tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 12, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
place is june kim. we will not allow the u.s. system to be used for crimes anywhere, here or in russia. this comes after the southern district of new york has announced a $6 million settlement of civil moneylaundering and forfeiture claims connected to russian tax fraud. but, again, a late night announcement from the southern district of new york as "vanity fair" reports today that at least according to one fbi insider source, preet bharara was investigating trump moneylaundering concerns with regard to russia at the time he was fired by the trump administration. it's friday night. so that means the news is going to happen all night long. that does it for us tonight, though. we will see you again on monday. now it's time for "the last word." ari melber is in for lawrence this evening. >> i think the saying every action has a reaction, or this week ten reactions. >> that's exactly right. no rest for us. >> have a great weekend, rachel.
appreciate it. i am ari melber in for lawrence tonight. tonight donald trump just releasing the short list of candidates to lead the fbi. it is the opposite of nonpartisan. >> trump has created a nightmare for himself. >> did trump record his conversations with former fbi director comey? >> i assume you're referring to the tweet. >> james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to press. >> the president has nothing further to add on that. >> i won't talk about that. >> he left it as a very, very serious and very real possibility. >> the president of the united states willfully courting the most radioactive elements to richard nixon. >> the story gets more bizarre every day, we have to find out if tapes exist. if they do exist, we have to see them. >> president trump is dangerous. >> i would like to know if the president ordered mr. comey to end the investigation. >> he is a showboat.
he is a grandstander. >> he is a showboat? if your evenigo is any bigger, would start putting your name on your name. >> we begin with the breaking news on president trump's search for a new fbi director. and for those concerned that trump is politicizing the fbi, the news tonight adds to those concerns. nbc news reporting interviews will begin tomorrow. and trump's short list includes the current acting fbi director andrew mccabe, which is typical. attorney alice fisher, and two lawyers with deep partisan ties to the republican party. john cornyn, a long-time texas republican politician. he is a current deputy to mitch mcconnell in republican senate leadership. and michael garcia, who has represented the republican senate caucus in new york state. he only became a judge last year. here is the context for this unusually political list of names for what is a nonpartisan
post. tonight isn't just the end of another chaotic week in the presidency of donald trump. tonight the chaos over trump's leadership style is eclipsed by abcs that are actually testing the rule of law. that's a reportable fact that this president is testing the rule of law. largely because of president trump's own statements. there is a fundamental concept in court called an admission against interest, a statement that is automatically considered more likely to be true because the person making the statement is incriminating himself. the idea in the rules of evidence is that people spin to try to look good. but if they cough up something bad about themselves, believe them. it's probably true. and in the three days since trump fired comey, which is of course the first time in history an fbi director has been fired without any internal finding of wrongdoing, don't forget that, in those days trump has made four key admissions against
interest. the first is about that unusual dinner at the white house where sources told "the new york times" where trump asked comey if he would be loyal at the very time the fbi was bearing down on mike flynn. president trump today admitting he is fine about questioning the fbi director about his loyalty. >> people suggest that the question that apparently "the new york times" is selling, that you asked comey whether or not you had his loyalty was possibly inappropriate. could you see how they would think that? >> i read that article. i don't think it's inappropriate. >> did you ask that question? >> no. no i didn't. but i don't think it would be a bad question to ask. loyalty to the country, loyalty to the united states is important. i mean, it depends on how you define loyalty. number one. number two, i don't know how that got there because i didn't ask that question. >> what about the idea that in a tweet you said that there might be tape recordings. >> well, that i can't talk about that. i won't talk about that. all i want is for comey to be honest. and i hope he will be.
i hope. >> it's revealing that trump said that wouldn't be a bad question to ask, while denying he asked it. comey was uneasy about the entire meeting, his former intelligence colleague said today. >> he mentioned that he had been invited to the white house to have dinner with the president. and that he was uneasy with that because of even compromising -- even the optics, the appearance of independence, not only of him but of the fbi. >> but trump has now revealed he doesn't have the same view of that independence. today he posted a second admission against interest floating the idea he may have secretly taped the fbi director during that meeting. you may have seen this by now. quote, comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. trump is signaling he views that kind of tactic as in bounds, whether he did it or not, which is incriminating. and the white house left open the door.
>> is the president of the united states currently recording conversations taking place in the oval office? >> i think the point i made with respect to the tweet is the president has no further comment on this. >> wow. that's not a denial. "new york times" reporter peter baker reporting trump has a long-standing interest in surveillance. >> this is not the first time, by the way, that somebody has suspected that donald trump might be taping them. that was a recurrent suspicion while he was in business. people thought maybe trump tower had some recording devices and so forth. this is not a new thing. but to have sean spicer not confirm or deny it leaves it out there is a very real possibility. >> the third admission against interests came as trump indicated he thinks he can personally impact the pace of a criminal investigation into his own aides. >> i said to myself, i might even lengthen out the investigation. but i have to do the right thing for the american people.
>> did you ask him to drop the investigation? >> no, never. >> did anyone from the -- >> no, in fact i want the investigation speeded up. >> it is illegal for the president to order an investigation sped up or slowed down. that would actually be the kind of tampering that could lead to obstruction charges. we will cover that in a special report later this hour. and now finally to the fourth admission against interests, which came only after the white house tried and failed to claim that this whole unusual firing came not from trump, but from a newly installed deputy attorney general. that is what trump wrote of course in hiss letter firing comey that he, quote, accepted the recommendation to fire him from ag session and deputy ag rose st rosenstein. and mike pence who was so upset about lying to him, he echoed which trump has now said is false. consider that as you watch this recent clip which has now become inoperative by the end of the week. >> president trump made the right decision at the right time.
and to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to ask for the termination to support the termination of the director of the fbi. >> so there they were, saying that the doj decided comey should go, and trump just accepted their call. but then of course trump made that admission in the nbc interview last night. the kind of statement a lawyer would never want his client to make. >> i -- i was going to fire comey. there is no good time to do it, by the way. they -- >> because in your letter you said i accepted their recommendation. you had already made the decision? >> oh, i was going to fire regardless of recommendation. >> regardless. so the president's letter and the vice president's statement were false. the president was not simply following a recommendation from that doj letter, which was sadly, perhaps in american history will one day say
tragically titled "restoring public confidence in the fbi." yes. that doj memo about honest public confidence and proper procedure we now know was false and exposed as false by the president that it purported to advise. and now serves as a kind of embarrassing and possible sanctioning statement by the new deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, a man widely regarded as a capable prosecutor for years who now in two weeks on the job in the trump administration has proven himself to be part of the larger public confidence problem than a part of its solution. president trump has made a lot of admissions against interests, including that the rosenstein memo was not true. now, will mr. rosenstein withdraw that memo and fix this mess? joining me now, joyce vance, a former federal prosecutor for the northern district of alabama. and joan walsh, correspondent for the nation and msnbc political analyst.
joan, it has gotten worse and worse. >> it gets worse every hour. it will get worse while we're sitting here probably, ari. you know, we've got a denial at this point from rod rosenstein that he does not want to appoint an independent counsel. he doesn't think it's necessary. and we have senator feinstein and senator durbin, both democrats, calling for his resignation if he doesn't do so. that is a big step. and i think we will see -- i'm still shocked that we are not getting the kind of republican participation in this crisis that we need. you know, we probably all thought this morning that maybe we were watching the end of the presidency. our president began to tweet like a mobster, if a mobster tweeted. you better hope there are no tapes or you're going to be sleeping with the fishes. i don't know what the "or else" is but it's a threat. he is threatening the witness. comey is going to testify
eventually. and i think the absence of republicans at this point, the refusal to get deeply engaged is going to go down in history as a dereliction of duty. it's really understaconscionabl >> messy vance, what stands out to you? >> obviously, it's difficult to see these sorts of contradictory statements erupting from different points in time and different places in the white house. i think your point in the lead-in is well taken. these are the types of statements from someone in a environmental investigation that really upset a defense lawyer. you want your client to lock down. you don't want to hear these sort of contradictory statements. at this point, it's very difficult to know what to believe, because we've heard so many different stories that highlights the need for a strong investigation to get to the bottom of what the facts here really are. >> i want to read to you something from preet bharara, former fellow prosecutor of
yours, of course, who was removed. he said "this isn't a surrogate refusing to talk about whether the president secretly tapes people like fbi director. it's the president himself." joyce? >> right. and this makes it incredibly challenging here. we have a president who has put on the table the possibility that he is taping, and then declines to talk about it any further. this highlights the need for congressional committees i think to engage fully, to do their job, to get to the bottom of this, and to ask the president and subpoena if necessary or acquire information to get to the bottom of these very interesting comments that were made. >> and just briefly, if the tapes don't exist, then he can't assert executive privilege about something that isn't there, right? >> that's exactly right. >> so even trying to pursue this, joan, would actually be
somewhat potentially revelatory. either way it's problematic. you mentioned the pressure from the senate. i want to read from senator feinstein, who yes, a democrat but has often lined up in moderate or conservative positions. >> she is very moderate. >> especially with regard to national security and intelligence issues. president trump and the white house have presented an ever changing narrative on the rationale for firing comey. this triggers a need for the judiciary committee to hold hearing and get to the bill of this. i also support senator durbin's call for rosenstein to resign if he is unwilling to appoint a special counsel. these investigations are far too important to risk disruption, delay or interference. breaking news tonight that half of the short list are partisan political figures. >> it's outrageous. but we don't expect any more from him. he is not trying to paper over this with any kind of reaching out to democrats. oh, i don't mean to look as bad as i look. and, you know, so far
republicans haven't stepped up into this crisis. i think that that list, john cornyn being so close to mitch mcconnell, who is really at the heart of the corruption in the republican senate, that no one will take a stand. no one will join dianne feinstein in asking. she alone signed a letter tonight also asking for these tapes, alleged tapes to be preserved. you know, why isn't chuck grassley right there at her side asking the same question? it's a matter of law, the presidential record act requires that they be preserved. >> right. i want to get you also on former intelligence director clapper talking here about collusion and what he might have known at a certain point in time. here is clapper. >> it's not surprising or out of -- or abnormal that i would not have known about the investigation or even more importantly, the content of that investigation. so i don't know if there was collusion or not. i don't know if there is
evidence of collusion or not, nor should i have in this particular context. >> joan, it is fair to say that because of the president's behavior, you have more people like clapper and fbi officials who are normally circumspect actually giving us this iterative updates that is an underlying pressure that comey felt pressure to do that, partly from oversight on the house committee. >> comey's behavior towards hillary clinton is actually related to this problem that he felt like he was going to be secondguessed, outed, that there were going to be leaks if he didn't report everything that he reported. he really made, as he put it in his testimony last week, he made the hon -- he put the honor of the fbi ahead of the honor of the country in my opinion. he was so concerned that it not reflect poorly on the bureau that loretta lynch had met with bill clinton briefly, that there were all these rumors about interference with the investigation. he really went out on a limb. i'm taking him at his word. i'm giving him the benefit of
the doubt as a democrat who was very upset with those decisions. and i think we will see him do that again. i know he said he wouldn't testify next week. maybe he wants to be subpoenaed. but i believe he too will step up and say more than donald trump will be happy that he is saying very soon. >> right. which will be a direct response to all of these attacks on a nonpartisan independent process. >> yes. >> joan walsh, thank you for being here tonight. i appreciate your context, as always. joyce vance is going to stay with me, because there are some more questions i want to ask her, including what qualifies as obstruction of justice. does anything including the tweets impede an investigation? we'll get into that shortly. stay with us. ♪ ♪
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just do it, i said to myself, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> linking the firing to the russian criminal inquiry regarding his former and potentially current employees. and then the president says he has the power to lengthen the investigation of his own aides. >> when i did this now, i said i probably maybe will confuse people. maybe i'll expand that, maybe i'll leonardo lengthen the time. because in my opinion, it should be over a long time ago. because all it is is an skuchlts i said to myself i might even lengthen out the investigation. but i have to do the right thing for the american people. he is the wrong man for that position. >> the president asserting there that he might lengthen that criminal investigation. so as we've been reporting, do all of these statements combined with some of the other issues that have been revealed, do they amount to the kind of tampering that could lead to criminal charges, obstruction of justice
is defined in more than one way. but in one part of federal law, in title 18 of the federal code, it is whoever corruptly or obstructs or influences or impedes an official proceeding or attempts to do so. it got a lot of attention from senator durbin. >> president trump is dangerous, dangerous because he may be obstructing in terms of the investigation that really goes to the heart of our democracy. that is what is certainly new this week. the president's own words creating two new problems at least for the russia inquiry. number one, how can the fbi prove again to the american public that this investigation will continue without any bullying or any other interference from the president? and number two, does the fbi or the justice department need to issue some kind of formal limits or guidance on the president's interactions with the current acting and future fbi director, given everything that has gone down? joining me now, jim cavanaugh.
he is of course an msnbc enforcement analyst, retired atf agent with a lot of experience, and as promised, back with us prosecutor joyce vance. jim, your view of the obstruction issue, and whether if at a certain point there is enough blunt public talk from this person linked to the inquiry whether some guidance or some rules have to be publicly set? >> well, they do, ari, absolutely. this is a blockbuster statement by the president, in my view, given the federal statute on obstruction and interfering with any agency's official proceeds. joyce can elaborate on this. but she knows. and i know joyce. and we work together. and i would be in her office early in the morning arguing that we needed an aggressive investigation on this set of fax. look, you have the president saying he fired the director of the fbi for the only reason on earth that he could not fire the director of the fbi. he could have had any other reason on earth, any reason.
but that reason, because that reason obstructs the investigation which he knew existed, which they discussed, which he -- there is talk of maybe loyalty that would have to be flushed out. and now the minute the director left the fbi, he was a witness in the case. and the president is still tweeting at him. so this thing needs a very aggressive investigation. it cannot proceed in my view the way it is. i think that the deputy attorney general who i think is a man of character, a long-standing u.s. attorney, he is a man of character. but i think what he needs to do, he needs to appoint a special counsel, and then he needs to decide whether he is going to stay in the department or resign for his future. he needs to appoint a special coins. >> you think rod rosenstein is sufficiently compromised or facing the appearance of compromise that he has to legally, you feel, appoint a special counsel? >> well, look, ari, the deputy attorney general, mr. rosenstein, is a witness in a case of obstructing justice.
>> wow. >> he is a witness in a case, in an investigation. let's say we don't know how it would come out. we would as agents take this to joyce and attorneys like you and argue that we have to proceed aggressively. i would be arguing that a subpoena needs to land at 1600 pennsylvania avenue in the morning for the records documents, tape recordings, statements, anything with director comey, anything with the question of the investigation. >> i just want to make sure. so you're basically saying everything with russia before monday is one topic. but from monday on there is a separate criminal cloud hanging over that now rosenstein is now implicated in, and thus can't do this. is that what you're saying? >> i'm just saying he is a witness. i'm not saying rosenstein is criminally culpable. >> but you're saying a witness to investigating potential tampering or obstruction? >> he can't investigate a case that he is a witness in. >> right. >> he can't be a special -- be the prosecutor. >> right. >> and joyce knows this. she has had assistants it happens to.
once you become a witness in a case, you recuse. >> joyce? >> yes. >> your thoughts. >> so jim knows that it's the job of the agents to push prosecutors for charges. and it looks easy to charge obstruction in this case. but when you look at the array of federal statutes that are designed to address obstruction, the statute that you talked about that involves obstructing a federal investigation, there is case law that says that that doesn't apply to an fbi investigation. 1505, it would apply if it was an irs case. doesn't apply when the fbi is investigating, according to the u.s. attorney's manual that governs federal prosecutions there is really not a statute that's designed to address a situation where the president and the director of the fbi are interacting in a way that people might call obstructive. potentially more interesting here, and of course we don't know the facts, and that goes back to jim's comments and tells
us we need an aggressive and thorough investigation. but there is a statute called the federal bribery statute. and that would apply, if for instance, you had facts that are not yet on the table here -- >> of a quid pro quo or something. >> exactly. >> let me play the acting director for you because i want to get your view on this. and let me mention, you make the point that i think people have a broad sense of which is it's harder to deal with some of these things in the presidential context, yet it is also obstruction that was one of the articles of impeachment historically against president nixon and clinton. although that is inherently a political process. joyce, take a listen to the acting fbi director talking about whether he thinks the question posed by trump should ever be answered. >> would it have been wrong for the director to inform them he was not under investigation? that's not about conversations. that's yes or no answer. >> as you know, senator, we
typically do not answer that question. i will not comment on whether or not the director and the president of the united states had that conversation. >> will you refrain from these kinds of alleged updates to the president or anyone else in the white house on the status of the investigation? >> i will. >> joyce, do you take from that that the acting director does not think james comey told the president three times that he was not under investigation? >> so i seriously doubt that acting director mccabe thinks that he gave those answers. and i do too. this early in an investigation, even if there was a situation where a lawyer was talking with a target, you would never say that the investigation doesn't touch you because you don't know what facts might unfold. so whether you're a target today you could be a target down the road, there are legal consequences to telling someone they're not a target in terms of the admissibility of any statements they might make in the future or other actions. director comey, former director comey would have never wanted to
compromise any potential investigation. i think it's extraordinarily unlikely that those words every came out of his mouth. >> it's one of the most ridiculous parts of this. because james comey, fbi director and former deputy attorney general knows that if you're investigating an organization, you're not going to rule out the head of the organization at the beginning of the inquiry. it's just not how these things work. so it's another basically hanging cloud. jim cavanaugh and joyce vance, thank you so much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, ari. coming up, another angle on the story. some breaking news on russian money and the trump campaign. stay with us. every beat calls... to be heard... ♪ to move... with you... through you... ♪ beyond you. ♪
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i have no investments in russia, none whatsoever. i don't have property in russia. i have nothing to do with russia. >> and one last question on this matter. did you -- >> and i have a certified letter, just so you understand. i'm not just saying that. >> donald trump's taxes are back, and he is the one bringing them up. he sent a short letter from his paid private attorneys that states his tax returns do not reflect any income of any type from russian sources, any debt owed by you or the trump organization to russian lenders, any equity investments by russian persons or entities controlled by you or the trump organization. with a few exceptions. if you look closely on the upper left-hand portion of your screen, you'll see this letter was actually dated by these paid attorneys in march, two months ago.
it is, quote/unquote news now because the trump team, for whatever reason released it today. and in a confusing bit of lawyer speak inside that lawyer, it seems to limit the exceptions to a beauty pageant in moscow, a $95 million sale of a florida mansion to a russian billionaire, and a few other sales which are described as, quote, immaterial. the translation here is that trump is saying his taxes show he doesn't have big ties to russia. if his taxes show that, it would take the steam out of one of the largest questions dogging him in his presidency. but obviously, let's be clear. he didn't release that proof. instead, he is releasing a purported description of that proof. it's not the tax returns. it's not testified. it's not even an independent audit by an accounting firm. it's a bit like telling the cops you have a secret alibi for the crime you're suspected of, but you just won't tell them what the alibi is. some critics say the letter actually makes things worse.
here is here. >> no, it doesn't satisfy. i think it was the same firm that talked about the president's massive disclosures that was later found out to be all blank pages. not a lot of credibility with that firm and some of those individuals. what i would take is i would take the president's tax returns. we can clear this up if we get a chance to look at the president's tax returns. >> joining me now, charlie savage, pulitzer prize winning report foreinterest "new york times," writer of "power wars". he is also a contributor here at msnbc. charlie, does this letter mean anything? >> well, this letter is -- how it gets interpreted will matter a lot based on who you are. if you're sort of the group of people that trusts mr. trump and the people around him who were never that interested in the fact that he wasn't releasing his tax returns, unlike every other presidential candidate, this letter will answer the questions that you weren't asking in the first place.
>> let me interrupt you. i'm not asking about whether there are people who love donald trump and don't care about his taxes. i'm sort of asking you as a factual investigative reporter, does this letter add any credible content or not? >> so if you're skeptical and not inclined to give the president the benefit of the doubt, this letter raises as many questions as it answers. the question is whether hid nene the artful legalese here, are there still places where there could be russian money that are just not being talked about. there has been a lot of reporting about this. there is an excellent article by my colleagues who talked to a lot of tax experts. how are they defining russian interests here? what about shell companies and partnerships that might be registered in some other country like cypress? >> we spoke to tax experts today who said there is obviously a whole art to this. so the word source in tax law might rule out any shell company outside of russia that is just a pass-through. and let me read to you, of
course, some older information that might be a little more credible on the scale. here is donald trump jr. in 2008. quote, russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets in dubai. certainly with our project in soho and anywhere in new york. well see a lot of money pouring in from russia. would that sound like it matches the letter or would it sound like that's a description of more russian capital than the letter acknowledged? >> it is a hard to square that description and other things that mr. trump's sons have said about russian money with this letter. so one or the other probably isn't true. >> and then here is john dodson. and this is a secondary account. but he is a journalist about what he heard from eric trump. and that was in 2014 about three years ago. >> i said eric, whose funding? i know no banks because of the recession, the great recession, have touched a golf course. he said, well we don't rely on american banks. we have all the funding we need out of russia.
i said really? and he said oh, yeah. we've got some guys that really, really love golf, and they really invested in our programs. we just go there all the time. >> how do you view that? >> hard to say that's come patble with this letter either. i would note that eric trump has denied that account for what it's worth. >> yeah, he will show that as well. it's interesting. that's an account and a tweet from eric trump. this story is completely fabricated. another example of why there is such a deep distrust of the media in our country. #fnews. march 8 is the release of the letter and they release it now during this firestorm. your thoughts on that briefly. >> obviously, this is coming. it's inextricable from the furor over the firing of james comey and the continuing fbi investigation into whether there was any kind of coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government in its interference in the 2016 election. senator lindsey graham was raising some of these questions
just hours before mr. comey was fired. and it will be interesting to see what senator graham makes of this since he is the chairman of a subcommittee and one of the rare republicans on the hill who has been really pressing these questions. >> right. charlie savage, as always, just the fax. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, in the wake of the comey firing, what are democrats now specifically demanding in this investigation? what will happen heading into this very busy monday? our panel is next. i no longer live with
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special prosecutor that you're calling for? >> we need the support of republican members of congress. we can't do this alone as a minority. >> the possibility there may be tapes to be subpoenaed in kegs with this investigation, the need for more resources all point to the need for someone with credibility and integrity that a special independent prosecutor would have. >> what comes next? democrats trying to ramp up the pressure in very specific ways on the doj. congressional leaders here looking at fbi director james comey's firing and saying there must be a special counsel. others saying a select committee or an independent 9/11 style commission. also tonight, new demands for the white house to turn over any tapes that president trump may have recorded coming from democrats. and chuck schumer announcing that he has convinced mitch mcconnell to do at least one bipartisan thing and have a joint brief big the man of the hour, mr. rod rosenstein for the full senate that is coming. and my panel is here to discuss
all of this. nancy giles, contributor to cbs news sunday morning. associate professor of political science at fordham. and contributor to the daily beast. christina, when you teach political science, you talk about the branches. you talk about the oversight. the democrats are pushing everyone else in congress to do oversight. >> and talk about the separation of powers and checks and balances. but they only work when everyone does their job. thing is what senator durbin was saying. republican members of congress have to step up. they cannot let the executive branch do a steamroll. this is a perfect triangle, the way the framers intended so that each branch sets it up. read if you want the specifics. so if the republicans don't actually get a backbone and say we must have someone independent come in and look into this president, we're just -- we're at a loss. and democracy won't work if people do not live by the law and do the jobs that they're
intended to do. >> rick wilson, you have advised my republican. what are you advising them tonight? >> well, my advise right now is if you're too scared to take up an actual investigation as the guys in the house obviously have been, then it's time to really buckle down and take the brief heat from donald trump of naming an independent counsel. a select committee would also probably go a long way towards allaying a lot of public concern. it's really time -- it's really time to get off the dime here and go with an independent counsel. >> nancy, take a listen to roger stone, who is someone who has worked for nixon and donald trump. >> okay. >> talking about where this should go based on who is in charge of the justice department. roger stone. >> i think jeff sessions, because of his partisanship, is the wrong person to pursue this. i would welcome a special prosecutor. i think the president should pick the right woman to do that. >> all right. that's a step in the right direction, the right woman.
i was just going to add to what christina was saying, which was we're in a perfect triangle of hell is what we're in. and i'm actually at a loss. because i don't understand how so many members of congress on the republican side can clear l care more about politicking. we have the president on tape basically saying i removed the head of the fbi -- oh, and i love this part of his little interview where he goes i think to myself, trump? yeah, this trump-russia thing. why you talking about yourself in the third person, number one. and number two, i don't really want to know anymore about how crazy your thoughts are. but he laid it out right there. it's so obvious that a special prosecutor is needed. you know? >> rick, you're laughing, although i know you don't think it's purely funny. go ahead. >> no. listen, the fact of the matter is no one in congress six weeks ago believed that they were
going to be able to get away with this. after the nunes thing went into a tailspin. and right now they need to really decide if they're going to have a meaningful investigation, and if they're going to take the political damage, if this thing continues to grind out and go forward and more and more revelations come out in the public space that show that donald trump and his administration were before this whole week of chaos and weirdness involved with russia. and after this, involved with obstruction. >> right, look. christina greer, not every week can be an inflection point in american history. >> i don't know. >> no, it's crazy! >> but let me say if before monday you were a person who said i want to give this administration the benefit of the doubt, for whatever reason, there were ways to give them the benefit of the doubt. it seems that after monday, what's left after a president
basically puts out a false explanation for the most controversial thing he has ever done, a doj memo that i can tell you, i cover the doj. they don't put out memos that say we just decided this. no due process. and don't even mention that there is an ongoing internal review of the very issue they claim comey is being issued about. don't even minutes even though there is this because of the extraordinary circumstances. acts like that doesn't exist. that's the opposite of due process. respond the you would to senator dean heller here, a republican. this is what i mean about the inflection point saying now, all of the sudden, quote, i'm uncomfortable with the timing. i think an independent prosecutor should be on the table if the senate and the house can't get the answers. >> listen, i think they are slowly but surely waking up. 2018 will be a disaster. >> a bloodbath. >> if republicans do not get themselves together. they also are now seeing that trump is only loyal to trump. he will throw anyone under the bus. we saw how he loved comey in october, november, december, and january and february.
>> for the exact same things that he hates him for. >> everyone, everyone goes under the bus with trump. trump only cares trump. he does not care about this country. he does not care about the republican party. so the sooner they realize that, the better. >> rick? >> ari, i have a political rule that i'm starting to develop. i think it's pretty solid. i think we're starting to see enough of it retrospect and coming forward. everything trump touches, dice. at some point, if you're his best friend at some point, you will be thrown under the bus. >> that's true. >> you're the rock star of trump world, you will be thrown under the bus. everything trump touches, dies. well, maybe not. but i don't even want to think about that. >> nancy? >> yes. >> i think it's a point of political rhetoric, there have been a lot of political deaths. the first campaign manager, the second campaign manager, paul manafort, flynn there is a lot of political deaths. >> right. >> you're up. >> god willing it's only worked
>> an important question. we have to fit in a break. and i want to thank nancy and christina for being here. rick, stay with me. we are going to talk about donald trump and the conspiracy theories that continue to haunt this administration and a question i have for you. that's next. that's why a cutting edge university counts on centurylink to keep their global campus connected. and why a pro football team chose us to deliver fiber-enabled broadband to more than 65,000 fans. and why a leading car brand counts on us to keep their dealer network streamlined and nimble. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. yet up 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more. add one a day women's complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it supports bone health with calcium and vitamin d. one a day women's in gummies and tablets.
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voter suppression. we are looking at all the voting irregularities that affect the integrity of our election. >> this is an important development. the aclu is already suing over this order. next i'm going to ask rick wilson why the president is revisiting this conspiracy. tony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ i ...prilosec otc 7 years ago,my doctor recommended... 5 years ago, last week. just 1 pill each morning, 24 hours and zero heartburn. it's been the number 1 doctor recommended brand for 10... ...straight years, and it's still recommended today. use as directed.
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welcome back. as promised, the question i want to ask rick wilson. with everything going on with russia, please tell me why the president is revisiting his conspiracy on illegal voting. >> the reason donald trump is revisiting the illegal voting conspiracy is because he has the throw out some boob bait for his audience. these people are desperate for any change of subject. they are desperate for anything that isn't the -- the shit show -- sorry guys -- of this entire week. the craziness of this entire week. they are wanting to send something back out to the trump base to allow them to get fired up and energized again and to have a moment where they feel like the things that they are reading on the pages of breitbart to coming to life again and he is going to fulfill the promise of purging the mysterious 3 million voters that they never have been able to turn up so far. >> i know it's late.
apologies if any children are watching. rick wilson, i appreciate your analysis. i'm ari melber. appreciate i watching the last word. our special coverage continues this sunday on the point. i have sally yates, that's sunday 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. please keep watching. "the 11th hour" live with brian williams starts right now. tonight, is he bluffing or is he threatening the former head of the fbi or both in the president refuses to deny his recorded private conversations. by doing so he may have strigerred a whole new rounds of investigations. tonight it's also clear that the people around jooims james comey are anxious for his version of that white house dinner story to get out. after just 16 weeks in office donald trump tonight is the subject of a whole new round of nixon comparisons. th's