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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 10, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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and back pain made it hard to sleep and get up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. this is day where the hurricane in the southeast is of course dominating the news. but it's also a day which i i didn't really expect. but there's also a day in which there's been a lot of other breaking news on top of that. you will want to stay with us throughout the night tonight. now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell.
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upcoming marriage to his fiancee who lives in istanbul. he needed some saudi documents for his upcoming marriage and so he made an appointment to visit the saudi consulate in istanbul october 2nd. his fiancee waited outside the consulate when he went inside. they were going to go shopping for appliances for their new home after what they thought would be a short visit to the consulate. after three hours and no sign of jamal khashoggi leaving the consulate, she checked with some people inside who told her he left already and must have missed him. which means waiting there for her fiance angusly waiting to come out, she simply missed him
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and for some reason he decided to walk past her. he's been missing since. and there's a report from unnamed turkish officials saying he was murdered inside that consulate by a team who flew. a video shows khashoggi entering the consulate at 1:14 p.m. but there is no video of him exiting the consulate. this is the kind of thing that any past president of the united states would be actively pressuring saudi arabia on, but donald trump's son-in-law has a new best friend in saudi arabia, the jared kushner of saudi arabia. the 33-year-old crown prince muhammad ben salem. the saudi dictatorial regime of course believes that such enemies of the people should be executed.
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and as far as they can tell the president of the united states has absolutely no objection to that. tonight the senate of foreign relations committee has sent a letter to the president signed by every member of the committee except of course rand paul demanding an investigation of the disappearance and possible murder of jamal khashoggi. joining our discussion now, ned price, former senior director and spokesperson for the national security counsel and obama administration, and former cia analyst. and john, for "the washington post" and host of wnyc radio's america on the line there. both msnbc contributors. and ned, your reaction to this latest reporting from "the washington post" saying american intelligence intercepts have captured saudi officials discussing a plan to detain khashoggi. >> in some ways, lawrence, this underscores our worst fear. in the intelligence community there's something known as intelligence community directive 191.
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and it requires that the intelligence community provides as you said a duty to warn to both u.s. citizens and non-u.s. citizens alike in three scenarios. in the threat of murder, bodily harm, and in the threat of yes, kidnapping. so the fact that jamal khashoggi entered the saudi consulate in istanbul, turkey, seemingly unafraid and unconcerned with his own safety suggests that did not happen. i can tell you when i was at cia that was pretty automatic, this provision of to warn of potential victims of such crimes. in this case if that did not happen it raises profound questions. and i think a lot of those questions center on this administration's extraordinarily close if not airtight relationship with saudi arabia that has centered around jared kushner. it reminds me of reporting we saw earlier this year, lawrence, that jared in his travel, in his discussions with the crown prince late last year provided
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the crown prince about u.s. intelligence about targets for a forthcoming saudi purge that was then carried out a week after jared left saudi arabia. if jared was willing to provide intelligence to the saudi crown prince, i think we have reason at least to be suspicious of the possibility that the administration prohibited the intelligence community from fulfilling its solemn duty in this case. >> and jonathan, this is "the washington post" story. this is one of the people who works -- has a relationship with your newspaper, an opinion writer for your newspaper. what has "the post" been able to do? >> "the post" has been able to at least as an institution raise hell in all quarters where we can raise hell. whether it to the administration, the saudis, the turks, anyone who will listen. because -- >> and this is normally a thing where "the washington post" would have a receptive ear at the state department and at the white house. >> right. and in fact, you wouldn't have
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to demand that the president of the united states say something, that the administration would say something about not just the disappearance and possible murder of someone who was living in the united states but also a journalist. freedom is like the bedrock of american democracy. freedom of the press is essential. journalists are the only people -- journalism is the only profession protected in the constitution. we are a beacon for other nations around the world because of freedom of the press. the governed willing to be held accountable -- the governing willing to be held accountable by the people through the press. and the fact that a journalist, an opinion writer for a major american newspaper has gone missing and possibly murdered and there is relative silence from the president of the united states and the administration is chilling.
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and, you know, the fact that we're talking about jamal khashoggi should remind everyone about the perils of being a journalist. as americans we're not used to this. journalists cover stories and cover politicians and cover the powerful all the time. and the fact we're talking about jamal khashoggi right now shows the perils of holding the powerful accountable. >> and he's not the only one. i want to raise another issue here because the president has talked about the press as being the enemy of the people. and we've been saying how that must sound to other countries around the world, especially to dudictatorial regimes. he's still in detention. he has been jailed now for several weeks. and he's a photographer there. there are british protests trying to bring attention to his case. but, ned, this is one of the things that we have seen.
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we've actually been kind of anticipating. what are these kinds of countries with these sort of police state apparatuses going to do in an atmosphere where donald trump unleashes this license that these people are the enemy of the people? >> that's right, lawrence. as americans we like to brag and crow that our president is the leader of the free world. he's an object of emulation and a source of inspiration. but in this case he is playing that role for some of the most egregious despots in the world. we've seen the results of that in public. look at bashar al assad. he has used the term fake news within his own country, within his own context. victor urban, the increasingly autocratic leader of hungary has called the paper -- and the kremlin takes primary press
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reports and puts a big red fake label on top of them. these countries and these leaders are emulating president trump. and they see he is giving him and themliance. it's not only his rhetoric, lawrence, but also his failure to act. his failure to act to call out civil rights and civil liberties and human right around the globe just as he cozies up with autocrats and despots. look at kim jong-un, with duterte, and the list goes on. and we end with mohamed ben soloman. >> and jonathan capehart, if there is to be an investigation that the senate is demanding, it may be his name comes up.
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because jared has had phone calls with the crown prince that are not monitored, that don't go through the normal security checks, and there may be some discoveries there that may be uncomfortable for jared kushner. >> that's assuming the administration goes along, assuming the administration hands over the information needed to carry out a real investigation. up until this moment republicans on capitol hill have been unbelievably compliant with any of the wishes from the administration. it'd be very interesting to see how the administration responds to this. and one other thing. there are two reporters from reuters who are arrested in myanmar who have been in jail for 303 days since december of 2017. so journalists are being arrested around the world. this case of jamal khashoggi hits close to home because he was a global opinions writer at "the post."
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>> and the reason why he was arrested in bangladesh is because he criticized the government's reaction and handling of protests. this is exactly what you would want the media and press to do in any country. and ned, this is the thing they have every right to believe that donald trump would encourage. just go ahead, shut these people down if they criticize the government. >> well, that's absolutely right. and in fact, he has. in some cases it's been explicit as with the -- as when he tells duterte he loves the way he's handling the crime problem and drug problem in his countries. and it's implicit when the government doesn't weigh in. it's even broader with freedom of the press and our standing up for human rights and civil liberties around the globe. i think what we have seen is an abdication of leadership that's
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given rise to some of the worst impulses and regimes around the world. we talked about the saudis potential and even parent murder of this "the washington post" journalist, jamal khashoggi. but we can also cite moscow's use of chemical weapons on british soil. we can talk about a whole number of examples of regimes acting on these worst impulses to include the chinese, arresting the head of interpol just in recent days. they do this i think at least in part knowing they have impunity because america is no longer willing to stand up, no longer willing to criticize, and no longer willing to act on the side of human rights and civil liberties and the values we've always stood for. >> it's so heart breaking to read khashoggi fiancee's op-ed piece, standing there on the sidewalk waiting for him to come out. and now she's pleading for president trump for his
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intervention here. that's going to be a tough plea to make to this president. >> yes, because it requires him to feel empathy. and over the last almost two years we have seen time and time again that the president of the united states lacks empathy. the idea that he could possibly be a consoler in chief potentially for jamal khashoggi's fiancee is something that i can't even contemplate. and while she put this plea in print, and it was important that she put it in print. it is my sincerest hope and prayer that her words are heeded by someone in the administration, someone in that west wing that can get it through to the president of the united states, that damnit, he should care about this. >> thank you for starting our discussion tonight. and when we come back we're going to have the latest on hurricane michael, and the
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president's decision to go to a rally tonight instead of concentrating on the government's response to this devastating hurricane. and later new reports that the president is actually talking to jeff sessions' chief that can disrupt your routine for weeks. in severe cases, pneumococcal pneumonia can put you in the hospital. it can hit quickly, without warning, making you miss out on what matters most. a single dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia. prevnar 13® is approved for adults to help prevent infections from 13 strains of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia. don't get prevnar 13® if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or its ingredients. adults with weakened immune systems may have a lower response to the vaccine. the most common side effects were pain,
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that was the scene in panama city, florida, earlier today where one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the united states mainland made landfall this afternoon. hurricane michael was the first category 4 storm ever to hit the florida panhandle bringing sustained winds to 155 miles per hour, only 2 miles per hour less than a category 5 storm. michael is also the fourth strongest hurricane ever to strike anywhere in the u.s. mainland. at least one person has died from the hurricane after a tree fell on a home in greensborough, florida. more than 380,000 people are without power in the state, according to florida's division of emergency management. thousands more are without power in georgia tonight where michael is still bringing powerful
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winds. joining us now from georgia is nbc news correspondent tammy lightner. tammy, what is the latest where you are tonight? >> reporter: we're getting the back end of the storm, which means it's weakened to a cat 1, but let me give you an idea how powerful that is and what 90 mile an hour winds can do. take a look at the trees here and the roots. this is how powerful it is. we've spoken to people tonight who said they've actually had trees crashing through their home. a woman we spoke with just about three hours go said a tree came through and cut her home in half. that shows you the power of this storm. they've had reported power outages in counties all across georgia. about 125,000 people without power. we actually have no power where we're at here at the hotel. so a lot of people aren't going to have power for days to come.
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now a major concern also is flooding. we're inland and they're saying just because you're inland you're not out of the woods here. they're still going to be an keeping an eye on this through the night. a big concern where we are, it's very flat and so the flooding can happen very fast here, lawrence. >> tammy leiter, thanks for joining us tonight. bill, what's the latest? >> nine hours after land fall it's still a hurricane. the next update -- upgrade we should have it down to finally a tropical storm. we're still getting damage and trees down, that's what we expected in this storm. and i'm still hearing from a lot of storm chasers and therapy saying panama city is lot worse than what we've seen so far, and that air force base is very bad and that mexico beach area is horrendous. some are saying they've never seen wind damage that expensive. and these are people that have
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chased storms across the globe. don't even think the video we've shown you is by far the worst. because that will come tomorrow during sunup. right now the storm is just heading into central portions of of georgia. there's makin' right here, interstate 75. still a category 1. we've got winds 40 to 50. so we're starting to minimize our damage once you get below 50. but near the center, right near albany, there where we have the potential to guest gusts up to 60,80 miles per hour. we haven't had a lot of tornados with this system. occasionally we get these systems that come in especially during the afternoon. and you can get numerous, dozens of tornados. we only had one reported today, so that was good with that. moving a brisk pace, 17 miles an hour. remember every one is different. florence we couldn't get rid of. it was like a turtle it was crawling.
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as far as the forecast path, at 2:00 a.m. here just past makin' still winds about 70 miles per hour, and then by the time we wake up through columbia and through carolina, and it's actually going to combine into a new storm just off the coast of norfolk. that's why the winds go from 40 to 60. not going to be a pretty travel day on the eastern sea board as we go throughout your thursday. and here's just some of the numbers. this is the list of it u.s. landfalls we have on record from the late 1800s, the strongest winds we've ever had. camille off the charts. so we can get horrific storms in the northern gulf, and this was one of them here with michael. the strongest storm we've seen since andrew, in 1992.
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and this was 155. this was well above anything that we've seen. and we measure the pressure with thesstorms because that gives a reputation how strong they are. typically the lower the pressure, the stronger the winds. you see where camille is here on the list. michael was ahead of andrew and michael had a lower pressure than katrina. this wasn't just your average every day storm. if it had hit a huge population center like new orleans, we'd be talking about incredible problems and rescues needing to take place. this storm hit down here in between apalachola and panama city. it really depends on where these storms make landfall. finally gets into the impacts we're due to expect. this is the area of possible power outages with the gusty winds as we go through tonight
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and tomorrow. as we said, columbia, charlotte, raleigh, possibly in there, too. maybe 3 to 6 inches of rain likely right along the center path. anywhere from raleigh up here to richmond and norfolk. so, lawrence, it's now heading into the second week of october. the peak of the hurricane season was back in september 10th. this one was a head scratcher for all of us. it wasn't supposed to get this strong and it put on just an incredible show during the day today. >> bill cairns, thank you for joining us. and we're joined from arizona by james lee witt. and your reaction to what you've seen tonight and what you think it means for the federal government response tomorrow. >> well, you know, i've seen many of these storms over the years.
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i was at fema for eight years, and everything from opal to gustaff, ike, and it absolutely destroys families and homes and businesses that they worked all their life for to accumulate. and so it's very devastating to them. >> are you surprised that the president chose to have a political rally in pennsylvania tonight at the peak of the storm rather than be at the white house -- being in a position to oversee what's happening? >> well, you know, that's his choice. you know, i would not have made that choice. i would have been more concerned about the people in the path of michael and the devastation that it's caused. because, you know, these people are going to be suffering for several weeks and months before they can recover. and, you know, it's a catastrophic event. and for them that's lost
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everything. and in these counties and cities and the recovery efforts are going to take some time. and it will not happen overnight. you know, fema they do a job, but they're there to support the local and state resources. and i talked to the mayor of tallahassee two days ago, and he was very comfortable about what they had put in place to making sure they can protect the city and the people there. so a lot of the local officials have done a tremendous job as well as the state of florida, and, you know, the state of florida has been through this many times. and they have the capability to respond to this. and i'm just glad so many people evacuated and hope that there's not anymore deaths than the one that's been reported. >> what would you say to people of florida and georgia that are going to need fema's help? how quick of a response can they
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expect, and how soon will they actually be able to speak to speak to someone in a position to help? >> of course as the center of the storm gets out of the way, and i know it's pretty much out of florida with the exception of the debris and power lines they're going to have to get out of the way to get teams in there to not only restore power but just to do damage assessments. and even georgia and even south carolina and north carolina possibly, some help there as well. it's going to take some time. they cannot get in there with downed power lines and debris and stuff that's in the way. between fema and sba and hud and the other federal agencies getting in there and supporting the state on damage assessment and see what the requirements are and see what the needs are. i'm sure fema is going to come up with the 1-800 registration number so people can start applying for assistance as well as sba, and for small businesses.
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and it's complicated in the sense you have to be safe and you have to make sure people do their work without being in harms way. >> and is it a different 800 number for each one of these events people call? when will they be able to make contact through that 800 number? >> i'm sure the government and fema will be putting up that number very soon. i know when was director of fema we had a 1-800 number you could call for fema rsba, and i'm sure they'll have the numbers up shortly. >> i appreciate your expertise. >> thank you so much. and when we come back, instead of working with fema officials tonight the president decided to have a rally in pennsylvania.
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with a deadly hurricane rampaging through florida tonight the president decided not to cancel a political rally in pennsylvania where he could bask in the adoration of his fans. after a mandatory opening line about thoughts and prayers for florida, which the president read in his teleprompter at the beginning of his speech, he later spoke from the heart about what really matters to him about florida. >> remember we won florida?
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remember -- it was early and we won florida by a lot. remember the red, right? beautiful red. i never liked red so much. >> when president barack obama held a campaign only six days after a hurricane hit the east coast donald trump then tweeted yesterday obama campaigned with jay-z and springsteen at the scene while hurricane sandy victims across new york and new jersey are still decimated by sandy. wrong, exclamation point. american citizens living in puerto rico are still decimated by last year's hurricanes but tonight the president pretend said his government faithfully takes care of all americans after hurricane damage. >> we know when americans face hardship we support each other. we stand with each other, we care for each other, and we will always pull through. it will be successful. >> joining our discussion now,
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white house correspondent for pbs news hour and msnbc political analyst. and jonathan capehart is back with us, also an msnbc contributor. are you aware of any reporting from the white house today indicating that anyone considered canceling the rally in pennsylvania? >> no, in fact, the president said because there were people lining up and waiting for him at this rally he felt he had to go do this. when really in fact the president loves rallies because this is place he can feel safe, this is place where people can shout his name. and he's not always saying that much news. in fact, fox news which has covered the president's rallies live, said they'd rather have regular programming and come back to the news, which they didn't.
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also to tell people he won the womens vote, which in fact he did not. he won the white women vote. >> he's lying. he said people were lining up 24 hours in advance. there were no people doing that. let's take a look at the senate race in pennsylvania, the race donald trump decided to go to tonight to campaign. and we saw the democrat bob casey at 50% in pennsylvania. and the republican lou barletta who president trump has campaigned for repeatedly is all the way up to 33% in the latest poll. and so it's not easy to come up with a justification for being in pennsylvania tonight. >> well, i think, it's recharging his batteries, the applause and the cheering. he trots out his greatest hits.
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gets the crowd to chant about the wall, and lock her up, still two years after the election. although last night they chanted lock her up over senator diane feinstein. but, anyway, this is i think less to do with the race in pennsylvania than it has to do with the overall effort of the president trying to gin up -- keep the base wound up, keep the base energized after the kavanaugh confirmation fight and to remind them that he's out there, he's fighting for them. he's throwing so much red meat out there. it's not just kavanaugh. he's trotted back out democrats are the party of crime. telling the people in the arena and whoever might be watching either online or on television that the democrats, if you elect them, they're going to open up the borders, they're going to blow up the deficits, they're going to let criminals into the country. and that plays well to the fear and loathing crowd.
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but for a whole lot of people in the country this greatest hits mantra of the president i think is becoming tiresome. we'll know for sure come election night. >> and are republicans on capitol hill in leadership positions who are really trying to calculate how to hold onto the senate or possibly how to hold onto the house, would they prefer that donald trump stay home on a night like this or stay home generally? >> well, really it comes down to where he's going to go. if you're in a place where a republican needs a boost, there are -- there is some thinking that president trump's endorsement helps republicans and help people talk about the fact that he does have a lot of popularity with his base. but if you're looking at a place let's say nevada where there's a very clear line and hillary clinton won that state, you don't want donald trump anywhere near there. you don't want him talking about the wall, other issues. the gubernatorial candidate
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california would not say president trump's name because he didn't want to be associated with him, and it took 47 minutes for president trump's name to even be mentioned in the debate and it was a democrat doing it. so there you have a republican saying i don't want any parts of that. >> but the problem for these candidates who prefer donald trump not come to their state or not to come tire district, republicans, is this thing called television. when donald trump is on television with his completely out of control fans and their screaming lock her up about someone new, lock her up about senator diane feinstein, you can't keep that television out of your state where you're hoping donald trump doesn't come. >> no, you can't. the president no matter where he is is a constant reminder of to yamishe's point, if you're in a district where you love the president and he won it by a lot, great. they love to hear it. but a vast swath of the country constantly being reminded in tone in temperament is contrary to everything you stand for and
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believe in, if you're running for congress, if you are a republican in a purple state or a purple district, you might want to run around your district and like do something to the power grid so that people don't hear anything from this guy until november 6th. or through november 6th. >> yeah, because yamishe, there is that question was donald trump stimulating his base for turn out or stimulating the opposition for even greater turn out every time he has one of these rallies. >> well, i'll say this having gone to several trump rallies in the past couple of months. there's an interesting thing when you ask trump supporters who are women whether or not they actually support the president, they agree with some of the stuff he's been saying about the me too movement or mock dr. ford, there are some republicans who go to trump rallies and cringe. i've seen reporting today that nbc interviewed people who say they're not sure they would vote for trump in 2020, and again
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these are people who go to a trump rally. and that's not good for the president. >> the trump rally in a lot of these towns is the biggest show that's going to come back. so some of those audiences might not be as enthusiastic as president trump thinks. and when we come back a new report the president talked to jeff sessions' chief of staff and offered jeff sessions' chief of staff jeff sessions' job. a once-in-five hundred year storm
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should happen every five hundred years, right? fact is, there have been twenty-six in the last decade.
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general jeff sessions' chief of staff about replacing his boss as attorney general. according to "the washington post" the conversation between donald trump and matthew g. whittaker was vague. it was not clear for example whether whittaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in an interim capacity. one month after he wrote an op-ed piece saying that special prosecutor robert mueller should not investigate the trump family finances, an op-ed piece urged rod rosenstein to order mueller to limit the scope of his investigation. matthew whittaker after writing that op-ed piece a month later became the attorney general's chief of staff. if matthew whittaker becomes the next attorney general he would be able to issue that order to robert mueller himself. republican senators are no longer voicing any support for attorney general jeff sessions
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to remain in his job. and the only part of this that mitch mcconnell says he cares about is that he does not want the president to choose a current republican senator to be the next attorney general. >> the president may fire jeff sessions after the mid-terms, would you be okay with that, and also do you think a replacement might come from somewhere within your own caucus? >> well orb its not going to come from our caucus. i'll tell you that. 51-49, you can do the math. we're not doing that. who the attorney general is up to the president. >> with the congressional elections what, 27 days away, does that mean we are 28 days away from president trump firing his attorney general, and what does that mean for rod what you gonna say when you get onto the moon?
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which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. "the washington post" is reporting tonight that president trump recently talked with jeff sessions' own chief of staff about replacing jeff sessions himself as attorney general. joining us now maya wily. and jonathan capehart is back with us. and maya, so the in the president's cabinet. this is one of those unique trumpian moments. >> it is a unique trumpian moment. really interesting in the
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context of this conversation about whether or not he would be firing rod rosenstein or asking -- rosenstein or asking for his resignation because of course rod rosenstein would be the next in line if he were simply filling the vacancy, waiting for an opportunity to have the advice and consent of the senate. so to go to sessions' chief of staff, who by the way is not next in line but of course we know he would probably i'm guessing love to fire rod rosenstein, and it's the guy that sessions brings in, so it's a slap in sessions' face in every way imaginable. but the reality here is he's not looking for an attorney general to be the highest law enforcement officer of the land. he's looking for the attorney general who will be loyal to donald trump, not the nation. and that's really the story here. >> and jonathan, matthew
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whitaker, jeff sessions' chief of staff, a month before he becomes jeff sessions' chief of staff he writes an op-ed sharply critical of robert mueller, sharply critical of rod rosenstein, saying rod rosenstein must order robert mueller to limit his investigation, and a month later he's jeff sessions' chief of staff. and now the president must have at some point read some of the lines in that article. he must have found that article at some point. >> he's literally shopping for an attorney general, to maya's point, someone who will be loyal to him. we've seen stories where he apparently, you know, thundered in the oval office, where's my -- who's my roy cohn? the president still, two years in, does not understand that the attorney general is not his lawyer, that the white house counsel is not his lawyer, that these people give an oath to the constitution, they have institutions to run. they are not about running the personality of the president. >> and maya, i think the
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president's going to discover if his plan is i fire jeff sessions and matthew whitaker immediately takes over, that can't happen because matthew whitaker is not in a senate-confirmed job. his job was not subject to senate confirmation. so he would just have to wait the months and months it would take to get senate confirmation if he could get senate confirmation. >> if he could. and this is exactly the conundrum that donald trump faces. right? he doesn't want rod rosenstein. rod rosenstein is next in line. he really would be the person who would become the interim attorney general, unless he then takes the step of firing rod rosenstein. but either way he's not going to have a quick pick as we know, you know, republican senators were having this conversation a few weeks ago about which one of them might be willing to take the job because maybe they would be willing to confirm quickly if it was one of them. and we had lindsey graham this past weekend talking about his golfing, joking with donald
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trump about whether he would be willing to take the job. we're talking about a job that senators don't want and that trump is trying to fill with just about whomever he can who will be either loyal to him or plan b. plan b seems to be or just really taking care of himself. which either way has nothing to do with the country. >> in "new york" magazine olivia lizzie went to the white house to study the question of what's going on with john kelly and the rumors about the president wanting to fire john kelly. and it became this extraordinary piece of reporting because the president invited her eventually into the oval office and paraded everyone in the building in front of her, from john kelly to the vice president to the secretary of state. and at a certain point she determined that one of the reasons john kelly is still there is that even when the president has seemed to try to fire him he just doesn't leave.
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she reports in this must read in "new york" magazine when the president says i need you to leave, kelly just ignores him, an administration official said. "i think the president just doesn't know who to call to fire him. normally, if the president wanted to fire somebody, he would call kelly to do it. but there's nobody else to call." so john kelly's still there. >> that's the incredible thing. we have seen -- the president doesn't fire anybody. and i would think that general kelly would demand that the president of the united states fire him face to face in the way that we were hearing that rod rosenstein would want the president to do for him. well, if he can't fire him by twitter and he has no one else to call, well, why wouldn't john kelly just keep showing up at the white house? because the boss, the leader of the free world, doesn't have the guts to do what the president of the united states has every power to do, and that is to fire his chief of staff.
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>> and the technical truth of the matter, maya, is if you get a phone call from the white house chief of staff saying the president is firing you and you're a cabinet official, you are not fired. you don't have to consider that fired. if you hear it directly from the president or you get it in writing directly from the president, then you're fired. >> that's exactly right. i just have to say, we're talking about probably the world's worst job right now is being chief of staff to this president because he's not programmable. right? you can't help advise him. your job as chief of staff is to help organize his mission, his agenda, ensure that his staff is carrying it out, ensure that he's where he's supposed to be when he's supposed to be, with whom he's supposed to be. this article demonstrates that john kelly is not able to do his job because this conversation with this reporter should have never happened. particularly with the news cycle, the seriousness of the news cycle we were in.
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this is the strongest argument i've seen yet that john kelly is anonymous. because that's the only reason he'd still be there. >> maya wiley, jonathan capehart, thank you for joining us. the last word is next. so a tree falls on your brand new car and totals it.
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that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york.


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