tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 5, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
republicans will maintain a 51-49 majority in the house, but the loser of the drawing is entitled to a second recount, meaning it is unlikely this is the last we'll tell you about the virginia house of tonight on "all in." >> did steve bannon betray you, mr. president? >> shock waves. >> i don't talk to him, that's just a misnomer. >> as new questions of fitness for office swirl -- >> what's the president's reaction to the growing suggestion that he's mentally unfit to serve as president? >> and trump threatens to sue. >> will presidents go to court to stop the publication of this book? >> new details on how the writer got all that dirt. >> they thought that this was going to be a positive book for the president. >> new concerns about more white house tell-alls. >> quite a story to tell. >> republicans choose sides as bannon loses his billionaire.
>> this is our war. and what's going to happen when robert mueller gets his hands on the book donald trump doesn't want anybody reading? >> russia is a ruse. >> "all in" starts now. breaking news tonight. the "new york times" is now reporting that donald trump instructed top white house -- the top white house lawyer to lobby attorney general jeff sessions not to recuse himself from the russia investigation. when that white house lawyer, don mcgann, tried and failed to convince sessions, "the new york times" the president "erupted in anger" and said he needed his attorney general to protect him. the story says the president described the russia investigation as "fabricated and politically motivated" in a letter he had wanted to send to then-fbi director james comey. but then white house aides stopped him from sending it.
joined by congressman ted lieu, democrat from washington, member of the house judiciary committee. thank you for being here. this story, pretty extraordinary that according to "the new york times," donald trump essentially ordered the white house counsel, don mcgann, to go to jeff sessions and lobby him not to quit, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him, saying he expected his top law enforcement officer to safeguard him the way he believed robert f. kennedy as attorney general had done for his brother john f. kennedy and eric holder had done for barack obama. your response? >> thank you for your question. that is a significant story because it shows us how donald trump views the department of justice. he thinks it's there to protect him. that's wrong. the attorney general's job is to enforce the laws, in watergate the central lesson is no one is above the law, not even the president. for donald trump to have this view that somehow the attorney general is his personal protector is a highly disturbing view for the president to have.
and also shows consciousness of guilt. if donald trump thought this was just a hoax, there's nothing to this investigation, why is he fighting so hard to try to have jeff significants be in charge of it? >> and the question is, one question is, is there anything improper about don mcgann as white house counsel going in and attempting to lobby the attorney general to stay on the inquiry if he believed that donald trump was trying to obstruct justice? >> it's not clear to me if that by itself would constitute obstruction of justice. it probably is okay to ask the attorney general to not recuse himself. it depends on how strongly, how much pressure they put on the attorney general for him to not recuse himself. i do have to say in this instance, at least jeff sessions did do the honorable thing and did recuse himself. >> a little bit more from this story, breaking news, "new york times", this story coming across the transom. the special counsel robert mueller has received handwritten notes from mr. trump's former cheech of staff, reince priebus,
showing trump talked to priebus. >> about how he called mr. comey to urge him to say publicly he was not under investigation, the president's determination to fire mr. comey led one white house lawyer to take the extraordinary step of misleading trump about whether he had the authority to remove him. do you see in donald trump what assembled to be increasingly frantic attempts to either get sessions to protect him from the mueller investigation or to get comey to publicly protect him? do you see in that as a former prosecutor yourself the seeds of obstruction of justice? >> absolutely. and as a former prosecutor, i can tell you that this just screams out consciousness of guilt. all these actions the president's taking to try to protect himself from the investigation. if he actually thought that there was nothing to this investigation, he would have cooperated and let the investigation complete, and then he'd say, look, there's nothing here. instead, he's fighting every step of the way to try to obstruct the jest gation. that tells me there's a lot going on there that we don't know yet.
>> let's talk about what this report says about jeff sessions, current attorney general of the united states. "the new york times" has learned according to this report four days before mr. comey was fired one of mr. sessions' aides asked a congressional staff member whether he had damaging information about mr. comey. part of an apparent effort to undermine the fbi director. it's not clear whether mr. mueller's investigators knew about this incident. if you have aides to jeff sessions going to a congressional staffer and asking if they have anything damaging on the director of the fbi, what do you make of that piece of information? >> again, they're trying to stop and influence an investigation. that could potentially be obstruction of justice. again, it depends on exactly what was said and what they were intending to do. but also, i want people to understand that this whole thing of trying to remove individuals like comey or, for example, robert mueller, this doesn't stop the investigation. you have all these fbi agents,
all these federal prosecutors. if they have evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the investigation just keeps on going. it may be with different people. you can't stop. the train has left the station. they can't stop the investigation. >> one more question on this. would you as a member of congress like to see jeff sessions come back before congress to testify about what this "new york times" report is revealing about his own staff, potentially his own aides, potentially looking for dirt on jim comey? >> absolutely. and by the way, i also would like jeff sessions to come before congress and testify on his ridiculous decision to try to prosecute marijuana cases again. >> there's plenty i'm sure that he could give us some information about if he were to come back before congress. i'd like to talk about the other revelations the white house is dealing with this week. this book that the white house is not happy about at all. this book "fire and fury" and some of the revelations about the internal staff, people who work for donald trump, who work in the white house, and their sense that donald trump is not
capable of doing his job. the questions about donald trump repeating things over and over again. the author of this book, michael wolff, saying 100% of the staff deemed him incapable of performing the functions of the presidency. is it time for congress to formally begin to inquire as to the cognitive health of the president? >> so i'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist. but it doesn't take a mental health professional to know that the president has said very disturbing things and acted in disturbing ways. whatever you may call that, he is not fit to be president. i think we need to take steps to try to control what he could do in terms of harm to the united states. this november people can change the makeup of congress to try and put more checks and balances on him. i think we need to rise up as a nation, say this is not normal, we need to stop this inappropriate behavior by the president of the united states. >> would you support the use of the invocation of the 25th amendment to remove donald trump from the white house?
>> so as you know, congress doesn't really have much of a role in that. it would be the vice president as well as the majority of the cabinet. they know donald trump much better than many of us do. if they see that that is an appropriate option, then they should take what steps they think is appropriate, absolutely. >> congressman ted lieu, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> frank feglusi, nbc news contributor, former director for counterintelligence at the fbi, msnbc analyst. jim wine-banks, former watergate prosecutor. i'm going to you, frank. you worked with robert mueller. what do you make of hearing from "the new york times" tonight what do you suppose the mueller investigation should make of the fact that donald trump reportedly went to white house counsel don mcgann and urged him to essentially lobby the attorney general of the united states to not recuse himself from the investigation into russian interference? >> a couple of thoughts.
first, everyone should understand that taken alone, that won't constitute a charge of obstruction of justice. but i will tell you this. taken in the aggregate, if you add this piece of information to other pieces of information, such as the letter that the president wrote about the trump tower meeting being about adoption, the letter that he wrote to dismiss jim comey against counsel's insistence that he not do that. taken in the aggregate, we are closer tonight to an obstruction of justice charge against the president than we've been yet so far. >> and jill, i want to then go to this other piece of this reporting for "the new york times" that in fact jeff sessions himself, who did in fact go ahead and recuse himself from the investigation because he had been part of the trump campaign. -- undermine the fbi director?
it's not clear whether mueller's investigators knew about this incident, they know about it now what do you make about it? >> as it was just said, this is one more piece. "tipping point," a book, i'm wondering if this is the tipping point, that we have finally gotten to the point where the foundation cannot support the growing mounting evidence of obstruction. when i was asked in may about whether i could make an obstruction case, i said i thought i could. i know i can. there is so much evidence now. and as was said, it's not one piece, it's the total picture. the pieces of the puzzle say crime of obstruction. if you impede an investigation, whether you were part of the original crime or not, you have committed a separate crime.
obstruction of justice. that's what brought down president nixon. he had nothing to do as far as any evidence we know of, even to this day, in the actual break-in. what he was involved in was the cover-up and the obstruction of justice, and that's what it looks like with president trump. >> same question, you worked with robert mueller, do you feel at this point that he has a case to make, a, for obstruction, and if you were bob mueller, would you bring in the attorney general of the united states? would you want to now talk to jeff sessions? >> yeah, there's no question. i think we're looking at not only the president and the vice president, but now the attorney general being interviewed by this special counsel team. yes, i do think the evidence has mounted for obstruction of justice. and let's not forget, based on what we've learned today, there's even a stronger case now against jared kushner and ivanka trump also for obstruction of justice in the roles they played in helping author letters firing comey and/or the letter explaining, falsely explaining
the don jr. trump tower meeting. >> on that case, and we've been talking about this book, the book one more time, i know the white house is not happy that we have a copy of this book and we're talking about it. in the book some of the claims that are made, jill, about jared kushner and ivanka trump, that they were themselves concerned and worried that their finances would come to the attention of bob mueller and also as frank just mentioned their roles in pushing donald trump to fire jim comey, if you are working in the special counsel's office, does this book become fodder for your investigation? are you asking to see the tapes of the interviews that are in this book? >> i certainly would be asking for that. i think it is really only corroboration of things we have known all along. a lot of the book sounds titillating and exciting and a good read. i'm looking forward to reading it. but i don't think a lot of it is new. anybody who's been watching
msnbc since the beginning of this investigation knows a lot of what is in that book. there is no question that this has been going on from the very beginning. and there was no question about jared's involvement in the june meeting and in drafting the phony, false statement about what it was about. so they're all in a heap of trouble. >> yeah, and frank, back just for a moment to the "new york times." any reason you can think of why a president of the united states would essentially say that only this attorney general can do the job of attorney general of the united states? i mean this specific person to quote protect me from an investigation. if he's not guilty of anything, presumably any sound attorney that could fill the attorney general role could do the job. >> look, the only reasonable explanation that i can think of is, it's because that specific individual is the one you trust to do what you need done with regard to this special counsel investigation and the russia investigation. >> jill, what is to you the most
compelling piece of evidence of obstruction here? is it the writing the talking points for don jr.? the meeting with that russian lawyer who was offering dirt on hillary clinton, and him essentially composing the talking points? is it the firing of jim comey? or could it be the attempt to keep the attorney general in place? >> it's so hard to pick any one thing. because each one of them is a compelling piece of evidence. and it is really when they fit together how bad it is. and i would say that one of the reasons that he wanted to keep the attorney general sessions is because he knew that sessions had also lied in terms of concealing his meetings with the russians so that he had something to protect as well. and to conceal. and might therefore cooperate even more in helping protect trump and his family from any further disclosures. so there's another reason for him keeping this particular attorney general as the attorney general. >> go on. >> there are so many of these
points that you have mentioned that are compelling. and i would say, you know, it goes back to the very beginning about his firing comey. his saying to comey, i want loyalty. his saying to comey, lay off flynn. why was he saying lay off flynn? because he knew flynn had some information about him and that flynn was involved with russia. why, during the campaign, was he so supportive of putin? it's hard to -- you can go back to the campaign and his abnormal relationship with putin and his abnormal relationship with the truth. >> and i'm going to stay with you for one minute, you had that experience with watergate. would there be anything that would prevent robert mueller from being able to call the attorney general of the united states before him and make him testify? to the grand jury? >> are you asking me? >> yes. >> no, there is no person who is above the law. we proved that during watergate. the president is not above the
law, the attorney general is not above the law. the president had to answer a subpoena. and believe me, we were worried about who's going to serve the subpoena? and if the president refuses, are you going to send in marshals to gather the evidence? that's a little tricky. it's one thing to send them to manafort's house to gather the information and to serve a subpoena. but going into the white house, you can't just walk in. so -- but you can subpoena the attorney general, and he can be forced to testify. >> i'm going to ask you another question, frank, about some of the things we've learned in this book, but don mcgann, is there anything white house could do, executive privilege they can utilize, to try and stop robert muler from being able to interview the white house counsel? >> with regard to mcgann, who is white house counsel, you'll see an attempt to claim executive privilege. i'm not sure it will prevail. because i think when we're talking about misconduct, i think when we're talking about issues that involve conspiracy, obstruction, i'm not sure they'll prevail.
but they'll certainly try. >> we know now, of course, that michael flynn is a cooperating witness, that he's already giving all the information that he must give in order to continue to get the deal that he's gotten. so jill wine-banks work, you if you were -- take this from the white house's point of view. would you be more worried i mean at this point about the revelations coming out of michael flynn, or would you be more worried about the potential revelations that could come out of the attorney general of the united states, if he now because of these revelations is forced to also talk to the special counsel? >> of course the president is the one who knows which of the two has the most damaging evidence. we'd be guessing as to who could potentially be more dangerous. as far as mcgann, i just want to add that it is clear that executive privilege does not apply if a crime is being committed. so that if the conversations are not about policy, if they're about how to commit a crime or how to cover up a crime,
executive privilege does not apply. and also the white house counsel is not the president's counsel. he is the people's counsel. he defends the government. and so it's a very unique position. he can't claim attorney-client privilege in the same way a private attorney could. so both on attorney-client and executive privilege, i feel pretty sure that mcgann would be able to be forced to testify. >> just really quickly to each of you, the book is not out yet, we have a copy but it's not out yet. in the excerpts you've heard so far, anything you've heard that changes your view of the potential case that's being built by bob mueller? >> yeah, look, there's one generalized takeaway excerpt, and i won't quote it exactly because it's just breaking fast here. but it's something like this. at the point in air force one where everybody kind of walks away from the discussion about the letter that's being drafted, there's a comment that says
something like, we all knew that we were witnesses to our own misdeeds. that to me says it all about a conspiracy, about what was going on, and the knowledge of wrongdoing. >> yeah. jill wine-banks, same question, anything you've heard about this book that changes your view of this situation? >> well, i agree that the most compelling piece that i read was about the air force one drafting. but i would say that my general takeaway is, one, it's pretty shocking that bannon was having these conversations in the white house. that he was serving the president at the same time he was bad-mouthing the president. and revealing terrible things. this isn't something that happened after he was fired, this is while he was in the white house and he was inviting the reporter in and getting him access to everybody else. the other thing is that the general take of this is, this was an open secret to everybody in washington as to the president's competence and capabilities.
or lamb thereof. and so a lot of this is not so much a new piece of information, as just a very good read that may be able to finally get through to people, because it reads almost like a novel from the excerpts i've seen. and may be able to reach the people to let them know exactly what it's like. it's a snake pit at the white house. and people are really out after each other. that is not the way any other white house has ever operated. and it's a very sad state of affairs for america. >> yeah, let alone bannon using the "t" word, treason, to describe a member of the president's family, let alone staff. pretty extraordinary stuff. thank you both for being here. >> thank you. >> we were just talking about the other big news today, which of course is this book. the book the president of the united states does not want you to read. here it is. it's called "fire and fury." his lawyer sent an 11-page cease and desist to the author and publisher demanding they halt
the planned release tuesday. instead the publisher decided to move up the publication date. the book has shot to number one on amazon, will go on sale tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.. the crazy part is, all of trumpworld attacking michael wolff, calling his book a pack of lies. fox news' chris wallace reports today they were the ones who gave him all the access. >> he was repeatedly invited in the communications team in the white house urged all of the senior advisers to cooperate. they thought this was going to be a positive book for the president. >> so, no. turns out that it's not a positive book for the president. "fire and fury" paints a deeply unflattering portrait, not just of the white house operation, but of the president himself. it gets personal. dissecting trump's reading skills. his eating habits. his notorious hairdo. even his marriage.
all based on interviews with dozens of sources inside the west wing. above all, this book raises troubling questions about donald trump's mental state. in a column today reflecting on his reporting, author michael wolff describes the color tropian verbal tic that has raised alarms. quote, everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. it used to be inside of 30 minutes he'd repeat, word for word, expression for expression, the same three stories. now it was within ten minutes. indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions. he just couldn't stop saying something. more recently, according to wolff, at mar-a-lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends. wolff says the entire white house staff has eventually reached the same conclusion about trump. quote, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency is that they all, 100%, came to believe
he was incapable of functioning in his job. today a number of trump surrogates were dispatched to different tv networks to defend him and to discredit wolff's reporting. at the white house briefing the press secretary was asked for the second day in a row about concern that the president of the united states is mentally unfit for office. >> what's the president's reaction to the growing number of suggestions in this book and the media that he's mentally unfit to serve as president? >> the same way we have when it's been asked before, that it's disgraceful and laughable. this is an incredibly strong and good leader. that's why we've had a successful 2017, why we're going to continue to do great things as we move forward in this administration. >> for his part, donald trump today responded in person for the first time to steve bannon, his former chief strategist, who was a key on the record-source
for the book, slamming both trump and his family members. in a statement trump claimed bannon lost his mind after leaving the white house. >> did steve bannon betray you, mr. president? >> he called me a great man last night, so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. thank you all very much. thank you. i don't talk to him, i don't talk to him. i don't talk to him, that's just a misnomer. >> michael steele, former chairman of the rnc, msnbc political analyst. jr. rubin, conservative columnist for "the washington post," msnbc contributor. this is extraordinary stuff. it does appear that there was not only just one-way loyalty between trump and his aides but zero loyalty between anyone and one another, anyone back and forth between the president and his staff. how surprised are you at how many people were willing to dish dirt on the president of the united states and his family? some in quotes. >> not surprised at all. because remember, this is an
environment that the president himself bragged about creating. he like the idea that the people who worked for him were sort of independent actors. they were on their own. it was every man and woman for himself. so the idea of translating that culture out of business, which i don't even know businessmen who really buy that, into a political environment where you know how sensitive people's feelings are. they get hurt very easily. it's not going to translate very well for the president. and i think this is what you're seeing play out in this book. >> how surprising is it, i mean, steve bannon seems to have fancied himself the creator of donald trump that he has stirred him up out of thin air. doesn't seem to understand he was a staffer, not the product. he was the salesman, not the product. the fact that he would go on the record so openly when he shared the donor base with donald trump, did that surprise you at all? >> well, what i think surprised me was bannon's willingness to actually put that all on the line. i think that given that he and
the president had up to this point sort of charted this course, they were going to create a parallel empire, if you will that would exist outside of the white house. that would require the mercers' money. that would require the political base of the president. that would also require some of the institutions of washington that bannon had become familiar with by working inside the white house. so to risk that to me was a little bit of a surprise. but there must be something else beyond that that is important for bannon at this point. and i think it has to do with the mueller investigation. i think this is a little bit of that early heisman move that he's making to create some separation between himself and this storyline. because he was in the white house after the fact. he heard conversations and was made aware of stuff. and i think this is a way of kind of making a break there. but we'll see how it plays out. >> jennifer, you and i have
talked a lot on tv about the fact that on capitol hill, republicans know, they leak to reporters, republicans will tell all of us on background how much they are disturbed by donald trump's behavior, by his comportment, by his lack of fitness for office, that they all go on and defend him to the nth degree in public. did it surprise you in any way to find out that that same dynamic was at play in the staff, in the white house, and even in his own family? >> well, i think what my major takeaway was that these people have betrayed their country. they know the person sitting with the nuclear codes, with his finger literally on the button as he keeps telling us, is unfit for the presidency, that he's mentally unfit, temperamentally unfit, yet they prop him out and push him out there and pretend everything is okay. everything is not okay. this extends to general kelley. all these people take an oath to the united states. this includes all the white
house staff and frankly members of congress. and you know what's very interesting, joy, is that as to the particulars, we haven't heard a specific denial from the white house. nor have we heard a denial from reince priebus. we're told michael wolff has tapes. there's such an abundance of information. and this i think gets back to the original sin, if you will, of the republican party. which was, pretending that this man was ever fit to be president. and then once he got there, pretending as if everything was going okay. he is not functioning as the president of the united states. frankly, if he ever gets indicted, he'll have insanity as his defense from a criminal charge. but, you know, this is a serious matter. and i think members of congress who have failed to take this seriously are doing a grave injustice to the country. i'll say one thing about the book. i think there is one key nugget that may bring down the whole house of cards.
and that is the individual, mark kerala, spokes man for the legal team for donald trump who quit on his own. he at least is quoted in that book as saying that he felt very uncomfortable on air force one and thought obstruction of justice was being committed. he is an honorable person. he has a good reputation. donald trump does not control him. and if he had an eyewitness account, not just a hunch or an opinion or a third-person gossipy sense, but he saw things, he heard things that he thinks are obstruction of justice. donald trump is cooked. >> yeah, and i can imagine that bob mueller's team will comicaling. >> oh, yes. >> they know about it now. absolutely. michael steele, jennifer rubin, thank you both for joining me, appreciate it. if there's one thing that we know, it's that michael wolff is about to sell a whole lot of books. that makes you wonder which former white house employees may have dollar signs in their eyes.
every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. total fabrication. the events never happened. never. all of these liars will be sued after the election is over. >> donald trump loved to threaten defamation lawsuits. he's done it lots of times. but he doesn't follow through. he's talked about suing senator ted cruz, the women who accused him of sexual assault, and the
new york times. it's not a surprise trump's lawyers sent a letter to the author and publisher of the blockbuster new book on the trump administration demanding they "immediately cease and sea cyst from any further publication r. i lease, or dissemination of the book." instead the release date was moved up by four days due to "unprecedented demand." the book's author shared his gratitude in a tweet. "you can buy it and read it tomorrow, thank you, mr. president." trump's threat to sue could serve as a flashing green light for others who have worked with the president who may have their own ax to grind, or aspirations of writing a book about their time in trump world. >> i've seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, has affected my community and my people. when i can tell my story, it is a profound story that i know the
world will want to hear. >> we see charlie pierce, writer at large for "esquire." donald trump has threatened to sue before, threatened to sue tim o'brien, threatens all the time, doesn't follow through that much. if you're omarosa, who knows donald trump, she knows he makes threats, she says she's got a story to tell. do these threats and does this book incentivize someone like omarosa to be next in the door with a book? >> absolutely. and one thing to keep in mind, this guy hasn't been president for a year yet. he's being snowed under by tell-all -- my 35 minutes in donald trump's white house. >> it's pretty amazing. this is what richard painter, chief ethics lawyer for george w. bush, had to say about the idea of donald trump trying to use a lawsuit threat to keep the book from being released. >> there is no way they're going to be able to stop publication. no way. this is not russia.
the president of the united states cannot stop publication of a book that's critical of him simply because he believes that's what's said is not true. >> and isn't that the key? because there would have to be discovery, even if he could get a lawsuit going, he'd have to prove that each and every one of these salacious claims isn't true. >> that's exactly right. i think, you know, he's already had a little bit of a warning because the discovery that came out of tim o'brien's lawsuit, he's just a gold mine. and this would be even worse. and you know, and richard painter's right. prior restraint is expressly unconstitutional. "the new york times" -- the nixon administration discovered that during the pentagon papers. and that was certainly a more serious case than somebody saying mean things to him -- about him in a book. he's going to flounder around and assume that everyone's impressed by the tenor of his anger. but the fact remains, the
publisher moved publication of this book up. that means they're not too afraid. >> and let's try to sort of game out who else might be incentivized. here it is again, this is going to sell a lot of copies. people understand that now there is an interest, there's a lot of personal dirt, ivanka making fun of her father's hair, personal stuff in here. and that is by people who were supposedly loyal to donald trump in some way, worked in his administration. can you game out who you think else, besides omarosa, might have an interest? other people worked in the white house that might have a story to tell. >> i think there's no question. i think people working in the white house right now will have a story to tell. i think jeff sessions has a story to tell. i think michael mcgann has a story to tell. i think both mattis and mcmaster have stories to tell. i think melania has a story to tell. apparently everybody in that white house has a story to tell. >> and it's interesting. because donald trump sort of famously in the book talks about this constant ritual of humiliation of sean spicer and reince priebus.
they've been quiet since leaving the white house. there has been reporting they've kept in some contact with donald trump. do they have any incentive to hold back any longer, despite donald trump's threats of a lawsuit? have they missed their window to try to tell their story? >> oh, i think the window's going to be wide open. at least until robert mueller produces whatever it is he knows. because the one thing that you have to remember about the revelations, and i mean the revelations from michael schmidt's piece tonight, also the revelations in these books, mueller knows all this stuff. he knows a lot more. he's not being caught flat-footed by them, by this stuff. this is stuff that he's already -- that's already gone into the investigation mill. you may remember at the beginning of watergate, woodward and bernstein were confounding the fbi and the federal prosecutors because they had been truncated from the white house. so woodward and bernstein were free to go out and get information that the official channels weren't allowed to go
after. that's not the case here. mueller's got everything you're reading in the "new york times" and "the hollywood reporter," mueller's got all that stuff. if you're look forward, that's what you look forward to. >> unlike in the case of woodward and bernstein, donald trump's team invited michael wolff to hang out every day. just sit around, listen to whatever you want to hear. >> as a long-time political observer and journalist, i wouldn't trust me with that. >> come on, sit around in the white house. >> what kind of a president does that? to have this very strange-looking guy, hardly anybody knows, wandering around with a notebook? >> yeah. one with a chief of staff named reince priebus, apparently. appreciate you, have a good one. still to come, the bannon/trump feud causing shockwaves across the republican party. allies jumping ship, billionaire donors leaving him behind.
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i'm all about my bed. this "thing 1." democrat doug jones has been sworn in as alabama's newest senator. and unfortunate one of the attendees was alabama lawyer richard jaffe seen here with former u.s. attorney joyce vance. earlier this week jaffe made news because of his relationship to doug jones' opponent, roy moore. jaffe had defended roy moore's son against dwug charges. roy moore's wife had made this unusual claim. >> fake news would tell you that we don't care for jews. i tell you all this because i've seen it all, so i just want to set the record straight while they're here.
one of our attorneys is a jew. >> then last week the report the jewish lawyer was mr. jaffe. jaffe told "the washington examiner" he voted for his friend doug jones, potentially an embarrassment to the moores. well, now the moore family has chimed in again explaining that richard jaffe is not the jewish lawyer to whom they were referring. they say it's another jewish attorney. today kayla moore named that jewish attorney. except one small problem. as alabama.com reports, roy moore reveals their jewish attorney, and he's a christian. that's "thing 2."
moore's wife felt the need to correct the record. e-mailing alabama.com, we have a jewish lawyer working for us in our firm. martin wisneski. judge hired him while chief justice, then i hired him at the foundation. when reporters fact-checked they found out he had converted to christianity. leading to that headline, roy moore's wife revealed their jewish attorney, and he's a christian. the man himself explained to alabama.com, "i'm a messianic jew, the term they use for a jewish person who has accepted christ." he attended hebrew school at a conservative synagogue and went through a bar mitzvah but accepted christ in his 30s, becoming a mormon first, then later evangelical protestant christian. it doesn't matter if he's jewish or christian or muslim, except apparently to kayla moore and her attempt to prove she and husband roy are bigotry-free. >> one of our attorneys is a jew.
we're not backing down one inch. mitch mcconnell, you're like a deer that's been shot, you're just going to bleed out, brother. you're just going to bleed out. i got you. okay? you're done. >> that was steve bannon. guns blazing in november. but today bannon's explosive comments about donald trump and his family have rendered him radioactive to many on the right. and he now finds himself increasingly isolated, including crucially from his main financial backers. billionaire cutting ties with bannon adding should hadn't spoken to him in months. though in october mercer did host a cocktail party for bannon at her home. the mercers hold a minority stake in i certainly think
steve bannon's remarks about donald trump and his family in his new book forced right wingers to take sides and they sure aren't siding with bannon. >> i discussed steve bannon and the president's relationship and i think steve is delusional with the claims he's been making. >> first of all, bannon has an exaggerated sense, trump won the nomination without bannon. trump would have won the presidency without bannon. i think there is an exaggerated sense who steve is and remember, this is a guy who got fired. >> it's absolutely ridiculous. if steve said that, he should get on the air and take it back because there is nobody less treason. >> the thing that i think
everybody believes and that everybody knows is that most of the leaking that was coming out of the trump white house was steve bannon. >> bannon's response going i don't know anything about this, i love the president, but not responding to the quotes, not denying the quotes, everybody is calling this a fight. bannon stab the president and america in the back. it is not, it is not a fight! >> wow. joining me now is political columnist -- >> wow. >> and former sports writer for breitbart news. my friend, here is the book one more time. we obtained it yesterday at nbc. in this book, curt, hear it is again, the white house isn't enjoying that but there it is. >> you'll get seize and assist for that. >> we're not going to seize or assist. bannon was telling people
something else that he, steve bannon would run for president in 2020. it was turning to when i am president. bannon claims sheldon, bernie marcus and peter. was that just arrogance? was going on to think he was the product and not the salesman? >> he's delusional of someone buying their hype and getting burnt for it. this whole thing started last february when steve was on the cover of "time magazine" and steve made the transition from being the guy behind the guy to wanting to become the guy. the king maker and everything he did at that point forward was positioning himself. >> and can steve bannon survive without robert and becca mercer? these are two tweets, first, the
drudge report put out the idea he's fining happiness in the arms of a new billionaire and on the right side that essentially larry and susie will take breitbart to the future. then you have the story tonight that essentially the mercers completely dropped bannon, and that their split was so complete, so bitter they cut off funding for the private security detail. can steve bannon and breitbart survive without the mercer's money? >> i think steve was so dependant on having that mercer money and being able to say to other people, to journalists, candidates that he had a big billionaire in the back pocket. if you got steve bannon support, the value is you will get millions of dollars from mercer to make your campaign viable. that's gone now. the entire ration is dead now. we're seeing really the opening lines of what is steve bannon's political obituary.
>> when we're seeing older media right wing fingers, crazy alex jones, when you're seeing the old right world going after him, he was the fox news, his readers are the fox news viewers but 30 years younger and maybe they see an opportunity to stomp that out. >> any time you see competitively in the media landscape a competitor have a follow up, there is an opportunity to strike. there is an opportunity to discredit them and take that audience and make it your own. clearly, there is a lot of ganging up going on and steve brought it up himself. he was talking about mitch mcconnell, i got you, brother, like he was a professional wrestler beating his chest. now fair play and steve is isolated alone on an island and he's been the center piece of for so long. >> it's hard to believe last
april breitbart was talking about going international. what happens to breitbart now? >> i think ultimately, steve bannon's faith will be determined what breitbart can do. the people there, the guy in charge of breitbart and the editor in chief. whether they can secure funding without bannon or with. if donors say bannon has to go or mercer says if you want us to continue supporting breitbart, bannon will be kicked out. >> what does it mean the mercers only dump him now. robert shares a lot of racial views. >> right, well, it just shows that all of these alliances aren't built in moral integrity or philosophy. they are built on convenience, what steve bannon is finding out now that he doesn't have proximity to the president, nobody will take his call, nobody cares about him, nobody knows who he is. >> you're not the product, you're the salesman. thanks, that the "all in" for this evening.
breaking tonight from the "new york times," how the president tried to stop attorney general jeff sessions from recusing himself in the russia investigation. knowledge now in the hands of robert mueller. plus, the bombshell book rocking the trump world, set to go on sale early, despite a legal threat to cease and desist. and the trump white house now facing questions on the president's mental fitness for office. the 11th hour begins now. good evening once again from nbc headquarters here in new york, i'm in for brian williams. day 350 for the trump administration, trump's attempt to interfere in the russia investigation. "the new york times" headline tonight, obstruction, trump's struggle to keep grip on russia investigation.