this november. in fact, i even want to bring over those republicans who feel duped by this president who frankly wanted to see their lives improve, their job conditions improve, their health conditions improve and all we've gotten under this president is -- are shows and insults. we're tired of it. we want a government and a governor responsive to the needs
of every day working people. >> you say you'd like to reach over to republican voters turned off by the trump administration. if you are trying to appeal to republican voters in florida, you are out there on the campaign trail and a republican voter says to you you are a nice man or whatever they want to say about your personally, but they say i'm worried because you're a socialist. the desantis message that you are a social liist. how would you respond? >> first of all, i'd tell them i'm a democrat. have been one so long as i have been registered to vote. then i will reflect on them. if you work your multiple jobs in order to make ends meet, you can't be satisfied with the way things are going in this state. half the population is saying they can't meet ends meet at the end of the month. if you are worried about your kids being tested to death due
to high stakes tests, you are probably frustrated, too. if you live in the southwestern corner of this state where we've got algae blooms flowing out of the east and the west side, then you can't be happy with the environmental regulation undertaken under this republican leadership these last 20 years. i would simply say vote your own interest. vote your own conscious. vote your own household. and if you vote that way, i have no doubt that you will choose me over congressman desantis in the race for governor. >> the congressman says you want to get into office so you can raise taxes in florida. >> yeah. well, congressman desantis is wrong on this account. i don't want to raise taxes on every day florida. the corporate tax rate is lower than that of alabama and georgia. we're the third larger state in america. we have cheapened and been a back of the pack state on almost everything that matters.
i want people to understand that good corporations, good companies, good businesses, good people don't locate to states where your education system is 40th out of 40th, where your mental health funding is 50th out of 50th. where your environment is being so harmed that you can't even go into the ocean, that you have to be conscious about the air that you breathe or the water you drink. that impacts people's quality of life. if we are serious about creating a state desired by everybody, which i can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to choose florida, we have to make our state the kind of state deserving. but it requires a governor interested in doing the right things and making the right steps. corporations have to pay their fair too in this state which is why i advocate a corporate tax rate increase. >> florida is a scene of two of the worst mass murders in recent american history, the most recent one being marjory stoneman douglas high school.
your first appearance on this program was in reaction to that shooting. as a candidate for governor now, what policies do you believe florida needs to enact as a result of that shooting? >> well, you're right. and, in fact, we just had a shooting incident -- in fact two that took place in jacksonville, florida. one at the landing. and before that a high school football game. we know that gun violence ravages not only our communities when it comes to mass shooting incidences but there are communities that have to deal with this issue on a daily basis. what we have simply said is we ought to instruct and enforce common sense gun laws. if you want to own the power of god at your waist belt, you ought to have a background check. if you want to own a gun, you ought to join the military, that those guns have no place on our city streets. and i think that there are people who are common and decent
in this state who really do want to see us take common sense and logical steps and we just refuse to do it. i think i shared with you before, i was literally sued, drug through court for two years by the nra and gun lobby because we refused to repeal an ordinance. we got to return to a sense of common and dekrensy and safety and security for all people. >> mamayor, thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, lawrence. take care. >> what does andrew gillum's victory mean for democrats in florida and why are voters supporting andrew gillum? we will hear directly from some of those florida voters. and later paul manafort really doesn't want to go to
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endorsed republican and trump sounding ron desantis. there was little surprise that the donald trump endorsed republican won in the state where donald trump won. but president barack obama also w won the state of florida twice. here is why some florida voters turned out for andrew gillum yesterday. >> he seems to be caring about the people, instead of himself and the money they're putting in their pockets. >> he was backed by bernie sanders and i'm a really big bernie sanders voter. >> i vote everything against what trump is doing with the immigrants and with the poor people that got separated from their families. >> i voted for a people a little more moderate in the past. but now i think we need to go progressive and get rid of some of these old ideas.
>> opinion writer for the washington post and msnbc contributor and reason on is bah us. it looks like andrew gillum might be able to mobilize a your honor out that others have not been able to do. >> yeah. andrew gillum did a few things those candidates didn't do before. one, he got out there early. two, he got out there and actually asked for democrats' votes. one thing he told me when i interviewed him for my podcast at the washington post back in june, he said the problem in florida is that democrats have been running republican-like candidates and also wondering why the republican actually won in november. he said in florida if republicans had to choose between a republican light on the democratic side and the actual republican, they'd go in and they vote for the republican. and so when andrew gillum has
done or is doing is he's running as an unabashed democrat and he's going after democratic votes that have been sitting on the sidelines for several election cycles because no one has talked to them. we talked a lot in the 2016 election, lawrence, about the forgotten voter, those voters who came seemingly from out of nowhere to vote for donald trump and make him president. well, andrew gillum is doing the same thing. and also stacy abrams in georgia. they are running races where they are unabashedly democrat. they are going to democratic voters and going to them with a message that has universal appeal, health care, education, gun violence, gun safety. i think what andrew gillum was able to do was to show people in florida that he genuinely believed in what he was doing and was unafraid to run as a democrat in espousing those
issues. >> the magic word in republican campaigns used to be liberal. all they had to do was say liberal and they believed they were beating the democrat just with that one word. they're not confident in that word anymore, so they have upped it to socialist. it sounds like that's going to be the word we hear thrown around in this campaign for the rest of the run. >> that's right, lawrence. they're certainly out there. a socialist and not just out and out racism today from congressman desantis for boot. of course everything that jonathan just said. but i think andrew gillum is running on idealism, that someone from his background can be governor of one of our nation's largest states, that people can have health care and decent jobs and decent wages and all the things. in some ways he reminds me a lot of robert f. kennedy where he's trying to bring together a
coalition of working white voters and working black voters and talking about real concerns of working people, chewing corporate money, chewing the special interests and fighting for working people in a way that is authentic. i think that kind of authentic fight for working people is really resonating with voters in florida. >> i want to get your personal reaction to what desantis said about him today and how you think he handled his own reaction to it. >> well, we're all focussing on the monkey line that he -- monkey it up. we're all focussed on that. the thing about that particular line is the emphasis he put on monkey. but that was the third of three things that he said that i, as an african-american, picked up right away. ask any of your black friends if they like to be called
articulate. in any context. i guarantee you nine out of ten of them would say they really can't stand it. he said he is an articulate spokesperson for x, y, z. the second word he used that the more i hear it the more angry i get about it, he said that he watched the democratic debates. he said he watched the democratic debates that gillum performed well. not that he had good ideas that he disagreed with, that he performed well. so you have an african-american who is articulate, who performs and is, you know, monkeying things up. someone said earlier on our air, lawrence, that this was the equivalent of donald trump when he announced on june 16th, 2015 his run for president where he said mexicans were rapists. right out there in the
beginning. and desantis has done the same thing. but any decent in 2018 who has any sense of empathy other understanding of where the country is right now would acknowledge -- would acknowledge the fact that what he said was something that was not just hurtful but was also offensive and has no place in american politics. but that kind of thinking is sort of pretrump. we're in a post trump world now. >> thank you both for joining us. >> thanks. coming up, paul manafort doesn't want to go to trial in washington, d.c. he wants the trial moved deep into trump country. he has filed the most political change of venue motion maybe in history. that's next. in history. that's next. hi there. this is a commercial about insurance.
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we have breaking news from "politico" at this hour explaining possibly why some republican senators have softened the idea on donald trump firing jeff session or forcing jeff sessions to resign as attorney general. after last year so many senators were strong supporters of jeff session. donald trump has personally been
lobbying gop senators to flip on jeff sessions. "politico" reports the willingness of republican senators to turn on jeff sessions is the result of a furious lobbying campaign from president donald trump who, for the past ten days, has been venting his anger at sessions to any senator who will listen as one gop senate aid put it. donald trump reporting to "politico" raised the prospect of firing sessions last week in a phone conversation with senator lindsey graham and lindsey graham simply pressed the president to hold off on that until after the midterm elections. lindsey graham last year said there would be holy hell to pay if the president fired attorney general jeff sessions. "politico" goes on to report that the president is, quote, seized by par rox sins of anger. it says if sessions' recusal was
his original sin, trump has come to resent him for other reasons, griping to aids and lawmakers that the attorney general doesn't have the ivy league pedigree the president prefers, that he can't stand his southern accent and that sessions isn't a capable defender of the president on television in part because he, quote, talks like he has marbles in his mouth. the president has told aids. we are joined now by jonathan and jill wine-banks. and jonathan, i guess we can just skip over donald trump's queens accent that some people in alabama might be occasion untly uncomfortable with. this is one attempt to explain the flipping that we have seen this week, most recently lindsey graham, most dramatically
lindsey graham going from there's holy hell to pay going to it's okay with me. do it after voters cast their votes in november. >> wasn't it just last week, lawrence, that the president said he didn't like flippers? he's known flippers for 30, 40 years and he doesn't like flippers. it was in a completely different context, but the fact that he is as reported personally lobbying senators to flip on senator sessions speaks to a larger issue here. senator sessions, to his mind, should never have recused himself from oversight of the mueller probe, which would not have been necessary had the president not fired the fbi director, jim comey. and in what you read about the president's not only anger ability that but about the accent and his nonivy league pedigree just speaks to how petty and small the president
is. and then this idea that jeff sessions isn't a, you know, vocal defender of the president on television speaks to, after 18 months or so in office, his willful ignorance of the role of the attorney general of the united states. again, the attorney general of the united states is not the president's personal lawyer. it seems as though he is still looking for his roy cohn. in hi department where there is a lawyer, he's hoping someone in his direct employ will be someone in the government who will go out and defend him. not the presidency, but him. and that's not what jeff sessions, that's not what the attorney general is supposed to do or was meant to do when the framers put this together. >> i would love to get lindsey graham's honest reaction to reading this passage in politico that the president hates his
attorney general's southern accent, but jill weinbanks, it's almost impossible to get an honest reaction from lindsey graham involving anything with donald trump or the attorney general. but you can see they understand, everyone except for possibly donald trump, understands that it would be disastrous for republicans if the president were to fire the attorney general before election day this year. >> i think everyone should see that, and i think -- although i agree 100% with everything jonathan said and could not have said it better, but i would add that it is also part of his attack on the rule of law, on the institutions of justice and democracy. it seems like it's out of the playbook of a fascist dictator wannabe. and it is very scary to me who believes in our democracy and our freedoms that we are being
threatened by this, his attacks on the free press, his attacks on the fbi, the department of justice, his attack on sessions. this is all part of his plan to take over in a way that no american should want to live under. and we have to take action to make sure it doesn't happen. and we clearly cannot count on anyone in congress. as you said, the things that people said a year ago sound ridiculous in comparison to what they're saying now. it's a total reversal. and as jonathan said, he didn't like flipping. he thought it should be almost illegal. and now he wants people to flipment itflip. it's the same thing. i believe the kind of people who flip to testify to the truth are the ones i want to count on. >> and jonathan, included in politico's report about this tonight, it says that jeff sessions has also alienated presidential son-in-law and adviser jared kushner. now, jared kushner is a subject
at minimum of the special prosecutor's investigation, an investigation that jeff sessions has recused himself from. and so here we have donald trump and his son-in-law both being investigated by the special prosecutor, both want to get rid of the attorney general so they can get someone new in there controlling the special prosecutor. >> lawrence, aren't these the same two people who thought it would be a great idea to fire james comey as fbi director? i seem to recall that it was jared kushner who was in the fire comey camp. and if i'm wrong about that, i will come back and apologize for it. but if it was a bad idea to fire comey, it should dawn on them, as jill said, that it would be an incredibly bad idea to fire jeff sessions as attorney general. and if the president does do it, because at this point it seems like it's a matter of time, will
that be the moment that folks on capitol hill find their spies? according to this politico report, that might not be it. but if you're not going to stand up for the rule and democracy in defending attorney general sessions, then will the spine grow in place if the president does indeed find a way to fire mueller or rod rosenstein? at this point, and i can't believe i'm saying this as an american, at this point i have no faith in the republican majority on capitol hill. these are the same people when i was growing up who were all about the rule of law, all about standing up for our institutions, and yet when both are threatened, they're nowhere to be found. >> jill, i want to squeeze in a mention about the change of venue motion in the paul manafort trial which is the strangest change of venue motion i have ever seen.
purely political. they're saying they want basically more trump voters on the jury or all trump voters on the jury. they fear how many clinton voters would be on the jury in the district of columbia. and it is an arguably racist change of venue motion. they clearly are saying, please take it out of an area where we would get black jurors and move it specifically to southwestern virginia in avoidance of both democrats on the jury and black people on the jury. >> that is exactly what it is. it is a racist, awful thing to do. but it also makes no sense. because i want to point out that the juror who has come forward from the current trial, from the eastern district of virginia, is a loyal trump voter. she thinks that this is a witch hunt and that it's a hoax, but she would have voted for all 18 counts against paul manafort based on the evidence.
and in the end, jurors vote on the evidence. they look at the facts. and whether they are democrats or blacks in d.c. or whites in roanoke who are republican trump voters, they will vote to convict if the evidence is there. so it's a useless motion and it should be denied. >> jonathan, i got to give you a quick last word on this change of venue motion, manafort wanting to get out of the d.c. court down to southwest virginia, and we're just about out of time, so i'm sorry. but go ahead. >> good luck with that, and also remember that part of virginia, there are black people there, too. my family is down there. >> jonathan and jill wine-banks, thank you for joining us. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. right back. let your perfect drive come together
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this is tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight white house counsel don mcgahn's exit announced via presidential tweet surprises even mcgahn himself. was it ivanka and jared who set the wheels in motion? and did mcgahn's testify to robert mueller play a role? plus, one trump ally warning the "washington post" tonight, winter is coming and the white house is not prepared. phil rutger is standing by with the details. and in florida, republican ron desantis accused of racism for calling his african-american opponent articulate and urging florida not to monkey this up.