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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  September 6, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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s or if you have a parasitic infection. fasenra™ is a targeted treatment for eosinophilic asthma. that's important. ask an asthma specialist about fasenra™. . that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, donald trump leaves a leaky white house, heads west to montana and treats the crowd to a retelling of his electoral college victory. to deny they are the source for that bombshell cry for help. this as the president's lawyer is sending mixed messages tonight about whether he'll answer robert mueller's questions about obstruction. in the meantime, senate democrats breaking rules, disclosing documents, trying to raise doubts about the president's choice for the court at a perilous time for this president. all of it as "the 11th hour"
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gets under way on a thursday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 595 of the trump administration and the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, told the associated press tonight that president trump will not answer robert mueller's questions in writing or in person on the subject of obstruction of justice. but earlier tonight, giuliani told nbc news obstruction questions are not ruled in or out. we'll have much more on this and an attempt to sort it out in just a moment. but first, president trump just wrapped up a rally way out west far from the troubled atmosphere inside his own west wing. if it's thursday, it must be billings, montana, where tonight they heard the president attack the anonymous official from his own administration who wrote that surprising and scathing
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op-ed yesterday in "the new york times." >> the latest act of resistance is the op-ed published in the failing "new york times" by an anonymous -- really an anonymous, gutless coward. you just look. he was -- nobody knows who the hell he is, or she. they put he. that probably means it's a little disguise. that means it's she. but for the sake of our national security, "the new york times" should publish his name at once. i think their reporters should go and investigate who it is. that would actually be a good scoop. that would be a good scoop. unelected deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself. >> the "new york times" is
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reporting tonight that the white house has a list of suspects and ideas are being floated to catch the author. quote, senator rand paul of kentucky, an ally of mr. trump's, recommended that the president force members of his administration to take polygraph examinations and there was at least briefly some discussion of that among advisers to the president. another option mentioned by people close to mr. trump was asking senior officials to sign sworn affidavits that could be used in court, in necessary. one outside adviser said the white house had a list of about 12 suspects. meanwhile, many close to the president are racing to say it was not them and to put as much distance between them and the op-ed as possible. so far more than two dozen administration officials have denied they are the author of the piece as the white house searches for what they call the anonymous, gutless coward. and today a new report from axios says there are plenty of white house officials working in that, quote, quiet resistance.
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quote, two senior administration officials reached out to axios to say the author stole the words right out of their mouths. quote, i find the reaction to "the new york times" op-ed pass nating, that people seem so shocked there is a resistance from inside, one senior official said. a lot of us were wishing we had been the writer. i suspect, i hope trump knows, maybe he does, that there are dozens and dozens of us. first lady melania trump also weighed in today after beginning her statement by saying, free press is important to our democracy. the first lady continued to write in part, if a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they ave a responsibility to publicly stand by their words and people have a right to be able to defend themselves. to the writer of the op-ed, you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders ramped up her attacks on "the new york times" today by releasing a phone number for the newspaper. she told people on twitter, if they want to know the author of the op-ed, ask "the times."
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jonathan lemire of the associated press has new reporting tonight on the president's reaction to all of this, quote, trump was incensed about the column. calling around to confidants to find out about the author, solicit guesses to his or her identity and fumed that a deep state within the administration was conspireing against him. he ordered aides to unmask the writer. as striking as the essay was, the long list of officials who could plausibly be its author is striking. many have shared the article's same concerns about trump with colleagues, friends and reporters, so goes the reporting of the associated press tonight. with that, let's bring in our leadoff panel on a thursday not. the aforementioned jonathan lemire. nancy cook, white house reporter for politico. eli stokols, white house reporter for "the new york times." we welcome all three back to the broadcast. mr. lemire, trump went on a rant out in montana tonight.
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of note on social media, his pronunciation of anonymous. also talking about lincoln's gettysburg address. he said many of us know it by memory. that was notable. went on a rant about impeachment, almost treating himself as a disassociated third-person character of it. what does it say about what you know to be his state of mind? >> he also suggested that lincoln -- and the gettysburg address was something that was not too popular at the time -- >> like his speeches. >> like his speeches. as the decades went on, it was seen more favorably. he predicted the same for himself so he made the lincoln comparison. certainly this is a moment where impeachment or certainly crisis is on the mind of the president and people closest to him. he is, in our reporting, very much in a bunker mentally right now. he is not sure who he can trust. he believes it's not just perhaps the mythical deep state that has been there in place before he arrived, but even some
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of his closest advisers have been working perhaps against him. this op-ed comes on the heels of the woodward book. they seem to be very much the same theme, the president getting in the way of the president, trying to stop him, get in between him, his worst impulses, perhaps, and the american people. this is a remarkable scene today where we had some of his cabinet members, some senior aides, even the vice president falling all over this. had to go out there publicly on the record say it wasn't me. i didn't write this. a number of them threw in a bunch of attacks on the media to sort of further please the audience of one watching in the oval office. the white house certainly is trying to sort out who did this. you know, the president is, you know, our reporting is absolutely incensed, he fuming, talking to confidants. he believes there is nobody he can trust. casting doubt perhaps on some members of his own family that they have been too leaky with
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reporters at times. the question now is, does this go beyond just asking press secretary sanders and chief of staff kelly to sort of ask around and see what's going on? does he call for some formal governmental inquiry into this, something rudy giuliani told me tonight he believes would be appropriate but i suspect that would set off alarm bells throughout washington. >> try all of this, how did the trump agenda advance today is always our question. nancy, i saw in your notes somebody in the west sing said to you, honestly, it could be anybody. what did you learn today? >> i think from a staff perspective there are a few different points. one is people feel like it could be so many people in the administration, you know, it's hard to just narrow it down to a dozen or ten people because there are so many people who entered into the white house not necessarily being loyal to trump but they wanted to bolster their resume or sort of further a personal ideology they had but they didn't really support the campaign. then secondly, i feel like there is a real heightened sense of
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paranoia right now inside the white house. people are very worried after omero sa's book that people are taping conversations, that anyone could be stabbed in the back at any time by their colleagues. they're worried that, you know, stories about them will end up in a tell-all book. there is just this real sense that you can't trust anyone, and i think that goes from the president all the way down to, you know, aides throughout the west wing and even throughout the agencies. >> eli stokols, interesting times at "the new york times." they made news themselves about a week ago when they suddenly removed the bylines from the front page so we can't look for the writing from our favorite writers and reporters, and now this consequential decision, which must have come out of, i assume, several rounds of talks and assurances, what do you make the times of this, obviously vis-a-vis the woodward book, which is yet to go on sale, let's remember, and the supreme court hearings on the hill.
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do you think they are related and coordinated? >> well, i have no reason to think that. just listening to what the editorial page -- they weren't thinking about some sort of one-two punch or overshadowing the kavanaugh hearings. they found something they thought was newsworthy. they made a controversial decision to publish an anonymous op-ed and here we are. i think the interesting thing is everybody is searching for playing this parlor game, trying to figure out who done it. i think you have to step back and ask yourself, why not? as john and nancy have talked about, a lot of our sources inside the west wing, people who talk to the press a lot, have expressed similar frustrations and similar characterizations of this west wing as we read in that op-ed. the question is, why not somebody decided to go out and poke the bear by putting this out publicly, even if they're not putting their name on it. they knew it would get a reaction. and i think what it tells you is that after the last couple of
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weeks, after we see the sdny investigation continuing, that's an existential threat to this president. you have the poll numbers going down, the election getting closer, the mueller probe perhaps nearing an end stage. and i think you have a lot of people in this white house sort of thinking more long term and considering there could be an end game coming into play before long, and i think that the fact that somebody decided to send this to "the new york times" now, the timing of it is almost as interesting as if we were to figure out who actually wrote it. >> and then this happened this afternoon. let's all gather round and listen to steve schmidt, whose anger and disgust over trump has led him to leave a lifelong membership in the republican party, a veteran of republican politics. he on the 4:00 p.m. hour with his colleagues here in the studio talked about the way he views this president. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> this is an hour of national
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emergency. it is evidenced by his behavior every day. it is evidenced by the bob woodward book and the other corroborating stories. it is evidenced by that op-ed and by what actual white house officials are saying to united states senators. from durbin to sasse to corker, nobody seems capable of understanding the grave peril and dangers the nation, the republic and the world are in from this violent, corrupt man who is indecent, assaulting our institutioning, unraveling the liberal global order and by account after account after account is phycologically unfit to hold any position of public trust. >> well, jonathan lemire, he went and said it. the question is about the disconnect. what percentage of americans does steve schmidt speak for right there and do you see any migration, any movement among
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republicans in washington? >> steve schmitt always brings it. >> he does. >> there hasn't been much migration yet. i mean, there have been -- we saw bob corker speak out and sort of suggest that he agreed with some of the -- >> leaving the senate. >> that's right. that is what we see time and time again, is that the only republicans who are willing to stand up and speak back to this president are those who are not going to face voters again because they've been term limited out or not seeking re-election or in john mccain's case, they are greatly ill. most republicans have given the president cover and suggested this was inappropriate, this author should have put their name on it or resigned. this person shouldn't be working here. you played the clip earlier about rand paul suggesting they should take investigative steps to sort out who this is. paul ryan today did say he didn't think it was the house's job to be part of this inquiry. but mark meadows, a longtime trump ally, said, yes, it should be. there has not been a sea change
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yet. certainly my a.p. colleague in montana tonight spoke to a few people in the crowd there at the trump rally. no one there seemed to care about this op-ed. that wasn't what was on their mind. obviously these are trump supporters, but if they viewed it at all, the suggestion was it was just another effort to try to undermine this president. that he's doing a good job. that's what they care about. they don't care about some op-ed from some career bureaucrat appearing in "the new york times." though the president is concerned and those around him are concerned, it's not clear to me, at least yet, there is going to be any kind of sea change around him. >> nancy cook, two kinds of guessing games under way. number one, where is the denial to all the assertions in the op-ed? number two, where does the guessing game stand as to who wrote this? >> well, it's interesting to me, as you said that people in the white house aren't really denying the substance of the op-ed. there is not a lot of denial of the substance of the woodward book, which makes it seems a lot
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of senior officials in the white house baby sit trump and pull papers off his desk. what they're trying to do is attack the credibility of woodward and in this case make "the new york times" a foil to trump. that's really the strategy at this point but they're not really getting to the substance. in terms of the guessing game, you know, it really depends on who you talk to. people have mentioned a lot of -- i think people in the white house definitely feel like it's someone at a federal agency and they're trying to convince trump that it's someone in an agency and someone low-level. people i talk to feel like it could be a wide swath of people, including some of the people who issued denials today. you'll see even in the past where there have been people where, you know, there have been anonymous sources like deep throat with watergate. mark felt who was deep throat denied it on the record he was for many years until he came out with it. >> eli, a question that between them steve schmitt and any number of our other contributors ask almost on a daily basis i'll ask you. what will it take to see
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migration in the republican ranks? >> it may take the midterms, but that may not even do it if republicans lose the house. i was asking that question to a lot of republicans on the hill today, and they say we just have to get through -- one of them just said we have to get through the next two years. it's going to be ugly. the house democrats, if they take over a majority there are going to do a lot of impeachment, a lot of hearings, there are going to be a lot of investigations and they just have to brace for it because they know if that's the case, donald trump retaliating and reacting to that won't be pretty either. although i did ask them, where is that line? you talk to these people and they say they may not like trump's behavior, they may recognize the dangers he poses to the democracy itself but they're caught between the base and their principles and wanting to stay in their -- in office. so what do they do? they adhere to the base. they accept and they celebrate the policies, tax reform, the conservative judges, the things that they are getting from the trump presidency and they look the other way on the other things. i asked, i said when does that
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change, when does that converge to the point where your concerns about trump and the country start to become bigger than the conservative policy agenda items you're checking off? and the person who i asked that to today, a pretty high-ranking person in the senate said, you know what, i don't know when we get there but those lines are getting closer. there is movement and people are starting to ask those questions, at least privately. >> interesting. the big three on a thursday night starting us off. jonathan lemire, eli cook, nancy stokols. coming up, president trump's lawyer declares mueller questions about obstruction of justice a no-go and then says he still might. and later, the insurrection from some senate democrats during day three of judge kavanaugh's supreme court confirmation hearing. "the 11th hour" just getting started on the aforementioned thursday night. ♪ with a range of suv's perfect for any adventure, you can be in your element, in any element. ♪ experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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welcome back. as we mentioned, this is the polite way to put it, mixed messages tonight coming from rudolph giuliani on whether or not trump will answer robert mueller's questions on obstruction of justice. earlier today, giuliani told our guest jonathan lemire of the associated press that president trump would not answer mueller's questions on obstruction of justice in writing or in person. quote, that's a no-go. that is not going to happen, giuliani said. there will be no questions at all on obstruction. meanwhile, giuliani tells nbc news earlier tonight that obstruction questions are, quote, not ruled in or out. we have asked jonathan lemire to stay with us for this conversation, and joining in the conversation, chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney for the
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eastern district of virginia. also a veteran former senior official of the fbi. so, jonathan, because we're talking about your interview, it's been said one side of this matters, not what rudy says, but when does it start mattering, these changes back and forth? just in the time since your interview with him. >> rudy giuliani, first of all, this is not the first time he's been inconsistent. >> right. >> and certainly as much as his title is president's lawyer, he's far more president's legal spokesman. being much more the public face of this. and part of that is to sort of move the goal posts on to what would need to happen for the president to sit down for an interview with the special counsel, but also to shape public perception as to what that interview could be, eventually with, of course, the end game being mueller we believe would write a report that would end up at doj to congress and make that decision and playing to congress and those who vote for him. that's his target audience.
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as much as he gave mixed messages later tonight, he couldn't have been clearer with me. >> i have no doubt. >> suggesting two things, that there would be no questions about obstruction. the president would not field them. either in terms of -- sit-down interview or written. though he did not discount the idea that he would take some written questions on the russia collusion angle. that's in response to the mueller's team most recent letter just from a few days ago signaling they would be up for written questions on obstruction, but rudy was very careful again to move those goal posts just a little saying, well, we might be up for that but we really want to talk about the idea of follow-up questions. we want to know -- we're not sure we're going to be agreeing to any follow-up questions and we want to have that matter settled before the president answers anything at all. >> okay, chuck. you're out in the pacific northwest. thank you for taking time out of your trip to join us. does any of what rudy says matter? my question to you because
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mueller will not speak and should not speak. what should we know about how the feds view this. >> right. good question. i'll be polite, too. you used the phrase mixed message, brian. rudy giuliani has been consistently inconsistent. it's absolutely stunning but no longer surprising. as a former federal prosecutor i can tell you this, while the mueller team would like to speak with the president, in fact, they'd like to speak with everyone who involved in this investigation, they don't have to. often in federal investigations we don't get to talk to the target of the investigation. he's abroad or he won't speak with us or invokes his fifth amendment privilege not to speak with us. so you can finish an investigation without speaking to the president. if bob mueller decides he wants to push the issue, regardless of what mr. giuliani says, he simply issue ace grand jury subpoena and litigates that. i don't know what he's thinking because he won't talk. he's a professional and that's the way professionals conduct themselves. >> all right. so i'm asked to -- i'm allowed
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to ask our lawyer in this case, what do you think about the possibility of what you just mentioned, a subpoena, knowing mueller and his work as much as you do? >> yeah. that's a real tough call because you have to decide whether the reward, perhaps getting the president to speak. remember, he could still invoke his fifth amendment privilege. is worth the risk. and the risk here is both litigating it and perhaps losing it, although i think that's unlikely, as well as the attendant delay. again, because you don't have to speak to everybody in an investigation, you can speak to enough people and look at enough documents to have an idea, a very good idea of what the president did and why he did it. do i think that bob mueller will subpoena the president? i really don't know, brian. i know it's tempting but, again, you have to weigh that risk and that reward. >> chuck rosenberg, thank you, as always, for your candor and your expertise. jonathan lemire, thank you for your reporting. appreciate it, gentlemen.
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coming up, the president says the democrats trying to stop his supreme court nominee are both angry and mean but are they doing real damage, are they lanning know blows? we'll look at that when we come back. does this map show the peninsula trail? you won't find that on a map. i'll take you there. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. endless shrimp is back at red keep those slobster.min'! with all the shrimp you want, any way you want them. try delicious creations like new crunchy fiesta shrimp tortilla chip crusted then topped with a creamy blend of three cheeses and finished with pico de gallo. and there's new sesame-ginger shrimp. grilled and drizzled with savory soy-ginger sauce
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and he's doing really well but do you believe the anger and the meanness on the other side? sick. it's sick. >> day three of the confirmation hearings for judge kavanaugh featured another fairly dramatic round of fireworks. frustration's been mounting around the democrats over documents marked confidential from kavanaugh's time in the bush white house. well, today democrats began releasing them even after warnings that breaking senate rules could lead to expulsion from the senate. >> i'm going to release the e-mail about racial profiling and i understand that that -- the penalty comes with potential ouster from the senate. this is about the closest i'll probably have to my life to an i am part cuss moment. >> the hearing then pivoted to the issue of abortion with the disclosure of a 2003 e-mail of a draft of an op-ed piece on roe
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versus wade. in the e-mail kavanaugh wasn't sure all legal scholars referred to roe versus wade as settled law of the land. today kavanaugh was asked to explain his thinking and what he believes about roe. >> roe v. wade is an important precedent of the supreme court. it's been reaffirmed many times. >> i thought the op-ed should be accurate about what -- in describing legal scholars. >> democrats also pressed kavanaugh for specifics on his views about presidential power, specifically in the context of this current administration. >> give us some reassurance about your commitment to the democratic institutions of this country and -- in the face of a president who seemed prepared to cast them aside. >> my 12-year record shows and my statements to the committee show and all my teaching and
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articles show -- show my commitment to the independence of the judiciary as the crowned jewel of our constitutional republic. >> kavanaugh also had a chance for something of a do-over with senator kamala harris. last night, she asked him whether he had ever talked to anyone at the law firm of mark kasowitz, who once represented president trump in the mueller investigation. kavanaugh's answer had sounded less than definitive. tonight he gave a different response. >> yes or no, have you ever been part of a conversation with lawyers at the firm of kasowitz, benson, torrez about special counsel mueller or his investigation? and i asked were you ever part of a conversation, i'm not asking you what did you say. >> right. >> i'm asking you, were you a party to a conversation that occurred regarding special counsel mueller's investigation? and a simple yes or no would
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suffice. >> about his investigation. and are you referring to a specific person? >> i'm referring to a specific subject and the specific person i'm referring to is you. >> who was the conversation with? you said you had information. >> that is not the subject of the question, sir. the subject of the question is you and whether you were part of a conversation regarding special counsel mueller's investigation. >> the answer is no. >> thank you. it would have been great if you could have said that last night. >> joining us conversation tonight, josh gerstein, senior white house reporter for politico, focussing on legal, national security issues. a lot of that around here tonight. and kim waily, former u.s. assistant attorney for the district of columbia. she was associate independent counsel in the watergate investigation. did the witness pass the senator harris test? she became the latest senator to
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ask these questions that always indicate i know something, i've got something, i'm going to try to get you there. >> yeah, i mean, i think there is a fine line, brian, between caution and evasion, and it seemed at times that kavanaugh was bleeding over from simply being cautious into being evasive or seeming shifty. whether he intended to convey that or whether he actually was hiding something is unclear. i guess the flip side of it is that senator harris still hasn't made clear exactly what this information is that she has that suggests that kavanaugh's answers about his contacts with the kasowitz firm are not accurate. at one point the judge offered that he is friends with or at least well acquainted with a gentleman who is a partner at that firm who was a lawyer in the white house counsel's office along with kavanaugh at the same time he served under bush. but then kavanaugh said he hadn't had any conversations about mueller with that fellow either, so it's not entirely
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clear why he brought that name up. so i do think there were moments at which kavanaugh didn't seem at his best in answering these questions, but i'm not sure that on the panel or in the broader senate that any minds were changed by the display we saw today and last night. >> kim, as best you can as a lawyer, do you think these documents we have learned about today, the whole pile of them, are impactful, in fact, and do you think we have a right to see his work product from 35 months of his life in the bush white house? >> well, under the presidential records act, the bush records belong to the people not to mr. bush and certainly not to mr. trump. i'm concerned with the institution of the supreme court and the way it's being so deeply politicized by the majority party here. i think we can think back to the last contentious supreme court hearing in our recent history and that would be clarence thomas.
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when anita hill accused clarence thomas of sexual harassment there was a unanimous vote in the senate, a bipartisan vote, to stall the proceedings and engage in a hearing on that particular issue. he was ultimately confirmed and there was a pa-- over him. the highly polarized temperature we're in as a country by virtue of this particular president that brett kavanaugh is now in a similar situation. i do think this information should come out. i think that the republicans in congress in shifting the cloture vote from 60 to 50 with neil gorsuch and punting merrick garland's nomination cynically and unnecessarily so obama didn't get his. we're creating a situation where the legitimacy of the court itself is being questioned in an environment where we already have a broken executive branch
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and a broken congress. i think that's really the tragedy here. >> remember what bush v. gore did to questions about this court politically. hey, josh, kim raises a great point. all the character witnesses for this judge say kavanaugh's a nice guy, really smart. everyone said merrick garland, nice guy, very smart. what is the paul merrick garland holds among this gathering? >> among democrats there is no question that shadow continues to extend over this. i think perhaps the brilliance of the republican move, though, here by mitch mcconnell is it does now seem a long time ago that this episode with merrick garland took place. we've had a whole supreme court nomination in between. in the public mind and the way people think about these things, it becomes more difficult as time goes on to convey an urgency about a wrong done to merrick garland two years ago when we're talking about a nominee that is not even the
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most recent nominee to follow garland. there is no question that is lingering out there. there is a lot of bitterness on democrats on that side, and i also think among democratic senators when many of them cast their votes you'll see that issue of merrick garland raised again and again. perhaps that will even be at the forefront in kavanaugh's qualifications or views on these issues might actually take a back seat to some of that ongoing strife between the two parties about the supreme court. >> kim, you're a lawyer and not a politician, god bless you, but this question involves both. collins and murkowski, two prominent republican senators who are notably, publicly and loudly pro-choice. how do you think they get to a yes vote on this guy unless he's been speaking code to them in their senate offices? >> well, you know, it's hard to say that -- i know people have been saying brett kavanaugh's the most conservative possible nominee and this is a disaster for abortion rights, but that is
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the republican platform with this president. i think -- i don't think brett kavanaugh, knowing him is going to make these decisions based on ideology, based on religion. he does have a conservative point of view. i think it's possible that when he talks about precedent being something he respects and that roe versus wade itself and that decision that abortion rights are protected by the constitution has been reaffirmed, think that's something to pay attention to. whether he would continue to uphold burdens on the abortion right, such that people can't eventually get them, i think that's more of the open question and perhaps it's that delta that these women in congress are comfortable taking a gamble on with the idea that another nominee could be much, i think much more clearly and squarely in the camp of reversing roe versus wade itself. >> counselor, thank you very much for coming on. you, too, josh.
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really appreciate both of you joining our conversation. >> sure. >> and we're better for it. coming up, the foreign leader president trump found time to praise this morning and again tonight in montana when we come back. cancer ... it's very personal.
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i just came on stage and i was told that kim jong-un said some terrific things about me. he said i have faith in president trump. think of this. you don't hear that from them. and i'll tell you what, i respect him, he respects me, and i think something's going to happen. >> it was odd because the president already tweeted about his remarks this morning and that was tonight in montana. but whatever. north korean leader kim jong-un says he wants to denuclearize
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before the end of the president's current term. and truth in advertising here, there is zero reason to believe that. the pledge came out of a meeting with south korean officials wednesday. the envoy who spoke to kim relayed this message, quote, kim jong-un made it clear that his trust in president trump remains and will remain unchanged, even though there have recently been some difficulties in negotiations between the north and the united states. and that, hearing that was enough to be rewarded by donald trump who said this, again, bright and early this morning. kim jong-un of north korea proclaims unwavering faith in president trump. thank you to chairman kim. we will get it done together. tonight in montana, as you saw, trump said kim had said terrific things about him. said the two men have a good feeling. quote, he likes me, i like him. all of this comes after secretary of state pompeo cancelled his planned trip there amid reports that north korea's actually expanding its nuclear research center. just today, the justice
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department announced it charged a north korean computer operative in a 2014 conspiracy to hack sony pictures and u.s. banks. it is all why we are always so happy to see sclint watts, former fbi special agent and member of the joint terrorism task force. this has been your career's work, clint. what are we missing by covering all of the stories we've been covering that is in your area of expertise here? >> i think it's quite remarkable that the north koreans were the sort of untold story of hacking and cyber. lowest penetration of the internet of really any country in the world and yet they were able to carry out very sophisticated hacks, not only on the sony pictures, which has been, you know, rumored to some time, but this provides confirmation on their firearm hacking. they stole $81 billion in one shot from bangladesh. they were actually going around the world and committing financial crimes which is different for nation states. we usually think of espionage or
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election interference, that sort of thing. they were going around just trying to gather money, a very different approach. they were part of one of the more devastating attacks called wannacry which almost shut down the entire cyber space back in 2014. it's something people heard rumors about but not something wean seen attribution in the public. >> you -- artificial intelligence is transforming social media. can american democracy survive? what do you mean there, friend? >> it is the playground where everybody comes to influence and there is no better place, there is no more effective place, there is no cheaper place to go and target individuals and try and shape their views. you're hearing a lot of debate. do we regulate? do we not regulate? but the people who will dominate in the future are those with advanced technology. if you have artificial intelligence, you can mine people's data. you can merge that data with other public data sets.
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you can then take that and use it with bots to figure out what's the most engaging conversation. think about moving your fitness tracker or your ancestry or your genetics. a lot of these data points are there. think about what you can do over time to really understand that. people that understand that best are pr firms and political campaigns. they've got the resources. they'll hire the companies that can do it and take that kremlin playbook we've been talking about for the last two years, they can put that on steroids if they won't. it won't just destroy our democracy, it will destroy the social media platforms as well. >> has there been perverse proof for you to read in this anonymous op-ed and portions of the woodward book that it is apparently true on the inside this is a president unable or unwilling or both to say bad things, to do bad things to putin, to russia? >> yeah. one of the strangest parts of this is that he is the king of twitter and yet at the same point completely denies cyber. that's been the downfall
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consistent. if you look at our china policy, it doesn't really come up when president trump talks about it. russia. even iran, which we've been on the attack about. we saw indictments and charges and shutdowns on social media. doesn't really come up. >> the world is burning while we have this conversation. >> now in north korea today while he's essentially heaping praise on kim, at the same time we're putting out, you know, indictments basically against hackers from north korea, which really undermines that message. some of the excerpts that have leaked out of the woodward book basically said, you know, one of the quotes to tom bossert, the cyber adviser, i want to watch the masters. you're going to get me a war with this cyber stuff. it's remarkable. this is actually something we've gotten better at. we've seen china, russia, iran and north korea, the bad actors in cyber space. we've actually seen the u.s. government do attribution, which is very hard to do, and take that indictments. so we're getting better at this yet at the same point it seems line at the top level we're not
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taking it very serious. >> please continue to visit us and talk about this. >> thanks for having me. when we come back, a departure to note from this american life. what might seem like a small cough can be a big bad problem for your grandchildren. babies too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough are the most at risk for severe illness. help prevent this! talk to your doctor or pharmacist today about getting vaccinated against whooping cough. you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed? let's say it in a really low voice. carl? lowest price, guaranteed. just stick with badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com whoever came up with the term "small business", never owned a business. are your hours small? what about your reputation? is that small? owning your own thing is huge. your partnerships, even bigger. with dell small business technology advisors, you get the one-on-one partnership to grow your business. because the only one who decides how big your business can be, is you. the dell vostro 14 laptop with 8th gen intel core processors.
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when we got the news that burt reynolds had died, it felt like the 1970s had died along with him. that's why it is so difficult for young people who only know burt reynolds as an old man wearing rose colored glasses. the truth about burt reynolds was how important he was at the time. something like clooney and brad pitt and bradley cooper combined. he had four separate movies in theaters. at his height on a bare skin
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rug, he posed nudes famously. born in houston and his first love was football and he went onto florida state until a knee injury put an end to all that. it is part of why he loved making the movie the "longest yard" in 1972. that lost to the "god father" of best picture. "smocking in the bandits," he was proud of the best actor nomination that brought him. he seemed to spend half his time on camera chewing gum or winking or cracking wine. it all worked for him. he turned down the lead role of "star wars" and "pretty woman" and "terms of endearment."
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burt reynolds succeeded and while it took a huge toll on his health and led to a painful bankruptcy. he worked to the advent of high definition tv. that was a toupee on his head the whole time and it got grayer as he did. he dated and married a slew of famous women. he lived the life and always returned to florida where he died today at the age of 82. we are back with more right after this. your allgy pills? flase sensimist relieves your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. it helps block six key inflammatory substances. most pills block one. flonase sensimist. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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no matter how much you clean, does your house still smell stuffy? that's because your home is filled with soft surfaces that trap odors and release them back into the room. so, try febreze fabric refresher. febreze finds odors trapped in fabrics and cleans them away as it dries. use febreze every time you tidy up to keep your whole house smelling fresh air clean. fabric refresher even works for clothes you want to wear another day. make febreze part of your clean routine for whole home freshness. last thing before we go tonight, two years ago today donald trump tweeted these things. "china would not provide a red carpet stair way from air force one and philippines president calls obama "son of
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a --"terrible. mainstream media never cover hillary hacking or coughing attack. yet it is number one trending, what's up. >> donald trump was the republican nominee and we were just getting started. we point this out because two years ago tonight it was our first night on the air. and we said with great confidence on that night this broadcast was designed to last nine weeks from september 6th of 2016 just on through election night. and indeed for those nine weeks we were on the air four nights a week for 30 minutes a night, what could go wrong? well, our show got its name not so much from our east coast air time of 11:00 p.m., but because remember we were in the 11th hour. see what we did there -- of a history making presidential campaign. two years later, we are still on
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the air one hour every night and five nights a week covering just the one topic, that day, this day and the life of this presidential administration. this is all by way of saying thank you, we strive to get it right here every night. we could not and would not do it without you. my thanks as well to the best staff in the industry. the best reporters working today whom make up our guests list on this broadcast night after night. that's our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us tonight and everyday. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york.
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happy to have you with us. burges eve burges everett, he covers congress. he's a reporter. the sort of breath of their beat. sometimes in congress they are covering gigantic stories of national significance or in significance like conference hearing or justice supreme court court. even when there is not a huge earth shaking story happening like that in congress, congressional reporters still have to be there in congress covering anything that's happening on a given day. yeah, today, a

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