tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC December 17, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
we have one second left on the clock, so that's tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right not. the breaking news we're covering tonight, if you ever wondered what it's like to be interviewed by the fbi, you can read what it's like as the feds release the notes that sunk mike flynn at the white house. all of it on the eve of his sentencing tomorrow. plus, with 17 investigations encircling the president and his associates, is it possible his personal lawyer, the former america's mayor, just made things worse? admitting payments were campaign-related and exposing more exposure for team trump? the alarming news out tonight about what the russians tried to do to robert mueller.
and james comey begs his fellow republicans to find some courage somewhere. as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a monday fight. on a monday night, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters in new york. day 697 of the trump administration. just hours from now, the president's form national security adviser will be sentenced in the russia investigation. as we've been getting our best view yet of flynn's fbi interview, as we're learning more about the crime he pleaded to. this comes as "wired" magazine highlighted 17 known trump and russia investigations. it comes as we get a look the at a pair of new reports today that detailed the extent of social media propaganda efforts by russia before and after november of 2016. the "washington post" points out tonight that months after the
election, russia's disinformation teams went after robert mueller. we'll have more on all of those stories in just a moment, but first, the feds on mueller's team did something rare tonight. they showed us their notes. the report the fbi wrote up after they drove over to the white house and interviewed flynn and apparently first realized he was lying. it's another one of those documents with the black lines of redaction that we've come to dread dread. in the trade, this is known as a 302. the form that results from an fbi interrview. in this case the agents who asked flynn about his conversations with then-russian ambassador sergey kislyak. the report says, "the interviewing agents asked flynn if he recalled any redaction with kislyak about the united nations vote surrounding the issue of israeli settlements. flynn quickly responded, yes, good reminder." the report also says flynn said "no" when asked if he made any
comment to kislyak about voting on the resolution in a certain manner. but in flynn's statement of offense from last year, investigators said flynn had asked kislyak for russia to vote against or delay the resolution. flynn pleaded guilty last december, you'll recall, to lying about his conversations with kislyak. last week, michael flynn said he should have been warned about the consequences of lying to the fbi before his interview, but in a rare and swift pushback for them, mueller's team reminded the judge and public by extension a sitting national security adviser knows he should not lie to the fbi. all this comes as president trump and his legal team are ramping up their efforts to attack the russia investigation ahead of the flynn sentencing tomorrow. during an interview with fox news sunday, giuliani spoke about the chances of trump sitting down with mueller and shared his thoughts on michael flynn's fbi interview. >> he's a special counsel, does he want to interview the president? >> yeah, good luck. good luck. after what they did to flynn,
the way they trapped eped him perjury and no sentence for him. 1 days for papadopoulos. i did better on traffic violations than they did with papadopoulos. >> you're saying good luck, you say in no way no interview. >> they're a joke. over my dead body. you know, i could be dead. >> meanwhile, former fbi director james comey was black on capitol hill today testifying before two republican-led committees about his time as fbi director. but then afterwards, in the hallway to waiting reporters, comey let lose with a broader message about the times we're living in, the president we're living under, and the behavior of the fbi in this case. >> in recent days, the way that the flynn investigation has been -- interview has been carried out has come under a lot of criticism. in your view, should that have been handled any differently? how do you defend it from the criticism that this interview -- >> come on, look at what's happening in the republican party. they're up here attacking the fbi's investigation of a guy who pled guilty to lying to the fbi.
he should have been warned you shouldn't lie, should have been told you can have a lawyer. think of the state of affairs we've ended up in. that's nonsense. i'm very proud of the way the fbi conducted itself, agile, flexible, thoughtful, pursued the leads where you'd want us to. >> more and we'll have that for you on top of all of this, we t flynn's former associates have been charged with conspiracy to act as agents of a foreign government, accused of trying to covertly and unlawfully influence u.s. politicians in a plan to extradite a turkish cleric living in pennsylvania back in 2016. basically, a rendition out of this country. flynn is not mentioned by name in the indictment, but referred to as person "a". there's a lot of that going on these days. he is described as having a key role in the plot prosecutors say was orchestrated by the turkish government. the charges against flynn's former associates were referred by mueller but were brought by federal prosecutors in the
commonwealth of virginia. well, with all that, let's bring in our leadoff panel on a monday night. clint watts is a lot of things, graduate of west point. army veteran, but most importantly for us, he's a veteran of the federal bureau of investigation, whose past research has focused on russian influence operations. he happens to have written the book on the subject, "messing with the enemy." it's about russians and the hacking of our democracy. barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. shane harris, intelligence and national security reporter for the "washington post." and julia ainsley with us in new york, nbc news national security and justice reporter. welcome to you all. clint, given your former fbi service, let's start with the particulars. did i get the definition of a 302 about right? >> that's correct. those are the interview notes that would be put into an investigative file after you get done with an interview, usually you go back and write it up right away. goes through a review process.
several different stages. at this point, you have a very senior fbi agent that's doing this. that's one of the top people i'm sure they wanted to go into that interview and it's very straightforward. what we don't have is we've heard rumors of an intercepted call or they picked up on it so we can't compare it to what it might be. that's one weak ness of reading the interview notes, we don't know what was actually said. if he admitted to lying, it sounds like there was some other source in there. >> let me ask you about the intercepted calls. it's interesting during the interview they reminded him of what he said, who he said it to. he thanks them for the reminder. how would they know all that, clint? >> yeah, let's think about this. based on what i read of this, this was phone calls made from a person's cell phone in a third country, the dominican republic, back to a diplomat, russian ambassador, who's sitting in washington, d.c. if you're the former head of the defense intelligence agency, you might think that that phone call might be heard by a few other people. in fact, he said that he had connectivity issues, which, you
know, might suggest that there could be a whole lot going on with that phone call. i don't know what it is, but let's just think this, if you get a reminder from an fbi agent, says, hey, did you say any of the following things? that is a tip that maybe you want to be extra honest or think about your answer to that response. >> i may have watched too much tv, but i bet the guys in the white van with the headphones could hear the phone call perfectly well. hey, barb, is this a new aggressiveness on the part of the feds? i'm thinking about the effort to correct that false story that was flying out there that flynn was somehow tricked or duped by the fbi and today, now, showing their notes, showing the 302, though we hasten to add the black lines are back. but is this a new aggressiveness? >> no, i don't think it is at all. in fact, i think if you read the 302s, it rebuts this argument that flynn was somehow entrapped into committing perjury. these notes were produced, of course, only because judge sullivan in this case asked that
they be produced after these allegations were made that the fbi had railroaded michael flynn. and now we see what actually happened there. as clint just said, they promised him and jogged his memory and said, did you ever talk about this, talk about that? he said, oh, yeah, good rye mind . could have been very helpful about who he was relaying those conversations with in the transition team. he could have been very helpful, but instead, chose to continue to cover so the other allegation about not warning him that it's a crime to lie to the fbi, that is something that is somewhat routine that prosecutors ask fbi agents to do because we have to prove that the defendant knew that it was a crime to lie to the fbi. and so that makes it easy for us. to look at the report and say, the agent even told them during the interview, but it's not a legal requirement. it's not an element of the offense. it's just there so if someone, perhaps, doesn't have the background of a general flynn,
you can say they were told, but someone obviously with his background serving in the military as a public servant, absolutely knows and should know that it's against the law to lie to the fbi. >> anybody watching cable news by now certainly knows it's against the law to lie to the feds. julia knows this story backwards, forwards and backwards again. the black lines of redaction. which ones piqued your interest more than others? >> got it right here. i found, i miean, we talk bed a lot about how he lied and how he probably -- he knew this was a crime to lie. i actually took a lot of this, brian, to see what he actually told the truth about and right here, it says, "flynn volunteered that after the election, he had a closed-door meeting with kislyak." they had more connections between these two people than we knew. flynn was calling kislyak after that downed russian plane to offer his condolences. he called him after a russian diplomat was killed in turkey. >> they had a texting relationship. >> they had a texting relationship. hark hey, can you tall me?
he was working on having a very close relationship own even admitted that of the 30 international officials he talked to during the transition, he talked to kislyak the most. he had a very different relationship with him. he said his goal in this was he wanted a partner in the war on terror. he had a lot of partners in the war on terror, brian. it doesn't have to be the ambassador or russia especially now that we know how russia wanted to meddle in this election and specifically this campaign, this administration. so that's what i'm taking away and right after that piece he says he volunteered that he had this closed-door meeting with kislyak, we see the biggest black box. >> a big redaction. >> i want to know everything about this. >> there's going to have to be an accounting for the toner shortages in our newsroom. walk me across the street, are we in closer to knowing why, why the national security adviser was lying about russia? >> i don't think we are, honestly. >> take a wild guess.
>> well, let's put it this way. there's been this business raised about whether or not contacts between the designated national security adviser and the russian ambassador violated the logan act, which is to say you can't be engaging in foreign policy. given the very limited use of that statute and its two-century history, i highly doubt it. so the question is why was mike flynn lying about this one? look, it's perfectly acceptable for him to be reaching out to the russian ambassador during the transition to want to keep lines of communications open. so it's still, we don't have a real explanation for why the lying, and mike flynn absolutely knew that you cannot lie to the fbi. he was told agents were coming over to have a conversation about this. he before that interview had been speaking to the deputy director of the fbi, said we want to sit down and talk with you about your contacts with this russian individual. so its sort of bafflen reing re. unless there's something he's covering up for, one possibility
is mike flynn was completely irrational and lying for no good reason. i think that is still the big central question in this, why, and there are other people who we should remember, too, were involved in this communication with the russian ambassador during this period. i'm thinking of mike flynn's deputy, k.t. mcfarland who amended her statement to the fbi about this after mike flynn pleaded guilty to lying to those agents. >> clint, it must be a feeling, a singular feeling, you're the only one on the panel who has done this, represented the fbi and sat across from civilians and looked them in the eye as you're looking at me and started the questioning process, reminding them that they had better be honest because you're an officer of the federal government. boy, i bet that focuses the mind. >> yeah, i mean, usually they're nervous as soon as you show up. especially if you're showing up based on an investigation. he -- they did the classic style of this. you start in with rapport building, you sit down with them, you start having the conversation. they went through his history. okay, when was the first time that you hung out with russians? oh, i went there, you know, i met with the head of the gru,
and then they worked it back to the very specific points. it's like a funnel. you start very wide then go very narrow. the interview notes conclude right with the question that they wanted to ask which is, what did you say to kislyak, you know, what was that exactly? since you sort of overlooked it. and, you know, it's frustrating because you think about general flynn as head of the defense intelligence agency. he's one of the top heads of this and you say, why would he do this? why would you make phone calls overseas? he says he's on vacation and that he's really busy and he's got a poor signal. he had to make a lot of phone calls apparently. it doesn't headache amake any s >> from a blackberry. not a secured -- >> yeah, why were you doing business two, three weeks later, you are the national security adviser, you can do anything you want. what are you in such a hurry for to try and appease or please or build this union with russia? it doesn't make any sense. >> julia? >> let's not forget that this interview is not the only time that flynn was very
trepidatious, walking on egg shells about his conversations with kislyak. before he had that conversation, he called to mar-a-lago, spoke to people to make sure he could talk about sanctions then he went ahead, lied about it here. you think if you had to get permission to have a conversation, you'd remember having it. and then he apparently lied to the vice president about it. i mean, it's not just a one-time slipup. again and again, he came back to this conversation, was worried about having it then lied about having it. what was it about this conversation that was so worrisome to him? k. >> so barbara, the suddensy recommendation, if i'm correct, was, what, zero to six months, perhaps community service. if you are flynn's lawyer tonight, are you nervous that this thing has gone a little wobbly, a little sideways? >> i am a little bit because, you you know, flynn got a really great deal and i think we learned even more about that today, not only did he get credit for cooperation against his false statements charges, but he got a pass on this other activity involving turkey and lobbying without disclosing that
to the u.s. government and so now, he wants to go in and get credit for cooperation, wants credit for acceptance of responsibility and his lawyer has taken a shot at the fbi and minimized his criminal activities. so i think if i were flynn's lawyer, i would go in tomorrow and i would not talk anything about this railroading stuff. i would talk about his remorse, his service, i would focus on his heroism to the country and his incredible cooperation in this investigation in hopes of getting him a sentence of probation and leave this railroading theory behind. >> and shane, what's the version for a dim civilian like yours truly about what we learned about flynn through these turkish indictments today? did that advance the ball in your field of study? >> oh, i think it did. i mean, what we realize is that while mike flynn is working as a senior adviser to the trump campaign, and then later working for the man who was the nominee for his party to become president, is also working for a
foreign government, namely turkey, and not disclosing that. and in particular, this issue of working on the extradition of fetullah gulin which as far as the u.s. government was concerned, this cleric in pennsylvania who president erdogan of turkey considers essentially an enemy of the state, that was a dead issue as far as the justice department was concerned bringing fetullah gulin, extraditing him to turkey. mike flynn, while he's working for a frprominent figure, eventually the nominee, interest which is counter to u.s. policy. so it really looks like essentially mike flynn is potentially leveraging his status, he's now a high-profile senior adviser to a presidential nominee, to try and get money from turkey in a relationship that he's not disclosing, which is, of course, against the law as well. so it raises huge questions about his professional judgment, about conflicts of interest, and really ethical issues, frankly. why is somebody who is advising the possible next president
engaging in secret work on behalf of a foreign government? he should have known he wasn't supposed to be doing that. >> our thanks tonight to our front four, living proof that we really do have the best people. clint watts, barbara mcquade, shane harris, julia ainsley. greatly appreciated. coming up for us after our first break, as over a dozen investigations loom over this white house, trump, again, reverts to the language of the mob to describe his formerly fiercely loyal personal lawyer. and later, james comey calling upon the gop to stand up to trump. we'll talk to one republican who did just that. ended up the target of one of the president's attacks just this past weekend. "the 11th hour" is just getting under way on this monday night. yeah!? i switched to geico and got more! more savings on car insurance!? they helped with homeowners, too! ok! plus motorcycle, boat and rv insurance! geico's got you covered! like a blanket!
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donald trump is about to enter year three of this presidency. here's how bad it is, when compiled by one enterprising journalist. "wired" magazine tallied up at least 17 distinct court cases stemming from at least seven different sets of prosecutors and investigators. that does not include congressional inquiries. our network is placing those cases under six broad categories of investigation. russian interference in the 2016 campaign including obstruction. hush money payments leading to campaign finance violations. inaugural committee spending. misuse of charity funds involving the trump foundation. foreign payments and emoluments clause to the constitution, allegations that trump is accepting payments from foreign powers while in office. and a defamation lawsuit over a sexual assault claim that is the case related to the accusations from a former "apprentice"
contestant. we've been left to read this story in progress, as it's laid out in all the various charging dew points, sentencing documents, especially those resulted to mingchael cohen. they raise questions about whether trump could eventually be indicted. as you may know, there is that justice department policy against indicting a sitting president. the man who was formerly the fop government lawyer before the supreme court, neal katyal, feels the trump case could be so unique that rule may not apply. >> there are memos that say a sitting president can't be indicted, but they're any jark m generic memos, don't apply to a situation like this in which the crime that's being alleged is one that allowed someone to get the presidency in the first place. you know, these are campaign contributions and hush money that very well could have swung the 2016 election. they may be considered the most
significant campaign contributions in the history of the united states. >> notable words from the law professor, the president spent much of his weekend launching combined online attack on mike b l cohen, that included a broadside against federal investigators for good measure. "remember michael cohen only became a rat after the fbi did something which was absolutely unthinkable and unheard of until the witch hunt was illegally started. they broke into an attorney's office. why didn't they break into the dnc to get the server or crooked's office?" for the record, it was an fbi raid to execute a federal warrant. trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani, also went after cohen slamming him for pleading guilty and talking to federal prosecutors in new york while also trying to defend his client, the president. >> southern district says you can get out of jail if you do this. you got three years now. there's a real motivation to sing like crazy. he's got to do a lot of singing to get out of the three years and he will say whatever he has
to say. he's changed his story four, five times. >> so has the president. >> president's not under oath. >> and will to the best of my ability -- >> preserve, protect, and defend -- >> preserve, protect, and defend -- >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> that last part was just too easy. with us to talk about it tonight from washington, pulitzer prize winning white house bureau chief for the "washington post," phillip rucker. here with us in new york, former republican member of congress from the great state of florida, david jolly. gentlemen, welcome to you both. phil, what must it be like, the question i ask you, on a weekly, if not daily, basis in the west wing? looming shutdown, let's not forget, at least in the president's mind. the ongoing twitter war with elements of his own government. and now the economy, which is starting to pop up on the radars of a good many folks who when they last checked, things were humming along.
>> yeah, brian, the gyrations in the stock market have president trump especially worried these last few weeks because he knows that a good economy is going to be the key to his re-election in 2020. and if we are to head into a recession, as some economists suggest may be happening, that does not bode well for his political future. but look, trump is also dealing with this cascade of legal investigationss that are really quite perilous for him and goes beyond the russia matter as you laid out. some investigations ensnare members of his family, his three eldest adult children, ivanka, don junior, and eric are involved in some of these investigations and get to the president's business practices, his finances which he's taken great pains to keep secret from the public by not releasing tax returns. the businesses, that's an issue he felt was a red line for mueller but there are separate investigations into that. and, you know, signals, i think,
that 2019 is going to be the year of investigating this president because the democrats in the house are committed to doing so. not just about russia, not just about the mush monhush money buo subpoena his tax returns, plan to try to investigate the emoluments clause and the, you know, corruption with his businesses. they also plan to investigate issues throughout the administration and some of these cabinet agencies. >> congressman, i have one more greatest hit to show you from america's former mayor. this is about a sliding scale, unknown to most of us for payoff payments. we'll show it and talk about it on the other side. >> the amount of money is consistent with harassment, not truth. i have been involved in cases like this. when it's true and you have the kind of money the president had, it's a million-dollar settlement. when it's not true, when it's a harassment settlement and it's not true, you give them $130,000, $150,000. they went away for so little money that it indicates their case was very, very weak. >> you got your million-dollar
settlements over here, your $130,000s over here, would you like it if your lawyer was out talking that way? >> rudy giuliani is a terrible lawyer right now, he really is. listen, the reason he is flailing is because the president may not be under oath, but everybody who's testifying against the president is. from michael cohen, to the prosecutors who have brought the charges that name the president as a conspirator in a federal felony, to the judge that has entered judgment regarding that underlying crime. but i think the reason you see donald trump flailing is for a man who thought he would be the fifth president on mt. rushmore, he's more likely to be the third president to be impeached. and the reason i mean that is democrats are going to face a very tough issue. donald trump has been named in a criminal conspiracy in federal court. a criminal conspiracy that has been entered into judgmenti, accepted by a federal judge that if the judge did not think there were merits to the charge and to the crime, would never have entered that. this is going to be a tough place for democrats because they have to approach the fact that
the president of the united states has been implicated in a federal crime. to do otherwise would be congress abandoning its first -- its article 1 authority within the constitution, and i think a lot of the american people are going to say, democrats, if you look the other way, what does that mean for presidential immunity going forward? >> phil rucker, comey has his own popularity issues but he's supplied in that impromtu news conference one of the genuine moments of today. i'd like to play that, talk about it on the other side. >> it undermines the rule of law. this is the president of the united states calling a witness who has cooperated with his own justice department a rat. say that again to yourself at home, and remind yourself where we have ended up. there's a set of values that represent the glue of this country, and they are under attack by things just like that. we have to stop being numb to it, whether you're republican or democrat, you need to stand on
your feet, joovercome your sham and say something. >> so, phil rucker, the question, i guess, becomes does that change any mind? will anything be different tomorrow because he said that tod today? >> you know, i don't know any minds are going to be different on capitol hill tomorrow. it's important to keep in mind the context of that impromptu statement from comey. he was coming out of a closed-door hearing where he was dealing with questions from a lot of republican lawmakers about hillary clinton's e-mails and some of the issues that president trump has been hammering. and i think he's simply exasperated there are not republican legislators on capitol hill who are willing to stand up to president trump, who are willing to forcefully defend the rule of law as he thinks is necessary at this moment in our country. there's going to be a new congress coming in in january, certainly i think the democrats are going to be hammering this rule of law issue, but the question remains whether any republican leaders, whether any republican senators, are going to be willing to carry that
banner. john mccain is now dead. jeff flake is leaving the senate. bob corker is leaving the senate. mitt romney is arriving in the senate and he's somebody who could potentially be speaking out on this issue, but it's unclear that he's going to want to fill that role permanently or in an impactful way. >> congressman, what did you make of mr. comey's words today? >> here's right. history's going to cast a long shadow over republicans. by, to the person, they have resigned over their convictions. real convictions at the altar of donald trump. we talked earlier in the day about mick mulvaney saying donald trump is a terrible person but accepting the job of acting chief of staff. we talked about those in the united states senate who try to distance themselves but actually support his agenda and purposely conflate the mueller investigation with the southern district of new york so they can avoid criticizing the president of the united states. at the end of the day, we do get to judge our political leaders based on a certain leadership integrity quotient. we have seen none of that from
republicans. it's a sad chapter for republicans and history will always remember this era. >> it our thanks to phil rucker and to david jolly for coming on our broadcast tonight and helping us understand what happened today. coming up for us, alarming new details about how trump-supporting russians schemed to mislead americans on every social media platform out there, and it's still going on as we speak tonight. the story when we come back.
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a new report out tonight reveals that russian disinformation teams have targeted the special counsel. two reports commissioned by the senate intelligence committee and focused on the internet research agency, the russian troll farm, robert mueller indicted last february. according to one of them, "what is clear is that all the messaging clearly sought to benefit the republican party and specifically donald trump. the goal was to reinforce tribalism to polarize and divide, to exploit societal fractures, blur the lines between reality and fiction, erode our trust in media entities and the information environment in government, in each other and in democracy, itself. the interference is still active and ongoing. and notably the trolls have trieded to create and amplify the narrative that the whole investigation was nonsense. that comey and mueller were corrupt and the emerging russia stories were a weird conspiracy
pushed by liberal cry babies." who else? the online posts received nearly 264 million engagements as they're called across platforms. that includes likes, retweets, shares. with us to talk about this tonight, and in seriousness, malcolm nantz, veteran of navy intelligence, special ops, homeland security. 35 years working in counterterrorism. his latest book is called "the plot to destroy democracy: how putin and his spies are undermining america and dismantling the west." malcolm, most people if you ask them will say, yeah, the schools are in terrible shape except the one my kid goes to. so as a consumer matter, i'm guessing a lot of people think, i'm too stamart for this, i'm n going to go for this propaganda, that couldn't work on me. tell us what this looks like, what it looked like in 2016, what it still looks like on our
phones tonight. >> what it looks like is information flowing into your telephone, what you think you're getting across f facebook and all these other media sources and, of course, the fake media as donald trump calls it, is just a fundamental part of your day. whether you're listening to a.m. radio, whether you're reading things on twitter or looking at photos on instagram or pinterest. what russia has done here and where the true brilliance of this operation comes from is way back in the early 2000s the russian military conducted a strategic study and started carrying out a disinformation plan in which they said that instead of carrying out kinetic warfare against your enemies, the best thing we can do is create a disinformation and frame around that nation to the point where over time as we're constantly tearing them apart and feeding them with false information, they would actually welcome an invasion, so russia
has done that to the united states. and it began way before 2016. as a matter of fact, the earliest references i have with relation to donald trump shows it started back in 2011 with maria butina and the nra contacts, contacts with the fundamentalist christian right and the alt-right in the united states. russia was pushing these disinformation themes then. then in 2013, they stood up the russian federation internet research agency which built all of these memes which became the cruise missiles of fake news and disinformation designed to do what it did today, take one-third of united states population and make them refuse to believe what they say before their very eyes and may have elected a president in the process. >> and one of your longheld beliefs which simultaneously breaks my heart is they were so
good at picking apart our differences, dividing american against american and knowing such an incredible cost/benefit analysis, it cost them nothing, knowing how to do it easily that you won't be surprised in the end if they had american help. >> absolutely. the cost of this mission by russian intelligence and that's. what carried this out. the agency was a subcontractor to russian military intelligence in the fsb, russia's national security agency. they now own the mindset of one third of this nation. they managed to now make us not believe anything that we believed before. that diversity an american factor which made us greater. they have played on the themes
of far-right conspiracy theorists from the 1960s. the john birch society, a sideline group. you know, the farthest extremes of the libertarian parties. they have amplified racism to the point where the alt-right, steve bannon's own creation of gamers is now the wholly owned subsidiary of the trump campaign and are believers in david duke, the ku klux klan, richard spencer, the neo nazi, and robert spencer, the islamophobe, to the point where they're mainstreamed. this is how effective this information warfare campaign has been carried out and let me tell you, this report shows how they went after to suppress the veteran vote and there's no doubt in my mind or anybody else's in the intelligence community that doesn't believe that it took american citizens to assist them in really getting down to where these voters were who needed to be suppressed and they did it in such a fashion,
one of their twitter groups had 366,000 followers on it. >> is wow. malcolm nantz, this is why we ask you all the time to come on this broadcast. scary stuff, but it needs to be said. needs to be heard. thank you, sir, so much for joining us once again. coming up for us, an angry james comey letting the republicans have it saying they're too afraid to defend the fbi. they're too afraid to stand up to donald trump. bill kristol is with us. another recent target of donald trump. when "the 11th hour" continues. and while your pants struggle to support the heavier you, your roof struggles to support the heavier me. [laughter] whoo. [crash] and your cut-rate insurance might not pay for this. so get allstate, you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. mayhem is everywhere. so get an allstate agent.
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republicans used to understand the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter. the rule of law matters and the truth matters. where are those republicans today? at some point, someone has to stand up and in the face of fear of fox news, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up
for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement, but stand up and speak the truth. . >> bill kristol is with us to talk about what we just witnessed and that was james comb comey in the hallway on the hill today. what could end up being the moment of this day. and these days that would be saying a lot. bill is a veteran of the reagan and bush administrations. longtime journalist who's the former editor at large of the "weekly standard." something we'll get to. so, bill, do you think mr. comey's words are going to cause courage to break out? couldn't help but think at here's looking at you, corker, here's looking at you, senator flame. do you think it will have any impact? >> might have a little. i think things are cumulatively are having some impact. different straws are being built up on the camel's book heack he. the back is resisting breaking. support for trump is stronger
than i'd like to see. i do think if you talk to people now, there's a sense of foreboding, sense the wheels are coming off, the mueller investigation is moving ahead, the white house is in disarray, trump did badly in the election, the elections last month. the economy, the stock market's down for the year. seems to be -- i've been hoping, one hopes for a magic moment where the scales fall from the eyes and, or the timidity falls from the soul and people step forth courageously. maybe it happens a little more incrementally. i think the crack, you can see the cracks in the support for trump. >> i've got to read you about what happened to you over the weekend and your friends take no glee in this. you ended up on the president's twitter feed. this was vis-a-vis the closing of the "weekly standards." "the "weekly standard" run by failed prognosticator, bill kristol, never had a clue, is flat broken out of business, too bad, may it rest in peace." just to remind our viewers what
the "weekly standard" was, along comes david brooks and "the new york times" with, again, just a reminder. "the standard was conservative, but it frequently dissented from the republican establishment and delighted in modern pop culture. the staff was never unanimous about anything. the many flavors of conservatism were hashed out in its pages. if it stood for anything, i would say it stood for this. that the good life consists of being an active citizen and caring passionately about politics. bill, that was a hell of a masthead you assembled at the "weekly standard." i wanted to give you a second to talk about what was lost when it shut its doors. >> well, thanks, brian. david brooks is one of those who was there at the beginning and of course moved on to "the new york times." you know, some people stepped down a little bit from the "standard" and still do pretty well in their career. it was very nice of david to write that column. i think we put out a lot of good material. it's there on the website for people to look at. the president's happy, i suppose, one of his main critics, one of the magazines that published a piece -- one of
the not only few conservative magazines that pretty consistently has published pieces critical of him. holding him accountable, is gone, but we're not gone. he closes that tweet with, "may it rest in peace." i think that's a wish of his, not an actual sincere hope. the wish is we're all going to go away, we're going to rest in peace. charlie sykes, steve hayes, john mccormick, i, and many others will continue to write, continue to speak out. as i said before, i think that, you know, the scales are coming off other people's eyes on donald trump. they don't quite want to say it yet, but i was with a pro-trump person earlier today and in the past, he berate me or chide me or almost look down, you know, mock me a little bit for my foolish insistence on sticking to the sort of anti-trump side of things and now he's a little more abashed and a little more, i don't know what's going to happen. so, we'll see, we'll see what happens, but, look, you go the to call it as you see it, do the right thing. that's what we try to do.
i'm proud of the product we put out. i think it was a high-quality magazine. i'm proud of all the people, almost all the people who worked there, and great pleasure being a colleague of theirs. so it's -- i don't know, donald trump maybe doesn't have those kinds of kinds of pleasures, feeling engaged in a common endeavor, on behalf of good principles, carried out with good cheer. >> that's what i want to do here, and give you the opportunity to say on television. bill kristol, thanks for coming on. >> thanks, brian. >> more on "the 11th hour," when we come back. ♪ ♪ i can do more to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. and i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release it, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin.
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any time you please by downloading the msnbc app on your phone. you can listen to us on sirius xm satellite radio, and we're also available as a podcast. so, there's no reason why you would ever need to miss a single broadcast of "the 11th hour." we'll sneak in one more break. when we come back, the new numbers out today that show the toll this has all taken. if we're gonna steal christmas, we're gonna need the element of surprise. go team. [ snow crunching ] [ load crunching ] [ whispers ] this is the loudest snow ever.
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last thing before we go tonight, now that a new weeks is officially under way, the evidence that the numbers are on the move. with new polling out showing the various russia-related investigations exacting a toll on the president. the headline here is this, 6 in 10 americans say president trump has been untruthful about the russia investigation. only 10% believe he's gotten the message for the change coming out of the midterms. 48% want congressional dems to be in charge of policy.
and michelle obama's name scored highest in opinion polling at 60%. the fbi, 51%. trump, 37%. pelo pelosi, 28%. and the economy, for the first time in trump's presidency, his safety net of a robust economy shows signs of unraveling. and as peter hart put it, when presenting these numbers, the dam has not burst on donald trump. but this survey suggests all the structural cracks that exist in the dam. and on that note, that's our broadcast for this monday night, as we start a new week. thank you for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york.
happy monday. happy to have you with us. the most important and the most powerful military alliance in the world is nato. within nato, the largest military of all the nato countries of course is the one that belongs to our country. but what's the second largest military force in nato? it belongs to a country that is almost an original member of the military alliance. the u.s. was there from the very beginning in 1949. the country that has the second largest military in nato was a full member by 1952, but they are a hugely important part of the nato alliance for a whole bunch of different reasons, including the fact that their military is just so darn big. and you should know that the country with the second largest