tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC May 8, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
easier case to prove, i'll put it that way. >> paul rosenzweig, thank you for joining us. he gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight, the president asserts executive privilege. house judiciary votes to hold the attorney general in contempt and chairman jerry nadler warns ominously we are now in a constitutional crisis. plus, senate intel led by a republican subpoenas that donald trump junior over testimony he gave back in 2017 but will he show up? and all the president tries to stay on script in florida tonight at a campaign rally. "the 11th hour" on a wednesday night starts right now. good evening, once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm steve kornacki in for brian williams.
day 839 of the trump administration and the president just wrapped up a rally in the florida panhandle. this following a day of stunning headlines back in washington. the house judiciary committee voted to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress. president trump invoked executive privilege to shield the full unredacted mueller report from the judiciary committee. the house intelligence committee issued a subpoena to the justice department for the full mueller report including counter intelligence materials and the republican led senate intelligence committee subpoenaed donald trump trump jr. to testify about his knowledge of the trump tower moscow project. we're going to get to all of it but first, it was a party line vote, 24-16 the final margin in the house judiciary committee earlier today to advance a measure that would hold attorney general barr in contempt of
congress for failing to comply with a subpoena to hand over the unredacted mueller report. that contempt resolution that passed the committee heads to the full house for a potential vote. it is not clear, though, when that might be. this marks a major escalation, it's a fight that now seems all but certain to land in court. after today's vote the chairman of the house judiciary committee jerry nadler of new york claimed that the country is now in a constitutional crisis. >> we today did referred a contempt citation to the house floor. the house will have to vote that contempt citation to begin the court battle. there can be no higher stakes than this attempt to arrogate all power to the executive branch away from congress and more important away from the american people. we've talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis.
we are now in it. we are now in a constitutional crisis. >> earlier today, an event with "the washington post", the house speaker nancy pelosi was asked by the post robert costa if barr should be held in contempt. >> yes, i think the attorney general should be held in contempt. this contempt is about the withholding of the mueller report in an unredacted way. the accommodations that the committee has tried to make whether it's about sources and methods longer on intelligence than anybody in the history of the congress i appreciate protecting sources and methods, some law enforcement concerns, that's not a reason to give us the report. it's an excuse not to give us a report. >> the doj released a statement today that reads in part quote, regrettably chairman nadler's actions have prematurely terminated the accommodation process and forced the president
to assert executive privilege to preserve the status quo. no one including chairman nadler and his committee will force the department of justice to break the law. the president invoked executive privilege over the full mueller report hours before the vote today. "the washington post" points out quote the white house's use of the rare presidential secrecy stood in stark contrast to trump and his allies total exoneration from the president from the mueller report. democrats argue if trump really had nothing to hide, he and barr wouldn't block so many investigations. including the findings. in the associated press reports quote though the white house initially hesitated on invoking privilege, trump told his staff and political advisors in recent weeks to refuse to cooperate with democrats believing the goals to damage him politically into the reelection campaign. the battle could stretch to 2020
and the white house could tie up congressional probes until election day. earlier tonight at a rally in florida, president trump spoke about democrats and the attorney general. >> after two years, nothing. no collusion. and now the democrats, we have a great attorney general, now the democrats are saying we want more. it was going to be we want the mueller report. now they say mueller report? no, we want to start all over again. it is a disgrace. >> and meanwhile, as we mentioned, donald trump junior has now been subpoenaed by the republican led senate intelligence committee. our own ken dilanian reports the committee wants trump junior to answer about his knowledge about
building a trump tower in moscow. trump junior testified before the judiciary committee in september 2017. he said he was only peripherally aware. political for "the washington post" and moderator of "washington week" and anita kumar. thanks to all of you. robert costa, you spent time with the speaker of the house. we played a clip of that. let me begin with you on a question what is next for house democrats, this contempt measure passes the house judiciary committee and awaits a vote in the full house. it sounds like nancy pelosi is on board with it. when can we expect that vote to take place? will this be soon? >> it should be soon based on my conversation with speaker pelosi. she is willing to bring it to the floor but as much as the speaker is raising serious concerns about the white house's relationship with congress and the refusal to deal with certain
requests from capitol hill, she also respects the process and she wants her committee chairs like jerry nadler of new york and adam schiff on the intelligence committee from california to be leading the process. so it is a process that's playing out. she's trying to stave off a lot of the impeachment talk for the moment saying that all the issues around impeachment are very valid but she thinks they should play out at the committee level and then come to the floor. >> if pelosi is trying to save off feet, you have the chairman of the judiciary committee today not just add vanding a contempt measure, but jerry nadler, we just played it there saying, folks, a constitutional crisis. does that kind of language increase the pressure in the democratic ranks and on pelosi to do something more dramatic to move toward impeachment?
>> she referenced the civil war. she said democracy was at stake, the role of congress being a co-equal branch was at stake in this current discussion? debate. in terms of having the urgency, she is signaling to her party, she shares the urgency but knows as the leader of her party in conversation with her, she under scored this repeatedly these fights are not just going to be prompted and adjudicated by impeachment but becomes a contempt resolution and could be thrown to the courts. some fights could go to the supreme court to compel people to testify and share documents so she sees the arsenal of congress before her impeachment is one of those weapons to try to compel testimony and documents. she's leaving it on the table,
not taking it off but not rushing to grab it. >> peter, in terms of the strategy from the white house. the word is out there that this is the idea of a delay game, sort of being employed to stretch the clock, run the clock, not hand anything over, kick this to the courts, have these protracted legal battles. do you have a sense that is primarily what is driving the white house here? just essentially a stonewalling strategy or is this a white house that wants to provoke a bigger stare off with congress that could lead to impeachment? are they actively trying to bring impeachment on? >> that's a great question. there is a lot of talk about this delay. i talked to people around the president and they say no, this is calling the democrats bluff as they see it. in other words, put up or shut up. impeach him or don't. if you're not going to impeach him, thep move on. they are trying to force democrats into a box. the democrats as you've talked about don't want to be yet seen as opening an impeachment inquiry even though they are basically opening an impeachment
inquiry but taking action you would take if you're going to conduct such an inquiry. that gets at the complicated politics of the democrats now. just three weeks ago. hoyer who is the house majority leader just below speaker pelosi said impeachment is not worthwhile at this point and today he said if the facts lead us to that objective, so be it. there is a real problem within the democratic party what to do here and the president, his strategy is intended to provoke them, defy them and say look, if you're going to do it, let's get on with the battle right here and now. >> anita, meanwhile, on this issue we mentioned it too, the republican-led senate intelligence committee today issuing a subpoena for -- apparently issued a week ago but coming to light today for donald trump junior to testify. the significance that this is a republican-led committee the day after mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate
said case closed on trump and mueller. >> yeah, i think this is a really significant step. for a couple reasons. one you just mentioned. this is not house democrats, this is senate republicans. this is the chairman of the committee richard burr of north carolina coming a day after mitch mcconnell saying let's wrap things up. this isn't the mueller report. this is their own senate investigation but the president and white house would like to feel republicans are on their side. this is a committee chairman going on with his committee. this is the first of the trump children to be subpoenaed. obviously, we've seen some other jared kushner, the son-in-law, some other people have come, voluntarily come to the committee. this is the first subpoena. people outside the white house like donald trump junior don't have some of the same protections that you do have in the white house. this puts them at a, you know,
in a bind, really. we don't really know what donald trump junior will do. we hear he may not come forward for the -- you know, to testify. we're not sure what he's going to do. for the president, this is hitting home and is a personal thing when his children are getting involved. >> we can contrast the urgent tone jerry nadler was striking, what robert is describing nancy pelosi saying in her sitdown with him today, chris christie at an event moderated by stephanie ruhle looked at this contempt move against the attorney general and invokes the case of eric holder, the previous attorney general and said we've been here before. take a listen to what chris christie said. >> well, let's not get breathless about this. eric holder was held in contempt of congress over fast and
furious and what happened from that? absolutely nothing because the prosecution for contempt of congress is then referred to the justice department and eric holder said i would prefer not to be prosecuted. that's the end of that. no u.s. attorney would prosecute him for contempt of congress. this is not unprecedented. in fact, it's not unprecedented in the last decade. >> peter, people can make of that comparison what they want between holder then and barr now but the point christie makes there, a point he makes is how long that process took when congress held holder in contempt. that vote was held in 2012. i believe there was still a court proceeding. it might have been today in fact on that. so seven years later that is still being adjudicated. >> yeah, question then of course was this screwed up gun program fast and furious important, significant, big issue, not the central kind of, you know, matter we're talking about here, the very fate of the presidency, right?
in this kind of instance, i think the significance of it takes on a greater magnitude and presumably would impel the courts to act in a more urgent way. that's what happened in 1998 when president clinton asserted executive privilege, attorney/client privilege, even a service privilege to settle the issues. we don't have a criminal investigation and they moved quickly in that matter to settle those issues. we don't have a criminal investigation in this case and we don't have an impeachment so the courts might not feel quite the same. that gets back to this question if you call impeachment or not. if you did, that would give it greater recognition. they can more expeditiously if they choose to do so. >> robert costa, in terms of the clock sh a point where the discussions among democrats, the
deliberations about impeachment collide with the practical political calendar of the presidential election campaign where it becomes academic and there is not time to go forward with impeachment? is there a sense when on the calendar that might be? >> there is not a sense about the calendar because this is not a congress as much as it -- some wings of the democratic party want it to be entirely an oversight body. it's clear from my conversation with speaker pelosi that this is also a democratic house that wants to see if they can make progress on prescription drug legislation, infrastructure, trade legislation. they have a full spectrum of issues in divided government as well as the oversight authority congress always has to play and speaker pelosi and democrats are determined to follow through on. there are challenges if they put all of their priority and focus purely on oversight, then they fear they could be burdened by this politically and playing into the republicans' hands ahead of 2020. that's why speaker pelosi keeps coming back to the
committee process and letting it play out on those terms. >> anita, watching the president down in the rally in florida, he did make some reference to all of these events, all this drama in washington but the heart of the speech was not about this. he did talk about little bit there about policy areas. is there a plan on the white house's part? is there a plan to try to shift the discussion toward any policy goals in a specific way? >> well, just like the democrats, the republicans and president trump need to show that they are doing something. that they are trying to lower prescription drugs and trying to have infrastructure changes. they need to talk about those policies, too. to be clear, the president is going to be campaigning on this. he's going to be campaigning on this was a witch hunt. this was a two-year investigation that i was exonerated, you know. i was right and these people are trying to get me. so i think you'll see both of those things when you talk to
people that are close to the president close to the campaign, they would very much like him to stick to the economy, it's doing very well. remember the jobs reports from last week, if he could stick to that, they feel very confident he could do well. it's president trump. he's not going to do that. he's going to talk about a variety of things. so i think you'll see both, you'll see policy and you'll also see him saying they tried to get me and i was victorious, i'm a fighter and i was successful. >> all right. anita, robert costa, peter baker, thanks to all of you. coming up, it is getting personal more on that subpoena for the president's son handed over by a republican-led committee. will don junior show up? and later, speaker pelosi says impeachment should be rooted in patriotism not partisanship. what about precedent? politzer prize historian john
did you know comcast business goes beyond fast with a gig-speed network. complete internet reliability. advanced voice solutions. wifi to keep everyone connected. video monitoring. that's huge. did you guys know we did all this stuff? no. i'm not even done yet. wow. business tv. cloud apps and support. comcast business goes beyond at&t. start with internet and voice for just $59.90 a month. it's everything a small business owner needs. comcast business. beyond fast.
the president said it, that they will resist all subpoenas this is stonewalling information with respect to the russian attack on our democracy in 2016. >> tonight, nbc news reports the president's eldest son, donald trump junior has been subpoenaed to appear before the senate intelligence committee. it's a committee led by a republican, senator richard burr of north carolina. this is the first known subpoena of someone in trump's immediate
family. a source tells nbc news the committee wants trump jr. to "answer questions about his contention that he had only limited knowledge of a project to build a trump tower in moscow during the 2016 election." he was told to say he was prifly aware of it. some ten times. earlier this year the president's son tried to play down his role in that venture. >> that ultimately was michael cohen trying to get a deal done. he was there for a long time. wasn't exactly a deal guy. didn't bring too many to the table. i don't think anyone took it that seriously. that's the reality of what went on. >> trump junior did testify before the senate intelligence committee in late 2017. that panel has investigated the 2016 trump tower meeting with several russians set up with a promise to deliver dirt on hillary clinton. the mueller report says michael cohen quote recalled being in
donald j. trump's office when trump jr. told his father a meeting to see adverse information about clinton was going forward. and notes trump junior did not tell his father about it. "the new york times" reports the intelligence committee wants to question trump junior about the events surrounding the trump tower meeting. the decision to subpoena trump's son appears to have come after discussions break down whether the younger mr. trump might appear voluntarily before the panel. mr. trump was unlikely to appear and one said he could invoke the fifth amendment rights in a written response. with us for more, former fbi assistant director and jeremy bash, former chief of staff at cia and pentagon and former chief counsel for the house intelligence committee. thanks to both of you for being with us. again, a couple of pieces of information being reported out
there. i think i mentioned this last block "the washington post" reporting tonight that this subpoena from the senate intelligence committee to trump junior actually went out last week. it's coming to light tonight but it's a-week-old apparently. also, we can put this up, some reporting here from maggie haberman of the "new york times" adding context here. she says quoting a person close to trump junior when he originally agreed to testify in front of the senate intel committee in 2017, there was an agreement between don and the committee he would only have to come in and testify a single time as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they'd like, which don did. don continues to cooperate by producing documents and willing to answer written questions no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious stunt from a so-called republican. senator and his boss mark warner. again, maggie haberman saying that's coming from a person close to donald trump junior taking clear shots there at senator burr. jeremy, let me start with you,
reading that from maggie haberman and other reporting, the odds are donald trump junior actually appearing before this committee, what would you say they are? >> pretty low. i think he'll resist or take the fifth. this is a moment of truth for mitch mcconnell. a moment of truth for senate republicans because their chairman richard burr who runs the intelligence committee with a vice chairman mark warner said he has a lot of questions for don junior he wants answers to and clearly, don junior stiffed the committee. he's not coming back voluntarily and it probably revolves around testimony he gave previously to the judiciary committee or to the senate intelligence committee probably about the moscow tower deal which of course don junior knew a lot about because he was in the trump organization and the moscow tower deal was the biggest deal going for the trump
organization at that time. >> well, what is your sense of this, frank, in terms of what could potentially be learned by the committee if they were able to get access to trump junior one more time? is it about whether he had a conversation with his father giving him a heads up that night trump tower meeting back in the 2016 campaign? is that the biggest single thing that they could potentially try to learn at least? >> that would be number one on their list. look, don junior is one step away from his father michael cohen as you said has said that don junior tipped off his father about this meeting at trump tower so you're one step away from the president himself having knowledge of something and the whole moscow, but here is the secondary thing. the moscow tower project goes to the heart of possible motivation as to why the president has so aligned himself with russia and whether or not he's compromised financially and whether he was driven by dollar signs to get that tower up and running. so it's significant that while
don junior has testified to multiple committees, it's the senate intelligence committee. he was like recalled to come voluntarily. he said i'm not going. i think you're likely to see him invoke the fifth. the other option is to somehow bizarrely claim executive privilege which the -- wouldn't hold water legally but we may see it attempted. some brazen attempt to label don junior as a presidential counselor and somehow try to carry an umbrella over the entire moscow tower and trump tower meetings. i don't think it will work but don't be surprised if you see it. >> jeremy, maybe can you play this out a little bit if he invokes the fifth or if there is another maneuver he favors here, does this land in the same place we've been talking about with other staredowns taking place between congress and the white
house where it ends up in a protracted, months maybe longer legal battle? >> could be. that's one way it could play out, steve. the other thing is that if the senate intelligence committee suspects don junior misled them and gave testimony that wasn't truthful, they can make a referral and you could have a criminal investigation for lying to congress in the same way we saw other investigations of michael cohen and others and of course, in the mueller report, it's a little unclear because the section of don junior's testimony is redacted and possible that the members of congress will look at the unredacted version although it may be grand jury information. i suspect don junior took the fifth in front of the grand jury as well. he's clamming up. he clearly has something big to hide. >> frank, the fact we talked about in the first block there, administration now invoking privilege in terms of its dealings with the house judiciary committee over the
full unredacted mueller report. are there implications for that question everyone is asking about when will the judiciary committee hear from robert mueller. will they hear from him and what would he be able to say if they do? are there implications claiming privilege for those questions? >> yes, indeed. i believe there are. if indeed congress was looking to get mueller in there as an end around to executive privilege and ask mueller questions about what don mcgahn said or what someone else said, now they are claiming privilege, the white house is claiming privilege for the entire report and the attorney general will attempt to exercise influence over mueller and say look, you can say what you had for breakfast or lunch but everything else is privileged. even if mueller gets to the hill, i would not expect him to give full testimony because of this privilege claim. >> jeremy, there is the question here as we say, this is the first subpoena, the first known subpoena to reach immediately
into the trump family. donald trump's immediate family. the president was not reacting to this tonight at that rally. do you expect that to change, though? >> look, he could try to campaign on anything that's been his m.o. but i think again, what is significant is that from a republican chairman from a republican-led senate you have a subpoena of the trump family. if the white house and trump organization tries to stonewall republican congress, i think it undercuts the claim this is a partisan witch hunt. after all, how could republicans be engaged in a witch hunt of the republican president. >> jeremy bash and frank f figliuzzi, thank you very much. and coming up, to impeach or not to impeach? we'll look at where americans stand right now. is there more support for impeaching trump than there was for impeaching bill clinton? how about richard nixon? we're heading to the big board when "the 11th hour" comes right
every single day the president is making a case. he's becoming self-impeachable. >> there it is. that's that line from the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi talking about the prospects of the democratic controlled house of representatives initiating impeachment proceedings against donald trump. something democrats have been talking about and trying to figure out their way forward. the other question here
one thing certainly, elected officials will look at is where is the country on the question of impeachment where to go from here and an interesting reference point might be to compare where the country is now on these questions with this president, donald trump and where it was in a similar moment about two decades ago about 20, 21 years ago with bill clinton. bill clinton was impeached and so there is an interesting common point we can compare here, the delivery of the mueller report and release of most of the mueller report publicly when it comes to trump and in 1998 the delivery and release of the starr report. with bill clinton. our friends at abc took this poll and asked very similar questions now that they asked back then that make for interesting comparisons. let start with this. the baseline, the political strength that the president brought to the moment, donald trump's approval rating in the most recent abc poll, 39th.
if you take his average, low 40s. upside down, that's where it's been. bill clinton was in a different situation politically. he came into the impeachment fight with more strength. you see his approval rating after the release of the starr report in 1998 sat at nearly 60% in abc's poll. it was asked did donald trump interfere with the mueller investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice? they are asking there did the president's behavior amount to a crime in a plurality of americans said yes. donald trump tried to interfere in a way that is tantamount to obstruction of justice. that's a heavy finding. bill clinton, a similar question asked about bill clinton. it was a little more blunt. did clinton did anything illegal? did he break any laws? the answer there a majority 53% after releasing the starr report said yes.
bill clinton broke the law. what do you do about it? you think trump amounted to obstruction of justice in plurality? what do you do about it? in donald trump's case, these are the numbers we've been seeing. should you impeach 37%? should you not? 56%. not a ground swell of support there. and with bill clinton after the release of the starr report it was even more emphatic, a better than two to one margin saying no. here is one other interesting comparison. this one from the nbc news journal poll. with bill clinton back in 1998 big picture day, should the whole thing be dropped or should there be more investigations about two-thirds we're saying just drop the whole thing, move on they were saying in our new nbc "wall street journal" poll a couple options do you begin impeachment? not a lot of support. is there no impeachment? 48%. but look at this. 32% shows the continue investigating option. you add these two together, continue investigating or begin impeachment. that adds up to 49% so there is more support for continuing this
in some way. now, what can you say in either clinton or trump's case, any kind of ground swell for impeachment at this point. but more of an appetite when it comes for donald trump to keep investigating, more leeway for democrats to do that. that might explain the posture nancy pelosi has been taking. don't move to impeach now but keep the investigations going. two men who literally wrote the book on the history of impeachment. they join us next. we're back after this.
if you're in a constitutional crisis, why are you resisting to move forward with impeachment? >> well, i'm not going to talk about impeachment. the short answer is that may not be the best answer in this constitutional crisis. there are a lot of considerations for that and that may not be the best answer for this crisis. >> there has been heated debate
among democrats over whether to move ahead with impeachment since the mueller report was released and that debate picked up more attention following the white house's refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations. as we mentioned earlier house speaker nancy pelosi said trump is making the case he is self-impeachable, but she also said this. >> impeachment is a very divisive course of action to take. we shouldn't do it for passion or bias or it has to be about the presentation of fact and it has to be about patriotism, not partisanship. >> and with us for more, pulitzer prize winning author and historian jon meacham and co-authors of the book "impeachment in american history
". thanks to you for sticking around, peter, john. we heard jerry nadler today e leading to the fact in his view there are other considerations potentially out there when it comes to the question of whether to move forward with impeachment. one might be what nancy pelosi said. here is what nadler said during the clinton impeachment back in 1998. one of his arguments was we must not do this without an overwhelming consensus of the american people. there must never be a narrowly voted impeachment when impeachment is supported by one of the major political parties and opposed by the other, such an impeachment will produce divisiveness and bitterness in politics for years to come and call into question the very legitimacy of the political institutions. do you think that is weighing on jerry nadler and should it? >> i think it is and i suspect it should not. i would suggest that to make an absolute statement like that i think misreads what the founders intended with the impeachment
weapon and it was to put a check on a president who was committing high treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. it wasn't about whether it was a popular course of action. it was one of the checks and balances that was to in fact institute the capacity of reason to combat passion. i would respectfully disagree with the speaker of the house and with congressman nadler in saying that because something is partisan does not mean it's not patriotic. there is a, in theory and i'm not being naive about this, in theory, there is arguably a higher constitutional duty on the part of the legislative branch to check and balance the executive no matter whether or not it would be broadly popular in the public. again, this sounds very highbrow
and i'm not in congress and i don't have to face the voters and i understand all that but i think if i were in congress, what i would be thinking now is our -- is -- would our failure if you're a democratic member of the house, is the failure to move forward on this going to embolden future presidents to be fast and loose with the law as president trump has been according to the mueller report, the parts we know. >> peter, one of the arguments i heard democrats make in terms of continuing with the investigations is if you continue with them, perhaps public opinion changes, perhaps more comes to light, perhaps there is a broader base of public support to draw then any impeachment move. i wonder, do you think that's realistic given the sweep of what's happened in the last two or three years during this presidency. all of the major dramas that erupted and the public opinion
has moved so little in either direction. >> that's a very good point. we shouldn't make any predictions. we learned anything can happen any time. you're right, public opinion has stayed reasonably locked into a pretty dynamic polarized situation now for two and a half years and very little has changed that. the mueller report is not changing people's opinions about donald trump. the people who thought he was unfit for office still think he's unfit for office. the people who admire him and think he's a champion of their cause still think that and there seems to be few people in the middle moving back and forth. so i think you're right that the challenge for democrats, i mean, i understand the argument john is making, john is probably as close to the wisdom of the founders of anybody alive today but i do think that it is also a political process and by making
it a function of the house and senate that they did inherently make a political process, not a legal process and it responsive to public opinion and you're right, i don't know what would change it at this point. i don't know how that would shift. we seen the republican party become more supportive of donald trump over the last two years rather than less supportive. i don't see 20 republican senators come from in the senate necessary to get the two-thirds vote you would need to convict. >> that's an interesting point you raise, john. i'm curious to ask you about that. in the people's house, the power to initiate impeachment is in the people's house. it is a political process. is there room and should there be room in the thinking here of democrats that this is a first term president and not a second term president and that he will face the voters again and have the opportunity to render a judgment. >> yes. that was part of the constitutional debate was that four years, particularly in the old days and by the way, appreciate peter's kind words. if i'm as close to the wisdom of the founders as we're getting
we're in worse trouble than i thought if so which is a terrifying thought but yes, four years felt like a fairly frequent adjudication of the future of a president to the founders. one of the things i think is really interesting here is in -- of course peter covered it and written a book about it, the clinton impeachment and the andrew johnson impeachment, which i wrote about for this book. what is so interesting about those two that is different about now is in the andrew johnson case and i would argue in the clinton case you basically had an opposition party looking for something to impeach the person for the tenure of office act in andrew johnson's case where the clinton impeachment ended up, there was basically a party in search of the hammer with which to hit the president. what was so interesting about this moment and i think we'll be
studying this forever is you now have both parties including the opposition party walking away from that fight and that is a very interesting thing and it may be good, it may be bad in terms of political opinion, political appetite for constant strife. i leave that to others. it is worth pointing out historically the republicans under and the andrew johnson era and the republicans in the clinton era wanted to make this happen. in the trump era, though we have enormous number of details sitting in front of us, both the republicans and democrats are moving the other direction. just an interesting sign in a partisan moment. >> jon and peter, it would not be a bad time to pick up their book "impeachment in american history". thank you both for being with us, appreciate it. how americans views about trump have and have not changed in the 911 days since the 2016 election.
check out this time-space wormhole i created. - how's it work? - let me see your togo, and i'll show you. - earl! you have my lunch. - pretzelrami is back, with our famous pastrami and a bigger soft pretzel roll. and try the new turkey bistro with warm turkey and smokehouse bacon. or the new hot club chicken dijon with black forest ham. the new hot pretzels, only at togos. how far would you go for a togo?
i support him. i think that the investigation has gone on long enough. they've provided a full report and we should be done. >> all right, we talk all the time about how attitudes about donald trump just are locked in. if you like him, you're with him, if you don't like him, you're against him. nobody seems to change their mind. we talk about that a lot, but there is a fascinating new study out tonight that says that's basically true, but views of trump have changed in a small but extremely important way. it's from our friends at democracy fund. this is a bipartisan group, some very smart people there. they have been conducting surveys of the american electorate throughout trump's presidency. they're out with a new study. i want to show you the key findings. here's the bottom line. the favorable/unfavorable rating, they keep tracking this
for trump, positive/negative view of donald trump. this is where it sits now, 40% favorable, 56% unfavorable. compare that to right after the election in 2016, they surveyed it then, as well. remember, donald trump got elected by the skin of his teeth, he was not very popular. they show a four-point drop from 44% favorable when he got elected to 40% now. more significantly, i think, is this. i say they've been doing these surveys regularly. at any point during donald trump's presidency, checking in with folks, they find that only 49% of americans have ever at any point in donald trump's presidency, expressed a favorable view of him. maybe they did it once, then they changed their mind, maybe they came back to it. 49%. at any point have had a favorable view. and they raise the question, is that trump's ceiling, can he just not get past 49%? if so, obviously, there's a path to re-election, but that
reenforces how extremely narrow it could be. here's where things could be extremely significant. they break the electorate down into three core groups here. voters who in 2012 voted for romney then went for trump in 2016, pretty strong republicans. after the election, 92% of them had a favorable view of trump. how about romney/clinton? a lot of these were traditional republican voters, romney, but they didn't like trump, they switched to hillary clinton in 2016. not surprisingly, they had a very negative view of trump. only 10% had a positive view of him. coming out of the election. and the voters we talk about a lot. the obama/trump voters. they voted obama. they couldn't vote for hillary, they voted for donald trump, 85% favorable. trump's score coming out of the election. how have these three groups changed in the two-plus years of trump's presidency? the romney/trump voters, no change there they liked him, they still like him. the romney/clinton voters, no real change there. they despised him, they still do. obama/trump. a lot of these white working class voters, a lot of these, think about the midwest state
pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan, the voters who made trump president, 85% favorable coming out of the election, where do they stand right now? there's your drop. 85% down to 66%. small but potentially significant. fascinating information. don't go anywhere. more of "the 11th hour" right after this break.
and before we go tonight, some reminders. you can watch us any time you'd like, download the msnbc app on your phone. if you're on the move, listen live each night on siriusxm satellite radio, that's channel 118. and we are also available as a podcast. so, there's no reason to ever miss a single night. of "the 11th hour." and that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being with us and good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
mr. president, if the mueller report clears you, why not let congress see all of it, sir? >> this was a very grave and momentous step. >> and democrats move to hold the executive accountable. >> we talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. we are now in it. >> tonight how president trump provoked a constitutional crisis. >> the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the constitution of the united states of america. >> plus, why senate republicans have reportedly agreed to subpoena donald trump jr. >> honestly, i don't know. >> then what we're learning from the new york times bombshell about donald trump's taxes. >> he didn't pay any federal income tax.