tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC December 29, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PST
this year in politics as delivered a series of explosive headlines. most of which fuelled by president donald trump. like most politicians he was arrested on the promise to shake up washington, yet none of his predecessors have delivered a steady stream of controversy and chaos. we begin tonight with the biggest story of 2017 so far or by far, the investigation into
russian meddling, potential collusion and possible obstruction of justice. we've seen an ever growing mosaic of trump associates drawn into the russian probe. piece by piece they've been connecting the dots between them and their possible links between russia over the course of the last year. some of the highest ranking campaign officials. many of whom currently or previously served in the white house itself. so far four people have been charge would crimes in the special counsel's probe. two agreed to plead guilty and two are under indictment. all of this after president trump said last february he didn't know of anyone aside from michael flynn who had contacts with russia. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign contacts with
russia during the course of the election? >> no, nobody that i knew of. how many times do i have to answer this question. russia is a ruse. i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge no person that i deal with does. >> susan page's washington bureau chief for u.s.a. today. republican chair of republican national committee and the president and ceo of voter latino as well as msnbc contributor. you write front page coverage for u.s.a. today which is kind of opinioniated. the wall is still there. let me ask you about this compairson to water gate. i see this step by step the way he seems to be coming forward in a john dean way. we haven't seen a tape yet of
president trump cutting deals with russians. >> i think it's potentially much more serious because it if volves a hostile foreign government affecting our election and that's a more serious set of circumstances than we had with the watergate affair. what we don't know is the role exactly the president played. >> and at the most simplistic level, the republicans broke into the democratic national committee head quarters after watergate. >> in this case russia actively tried to effect who we elected as our president. >> and they broke if had to? >> email systems and they effected it national debate through facebook and they repeatedly reached out and tried to this campaign. >> firing people was no way for richard nixon to defend himself. are we seeing the same pattern
here. >> and firing people will be no way to get out of this mess for it administration as well. in fact, what you've seen at it end of this year is more and more republicans have hunkered down, even though they're still throwing stones at mueller, they know they can't have those stones land in the area of puling his investigation. >> is that what 84 arer hearing? >> yes, they do. i think a lot of republicans, a lot of the ones i've talked to on the staff level and congressional level, they don't want any parts of a firing of mueller because not just the optics and the politics but it legalities of it, all those things come together in a big mess for the party, given all the other mess they have to deal with this year. >> a real powerful comparison to watergate is nixon. of course he was pardoned by
gerald ford. but this time around everybody's talking about trump. is he going to pardon his son in law? somebody else? is that what we're going to see? >> i think that was part of the cal kulgds when he said i haven't looked at anything for now. so he's -- >> this is a horse out of the barn there. >> it is. >> he's already talking. >> but that's it it. he's been talking the whole time. he's basically, while nixon tried to cover up, this president is tweeting out and everything he says, he's sat down with lester holt and admitted why comey was really fired. and tweeted out saying that flynn was distancing himself because he knew he was lying to the fbi. this president does not know what's good for him and i'm sure it's driving his lawyers bananas. he's literally creating a trail
of obstruction of justice. >> he's going further tan denying just collusion. let's watch him. >> might be russia, could be china. could be, if you remember sony. it could be north korea. it could be a lot of places. >> or also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 had pounds. maybe there is no hacking. >> you don't think -- >> i think it was russia but i think it was probably other people and/or countries and i see nothing wrong with that statement. nobody really knows. i said it very simply. i think it could well have been russia and i think it could well beither countries. i think a lot of people interfere. >> i believe president putin feels strongly that he did not
medal in our election. what he believes is what he believes. >> it could have been the japanese that bombed pearl harbor. could have been. i think historians who are archeologists are going to try to figure this out. >> it's vladimir putin in a fat suit. here's the -- i think if you were looking at the mysteries of donald trump is why from the start he's had this odd attitude towards russia. he's delighted when vladimir putin praises him. it's not like riltser the leader of one of our allies. it's one of our biggest adversaries. and i think that's an answer to a question we don't know yet. why this persistent effort to excuse russia or praise russia -- >> i think part of that answer is transactional. it's a transactional
relationship that as been well established now, gone back a good number of years. his sons have come out and admitted to it. how they get their golf courses built, well, the rugdss finance them. all that is a very transactional relationship that donald trump has established and i think that's the underbelly of this whole thing for him because he's not just thinking about right now, he's thinking about what he wants to do when he leaves it white house. and the last thing he wants to do if he still wants that hotel is have the guy who could kill it -- >> i think that's why so many folks at least in washington are watching the mueller investigation. because we know deutsche bank has lent the trump administration, the business a lot of money and it will be interesting. >> i think they gave money to jared. >> and to the trump organization, the business. and that's why when the mueller
investigation is actually subpoenaing him. >> tell me how you connect that. connect that to refusing to acknowledge russian meddling, to all those meetings about well, they're dumping are had it bad stuff about hillary clinton. he's talking relief on the sanctions helping them. is that the big quid pro quo or a deeper personal relationship in terms of transactions where this whole presidential campaign has been tainted by something of a business enterprise going on all through it for later years? >> i think it's two. one is definitely his business enterprise. he recognizes nothing happens in russia without putin's approval. and also the fact that donald jr. met with it rushzs in the hotel room about repealing the sanctions. that sanction act is what gives putin power. because it's what basically allows cronies to come in the
united states and launder money. without that he does not have power within the russian oligarchy. >> that is right in the middle of what we're trying to figure out, the mix of business, and the whole works. ever since kremlin interference first arose in the summer of 2017, more than repeatedly and adamantly denied any collusion, coordination with russia took place. >> so they're investigating something that never happened. there was no collusioning between us and russia. there is no collusion. you know why? because i don't speak to russians. >> i did not collude with russia nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign that did so. >> the suggestion that i participated in any collusion is an appalling and detestable lie. >> i would certainly say don jr. did not collude with anybody to influence it election. >> so no collusion ever with
anybody involve d with russia in the 2016 campaign? >> no. >> did any advisor or anybody in the trump campaign have any contact with the russians who were trying to medal in the election? >> oh, of course not. >> let's go back to this question of russia and hacking. can you tell us what you know about the relationship and what the campaign knows and what donald trump believes. >> we have no relationship. >> so what's the explanation for complete stone walling here? saying no, no, no i won't give you an inch. is that trump's character, personality? >> i think trarlts a lot of that. he does not like to seed any ground on any issue because in his mindset he is right. wherever he is, he's right. i always thought the collusion argument was a rabbit hole. people just went down and got lost in and it was easy for trump to push back on the collusion thing because how do you fruv, where does it show up?
for me it's always obstruction of justice. >> what's he hiding from? >> that's what mueller's got his finger tip back because when you start having flynn, papadopoulos and others go down, manafort starting to sing a little bit -- >> let's try something. jared kushner's one of the people been fingered to go talk to the russians. your son in law was one of the people giving the orders about what to talk to the russians about. that's bringing you in. >> and i think we've had a two-part defense. one is deny everything, even ifio vuto make concessions. the other is to muddy up the waters by attacking the people who didn't come out with it report. >> what's more likely pardens of the people he cares about like
his son in law, jared kushner or firing mueller? >> i think they both cause him a problem, personally. >> will the republican party break with him in any sizeable percentage if he does one of those? >> i think it will be a break point particularly in the senate. starting to pardon people like flynn. >> i actually think he's more -- i think the republican party would be more concerned with mueller and the pardons they're going to try be more thoughtful for future presidents. the country went through a reckoning. many high profile men lost their positions of power. but one notably did not lose his position of power. his name's donald trump and that's ahead and this is "hardball" where the a is. indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!♪ nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!♪
women are very special. i think it's a very special time because a lot of things are coming out and i think that's good for our society and i think it's very, very good for women and i'm very happy lot of these things are coming out and i'm very happy it's being exposed. >> that was incredibly president trump as the country grabbaled with a reckoning on sexual misconduct on men like had him. time magazine had had the silence breakers as their person of the year. and what started in october with a big new york times report on multiple algags of sexual assault and harassment against former hollywood mogul harvey weinstein quickly spread took down high profile men in politics generally. and quickly came to define the
alabama senate race after the post reports on multiple allegations on teen age girls. one said he molested her when she was just 14 years old. >> we've been if hntimidated. the washington post put out this terrible disgusting article saying i had done something and i want you to understand something. they said these women had not come forward for nearly 40 years. but they waited to 30 days before this general election to come forward. actions are going to speak louder than words. >> it's a referendum not just on the issues that we've got but it's who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters and is alabama going to stand with our daughters and granddaughters that we will respect them no
matter when we come forward. >> al franken resigned after multiple accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior led more than 30 of his democratic colleagues called on him to leave the senate. >> i will be resigning as a member of the united states senate. i of all people am aware there's some irony in the fact that i had leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office and a man who is repeatedly prayed on young girls campaigns for the senate with the full support of his party. >> well, alabama voters ultimately rejected roy moore. the #me too movement revived allegations on the president
himself sflp women who accuse anyone should be heard and dealt with and i think we heard from them prior to the election and i think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up. >> it became apparent that in some areas the acuzashz cusatio sexual aggression were being held accountable except for our president and he was not being held accountable. >> i ask that congress put aside their party affiliations and investigating mr. trump's history of sexual misconduct. >> while trump has denied the allegations against him but several have called on president trump to resign, including democrat kristen gillibrand. and said she'd do anything to
get his money. i thing the president has gotten off on this and i think for whatever reason the people that like him, the 30 something percent that like him don't seem to put this in their head at all. name one person that likes trump except for this. who's out there saying if it weren't for that misbehavior and that access hollywood bragging thing and this awful thing he said about kristen gilibrand begging for his money, no one would care. how come this doesn't grab on to him the way it grabs on to other people? >> he's been able to sew such division in the country that they'd rather see him win on anything else. 48% of republicans still went out and voted for roger moore. excuse me, roy moore. and this is the question we have
to ask ourselves. is the #me too movement more powerful than partisanship? i think we have to see what's going to happen whether or not congressional members of both parties helped. >> you got a flurry of much more people coming out and voting than they do historically in midterm elections. >> the womanship was tremendous down there. >> we asked if you agree would the candidate, would your be less likely to vote for him? and 8 out of 10 said they would by less likely. but 2/3 of republicans said they would be less likely. >> how come it didn't work with clinton? all those accusations were pretty credible. and all i heard was move on.org. that's all iurd had in that period. >> there's been two huge
cultural shifts. one was on gay marriage and the one we've seen just this year is on believing women who accused powerful men. i think we have donald trump to thank for that. he made people much more willing to say we have to listen to these people. >> would there have been a discussion about al franken or any of these guys if not for the weinstein disclosure that came out? >> i think the weinstein disclosure catapulted it. the access hollywood tape it had, there were a whole bunch of other things that distracted the way it could go. you were still dealing with hillary clinton, comey, emails and this. and insteping back, weinstein happens and it's like refocus the conversation. that's the president's problem going forward.
because these women now have a second bite at that apple. now can we replay it story for you so you understand exactly what we're talking bouts and the difference between now and then is the american people are willing to listen. >> i think the hardest thing for a woman to come out than dealing with a big bully, who would track you down. weinstein. everything we knew about him is either buy off people, ruin their careers, whatever. the take on that, bully. that to me was the big one. that was taking on goliath. you just don't get anymore movie parts, jobs and worse than that, you're black listed, basically. that thing to me seemed to be if you can beat that big bully, don't worry about the other guys. >> all the sudden women became emboldened and what i think is
important is that men are having these conversations as well. and while we are -- they're basically looking in encouraging the majority of the folks that have been reporting on this. >> or taking cover. >> the majority have been men. but he and the others have taken leave. my question though is if this is what's happening at the highest levels of power, what are women who cannot decide to go and not work minimum wage? what are they facing? and how are we insuring they're too safeguarded? >> go to the shop steward, you got to do that. that's why you're in the union. collective strength. up next 2017 was also a year in which he injected himself into hot button issues involving race. we're looking at everything on his comments from
altright. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. >> i'm not sure in many sides was written in that script. he changes his tune a few days later after asked why he was dreing aequivalencequivalency. >> racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repuginant to everything we hold dear as americ americans. >> but just one day later doubled down that both sides were to blame and claimed some of the white supremacists were,
love this phrase, fine people. >> you also had had people that were very fine people on both sides. i think there's blame on both sides and i have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either. and if you reported it accurately, you would say. >> this was -- what is it used to say? why -- why did he dig into this? >> i think it reflects his actual point of view a self inflicted wound and i think when we were trying to figure out how trump got elected against all odds we looked a lot at economic factors, but cultural discomfort with a increasingry diverse society with transgender bathrooms and all that, i think that was a big force behind the
voters that went to trump and that is a card he continues to play in keeping the support of his base voters as president. >> i agree i think a lot of people were uncomfortable with all of the changes going on and they thought the democrats were a little too frisky. they like all these changes and the people said enough. slow this train. i'm sure that's why even in the burbs they changed their mind. >> as i looked at race and absorbed a lot of this, particularly the charlotte vill period. what i saw the president do effectively and what he did throughout the campaign is pick at the skab of race, picked at it until it became a wound again. the healing process that had had begun in the '50s and '60s with the marches and great speeches by great leaders came flashing
back for a lot of people and now you saw people in nicely tailored suits, not hoods, not with torches but with tiki torches out saying and protesting and claiming the same thing around issues of race that our parents and our grandparents had to deal with and that, for a lot of people, was just very unsettling and the one person you go to in that moment as we have, we turn to regan, johnson. turn to our presidents to help had us process and deal with this. he was it man picking at the skab. >> what do you make of the fact that roy moore, the recent senator from alabama said he liked when the families were reunited. the one thing everybody knows about black families is if this kid's big and strong, send him to the guy in oklahoma somewhere. but they divided up the families like they weren't even a family.
there was no unity of family. >> i think that's the problem. >> i'm talking about the slave trade. >> and i don't want to get too much if had to it. there's a problem where you have school books that want to sanitize the history of the united states and texts in particular want to say slavery was actually an economic gain for it folks involved in it. >> you mean the slave snz. >> yes. >> they had had free food a roof over their head. i've heard this. >> this is the original american plan. three square as day with your job. unfortunately somebody's whipping you, you're in shackles and boss is having sex with your daughter or wife because he feels like it. >> the bigger problem i would say is with the republican party is that he's basically betting on that brand to continue getting him elected but how are they going to rise from this if he's continuously polarizing the american people along race?
>> the suburban voter is embarrassed by this. they may have left during white flight. they're embarrassed by racism. they may not be any better than anybody else but they're embarrassed by it. >> and after sharerates vill you had had mattis telling the troops hold it line because stuff is going to bananas at home tells you that not everybody in his cabinet agrees, that the president is basically propigating with race. they don't support it, they don't believe in it. >> the suburbs are no longer this -- >> and the ultimate -- >> the bottom line is we still sanitize race. we still sanitize the conversation around race and that's something that as to change to effectively deal with it. >> that conversation will not be led by trump. he's not without his republican
i'm dara brown. the arctic blast is expected to last until next week. in an a fire in the bronx was started by a 3-year-old playing with a stove. four people are still hospitalized with critical injuries. it rockers will join fellow honorees mick jagger and rod stewart. now back to "hardball." no present democrat or republican in recent memory has exhibited the kind of behavior that this president has and so i'm a republican, i'm a
conservative. i would love to have a republican president but not at any cost. >> it's obvious his political model and governing model is to divide and he's not risen to the occasions. i think it worst of it is the whole debasing of our nation. >> those are republican senators warning about the threat posed by donald trump. it can't be more clear than that. he called senator corker a lightweight and incompetent, neither i think are true. and someone who couldn't get elected dog catcher in tennessee. and he's what he said about senator jeff flake. >> he came out with this horrible book and i said who is this guy? the first time i saw him had on televisions i said i assume he's a democrat. they said he's a republican. i said that's impossible. his poll numbers are terrible. he's done terribly for a great state of arizona, a state that
likes donald trump, which even you will admit. >> the republican party has never been so divided. senators openbly defy their party's leader now. they backed a senate candidate accused oftle mistreating teen age girls, he battled a sick war hero, john mccain, fought to keep mitt romney out televise senate and his ally, steve bannon mocked the majority leader with more venom than he showed democrats. susan, i think it's really interesting and the question i lay to you. is there still a nontrump republican party? >> no. it's really fractured and yet the only people to directly willing to take on trump are people not planning to reelection. this is the party of trump. they're tied to him and i don't think there's any getting away
from him. >> why? >> i ask that too. why? because the real bottom line here is because when they go back to their congressional districts and they look at their states they see that a significant portion of that base republican vote is still with the president. so that 32/33% is made up of largely 85% of the republican party and as long as that number is where it is, you're not going to see the kind of movement away from the president that they talk to us and you about in the saddos of washington, with the low whispers and it rolled eyes. you'll get more of that next year as the campaign for 2018 heats up and they start looking at their poll numbers and realize it's me or him and the reality for a lot of republicans is right now the him, the donald trump is winning in their districts in their back yards and they're caught in this hot spot. >> what i mean by that is the
established republican party has always been the party of small business, big business and small government. the nationalist is all about rural america and rural america has been left behind. they're battling an opioid epidemic. they feel trade and globaliat n globalization keeps them further behind and the establishment has not addressed that in any meaningful way. you're going to see this push/pull. let's forget what happened in alabama steve bannon and his wing is going to get stronger because he's a big part of the apparatus that the established republican party has failed to figure out. >> i think the suburbs have been shifting, not just in virginia but certainly alabama. we thought the suburbs especially suburban women would
by against. and i look at peter king, a classic. he's from long island, not rich suburbs. middle, middle and he took the hardest shot at steve bannon. said he looked like a disshevled shrunk. could it be the suburban guys representing suburban congressional districts are at least willing to take on bannon and bannonism, if not trump? >> and they're less at risk for getting knocked off by a bannon candidate in the primary and if you look that results. >> i love not being the smartest person on this show. you're always out smarting me. >> not true. >> that is so smart because the altright means nothing in the burbs. >> but not just alabama but virginia and new jersey. all of them show this shift in the suburbs among college educated whites and especially women. >> and they're embarrassed by
trump. they see bannon as a ferocious loser, a guy who's going to bring their party down. >> and trafrts what he's trying to do. the fact he went to alabama so many times even though trump was not supporting poor rr. what we're seeing right now -- usually it's between the north and the south. right now riltser rural is the elite, the urban. and that's a different calculation. >> here's trump ally, steve bannonb, has spent the past year campaigning against republicans. >> mitch mcconnell and this permative political class is the most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals enthis country. >> we are declaring war on the republican establishment that does not back it agenda that donald trump ran on in the president of the united states. >> there's a time and season for
everything. and right now it's a season of war against a gop establishment. >> you have to nominate people who can actually win because winners make policies and losers go home. what he's a specialist in is nominating people who lose. >> i want to have my friend here. he wears the army fatigues. he's sensing he's a revolutionary. he's got that look, right. i shouldn't say it with it black shirt but he did have it on. >> riltser the common man thing, the rumpled clothing, the green fatigues -- yeah, i'm the bad guy, the guy willing to be the bad guy for you. >> i was thinking more the '30s. >> all of that works. but here's the problem going back to what maria said. this has been going on inside the party since regan left office.
this ifternal frustration over what is consrv ervatism verses republicanism. and they said that's not important. what is import ntd is what we say is important. and thaey've been able to come n and go to the folks frustrated about the economy and play that particular card and as long as they're able to do that, they'll be successful. i think they'll see next year candidates begin to push back against that narrative because the party's futurer is on the line. >> the fact that breitbart news is part of official federal clippingsing should concern us. >> that's because of this government, this administration. >> and what they understand is that currency, by creating doubt that anything the government is doing or might be true is maybe false, that is -- that's
unfortunately the game that republican party or democratic party have yet to win. for them it's not about 2018. they're here for it long game. >> let's talk about the long hall. i have a sense that when i'm 90 years old i'm going to see mitch mcconnell as senate leader. i'm going to see john cornyn waiting for his turn. they're certain insects that survive all kinds of changes. i think they know how to do it. i think a bunch of these guys are skilled at reelection. they know how to save themselves politically. and trump doesn't have that. he could be a sell by date next month. >> mitch mcconnell has had this batblefore. he had in 2010 -- >> who out lasts who? >> mitch mcconnell is the one with a history of surviving.
>> i think that's exactly right and he plays long ball, trump thinks he plays long ball. >> we're not playing by their rules. for bannon, trump is just a vehicle of his nationalist agenda. >> you expect bannon to run as a third-party kand dtd? >> not him. >> he looks like european right-wing candidate. up next our panel stays with us and when we come back, three predictions. one each and they're going to be bigies. i'm telling you. predictions to talk about all through.
♪ back with it panel and now it's prediction time. lots on the line for 2018 glp this will be it year of the woman on steroids. we're going to see a record number of women elected to the house and senate. that's going to help change some of the fundamental ways senate operates. >> on steroids. i agree with that and because i agree with that i have to say the house that steele built ain't going to be there no more because they've torn up the floor boards and knocked out the windows and the house will fall. >> to the democrats.
how about the ensenate? >> the senate is a little built closer and particularly given where those seats are that the president won and particularly where he won big but the senate is now in play. >> i acompletely agree. i think that's going to the heart of the latino community and nevada and arizona are going to be in play and what we saw is not only was it the fierce vote of women but the fierce vote of young people coming out and people of color. we talk about this emerging new majority of americans and i think that's going to flip the house. >> and they get the house back and they take it, pass 2, send it to the senate and jam them on it. in the senate you can bring it up. michael steele who made news tonight and we'll be right back.
look at chicago. what the hell is going on in chicago? >> i don't know what they are doing. >> what the hell is going on in chicago? >> this is the story of america's third largest shooting and how it became a punching bag for a president. >> vote for donald trump. i will fix it. >> for the next hour our special report on the cycle of violence and trauma in the city of chicago. >> i know i have ptsd. it's just off the charts. >> trying to understand the causes. >> around here you ain't nobody until you kill somebody. >> even if