tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC April 27, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
tonight, add another investigation to the list for donald trump's former national security adviser. general michael flynn faces new scrutiny from the pentagon. mean while trump says nati security adviser, general michael flynn faces scrutiny from the pentagon. meanwhile, tonight, president trump says there is going to be a major, major conflict with north korea. also, the chief of staff will be here to talk about what is missing from the new presidency. "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening from new york, i'm joy reid in for brian who has the night off. it's just a day to go before day 100, russia remains the story the white house just cannot shake off. and now there are questions involving the former national security adviser michael flynn,
at a press conference on trump's first 100 days the ranking member of the house oversight committee accused the white house of stonewalling congress on russia and flynn. >> do not see why the white house is covering up for michael flynn, i don't get it. after the president fired him for lying. they should be bending over backwards to help us. there is obviously a paper trail, ladies and gentlemen, there is a paper trail that the white house does not want our committee to follow. these guys are playing games. and when you see mr. spicer you can tell him i said that today. >> congressman elijah cummings also released documents on flynn, showing that the pentagon warned flynn about accepting payments. the documents show he did not report the money he received from turkish interests. what is more, the comments say
that michael flynn must have seen the warnings about flynn and cash. >> this letter explicitly warned general flynn as he entered retirement that the constitution prohibited him from accepting any foreign government payments without advance permission. the pentagon's warning to general flynn was bold, italicized and could not have been clearer. >> today, the white house responded by blaming the obama administration, the administration that fired flynn nearly a year before donald trump even began to run for president, and by repeatedly deploying the talking point that the current president made all the right decisions. >> general flynn was a career military officer who maintained a high level security clearance throughout his career in the military. his clearance was last reissued
by the obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015 as you point out. but all of that clearance was made during the obama administration and apparently with knowledge of the trip that he took. so that is how the process works and i welcome the department of defense's ig's repeal. >> he was not fired by the president for lying to the president -- >> i -- will just say i think the president made the right call at the right time and it clearly has paid off. >> i was hoping you could provide more information on some of the financial information, thatarticularly has come to light. is that what led to his -- >> look, i think we addressed it at the time -- no, no, but that is right. and i think the president made the right decision at the right time and he continues to stand by it. >> knowing what you know now did you miss something and do you regret bringing michael flynn? >> i think the president made
the right decision at the right time -- >> do you -- >> no, i'm just saying he made the right decision and i think we look forward from that decision and the decision stands. >> meanwhile, breaking tonight, in a new interview donald trump in an apparent response to congressman cummings said quote, we've given everything we can to the committees and the committees can come in and see whatever we want. he served as chief council to the house intelligence committee. michael crowley is senior affairs correspondent, and also, the former ethics administrator. jeremy, i'll start with you on the rolling explanations that do not include the answer to the questions, whether they vetted michael flynn or whether they regret bringing him in. what do you make between the distinctions? >> clearly a difference between
being eligible for classified information, thousands of people have that. quite another thing to say vetting for the national security adviser. and when trump won the election his team should have immediately vetted michael flynn, such as general flynn you wrote an op-ed talking about how we had to stand by turkey, were you paid by the government of turkey? no, he should have said yes. secondly, did you register as a foreign agent? he said no, he should have said yes, and we've all seen the video him sitting by putin, did you get paid to sit there? he would have had to answer truthfully. and finally did you put that on your clearance form when you got the clearance earlier in the year, flynn did not do that. had the w house done a thorough job of vetting flynn he would have never been a national
security adviser, this is a complete breakdown in the vetting process. >> is this a breakdown or is it evidence they maybe wanted michael flynn, there are many, many people associated with the trump campaign and now the trump white house that have ties to the russian ambassador, kislyak. let's listen to another one of them, carter page, asked about his own ties to russia. >> did you coordinate or communicate the details of your trip or that you were going with any member of the trump campaign or the administration? >> i never -- again, none of those details -- they knew i was going -- >> how did they know? >> it was -- again, i don't talk about internal decisions. >> but it matters, it matters because the suggestion is they knew you were going, if they knew you were going they must have had an interest in you going, if they had an interest in you going, did they
coordinate anything you said there which was inherently d destructive to american policy? >> absolutely not. >> you have page going in july to russia now saying the campaign knew even though he was sort of squirrely about anything else. you have jeff sessions meeting with russia, and then michael flynn, are these wacky coincidences, or do we look at the white house as knowing it was all going on? >> it could be a wacky coincidence, and the thing -- everyone that you justamed in some ways has prove evasive or less than totally forthcoming about the facts. even jared kushner, let's not forget, failed to disclose his
contacts with the russian ambassador on the security clearance form he filled out. now i believe his lawyer said it was an oversight, quickly corrected. now i have not seen verification of that. if nothing untoward is happening here why does everybody suddenly have this faulty memory, inaccurate recollection. carter page, using the passive tense, saying i'm not going to talk about these conversations. it just -- it just smells really funny. and then there is donald trump himself, i mean, let's -- you know, we get bogged down in the details here. the most important thing, the gilpin at t guy at the top of the heap here, for years refused to criticize vladimir putin, even with the most sort of compelling damning evidence of putin's amorality and bad behavior, alleged
assassinations of his rivals awe trump just won't go there and criticize him. so again, let's not lose sight of the big picture here, which is trump himself. >> you have donald trump who in another interview in the washington examiner who came out today called the russia story a faux story, made up. and he goes back to the democrats and the election, and using the russia story as a way they lost the election, fake news, but sally yates, who was the acting attorney general during their time when they came into the white house actually went to them, to the white house and warned them that michael flynn was a problem that he was having these dealings with russia that he was not mentioning. is i probable in your view that this is something that donald trump knew nothing about, meaning michael flynn's activities? >> i have no idea what president
trump knew, but there are people high up in this administration who obviously know what is going on with the russians and are not disclosing it. and we need to get that information. all the relevant documents concerning flynn and the russians need to be turned over to congress right now. and if they are not turned over congress needs to subpoena them and enforce the subpoena. it is critically important to get all the information out. i do not know what president trump knew about this, when he knew it. i do not know. but we need to find out. we need to find out who in this administration was cooperating with the russians and conducting espionage in the united states, and information that was stolen from the democratic national committee. this year, last year, this is treason, we have a successful attempt for a foreign power to undermine the government of the
united states. they're doing the same thing in france, and we cannot accept this in the united states. all of the facts have to come out now. congress has to insist upon it. the russians need to join the democrats in a bipartisan effort to get this matter settled. and what michael flynn did, taki taking money from foreign governments, these are unconstitutional payments, we have a right to know who is financing his businesses, enough is enough, and congress needs to demand action right now. >> i want to go to jeremy bash and see if you know the answer to this. because one of the comments made today, the current administrati
administration simply relied upon president obama's vetting of michael flynn. does that make any sense to you given that he was fired in 2014? >> no, the leaders don't do the security clearance reviews. they are done by career national security professionals who are apolitical. so for spicer to blame quote, the obama administration is really misleading the public about the way the process works. but secondly, more fundamental, joy, the granting of security clearance is not the same thing as vetting for national security adviser. thousands have security clearances, only one person is the president's number one national security adviser and that is someone who was this unvetted individual, by flynn. i want to shift to north korea, michael crowley. this comment by donald trump, and the comment saying that we could have a major, major
conflict with north korea, what could be the ramifications of saying something like that? >> right, so joy, this is the kind of trump effect we're all facing. trump is describing a pretty obvious reality that nobody would dispute, which is as north korea continues to development weapons and missiles that may destroy the united states. at some point if we can't change that behavior we may be in a conflict with them at the point they may be able to threaten us with a nuclear weapon. a wide array of mainstream politicians would say we really need to work with the conflict. it's not the way the president normally communicates about this issue. it raises the temperature, is he talking about the long-term or the nearer term, something more rash that the foreign policy community would not council. you just don't know wh it comes to trump and it does introduce a great deal of
danger, not knowing what he is thinking. both our allies and adversearies are going to act in another way, these are crucial matters and donald trump just doesn't seem to learn it. >> and i was on with chris hayes, we talked about the complexities with donald trump, it's not clear with his sort of interests and what he is thinking, or really who influences him. and the bigger picture of his foreign business entanglements. >> absolutely, we need to know who he owes money to. the real estate business has a lot of debt and we don't know who he owes money to. this is one serious problem with the mention. another is he is getting advice from all sorts of people. general flynn was an obama administration reject, i mean, blaming that on obama is absurd, he rejected him for a very good
reason. there are others, sebastien gorko who is running around weari wearing medals from hungary. we have no idea where the president is getting his advice. this white house needs to get their act together on foreign policy and send predictable messages on what we're going to do about countries like north korea, are we just going to let everybody get nukes, the way the president talked about on the campaign or will we work with our allies to contain north korea? but we can't have the foreign policy out of the white house where they say one thing and the next day, another thing, we have no idea who is influencing the president. >> thank you all, appreciate it. and coming up, i'll speak with one of the democrats at the
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richard blumenthal. >> the revelations are mounlting evidence that general flynn quite simply broke the law and may well be guilty of a serious criminal offense. and that evidence is that he took payments, half a million dollars from the turkish and russian governments, that he concealed those payments in his security clearance forms in 2016 and that he acted as a registered foreign agent without permission from the department of defense. also a criminal violation. the evidence is
incontrovertible, the evidence to shift the blame to the obama administration from the nondisclosures and essentially lie, punishable by imprisonment. so why the administration is trying to defend general flynn by blaming the obama administration is one of the mysteries here. and in fact they are refusing to cooperate with the house and senate committees in disclosing documents. >> right, and of course one of the people who tried to warn the incoming trump white house about michael flynn and his major conflicts of interests with sally yates, who at the time was fired by this administration, the judicial committee on which you said was going to talk to sally yates and james clapper about russiagate, what do you want to know from sally yates? >> i would like to know what the administration's response to her when she brought these disclosures and the potential violations of law, very, very
serious information about his breaking the law to the administration. by the way, i asked that his security clearance be reviewed in a letter that i wrote back in december a long time ago and others were aware of this kinds of evidence. so we really need to know from her as well as director clapper why the administration stonewalled then, and apparently is continuing to stonewall now. >> and i think a lot of people look at this and say wait a minute, you have a guy who was fired by the defense intelligence agency, by the previous administration. he was taken out of the administration, he comes in, as you said you asked for his security clearance to be revoked and you also have paul manafort, the former security adviser, also at issue. this pattern in the administration all seems to be pointing to connections to russia, deals with russia. can all of that be a coincidence from your point of view, sir?
>> it's a deeply troubling pattern that defies the claim that it's completely coincidental. and then that is why we need a special prosecutor. because the trump administration can't be investigating one of its own, general flynn or anybody else or the campaign who may be linked to the russian interference in our election. there is no question, joy, there was interference by the russians. it is unanimously and uniformly accepted by the intelligence community and by everybody who knows about it. the question is what was the involvement, if any, of the trump associations, including general flynn? >> well, should jared kushner lose his title for not filling out his paperwork truthfully? >> others could lose their
security clearance, the question is were they truthful? general flynn was not when he submitted the information necessary for his surity clearance, his lie, to the federal government, if it was deliberate, is punishable by criminal conviction. >> and one last question, you asked your fellow members of the democratic party to fund a lawsuit regarding the international business, describe what you want to see happen in that regard. >> what we're seeking is the truth about donald trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest. there are a variety of course of action open to us and we'll pursue the one that makes the most sense. if the conflicts, they're really our focus, and the conflicts of interest in the first 100 days certainly involve no draining of the swamp, if anything, deepening it.
>> senator blumenthal, thank you for your time. >> thank you. coming up. i'll ask three chiefs of staffs to tell us what is missing in the 100-day old trump administration when "the 11th hour" continues. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
reince priebus, and steve bannon, and of course the president's son-in-law, senior adviser jared kushner, each trying to push donald trump in different ideological directions. so far, trump has led a white house gripped by paranoia and insecurity, paralyzed by internal jockeying for power. joining me now, he served as white house chief of staff under george w. bush. thank you for joining us. >> good to be here. >> so when you read about that kind of disfunction isn't that the chief of staff's job to prevent that kind of dysfunction. doesn't that mean that reince priebus is just not good at his job? >> well, the president sets the tone at the white house, but the chief of staff can't do what the president doesn't empower him to do. i happen to feel strongly what
t -- that the staff of the president should have different views. it's the chief of staff's job to make sure the friction doesn't stop the president from making top decisions. but u d't want a white house that is monolithic in its thinking. that would certainly not be a good thing to happen and that has been with every president that i'm familiar with. tension between staff members, and sometimes it's very good and sometimes not so good. but it's always present. but it's kind of a reality and a necessary reality so you don't fall into that monolithic one-mind at the white house thinking. >> but isn't it the case when you have a strong white house that has lots of views -- let me just finish the question, hold on. that it works if you have a president that knows his mind, that has a strong core of
beliefs. when you have a president that really doesn't then he just sort of hgets dragged around the roo, that is the big criticism of donald trump right now. >> well, that was the same criticism that people gave of barack obama. >> i never heard that conversation -- >> you were not listening to the same people i was. >> maybe republicans. >> the similar criticism was made of the boss you worked for, george bush, that he came in with no ideology. and was easily influenced. that is how we wound up in iraq. isn't that a logical case? >> first of all, your creation was a myth. that is not the way it really was. i worked with president bush, he had strong values -- >> was he a neo-conservative? >> he knew who the neo-conservatives were, and he came to office with strong views and an expectation.
and then he had to deal with the world as it was not how he wanted it to be. that is the way every president has to deal with it. it's a natural reality. >> let's come back to president trump, one of the extraordinary reactions came out of the political piece, the way the staff produced information to the current president. heoesn't care, he doesn't consume information that way, said one senior administration official. you go in and tell him the pros and cons and what the media coverage will be, that essentially they want to get good press. >> first of all, i'm not sure that represents what really does happen. >> that is what a administration official said. >> and why wousome would do tha others would not. reince priebus has a really tough job. and the most important thing is to control the calendar, the clock, the schedules for the president. you want to make sure that the president never makes an easy
decision that he makes brutally tough decisions, he doesn't get monolithic counsel, and nobody bullies the president into a decision. you want him to make an informed decision and make it in time. you also want to make sure the space in the president's head is focused on -- >> would that include the media? because it sounds to me, and it's not just that one for the benefit of, there are multiple quotes saying what is important to donald trump, what is in his head, what kind of headlines will i get? what kind of headlines. >> well, almost every president that has been president during my lifetime has worried about the press and the coverage and what they do about it -- >> primarily? >> well, their big job is to pay attention to the responsibilities, the oath of offers. >> before you had the job, what were you? >> deputy chief of staff, the director of intergovernmental affairs. >> do you think it's a weakness
for reince priebus that he never actually worked in government a day in his life, he has to make the trains run on time, but first he has to run the trains. >> matt mccloudy did not have experience, i happen to think reince priebus knows washington pretty well. and remember this staff did not work together before. it's kind of a collection of players that never played on the same team. they were put together on a team. they're finding their sea legs. i think it's up to the president to empower the chief of staff to give him the disciplined permission to make sure that the white house functions well. jared kushner is somebody that the president listens to, unfortunately the president can't fire him. if the president is going to listen to people like that, acknowledge it. put him inside the umbrella and under the ethics rules and that is how he comes into the white house. the white house has steve bannon, who is not unlike other people who worked in the administration. >> no, he is definitely not like
anybody who has been in the white house as somebody unique. >> thank you, joy. coming up, how hard is it to be president? just ask donald trump who reveals tonight it is tougher than he thought. that is next when "the 11th hour" returns. stay out front with tempur-pedic. our proprietary material automatically adjusts to your weight, shape and temperature. so you sleep deeply, and wake up feeling powerful. find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com
lock her up, that's right. yes, that is right. lock her up. if i -- a guy who knows this business, i i did a tenth of what she did, i would be in jail today. >> former national security adviser michael flynn, once center stage at the republican national convention, taking aim at hillary clinton is now at the center of an investigation into the money he received from northe foreign interests. and let's bring in our panel, senior political reporter, and
political columnist of "the washington post." this whole business of trying to find a way out of the michael flynn mess, you had something provocative to say in the piece you did in "the post" today, that you said maybe he can pardon him. >> i think he can, if michael flynn finds himself sitting in front of a jury or a judge passing down the sentence i would not be surprised if donald trump came in to pardon his sentence, or commute it. we've seen it happen in the past. george bush pardoned the aide to dick cheney, and certainly it could happen. i don't know that he will do it pre-empti pre-emptively, although that said, you can't predict what donald trump will do. but it would not surprise me if he did a pre-emptive pardon,
simply because it's donald trump. it would not surprise me. >> they just can't do away with the russian story, one of the ways they tried to do it was sean spicer trying to invoke the ghost of barack obama, let's listen to him doing that. >> general flynn was a career military officer who maintained a high level of security clearance during his career in the military. his last clearance was issued by barack obama in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015 that you pointed out. >> clearly that dog whistle works with trump's base, of saying barack obama, barack obama, but what does it mean, dragging him into that problem? >> it's just silly, even if he had a clearance under obama and has been pointed out numerous times on this network he was fired.
and clearances are a technical matter and are not the same as vetting. and the vetting failed in two different regards, not just by the administration, but all throughout the campaign when he was actually a paid foreign agent. there are a lot of red flags including that op-ed from turkey. so putting it back on obama is going to be a 24-hour new cycle thing, if that. the more troubling thing about the developments today that we're seeing a bit of a breakdown potentially in these investigations on the hill in terms of members now squabbling over whether this is partisan or not, in terms of cummings releasing this information. you're seeing this reporting come the out on the senate side, michael isakof, that senator bird will not request documents that they need to get going. you're seeing reports that these committees are under-staffed. so as this stuff tends to come out i think the drum pounds a
little bit harder in terms of getting the investigation going. >> one thing the white house has going for it is the slow walking by the republicans on the hill and patieapparently even on the senate side. but i have to play this extraordinary interview, the latest interview donald trump did with reuters tonight. and he talked about being president, hard. >> i love my previous life, i had so many things going. i actually -- this is more work than in my previous life. i thought it would be easier. i thought it was more of a -- i'm a details-oriented person, you could say that. i like to work so that is not a problem. but this is actually more work. >> he thought being president would be easier? >> well, you know, joy, i think we can all empathize here because having donald trump as president has been hard on all of us so we can certainly
understand where he is coming from. it is remarkable. we have this from the reuters interview, a week ago he was telling the associated press, would yo wow, the federal government is so big, bigger than a company. it is sort of this magical discovery, he speaks wistfully of returning to his old job, i think that could be arranged. >> they're all neophytes, they don't know what being president will be like, but there really is no way to spin this as being a normal start to an administration. >> the fact that trump cops the fact he was not prepared for this job, which anybody -- >> did he say he was not prepared, or he loved his previous life living in a gold tower. >> he said in the past if i remember correctly there was a bigger job than he thought it would be. again, it was evident on the
campaign trail, one would have hoped he would have come in and have a team of folks ready to go. but as you point out there is a lot of fighting. they didn't really hit the ground running, but in this sort of pig pen messy sprawl. but i think everybody wants the president to have a good team and get the job done, but the fact he under estimated this work from the outset means he came into the office from behind where a normal president would have been. that is a disadvantage. >> how hard is it if you're watching tv six hours a day? we'll come back to that after the break. up next, some of trp's supporters are expssing what? buyer's remorse when we come back. e best in her sport. but for both of them, the most challenging opponent was... pe blood clots in my lung. it was really scary. a dvt in my leg. i had to learn all i could to help protect myself.
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down to just trump supporters a new poll shows almost no movement. an overwhelming majority, 93% are still with him. what about the voters who pulled the lever for trump after backing president obama twice? especially the democrats who made that switch. any regrets there? nicole wall ace has been following donald trump. >> he knew he was taking a big leap when he voted for donald trump. >> my dad, grandfather, were union guys so i never thought i would vote for a republican. >> but he feels a change. since january, we have been hitting across the road in five states meeting people just like brad, rst-time voters and even bernie sanders supporters.
they all ended up voting for donald trump. we've come back to bay county, michigan, which went red for the first time since ronald reagan. >> none of you had ever voted for a republican? >> right. >> i am all about it, shaking it up. >> a one-time bernie supporter who at 29 years old cast his first ever presidential vote for donald trump. >> we have an answer. >> it's not how this works. >> but in less than two months, jason's enthusiasm has turned to anger. >> i feel like i was tricked. he fooled me, i kind of feel dumb, honestly. >> how did the president lose the support of a guy who cheered for him during his first speech to congress? >> it almost sounded progressive-like, he was really open, willing to work with both sides of the fence. >> four days after that, maybe,
more russia stuff piled up. he talks about being wiretapped. he is on twitter saying this about this person. >> jason said this was the deal-breaker. the attack on syria, tough talk on north korea and the massive bomb dropped on isis in afghanistan. >> i don't want to see the news special of another saginaw teenager brought home in a casket. i think he is just going to put more people at danger now, we're going to invade another country, the way it's happening right now there will be boots on the ground, and 27 was not going to happen. it's one of the reasons i voted for him. he is putting us at danger, i'm worried about the future of my family. >> i have to give time for him to get things done. there is no way i can flip in 100 days, saying he is a terrible president. >> so brad, who voted for president obama twice, is not ready to bail. >> i think he is stepping away from what we campaigned on, b
i don't think so it's a bad ing. >> wou you support more action in syria? >> no, not right now. seeing the children on camera, that would get anybody angry. >> are you willing to see him more focused towards the economic promises. >> i would be upset if he didn't do anything for nafta. if he ignores it, i don't think he will have a chance. >> but if democrats are smelling blood in the water there is this warning. >> are the democrats doing or saying anything that makes any more sense to you now than hillary clinton did during the cha campaign? >> no, neither of them are, there is no middle any more, neither of them want to work together it seems, and it's disappointing. >> you know, the left just still can't believe that donald trump beat hillary clinton. they still can't deal with it. >> you going to punish your senators or congress people if they don't back his agenda?
>> yeah, definitely, there are things democrats preached about for years anyway. why they don't back it now is just pure hate for trump. >> if he sat down there what advice would you give him today. >> delete your twitter account until you can act like a grown-up, and stop trying to kill people in other countries. fix america, america first, donald. not syria, not anybody else. america. >> that is what he promised you. >> that is what he promised me, and he is not doing that. >> our panel weighs in when we come back.
let's bring in our panel one more time, dana milbank, heidi, i'm going to talk to you first, they demonstrated the bernie sanders voter, and donald trump. these are not people winnable for the democratic party, am i wrong? >> no, you're absolutely right. because throughout this whole campaign there was this intersection of populism on the right and the left. there are these people who just want us out of the foreign conflicts and then there is the actual economic populism who thought that donald trump, his business success and ability to cut good deals would rub off on
them. and what they're seeing is many of those core principles have fallen by the wayside, in terms labelling kmi inling china the manipulator, with those people in terms of the populism, his biggest challenge going forward is like we don't have a big jobs program or a big infrastructure program. and what these folks are getting in exchange is the obamacare plan that is now at 17% that they are just like a doig with bone and won't give up. what they don't understand is these folks are not ideological, they want better health care, they don't care to what extent the government is involved in it or not. >> and at the end of the day for the democrats who crossed over and voted for donald trump, isn't it more likely they don't get what they want from donald trump, they drop out of the
voter pool and go back to being democrats? >> well, not necessarily, joy, what happened quickly is trump has lost everybody. but that core support he had between 35 and 40%. and you see in those elections in georgia, and in kansas that some of them are going in the democrats' direction. there is no obvious sign that trump is finding a way to turn himself around. and then when people start to say, well, wait a second, the coal jobs are not coming back to appalachian, the manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the midwest, then you even start to cut into that core support. i think they are very much up for grabs particularly in the off-year election. >> and you relate to that, he can't support his base, he has to do something else. >> exactly, his core base support was barely enough for
him to win in november. he has to change something, and it may be the case, the democrats who went and voted for trump, obviously a personality here that could change things as well. really weou see a lot of people changed down the road but the bottomline, he doesn't have even his base to get a second term. >> none of those people voted at all. thank you very much. that does it for this edition of "the 11th hour." i'm enjoy reid in for brian williams. good night. a brand-new michael flynn probe is announced as the white house blames obama? >> tonight, new charges of a