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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  May 21, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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doing this. the iranians are not the iraqis. >> colonel, as always a great pleasure to have you on. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. donald trump flies to pennsylvania tonight and rails against spying and treason. but the problems he left behind are substantial including the real threat now that his financial records must be handed over to congress so says a federal judge. michael cohen is back in the news tonight even while in prison because of an allegation that a trump lawyer instructed him to lie surrounding details of trump tower moskow. don mcgahn will not show up for testimony tomorrow because the house told him not to. as "the 11th hour" gets under way now on a busy monday night. good evening once again
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rather from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 851 of this trump administration. a couple of big stories have dropped just in these past few hours. tonight we learned don mcgahn who's the former white house counsel, one of the leading voices in the mueller report and now a private citizen will ignore a subpoena to testify tomorrow morning before the house judiciary committee. the white house apparently told him not to show. tonight the democrats are threatening what they are calling all enforcement mechanisms, more on that later. another big story late today, federal judge ruled against trump in his fight to keep his financial records that would include tax returns out of the hands of congress. and michael cohen is both in prison and in the news. we've learned he testified that one of the president's attorneys encouraged him to make false statements to congress. but let's go back to former white house lawyer now private
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citizen don mcgahn for starters. he sat with the mueller team, you'll recall, for 30 hours give or take. he is seen as a key witness on obstruction. with legal backing from the justice department, the white house told judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler, democrat of new york that mcgahn was, quote, absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony with respect to matters occurring during his service as a senior advisor to the president. tonight as he headed to air force one to a pennsylvania rally trump tried to frame that argument as one wouldn't just benefit him but future commanders in chief. >> i think it's a very precedent and the attorneys say they're not doing that for me, they're doing that for the office of the president. >> mcgan's lawyers say he will quote, respect the decision --
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>> i think it's appropriate for us to move forward an impeachment inquiry to make an informed judgment. >> and more on that later in our broadcast. house judiciary chairman nadler says the committee will meet tomorrow. nadler says he expects mac began to appear and that if he does not, here's that quote, the committee is quote, prepared to use all enforcement mechanisms at its disposal. meanwhile a federal judge's ruling that trump's accounting firm cannot keep his financial records from the house oversight committee is the first big court test, really, for the president's efforts to resist all incoming subpoenas. without a stay from a higher court, this one will be the tough one to beat.
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tonight trump hinted at that and pointed to his predecessor when responding to questions about this judge's decision. >> we disagree with that ruling. it's crazy because you look at it, this never happened to any other president. they're trying to get a redo. they're trying to get what we used to collin school a do over. it's totally the wrong decision by obviously an obama appointed judge. >> and late today the house intel committee voted to release hundreds of pages of michael cohen's non-public closed door testimony. dates back to february and march. cohen is currently doing time as you'll recall. in his testimony he told congress that trump attorney jay sekulow told him to lie to lawmakers in 2017 unt those negotiations about trump tower moskow.
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he also testified pardons were mentioned. lawyers for jay sekulow responded in a statement, quote, that this or any committee would rely on the word of michael cohen for any purpose much less to try to pierce the attorney-client privilege and discover confidential communications of four respected lawyers defies logic and well-established law and common sense. during that day of live public testimony in february cohen did mention sekulow when he was asked about his 2017 testimony. >> which specific lawyers reviewed and edited your statement to congress on the moskow tower negotiations, and did they make any changes to your statement? >> there were changes made, additions. jay sekulow for one. >> here for our lead off discussion on a monday night as we start a new week philip rucker, pulitzer prizewinning bureau chief for "the washington post." barbara mcquade, veteran federal prosecutor and former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. and michael schmidt, pulitzer
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prizewinning washington correspondent for "the new york times." a note to our viewers, if you see anything weird on television, we're having a technical problem with that bank of switches called luckily the switcher. so we're working on that if anything appears untoward, that's all it is. michael schmidt, i'd like to begin with you on the subject of mr. mcgahn. he is if memory serves a partner at jones day washington, d.c. law firm. this can't be a good look for him in private practice or the firm that employs him. but i guess his strategy here is kick the can down the road and let it kind of float atop the legal system until it compels a decision. >> well, it sort of cuts both ways with mcgahn with his law firm. his law firm still represents donald trump's presidential campaign. it still represents a lot of republican politicians in washington. so mcgahn, if he gets on the wrong side of trump, could have
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an impact on his firm. on the other hand, does mcgahn want to be held in contempt? does that mean anything to his legal practice in washington? could he have his law license taken away or something along those lines? probably not. but he's in a dicy position here, and he's fallen back and said, look, i'm going to do what the white house tells me to, and that was his message to congress. and that's why he's not going up tomorrow to testify. and he's asking the committee and the white house to work this out. look, putting all the legalese and law firm stuff aside the most important thing for the narrative of this story is that the democrats can't seem to get a witness. they have a 400-page report that has a bunch of damning allegations against the president. it's all laid outright there. and they can't seem to get any momentum. and now they can't seem to get
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any documents or anyone to come up and talk about it, at least anyone who would maybe galvanize the public or get the public's attention. that's where we find ourselves. >> barbara, i'm coming to you for what i'm afraid we just referred to as legalese. two part question for you. testifying 30 hours before the mueller team does that equal a de facto waiver of executive privilege on the part of the president's former white house lawyer? and secondly, can the white house really tell a private citizen, no, you're not going tomorrow? you're not taking part in this? >> well, with regard to the waiver issue i think the answer is sort of yes and no. anything that has appeared in the published report, is in the public domain is no longer protected by any privilege. the purpose of privilege is to keep secrets. since that's no longer secret there's no way you can assert privilege over that which is not in the public domain. the other things that were told
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to robert mueller because he's still in the executive branch is at least arguably still protected by the privilege because it's not gone outside the executive branch. but rather than claim immunity before even appearing before the committee i think the proper way to assert the privilege is to go question by question. and i suspect that's where it's going to go. so i'm less pessimistic about that. and the assertion of privilege will be only question by question. >> interesting. phil rucker, is mcgahn is loyalist or an traditionally i would say pick one. >> he's tried to be both a loyalist and an institutionalist, and he's continuing to try to do both of those things and he's finding it difficult. he certainly doesn't want to be in this moment where he has to choose sides and take orders from a white house he no longer serves.
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but there's a great deal of anxiety the president might feel about what mcgahn has to say. for that nar ffb to be spelled out in a written report, it's another thing entirely to have a national television spectacle of the former white house counsel before congress answering these questions under oath and getting in, frankly, into more detail than we read in the mueller report. >> that's right. barb, another matter for you to take on and that is this financial ruling by a federal judge today. now, this it seems to me as a civilian is different. this is an accounting firm. perhaps they're not going to have the wallet or the stomach for a protracted court fight. why would they? this is their work product. also, it seems to me this company can be compelled to act by the white house. so this could actually happen. these documents, barring a stay from a higher court could actually come out? >> yeah, i do expect we'll see
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an appeal, and so we may not be done with it just yet. there's an old adage in the law that says no man may resist a subpoena and must produce it unless there is some relevant priv l that protects it. and so the accounting firm received a subpoena and must produce these documents. president trump is trying to refer to this as a redo and a do over from the mueller report. this is completely different. congress has a right to look at these financial records. the judge found that it is within the proper scope of congress' legislative powers to look at whether they're a violations of the emoluments clause or ethics and governments act. so it's proper for them to seek these documents. it sounds like a sound legal opinion. i suspect before we're done congress will get those records. >> and phil, this is question i've asked you before. give us the basics of the
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personal damage, the political damage that donald trump's fearing if this kind of traunch of documents come out from an accounting firm? >> that would effectively sort of green light a number of other document requests in other areas. and the president's concerned not only for the political damage. i mean if he's found to have suspect financial activities with foreign countries that would certainly be fodder democrats try to use against him in his re-election campaign. but there could be outright criminality here. they've been blocked by the white house every time the white house says no and threatens to with hold these documents. it stokes even more suspicion on the part of the democratic investigators, and this is likely to continue for some time.
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>> first, michael i want to go back to something you said about the democrats in the house. is it so far just a bad look for them? does it appear to be a kind of where do we go first disorganization? are we impeaching, are we not, let's write a bunch of letters and try to get people up here? >> i think a lot of the part of the game here is momentum and barr took a lot of that momentum away with his initial four-page letter that cleared the president and then having the report come out several weeks later. people thought the democrats could take the report and use it as a launching off point to do more investigation, to dig in deeper, to bring witnesses up to testify and they haven't been able to do that. and they haven't been able to articulate at a sort of larger level to the country why there needs to be more investigating. they've struggled to do that because they don't really have a forum. they tried to have barr up there, and barr didn't show and that whole thing with the chicken and the congressman, it sort of detracted from the
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narrative and stuff that's in the report. last week they read the report aloud, and i'm not sure how many people paid attention to that. i'm not sure how many americans have actually read the report. in terms of building the sort of larger story about what the president did, it looks like they have struggled. and what happens today when mcgahn says i'm not coming, that means there's no hearing tomorrow. there will be no don mcgahn up there even not having to answer questions, trying to invoke the privilege and say, look, i can't do that. we're not even going to have that. there will be no hearing tomorrow so there will no event for them to use. >> and final question, this implication of sekulow in the cohen testimony, obviously they're all over cohen tonight saying flawed witness, already lied to congress, is not credible. does it have staying power, the
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accusation, do you think? >> well, look, i went back and read the mueller report. and the stuff that's in the cohen testimony to congress was enough for mueller to include in his summary, more in his summary and details of his report. so i don't think mueller would have put it in his final report if he did want believe there was really something there. so when you look at it, i think you have to take it seriously because of that. mueller saying, hey, you know, here's this account. now, the question is does the criminality of others come into question here? and what i'm trying to say is when mueller sat down to the this investigation he says, look, i have to find out whether the president broke the law or others broke the law. and he ultimately said, look, i can't do anything about the president because he's the president but we're doing this investigation to find out if anyone else committed any crimes. and the question is does anything happy to those caught up in the report wloorp looking at this conduct? we haven't heard anything from
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the department of justice on that. >> phil rucker, i've heard it said that the report needed a writer. someone to sit down and say let's look at what you have here. that it was too important a public document as you can see just by sampling our conversations still tonight to be as dry as voluminous as it was. >> well, part of the power in the report is it just lays out the facts, the very basic facts. and the difference in a report and what you would get in a testimony, is you would have a lot more emotion in a testimony. you would have don mcgahn filling in the color. how was he feeling, how did he react to that? what was the president's emotion like when he heard something or
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mcgahn told him no? mueller i think looked at this as a prosecutor, as an investigation. he was seeking facts, he found the facts and laid them out in a sort of ticktock, day by day of what happened. sort of that drama that would come forward in an in-person testimony which is one of the reasons why the white house is so adamant these witnesses not appear before congress because that might provide the momentum philip was talking about. >> thank you as always for turning it law into actual useable english. appreciate it greatly tonight, gang. coming up, some anxiety in nancy pelosi's house. an apparently tense meeting of house democrats tonight, and can you guess what the rank and file wants? and later trump once again threatens iran with the end of iran. a man who once wore four stars on each shoulder and knows the region well is here with us to talk about it tonight as "the 11th hour" is just getting started on the monday night of a new week.
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mr. president, your reaction to justin amash who says you committed impeachable offenses? >> well, i've known him and he's said he's been against trump for from the beginning. he's been a loser for a long time. rarely votes for republicans and, you know, personally i think he's not much. >> okay, we'll put him down as a no. michigan republican congressman justin amash is doubling down, indeed, on his call for that man to be impeached. on saturday amash became the first republican to publicly say donald trump has, quote, engaged in impeachable conduct. amash faced immediate blow back from fellow republicans including a primary challenge in his home state of michigan. but the congressman defended his
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criticism today posting a document length thread he wrote on social media to back up his argument, which boils down to this. trump can be impeached for obstruction of justice. here's what amash had to say tonight as our cameras found him on his way out of capitol hill. >> are you disappointed, though, leadership is coming down on you like this? going after your character instead of what you said in your tweets? >> what about president trump calling you a loser? >> okay. >> here with us for more on all of this ashley parker, pulitzer prizewinner for "the washington post," and bill crystal, an editor at large of the bull work. welcome to you both. ashley, i know you'll forgive me because bill is indirectly in the news. i'm going to start with bill. bill's reaction to this moment on cnn earlier tonight.
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this is michael kaputo talking about congressman amash but listen here for the conspiracy. >> i think he plans to run against the president as a libertarian, as a third party candidate. we know the host of network trump republicans who you know lost their magazine and weekly standard have been meeting on a regular basis have been trying to find a person to come in and ross purow the president this time around, and i think amash is trying right there. >> your reaction sort of saying bill crystal was calling out your cabal clearly. >> i've been in no contact with justin amash, which comes from a different wing of the party than i do. foreign policy, very much on an anti-interventionist, and i guess i'm the opposite. i do think what he said was significant, and i think that kind of response suggests he is only one person. he is kind of a i guess you
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might say he won't bring a lot of republicans with hill. i think the main effect will be on democrats like we saw already tonight in the meeting they apparently had on the hill. it becomes harder infor nancy pelosi to keep saying, no, no, and he's laid out not that donald trump should be impeached but there should be hearings or an inquiry into impeachment. i think the odds of actually entering an impeachment set of hearings, an actual inquiry by the house judiciary committee are now much greater than they seemed to be a week or two ago. >> ashley, bill just walked into your reporting. what do you know about the meeting on the hill tonight, the speaker and her leadership team? walk us through it. >> our understanding is this was a meeting where some of these tensions that had been boiling in the democratic party finally came to a head.
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and as we know speaker pelosi is very opposed to impeachment. she thinks it is basically a political loser and they should be working on legislative and different sorts of messaging. and up into this point you've sort of had democrats in different camps. there are speakers like pelosi who thinks it's a political loser unless you have true bipartisan support. but enough republicans in the senate where you could actually move on this, and then you have democrats saying impeachment is actually a political tool because sort of the best explanation i've had is act as a grand jury and get some of those documents or testimonies so far they've been unable to get with the white house stone walling. and the final group says it doesn't matter if it's a political winner or loser. this is principle issue, this is if the president has done something or not we are sort of obligated to move. you saw nancy pelosi confronted by members of her own leadership team saying now is the time, now is the moment we really do need to consider impeachment. >> bill, ashley is absolutely
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right. who wants to walk this into a the senate chamber and watch mcconnell with no effort at all come at us with the votes and kill it? and then this sunday mitt romney comes out and kind of gently puts a popsicle stick in the spokes of amash's bike and kind of says now, now. so many republicans and democrats were hoping romney in the senate basically a guaranteed seat for six years or more would be one of the heroes. >> i think we don't honestly know what it politics of it would be. what if house votes to impeach on a couple of articles. i suspect it's not actually having a clear political effect one way or the other. so i think they should do the right thing. i think it would look a little weird if democrats won the majority in the house as a check on president trump. mueller sent a report say there's possible obstruction,
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which he can't exonerate the president from obstruction. and the democratic house is going to say that's an interesting report. some of the polling shows it's mildly negative to move on impeachment, so we're not going to do-touch and if they don't do it, how does that look? not even moved ahead with impeachment hearings, says mueller didn't get me, pelosi didn't get me, i really am exonerated. they're safer moving ahead on hearings that are organized, disciplined sort of sober way. and maybe they end up not impeaching or impeaching on one or two counts, but i think the pelosi people are being short-term or clever but they haven't thought through how this look. next year we really will have presidential primaries and they can control it for the next three, four, five months and have a pretty dignified sort of watergate-style impeachment process and just lay out the evidence, get people to testify. if don mcgahn doesn't testify,
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say, okay, we'll go ahead and assume what robert mueller reported and i think they could do this in a way i'm not sure would change public opinion one presidential primaries and they can control it for the next three, four, five months and have a pretty dignified sort of watergate-style impeachment process and just lay out the evidence, get people to testify. if don mcgahn doesn't testify, say, okay, we'll go ahead and assume what robert mueller reported and i think they could do this in a way i'm not sure would change public opinion one way the other but i don't think would hurt them the way pelosi thinks. >> ashley and bill have agreed to stay with us. and when we come back how the reality tonight in montouresville pennsylvania differed perhaps from the reality and surrounding of the known world. reality and surrounding of the known world.
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>> it's no wonder that when joe biden announced he's running for president -- by the way, by the way, by the way, we have thousands of people. look at the thousands and thousands of people we have. now, they said he had 600 people. no, no, very good. very good. i'd say 150. but he announced he's running for president and he's said it's because foreign leaders called him up and begged him to do it. absolutely. foreign countries liked him much better. that's what they want. they want biden. sleepy joe said that he's running to, quote, save the world. well, he was. he's going to save every country but ours. >> trump gave us more political analysis. just this morning, quote, looks
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like bernie sanders is history. sleepy joe biden is pulling ahead, and think about it i'm only here because of sleepy joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, president obama. china wants sleepy joe badly. ashley parker of "the washington post" who rejoins us in just a moment puts it this way and we quote, trump's handicapping of the democratic presidential race is one part of his much broader role as the country's de facto narrator in chief. inserting himself into nearly every major cultural moment or controversy and putting his own commentary and jeers at the center of the conversation. still with us, ashley parker, bill kristol. just how unusual is what we're seeing every day? >> it's quite unusual to a degree in reporting and writing this story we sort of realized that you don't even really understand -- first of all, it's very stark for a president to be narrating his potential rivals as if he's sort of this objective cable news host or sports talk radio guy, just assessing a field as if it has nothing to do with them.
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and then when you put aside politics you sort of realize he is really inserting himself into the very fabric of our society. he is weighing in on not just politics but on the kentucky derby, on the boston red sox, on how the french government should fight the fire that engulfed notre dame. even if you're a voter sort of exhausted with politics and you turn your attention to sports or culture or day to day life there's the president sort of wanting to be part of that discussion and insert himself and take the glow and share that moment in a sort of omniscient omnipresent inescapable way. >> 48 visits to pennsylvania. i know pennsylvanians who haven't made 48 visits to pennsylvania. that's getting up there. you don't need to page dr. freud to know what that's all about. buttigieg goes on a fox news town hall this weekend and says, in effect, he better bring his
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best game because it doesn't work on me, i won't engage with that stuff. interesting strategy. >> yeah, and i think we're all supposed not expect trump to win in 2016, so we're all very wary of saying it looks like he might be behind in 2020. but just objectively a president with his approval numbers, with his re-elect numbers and most of the matchups of democrats who are known is not in very good shape. maybe democrats will make mistakes, maybe he'll improve. and the economy is pretty strong, lots of stuff beneath the surface very dangerous. so you kind of assume trump might be weaker rather than stronger. so i guess i come back to the sort of conventional view trump
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isn't very strong. he loves because it sorts of distract people from the fundamental fact he is running behind most of his possible democratic opponents. >> and ashley, how is trump world viewing mayor pete as potential challengers go? >> it's a great question. trump world generally is not super concerned is what they say. and i sort of take them at their word. but if you go to the president himself, and again mayor pete is not the person he is most concerned about, but he has certainly taken notice. he's given mayor pete a nickname. you don't get a nickname from the president unless the president is paying attention. you saw a president tonight at that rally talk about buttigieg on fauk news and say you have to pay attention to the competition, and he's sort of treating him the way a lot of the establishment treated president trump in 2015. he's taking notice of him and sort of still treating him as a bit of an oddity, a bit of a punch line.
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we know how that ended up for the political world last time. so it'll be interesting to sort of watch and see if the president ever begins to take him more seriously. and if mayor pete can kind of hang on and have moment after moment after moment the way president trump did frankly as a candidate. >> ashley parker, bill kristol, our thanks. >> coming up the iranian foreign minister has fired back at our president's threat to end the nation of iran. that story when we come back. (client's voice) remember that degree you got in taxation?
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...and getting paid for it. (vo) snap and sort your expenses to save over $4,600 at tax time. quickbooks. backing you. i think iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything. if they do something it'll be met with great force, but we have no indication that they will. >> this was from our president just yesterday.
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if iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of iran. never threaten the united states again. iran's foreign minister responded, quote, goaded by "b" team, and by that he means john bolton, donald trump hopes to achieve what others have failed to do. aggressors are gone. economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won't end iran. never threaten an iranian. try respect, it works. with us tonight to talk about it retired u.s. army general barry mccaffrey, retired four stars on his shoulder. a heavily decorated commander in vietnam. general, i see you are smiling. how does a former combatant commander like you who's been dealing directly, indirectly with iran for say, what, 50 years give or take, how do you react to that kind of thing?
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>> well, it's almost hard to comment on it. these are non-serious exchanges. we've got three objectives dealing with iran as far as i can tell. we don't want them to go nuclear. we want to constrain their terror activities through the shea arc, iraq, syria, lebanon. and finally we want to keep them out of the persian gulf. what's our reward, and punishment. and part of that traditionally in foreign policy is publicly speak constructively. privately threaten if you must. and we've got it backwards. >> the problem is the president's tweet read broadly does not threaten the religious leadership of that country. it threatens the persian people and society. >> well, that's true, yeah. but, again, you know, brian, we have never seen a head of state since world war ii with this kind of rhetoric approaching serious business. a war with iranians in the persian gulf would be a
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disaster. it's highly unlikely to happen. the gulf coast states don't want to see a war. neither does israel. all this nonsense about netanyahu wants to goad us into attacking iran, i don't believe it. they'll be an immediate target and the iranians don't want war. i think at the end of the day the problem is iranians are suffocating. this economic embargo is working. the people are restless. they're blaming their thelogical dictatorship for the results. of course, part of it is the price of oil. but they're in desperate straights. they've got to do something to break out of it. i think they had considered striking at us through proxies and are probably determined not to try that in the short run. >> if you were president, mccaffrey and my apologies to ms. mccaffrey for even raising the question, if you were president how would you on day
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one deal differently with this country? >> well, i don't think we have to impress eon iranians our military power. it is overwhelming. 2.1 million men and women in the active guard reserve, this powerful navy. so our military power is self-evident. our economic power is self-evident. so the question is how do we talk to the iranians probably out of the public eye and try to come to some understanding that achieves our three objectives? and none of our objectives include insulting them or, you know, sounding war-like in public. so we've got to get rational, get a strategy. >> trickier topic coming up and here we are close to memorial day. i want to show you a headline in "the new york times." they came out with a story that has kind of grabbed the attention and steered the conversation about potential presidential pardons for
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servicemen accused of war crimes. a fellow retired general officer of yours, mark hurtling, mutual friend. you and i both know a superior retired officer has written a really interesting piece pardoning soldiers accused of war crimes would be immoral. general, what's your take on this story? >> look, bryan arb i had three combat tours so there's no question that small unit combat is brutal. it's kill or be killed. but the u.s. armed forces is still guided by its values, by its discipline. it operates under the uniform code of military justice. and for sure we don't execute detainees or kill civilians. and if we do, we take action. a jury trial of your combat experience peers. so why mr. trump would intervene in that process which is widely not supported by the military chain in command, i'm positive of that. this is a political act. it's ill thought out.
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it's harmful to our image. and indeed it would put our own military at risk. are we suggesting that we would allow one of our soldiers to be this is a political act. it's ill thought out. it's harmful to our image. and indeed it would put our own military at risk. are we suggesting that we would allow one of our soldiers to be stripped naked and shot dead while being interrogated? so we've got a real problem with the president's publicly stated values system. >> other than getting individuals out of legal jeopardy, who would it help? >> well, you make a good point, by the way. that navy chief s.e.a.l., the allegations are horrendous. he's not yet gone to trial, so he is presumed innocent. by the way, if he accepted that pardon he'd be acknowledging his guilt in those allegations.
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i think there's no benefit, no good outcome to the president intervening. a lot of americans support their armed forces, the most respected institution in american society bar none. they don't want them falsely accused. so there may be, you know, a dog whistle of sorts to people who are favorably disposed who are young men and women in uniform. this is not the way to do it. this is horrendous mistake of judgment on the part of president trump. >> from the jewel of the pacific northwest tonight, general thank you for joining our broadcast. another break for us. when we come back what nbc news has learned about the reach large and small of russia into u.s. society. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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new, exclusive report, shows that the russians, after
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meddling in our elections, wanted to go farther than that. some of our frequent guests have written books on how the russians have tweaked our opinion, stoked our discord. for them, it's cheap and easy and it works. for us, tonight, richard engel show us documents that point to something else. >> reporter: tonight, russian efforts to meddle in american society spread beyond elections. documents obtained by nbc news, appear to show a bizarre campaign to sow unrest in the u.s. last year, they pitched a plot to manipulate african-americans. one proposal suggests recruiting african-americans, and giving them sabotage training at camps in the u.s. another proposal, encouraging
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african-americans to push for independent statehood in the south. >> it doesn't surprise me at all the extent that russia would go through to target our democracy. >> reporter: the documents were found in communications between russians linked to evgeni progoesen. magnate dubbed putin chef. while nbc news can verify the operation, they were obtained by a dossier center, which has given material to us. our adversary is coming at us. we're going to see it on steroids. >> reporter: white the plans were aspirational, members of congress were so troubled, they planned to introduce a bill to
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guard against these and other plots. >> richard engel, reporting from london for us today. coming up, the search for a hero in today's politics. no names come to mind but the idea got a big boost in this room earlier today. we'll show you the moment when we come back.
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last thing, before we go here tonight, more than once during this time slot over the last two-plus years, we have quoted carl bernstein, who always says, republicans were the heroes of watergate. we have asked our guests from time to time, who they see as a potential profile in courage emerging? who is out there right now? additionally, when it feels as if life is in crisis, it's always useful to ask, wwafd. that stands for what would atticus finch do? we can't ask him and in our effort to ask him, we asked the man who plays him in the jeff sorkin production. jeff daniels was a guest here today. and what he said has received a lot of attention already because
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of how he said it. >> you look at the cowardice of the people in the race. that's not courage. that's making sure you have a job after politics. courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we used to have in 1776 and all of that. who are the heroes going to be? is it going to be the daniel elsburg pentagon papers guy? i'm waiting for that guy. >> we're all waiting for that guy. >> we need people like that. and to look at congress with all of the politics going, you're out worthless to me. i need people to stand up and be heroic. who are you? >> jeff daniels with nicolle wallace, to end our forecast, as
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we start a new week. thank you for being here with us. good night from msnbc headquarters here in new york. defying a congressional subpoena president trump directing don mcgahn not to appear before the house judiciary committee this morning. jerrold nadler is threatening to hold mcgahn in contempt. >> president trump holds a campaign rally in pennsylvania and takes a swipe at joe biden telling the crowd he deserted you. >> severe weather batters the southern plains. tornadoes have touched down in several states causing damage to homes and buildings. meteorologist bill karins tracking the damage. good morning, everybody. it is tuesdy

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