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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  October 17, 2019 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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and one other last thing i need to tell you before we go. earlier tonight i was talking about the deposition today, this nine and a half hour long deposition at the impeachment inquiry from the u.s. ambassador to the eu, gordon sondland and i showed a quotation from the opening statement he gave. the first time we showed the quotation, the picture we put up on the screen was the wrong dude, that was yesterday's star witness, former state department witness michael mckinley. we should have showed a picture of today's dude, gordon sondland. i apologize to you for the error. and now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> and look, it's the picture of the right dude. here's what's going to happen in the next hour.
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i'm going to do a rachel thing. you know that thing you do when you have -- you have basically outlined a case, a situation and you bring on the guest who is the expert on this, who has been living with this subject much longer than you have and your first question is always -- >> did i get anything wrong? >> yeah. i'm going to take your tweet today, which summarized this week in syria, more economically than anyone and i'm going to present that to my guest and say -- >> you know, that's nerve racking because what if -- because you're not saying did i get anything wrong, you're saying did rachel get anything wrong? >> yeah, i don't want the heat. so it going to be -- >> i will lurk in the back of your studio. so if your guest is totally off base, i can take it right there. >> stick and and watch, rachel. >> thank you. >> we woke up to this tragic news that the honorable elijah
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cummings passed away at the age of 68. at the end of the hour you will hear the very first speech that congressman cummings delivered on the floor of the house of rep-toure representatives. he was especially missed today when washington was reacting to what mick mulvaney said in the white house press briefing room. and later in the hour, we will discuss the high crimes and misdemeanors mick mulvaney confessed to today in the white house. and later in the hour we will discuss the high crimes and announced donald trump intends to economies next year, the ones he's planning to commit on a date certain. rick wilson and bill crystal will join us for that. and why donald trump could become the first president who faces an article of impeachment
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for what he plans to do in the future in addition to what he has already done. we have entered that stage in the spiraling decline of the trump presidency when every day now something happens in the public rooms. white house that we have never seen before. yesterday in the cabinet room it was nancy pelosi standing up to donald trump as no one has ever stood up to him before. nancy pelosi was doing what donald trump's parents apparently failed to do. she was teaching a spoiled brat a lesson. nancy pelosi stood up to donald trump in a way in a no one who has ever worked for donald trump has ever done, she did something donald trump's wives are not allowed to do and his children do not know how to do. and 24 hours later it was mick mulvaney's turn in the white house press briefing room to do something we have never seen before and say things we have never heard in that room from a white house chief of staff.
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>> the president wants to fire me today and hire somebody else, he can. >> the president must be thinking about that right now. tonight. as he watches this show and other cable news shows and sees the overwhelmingly negative news coverage and commentary about mick mulvaney's soiling of the white house press briefing room today. "the washington post" reported this afternoon that one person who spoke to trump said that he was pleased with mulvaney's performance. but that was before mick mulvaney was forced to release a written statement in which he attempted to rewrite what he did today in the white house press briefing room and what he did at that microphone in the briefing room was implicate the president, impossible crimes and while he was at it, implicate himself. there is already a federal criminal investigation about what rudy giuliani was doing in ukraine and what donald trump
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was telling him to do in ukraine that could involve criminal violations of campaign finance law that makes it a crime to solicit help in a political campaign from a foreign country. donald trump clearly did that in the rough transcript of his phone call with the president of ukraine where we see him soliciting help from ukraine by asking the president of ukraine to investigate joe biden by name. joe biden. but today mick mulvaney identified another law that he and the president may have broken. >> the budget control act -- budget control impoundment act of 1974 said if congress appropriates money, you have to spend it. >> okay. thanks for reminding us. in the same press conference where mick mulvaney reminded us it's against the law for the president to block spending that congress has authorized and appropriated, mick mulvaney said this about the $400 in aid congress appropriated for you're crane. quote, we cut the money off. we held up the money. we were holding up money.
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mick mulvaney is one of those trump world characters who speaks as if he has not heard what he himself has just said. here is what mick mulvaney said about why he and the president held up the money. >> he also mentioned to me in the past that the corruption related to the dnc server? no question about that. that's why we held up the money. >> so the demand for the investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funding to ukraine? >> the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. that is absolutely appropriate. >> absolutely appropriate. the same guy who at the same microphone told you it is against the law to hold up the money tells you it's absolutely appropriate. and then he tells you how you
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should feel about all this. >> i have news for everybody. get over it. there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. >> and much to mick mulvaney's surprise, that didn't help anyone get over it. republicans did not rush to the microphones to say, thanks, mick, that clears that up. adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence committee actually left the deposition that he was conducting today with one of the self-labelled three amigos of the trump ukraine conspiracy to say this -- >> with his acknowledgement now that military aid to a vital ally, an ally battling russia as we speak was withheld in part out of a desire by the president to have ukraine investigate the dnc server for democrats of 2016. things have gone from very, very
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bad to much, much worse. the idea that vital military assistance would be withheld for such a patently political reason, for the reason of serving the presidential reelection campaign, is a phenomenal breach of the president's duty to defend our national security and i hope that every member democrat and republican will speak out and condemn this illicit action by the president and his chief of staff. thank you. >> "the washington post" reports officials close to trump were infuriated by mulvaney's comments during his new conference that essentially acknowledged a quid pro quo, under which ukraine would receive aid that might benefit his cam ann. one trump adviser called it totally inexplicable. he literally said the thing that the president and advisers said
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did not happen. as democrats and republicans in washington were reeling, even attorney general william barr apparently decided he wanted no part of what mick mulvaney was selling today. and so an unnamed justice department official began telling news organizations the justice department doesn't know what mulvaney was talking about. a senior justice department official told nbc news, quote, if the white house was withholding aid from ukraine with regard to any part of the justice department, that is news to us. mick mulvaney is going to be fired. that's what happens to all trump white house chief of staff. it is simply a question of timing. will the impeachment process leave donald trump in the white house long enough to fire and replace mick mulvaney?
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leading off our discussion, democratic congressman denny heck of washington. he's a member of the house intelligence committee. he was present today for gordon sondland's deposition. also joining us ambassador wendy shurmur, former undersecretary of state and neal cattial, former acting attorney general, msnbc legal contributor. and congressman heck, let me start with you. and i don't want to go directly to what happened in the sondland deposition. i hope you can tell us what you know about that. when you were in that deposition and you heard about what mick mulvaney was saying at the white house, first of all, how did you hear about it, how did that word come into the members who were in that room and what was your reaction to it when you heard it? >> it was right when we were returning from a break and somebody brought in a memo which
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actually distilled what the acting chief of staff mulvaney said. my reaction was we've seen this act before. first they go through a long pattern of denial and then they acknowledge they did it and say it's okay and then they seek to normalize it. it's not okay and it's not normal. it's a clear violation of federal law to solicit assistance from a foreign government. but, lawrence, here's what i did immediately. i pulled out the transcript or the record of the call between president trump and president zelensky and i read it word for word. i asked myself where here is there a single instance of the president asking president zelensky to combat efforts of general corruption in ukraine? there weren't any. as a matter of fact, in the entire transcript, lawrence, the word corrupt or corruption never
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appears. he didn't ask him to do that. he didn't ask him to reduce corruption in the energy sector about which there had been problems in the past. he did not even ask him to reduce corruption or examine burisma, the company. he only mentioned his potential rival in 2020. this is clear violation of federal lawyer, period, full stop. >> congressman, did you get any sense of what republican members of the committee or other republican members of the house, what their private reaction was to mulvaney? >> they're so busy defending him at any cost, i don't know if they've lost all objectivity or they're just frankly scared to their core of what he might do to them in a primary election. >> let's listen to what republican senator lisa murkowski said about this. >> you don't hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative. >> and, neal, the law is pretty
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clear on that. mick mulvaney was right about that when he was reciting it today. what did you hear when you listened to mick mulvaney today? >> i think the most striking thing i heard, lawrence, is this was the white house's defense. this wasn't the prosecution talking. this was the defense. and their defense was, hey, i did it. the president did it. that's the defense. and, you know, i disagree a little bit with the congressman. i disagree with the congressman who said we've heard this before. we've never heard the president confess to a high crimes and misdemeanor. what's the quintessential definition of an offense? that's exactly what mulvaney confessed to today.
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in criminal law you have kind of the guilt, innocence phase, did the person do it, and then you have the sentencing phase. the guilt and innocence phase is done here. i think the congressman was right to say -- this isn't a casual slip of the tongue. it was a 39-minute press conference that the white house chief of staff gave and after a month in which the white houses that been consumed by this. this wasn't like he got some gotcha question that he never thought about before be, he confessed plain and simple to an impeachable offense. >> wendy sherman, when mick mulvaney was saying this is the way it works, this is the way presidents and especially this president conducting foreign policy so there's nothing to see
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here, get over it, this is the way it works, is it the way it works? >> it is absolutely not the way it works. a lot of people have been calling what giuliani and sondland and make rick perry and others did, a shadow foreign policy. this isn't foreign policy. i'm not a lawyer but to me this looks like corrupt operations for financial and political gain. this is absolutely nothing to do with real foreign policy. and yes, it's true that presidents have different polies because they get elected and we have really tremendous patriots in our foreign service officers. many of whom we've seen gone up and testify to congress, even though the administration has not wanted them to, who stay and serve presidents, even when they but they have not been asked before to affect a u.s.
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political election through their actions. that's an operation that's corrupt, that's criminal probably, that is certainly not a shadow foreign policy. it's no foreign policy at all. >> and, congressman heck, as you were in the deposition, that's when mick mulvaney was doing all of this. >> the big question for all of us was what happened in those five hours between acting ambassador bill taylor texting sondland saying it crazy to hold up funding based on political favors that they want for their reelection campaign and replies with this very legalistic replay saying no, that's not what we're doing, not what the president is doing. was that bentrated in that
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deposition today, in that time space? >> lawrence, we're obviously not talking about specific questions or answers in the deposition but let me say this. each and every witness brings new information and new insights to the table. the question is rapidly going to become frankly where do we draw the line and say it's time to proceed because we have enough. >> congressman, could you characterize his credibility, general credibility? >> no. we're not commenting on any of the specifics, nor for that matter of the witness. but i would say each and every one, every one has added to our insights on this one way or another. and again, we're making significant progress. we have an incredibly aggressive schedule over the next two weeks, as has been indicated earlier. i think we're going to proceed without haste but expeditiously. i think the american people would like to bring this to a close.
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i know all the members would like to bring it to a close. day in, day out of 9 to 12-hour depositions isn't a lot of fun but it's important, and we're going to stay at it. >> i have a feeling if the republican members of the committee thought they were helping helpful thing from these witnesses of donald trump they would be out there on those microphones delivering that information. >> well, i hope they'd maintain the confidentiality they need to maintain in these things. oh, the president didn't do it, the whistle-blower is lying, it's hearsay. then they release the transcript which shows everything the whistle-blower said is correct. then they released the transcript. and now the defense says oh,
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it's cool, very legal, very cool, everyone does this kind of thing. no president has done this. the "new york times" did a write-up in interviewing the last ten chiefs of staff to ask them did anyone ever contemplate anything like this, and the answer is no. and i think ambassador sherman had it exactly correct. and that is the gravest crime against america. it's not just criminal but it is impeachable. >> congressman denny heck, thank you both for joining us tonight president trump says that he's reached some kind of deal with turkey. we'll evaluate that deal. turkey we'll evaluate that deal as a struggling actor,
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today in turkey after meeting with turkish president erdogan, vice president mike pence announced he and mike pompeo negotiated a temporary cease-fire between kurdish and turkish forces in northern syria near the turkish border. the turkish foreign minister immediately issued a statement saying this is not a cease-fire. the turkish foreign minister said that turkey was suspending its attacks so that the kurds could completely retreat from the area in dispute. you could read thousands of words about this in the "new york times" and other carefully reported journals that examine every detail but what happened
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was economically summarized by rachel in this tweet. she wrote: one, turkey wants to push the kurds out of that part of syria. two, trump gives them the okay to invade. three, pence brokers a deal in which the kurds must get out of that part of syria. four, the u.s. agrees to unsanction turkey. that's a deal like being mugged is a deal. joining us now is brett mcguirk, who served national security positions under president bush, obama and trump. most recently as the envoy leading the global campaign to defeat isis. he is a senior foreign affairs analyst for msnbc. and ambassador wendy sherman is back with us. brett mcguirk, you get the question of the night. how did rachel maddow do in that tweet where she described so economically what happened in
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syria this week? >> i think she has it about right. >> there you go. >> in a chain reaction crisis like we've been in, you want to buy some time. in exchange for buying time to complete completely capitulate in a 13-point statement which was basically written by the turks it shows to me the extreme dure s the american side is negotiating. president trump gave away all our leverage. he did that last december when he nounced we were leaving syria. assad knows we're leaving, the iranians know we're leaving. and he compounded that by what he did on the night of october 6 after the call with erdogan. and now we're evacuating our positions. we have no leverage, we have very little influence, we're
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bystanders and the final deal will be settled in five days when erdogan visits moscow unfortunately. >> let's listen to what senator mitt romney said about this today. >> the announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. it is far from a victory. the decision to abandon the kurds violates one of our most sacred duties. it strikes at american honor. what we have done to the kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of american history. was there no chance for diplomacy? are we so weak and so inept diplomatically that turkey forced the hand of the united states of america? turkey? >> and, wendy sherman, you have now pretty much seen just about everything republican senators had to say on the senate floor today about turkey. >> well, i'm glad that senator romney made that statement. and indeed we've heard from lots of our terrific military saying
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they're actually ashamed of what has gone on here and having to leave the kurds behind. and as brett pointed out, nobody knows the area as well as brett mcguirk does. we have totally capitulated, given turkey everything they've wanted and most importantly, we've given putin everything he wanted. when nancy pelosi stood up in the photograph that you discussed at the beginning of tonight's show, she was ostensibly saying to the president all roads lead to putin. and on a day when you memorialized elijah cummings who's from baltimore who stands up for moral courage and nancy pelosi who's from baltimore, my hometown as well, these are two people who stand up for what is right. and president trump has no idea who either of those people are because he doesn't understand the values of standing with the people who were there for you, the kurds were there for us. we're going to see the resurgence of isis. we're going to see putin control
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syria with assad in many ways as his puppet. we're going to see iran's more maligned behavior in the neighborhood. we're going to see israel more insecure. this deal that the president ostensibly got and said today, he even was quoted as saying that, you know, turkey had to clean out the border. that is genocidal language. that is ethnic cleansing language. for the president of the united states to stand up for genocide? that's not the america that we really are. >> here's the way the president put it tonight in his campaign rally to his rally audience he said, sometimes you have to let them fight like two kids in a lot, you have to let them fight. and then you pull them apart. bre
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brett, your reaction to that. >> it's difficult to me because it's just obscene. i served for two years in the trump administration. i know diplomats were trying to work through this crisis. that is a totally obscene thing to say. over the last ten days after the president's phone call with erdogan, we had about 200,000 civilians displaced from their homes. we've had hundreds of people killed. we've had innocent women pulled out of their car and murdered in cold blood by turkish backed opposition forces. so for the president of the united states to say that, i've been to syria many times and particularly in these war zone environments, everybody listens to the words of the president of the united states. and for him to say that is truly obscene. we're not just letting them fight. we are evacuating syria and blowing up our bases as we leave and handing over facilities to the russians. so for the president to suggest
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that this is just kind of no big deal and this is all going according to plan is a joke. and i fear this is going to get worse. i think it's good we bought some time but erdogan is on his way to moskow and we are now bystanders as we work to get out of syria. so i think it's a pretty serious situation and it's not likely to get better. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. and when we come back rick wilson and bill crystal will join us to discuss the need to impeach donald trump not just for what he has already done but for what he plans to do. that's next. y done but for what he plans to do. that's next.
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in his disastrous press conference today, mick mulvaney said the president plans to commit two impeachable offenses. nick mulvaney announced today donald trump is going to give himself and one of his failing businesses a big federal contract for that event and donald trump is going to directly accept payments from foreign governments for the use of his failing property for the g-7. the president plans to violate both the domestic and foreign emoluments ban at the same time. the federal government will be pouring money directly into donald trump's pockets at the same time that foreign governments will be paying money directly into donald trump's pockets during the g-7. "the washington post" reports
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that trump's dural resort has been in sharp decline in recent years. its net operating income fell 69%. the g-7 summit will draw hundreds of diplomats and journalist to the resort during one of its slowest months of the year when the hotel is often less than 40% full. the top democrat, ron wyden, said foreign governments should not be forced to line donald trump's pocket and urged them to seek with outside accommodations, adding that congress should work to defund this effort, to force the g-7 to be held elsewhere. lisa murkowski said she did not think it was appropriate to hold
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the summit there and it was tweeted that donald trump's corruption can only be stopped by impeachment. if he is not impeached and removed, the white house will get money for the lawless, the violations even more routine. all previous articles of impeachment have been about what the president has already done. this congress might find it necessary to impeach a president for his past conduct and for what this president plans to do. bill kristol and rick wilson will join us next. n us next. ah! come on! let's hide in the attic. no. in the basement. why can't we just get in the running car? are you crazy? let's hide behind the chainsaws. smart. yeah. ok. if you're in a horror movie, you make poor decisions. it's what you do. this was a good idea. shhhh. i'm being quiet. you're breathing on me! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. let's go to the cemetery!
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here is pulitzer prize winning "washington post" reporter david farenthold discussing the location where donald trump wants to have the g-7 next year. >> it is basically the keystone of donald trump's entire hospitality golf hotel business. it produces more revenue for him every year than any hotel or
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golf course and he has one of his biggest loans on it. june is the second slowest month for doral. only august is worse. their occupancy rate is under 40%. even if trump just charged the cost, even if he didn't try to make a profit in each individual room, he's filling the resort at a time it would be mostly empty. >> joining our discussion now is bill crystal. he served in senior positions in the reagan and bush administrations. and rick wilson is with us. a former republican strategist and contributor to the daily beast. he's the author of "everything trump touches dies." bill kristol, your reaction to the fact that donald trump plans to violate the emoluments laws. >> there are laws for federal contracting. obviously you can't just give
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contracts to yourself or your best friend. it's taxpayer money involved. and i think this is good instance where dprsz needs to demand the documents. who made the decision. well, we know trump made the decision. what documents were provided and competitive bids were gotten from different hotel chains. he can just choose to put things one place rather than the other, and doral is not important obviously. the amount of money isn't huge and serious like ukraine. but turning us into a kind of third world country where the president treats the federal government as his own play thing to use as he chooses is very dangerous. you worked on the hill, that's announced from the white house this is some part of a state
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department or treasury in charge of going around and taking bids and figuring what the most logistically commonplaces for foreign leaders. and the president just decides to spend federal money wherever he wants and in this case at his own resort, it's really -- it's lawless. >> and rick wilson when mick mulvaney announced it today he threw in while he was at it, don't even think about getting any documents that would show how this decision was made. >> yeah, right. i mean, that was like the icing on the cake of mick mulvaney's super horrible bad day that he threw out there basically casually saying oh, pai the president is just not going to let you know how he personally decided to benefit himself with a several million dollar contract for his south florida house of bedbugs hotel. >> and bill, the urgency -- you
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sense more urgency about impeachment now when you throw in the future factor. and you use this example as one, but there's also when you see what happened in syria, which was not something you could have predicted two weeks ago, three weeks ago that the president will do something like this. there are other places on the map where he could do similar things. >> yeah, two things. two years ago when i would make the argument this man shouldn't be president, he was unfit for office people would say, look, he says a lot of stupid things, he may try to do a lot of stupid and even illegal things but mcgahn stops him firing mueller, and there was truth to that. now he's doing it, and we're seeing the consequences in the real world in syria in a truly disastrous and depressing way. and with ukraine, are we confident he's now going to ensure we have free and fair election here in 2020 without
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foreign interference, with a strong government reaction to disinformation, with a strong effort to make sure election security is maintained and strengthened? i mean after watching him invite or pressure a foreign government to get involved in our elections, i mean are we confident that we have a president who's going to stand up for the integrity of our elections? it's not just about holding trump accountable for what he has done, it's about what could happen in the world and at home over the next year. >> and rick wilson, i think we know mick mulvaney doesn't just decide to walk out to that microphone today on his own, and the master mind of the impeachment defense, donald trump, sent him out there. and by now even though mick mulvaney, trump might have thought what mulvaney was fine when he was watching it, by now donald trump has seen enough reaction to know how badly that went. >> i don't think even shawn hannity holding donald close and rocking him to sleep is going to
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make him feel any better about the fact mick mulvaney wept out there and basically set himself on fire on national television. he wept down thinking he was going to deflate the bubble of this idea of a quid pro quo was not a good idea on trump's part because mulvaney went out there on live teflevision and said, o, those denials their inoperative because i said there was a quid pro quo, we deliberately withheld the money. and mick mulvaney, one hat is ommb director, he's the one who says those checks don't move, those numbers don't happen. so he put himself iba terrible spot and the president in a terrible spot and that's why the president's lawyers are so furious tonight. >> thank you both for joining us. really appreciate it. and when we come back we'll be joined by congressman
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ro khana who was in that ten hour deposition today of gordon sondland and gordon sondland who actually calls himself a member of the three amigos who were doing the president's lost its chairman cummings today. he'll offer his thoughts coming next. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. i wish i could shake your hand.
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this is a critical moment in our country's history. don't be fooled. and it is a moment which people will be talking about and reading about 300, 400, 500 years from now, and they're going to ask the question what did you do when we had a president who -- who knew the rules and knew that our founding fathers had done a great job of creating a constitution and had put in all the guardrails but never anticipate that we would have a president that would just throw away the guardrails. >> that was congressman elijah cummings just a couple of months ago in july, this summer. his family announced this morning that he died last night from medical complications that he had been struggling with while serving as the chairman of the house oversight committee. we're joined by a member of that committee.
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you have joined us before, but tonight, congressman, i want to give you a chance to share your thoughts on the passing of chairman cummings. >> well, it is a very personal loss for many members of congress. there wasn't a dry eye when spoker pelosi took to the floor to talk about elijah cummings the person. and there were two things that i remembered. one actually right before the michael cohen hearing, elijah cummings took all of us into a room, and he said that the weight of history is on us and that we ought to conduct ourselves in a civil way, in a respectful way, and worthy of our constitutional oath. so he hit a sense of profoundness in someone who people respected. and the second on a more lighter note, i remember one of my committee hearings i was on my phone texting, and i started
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hearing this booming voice saying, ro, ro, ro. i looked up and it was like he was a schoolteacher saying get in line. what are you doing? pay more attention. so he's just someone who was a funny, respected, wise and touched a lot of people. >> what is the plan for the committee now to continue working without chairman cummings? >> well, the work continues. one of the things chairman cummings was so passionate about and proud of is he assembled the best staff. you talk to a lot of people in congress. they will tell you the oversight committee has one of the best staffs in congress. so they will continue the work and all of us will continue the work and do it in the spirit that chairman cummings wanted. one thing he was so gracious and fair to mark meadows or jim jordan even when he disagreed. he's always bend over backyards to try to respect the process.
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i think we just have to follow his footsteps, a commitment to the constitution and values but also a commitment to civility and to the process. >> i want to get your reaction to the deposition of mr. sumlin today you were in. she said i'm concerned he has been less than truthful throughout the day. would you agree with that? >> i don't want to characterize anything in the hearing or deposition itself. but let me just say based on the public reports that the concern i have is why was rudy giuliani involved in the foreign policy towards ukraine? and the public testimony suggests, the public reports of his testimony suggest that he shared the same concern. it is a concern that's widespread now among foreign service officers. what is a president's personal
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lawyer doing conducting foreign policy? >> and the -- were there any moments in this hearing today where you would say, ah, i did discover some things that were helpful to the president's position? >> i don't -- i don't see that. i mean, i can't see how the president has exonerating facts in this case. i mean, the president and his chief of staff have basically admitted to the whole case. the president has gone on national television and bragged that china and ukraine should dig up dirt on joe biden. and mick mulvaney, it was staggering, mick mulvaney basically says, yes, there was a quid pro quo, move on. get over it. that's really the position of this administration. they are saying it's okay to dig up dirt on their rival from a foreign leader. let's move on as a country. and if you believe that it's not
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a slap in the face of the constitution, then i guess you could take the president's side. but this is really not a factual dispute, lawrence. >> thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate it. >> thank you very having me. >> in tonight's last word, we will show you the very first words that newly elected congressman elijah cummings spoke on the house floor in 1996, freshman congressman elijah cummings is next. i am totally blind. and non-24 can make me show up too early... or too late.
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one of the biggest shocks that new members of the house of representatives experienced when they arrive in washington is the sudden discovery that if they're one of the lucky ones that day who are allowed to speak on the house floor, they will rarely be allowed to speak for more than one minute. to make that even harder to bear, members of the house have to watch freshmen senators drone on for as long as they want in their senator floor speeches. what can you say in one minute on the house floor that will get anyone's attention? freshman elijah cummings in 1996 knew exactly what he wanted to say in his first speech on the house floor. >> and there is a point that mitchell said many, many years ago that i say sometimes 20 times a day and it is a very simple point but it's one that i live by. it says i only have a minute, 60 seconds.
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forced upon me, i did not choose it. but i know that i must use it. give account if i abuse it. suffer if i lose it. only a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it. and so i join you as we move forward to uplift not only the nation but the world. may god bless you all and may god bless america. [ applause ] [ applause ] [ applause ] [ applause ] [ applause ] [ applause ]
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the honorable elijah cummings gets tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight the white house chief of staff goes before the press core and completely reverses what the president had been saying about ukraine. hours later he attempts to mop it up, but the damage is done, part of a bad day for donald trump. overseas, despite perhaps his most serious face ever, vice president pence gives turkey virtually everything they wanted in a deal that assures the end of kurdish lands. but back in washington, mitt romney roars to life, tore into the trump administration. now people are wondering if we'll hear more of that. meanwhile, another insider tells congress what he saw and another cabinet secretary is leaving. part of an 80% turnover at the
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