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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  December 29, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST

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about how the party is moving is where are these new voters coming into the party? if you look at the election, it's iowa and pennsylvania and there is old-line republicans, as well. we talk about the trends. >> a lot of people haven't abandoned the party yet. tim miller and charlie sikes. tonight, donald trump tells "the new york times" the russia investigation makes america look very bad. this as "the washington post" reports there are already white house worries about what's to come in 2018. plus, roy moore's last stand. democrat doug jones declared the winner in alabama but what damage has moore left behind for the republican party? and, how one 13-day span in july set the tone for all-out chaos in the trump white house. "the 11th hour" on a thursday
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night begins right now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm katy tur in for brian williams. day 343 of the trump administration and we have breaking news tonight from the president on the russia investigation. and it comes in the form of a new interview with "the new york times" posted a short time ago. reporter michael schmidt sat down with the president in west palm beach for a 30-minute impromptu conversation. michael will join us in a moment but he reports, quote, president trump said thursday that he believes robert mueller the special counsel in the russia investigation, will treat him fairly. contradicting some members of his party who have waged a week's long campaign to try to discredit mr. mueller and the continuing inquiry. the report continues, the president did not demand an end to the russia investigations,
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swirling around his administration. but insisted 16 times that there's been no collusion discovered by the inquiry. it makes the country look very bad. and it puts the country in a very bad position. mr. trump said of the investigation. so the sooner it's worked out the better it is for the country. michael schmidt also spoke to the president how long the investigation will last. the democrats and about whether the special counsel would be fair. quote, mr. trump said that he was not bothered by the fact that he does not know when it will be completed because he has nothing to hide. mr. trump repeated the assertion democrats created the russia allegations as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing the election and he said that everybody knows his associates did not collude with the russians, even as he insisted the real story are the democrats working with the russians in the campaign. i think he's going to be fair
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mr. trump said of mr. mueller and the president also tried to put some distance between himself and his former campaign chairman paul manafort who was indited for money laundering and conspiracy for his alleged work for a pro russian government, a charge he denies. he told "the times," quote, paul only worked for me for a few months. he worked for ronald reagan, john mccain, bob dole, worked for many republicans far longer than for me and you eke talkn't about paul was before i heard about him. he worked for me, what was it? three and a half months? joining us now on the phone is the aforementioned michael schmidt, washington correspondent and a msnbc contributor. michael, welcome. thanks for calling in. this was an impromptu sit-down earlier today. what sort of mood was the president in? >> thanks for having me. he was -- look.
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i think the president -- best spokesman and wants to make the arguments about why things are going well and why things are not going -- you know, why he's been -- about certain things and eager to talk about taxes. accomplishment for him. but, you know, interesting thing to me is the tone he struck on mueller whether where he said he thought mueller would be fair to him. obviously, that's sort of in contrast to what republicans are saying today and republicans say, look, mueller's unfair person who's completely out of control and the president was saying, look, i think mueller will be fair to me so it's a conciliatory note from a person that usually doesn't strike that tone. >> so many republicans are going after him and allies of donald trump going after mr. mueller. in the transcript of your interview he seemed to be trying really hard to stress that there was collusion on behalf of the democrats in 2016. >> yes. he likes to turn the collusion argument around on the democrats
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and say there's far more evidence on their side than his. the interesting thing i thought that he said to me was about podesta, john podesta's brother tony. what happened to tony? he was under investigation. the firm essentially went under and i thought mule earl was looking at that. why isn't he doing more there? and that's interesting because if mueller makes a move on podesta, mueller could strike a tone publicly showing that he's going to go after democrats and republicans. >> he did not mention michael flynn. we have been hearing a lot about michael flynn. there's a "the washington post" report out that the trump legal counsel is considering trying to paint flynn has a liar. why no mention of him? >> the president's very difficult to interview because he can move very quickly from one issue to the next. and the next thing you know you've been off on a different tangent and we didn't have a chance to focus on flynn.
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there's so many different issues to talk to the president about and trying to get him to talk about north korea. he tweeted about it that day and didn't get a chance to talk about flynn. he went on about manafort and never really addressed flynn or the question of a pardon of flynn or anything like that. but the president again moved quickly with language in a way i have never -- >> i understand you on that one. he also told you, and this is getting a lot of pickup right now, that he has the absolute right to do what i want to do with the justice department. in your estimation, from this interview, do you get the sense that he could, he believes that he could stop this investigation if he ultimately wanted to? >> he seems to have adopted an argument of supporters where as the head of the executive branch he can do whatever he would like in the executive branch and the department of justice in the executive branch and the fbi and if he wanted to end an
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investigation or begin an investigation he could do that as the president. that is a central argument towards sort of who he is in terms of mueller because mueller was looking at the question of cob instruction and whether the president did anything wrong when he asked comey to end the flynn investigation. so by putting that forward, he's sort of saying, look, like the accusations of what i have done, nothing wrong there because i'm the president and head of the executive branch. >> a little bit earlier on this network the presidential historian said that's a sort of thing that not even nixon would have dared say in public. congratulations on the interview. thanks so much for calling in. >> thanks for having me. now the leadoff panel, jeff dawsey and jonathan lemeire. reading, jonathan, michael's interview, and hearing him try to turn the tables on democrats, i was struck by how much he tried to do that on the campaign.
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you are not fit for office. hillary's not fit for office. he would try to turn every criticism of him around and label it or hand it over to the democrat. >> sure. there's the famous no puppet line from the debate. >> you're the puppet. >> you're the puppet. in terms of suggesting hillary clinton to do vladimir putin's bidding were she elected president. this is a typical trump trope and something he likes to do, an adversary, attack on him, you know, deflect it, send it back on the other person. the what about-ism. if you accuse me of something, i point to three examples about you. one of the most striking things about this interview is that it happened at all. >> yeah. >> right there in the story and congratulations to michael for it it notes that the president sat down for 30-minute unstaffed interview. there's senior white house aides
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that don't know the interview happened until the story printed tonight. and that goes to show you for as much as general kelly received kudos for organizing the white house, controlling the flow of information there, for installing more discipline on the building, he has yet to do with the president. >> we heard early on calling sean spicer and what do you think about the president's remarks on this and he wouldn't know about this. josh, you tweeted just that. he called somewhat senior aide to the president and they didn't know about it at all. >> right. well, the president predisposed as john said to do interviews and talk to the press. he enjoys the give and take. you have the top aides saying that let's not do a press conference. let's try to stick with the momentum on tax reform and tax cuts that he signed. you know? let's try and stick to the disciplined message and the president as we have seen time and time again is most comfortable unfiltered, unscripted when he is his own
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spokesman and speaking when and where he wants to without anyone constraining him and what we saw with michael today. kudos to michael for the interview in the middle of a trump golf course. people eating around him. stopping and chatting. if you read the transcript, there's lots of cross talk talking to club members. natural habitat. >> he likes to talk. joyce, are you cringing with this interview? >> you're definitely cringing. you know, what strikes you most really is just a slap in the face, frankly, as someone who yorked in the justice department for so long is this idea that the president has absolute control over the justice department. and it's important to say that that is not true. although it might seem logical to people who have never worked inside of the department, that the president is the head of the executive branch gets to control what employees do, what separates the united states from a banana republic, from a
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dictatorship and while the president can direct justice department policy he doesn't get to decide who goes to law. the president's legal team i think has to be cringing tonight seeing this basic failure by the president to grasp how our legal system functions which really colors then all of the comments he makes. there wasn't collusion. if there was collusion it's not illegal. this is a president who just doesn't understand how the law works. >> and, joyce, it is glaring that michael flynn did not come up in the interview especially after "the washington post" report which said his legal team thinking of may noting michael flynn, former national security adviser, as a liar. one of the trump lawyers denies this. what do you think of that strategy? >> it is interesting. we have heard it both ways now. the president is going to come
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out and say flynn is a liar, the president isn't going to do that. at the end of the day it's awfully dangerous to characterize someone you selected as an own national security adviser as a liar after you've gone on record asking the director of the fbi if you can't just give him a pass. right? gee, can't you let this one go, director comey? this is treacherous water for the president no matter which way he plays this one. it won't affect his own personal chances and those of inner circle in any positive fashion. >> as the president has repeatedly offered a lot of praise for michael flynn, even after he fired him, calling him a wonderful man and saying that he was treated very unfairly by the press. josh, you also have some reporting tonight about donald trump's staff readying for 2018, making some changes, worried about potentially a tough year ahead. >> right. you have seen the president tweeting, golfing, meeting with
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friends. meanwhile, his staff back at home is looking at the landscape of a 2018 elections, trying to figure out how they can bolster the political team, to bring in. what apparatus and people that need to put in place to try to have a successful year. i think a lot of republicans would be quoted, mark meadows concerned about republicans losing dozens of seats and i think that's something the white house is trying to stem the tide. they know if the president loses a majority in the house of representatives it changes the entire fabric of his presidency. you know, it's much more difficult terrain ahead and i think if you had the white house right now you are trying to get the pieces in place to make 2018 as palatable as possible. >> part of the problem with hiring and the white house is that nobody wants to work in the white house. there's not a lot of people out there willing to go into the administration given how volatile it is. >> right. >> they did get taxes passed, jonathan. the gop seems to be embracing
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donald trump more depending on who you look at. does that make it easier to find a suitable staff that will help them prepare politically for 2018? >> we'll see. there's a list of republicans, republican establishment, particularly in sort of a national security or foreign security realms and anti-trump and never trumpers in the campaign and where they want to approach the white house now and for some sort of job and for their own career but for the country, this is a president who holds grudges. there is score settling here and not welcomed with open arms into the west wing. i think that this is a president who still exactly right, there's the russia cloud hangs over all of this. people can see the headlines. about aides being interviewed by robert mueller's team, others being pulled up in front of the congressional committees. it is still an area where i think some folks interested in working in a white house, you know, would be nervous about going into this one, particularly for a president who's still -- though he has a legislative win, got the taxes done, still saddled with a poor approval rating.
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>> would you be nervous, joyce, as jared kushner in the white house right now? >> i think it's a difficult time for anyone in the white house or really in this administration who has had problems with filling out forms, with information and background clearance forms or in testimony. mueller's team has demonstrated with this first wave they of indictments they're serious about lying to the fbi. kushner has a problem where he had to resubmit his security clearance forms over and over because of failure to disclose foreign metings and foreign contacts. and that's certainly has to be of concern to him. we have heard that he's been out looking to hire a public relations team. that's something that you typically see happen with an individual who believes that they're close to being indicted. >> donald trump sounding somewhat zen today to michael schmidt saying he believes
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robert mueller will treat him fairly. thank you very much. coming up, it's been a year of nonstop news from this white house but two weeks in july stand out for their extraordinary volume of breaking news. a look back at 13 days that left its mark on the trump presidency. and speaking of nonstop news, donald trump calls north korea a nuclear menace in that "the new york times" interview and bads in on roy moore, the very same day doug jones was declared winner in alabama. "the 11th hour" is just getting started on a thursday night. get awesomely fast wifi
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all with an xfi gateway. and if there's ever been a doubt as to whether or not the people of alabama given the opportunity to participate at the level they choose to and been able to do so without any hindrance whatsoever, that's all been eliminated. and anybody else that continues to perpetuate that myth is doing just this. >> that's alabama's attorney general defending the results of the special senate election. the state officially certified doug jones' victory today and republican roy moore isn't letting the loss go. he is refusing to concede even after a judge tossed out a lawsuit challenging the results. "the washington post" reporter who joins us here shortly explains the complain this way. quote, moore's campaign cited rumors of election fraud that had already been investigated and refuted by the alabama secretary of state, argued this high democratic turnout in key areas was statistically unlikely
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and reported that moore himself had taken a polygraph test. and an attempt to disprove allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward teenagers when he was in his 30s. about that polygraph test, it was supposedly taken after the election. a spokesperson for the moor moore was on cnn today to talk about the results. >> he passed the polygraph test and he said i will go before any polygraph that you guys want, you as a state organization choose. he will go and will be tested but you don't see that from the accusers. forget about the voting machines and the secret software prime minister and the fact they destroy the evidence. that doesn't seem to bother you but bothers people of alabama and i believe the people of alabama will come out and in a primary election against jon merrill or general election against him and the attorney general and the governor. >> porter didn't say if moore would be that primary challenger
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and president trump explained today why he supported moore despite the claims telling "the new york times" that he supported mr. moore's opponent in the republican primary race because he knew mr. moore would lose in the general election. and he insisted that he endorsed mr. moore later only because i feel that i have to endorse republicans as the head of the party. with us here tonight, david wigle for "the washington post" and in palm beach gardens, florida, correspondent garrett haake. so interesting, dave, to hear the president talk about roy moore saying he had to endorse him as the head of the republican party when not only does donald trump often talk about the republican party as they and them and republican leadership and republicans in general distanced themselves from roy moore. >> they had. the president proved an exception to that by sticking by him by as far as we know disbelieving some of the
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accusations made against moore. i think based on the experience in the 2016 campaign memory and what it was like to be accused and the president endorsed moore when republican internal polling suggested that moore to pull the election out and a bit convenient for him to say he never thought moore had a chance. >> moore is taking a play or a page right out of donald trump's playbook. if the election does not go my way, claim voter fraud. garrett, we heard the president talk about this a lot in the 2016 campaign and looked like he was not going to win and heard the president talk about this since he won by saying that's why he didn't win the popular vote. he's got an election fraud committee out there investigating that right now. is that what we'll see from candidates that don't win going forward or at least bannon candidate that is don't win the races going forward? >> it is entirely possible. everything about this complaint filed by the moore campaign
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today felt it was designed for reputation management. you don't make a serious complaint and oh by the way you have taken a polygraph test that presumably you paid for that clears you of the alleged wrongdoings otherwise. so it seems like it's designed the try to dust off what roy moore could of theal lagss and mess that he himself and campaign made in this election. maybe to preserve his own future prospects to run for another office in the state of alabama and you mentioned for a statewide office. the other republican senator in the state richard shelby is 83 years old and he was instrumental in defeetding roy moore coming out saying he couldn't vote for him so if roy moore has a vengeful tact to take here, that announcement and somewhat frivolous attempt to argue voter fraud could be designed for something in the future more so than relitigating actually this race that he lost. >> is this hurting the republican party's image, dave? >> they would like to section off what roy moore ran on and
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stood for in the republican party. that's why republicans blame it on steve bannon and didn't have a lot to do with the campaign until a few months ago and ran to the front of the parade when they thought that roy moore would win and the complainted made in the lawsuit filed late wednesday night, dismissed early thursday afternoon, they're familiar. they are -- they were complaints based on rumors of the interview debunked pretty quickly that he just kept advancing and saying the fact that they were debunked in one place doesn't mean it's complete. that's not language alien to the large republican party in the trump 'ra and the way president trump conducts politics. the reputation management point that garrett was making is true. this playbook of saying that
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it's not just unfair to say i lost the election, it's fair to question every bit of reality around the election, every story that you've heard that might have alleged fraud. i think you are going to see that moore with insurging candidates, with steve bannen in or going out with a net. >> the party's image and roy moore saying election fraud and then questioning the turnout in certain counties, questioning the turnout saying it's unlikely for democratic voters to turn out the way they did in jefferson county where a lot of the voters are minority voters, african-american voters. garrett, that can't help the party's image of being an inclusive party and not just being a party for older, white men.
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>> no, of course not. there is a racial tinge to these remarks of roy moore and how unlikely the turnout models turned out the way they did. yeah. he was an exceptionally flawed candidate and drove these strange turnout models, not election irregularity other than irregular candidate and talking about steve bannon and his role in this and minor and towards the end, the's no person in america more thrilled that steve bannon got involved this case late and allowed the name attached to it than mitch mcconnell. you talk about somebody what wants to get the bannon brand disassociated from the republican brand, he knows that bannon dealt what appears like a loss here helps him to hold on to seats to keep and expand the map and not have to deal with bannon candidates in other places. mcconnell talked about this a little bit in the end of the year press conference on friday and buried because it happened just before the holiday weekend
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and we should listen if you have the bite here to mitch mcconnell dismissed steve bannon and his role in the race. >> do you blame steve bannon for doug jones being elected in alabama? >> let me just say this. the political genius on display throwing away a seat in the reddest state in america is hard to ignore. >> that's about as cutting as mitch mcconnell gets but the point won't be lost on would be bannon-ite candidates, challengers to republicans in particular. in other states that maybe this is not a guy who has the answers to getting elected to the u.s. senate. >> mitch mcconnell is a dry and subtle man and let's not forget there's moderate republican
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congressmen who are retiring, deciding not to run for re-election. i'm sure mitch mcconnell doesn't want to deal with a bannon-ite candidate to primary what would otherwise be a moderate republican in a lot of those races. dave and garrett, guys, thank you so much. coming up, president trump talks tough about china today on twitter and in that "times" interview but to what affect? the latest comments out tonight when "the 11th hour" continues.
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north korea best not make anymore threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. >> little rocketman. he's a sick puppy. >> since taking office, president trump has rarely passed up an opportunity to take a shot at north korea or its leader. today the president changed targets, though. chastising china of a report of ships violated u.n. sanctions on north korea. in that "the new york times" interview out tonight, president trump said he's soft on china, on trade. hoping the country's leaders would lean on north korea to drop its nuclear weapons program. "the times" quotes the president saying oil is going into north
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korea. that wasn't my deal. he exclaimed. raising the possibility of aggressive trade actions against china. if they don't help us with north korea then i can do what i've always said i want to do. this came just hours after trump wrote on twitter caught red happeneded. very disappointed that china is allowing oil to go into north korea. there will never be a friendly solution to the north korea problem if this continues to happen. convincing china to pressure north korea has long been a key aspect of america's policy in the region. just yesterday, secretary of state rex tillerson wrote in "the new york times" op-ed, a central component of our north korea strategy is persuading china to exert its decisive economic leverage on pyongyang. but president trump's unpredictable social media habits means that u.s. policy can change in the time it takes to compose a tweet. national security adviser h.r. mcmaster told "the times" that trump's approach to foreign policy, quote, moved a lot of us
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out of our comfort zone, me included. here to talk about, gordon chang, author of "nuclear showdown." and vivian salama, reporter for nbc news. guys, good to see you. gordon, you welcomed the tweets from the president today. >> well, this really evoked the june 20 tweet expressing first time disappointment in the chinese and then president imposed five costs on china intended to be a signal and since then president trump allowed the chinese to get away with the bad behavior. with today's tweet he created a showdown. the chinese will think he's empty rhetoric and support the north koreans even more than in the past so what trump has done is he's now sort of set this for a stage where i think from here really determines what happens in the following year. >> a red line for him?
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>> it lookings like a red line and that's the way the chinese sees it. if trump doesn't honor it, when's in trouble. >> he's gone after china hard on the campaign trail. been hard on china in a number of tweets and then, vivian, he went to china. he was showered with praise from president xi xinping, given a dinner in the forbidden city and felt good and respected by the chinese leader. >> that's right. >> have the chinese figured him out? is this them flattering him and then the ability to ignore whatever he might say a world away on social media? >> well, at the end of the day, the face to face interactions are one thing and president trump has made it very clear that even his national security and foreign policy is with the initiative to make america great again. he wants to put america first. that doesn't fly with the chinese. they have their own interests at
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stake here. the stability of north korea, any kind of coup to destabilize the country is obviously very disconcerting for the chinese. they have a lot of economic an historic ties with north korea. and so, they have their own interests at heart, too. and this has been going on for years where the chinese have constantly been asked to get in line with the west's policies, try to take a tougher line on north korea, even the current administration in seoul right now with president moon, more liberal, at least wants to extend an arm of some sort of dialogue with the north koreans and the trump administration absolutely refusing saying that's not going to be their approach coming to north korea. and so, we've had this first year where basically the trump administration is trying to find some common ground did w the chinese and difficult so far with the north korea issue and you remember, katy, i mean, even dating back to the campaign, president trump has had his
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skepticism about a number of issues with the chinese, not just on north korea. currency manipulation, unfair trade practices so i believe that a lot of these north korean issues and the president's beef, if you will, with china also comes to those issues, as well. the trade practices gone after them a number of times over and whatnot and so i think that you have these issues building up and the north korea issue is sort of an icing on the cake that's driving the president crazy and frustrated. >> vowed to label them a currency manipulator in the white house and has not done that and killing us on trade. what's the one thing he can do to put the screws to china if he wanted to say that this was a red line for him? >> what he would do is declare a bank of china, a big four banks, a primary money laundering concern under the patriot act and no longer access to dollars and couldn't be does not only in the united states but elsewhere in dollars and that would be a death sentence for an intuition like that. that would catch the attention of people in beijing and say, look, the united states is taking an action which actually
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hurts the united states, as well. we would suffer from that designation. and the chinese would say, well, for the first time in decades, you know, you have an american president willing to suffer costs in order to disarm the north koreans. the chinese i think would go berserk and probably scream and yell and eventually do what the united states wants them to do but i don't think that, you know, at least at this time the united states is willing to take that step because no american president has shown that political will. >> h.r. mcmaster, vivian, a short amount of time, said the president with the unpredictability on twitter is putting people out of their comfort zone. >> that's right. this is actually -- we have seen this already with the north koreans and diplomats left out of the process and the president tweets remarks that aggravate
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the situation with north korea. they see the remarks on twitter, rocketman and whatnot, and they're unappreciative and unwilling to come to the table and so that in that regard h.r. mcmaster is expressing sentiments i have heard from folks across the administration, both diplomats and national security advisers. >> you don't know what you will wake up to on the phone with donald trump in the white house. gordon and vivian, thank you guys so much. coming up, our next guest calls them the 13 days that transformed the trump white house. a two-week stretch of shake-ups, break-ups and setbacks. we're back right after this.
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summer in the nation's capital is usually hot, muggy and quiet but the summer of 2017 in true dmp fashion unlike any other. there's firings, back stabbing, infighting and barrage of trump
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tweets. our friend and frequent guest co-authored a terrific new piece on a less than two-week span of the trump administration and quote encapsulated the promise and peril of president donald trump's first year in office and yielded aftershocks that reverberate within the white house even as the calendar turns to 2018. july 19th through 31st were con kled here when so much happened an hard to keep track. here's some of what played out. >> day 181 of the trump administration. the headline here appears to be the president saying he regrets hiring his attorney general. >> how do you take a job and then recuse yourself? >> day 182 of the trump administration. trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members an himself. >> rex tillerson wanted to quit this summer and called the
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president a moron. >> day 183 of the trump administration. the headline tonight, sessions discussed trump campaign-relatted matters with russian ambassador. the long suffering and often parodied sean spicer is gone. day 186. for the first time a member of the president's inner circle faced questions on capitol hill. it comes as trump pours the pressure on his own attorney general jeff sessions. he wrote about sessions on twitter this morning. quote, our beleaguered attorney general. day 187. tonight the senate judiciary committee dropped its subpoena of former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and said manafort started to cooperate. jared kushner spent second day with lawmakers, this time in the house intelligence committee. as for the president, after a morning attack on twitter, he continued his open rebuke of his own attorney general. >> very disappointed with the
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attorney general. but we'll see what happens. time will tell. >> day 188 of the still young trump administration and day 7 of the president's public humiliation of his own attorney general. trump is talking privately about the idea of a recess appointment. "the times" indicates trump family members who want session out as they ian become ensnared in the russia investigation and sarah huckabee sanders reiterated trump's disappointment. >> obviously disappointed. i don't believe they've spoken this week. >> it is important to point out sessions was in the west wing down the hall from the oval office today. day 189 and the fighting inside this white house has blown up yet again in public and it was the new communications director who pulled the pin. ryan liza of "the new yorker" and he used language so barn yard we can't repeat it. day 190. reince priebus will be a private citizen again.
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the replacement is homeland security secretary john kelly, a retired four-star u.s. marine general and starts on monday and in trump white house, that's ages from day. anthony scaramucci is out as communications director, ten days after he first walked into the briefing room podium and yet it is not even our lead story here tonight. the headline is this. trump dictates his son's misleading statement on the meeting with russian lawyer. "the post" reporting trump dictated the statement on air force one flying back from germany and notably just met with putin for the first time as president. here's the quote. the thing that really strikes me about this is the stupidity of involving the president. they are still treating this like a family-run business and they have a pr problem. what they don't seem to understand is this is a criminal
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investigation involving all of them. >> got all that? 13 days in july. don't go anywhere. jonathan is sticking around with us to discuss the lasting impact of what we just saw, next.
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those 13 days in july we just showed you dove tail with the breaking news tonight in that "the new york times" interview with donald trump. the president once again raised his frustration with sessions' decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation and hinted at his lack of faith in the attorney general. saying, quote, i don't want to get into loyalty, but i'll tell you that i will say this, holder protected president obama. totally protected him. when you look at the things that they did and holder protected the president, and i have great respect for that. i'll be honest.
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jonathan la mere coauthored that article. jeff sessions during a critical 13 days in july. welcome back. you know, i really just want to talk to you about scaramucci the next few minutes. >> sure. everyone in our line of work misses him terribly. >> he was something else. that day when he got fired, well. but sessions, he was chafing at sessions back in july. >> that's right. >> arguably it's only gotten worse. >> he's still feeling that. as we put our hands around 2017 and donald trump, we came back to that july. it was sort of of a breaking point certainly for the white house, an inflection point and we're feeling the after shocks. sessions is a great deal with that. he believes that that decision by the attorney general was disloyal. he believes that decision by the attorney general gave him bob mueller which is shadowing his presidency and threatening to derail his agenda. he feels like sessions in some
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ways, you know, in a trump world, even though he himself has not always shown much loyalty to his associates, he demands it. >> not at all. >> he demands it himself. he's still so angry at sessions, we've learned recently he in fact is blaming him, in part, for the roy moore debacle said trump said if sessions would have recused himself, i never would have appointed him attorney general and if i didn't appoint him attorney general that senate seat wouldn't have opened up and we wouldn't have ken countered roy moore. >> what do you think about eric holder protects his president, is that what he expects, those he installs him in high-level positions to protect him from his own wrongdoing? >> i don't think he'd look at it that way. looking to protect him and his interests. thasz not jeff sessions or eric holders' job description to protect the president. as discussed earlier, he thinks that the federal government is sort of at his beckoned call in many ways. we know that's a frustration of his, he's had trouble controlling congress, he's had trouble controlling what some of
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his aides like to call the deep state. he feels like the government should be run like the trump organization, whatever he wants he gets. >> he is not the head of a private organization any longer. he has to answer, not only to congress, but really to the american people. jonathan la mere, thanks so much. good to see you. >> you, too. >> coming up rngts one thing we already know for sure about 2018 is that it's going to start off cold, really, really cold. and not surprisingly, president trump has weighed in. we're back right after this.
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the last thing before we go tonight, across the country temperatures are falling and they're not going back up any time soon. from the midwest to the
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northeast, forecasters are warning people to be careful and avoid hypothermia. the symptoms, by the way, include intense shivering, slurred speech and sudden confusion. also of concern is frostbite. in one new york town the low fell to minus 32 degrees. and that's without the wind chill factor. here in new york city the n.y.p.d. is getting ready for the nation's biggest new year's eve party in times square. but officials aren't just worried about security. this new year's eve promises to be one for the record books because of the weather. the temperature is set to fall to 11 degrees here sunday night with a wind chill of 0. the only year it was colder in times square for the ball drop, you've got to go back to 1917 when it was 1 degree out. the president, who we remind you is in south florida where the high was close to 80 degrees today, chimed in on the cold weather using, what else, but twitter. quote, in the east it could be
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the coldest new year's eve on record. perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old global warming that our country, but not other countries, was going to pay trillions of dollars to protect against. bundle up. that led to this "the new york times" piece headlined, it's cold outside. cue the trump global warming tweet. the president appears unaware of the distinction between weather and climate. it continues, quote, mr. trump's tweet made the common mistake of looking at local weather and making broader assumptions about the climate at large. climate refers to how the atmosphere acts over a long period of time, while weather describes what's happening on a much shorter time scale. look at that. that is our broadcast for tonight. thanks for being with us. i'll see you back here at 2:00 p.m. eastern time tomorrow. on msnbc. good night from msnbc news headquarters in new york.
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president trump sits down for impromptu interview in the dining room of mara la go resort. claiming he is the quote, absolute right to do whatever he wants with the justice department. dig through that. plus, officially have a winner. democratic doug jones has been certified senator elect of alabama. seems roy moore just won't let it go. deep freeze settles into the country. what you need to know going into this holiday weekend. mar-a-lago. good morning, it's frid


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