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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  December 27, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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this one i have to defer on. >> harry or william? >> william right now. >> barack obama just not answering your questions when he chooses appropriately. tomorrow i want to tell you about one special thing i'm doing. i have a closing comment on 2017 and why we need more humphrey bogart. i will explain all if you tune into the beat tomorrow. and you can always e-mail me. that's our show. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight new details on donald trump's legal strategy. "the washington post" reports the president's team is ready to paint mike flynn as a liar. all while trump still isn't ruling out a pardon. plus no end in sight. it seems robert mueller's team is bringing in new witnesses. we'll reveal who's reportedly been questioned. and the president loves to
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brag about the economy. is trump really to thank? "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm ali velshi in for brian williams. day 342 of the trump administration, and there's new reporting tonight about the president's legal strategy when it comes to russia. it appears the president's legal team is gearing up for a fight with former national security advisor mike flynn. the same mike flynn who was at trump's side throughout the campaign who led chants of lock her up in the republic convention and who was fired less than a month in his new white house job. flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi and is now cooperating with robert mueller. tonight "the washington post" reports trump's team plans to attack flynn's credibility. writing that according to three
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people familiar with the president's strategy, quote, president trump's legal team plans to cast former national security advisor michael flynn as a liarseeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any wrongdoing. attorneys for trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the president or his white house team. but since flynn's cooperation agreement with the prosecutors was made public earlier this month, the administration has been strategiesing how to neutralize him in case the former national security advisor does make any claims. she elaborating today. here's what she said to say. >> anyone watching on the outside looks at the deal that michael flynn, the former national securityads visor received and wonders, wow, what kind of great dirt does he have? because he could have been charged reasonably with four or five counts of lying and
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misleading, defrauding the u.s. there were many, many instances in which the prosecutors could have gone harder on him. >> the strategy is a huge reversal for trump who has been openly supportive of michael flynn, even after his firing and his guilty plea. >> michael flynn, general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. this man has served for many years. he's a general. he's in my opinion a very good person. well, i feel badly for general flynn. i feel very badly. he's lead a very strong life, and i feel very badly, john. i will say this, hillary clinton lied many times to the fbi. nothing happen today her. flynn lied and they destroyed his life. will you consider a pardon for michael flynn? i don't want to talk about pardons for michael flynn yet. we'll see what happens.
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let's see. >> meanwhile michael flynn's brother making a public appeal to had president. in a tweet yesterday which he later deleted joseph flynn wrote about time you pardoned general flynn who's taken the biggest fall for all of you given the ilegitimacy of this confessed crime. later he took a less confrontational approach. i personally believe a pardon is due to general flynn given the apparent and obvious manner in which the so-called crimes he pled guilty to were extracted from him. both of those relatively confusing tweets. and there's no reporting about mueller's investigation picking up steam. in just the last few weeks mueller's prosecutors have begun questioning committee staffers about the party digital operation that worked with the trump campaign to target voters in key swing states. they're seeking to determine if the joint effort was related to the activities of russian trolls
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and bots and in influencing the american ecleck tort. yahoo also reports the president's attorneys are pressing mueller to wind down the investigation and exonerate trump. earlier he spoke to crist hayes about mueller's work. >> if anything, he's expanding. he's casting a wider net. it's pretty clear mueller and his team are digging in for the long haul, and this is going to last quite some time. mueller is a veteran prosecutor. he was head of the justice department criminal division, and he's not going to wrap up or exonerate everybody until he gets the full story from every conceivable witness. >> amid all of this the president and the white house are making the effort to maintain the appearance of business as usual. today one of trump's former campaign advisers came out to
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ereiterate a similar defense. >> i think the russia investigation is a hoax. i think that the investigation into russian collusion between the trump campaign and russian actors is a hoax. i believe that the investigation -- >> it's also an investigation into how the russians medaled in this election. it's not just an election into the campaign. >> i don't think he believes that's a hoax. in fact, he said on it record he believed his national security advisers on that topic. i think when the investigations conclude into russian meddling in our elections as opposed to the fake trump-russia collusion narrative we'll find out more about it. >> keep your ear tuned for the deep state references that keep showing up these days. with that let's bring in our lead off panel. julia ansley, ken vogel, and
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attorney jill winebanks, former assistant watergate special counsel and an msnbc legal analyst. what do you think the trump team knows about the investigation of mueller into flynn about turning on flynn and delegitimizing him? >> well, it is interesting timing especially after the meeting last week between the trump legal team and mueller's investigators. we know that they are trying to keep the president calm. and one of the things that could be undermining that is the obvious plea agreement that really seems to suggest that flynn got off easy because he's handing over a lot of information that these investigators want. that's not easy when you have a person who you're trying to defend who is easily anxious is prone to tweeting like the president is. and so at this point they want to try to undermine flynn so that the information that he provides would not be credible
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if not in a court then at least in the court of public opinion. so that the public can see flynn as someone who the president is distant from, so that anything he says could be seen as less credible. >> jill, what are the risks of a strategy like this? >> first of all, i would say the risk is it's hard to make someone out to be a liar who has pled guilty to perjury. he's admitted he's a liar. that has not added anything to undermining him. and you're taking something the prosecutor clearly thought about before accepting a plea to perjury. he knew he would have to defend the credibility of the witness. so i am sure that mueller's team is prepared to share why he is credible and that there are documents or some other evidence that corroborates anything that he is saying, that flynn is saying. so i don't think it's an effective tool, and it also throws some doubt onto the
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president. why did he hire flynn if he was a liar? why did he keep him for 18 days after he knew what flynn had done? and why did he praise him after he fired him? and why is he considering possibly pardoning him if he is such a bad actor? >> ken, this report that mueller is looking into the republican national committee, how does that fit into mueller's larger investigation? >> well, it's a another possible angle to take to try to prove or at least flush out this idea there could have been collusion between donald trump, his allies and the russians. we see that in the focus on this june 2016 meeting at trump tower between this russian lawyer, a russian american lobbyist, and jared kushner, donald trump, jr., and paul manafort. and we see that in this focus,
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continued focus i should say, on the digital operation of both the trump campaign and the republican national committee. there's been a lot of focus on facebook and twitter and the ability of foreign actors, in this case russians, to use it, to post advertising or to boost stories that are intended to influence the election and how these social media platforms are unable to flag or prevent it. and so now to take the further step we understand that both mueller and the congressional intelligence committees are looking into whether the trump campaign or the rnc did anything to abet or to sort of cooperate with or enhance the effect of these russian placed advertising that was seen as -- look at the way it was targeted. it's very sofisicated in their microtargeting in districts and states that, you know, that could be in play. it's the same type of dynamic and the same type of calculus
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that the republican committee and the trump campaign were looking at when they sort of figured out where to target their advertising and digital outreach efforts. >> it's interesting because the mueller campaign is expanding into whether votes could have been influenced. when you listen to republican and the campaign, they only speak about whether votes were changed. the implication seems to be unless physical votes were changed in a place of voting, there can be no evidence of russian influence as opposed to were people influenced one way or another in collusion with the russians? >> right, ali, and that's a really narrow way to see this. because if you speak to people who have understood the way russian intelligence and russian operations into other countries and influencing elections have worked, they usually go in these three categories, and we can see this in the way mueller is working. they're looking into spreading false information that clearly happened in social media, perhaps through a digital strategy and also happened
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through the hack of the clinton e-mails, things we saw liked out in the summer before the election. and it potentially could be through collusion with the campaign like the trump campaign. so it's really difficult to see how they could be so narrowly focused on just changing the physical votes. but that seems to be one way where they could jeero in, say there's nothing to see here and then kind of dismiss the baby with the bathwater. >> jill, i want to talk about these tweets we've seen from the president in the last couple of days which is reaching new heights in their incoherence. ap's article on the tweets saying, with each tweet about the clinton probe trump seems to be further undermining his rational that's now special -- it seems every time the president decides to go down this road of tweeting about jim comey, hillary clinton, robert
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mueller's involvement in you're uranium one, it just muddies the waters. >> it not only does that, which is certainly does, but it makes great fodder for cross examining the president. at any point when he is questioned you can say to him were you lying when you said that you fired comey because he handled the e-mail investigation of hillary clinton poorly, or did you lie when you said that the reason you fired him was because of the russia thing, to use the president's words? or was it because he wasn't managing the fbi correctly, and is that a lie? he has said so many different things that are inconsistent, and one of them only can be true. so any one of those others is great for cross examining him and asking which one is the lie. and that makes him look really bad. so i think it's a very ineffective strategy and also very dangerous to him. >> and julia, at the same time
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the president's attorneys seem to be pressuring the mueller investigation to come to an end. we keep on hearing from republicans on the hill that they want the house and senate investigations to come to an end. at what point -- what does the end look like in any of these cases because everybody's aiming at something a little bit different. >> it seems that the end goal as far as some of these republicans on the hill we've been hearing from and the trump team would want is really a way to exonerate the president. it seems there's not a lot of care being taken to the paul manafort's, the jared kushners, anyone that could be implicated. it's really important to clear the president's name so he can move forward with his agenda. and it's kind of becoming a litmus test to show their loyalty to the president by saying we need to wrap this up
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quickly, when in fact that's undermining what a committee intelligence investigation is supposed to be. it's supposed to be a bipartisan agreementthality really can't be undermined with any kind of political talk. and they're kind of going ahead and shooting that in the foot before the end even comes. >> posted an up-ed "the new york times" tonight saying, i am proud of our diplomacy. he says on russia we have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with. the united states today has a poor relationship with an insurgent russia that has invaded the ukraine in the last decade and undermined the sovereignty of our nations. we recognize the need to work with russia where mutual interests intersect. nowhere is that more evident than in syria. rex tillerson seems to express a view that would largely be in sync with what most americans think about russia. they're an adversary but
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important in some areas of the world. we're going to have to work with them. it does not seem to constantly be in sync with what we're hearing from the president. >> that's the irony here. you have a president willing and so eager to question the intelligence community's findings about russian meddling, say nice things about vladimir putin that really flies in the face of not just his own party and russian hawks but the america foreign policy community and traditional thinking on these matters. that said, his administration, the rest of the administration including secretary of state tillerson and ambassador nikki haley have taken a much harder line towards russia. and you see that manifest itself not just in op-ed like this but approving lethal weapons sale to ukraine, that's something trump was 180 degrees opposed to
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during the campaign and suggested he would even recognize the russian annexation of crimea. you see his administration taking steps that are in many ways anathema to his position on russia. >> thanks to each of you for joining us tonight. still ahead, president trump gave himself rave reviews today for the tax bill passed by congress. but could that new law sink republicans chances come 2018? and up next, your 401 k's are likely ending on a high note this year and trump is taking credit. but does he deserve credit? we're just getting started on a wednesday night.
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the 401(k)'s are doing well, the stocks are doing well. we have an all-time record of regulations, and that's one of the reasons why the stock market is at a record level. we broke in 84 times this year and the stock market hit a new high. 84 times since we won the election of november 8 last year. when the stock market goes up, that affects everybody. not just the rich, the fact is it affects everybody. >> couple of things, it doesn't actually affect everyone. we'll get to that in a minute. but when you're at a record high you're going in that direction you're going to get records every day. so that's quite common. president trump meat with firefighters today near his
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resort. he took the time to report on twitter the stock market is setting record after record. the stock market is poised for another year of success. the markets did do well. the s&p 500, which i like to use more than the dow, is up 18% during trump's first 11 months in office. about double where an average year would be. but just how much credit does the president deserve? with us to talk about philip bubb and kimberley atkins, the chief washington report for the boston herald and an msnbc contributor. welcome to both of you. phil, i want to show you the s&p 500, you're familiar with this, since 2009. that's during the recession. let's go to the one that goes all the way from 2009 where you see the stock market going up since then -- well, maybe we
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don't have that, but you know the point. there we go. that red point at the end is donald trump's contribution to this. this has been a relatively straight move up in this market for a long time. i think president's take too much credit and get too much blame for stock markets, but he is owning this one like no one i've ever seen. >> if you look at his approval ratings, his approval ratings started low, have dropped since the beginning of his presidency. the dow is something he can point to on a day by day basis, it's going up. >> and he would talk about low unemployment, the same way, numbers and all that. and now he touts it. >> that's exactly right. theretwo key things i discovered when i looking at this today. the first is number one,
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international indexies have also seen increases which suggest that the japanese economy and german economy are responding similar similarly, it suggests there's a broader trend happening than simply markets in the united states -- >> i e u.s. markets are not going up in isolation. >> yes. and the other thing i've noticed is there are other presidents who have actually seen more impressive gains. for example, barack obama, in the first year of his presidency in 2009 actually saw an increase in the dow than donald trump. >> now coming off a recession you would expect a bigger gain right after recession, but it's more than doubled. that's just to indicate that's not true. >> that's exactly right. and there were other presidents
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close. george h.w. bush saw an impressive dow in his first year. there are all these indicators to suggest while we understand why donald trump likes to use this metric, it's not a measure of his success. >> i like it when the stock market goes up, but about half of all americans own stock. many through 401(k)'s and iras. it actually affects lower income, lower wage people far less than it does the wealthy. >> that's absolutely true. i mean not a lot of people own stocks. and yes, there are 401(k)'s and things like that, but this isn't something that -- the stock market isn't something that americans necessarily feel
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directly in their pocketbooks. and so while the president is touting this, i mean the economy is important to him. he talks about the economy a lot. even when he unveiled his national security strategy last week the key point is that economic security is national security. he likes to talk about these numbers, but it has the same problem which you pointed out as the tax bill. even though the tax bill will give a lot of americans a tax cut at least temporarily, it's still really unpopular because americans view it as something that's predominantly going to help the wealthy, help corporations and help people like donald trump. so i think he is proud of this number because it is positive news, even though maybe a small part of it is based on his policy and a lot due to outside factors as you pointed out and maybe luck as well that a president inherits. but i think for a lot of people it doesn't necessarily spell success for them in their bottom lines.
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>> there was a time probably, philip, where the stock market moved in lock step with economic success and gdp growth. earlier this year the president actually implied the monetary value of the growth of the stock market is a way to reduce get. and there are days i don't know whether he's being manipulative to his own benefit or he doesn't really get what's going on, because stock market gains have no connection to paying down the national debt. >> right, there's this interview you referred to where he said there's been a 500 -- gain. there is this overhanging question to the extent donald trump understand the connection weak or strong between the actions of the presidency and what happens in the economy. the dow and the markets in general are obviously something that are close to him. it's a language he also understands having come from the world of business. but also he's a salesman, right?
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>> maybe something good about the fact he constantly talks up the market, and i guess the opposite could be the case and the president could talk it down -- >> certainly. it would have a different effect on the campaign trail. but i would generally give him the credit of understanding what he said about the debt is not true, that he was simply making a sales pitch. i think the most regulatory thing he said about the entire economic picture that cbs reported he made in the dining room of mar-a-lago on friday night. >> we're all getting a lot richer. >> which is an amaze thing to say and stunning thing to say. he obviously put an emphasis in the tax bill and generally on these high income americans. and he was saying, hey, look, this thing paid off for you which i think suggests -- >> kimberley, he did that very early after being elected. he snuck away from a bunch of reporters and he also reportedly
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pointed to everyone in the room, this is very exclusive restaurant in new york, and said you're all going to get a lot richer as a result. i just don't understand how all the stock market stuff plays with donald trump's base. >> i think he sees his base as someone -- as people who see him as successful, and therefore he makes a good leader. that success makes a good leader, and he put that out on the campaign trail. and i think he's sticking with that. look, despite the president's boastfulness today standing with those firefighters, it has been a tough year for him. he has gotten one big legislative achievement, the tax bill at the end. he did appoint a supreme court justice, but beyond that there were a lot of defeats on obamacare and other things, his travel ban keeps getting struck down by courts. and now his transgender ban is meeting that same fate in the court. so he has something he can tout, and he's going to do that. in terms of how he speaks to
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people privately, wealthy people like himself as opposed to when he stood up before reporters and said, oh, this is going to cost me a lot of money, which is just blatantly untrue, that you'll have to ask the president himself why he makes that message. >> thank you for joining me. coming up protests today in virginia as the plot thickens over a contested e. make-or-break for both parties. we're going live to richmond when "the 11th hour" continues. whoooo.
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we feel the integrity of the entire recount system is at stake because what we're going to end up with is this downward spiral of challenging every single ballot up to judges. >> there was a new twist to an already incredible race today in virginia. the statehouse of delegates election in virginia is still without a winner at this hour. crow might remember last month's race was declared a victory for democrat shelly sime nds after a recount with a one vote margin. but a three judge panel stripped her of the victory calling the race a tie thanks to this ballot, which was counted in favor of republican candidate david yansy. the race had been scheduled to go a lottery drawing, the usual next step in virginia. now simonds has filed a motion and the virginia board of
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elections has -- they post opinioned the drawing indefinitely. protest broke out today in support of the democrat as the state and nation watched eagerly for a verdict that could change the balance of power in the currently republican controlled statehouse of delegates. joining us is trip gabriel, national correspondent for "the new york times." the ballot in question has its share of issues. the selection for governor could be considered crossed out, too. how important is this important of a decision in virginia to the future of every questional ballot? >> it's enormously important. as you noted, this is a single ballot to determine a race for the statehouse of delegates. and it's not just any race. it could shift the balance of
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power for republicans of the mujart for the last 17 years if the court rules in favor of shelly simonds, the democrat back in court to challenge the last decision. and it's a remarkable ballot. it was disregarded during the initial recount, the republican candidate yanse asked for it to be recounted in his favor. it was recounted in his favor. now it appears as if there are a couple of, you know, major ambiguities with the ballot. so not only this election in potentially the control of the lower house of the general assembly turning on a single vote, it's turning on a problematic ballot. >> this could go back and forth for a while. what is the natural course of events here? obviously the state board of
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elections thought the natural course would be to put each name in a bowl or something and draw it. simonds, the democratic candidate is saying no. now, what's the argument because it's the same ballot that someone has to look for. what is she hoping to get out of this. >> her argument, her lawyer's argument is that the three judges initially misinterpretered or misread this ballot. virginia is interesting. it has a 15-page manual with all kinds of examples of ballots and how to count them in ambiguous situations like this. so there are two blacked-in bubbles for a house race in question, a slash through the simonds vote. at the same time a filled in bubble for the republican gubernatorial candidate. so the democrats are arguing that you can't have an extraneous mark that excludes one of those votes, and on the
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other hand have an extrain mark that seems to support the vote in the gubernatorial race. so that's the argument. whether the three judges who have looked at this buy that is an open question. >> you would have thought after all these years we would have figured out ballots, trip. coming up president trump took a victory today on the tax law. 20181 set to begin on a very different note. with the gop on defense and split over the big goals of the new year. we're back after this. to fetch a pail of water. all because of a burst water pipe in their house that ruined the hardwood floors in their kitchen. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped them with homeowners insurance and the inside of their house was repaired and floors replaced. jack and jill no longer have to fetch water. they now fetch sugar-free vanilla lattes with almond milk. call geico and see how affordable homeowners insurance can be.
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you know one of the things that people are going to understand, we have signed more legislation than anybody, we broke the record of harry truman. and we were saying if we get this big tax cut, that's the biggest legislation. that's the biggest there is. >> president trump this afternoon again touting the republican tax bill and then again incorrectly boasting that
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he's signed more legislation than any president. he just hasn't. most polls have shown the tax bill is largely unpopular among voters. today some republican senators published a series of op-eds in their home state papers as their party prepares to defend the majority in the 2018 mid-terms. president trump will meet mitch mcconnell in the beginning of january. but politico reports that ryan and mcconnell disagree over where to focus next. writing the clash illustrates the dilemma congressional gops face early next year, how to sketch out an agenda that unifies house and senate republicans and satisfies the republican base without further risking their already imperilled majorities. here to talk about it charlie
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sykes a long time radio host author and msnbc contributor. charlie, i'm going to pick on you because you're a republican. it's a bad bill, a wildly unpopular bill. and i would have thought having done it, they could walk away from it and say now it's done. but now these senators are going out there writing op-eds writing this is for the middle class. i worry if you write it down, it could come back and bite you sometime in september. >> they've had one legislative loss after another. for better or worse they're going to live or die on this tax cut bill. and i think they're making two bets. number one, people will find out that it feels better to them than the spend. and as you were talk about earlier on the program they're counting on the economy staying strong and people giving them credit for that.
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>> that's the best bet. >> and that is really what 20181 going to be about to republicans. to convince people things are good, things are rising, give us credit for all of that, ignore the tweet, ignore the president's character. >> here's the rub, what democrats have going into 20181 some momentum in elections, public popularity for obamacare that didn't exist before donald trump was elected, a wildly unpopular tax bill that i think will be clear to people is give away to corp rags on the backs of working people. on the other hand, charlie's got a point. he talks about the stock market every day, and while half the country doesn't benefit from it, the stock market is good, unemployment rate continues to get lower, wages slowly but surely creep up. where do democrats stand on what they've got to do legislatively and on campaigning in 2018?
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>> here's what's got to happen. first of all, we still have a wildly unpopular president. and right about september, october health insurance companies are going to announce their premiums for next year given the individual mandate repeal in the tax bill. and people will know that whatever gains they made in the tax bill are going to be lost in their health care premiums. and that is going to be a dead loser for republicans going into the november elections. and apart from that, look, democrats are running in every single district all across the country. and they're making head way. and so with that number of seats being contested, with that number of candidates, i think democrats stand a good chance running against this tax bill and against this president. >> when you say good chance, a chance of taking both houses, one house? >> yeah, i think they can potentially take both houses. i mean i think the house is obviously a little trick yr
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given the democrats and the gerrymandering of the districts. but democrats are contesting in way more races than republicans are. and so that right there sets up a time and an off-cycle election where democrats really stand a good opportunity in both the house and the senate. >> charlie, i don't know if you share that view, but what does this do to republicans who on one hand are going to have to fight off primary challenges from the right and on the other hand fight off potentially resurgent democratic candidates? >> well, the die is cast. the republican party has been thoroughly trumpified. and they're going to go into this election lashed to donald trump. one of the most amazing things about this political moment is with the economy looking good and we've been talking about the stock market, unemployment rate being down, donald trump is still historically unpopular even with this, what looks like
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a red hot economy, he's still in the 30s. even though i said it's the economy stupid, what donna is saying is absolutely right. this will be a referendum on trumpism and there's very little the republicans do now will be willing to coo to distance themselves from donald trump between now and november. >> donna, this tax bill is going to increase the deficit depending on what estimates you use by about a trillion dollars. we've already heard talks from the president, marco rubio and others about so-called entitlement reform. let's take medicaid, for example, the biggest government program of that sort that would offset the trillion-dollar increase in the deficit. but this is a fight that paul ryan has already indicated he's willing to go down. so that's something else democrats are going to have to come up against. >> well, i mean they've already taken money away from the poor
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and the middle class to fund these tax breaks to the super wealthy americans in the country. and now they want to go after medicare and medicaid. and, you know, mitch mcconnell has already said that is a dead loser in the senate. and i think he's right about that. and frankly, if republicans choose to go down this track, every endangered republican is going to be tied to wanting to cut medicare and medicaid, and they will be digging their own political graves. >> dona edwards, charlie siekts, thanks to both of you for joing me tonight. ♪
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president obama has opened up about life after the white house. speaking with britain's prince harry on bbc radio, in his first interview since leaving office, the former president reflected on the joys of waking up later, spending more time with his wife
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and the ability to be more reflective and deliberate in what he wants to accomplish, rather than balancing the immediate needs of the country. the conversation then shifted towards the dangers of social media with a seemingly veiled reference to donald trump. >> what i do believe is that all of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can re-create a common space on the internet. because it used to be in the united states at least, for example, we had three television stations. everybody had a common set of facts, and so there might be conservatives and liberals, but people generally could agree on a baseline of reality. one of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. they can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. >> the president and the prince spoke for nearly 40 minutes, ending on a lighter note with a
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set of rapid fire questions. >> lebron james or jordan? >> now that interview was conducted before the prince's engagement to american actress meghan markle. today harry was asked if he'd invite the obamas to the wedding, something rumored by tabloids and speculating as something that might upset president trump. harry told the bbc he's yet to work out the guest list. coming up, two men friends for more than 60 years, now new insight into their enduring bond. the "the 11th hour" continues after this.
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the last thing before we go tonight, two men in hawaii who have been friends for decades learned something about why their bond has endured for so many years. alan robinson on the left was adopted when he was a child, and walter mcfarland on the right, well, he never knew who his father was. for years, the two have been searching to learn more about their families. recently mcfarland and his
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daughter turned to a dna matching website to try and get some answers, that's when walter's search led him to his best friend of 60 years, alan robinson. a top match, someone with identical x chromosomes had the user name robi 737. robinson's nickname was robi, and he flew 737s for aloha airlines. >> well, we love to play cribbage. we've been playing cribbage all our lives and -- >> i beat him the last time we played. >> when you meet? >> high school. >> no! back in sixth grade. >> sixth grade? >> god. >> he was the partier, i never went and did any partying in high school. >> alan and walter's amazing story lit up the internet today. we found stories, not just all over the world, but in at least five different languages. both men were born and raised in
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hawaii, they even played football together in high school. they got friends and family together just before christmas at a holiday party to surprise them with the news, and the x chromosome match mean they shared the same mother. they say they'll keep searching for answers about their family, hoping to discover if they also have the same father. alan robinson told reporters that his only brother passed away at the age of 19. so he thought he'd never have any nieces or nephews. this year will now be the christmas when he got a brother and six nieces and nephews. that's our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being with us and goodnight from nbc news headquarters in new york. ♪ ♪
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thank you at home for joining us this hour. rachel has the night off. today we were supposed to get the answer as to which party will control the virginia house of delegates in the new year and we were supposed to get it in just about the strangest way possible. the race that will likely decide control of the chamber ended in a tie and is going to be decided by drawing lots. two names tucked into film cannisters and placed inside what "washington post" described as turquoise pitcher from 1835, found by chance under long-buried stables in richmond's capitol square. that was uniquely virginia scene we were expecting today. at very last minute the democrat in the race filed a court challenge. the papers arrived at the courthouse this morning by ups delivery. and so the drawing of film

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